Saturday, October 6, 2007

Eyes Without a Face, Part Deux: Roadkill

Evidently, yon possum who adorned our fence the other night (see October 4) was one of a family, as one of its relatives had a bad night tonight. This evening, Peg discovered an expired specimen—far larger than the first—lying on the road, right at the edge of our driveway...poor thing. We didn't want it to get mutilated any further by vehicles, so we packed it up in a garbage bag, and I sailed it over the fence.

I went to Raleigh today to do a panel on writing with Scott Nicholson and Alexandra Sokoloff, which was not exactly standing room only, but fun enough. Always good to see Scott and Alex, and we at least had a fairly enthusiastic little group of attendees.

Just on principle, I ordinarily will have absolutely nothing to do with American Movie Classics; way back in its early days, I loved that channel, but ever since they went to running commercials, editing films (for running time and content), and formatting them to fit my screen, I have pretty much boycotted the station. I don't know which "movie people" are into butchered films, but I am definitely not one of them. However, last night at 3:00 a.m., they frigging ran The She Creature, which I have not seen since childhood, and I have wanted to for years. So I recorded the thing and watched it this evening as one of those pre-Halloween treats I allow myself to indulge in. At least I could zap the commercials.

I knew this was no great film by any stretch, but I have to say, it featured the most sedate cast I ever saw. I don't believe anyone raised his or her voice over the course of the film, even when being attacked by the beast. Tom Conway gives a new meaning to the style of acting known as "wooden." In fact, I suspect he was supported by one of those T-bars you hang scarecrows from. Regardless, I enjoyed the crap out of it, cheezy monster and everything. It even had a couple of fairly eerie scenes as the critter emerged from its hazy past into the present. I'm glad I watched it, for sure, though it'll probably be another quarter century before I sit down to do it again.


Stewart Sternberg said...

I have a love for old black and white horror films. Have you tried watching any of the Val Lewton films recently. Another oldie worth viewing, a childhood fear first peeked at late at night when parents weren't watching, was Curse of the Demon. Outstanding. I recently purchased a disk with both American and British versions.

Stephen Mark Rainey said...

Oh yes. CURSE OF THE DEMON is my all-time favorite horror film. I usually watch it about this time every year, as a matter of fact. I've got the DVD with both versions as well. Before that came out, I had a VHS tape of the complete version—a la NIGHT OF THE DEMON on the DVD—though it did bear the CURSE OF THE DEMON title.

There's a very cool book about the movie by Tony Earnshaw called BEATING THE DEVIL from Tomahawk Press. Features an excellent history of the film, with bios of all the principles.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Thanks for the heads up, I think I'll go and check out the title.

David Niall Wilson said...

I almost miss the old days when your choices were more limited, and you ended up watching whatever was on...if you watched TV at all. There are a lot of very cool old movies I'd have missed if we'd had Blockbuster and Netflix when I was a kid...

Some of those old black and whites still make me grin.