Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Everything's a bit rubbish

Well, here we are, nearly at the end of October, and still no sign of ST14. The printer says it's nearly ready but so far, no show. I hope it will be ready next month. If not, then I risk hitting the Christmas post, which will be truly dodgy. Oh well, it's just a hobby.

On a happier note, I recently bought a cheap DVD of Night of the Eagle. This was an adaptation of Fritz Leiber's novel Conjure Wife and the script credits are shared by big names Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont. Throw in Peter (Jason King) Wyngarde as the star and you've got a modest but classy British supernatural thriller. 

Unfortunately, there are no YouTube clips of this film to show you. So here's the show that made Mr Wyngarde a household name as 'that bloke off Department S'. 

Friday, 17 October 2008

The Dunwich Horror

Ronald Colman stars in H.P. Lovecraft's classic tale of Yog-Sothoth, the Necronomicon, and some disgraceful mucking about in rural New England. Yes, Ronald 'Lost Horizon' Colman, no less, a big name star who appeared in this edition of Suspense, a CBS show from the Forties. There are lots of great shows on Old Time Radio, an excellent website maintained with loving care by true enthusiasts. With luck, 'The Dunwich Horror' will play as a smallish file on your bog-standard Windows Media Player, if you click here. Let me know what you think. I reckon they've captured the essence of the tale in less than 30 minutes, and frankly I don't mind losing some of the Mythos paraphernalia along the way. Years of poor pastiche have made me less than keen on the props, and more interested in the stories and the overall aesthetic of Lovecraft's work. Anyway, enjoy! The fateful night approaches, and strange doings are afoot around Sentinel Hill.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Mysterious Message From Beyond

Huw Langridge, whose site I mentioned earlier this month, has contacted me about a new feature - a spooky answerphone recording received by his mother decades ago! 

Huw has put the mystery message on his site here. What do you think, spook fans? I'm sceptical myself but if you think it's aural ectoplasm, let me or Huw know.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

John Llewellyn Probert

John L. Probert is a fine writer who has a new book out. What's more, two tales from previous issues of ST are in it, hurrah! Proof that I'm not a rubbish editor. The stories are 'The Moving Image', a must for lovers of weird cinema, and 'Guided Tour', a must for lovers of blokes who unwisely go into old houses after their girlfriend dumps them. Find out more at John's website here

Needless to say there's a picture of John on his website, and of course he's far more handsome and a lot younger than me. Ah well. Actually the picture shows him looking a tad smug, but then he is holding up a copy of a book wot he wrote. 

Actually, in a recent email John told me he's working on a new collection for cutting-edge publisher Humdrumming, and working on his first novel. Where does he get the energy? Monkey glands?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

I surf the internetular cosmos, searching for strange phenomena that might be vaguely termed supernatural. Not quite sure how I found The Lazy World of Arthur Ignatowski, which is basically old-time smut and silliness. If you've ever wanted to hear Abba songs played on a Moog while naked ladies dance round a swimming pool, Arthur's your man. There's a blogger content warning, which seems absurd when you consider the kind of thing an innocent Google search can turn up. Anyway, one of the many little videos on the blog is this one, which is apparently a movie trailer. I'm sure the film can't be as good as this suggests:

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Excellent Movie Reviews

Just a big shout out to Eccentric Cinema, which I link to over on the right there. Go look at it! It's got loads of reviews of classic, good, mediocre and cheesy movies, most of them horror or sci-fi, with a bit of porn thrown in (a warning in case you're very easily offended).

At the moment the webmaster has a special feature on Demons & Witches, giving an easy-to-access list of the best (and some of the worst) films. Getting a rave review is Night of the Demon, which is available on DVD in the US along with the cut-down American release Curse of the Demon. I wish it would materialise in Region 2.

I think the review makes one very valid point. It's conventional wisdom never to show a horror movie monster at the very start, yet in CotD Jacques Tourneur breaks that rule to bits. Not only do we see the monster, we get close ups at its kills poor Harrington. The argument in favour, however, is a strong one. The essence of the film is that Dana Andrews' star is a sceptical expert who (quite rightly) regards black magic as a lot of nonsense. Stories fit for for children can't really hurt anyone - but we know they can in this film! So all the business with the runes on the slip of paper, which the expert treats as  an academic puzzle, we know to be a matter of life and death. No wonder it works so well. Throw in the superb black-and-white imagery, using light and shadow to wonderful effect, and you've got a classic. 

Incidentally, in case you were wondering, the image at the top of the blog is from the movie. That's Dana Andrews vanishing down that corridor, possibly in search of a slip of paper. And here's an extract from the US cut, which is on YouTube in ten minute chunks, in which our hero gets it so badly wrong, for all the right reasons.

Kate Bush's tribute to the movie, her 'Hounds of Love' video, is still available too.