Thursday, September 13, 2018

I'm Pretty Sure They're Collies


At least, from the way they hopped around and ran, I think they were collies. The giant leaches, that is.

Okay, I'll backtrack a hair. Haven't written any posts for a bit, as Wendy and I've been in the middle of Hurricane Remodeling. New roof, old deck torn down, and a 4-season new sun room where we can watch our birds and other backyard critters. Plus, our cats, Guinness and Barley, can come out with us and have kitty TV.

Also been getting the inside of the house painted, so nothing is where we think it is, but the positive side effect is that we're tossing some stuff, too. Seeing all our stuff makes us realize even more how little we need, so we're having a purging. And, as part of that, we've been going through some old videotapes and watching them, and in most cases chunking them after a viewing. Last night's is an example.

The Killer Shrews, while a perfect good/bad movie, is one we can most likely catch on YouTube, should we decide to watch it again.

What can I say? Some bad acting, bad script, bad direction, but, hey! It was fun! It did move. And I honestly believe James Best (remember him as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in The Dukes of Hazzard?) tried to act his way through this thing, but it couldn't be saved. That being said, Shrews is a hoot. Not to the level of Plan 9 From Outer Space, but it could give Plan 9 a run for its movie. Shrews is great, drive-in movie schlocky fun.

Our story so far: Thorne Sherman (James Best) and Rook Griswold (Judge Henry Dupree) are delivering supplies in the S. S. Minnow... no, wait, that's another show.

Anyway, they deliver the supplies to a strange group of folks on a small island that's about to be clobbered by a hurricane (pronounced hurruhkuhn by Best's character). Actually, the seas are pretty calm for storm conditions, but, hey, maybe a hurruhkuhn is different.

Long story short, everyone has to take shelter from the hurruhkuhn, and in the process we discover there are giant, killer, mutant shrews threatening everyone. These critters have been created by our resident scientist-types living on the island. One of my favorite parts of this train-wreck is watching the beasties run and jump about. To me, they looked like collies covered with carpet and fake fangs, but another source, Wikipedia, said they were coonhounds. Whatever they were, they provided great comedic moments as they "attacked" their "victims". We'd see a victim do the usual trip-and-fall routine, then the not-so-giant killer shrews would leap about all over him, excited dog fashion.

Well, that's about all I can do for now. More later....

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Our Thanks to Archimedes

Tools of Arch
The plant, de-holed


Leave it to an old, dead Greek philosopher, mathematician, scientist, Jack-of-all-trades to help Wendy and I with getting a large plant out of the ground today. Good ol' Archimedes, just an all-around nice guy (Arch to his friends), must've been doing some landscaping at the time, or needed to change a tire, when he came up with the idea of the lever. I think he said something like, "Give me a good, strong two-by-four and a big ass rock, and I'll get that plant out of the ground." I'm sure he said something like that.

At any rate, Wendy and I had some plants we wanted to save before the destruction and construction of remodeling commences. So, armed with soft dirt (mud, actually) gloves, two shovels, and a fairly solid two-by-four, we dug and pried that sucker out so we can transplant it, and hopefully save it.

Time for a shot of Ouzo. To Arch!

Keep writing, friends.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

What Exactly is the Back Porch Machine?

The back porch machine? Well, that's something special. To find out, click the link below it will take you to a post from my good friend, Branson. I think you'll like the journey:

https://www.icedonuts2018.com/blog/the-back-porch-machine

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Where Exactly is Zywiec?


Well, I found out. Had to look online to do so, but I found it.

Prologue: Wendy and I worked in the yard earlier today, sweating and tugging at our plants we want to save in preparation for a new deck and roof work. So, tonight, we rewarded ourselves with a glass of wine (dry red for Wen) and a bottle of, what I soon discovered, was an excellent porter. Zywiec Porter 1881. I like a good, dry red wine, but over the years, I've learned I'm more of a porter or stout fellow.

Ernest Hemingway had a quote I love: "Write drunk; edit sober." I'm guessing he'd know. And whereas the contents of the bottle of 1881 I just consumed only established a golden mellowness, I could easily have pushed the envelope if I'd had another bottle or four.

Zywiec is a brewery in Zywiec, Poland, founded in 1856, so they have a bit of experience. This porter I had today kicked off in 1881. I could've read all the stuff about the beer, and... oh, what the hell, I'll tell you a bit about what they said. Normally, I don't like my writing influenced by what I've read, but we'll go for it. They say, The aroma is malty with a little molasses and a faint undertone of coffee that's nearly indistinguishable." Might be one of the reasons I like it -- the coffee hint. Also, the bottle says something about using "... four types of malt." And I also caught a bit of iron, sort of like one of my other favorites, Guinness. On tap.

All in all, this is a good beer to write with.

I need another bottle.

Keep writing, friends.

Friday, August 10, 2018

... and Whatever Happened to Fay Wray?


Continuing from two days ago, with my review of Doctor X. Here's the link to what I've written so far: https://writefromthegitgo.blogspot.com/2018/08/did-doctor-x-really-build-creature.html

... so, we have our mad scientists in Doctor X. Not necessarily the good doc himself, but the rest of his gang of ivory tower denizens. Part mystery, part science fiction, part horror, and with a good dose of comedy (some intentional, some not), Doc X entertains all the way through.

A good chunk of the comedy comes from actor Lee Tracy, who plays intrepid, fast-talking, wisecracking Lee Taylor (come on, guys, couldn't you at least be a bit more imaginative with his character's name?), the mostly fearless reporter. Not sure when this kind of stock character started, but could it be part of the inspiration for Carl Kolchak? At any rate, Taylor moves the story along as he unceasingly pursues the truth behind the murders. Plenty of times those of us in the audience wanted to shout to him, "Look out! Behind you!" as the stock murderous hand reaches out to throttle him.

Will Taylor crack the case and get the story in time? Stay tuned for the rest of the thrilling episode. And what about the butler?

Keep writing, friends.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Did Doctor X Really Build a Creature?


Well, actually, not. At least not in the original Doctor X, released to a New York City audience on August 3rd, 1932. We did have, however, our fair share of murder, and a serial killer operating during full moons.

Last night, August 7th, 14 of us Scoobies at the Tates Creek Public Library Classic Horror Film Club (try putting that on a business card) returned to one of our favorite time periods for horror movies -- the 1930s. This time we watched Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray (yes, the almost-bride-of-Kong herself), and Lee Tracy in the first Doctor X. This was a First National Pictures/Warner Brothers Pictures take on the mad scientist theme.

We were treated to cool laboratory sets in Art Deco style, with plenty of sparks, smoke, and lots of stuff bubbling away in glass containers. Hard to beat that. Also, some great German Expressionist shots with silhouetted figures, and harsh-angled lighting, especially on the actors' faces. Remember the old thing we'd do as kids with a flashlight, pointing it up at our faces, making us look maniacally evil? Yeah, we had that last night.

A bit more on the comedic side, especially starting out, it introduced a few more horror elements after the halfway mark. And even though this was Pre-Hays Code, there really wasn't much that was daring, unless you count the fact that our killer was cannibalistic. Never saw anything on-screen, though, so this one's safe for the kiddies.

Lionel Atwill plays the titular Doctor Jerry Xavier, who heads up a surgical research team, all of whom fall under the eyes of a couple of detectives investigating the strange murders. I say strange because the murderer strangles his (or her) victims with "... powerful hands....", then apparently cannibalizes them, and finally cutting them with a scalpel on the back of their heads. We never see the bodies, however, after the fact.

Fay Wray gets to practice her famous scream two years before her big screen scream in 1933's King Kong. She plays Doc X's daughter, Joanne Xavier.

Gonna leave you with this for now. I'll finish up tomorrow. Don't want to overwhelm you with text.

Keep writing, friends.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Still Looking for the Sign that Says "Eat at Joe's"

And who's Joe, anyway? At any rate, Wendy and I were wandering through Maysville, Kentucky a couple of weeks ago with some friends of ours. We'd stopped off downtown, walking along a few streets, when we saw this sign:


We wondered if it was both an art gallery and a restaurant, so we ventured inside. It had been a restaurant at one time, hence the "EAT" sign, but no longer. In a creative bit of word play, the restaurant-turned-art gallery owners kept the sign and called their gallery Exquisite Art Treasures.

Keep writing, friends.