Saturday, December 31, 2011



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 couple of 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 John Cozzoli of Zombo’s Closet of Horror, who invited me (and my blog) to join the League of Tanna Tea Drinkers in 2011. I also want to thank Chris Cummins from Movie Fanfare for requesting that my post about collecting super 8 films to be re-posted to his fine site, affiliated with Movies Unlimited. Last but not least, thanks to David Colton, organizer of the Rondo Awards for branding my humble little blog worthy of being nominated for "best blog" - I truly appreciate that!

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)!

Of course 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!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Walter Catlett

PLOT: Mr. Bates (Walter Catlett) has a case of the hiccups that would make a jackhammer feel inadequate. His condition is so bad that doctors fear it could be fatal! To make matters worse, he isn’t quite fond of Jimmy (Richard Malaby), the man who wants to marry his daughter Helen (Dorothy Granger) – the very mention of the prospect gets him hiccupping all over again! The latest remedy: doctors prescribe that Walter be taken to a house in the country for “absolute quiet.” The house is of course a spooky old place described by the doctor as being as quiet as “a tomb.” But did someone remember to tell the noisy ghosts that?!

REVIEW: This one-reeler for Educational Pictures features Walter Catlett, who is best remembered as a comedic character actor who added spice and accent to several classic musical and comedy features of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.

The set-up is compact and to the point, with Walter’s daughter Helen and her boyfriend Jimmy in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, awaiting the prognosis for Walter’s case of “near fatal” hiccups. In the brief opening, we learn of Walter’s condition, the fact that it was brought on and is exacerbated by Jimmy’s frequent attempts to ask Walter for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and the doctor’s prescription of rest at a “quiet” country home.

When the doctor, Walter, Helen and the driver, Chester arrive the house is completely dark. When the light switch is flipped a spooky white owl squawks and flies off (perhaps a predecessor of Harry Potter’s Hedwig?). Chester lets slip that he’s afraid to go upstairs which leads the doctor to confess that the house is allegedly haunted. The doctor leaves but not before instructing Walter to remember to take his medicine and avoid getting angry. And not before cackling menacingly on his way out!

As Walter sleeps his snores alternate with hiccups. Chester sleeps in the same room; right next to a window and when the wind causes the window shade to snap up both men are startled. As Chester rises, he casts an ominous shadow in Catlett’s direction.

After a brief exchange between the two, the sheet on Walter’s bed flies straight up into the air! He runs into the hallway where he sees a candle headed his way! After a momentary scare he realizes it’s his daughter, awoken by the commotion. She asks if her dad if he heard a scream and just then maniacal laughter is heard! As Walter turns he notices the eyes of painted portrait on the wall are darting about. His daughter runs off in fear and when Walter turns again he notices someone holding a much larger candle – a scary man with a top hat who looks a bit like Mr. Hyde!

This leads to a series of blackout gags where we go back and forth between Walter, Chester and Helen being scared. Chester is still dealing with the disembodied sheet in the other bedroom and prays to his “mammy” for help! The Mr. Hyde creature continues to menace Walter and Helen to the point where Helen faints. A scary arm with long, sharp fingernails reaches through the wall and strokes Chester’s face. Walter steps on a bearskin rug and is verbally chided by the bear for doing so! This is followed by Chester accidentally stepping on a lion-skin rug who threatens to bite his leg off if he doesn’t step off! A stuffed toucan then queries, “can’t a guy get some sleep around here!”

These gags culminate in the first big twist: as a ghostly figure with a hideous face heads down the stairs toward Walter and Helen, it trips down the steps and the headpiece falls off, revealing Jimmy underneath! Of course he tells Walter that he only did it to cure his hiccups since “the only cure is a bad scare!” Realizing his hiccups are gone, Walter changes his tune and thanks Jimmy, then asks him how he ever got the animals to talk.

“Animals, what animals,” asks Jimmy. “He means us!” exclaims the bear as the trio try to run out the door. Unfortunately it’s locked, but the helpful lion offers, “The key is on the table!”

This is followed by a second twist, as the trio is accosted by the Mr. Hyde monster and a couple of ghosts on their way out. It’s the doctor and his helpers. “That last scare ought to make the cure permanent – I don’t think he’ll suffer from hiccoughs from now on!”

Maybe not. Now that Jimmy is in Walter’s good graces, he once again asks Walter if he can marry his daughter. This starts the hiccough fit all over again – but this time it spreads to Jimmy and Helen, too!

In a fast-paced ten minutes (this was a one-reeler), this short manages to pull out nearly all the trappings of a typical “old dark house” scare comedy: the old house itself with its ornate furnishings and foreboding dark shadows, the scared servant (in this case, the driver), sounds and voices out of nowhere, things (like window shades and sheets) that move on their own, the portrait with moving eyes, scary monster and ghost figures, etc. It’s all stock material – nothing really new or original here, including the “scares as a cure for hiccups” premise that appears in countless live-action and animated comedies – but it’s elevated a notch by the performers who all sell the laughs and scares with great gusto and enthusiasm.

Of course the center of the action is the short’s star Walter Catlett, who is perfect here as his typical excitable, put-upon character. An ex-vaudevillian, Catlett had a lengthy career in both shorts and features for a variety of studios. Among the studios for which Catlett made comedy shorts were Sennett, Educational and Columbia (for which he would make a two-reel horror-comedy called “You’re Next” featuring Dudley Dickerson). In features, Catlett had the good fortune to appear in such classics as “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Bringing Up Baby,” “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” and “A Tale of Two Cities.” On the classic comedy front, he appeared alongside such luminaries as Hugh Herbert, Abbott & Costello and Danny Kaye, and even had a part in Olsen & Johnson’s classic horror-comedy, “Ghost Catchers.” However, with all his many credits Catlett is undoubtedly most famously known by children around the world as the voice of “Honest” John Worthington Foulfellow, the conman fox from Disney’s classic animated feature, “Pinocchio.” Not only was Catlett offered an opportunity to play a brash and flamboyant comic villain in the role, but he also got to sing an enduring tune, “Hi Diddle-Dee-Dee.”

Dorothy Granger

As for the rest of the cast, the beautiful Dorothy Granger (my all-time favorite classic comedy actress) displays her usual comic prowess in going toe-to-toe with comedic males (in a career spanning several decades she played opposite giants like Laurel & Hardy, W.C. Fields and The Three Stooges and enjoyed a recurring role as Leon Errol’s wife in his great shorts). The actor playing the doctor imbues the character with a very cavalier and cocky attitude that is both funny and alarming (would anyone really want a doctor who would go to such lengths to scare the wits out of them?). Chester, the driver is essayed by an African-American performer I don’t recognize. His role offers the usual conundrum: he’s relegated to a “scared servant” part but like fellow African-American comedic actors Mantan Moreland and Dudley Dickerson he is quite funny going through those motions.

On top of all the great acting, there is the surprising element of talking rugs and taxidermist dummies. The bearskin and lion skin rugs and stuffed toucan provide some of the biggest laugh-out-loud moments in the short. As classic horror-comedies go, “One Quiet Night” is worth watching for all of its fun elements, and being a one-reeler that plays at a swift clip it doesn’t give a viewer time to reflect upon how shopworn some of the gags and overall premise may be.

SPOTTED IN THE CAST: This short only has three credited players – Catlett, Granger and someone named Richard Malaby. Catlett and Granger of course are known performers but I have no idea who Richard Malaby played – he only has one other acting credit to his name and I couldn’t find a photo of him. Since there are three other major parts in the film (the boyfriend, the doctor and the driver) it’s anyone’s guess who Malaby played. I’m guessing he’s the boyfriend but he could be the doctor. Or perhaps he’s the driver. Who knows?

Therefore, for this particular entry we’ll do “Spotted in the Credits” instead. Almost (more on that in a moment). This film was directed by Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle. For the general public who has heard of Arbuckle, most know him from the infamous scandal that brought his star down. What they may not know is that after three trials he was acquitted of the charge of accidentally causing Virginia Rappe’s death. The star, who mentored Chaplin and worked with Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton was once just as famous and beloved as those three giants of the silent screen. Fatty was given some opportunities after his acquittal to appear in sound shorts (including a couple co-starring Shemp Howard) as well as to direct shorts starring the likes of Al St. John, Lloyd Hamilton and Lupino Lane, among others. Just two years after directing “One Quiet Night” and also starring in a half dozen shorts for Vitaphone, Warner Brothers offered him a shot at a feature. It was never to be, as Fatty suffered a fatal heart attack the very same day the offer was made.

So, I mentioned above that this is an ALMOST “Spotted in the Credits.” Why? Because in original release prints of “One Quiet Night” the short’s direction is credited to William Goodrich. Despite Arbuckle’s acquittal, the scandal was just too fresh in the public’s mind for him to draw attention to himself, hence the alias (which often was shortened to just "Will B. Good" - as suggested by Buster Keaton). In later years when Arbuckle's post-scandal directorial efforts were re-released theatrically and to TV stations by other distributors, Arbuckle’s real name was restored to the credits in place of the pseudonym.


For my money, the best dialogue comes from the bearskin rug, lion skin rug and stuffed toucan, but here are some of the memorable human exchanges as well:

JIMMY: Mr. Bates, can I marry your daughter?

CATLETT: No! HICCUP! A thousand HICCUP times no! Confound you HICCUP you’re the HICCUP fellow who HICCUP started this HICCUP hiccup mess!

CATLETT: It’s like a HICCUP tomb!

DOCTOR: Exactly what you need – absolute quiet!

DOCTOR: Driver, take Mr. Bates’ bags to his room.

CHESTER (THE DRIVER): Me go upstairs in this house? No sir, pos-i-tive-ly!

CATLETT: What did he mean?

DOCTOR: That’s a lot of nonsense, Mr. Bates. Some people think this house is haunted.

CATLETT: Haunted?!

DOCTOR: They think there’s ghosts.

CATLETT: Ghosts?!

DOCTOR: Of course to us, that’s silly!

CHESTER: Do you mind if I leave all the doors open?


CHESTER: In case I wants to leave quick!

CATLETT: What are you puttering around about? Why don’t you go to sleep?

CHESTER: I just can’t sleep tonight. I reckon I got the in-so-amonia!

CATLETT: “In-so-amonia!” Chester, you certainly do murder the English language!

CHESTER: I hope that’s all that’s murdered down here tonight!!!


All the aforementioned scare gags and the actors’ reactions to same are very well done. Like the dialogue, the best visual also belongs to sight of the bearskin rug, stuffed toucan and lion skin rug as their mouths all move in a visually funny manner.


Rob King, an Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto wrote an essay about the comedy shorts of Educational Pictures for the magazine “Film History: an International Journal.” You can read about it and order a copy when you click here and here.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Santa vs. Satan

What has to be one of the most surreal and (unintentionally) scariest children’s films ever made is director René Cardona’s 1959 “Santa Claus.” Enterprising exploitation producer/distributor/showman K. Gordon Murray snapped this one up, dubbed it (poorly) into English and unleashed it upon an unsuspecting American public year after year after year.

I say “unsuspecting” because no one in America could have suspected the Santa legend was so different in Mexico. Or maybe it was just different for the writers and directors behind this cinematic oddity. I’ve read many articles about the film and I’m still not sure what the answer is. All I can say is that the differences are not subtle.

Some examples: In this version, Santa doesn’t live in the North Pole – he lives in a castle in the clouds! He doesn’t have real reindeer – they are mechanical! He doesn’t come down chimneys – he enters homes with a magic key. All this, plus he fights an emissary of the devil (no, the photo at the top of this post isn't photoshopped)!

It gets weirder… and scarier… from there. Santa watches over (or more accurately, spies) on the children of the world via a telescope whose unnervingly snaking appendage has a blinking eyeball for a lens! Santa’s right-hand man is Merlin (yes, the sorcerer from Camelot legends) and somehow Santa has gotten children from all over the world to perform for him in a lengthy and very politically incorrect sequence where he watches choirs from many lands sing to him. Oh, and speaking of children, Santa doesn’t have elves. He has children make the toys for him!

Santa & Merlin

As if Merlin’s involvement wasn’t non sequitur enough, the film also shoehorns a distorted Christian sensibility into its core, as Santa basically works on Jesus’ behalf. Which of course makes Satan mad to no end and inspires the dark one to send his hench-demon Pitch into battle against Santa in both direct and indirect ways (in the form of recruiting bad little kids to bedevil the good ones who have Santa’s favor).

So it’s not technically a horror film… but it is quite scary. And it’s not a comedy… but it’s so bizarre and absurd that it can’t help but make you laugh in spots (even if that laughter is uneasy at times). For me as a Christian believer, there is an extra layer of weirdness in its cockamamie misrepresentation of the faith that is both scary and funny simultaneously (not funny “ha-ha” but funny as in, “I can’t believe what I’m watching!")…

…but enough of me talking about this film. It really has to be seen to be believed. That plus others have already done in-depth and entertaining examinations of the film which you can read when you click on the links below:

B-Movie Review of Santa Claus

Monster Shack review of Santa Claus

…and best of all, an official blog has been launched containing various articles and reviews of the film – not to mention your chance to vote on such pressing questions as “Which country featured in Santa’s Heavenly Workshop suffered the most ethnic stereotypes?” and “What is the creepiest gadget in Santa’s ‘secret’ lab?” Just click below to visit this new blog appropriately named…

Santa Claus Conquers the Devil: 50 Years of K. Gordon Murray’s Santa Claus

As we wind down the year here’s wishing everyone the safest, happiest and most blessed of holidays. I hope to have at least one new classic horror-comedy review up before the New Year, and hopefully many more throughout 2012.

Now, here’s the trailer for “Santa Claus” – watch if you dare!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Rudolph the Red-Noised Reindeer Bumble


Christmas is almost here, and I wanted to share some of the foremost holiday monsters with you. Only I didn’t want to do so on Christmas itself, as I take the holiday seriously from a spiritual standpoint.

Anyway, in the fictional legends that have sprung up over the years around the holiday, ghosts and monsters have played a major role. Just think of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for starters. A pure ghost story… with one seriously scary Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come!

So in the world of holiday fantasies, a few monsters stand out, and we’ll take a look at them now (with one caveat that should be noted: I know the following are not technically "horror-comedies" but since all contain some humor and give folks warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia, I'm being a bit generous in this post).

We have to begin of course with the Bogeymen from Laurel & Hardy’s 1934 classic “Babes in Toyland” (aka “March of the Wooden Soldiers”). These creatures from Bogeyland live in the bowels of the earth, in a horrible, frightening place that is the polar opposite of bright, happy Toyland, where Santa and his workers make the toys for the world’s children. And while their leader, the evil Silas Barnaby would like nothing more than to use his monster army to take over Toyland, he’s no match for toymakers Stannie Dumm and Ollie Dee… and 100 wooden soldiers each 6 feet high! As Ollie describes the Bogeymen, “they’re terrible looking things – they’re half man and half animal… with great big ears, and great big mouths, and long claws that they catch you with!” You can catch a glimpse of the Bogeymen toward the end of this trailer:

Next up is The Bumble (pictured at top) from the classic 1964 TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” This was produced by Rankin-Bass, the studio behind the classic horror-comedy “Mad Monster Party.” Utilizing their signature stop-motion animated puppet style (which they dubbed “Ani-Magic”), the special built upon the elements from the original 1939 story by Robert L. May, the famous song written by May’s brother-in-law Johnny Marks (which became a huge hit for Gene Autry) and the 1944 animated theatrical short from Max Fleischer. Rudolph was given much more backstory in the Rankin-Bass special, and a larger supporting cast, including the Abominable Snow Creature known as “The Bumble.” The fearsome creature menaces Rudolph and his friends but as anyone who has seen this classic knows (and who hasn’t seen it?) there’s a very good reason for the Bumble’s agitation… and a happy ending for all!

The most recent spooky holiday star is "The Nightmare Before Christmas"'s Jack Skellington and all his friends from Halloweentown. Jack is simply enchanted by the magic in neighboring Christmastown and wants to bring some home for himself. And that’s where the trouble starts! This clash of the holidays originated as a poem from the limitlessly creative imagination of animator-director-producer Tim Burton. Director Henry Selick brought Burton’s concepts and designs to life in dynamic fashion in a mixed-media production that is equal parts stop-motion puppetry (a la one of Burton’s favorite films, “Mad Monster Party”) combined with cut-out designs and other special animated effects. Check out the trailer here.

While Jack Skellington wanted to abscond Christmas to share with his friends (a tinsel-clad Robin Hood) there is one nasty holiday horror who hated Christmas and didn’t want anyone to enjoy it: Dr. Seuss’s immortal Grinch! The famous book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by writer-cartoonist Seuss (real name Ted Geisel, who once contributed to some classic Warner Brothers theatrical cartoons including adaptations of his children's books as well as the classic Snafu shorts made for the war department) detailed how this foul fiend with a heart two sizes too small tried to hijack the holiday. Of course, the operative word is “try,” as we all know the Christmas spirit will triumph in the end! Interestingly enough, the Grinch shares more in common with Jack Skellington than merely pilfering Christmas - the Grinch got himself all tangled up in Halloween, too in the 1977 special "Halloween is Grinch Night." As for "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," most are familiar with the classic 1966 animated TV special directed by animation legend Chuck Jones... and I’ll leave it at that, as I prefer to think the live-action fiasco of a few years back never happened!

So here’s wishing all Scared Silly fans the happiest and safest of holidays, and every blessing for the New Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


The Live Ghost Laurel Hardy

For those who came in late: Laurel & Hardy are my all-time favorite movie comedians. And right now is a great time to be a Laurel & Hardy fan in America. Especially if you live on the East Coast. But more on that in a moment...

It’s been a great year to be a Laurel & Hardy fan due primarily to an event that has been long-in-coming: a DVD set of the team’s classic sound shorts and features that is worthy of their legacy. As die-hard Laurel & Hardy fans know, the team spent most of their careers at the Hal Roach Studios, and this is where their masterworks were created. While other DVDs have been released in the past featuring Roach material, they have either been of an inferior quality (like the ill-conceived Hallmark and Artisan releases utilizing TV prints with added music and fade-outs for commercial breaks that never appeared in the original theatrical prints) or very good but limited in content (the “TCM Archives: Laurel & Hardy” from Warner Brothers). One exception was the official MGM/Sony DVD release of “Babes in Toyland/March of the Wooden Soldiers” in a crisp black and white print with the original titles.

Late October however brought “The Essential Laurel & Hardy” DVD collection from Vivendi Entertainment. This phenomenal set contains all the talkie Hal Roach Laurel & Hardy material not controlled by Warner Brothers or MGM, which is to say it’s the majority of Stan & Ollie’s Roach output, and by default, the crown jewel in terms of US-released Laurel & Hardy DVD collections. It also contains some of the team’s greatest horror-comedies, specifically the three-reeler (30 minute) short “The Laurel & Hardy Murder Case” (both the original US theatrical version and its longer “featurette” version from Spain called “Noche De Duendes” which inserts Laurel & Hardy’s bumpy train ride from “Berth Marks” into the story as Stan & Ollie’s mode of transportation to the reading of Uncle Ebeneezer Laurel’s will), “Oliver the 8th” and “The Live Ghost.” It also contains some of their “horror-onable mentions” like “Dirty Work” with its mad (but benign) scientist and “A Chump at Oxford” which contains a brief sequence where unlikely college students Stan & Ollie (watch for yourself to see how that happens) are scared silly by other students in skeleton outfits including the future Hammer horror star Peter Cushing. The set is getting enthusiastic reviews including this one from long-time fan Leonard Maltin. Here’s a trailer for the set – it’s available at a discount from several online retailers and highly recommended:

Now upfront I mentioned that it was also a good time to be a Laurel & Hardy fan on the East Coast. Why? Seven little words: Laurel and Hardy on the big screen! Yes, if you live in the Tri-State area you’ll have not one but two opportunities to experience the world’s most beloved comedy team as they were originally seen: in a crowd of laughing movie-goers enjoying the duo in a movie theater! Your first chance will be this Friday, December 9th at 8PM at the landmark Loews theater in Jersey City, New Jersey (easily accessible from the PATH station). This classic movie palace will be showing a 35mm print of “March of the Wooden Soldiers” on their huge 50 foot screen. The film, originally titled "Babes in Toyland" is a whimsical fantasy classic that contains quite a bit of spooky content and you can read my review when you click here. Admission is $7 or adults and $5 for children and seniors. Get more details by clicking here.

The following day, on Saturday, December 10th it’s another “Silent Clowns Film Series" screening, with the focus on “The Merry Gentlemen: Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy.” The Silent Clowns Film Series is renown for its screening of vintage silent comedies with live piano accompaniment from musician Ben Model. Each presentation is programmed by film historian Bruce Lawton, who along with Model and fellow film historian Steve Massa of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts engage the audience post-screening with an informative and entertaining Q&A.

On the program this Saturday are four classic shorts that loom large in the duo’s history: “Leave ‘em Laughing,” “Two Tars,” “Wrong Again” and “Big Business.” Each of these films features wild and crazy scenarios that are sure to leave the audience... well, sure to leave ‘em laughing! “Two Tars” and “Big Business” feature what would become a familiar Laurel & Hardy mofit: the war of “reciprocal destruction/tit for tat.” The latter features Stan & Ollie selling Christmas trees so there’s a holiday tie-in, too. And while there are no horror-comedies on tap for this screening, “Wrong Again” does feature an ornate mansion inhabited by an eccentric millionaire, a staple of horror-comedies. This special presentation is held at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium. Showtime is 2:30 PM. Admission is free. Find out more details by clicking here. And enjoy a sample of “Leave ‘em Laughing” below:

Last but not least, we head back to New Jersey for what one man thinks is the quite literal “return” of Stan & Ollie – in the form of my pals, Josh and Danny Bacher. These performing brothers from New Jersey (who bill themselves as "The Bacher Boys") are huge fans of Laurel & Hardy and Danny is one of the foremost collectors of Laurel & Hardy memorabilia in the world (some items in his collection: Stan Laurel’s bowtie, Oliver Hardy’s pants from “Way Out West,” a pair of complete suits from the team’s 1940s films, a fez fro “Sons of the Desert,” the painting of the dean from “A Chump at Oxford” which ended up being used later in two different horror-comedy projects: the feature “Who Killed Doc Robin” and a 1955 episode of “My Little Margie” titled “Corpus Delecti”).

Well, real-life MD Dr. Walter Semkiw is quite convinced that my friends are the reincarnation of Laurel & Hardy (read more here and here). My friends, their love of Stan & Ollie notwithstanding, are quite convinced that they aren’t the reincarnation of the team. So what did they do? They teamed up with the doctor to produce the documentary below about the doctor’s claims. Well, maybe it’s a documentary from the doctor’s point of view. From the Bacher Brothers’ point of view, it’s a mockumentary. Depending upon your own belief systems and sense of humor, you may find the following hysterical (I'm sure you can guess which side of the cosmic joy buzzer I'm on). Or perhaps you’ll just get a sense that it’s déjà vu all over again!