Sorry, folks, that’s as big as I can make it. I know, I know, you want a high-res version to print out to use as wallpaper; believe me, so do I. The Pangaea projections are nice, but it’d be awesome to see them carried on to the future, where many of HPL’s tales are set.
You know how there’s these ghosts? These Christmas ghosts? And they’re not so much all dead people as they are spirits in the pagan, pantheistic sense? Well, they say every Christmas gets the ghost it deserves (what? they do TOO say that. Now).
And this Christmas, that spirit is legendary chanteuse Jan Terri.
Now, my 2014 was memorable, even if parts of it have been blacked out for my own protection and ability to sleep at night. But it wasn’t all bad. For some of my friends, this year was indeed all bad, and they cannot wait to see its ass out the door. So it is to them that this little ditty is dedicated. You expected an angel singing the praises of the Mother of God and this, THIS, is what you got instead.
Happy New Year!
Guess what it’s doing out here on the raincoast? Well, it’s not coasting; that’s your first clue.
And when the year is drawing to a close and the nights stretch into infinity amid the whisper of the wind shaking invisible raindrops loose from dead and dying trees, there is only one thing you can do.
Well, two, but I’m all out of gin.
That’s right: you hole up with a damn good spooky movie. And here it is: my very favoritest damn good spooky movie, a portmanteau movie containing multiple mini-movies, all of them good. A British classic from 1945 entitled Dead of Night. Enjoy.
Found on Robson Street. That’s either a Cthulhu whose wings have been plucked (Nodens, that fucker, without a doubt) or a portrait in site-appropriate rainforest marble of some random douchebro on Granville street at about 3am, puking his virgin guts out.
And me stone-cold sober!
It’s time for a seriously cheesy, seriously un-serious movie starring one of the Great Old Ones of Hollywood: Lon Chaney Jr. He had a Freudianer, or at least Oedipalier time of it than most, as his father will be forever famous for his portrayals of various costumed monsters. Lon Jr started that way, too, as name recognition is quite useful when it comes to starting a career sometimes; he even changed his name from Creighton Tull Chaney to Lon Jr. He had to wait till his father was safely dead before stepping into his shoes, though. Soon enough he proved himself as a character actor and even, when cleaned up, a leading man, in one of my favorite oldie melodramas, The Shadow of Silk Lennox. But it was just so easy to get jobs in horror films.
His particular niche was slightly dumb, generably amiable, inadvertently sinister character roles. There were quite a lot of them to go around, too. Basically if it was insufficiently classy for Boris Karloff, Chaney got it. He’s most famous for playing the Wolf Man, although to my taste the Spaniard Paul Naschy was better at that role.
Here he is as the faithful servant of a decayed and sinister family in the weirdly mod (check out those opening credits!) 1967 horror flick Spider Baby, or The Maddest Story Ever Told! Someone needs to make an Austin Powers version of this, seriously. Or at least a Scooby Doo one.
In a dilapidated rural mansion, the last generation of the degenerate, inbred Merrye family lives with the inherited curse of a disease that causes them to mentally regress from the age of 10 or so on as they physically develop. The family chauffeur looks out for them and covers up their indiscretions. Trouble comes when greedy distant relatives and their lawyer arrive to dispossess the family of its home.
Bonus: CAROL OHMART! You remember her! From the Vincent Price 1959 classic The House on Haunted Hill (the one that was actually filmed IN the house reputed to be haunted)? She played the conniving trophy wife. Of COURSE she did; just look at her! Anyway, she’s another leading lady who could act rings around most, and who never enjoyed the success she deserved.
The suggested cocktail pairing with tonight’s gruesome entertainment is the White Spider Cocktail. Oh yes, there’s another version, but it’s made with vodka and therefore clearly inferior. We’ll wait while you mix yourself one…
1 ounce Gin
1 ounce Lemon Juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 tsp Simple Syrup
Combine ingredients with ice in cocktail shaker. Give it a few vigorous shakes and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
There, ready? Click to enjoy Spider Baby or The Maddest Story Ever Told in full!