Archive for October, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Posted in Media, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2013 by ranranami

Happy Halloween, guys! Today, I thought I’d just feature a few awesome fan-made music videos from youtube, just to get everybody in the mood for tonight’s festivities. Whether you’re going to a haunted house, taking your kids trick or treating, actively trick or treating, or even just sitting home and watching a movie.

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Horror Flick of the Week: Love at First Bite

Posted in Media, Movies and shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by ranranami

Every year, my best friend and I gather a collection of our ‘traditional marathon movies’ and watch them like crazy on Halloween. The night always starts with Love at First Bite. Not only is it one of Hamilton’s funniest movies, but he’s also playing Dracula. I’d also like to add that it’s a quote-able movie, with plenty of awesome lines to go around.

 

The atmosphere at the beginning is great: fog, candle-light, howling wolves and Dracula in tails. In short, they’ve nailed the Tod Browning feel. Renfield is amazingly neurotic, creepy, funny, and…funny. The whole picture is nice and light, like a good appetizer before you sink your teeth into the main dish.

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Dracula longs for the company of a woman, Cindy Sondheim, a model in New York. Now Dracula is pretty much always on the prowl, in any and all incarnations he’s ever taken. It’s no surprise then, that Cindy Sondheim is the reincarnation of his true love…Mina Harker. Instead of wasting away longing for her company and reading gossip magazines, though…he’s ousted by the government so his castle can be converted into a training facility for young athletes. This is the perfect opportunity to finally pursue the woman of his dreams.

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And what’s an eviction notice without an angry mob of villagers?

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He finds her, they spend the evening together, and then-Dracula gets to meet her psychiatrist/occasional love interest…Van Helsing’s grandson. They don’t get on.

 

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I’ll leave all the juicy bits out for anyone unfamiliar with this movie to discover on his or her own, but chances are that if you like Tootsie…and if you like Dracula in any form…you’ll probably like this. No, there sadly isn’t any drag, but it really brings Tootsie to mind anyway. I guess it’s the time period…or the setting…or the wig. Not sure. I’ll get back to you on that.

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Book of the Week: Bumper Crop

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by ranranami

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Bumper Crop, by Joe R. Lansdale

I’ve always been a pretty avid reader of short stories. They’re like little tiny books you can swallow in one bite, with plenty of space to spare. They’re like literary hors D’oeuvres, but sometimes…they’re not all good. Sometimes you’ll read one, go to the next, and then find it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Even Steven King is hit or miss with a fairly large amount of his short stories…

BUT THIS. Every. Single. Story. I loved them all. Deliciously dark, creepy, unpredictable. It’s insanely hard to find anything nowadays that’s written well AND unpredictable. It’s even more difficult to find a book of short stories that score every time in the awesome department. This book is one of the best story compilations I’ve ever read. Don’t read them to children, however, as they’re not nearly as child-friendly as Pet Semetary or Helter Skelter.

Lansdale has a way with words, and manages to create a world I would never want to live in. God of the Razor in particular is incredibly dark, wherein if one is cut by a blade of any kind, the ‘god of the razor’ will come out to take possession of him and transform the victim into a psychopathic murderer in order to feed the god with bloodshed. I wretched just reading this story…that’s no easy feat.

A Tribute to Conrad Veidt

Posted in Media, People, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2013 by ranranami

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It is precisely as though I were possessed by some other spirit when I enter on a new task of acting, as though something within me presses a switch and my own consciousness merges into some other, greater, more vital being.”

 

These words were spoken by a wonderful man, and it blows my mind that today his name is not as well-known as it should be. Conrad Veidt.

 

Sure, a film buff may recognize the name. But anyone else would be more likely to recognize ‘John Wayne’ than ‘Conrad Veidt’. Born in 1893, the same year of the infamous Chicago World’s Fair, he served briefly in the German army during WWI, but would eventually be discharged due to ill health. Afterwards, his acting career truly began…which is all well and good. Theatre is absolutely marvelous, and Conrad Veidt had the honor of working with Max Reinhardt himself prior to his military service. One can only imagine how brilliantly he must have shined onstage.

 

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In 1920, Mr. Veidt played one of the darkest characters in cinema history. I really mean that, because he was all in black and a dominating character in the most influential expressionist film of the silent era, ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’. I don’t believe anyone else would have brought justice to the role of Cesare, not like Conrad. Seriously. Just look at him!

 

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He was also in ‘Waxworks’, and ‘The Hands of Orlac’, proving further with each role that Conrad was a character actor, and a powerful one at that.

Skipping forward a bit, Conrad left Germany for England when the Nazi party began to take control in Germany. Eventually he was off to Hollywood. And lots of Nazi roles. But there’s one more movie I’d like to talk about, I also believe it was one of his greatest roles: ‘The Man Who Laughs’. A melodrama, a romance, and…perhaps a horror movie? A young boy is kidnapped, sold to gypsies, his face is mutilated to give him a permanent grin, he grows up to be a circus act, and then is practically drug kicking and screaming to take his proper place in ‘society’ when his identity is discovered. The horror wasn’t in the face of the man, but those he faced…

 

For those of you who love film, for those of you who love horror, and for those of you who love acting…do not pass up the chance to see the movies I mentioned, and anything else with Conrad Veidt in even a minor role (-cough- Casablanca -cough-), for he is one of the most powerful onscreen presences I have ever seen.

 

 

Halloween Hotties: Vintage Pinups for October

Posted in Media, People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2013 by ranranami

Halloween isn’t just a time for…y’know, doing all that stuff I talk about all the time. It’s also a great time for awesome photography. Spooky trees, interesting tombstones, ghosts…and Bombshells. From Betty Davis to Dusty Anderson, and everyone in-between. Chances are, if there’s a beautiful model or actress from the golden age out there, she’s had her own little October photo shoot. The following are a selection of my favorites.

 

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Drive-in Trailers: The Faust and the Furious

Posted in Media, Trailers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2013 by ranranami

Often times, people just want to get ahead. Sometimes they’ll make very questionable bargains in order to do so. The essence of the Faustian deal is that in exchange for one’s soul, a man may get what he truly desires. But the demon in question can come in any shape. He can come in the form of the devil himself, or simply a man. But we all know who he really is…and ultimately the price is far more than anyone wants to pay.

Honorable mention goes towards the fantastic ‘Kanashimi no Belladonna’ (1973) which I decided not to post a trailer for, due to the fact that the content in question may be construed as a little ‘mature’.

Vintage Comics: Chamber of Chills – The Ghost of the Rue De Morte, How Death Valley Got Its Name, Weird Worlds (29-36)

Posted in Comics, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2013 by ranranami

Finishing up the final portion of this ‘Chamber of Chills’, the first story focuses on that age-old saying…curiosity killed the cat. Sometimes it seems being a skeptic is far more dangerous than it’s worth, especially when it comes to investigating an apparent ghost in a shady area of the city late at night. You’d think the man would have at least had a gun to defend himself with.

 

Then we get some fun facts about a group of people who struggled to get across Death Valley, and a bit of mythology. The ancient Greeks and Romans sure could be brutal with their stories. Anyway, it was fun to read this issue, but I still can’t let go of the nagging fact that there’s a serious case of excessive exposition…

 

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