Monday, October 15, 2012

Weekend Report

 My weekend wasn't overly eventful. Had to work late on Friday so it was also a bit shorter than normal. I spent most of the time catching up on things that had accumulated while I was in Santa Fe. Answered emails. Did a bit of house cleaning. Did some laundry. Hung out with Bruce the cat, who had definitely missed me. That sort of thing.
   Also did some reading. Finished up another of Peter Brandvold's Rogue Lawman books. Reread Robert B. Parker's Spenser novel School Days. Read Heath Lowrance's excellent story The Spider Tribe, which I reviewed below. I saw a lot of Mexican Day of the Dead stuff while I was out West so I dug out Ray Bradbury's shudder inducing tale about the day of the Dead, The Next in Line.
   Speaking of dead things, I need to get my Halloween mojo going. The last two years have been huge in terms of Halloween stuff, but I've fallen behind this year, what with vacation and such. I did manage to watch some Halloween themed movies and TV this weekend. Watched two Halloween episodes of Hercules the Legendary Journeys, one with a mummy and one with Dracula. Then I did a rewatch of the Mario Bava directed Hercules in the Haunted World, which has vampires, monsters, and zombies. I got a remastered wide screen version of this sword & sandal classic and it is truly a thing of beauty. Bava's use of color really comes through and the film has an almost hallucinatory quality to it. I was so impressed that I also watched Bava's science fiction/horror film, Planet of the Vampires. The sets are a bit dated but the brooding atmosphere and horrific happenings still hold up. Depending on who you ask, this one may or may not have influenced Ridley Scott's movie, Alien.
   Read through a big chunk of The Essential Thor Volume 6. This volume catches up to when I started reading Marvel Comics' The Mighty Thor, about 1973, so I remembered a lot of the stories in this collection. Most of the art is by the great John Buscema, but John's brother Sal and other artists like Rich Buckler also turn in some nice artwork.
   Hmmm, maybe my weekend wasn't as uneventful as I thought. Looks like I was pretty busy.


Anonymous said...

Hey there Charles,
I too have been working to get my Halloween Mojo working. Read some short stories, watched some movies.
Not much stands out so far, excepting two films.

First, have you seen Pontypool? The Lovecraft e-zine said it was pretty Lovecraftian, so I thought I'd give it a try. I came away with mixed emotions-- the underlying cause of the horror is about as abstract and oddball as any I've encountered in any medium, but there are a handful of deeply creepy scenes, scenes where a character comes face to face with otherworldly horror, and these scenes are strong enough to make the film very much worth watching.

Second, I watched the old TV movie Dark Night of the Scarecrow again. And this time around I just can't take the old thing for granted. Not only the best made for TV horror film of them all (yes, better than Don't Be Afraid of the Dark and even Gargoyles)
but one of the best depictions of ghostly horror ever put to film. You know how hard it is to find a movie that even tries to tell an honest, old school ghost story? Dark Night of the Scarecrow pulls it off.

See either of these? If you haven't I can pretty much guarantee they'd ramp up your Halloween mojo quite nicely.

John Hocking

Charles R. Rutledge said...

John, I remember watching Dark Night of the Scarecrow many years ago but don't recall much about it. I'll check it out. Not familiar with Pontypool, but I can stream it for free from Amazon Prime so I'll definitely give it a watch. Thanks for the recommendations!