Monday, October 31, 2022
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Hello Scared Silly fans! As you know, I'm all about the lighter side of the spooky season (hey, after all I wrote the "Archie's Weird Mysteries" comic book series, contributed a chapter to a book about Vincent Price films about the scare comedies he made with Peter Lorre, did a commentary track for the restored "Haunted House" episode of the Abbott & Costello Show, and have spoken at theatrical screenings of vintage horror-comedy films).
If you're here, you also know that I've been writing a book called, "Scared Silly," a collection of my reviews of vintage films from Hollywood's golden age wherein comedians get mixed up in spooky situations (think Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, The Ghost Breakers, Arsenic & Old Lace, The Ghost & Mr. Chicken, etc.).
Well, this Halloween right here on my Scared Silly blog I'll be making a big announcement concerning my book, so you won't want to miss that! The post will go live at midnight on Monday (right after Sunday ends) right here at scaredsillybypaulcastiglia.blogspot.com
Additionally, I'm going to be joining my pal Denny Daniel of the Museum of Interesting Things again for his annual Halloween Secret Speakeasy event, also called Scared Silly! It takes place on Monday, Halloween night 2022 starting at 8PM and I'll be attending virtually via Zoom. You have the choice of attending live in person at Denny's Prince Street loft, or virtuallly via Zoom as well.
It will be a fun evening of Denny showing 16mm clips from classic films, both straight-up horror films and horror-comedies, with commentary from me. As always, Denny will also demonstrate some antique inventions and present ephemera related to monsters and movies. It's going to be a super fun time suitable for the whole family!
You can click here for more details and to order tickets, and I'll also have a limited supply of FREE VIP passes available (whether you choose to go in-person or just tune in virtually) if you reach out to me at email@example.com
Hope to see you all on Monday... it promises to be a "Goodnight!"
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Hello Scared Silly fans! Hope you're enjoying the spooky season.
I’ve written about my friends Ben Model and Steve Massa before. They are the co-hosts of the SILENT COMEDY WATCH PARTY, a brilliant hour and a half streaming show of silent comedy films accompanied live on the piano by Ben, with historical background from Steve.
For the past couple of years, when they were doing weekly shows, Ben and Steve would feature silent scare comedies toward the end of October. Now that they are doing the show once a month, they need to pace their offerings. They've been trying to get Thomas Reeder on the show for a while and since his Century Comedies book "Time is Money" recently came out (you can order it by clicking here), they finally were able to arrange it.
So, technically this Sunday's episode doesn't have the usual outright spooky stuff for Halloween, but it does have the following scares: one Buster Brown short called BUSTER'S BUST-UP where he and Pete the Pup (of Our Gang/Little Rascals fame) confront a fear of heights high atop the girders of a construction site, and a Baby Peggy short called CIRCUS CLOWNS and well, we all are scared of clowns!!! (I kid - with respect to non-scary clowns past and present like the Fleischer Brothers' Koko and the sublime Bill Irwin, and the many others who prove not all clowns are scary)
Oh, and you just might recognize something brought up in the "cabin fever" recommendations segment. :)
The SILENT COMEDY WATCH PARTY streams live this Sunday, October 23rd, 2022 at 3PM EST on YouTube. After the livestream, the show will be archived for viewing any time. It's available all over the world, so check your local timezones for your area. Click here or below to tune in!
And speaking of classic scare comedies, be sure to come back to the SCARED SILLY blog on Halloween for a very special announcement about the book... yes, it's finally happening! See you then.
In the meantime, here's some comical silent scares from 1908 courtesy of Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomón working out of France... ENJOY!
Friday, October 7, 2022
THIS OCTOBER, TAKE IN THE LIGHTER SIDE OF HALLOWEEN WITH CARTOON FUN THAT’S SPOOKY, AND A FAMILY THAT’S CREEPY AND KOOKY!
Hello, Scared Silly fans! It’s that time again where we dig in more than ever into the silly side of horror! I’m sure if you’re reading this you have a go-to horror-comedy film you’re planning to revisit at home. I’m here to let you know that if you’re in California, New York, or New Jersey, there are some fantastic, fun-filled, spooktacular events that will get the whole family laughing.
It all starts in California this Saturday, October 8th at the fabled New Beverly Cinema. Animation historian extraordinaire Jerry Beck will once again bring a special program of “Saturday Morning Cartoons” to the big screen! As Jerry says, “It's Creepy, It's Kooky, It's 35mm Technicolor cartoons on the big screen... our annual Halloween Show!” It’s 105 minutes of animated classics that are sure to scare you silly! The delightful, dastardly fun starts at 10AM PST and you can order tickets when you click here.
Another animation historian, educator, and restorationist we love here at Scared Silly is Tommy Jose Stathes. Tommy if offering east coast folks multiple chances for you to see classic animated cartoons on the kooky, spooky side, also projected on the big screen! Here he is to give you more details:
1. Cartoon Carnival #105: Spooks in Store, Sunday 10/23 at 3pm and 6pm, Happening at Rubulad in Bushwick, Brooklyn!
For Cartoon Carnival #105, we're hosting *two entirely unique* programs of creepy, spooky animated oddities and curiosities in celebration of the Halloween season. This scary selection features many Cartoon Carnival mainstays...from silent era superstars Felix the Cat and Koko the Clown, to later Golden Age favorites such as Betty Boop, Popeye and many others. Each film program contains approximately 90 minutes of cartoons, plus an intermission. Click here to order tickets.
2. Saturday Afternoon Cartoons: A Haunted Halloween, Saturday, 10/29 at 1:40pm at Metrograph, 7 Ludlow Street, Manhattan
This month's Saturday Afternoon Cartoons offers a selection of early cartoon films featuring—you guessed it—creepy and spooky scenarios to get viewers ready for All Hallows' Eve. Enjoy all sorts of animated skeletons, ghosts, ghouls, phantoms, spirits, and other assorted tricks or treats! Spanning the 1920s through the '50s, this assortment showcases classic characters such as Betty Boop, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Farmer Alfalfa, Flip the Frog, and others. 60 min. film program will be followed by a live Q&A session. Click here to order tickets.”
I can personally attest to the fact that Tommy’s shows are often sold-out, packed houses… because I’ve been to a few and been shut out of others! Definitely don’t rest on ordering tickets because space is limited.
Oh, and while you're at it, read more about Tommy and his vital work at his Cartoons on Film and Cartoon Carnival sites, and if you're able, please consider donating to his Cartoon Carnival Pandemic recovery fund here.
As if all that weren’t enough, how about some creepy and kooky fun starring the famed family of New Yorker cartoons, and various live-action and animated TV shows and movies? We’re talking about The Addams Family, of course, of course (wait, that’s somebody else’s theme song)! But humorously, the town of Westfield loves to celebrate its own writer-cartoonist, Charles Addams and his macabre brood. And that’s just what they’ll do at the 5th annual AddamsFest! My friend Ron MacCloskey is a co-founder of the event, and he knows his way around horror, silly or otherwise. So, what are you waiting for? “Snap” to it and order your tickets now by clicking here!
…and speaking of Ron having a way with monsters, he co-wrote and produced one heck of a documentary about one heck of a monster man: BORIS KARLOFF, THE MAN BEHIND THE MONSTER from Shout Factory! I’ve seen it, and I can tell you it’s a wonderful homage to our favorite Uncle Boris. The best news is, it’s about to be released everywhere for streaming, DVD, and blu-ray on October 18, 2022. If you consider yourself a Boris fan, you don’t want to miss it! Now, here’s a little behind-the-scenes look into how Ron came to chronicle Karloff’s legacy of brilliance. ENJOY!