The Phantom Creeps #9: “I Got Conked On The Head, That’s All I Know.”

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Chapter 9: Speeding Doom The Phantom Creeps was filmed more than three decades before I was born, yet I feel somehow responsible for the frank, unabashed boredom in the slower episodes of the serial. There’s some guilt for subjecting you fine people to these terrible things, is what I’m saying, yet not enough guilt to make me stop. I will not stop. I can not stop. It is a disease, a virus with no known cure, a fever that must run its delirious course. But we are at last in the final stages, my friends, and for that we can all be thankful. When we last left our heroes and villains, they were languishing in some stock footage of a burning building, at once spectacular in scope as well as hilarious due to being so dated and overused. In re-watching this episode I discovered that the spies’ security guard locked in a closet by G-Man Bob and Toomey in the last episode was never let out, so apparently he dies a horrible death, thanks to our heroes. Nice work, guys.   Just look at this, wouldya? The blocking here is completely unacceptable. Everyone is in a single-file conga line while watching the action off screen, which is the exact thing we were told not to do in high school theater class, where I set the acting world aflame as Viney, the maid in “The Miracle Worker.” My dipshit Kansas high school teacher with a mental illness and predilection for banging … Continue reading

Announcing The Camp & Cult Blogathon, Sept. 17-28

Everyone please join me for The Camp & Cult Blogathon here at She Blogged By Night, from September 17th through the 28th! The Camp & Cult Blogathon is just as it sounds, a blogathon featuring campy films and cult movies. These don’t have to be universally-recognized camp or cult films; if you want to make a case for Gone With the Wind as camp or Citizen Kane as cult, go for it! This is going to be a pretty laid back affair, something I hope will be a lot of fun and with minimal stress. First of all, there is no limit to how many people can post about a certain movie. If we end up with 27 entries on Eraserhead, that is super duper 100% A-OK. There will be no set schedule of posts, either. Jump in any time between September 17 and 28, with one post or more if you like, on any film you want to write about. If you have a blog that is already specializing in cult films or campy movies and have a post that just happens to go up in those 11 days, that’s fine, too. I’ll be creating a special page on the blog for a master list of everyone who participates. You can either drop me an email with a link to your post or leave a comment and I’ll add you. Also during those 11 days, I am hoping to post about a film a day. Hey, stop laughing! I … Continue reading

Life With a Gun to Your Face

This week on Spectrum Culture, my reviews of Inside Man (2006) and Dreams of a Life (2012): Denzel Washington plays the charismatic, group-hopping Detective Frazier to near perfection. Yet the quirky detective is not as easy to categorize as he first seems. Personable and eccentric, Frazier is also prone to non-sequiturs about his girlfriend and possesses the uncanny ability to ask the exact right question of a suspect, seemingly without realizing its importance. It’s all very Columbo, but it becomes clear soon enough that while Frazier may bear a surface resemblance to Columbo, or is perhaps even deliberately affecting Columbo’s mannerisms to hide his true self, Detective Frazier is no Columbo.     We presume that even if we check out of society willingly, a safety net of sorts exists via bill collectors, repossessors, government, taxes and, in Joyce’s case, social workers. Even if there are no longer co-workers, family or friends in our lives, we cynically believe those who want our money will eventually be around, though clearly that is not true. Joyce was certainly not the first to fall victim to being forgotten; the cases of Yvette Vickers, David Carter, Robert Roll and plenty of others have made the news over the last year or so, yet we still believe no one can never be truly overlooked. Follow the links to read the full reviews at Spectrum Culture Online.

Fashions of 1934

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As you know, I am in the long, boring, tedious, and also boring process of moving the photos on my old blog archives to a new server. This means that dozens of posts in the archives are pictureless, which is slightly hilarious in the case of photo galleries like the gallery I posted for Fashions of 1934 last year. Instead of just adding the photos back to the old post, I thought those pics might like a change of scenery, so I’m bringing them over here. If you’re interested in the comments the post got when it first went up, clicken on this linken.

The State of the Blog: August 2012 Edition

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This picture has no bearing on anything (probably) (maybe) (I make no promises), I just thought it was hilarious. It’s Oliver Reed circa 1975, after he was banned from a pub for being a little too Oliver Reed-ey. (ETA: I originally said this was Alan Bates, and if you want to know why — and read the very funny original caption that went with this pic — check out comments!) SBBN will be a little sparse this month, as August will be extremely busy. I have a lot of reviews for Spectrum coming up — as always, you can see them by clicking the links on the sidebar — plus a vacation at the end of the month. It’s the first real vacation I’ve had as an adult, which is why we have to actually buy a suitcase; the only luggage we had is the stuff my parents bought when I went to the International Science and Engineering Fair in 1988. That’s the last time I flew, too. It’s all very nerve wracking. I suspect I will not travel well. This month, I will try to get some more Phantom Creeps recaps up, though I doubt much else will be posted. There won’t be a September schedule, either, so keep that in mind. I do want to make a couple of brief announcements. First, I’m finishing up the sidebar blogroll, so if you don’t like the picture I’m using for you, let me know. I have several blogs to add, … Continue reading

My First Movie Blogathon: The Boatniks (1970)

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Summer came too soon that year. The early Missouri June was crunchy and still, a solid heat pressing down until movement slowed, and slowed, then stopped. There wasn’t much to do in Lebanon, Missouri on a pleasant day, truth be told; on a day when all anyone could do was hide from the sun, the boredom was dramatic. The blistering June gave way to a mild July, and on an afternoon soon after the heat broke, maybe on a weekend or maybe a weekday — all days are equal to a little girl not yet of school age — the mother of the neighbor kids came over to tell us they were off to see The Boatniks. It was three and a half decades ago, I was five years old, yet I remember with pointed clarity my friends’ mom asking my mother if I could join them. Dad was wherever he spent summer afternoons; I did not know and would not ask. Mom took any chance that presented itself to be rid of me, though was never brave enough to admit it. There was no other family about and precious few adult friends remained, and those who did were remarkable people willing to overlook a lot of things though, if we’re being honest here, they probably also shrugged off a few things they should not have. But casual company was better than no company at all, and even at five, I wanted desperately to pretend to belong to another family, … Continue reading