hmmm… let me see. It’s October, the month of spooks and spectres. My own kids are past school age, but I have my nieces here, and they’re off school for the day (in service day for teachers, I think). It’s cold and rainy, definite pillow fort weather. So how can the clan celebrate this particular Fun Friday in the treehouse lair? Isn’t it obvious? Order in some pizza and watch some scary movies!
But I still owe y’all a blog post for Fun Friday, and I hate leaving you out of the spooky movie fun. So here are a trio of flicks available online to spice up your punky, pulpy Halloween.
First, a bit of visual stimulation:
Yeah, the picture is apropos of nothing. But I saw it online, and found it deliciously creepy. I thought y’all would enjoy it. You’re welcome.
Next, did you know that the first real Frankenstein movie was made by Thomas Edison? For real, it’s true! It was made in 1910, at Edison Studios in the Bronx, and starred established actors Augustus Phillips (Dr. Frankenstein(, Charles Ogle (the Monster), and Mary Fuller (the Doctor’s fiancée.) It’s a silent film, obviously, and was shot in only three days. It was written and directed by J. Searle Dawley, and while there is no documentation, it’s generally agreed that Thomas Edison himself was the producer.
Most important for our purposes, it’s in the public domain, and therefore free for anybody who wants to own it or show it. And, the Internet being what it is, naturally it’s on YouTube (or you can download it here) It’s only about sixteen minutes long, and, in my opinion, not all that scary; the directors made a point of bowdlerizing the more lurid parts of the story. But it’s an important piece of film history, and therefore worth the watching. In my opinion, it belongs here among us because the setting and tech sits right on the border between Steampunk and Dieselpunk. Plus I just think it’s cool. Here, take a peek for yourself.
Next, ever hear of The Crimson Ghost? No? Okay, you ever seen this logo of the punk band, The Misfits?
Ever heard the song “The Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden? Yeah. The logo was inspired by the appearance of The Crimson Ghost; the Ghost made an appearance in the music video for the Iron Maiden song.
“So quit being so damned coy and tell us who the Crimson Ghost is already!”
Yeah, yeah, I hear you, keep your knickers on! The Crimson Ghost is a Republic serial from 1946. I think we’ve already established that I’m a shameless fan girl of the old Republic serials, so you should have seen this one coming. This one is considered one of the best serials of the time, and was directed by William Witney, who even in his own time was hailed as the best there was at making serials. It’s another one that skirts the borderland between subgenres; it’s solid New Pulp in its approach and settin, but the plot is early Atompunk: the eponymous character is a villain trying to steal an atomic device called the Cyclotrode, which is kind of like an EMP machine; the heroes are trying to stop him, obviously.
It deserves its reputation; it’s a fun show. Serials faded out as a viable storytelling format because, by the time Ghost came out, they had started to become very trite and contrived. But this one escapes the worst faults of the medium. It works. Here’s where you can watch it on YouTube. I’m giving you a link instead of an imbedded video because I want you to see the entire playlist; all 12 episodes in order, unadulterated and at your fingertips.
Okay. I know I’m running a bit short on the blog today. But that’s all I got for you today. Two movies, one of them a serial, should keep you out of mischief for a goodly portion of the day, right? So I’ll be back tomorrow to continue The October Flurry. In the meantime, tweet, share, comment, and email if you have any recommendations for Fun Fridays. Be good (and if you can’t be good… yeah, you know the rest.)
Oh, yeah, just because I can (and because it freaks me out every time, even after all these years) another picture off the InterWebz: