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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Boris Karloff Day *

* Halloween countdown post #9 (restored/revised/expanded)

 

‘It was because of Boris Karloff that I became, when I did, a picture director. Boris owed producer Roger Corman two days work, and Roger offered me the job of taking those two days and, along with some other elements and days, create a brand new Karloff movie. This was in late 1966, and Boris had been a star since 1931, thus after 35 years, his name by itself could still carry a picture. So we wrote Targets (1968) for Karloff, wrote him the part of Byron Orlok, a famous horror movie star who wanted to retire because his kind of Victorian horror could not compete with the modern horror of a sniper killing randomly (as a young Texan did in Austin in 1966).

‘The script was sent to Karloff and he liked it, though his role was written with a number of self-deprecating lines and moments of self- debasement, so in our first phone conversation from LA to London, Boris said, “Since I’m playing a character very like myself, do I have to say such terrible things about myself?” I argued that he was so well liked as an actor and as a person that the more bad things he said about himself as an actor or person, the more the audience would say it wasn’t true. Karloff never brought it up again, and said all the self-abusing remarks in the script just as they were written. And superbly.

‘He had a great speaking voice, and the brilliance of a born storyteller. When I heard him on TV doing his memorable narration for Chuck Jones’ classic cartoon feature of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, I determined that I could not make a Boris Karloff picture and not have him tell a story somewhere in it. Which gave birth to one of the best scenes in the film. Boris—in one continuous shot—tells a riveting two or three minute “scary story” about a merchant from Baghdad who thinks Death is looking for him in Baghdad and so flees to Samarra, which turns out to be exactly where Death has ” an appointment with him tonight-in Samarra.”

‘The text was borrowed from a little-known play by Somerset Maugham, and Boris nailed it with consummate skill on the first take. It was 1:30 in the morning on a little sound stage on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood, and we’d been shooting with Karloff since 8:00 that morning. Right after Boris finished, and I yelled, “Great! Cut! Print! That was terrific,” the entire weary crew burst into spontaneous applause. You could tell Boris was touched and gratified by their reaction, and Evie Karloff, his wife, had tears in her eyes. Karloff was 79 at the time, with steel braces on both his legs, suffering from a bad case of Emphysema, and had less than two years left to live. He never complained at the long hours, he was always the ultimate trouper.

‘When I asked him once how he really felt about being typed from Frankenstein (l931) onward, he looked at me curiously. “The Monster? How do I feel about the Monster?” He smiled distantly. “He gave me a niche. For which I am ever grateful. He gave me a career.” And what a unique career it was— for this kind, soft- spoken, polite English gentleman, born William Henry Pratt—but known with as shiver throughout the world by just one word—Karloff. Long live Boris!’ — Peter Bogdanovich

 

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Stills




































































 

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Further

The Official Boris Karloff Homepage
The Pit!: the Boris Karloff Fan Page
Boris Karloff News, a fan page
PATHOS: The Boris Karloff Fanlisting
Books about Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff Biography @ The Thunder Child
Boris Karloff’s ‘Thriller’ TV series, an episode guide
Boris Karloff’s work in radio
The Boris Karloff Gift Shop
Watch Boris Karloff movies @ Retrovision
The Boris Karloff Collection @ Executive Replicas
Boris Karloff presents ‘Mondo Balordo’
‘Dear Old Pals? Boris Karloff & Bela Lugosi’

 

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General


Boris Karloff Interview (1960s)


Boris Karloff documentary


Boris Karloff – This Is Your Life (1957)


We speak with Sara Karloff, Daughter of Horror film legend Boris Karloff

 

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Interview




 

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19 of Boris Karloff’s 156 films

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Peter Bogdanovich Targets (1968)
‘The story concerns a quiet insurance agent / Vietnam veteran, played by Tim O’Kelly, who murders his young wife, his mother and a grocery delivery boy at home and then initiates an afternoon shooting rampage from atop a Los Angeles area oil refinery. The character and actions of the killer are patterned after Charles Whitman, the University of Texas sniper. The character of actor Byron Orlok, named after Max Schreck’s vampire Count Orlok in 1922’s Nosferatu, is patterned after Boris Karloff himself, who in fact plays the part in his last appearance in a major American film (although Bogdanovich states that, unlike Orlok, Karloff was not embittered with the movie business and did not wish to retire). In the film’s finale, which takes place at a drive-in theater, Karloff — the old-fashioned, traditional screen monster who always obeyed the rules — confronts the new, realistic, nihilistic late-1960s monster in the shape of a clean-cut, unassuming multiple murderer. He slaps the murderer into submission and the police arrive and affect an arrest.’ — Pop Matters


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Daniel Haller Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
‘An early film to be adapted from the work of H.P. Lovecraft. This time it’s The Colour Out of Space reworked as a last gasp of creaky old-school gothic, made just before George Romero’s living dead breathed new life into the horror genre. It’s relatively dated for a 1960’s horror film, but suitably gothic enough to compliment the Lovecraft mythos. Plotwise it’s a linear and creaky ‘old dark house’ formula with the requisite unscary spiders and rubber bats. But the atmosphere of the house pervades and the various creatures mean there’s never a dull moment. Boris Karloff proves he’s still got it, giving an earnest performance. Even though his character is bound in a wheelchair, it amusingly doesn’t stop him from creeping up on people. Without him, there would be no film.’ — Black Hole


Trailer


the entire film

 

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Robert Day Corridors of Blood (1958)
‘In various genre studies, commentators have often called Corridors of Blood a Sadean film and linked it with other films that came out around the same such as Horrors from the Black Museum (1959), Circus of Horrors (1960) and Peeping Tom (1960). All things said, Corridors of Blood is a fair and reasonable film, whether considered either as horror or historical drama or some peculiar melange of the two. While clearly operating on a low budget (there is only a single painted backdrop of the city of London beyond the slum area, for instance), the art director has exerted some effort in making the sets and dressings look authentic for the period. Director Robert Day does a fair job and the story is reasonably absorbing. Boris Karloff plays well in the mad scientist role he perfected – a scientist whose endeavours seem highly sympathetic and not at all mad, really. Christopher Lee adds a sinister undercurrent as the murderous blackguard, while Francis De Wolff shines as the burly blackmailing innkeeper.’ — Moria


Trailer


the entire film

 

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Robert Day The Haunted Strangler (1958)
‘The first half of The Haunted Strangler is a civilized look at Victorian London, with socially minded novelist Boris Karloff investigating a 20-year-old murder case. Still, it’s Karloff, right? So when the elegant, snow-haired king of horror movies finally wanders into a graveyard in the middle of the night, shovel in hand, intent on digging up the bones of a serial killer, the viewer can breath a sigh of relief: we’re back on familiar turf. Freshly dug turf, that is. This is not the last surprise in this neatly turned picture, which has some genuinely disturbing moments mixed into the cut-rate atmosphere. The plot borrows from the legends of Dr. Jekyll and Jack the Ripper, and the presence of Karloff specifically invokes his earlier horrors in Val Lewton’s moody shockers, Bedlam and The Body Snatcher. The horror maestro, 70 years old, is exceptionally agile; stripped to the waist and fighting a straitjacket, he looks as though he’s about to outwrestle his two burly attendants down at the local insane asylum.’ — Robert Horton


Trailer


the entire film

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Joseph Pevney The Strange Door (1951)
‘This Universal Studios production has the tone and feel of the gothic horror flicks that Hammer Films would start doing so well throughout the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s. It compares favorably to Hammer’s lesser efforts, but it is pales in comparison to Hammer’s greatest gothic chillers. Boris Karloff makes his usual solid contribution to the film, but he doesn’t have much to do except to serve as a dark comic relief and the guy who may or may not save the day in the end.’ — The Boris Karloff Collection
Excerpt

 

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John Rawlins Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947)
‘Boris Karloff plays “Gruesome” an evil criminal who robs banks using a gas that freezes unsuspecting witnesses. Dick Tracy (Ralph Byrd) and the team try to foil his plans. The film itself is hokum, of course, with a plot about crooks who can ‘freeze’ time and rob banks, straight out of its comic-book origins, but Karloff, probably desperate for work at this time (1947), elevates the proceedings by his presence and it all makes for an entertaining 65 minutes.’ — The Video Cellar


the entire film

 

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Douglas Sirk Lured (1947)
‘Before becoming associated with melodrama Douglas Sirk (Hitler’s Madmen/ All I Desire/ Written on the Wind) made this decent thriller about a hunt for a serial killer. London is plagued with a serial killer preying on young women. After the eighth victim is reported missing and the usual poetry letter waxing poetic about death and beauty being synonymous, “A beauty that only death can embrace,” that’s been lifted from Charles Baudelaire, is sent to the police by the madman to mark his conquest, Inspector Harvey Temple (Charles Coburn) of Scotland Yard talks American taxi-dancer Sandra Carpenter (Lucille Ball) to act as a decoy to get the culprit out in the open. Sandra has to deal with an insane dress designer Charles Van Dreuten (Boris Karloff), who has her modeling his creation and suddenly goes violently berserk when he thinks she’s a designer spy.’ — Dennis Schwartz


Excerpt

 

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Mark Robson Bedlam (1946)
‘In 1946, producer Val Lewton made Bedlam, with Boris Karloff and Anna Lee, his most expensive and probably his least successful picture at RKO, in spite of the real horrors it showed of London’s truly infamous Bedlam. The studio was completely unappreciative of the picture’s very fine film qualities and almost sloughed it off after its release. Much of Bedlam is rather high-handed, its script often too literate and affected (m’lord this and m’lord that) for its own good. The lively dialogue is eminently quotable, but there is little of the visual flair that once proved a Lewton trademark. Too many of Bedlam’s horrific passages, especially once Nel is locked away, are offset by ponderous exposition.’ — Lewtonsite.com


Excerpt

 

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Robert Wise The Body Snatcher (1945)
‘One thing The Body Snatcher clearly isn’t, however, is another great Karloff/Lugosi collaboration. Ever since Ed Wood, it’s been hard to look at any of their collaborations without hearing Martin Landau roar, “Karloff does not deserve to smell my shit! That limey cocksucker can rot in hell!” On this evidence, it’s not hard to see why Lugosi might have wound up feeling that way. Karloff is in most scenes and has all the best lines, whilst Lugosi is lumbered with an utterly thankless role as MacFarlane’s handyman, popping up only a few times with very little of consequence to say or do. That this wound up being their last collaboration makes it all the more bittersweet. Given that today we tend to hold both men on an equal pedestal, it’s pretty sad to see that Hollywood at the time did not treat them with equivilant respect.’ — Brutal as Hell


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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Erle C. Kenton House of Frankenstein (1944)
‘By 1944, the Universal monsters had become too familiar to be truly frightening. The Frankenstein monster alone had already appeared in five films. Universal’s solution was to treat their gaggle of ghouls as old friends. The Frankenstein series evolved into an elaborate excuse to paste as many recognizable faces into a single film as possible. The trend began in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, but really blossomed into a cornucopia of creatures with House of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff triumphantly returns to the series that made his name, albeit in a vastly different role. He plays Dr. Niemann with a kind of gentleman malevolence, turning to the sinister at all the right moments. We’ve come to expect great performances from Karloff, and he gives us no less.’ — Classic-horror.com


Trailer


The best of ‘House of Frankenstein’

 

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Arthur Lubin Black Friday (1940)
‘Told in flashback as Dr. Ernest Sovac (Boris Karloff) is marched into the gas chamber, Black Friday concerns kindly college professor George Kingsley (Stanley Ridges), who is seriously injured when he is caught in the middle of a gangster shootout. Kingsley’s best friend Sovac performs an emergency “brain-ectomy”, replacing Kingsley’s gray matter with that of dying gangster Red Cannon. Though the operation is successful, the mild-mannered Kingsley occasionally lapses into Cannon’s more brutal personality, and it is during one of these spells that he reveals the existence of a cache of stolen money.’ — Allrovi


the entire film

 

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Michael Curtiz The Walking Dead (1936)
The Walking Dead is a unique blend of cinematic horror and the classic Warner Bros. gangster stylings. This long-admired cult favorite stars Boris Karloff, who gives an outstanding performance as John Ellman, an ex-con framed for murder who’s sentenced to the electric chair. When Ellman is brought back to life through the miracles of science, his only task is to seek revenge against those responsible for his death. Karloff’s innocent, cruelly victimized character of John Ellman was initially meant to be dramatically transforemed into a huge, hairy, mindless killing machine in the wake of his execution by electric chair. This vengeance-crazed creature was then supposed to wander around the city by cover of nightfall, scale the outsides of towering highrise buildings, corner its intended victims, and physically hoisted them off their feet to break their backs in a murderous rage. Karloff scoffed at the level of senseless violence, and lobbied strongly to have the Ellman character presented as more of a tragically sympathitic man caught up in extraordinary circumstances.’ — DVDBeaver


Excerpt

 

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Lew Landers The Raven (1935)
‘The film only utilises Poe’s The Raven as a creepy minor narrative device at most, or as it says during the credits “Suggested by Edgar Allan Poe’s immortal classic.” It could well have not mentioned Poe at all and you’d never have known differently. With all due respect to Karloff, the unequalled highlight of this is without doubt Bela Lugosi’s performance as Dr. Vollin. He gives a performance straight out of the Creepy Bastard School of Acting with his stares and his pauses and his Count Dracula voice. And the stares… oh how he stares! The looks he gives people. Hell, the looks he gives the walls, the doors, anything which falls in site of his gaze was the unwilling recipient of his Lugosi Brand “Stare of Ultimate Doom”.’ — DVD.au.net


Trailer


the entire film

 

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James Whale Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Frankenstein (1931) was a huge success, one that resonates and casts a huge shadow over the horror film even today. A sequel was fairly much mandated and so Universal returned to Frankenstein director James Whale who went away and cooked up Bride of Frankenstein. The result has been called by some the greatest of all horror films and is agreed on by most as being superior to the first outing. It is certainly one of the most oddball of all Frankenstein films. Whale has a far greater sense of mise en scene here than in the original. His treatment of the monster is a strange blend of pathos and humour. Out of Boris Karloff’s primitive mime there comes a genuine, albeit simplistic, emotion – it is quite something to watch the tear roll down his face when the bride rejects him, or the dull grave-stone voiced intonation “I love dead, hate living.”’ — Moria


Trailer


Excerpt


Excerpt

 

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Edgar G. Ulmer The Black Cat (1934)
‘Economical in its telling, and fairly typical in its depiction of bitter and evil men, Lugosi and Karloff once again team up and compete in a contest of stares. Karloff stares at the woman, Lugosi stares at the door, Karloff stares at the man, Lugosi stares at Karloff, Karloff stares at Lugosi, the man stares at the woman, the woman stares at a tree. There’s a cat. Lugosi flings a knife at it for a three point killshot. That’s the Poe reference taken care of. If anything, this movie is just more fodder to prove that the two stars were deadset nuts. It didn’t make a lick of difference what the lines were, they look so damn menacing most of the time, they could have been reciting their addresses and it would have sounded evil.’ — DVD.net.au


Trailer

 

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Karl Freund The Mummy (1932)
‘Make-up artist Jack Pierce began transforming Karloff at 11:00 am, applying cotton, collodion and spirit gum to his face; clay to his hair; and wrapping him in linen bandages treated with acid and burnt in an oven, finishing the job at 7:00 pm. Karloff finished his scenes at 2:00 am, and another two hours were spent removing the make-up. Karloff found the removal of gum from his face painful, and overall found the day “the most trying ordeal I [had] ever endured”.’ — Allrovi


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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James Whale The Old Dark House (1932)
‘Like other obscure films, The Old Dark House didn’t do well at the box office… in fact, this one bombed so badly both on its initial release and re-release that it left craters. The film was considered so worthless that it was believed to have been destroyed until it was rediscovered and restored in the late 1960s. At that time, Boris Karloff is reported to have seemed bemused when the man who saved the film from oblivion told him of the restoration effort; I imagine Karloff couldn’t conceive of why anyone would spend money and time to preserve a failed movie. Truth is, The Dark Old House was only a failure in a commercial sense. Anyone with a taste for classic movies who watches it now will recognize it as a film that should be held in equal regard to the other landmark Karloff features like Frankenstein and The Mummy.’ — The Boris Karloff Collection


Trailer


the entire film

 

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Howard Hawks Scarface (1932)
‘The Boris-Karloff-bowling scene in Scarface is a masterpiece of storytelling, just in terms of the shots chosen for this short scene. There are about 15 shots all told. That’s all you need. You don’t need to do too much else as a director – at least not if you are confident of the EVENT you are trying to portray. It’s a wonderful sequence, spare and violent, ominous and yet elegant – not one shot too many, a perfect mix of mess (the sound of the bowling alley mixed with the crowd with the strange eerie whistling going on over it – the whistle that we now know means some bad shit is going to go down) and clarity. You don’t need to say too much or do too much to create an entire event.’ — The Sheila Variations


Trailer


Excerpt

 

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James Whale Frankenstein (1931)
‘The most well-known image of Frankenstein’s monster in popular culture derives from Boris Karloff’s portrayal in the 1931 movie Frankenstein, with makeup created by Jack Pierce from possibly crucial sketched suggestions by director James Whale (credit for Karloff’s look remains controversial). Karloff played the monster in two more Universal films, Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein. Lon Chaney, Jr. took over the part from Karloff in The Ghost of Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi portrayed the role in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, and Glenn Strange played the monster in the last three Universal Studios films to feature the character (House of Frankenstein, House of Dracula, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein); but their makeup replicated the iconic look first worn by Karloff. To this day, the image of Karloff’s face is owned by his daughter’s company, Karloff Enterprises, which is the reason Universal replaced Karloff’s features with Glenn Strange’s in most of their marketing.’ — Frankensteinfilms.com


Trailer


Excerpt

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I don’t think he copies Balthus or really anyone, but I think there’s easily as much Hopper, Fairfield Porter, Wm. Nicholson, Andre Tondu, and other realist painters among his influences. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh! I hope LA welcomed you back very warmly. ** Misanthrope, The dentistry and aftermath has gone strangely easily. That makes total sense about your idiosyncratic sleeping patterns easing off the jet lag. Me, I’m a super regular kind of sleeper, and I think that’s definitely at my susceptibility’s root. Enjoy the long weekend, and I hope your novel takes the opportunity to cozy up. ** Sypha, Hi, James. Yeah, I think ‘Bosun’ is my favorite New Juche, which is saying something. I know from distant past experiences on this very blog, there is nothing quite guaranteed to get even the most mild mannered brainiacs in a wild lather than the mere mention of pedophilia. I learned long ago to stay a million miles away from that subject, and I probably shouldn’t have even dropped the ‘p’ word right now. So let’s pretend I didn’t. ** Bill, Hi, B. Duncan’s memoir is a really fun read. Work’ll do that to you, that I know. That was my fear about Gira solo. Loudness and texture seem pretty key to his thing. The Queercore doc: On the one hand, I can imagine some young person seeing it and being very inspired, and that’s valuable. On the other hand, I think it’s woefully inadequate and slanted and misses the mark. Its positioning of Bruce la Bruce as the ongoing god of the movement is just totally historically inaccurate. It features people like Penny Arcade and Kim Gordon and others who had nothing to do with Queercore, but then it ignores important figures like Vaginal Davis, Jayne County, and many others. It doesn’t even mention Bimbox/Johnny Noxzema and GB Jones’s defection to that camp and what that meant and how Johnny’s deconstruction/dismantlement of Queercore was an essential and important moment in the movement’s development and ultimate demise. Etc. It’s hard to imagine there’ll be another doc about Queer Punk, and it’s a shame because that film is extremely far from accurate and definitive. So that’s my opinion, ha ha. ** Alex rose, You’re so right about mortality’s birthplace now that you mention it. Hi, sir. My yesterday sucked donkey dick too, so high five or even ten. I like Brian Calvin, but I saw a recent show of his here, and I thought it seems like he’s on automatic pilot and has kind of lost it? Love you too! ** Dominik, Hi! I’m okay, mouth-wise. Really, it’s surprisingly kind of a breeze. I’m inching back into the TV script. I should be running into it, but it’s better than nothing. Your yawns are more interesting than most lions’ roars, my friend. But I hope the black hole lightens up. I hope your weekend flies by dropping gifts for you like Santa Claus’s sleigh. ** Jamie, Hi, Jumping Jamie. I’m okay, so-so. Some disappointing news yesterday that I don’t want to talk about right now, so I’ve been better, but my generally eternal optimism is probably hunting me down as I type. I’m so glad you’re feeling good. That news alone is an optimism magnet. Cleaning is an underrated inebriant. And cool about your new script, the title too. Oh, yeah, shit, yesterday messed with my film suggestion thinking plans. Give me the weekend. My weekend: Perk up. Work hard. Get interviewed. Maybe do Nuit Blanche tonight even though it looks to be a very miserable edition this year. Eat. Stuff. I hope your weekend causes every tree in town to grow a kilometre as you pass by it. Penny for your thoughts love, Dennis. ** Amphibiouspeter, Hi there. No, there really isn’t Halloween to speak of here. A few window displays. EuroDisney does a super corny ass makeover, no thanks. Paris’s year-round haunted house attraction, Le Manoir de Paris, does a special Halloween expansion thing, and I’ll do that. But, really, Paris’s Halloween lives only in the mind. Thank you a lot about about ‘Zac’s Coral Reef’. Yeah, I think I did manage to do an expanding of the thing/form in that work, and that excites me. Yeah, yeah, agree, obviously, about New Juche. Very special. Have a really awesome weekend. What are you up to? ** _Black_Acrylic, I think you will get much pleasure from Duncan’s memoir if I know you at all, and I can only presume I do. ** Steve Erickson, Sorry about your stressful day. Mine was too, if that’s any consolation, which, I know, it isn’t. Thomas Dolby. huh. I’d be curious to rehear that. You know what’s pretty terrific is the first Tubeway Army LP when Gary Numan’s thing was still a bit rough. ** Jeff J, Sweet, talk to you tomorrow! Ha, yes, the Green/Hannah segue was not an accident, and, psst, the slide from them into Boris Karloff isn’t either. Duncan’s prose is lively and very charming. Have a swell today. ** Okay. A few people have asked me to restore Boris Karloff Day over the past year or so, and I thought, ‘Huh, really? Maybe.’ But now Halloween has rolled around, so, after going back and gussying up the original a bit, I do hope it’s a fit. There you go. See you on Monday.

8 Comments

  1. Boris Karloff is unique in the way he’s both sinister and loveable at the same time

    Bruce Labruce is a Major Phoebe

  2. Dennis, Mr. Karloff. I like the way he felt about being typecast or whatever one may call it. He seems to have been a type not to look a gift horse in the mouth. And really, why can’t one be considered a great actor while doing many of the same types of roles? If you’re good, you’re good.

    It reminds me of those critics who will lambast a novelist for “writing the same novel over and over.” Boo hoo. If those “same novels” are good, they’re good, and they’ll give people joy. That’s okay in my book.

    Thanks. I hope you have a good weekend too. I’m going to see “A Star is Born” with some friends tonight and then going out to eat. Before that -in about an hour, actually- I’m taking LPS to get his hair cut and then he and I are hitting the gym, which I’ve not hit in a week and a half. I probably seem, at times, obsessive about the gym (which I kind of am), but I have no problem taking a break and letting the body recover and rest up a bit. My London trip was a great excuse for that, and I feel good.

    I did a bit on the novel last night and will do some more today. And then tomorrow. And then on and on and on….

  3. Well, the first Tubeway Army album still has a quasi-punk quality, with more guitars than electronics. (There’s an earlier collection of demos dating from the time when Numan wanted to be a full-on punk and hadn’t yet touched a synthesizer.) The thing about Numan, as many have noted, is that he kept working with a hard-hitting, live rhythm section even when he completely abandoned guitars. That Dolby album throws in acoustic instruments like piano and harmonica sparingly and has conceptual trappings; “She Blinded Me With Science” was actually his sixth single and THE GOLDEN AGE OF WIRELESS came out well before its release, then EMI reissued it with it added. Its goofiness sounds very jarring in context. A Flock of Seagulls’ first album is actually pretty guitar-heavy, and it’s clear they were a rock band who jumped on the synth bandwagon. Wikipedia claims it’s a concept album about alien abduction, and upon further thought, that’s quite obvious. “I Ran (So Far Away)” is about a couple who meet and are then kidnapped by a UFO. BTW, on the synth-pop train, the next album I’m reviewing is a forthcoming reissue of Bronski Beat’s AGE OF CONSENT, with the equivalent of a lengthy CD added containing BBC sessions, remixes and unreleased demos. I listened to it this morning, for the first time in years. The original album sounds good, as do the songs I hadn’t heard, but I don’t need to own 4 versions of “Why. ”

    I ran into my film’s editor last night. She says that the sound came out great. She wants to meet with me in about 2 weeks to discuss the post-production. She’s working 3 part-time jobs right now and also needs to complete a thesis that will combine performance art and film direction in December, so although I am paying her, this isn’t her highest priority. But she thinks she can get together a rough cut by Halloween.

    I keep thinking “this should not pass” about the political climate in the US, but it keeps getting worse. Over the past week, I’ve been having that feeling about 3 times a day. Will people in this country ever take sexual assault seriously instead of coming up with convoluted theories about mistaken identity and baroque political conspiracies rather than believing a woman is telling the simple truth about something that happened to her, at the price of having to move and receiving death threats? I know you don’t like Americans bringing up partisan politics here, but Low’s line “It’s not the end/It’s just the end of hope” seems quite a propos.

  4. Hey Dennis, I enjoyed the Queercore doc, though the omissions (and Penny Arcade’s extended screen time etc) did bother me. There’s this overall impression that everyone in the scene got along great, which we all know wasn’t the case, haha.

    And it could be shorter. Could be worse for a Friday night out though.

    Didn’t you have a Queer punk day? Any plans on restoring it?

    After a sleepy summer and September, the events calendar has been ramping up. We’ll see how much stuff I get to in the next week or two.

    Bill

  5. The old FRANKENSTEIN film was okay, but as is usually the case with these things the book is much better.

    I saw A STAR IS BORN today. I think I was the youngest person in the theater… it was almost all middle-aged adults or senior citizens. But I liked the film a lot: I know that it’s your typical old school tragic Oscar-bait tear-jerker but it still sucked me in (and I won’t lie, I got a little teary-eyed at a few points). Bradly Cooper was really good, and, of course, Lady Gaga as well… I don’t know, I’ve been following her career for almost a decade now and there was something poignant and oddly surreal about seeing her up there on the big screen, doing scenes with Sam Elliott and stuff like that (he was really great as well). And while I kind of mourn the vanishing of the quirky Gaga of old for this new mainstream version, I must admit it suits her: I would even claim that this film could be the apotheosis of her mainstream era… she certainly has a lot of screen presence, and there were a few scenes in particular where I would say that she looked more beautiful than almost any other time I could mention (I don’t mean in a sexual way of course).

  6. Good to discover Karloff was a more interesting, multifaceted guy than I’d ever given him credit for. Plus he’s absolutely the face of Halloween.

    I’m feeling a bit more hopeful as I had a 5 day course of steroids prescribed from the hospital to combat my MS and they were delivered yesterday by the chemist. I’d not done these in a year, my symptoms were worsening and maybe it’s just psychosomatic but I’m sure I can feel some benefit already. In anticipation I’m getting another Brain Skull Necklace, this time in black, designed by my friend and fellow MS sufferer V&A Dundee Design Champion Kirsty Stevens.

  7. hey dee, i’ve actually never see any karloff films including frankensteins, but he has a really great face i bet its good in a film. le manoir de paris looks cool! i wanna go to that! ottars a little bit of a scaredy cat so i’ll have to see if he can be conviced. how scary is it would you say? let me know if you end up going between the 15-18th and we can team up. just a week until we leave for paris! love, me

  8. ps. are english-speaking movies dubbed to french in the cinemas?

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