Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Not much posting round here lately, I know.
Fact is, I'm getting married in something not so far from two and a half months' time, and so the hours in which to drivel rhapsodic about Peter Cushing, Monogram and films with big piranhas in them are somewhat rationed at present.
However, by way of a stop gap, I'd like to acknowledge two recent awards that the Abbey has been proud to position on its cobwebby mantelpiece.
The Versatile Blogger Award has been kindly sent our way twice in the last month or two, by the splendid Neil Fulwood at The Agitation of the Mind, and the exceptional Jinx at Totally Jinxed. It's an honour twice over: both of these sites are way up on the high branches, and the only reason why I do not urge you to become a regular reader is that I assume I don't need to.
The small print says that I should pass the award on to further 15 recently discovered and deserving sites, which always makes me a little nervous. Personally I love getting them, but I know that many others do not, either because they just don't dig them at all, or because they don't want the responsibility of passing them on. Elizabeth, one of my favourite bloggers, has a little sign on her site saying "Awards are nice, but no thank you!"
So what I'm going to do instead is just offer up a short list of sites I've discovered this year that swiftly became regular rendezvous, and which I hereby recommend most highly.
Each appears on the understanding that it is more than worthy of a Versatile Blogger Award, and if their authors would like one: consider it proffered.
Or, if you'd rather not, that's all fine and dandy too.
1. The Bloody Pulp
If you only know Mykal Banta from the sadly dormant Radiation Cinema you could be forgiven for assuming he has hung up his blogging gloves and moved on to pastures new. In fact he's busier than ever, presiding over a number of sites devoted to the world of comics, of which this is my favourite. It says a lot for the enthusiasm and authority with which Mykal assembles his material that until I stumbled upon it I had no knowledge of comics at all, and not much more interest. I'm now addicted to the wonderful world of Eerie Publications. Don't believe anyone who says they're not a bad influence.
2. Crap Video Artwork
Come celebrate the golden age of weird, horrible and just plain inadequate VHS cover art!
3. Viewmaster 3-D Spectacular Now in 2-D!
Ah, the Viewmaster! If you had one of these magical little gizmos, or even if you did not, remind yourself of what you have forgotten, or never knew. Heaven in two dimensions.
4. Terror Titans
One of Steve Miller's many authoritative sites and a good general introduction to his world of tireless bloggery. Others, all to be found at this central sorting office, deal with black and white movies, Lugosi, Karloff, Cushing, Charles Band, Universal horror, detectives and movies you should die before seeing, and all are worth your time. Or just stick with the broader Cinema Steve, if you like your reviews mingled with acidic skewering of movie biz pretension and cowardice.
5. Scared Silly: Classic Hollywood Horror-Comedies
What is it about spoof horror films? They're rarely as good as you want them to be, and yet, there's just something about that combination that never fails to get me salivating. Paul Castiglia suffers from the same disease. His blog is a labour of love where fellow addicts can come and indulge their addiction without having to suffer the disapproving stares of people who think the only thing worse than a Universal horror film is a Universal horror film with Abbott and Costello in it. What do they know, eh?
Before I go, I thought I'd have a bash at a couple of memey quizzy-type things I've come across lately. First, over here, Dr Blood invites horror bloggers to assess their compatibility by rearranging an alphabetical list of twenty films in their personal order of preference. Here I go, into the wilderness as usual. It has to be noted, by the way, that by the time we get to the ones I really hate at the bottom, the preferential difference between them is a hair's breadth at best:
An American Werewolf In London
Bride of Frankenstein
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Friday the 13th
The Wicker Man
Night of the Living Dead
Dawn of the Dead
The Hills Have Eyes
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Lost Boys
Now for the questionnaire that I saw at Jinx's, here, and which originally came from here.
1: In Ten Words or Less, Describe Your Blog:
Analytic sobriety and unconditional love fighting with wet toilet paper.
2: During What Cinematic Era Where you Born?
A: The Classic Horror Era (late 30's to 40's)
B: The Atomic Monster/Nuclear Angst Era (the late 40's through 50's)
C: The Psycho Era ( Early 60's)
D: The Rosemary's Baby Era (Mid to Late 60's)
E: The Exorcism Era (Early to mid 70's)
F: The Halloween Era (Late 70's to Early 80's)
G: The Slasher Era (Mid to late 80's)
H: The Self Referential/Post Modern Era (1990 to 1999)
Well, I was born in E, but the first contemporary horror I was aware of was G. Having said that, my horror sensibilities were founded in A, the genre movies I first encountered on tv. It wasn't really until H that I actually felt myself to be as one with the horror of my own generation.
Now I know what you're thinking: His list of eras virtually spells out the title of Eegah, that film with Richard Kiel as a randy caveman. It startled me when I realised it too, especially as I had just been reading an interview with Ray Dennis Steckler in which he recalls that some of the desert locations used in the film were land owned by Harpo Marx, who turned up to watch some of it being filmed. (If only he had been talked into doing a cameo in full costume.) Anyway, I digress. Next question.
3: The Carrie Compatibility Question:
(gay men and straight women - make your choice from section A)
A: Billy Nolan or Tommy Ross, who would you take to the prom?
(straight guys and lesbians - make your choice from section B)
B: Sue Snell or Chris Hargensen, who would you take to the prom?
I've seen Carrie, I think, twice in my life, the second time really just to make sure that I wasn't just in a bad mood or something first time. Terrible film, and I've no idea who these characters are. Besides, I've already made my prom date: it's Julie James from I Know What You Did Last Summer.
4: You have been given an ungodly amount of money, and total control of a major motion picture studio - what would your dream Horror project be?
Either Werewolf of London Meets the Wolf Man (Shock! Terror! Confusion!) or an animated remake of The Omen with all the characters as talking monkeys.
5: What horror film "franchise" that others have embraced, left you cold?
I remember being very sniffy about Freddy Krueger. In fact, I've still only seen the first three of the legit series; I haven't seen the remake and I haven't seen New Nightmare. The mid-eighties were the least interesting years ever for horror up to that time: that this and Hellraiser were the era's defining titles tells you all you need to know about it. But Freddy Vs Jason I've seen many, many times. Who hasn't?
6: Is Michael Bay the Antichrist?
No, merely our generation's William McGonagall.
7: Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Frankenstein Monster - which one of these classic villains scares you, and why?
Dracula, because he's the only one that knows he's being horrid. The Monster wants to be nice and the Wolf Man can't help himself, but Dracula's a rotter through and through.
8: Tell me about a scene from a NON HORROR Film that scares the crap out of you:
The bit in Moonraker where Jaws, disguised as a participant in a street carnival and wearing a horrible, massive papier mache clown's head, breaks away from the main procession and follows Bond's girl down an alley to kill her. In particular the long shot of him advancing down the alley: I still think it's really frightening, actually.
9: Baby Jane Hudson invites you over to her house for lunch. What do you bring?
Some mayonnaise to put on the rat. She looks like the sort of person who wouldn't have any.
10: So, between you and me, do you have any ulterior motives for blogging? Come, on you can tell me, it will be our little secret, I won't tell a soul.
Jennifer Love Hewitt pays me a small retainer every time I mention her. (That's twice so far.)
11: What would you have brought to Rosemary Woodhouse's baby shower?
A cute t-shirt that says 'I'm a little devil' on it. And some mayonnaise to put on the rat.
12: Godzilla vs The Cloverfield Monster, who wins?
I never did get around to bothering to find out what Cloverfield was. Had no idea there was a monster in it. So assuming there's no way I can work Jennifer Love Hewitt into this one (it's okay, Jen: you can have that one for free) I'll go with The Zilla. But obviously that's the real Zilla, not the one that chases Ferris Bueller around the Apple.
13: If you found out that Rob Zombie was reading your blog, what would you post in hopes that he read it?
I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. You're an idiot and all your films are rubbish. You are everything that is wrong in the universe crammed into one moron, and if I and everyone else in the world had to die simply as penance for the fact that you exist it would be no more than we deserve. Your remake of Halloween was worse than I thought it was possible for any film to be, and starting it with a quote from one of its own fictional characters - and a really, really crap quote at that - was almost touchingly subhumanoid. But not quite. Ever thought about changing your name to Rob Tosser?
Or words to that effect.
14: What is your favorite NON HORROR FILM, and why?
Boring answer: Cecil B DeMille's Madam Satan (1930). But I'm also very keen on Tom Green's Freddy Got Fingered, especially the bit where he's dressed as "a fucking English bobby".
15: If blogging technology did not exist, what would you be doing?
Playing keyboards with Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders. Or sitting at home eating Wheat Crunchies and watching old films.
Thanks again to Neil and Jinx, and I hope to be back soon with the ravings resulting from a Ray Dennis Steckler marathon, a few thoughts on Ted V Mikels, my pick of the best of PRC and more. If the missus lets me.