Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN - COME CELEBRATE IT THE DAY AFTER IN BEAUTIFUL MONTCLAIR, NJ!

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Happy Halloween, Scared Silly fans! Hope you all have a howling good time today!

After you sock away your candy-ful bounty, why not come out and meet me on Saturday, November 1st at 2PM. It’s a day-after-Halloween treat as Montclair, New Jersey's East Side Mags hosts a personal appearance from yours truly. I’ll be signing copies of the Archie's Weird Mysteries collection, compiling some of the best stories from the series of comics I wrote.

East Side Mags is a newer comic shop on the scene, and a great one at that. Owner Jeff Beck not only is passionate about the comics hobby, but dedicated to nurturing a love of comics in younger readers, at a time when many comics fans are adults.

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At this signing, I'll be autographing alongside my Archie's Weird Mysteries colleague, Fernando Ruiz, the brilliant artist of the series. I will also be autographing copies of the Midnight Marquee Actor Series: Vincent Price edition to which I contributed a chapter. And I'll have plenty of free Scared Silly bookmarks to hand out, too. Hope to see you there! :)

EAST SIDE MAGS is located at 7 South Fullerton Ave. Montclair, NJ 07042. (862) 333-4961

Now enjoy this review of the Archie’s Weird Mysteries comic series!


Monday, October 20, 2014

TRICK OR TREAT, TRICK OR TREAT, HERE'S A CHANCE FOR US TO MEET!

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Two chances, actually!

I'm doing two Halloween-themed personal appearances at East Coast comic shops over the coming days.

My first appearance will be at the famous Jim Hanley's Universe in New York City. It's all part of Halloween ComicFest 2014, a now-annual event (and companion-event to May's annual Free Comic Book Day) in which comic shops offer free spooky-themed comics to their customers and host comic book writers and authors for autograph signings.

I'll be signing alongside talented Diana Leto, she the artist and co-creator of an excellent series called The Halloween Legion that I can't recommend highly enough.

The event takes place on Saturday, October 25th from noon to 2PM. You can see more details by clicking here.

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The following Saturday, November 1st at 2PM, it's "Time to Get Spooky" as Montclair, New Jersey's East Side Mags is billing it (I also like to call it "HalloweenFest Part 2"). East Side Mags is a newer comic shop on the scene, and a great one at that. Owner Jeff Beck not only is passionate about the comics hobby, but dedicated to nurturing a love of comics in younger readers, at a time when many comics fans are adults.

At this signing, I'll be autographing alongside my Archie's Weird Mysteries colleague, Fernando Ruiz, the brilliant artist of the series. See more details on this event by clicking here.

At both appearances, I will be autographing copies of the Archie's Weird Mysteries paperback collection as well as the Midnight Marquee Actor Series: Vincent Price edition to which I contributed a chapter. And I'll have plenty of free Scared Silly bookmarks to hand out, too. Hope to see you there! :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

TUMBLIN' TUMBLEWEEDS!

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Scared Silly fans... what a year this has been for me!!!

A thousand apologies. As I alluded to in previous posts, my schedule has been turned upside down by various projects... which have kept me from posting here with any regularity.

None the least of these projects is a documentary film about the Bowery Boys for which I'm serving as an Executive Producer, Writer, Casting Producer, Music Supervisor and Creative Consultant. I'll be posting in more detail about that soon...

Additionally, I have been working on several new comic book related projects, which I'll also post about soon.

Last but not least, I'm also in the middle of what's become an annual NY/NJ tour of personal appearances. I have a couple Halloween-related appearances coming up which I'll blog about here soon.

One of the things I'm considering doing during these heavily-compromised schedule periods is to post various Scared Silly-related content in lieu of new reviews. How would that strike you all? I'm thinking about keeping a steady stream of trailers, animated cartoons and even feature films coming your way... all in the public domain, of course (we have to keep things legit here after all). Please drop me an email (you'll find my address to the right) and let me know what you think.

In the meantime... well, here's some tumbling tumbleweeds:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

THE LOST SKELETON WILL WALK AMONG US... WITH YOUR HELP!!!

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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

THE SPIRITS OF '76 - 2014 EDITION

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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

TIME OUT FOR TERROR-BLE TENORS!

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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

SCARED SILLY NOMINATED FOR ANOTHER RONDO AWARD!

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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: