For my finale of good/bad movies for the Halloween season, I'm selecting another Vincent Price movie, but also a couple movies with Boris Karloff (we CANNOT leave him out), and Jack Nicholson, who got his start with Roger Corman in another B-movie classic, Little Shop of Horrors. Both of these films are Roger Corman directed and produced, too.
The Raven, 1963 - I discussed this at length on my second, recent FB live, so here's what I said, basically: The Raven is often parceled on DVD with another horror-comedy called The Comedy of Terrors, which I don’t like nearly as much. The Raven is a true horror comedy B-movie. Richard Matheson wrote the script around the Poe poem The Raven, of course having to add a whole story around the concept of a Raven flying into a room. It stars Vincent Price, BORIS KARLOFF and JACK NICHOLSON!!!...who both also shot The Terror with Corman. Back to The Raven, PETER LORRE also starred, along with Hazel Court—she also shot Masque of the Red Death and Premature Burial with Corman, but those of you who enjoy other horror films from the 60s (including Hammer productions, I believe) are probably familiar with her. The Raven premise? Dueling wizards—one good (Vincent), one evil (Boris) and one bumbling (Peter). Highly recommended for a silly good time, you’ll feel like you’re at a drive-in movie circa 1963.
(An aside) - My play and now also a novella, Horror at Terror Creek is heavily influenced by Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe productions—the colourful set dec touches contrasted against a dark, broody castle or mansion, particularly the garishly bright candle sticks that were used—that sticks out in my mind the most. The candles were often a different, primary colour for each separate room.
The Terror, 1963 - a good year for this kind of stuff, apparently. Also the year the world got Dr. Who, by the way. As mentioned above, Boris and Jack both also shot The Terror with Corman either shortly before or shortly after The Raven—now, The Terror is a ridiculously silly-fun movie with a hilariously non-sensical plot.
Yes, you can buy my "Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked Ham" here anytime, but now, you can also check out Space Zombies! on display with these other fantabulous horror books and this fetching skeleton!
And yes, you can catch me taking this photo in the reflection...I mean, probably not when you're visiting the store, but definitely in this picture above (and a couple of the pics below)...
Ah, to have my book in a window alongside Stephen King's It and Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House!
And inside, you can find They Suck and Horror at Terror Creek under "M" in the fiction section on the first floor...
You can also find two of my picture books...Mixter Twizzle's Breakfast and Sloth the Lazy Dragon on one of their children's book shelves! :D Happy Halloween!
TORONTO BOOK LAUNCH FOR NEW PICTURE BOOK "MERRY MYRRH, THE CHRISTMAS BAT"
Book launch for author’s latest picture book to be held at Indigo Yonge & Eglinton, Toronto.
Regan W. H. Macaulay is holding a book launch and signing for her latest picture storybook, Merry Myrrh, the Christmas Bat, at:
Indigo Bookstore Yonge & Eglinton (2300 Yonge & Eglinton Centre, Toronto), Saturday November 17th, 2018 1-4pm.
Merry Myrrh, the Christmas Bat is a picture storybook written by Regan W. H. Macaulay of Toronto, illustrated by Alex Zgud, and published by Guardian Angel Publishing (http://guardianangelpublishing.com/). The book is intended for children ages 4-7.
Myrrh is a young and very merry brown bat named after one of the gifts of the Magi. He experiences the wonders of his first Christmas among the decorations of a farmhouse, as well as the kindness of the family that discovers him in their home!
The author will be available to sign copies of Merry Myrrh, as well as her other picture books, which will also be available for sale, including: Sloth the Lazy Dragon (illustrated by Alex Zgud, published by Guardian Angel Publishing), Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far (illustrated by Javier Duarte, published by Mirror Publishing) and Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast (just launched in September/October of this year, illustrated by Wei Lu and published by Mirror World Publishing).
“Merry Myrrh, the Christmas Bat is a charming story that features an unlikely Christmas character. Children will enjoy the antics of the adorable bat and all the lovely Christmas scenes throughout the book. The story is well-written with exceptional illustrations. The author also includes a note to readers for how they can help protect bats. Highly recommended for children ages 3-7.” —Sherry Ellis, Children’s Author
“…The story is lovingly illustrated, with gorgeous detail, by Alex Zgud. Readers will feel as if they are looking in the window and seeing the wondrous scene that Myrrh and Sensa see. And like Myrrh, we’ll want to get closer and closer. This adventure could very well be Myrrh’s last one, if not for the kindness of the human farmhouse family…”—Penelope Anne Cole, Children’s Author
Regan writes novels, short stories, children’s literature, and scripts. Writing is her passion, but she’s also a producer and director of theatre, film, and television. She is an animal-enthusiast as well, which led her to become a Certified Canine (and Feline) Massage Therapist. Other award-winning picture storybooks include Beverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese, Sloth the Lazy Dragon, Tamara Turtle’s Life So Far. She is also the author of The Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked Ham, which includes Space Zombies! (based on her film, Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem!--available on iTunes and on DVD), They Suck and Horror at Terror Creek.
Every year for the past few years, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has this really cool promotion for all the books published (or that will be published) within that calendar year - Bookstop!
This year, I'm so very proud to have two picture books published and participating, each with its own Bookstop Page:
Mixter Twizzle's Breakfast, illustrated by Wei Lu and published by Mirror World Publishing (September 2018)
Merry Myrrh, the Christmas Bat, illustrated by Alex Zgud and published by Guardian Angel Publishing (technically available now on Amazon, but its official release is November 17th at Indigo Bookstore at Yonge & Eglinton in Toronto - CHECK BACK FOR MORE DETAILS ON THIS BOOK LAUNCH THAT HAPPENS THE DAY BEFORE THE SANTA CLAUS PARADE!!!)
Please stop by each of my pages and check out the reviews, sign the guest book, and give my books some love. Sharing is extremely helpful, too! After all, the Holiday Season is upon us (especially for people like me, where Halloween is a month-long thing and I gleefully rate its importance as equal to Christmas).
Scantily Clad Truths: Essays on Life with Clothes (and without)
by Leslie C. Halpern
The book features 15 essays exploring various subjects, including a Hall of Shame college roommate, a perverted (but literary) peeping Tom, a walk down the red carpet with the stars, an awkward interview with director Francis Ford Coppola, and an encounter with a sexy homeless man.
Despite the diverse range of subjects, each story contains a common thread: clothes. Instead of the naked truth, the author believes that clothes offer more of a scantily clad version of reality - a seductive, though manipulated, outer covering that simultaneously and selectively reveals and conceals. In each of the essays, clothing - or a lack of it - leads to an unexpected conclusion by the author.
"It will all come out in the wash" isn't the case with Scantily Clad Truths, where deeply stained souls may never come clean - even with a detergent booster. From panty lines to punch lines, these and other truths are revealed in humorous personal essays that provide the occasional, though well-deserved, dressing down.
Fun, insightful collection of interestingly garbed stories
Each chapter is a short tale and each tale links its story and characters to how they dress, whether on an individual occasion or their general style, all to great humorous effect. What a unique lens through which to see each person and plot—each essay is as witty as it is relatable. This writer has certainly lived a book-worthy life, and is willing to delve deep to share true life events straight from the soul. This is an entertaining read you’ll want to tear the clothes off of!
* Please note that I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
And now for one of the major influencers of Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem!, my own silly shlock fest...a couple films by the late, great Edward D. Wood Jr., the reigning king of fun bad movies (as is Tommy Wiseau, but his movie, The Room, is a different kind of horror movie altogether).
Bride of the Monster, 1955--this was Ed Wood's biggest budget film at $70,000. Its sequel, Night of the Ghouls, was not released until 1984, due to last minute financial issues. This is a movie that combines genres, something I appreciate immensely, in this case science-fiction and horror (and a third, unintentional genre...comedy). Tor Johnson flexes his lack of acting muscles as the titular Monster. Tor, professional wrestler and eternal human edifice, did not require acting ability to convey a hulking beast. Bela Lugosi, however, is still a master of the hand gesture, even in his elderly, arthritic years.
Plan 9 From Outer Space, 1959: Written, produced, directed and edited (as per usual) by Ed Wood. Posthumously starring Bela Lugosi in random footage shot by Wood before the actor's death. Again, Ed combines the sci-fi and horror genres with both ghouls AND aliens. As described on Wikipedia: "Plan 9 from Outer Space played on television in relative obscurity until 1980, when authors Harry Medved and Michael Medved dubbed it the "worst film ever made" in their book The Golden Turkey Awards. Wood and his film were posthumously given two Golden Turkey Awards for Worst Director Ever and Worst Film. It has since been retroactively described as "The epitome of
Check out this fantastic review from the Midwest Book Review:
Mixter Twizzle's Breakfast
Regan W.H. Macaulay, author
Wei Lu, illustrator
Mirror World Publishing
9781987976496, $15.95, HC, 44pp, www.amazon.com
"The eye-catching illustrations will capture and hold the audience, while its text tugs the heart and makes one think. A glimpse into careless, selfish behaviors can be clearly seen, while hope for recovery bursts onto the scene. Love may just be the soft little thing that can turn this mischievous imp from being so mean! This is a great story to build powerful foundations of kindness and empathy, while warding off selfish behavior. (Ages 4-7)"
Time for some of those "so bad they're good" movies...and these ones have semi-impressive casting!
The Devil's Rain, 1975, the year of my birth...mwah-ha-ha-ha...starring William Shatner, Tom Skerrit, Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, Keenan Wynn and John Travolta in his extremely brief film debut! What an incredible cast for such a crappy-good film! Very much in line with the satanic-occult obsession of the 60s and 70s. Good fun, and lots of melty-faces.
Frogs, 1972...my favourite creatures! Eco-horror shlock at its finest. And another good cast: Sam Elliott, Joan Van Arl, Adam Roarke and the ever irascible Ray Milland--he is at his grouchiest here. If you love toads as much as I do (most of the amphibians "swamping" the people of this little island are actually toads--either Cane toads or Rococo and maybe some smaller species, too), you will love watching them cover the isle in a plague of themselves! Loads of other reptiles to ogle at, too.
Horror of Dracula, 1958, a Hammer film. You may have noticed that I have not selected the original Dracula with Bela Lugosi. This is because I consider it more of a "classic" film than a B-movie, and frankly, it's kinda less enjoyable. Horror of Dracula stars Christopher Lee as the titular vampire and Peter Cushing, and though Bela Lugosi's performance is magnetic, Lee has his own version of magnetism. And it's fun to watch Peter Cushing as a super-serious, super-British Van Helsing.
The Wickerman, 1973, also a Hammer film...but a really weird one. Super pagan. Super hippy! Considered "the Citizen Kane of horror movies" by Cinefantastique, apparently. Christopher Lee was a Hammer Films regular by now and really wanted to get away from the usual kinds of horror film roles he was cast in. This certainly fit the bill. Do NOT bother with the 2006 remake with Nicholas Cage, unless you have time to spare and want a (possible) laugh.
Strictly speaking, The Wickerman is too well regarded to be considered a B-movie, but it's just so odd, I can't help but categorize it as such!