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Tag Archives: William Castle

Happy Mother’s Day from Me and Joan

A very Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers everywhere, most especially to my own very wonderful Mom.  I also send prayers and good thoughts out to all who are celebrating Mother’s Day without their mother.   I send love and respect to those who through choice or circumstance are not mothers. I am feeling tired and melancholy this afternoon, but one must make a blog post every day when one is me.  When other people are feeling down, I never can find the right words of wisdom and comfort.  All I can manage is to make stupid jokes in hopes that a little humor will take their minds off their troubles.  With that in mind, I submit the following picture I have used before.

In my defense, I do like candy.

Yes, it is Mommy, Dearest herself, Joan Crawford.  The picture is from a fine chunk of cheddar (that is, a cheesy horror movie) from William Castle, Straitjacket.  In the movie, Crawford plays a mother who also does not the set best example of maternity.  More than that I won’t say, though, in case you  have not seen the movie.  Perhaps it is one to screen in honor of the day.  It would also make this a Severed Head Sunday, one of my favorite kinds of Sunday.

So this is my short, silly post.  We’ll call it a Wrist to Forehead Sunday and hit publish.  I shall publish a post again tomorrow, and I hope it will not be Melancholy Monday.




A Beer or Wine with Joan?


I am  learning more about including pictures in the blog.  It is very exciting for me.  This picture was in our laptop’s downloads. I think my husband, Steven, may have used it for a profile picture last October.  It appeals to me, because I love skellingtons and I love beer.  In fact, it has not been a bad day at all.  But I am quite tired and cannot think of anything to make a blog post about.  Let’s see if there are any more fun pictures in the downloads, to make this a kind of a Wordless Wednesday post (I think we’ve already discussed that I am almost never entirely wordless) (and “Wordless Wednesday” sounds SO much more respectable than “Wuss-out Wednesday”).




This is my current Facebook profile picture.  I was having a Lizzie Borden kind of a day (another profile I’ve used is a plaque that says, “I’m having a Lizzie Borden kind of a day”).  The picture is Joan Crawford in Straitjacket, a William Castle flick and one of my favorites.  I wonder if I’ve ever written a blog post about it.  I believe I mentioned it once on Severed Head Sunday (one of my favorite days).



For our last photo of the day (I think three is a good number, don’t you?), I show you my Facebook cover photo.  It is a lovely welcome mat which was given to Steven and me by our dear friend, Bruce.  Bruce’s most frequent comment on any of my Facebook posts is, “It’s WINE TIME!!!”  I like the way he thinks.  Happy Wednesday, everybody.


Severed Head Sunday

Spoiler Alert!  I’m going to be talking about several movies and I’m not going to worry if I give anything away.  Jaws, Strait-Jacket, Sleepy Hollow, The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.

We’re watching Jaws, because it is a good summer flick.  This is what I call relaxing movie viewing: something we’ve seen before that we can just enjoy.  Until the moment when Robert Shaw scrapes his fingernails along the chalkboard to get everybody’s attention during the big village meeting.  I cringed.

“My most UN-favorite moment of the movie,” I said.  “I don’t even mind the severed head.”

In fact, the first time I saw the severed head (you know, when Richard Dreyfus is underwater looking at the recently sunken boat), I jumped and said, “EEWW!”  But it’s a great moment in a scary movie.  Thinking about it, I came up with the title of today’s blog post.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

Last night we watched Strait-Jacket with the incomparable Joan Crawford.  This movie featured several severed heads.  It is one of my favorites.  I loved it even before I knew it was produced and directed by that master of such movies, William Castle.

Naturally I started thinking about other movies we could watch that featured severed heads.  My first thought was Sleepy Hollow, or as I like to call it, The Headless Everybody.  I told Steven we should watch some more severed head films and he said, “Like The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.”

“You’re a genius,” I said.

Ooh, as I typed all this in, the movie progressed and they are ALMOST to the moment of the severed head.  I must stop typing and watch.  As I look back on this post, I do not believe the Spoiler Alert was truly necessary.  No matter.  A couple of bold-faced words is always a good start for a blog post.  I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday as much as I am.


Did You Scream?

During our Halloween movie viewing, Steven and I enjoyed what is perhaps the quintessential William Castle movie, The Tingler (1959).

We had seen The Tingler once before, but that was in Georgia over ten years ago (yikes!). I did not remember much about it, except for the tingler itself, which was pretty funny. I mean scary. OK, both. I have to confess, while we were watching it this time, I was fixing supper, so I missed a few parts entirely. Hey, if you don’t think it’s important to feed your spouse and eat well yourself, well, that’s where we differ.

William Castle was a producer and director who was quite the showman. He didn’t just make a movie, he gave his audience an experience. I’ve talked about him before. He did things like put a nurse in the lobby in case any audience member keeled over from fright. During House on Haunted Hill, a skeleton on a wire flew out over the audience at a dramatic moment. His gimmick for The Tingler involved wiring certain seats in the audience to deliver a startling sensation to unsuspecting movie viewers.

I’ve been thinking somebody ought to release a boxed set of William Castle movies with props. They could include a nurse’s hat so one of your friends could pretend to be on hand in case of fright emergencies (I forget which movie that went with), a skeleton to wave over the audience during House on Haunted Hill, and some sort of joy buzzer for The Tingler. But I digress.

In The Tingler, Vincent Price is a mad scientist whose area of study is fear. Of course he does not consider himself mad (I know, they never do), and his aim is not world domination or even untold wealth, as it is for any number of other mad scientists. He believes he has the good of mankind at heart. His handsome young assistant and the assistant’s beautiful girlfriend agree.

The tingler, Price finds, is an actual thing that attaches itself to your spine when you are frightened. It can kill you, but you can stymie its fell intent by screaming loudly. There does come a point when the audience is encouraged to scream, but Steven and I did not. The windows were closed, but we might still have startled the neighbors. My scream is piercing.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot (the parts I remember around cooking dinner, anyways), because this is one of those movies best enjoyed by letting it unfold before you. I thought it was very fun. I recommend catching it if you get the chance, and if it frightens you… SCREAM!