Tuesday, October 30, 2012

B&N Criterion Collection Sale

Barnes & Noble is having a second Criterion Collection sale this year where all Criterion DVDs and Blu-rays are 50% off the manufacturer's suggested retail price. The sale does not include most pre-order titles, but the titles that are on sale are half off! Click here to head on over to the Barnes & Noble website to check out their Fall Criterion Collection Sale.  The sale runs from October 30th until November 19th.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hollyweird or Bust

Just in time for Halloween, I came across a little 'ol interview with the hostess with the mostess herself, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. This comes from issue #202 of Famous Monsters of Filmland back in 1994 and was by Forrest J Ackerman and Ray Ferry.

4E: Your stature as a horror celebrity is pretty big - how do you keep it up?
ELVIRA: Well, with my industrial-strength bra, of course.
4E: What were you like as a child? Did you play corpse and robbers in the cemetery, or hide and go shriek?
ELVIRA: Yes, I did all those things, and also I was quite an entrepreneur - when other kids were setting up lemonade stands, I was setting up a little doctor and nursie stand. I, you know, played the nursie and I charged the little boys and made quite a bundle, so I was really entrepreneurial even at a young age.
4E: Gosh, I wish I'd been in your neighborhood! You know, you've scored as a singer, a dancer, an actress, a sorceress, and a TV host, what hidden talents do you have?
ELVIRA: Well, I don't keep much hidden, but what I do have hidden in my talents I guess are cooking and spinning tassels. If you saw my movie, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, you'd already know I have those talents.  Some kids practice the piano when they are little, but me, I practiced twirling tassels.
4E: Have you ever appeared in Spain - twirling tassels in Spain?
ELVIRA: In Spain? I don't think so.
4E: They are building tassels there, castles there, but I thought maybe twirling tassels in Spain.
ELVIRA: That 's really reaching for it, even for you!
RAY: I'm surprised you didn't become airborne from the scene at the end of the film.
ELVIRA: Really, I could have taken off like a helicopter.
4E: During your stage show, you flirt with a lot of men in the audience. Has that ever backfired on you?
ELVIRA: Yeah, only once, when it was...
4E: Well, don't tell them about the time with me, some other time.
ELVIRA: Oh, yes, that's true. No, it didn't backfire on me, luckily, because you had two attendants there to keep your arms down.
4E: Well, I was completely armless.
ELVIRA: Oh, Sure.
4E: What sort of men do you find attractive?
ELVIRA: Well, you know I'm not too picky, just as long as they have two arms, two legs... well, actually that's not a prerequisite either. Come to think of it, I guess you could describe me as "adventurous."
4E: I understand you once knew Elvis. Since being dead doesn't seem to be a handicap for him, have you seen him lately?
ELVIRA: Seen him! I just had his child and sold it to some aliens. You didn't hear about that? Well, there you go, it 's a scoop.
4E: What do you know! What did you name the child?
ELVIRA: I named it Forry, after you, of course.
4E: After me, how long after me?
ELVIRA: Yes, little Forry.
4E: Famous Monsters recently discovered an unreleased song that Elvis recorded for  monster bands called "Are You Loathsome Tonight". Would you consider doing a duet with him?
ELVIRA: I would "duet" with Elvis anytime.
4E: Who would you prefer as a boyfriend - Dracula or the Wolf Man?
ELVIRA: Well, you know, even though Dracula sucked, I'm afraid I would have to go with him because I just can't handle the razor burn that I get with the Wolf Man. Are these corny enough for ya?
4E: Well, that really raises our temperatures. If you're not listless by now, can you list your top ten horror favorites?
ELVIRA: Sure. I have so many that are my favorites. I'll just pull 10 of them out of the bag that I really like. I had a list of about 1,000. But, let's see, I would say: House on Haunted Hill, Evil Dead II, Plan 9 From Outer Space, An American Werewolf in London, Glen or Glenda?, which is not really a horror film but it was pretty darn scary, I'll tell you that; I Eat Your Skin, The Wasp Woman, Dracula's Daughter, Attack of the 50-Ft Woman, which is kind of going over into sci-fi, The Brain That Wouldn't Die.
RAY: What would you think is the #1 if you had to pick one film, I guess from that list.
ELVIRA: I don't know, I have a very sick sense of what's good, so I might have to say Plan 9 From Outer Space.
RAY: What's the most fun film that you've ever hosted, that you've had the most fun with doing your commentary?
ELVIRA: I tell you, The Brain That Wouldn't Die was pretty much up there. I had a lot of fun with the head. We had a head there in the studio, and it's a long story, but her name was Hedda, the woman from The Brain That Wouldn't Die.
RAY: She was a hedda her time, huh?
ELVIRA: Oh my God, they're all punsters around here!
4E: You shouldn't talk about Elvira's commentaries, there's nothing common about them, they 're right up there.
ELVIRA: Hey, that's a good idea - why do they call them common-taries?
4E: They're remaking Frankenstein. Who would be your choice if they remake the Bride of Frankenstein?
ELVIRA: Well, my first choice, of course, is me, but if they couldn't get me, because I would be too expensive, I would probably say Zsa Zsa Gabor, because after all she has married everyone else, why not Frankenstein.
4E: Who do you think are the sexiest female movie monsters, and why?
ELVIRA: Well, I think the sexiest one is the Alien Queen, from Alien, because, I mean, she spits acid, she can extend her jaw out a couple of feet, and she doesn't take any crap from men. What could be sexier? So, I think she's my #1.
4E: Well, what part in the remake of any horror film classic would you consider your dream role?
ELVIRA: Well, I think I would really love to star in The Attack of the 50-Ft Woman, because I think I could bring 2 very special things to the role...
4E: How true!
ELVIRA: My big, beautiful blue eyes, you know, so I think I would pick that one.
RAY: If you had starred in Woody Allen's Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask, that whole first sequence about the monster mammaries would have to have been restructured!
ELVIRA: Really, oh good grief! I imagine they would have had to use, like circus tents for a bra. What would I do? My bra would be called "Home of the Whoppers". It would be disgusting.
4E: You're internationally known as the "Mistress of the Dark". Do you sleep at night or during the day?
ELVIRA: I pretty much sleep whenever I can catch any, you know. I'm so busy.
4E: And, if I may inquire, what do you wear when you sleep?
ELVIRA: Only a smile.
4E: "Let a smile be your umbrella..."
Elvira: And you'll get soaking wet.
4E: Now, this interview is going to be seen early in the year. What nasty habits are you giving up for your New Years ' Resolutions?
ELVIRA: Well, I'm giving up biting my nails, I'm going to floss my teeth more, and I'm going to give up serial killing - it's a terrible, terrible habit.
4E: Oh, yes, you use up so many boxes in that cereal killing.
RAY: What do you have on the horizon for the next year?
ELVIRA: Well, I'm going to be working on a big Halloween album, a record album, which I'm really excited about. It's got some really good songwriters writing some new Halloween hits, which I think it's about time, I mean "Monster Mash" has been kind of played into the ground - I know we love it, but you know there is room for some new Halloween hits, so I 'm going to work on those this year. Hopefully, we will get it out by next Halloween. I'm also working on getting my sit-com on television, which has been taking me a while, I did for CBS, but now they've declined it, so we're running around trying to find another network.
RAY: What 's that going to be called?
ELVIRA: The Elvira Show. Is that clever, or what? Wow, I had to do some thinking to come up with that!
4E: You'd better copyright that right away.
ELVIRA:  And, I don't know if you guys have seen my new comic book, which is out now - it's out on the shelves, as they say, and so we're working on that, going along with that.
RAY: Are you still active with the animal rights movement?
ELVIRA: Yeah, very much. I just came back from New York City this last weekend, where I was in a big Fur Free Friday Parade, and Forry would love this - I rode for an hour and a half lying on top of a hearse through New York City...
4E: At re-hearsal.
ELVIRA: Yeah, I'm riding along wearing a bloody fur coat, and it was great - people were screaming and yelling. I really had a fun time, except it was kind of colder than a witch's nose out there. I'll think twice before I do that again. But, yes, I 'm doing lots of the animal rights stuff and rescuing dogs over here in my free time. If you know any dogs who are strays send them over. I'll spend millions of dollars on them and find a good home for them.  We're working on another movie, another Elvira movie, but it's going along slowly, and I hope to start filming this year. I wrote the movie. That's pretty much what's going on. Oh, I'm very close to making a deal for hosting horror movies again on television. We're negotiating right now with two different cable channels. And so, that looks really good. I think that may be coming out soon. And, of course, I 'm doing my new Coors commercial again for next year.
4E: I'm sure we'll all be looking forward to seeing a lot more of you in the months ahead.
ELVIRA: Honey, if they saw any more of me, the hospitals would be overrun with a coronary epidemic.
4E: Well, just like Henry, we're Fonda you!
ELVIRA: Jeez. Well, don't think this hasn't been fun but I gotta run. I've got an appointment for a root canal and I don't want to miss a minute.
4E: We'll be rootin' for ya.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

i-Deals aka "blowitoutyerass"

Another week and another incompetent online seller. This time around we have an Amazon Marketplace seller called i-Deals, which appears to be the new name for longtime seller blowitoutahere. 
On Friday evening, i-Deals started pricing many DVDs, blu-rays and CDs in the $1 to $4 range. I didn't stumble across this sale until Sunday, when many of the choice titles had already sold out. Nonetheless, I did manage to find eight DVDs and two blu-rays that I wanted to add to my collection.  I placed my orders and thought everything was fine. Four days later, I get an email from Amazon saying that the seller has cancelled my orders because all of the items were out of stock. I find it hard to believe that all ten movies are out of stock, especially since each movie listed multiple copies as being in stock when the order was placed; not to mention that Amazon's system won't let you order something from a Marketplace Seller if they don't have it available.
After searching around for i-Deals online, I came across a couple of forums with people discussing this very issue. It seems many people are experiencing the same headache from these people. Some even go far as to speculate that it's not i-Deals fault and blame it on a pricing error in their system. Their key piece of evidence for this theory is that no-one would list something for as low as a buck. I don't know about you, but I've seen (and ordered from) Amazon Marketplace sellers who list books and movies for as low as one cent. They do this for the very reason that they hope you will check out the other items they are selling because Amazon's system doesn't allow for combined shipping. You will be charged $2.98 shipping for each movie that you purchase. That's how these sellers make a profit with their low pricing. So this system error theory does not stand under closer scrutiny.
If it was a system error, then why did it take the company three days to do anything about it? Come to think of it, this "error" lasted Friday, Saturday and Sunday - just like a weekend sale would last.  And if it was an error, why wouldn't they cancel all orders immediately and explain the situation to everyone and apologize for the inconvenience? They let all orders be charged and then cancelled them four to five days later. Many people would be understanding with an honest explanation of a system error, but no-one likes to be lied to that the items they purchased are out of stock.  It looks like i-Deals offered some excellent deals and then changed their minds. This is unacceptable.
Fortunately, Amazon will see that everyone's money is refunded. For what it's worth, you can take some solace in the fact that their feedback rating is quickly plummeting. It's actually rather quite entertaining to keep checking their feedback and watch it fall. For those who are so inclined, you may also send an email to Amazon and notify them of your experience with i-Deals. From reading some forum posts, it appears that many people are doing so already. Many are also being asked to fill out reports to be sent to their investigation teams "so that the action will be severe on the seller."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Frankenstein Double Feature

Just in time for Halloween, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events are bringing us a double feature of Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein on Wednesday, October 24th. 
Unlike the Indiana Jones or Dr. No screenings, which only had a single participating cinema in the entire city of Chicago, four cinemas will be having this double feature:
AMC River East 21     Roosevelt Collections
322 E Illinois ST     150 W Roosevelt RD
Showplace Webster Place 11     City North Showplace 14
171 W Webster AVE              2600 N Western AVE
The movies start at 7:00pm and tickets are available now for $12.50 plus any additional convenience fees, taxes, shipping & handling, import duties, etc. Click here for more details.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Child's Play - Part 007

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James Bond Will Return...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Child's Play - Part 6

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Child's Play - Part 5

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Child's Play - Part 4

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Child's Play - Part 3

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Child's Play - Part 2

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Child's Play - Part 1

Today is James Bond Day which marks the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series. To kick off the holiday, we begin our translation of the 007th issue from Zig Zag's James Bond 007 comic book series.  Happy James Bond Day!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

This is the pits.

With the announcement and release of so many Hammer movies and swanky blu-ray collector sets in the UK, I finally decided to bite the bullet and invest in a region free blu-ray player. When payday finally rolled around, I headed over to the Amazon UK website and started placing orders!
The first thing to arrive was a copy of Quatermass and Pit. Unfortunately, my copy did not include the slipcover, which was rather disappointing. I decided to write to Amazon and ask them if they would include it in one of my other orders that hadn't shipped yet. They worst they could do was say no, or so I thought.
The first chap who responded to my email said that after checking with the Fulfillment Team, that Quatermass and the Pit never had a slipcover and to reply to his email and let him know if I wanted to return the movie. Never had a slipcover? That statement is incorrect. If you don't believe me, take a look at the image I found in the blu-ray.com forums above. What's that next to the blu-ray case? It looks like a slipcover to me. If you look at the item page on the Amazon UK website, it's actually a photo of the slipcover.
Needless to say, I replied to let him know that he was incorrect. I pointed out the fact that the image on their website is that of the slipcover and not the blu-ray case. I offered to send the above photo and let them know that the right thing to do would be to change the image on their sales page.  Guess what happened? After sending the email, the message was immediately bounced back as undeliverable. This new message contained links to follow in case I needed to contact the customer service team. So I did, once again.
I received a reply the next day and this new person tells me that Quatermass and the Pit doesn't have a slipcover. At least I got this guy to concede that the photo on their sales page was that of the slipcover. He also said that he would be contacting the appropriate department to have the item image corrected.  If I can get them to agree that the image they show is that of the slipcover, why won't they admit that the movie has a slipcover?  He also apologized for the error in their email programming and assured me that it had been corrected.
A few hours later, I received another email from Amazon UK asking me to take a survey and rate their customer service team.  Needless to say, they didn't get a very high score from me. Besides the actual slipcover, the only other thing I wanted was for one of them to acknowledge the fact that the damn movie did come with a slipcover. They may not have any to give to customers anymore, but the bloody damn movie does have a bloody damn slipcover!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Frightening Fiction

Poe's Tales of Terror by Eunice Sudak
Published by Lancer Books in 1962

Thrill to three of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous horror stories:

The Black Cat, in which a husband walls up his beautiful wife and her lover.

The Case of M. Valdemar - the body dies, the mind lives through a fantastic medical experiment.

Morella - the terrifying tale of a dead mother's revenge on the husband and daughter who denied her burial.

A James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff Production • Produces and Directed by Roger Corman

The Raven by Eunice Sudak
Published by Lancer Books in 1963

Edgar Allan Poe: The Master

Who was the raven?
What was his diabolical errand?

Could anyone ignore the warning from beyond the grave?

Do you dare to spend one night in Dr. Scarabus' sinister castle? 
Will your heart stand the suspense?

Is your stomach strong enough to bear the brutal torture of an innocent young girl?

And what of the wanton, lustful, beauty whose name was Lenore?

The Raven starring Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. An American International Picture. Screenplay by Richard Matheson. In color and Panovision.

The Addams Family by Jack Sharkey
Published by Pyramid Books in September 1965 (1st Printing)

Meet the Addams Family 

Gomez - master of the house - and several strange powers.
Morticia - dressed in an attractive shroud, she casts a spell over everyone - and everything - around her.

Pugsley - he took in stray kittens - straight into the dog kennel.

Wednesday - a pigtailed daughter whose close friend is a headless doll.

Uncle Fester - loved to feed the dog - to the crocodile.

Plus Granny, Lurch the Butler, and the family retainer, Thing - gift of a friend who had lent the Addams Family a helping hand.

The Addams Family - America's favorite fearsome family can be seen every week in their top-rated ABC-TV show.


Witchfinder General by Ronald Bassett
Published by Pan Books in 1968

A vivid, colourful and brutal novel - based on the life of Matthew Hopkins, one of the most vicious Englishmen who ever lived.

While Cavaliers and Roundheads are locked in bloody combat, Hopkins - self-appointed Witchfinder General - wages a savage war against the helpless under the pretext they are servants of Satan. Mercilessly he satisfies his appetite for lust and cruelty by spreading a trail of terror through the Eastern Counties. And with every innocent death his purse grew heavier...

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Published by Magnum Easy Eye Books in 1968

The Face of Frankenstein...

"The dull yellow eye opened. The creature breathed hard. Convulsively, it moved its arms and legs..."

So, after two year's work, did Victor Frankenstein, a philosophy student, see the results of his fantastic laboratory experiment. He had discovered the secret of giving life to inanimate matter and had created - with its yellow, shriveled skin, watery stare and terrible grin - a monster that would turn his own life into a walking nightmare.

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818, when she was only 19 years old, as a simple ghost tale - one, in her own words, "to make the reader dread to look around, to curdle the blood and quicken the beatings of the heart." Its theme, of a man's revenge against a society that rejects him, is still being exploited in novels of today. Frankenstein is also the source of many Hollywood movies. It remains one of the most chilling horror stories of all time.

The Bride of Frankenstein by Carl Dreadstone
Published by Berkley Medallion Books in June 1977

The Monster Was Immortal

Twisting hideously in the flaming ruins of the Mill, it seemed that Baron Henry Frankenstein's creature was finally dying. Yet once created, this life made of corpses was hard to extinguish. And then Professor Praetorius came to Castle Frankenstein. He was brilliant, and completely mad. Why stop at the mere creation of life, he said, when a new world was in the offering?

And what of Elizabeth? Was her love for Henry to be denied in this exploration of evil? Alone in their laboratory, the two scientists fanned the flames of horror, and cared nothing for the cost.