Tuesday, July 8, 2014
That's right, Scared Silly fans... Larry Blamire needs our help!
And who is Larry Blamire, a small percentage of you out there may ask?
Why none other than a very good friend of our SCARED SILLY project.
Also a filmmaker.
Kidding aside, you may recall this post (if you don't, click "this post" to read it) where I waxed rhapsodic over Larry's film, DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. You see, Larry "gets it." He gets classic horror-comedy. DARK AND STORMY NIGHT hit the Scared Silly target right between the (crossed) eyes with its delightful spoof of "old dark house" movies.
But there was life before DARK for Larry, and it was as if he were being guided like a puppet on a string. Or perhaps a skeleton!
Yes, Larry is also the man who brought us such wacky, satirical offerings as THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA...
...and its sequel THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN!
Larry's films are enough to make the writer of the ARCHIE'S WEIRD MYSTERIES comic books (namely me) exclaim, "Hey, why didn't I think of that?!"
Larry really, truly wants to make a trilogy. But you can't make a trilogy without breaking some eggs. Or something like that.
Oh, yeah - you need a budget. That's it.
Larry is turning to us, the fans to help fund the film. Think of how much fun you'll have watching the finished product!
If that's not enough, Larry's offering a whole smattering of incentives (read: cool swag... and even walk-on bits in the film!) to persuade you to back the latest shenanigans and skullduggery of that lost bag of bones.
You can read all about it on the official Kickstarter page for THE LOST SKELETON WALKS AMONG US (just click on it and see)!
In the meantime, here's Larry's 15-minute plea for help... won't you do what you can to keep the world safe for satire? You've got just 21 days to donate!
Friday, July 4, 2014
NOTE: This is an encore edition of a post I originally wrote in 2010:
Here’s a film that will be going into the “horror-onable mention” section of my book. It’s not a “horror-comedy” per se – it’s more of a fantasy-romance, but it does involve ghosts (albeit friendly ghosts) who take the opportunity to put a good scare in some folks as needed. For me, Abbott & Costello’s “The Time of Their Lives” is every bit as classic a movie as “Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein;” even if it has more in common with “Topper.”
It’s also tied into the American Revolution, hence this post falling on America’s Independence Day. The film’s script is very well written. It tells the tale of Horatio Prim (Costello), a bumbling but masterful New England tinker in 1780 who longs to marry Nora, the housemaid of wealthy estate owner Tom Danbury. To that end, Horatio procures a letter of commendation from General George Washington in hopes of obtaining permission to marry Nora from Tom. Unfortunately, Horatio has a rival for Nora in butler Cuthbert (Abbott), who causes him trouble no end. But the real trouble comes from Danbury himself, who is secretly a traitor out to aid Benedict Arnold. Both Nora and Danbury’s fiancé, Melody (the luminous Marjorie Reynolds) learn of Danbury’s plot. Nora is captured and Danbury confiscates the commendation letter from her (she had been holding it for Horatio) and hides it in the mantelpiece clock, but Melody manages to escape on horseback in an effort to warn George Washington. She soon encounters Horatio, and the two are framed as traitors, executed and dumped into a well.
It’s here that the fantasy element kicks in. Horatio and Melody are now ghosts who haunt the grounds of the estate and will continue to do so until they can prove their innocence. They just need to somehow get the letter into the hands of the authorities who can rewrite the history books so the truth can be known. This becomes a more hopeful quest 166 years later when the estate is restored to its original condition, and that includes the original furniture. When the restoration is complete, the new owner invites some guests for the weekend to celebrate. Among the guests are psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenway, a descendent of Cuthbert (also played by Abbott). Horatio and Melody decide to have some fun “scaring” the guests. Horatio takes particular delight in spooking Greenway. A séance is held wherein the identity of the ghosts and their plight is revealed, resulting in the living doing what they can to help set Horatio and Melody free.
The film has grown in status over the years and has quite a following (and may have even inspired a line in the classic Gordon Lightfoot song, "If You Could Read My Mind"). In fact, while embraced by many Bud & Lou fans, it’s also been touted as “the Abbott & Costello movie for people who hate Abbott & Costello movies.” This is due to the exceptional dramatic acting of both Lou and Bud that full-bloodedly brings their well-written roles to life. They are both so good in this that it’s hard to say whether one outshines the other (although I might give the slight edge to Abbott whose rarely used talent for character acting is on full display here). It stands out from the majority of the team’s other films which primarily feature a variation on their con man/patsy burlesque characters. It’s one of the few films where the team stretched beyond their usual archetypes and managed to pull it off (for examples where this departure from the norm didn’t work in my opinion, catch “Little Giant” and “Dance With Me Henry.” Or don’t). It also includes a wonderful supporting cast, including horror-comedy stalwart Gale Sondergaard as the maid of the restored estate who definitely believes in ghosts. And it features beautiful sets, wonderful costume designs and marvelous special effects - a top-notch production all around.
If you haven't guessed by now, I consider "The Time of Their Lives" a wonderful film to watch on Independence Day... or any day, for that matter! Here’s the trailer for your enjoyment:
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Yeah, I know - you're as shocked as Sach to see me here, and probably asking yourself, "Gee, where the heck have you been?"
I'll be explaining soon. Sach is actually part of the reason I've been scarce around these here parts as of late.
Hopefully I can rectify that soon.
Until then... a musical interlude from some of horrordom's most famous boogeymen, who never took themselves too, too seriously... and sometimes got downright silly! ENJOY!
Friday, March 21, 2014
Well here we are again with some nice, albeit surprising news. At the beginning of this week, it turns out the latest round of Rondo Award nominations (for achievements in horror during 2013) were announced. I'd been so busy elsewhere (a long story) that I managed to miss the news - but it's come to my attention that yes, for at least the third time, this humble little blog about spooks and kooks, ghouls and fools, and creeps and clowns has been nominated for a Rondo award!
While I don't necessarily think this blog is worthy of such an honor this year (due to circumstances beyond my control my output was sparse at best), I am honored to be nominated - it is both a vote of confidence and encouragement to me. I want to thank whoever recommended “Scared Silly” for the nomination – I truly appreciate it!
The Rondo Awards are named after Rondo Hatton (you can learn more about Rondo when you click here) and are awards given to those who in some way are keeping the love for and appreciation of classic horror alive. You can learn more details about the awards and view this year's ballot by clicking here.
"Scared Silly" has been nominated in the "best blog" category, and it is my hope that if you like this blog, you will vote for it.
There are TONS of friends of Scared Silly who have been nominated in various categories, and in the coming days I hope to post more about them and encourage you to check out all their great projects, and to vote for them if you're so inclined.
Until then, here's a nice montage of Rondo Hatton movie scenes incongruously set to a jaunty tune - ENJOY:
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Friday, January 3, 2014
As I mentioned in my previous post, I begin the New Year with an exciting announcement: on Sunday, January 12th at 2PM I will be introducing and doing a post-screening talk/Q&A on the ultimate classic horror-comedy film, ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN!
It’s part of the annual West Orange Classic Film Festival, whose organizer Ken Mandel I must thank for arranging my appearance.
After my talk, I’ll have a little table set up where fans can purchase autographed copies of some of my books, such as the VINCENT PRICE book to which I contributed an essay and the ARCHIE’S WEIRD MYSTERIES paperback collection.
Available for the first time will be the brand-new, FREE Scared Silly bookmark! A little something to tied us all over until we actually have a completed Scared Silly book to read.
Tickets for this special event are NOW AVAILABLE for pre-order at the following link:
Fandango – A&C Meet Frankenstein W.O. Classic Film Fest – order tickets here
Just click on the showtime within the above link (2:00 p) to order.
Be advised that this theater sells reserved ticket seats only (like a Broadway show or concert). This means you get to pick your seats when you purchase your ticket. You can do that as a "walk-in" same day as the show or you can do it by pre-ordering. Pre-ordering of course gets you an earlier shot at better available seats but either way works (NOTE: The event organizer feels this show has a chance of seeing out so he recommends pre-ordering your tickets).
Of course, my screening isn’t the only one happening in the festival – there are several amazing films screening, all with a special guest-speaker. You can see the line-up here:
...and you can watch the trailer for ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN here: