Sunday, October 31, 2010

September Round-Up - 2010

Halloween and October are coming to an end. So let's go back in time to September, before having to face the impending crush of the holidays was causing panic attacks.

Movies Seen: Twelve, with none in a theater. Most of them were pretty bad. ("The Book of Eli," "Repo Men," and "Clash of the Titans" being some of the worst.) The best was "Me and Orson Wells," a great little movie from director Richard Linklater. The performance by Christian McKay as Orson Welles is amazing, and Zac Efron is surprisingly good. See it!

Books Read: Three. "Imperial Bedrooms" by Bret Easton Ellis, which is a sequel to "Less Than Zero." It's about as bad as "Less Than Zero" was; maybe even a little worse. I guess I just don't go for nihilism and misogyny.

"The Passage" by Justin Cronin was a much better read, and despite its being an end-of-the-world book (well, post-apocalyptic) it was much less depressing than "Bedrooms." If you've got vampire fatigue, don't let the fact that this is about vampires turn you off of it. It's a gripping, epic read, and I can't wait until parts two and three.

Finally, the last book was "The Unnamed" by Joshua Ferris, the story of a guy with an unknown affliction that causes him to, at totally random moments, start to compulsively walk, for miles, and hours, until his body just gives out on him, and he passes out. This can prove very problematic during the winter, not to mention the issues of work and family. But despite the inventive and original plot, I was ultimately kind of bored by it, and kept wondering why the guy and his family didn't just move to a state with mild weather, so as to avoid the risk of frostbite and hypothermia....

Fancy Dinners Out: None!

Live Shows Seen: None!

Shoes Bought: Two pair, these bejeweled ballet flats, and these rubber wellies, both from Target.

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 31

It's Halloween!!! Put on those masks and watch this!

Has your skull dissolved into a puddle of bugs and snakes? Excellent! You didn't want to go out trick or treating tonight anyway, right? Now you have the perfect excuse to stay home and watch TV...Although, not having a head might make that a little hard.


Well, for those of you out there who do still have heads, and are looking to spend this Halloween in front of the TV, your choices are plentiful!

One of the best horror movies I've seen in recent years was last year's "House of the Devil," an indie homage to the horror movies of the 1980s. What makes it good, though, is it doesn't get all satirical or tongue in cheek about it. It plays it straight, and as a result really feels like something you might have watched on VHS back in the day. Some have complained that it's all build-up and no pay-off, but for me, the build-up is so good, by the time it ended, I was just happy having gone on the ride. So, set those timers, because it's on in just a few hours at 4 A.M. on MTV!

Per usual, Turner Classic Movies is going all out, all day. You can see the entire schedule here, but the night is capped with three haunted house flicks, starting at 5 P.M. with the original "House on Haunted Hill."

The absolutely brilliant "The Haunting" follows at 6:30 P.M., and "Poltergeist" caps the night at 8:30 P.M.

Finally, there's the premiere of the new series "The Walking Dead" at 10 P.M. on AMC. I think the zombie thing is almost as played out as vampires (where's the resurgence of "Frankenstein"-inspired movies already??), but the series does play into my love of post-apocalyptic stories, and is being headed by directed Frank Darabont, who at least has some talent for literary horror adaptations. I'll be watching, but for how long, who knows...

And with that, this year's Maniacal Movie Countdown comes to a close. I want to thank all those who have stopped by (and I know you have, even if you've been pretty quiet about it!) and hope I gave you some laughs, and some chills, this past month. I also want to encourage everyone to go back and check out some of the other blogs that have taken part in the Countdown to Halloween. You can see the entire list here.

I hope you all have a great Halloween, in front of the TV, or out trick-or-treating, or sitting alone in the dark in your costume. I can't wait for next year!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 30

It's the night before Halloween, and once again I turn to Elvira to provide Saturday's countdown pick. Tonight's episode features the 1947 Bela Lugosi picture "Scared to Death," the only color film Lugosi ever made. It's also only about an hour long, which will either mean more bits from Elvira to fill out the show's two hour running time, or more commercials. Here's hoping for the former...1 A.M. on KOFY TV 20, cable channel thirteen.

Cat Scare

Please be patient while your clip gets past all the bullshit and actually plays. It's worth it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 29

I know "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is the perfect Halloween special because, duh, it's about Halloween. But it's also the perfect Halloween special because it centers on the creepy delusions of someone who is obviously INSANE. Charlie Brown, what are you doing letting your little sister Sally hang out with that lunatic? 8 P.M. on ABC.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 28

"The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane" has been a favorite since I first saw it as youngster. It's a really, really odd little thriller, about a very independent young woman (Jodie Foster) who may or may not have a deep dark secret. Martin Sheen plays the town pedophile (really). Scott Jacoby, who, aside from an appearance in a TV version of "Anne Frank," never did much of note after this, is particularly good as Foster's love interest. Don't expect big scares, but it's an effective movie that sticks with you. 9:15 P.M. on TCM.

(Note: For the record, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is on tonight at 8 P.M. on ABC, but it's being repeated tomorrow, so you'll see my post about it then.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 26

"Slaughter of the Vampires," AKA "Curse of the Blood Ghouls," is a 1962 black-and-white vampire movie from Italy, and because it involves Italians, it is ever so slightly more sexy than your average vampire movie knock-off. But maybe that's just me. Watch it very soon, at 4:45 A.M. on AMC!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 25

I usually like to include the 1978 "Halloween" at some point in this countdown, but it's rare that a channel will be showing the original, widescreen, and uncut version. This year is no different. Alas. So, instead, how about the documentary "The Inside Story: Halloween," premiering tonight at 6 P.M. and 10 P.M. on the Bio Channel. It's a long program (about 90 minutes once you take out the commercials), so there's bound to be something new to even the movie's biggest fans...

And here's the movie's original trailer, just 'cause.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 24

The vampire in the silent classic "Nosferatu" is definitely not the pretty and sparkly variety loved by the tweens today. In fact, Max Schreck's vamp is probably the creepiest to ever hit the screen, at least until Klaus Kinski revived the role in the Werner Herzog remake. (And really, Max's version is still creepier.) Watch the 1922 film at 9 P.M. on TCM.

I'm not sure which musical version of the movie TCM is playing, but here's a clip from a version I saw at the Castro Theater years ago, with the Club Foot Ochestra. It's not to everyone's taste, but I thought it was pretty great...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 23

On tonight's episode of "Elvira's Movie Macabre," the horror hostess with the mostest screens "The Satanic Rites of Dracula," Hammer's sequel to "Dracula A.D. 1972." Christopher Lee plays Drac for the last time in a Hammer film, and attempts to take over the entire world, starting with modern-day London. (Well, modern at the time. The fashions look about as quaint now as those of the previous period-set films.) Watch it at 1 A.M. on KOFY TV 20 cable channel 13.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 22

"The Boogens" sounds more like something you'd try to clandestinely wipe under a table, but it is, in fact, a 1981 horror movie about monsters in a Utah mine shaft. Boogens boogens! Watch it at 11:30 P.M. on TCM.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 21

The original, 1973 version of "The Wicker Man" is on TCM at 9pm tonight. I hear it's better than the remake, but as I've never actually seen either all the way through, I can't say for sure. So let's compare some scenes from the remake (AKA, one of the best YouTube videos of all time) with the trailer for the original, and come to some kind of conclusion, shall we?



My conclusion? They both look ridiculous.

And take your stupid mask.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 20

This is another one comin' at you early, since the movie is on early this morning...

If the only version of "The Vanishing" you've seen is the American version, you should do yourself a favor and watch the original French/Dutch version. If you haven't seen either the version, then you're in luck! You now have the change to watch the superior version, and not have the experience ruined by knowing how it ends....

You don't know the ending, right? Good. Watch it at 7:35am on IFC. (It's also repeated on the 26th at 5:05am and 10:10am.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 19

The 1973 movie "Terror On the Beach" is not a grim entry into the Beach Blanket franchise. Instead, it is a made-for-TV horror movie about a family vacation gone bad, thanks to dune buggy riding, Manson family wannabes. Dennis Weaver and Estelle Parsons are the parents, and Susan Dey is the teenage daughter. 4:30pm on the Fox Movie Channel.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 18

Roger Corman's fourth film is a post-apocalyptic tale of survival, slutty women, and man-eating mutants. Watch "The Day the World Ended" late, late, late tonight (AKA tomorrow morning) at 4:15am on AMC.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 17

This trailer for "Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers" proves that trailers that give away most of the major plot points of a movie are not a new thing. So, I present it to you with the requisite "spoiler alert!"

And if the trailer doesn't completely satisfy your curiosity about this 1956 sci-fi classic, you can watch the whole thing at 9:30am on TCM.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 16

"Suspiria" is one of the freakiest, creepiest, grooviest, most ridiculous, and most beautiful horror movies ever made. You simply must see it! 7pm on the Fox Movie Channel.

For your viewing pleasure, two trailers. An American version and an international version. Both will probably leave you feeling very perplexed indeed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 15

Turner Classic Movies continues it's Friday night tribute to Hammer Studios tonight with a marathon of their "Mummy" movies. You can check the schedule online, but the best of the movies remains the original "The Mummy," which you can watch at 5:00pm.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Use In Case of An Emergency

Probably no way to find out who originally posted this comment, but feel free to use it the next time you are dealing with idiots and trolls. Or Bill O'Reilly.

Look at your comment. Back to mine. Back to yours, NOW BACK TO MINE. Sadly, it isn't mine. But if you stopped trolling and started posting legitimate crap it could LOOK like mine. Look down, back up, where are you? You're scrolling through comments, finding the ones that your comment could look like. Back at mine, what is it? It's a highly effective counter-troll. Look again, MY COMMENT IS NOW DIAMONDS.

Anything is possible when you think before you comment or post.

I'm on a computer.

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 14

Alfred Hitchcock's only foray into 3D filmmaking will not be viewable in 3D on your TV. But sit real close to the set, and it might feel like Grace Kelly's hand is about to hit you in the face as she's getting strangled! Watch "Dial M For Murder" at 3pm on TCM.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 13

Putting this up at midnight because the movie is on in just over four hours. Night owls, this one's for you!

"War of the Colossal Beast" is the sequel to "The Amazing Colossal Man," that classic 1950's tale of a giant man in a giant diaper being chased by giant syringes and tiny trucks. He's back and as big as ever in this one, though he's looking a little worse for wear, what with the facial scarring and the missing (giant) eyeball and all...Watch it at 4:30am on AMC. (And again at 2am on the 23rd!)

Here's a trailer...

And the beginning of MST3K's take on the movie...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 12

Tonight brings you the second Coffin Joe movie, and the sequel to yesterday's pick, "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul." "This Night I'll Possess Your Corpse" finds Coffin Joe once again on the prowl for his perfect bride. Torture and trials commence. 10:30pm on IFC.

Couldn't find a trailer for this one, so here's the movie's opening. (And for the record, part three of the trilogy, "Awakening of the Beast," can be seen Wednesday night at 10:35pm, also on IFC.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 11

The 1963 Brazilian movie "At Midnight I'll Take Your Soul" is famous for (supposedly) being Brazil's first horror movie, as well as the first appearance of the Coffin Joe character created by director Jose Mojica Marins. Watch it at 10:35pm IFC.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 10

OMG! It's 10-10-10!!! That's a full-on double rainbow! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Such a day deserves an AWESOME movie, right? Alas, all I can give you is "The Lost Boys" at 1 P.M. on VH1.

I saw "The Lost Boys" at a sneak preview screening at the Coronet Theater in San Francisco in 1987. They gave out posters and I hung one over my bed for a few years, Jason Patric looking down on me as I slept, until I came to realize the movie was actually really, really silly, and down it came. But I can thank (or blame) the flick for a brief period of total infatuation with Jim Morrison and the Doors, and, looking back, I suppose the movie isn't that bad...

OK. I just remembered the ending. Yeah, it's pretty bad.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 9

It's Saturday, and that means: Elvira night! On tonight's show, she will be featuring "The Giant Gila Monster," an absolutely classic bad 1950's horror movie featuring hot rods, rock and roll, and "giant" monsters. Watch the show at 1 A.M. on KOFY TV 20, cable channel 13!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 8

As I've grown older, I've found I'm more and more disturbed by some of the slasher movies of my youth. Not that I was watching things like "Don't Answer the Phone" when I was kid (although, some came close). It just seems a little harder to separate the blatant misogyny from the thrills in some of them. I don't know if that's the case with this one, since I've never actually seen it, but the trailer sure is sleazy....

Aside from that, I like that it is another in a line of "Don't" horror movies that seemed to come out after the release of Nicholas Roeg's "Don't Look Now." Others include "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," (soon to be remade by Guillermo Del Toro); "Don't Look in the Basement;" "Don't Open the Door;" "Don't Go in the House;" "Don't Go in the Woods;" and "Don't Go to Sleep." And of course, all were spoofed in the "Don't" "Grindhouse" trailer. Someone has GOT to have a "Don't" film festival sometime!....Or, don't.

Watch this one tonight at 12:45am on IFC.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 7

I re-watched both "Alien" and "Aliens" earlier this year, and while I've seen them both many, many times, this was the first time I had watched them both back-to-back. Doing so made me realize they are, in many ways, the same movie; there are so many moments in the first movie that are repeated in the second. "Aliens" is really just a bigger, louder version of "Alien." Which, don't get me wrong, is fine; they're both great. But I think "Aliens" benefited greatly by being released seven years after the first one...

Technically, you can try my experiment at home by watching the original "Alien" tonight at 7pm on TCM, and "Aliens" tomorrow at 8pm on AMC. But I just can't recommend watching any movie on AMC since they continue to air pan-and-scan versions of their films, edited, and full of commercials. So, "Alien" it is....

(P.S. That is a friggin awesome trailer.)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 6

After watching the trailer for the 1980 flick "The Hearse," you might be under the impression that it's a comedy. Joke's on you! It's totally, totally serious. Watch it at 11:15pm on IFC.

Someone get the Rifftrax or Cinematic Titanic folks on this one, stat!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 5

The 1931 "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" starring Fredric March is not my favorite "Jekyll and Hyde" movie, (that would be the one starring Spencer Tracy), but it's still a pretty good one, nonetheless. You can watch it at 5:00pm on TCM.

I'll have what he...on second thought, no, I don't want what he's having. At least, not without a chaser.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 4

I know almost nothing about the movie "Dark Mirror," which you can watch at 1:45pm on IFC, aside from the fact that it is not the movie "Mirrors," starring Kiefer Sutherland. And that mirrors are probably involved in both.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 3

A few years ago, and by a few, I mean almost 10, I rented the 1980 film "The Changeling" from Netflix because I had been told the movie was super scary, and I had, surprisingly, never seen it. I watched it, and wasn't all that scared by it, although there were a few creepy moments involving a wheel chair and a bouncing ball. No, the really scary part was how I dropped the DVD in a mailbox around midnight the night I watched it, and Netflix got it back that morning!

Did I drop it into a haunted mailbox?? Did a ghost mailman return it for me? Was the very disc, itself, possessed? I MAY NEVER KNOW.

Watch "The Changeling" at 5:15am on the Independent Film Channel.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 2

Last week, I was pleased as punch to watch the return of "Elvira's Movie Macabre" on late night TV. Here in San Francisco, you can watch the show at 1am, late Saturday nights, on KOFY TV 20, cable channel 13. To find out where to watch in your neck of the woods, check the station list here.

Here's a video of the show's opening, which features a theme song produced by Jack White of the White Stripes.

Tonight's movie is the hilariously awful Roger Corman flick "The Terror," starring Boris Karloff, and Jack Nicholson, who plays a French Napoleonic soldier. For reals.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 1

And, so it begins! Welcome to day one of the Maniacal Movie Countdown. For every day this month, I will be recommending something spooky you can watch on TV. Most of the time it will be a movie, but I'll also include some Halloween specials, or TV shows when appropriate, complete with glorious YouTube clips, when available. All showtimes are going to be PST, and some recommendations may be on strictly local channels. But I hope the posts are worth a daily visit in and of themselves. And, be sure to check out the numerous other blogs out there that will doing countdowns of their own. You can find a complete list at the Countdown to Halloween site.

I love October for many reasons, Halloween's only one of them. I love that in San Francisco, the weather is usually its nicest (if at times, even TOO hot); I love that the Blue Angels terrorize the city during Fleet Week; I love that it means Christmas is THAT MUCH closer. And I love all the spooky Halloween offerings the month brings...

Today, we start off big, with a Hammer Studios "Dracula" marathon on Turner Classic Movies!

Start with the first of the Hammer Dracula movies, "Horror of Dracula," featuring the great Christopher Lee as the Count, at 5pm TCM.

The sequel, "Brides of Dracula" doesn't actually feature Christopher Lee, which is probably why it's not that memorable. Or maybe I just don't like blond vampires. It's on at 6:30pm.

"Dracula, Prince of Darkness" brings the return of Christopher Lee, in which he is resurrected, wreaks havoc, and speaks not a word. 8pm.

And lastly, we have "Dracula Has Risen From the Grave" which features Christopher Lee once again, this time actually speaking. 9:45pm.