The 3rd Annual Italian Horror Blogathon is Now

Today is the final day of the Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies 3rd Annual Italian Horror Blogathon. This is one of my favorite ‘thons, it’s something I look forward to every year, and I can guarantee you that the entries this year are phenomenal! Check them out here at the main links page. Kevin has also been posting some terrific entries this year, which you can find on his blogathon tag. When you come back in from your Halloween parties, spend some time with all the posts, I think you’ll be glad you did. Last year, I had planned on doing Umberto Lenzi’s Orgasmo (1969, a.k.a. Paranoia), but my copy’s audio went bad and I had no time to get a new copy. I did some lesser Argento instead, determined to get Orgasmo this year. It’s a fascinating movie, one I very much want to blog about. But as I mentioned in my Lewton blogathon post earlier today, both my website and my computer have been down, and that lost time means my post will be after the ‘thon is over. I had scheduled all my Spectrum deadlines and SBBN posts carefully, but once everything broke the hell down I lost the days I had set aside for my Orgasmo post. My apologies to Kevin. Next year, I will be a total superstar and everything will go without a hitch, promise. In the meantime, everyone, go read the Italian Horror Blogathon entries!

The Soul of the Business: The Body Snatcher (1945)

This entry is for the Val Lewton Blogathon, going on now! Head on over to Speakeasy and Classic Movie Man to read the other entries. There are spoilers for The Body Snatcher, my friends. Many spoilers. This is a film you want to watch unspoiled if possible. *** By 1830, the industrial revolution had finally come to Scotland. But with this increased need for labor in urban areas came a series of unsurprising problems: Overcrowding, squalor, class tensions and poverty. It is this world which Mr. Grey, the unlikely Charon of Edinburgh, makes his own. In the dead of night he steals the bodies of the recently deceased from their graves, selling them for £10 per — a luxurious sum — to local doctor Wolfe MacFarland who needs, or maybe just wants, them for his research and his medical students. The Body Snatcher (1945) was only the fourth film directed by Robert Wise, though he already had a notable career, editing Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, My Favorite Wife and The Devil and Daniel Webster and sometimes directing films, such as Curse of the Cat People. Though he was a talented director, he was still somewhat adrift in 1945, his signature style not yet formed — or, as some would say, he had not yet “borrowed” enough techniques from other directors to fully amalgamate into a style he called his own. Thus The Body Snatcher is a well-crafted film that reveals producer Val Lewton’s vision rather than Wise’s, and we … Continue reading

Halloween Postcard Circa 1915

So, this is a goblin with a bat on his crotch, a witch and her pal the Holy Ghost fighting off sentient vegetables, and a disembodied floating pumpkin. Sure, makes sense. Published by John Winsch, I believe this was the work of Samuel L. Schmucker. It’s a cut-and-paste job of a card, with bits of other cards turned into a new design. You can see the pumpkin head in this postcard, which I got from the link above: The witch and the veggies are from this card: And the goblin comes from this fantasy Halloween-themed card: The individual cards make a heck of a lot more sense than the amalgam card above. Yet, they don’t make that much sense on their own, truth be told.  

Free 30 Days Streaming Video on Fandor

Fandor is currently offering a free 30-day trial of their streaming video service. Anyone who has been curious about Fandor but has never gotten around to trying it, now’s your chance! Because neither computer in the house can really handle streaming that well anymore, I haven’t watched via Fandor (or any other streaming) for a year, but I can tell you that when I did the video was clear and the playback went without a hitch. It is definitely worth your time to sign up for a free month and check it out, because it’s probably even better now. And while we’re here, allow me to recommend Fandor’s blog Keyframe, especially David Hudson’s series Daily. Today’s is a perfect example of how indispensable Daily is, although it is so indispensable that it will really cut into your layin’ around time.

Joan Crawford, 1933

halloween-joan-1933

This is always a favorite: Joan Crawford on the cover of the Halloween edition of Rexall Magazine, 1933. This is from Breakroom of the Glorious Worker’s Paradise, which has an enormous spread of great vintage Halloween pictures. You should visit their site; you will not be disappointed.