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Roger Corman on Mental Meanderings Monday

It is getting later and later in the day on Monday and I still have not done my blog post.  It will, for sure, be Monday Mental Meanderings, but I fear my mental is far from meandering.  It is still.  It has stopped.  I looked for some monster movie pictures to pep up my post a little. I did not find any.  Whatever will I do?

The movie is not as sexy as the poster would make it seem.

At last! I found something! This is the movie we watched last night, a Roger Corman confection which I enjoyed very much.  I must say, the monster was much scarier in anticipation than in sight.  When we finally saw the monster, we laughed and laughed.

I believe there is a sexy brunette or two in this flick.

This is a movie we watched some time previously.  Earlier today I found a write-up I started about it.  I worked a little more at it but fear I must watch the movie again before I can finish it properly.  Who me?  Watch a cheesy movie again?  SAY IT AIN’T SO!

“That won’t qualify for the Dolgeville Violet Festival.”

I close with a shot from another favorite Roger Corman film of mine:  Little Shop of Horrors.  I have little use for the musical, on stage or on screen, but I adore the original cheesy movie.

I guess I don’t have much else to say.  Friends, it’s Monday.  I managed to NOT whine about how I can’t seem to write a blog post today.  I’m afraid that is the best we can hope for. But perhaps I will see you all on Tired Tuesday.

 

Wrist to Hitchcock

It is Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday, August 13.  Steven and I had hoped to watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie when we got home tonight, but it seems that will not work out.  Is it a Wrist to Forehead Sunday?  I fear so.  Never mind why; explanations are tiresome.  We won’t worry about that but concentrate on the famous director’s birthday.

I’m thinking this is only true in a sense.

I picked this picture of him to share, because I liked the saying on it.  This is not a rule I follow when I am directing or acting on a stage, by the way.

Nevermore, you say?

The Birds is one of our go-to movies, especially on a Sunday night.

Love the poster art.

Rear Window, however, is arguably our favorite Hitchcock movie.  The casting, the acting, the script, everything combines to make an entertaining whole.  I say “arguably,” because there is also my beloved Rope.  However,  I cannot find any photos of Rope, so we won’t talk about that movie right now.

We won’t talk about anything much, as it turns out.  It is SO Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  Happy Birthday, Alfred Hitchcock.  Blog readers, please bear with me.  I will try to come up with something better on Middle-aged Musings Monday.

 

 

 

Damned or Dead, What’s the Difference?

Sorry kids, it’s Tired Tuesday.  Instead of whining about how tired I am (except for these first two sentences), I thought I’d share a few pictures and remarks about a favorite monster guy of mine, Boris Karloff.  When I was looking at my On This Day on Facebook, I saw this gem:

The movie version adds a “?” to Mad Monster Party

I wrote a blog post about Mad Monster Party? and would like to add the DVD to our Halloween collection (which everybody knows I watch all year long).   I downloaded the picture, thinking to use it at some future date.  Then again, why wait?  So I decided to use it and began trolling for more Boris Karloff pictures for my post, preferably of movies I own or have seen.  I remembered a double DVD my friend Rachel had sent me and soon found this:

Now I was on my way with a kind of movie poster theme.

Bedlam is perhaps not as horror-filled as one might expect with Karloff as the lead, but it is a pretty good flick.  It is very stylish.  I wrote a blog post about it.  Of course I decided to look for the other movie on that set.  Unfortunately, I could not remember the title.  I knew there was an island and almost everybody died, and the title reflected that.  It wasn’t Island of Lost Souls, that was something else.  It wasn’t Island of the Damned.  Hmmm…

Oh! Not island, ISLE! Silly me!

I found it with the help of a Google search.  I hope regular readers are proud of me, because I can almost never find anything with a Google search.  I did not write a whole blog post about this movie, but I did mention it in one.

I close with a poster from a movie that I have neither written about nor seen, but when I was pulling the others out of the Download file, I saw it and said, “Hey!”

I am adding it to my list of movies to look for.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

 

Blog Post of Lost Souls

Spoiler Alert!  I am going to pretty much recount the entire plot of The Island of Lost Souls (1932).  I did not realize the year till I looked it up just now.  I guess most readers have had ample opportunity to catch this flick.

I have not written about an old horror movie in a long time.  I have a bunch of them on my DVR, and on a recent Sunday, I felt the urge to relax, crochet, and watch.  I thought, Charles Laughton, Bela Lugosi, what’s not to like?  So Island of Lost Souls it was.

The movie opens with a ship rescuing a wild-eyed guy from a derelict, and I thought, “Oh, swell, the whole thing’s going to be a flashback.  This guy just escaped from the bad island and he’s going to tell us all about it.”  It is a hoary device much used in the cinema and elsewhere.  It’s not a horrible device, but I have to ask, “Why?”  Only I did not have to ask it this time, because it wasn’t what happened.  The ship was on its way to the mysterious island.  One cliche successfully avoided!

Wild-eyed guy, who recovers from his wild-eyed-ness pretty quickly and is named Parker, is on his way to meet his fiance, who is waiting for him where this ship just happens to be going.  He is able to send her a wireless, so that’s a relief for both of them, as well as an important plot point later (I did include a Spoiler Alert, remember?).

Now we come to what I think is a pretty good piece of plotting.  Plotting 101, I’ve learned:  cause and effect.  Because this, then this.  The ship is carrying enough wild animals to stock a zoo.  The obnoxious, belligerent captain finds this so disturbing he drinks.  A lot.  Because of his drinking (and because he is an obnoxious, belligerent sort — see, character causes action as well), he has a confrontation with Parker in which Parker decks him (ooh, unintended pun:  they’re on a SHIP and Parker DECKS him!).  Because of this, the captain, who is also vindictive, throws Parker overboard into Dr. Moreau’s boat when Dr. M is taking delivery on the animals.

Dr. Moreau is at first put out by the intrusion, but he is soon reconciled as he conceives of a sinister use for Parker. At least, Dr. M does not see his purpose as sinister.  He sees it as a golden opportunity to further his scientific research.

I did not understand his scientific research one bit, and I’m thinking that H.G. Wells (who wrote the original story) just made it up as he went along.  Years ago I read a book about how to write science fiction, and the folks that wrote it seemed to think that the reader maybe ought to believe that what you wrote was at least kind of sort of maybe perhaps remotely possible.  Obviously, H.G. Wells never read that book.   I daresay it was written after his time.  No matter, on with the blog.

So Parker, although he is not supposed to be snooping (what a surprise) (and what a surprise that he does), soon finds out that Dr. M and his colleague (the doctor who was on the boat and partially responsible for rescuing Parker.  I forgot to mention him) are doing some sort of heinous experiments that involve a lot of screaming. In fact, the lab is known as the House of Pain.  I flashed back to army basic training every time I heard “House of Pain,”  but never mind my little psychological glitches.

The nefarious purpose Dr. Moreau has for Parker is to introduce him to this beautiful but mysteriously ignorant young woman.  Dr. M tells Parker she is a Polynesian or some such, and although Parker is fooled, we are not.  We know she is one of the doctor’s experiments.

It turns out — and this is where I just can’t picture what sort of science was used — that Dr. Moreau has made all these men out of animals.  And isn’t that typical Hollywood — and theatre in general — all those men and only one woman!  Well let’s don’t get me started on the dearth of good female roles anywhere in theatre.  This blog post is getting long enough as it is.

Apropos female roles, however, the part of the fiance is not negligible, as such parts often are.  Because she has received the wireless from Parker (see, cause and effect!), she is waiting for him when the ship docks.  Belligerent Captain tries to blow her off, but she enlists the help of the American Consul to get the whole story out of him.  Soon she is off to the rescue.  I suppose someone will carp that she needs the help of men to save the day, namely the consul and the boat guy, but I feel this is mere quibbling. We all get by with a little help from our friends.  I guess the consul and boat guy could have been women, but this was 1932, after all.  Let’s not ask for miracles.

Full disclosure:  I stopped paying a lot of attention after Fiance sets off to save the day.  I did look up and watch the dramatic conclusion.  It was climactic and not unearned.  On the whole, I feel Island of Lost Souls is not the usual cheesy fare I delight in writing about.  I enjoyed it and do not rule out watching it again sometime.

 

Wrist to Forehead Bad Seed

We are watching The Bad Seed, a DVD of one of our favorite cheesy movies.  Spoiler Alert:  I’m going to give away major plot points to this movie, if not the ending.  I don’t know if I’ll give away the ending and I know that by the time I finish the post I shall be far too lazy to go back and edit this paragraph.  In my defense, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  If you will not accept this defense, I will explain, shut up.

The Bad Seed, for the uninitiated is a movie made in 1956 about Rhoda, a little girl who kills people, and the devastating effect this has on her mother, Christine.  It was considered very shocking at the time, first as a novel, then as a Broadway play.  Who could believe that a sweet little girl was a murderer?  And that she had inherited the murderous gene from her grandmother?  Apparently her mother was just a carrier.  Well, I guess a lot of things skip a generation.

Steven’s biggest problem with the movie is that Rhoda right away seems like the kind of bad-tempered brat that might kill people.  She is supposed to be the perfect little girl.  She wears dresses, she keeps her room clean, she makes perfect curtsies at appropriate times.  The busybody landlady wishes she had “just such a little girl.”  We’re all supposed to buy into it too, apparently, and be shocked as we slowly realize what she is really like.  Steven does not see how it can even be a mild surprise much less a shock.  I have to agree.

My biggest problem, though, is that she never really cops to being a a murder.  Everything is, “But it wasn’t my fault!”  If Claude Dagel hadn’t said he was going to tell on her, she wouldn’t have had to kill him!  If he would have just quietly drowned when she pushed him off the dock, she wouldn’t have had to hit him with her shoe.  At least that would have been manslaughter, although this point is not thoroughly hashed out in the dialogue.

Steven is also bothered by the close-mindedness of Rhoda’s grandfather, Christine’s adoptive father, who pours self-righteous cold water on the theory of the “bad seed.”  Christine, who has been chewing up the scenery ever since little Claude’s death was announced on the radio (providentially, as it often is in movies, as soon as the characters just happen to turn it on), is horrified when she realizes her biological mother was a beautiful murderess.

The high points of the movie are the two scenes with Eileen Heckert as the drunken mother of the murdered little boy.  What a piece of acting!  She lift the movie temporarily above the melodramatic abyss.

I probably could do a much better write-up for this movie, and perhaps I will sometime.  I’m pretty sure I have mentioned the movie before, although a quick search of my posts did not show it.  I say, no matter.  It is Wrist to Forehead Sunday, and I have written something.  Have a lovely rest of your weekend.

 

Short on Excuses, Long on Monsters: It’s Lame Post Friday!

If ever there was a day I needed Lame Post Friday, this is it.  Fortunately, it is in fact Friday, the day I have decreed that I am allowed to make a really lame post.  I know, what is my excuse the rest of the time?  Well, regular readers know, I have different excuses on different days.  However, my purpose today is not to muddle around with excuses but to make a short, reasonably entertaining post and get back to enjoying my Friday.

Sons of bitchin’ graboids! Pardon my french.

This may be worthy of Non-Sequitur Thursday, but we can’t always have these things exactly when we would like to.  I went into Downloads on our laptop, looking for something to pep up my post a little.  I could not see what this was a picture of, so I inserted it in the post, thinking I could always delete it if I didn’t like it.  But how could I delete a scene from Tremors, one of our favorite movies!  We never saw any of the sequels nor yet the television show.  I felt they might taint my memory of the beloved original.

When in doubt, there is always Nosferatu.

I recently found this picture of one of my all-time favorite guys.  I shared it on Facebook, just because, and now I share it with you, for a similar reason.

I would SO buy this book if I ever found it!

For the sake of using three pictures (it’s kind of a thing with me), I include a beautiful pulp fiction paperback cover.  Now that I am looking at it, I see it is a novelization of a movie.  Interesting.  I would still buy the book, even though I do not care for novelizations.  I have a minor collection of pulp fiction paperbacks which I purchased purely because I find the covers so delicious.

So this is my Friday Lame Post for the week. It entertained me to write it.  I hope at least some of my readers are likewise entertained.

 

What to Watch on Scattered Saturday?

There was not a whole lot of scatter to my Scattered Saturday today (nor a whole lot of scat either, if you’re into jazz) (which I am).  I ran, I wrote, I read, I did not do dishes, I went to an early dinner with my husband, Steven, and now we are about to embark upon the movie watching portion of the evening (as regular readers know, my favorite part) (along with the bra off, sweats on, wine drinking portion of the evening) (which it also is, except for the sweats; too hot).  This being the case, I share a picture I downloaded earlier to share on Steven’s Facebook page:

Just another unrealistic body type for us females to aspire to.

I’m pretty sure this is a publicity shot for House on Haunted Hill (1959), one of our go-to movies for just such an evening.  I think we will not watch this movie tonight, since we did recently view it.  What are our other possibilities?  Hmmm….

“You think I’m the murderer? I thought you were the murderer!”

Thinking of Vincent Price usually brings me back to Laura (1944), a stylish noir, as one reviewer described it, and another of our favorites.  Price plays, unusually enough, a leading man type, not a creepy murderer type.  This is another of our go-to movies.

Nothing to worry about, everything is fine.

I finish with one last shot of Price, in another of our go-to movies, House of Wax (1953).  Price does play a creepy murderer-type in this one.

So we have several suggestions right off the cuff for the movie watching portion of our evening.  What to watch, what to watch, what to watch (yes, you have to say it three times).  Tune in tomorrow, on Wrist to Forehead Sunday, and perhaps I’ll tell you.

Just a thought: would you be more apt to describe this post as Slacker Saturday?  I’m thinking, maybe.