Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Yellow Brick Road

Yellow Brick Road is a 2010 award-winning found footage horror film about an expedition to discover the fate of an entire town that disappeared into the wilderness 70 years earlier. All the residents had abandoned their town with only the clothes on their backs after a viewing of The Wizard of Oz, a film with which they were all obsessed. You can watch it on Amazon Prime.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The Tempest

This adaptation of The Tempest is one in the Shakespeare: The Animated Tales series of twelve half-hour shows originally broadcast on the BBC in the early 1990s.. The series won awards and has been used in school settings as beginner introductions to Shakespeare's plays. They are much abridged but still delightful shows, including the language we all know and love.

Join me for a cup of something?

I'll be taking mine over to the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Vampires vs. the Bronx

Vampires vs. the Bronx is a 2020 kid-friendly comedy horror film. Charming. I watched it on Netflix.


Roger Ebert's site calls it "peppy" and "charismatic" and concludes "When a horror-comedy is as agile, charming, and funny as this, everybody wins." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating consensus of 95%.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Distraction

The Distraction is a short film about living with anxiety and depression.

"and sometimes the monster under the bed crawls out."

Saturday, March 27, 2021

The Other End of Time

The Other End of Time is a science fiction novel by Frederick Pohl. This is another of the books I was given by a friend whose science fiction-loving husband recently died. I was touched that she thought of me and have been thoroughly enjoying these books. I hadn't realized this one was the first book in a trilogy until I got to the last page, and the experience was less satisfying than if I had known that going in. The book is interesting with fascinating philosophical elements, but it doesn't work well for me as a stand-alone novel

from the back of the book:


Signals are received: a crude depiction of creatures pantomiming the cataclysmic destruction of the universe.

Soon after, scientists note unusual radiation emanating from the abandoned Earth-orbital observatory. When a group of scientists and astronauts board the observatory to investigate, they are taken prisoner. An unsuspecting Earth has just become part of a vast interstellar war.

For the human prisoners, this minor skirmish in a vast war becomes a fantastic adventure. The hunters become the hunted the prey the predators, and nothing is as it seems. The only sure thing is that the winners will rule eternity at... The Other End of Time.

Kirkus Reviews concludes a positive review with this: "An impeccably crafted, absorbing, and enjoyable reworking of mostly familiar material that, while satisfyingly self-contained, seems perfectly poised for sequels." Publishers Weekly closes, "The ending is oddly unresolved, unless this is the first volume of a series--which would not be bad news."

Friday, March 26, 2021


Munafik is a 2016 award-winning Malaysian supernatural horror film. Malevolent spirits cause trauma in the community.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Sicilian Method

The Sicilian Method is the 26th book in the Inspector Montalbano mystery series by Andrea Camilleri. I read these as I get them for presents after they've been released in paperback, and they are better read in order as the characters develop through the series. 

from the back of the book:


Mimi Augello is visiting his lover when the woman's husband unexpectedly returns to the apartment; he climbs out the window and into the downstairs apartment, but one danger leads to another. In the dark he sees a body lying on the bed. Shortly after, another body is found, and the victim is Carmelo Catalanotti, a director with a cruel reputation.

Are the two deaths connected? Catalanotti scrupulously kept notes on all the actors he worked with, as well as strange notebooks filled with dates and names. Inspector Montalbano finds all of Catalanotti's dossiers and plays, and the notes on his last drama, Dangerous Corner. It is in the theater that the answer lies.
Kirkus Reviews says the author "again combines divinely deadpan drollery with a clever puzzle." Publishers Weekly says, "The blend of farce, sexual shenanigans, and strangely intense community theater intrigues as it amuses."

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Shutter (2004)

Shutter is a 2004 Thai horror film. It was a hit and was remade both in English and Hindi. This one has a vengeful ghost. I watched it on Netflix.


Bloody Good Horror says, "The film does a great job of creating some very memorable set-pieces that are sure to stick with you and maybe even have you looking over your shoulder or checking dark corners when you walk into a room." says, "“Shutter” remains a favorite ghost story and has been entered into my top scary films of all time." Classic Horror says, "a chilling and spooky ghost story that is presented very well. It has an intriguing idea, a very good cast, and two directors who pull no punches. This film is, as has been noted, one of the best films in the recent flowering of Asian horror cinema, and it is a harrowing and disturbing experience. "

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Virginian (1929)

The Virginian is a 1929 pre-code Western starring Gary Cooper and Walter Huston. I enjoyed seeing Eugene Pallette. Randolph Scott has an uncredited role.

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Here's a screenshot from early in the film:

for the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd is a 1952 comedy film also starring Charles Laughton and Leif Erickson. You can watch it online here. Sheer silliness, but it's Abbott and Costello so we knew that going in.


Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Outposter

The Outposter is a science fiction novel by award-winning author Gordon R. Dickson. It's part swashbuckler and part space opera and is certainly one I'd've read long ago if I'd come across it. Great fun, with a satisfying conclusion.

from the back of the book:


Take one high-spirited little boy.
Kill his family before his eyes.
Allow him to escape.
Give him time to grow up.
You're in trouble.

from the publisher Baen:
The Earth is overcrowded. Chosen by lottery, people are shunted off to the far-flung planetary colonies. But winning this lottery is no prize, for the colonist are largely ignored by the people of Earth, considered disposable. Left to defend for themselves, the colonist are plagued by low supplies and are forced to eke out a hardscrabble existence. Worse, they face an ever-looming threat from without: the alien Meda V'Dans, who routinely attack without provocation.

Fortunately, the colonists have the Outposters to protect them. One such Outposter is Mark Ten Roos, a young man with a score to settle against the Meda V'Dans . . . and the will to bring a corrupt system to its knees.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Endless

The Endless is a 2017 science fiction horror film that tells the story of two brothers who return to visit a cult they belonged to when they were teens.

I watched it on Netflix. Here's a trailer:

The Guardian gives it 4 out of 5 stars and opens, "A mind-bending Möbius strip of a movie, this indie sci-fi makes up for what it lacks in budget with a wealth of playful ideas." Wired calls it "masterful"

Roger Ebert's site opens a positive review with this: "If you have a good idea, a strong cast, a smart script, and directorial chops, you don't need a lot of money to make a compelling movie. "The Endless" is proof." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus rating of 93%.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Delicious 42

I saw this on the corner across from our favorite Mexican restaurant Las Delicias.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Eyes in the Night

Eyes in the Night is a 1942 crime/mystery film starring Edward Arnold, Ann Harding and Donna Reed.

Don't you love that hat?

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Late Phases

Late Phases is a 2014 werewolf horror film. Nick Damici does a great job as the protagonist. Tina Louise is also in this one, and it saddened me to see that she's not aged well. I watched it on Amazon Prime but didn't finish it.


Roger Ebert's site has a mostly negative review. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus rating of 63% so well over half the critics gave it a good review. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

7 Women

7 Women is a 1966 film, the last film directed by John Ford. It stars Anne Bancroft, Sue Lyon, Margaret Leighton, Flora Robson, Mildred Dunnock, Betty Field, Anna Lee, with Eddie Albert, Mike Mazurki and Woody Strode. I watched it here.


For T Stands for Tuesday I share this screenshot of the doctor's first meal at this mission post:

She's being instructed by the head of the community not to smoke as they consider it inappropriate for ladies dedicated to Christian endeavor. You can tell by her expression how unimpressed she is by this reprimand.

Please join us at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog party.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Sweet Thang

Sweet Thang:

by Memphis musician Jack Oblivian, born on this day in 1967.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Bear Story

Bear Story is a 2014 Chilean award-winning animated short film.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Listen! The Stars!

Listen! The Stars! is a 1963 science fiction novella by John Brunner. This was a quick easy read and brought back nostalgic feelings.


What was this thing called a stradropper whose use was the rage all around the world?

Ostensibly a simple device made from an amplifier, a magnet, a vacuum, a power source and an earpiece. Add it up and you got nonsense -in the form of strange sounds, unintelligible to the human race.

But was it "nonsense" that drove people mad, creating an addition similar to dope? Was it "nonsense" that caused people to disappear off the face of the earth without a trace?

Stardropper -a menace to an insane world, or a warning from the stars?

Friday, March 12, 2021

In the Tall Grass

In the Tall Grass is 2019 horror film about a pregnant woman and her brother who head off into the tall grass to find a child calling for help only to discover they can't find their way back to the road. It's based on a novella by Stephen King and Joe Hill and probably wasn't enough to warrant a feature-length film. It's perfect if you want horror without gore, slowly building tension, and a satisfying resolution; but it isn't fast-paced. I found it interesting.I watched it on Netflix.


Roger Ebert's site closes with this:
Horror has a long history of using the natural world as its enemy. “In the Tall Grass” is at its best when it follows this tradition. We all know what it’s like to be lost, far from home and safety, but what if even the traditional rules of direction were completely haphazard? As it gets less relatable, it gets less interesting, but there’s still Wilson’s all-in performance and Natali’s craftsmanship to keep us engaged, stuck in the grass, praying for a way out.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Merry Misogynist

The Merry Misogynist is the 6th book in the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series by Colin Cotterill. I'm reading these in order, but I'll admit this one is my least favorite by far. There was also one mis-used word -"fair" instead of "fare". Annoying. I have the next one, and I trust it'll be back up to the quality I had come to expect.

from the back of the book:
When the corpse of a rural beauty turns up in Dr. Siri's morgue, his curiosity is piqued. The victim was tied to a tree and strangled, but she had not, as the doctor had expected, been raped. On a trip to the hinterlands, Siri leaarns that many women have been killed this way, and he soon discovers that not only pretty maidens are at risk. Seventy-three-year-old coroners can be victims, too.
Kirkus Reviews has a positive review.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021


Wavelength is a 1967 short film. Wikipedia describes it:
Wavelength is a 45 minute film by Canadian experimental filmmaker and artist Michael Snow, known for building his reputation upon publicity of the film. Considered a landmark of avant-garde cinema, it was filmed over one week in December 1966 and edited in 1967, and is an example of what film theorist P. Adams Sitney describes as "structural film", calling Snow "the dean of structural filmmakers."

Wavelength is often listed as one of the greatest underground, art house and Canadian films ever made. It was named #85 in the 2001 Village Voice critics' list of the 100 Best Films of the 20th Century. The film has been designated and preserved as a masterwork by the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada.
You can watch it online at Vimeo:

Wavelength (1967) from Baboon Nation on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Brink of Life

Yesterday was the first anniversary of the death of Max Von Sydow, and I'm sharing Brink of Life in his memory. This 1958 Swedish film -directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Eva Dahlbeck, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson, and Max Von Sydow- won several awards.

This screenshot:

shows the nurse leaving a glass of water and a buzzer for the woman. The woman is in her 3rd month of pregnancy and was told to come to the hospital right away if she experienced bleeding. Her husband is in the waiting room.

When the film was released in the U.S. the NYT said,
a tribute to director Ingmar Bergman's versatility. Heretofore largely identified with elliptical and allegorical themes, Mr. Bergman, certainly one of the most vigorously creative film talents of our day, has confined himself here to an austerely straight story set in one ward of a modern hospital and involving several women and the psychological and physical traumas attendant on childbirth. Although it evolves as a basically somber, constricted, almost wholly distaff picture, "Brink of Life" is, nevertheless, a strikingly realistic, saccharine-free, clinical slice of life.
Please share a post with a drink in it and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, March 08, 2021

The Fourth Man

The Fourth Man is a 1983 Dutch suspense film directed by Paul Verhoeven. Violent and with full nudity, keep those things in mind as you decide whether or not to watch it, but in the U.S. this was the highest-grossing Dutch film of all-time. You can watch it online here.


Empire Online concludes with this: "The darkly comic sexual obsession is complemented by Verhoeven's stylish eroticism, wild religious iconography and plentiful nudity." Time Out calls it "a deliciously overripe male melodrama based on a novel by Gerard Reve and packed with ostentatious, tongue-in-cheek symbolism". Moria gives it a positive review and calls it "an amusing homo-erotic take on Don’t Look Now (1973)". DVD Talk recommends it for anyone who likes suspense films.

Empire Magazine includes it on their list of "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema". Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics rating of 100%.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Touki Bouki

Touki Bouki is a 1973 award-winning Senegalese drama film. I watched it on Youtube, but it's not there right now. You can watch it on HBO Max and on Hulu.


Criterion says, "With a stunning mix of the surreal and the naturalistic, Djibril Diop Mambéty paints a vivid, fractured portrait of Senegal in the early 1970s." BBC says it may be the greatest African movie ever.

Friday, March 05, 2021

Primary Inversion

Primary Inversion is the debut novel of Catherine Asaro. She went on to fulfill the promise shown in this work, winning numerous awards since then.

from the back of the book:
The Skolian Empire rules a third of the civilized galaxy through its mastery of faster-than-light communication. But war with the rival empire of the Traders seems imminent, a war that can only lead to slavery for the Skolians or the destruction of both sides. Destructive skirmishes have already occurred. A desperate attempt must be made to avert total disaster.
Publishers Weekly concludes with this:
Though Asaro, a physicist, provides more than enough esoteric detail on faster-than-light inversion drives, cybernetic enhancements and computer networks, she manages to anchor her story with thoughtful, engaging characters and an intriguing vision of the future
Kirkus Reviews calls it "An imaginative debut".

Thursday, March 04, 2021

El Topo

El Topo is a 1970 acid western directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky. An acid western is a western film sub-genre "that combines the metaphorical ambitions of critically acclaimed Westerns, such as Shane and The Searchers, with the excesses of the Spaghetti Westerns and the outlook of the counterculture of the 1960s". People who say they don't like "westerns" confuse me. I'm not sure what it is they're saying they don't like. There are so many different kinds of western films.

This film, according to Wikipedia, "is about the eponymous character – a violent, black-clad gunfighter – and his quest for enlightenment."


watch it here:

Roger Ebert put it on his list of Great Movies. He says,
John Lennon and Yoko Ono saw it, loved it, and convinced Beatles manager Allen Klein to buy and release it. The film went on to play all over the world and engender countless interpretations. Jodorowsky encourages such speculation by titling sections of the film after books of the Bible ("Psalms"), and making El Topo perhaps a Christ figure.
I kept trying, but it felt so slow. I eventually gave up on it, great film or no.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula is a 1966 horror western starring John Carradine as the Dracula figure.

TCM has information.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021

The Far Country

The Far Country is a 1954 Western starring James Stewart and Walter Brennan. Anthony Mann directs. I watched it on Daily Motion, but it has been removed. Strike while the iron is hot, that's my motto. You can't count on these staying available.


Senses of Cinema
By situating the drama of The Far Country upon the boundaries of the United States and the nineteenth century – ‘Seattle, 1896’ – Mann obviously has no interest in perpetuating the kind of golden pioneering myths so prevalent in early examples of the western genre. For the late 1890s was an interesting yet sad time in American history; a time when the glorious West and the notions of ‘wilderness’ and ‘heroes’ became severely tarnished.
Variety says, "Pic marks the fifth successful combination of James Stewart, as star, Aaron Rosenberg as producer, and Anthony Mann as director.". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Here's Brennan's character complaining that the coffee is cold:

Please share your own drink reference at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Friends in High Places

Friends in High Places is a Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery by Donna Leon. This is 9th in the series. I am still enjoying this series.

from the back of the book:
In Donna Leon's ninth novel featuring her celebrated protagonist, Commissario Guido Brunneti finds himself caught up in a typically Venetian problem: red tape over renovations. Visited by a young bureaucrat, Brunetti learns that, officially, his apartment does not exist. The extra floor that was added years before was never approved. But what begins as a troublesome headache ends with the bureaucrat found dead after a mysterious fall from a scaffold. Brunetti starts an investigation that takes him into unfamiliar and dangerous areas of Venetian life, and shows him, once again, what a difference it makes to have friends in high places.