October 5th, 2007

Sebastian Haff

So what happened, Tim?

So I'll tell you:
The whole TCM preview thing kind of petered out, didn't it? Miss a week or two, and the idea of getting back to it just starts to seem less urgent. There was the added complication that I haven't actually watched anything I've recorded of TCM since the start of summer. I began to feel foolish talking about old movies which, for the most part, I hadn't seen.

Then the final nail: late in July, the new expansion for Civilization IV was released. And it was good. Too good. 2 months later, I managed to tear myself away from the evil life-sucking beast that is CIV.

I do intend to get back to that movie review project of mine. I've been sitting on my copy of "The Mark of Zorro" since June. Maybe I'll find time this weekend.

Another hobby I've picked up: day hikes. Each weekend I go somewhere and walk a couple of miles. Nothing too strenuous, since I'm just starting out. Been to a few local parks, Mason Neck State Park, Shenandoah National Park, Harper's Ferry, the National Zoo (you can get a couple miles easy in that place.) Took some shaky, blurry, badly framed photos. Someday, I'll get around to posting the best of them. (Nothing spectacular, mind you. My camera's not that fancy.

In the meantime, there's a special edition TCM preview post coming up in mere minutes. Since it's October, that means old horror movies every Friday. That's an area I can feel secure about making recommendations for:)

Back shortly.
Sebastian Haff

TCM Preview, slightly belated, Friday Oct 5

Well, crap. I thought they were running these movies Friday nights, but it turns out they're all day! Fortunately, they're starting with mostly crap. The good stuffs on tonight. Here's the list:

10:30 AM       Vampire, The (1957)
      An experimental treatment turns a small-town doctor into a ravening vampire. Cast: John Beal, Coleen Gray, Kenneth Toby. Dir: Paul Landres. BW-76 mins, TV-14
12:00 PM     Return Of Dracula, The (1958)
      A European vampire devastates a small western town. Cast: Francis Lederer, Norma Eberhardt, Ray Stricklyn. Dir: Paul Landres. BW-77 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
1:30 PM     Dead Men Walk (1943)
      A small-town doctor's twin returns from the grave seeking vengeance. Cast: George Zucco, Mary Carlisle, Dwight Frye. Dir: Sam Newfield. BW-63 mins, TV-PG
2:34 PM     Short Film: Ghost Wanted (1940)
      BW-8 mins,
2:45 PM     Vampire Bat, The (1933)
      Villagers suspect the town simpleton of being a vampire. Cast: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Melvyn Douglas, Dir: Frank R. Strayer. BW-61 mins, TV-PG
4:00 PM     Last Man On Earth, The (1964)
      A deadly virus turns most of the world's population into blood-drinking ghouls. Cast: Vincent Price, Franca Bettoia, Emma Danieli. Dir: Ubaldo Ragona, Sidney Salkow. BW-87 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format
5:30 PM     My Son the Vampire (1952)
      An Irish cleaning woman battles a mad scientist and his killer robot. Cast: Arthur Lucan, Bela Lugosi, Dora Bryan. Dir: John Gilling. BW-74 mins, TV-PG
6:45 PM     Return of the Vampire, The (1944)
      A vampire terrorizes a British family during World War II. Cast: Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch. Dir: Lew Landers. BW-69 mins, TV-PG
8:00 PM     Curse of the Demon (1958)
      An anthropologist investigates a devil worshipper who commands a deadly demon. Cast: Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis. Dir: Jacques Tourneur. BW-82 mins, TV-PG, CC
9:45 PM     Cat People (1942)
      A newlywed fears that an ancient curse will turn her into a bloodthirsty beast. Cast: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway. Dir: Jacques Tourneur. BW-73 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS
11:00 PM     I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
      A nurse in the Caribbean resorts to voodoo to cure her patient, even though she's in love with the woman's husband. Cast: Frances Dee, Tom Conway, James Ellison. Dir: Jacques Tourneur. BW-69 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS
12:15 AM     Leopard Man, The (1943)
      When a leopard escapes during a publicity stunt, it triggers a series of murders. Cast: Dennis O'Keefe, Margo, Jean Brooks. Dir: Jacques Tourneur. BW-66 mins, TV-PG, CC

Comments: nothing really cooking until 4PM. The early part of the day is filled with old obscurities. A basic rule of thumb re: old horror films: there were so few of them back then that they had to earn their obscurity. Having said that, The Vampire Bat at 2:45 is of interest to me, since it's MGM's third Lionel Atwill/ Fay Wray horror/mystery (following Mystery In the Wax museum and Doctor X both of which I enjoyed on their own creaky terms.)

4pm gives us Last Man On Earth, based on Richard Matheson's "I Am Legend," filmed again as Omega Man (with Charlton Heston) and soon as I Am Legend with Will Smith. Last... is an Italian-shot cheapie, which reportedly works to it's advantage. I haven't seen it yet, but will remedy that tonight.
My Son the Vampire is known in British territories as Mother Riley Meets the Vampire and is actually an installment in a comedy series about an old Irish washerwoman, who is, of course played by a man. Poor Bela. Expect lots of hilarious ethnic stereotyping!
Return of the Vampire is notable as Bela's second portrayal of a vampire on film, 13 years after Dracula. That's about it, really. It does have something to do with the London Blitz, so that might be a second point of interest. But probably not.

8PM on: Jacques Tourneur. Now we're talking. I think I've written about all of these back when I was doing weekly posts. Intelligent, atmospheric, psychological horror/mysteries. Good, good stuff.

I'll be back over the weekend to comment on their other horror offerings this month. Enjoy!