Tuesday, September 30, 2014
If you have been interested in my last few posts about anthology based TV shows, then I think you'll dig this offering I have today. Here is an episode from the Ray Bradbury Theater show that was on the air in the 1980s. It was very much like the Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Tales from the Darkside, but the stories here were based on Bradbury's writing. Here is a stand out story that really captured my imagination. It's called "The Man Upstairs", I didn't see this story when it originally aried, but came across it after listening to the radio play of the same name that was on the radio waves back in the day.
The story is about a young boy staying with his grandmother who has a boarding house that has a few people renting out rooms. A strange and mysterious man named Mr. Coburman comes to stay at the house for a while. He seems off a bit and the young boy, Douglsas, feels there is something more to Coburman than just being an eccentric guy. Douglass has a few odd encounters with Coburman that spooks him a bit. I'm not going to give anything else away and spoil the story, but I do recommend checking it out if you like a good yarn that has a mix of mystery, suspense and a touch of horror.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Recently I've been seeking old 1980s episodes from various anthology based TV series that I watched when I was a kid. There are some really enjoyable ones out there, Tales from the Darkside, Ray Bradbury Theater and Alfred Hitchcock Presents to name a few of the big guns.
Admittedly most of the episodes I don't remember or have a vague memory of. An episode that really stuck in my memory was from the Alfred Hitchcock Presents called "Method Actor". It stars Martin Sheen and Marilu Henner. I only had a vague memory of the episode, but I do remember that Martin Sheen's performance was really intense and the way the story plays out really great right up until the end.
I finally watched the episode after nearly 30 years and I wasn't disappointed. The whole production held up really well and was really enjoyable. The story is about an older actor (Martin Sheen) that was well respected for years, but now is aging and isn't at the top of his game anymore. He's going out for the role of his life, but things don't go as planned and that's only the beginning. I don't want to give away anything more, so I invite you to check it out. If you are in the mood of a classic episode with drama, thriller aspects and some gore then give it a shot. Martin Sheen's performance really makes the story great.
Monday, September 22, 2014
We are starting to creep into the Halloween season more and more and I know you all will be seeking out old and new forms of spooky entertainment. Let me turn your attention to a fantastic episode of Tales from the Darkside called "Inside the Closet". I haven't by any means seen all of the Tales episodes, but I've seen a bunch of them and this by far is in my top 5 favorites ever. It really captures the flavor of what I think this show was all about. Tales from the Darkside if you didn't know, was to essentially be Creepshow the tv show based on the films, but due to some copyright holding info on that title George Romero couldn't use the title so they cooked up a new one. In any event if you haven't seen this, definitely check it out. It has some nice little mystery and horror going on.
The story is about a young college girl that begins renting a room in a house owned by a mysterious man that continually dismisses the girls suspicions that there is some kind of rat or animal in the closet she's renting. The story has a bunch of callbacks to Creepshow with Tom Savini doing direction and make-up/FX. There is a part of the story that feels like Creepshow's "The Crate" story that is only enhanced more because Fritz Weaver appears as the homeowner. Watch it now, you won't be disappointed.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Since Halloween is right around the corner, I've been getting into my Halloween music playlist quite a bit,. Since I first started compiling songs, for this massive collection, there have been 20 or so songs that were original additions and one of them is this track Once Bitten by the group 3-Speed. It has that classic 80s pop sound, but since the topic is about a vampire it's welcome on my Halloween playlist.
If you aren't familiar with this song, it's the title track to the 1985 horror/comedy film of the same name. The movie stars Jim Carrey in a very early role, long before he was a major star. I used to catch this back on HBO in the late 80s. It's enjoyable.. sort of in that Teen Wolf type of vein, pun intended.
Now, I must admit I don't remember seeing this video before. Up until about 10 minutes ago I thought the lead singer was a man. Now to see it'a s woman singing... it's a bit of a surprise. Clearly I'm not a 3-Speed hardcore fan.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
If you are a fan of the classic horror film Maniac from 1980 than chances are you are familiar with Joe Spinell the star of the film. Joe co-wrote the screen play as well as stars in the flick. Below I have a video, I stumbled across, when he appeared on The Joe Franklin Show with some other folks. Joe speaks on Maniac, acting and a few other topics. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of Joe and the roles he played back in the day.
"The movie (Maniac) opens on Friday, the 30th. If you like horror by all means come. If you don't... " - Joe Spinell
Friday, September 12, 2014
The other day I was listening to a collection of 80s pop/rock songs I have from various horror films. The song Quiet Cool came on that I actually haven't listened to in quite a while. It's performed by Joe Lamont. It's actually quite good, by 80s standards. It's really memorable to me because an instrumental version is heard during the intro title sequence to A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: The Dream Warriors. The character Kristin (Patricia Arquette) is building Nancy's house and this song is cranked up in an attempt to keep her awake.
I'm an 80s kid and the majority of movies I saw, especially horror, was on the small screen through cable television and VHS rentals. Dream Warriors was just one of these flicks that I would rent a lot and later tape off tv when it aired on cable. The intro title sequence for the VHS release contained Quiet Cool, but theatrical release and subsequent DVD release had "Into the Fire" by Dokken featured. Joe's song was originally written for a film called Quiet Cool, but re purposed on the Dream Warriors VHS release. Many years later seeing the film with Dokken's track, I must say I prefer the Joe Lamont track, perhaps merely on nostalgia. If you aren't familiar with it check it out below.
Nightmare on Elm Street 3 - VHS Title Sequence
In addition, I have for your ears Quiet Cool vocal version and the Dokken track I mentioned.
Monday, September 08, 2014
I recently came across the sci-fi/horror film Invaders from Mars (1986) directed by Tobe Hooper of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. It's currently steaming on Netflix (at the time of this post). I stumbled across it after browsing one of those lists that show up in my feed. I had completely forgotten about the film, but just after seeing the artwork I had some memories pop in my mind. I remember that hill, and the fence, there was something mysterious and spooky about that. That hills is fairly prominent in the original film so I see why Tobe kept this in his film. I remember a teacher that was threatening and eating frogs and that's about it. In my memory the movie was interesting and enjoyable, but it's obviously far from a classic to me since clearly I don't recall it all that well.
I started watching about 15 minutes of it and I have to say it's grabbed my attention and I actually want to watch the whole thing and then do a write up about my reflection on it. It's weird because it's almost like seeing it for the first time and I'll be interested to see how it plays out. I don't recall the original at all, so I don't have that to compare to this film. I may have to take a peek at movie trivia about this film on IMDB. If you haven't seen it or forgot about it yourself I have the trailer below for you to take a peek at.
Friday, September 05, 2014
Hello boys and ghouls, it's September and that means that Halloween is coming just that much closer. When October hits Halloween fun gets into full swing, but there are some folks that aren't waiting for October and are jumping into Halloween right away. One of these folks that is kicking off the season with a lot of fun posts and videos is Matt over at the wonderful Dinosaur Dracula site. If you haven't visited Dino Drac before, take a few minutes and check it out. Below is one of the recent videos he did reviewing 5 of his favorite finds at a weird variety story called Magic City Superstore.