Tuesday, October 17, 2017

How Shirley Jackson Makes Us Lose Our Minds

How Shirley Jackson Makes Us Lose Our Minds

Song of the Day

15 Netflix hidden-gem horror movies: 2017 version

15 Netflix hidden-gem horror movies: 2017 version

Today's Vintage Ad


I Miss the Old Days

20 Beautiful Color Photos of Julie Andrews in the 1950s and 1960s: Singer and actress Julie Andrews was born Julia Elizabeth Wells on October 1, 1935, in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. Andrews has endured as a popular star of stage and screen for many decades. She came from a musical family; her mother was a pianist and her stepfather, from whom she took her surname, was a singer.

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Alan Marshall (Donald E. Westlake), All About Annette, Midwood, 1960

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

10 Films Where The Supporting Role Was Better Than The Lead

I'm Back

Bouchercon was great.  I missed seeing some people I wanted to see, but I got to visit with a lot of friends.  My panels were all well received, and in fact turned out even better than I could have hoped.  My daughter, Angela, was there, and she took good care of me.  We visited the CN Tower, the railroad museum, and Casa Loma.  Photos to follow.  Maybe.

Overlooked Movies: Blood from the Mummy's Tomb

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb is one of the later Hammer horror films, and not one of the best, but when it showed up on TCM, I recorded it and took a look.  It's based on Bram Stoker's Jewel of the Seven Stars, and it's not a real mummy movie.  That is, there's no wrapped up menace.  Instead we get Valerie Leon, who's Tera, the sorcerous woman placed in a tomb in some sort of suspended animation by Egyptian priests, who then cut off her hand and throw it to wild dogs.  Not that it does them much good, as they all wind up with their throats torn out.  There are a good many torn-out throats in the movie.

Many years after the entombment, Prof Fuchs (Andrew Keir) leads an expedition that discovers Tera. While he's in the tomb, his wife back in England dies in childbirth, and the child dies, too.  But she revives when Fuchs speaks the name Tera.  She grows up to look just like Tera, and she's also played by Valerie Leon. She has a red scar on her wrist. And Fuchs just happens to have smuggled Tera's body and sarcophagus into his basement.  Don't ask how.  On his daughter's birthday, he gives her a ruby ring taken from Tera's severed hand.  You can probably guess the rest, as the new Tera is gradually taken over by the old one, who uses the new one to get revenge on the members of the expedition and to take and artifact from each one.  The artifacts will allow her full return to live when all are gathered.  

There's an evil member of the expedition who's trying to facilitate Tera's return, and there's the new Tera's boyfriend who's trying to help her fight the takeover.  Lots of people die, and the ending of the movie is either satisfactory or not, depending on how you like ambiguity.

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb isn't great, and it's pretty slow, but it's passable Halloween entertainment.

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb

Monday, October 16, 2017

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

and now it's the nacho cheese attack

Richard Wilbur, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Richard Wilbur, whose meticulous, urbane poems earned him two Pulitzer Prizes and selection as the national poet laureate, died on Saturday in Belmont, Mass. He was 96.

Hat tips to Barry Ergang and Jeff Meyerson.

Roy Dotrice, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Roy Dotrice, a British stage, film and television actor who began performing as a prisoner of war in Germany and worked in Britain and America for six decades, notably in one-man shows portraying Abe Lincoln, the diarist John Aubrey and other historical figures, died on Monday at his home in London. He was 94.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

17 Iconic Movie Scenes That Were Actually Improvised

17 Iconic Movie Scenes That Were Actually Improvised

Song of the Day

America's Unsung Wartime Codebreaker

Elizebeth Friedman, America's Unsung Wartime Codebreaker: An American pioneer in the field of cryptology—the study of writing and solving secret codes—William Friedman is known for his distinguished career as an expert codebreaker with the U.S. Army during World Wars I and II. But although Friedman is one of the biggest names in cryptanalysis—he coined the word itself—historians often skip over the fact that his wife, Elizebeth, was every bit as skilled a codebreaker. Her accomplishments have been (sometimes deliberately) kept from the spotlight.

Today's Vintage Ad


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J. X. Williams, Sin Street Hippie, Nightstand Books, 1968

Top 10 Unbelievable Things Found Underwater

Top 10 Unbelievable Things Found Underwater