Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: yet more waterlogged and windblown links edition

As always, thanks to the contributors of the reviews and citations below, and to you readers...there are likely to be an addition or so to this list over the course of the day, and if I've overlooked your or anyone else's post, please let me know in comments. Between the delights of a freakish (and happily not Too murderous, at least once it hit the US) hurricane and the far more genuinely delightful hallowday that is 31 October, we have a fair share of horror-film-package hosts (including Brian Arnold's, Ivan Shreve's, James Reasoner's, Rick's, and Scott Cupp's, albeit the Mysties weren't so restrictive), and some dueling Masons, no relation.

May all your tricks be treats...

Flesh and Bone
Bill Crider: Flesh and Bone [trailer]

Brian Arnold: Saturday Night Dead; Magoo Meets Frankenstein; Innocent Blood

Dan Stumpf: Confessions of an English Opium Eater

Ed Gorman: Dark Night of the Scarecrow; Get a Life; horror film v. suspense film; Born to Be Bad

Elizabeth Foxwell: Whispering City; The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

Evan Lewis: More Horror Films I Don't (or Don't Want to) Remember

George Kelley: Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Season Four

How Did This Get Made?: Sleepaway Camp

Iba Dawson: Stars in Shorts

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: You Bet Your Life; The Headless Horseman (1922); the inadequacies of Fox among other home video labels; Svengoolie

James Reasoner: Nightmare: "Gorgon's Trophy Room" 

Jeff Flugel: Raw Meat

Jerry House: Nosferatu (1922); The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

John Charles: The Blood Beast Terror (aka The Vampire Beast Craves Blood)

John F. Norris: 7 Cool Flicks for Hallowe'en; Bouchercon 2012

Joss Whedon: Endorsement for President

Juri Nummelin: Straight to Hell and other films at the Annual Meeting of the Finnish Western Society

Kate Laity: Devil's Night

Laura: Miracle Landing; Rage in Heaven

Marty McKee: "The City on the Edge of Forever" (Star Trek); Marvel Comics: The Untold Story  by Sean Howe

Mike Callahan: Rod Serling and Charles Beaumont

Molly Brown: "Your Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse";  "The Evil Table"

Patti Abbott: Brother's Keeper

Prashant Trikannad: 'Allo 'Allo
Cemetery Without Crosses

Randy Johnson: The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959); Cemetery Without Crosses (aka Cimitero senza croci)

Richard Pangburn: Most Beautiful (A/V) Witches

Rick: Dr. Paul Bearer (Shock Theater); Beyond Our Control (and Klara Kackel's Kreepy Kauldron); The Bob Gordon Show (among others); Television Horror Movie Hosts by Elena M. Watkins

Rod Lott: Sisters of Death; The Raven (2012)

Ron Scheer: Gun Duel in Durango
The Wild World of Batwoman

Scott Cupp: The Wild World of Batwoman (and MST3K);  Rubber

Sergio Angelini: The Perry Mason film series (1934-37)

Stacia Jones: The Perry Mason film series;  Fandor; The Body Snatcher;  Hallowe'en paraphernalia of various sorts

Stephen Gallagher: Creating the Audio Drama

Todd Mason: Jazz A/V: Thelonious Monk Quartet, Modern Jazz Quartet, Dave Brubeck Quartet, the Max Roach Freedom Now Suite band; Shorty Rogers and His Giants, and more in episodes of Jazz Casual, European television specials and a segment from Jazz Scene USA, and the album  Perceptions, composed by J. J. Johnson and featuring Dizzy Gillespie10 Obscure Horror and Suspense Series on US Television (please see below!)
The Hurricane

Yvette Banek:  The Hurricane (1937) 

10 Obscure Horror and Suspense Series on US Television (though frequently imported):

Strange Paradise A Canadian voodoo soap, clearly meant to gather up some of the Dark Shadows audience both up there and down here (where it was syndicated as a new series, not picked up by a network), and particularly spottily available in the States. Originally ran weekdaily from 1969 to 1970, and the early episodes take place on an unnamed Caribbean island, the latter episodes in Canada, after the loss of the protagonist's plantation and return to the family estate. Repeats of the series were being syndicated to US stations in the 1990s, and reran on Canadian cable in the '90s as well. 

The Evil Touch An Australian series syndicated in the US, and using a lot of British and Yank talent as it was meant for export. Rather goofy, in the episodes I remember, but interesting enough to watch it fairly regularly for its one season, 1973-74, when it was scheduled into a 7:30pm slot in the Hartford, CT. market, just before the network primetime programming began. Anthony Quayle was an appropriately sepuchral onscreen host for the anthology.

Darkroom An occasionally quite good ABC anthology series they barely aired in 1981-1982, with James Coburn as appropriately jocular onscreen host. Some segments were pulled for "intensity" (you didn't, in those years, want your network television programming to be actually good if you could help it), it still managed decent adaptations and original scripts from Robert Bloch (of his "Catnip"), Levinson and Link, and Alan Brennert. 

The Hidden Room A Canadian anthology series imported and possibly co-produced by the US cable channel Lifetime beginning in 1991, presenting horror and suspense drama featuring women protagonists (though apparently by the end of the series that was less insisted-upon). Mimi Kuzyk was the onscreen introducer of the stories, at least initially, and among the better episodes was one adapting a short story by Lisa Tuttle.

Scene of the Crime Commissioned from Stephen J. Cannell Productions as part of the "wheel" of "Crimetime after Primetime" dramatic series CBS ran shortly before David Letterman relocated to CBS latenight, this 1991-92 anthology series with a regular "ensemble" cast (which might've run longer in Canada, where it was filmed) was notable for being more sexually suggestive and generally "rough" and sleazy than the other late-night series, and perhaps as a result was seen less often and for a shorter run than most (some of the other series that came out of that project, such as Silk Stalkings and Forever Knight, had sustained runs on cable or in first-run syndication in the US after CBS cancelled the set, and even the aggressively stupid Night Heat managed to survive the purge, briefly, but Scene of the Crime has since been unseen Stateside...the extraordinarily generic title probably hasn't helped anyone remember this one).

She-Wolf of London, later Love and Curses, Lee Goldberg's 1990-91 series (as show-runner), is apparently rather fondly remembered by those few (including Jerry House) who were able to catch it initially (Goldberg describes its syndication pattern as clearing on two stations, one each in Los Angeles and NYC, though it apparently gained some viewers from repeats on the "Sci-Fi" Channel). Cited also as notable for being one of the first syndicated series aimed at US broadcast clearance featuring brief nudity, which might've limited the appeal to stations and was probably cut out for the Skiffy Chan run.

Brimstone (1998-99) was one of the horror/fantasy/crime drama borderline jumpers that followed on the success of The X-Files, and one of the best of that lot (which also included the television revival of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and such more-direct imitations as PSI Factor and Poltergeist: The Legacy). A dead cop, damned for murdering his wife's rapist, is offered a deal by the devil, when a number of other very unsavory bad souls manage to break out of Hell and take on human form on Earth again...gather them all back up again, and you get your life back. Not altogether un-goofy, but entertaining, and rather well-acted. Among later pleasant series with similar plotlines were Reaper (UPN), Dead Like Me (Showtime), arguably the Canadian series (now imported by RetroTV) The Collector, and the next entry on this list. 

G vs. E (later Good vs. Evil), which ran for a season (1999-2000) on the USA cable channel, was a rather more lighthearted variation on the above, only with a reporter killed by one of those who had made a deal with the devil, which led to an offer to the dead reporter to be revived to join the Corps, basically the quasi-police force on Heaven's side of the struggle...their adversaries being "Faustians" (seeking a deal with Satan) and the "Morlocks" (damned souls who still walk the Earth). 

Dark Realm The only series on this list where I'm certain I haven't seen any of the episodes, this syndicated anthology ran in the 2000-01 season and seems to be one of the most widely-reviled of such anthologies, with Eric Roberts getting bad marks even as an apparently uninterested host. Well, if the networks could cough up the likes of Ghost Story/Circle of Fear in the early '70s...and the second, abysmal Twilight Zone revival in the 2000s, as well...
Someone's attempt at a promo still. Looks more like Vexing Itself

Fear Itself NBC's shortlived 2008 sort-of pendant series to HBO's Masters of Horror (and thus also a cousin to Masters of Science Fiction, given an even shorter run by ABC), this rather uneven  but often rather weak anthology series did manage one or two engaging episodes (including "Eater," co-written by Cemetery Dance editor/publisher Richard Chizmar and Jonathon Schaech), but too often was a triumph of cinematography over script...something which also plagued the other series, even when the episodes were drawn on good to brilliant fiction.


Phillyradiogeek said...

Thanks Todd! You can add a third link to that set:

Todd Mason said...


Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

I have fond memories of DARKROOM in particular (lots of good writers on that show), while the Quayle series I just remember being odd (it's the one where he speaks to camera during the end credits, right? Always got the title it mixed up with his entertaining but fairly conventional crime show THE STRANGE REPORT.

Todd Mason said...

Your memory of THE EVIL TOUCH is similar to mine...

Jeff Flugel said...

Hi Todd! Got another for you:


Stacia said...

Thanks! And I got a prime spot next to the hoochie mama from Wild World of Batwoman, too!

Phillyradiogeek said...

I thought I was the only one who remembered Darkroom on ABC. I didn't actually watch the series (being 7 at the time), but I remember commercials for the series for some strange reason. I want to say it was a short-lived summer series, but i'm not certain.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Jeff, up soonish.

Well, Stacia, thank you, and who can resist?

I certainly would've watched DARKROOM when I was seven, even as I did NIGHT GALLERY, but it was launched in the Fall season of '81, albeit with a relatively late start, and got some weeks into '82.