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Old October 9 2008, 12:49 AM   #196
Spaceman Spiff
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Oh, speaking of Bradbury, I recently watched the original much-better-without-Raymond-Burr Gojira, and in one of the special features, it's mentioned that the idea was inspired by The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, which was based on the Bradbury short story that wound up being known as The Fog Horn. That story was written after Bradbury took a walk on the beach and spotted a demolished roller coaster, thinking they looked like dinosaur bones.

It's crazy to think that that one afternoon where Ray took a stroll would end up leaving a legacy like that.

Okay, not really all that much to do with Hallowe'en, but I wanted to mention it here.
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Old October 9 2008, 09:44 AM   #197
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Bradbury was one of those giants, like Clarke, Asimov et al, who shed brilliant ideas like other people shed dandruff.

I remember reading about how Beast From 20,000 Fathoms was inspired, but I don't think I knew about the Gojira connection. I need to track down a Bradbury anthology with "Fog Horn" in it.

I started Four Octobers last night. I don't know about "Creature Feature," but it sure has the "nostalgia" factor. The first story is set in 1957 and involves kids of late Elementary School/Junior High School age. Slightly before my time, but close enough that it's very familiar. And nicely creepy so far.
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Old October 10 2008, 02:17 AM   #198
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

I'll have to check, but I think "The Fog Horn" is in The October Country. I'm pretty sure, anyway. That book's great reading for this time of year, either way.

I think Mad Monster Party is definitely going to get a viewing this weekend. As is the recent collector's edition of Pumpkinhead, which was the only movie to be directed by the late Stan Winston. I saw the old, crappily printed DVD about six or seven months ago, and I was surprised at how well it held up. Since they were putting the DVD together when he died, they've got a little tribute to him on there, too.

For classic stuff, I can't believe I forgot to mention this to you of all people before, but I picked up the Inner Sanctum Mysteries collection. I'll actually be kind of surprised if you don't have this one already, since it's just a nice collection of hour-long movies starring Lon Chaney, Jr., all based on the radio show of the same name.

It might as well just have your name written on the front.
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Old October 10 2008, 09:45 AM   #199
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
I'll have to check, but I think "The Fog Horn" is in The October Country. I'm pretty sure, anyway. That book's great reading for this time of year, either way.
It looks like it's in The Golden Apples Of The Sun, which means I have read it. I'll dig it out today, if it's not packed away.

I think Mad Monster Party is definitely going to get a viewing this weekend. As is the recent collector's edition of Pumpkinhead, which was the only movie to be directed by the late Stan Winston. I saw the old, crappily printed DVD about six or seven months ago, and I was surprised at how well it held up. Since they were putting the DVD together when he died, they've got a little tribute to him on there, too.
I just saw Pumpkinhead on Fear.Net not long ago; it was pretty good-- very atmospheric production.

For classic stuff, I can't believe I forgot to mention this to you of all people before, but I picked up the Inner Sanctum Mysteries collection. I'll actually be kind of surprised if you don't have this one already, since it's just a nice collection of hour-long movies starring Lon Chaney, Jr., all based on the radio show of the same name.
That looks great, and is now added to my Shopping Cart. Nice batch of guest stars working with Chaney on those.
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Old October 10 2008, 07:00 PM   #200
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

I wish I'd gotten it for that Amazon price, now that I see it. I spotted it at the store and snatched it up right away at almost $30.

I keep trying to think of movies that take place at this time of year or have Hallowe'en window dressing. It occurred to me last night that Ginger Snaps qualifies. I talked about it a bit in the werewolf thread, but it's a solid enough little movie; a small, low-budget Canadian flick. There are a few moments where the nihilism of the teenage sisters is a little over-the-top, but I still enjoyed it.
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Old October 10 2008, 07:18 PM   #201
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

^^ I saw one of the Ginger Snaps movies on Fear.Net, too; it's the one that takes place during the Frontier Era, apparently. It was mediocre.

Let's see: E.T. takes place around Halloween. I think there's a vague connection in Creepshow; I seem to remember a Jack-O-Lantern in the opening sequence. Doesn't Monster House take place on Halloween?

I think that Inner Sanctum set is going to move itself to the top of my list....
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Old October 10 2008, 07:21 PM   #202
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

RJDemonicus wrote: View Post
^^ I saw one of the Ginger Snaps movies on Fear.Net, too; it's the one that takes place during the Frontier Era, apparently. It was mediocre.
Yeah, that one was the second sequel, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning. It was pretty to look at, but that's about it.

The original is a lot better, though it's no An American Werewolf in London or anything.

The Inner Sanctum set is pretty nice, if a bit barebones. There isn't much in the way of special features. I don't think it even has trailers. Still, it's a great pile of Lon Chaney, Jr. movies that you're not going to get anywhere else. I think I mentioned earlier in the thread that I picked up the Best Buy compilation of Universal Horror on eBay for $20 or so, and looking at that Amazon page, it looks like it's already worth more than twice that. There are a few decent movies on there, but the real allure is Man Made Monster, which I don't think is otherwise available on DVD.
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Old October 11 2008, 07:48 PM   #203
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

^^ Almost three times that, unfortunately; it looks really good. That Inner Sanctum set will definitely be in my next Amazon order. And I'll see if Ginger Snaps might be on Fear.Net; I always like a good werewolf movie.

My Halloween reading plans have changed slightly; thanks to my brother, I suddenly find myself in possession of a mint copy of Return Of The Wolf Man. I'll be diving into that immediately.

I read the first two stories in Four Octobers, and both were very good. They're certainly evocative of boyhood in small town/suburban America in that era; the stories take place slightly before my time, 1957 and 1961 (the year I was born), but close enough to be very similar to my experience. The first one is shorter and oddly structured; it sort of hangs together, but leaves a lot unexplained. There's something odd about the second one, too, but I'm not going to spoil anything. Based on these two, I recommend reading the book.
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Old October 11 2008, 08:00 PM   #204
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

'Bout to crack open Call of Cthulu. And the new Repairman Jack book comes out Tuesday.
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Old October 12 2008, 10:18 PM   #205
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

^^ "Call Of Cthulhu" is a classic. Lovecraft is hit or miss, in my opinion, but "Call Of Cthulhu" is great.

News Alert For Fright-Fans: Apparently, Sciffy has acquired the rights to Friday The 13th: The Series. There's a marathon on all day tomorrow.
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Old October 14 2008, 12:04 AM   #206
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Maestro wrote: View Post
And the new Repairman Jack book comes out Tuesday.
I've still got to try one of those. What's the premise? I've read some vague blurbs about Jack being the one to help with unusual problems, but I've never seen one go into more depth. I assume there are paranormal elements involved?

I'm genuinely interested; I bought The Tomb some time back, and I intend to get to it before much longer.

I saw what looked like a prequel or "Young Jack" type of book on Amazon. I assume you'd have to have read a few already, though, to really appreciate it.

RJDemonicus wrote: View Post
My Halloween reading plans have changed slightly; thanks to my brother, I suddenly find myself in possession of a mint copy of Return Of The Wolf Man. I'll be diving into that immediately.
Your brother rocks. I can't wait to see what you have to say. It's not perfect, but I think it's a lot better than the attempted Universal Monster continuations we've seen lately.

Mad Monster Party? was really bizarre. Kurtzman's involvement isn't at all surprising, as there were gags that felt like they'd be at home in early MAD magazine. There are whole sections of the movie that are pretty much just different monster gags strung together. They all fit within the context of the story, but sometimes just barely.

Like you said, there are lots of moments where you think, "Did they really just do that?" There were plenty of things that would end up on the cutting room floor these days. There were several parts where I had to rewind it to make sure of what I'd just seen.

The weirdest part is probably the songs. Most of them seem kind of random and forced, especially in comparison to other Rankin-Bass productions. It makes sense for Yukon Cornelius to break into "Silver and Gold," for example, but some of these numbers are presented as if the characters up and decided, "I'ma sing now!"

Still, it was a lot of fun.
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Old October 14 2008, 12:58 AM   #207
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
Maestro wrote: View Post
And the new Repairman Jack book comes out Tuesday.
I've still got to try one of those. What's the premise? I've read some vague blurbs about Jack being the one to help with unusual problems, but I've never seen one go into more depth. I assume there are paranormal elements involved?
There are 12 books now in the series, with By The Sword coming out tomorrow. The "original" premise is that Jack is the guy you go to if "normal" avenues (police, law, etc.) won't solve your problem. He's a vigilante who has made it so he doesn't exist. No SSN, only deals in cash, that sort of thing.

Best friend is a sporting goods store owner named Abe Grossman. Abe's store is a front for his real business, small and medium arms.

Unfortunately, as the books unfold, Jack doesn't just get the kind of jobs he's hoping for. Paranormal jobs start coming his way, as well as paranormal situations.

Jack's original appearance in The Tomb was part of a cycle of books that told the story of paranormal events occurring in the world tied to cosmic powers at war with each other. The Tomb, just like the other four books in the Adversary Cycle, can be read as a stand-alone. Jack's final appearance is in Nightworld. Some years later, Wilson decided to tell the story of Jack's time inbetween The Tomb and Nightworld. When he finishes filling in Jack's time, he will update Nightworld just like he did The Tomb.

A spoiler... Jack is a player in the cosmic war, and these paranormal jobs/situations tie in to that war.

I'm genuinely interested; I bought The Tomb some time back, and I intend to get to it before much longer.
A good book, but somewhat plodding. Don't get turned off by the first 2/3rds. The final 1/3rd is the pay-off, as is the intro to the rest of the series.

I saw what looked like a prequel or "Young Jack" type of book on Amazon. I assume you'd have to have read a few already, though, to really appreciate it.
RJ for YA. An interesting look at Jack's youth, but the "regular" books are much better. I understand there are going to be three books in the Young Jack series.
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Old October 14 2008, 09:44 AM   #208
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
Mad Monster Party? was really bizarre. Kurtzman's involvement isn't at all surprising, as there were gags that felt like they'd be at home in early MAD magazine. There are whole sections of the movie that are pretty much just different monster gags strung together. They all fit within the context of the story, but sometimes just barely.

Like you said, there are lots of moments where you think, "Did they really just do that?" There were plenty of things that would end up on the cutting room floor these days. There were several parts where I had to rewind it to make sure of what I'd just seen.

The weirdest part is probably the songs. Most of them seem kind of random and forced, especially in comparison to other Rankin-Bass productions. It makes sense for Yukon Cornelius to break into "Silver and Gold," for example, but some of these numbers are presented as if the characters up and decided, "I'ma sing now!"

Still, it was a lot of fun.
Yeah, much of it was very random. I love the long, pointless scene between the Chef and Peter Loree, where the Chef gropes him, threatens him with various types of bodily harm and then throws about twenty knives at him. Now that's a children's special.

And when the Bride suddenly leaps fifteen feet in the air and burst into song.

This is probably also the first children's special I've seen where two women rip each other's clothes off and have a vicious catfight. Or where all the characters wake up hung over.

It's also nice to know that if a woman hates you, all it takes is a couple of sharp slaps to the face to make her love you. This is also an educational show.

Yeah, I'll be watching this over and over.
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Old October 14 2008, 01:22 PM   #209
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

I think I will read Come Closer by Sara Gran this Halloween. I've had it on my shelf for quite some time.
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Old October 14 2008, 07:18 PM   #210
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Re: Hallowe'en Reading and Viewing, 2008!

I got a surprise delivery yesterday (DHL runs on Columbus Day?)--my pre-order of Icons of Horror: Hammer Films. I didn't have any time to watch one of the movies, but I couldn't help but peek at them.The transfers are beautiful, which really heightens those Hammer production values.

Scream of Fear is the one black and white film on the set, and it looks like it's more in the vein of Psycho than creature feature. It looks beautifully shot, though.

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb looks good. Reviews seem to put it right in the middle of the other Hammer Mummy movies, quality-wise.

The Gorgon is the one I'm really looking forward to. It's got Lee and Cushing, and it's directed by Terence Fisher. Three great tastes that taste great together. I don't know how Hallowe'en-y it is, but hopping through it I saw spooky houses, full moons, etc. It may just qualify.

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll is another Fisher film, and it makes the interesting choice to present Mr. Hyde as the handsomer persona. I'm interested to see how that plays out; like a meaner version of The Nutty Professor?

Maestro wrote: View Post
Spookman Spiff wrote: View Post
I'm genuinely interested; I bought The Tomb some time back, and I intend to get to it before much longer.
A good book, but somewhat plodding. Don't get turned off by the first 2/3rds. The final 1/3rd is the pay-off, as is the intro to the rest of the series.
Thanks for the warning; I'll bear it in mind as I read it. I've managed to hold on through some pretty dull books, so I should be able to make it to the payoff.

After twelve books, it's surprising that there hasn't been an attempt to adapt any of it for the screen. Of course, as I type that, someone's probably putting something together. Hollywood seems to be mining for franchises these days.

Camevilopard wrote: View Post
I think I will read Come Closer by Sara Gran this Halloween. I've had it on my shelf for quite some time.
I have, too. It's a possession story, isn't it? I should read it soon; it looks like a quick little read.

Let us know what you think of it.
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