Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween, Everybody!

Today is the first Halloween that I've been able to kick back, watch some movies, and do something FUN to celebrate in three years. There are no deadlines looming over my head, and everything I can do at this point is pretty much done.

So I've chosen the films for my daytime movie marathon and I've just realized that they're all of the Black & White variety. Nothing wrong with that....

So here's my list for the day-

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein:

I blogged about A & C Meet F during last year's countdown, so I'll let y'all go read that post if you're so inclined. This movie is without a doubt a MUST WATCH for me every October. Love A & C, and this one is by far my favorite.

Movie #2: Young Frankenstein

Again, another MUST for Halloween. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this movie. It's my #3 Favorite Movie of All Time. It was in the #2 spot for many years, until Devil's Rejects replaced it. (Nothing -not Evah! will budge DOLD from the #1 spot). I can watch this movie over and over and over and never get sick of it. It's endless quotable - and I'd like to pause to give a shout out to my bestie, KK:

Thank you. Now back to our show.....

Movie #3: Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

There are soooooooooooooooooooo many movies that I would have LOVED to watch today, but I went with this one because it fits in with my theme of the month of watching movies that honor days gone by.....and this movie is, in my opinion, really the King of all those films. Not only does it do a great job of honoring the genre, it's funny as hell.

Then it'll probably be time to get ready to go out for dinner, and then....well, I still don't exactly know what we're doing. I'm sure it'll either be Paranormal Activity or Rocky Horror, or both. Either way, I'll be blogging tomorrow about it. It's kind of chilly out there, so going to Rocky Horror is going to require a few layers of clothing. (No matter what, there's always at least a half hour wait outside)

Since it's the last day, I'd like to take a moment to look back at this great month. I still can't believe that I managed to post EVERY day. I did prepare a handful of posts, but I used them up quickly - so I ended up writing almost every day.

I got to do some fun Halloween things this month - much more than I thought I would. Not only did I get to spend a whole weekend at Zombie Con, I went to a haunted high school, went to go see the play Dracula at midnight last weekend, and saw a bunch of scary movies at the theater: Halloween II, Jennifer's Body, and Zombieland.

I also discovered some great blogs that were also part of the Halloween Countdown.
Check out my list on the right: most of those bloggers were participants.

Also thanks to the fellow bloggers who took the time to leave comments. Here's links to their great blogs!

My little bro JL from Project Blue and Old Spooky House

Dane from All Eyes and Ears

Belle Dee from Doo Wacka Doodles

Jay Amabile from The Sexy Armpit

Dusty from Crass Pip ( and for putting my review of NOLD: The Puppet Show on their website!)

Tor Hershman from Tor Hershman

HarleyGirl from Old Spooky House and Halloween Horror Night

And a thanks to my two AWESOME friends, Mandy and KK for leaving comments on the blog or in my email. I really appreciate anyone taking the time to read the blog and leave feedback.

And, finally, a HUGE thanks to the three people that organize the Halloween Countdown.....much love and appreciation!!!!!!! It's been a blast - thanks so much for inviting me last year and remembering to include me this year.

John Rozum from John Rozum

Shawn Robare from Halloween Countdown

Jon K from Ultimate All-Star Random Acts of Geekery (among others)

Thanks to John and Shawn for their comments as well.

Also thanks to everyone who signed up to follow my blog this month! Check out their great blogs (some of them listed above) on the right.

I'm especially grateful for the feedback this month because I was thisclose to taking this down and closing up shop. I've been writing about the films I watch for a few years for my own enjoyment - mostly through a personal log I keep at home. My brother encouraged me to start doing this in August 2008. I didn't start off writing about horror movies exclusively and soon it evolved into another version of what I'd been doing in my log. But I wasn't sure I was going to try to keep it up - sometimes my posts have been very intermittent due to school. But I really wanted to do the Halloween Countdown - so I thought I'd decide what I wanted to do after that.

I had so much fun this month writing and reading other blogs - combined with also having more free time than I've had since starting nursing school - that I'm planning on hanging in there and continuing on. I doubt that I'll be able to post every day - I am on the verge of graduation and have a few obligations left to fulfill - but I think the worst of the craziness with all that is over.

Now....back to my movies and to thoroughly enjoy the rest of my Halloween.
Have an awesome and safe holiday and I'll be back soon to let you know how the rest of the evening unfolded......

I'll leave you with a screencap of my absolute favorite moment in A& C meet Frankenstein. It completely sums up about how I feel about the scary.
I might start out a little apprehensive:

But, in the end, it always ends up like this:Yummy and Oh yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..........

Taffeta, Darling.......
Mother Firefly

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 30 - ONE More Day Till Halloween!!!!!

It's been a long week - much has been accomplished (including a job interview!!) - but tonight I just want to kick back and have myself a lil' Halloween marathon. I still don't know what tomorrow night will bring - maybe Rocky Horror, maybe Paranormal Activity......we're just playing it by ear here at the Mother Firefly Ranch.

First - I started out with something fun, Monsters Vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space. This was on NBC Wednesday night. I thought it was really fun (maybe even more fun than the actual movie?) and I loved the mutant pumpkins:
I decided that I'd end the month watching some old Halloween favorites that I haven't managed to get to yet. Since Mutant Pumpkins was so fun, I thought I'd go with this one:
I blogged about this one last year, so I won't say too much...except that this, Halloween III, and a couple of others are my on my MUST watch list for October.
I was a huge Rankin-Bass fan as a kid (as many of us were) and we always made sure we were home on the nights that Rudolph and their other Christmas specials aired.

MMP, however, was a little more elusive. I'm pretty sure I never saw it in prime time - I think it was probably on a Saturday afternoon or something. I don't even know how many times I saw it as a kid -it might have even been just 2 or 3 times - and then years went by before I was able to see it again. It wasn't available on VHS till I was MUCH older - by that time it might have been 10 years since I'd seen it - but I hadn't forgotten it. I bought it on DVD as soon as it came out a few years ago - and I watch it every Halloween. Nothing makes me feel as warm and fuzzy, or puts me in the Halloween mood more than MMP.

Tomorrow we'll see how many of my favorites I can get through before we go out for the evening......

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 29: It's time for Something Weird!!!!!!

Or it's time for you to think I'M weird....because this review is part one of two - for a total of FOUR..yes, count them, FOUR....movies that feature monsters.....and naked wimmens.

I really have no good reason (or excuse) to sit through FOUR movies this goofy. But something about the combination of badly made monsters created only so that the filmmaker could throw some topless women in the storyline is amusing to me. And believe me, using the words 'storyline' or 'plot' anywhere NEAR these movies is realllllllllllllly stretching it.
Let us begin:
These fine films come to us courtesy of Something Weird Video - which I was first exposed to through the AWESOME tv show, Reel Wild Cinema, hosted by Sandra Bernhard.

Remember it? Well, hold on to your memories because I came up with zero when I tried to find anything on this great show.

SWV is the distributor of Herschell Gordon Lewis' films (BIG round of applause!!) as well as many other kinds of films. In short, SWV is the keeper of the flame for all kinds of movies that might have been forgotten or lost otherwise. And like them or hate them - I think it's important to preserve our film history - even if said history involves a man in a monkey suit and boobies.

As does,coincidentally enough, our first offering:
The Beast that Killed Women.

I'll give them this much - the filmmakers adhered to the slogan 'truth in advertising'. We do have a Beast - and he does Kill him some Women.
We have a crazy gorilla on the loose in a nudist camp(why? how? Pffft, such questions!!!) Because we're going to spend sixty minutes watching topless women sit around and talk about how scared they are. Not scared enough to put their clothes back on and leave the nudist camp, mind you......just freaked out enough to sit around in their underwear and talk about it. When they're not outside doing nudist activities, that is. Because heaven knows, when you have a killer gorilla knocking your fellow campers off left and right, you need lots and lots of ACTIVITIES.

With your top off.

Don't look at the camera Don't look at the camera.....never mind........

Going on to our second feature:
The Monster of Camp Sunshine:

In this movie, we have two roomies: a nurse and a model. The nurse is a nudist (hey, aren't we all?) and she's all about convincing her model friend about the wonderful world of the nudist camp.

Big surprise....she's successful. Then it's time for a drive up to the nudist camp - and lots of ragtime music while people take their clothes off, smoke, and run around naked....and smoke..Did I mention the smokin'?

The girls must have run out of cigarettes because eventually they leave the camp and go back to the city. There's some plot to do with something about something with rats and experiments ...which the nurse works with.....and that makes sense because......

But somehow the rats get all crazed and stuff with some experiment gone bad....and they get disposed of in the river....which a fisherman picks up....then loses near the infamous Camp Sunshine...which Hugo finds and opens up .....which causes this chick to get this look on her face...while Hugo starts barking.

And while all the screaming and the barking is going on at Camp Sunshine, our model friend decides that being naked is all the rage, and decides to further her career by modeling a topless bathing suit.
Uh - ain't that called yer UNDERPANTS??????

Then it's the weekend! Time to head back to Camp - things don't appear right - people appear to be missing - but who cares, as long as we can get naked and smoke to bad banjo music, life is good!

I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.

So the caretaker is now some kind of axe carrying mutated monster-person,

and somehow naked nurse (we are pretty smart, after all) connects the dots in like two seconds, and then the doctor brings a serum he's just amazingly concocted, like ten minutes before the nurse called - and then, of course, the army gets called in....WTF???

I shit you not, this scene is actually in this movie.

So of course the monster gets taken down, but we have no time for sadness, folks, as the show must go on, as the movie says.
Seriously, the movie really does say this.
Did I mention that the movie is filled with silent movie cards like this? Or a full-on rats-flying-through-the-air-attack? Or horrible, I mean HORRIBLE dubbing? But I'll give the movie one thing, it manages to end on the important stuff:Smoke 'em if you got 'em,
Mother Firefly

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 28: Last House on the Left

Another busy day and another short post....hopefully the rest of this week will be a little calmer and I can devote more time to finishing out the month. I spent the day in a meeting and then revising (again!) the Clinical Project paper. I was hoping to finish Version 3.0 as I was going to call it.....but we only managed to get through about half the paper - so I called it Version 2.5 instead. Whee! That's a little Clinical Project humor, y'all! Now I'm back to waiting for feedback on the rest.......

I thought I'd be seeing Paranormal Activity tonight (still crossing my fingers that it'll happen this weekend) but-nope. Spent my evening at the cinema with Vince Vaughn instead. (I gotta let Papa Cash pick the movies SOMETIMES). So instead, let's talk about what I watched last night.....

I'm normally not in a hurry to see a lot of remakes - and when I heard Last House was being remade, I thought I'd probably put it on my 'Do Not Want' list.

I am a big fan of the original - although it took me several viewings to really appreciate the film. I don't think it's a fun movie to watch, and the first time I saw it, I hated it. I only came to appreciate it in the last few years, and even with that appreciation, it's not something I just pop in the DVD player for kicks.

But since I'd read some positive reviews from people whose opinion I trust, (and since I'm STILL waiting for Trick R Treat and The Hills Run Red to become available on Netflix), I thought, what the heck.

I tried hard not to compare it to the original - although that's just about impossible. The basic story and characters are intact - with some minor changes and one HUGE one concerning the ending. I do think the bad guys in this movie can't compare with the originals - these new baddies are pretty despicable, but they can't hold a candle to the original Krug (David Hess), Sadie (Jeramie Rain), and the others. THOSE bad guys really made you feel like they might do anything, at any time - and you KNEW those girls weren't going to have a happy ending. These new guys were bad - but I wasn't as afraid of them - I didn't think they were as scary or unpredictable as Hess and Co.

Another change was to make the character of Junior (Krug's son) more of a victim than in the first movie. In the remake, it's made apparent that Junior (now called Justin) is abused and powerless and really doesn't want to be a part of what's happening. The original Junior is portrayed as being slower and dumber than his 2009 counterpart - and also more dangerous.

I probably wouldn't buy this, or watch it again, but as a remake - it beats most of them hands down. It was fine for an evening's entertainment - and I thought the depiction of the parents turning into vigilantes was appropriate. After all, if two professional adults suddenly find themselves fighting to defend (and revenge) themselves, they aren't going to immediately turn into professional killers. It's probably going to be a little sloppy and a little trial and error.

So if you're really in a mood for a horror flick, and you've either seen everything else, or your first choice is gone....I say check it out. The acting is decent, it moves along well, and even if you're familiar with the first film, there's enough that's changed to create a little bit of suspense.

And the road leads to nowhere,
Mother Firefly

Day 27: Groovy Ghoulies!!!

Groovy Ghoulies are one of those things that I just barely remember watching on TV - in fact, the memory is so hazy that you could probably convince me that I dreamt it if you tried hard enough.

Then I found them on Crackle, so you can't do that anymore.

I think I remember them being part of the Archie show - my favorite part, of course. When I watched this, I definitely remembered the monster playing the vertebrae with femurs (at least they look like femurs to me now)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 26: The Monster of Phantom Lake

Extra time for things like movies and blogging was a little on the short side today - as it might be for the next few days. I've got school related things planned - as well as working on draft #3 of my clinical project. I'm hoping that things will wind down by the end of the week and I'll be able to enjoy the holiday weekend.

I did find time to fit this movie in today - it's the third in my Halloween series of movies that are a tribute to an era gone by.

This is another film (his first) by Christopher R. Mimh - the director of Terror from Beneath the Earth, which I watched earlier in the month.

As much as I liked Terror, I think I liked The Monster of Phantom Lake a little bit more. I liked the whole 'teenagers and rock-n-roll' aspect of the movie, and I really liked the storyline and chemistry between Professor Jackson (Josh Craig) and his graduate student Stephanie Yates (Leigha Horton). I think if you like any of Mimh's films, you'll like them all. And these two that I've reviewed are both available for rental on Netflix.

Mother Firefly

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 25: Night of the Creeps

I'm so glad this FINALLY made it to DVD.

It's available on Tuesday - but in the meantime,
you can watch it for free!

Go here and watch it and the other fifteen movies that are part of Zombie Fest on Crackle.

I hadn't seen it since its theatrical release in the late 80's.

It's always nice to see something that you remember fondly hold up well through the years.

I can't believe we're almost at the end of the month - and I still don't know what I'm doing on the 31st. A movie marathon? Rocky Horror at midnight? Hmmmm....

Six more days till Halloween,
Mother Firefly

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Day 24: Astro Zombies!

I heart the holy hell out of Ted V. Mikels.
I first discovered him at the first Cinema Wasteland convention, when I and my BFF wandered into Ted's Q & A. I had zero idea of who he was, but by the time I left, I had already circled 'The Corpse Grinders' on my list of must - see films that weekend. By the time the weekend was over, I had a signed copy of Corpse Grinders, and a photo of me, my BFF and Ted snuggled in between us.

Ted started making movies in the 60's and is STILL cranking them out. In fact, he's just released the DVD of Demon Haunt, and his website announces a new film for 2010.

And one other thing - Ted just turned EIGHTY this year.

I wanted to do a mini-tribute to Ted, and feature one of his 'classic' films. I really love CG, but since I also love Tura Satana, I decided to go with Astro Zombies -which I think is equally awesome.

Why do I think this movie is so grand?

When your first scene in a movie involves a chick that looks like this:

and a monster that looks like this:

Baby, I'm ALREADY in lurve.

The monsters are the brain-child of Dr. DeMarco (John Carradine) who is making them from spare parts in his lab. Tura Satana :and her henchmen want a piece of the action. The CIA is investigating too.

There's a lot of crazy talk by Carradine about how his machinery works and lots of boop-be-boop-science type noises, and honestly sometimes the plot gets kind of lost. But I still can't help but love this film, especially for its scenes like these:

Want to check it out for yourself? You can watch it online here.

The movie might be a little confusing and silly at times, but for me, it's a feast for the eyes - and there's something about low-budget movies from this time period that just make me all swoony and warm inside.

I know that there are probably a lot of people out there who would check these films out and not be as fond of them as I am. They may not have the funding behind them that the big studios have - but they have tons more HEART than a lot of what you'll find at the cinema today. Ted truly has a passion for his art - and it shows. I think it's amazing that he's been making movies for SIXTY years - and I don't think he gets enough recognition for what he's done - not even from the horror community. (Cinema Wasteland being one of the exceptions).

So I thought I'd dedicate one day of my Halloween blogging to Ted and all the fun I've had meeting him and watching his films.

Thanks, Ted.
I hope I'm still blogging about your new films when you're ninety.

-Mother Firefly

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 23: Zombieland (FINALLY!)

Yes, I finally saw it.
And no, I wasn't disappointed.
It was right in line with my own personal belief system concerning the potential uprising of the undead:

If we do ever actually find ourselves in the midst of a zombie apocalypse
-or what I like to refer to as 'when the shit comes down' - As in 'When the shit comes down, I'm going to board up the window in the kitchen first' -
we might as well have a GOOD time.

I saw the first trailer a couple months ago and since then, I've managed to avoid seeing even one more minute of footage, pictures, reviews, you name it. Even if means practicing my zen method of blocking out the media - which really just means closing my eyes, covering my ears, and saying la-la-la-la-la-la-I CAN'T HEAR YOU-la-la-la-la extremely loudly.

So in the spirit of that - just in case you haven't seen it yet - I'm not going to say jack about the plot. Go, eat some popcorn, have some fun.

I just have one leetle bone to pick with editing.

It's a zombie movie.
So why not show me some ZOMBIES??
I mean, I saw LOTS of zombies - for about a millisecond at a time.
It made me all nostalgic and weepy eyed for Day of the Dead and Romero's lingering shots of dead peeps. Romero shot Savini's zombie makeups with love.

I was looking for the poster online and came across this screen shot of the movie:

And I was all, that was in the movie? I mean, I remember zombie kids, but I never got to really SEE one. I don't get it. Can't we take a moment and just LOOK at the dang dead people?? Sigh. Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Mother Firefly

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming.....

Check out the All Together Dead blog for Halloween recipes, decorations, and more!

Oh, and there's also this STELLAR contest as well:

She is giving away a set of her very fab, very cool, and very spooooky labels. My head hurts with ideas of all the coolio things I could do with these.

But hurry, Saturday the 24th is the deadline to enter!

-Mother Firefly

Day 22 Part II: 'Vinny the P' Double Feature

What would the month of October be without a little Vincent Price? BORING, I say!

I love almost all Price's films, so it's always hard for me to pick. I try to watch House on Haunted Hill every October, but I blogged about it last year, so I thought I'd go with something else.

And why not a double feature while we're at it? Twice Told Tales and Tales of Terror are Two Tastes that Taste good Together.

These two films are available as a double feature from MGM Midnite Movies.

Twice Told Tales features three short movies based on the stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Tales of Terror features the same except based on the stories of Edgar Allen Poe.

Twice has three stories: (directed by Sidney Salkow)
Dr. Heidegger's Experiment (with Sebastian Cabot - Mr. French!)
Rappaccini's Daughter
The House of the Seven Gables

as does Tales: (directed by Roger Corman)
The Black Cat (with Peter Lorre)
The Case of M. Valdemar (with Basil Rathbone)

Of the two films, I prefer Tales over Twice - but only slightly. Probably because I have more memories of it - especially The Black Cat.

And the REALLY cool part is - this MGM double feature is part of the 2 for $10 horror movie sale going on at Deep Discount till October 26th. There are other Price double features in the sale as well : Fall of the House of Usher/Pit and the Pendulum, Abominable Dr. Phibes/Dr Phibes Rises Again, Oblong Box/Scream and Scream Again, Masque of the Red Death/Premature Burial (although this is Ray Milland, not Price), and Theater of Blood/Madhouse. That's FOUR Vincent Price films for ten bucks, or what the hell, buy them all, have a film festival.

Link is HERE.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 22: Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural

Heaven knows I'm bogged down with about 30 movies that I haven't watched yet - before graduate school I used to keep up - maybe in the near future -with school almost done (!) I'll be able to catch back up.

But instead of going with something unknown tonight, I wanted to take time to watch one of my Halloween standbys - films I crave every October. And one of them is this relatively unknown little gem:

I don't think this film is as well known as I think it should be - and I really think it should be seen and talked about more. It's just so deliciously creepy and out there - there's really nothing else like it. I had never even heard of it until it was released on DVD a few years ago - and the description of it sounded so wonderful that I bought it without as seeing so much as a trailer. And I wasn't disappointed.

The movie is about a girl named Lila Lee - whose father killed her mother (and her lover) when he found her cheating on him. Since then, Lila has been raised by the local Reverend and has become revered for her heavenly singing voice. When Lila receives a letter from a mysterious Lemora (calling herself a 'fellow Christian'), who says that she has Lila's father and that she must come and see him before he dies - and also to tell no one about what she is doing or where she is going.

Lila takes off for the strange town of Astaroth, and ends up taking a very creepy bus ride that ends up being attacked - and ends with her waking up a prisoner in a little stone house, with this weird old lady calling her 'Mary Jo' (claiming Lila looks just like her) and singing creepy songs to her:

Lila escapes and crawls under the house, where she overhears a conversation between her father and a woman she will soon meet, Lemora. Lemora finds Lila and brings her into the house and gives her a room:

Soon we're introduced to Lemora's five 'adopted' children, none of whom look very healthy. They all pass around a goblet of something that looks very suspicious:

It's soon apparent that Lemora has some kind of plans for Lila - plans which won't come as much of a surprise to horror fans - but the way that the movie is executed is so bizarre, sensual, and creepy - it's really a feast for the eyes.

There's a lot of talk from Lila about what is 'sinful' (drinking wine, vanity) and how Lemora attempts to convince her otherwise. It's also evident that Lemora has tried to recruit other young women (the infamous Mary Jo, whose diary is found by Lila) and has failed in the past.

The rest of the movie is a wonderful gothic mix of vampirism, witchcraft, and some not so subtle overtures from Lemora towards Lila. Will Lila succumb to Lemora's spell? If you're a fan of horror from the 60s or 70s, I really suggest you check this morsel out and find out for yourself.....