Tunes & Tomes: Favorite 2020 Albums & Books

Some favorite albums from 2020 Tami Nelison – Chickaboom! Tami Nelison is a Canadian powerhouse of talent. Stumbled on a track from this album last year while scrolling through Youtube and was hooked. A combination of golden-age country, rockabilly raunch & sweet soul. Neilson writes and performs all her own songs with a band that … Continue reading Tunes & Tomes: Favorite 2020 Albums & Books

World on Fire: Four Favorite 2020 Film Releases

For whatever reason (Pandemic fatigue? Regurgitated film plot fatigue?) I wasn't very impressed with most of the new releases I watched this year. Halfway through screener season I just gave up and stopped watching new movies because I was bored. Despite my misgivings about the year in general there were a handful of films released … Continue reading World on Fire: Four Favorite 2020 Film Releases

Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

"This world is the nurse of all we know,This world is the mother of all we feel,And the coming of death is a fearful blowTo a brain unencompass'd by nerves of steel:When all that we know, or feel, or see,Shall pass like an unreal mystery."- Percy Shelley, 'On Death' (1816) I was deeply saddened to … Continue reading Remembering Barbara Shelley 1932-2020

SPY GAMES: The Looking Glass War (1969)

One of the best films I saw last year was Tomas Alfredson’s TINKER TAILOR SOLIDER SPY (2011) based on John Le Carré’s novel of the same name. It stars Gary Oldman in a career defining performance that’s earned him an Oscar nomination. I hope Oldman takes home the award but I’m not here to talk about TINKER … Continue reading SPY GAMES: The Looking Glass War (1969)

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING: MEDIUM COOL (1969)

“This is America quaking, this movie, seen the way only a gifted artist can possibly draw his photographic attention to these events . . . the roots and fruit of social turmoil, and the media pervading and even anticipating the event. The media’s involvement in the motion picture, its place in the movie, is more … Continue reading THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING: MEDIUM COOL (1969)

POLITICS, PROTEST & PROGRESS IN THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT

Stuart Hagmann’s THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT (1970) is often dismissed today as a dated relic of the early 1970s. During its initial release, it was singled out for being exploitive and failing to be a straightforward adaptation of the book it was based on. Many critics claimed that Hagmann’s direction was erratic and too creative for its own … Continue reading POLITICS, PROTEST & PROGRESS IN THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT

FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

Susan Denberg (aka Dietlinde Ortrun Zechner) was blond, beautiful, and unapologetically curvaceous. A German-Austrian Kim Novak look-alike with strong sex appeal and an endearing screen presence. Like Novak, Denberg dated Sammy Davis Jr. while some of her other romantic conquests included Stuart Whitman, Sidney Poitier, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, and director Roman Polanski. Following a … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN CREATED SUSAN DENBERG

FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY (1973)

Film buffs tend to have obsessions. We fuss and fawn over particular actors and directors while attempting to see everything they ever appeared in or produced. One of my own personal obsessions isn’t an actor or a director but it’s a tale I enjoy seeing reimagined over and over again in different languages and in … Continue reading FRANKENSTEIN: THE TRUE STORY (1973)

MAE CLARKE: FRANKENSTEIN’S FIRST BRIDE

The name Mae Clarke might not immediately ring any bells. But the fair-haired, spirited, and sad-eyed beauty was a promising leading lady in pre-code Hollywood before personal disappointments, mental health issues, and a disfiguring car accident took their toll. When Clarke died in 1992 at age 81 most classic film fans remembered her as the … Continue reading MAE CLARKE: FRANKENSTEIN’S FIRST BRIDE

In the Trenches with James Whale: FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) is commonly considered the best of James Whale’s two Frankenstein films and while I absolutely love Elsa Lanchester’s iconic performance as the hissing she monster, I prefer the original. There are a number of reasons why I tend to gravitate towards FRANKENSTEIN (1931) over its sequel. First and foremost, it takes itself more seriously and … Continue reading In the Trenches with James Whale: FRANKENSTEIN (1931)

MIND OVER MATTER: THE SORCERERS (1967)

Michael Reeves Since director Michael Reeves's unfortunate death in 1969 at the age of 25 his life has become the stuff of cinematic legend. His reputation as a sort of Byronic hero who challenged the British film establishment was secured when he died much too young due to an accidental drug overdose leaving behind just … Continue reading MIND OVER MATTER: THE SORCERERS (1967)

Revisiting & Reappraising THE TERROR (1963)

Like any horror film fan worth their salt and of a certain age, I’ve seen badly beat-up and butchered prints of The Terror on TV and video numerous times. The film suffered the unfortunate fate of falling into the public domain decades ago so it became a staple of late-night television and was repeatedly released … Continue reading Revisiting & Reappraising THE TERROR (1963)