Sunday, February 28, 2010


Stan Laurel Oliver Hardy

Before I get into this post I want to thank all my faithful readers for their patience. Since this is still a labor of love and a work-in-progress without a deadline (otherwise known as a book without a publisher - at least as of yet) I have not been able to update this blog as much as I would like. Real life concerns (like paying gigs with deadlines) must always take precedence.

Despite this, you guys have been champs, consistently reading my entries as I post them. If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to either follow my blog using Google Blogger (just go to the "Followers" section on the side-bar to follow - or click here for a more in-depth explanation) or add it to your RSS reader or other feed reader. You can also follow it at and the "Scared Silly by Paul Castiglia" group page on Facebook. By choosing any of these methods, you can be sure to never miss a post.

Today I wanted to address an often-asked question: will the book version of "Scared Silly" be exactly like the blog, and if so, why should I bother buying the book?

That's a good question. The answer is "no - the book will not be exactly like the blog."

First off, there are some things you can do in a blog that you just can't do in a book, just like there are some things you can do in a book that you just can't do in a movie. With the blog, I can embed videos and also link to additional information, sites and articles. I can also provide direct links to where you can buy related DVD's and books.

I envision the book in a certain way. Now mind you, whatever publisher gets on board may have other ideas that differ from what I have in mind, but you can be certain that at least some of the following additional content will be in the book.

FORMAT: I envision one of two formats. One would be a large-format, color and black & white coffee table book (something along the lines of the John McCabe/Al Kilgore/Richard W. Bann "Laurel & Hardy" coffee table book) and the other a black & white paperback (similar to the book "Poverty Row Horrors" by Tom Weaver).

Laurel & Hardy Compiled by Al Kilgore, Filmography by Richard W Bann

ART DESIGN: I'm hoping to have a general motif of tint-back imagery related to "Old Dark Houses" - candlesticks, cobwebs with spiders, antiques, bookshelves, suits of armor, etc. Also, for each film review, in addition to having a star rating I intend to include icons that correspond to the horror-comedy trappings featured in each film. For example, if a film features spooky servants, a hidden passage and a gorilla you'll be able to tell before you even read the review just by seeing the icons (and there will be a handy legend explaining each icon at the beginning of the book).

IMAGES: I hope to provide additional images in the book, from movie posters to lobby cars, candid shots to publicity stills, film stills, peripherals and more.

EDITORIAL CONTENT ABOUT BEHIND THE SCENES TALENT: I've held back from giving too much information on the writers and directors of the films in my blog posts. However, the writers and directors are often a big part of these films, and so I hope to provide some additional insight into their careers as well.

FOREWORD BY DANIEL ROEBUCK: Yes, the great character actor Daniel Roebuck has agreed to write the foreword to the book, and you'll only be able to read it there!

Another difference between the book and the blog is that I'm not presenting the reviews in any specific order on the blog, however, in the book I will be presenting the the reviews divided up into chapters including a chapter each on terror templates (the plays and books that inspired the form), silent horror-comedies, Laurel & Hardy, Our Gang/Little Rascals, Three Stooges, Abbott & Costello, East Side Kids/Bowery Boys, various comedy teams, solo stars, horror-comedy entries in "series" films (like the Blondie, Mexican Spitfire, Henry Aldrich and Francis the Talking Mule series), African-American horror-comedies, horror stars spoofing themselves, 1960-1966: the waning days of the traditional horror-comedies, an overview of the years following 1966, and an appendix that could feature additional articles and information.

So that's the deal - thanks again for hanging in there with me - let's continue having fun on the journey together. Please remember to vote for this blog for a Rondo Award (just click on the aqua green banner above)... and speaking of gorillas, please enjoy this clip of The Ritz Brothers facing off against our favorite boogeyman here at "Scared Silly," Bela Lugosi:

Speaking of gorillas,

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