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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.

 

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.

 

Sad Monsters on Tired Tuesday

I think I have used this in two previous blog posts. Don’t judge me.

Do you suppose I can get away with another post of monster movie pictures with silly comments?  I am going to try.  I felt all day that I was Trudging Through Tuesday (I once wrote a blog post of that title).  Well, at least a trudge can result in some forward movement, and I hope not only movement towards Friday (oh, don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to Friday; I just hope to make other sorts of progress as well).

Where was I?  Ah yes, monster movie pictures.  The above is a repeat but apropos to the day.  I wonder what else I could find…

“Beware… take care!”

Ah, no silly comments on this one.  I share this picture my husband Steven downloaded to mark a sad recent event, the death of Martin Landau, who won a much deserved Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood.   Steven and I LOVE the movie Ed Wood, and we especially enjoy Landau’s character.  In other sad news, George Romero, director of Night of the Living Dead, also died this week.  We have this movie on VHS but do not watch it as often as we do other horror classics.  I suspect Steven does not appreciate creepy movies as much as I do.

I personally prefer the old-fashioned lumbering zombies to the new-fangled faster ones (full disclosure: I’ve never gotten beyond the trailers for the newer zombie flicks).

I thought a movie picture would be more in keeping with the theme than one of Romero himself.  I hope that as a director he would appreciate this in the spirit in which it is intended.

So this is my Tired Tuesday post.  In my defense, the Mohawk Valley weather has taken a turn for the hot and humid. My meager brain has melted into a puddle, and I am only good for doing puzzles on breaks at work (and not very good at those, I confess).  But I hope you will stay tuned.  Soon this blog may go All Tempest All The Time.

 

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.

 

 

Late Post, But Here Are Some Zombie Pictures

I am late making my Wuss-out Wednesday post (yes, I really wussed out this time).  Never mind why.  It’s a long story and makes me look bad. Instead, how about a few pictures of zombies, as suggested in comments of a recent post.  I don’t watch as many zombie movies as I do vampire movies.  However, one must acknowledge zombies as the scary monsters they are.

So that’s what happened to Veronica Lake.

I believe this is from Night of the Living Dead, which we have on DVD but rarely watch.  I find it more creepy than scary, and a little sad, especially at the end.  Still, it is considered a classic, so I pop it in when I can talk Steven into it.

I feel a little like this, only without the bright eyes. I do not feel particularly bright these days.

I found this in my search for zombie pictures, and to me it is apropos.  Of course, I believe in making Halloween last all year long.  In fact, I just set my DVR to record several scary movies on TCM, including the delightfully creepy Mad Love, starring Peter Lorre, whose horror credentials are impeccable.  Another find on my search took me in different direction.

I guess I can’t stop running after all.

I must confess, I have not gone running since the Boilermaker.  At first I felt too tired, then it got too hot.  I suppose these are lousy excuses (as most excuses are, but, hey, I’m only human) (and not an un-dead one at that).  I think I must begin running again, though, with a thought to taking part in a Zombie Run in November.  That sounds like fun.

 

When in Distress, Vampires Often Help

Earlier today, a friend at work gave me some icy-hot (it was Equate brand) to rub on my knees.  It seemed to help.  I have spent most of the rest of the day wishing I had something similar to rub on my attitude.  It’s not even Bad Attituesday!

It is, in fact, one of those days when I disprove one of my own rules: that writing begets more writing.  I just finished and emailed out two articles for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  Shouldn’t I be all raring to go and write my blog post now?  It turns out, not so much.  I was just futzing around Facebook, looking for pictures, because that always seems to be a good fallback post.  Of course nothing appeals.  Maybe I should look again.

When in doubt, look for monsters.  Here are a couple of pictures from Mark of the Vampire.  I found them on a page I Like called Murder, Madness and the Macabre, Our Favorite Nightmares.

Bela and friend.

I gotta get me a dress with sleeves like that.

I’ve seen Mark of the Vampire a couple of times.  I can’t believe I don’t have it on one of my horror collections.  Maybe my husband will buy it for me for my birthday (he usually reads this blog, teehee).

I’ll throw in another picture of Bela Lugosi to round things out (you know how I like to include three photos).  Here he is from Dracula in 1931.

“I bid you welcome.”

He was fine, yes.  I haven’t seen an old horror movie in a long time.  Perhaps that is the ice-hot for my attitude I seek.  At any rate, it couldn’t hurt.  We’ll call today a Non-Sequitur Thursday post (although the title I have in mind is more of a sequitur) and drive on. Thank you for tuning in, and I hope to see you all on Lame Post Friday.