Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sometimes it feels like I'm looking through a pane of glass
I can see your mouth move but can't hear the words.
She slid down to the city limits Monkey time in fifteen minutes Bite your lip, get up, get up and dance Don't let me down Please stick around Bite your lip, get up, get up and dance

Friday, June 29, 2007

THE BIRTHDAY OF THE TITAN! Today marks the 87th birthday of stop motion master Ray Harryhausen! Many happy returns! To celebrate . . . Release the Kraken!!!! Or just visit Ray Harryhausen's official website today.

Ahh yes, Ray's flights of fancy include:

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)

Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)

20 Million Miles To Earth (1957)

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (1960)

Mysterious Island (1961)

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

First Men in the Moon (1964)

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974)

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Invisible Hands Ep. 05

THE INCOMPARABLE GOTHIC MIASMA OF RICHARD SALA. The always entertaining blog The Groovy Age of Horror is essential reading all the time. However, just recently it has featured one of my favourite comic creators: Richard Sala. I've been a huge fan of Sala for over 10 years now, give or take, and my first exposure to him came in the masterful graphic novel "The Chuckling Whatsit?" which The Groovy Age of Horror rightly describes as a "gothic noir fever dream". Of course, this sobriquet would apply to ALL of Richard Sala's work. His warped, nightmarish vision has also been seen on MTV's Liquid Television in "Invisible Hands"; one episode of which can be viewed on The Groovy Age of Horror blog and others can be seen on Youtube, Jack! It's really hard to describe the feeling one gets from reading a Richard Sala story; it's sort of like a creeping, unsettling miasma that I've encountered nowhere else. So bop on over to The Groovy Age of Horror and take a look (as well as Richard Sala's very own website) where there are tons of examples of his artwork, his animation and his many books. Something to look forward to in the VERY near future: Groovy Age is going to have an interview with the man himself. So look for it. And don't forget to run out and buy a whole passle of Richard Sala graphic novels. As always, both websites are clickable on my list of links over to the right; as well as in the text of this lil ole post right here. And many kudos to The Groovy Age of Horror for spotlighting this fantastically talented and evocative artist (and shame on me for not mentioning Richard Sala before now)!

Monday, June 25, 2007

WELL FOLKS, THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME CONTROVERSY over whether it's more fun to make fun of Pemberton or Browns Mills. Whaddayoo think? To make the decision a little more easy for you, I thought I'd post some "YOU MAY BE FROM BROWNS MILLS IF. . ." photos. Let's take a vote and see whether Pemberton or Browns Mills is funnier. Then, of course, I can just go back and change ALL of these photos to the winning (or is that LOSING) town. Please feel free to click on the pictures so you can see them better. So. . .
YOU MAY BE FROM BROWNS MILLS IF. . .You show up to your engagement photo in a shirt that says THIS!
YOU MAY BE FROM BROWNS MILLS IF. . .This is your wedding photo.
YOU MAY BE FROM BROWNS MILLS IF. . .Your wedding reception looks like THIS.
YOU MAY BE FROM BROWNS MILLS IF. . .Your wedding cake looks like THIS.
YOU MAY BE FROM BROWNS MILLS IF. . .Your wife is quoted in the newspaper as having said THIS.
And now, to be fair, we now have:
Geez, all this controversy and I don't live in either one of them there towns. And all this time I thought that it was MAPLE SHADE that was the only surviving alien colony on earth!!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Well. . .it's called the Pemberton Doorbell. Only a Finky in Pemberton would have a deer butt as a doorbell!

Monday, June 18, 2007

NEW FEATURE TO MY RAVENOUS BLOG: Over there to the right, underneath the "About Me" nonsense, is a new feature I've added called "Most Recently Watched Thingamabobs". This will be a continually updated listing of what folderol I've watched most recently. So, as if you could ever hope to have a glimpse into my particular mindset at the moment, this may approximate one. Here's how it works: it'll list the last 25 thangs I've viewed with the newest viewing appearing first at the top. So join me as I document the steady decline of an already deteriorated mind . . .

Friday, June 15, 2007

I'm posting this direct quote from Sara Karloff which appeared on the Creepy Classics website in the hopes that Ms. Karloff's personal property will be returned to her.
This from Sara Karloff (Boris' daughter): "My cherished guest book was stolen this morning and there is a chance that it may appear on e-bay for sale. It was started by my mother and father in 1937 and the first page says "Boris' 51st B'day" with a list of guests. The book has been in my family for 70 years and contains my grandchildrens drawings and drawings of friends and Frankenstein drawings by our friend Kevin Burns. The book is wooden about 14" wide and about 16" tall bound by leather straps. The paper is parchment and singed at the edges. The wood is a dark redwood color. It was stolen this morning in Palm Desert while awaiting UPS pickup. Unfortunately it's value is primarially sentimental or collectible and may well be tossed out by the thief, but there is a chance it may be offered for sale on e-bay or some other vehicle. Any suggestions or help from any source would be so appreciated. Gratefully, Sara Jane"
Obviously, if any of my faithful readers should have any information about this or happen to see this item for sale anywhere, please notify Sara Karloff by email on The Boris Karloff Home Page. Thanks.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks! You sulphurous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts, Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder, Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world! Crack nature’s moulds, all germens spill at once That make ingrateful man!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Art Carney Auditions Boris Karloff To Replace Dinah Shore

This treasure has to be seen to be believed!


Hey baby, I'm talking to you
Stop yourself and listen
Some things you can never choose
Even if you try, yeah
You're hangin your head again
Cause somebody won't let you in
One chance, one love
Your chance to let me know
We can't go on
Just running away
If we stay any longer
We will surely never get away
Anything you want...we can make it happen
Stand up and turn around
Never let them shoot us down
Never run away

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

YOUR PLASTIC PAL WHO'S FUN TO BE WITH!!! That's right, here are some of my favourite robots from Hollywood (Film & Television). So I've gathered a few of my robot friends together (in no particular order) for a glass of DW-40 and a bull session.
Crow T. Robot & Tom Servo -- Those two delightfully rude robots from the Satellite of Love (for those of you too ignorant to know that's from Mystery Science Theater 3000). They watch bad movies and wisecrack comments to the screen constantly; gee, they're sorta mechanical versions of me. It's perhaps very rude of me to fail to mention Gypsy and Cambot but. . .well. . .the didn't have a strong enough union to warrant a mention. But they're cool too, I guess.
The Robots of Death -- from the Doctor Who serial of the same name. A deep space mining station is manned by a group of effete, spoiled humans who cannot do anything for themselves because their every whim has been catered to by docile robots. But. These loyal and industrious servants suddenly become homicidal. Tom Baker's Doctor and Louise Jameson's savage Leela are the only ones on hand to solve the mystery of why these robots, programmed never to harm humans, are suddenly bumping them off. Personally, I'm kinda on the side of the robots; those simpering humans are annoying. Plus there's nothing like the sight of a robot with bloody hands!
R2D2 & C3PO -- OK, you can't really argue with the classics: the Laurel and Hardy of the robot community. Dithering protocol droid See-Threepio (remember that spelling?) and snarky little sparkplug Artoo Deetoo (Ditto) still manage to help the rebel alliance when they can.
Red Tornado -- been around since the 60's in comix but only just recently seen on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon (hence his appearance on this list). This nuts & bolts character has never been taken very seriously but I've always asserted (and still do) that he's very powerful so you shouldn't make fun. . .cuz with his powerful elemental tornado powers he CAN kick your ass!
Kryten -- Well, just limited so far to TV (at least until the Red Dwarf movie, long rumoured but never realized, becomes a fact). The perfect butler -- just watch out for that groinal appendage!
Bad Robot -- A slight cheat here but I love that mischievous little robot with the curly-Q on top of his head running through the field after every episode of "LOST". So, when does HE get his own show, guys??? Or at least a guest appearance as one of the Others. You just KNOW he'd make a better leader than Ben. Or Jack for that matter.
The Phantom Creeps robot -- This Bela Lugosi serial features one of the wackiest robots in screen history. So wacky, in fact, that you can ALSO find him on the back of a Rob Zombie album or two. What a sight! That over-sized scowling head wobbling on top of the robot body. Who says Bela was batty?!?
Mekagojira -- So here we have the robot version of Japan's favourite Tokyo Stomper: Mechagodzilla! Granted, he's not as charismatic at the original big fella but he makes a nice change now and then. At least he's MUCH better than that ridiculous Son of Godzilla.
Robby the Robot -- Never thought you'd see a robot participating in a version of William Shakespeare's "The Tempest"? Well, here he is; the helpfullest of helpers in "Forbidden Planet" who can rustle up a gown for Anne Francis OR synthesize some whiskey for Earl Holliman. Either feat will earn him a permanent place in my heart!
Robot from Lost in Space -- Warning! Warning! A lot of people think this is the same robot as Robby the Robot. But they are in error. He's his own robot and he's got quite a sense of humour; sparring with the irrepressible Dr. Zachary Smith.
The Iron Giant -- this is the star of one of the most delightful children's movies to come along in a long time. With a heart as big as he is, the Iron Giant can't help but win your heart. He's the sweetest visitor from outer space since E.T.
Ultima Futura Automaton -- Named by Forrest J. Ackerman waaaaaay back in the mists of fandom, this saucy robotrix starred in the original silent Fritz Lang film "Metropolis". Created by a mad scientist, this hot metal mama planned to infiltrate the underground resistance movement by taking the guise of virginal and inspiring rebel leader Brigitte Helm. Check out that mad creation scene; obviously the inspiration for the latter "Frankenstein" (1931). Hey, she even sorta looks like a female C3PO!!! Maximilian from Black Hole -- Alright, I'm strange but I LOVE this Late 70's Disney movie. Star Wars meets 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with a little 2001: A Space Odyssey thrown in at the end. Sure the actings bad. Sure it's derivative as hell. But I still like it. And especially that totally evil killer robot Maximilian!
The Phantom Empire robots -- Another example of the silliest robots ever to come down the pike. Gene Autry and Frankie Darro battle robots that look like hot water heaters in ten gallon hats!
Marvin the Paranoid Android -- Your plastic pal who's fun to be with. My favourite version is from the TV series but the movie version was interesting too. What can you do with a robot who's permanently depressed??? Abandon him in an intergalactic car park for millenia, of course! Gort -- one of the most imposing robots we've yet encountered. The awe-inspiring sight of Gort ambling down the ramp of a flying saucer and vaporizing jeeps, tanks and guns with a beam from his visor (Holy Scott Summers, Batman!) is an indelible image from the 50's sci-fi boom kick-started with The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Bender - Of course what robot could be better than Futurama's own Bender; the robot whom one day I would like to grow up to become.
And there you have it. And NO, I don't consider the gorilla in a diving helmet star of "Robot Monster" a robot. He wasn't. Bubble machine or NO bubble machine! But these are some of my faves in the mechanical entertainment community. Have I left out one of YOUR favourites????

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

THIS MONTH'S EYE CANDY: LILLIE LANGTRY. "The Jersey Lily" was one of the great beauties of the Victorian age and early 20th century. Born on the island of Jersey in 1853, she first became one of the greatest socialites of her time as well as the mistress of the Prince of Wales. The story goes that one night at a party she came downstairs wearing the exact same outfit as the Prince. The Prince was not amused and told her that it just wasn't done. Lillie, with her customary headstrong demeanor, promptly poured ice water down the back of the Prince's neck. This incident caused her to lose favour in social circles and, when her husband went bankrupt, forced her to take up acting on the stage (here she can be seen as Cleopatra). She met and became friends with perhaps the greatest actress of her time: Sarah Bernhardt. Lillie quickly gained fame and was also one of the first celebrities to be featured advertising a commercial product: Pears Soap. Quickly becoming one of the most prominent actresses of her time, she went to America and dazzled them there as well. The famous Judge Roy Bean of Texas was so taken with her (though he never actually MET her), that he renamed his town "Langtry". Lillie actually became an American citizen in 1887. The end came in 1929 and the great "Jersey Lily" was buried on her birth island of Jersey. I first became enamored of her when, in the early 1980s I read Noel Gerson's biography "Because I Loved Him: The Lives and Loves of Lillie Langtry". The Jersey Lily had an EXTREMELY colourful life (most of which I haven't even touched on here).
CERPTS THAT LIVE IN THE PRESENT. While I will state that on the average, the past was better than what we have now, I am not so blind as to think everything was hunky dory and we don't have SOME improvements nowadays. So, let me climb out of my rocking chair and list ten reasons why the present is better than the past.
1) CDs are better than records. I'm sorry, vinyl maniacs, but it's true. I still own records and a record player and records sound like shit. They always have. They always will. And now, we even have digital music downloaded on ipods. How convenient is that?!? Is there anything better than an ipod??? Of course, mine only holds a piddly 5000 songs so I DEFINITELY need an upgrade. And, of course, I'm talking sound quality here, folks. While I deeply adore the tactile pleasure of the LP album cover, taking the record out and plopping down the needle on the record, the pleasure ends when the sound comes out. Up till then, it's perfect. Then we get that shitty sound. Now, if you don't believe me, I have plenty of the same songs on LP and on CD and I'll play them back to back for you and YOU can tell me which sounds better.
2) DVDs are better than VHS. This REALLY doesn't need to be argued, does it?
3) Back in the day, an inter-racial couple or a same sex couple were looked upon like circus freaks; in fact, they would sometimes be put in fear of their lives. Now, it's merely trendy and, while not COMPLETELY accepted by certain parts of the society, is accepted by the largest majority of the population so far in history.
4) Back in the day, you could find a Chinese restaurant and an Italian restaurant/pizzeria. And that was pretty much it (except for a diner). Now, you can commonly find all sorts of different restaurants routinely: Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Greek, you name it. The same goes for the supermarket where you can now find specialty food items from all over the world in almost every supermarket you walk into. When I was a kid, the most exotic thing you could pick up in a supermarket was LaChoy canned chow mein.
5) Direct Deposit. Come on, it used to SUCK going to the bank every two weeks.
6) OK, I'm gonna have to level with you. I can't come up with any more reasons why the present is better than the past. And believe me I tried. I've even asked other people and they couldn't come up with any more reasons. So, granted, it's proving my point that the past was much better than the present. But I actually started this list INTENDING to come up with ten reasons why the present was better. But hell, I'm just coming up dry. All I'm doing is thinking of MORE reasons why the past was better. For instance, the frikkin' traffic around here is HORRENDOUS. Back in the day when I moved here, this was the country. There was NO traffic! OK, but that's the past again. I really must apologize. I got nothin' (so far as the present being better is concerned). I stand defeated. Or proven correct. Maybe a little of both. But anyway, the past was better.
CERPTS THAT LIVE IN THE PAST. Here are just a few reasons why the past is much MUCH better than the present. I'm restricting myself to only TEN reasons. . .or else this could go on all week.
1) Kraft Macaroni & Cheese was MUCH cheesier when I was a kid. While it's still pretty good, it's nowhere NEAR as cheesy.
2) They had radio then. Not this pre-programmed by committee claptrap where music is rigidly slammed into categories and labels. Radio USED to have an actual DJ who actually CHOSE what to play and actually played songs from different "categories" back to back. The Rolling Stones would be played followed by Charlie Rich then Aretha Franklin and then The Night Chicago Friggin' Died!!!
3) A can of tuna USED to make TWO tuna salad sandwiches. TWO. Stuffed full. Now, you throw in the mayo and the celery and the onions and after all that you STILL only get ONE sandwich. And about a tablespoon extra. And yes, folks, the sliced BREAD is smaller TOO so what's THAT tell you!
4) You didn't have to trudge on down to the DMV to get a driver's license with your picture on it. You used ta could just mail it in and get it back WITHOUT a picture. Since a driver's license was NEVER intended to be your major form of ID, this was the way it should be.
5) Big Brother WASN'T always watching you. And listening to you. And reading your emails. And putting scan-able bar codes on your driver's license. And. . .
6) Movie stars and rock stars had star quality. Look around you now. If you can actually REMEMBER the names or faces of the here today/gone later on today "celebrities", you have a better memory for bland banality than me. And as a corollary to this, I would also add that in the past Katharine Hepburn was still alive. Vincent Price was still alive. Peter Cushing was still alive. Marvin Gaye was still alive. And, for that matter, my grandfather Buster was still alive. And my Aunt Mil. And my great grandfather Poppy Bear. And Nanny. And Uncle Tont. And Laura. And Jeffrey Mills. And The Queen (Dee Dee). And Pandy & Pepe. And Uncle Donald. And the list goes on...
7) You could buy Tuna Twist. You could buy Aspen soda.
8) A record album cover was nice and big so you could actually see what was on it and look at it while listening to the album. You just can't do that with a cd cover. It rates a glance and then gets tossed aside; regardless of the cover's merit.
9) George W. Bush spent his days partying and drinking instead of wrecking the country.
10) McDonald's actually sold milkshakes; not that yogurt stuff with the nasty aftertaste they serve in milkshake cups. McDonald's french fries tasted better because they were fried PROPERLY in that nice lard instead of the weak and watery vegetable oil they use now. McDonald's burgers came in those nice styrofoam containers instead of squished inside those paper wrappers which make it impossible to eat neatly in a car -- which is practically the ONLY time you eat McDonald's food ANYWAY.
So these are just 10 of the reasons why the past was MUCH better than the here and now. HOWEVER, don't think I look at the world through rose-coloured cerptses. Because I don't. Not EVERYTHING was better in the past. And that will be the subject of my NEXT blog entry: WHY THE PRESENT IS MUCH BETTER THAN THE PAST.

Monday, June 04, 2007

DANG, DANG'S DEAD! I'm just taking this little opportunity to make mention of the fact that last April saw the passing of Tran Bach Dang; the man who gave his name to the Vietnamese phrase loosely translated as: "So, are you gonna buy me a soda?!?"
So, in order to commemorate this cultural icon, everybody buy your friend a soda today.
Come on, your buddy looks thirsty.
ADMIT IT! YOU CAN'T TELL THE DIFFERENCE! Believe it or don't but these two pictures are NOT of the same person. No, really. It's two separate people. Honest. . . Come on, I wouldn't kid you.