Posts

Showing posts from 2020

Boris Karloff Thriller #1

Image
What better way to market a horror comic than to have it "hosted" by the one and only Boris Karloff, Frankenstein's monster himself? This book may have been a little late to cash in on that conceit, coming out in 1960, but it's still a great idea. If anyone can surpass the iconic status of the Crypt Keeper it's Karloff. Unfortunately the first story in this anthology book doesn't live up t the promise of a group of horror stories presented by arguably the biggest name in classic horror. Gleam of Evil is about Kay, who works in a circus training big cats. She's in love with an acrobat, but she has a problem. The problem is a cat, but not one of the big ones that she works with. This cat is from Egypt and has the evil eye. This is demonstrated by the fact that Kay finds the cat sitting in front of a dead fish. The fish is in the bowl, so the only obvious conclusion is that the cat killed it with it's evil eye. The previous owner of the cat died after get

You Bet Your Life February 18, 1954

Image
You Bet Your Life was nominally a quiz show, but the real appeal of the show is listening to Groucho interview the contestants before they get to the quiz part of the show. It's obvious the show runners knew this, as each team of two contestants only gets asked 4 questions. The couples get to choose a dollar amount for the question from between 10 and 100 dollars. The more the money the harder the question. There is also a secret word that if spoken will get the team $100. The team who wins the most gets to come back at the end to answer a question for $3000. The first team of this episode consists of a banker and a dancer. They are both single, and Groucho goes back and forth between making a pass at the young lady himself and setting her up to be married to the banker. The best joke in this is when the banker says that deposits in the bank of up to $10,000 are insured by the federal government. Groucho responds by asking him if he's heard that the federal government is about

The Alan Parsons Project Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allen Poe

Image
Released in 1976 Tales of Mystery and Imagination was the first album by The Alan Parsons Project. Adapting the stories of Edgar Allen Poe to music was certainly an ambitious idea for a debut album. The album is considered a cult classic of prog rock, but I can honestly see this album doing better if it had been released in the 80's. Parts of it sound very 70's, but a great deal of it sounds ahead of its time. Apparently there was a reissue in the 80's with added narration by Orson Welles. I'd love to hear that version. The album starts with A Dream Within a Dream, a bit of filler really and not terribly interesting. The Raven is a bit better and features a rhythmic bass that I really thought would have made more sense on The Tell-Tale Heart. Speaking of which, that song is pretty good. Arthur Brown of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown does a guest vocal on it, and it is fun but not really a knockout. The Cask of Amontillado is just a sort of weak Beatles clone and not ve

Condorman #2 of 2

Image
Issue number 2 of the Condorman comic book adaptation picks up with Woody and Natalia having dispatched all of the pursuing vehicles. All that is except for the one driven by the killer Morovich. Woody still has one trick left up his sleeve though. The car turns into a hydrofoil and the two escape to safety. Or so they believe. Krokov knows they will go to Italy, so arranges to have them framed for murder. They are arrested and all seems lost when an agent from Monte Carlo comes to extradite them. But it turns out the agent is Woody's friend from the CIA, Harry. Morovich is also there and chases them through the streets. They duck into a wedding where Natalia interrupts to announce that the groom is already married to her. She points out Morovich as her uncle. The bride's family decide to take out their rage on him, allowing Woody, Harry and Natalia to make good their escape. Morovich has to report his failure to Krokov, but he's not upset. He has figured out the Condorman&

Petticoat Junction Season 1 Episode 1

Image
The first episode of Petticoat Junction introduces us to Kate, who runs the Shady Rest Hotel between Hooterville and Pixley. Kate has 3 girls, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo. Billie Jo is the blonde who is interested only in boys. Bobbie Jo has dark hair and is a bookworm. Betty Jo is a redhead who loves the train that connects Hooterville to Pixley, the Hooterville Cannonball. They run the Hotel with Kate and their uncle Joe. The line that the Cannonball runs on hasn't been connected to the main line in years, so long in fact that the railroad company forgot that this spur exists. When an executive notices it on his map, he sends Homer Bedloe to investigate. Homer arrives and meets Mr. Drucker at the Hooterville station. He is aghast that the train passes the station to stop at the general store so that Kate and her girls can do their shopping. When the train pulls out he has to run to catch it because it never goes back to the station. On the train, a group of travelling sales

Bell Book and Candle

Image
You know that movie where Kim Novak tricks Jimmy Stewart into falling for her, but ends up also falling for him? I could be talking about the classic Hitchcock flick Vertigo, but I'm actually talking about a movie they made soon after, Bell Book and Candle. That's not meant as a dig at the movie, I just thought the similarity was interesting. Of course the stories are wildly different, with Bell Book and Candle being a comedy and Vertigo being a thriller/mind fuck. In this movie Kim Novak plays Gillian, a witch who runs an African art store below the apartment where Shep (James Stewart) lives. Gillian has become fascinated with Shep, at the same time that she has become bored with her life as a witch. After running into Gillian and her aunt Queenie (played by the bride of Frankenstein herself Elsa Lanchester) Shep takes his fiancee to a club that the witches have told him about. What he doesn't know is that the Zodiac is a hangout for witches. He also doesn't know that

Condorman #1 of 2

Image
Condorman was a 1981 movie about a comic book artist who becomes a superspy. But this isn't a review of the movie exactly. I am going to write about the comic book adaptation of the movie. Comic book adaptations of genre movies used to get comic book adaptations pretty regularly. They split Condorman into two issues. The first issue starts with a winged figure atop the Eiffel Tower. We soon learn that the figure is comic book artist Woody Wilkins. He writes and draws the Condorman comic book. He wants his book to be realistic, so he tests out the gadgets he has his hero use. Today he is testing the flying suit with the help of his friend Harry, who works for the CIA. The test goes seriously wrong and Woody ends up in the Seine, with Harry forced to get him out.  Harry finds out about an important document exchange with the Soviets, in which the Russians are demanding the parties involved be citizens and not spies. For some reason Harry decides Woody would be perfect for this, so th

The Twilight Zone (80's version) Season 1 Episode 1

Image
When CBS brought back The Twilight Zone Rod Serling had been gone for 10 years. The movie which recreated several episodes of the original show had come out, but it was only moderately successful. Still, CBS decided to move forward (like they would two more times in the future). These first season episodes were narrated by Charles Aidman, doing his very best Rod Serling impersonation. The first episode has two stories, Shatterday and A Little Peace and Quiet. Shatterday stars a young Bruce Willis. He is sitting in a bar waiting for his girlfriend. She is running late so he asks for the phone to give her a call. He accidentally calls his own number and is shocked when the phone is answered. The voice on the other end sounds just like his, and claims to be him. He thinks one of his friends is pranking him, but amazingly quickly comes to the conclusion that something strange is going on. The doppleganger tells him that he is taking over his life. He is moving his mother in with him, has p

Madhouse

Image
Madhouse is a fun 1974 horror movie with Vincent Price and Peter Cushing that is a bit of a hybrid of the atmospheric horror movies that had been popular up until this time and the slasher movies that replaced them. This was a joint production of Amicus and AIP, with footage of Vincent Price's AIP horror flicks getting used in the movie. The footage allows a couple of other big names to sneak into the movie as well, despite the fact that they were no longer with us. Footage was used of movies that Price had made with Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff. Since this is recycled footage lasting just a couple of minutes at most, the movie can't boast the same star power as House of the Long Shadows, but Cushing and Price alone are worth the watch. There is also Robert Quarry, who doesn't have the same name recognition as the other two but die hard horror fans will know him as Count Yorga, Vampire.   Price plays Paul Toombes, an actor who has gained a level of fame for playing Dr.

A Salute To Elvira

Image
Cassandra Peterson was born in Kansas in 1951. That is a very bland statement of fact for the arrival into this world as the Queen of Halloween. Of course Peterson wasn't born as the seductive Mistress of the Dark. When she was just a small child, she was scalded by boiling water and had severe burns on 35% of her body. She was teased for the scars this left as she was growing up, She says that as a child she was more interested in horror themed toys than the Barbie dolls the other girls were playing with. It apparently didn't take her long to find at least some of her talents. As a teen she worked as a go-go dancer in a local gay bar. Dancing was to be her gateway to becoming an icon beloved the world over. At 17 she went on a trip to Las Vegas. She convinced her parents to let her see a show, and the story has it that the producers noticed her and approached her about becoming a performer herself. Since she was underage she had to get her parents' permission, but they agr