Thursday, September 13, 2012

Signal Watch Call for Entries: What Spooky Movies Shall I Watch this October?

Hi y'all!

October is just around the corner.  I need to consider what spoooooky movies I can watch as we head into the haunted season.

let's blow the lid off this Halloween!
If you've hung around the past few years, you should know all about my love of Frankenstein movies and classic Universal Horror films.  And, of late, I've liked a lot of the Hammer films I've had a chance to see.  I'll check out a Vincent Price flick, and I'm pretty fond of stuff that rides the line between cheesy and scary.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Gotter DAMN erung! We're taking a break from blogging.

Y'all, I'm kind of not going to be posting this week.


Because Wagner's The Ring Cycle is going to be playing every night this week on PBS.

For some reason this opera keeps crossing my path of late, and I think it's all leading to something, man.

So I am going to take a break from blogging and I am going to get cultured.

Deborah Voigt in the role of Brünnhilde
Hey.  So.  Why not join in?  It's on all week!  It might be a nice break from the usual stuff on TV.

It's got mermaids and trolls and gods and valkyries and dragons and all kinds of crazy stuff.  It's the basis for half the fantasy, comics, sci-fi and bigger-than-life entertainment we enjoy today.

It's going to be a blast!

So, put on your viking helmet, dust off your love of Bugs Bunny cartoons, and we can all rock out to some old fashioned Wagner.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No Post Sunday Night

Y'all, I was pretty pathetic this weekend.  I accidentally knocked myself out with Benadryl on Friday night and slept (more or less) from 8 PM until 8:30 AM.  I'm also still sick, but in this weird, pathetic way that just involves a dry, wheezing cough.

Because I can read the boxes on over the counter medications, after 5-7 days of persistent symptoms this being day 6, I have sought medical help, and I am now on an antibiotic, because that's what they do when "go home" doesn't sound very good.  The good news is that I don't have pneumonia, which I was glad I had not thought about until the doctor said "pneumonia, you don't have it".

Anyway, I have a very early meeting at work tomorrow, and I'm going to bed super early, and I didn't really do anything worth mentioning over the weekend, so, there you go.

this would be a meeting worth getting up for
Also, congrats to the UT Longhorns who waited for me not to watch them to win a game 45-0 against Los Lobos of New Mexico.

See our own NathanC talk about 20 films in record time

Plus he talks about film and filming in San Antonio.

Signal Watch Watches: Frankenstein Island (1981 - but you'd never know it from looking at the movie)

I don't really know where to start.


To explain, we watched the VOD version of this movie from RiffTrax with Doug, and he was right - the new VOD stuff RiffTrax is doing is every bit as good as the better MST3K stuff.

While the RiffTrax guys strayed from the world of punching-bag-bad movies and have stepped up to big budget Hollywood stuff in this format (and absolutely killed with it), it's still fun to see the old tools come out and see these guys at work.

So...  Frankenstein Island (1981).  

Oh, John Carradine, even your unused b-roll deserved better...

There are many things one could say about this movie, and among those things is the idea I find inescapable that director Jerry Warren, who had spent the mid-50's through the mid-60's creating the exact sort of movie that wound up on MST3K in the first place, was sitting around with his pals and said "Hey, let's do one more!  It'll be great.  Let's make a movie!" and this is what happened.  And so, in a way, I really hope those guys had fun making the movie, because it makes no sense and it's both mind-boggling and boring.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Patsy Cline's 80th Birthday

Patsy Cline was born on this day in Virginia in 1932.

Perhaps most famous for her performance of "Crazy" (written by a young Willie Nelson), Patsy's voice and mid-century country stylings are still very much in vogue and end up in more movies, TV shows and commercials than you want to think about.  She's very much a part of the American soundtrack.

She retains a following among Austinites in no small part thanks to the nigh-nightly tribute to Patsy that's done at Austin's own Esther's Follies, a sort of comedy/ variety show that's had the Patsy Cline bit going since it debuted.  Maybe.  I don't know.  Patsy's music seems to fit lazy, hot evenings pretty well, so maybe she's still this popular across the south.

Cline was part of a great era of American Country before "popular" Country music became watered down pop-rock in the 80's and settled there in the 90's when the big money rolled in.  She was a performed at the Grand Ole Opry and a major talent.  Had she not died in a plane crash in 1963, there's really no telling where she would have ended up.  I suspect she would have continued performing for a long, long time.

Happy Birthday, Patsy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rave On! It's Buddy Holly's Birthday!

Today in 1936, Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas.

At some point in 7th grade a Buddy Holly tape found it's way into my possession (I think KareBear gave it to me for Christmas) - and 23 two-and-half-minute songs later, I was a fan.  I still consider Rave On to be one of the best pop songs ever written.

A few random things to take us into Friday

Movies 2012:  I watched John Carter again.  I don't want to talk about it.  It's a weakness.  On this go-round I really realized how far it strays from the novels, but I guess I like it well enough on it's own as a planetary romance.  And I really like both Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins.  But I sincerely doubt we'll be seeing a sequel.

Marvel:  Marvel has been running these ads for the "Marvel NOW!" project, I guess, and they all seem to have one word in a sort of overly aggressive font splattered in blood.  The latest said "SURVIVE."  With BLOOD on it!  Which seems like something I would have drawn in the margins of my notes for class in middle school trying to come up with something really hard-core and edgy, but being a kind of pudgy kid who hadn't kissed a girl yet.

your content-free totally edgy concept has really wowed me, House of Ideas
I am so too old for whatever it is they're doing over there.  But I know 13 year old me would have eaten that stuff up.

Taking a couple months off from consumer spending:  For the next two months I'm not going to order anything from Amazon, I'm not going to sponsor any Kickstarters, I'm going to the comic shop once per month and I'm sticking to my budget for the online purchasing of comics-related stuff.  I also want to see what survives the forced pickiness.  It's a routine time to prioritize.

I liked the idea of Kickstarter at first.  Maybe too much.  Basically, in recent months, I didn't think one of the projects I was sponsoring would make, and so I sponsored something else, and they both made, so I'm out the cost of both.  And, of course, you're still not just buying the item you wanted, you're paying a premium to feel good about being part of the process.

I don't feel any return on the latter portion anymore.  If I want to feel good seeing money go nowhere, there are pretty good causes that could use the money.

I can't breathe:  Yeah, I thought I was getting better, too, but this thing is just clinging on well past it's expected shelf-life, all while finding new ways to annoy me.  Like Justin Bieber, in it's own way.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cat-22 - Jeff The Cat Goes to the Big House

The players in our story
For 13 years we've shared space with Jeff the Cat, a yellow tabby of terrific intelligence but ornery disposition.

Every once in a while, Jeff decides that there's something very attackable about Jamie beneath the knees.  He's been hunting her shins and feet as long as he's lived with us.  Not all the time, but often enough, and especially when Jamie's asleep and gets the jimmy legs.