Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Thunderbirds, Fireball XL5, and Space:1999 creator Gerry Anderson dies

Gerry Anderson obituary - One News Page

Note: This link may have you jump through a bunch of hoops to get to the article, but it was the best I could do on a short notice. Click the link that says "Full News Story." It should take you to The Guardian website.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

BEST VERSIONS OF "SLEIGH RIDE"

I am not a big fan of Christmas music. The problem for me is repetition or just plain awfulness. There are some songs that should be exclusive to the person that introduced it. The perfect example of this is "Happy Xmas (The War Is Over)" by John Lennon. There have been several bad cover versions in the past few years. The original is the best.

There are those novelties that we once heard only on Dr. Demento or once a year. Now thanks to radio's obsession with "wall-to-wall" Christmas music (to mask mass layoffs by the corporate radio outlets), these songs get beat to death. Yes, I am thinking of both "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."

I have come to the conclusion that "Sleigh Ride" is a perfect song that you can not ruin, especially if you do it as an instrumental. Let me give you my nominations for the top five versions of "Sleigh Ride."
  1. Arthur Fiddler & the Boston Pops with Leroy Anderson (The Original)
  2. The Ventures ("Walk Don't Run" style)
  3. Herb Alpert & The Tiajuana Brass
  4. Al Caiola
  5. Lex Baxter with Ferrante & Teichner   

Saturday, December 22, 2012

DESDINOVA'S CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST

Here are some of my suggestions for a cool Christmas playlist for your Ipod. Enjoy. No disco, but I love that LP cover.

  • "Mistletoe & Wine" Cliff Richard
  • "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" David Bowie and Bing Crosby
  • "Frosty the Snowman" The Beach Boys
  • "Chipmunk Song/Christmas Boogie" The Chipmunks with Canned Heat (Best fuzztone guitar riff in a Christmas song)
  •  "Feliz Navidad" Jose Feliciano
  • "Happy Xmas (The War Is Over)" John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  • "Silent Night" The Temptations
  • "Happy Holidays/Holiday Season" Andy Williams
  • "I Believe In Father Christmas" Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  • "Jingle Bells" The Hollyridge Strings
  • "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" Brenda Lee
  • "The Christmas Song"  Jethro Tull
  • "Run Rudolph Run" Chuck Berry
  • "What Child Is This" The Moody Blues
  • "Father Christmas" The Kinks
  • "White Christmas" Bing Crosby
  • "All I Want For Christmas Is You" Mariah Carey
  • "Blue Christmas" Elvis Presely
  • "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" Jackson 5 (I also like the Bruce Springstein version)
  • "Christmas Light" Coldplay
  • "Deck The Halls" Mannheim Steamroller
  • "Here Comes Santa Claus" Billy Idol
  • "I'll Be Home For Christmas" Tony Bennett with Count Baise (THE ONLY GOOD VERSION OF THIS DEPRESSING SONG! "Take me home, Count!")
  • "Jingle Bell Rock" Hall & Oats
  • "Do You Hear What I Hear" Carrie Underwood
  • "Christmas Time Is Here" Ray Parker Junior
  • "Silver Bells" The Supremes
  • "Calypso Noel" Johnny Mathis
  • "Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer" Dean Martin
  • "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen" Mitch Miller
  • "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" Perry Como
  • "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)" Nat King Cole
I tried to pick a few that I enjoy and are not the usual choices. You may notice the absence of "Sleigh Ride." It is not because I don't like it, it is because there are too many good versions. So I plan a follow up post on my favorite versions of "Sleigh Ride."

Iron Butterfly bassist died of natural causes

St. Louis native Lee Dorman is second from the right.
Iron Butterfly bassist died of natural causes - KansasCity.com

On the old blog, I once said that when I took over America and became emperor, I was going to change the national anthem from the "Star Spangle Banner" to "In A Gadda Da Vida."  You would be surprised how many people thought this would be a cool idea. Of course, I had about two people said they didn't want "In A Gadda Da Vida" nor did they want me to be emperor. Probably some of those stupid KSGF listeners.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

CHRISTMAS MOVIE CONNECTIONS

This is a kind of free form, stream of consciousness post that may lead to a sequel, but I've tried to think of as many of these as possible. I began noticing that several things in the popular Christmas films were connected. Sometimes on purpose and sometimes on accident. If anyone thinks of one I left off, post a comment and I'll check it out.


Lionel Barrymore was originally to play Ebeneezer Scrooge in the movie version of A Christmas Carol, but suffered an injury. He played the role on radio every year. Because he was so good at playing Scrooge, Frank Capra chose him to play Old Man Potter in It's a Wonderful Life.




In this scene from Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, the kids defeat the bad guy, Voldar, using toys (provided by Ideal Toys). MST3K and others have pointed out the violent and dangerous nature of some of the toys used. The film was made in 1964. A year after that film came out a movement by parents to have toy company stop selling war oriented toys. It was around this time that New York radio personality Jean Shepard, talked to a "concerned woman" in a coffee shop about the "Ban War Toys" movement. It brought back a memory from his childhood of wanting a Red Ryder BB gun and being told by several adults "You'll shoot your eye out." That story was included in his book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. It became the basis for the movie A Christmas Story.


A Christmas Story was directed by Bob Clark, who also directed a horror film called Black Christmas in 1974 (Above). Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in A Christmas Story, plays an elf named Ming-Ming in Elf.


Obviously, Holiday Inn and White Christmas have both Bing Crosby and "White Christmas" in common, but what does White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life have in common? If you said Alfalfa, you're right. Former Our Gang/Little Rascals star Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer played Mary's date at the dance in It's a Wonderful Life (His big moment is opening the gym floor to plunge George and Mary into the swimming pool in an act of jealousy). In White Christmas, he is only shown in a photo (below) as Vera-Ellen's brother "Freckle Face" Benny Haynes.



Also the gag involving the photo is similar to the one in another Christmas film, Home Alone. Kevin finds a photo of his bully, big brother Butch's girlfriend (above), which cause Kevin to say, "WOOF!" (below) It is actually a photo of a boy in drag. Director John Hughes felt that using a photo of a "real girl" would be cruel.


The 1934 film version of Victor Herbert's Babes In Toyland, starring Laurel and Hardy, there are several joking references to Walt Disney, including a Mickey Mouse clone (Below) and Three Little Pigs (accompanied by "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" in the background).



 In the 1961 Disney version of Babes in Toyland, Barnaby's henchmen are Laurel and Hardy clones (Above).

Character actor Dick Elliot plays the Judge in Christmas in Connecticut. In It's a Wonderful Life, he is the neighbor, who yells at George Bailey, "WHY DON'T YA KISS HER?" when he is escorting Mary home. 

  
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WHAT KIDS FROM CHRISTMAS MOVIES LOOK LIKE NOW

You have probably seen this current photo of actor Peter Billingsley from the 1983 film A Christmas Story.


But how about some of the other kids from popular Christmas movies. I managed to track down two others.
Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu (on the right) in It's a Wonderful Life.



Above is a photo of what Karolyn Grimes looks like today. She also appeared in another Christmas movie, The Bishop's Wife.

I get a lot of flak for friends and family because I say this is my favorite Christmas movie. It doesn't seem like Christmas to me with out watching the 1964 film Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. Girmar, the little girl Martian (Get it! Gir-mar -girl Martian), was played by Pia Zadora (right).

 Pia Zadora later became famous in the 80's appearing in the films Butterfly, The Lonely Lady, Hairspray, Troop Beverly Hills and Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. She also had a Top 40 hit with a remake of Shirley Ellis's The Clapping Song. These days she mainly performs in concerts singing. Here is a recent photo.

Ravi Shankar passes away

The Hindu : Arts / Music : Pandit Ravi Shankar passes away
Here is Ravi Shankar on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

WHY NO COUNDOWN TO CHRISTMAS POST? (Good Question)

I should address this before it turns into something ugly. Someone will probably ask why I haven't participated in a Countdown To Christmas, like I always do with Countdown To Halloween. I'm sure someone will say it has something to do the "War on Christmas" and that I'm really in league with Satan.

Last year, I made several Christmas post on a daily basis, much like I did with Countdown to Halloween. This year, I believe I have only one Christmas related post so far.  Do I have reasons for there not being any Countdown to Christmas post? Yes.
  1. Lack of time - I'm busy at work (even though I still consider myself "on the beach")
  2. I'm a guy - We procrastinate on Christmas things. Women put up their Christmas trees in November and have Christmas shopping done in August. Guys really don't decorate for Christmas and we usually get our Christmas shopping done at 11:30 p.m on December 24th.
  3. Not as much variety with Christmas as with Halloween. I still have ideas for Halloween post, but unfortunately that holiday has come and gone. As I have mentioned before, most of the Christmas music is the same song over and over. I posted several cartoons and movie trailers last year and they are luckily still here (You Tube never yanked these). You can go back and enjoy them again.
  4. The Countdown to Halloween is a coordinated effort with a blog site. I thought there was a Countdown to Christmas blog last year. I couldn't find one, but noticed several links to a Countdown to Christmas on Pinnerst. If there was a Countdown To Christmas blog last year, it was probably started by a craft blogger and may have been moved to Pinnerst. 
 Don't worry if I find anything Christmas oriented from the past few decades, I will post it.

DAVE BRUBECK FOR SEARS KENMORE DRYERS

CLICK TO ENLARGE
A few days ago, I mentioned that somewhere, amid the ray guns and killer robots in my mad scientist lab beneath Springfield's Park Central Square (The readers of my old blog will get this reference),  I had a magazine ad that the late jazz Dave Brubeck and his wife did in the late 60's for Sears-Kenmore appliances. I found it in a Better Homes and Gardens from November 1969.  I apologize for my scanner not being big enough to accommodate the whole magazine. There were several versions of this ad featuring well-known celebrities. The idea was "If a famous person with lots of money can by appliances from Sears, I shouldn't be ashamed of getting my appliances from Sears." The tag line on the ad (That unfortunatly was cut off by my scanner) is "Sears Kenmore Dryer for women who want the best even if it does cost less."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SKINFLINT: THE FORGOTTEN CHRISTMAS CAROL

The actual title of this should be "Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol," because that was the title of this forgotten Christmas TV special. It aired in 1979 amid a glut of TV versions "Christmas Carol" that included a one man version by Rich Little on HBO and a Waltons-ish version featuring Henry Winkler as a greedy old man (complete with age make-up).

Skinflint featured Hoyt Axton (pictured above) as a Cyrus Flint, a greedy banker, who runs the town of Flint City, Tennessee. Like Ebaneezer Scrooge, Flint had an abused, underpaid employee with a dying son played by Mel Tillis. His wife is played by Lynn Anderson. Flint has nephew, played by Larry Gatlin, that ask him to a Christmas party. Flint is visited by the ghost of a deceased partner, played by Tom T. Hall. He is visited by three more ghost. The ghost of the past, played by Martha Raye (Who is dressed like Minnie Pearl, which is odd) shows us that Flint's greedy cost him a relationship with a woman, played by Barbara Mandrell.

Also in the cast include Nashville Brass leader Danny Davis, Dotty West and the Statler Brothers. This TV special is not on video. As a matter of fact it was only shown once (that I recall). The actor, who played Mel Tillis and Lynn Anderson's son, posted on another blog that he is wanting to post his copy on You Tube.

   

Friday, November 23, 2012

DOCTOR WHO IS 49

The TV show Doctor Who debuted on this day, November 23, in 1963. The first episode was entitled "The Unearthly Child." You can see the first part of it on You Tube, however the BBC likes to remove the the rest of the episode.

I did find this great Comic Relief parody of Doctor Who on YouTube.


Actress Deborah Raffin dies at age 59 - MiamiHerald.com

LOS ANGELES: Actress Deborah Raffin dies at age 59 - Movies Wires - MiamiHerald.com

This is from a photo shoot that appeared in the June 1985 Good Housekeeping. Not to take anything away from the late Ms. Raffin, but I don't recall ever seeing any movies or TV shows she was in. I mainly remember her being on the cover of magazines, especially Good Housekeeping.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Doc Severinsen and Johnny Carson Talk Thanksgiving Plans on "The Tonight...

I had never seen all of this, only an edited version. Interesting side note, Doc Severinsen played at Juanita K. Hammons Hall a few years ago. The radio show I was producing for a local radio station was going to have a phone interview with Doc to promote the concert. As a lead in to the interview, we were playing a recording Doc made of the "Tonight Show Theme." I always would secure the line by asking the person to be interviewed if they could hear the music on air coming through their phone. Desdinova: Mr. Severinsen, could you hear the music we was playing? Doc Severinsen: Son, I would recognize that song anywhere! That is one of the coolest moments of my career.

BEST OF DESDINOVA: A QUICK THOUGHT ON THANKSGIVING (I STILL DON'T LIKE THOSE STUPID PILGRIMS


Originally posted on the Desdinova - Super Villain of the Ozarks blog on November 26, 2009.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to get something off my chest. The one thing I never liked about Thanksgiving was the emphasis on the pilgrims. I didn't want to study about the pilgrims, because they were boring and dull. The pilgrims were always presented as so-holier-than-thou people that we could never measure up to. However, in a college course I had to read pilgrim diaries. These were not only boring, but the pilgrims spent most of their time having sex. The pilgrims have to be the most overrated group in history, next to the dorky founding fathers. Of course, opinions like this one is why I'm considered the Super-Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Mr. Food passes away - KLTV.com

Mr. Food, seen on KLTV7 for years, passes away - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Mr. Food was a staple on local TV station KOLR for many years. This was the only obit I could quick link to with Blogger. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

DESDINOVA'S FAVORITE ROLLING STONES SONGS


To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the Rolling Stones have released a new greatest hits compilation entitled GRRR! To be exact, they have released three different versions of this greatest hits, each one with more hits included. I became a major fan of the Rolling Stones in the seventh grade. That was when they released the Tattoo You LP which included the hits "Start Me Up," "Waiting On a Friend" and "Hang Fire." Oddly enough, I saved up enough money to get Hot Rock 1964-1971, because I felt I should start at the beginning with the songs that had made them famous. From there, I was hooked. I've decided to list my twenty favorite Rolling Stones songs. Trust me, I could pick more than twenty, but I think twenty is enough for now.

  1. "Jumping Jack Flash"
  2. "Paint It Black"
  3. "Start Me Up"
  4. "Bitch"
  5. "I Can't Get No Satisfaction"
  6. "She Was Hot"
  7. "She's So Cold"
  8. "Can't You Hear Me Knocking"
  9. "Dandelion"
  10. "Get Off of My Cloud"
  11. "The Last Time"
  12. "It's Only Rock & Roll (But I Like It)"
  13. "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)"
  14. "Miss You"
  15. "Time Waits For No One"
  16. "Gimmie Shelter"
  17. "Brown Sugar"
  18. "Let's Spend the Night Together"
  19. "Under My Thumb"
  20. "Honky Tonk Woman"
As I said above, there could be more. I will add this, my two least favorite Rolling Stones songs are "Fool To Cry" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want." I also left off (on purpose) songs that the Rolling Stones covered, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "Harlem Shuffle" and "It's All Over Now." 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THE MISIDENTIFIED HITS OF ROCK & ROLL

While working at Rock 99 (KWTO-FM), I and some of my co-workers noticed that some people requested songs by the hook rather than the actual title. This was because the title had nothing to do with the song itself.I have listed about twenty of the songs that was requested by the wrong title. The actual title of the song is in the parentheses. I should mention that some of these were not on the Rock 99 playlist while I worked there, but the mangled request always made me and my fellow DJs laugh.
  1. "Stop, Children, What's That Sound" by Buffalo Springfield (For What It's Worth)
  2. "This Ain't No Party, This Ain't No Disco" by Talking Heads (Life During War Time)
  3. "Welcome Back My Friends To the Show That Never Ends" by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Karn Evil #9)
  4. "Go Ask Alice" by Jefferson Airplane (White Rabbit)
  5. "I Need a Dirty Woman" by Pink Floyd (Young Lust)
  6. "Teenage Wasteland" by the Who (Baba O'Riley)
  7. "Ground Control To Major Tom" by David Bowie (Space Oddity)
  8. "Don't Go" by Led Zeppelin (D'yer Mak'er)
  9. "Hearts Afire" by Earth, Wind & Fire (That's the Way of the World)
  10. "I Don't Give A Damn, I Ain't Going To Vietnam" by Country Joe & the Fish (I Feel Like I'm Fixing To Die Rag)
  11. "I Love the Flower Girl" by the Cowsills (The Rain, The Park and Other Things)
  12. "My Name Is Lucifer" by Black Sabbath (N.I.B)
  13. "Clap Your Hands a Little Bit Louder" by Stevie Wonder (Fingertips Part 2)
  14. "Mr. Jones" by Bob Dylan (Ballad of the Thin Man)
  15. "There Is No Dying" by The Beatles (Tomorrow Never Knows)
  16. "Take A Load Off Annie" by The Band (The Weight)
  17. "I Don't Like Cricket" by 10CC (Dreadlock Holiday)
  18. "There's Blood In the Streets" by the Doors (Peace Frog)
  19. "See My Lonely Life" by Alice Cooper (The Ballad of Dwight Fry)
  20. "Don't Ask Me What I Think of You" by Fleetwood Mac (Oh Well)
Honorable Mentions: "Little Robin Marie" by Mountain (Nantucket Sleighride), "Annie, Are You Okay?" Michael Jackson (Smooth Criminal) and "Here We Are, Entertain Us" by Nirvana (Smells Like Teen Spirit).

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I AM NOT ASHAMED PLAYLIST 5

It is time for me to list more songs that are in my Ipod that I'm not ashamed to admit to liking. Some call these guilty pleasures. Life is to short to be guilty about your entertainment choices.

Ars Nova - "March of the Mad Duke's Circus" (An early prog rock band)
Capt. Groovy and His Bubble Gum Army - "Capt. Groovy and His Bubble Gum Army" (Really Bobby  Bloom of "Montego Bay" fame)
The Monroes - "What Do All the People Know" (Great lost hit of the 80s)
Geoff Goddard - "Sky Men" (A sci-fi Joe Meek novelty. Goddard played keyboard on the more successful Joe Meek production "Telestar")
The Squares - "This is Airebeat" (British New Wave/pop pop of late 70s/early 80s "This has always been a backwater")
Tommy Roe - "Dizzy"
The English Congregation - "Softly Whispering I Love You"
The Fabulous Poodles - "Mirror Star" (A 70s punk song about playing air guitar)
Chad McDevitt Skiffle Group with Nancy Whiskey - "Freight Train" (Early British hit in this country in the 1950s)
Baz Luhrman - "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" (One of the best spoken word/recitations ever)
Cee Lo Green - "Forget You" (One of the great ultimate break up songs - How could anybody not like it?)
Ray Parker - "The Other Woman" (A great R&B hit of the 80s that you don't hear anymore)
Blondie - "Heart of Glass"
Louie Armstrong - "Old Man Mose"
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band - "Abba Zaba"
The Rembrandts - "I'll Be There For You" (YES I DO LIKE THE THEME SONG TO FRIENDS! WANNA MAKE SOMETHING OF IT!)
The Breakfast Club - "Right On Track" (A memory from high school)
Owl City - "Fireflies"
Rockwell - "Somebody's Watching Me" (Barry Gordy Jr's son - featuring backing vocals by Michael and Jermaine Jackson)
The Combo Kings - "Batman A Go Go" (A soul dance hit from 1966 - There was a similar James Bond dance number)
The Seeds - "Pushing Too Hard" (One of my all time favorite songs. It sums up my life. If I ever find who was responsible for taking this out of the TouchTunes juke box at Buffalo Wild Wings, I will kill them!)
Charlie Dore - "Pilot of the Airwaves" (A song about a girl in love with a radio DJ. Dore was a Emmylou Harris sound alike from Australia)
Robbie Dupree - "Hot Rod Hearts" (I was told this was "dirty" when I was in elementary school - Never figured out why)
The Lettermen - "Come Back Silly Girl " (Early sunshine pop -slightly un-PC title)
October Country - "My Girlfriend Is a Witch" (Psychedelic/Sunshine Pop by Ray Bradbury fans - he even wrote the liner notes on their only LP)
Sarah Brightman/Michael Crawford - "The Phantom of the Opera"
The Beginning of the End - "Funky Nassau" (Fast reggae hit of the early 70s)
The Bosstweeds - "The Theme from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill"
The Coasters - "Little Egypt" (Singing Yiiiinnnng YYYaaang! Gitchy gitchy!)
The Hollywood Argyles - "Alley Oop"
Morris Day & the Time - "Jungle Love"
Even & Jaron - "Crazy About This Girl"
Cliff Richard - "Dreaming"
Hank Ballard & The Midniters - "Annie Had a Baby"
The Floaters - "Float On" (A Quiet Storm hit featuring the most romantic line ever "Cancer and my name is Larry")
The Bangles - "Walk Like an Egyptian"
Neil Sedaka "Bad Blood"
Lady Antebellum - "Need You Now"
The Hollies - "If the Lights Go Out" (From their 80s reunion LP - Why was this song not a bigger hit?)

If you want to see the previous "I AM NOT ASHAMED" Ipod playlist, here are links:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The President's Analyst - Trailer

This is one of my favorite comedy movies of the 60s. Staring James Coburn, Severen Darden, and Godrey Cambridge. Also featuring Laugh-In's Arte Johnson, "Eve of Destruction" singer Barry McGuire, Virginia from Spider Baby, Grandpa Walton, Mr. Feeney from Boy Meets World and Schnieder from One Day At a Time.

Super President Theme Song!




A lost cartoon of the 60s. It would be great if it was on DVD.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Svengoolie" Hospitalized After Heart Attack

WHY I STOPPED TALKING ABOUT POLITICS AND CURRENT NEWS

Someone sent me an e-mail asking why I wasn't posting anything about politics. Andy Cline of Rhetorica once said I wrote some of the best satire of anyone. He was one of the few who liked it.
Not only were there many people in the Ozarks who didn't like it. I received many death threats, mainly from an idiot at Mansfield, Mo. The main problem was some people in the local media, including co-workers, who didn't like it. They felt I made fun of the wrong people or things. I've been told I've been blacklisted by at least one of the radio clusters here in Springfield (Clear Channel). The co-workers who didn't like my opinions went to management and tried to get me fired.
I should note that I'm not angry about the state of the country like I was when I first started the old blog, however, I am not happy with the state of the Ozarks. I may never be. I've hated the Ozarks since I was in elementary school.
I have figured out that nothing makes Ozarkers more upset than someone having fun, being entertained and not griping about politics. So that is what I am doing with my current blog. I'm entertaining people.  I'm much happier and I'm having fun. The response is much slower but has always been very positive. That is what I like.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN 2012 - MY FINAL THOUGHTS

The problem with participating in the Countdown To Halloween is there is so much I would have liked to have posted but didn't have the time. You have to scramble some times to post something each day, so you take short cuts with a You Tube video or just a photo.

I had some post about horror films I wanted to get to, but didn't have the time because of other commitments. I just wanted to mention these in passing since people tend to stumble onto this blog after several weeks or months.

I wanted to look at a few horror movies that I think are underrated. I'll admit, I'm not big on slamming something as overrated, but I wanted to single out one horror film for this distinction. I'm not suggesting it should be removed from circulation and all copies burned like many websites would do, but just to point out the fact.

MOST UNDERRATED "GOLDEN AGE" HORROR FILM: Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde (1932) Director Roubin Mamoulian created a master piece that set the precedents for how horror films are made with his use of sound, special effects, makeup and writing. The bad part is the film was not seen for many years. When MGM remade the film in the mid-40s with Spencer Tracy, they bought up copies of the 1932 Paramount version and had it hid. The reason was they knew their version was inferior to Mammolien's masterpiece with Frederic March. March (above) won an Oscar because he played Dr. Jeckyl as a caring doctor and idealist and Mr. Hyde as hateful, pushy, abusive Neanderthal monster. Many people have remarked that it was hard to tell when Tracy was Jeckyl or Hyde, because he didn't use elaborate make-up. This is also a pre-Code film so there is some mild sexual content with the character of Ivy (were led to believe she is a prostitute). The sounds heard during the transformation scenes included a recording of a gong played backwards and Mammolien's heartbeat. You must see this film at least once.

MOST UNDERRATED 60s HORROR FILM: Carnival of Souls (1962)  Directed by Herke Harvey, who made educational films in Kansas, this film became a cult classic after airing on late night television. Many people compare the look of the film to the later, more successful 60s zombie movie Night of the Living Dead. Unlike that movie, this film relies more on atmosphere than gore. These zombies prefer to dance with their victim than eat them. The movie stars Candace Hilligoss as Mary, a young woman who survives a horrible car accident. She takes a job as a church organist in Utah. On the way, Mary sees a strange pavilion by the shore of Salt Lake (An actual place known as Saltair Pavilion). At the same time, her radio begins playing only creepy organ music, which she cannot turn off. She swerves to miss a mysterious corpse-like man (Pictured above played by director Herke Harvey) standing in the road. She soon begins to see the man everywhere she goes. The film features many unnerving scene such as when women in a department store ignore Mary. The scene was filmed without sound, so we see the women talking to each other, but we don't hear anything. Another more famous scenes is near the end, when Mary goes to the Pavilion and finds the zombies waltzing to the creepy organ music. I can't tell you any more, I wouldn't want to give away the ending.

MOST UNDERRATED HORROR COMEDY: Shadows and Fog (1991)  Director Woody Allen's homage to expressionist films of the 20s and 30s. You can spot references to German directors Fritz Lang, F. W. Murnau, G. W. Pabst, as well as, Todd Browning, James Whale and, the above mentioned, Roubin Mamoulian. The movie involves a serial killer terrorizing a community, while rival gangs of vigilantes hunt for him in between trying to kill each other. One vigilante group tries to recruit a nebbish accountant named Kleinman (Played by Allen-who else?), who doesn't want to be involved. Meanwhile, a circus sword-swallower named Irmy (Mia Farrow) has a fight with her clown boyfriend Paul (John Malkovich) after she catches him making love to the circus tightrope walker (Madonna) and decides to leave the circus. Irmy and Kleinman eventually meet, as well as interact with a coroner, a poor mother and her baby, a group of prostitutes, college boys, police detectives, an alcoholic magician, Kleinman's bitter ex-fiance, Kleinman's voyeuristic boss and clairvoyant who smells people. Along with the impressive sets and black and white cinematography, there are several well-known people with small parts.
Heather Donahue apologizes for the movie

MOST OVERRATED HORROR FILM OF ALL TIME: The Blair Witch Project (1999) Directed by two guys, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, this film duped more people than Bernie Madoff. The film is supposed to be a collection of found video from three college students (Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, Michael C. Williams), who went to Maryland to make a film about the legend of the Blair Witch. They supposedly never returned and all that was left was the video equipment and video of what supposedly happened. Oddly enough, the young lady leading the group (Donahue) turned up later in commercials for Steak N Shake, so she must not have died a violent death. As a matter of fact, you can't tell what happened at the end. I'm sorry this movie wasn't as scary as everyone said, as a matter of fact, it is downright borring. The only thing I thought was scary was the fact that, as a media major, I have worked with people like the Heather Donahue character. The Blair Witch couldn't be half as scary as the cranky, overachiever taskmaster, who demands she receive an "A" her project, even if she has to leave the others in the group for dead. It is too bad that I couldn't find on You Tube a stand-up routine Bill Cosby performed on The Late Show with David Letterman about going to see The Blair Witch Project at the theater with Mrs. Cosby. He talked about the overuse of the "f-word" to characters running through the woods in the dark with cameras "without hitting a tree."

And that brings an end to my Halloween celebration for 2012.    

Thursday, November 1, 2012

WHY BEING A MONSTER KID IN THE OZARKS IS HELL

I'm proud to say I was a monster kid and I STILL AM. As a kid, I read Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and the first record I owned was Monster Mash (It was a bad Peter Pan version, but the cover art was great) and one of my favorite toys was a Colorforms Castle Dracula playset. I wanted to say that because in the Ozarks, being a monster kid is considered a bad thing. In the Ozarks, a "good person" starts off being a St. Louis Cardinals fan at a young age, then grows up to become a Republican. I, of course, had to be different and start off a monster kid and grow up to be a Democrat. I'm a "bad person." Most Ozarkers believe that monster kids grow up to be serial killers.

Admittedly, things were actually better for monster kids when I was younger. Locally, KMTC (Channel 27) ran old horror films til dawn on Friday and Saturday night. Off and on they were hosted by a host named Dr. Dead (The actor who played Dr. Dead was later Sammy B. Goode on KSPR in the 80s). Also, at this time, CBS Late Movie featured many great horror movies.

In 1988, I had the pleasure of working on The Late Night Horror Show with Count Norlock at KSPR (that is a picture of one of the promotional materials above). Sadly, it only lasted one summer. I'm very proud of my work on this TV show, yet I have been in job interviews with local companies and they have insulted me over having this on my resume.

I tried for most of the 90s to try to interest the local TV stations in doing a horror movie show with myself as the host. I was treated with distain and verbal abuse to just the old excuse of "Ozarkers/advertisers don't like that sort of thing."

As far as over-the-air broadcasting goes, there has only been one attempt to do a show of this kind since Count Norlock. I can't remember what it was called, but it was hosted by Kevin and Liz from the Alice 95.5 Morning Show. There is a show on Mediacom public access, The New Uncle Gregory Horror Hour, that can also be viewed on the Internet at the show's website.

As I mentioned, the local media doesn't want to produce a horror movie show. All I can gather on the reason for this attitude is that some of the local ad agencies didn't like the Late Night Horror Show with Count Norlock and they are probably the one who have cultivated this animosity toward the Count Norlock show, people associated with it and horror movie shows in general (I want to note that one of the directors/producers on the Count Norlock show was Joe Bauer, who was responsible for the visual effects on Elf, Get Smart and Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer).

To make things even more frustrating, you can't even find a good horror film on local late night TV. All you can find on local TV late at night is this douchebag:

This guy is usually on every channel when I come home late from work. His name is Dean Graziosi and he is the star of the worst made infomercials ever made (Looks like he just points the camera at himself, turns it on and starts talking). He tells people they can make millions in real estate and he will show you how. He is really a scam artist. Why is he on local TV? Because he pays to be on TV.  The same with TriVita and its Nopela, a concoction from cactus berries that makes women cry on camera (At least that is what I got out of the infomercial). TriVita is referred to a Multi-Level Marketing by its sycophantic minions. This is a politically correct term for pyramid scheme. They pay to be on-air so they can rip desperate people off.

The Ozarks Correctness (as opposed to being politically correct which is based in logic-Ozarks Correctness isn't) mongers will tell you this is a good thing.  They will say horror films are evil and children shouldn't stay up late watching them on TV. Also, a redneck told us that he thought horror movie shows are stupid and we always take the opinion of rednecks over someone with a Bachelor of Science in electronic media. They will also tell you that real estate people are better than everyone else and we should worship them, because they make tons of money. They will also tell you that a pyramid scheme shouldn't be illegal because the only people, who think it is a scam are the people who don't work hard enough to be successful at it. They will also say business people shouldn't have to answer to the government or law enforcement. Also, the only people who should have access to local TV and radio are the people who can pay to be on-the-air.

And then, they will say that business people don't want to advertise on horror movies and that adults don't like horror movies. These the same reason the local radio stations won't play Halloween music like they do Christmas music (Since Halloween is over, I'm sure KGBX will start their usual wall-to-wall Christmas music puke-fest. I can make fun of this since I've been banned from working for the local Clear Channel/Bain Capital cluster).

I HATE ADULTS - I'M ASHAMED TO BE ONE!

Of course, an opinion, like this one, is why I'm considered the Super Villain of the Ozarks!!! Mwu-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!


    

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ONLY LOUIE KNOWS ABOUT OLE MAN MOSE

Not long back I posted a You Tube recording of Louie Armstrong's hit "Ole Man Mose Is Dead." I was planning on telling the origins of this great Halloween oriented song. When it was released in 1935 it became a big sensation not just musically but in pop culture as well. It inspired jokes in movies, cartoons and radio (Bob Hope always brought up "Ole Man Mose"). In 1938, there was an Ole Man Mose character introduced in the Lil Abner comic strip, who unlike the character in the song "wouldn't kick the bucket" (It was right next to the opening of the cave he lived in).

I could not find any thing on why Louie Armstrong wrote the song or where he got the idea for the song. The closest thing I could find was that it may have been a parody or answer song based on another popular "scary" song called "The Mysterious Mose." Don't worry. Even after Halloween is over, I'll keep looking for the info.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

TWILIGHT: OZARKS STYLE

The hottest phenomenon with teenagers in the past few years has been Twilight.  Most teenagers will tell you if they are Team Edward or Team Jacob.

Of course, if kids or teenagers like it, the Springfield News Leader and the Lebanon Daily Record will run several letters to the editor by magot-brained adults, who don't allow their kids to read, view or own anything Twilight because they feel it is "evil." Yes, these idiots are proud of being abusive parents, who tell their kids what they can or can't read or watch. Would Ozarkers be more receptive if you created a Twilight story that took place in the Ozarks?

Let change the main character to a male high school student, who moves from southern California to small Ozarks town called Spoons, Missouri. He falls in love with a girl named Velda. He is drawn to Velda even though he suffers from strange pains and feels disoriented while he is around her. It turns she is a witch.
He is told by another student, Wiley, that he can't be in love with Velda because she is dating Blaine Alucard, a rich spoiled vampire boy. His father is president of the bank and chairman of the local Republican party. When Blaine doesn't get his way, he tell everyone how much money his father makes. "The Alucards are a pioneer family. My daddy owns most of the builds in this community." He wears Izod sweaters and Dockers.
I should mention that Wiley is a werewolf or as he pronounces it "war-woof." He wears a straw cowboy hat, drives 4x4 pickup truck with a "Nobama-You can keep your change" bumper sticker and a confederate flag in the window, listens to Hank Williams Jr and Lynard Skynard, wears t-shirts that say "I'm a American (he pronounces it "Muricun") by birth, but a werewolf by the grace of God." If he gets into a fight, the first think he does is take off his shirt. He and his werewolf buddies drink Keystone Light and chew Red Man.
Velda had previously dated Tagg, a "patchwork" zombie, who plays football. If he gets hurt on the playing field, they just replace the injured part from another corpse.
This is just a rough idea, so far. 
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