Monday, December 31, 2012
Hmmmm…. Father Time is kinda’ scary, isn’t he?
Speaking of time, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for making the past few years so much fun for me. Thank you to all those who have twittered about my blog, chosen to “follow” the blog, have left comments on posts and told others about the project. I am especially grateful to all the blogs and websites who have publicized this wacky endeavor over the past 12 months.
Special thanks goes to Brian Solomon of The Vault of Horror who invited both me and John Cozzoli of Zombo’s Closet of Horror to join him on-stage at The Bijou Theatre in Connecticut for a double-feature screening of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein and Young Frankenstein last week. Brian was wonderful to meet and a big fan, and John of course also continues to be a strong supporter of this project.
LEFT TO RIGHT: John Cozzoli, Brian Solomon, Paul Castiglia
Another round of special thanks goes to master (and celebrity) chef and restaurateur Francesco Palmieri of the Orange Squirrel restaurant in New Jersey. Francesco hosted a special Halloween dinner comprised of entrees from Vincent Price's cookbook... and he invited me to participate and give a short presentation on Price including a fun trivia contest! Francesco and his family and staff were all wonderful people and I am grateful to have met them as well.
Paul Castiglia, Francesco Palmieri
Of course, there's no blog without you readers out there so thank you to ALL SCARED SILLY FANS! (And if I’ve left anyone out please know it wasn’t intentional)!
Last but certainly not least I also have to thank my wife for letting the TV be commandeered by all these movies (some of which were just downright painful for her to sit through), my friend Brent for being a terrific fact-checker and of course everyone’s favorite current-day character actor, carrying the torch for all who’ve gone before, the ubiquitous Daniel Roebuck, who graciously agreed to write the foreword for the book that will (hopefully) ultimately result from this blog!
Thank you also for bearing with my erratic schedule – due to other commitments I can’t always post on a regular basis. Please hang in there and keep checking back… you’re bound to see a new review every now and then.
Until the next review, here is Vagabond Opera performing “New Year’s Eve in a Haunted House,” composed by avant garde jazz legend Raymond Scott, the man behind many of the melodies heard in Looney Tunes cartoons - enjoy your New Year's Eve!
Monday, December 24, 2012
Hello, Scared Silly fans! 2012 has been quite a year. While external circumstances prevented me from writing too many reviews the last half of the year, I did end up with two fun Scared Silly-related gigs which both came out of left field.
You’ll recall that I was guest-speaker at a Halloween dinner held by the great celebrity chef Francesco Palmieri who created entrees based on recipes in Vincent Price’s cookbook (and if you don’t recall, just click here to read about that).
Now comes another great opportunity that’s right up my alley: impeccable blog-meisters Brian Solomon of The Vault of Horror and John Cozzoli of Zombo’s Closet (you remember John – he’s featured me on his site several times – once here and once here and another time here) have invited me to join them on stage at the Bijou Theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut for a double-feature screening of Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein and Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein!
Of course you know I consider the Abbott & Costello romp to be the ultimate classic horror-comedy extravaganza (I doubt few would disagree) – if you want to revisit my review of the film you can do so by clicking here.
As for Young Frankenstein, I’m a big fan of at least the first two thirds of the film, those parts that really pay attention to and lampoon the mythology of the first few Universal Frankenstein films. It’s rather brilliant and funny and with pros like Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Chloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Teri Garr and Kenneth Mars lending their precision timing and flair for the absurd director Brooks had it made. My favorite bit is the spoof of the blind hermit sequence from Bride of Frankenstein – I think the legendary Gene Hackman as the hermit surprised many at the time with his comedic finesse.
The double-feature screening is part of a series that Brian Solomon is running at the Bijou Theatre called BEDLAM AT THE BIJOU. He’s even subtitled this one, “Scared Silly!” Brian, John and I will be hosting and doing Q&A and trivia and the like.
Additionally, I’ll be giving away one autographed copy each of my VINCENT PRICE and ARCHIE’S WEIRD MYSTERIES books, plus I’ll have extra copies of both available for sale there.
The fun takes place this Thursday, December 27th , 2012 starting at 7PM. The theater is located at 275 Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut and you can contact them at (203) 332-3228 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Click here to check the event calendar for upcoming double-doses of creature features.
Now here are the trailers for the two films we’ll be featuring Thursday – hope to see you there!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Greetings Scared Silly fans. I know I’ve been scarce in these parts as of late and I apologize for that – my schedule has been a doozy the last half of this year. The good news is that I may have an opportunity soon to make up for lost time and get back to reviewing classic horror-comedy films on a more regular basis.
In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that I’m making another personal appearance for charity this weekend, at a very special event for a great cause: benefiting victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Called “Creating with Compassion,” the event brings together New Jersey-based comic industry pros, book authors, fine artists, singers and musicians and other performers. There will be opportunities to meet, greet and receive autographs from the creative talent on hand as well as to enjoy book readings, live music, art demonstrations, performances and more.
The open-house style event will be held at Jersey City’s Art House Productions, 1 McWilliams Place, Jersey City, N.J. on December 15, 2012 from 4 to 7 PM. Admission is free, but donations for the American Red Cross will be collected at the door. Each participant will donate a portion of the afternoon’s sales to a Hurricane Sandy relief organization of his or her choice. I will be there autographing copies of my ARCHIE’S WEIRD MYSTERIES and VINCENT PRICE books along with various comic book projects.
Also on hand will be some of my friends from the world of comics, all who have interesting things to offer. Mark “My Pal Mark” Mariano is the author-illustrator of the comic, Happy Loo as well as the illustrator of the children’s book, No Sweets For Santa. He also created the event’s logo (above) and is a member of the quirky rock trio, The O>Matics. In addition to autographing books, Mark will also be performing as his Mark O>Matic alter ego.
Also on hand will be Joe Endres, the writer-co-creator of Colossians and Megazeen and popular sketch card artist and art teacher, Nick Mockoviak – a man known for his fondness for Universal Monsters!
Now here’s a clip of New Jersey First Lady Mary Pat Christie urging people to donate to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. I will be donating proceeds from the sales of my books to this charity as well as to the Red Cross.