Saturday, October 31, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 31

Well, I did it! I made it through the whole Halloween countdown! And it's been kind of a rough month, so I have to say I'm extra proud I was able to pull of this post-a-day thing. Thanks to all who stopped by. I hope my treats were tasty and fun sized!

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and tonight is the night this has been building up to. And you know what? TV is kind of letting me down. It's a Saturday, so I'd expect all the movie channels would have all horror line-ups today. But that just doesn't seem to be the case. For shame!

You can basically turn on Turner Classic Movies at 3am, and leave it there for the rest of the day because their frightful line-up is awesome. Here's a list of some of the films, with my pick being, of course, the original "Cat People," at 2pm.

"Circus of Horrors,"
at 9:45pm, also looks pretty awesome.

At midnight, on Creepy KOFY Movie time, is "The Last Man on Earth," starring Vincent Price. It was based on the Richard Matheson book "I Am Legend" which was also the basis for "The Omega Man" starring Charlton Heston and the Will Smith "I Am Legend."

And, as I mentioned few days back, "Night of the Living Dead" is on everywhere today. Check your listings, you're bound to find a showing. It's sort of become the Halloween equivalent of "It's a Wonderful Life," back when that movie was still in the public domain, and was shown over and over around Christmas. In fact, I think they'd make a terrific double bill.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

September Round-Up - 2009

It's been a tough couple of weeks. My cat's been sick and that has been emotionally and physically draining. That coupled with work and other blogging duties means I am TIRED. So this month's round-up might seem a bit brief.

Movies Seen: Nine, with one in a theater. That one was "The Informant!" which I liked a lot, but would not rank up there with my favorite Soderbergh movies. I'll say one thing: the film's score by Marvin Hamlisch is fantastic, and it had BETTER get an Oscar nomination. You can listen to samples on this YouTube clip.

Of the DVDs watched, I loved "Valentino: The Last Emperor," and thought "Fanboys" sucked, although the last line in the movie made me like it a little bit...

Books Read: Three. I started reading the Julia Childs's autobiography "My Life in France" the same week I saw the movie "Julie & Julia," and each complimented the other. It's a fun book.

"The Strain" by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan was not a fun book. Not at all. It was AWFUL. I expect so much more from Del Toro. The most galling thing about the book is just how dumb it is. The characters are just plain dumb. The basic premise is that vampirism is kind of like a virus, and it arrives in New York when a plane lands at the airport with all the people apparently dead. Which is a cool idea. But from there it just gets stupid, with the so-called CDC people doing the stupidest things you could possibly do while dealing with some kind of new virus. Like: dumping tissue samples down lab drains, or releasing bodies after maybe a day of quarantine. Man, I could go on and on, but trust me: it is a stupid, stupid book.

Lastly was "Voices from the Storm," which is part of McSweeney's Voice of Witness series, this one about New Orleanians who experienced Katrina and the failure of the levees. Some of the stories in it are quite amazing, and infuriating.

Fancy Dinners Out: Two. One at Wexler's, and the other at Millennium. Yes. Wexler's is a fancy barbecue restaurant, and the other is a vegan restaurant. You wanna make something of it?

Live Shows Seen: Two, if you count a comedy show as a live show. And I will, since I don't see that many shows period. The comedy show was Patton Oswalt at the Masonic, and one of the main reasons I went is because the Masonic is two blocks from my apartment. Convenience is a big incentive! It was a good show, even if it was kind of sad seeing the theater only half filled. David Cross was playing the same night at the Warfield, and I bet you anything their respective audiences were basically cut in half because of it.

The other show was the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Fox in Oakland. Again, the venue played a big part in the decision to see the show, as I love the Fox. And it was a good decision because the show was terrific. Karen O. is a powerhouse, and they put on an awesome show. It kind of made me pissed off at the number of shows I've seen in my life where the bands just stand there on a boring stage and perform. Come on! Put some energy into it!

Shoes Bought: One, this lovely pair, which I found for almost 60% off on Amazon. Score!

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 30

There's a Boris Karloff marathon on Turner Classic Movies today. You can read about the entire line-up on their site, but here are some highlights.

At 5:30am, "The Ghoul," which reunites Karloff with his "The Old Dark House" and "Bride of Frankenstein" costar, Ernest Thesiger.

Many of his movies had very similar plots, with Karloff playing some kind of mad scientist who is executed and comes back to life, or is condemned to death, as in "Before I Hang," which is on at noon.

"Isle of the Dead" is one of three movies Karloff made with producer Val Lewton. In this one, Karloff fights the Balkan War and the plague. It's on at 3:45pm.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Eyes Have It

OK. There is a resemblance between this:

and this, right?

I'll admit, I only noticed this because I had that "Cat People" poster on my wall for most of the 1980s, and it's been burned into my brain. But still...Cat eye. Half face. Girl with short brown hair...a little fishy. Or, at least, catty.

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 29

The original "Night of the Living Dead" is another one of those movies I like to watch every Halloween, so today's post is my yearly excuse to embed the entire movie on this here blog. (But, if you'd like to watch it on the teevee, it will be on many times on Halloween night, like 6pm on AMC, and 11:15pm on Retroplex.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 28

"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" airs tonight on ABC at 8pm. (It was also on last night, but I kinda forgot about that. Thank the Great Pumpkin for repeats!)

For me, the Holiday season--not just Halloween, but the whole shebang--doesn't begin until this special airs. Man. What'll I do if they ever decide to stop showing it?!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 27

Doh! I guess I didn't set this post to publish, so it's coming quite late. Sorry!

Once again, Tuner Classic Movies is the place to be for some scares today, because it's Psychic Powers Day!

First on the agenda is "Poltergeist" at 5pm. Here's 10 minutes from near the beginning of the movie; probably some of the best moments from the whole thing, actually...

Next is George Pal's 1968 movie, "The Power," which bears many similarities to David Cronenberg's later movie "Scanners." Can't find a trailer, but the whole things up on YouTube, although not embeddable, bastards! You can see part one here.

The original version of "The Haunting" follows at 9pm. This one really scared me the first time I saw it, which was on Laserdisc on a tiny TV; I can't imagine how freaked out I'd have been had I seen it in a theater. Shudder to think. Here's the first 10 minutes as well!

At 11pm is the original version of "Village of the Damned." Any movie featuring creepy kids with English accents is bound to be scary, you know. Also, the whole "everyone passes out for a space of time" thing has recently been used in the TV show "Flash Forward," but I have a sneaking suspicion the end result of those blackouts won't be as freaky or interesting as they are here...

Finally, there's "Escape to Witch Mountain" at 12:30am. I've never seen the original, but did have the unfortunate experience of watching the remake, starring the Rock, recently. Man. THAT was a mistake...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 26

It's tradition that I list the original "Halloween" at some point in this countdown, so tonight is that night. Alas, the only channel showing it this week is AMC, which still refuses to air any of its movies in their proper aspect ratios, and "Halloween" is a a very widescreen movie. So all I can say is, if you can watch "Halloween" any other way, do it. You might also try AMC's HD channel, although I'm pretty sure it doesn't show movies in proper ratios either. Oh well. It's on regular AMC at 7pm and AMC HD at 10pm.

Here's something slightly--and I do mean slightly--amusing. It's also slightly spoiler-ish, so if you haven't seen the movie, avoid.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 25

It's Meteor Night on Turner Classic movies, and no, the movie "Meteor" is not part of the fun. Here's what is:

At 5pm, the original "The Blob," featuring a young Steve McQueen, and a snazzy theme song.

At 7pm, "Die, Monster, Die!" which is not a German monster movie called "The, Monster, The!", but instead an American horror movie starring Boris Karloff that was loosely based on an H.P. Lovecraft story.

And finally, at 9pm, there is "Riders To the Stars," from 1954, back when space travel was merely the stuff of science fiction, and fantasies of capturing gigantic meteors seemed plausible; and were backed by serious theme songs.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 24

At midnight tonight, as part of Creepy KOFY Movie Time on channel 13 (TV-20) is "The Giant Gila Monster," a 1959 flick about...well, the title says it all, I suppose. Aside from the fact that the monster seems to have a thirst for teenagers.

It was also featured on an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Watch the beginning below, and part two here....and from there you can figure out how to watch the rest.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 23

"Pretty Poison" is a weird little movie, kind of like "Badlands" and "Bonnie and Clyde," in that it's about a teenage girl who gets sucked into a life of crime when she hooks up with a bad boy. Only in this case, the bad boy isn't so bad, and the girl, well, is POISON!

Tuesday Weld, who was just breathtakingly beautiful, is perfect in the bad seed role, and Anthony Perkins is perfectly cast as the guy who is probably not quite as into the chick as he'd like us to believe. The movie is considerably less "wacky" than this trailer makes it out to be, although I do kind of dig how misleading the trailer actually is.

And a totally random personal note: I once used a VHS copy of the movie, which for a long time wasn't available anywhere, as a bribe to get into a film class that was over-enrolled. The professor teaching the class had, during that first day's lecture, talked about the movie, and how he wished he could find a copy of it. So I told him after class that if he let me in the class, I'd give him a copy. And he did.

Watch it at 11:15pm on TCM.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 22

The 2000 "I was a teenage werewolf" movie "Ginger Snaps" seems like it was a bit ahead of its time, what with teenage werewolves and vampires being all the rage right now. Of course "Twilight" is not nearly as subversive or clever as this tale of burgeoning female sexuality. 4:10pm and 11:30pm on IFC.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Hitler finds out about the Balloon Boy hoax.

Oh, Hitler. Always so naive.

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 21

I'm a little reluctant listing today's pick, but lack of much else has pushed me to it. It's "Bugs Bunny's Howl-O-Ween Special," and it's one of those hatchet job "specials" that cuts up a bunch of old cartoons, and re-edits them to look like one big movie. Sad, really. But what's even sadder is that currently I cannot find any channel in my available line-up that shows Looney Tunes cartoons. What the hell?

Anyway, the "special" is on at 9:30pm on the Cartoon Network. Here are a couple of the full length cartoons that were used.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 20

Turner Classic Movies is having a William Castle festival today, so you should just turn to that channel at 5pm and call it a night. Here's the line-up.

"Mr. Sardonicus" at 5pm. Gimmick: Audiences were given glow in the dark thumbs up and down cards, and before the end of the movie, could vote whether the villain lived or died.

"Strait-Jacket" at 6:45pm. Gimmick: Theater goers were given little paper axes. Not sure what they were supposed to do with those. They were also supposed to keep telling themselves "It's only a's only a movie..."

"The Tingler" at 8:30pm. Gimmick: Probably the most famous Castle gimmick of all: "Percepto!" Theater seats were rigged to "shock" random movie watchers when the "tingler" escapes into the movie theater.

"13 Ghosts"
at 10pm. Gimmick: "Illusion-O," basically 3-D glasses that would reveal the ghosts, or hide them.

"The Old Dark House"
at 11:30pm. Gimmick: None! But Charles Adams did the title sequence. (It's a remake of the 1932 James Whale movie.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 19

There are very few Brian DePalma movies I can say I like wholeheartedly. In fact, there's only one: "Carrie." But I'll admit there are moments the 1973 "Sisters" that are quite good, and the whole film has a nice sick sense of humor. 1:35am on IFC, with a repeat on October 30th at 2:40pm.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 18

I've never seen the movie "The Cars That Ate Paris," but will admit that for years I assumed it was a horror movie about killer cars that eat the French. Which? Still sounds like an awesome movie to me.

But the actual movie, the first film by director Peter Weir, is set in the fictional town of Paris, Australia...and that's about the only bit of the plot that makes perfect sense. Guess I'll have to watch it at 3:05am or 9:45am on IFC and try to figure it all out myself...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 17

I love the 1960 version of "The Time Machine." It's one of those movies I just have to watch if I happen to see it's on TV. I'm not saying it's a perfect film--it's hilariously dated in some ways, and the Morlocks are about as terrifying as chubby blue guys with Sonny Bono haircuts and clam diggers can be--but it's just so fun and naive.

And Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux are pretty hot.

Watch it at 11:30am on TCM.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 16

"Videodrome," the ultimate in analog video horror!

If the remake does happen, I sure hope it includes some kind of DVD slot in someone's stomach, because if it doesn't, it will be an epic FAIL.

Watch the original at 11pm on TCM.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 15

I have a recurring nightmare involving an alien invasion. In my dreams I can always see the San Francisco skyline, and it is being attacked by weird UFOs, and a huge explosion is about to blow everything up for good when....I wake up.

So, alien invasion movies sometimes freak me out. Even something as dated and, at times, silly as the original "War of the Worlds," can give me the heebie jeebies. It's also why I don't hate the Spielberg remake that much; it manages to crib from my nightmares quite well...

The original is on TCM at 11:30am.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Promised Butt Stuff!

I think I've watched this moment from last week's episode of "Community" about 20 times, and it makes me guffaw every. Single. Time.

It probably needs some set-up: Volunteers for a social psychology experiment are continuously told that the experiment will happen in five minutes, not knowing that the experiment IS them waiting for the experiment to begin....

I want to leave every room with that crawl from now on.

Watch "Community"! It's really funny! Thursdays at 8 P.M on NBC!

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 14

"Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" was part of the mini movie trend of the 1960s that involved casting aging movie stars in horror movies, a trend I would love to see a resurgence of right now.

Of course, movie stars these days don't actually age...

10:30am on the Fox Movie Channel.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 13

I was never into the "Ghoulies" movies as a teenager, probably because I saw them as nothing more than a "Gremlins" rip-off, and I loved "Gremlins." When I finally did see the first "Ghoulies" movie when I was in my 20s, I realized I hadn't really been missing anything, as the movie was not nearly as clever as "Gremins," and as a result, not nearly as fun.

But some of the Ghoulies themselves are kind of...grossly cute

10:10pm on HBO Zone (whatever that is!).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 12

I'm writing this post in the wee hours of the morning, after a very hectic and festive weekend, so apologies for its brevity and last minute-ness.

The movie pick is "The Hunger." It's on at 4:00am on Logo. And it's not very good. Yeah, yeah, I know you saw it when you were a young goth, and you thought it was really rad, and the sex scene between Catherine Deneueve and Susan Sarandon was totally hot, but you're wrong. It's a bad movie.

The first 10 minutes of the movie kind of sum up all that is good and bad about it. The good: Bauhaus. The bad: almost everything else. Warning: the clip's a bit NSFW.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 11

"The Unholy Three," starring Lon Chaney in his last role, and his only talking film, is actually a remake of an earlier Chaney film by director Tod Browning. The "unholy three" of the title are circus performers who embark on a life of crime. One of the criminals is a midget (played by Harry Earles) who disguises himself as a baby. That whole concept just had to be a direct influence on this Bugs Bunny Cartoon called "Baby Buggy Bunny."

Unfortunately, I can't find any clips of the "baby" scenes from "The Unholy Three," but you can watch the whole movie at 10 P.M. on TCM.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 10

I'm not sure what Frankie Avalon is doing in this British "orgy of horror," but it doesn't look like it involves any surfing. "Horror House," AKA "The Haunted House of Horrors" is on at 12:45am on TCM.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 9

I re-watched "Motel Hell" a few years ago, and found it to be a lot more stomach-turning than I remembered it being when I saw it as a teenager. I mean, that shouldn't be a surprise; it's about a farmer who uses human meat in his smokehouse. But it was the way he preps his, uh, "livestock" that was so disturbing....

Rory Calhoun! Watch it at 9pm on IFC.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 8

"Do I just, uh....just cut them up like regular chickens?"

"Sure, just cut them up like regular chickens."

4:30am on the Sundance Channel.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 7

"Haxan" is a really interesting silent film from Sweden, made in 1922. It's about the history of witch hunts and includes some really freaky sequences. I am not sure which version of the movie is being aired--there seem to be several different versions with different musical soundtracks--but you can watch it at 6:15am and 1:35pm on IFC. Below is a clip from the film, without music.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 6

The remake of "The Wicker Man" is on F/X at 9:30am, and I am in no way recommending you watch it. I am just using that listing as an excuse to repost one of my favorite YouTube clips of all time.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 5

The spooky movie choices today are slim, but there is a marathon "A Haunting" on the Discovery channel starting at 11am.

There are so many paranormal reality shows on TV right now, I almost feel like they should just go ahead and create an entire channel devoted to ghosts and call it Discovery BOOO! or something.

And speaking of those "real life" ghost stories, I have to say I am looking forward to seeing the movie "Paranormal Activity." Few movies have scared me as much as "The Blair Witch Project" did, and I am hoping this one will be the rare "Blair Witch"-esque movie that gets it right.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 4

"Bloodlust," a cheap-o version of "The Most Dangerous Game," stars Robert Reed--Mr. Brady!--and that should be reason enough to watch. The fact that the evil doctor in the movie hunts humans and keeps them in glass tanks is just a bonus. The movie is starting RIGHT NOW on KOFY TV-20's "Creepy KOFY Movie Time," but you can watch the entire movie right here!

It was also featured on an episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," and you can see part one of that episode below.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 3

"Flesh and the Fiends" AKA "Mania" is not a Hammer movie, but it does resemble one, especially since it stars Peter Cushing. He's a doctor who experiments on dead bodies that are provided to him by grave robbers. Donald Pleasance plays one of the grave robbers. I can't find a trailer for the movie online, but it does appear to be on YouTube in its entirely, albeit broken up into several parts. You can watch part one below.

It's on at 3:30 AM on AMC, but I'd almost prefer it be watched on YouTube, because at least that version is letterboxed. AMC's, no doubt, won't be...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 2

My go-to source for all weird movies, "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film," has no entry for tonight's maniacal movie, "Awakening of the Beast." Adventures around the Internet have only confused me, but from what I've read, this movie is fucking nuts. It's from Brazil, and is the third in a series of films featuring the character "Coffin Joe," who is played by the film's director, José Mojica Marins. This one involves a talk show and LSD. Take a look below, and watch the whole thing on IFC at 10:45pm.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 1

OMG OMG OMG! It's October already. I can hardly believe it. And I can hardly believe I decided to do, once again, a Halloween countdown. (You can find a list of other blogs doing similar countdowns here.) That means I will be posting EVERY DAY in October with some sort of Halloween-related TV recommendation. Of course, this is dependent on something actually being on TV any given day, so some recommendations will be better than others, and some things will no doubt be repeats from years past. (There are just some movies and specials that should be watched every year.) It's a scary proposition, but it's also kind of exciting....

So let's get started!

Well, like I said, this is dependent on what's on TV any given day, and today's pickings are rather slim. Which is why "From Hell" is being included in this countdown. Now, it wasn't a terrible movie; it was just a big disappointment since it's based on such an amazing comic book. But as far as Johnny Depp movies set in 19th century England are concerned, I liked it more than "Sweeney Todd." It's on at 5pm and 11:30pm on IFC.