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Temple of Bad: The Vampire's Coffin

THE VAMPIRE’S COFFIN is a Mexican (Spanish-language) horror film with all the attendant silliness. It's also possibly the best-filmed movie we've ever reviewed. How can this be? The man behind the camera has a lot more skill than anyone in front of it.

Check it out here.

We start with another thrilling science fiction tale adapted for radio on X-Minus One: “A Logic Named Joe,” based on the short story by Murray Leinster that first appeared in “Astounding Science Fiction” in March of 1946. Fifty years before the internet, Leinster’s story predicted the use of household computers (“logics”) and the dangers and privacy concerns that would arise once they were networked together. Then the quips never stop when the one, the only Groucho Marx hosts You Bet Your Life. A train conductor and a longshoreman, then a diamond merchant and a dime-store saleswoman provide fodder for a flood of one-liners and snappy ad-libs from the funniest man on radio. Check it out here.

Sometimes I show up on The Batcave Podcast. This time, John Drew and I talk about one of the worst of the episodes: Season 3's "The Ogg Couple," with Vincent Price and Anne Baxter as Egghead and Olga. But we find a little joy talking about Vincent Price and the "Thriller" rap. Check it out here.

It’s summer time, so I’m giving you a bunch of summer-themed shows. First off, Eve Arden returns as everyone’s favorite sardonic English teacher, Our Miss Brooks. She’s on her summer vacation, but just can’t seem to connect with her would-be paramour, science teacher, Mr. Boyton. Then two episodes of the slice-of-life dramedy, Vic and Sade. First, with only six months until Christmas, everyone is trying to sell holiday cards. Then the family joins in on a simple study of the minutiae of life, discussing everything from sweaters to hail to bacon sandwiches. Check it out here.

“James and the Dark Grimoire,” the first of my P.G. Wodehouse-esque Reggie and James stories where comedy meets genre, has just been reprinted in TALES FROM THE CANYONS OF THE DAMNED #6, the e-magazine edited by Daniel Arthur Smith. For only 99 cents (Free on Kindle Unlimited), you get three stories, including mine. Can young man-about-town Reggie Brubaker rely on his valet James when the former’s aunt insists he steal The Necronomicon for her? This story originally appeared in CTHULHU UNBOUND. It made Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mention list for the Year’s Best Horror, was nominated for a Washington Area Science Fiction Association Small Press Award for Best Short Story, and was dramatized on The Chronic Rift podcast. Since UNBOUND is not available as an ebook, this is the only way to read it electronically. 99 cents is a small price to pay for a few good laughs. You can get an ebook or paper copy here.

Thanks to Kliph Nesteroff’s brilliant new book, The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy for making me aware of a comedian and an OTR show I had never heard of before. Harry Einstein, who is the father of comedians Albert Brooks and Bob Einstein (a.k.a. Super Dave Osborne) had a successful career in the 1940s and ‘50s working under the persona of Parkyakarkus – “Parky” for short. The conceit was that Parky was a malapropism-prone Greek restaurant owner in Hollywood. Parky appeared on the Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shows, and then, from June of 1945 to July of 1948, on his own show, Meet Me At Parky’s.

Jeff Regan, Investigator was one the many shows that Jack Webb had a hand in. When he left to create “Dragnet,” it went off the air. But it was resurrected a year later starring Frank Graham. Not quite a comedy, but not too hard-boiled either, Jeff Regan, Investigator deftly balances the light and dark sides of P.I.s from the Golden Age of Radio.


Check it out here.


I return to to Rob Kelly's Film and Water Podcast to discuss the film version of the Broadway hit, 1776. Starring William Daniels at John Adams, Howard Da Silva as Ben Franklin, Ken Howard as Thomas Jefferson, and Blythe Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow's mom; can you tell from the cheekbones?) as Martha Jefferson. A musical about the writing of The Declaration of Independence? You bet! Actually, it's about something we as Americans never learn about in school and seldom give any thought to: the argument over whether the colonies should even separate from Great Britain. Independence was far from a forgone conclusion during that long, hot summer in Philadelphia. Check it out here.


Temple of Bad: Icetastrophe

The Syfy channel just loves to smoosh things together to make new things. This time it's Ice and Catastrophe: Icetastrophe. Ostensibly a Christmas movie (HA!), this CGI wonder answers the burning (or is that freezing?) question: What happens when a meteorite hits a small town and starts tossing up giant ice crystals that cause people to freeze solid? I dunno. What does happen? Find out for yourself. God bless us, every one.

I've been listening to Rob Kelly's Film and Water Podcast for a while, and when I got a chance to talk to him about a subject of mutual interest: musicals, the obvious choice was Meet Me In St. Louis. The 1944 MGM film starring Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien is a holiday classic featuring such tunes as "The Trolley Song", "The Boy Next Door", and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." But there's a lot more going on than just a good time. Rob and I take an in-depth look at one of the greatest movies ever made. Check it out here.

The United States was only a couple months into World War Two when tonight’s episode of the classic comedy The Great Gildersleeve takes place. In an effort to raise money for war-time relief, Gildy gets dragged into posing as a (female – what else?) fortune teller. Despite the standard sit-com set-up, this takes some very funny twists and turns. Then Orson Welles returns as Harry Lime in The Lives of Harry Lime. Not quite the psychopathic murderer he was in the movie The Third Man, where he originated the role, here Welles’ Lime is more a charming, ne’er-do-well con man. Tonight, has he met his match in a pair of similarly-charming con artists? Check it out here.