Saturday, June 23, 2012

Song of the Day

Bobby Darin - "Judy, Don't Be Moody" - YouTube:

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . .

Del Taco Worker Allegedly Stabs Customer Who Complained About His Order

Today's Vintage Ad

Great Covers!

Golden Age Comic Book Stories: AVON FANTASY READER
18 Issues ~ 1947-1952


Zacherley's Vulture Stew, Ballantine, 1960

Enid Blyton’s Legacy of Old-Fashioned Adventure Stories

Enid Blyton’s Legacy of Old-Fashioned Adventure Stories
The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . . .

Walmart contractors get in fight over cutting board |

Bad Reviewers and Bad Reviews

Top Suspense Group: Bad Reviewers and Bad Reviews

Richard Matheson's Not the Only One

11 Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books - Mental Floss

10 Fictional Professors Who Give Academics A Bad Name

10 Fictional Professors Who Give Academics A Bad Name

10 Movie Stars Who Bombed on TV

10 Movie Stars Who Bombed on TV

Today's Western Movie Poster

Crocosaurus Cove!

Swimming with killer crocodiles

6 Famous News Stories That Forgot to Tell You the Best Part

6 Famous News Stories That Forgot to Tell You the Best Part

Well, Maybe the Bigtrees

10 Dysfunctional Literary Families We’d Secretly Like to Join

The Misfits

Marilyn Monroe - The Misfits, Movie Trailer - YouTube:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Richard Adler, R. I. P.

‘Damn Yankees’ and ‘Pajama Game’ composer-lyricist Richard Adler dies at age 90 - NY Daily News: Award-winning composer and lyricist Richard Adler, a bright star of Broadway’s Golden Age, has died. He was 90.

Adler is best-known for co-writing the music and lyrics for the 1954 show “The Pajama Game” and a year later for “Damn Yankees. Both won Tony Awards for Best Musical.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Houston 101: The Battle of Jones Creek, 188 Years Ago Today

Houston 101: The Battle of Jones Creek, 188 Years Ago Today - Houston News - Hair Balls: Houston 101: The Battle of Jones Creek, 188 Years Ago Today

Free for Kindle this Weekend!

HARD ROAD (FIGHT CARD) HARD ROAD (FIGHT CARD) eBook: Jack Tunney, Kevin Michaels, Mel Odom, Paul Bishop: Kindle Store: Atlantic City, 1957

Professional boxers Roberto Varga and Michael Boyle were once pals growing up at St. Vincent’s Asylum for Boys in Chicago. Under the guidance of Father Tim, the fighting priest, they learned values, respect, responsibility, and how to fight fair.

But those lessons didn’t stick with Boyle. Two years after leaving St. Vincent’s, Boyle and Varga face-off in the ring with Boyle pounding out a bloody, lopsided decision, Varga swore wasn’t on the up and up.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Miami Heat tickets sale ends with SWAT standoff: Wasserman grabbed a shotgun, hit his wife in the face with the butt of the gun and threatened to shoot himself before shooting a hole in a bathroom door, according to reports.

They're Everywhere!

WFSB Channel 3: Recently people across Connecticut have reported seeing bears roam the streets, rummage through bird feeders and garbage, and even sightings of a moose have been reported, but what about an alligator?

That's what the town of Enfield is dealing with after residents there reported seeing one near the Connecticut River.

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Web of the Sun: and The Green Splotches: Two strange tales of scientific adventure
You can hardly go wrong with adventures to the far reaches of the Andes, especially not when there's a lengthy introduction by Richard Moore. Web of the Sun: and The Green Splotches: Two strange tales of scientific adventure (9781884449222): T. S. Stribling, Richard A. Moore, Tom Roberts: Books: Journey to the far reaches of the Andes of South America to uncover two startling mysteries by Pulitzer Prize winner T.S. Stribling.

What can be the source of the perplexing green splotches?

How many have falling victim to the beguiling lure of the Web of the Sun?

Two short novels of scientific adventure!

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Wife Attacks Husband After Finding Copies of The Onion in Car

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The Greatest Female Sci-Fi/Fantasy Authors of All Time

Song of the Day

Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride - YouTube:

Today's Vintage Ad

Anthony Neil Smith is Giving Away His Books

FREE FRIDAY, Y'ALL - Anthony Neil Smith: 2012: Yep, all of my books (except for All the Young Warriors) are FREE for your Kindle today. Just today.

The Early Crap will be free until Tuesday.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

'Checkpoint of the future' takes shape at Texas airport - DALLAS – At a terminal being renovated here at Love Field, contractors are installing 500 high-definition security cameras sharp enough to read an auto license plate or a logo on a shirt.

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.


ApolloCon 2012 - Houston, TX - Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror Conference I'll be there Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. Stop me and say "hey" if you're around.


Evangeline Walton, The Children of Lyr, Ballantine, 1971

So I Was Wondering . . .

Now that Fifty Shades of Grey has sold 80 bazillion copies, is it time for a revival of the Gor series? Or maybe Story of O? Or maybe if I wrote Gor fanfic and made it available on Kindle . . . .

The 25 Most Awesomely Melodramatic Archie Comics Covers

The 25 Most Awesomely Melodramatic Archie Comics Covers

10 Novellas Perfect for Literary Lounging

Summer Shorts: 10 Novellas Perfect for Literary Lounging

Today's Western Movie Poster

11 Great Television Shows That Are Lost Forever

11 Great Television Shows That Are Lost Forever

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Top 10 Amazing Animals Discovered Within the Last Decade |

Top 10 Amazing Animals Discovered Within the Last Decade

Forgotten Books: Speed Walker Private Eye -- Chris Hammond

This is the first of two collections of comic strips by Chris Hammond. Anybody remember it? Michael Shonk discussed it in some detail on Steve Lewis's Mystery*File a year or so ago, and you can click the link to read that post. There's even a comment from Chris Hammond.

I'll just add a couple of thoughts. I like the artwork in the strips, and some of the gags are pretty funny. I read the strip in the newspaper we subscribed to 30 years ago, so it must have run in either the Dallas Morning News or one of the Houston papers. I can't remember. Anyway, I must have liked the strip because I picked up this collection. I didn't know there had been a second collection until I read Shonk's essay.

As you can tell from the cover, Speed's not exactly the world's greatest detective. He's more like Maxwell Smart (yes, I know he wasn't a detective) than Mike Hammer. He looks good in his fedora, though. If you're looking for some really light reading and something different from the usual p.i. fare, here it is. Check it out.

Beach Girls and the Monster

Beach Girls And The Monster (1965) - Trailer - YouTube:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

The Education of a Pulp Writer: 10 Crime Short The Education of a Pulp Writer: 10 Crime Short Stories eBook: David Cranmer: Kindle Store: The characters in The Education of a Pulp Writer: 10 Crime Short Stories feature people living on the dark fringe of society. An old woman tired of her husband’s lack of ambition is rather uninterested in his disappearance. A magician learns too late how far his unfaithful wife will go to be with her new lover. A dementia patient seeking refuge in a fallout bunker holds off the police to protect his beloved, long-gone wife. These and seven more thrilling tales originally appeared in top publications like Out of the Gutter, A Twist of Noir, Pulp Ink, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Police: Attorney couple plants drugs on PTA leader in dispute over their son - 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Cops: Newlyweds involved in booze-fueled fight at Sonic

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Slaves to Evil (Dead Man #11) Slaves to Evil (Dead Man #11) eBook: Lisa Klink, Lee Goldberg, William Rabkin: Kindle Store: Matt Cahill has an unusual gift: he can see the corruption in people’s souls, making the afflicted appear as walking corpses to his eyes. This macabre ability has set him on a one-man crusade to eradicate these servants of an ancient and powerful evil, embodied by the aptly named “Mr. Dark.”

On his way through the small town of Breckenridge, Minnesota, Matt sees the unmistakable signs of corruption in the chief of police and numerous cops. The evil that has consumed them now terrorizes innocents and allows drug and sex trafficking to run rampant. Just as Matt confronts the enslaved cops, a gun-toting teen appears, looking to make Matt pay for murdering her brother. Of course, Matt did kill her brother—he was another corrupted soul who’d been planning a bombing. But how can Matt convince Elena of the truth without any proof?

Become A Rich & Famous Author!

Kindle Post US: Write the Next Book in the Dead Man Series: Have you ever wanted to write a short thrill-ride of a novel that blends horror and action adventure? We're opening up the Dead Man series to one lucky (and talented) writer. Read on for the back story and the details.

Free Today for Kindle

The Early Crap: Selected Short Stories, The Early Crap: Selected Short Stories, 1997-2005 eBook: Anthony Neil Smith: Kindle Store: A collection of Anthony Neil Smith's earliest short stories, written between 1997-2005 and published in a variety of journals, full of dark humor, bizarre characters, holy rollers, and even a Civil War era ghost. Stories include "Javaphobia", "Backslide", "Bitter Soul", "Ahead of the Game", and several others.

Rough Riders -- Charlie Stella

I reviewed Charlie Stella's novel Eddie's World here. If you click the link, you'll see that I liked it a lot. Rough Riders is sort of a sequel. But as you can see from the cover, its setting is a bit different. If you like to read about cold weather, this is the book for you.

There's a lot going on, too, but I'll try for a short recap. Washington Stewart wants Eddie dead because of the events in the earlier book. Two guys are sent to do the job. Stewart himself is hired by an Air Force colonel to kill the colonel's two-timing wife in exchange for a couple of bags of uncut heroin and a trip out of the country. Did I mention that Stewart's in the Witness Protection program? Well, he is, and that explains why much of the book takes place in North Dakota.

As so often is the case with the best-laid plans, things don't go at all as they're supposed to, either in New York or in North Dakota. Eddie's wife hires Alex Pavlik, a cop in the earlier book, now a private-eye, to go to North Dakota to get the guy who put the hit on her and Eddie. Things don't go as he'd planned, either.

Stella writes about criminals and cops, killers and cons, as if he knows the territory. This is one of those books that you rip through, eager to see who'll be the last man standing, as you never know who'll get the next bullet. Big, grim, boisterous, funny, and frightening all at once. Check it out.

Song of the Day

Ivory Joe Hunter - Empty Arms.wmv - YouTube:

Texas Makes the List

7 College Dorms That Are Allegedly Haunted

As If We Didn't Know

Quality TV Shows That Are Basically Soap Operas

Comic Strip of the Day


Today's Vintage Ad

#9 is Pure Chicago

Hell on Wheels: Crazy Bicycles Built by Chicagoans in the 1940s

Jesus Christ Is Back Behind Bars

Houston News: According to Houston Police, on June 18, Jesus Christ Anthony Turner pointed a gun at a man and robbed him.

Since the alleged offense took place while the 27-year-old South Park resident was free on bond for a January home burglary, Jesus Christ is currently being held without bail in the Harris County Jail.

This Would Never Happen in the U. S.

FOX 5 WTTG: British school calls police to remove pupil 'obsessed' with studying

12 of the Most Surprising Sophomore Novels Ever

12 of the Most Surprising Sophomore Novels Ever


Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, Ballantine, 1953


The history of the fork

LeRoy Neiman, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: Famed painter LeRoy Neiman, whose vivid, action-packed brushstrokes brought the world's biggest sporting stars and events to life on canvas, died Wednesday. He was 91.

A cause of death for the longtime New Yorker -- instantly recognizable with a handlebar mustache that stretched from ear to ear and an ever-present cigar -- was not released, but he had battled health problems in recent years.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Not Me

Travelers fear separation from tech toys on trips

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson, who, like me, can quit anytime he wants to.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Caroline John, R. I. P.

 BBC America: The BBC have confirmed that Caroline John, the actress who made her name playing Liz Shaw opposite Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor in 1970, died on June 5. She was 72.

Caroline had a long and varied career, including a stint in the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre, before taking on the role of Doctor Liz Shaw, a scientific rival for the pompous and boffiny Third Doctor, in the first color series of Doctor Who.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Latest 'zombie' eating attack: man under the influence gets naked, bites off chunk of man's arm

Soon to Be a SyFy Movie!

Sharktopus vs Mega-Wombat!

Australians find huge mega-wombat graveyard | The Raw Story: Australian scientists Thursday unveiled the biggest-ever graveyard of an ancient rhino-sized mega-wombat called diprotodon, with the site potentially holding valuable clues on the species’ extinction.

The remote fossil deposit in outback Queensland state is thought to contain up to 50 diprotodon skeletons including a huge specimen named Kenny, whose jawbone alone is 70 centimetres (28 inches) long.

Some Girls Do

Some Girls Do (1969) trailer - YouTube:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Harmland eBook: Charles Gramlich: Kindle Store: WHISKEY, GUNS, AND SIN

Harmland is a collection of noir horror stories by the author of Killing Trail and Cold in the Light. It contains:

Whiskey, Guns, and Sin: They'd all forgotten Jessi. As the motorcycle landed, Jessi sidestepped and clubbed her pistol across the rider’s face. He wore no helmet and the barrel of the Smith & Wesson tore him a wider mouth.

The Finest Cut: Two lovers are found buried in a swampy grave. The worst is yet to come.

The Grey Inside: Scientific research can be murder.

The Toad: He thought it was just a large toad until it killed a bird. Then he made the mistake of following it into the woods.

The Vivarium: A modern Cthulhu Mythos tale.

And other bonus stories.

Career Confidential: A Librarian Deals With Creeps, Crazies And Husband-Beaters

Career Confidential: A Librarian Deals With Creeps, Crazies And Husband-Beaters

They're Baaaaaaack

M.I.A. Hunter: Miami War Zone
Crossroad Press is reprinting the whole series, several of which have my name attached. M.I.A. Hunter: Miami War Zone eBook: Stephen Mertz, Bill Crider: Kindle Store: Cocaine Kill Squad!

Ex-Vietnam vet Jack Wofford was fighting a new kind of war. The battlefield was Miami. The army was the D.E.A. And the enemy was the lowest form of drug-dealing scum ever to profit from human suffering.

Now, Jack Wofford is missing. And M.I.A. hunter Mark Stone is mad as hell. Wofford saved his life back in 'Nam, and Stone is ready to take on every damn pusher and kingpin in the city to find him...

Crooked cops, dealers, mobsters -- no one is safe from the savage, avenging fury of...

Stone: M.I.A. Hunter

Richard Lynch, R. I. P.

Hollywood Reporter: Richard Lynch, whose scarred face helped make him the perfect villain in such films as 1982’s The Sword and the Sorcerer, was found dead June 19 at his home in Palm Springs. He was 76.

During his prolific four-decade career, Lynch also appeared as the heavy in such movies as writer-director William Peter Blatty’s The Ninth Configuration (1980), Chuck Norris starrer Invasion U.S.A. (1985), Little Nikita (1988), opposite Sidney Poitier, and the horror thriller Bad Dreams (1998).

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Shock Troops of Justice: Duke Ashby of the F.B.I.
Besides the stories here, there's an excellent intro by Paul Bishop, a preface by the author, and a biographical sketch by Tom Roberts. Check it out. Shock Troops of Justice: Duke Ashby of the F.B.I. (9781884449130): Robert R. Mill, Tom Roberts, Paul Bishop, Emery Clarke: Books: “You are a soldier in the front-line trenches. You are fighting a force that threatens to overwhelm your country. That fact justifies any sacrifice you may be called upon to make.”—from the special agent’s handbook
It’s 1935 . . . and crime dominates the headlines!
With the backing and resources of J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I., Special Agent James “Duke” Ashby unleashes his Shock Troops of Justice to relentlessly battle crime on the front lines.

Follow this fight through such cases as “Scarlet Hands,” “Turn on the Heat,” “Satan’s Gunsmith” and nine other exciting stories!

With an introduction by Paul Bishop, author of the Fay Croaker series and two-time LAPD Detective of the Year.

Andrew Sarris, R. I. P. Andrew Sarris, one of the nation’s most influential film critics and a champion of auteur theory, which holds that a director’s voice is central to great filmmaking, died on Wednesday morning in Manhattan. He was 83.

The 10 Highest-Paid Actresses In Hollywood

The 10 Highest-Paid Actresses In Hollywood

Matt Groening's Life in Hell Is Over

Poynter.: After exploring a world populated by “anthropomorphic rabbits and a pair of gay lovers” for over 30 years, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening is putting down his pen and ending his highly acclaimed comic strip, “Life in Hell.”

Song of the Day

Sopwith Camel - Hello, Hello (1967) - YouTube:

Or Maybe Not

9 Song Lyrics You Probably Have Wrong

Hat tip to George Kelley.

Or Maybe You Did

11 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Garfield’

Today's Vintage Ad

10 Awesome Kids Toys from the 1980’s That Disappeared

10 Awesome Kids Toys from the 1980’s That Disappeared

8 Movies That Never Should’ve Been Remade

8 Movies That Never Should’ve Been Remade

Gator Update

'Gator! Gator! Gator!' Reptile and cars collide on I-275

Hat tip to Jeffs Meyerson and Segal.

The Decline of Western Civilization Continues Apace

Rumor: Paramount Wants Justin Timberlake for Big-Screen ‘Baywatch’


Pohl Anderson, The Broken Sword, Ballantine, 1971

Readers of this Blog Will Not Be Surprised

Police seize alligator during cannabis raid

10 Retired Film Stars Who Deserve a Comeback

10 Retired Film Stars Who Deserve a Comeback

Nerd Update

’90s TV’s Most Memorable Nerds: Where Are They Now?

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Lasting Legacy of J.G. Ballard

The Burning WorldThe Lasting Legacy of J.G. Ballard on AbeBooks: If you are looking literature with a distinct edge, then J.G. Ballard is your man. The legacy of this British author (1930-2009) has become a little clearer in the past couple of years. His books still have a following and interest has not dimmed. A new generation have picked up the likes of Crash to discover why this novel shocked their parents.

Ballard wrote more than 15 novels and countless short stories. His style verged into the dystopian and bleak scenarios are commonplace. Crash and Empire of the Sun remain his best known works, but there’s plenty more - Cocaine Nights and Super-Cannes are also well worth a read.

15 Things We Now Know About Intelligence

15 Things We Now Know About Intelligence

Victor Spinetti, R. I. P.

Actor Victor Spinetti, star of Beatles films, has died aged 82 after cancer battle | Mail Online: Veteran actor Victor Spinetti, who starred in all three Beatles films, has died at the age of 82.

The Welsh star, who also appeared in a string of acclaimed movies as well as taking roles in the West End and on Broadway, died after a fight with pancreatic cancer.

Caught in the Act

What a way to go! Scientists uncover turtles that died while having sex fifty million years ago

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton makes sure all eyes are on her in racy leather outfit 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Wonder Women

Wonder Women Trailer (1973) - YouTube:

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Susan Tyrrell, R. I. P.

Cult Film Actress Dies At 67: Susan Tyrrell, cult film staple and Academy Award nominee, passed away on Sunday at the age of 67.

Although Tyrrell spent her career playing somewhat unsavory types, her talent did not go unrecognized. She made her transition from the theater to film with 1971's "Shoot Out," and, by the following year, was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in John Huston's "Fat City."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

NY Daily News: Houston cops are hunting for a dapper art vandal who was caught on video spray-painting a priceless Pablo Picasso painting at a museum last week.

Cell phone video shot by a visitor at the Menil Collection Wednesday showed a suave hoodlum in a dark suit jacket and sunglasses spray-painting a stencil over the Spanish master's "Woman in a Red Armchair."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Free Today for Kindle

Behold the Behold the Child eBook: Harry Shannon: Books: This short novel first appeared in the Cemetery Dance anthology "Brimstone Turnpike." Each character was to be given a brief encounter with a wise old man named Johnny Divine, and one object that would affect the outcome of the story. In award-winning author Harry Shannon's entry, Sam Kenzie is an LAPD cop who can't escape his obsession with a serial killer due to demons of his own.

I For One Welcome Our New Microbial Overlords

Studies suggest that microbes can control our minds 

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

U.S. sues after Texas auction house sells looted Mongolian T-Rex.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

The Leopard Couch: and Other Stories of the Fantastic and Supernatural
Besides the stories, this volume has a nice intro by F. Paul Wilson. Gene Christie provides a short editorial note along with headnotes to all the stories. I really enjoyed Black Dog's first Rohmer collection, The Green Spider, and this one looks like just as much fun. The Leopard Couch: and Other Stories of the Fantastic and Supernatural (9781884449239): Sax Rohmer, Gene Christie, F. Paul Wilson, Tom Roberts: Books: Mystery and mayhem! Sax Rohmer at his unparalleled best.
The leopard couch of eternal memories . . .
The severed hand of a desert sheikh—and its frightful vengeance . . .
An old hag damned to misery, until she can acquire a thousand kisses . . .
The mysterious black cat that knew too much . . .
The vampiric young nobleman who terrorized London . . .
A Christmas house party—with Satan himself as a guest?
These and more thrilling adventures by the incomparable Sax Rohmer await the reader in The Leopard Couch and Other Stories of the Fantastic and Supernatural—including four stories never previously published in the United States!

Free for Kindle -- 3 Days Only!

Sick (A Project Eden Thriller) Sick (A Project Eden Thriller) eBook: Brett Battles, Blake Crouch: Kindle Store: For fans of Stephen King, Blake Crouch, and Michael Crichton comes a new, heart-pounding thriller by Brett Battles...

Daniel Ash wakes after midnight to the cry of his daughter. Just a bad dream, he thinks. She’s had them before. Yet he can’t help but worry when she cries out again as he pads down the hallway. Stepping through her doorway, he expects to find her sitting up in bed, frightened by a nightmare.

But the nightmare is his. It’s real. And it's just beginning...

Song of the Day

Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy - YouTube:

The Record Books

The Record Books I Christophe Gowans: If best-selling albums had been books instead…

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

Today's Vintage Ad

He'll Be Voting for LBJ

Bedford County dead dog receives voter registration forms

Unusual Homes Around the World

Ugly Houses | Unusual Homes Around the World

Or Maybe You Do

5 Dumb Hobbies You Won't Believe Have World Championships


Algis Budrys, Man of Earth, Ballantine, 1958

Texas Has Always Led the Way

Juneteenth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday in the United States honoring African American heritage by commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. State of Texas in 1865. Celebrated on June 19, the term is a portmanteau of June and nineteenth,[1] and is recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 41 states of the United States.[2][3]

Feeling Hungry?

The 6 Creepiest Lies the Food Industry is Feeding You

10 Contemporary Novels Based on Classic Lit That Are Actually Worth Your Time

10 Contemporary Novels Based on Classic Lit That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Today's Western Movie Poster

Top 10 Amazing Moons

Top 10 Amazing Moons

The 10 Most Endearingly Ridiculous Hair Metal Bands Ever

The 10 Most Endearingly Ridiculous Hair Metal Bands Ever

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

News - Home: A woman was found naked and eating ice cream inside a drug store after leaving three children alone in a car after a wreck, investigators said.

Overlooked Movies -- The Liquidator

First, a little background. In my hometown the only theater left by the 1960s had a special deal on Wednesday nights -- 15-cent movies. So for a quarter you could see a movie, buy a box of Guess What?, and have a few cents left over. The candy was required for enjoyment of the movie. It was some kind of taffy, and there was a prize in very box. I didn't see The Liquidator during its first run, but Judy and I went to see it on 15-cent night.

The movie's based on John Gardner's novel of the same name. I'd read the book and knew pretty much what to expect. Rod Taylor plays Boysie Oakes, a reluctant spy whose job is assassination. There were probably many instances before this of similar situations (most often in Bob Hope movies). The main character is hopelessly inept, but because of mistaken impressions of him by all concerned, he appears to be quite heroic and dangerous, a regular killing machine. Mainly he's a coward who's very lucky. One good twist (not really a spoiler) is that Boysie likes being The Liquidator, but being unable to do the job, he hires a professional hit man to take care of the unpleasantness.

So you know what you're getting here. You also get Jill St. John in Technicolor, along with Trevor Howard and Akim Tamiroff, among others. Plus good production values and Shirley Bassey singing the title song. Good (but not great) fun.

The Liquidator

The Liquidator (1965) Trailer - YouTube:

Monday, June 18, 2012

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Father's Day family feud at funeral home in Lorain leaves victim bloodied, missing hair

'Bogan' makes it into Oxford dictionary

'Bogan' makes it into Oxford dictionary

Dirty car art

Yahoo! Autos: Using dusty car windows as his canvas, artist Scott Wade creates dramatic black and white illustrations--depicting everything from pop-culture icons to famous works of art.

Hat tip to Art Scott.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Bicyclist attacked with sausages, wrench

I Don't Post a Lot of Cat Stuff, . . .

. . .  but this is great:  Nic Cage Cats

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

The Tall Dolores (Ed Noon Mystery) The Tall Dolores (Ed Noon Mystery) eBook: Michael Avallone: Kindle Store: "It's like this. You've been alive about thirty years, been all over the world, know your way around the toughest, biggest cities. You're no pushover. You've had lead dug out of your shoulders, fractured a leg here, and broken an arm there. You're tough, see? No lily-of-the-valley. A real hard guy. And yet with all that, you can be dumb. Real dumb. Like when you shoot off your mouth just because you have a gun in your pocket." --Ed Noon, Private Eye

L.A. noir: It's still there

L.A. noir: It's still there: It was a dank, rain-sodden Raymond Chandler kind of morning, as if some omnipotent auteur had rung up the studio and ordered a classic film noir sky. Cumulonimbus clouds the color of a snub-nosed revolver hovered with ominous intent, and tires on slickened freeway lanes gave off a sinister, knife-sharpening hiss.

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Song of the Day

Jimmy Elledge - Funny, How Time Slips Away (Original Stereo) - YouTube:

Free this Week for Kindle Speedloader eBook: Jonathan Woods, Richard Thomas, Nik Korpon, W.D. County, Matthew Funk, Nigel Bird, Sandra Ruttan, Brian Lindenmuth: Kindle Store: Speedloader is the debut title of Snubnose Press.

From the trenches of WWI to the abandoned rowhomes of Baltimore; From a rural charnel house to the Texas-Mexican border these six stories explore the dark heart of crime fiction today.

Speedloader features stories of…

…revenge that will challenge you to a game of uncle that you may not win and will haunt those who are able to finish it.
…clashing motives on the Texas Mexico border
…a slide into an alcoholic haze
…a struggle with the weight of a personal choice when confronted with the sins of the past
…getting caught up in actions far beyond one’s control
…small crimes covered up and lost amidst larger forces

Jimmy Elledge, R. I. P.

VVN Music: Jimmy Elledge, who was a country singer but had more success on the pop charts, passed away last Sunday (June 10) at the age of 69. Details of his passing are sketchy but, according to Willie Nelson's website, he passed from complications of a stroke.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

North Carolina woman pours hot grease on neighbors, including 2 children, during argument

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Vintage Ad

Murder They Wrote

Murder They Wrote

27 Popular Network Shows That Premiered In The Summer

27 Popular Network Shows That Premiered In The Summer

14 Shockingly Dapper Mugshots From Australia

14 Shockingly Dapper Mugshots From Australia


Robert Sheckley, Citizen in Space, Ballantine, 1955

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai


HARD CASE CRIME to publish

New York, NY; London, UK (June 18, 2012) – Hard Case Crime, the award-winning line of mystery novels from editor Charles Ardai and publisher Titan Books, announced today that in February 2013 it would publishSEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT, a hardboiled detective novel inspired by the 1950s witch-hunt against crime and horror comic books. Written by best-selling novelist Max Allan Collins (author of Road to Perditionand long-time scripter of the Dick Tracy newspaper comic strip) and featuring 16 pages of interior illustrations by comic-book artist Terry Beatty (Batman, The Phantom),SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT tells the story of comic book industry troubleshooter Jack Starr and his investigation into the death of a moralizing crusader out to get violent comics banned.

The book was inspired in part by the real-life crusade of Dr. Fredric Wertham, who in 1954 published a non-fiction book also titled Seduction of the Innocent in which he accused comic books – especially violent ones such as those put out by Tales from the Crypt publisher EC Comics – of corrupting America’s innocent youth.

“Max has chosen a fascinating corner of history to write about and spun an irresistible whodunit against that backdrop,” said Charles Ardai. “No fan of comic books or of detective stories will want to miss it.”

Hard Case Crime will bring the book out in February 2013, in paperback and e-book editions, with a new cover painting in the classic pulp style by Glen Orbik.

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