Monday, October 31, 2011

September Round-Up - 2011

Nearing the end of September, I realized it would be the first month since April that I didn't spend at least a few days out of town. And that would just not do. So a friend and I decided to take an overnight trip to the Madonna Inn, with a stop at Hearst Castle. I hadn't been to either since about 2004, and there were changes to both: At Hearst Castle, you can now wander around the grounds all you want after an indoor tour, which means if you want to hang out on a lounge chair by the pool for hours, you can. (Can't go into the pool, of course, but still...) And a pool was also a relatively new addition to the Madonna Inn. And a really, really nice pool, at that, complete with a fake rock waterfall and two hot tubs. The fact that the place has existed for years without it is kind of amazing since it is now, to me, the main reason to even go there. (Along with the pink steakhouse, of course.)

But oh my goodness, it is Halloween night, and it's almost coming to an end, so I should probably get this round-up over with!

Movies Seen: Eight, with five in a theater. Click through to read my reviews of "Contagion," "Moneyball," "I Don't Know How She Does It," and "Killer Elite."

None of the DVDs I watched was memorable in any way, good or bad.

Books Read: Six. Click through to read my brief thoughts, where applicable: "Love Sick" by Sue William Silverman. "A Paper Life" by Tatum O'Neal. "Walks With Men" by Anne Beattie. "Found: A Daughter's Journey Home" by Tatum O'Neal. "The Walking Dead – Vol. 8" by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore. "Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shtyeyngart.

Fancy Dinners Out: Five! Living large! I finally went to the House of Prime Rib, after many, many years. In fact, I think I was a kid the last time I went. I love it, especially how the meat is wheeled around the room in a silver zeppelin, but have to say, I was a little disappointed with my prime rib! I ordered it medium rare, which is how I always order it, and it's done me well in the past, but this time, it was just too well done. Not pink and slightly bloody as it should be, but pretty much cooked through. The sides were good, including the awesome salad that they spin tableside, so that almost made up for it. Almost.

Ironically, I had the same problem at the Gold Rush Steakhouse at the Madonna Inn, once again with prime rib. (Michele ordered a New York steak, medium rare, and it arrived perfectly cooked, so I'm not sure what the issue is! Other places I've ordered prime rib medium rare has always been fine, so, I guess I was just cursed this month.)

Meat was also on the menu at Absinthe, where I had the burger. This was perfectly cooked, and perfectly delicious.

I also had dinner at Jaspers Corner Tap, which isn't particularly fancy, but is relatively new, so on the list it goes. Stuck to smaller bites, with some mac and cheese, deviled eggs, sausage bites, and a chopped salad. Deviled eggs won the evening.

Finally, had one of the best Caesar salads I've ever had at Nizza La Bella in Albany, along with some very good French onion soup.

Live Shows Seen: None, unless you count the swing dancers that were performing at the Madonna Inn the night we had dinner.

Shoes Bought: One pair, these vintage "lizagator" pumps, found for under 20 bucks on eBay.

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 31

Happy Halloweeeeeen!

I can't believe an entire month has already gone by! It sure has been fun being a part of the Countdown to Halloween, and I thank all those who have stopped by. Be sure to knock on the doors of the other sites taking part in the Countdown, as they have plenty of treats to offer you today!

There's no lack of the scary on TV today and tonight, I hardly know where to begin. Of course, TCM continues to be the one-stop-shop for the spooky, so be sure to check out their entire line-up here; lots of monsters, vampires, ghouls, and ghosts!

My top pick would have to be "Night of the Living Dead" at 6:30 P.M. It's been a Halloween staple since the early 80's, when MTV used to show it on Halloween night every year. It's kind of become a Halloween version of "It's a Wonderful Life" in that way...

Another perennial favorite is "The House of the Devil," which I first watched on Halloween night in 2009. It's on in the wee hours of the morning (very soon, in fact!) at 4 A.M. on MTV. (I guess it's replaced "Night of the Living Dead" on that network!) The film's opening credits are what really sold me on it the first time I watched it; SO much like a 1980's horror flick, it's uncanny.

Finally, there's one of the most ridiculous horror movies ever made, "Blacula," which you can watch on TVONE (whatever that is!) at 9 A.M. (The sequel, "Scream Blacula Scream" is on much later at midnight, on the same channel.)

However you spend this Halloween, I hope it is filled with frights, fun, and lots and lots of treats.

Here's to next year!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 30

Once again, all you need to do today is turn it to Turner Classic Movies when you wake up, and leave it on that channel for the rest of the day. You can view the schedule here. They'll be re-running most of the movies that have been a part of their horror-filled Mondays, with some added classics thrown in, such as "Them!" at 4 P.M...

...and "Forbidden Planet" at 6 P.M. (And for the record, "Forbidden Planet" is a movie I will always associate with Halloween merely because it makes a cameo appearance in the movie "Halloween."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 29

Oh boy. We're nearing the home stretch, aren't we? Since Halloween falls on a Monday, I imagine the majority of this year's tricking will happen tonight, with a few treats thrown in here and there... the 1964 movie "It's Alive!" No, not the one about a monster baby. This one is about a crazed farmer who kidnaps tourists in order to feed them to his pet dinosaur. REALLY. He also terrorizes them with whistles and rats served for dinner.

Seriously, this movie is the best. It's on the MGM Movie channel at 10:55 A.M, a channel I didn't even know I had until recently. But! If YOU don't have it, no worries. You can watch the entire movie right here!

[Edited to add: Whoops! Look like a made a mistake! This is actually on Sunday morning. Doesn't change your ability to watch it above though!]

Friday, October 28, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 28

"How To Make a Monster" is superfun for any fan of 1950s horror movies, particularly the "I Was a Teenage [fill in the blank]" ones. When a movie studio vows to stop making horror movies, their resident special effects make-up guy gets his revenge, via monster make-up of course!

In black and white and color! Watch it at 4:45 A.M. on AMC.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 27

Finally! "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is on at 8 P.M. on ABC. I have been waiting in the pumpkin patch for the past week, hoping for its arrival, and at last, it is here.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone dressed up as Charlie Brown's holey ghost for Halloween; seems kind of obvious, and yet, nope. Guess this year's costume dilemma is solved! Although, I'll need to be prepared to carry a bag full of rocks by evening's end.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 26

"The Bad Seed" is on TCM at 2:45 P.M., and it's the mother of all evil children movies. Alas, my favorite scene isn't embeddable, (it involves a calm discussion of shoes), but you can watch part of it here.

The trailer is surprisingly lame. There are so many great moments in the movie, and very few of them are actually featured in the trailer!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 25

Technically, this one's on tomorrow, but it's in the wee hours of the morning, so if you just stay up really late, it'll be like you watched it today. Got it? Good.

Anyway, it's "Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster," and according to "The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film": "Don't miss. It's the worst."


Monday, October 24, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 24

Just turn the channel to TCM at 7 P.M., and leave it there for the rest of the night, as their Monday's-are-a-horror marathon continues. This week, it's films from the 1960s, starting with the AWESOME "Carnival of Souls."

The equally low-budget and weird "Dementia 13," Francis Ford Coppola's first non-nudie directing effort, follows at 7:30 P.M.

Joan Crawford and her terrifying charm bracelet star in "Strait-Jacket," at 9 P.M.

Then we get some Poe horror, starting with Roger Corman's "The Pit and the Pendulum" at 10:45 P.M.

It's followed by "The Masque of the Red Death" at 12:15 A.M.

Finally, to end the horrifying evening, we have "The Devil's Bride", (AKA "The Devil Rides Out"), starring Christopher Lee, at 2 A.M.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 23

I don't know what channel 32 is, but it doesn't seem to be a channel that would normally show a horror movie from the 1970s, so take this pick with a grain of salt. SUPPOSEDLY, at 8 P.M., they will be airing "Horror Express," a 1972 Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing vehicle about an alien entity let loose on a Tran-Siberian train in 1906.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 22

"Cry of the Werewolf," from 1944, is the first full-length movie to feature a female werewolf. And man, is she a bitch! Watch it at 10 P.M. on TCM.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 21

"The Gamma People" is a Cold War science fiction flick about an Eastern European dictatorship attempting to create a generation of geniuses via gamma rays. Problem is, not all of the kids turn out to be geniuses. 11 P.M. on TCM.

It's followed by "The Wild, Wild Planet" at 12:30 A.M., a "space horror" movie about...well, I'm not really sure what it's about, but the trailer is pretty great.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 20

"The Brain Eaters" are here, "twisting the emotions of women" and "distorting our men!" Sure, those brain eaters may look like harmless tribbles with antennae, but don't be fooled! They're INUNDATING OUR WORLD!

Speaking of tribbles, Leonard Nimoy is in this, though I bet you won't recognize him. Watch it at 4:45 A.M. on AMC

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 19

I always get the movie "Blood of Dracula" confused with a Hammer Dracula movie, or Andy Warhol's "Blood FOR Dracula." (IMDb seems to have the same problem, since right now their entry for the movie has the wrong poster up.)

But then I remember that this movie is basically "I Was a Teenage Vampire," and it all becomes clear. Watch it on AMC at 9 A.M., or on the 23rd at 6 A.M.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 18

This post comes early because today's pick is on early. At 2 A.M. on TCM, to be exact. It's Roger Corman's "A Bucket of Blood" and it's one of his best, starring Dick Miller in his first Walter Paisley role, as a pathetic waiter in a beatnik coffee house who desperately wants to be an artist, but due to a complete lack of talent, can't pull it off. Until he accidentally kills something, that is...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 17

Tonight's TCM horror movie offerings are from 1958 and 1959.

At 5:00 P.M. it's the first Hammer Dracula movie, "Horror of Dracula." And this Drac ain't a glittery emo kid.

Then we have two William Castle movies. First up is "House on Haunted Hill" at 6:30 P.M. Castle's gimmick with this one was "Emergo," AKA a plastic skeleton that floated above the theater. "More startling than 3D!"

Finally there's "The Tingler" at 8 P.M. Set your cell phone on vibrate, stick it under a seat cushion, sit down, and have someone call you at the appropriate times to replicate the "Percepto!" gimmick that accompanied the flick's original release...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 16

Never heard of the 2006 serial killer movie "Horsemen," starring Dennis Quaid as a detective who might be dealing with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

Yeah. I never had either. It's on at 4:15 P.M. on IFC.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 15

Peter Lorre stars in the haunted hand movie "The Beast With Five Fingers" at 6:30 A.M. on TMC. Oliver Stone remade it as "The Hand" in 1981, starring Michael Caine, but this version is better, not the least of which because Luis Bunuel helped direct some of the creepy hand sequences...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 14

"Science fiction becomes science fact" in "Kingdom of the Spiders," starring William Shatner. Yes. William Shatner and thousands of tarantulas. Now THAT'S entertainment! Watch it at 1 P.M. on IFC.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 13

"The Village" is on AMC at 1 P.M. It's a bad, bad movie, and I am only including it because the first post I ever wrote on this here blog was back in 2004, and it was about "The Village," and I'm feeling nostalgic. Read it here.

Poor M. Night Shyamalan. Actually, no. He has no one to blame but himself. So, instead of anything from "The Village," here is a scary trailer for Shayamalan's next movie:

And one of the only funny things "Tosh.0" has ever done:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 12

"Borderland," which came out in 2007, looks to be a horror movie in the torture porn/foreign-countries-are-scary vein, with Mexico being the scary country in question. Frankly, it doesn't look that great, but pickings today are rather slim. It's on IFC at 5:45 P.M.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 11

I was happy to see that when IFC aired "The Shining" on Sunday, they did not cut out the naughty bits, as it were. They still air commercials, which is a bummer, but hopefully you've got a DVR, or Betamax, and can just record and skip that nonsense.

Because tonight's movie is something that, were it to be censored, would just be silly. It's David Cronenberg's "Shivers," (or, as it was known in the U.S., "They Came From Within"), and it's basically a horror movie about sex and a killer venereal disease. So. Yeah. With the naughty bits cut out, it would just be a bad 70's movie set in an ugly Canadian highrise. Watch it at 10:30 P.M. on IFC.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 10

Another Monday, another night of horror movies on TCM. Tonight's focus is on horror films of the 1940s, beginning with 1941's "The Wolf Man" at 5:00pm. Poor, poor Larry Talbot...

The 1944 thriller "The Uninvited," starring Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey, follows at 6:15 P.M. I do not like the voice of the Uninvited!

The great anthology horror movie "Dead of Night" is on at 8 P.M.; scary ventriloquist puppet alert! (Can't find the trailer, so here's the first 10 minutes instead.)

"I Walked With a Zombie" is always a must-see. Watch it at 10 P.M. "All the weird black magic that the white man seldom sees!"

Finally, we have "Cat People" at 11:15 P.M., and the odd but wonderful sequel, "The Curse of the Cat People," at 12:45 A.M.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 9

I'm a little apprehensive about including "The Shining" here, which you can watch at 5 P.M. and 11 P.M. on IFC, only because IFC now has commercials and often edits for content, and watching that scene in the bathroom, where Jack makes out with the naked woman, is just silly when edited, since her naughty bits tend to be covered by some well-placed bathroom steam.

But, I will list it, because it gives me an excuse to include this making of documentary, (which, yes, is available on the DVD), that was filmed by Kubrick's daughter Vivian.

You can also see the whole thing with Vivian's commentary here.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 8

Today's pick, "House of Wax," is on super early this morning at 6:30 A.M. on TCM.

Of course, you won't be able to watch this in its original 3D, which will make some of the scenes seem kind of silly. But personally, I'm of the opinion that every movie that's presented in 3D should, by law, include a scene involving a paddle ball.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 7

"She Freak" is basically a sleazy remake of Tod Browning's "Freaks," from the producer of "Blood Feast" and "Two Thousand Maniacs."

Which is to say, it looks pretty awesome. It's on at 11 P.M. on TCM.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 6

"George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead" is probably my least favorite of Romero's zombie pictures, mainly because while it's supposed to be a comment on the use of personal video, YouTube, and the Internet, it just feels like it was made by someone who doesn't really understand how most of that works. But still, it's a must see for any Romero, zombie, and POV horror movie completest. It's on IFC at 6:30 P.M. and 9:30 P.M.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 5

Director John Carpenter is a guest programmer on TCM tonight, introducing and talking about some of his favorite films. You can read more about it here. Of course, three of his four picks are scary flicks, and they include "The Thing From Another World," (natch), at 5 P.M.:

"It! The Terror From Beyond Space" at 6:45 P.M:

And "The Curse of Frankenstein" at 8 P.M. (But instead of the trailer for that, I'm including a favorite clip from the original "Lolita," in which Humbert, Lolita, and Mrs. Haze watch said movie at the drive-in...)

"The Curse of Frankenstein" in "Lolita"

FILMSERTS | Myspace Video

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 4

From what I can gather, the 2002 movie "Darkness," starring Anna Paquin, is pretty forgettable, but horrific pickings are kind of slim today, so it will have to do. That said, there are a few moments in the trailer that look kind of spooky. And Lena Olin is in it, and she can be great. How come she's not in more movies?

Watch it at 12:45 P.M. on IFC.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 3

No Halloween month would be complete without at least one viewing of the original "Frankenstein," now would it? It's on TCM at 6 P.M. (And you should just leave it on TCM for the rest of the night, as there are many other Tod Browning goodies being shown afterwards, including "Freaks" at 7:15 P.M., and "Mark of the Vampire" at 11:15 P.M.)

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 2

I imagine if I were a dude, the horror movie "Teeth" might be a little tough to sit through since it is, after all, about vagina dentata.

But I'm a girl, and thus found it kind of awesome and hilarious. Watch it on IFC at 7:30pm.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Musty TV's Maniacal Movie Countdown - Day 1

David Fincher's "Zodiac" is a movie I didn't totally take to at first, but it has turned into something I watch almost every year (around the Fourth of July, to be exact). It's not really a scary movie, per se, and is really more about journalism than it is about the serial killer, but the fact that it has Mark Ruffalo, and some terrific San Francisco-in-the-70's scenes, and a terrific soundtrack, means it's one of those movies that just kind of...comforts me.

Yes. A movie about a serial killer who was never caught brings me comfort. And that is why October is one of my favorite months.

Watch it tonight at 11 P.M. on IFC, (and hopefully in widescreen).

The trailer's below. I can't embed one of the best moments from the film's opening, (the use of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" is weirdly brilliant), but you can watch it here.