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Sunday
Oct312010

A Bucket of Blood, plus Bert Convy!

Happy halloween bitches! Since I'm stuck at home working my fingers to a bone... I'm induging in Turner Classic Movies' 3-day horrorfest featuring old horror classics. I use the term classics loosely. Lots of Roger Corman, lots of Vincent Price, tons of arched eyebrows and spooky stares. "The Terror" with Jack Nicholson was a ghostly dud while I thoroughly enjoyed the William Castle double identity thriller "Homicidal". Currently I am watching Roger Corman's "Bucket of Blood" while I'm wiling away the hours on designing catalog pages. And I thought to myself, "why are you keeping all this campy beatnik horror goodness to yourself? Share a little, you selfish bitch!" So lucky for you, I'm a good listener. Here you go - the complete movie. Enjoy!

 

When you finish with the movie - snack on this delightful short - a spoof on the "Night of the Living Dead". I present to you, "The Night of the Living Bread." I love youtube.

Sunday
Apr042010

One man's 10-year love affair with the dictionary...

This video is seriously fascinating! It follows Johnny Carerra's journey to recreate his grandfather's old worn-out copy of Webster's Pictorial Dictionary. What a labor of love! He hand sets all the pages... hand makes and sews the binding - pretty amazing stuff. Having spent a good deal of time in my career working at a commercial printer and knowing how tedious it is to put a book together with all of today's fantastic technology - I can't even fathom how there were ever enough books for anyone to get a chance to read back in the day. Now I understand why a personal library was so valuable and a true luxury.   Enjoy the video - then go hug your dictionary!

Pictorial Webster's: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

 

 

Saturday
Jan302010

Random Facts #1 - Zero Mostel

  1. Zero once drank so much coffee he was treated for caffeine poisoning.
  2. Zero was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare in Hollywood. He didn't work in film for eleven years.
  3. Zero was the voice of the "Spell Binder" on TV's Electric Company.
  4. Zero originally wanted to be a painter and was giving art lectures when he was tapped for his comedic timing to do stand up comedy.
  5. Zero is not his real name - it's Samuel.
Saturday
Jan232010

Gumby + MST3K = Better than Saturday morning cartoons!

 I was jonesing for a little Gumby this morning - I don't know what made me think of it - so I hit the youtubes and dug up this little gem. The Mystery Science Theater crew serves up this little short Gumby in Robot Rumpus. Yup, Gumby and rumpus in the same sentence. How can you NOT watch!!

Wednesday
Jan202010

Elvis by every other name... just as sweet? 

I was cruising around on imdb.com chasing some random thought that I had while watching television and eventually found my way to Elvis Presley's imdb profile. After skimming the endless soundtrack list, I found his acting list - a total of 31 movies. Something struck me as quite hilarious... the names of the characters that EP played in his cookie-cutter canned movies have the most benign, yet hilarious, names. For every character named Mike Edwards there's a Tulsa McClean. Boys next door, bad boys, cowboys and crooners - Clint, Glenn, Rusty, or Vince - the names are an interesting microcosm of romance novel heroes and weekly serial stereotypes that Elvis was destined (or doomed) to play.

Of course there's a couple of random beauties thrown in the mix for good measure... Walter Gulick? Really? Who sees Elvis and says to themselves, "Now THAT'S Walter Gulick!"? Check out the complete list of his characters below... which is your favorite?

1956 - Clint Reno in Love Me Tender
1957 - Jimmy Tompkins AKA Deke Rivers in Loving You
1957 - Vince Everett in Jailhouse Rock
1958 - Danny Fisher in King Creole
1960 - Tulsa McClean in G.I. Blues
1960 - Pacer Burton in Flaming Star
1961 - Glenn Tyler in Wild in the Country
1961 - Chad Gates in Blue Hawaii
1962 - Toby Kwimper in Follow that Dream
1962 - Walter Gulick in Kid Galahad
1962 - Ross Carpenter in Girls! Girls! Girls!
1963 - Mike Edwards in It Happened at the World's Fair
1963 - Mike Windgren in Fun in Acapulco
1964 - Josh Morgan / Jodie Tatum in Kissin' Cousins
1964 - Lucky Jackson in Viva Las Vegas
1964 - Charlie Rogers in Roustabout
1965 - Rusty Wells in Girl Happy
1965 - Lonnie Beale AKA The Panhandle Kid in Tickle Me
1965 - Johnny Tyronne in Harum Scarum
1966 - Johnny in Frankie and Johnny
1966 - Rick Richards in Paradise, Hawaiian Style
1966 - Mike McCoy in Spinout
1967 - Lt. Ted Jackson in Easy Come, Easy Go
1967 - Guy Lambert in Double Trouble
1967 - Scott Hayward in Clambake
1968 - Joe Lightcloud in Stay Away Joe
1968 - Steve Grayson in Speedway
1968 - Greg Nolan in Live a Little, Love a Little
1969 - Jess Wade in Charro!
1969 - Walter Hale in The Trouble with Girls
1969 - Dr. John Carpenter in Change of Habit

The finally tally? 3 Mikes, 3 John/Johnnys, 2 Walters (who knew?), 1 doctor, 1 lieutenant, two aliases, 2 adjectives (Rusty and Lucky) and one cool noun named Pacer.

 

Sunday
Jan102010

The spineless Ross Sisters - so bendy it's bananas!

Back when it was hip to be square, the very talented Ross Sisters sang a little ditty called "Solid Potato Salad" featured in the film Broadway Rhythm.  Seems like typical 1940s movie fare - a silly song, pretty girls and technicolor sets. Well, these sisters have a little something up their sleeve(s) or behind their back(s). if you will. Give it a peek and really pay attention around the 1:00 mark - then stick with it til the end and I promise you won't be disappointed. We'll discuss in a few... enjoy and then join me on the flip side.

Are you gobsmacked.... ????

Are you wondering why you've never heard of these gloriously glamorous and mind-boggingly bendy babes before? Me too. So I headed over to wikipedia and found out a little bit more:

The Ross Sisters were a trio of female sibling dancers consisting of Aggie Ross, Elmira Ross, and Maggie Ross (whose real names were Veda Victoria, Dixie Jewel and Betsy Ann Ross). The Ross Sisters performed as a 3-part harmony trio wherein they also danced and did acrobatics and contortionism. Their public attention peaked during the 1940s, during which they were featured prominently in the film Broadway Rhythm.

I'm not sure if I love their act or their real names more. Dixie Jewel? Betsy Ross? Veda Victoria? Totally awesomely kitschy for sure. According to the limited information available - the girls would have ranged between the ages of 15-18ish during this clip. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of other info about them, they all married and moved on with life I suppose. 

I suppose these days they would be run-of-the-mill Cirque-du-Soleil chorus girls, but they seem to stand out as a great example of wacky talents captured on film.