This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: June 6 – 12, 2016

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Pink Martini – Que Sera, Sera

This week, I’m most excited about:

the-witch-a24-poster-gallery

(But watch the Bob Ross trailer below too!)

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

The Witch (2015) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
EDIT: I composed most of this edition of M&M Media on Friday. Since then I’ve had the chance to actually see The Witch. I’ll leave my initial thoughts intact below, but I must confess I was too worried about the way it was framed in the not-safe-for-work trailer I linked to.

Don’t let your distaste for gratuitous blood and gore scare you away from this film … there’s actually very little of that kind of stuff. That said, the THEMES are tough, there is blood, there is a terrible event, and it is scary. This movie has lots of rising tension and dread. In some parts it might even be a bit draggy, but I have a high tolerance for that, as long as I’m engaged … and I was deeply engaged. I became attached to all the characters in this story early, and stayed that way throughout. Each character, in his or her own way, is innocent, frail, flawed, spiteful, and beautiful. (The adolescent daughter, in particular, is just breathtaking in several scenes.) Together they are very, very human as they try to deal with isolation, a demanding faith, and a horror in the woods. 

My pre-watch thoughts: I’ve been aware that this was out there for a while, and all I knew, before watching a couple of trailers, was that it was supposed to be genuinely scary and that its makers were meticulous about recreating the time period. Now that I’ve watched trailers, though, I’m thinking this one might freak me right the hell out. (Here’s a more graphic, not-PG one, if the one below doesn’t give you the willies.) My plan is  to watch it  in broad daylight, with the Ogre, with plenty of breaks to shake it off.

New England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness, with five children. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. ‘The Witch’ is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey for an inescapable evil.
From IMDb here.

~*~

The Boy (2016) PG13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox on June 7th, 2016.
This is one of the few movies Ogre and I went to see while we were in the moving process. We both really enjoyed it, with one caveat: IF you’ve seen a lot of spooky movies, this one is pretty predictable. Lots of tropes, but they are done well. The characters are likable. Overall, I think it’s very much worth a rental fee.

An American nanny is shocked that her new English family’s boy is actually a life-sized doll. After she violates a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.
From IMDb here.

~*~

The House at the End of Time (2013) NR 

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
In Spanish, with subtitles. This is my random find for the week. I don’t think it’s new to streaming, but it must have appeared in the months when I was away from my lovely paranormal world.

The first Venezuelan supernatural thriller: Dulce is a mother of two who suddenly experiences terrifying encounters with mysterious apparitions inside her old house, a place where a terrible prophecy is about to be unleashed. Thirty years later, an elderly Dulce returns home to decipher the mystery and the tragedy that have tormented her for so long.
From IMDb here.

~*~

The Legend of Hell House (1973) PG

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
This scared the hell out of me, in the early 80s, when I saw an edited version on TV. The book, which I sought out immediately, was even darker and more perverse. This film is on my 13+ most haunting ghost story movies list

A scientist and his wife lead a team into the Belasco House, which is supposedly haunted by the victims of its late owner, a serial killer.

On IMDb here.

~*~

Jurassic Park – I, II, and III (1993, 1997, 2001) PG13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
The most recent episode, Jurassic World (2015), is available via Netflix DVD, and from Redbox. Did you miss this series? Any desire to watch it from the beginning? Now’s the time, folks. I’ve seen the first one, and thought it was pretty good. I don’t know if I’m willing to give up as much of my media watching time as I’d need to satisfy my completionist urges, though.

Before I move on, I’ve got to share my FAVORITE Jurassic World meme:
jurassic chickens

When I first saw this, back in June, 2015, I tracked down the original poster, because it was circulating without a credit. The genius behind this is twitter-user @slayer1551. Props to this guy for knowing that chickens are just itty-bitty dinosaurs.

The original, On IMDb here.

~*~

The Fear of 13 (2015)

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
According to IMDb: “A convicted murderer who has spent 23 years on Death Row tells his story.” It seems there’s something more going on here, though, because reviewers are making a point of calling it a “docu-drama” and are eager to describe it as compelling and spellbinding. I think I’ll give it a go.
On IMDb here.

~*~

Extraordinary Tales (2015)

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
I’m very excited about this one. An animated collection of five Poe tales: The Fall of the House of Usher; The Tell-Tale Heart; The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar; The Masque of the Red Death; and The Pit and the Pendulum. Featuring the voices of: Sir Christopher Lee; Bela Lugosi; Julian Sands; Roger Corman; and Guillermo Del Toro.
Oh my. 

On IMDb here.

~*~

Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere (1991)) G

Several of his other workshops are Available on DVD from Netflix.
This particular title is Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
You must watch this trailer. It is the most awesome thing I’ve seen all week. 
The original series, the Joy of Painting, is On IMDb here.

~*~

HEADS-UP ON MOVIES LEAVING NETFLIX IN JUNE:

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) available on Netflix streaming until June 24th

(Nostalgia demands a watch before it’s gone.)

~*~

~STATUS CHANGES ON PREVIOUSLY FEATURED MOVIES~
(See original listing, with updated info, by clicking movie title.)

Previously featured, and now available via Netflix streaming:

Amnesiac (2015) * Final Girl (2015) * Phoenix (2015) * The Falling (2014) *  Harbinger Down (2015) *  Pay the Ghost (2015) * Both seasons of Daredevil now available *  Strangerland (2015) *

Previously featured, and now available in Redbox  — and (probably) as a Netflix DVD. There are exceptions.

* Terminator Genisis (2015) * Inside Out (2015) * Hotel Transylvania (2015) * The Martian (2015) *  The Visit (2015) * Mr. Holmes (2015) * The Gift (2015) * Crimson Peak (2015) * Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) * The Gallows (2015) * Self/less (2015) * Z is for Zachariah (2015) *

~*~

IN THEATERS:

The Conjuring 2 (2016) R

In general release June 10th, 2016.
I already fussed about this on my Facebook page. That said, I’m going to see this movie, of course, because I so loved the first one, and because I adore Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in these roles.
On IMDb here.

~***~

~ON TV~

This is not the season for interesting television … thank goodness, because I’ve got a lot of Netflixing and Redboxing to do!

EDIT: After drafting this, I did come across an intriguing new show on AMC:

Preacher | AMC | Sundays | 9/8c | airing now.

From the homepage:

“Based on the popular cult comic book franchise of the same name, Preacher is a supernatural, twisted and darkly comedic drama that follows a West Texas preacher named Jesse Custer, who is inhabited by a mysterious entity that causes him to develop a highly unusual power. Jesse, his badass ex-girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vagabond named Cassidy come together, and when they do, they are thrust into a crazy world populated by a cast of characters from Heaven, Hell and everywhere in between.”

I’ve watched the first 15 minutes or so, but then Ogre noticed what I was doing and said he wanted to see it too, so now I wait. It’s too early to tell if I like it, but i don’t dislike it based on the bit I’ve seen. By next week, I may have some actual thoughts share.

~***~

Find links to all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Dec. 21-26, 2015

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

My Christmas gift to you:

We are hardwired to get along, you know.

Christmas isn’t really my season, but I miss you all so I took a look a what’s available this week. I’m pretty excited to share two things in particular:

 I’ll be back to regular blogging soon. 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, EVERYBODY!

~THE MOVIES~

NETFLIX STREAMING:

The Ref (1994) R

Available streaming on Netflix.
I was so excited to see that this is available on streaming this year, so I could recommend it to you. I’m going to give you a fan-made trailer here, because the professional one is just dumb. This is perhaps my favorite modern Christmas movie. Dennis Leary and Kevin Spacey are terrific. Dark. Funny. Satisfying.
On IMDb here.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (2003) PG

Available streaming on Netflix.
Another favorite from recent years, but I usually watch this around Halloween.
On IMDb here.

Most of my other  modern favorites are NOT available on streaming right now, but in case you have alternative ways to access them, here’s the list:

White Christmas (1954)

Available streaming on Netflix.
My go-to classic. I’ve actually seen it playing on a variety of cable channels, but if you’re looking for a pure, commercial-free, watch, queue it up on Netflix. (I have a huge crush on Danny Kaye.)
On IMDb here.

~ON TV~

The Twilight Zone “The Night of the Meek” | METV | Christmas Eve at 2:30AM/1:30C

Here’s the first five minutes of the episode:

Art Carney as a down and out Santa who finds a magical sack of gifts and seeks his redemption. Set you recorder. This is a great one. It has its own IMDb listing here. EDIT: When I set my DVR, I found the program description says this is a REMAKE of the classic episode. It’s possible the guide is just wrong. I hope the guide is just wrong!

ABC’s The Year: 2015 | ABC | Tuesday | 9/8c 

A year in review news show. I’m betting there will be a ton of commercials, so I think I’ll record it and watch it on time delay.

The Jinx | HBO | On Demand 

Nothing Christmas-y about this one at all, but I just marathoned it and enjoyed it immensely. If you need a break from holiday cheer, you could do worse than this documentary.

I don’t recommend a lot of premium cable shows. We often confine ourselves to a basic cable package, so I don’t have reliable access. Our provider screwed something up recently, though, so they gave us a few months of HBO.

I made a bee-line for the six-part documentary, Jinx, which I’d heard about and coveted. It was well worth the time investment. The first episode is the weakest, but I found myself intrigued anyway. By mid-way through the second episode, I was hooked. Over the hours, I developed an opinion, changed my mind, changed my mind again, and got literal goosebumps at the end.

Here’s the homepage.

 

~***~

Find links to all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Oct 26-Nov 1

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Danse Macabre


recommended by Joanna Wagner at Danse Noir

This week, I’m most excited about:

HALLOWEEN ITSELF!

For this installment of M&M Media, I looked for stuff that seems particularly appropriate to this very special week. At Netflix, I’m concentrating on the best scary films that are currently available on streaming.  Many of them are classics, others are more recent entries into the macabre & mysterious genre. (Click on the linked title to add the film to your Netflix streaming queue or to watch straight from your desktop.) When it comes to television, I’m highlighting nostalgic programming. See the TV listing info provided and set your DVR appropriately.

Speaking of retro, check out THREE fabulous Halloween safety videos, over at Patrick Keller’s Big Seance blog.

~THE MOVIES~

BEST OF NETFLIX FOR HALLOWEEN 2015:

classics:

Note: there’s a big difference between the R rating of today (which usually indicates a lot of blood and gore) and the R rating of classic horror (which usually indicates adult themes.) There’s something telling about that, isn’t there?

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) R

On IMDb here.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) NR

On IMDb here.

The Omen (1976) R

On IMDb here.

The Fly (1958) NR

On IMDb here.

Metropolis (1927) NR

OLD school sci fi.
On IMDb here.

Children of the Corn (1984) R

Perfect if you’ve got a trip to a corn maze planned for later in the week 🙂
On IMDb here.

Laura (1944) NR

Not remotely horror, rather noir suspense / mystery. If you haven’t seen it, and it you want something involving but not scary, per se, give Laura a go.
On IMDb here.

Barbarella (1968)

This is one I have not actually seen. After watching the trailer, I’m not really inclined to change that. All I can say is WOW. Interestingly, Netflix says it’s R, while IMDb days it’s PG.
On IMDb here.

ghost stories & hauntings

The Others (2001) PG-13

A pretty gentle ghost story, nice if you don’t want much blood or gore.
On IMDb here.

The Awakening (2011) R

Ditto.
On IMDb here.

Dream House (2011) PG-13

I’m sharing a short clip here, because the actual trailer really spoils the movie. This movie is somewhere between horror and drama. I loved it, but it is sad.
On IMDb here.

The Sixth Sense (1999) PG-13

Pretty sure everyone has already seen this on, but sometimes it’s fun to let a  classic play while one’s attention is on other things, like carving pumpkins, or putting final touches on costumes or decorations.
On IMDb here.

Housebound (2014)  NR

I’ve raved about this movie before. If you haven’t seen it yet, it really is great fun (and well written) and quite spooky to boot. (A bit of gore but that’s not the point.) It’s more understated than the the trailer suggests.
On IMDb here.

The Pact (2012) R

A great haunted house story with a female lead character who isn’t an idiot.
On IMDb here.

Others

Let the Right One In (2008) R – Original Swedish Version

Yes, it’s subtitled. I think this is superior to the American remake, in part because the kids seem more like kids, which is creepier.
On IMDb here.

Byzantium (2012) R

Not the easiest  or most straightforward film, but lovely in its own way. This is a real drama wrapped in a real vampire story. It’s a bit annoying in some parts, but overall, I think it’s worth the time it takes to watch it.
On IMDb here.

The Corpse Bride (2005) PG

Tim Burton doing his thing. 
On IMDb here.

V/H/S (2012) R

An anthology style film with a lot of fans. Some segments are better than others. Note that R rating. It’s earned.
On IMDb here.

Silence of the Lambs (1991) R

Another that you’ve probably seen, and perfect for background ambiance. 
On IMDb here.

We Are What We Are (2013) R

A darkly beautiful, slow burner. Yes, it is about what you think it is, so no surprise there, but the performances and the atmosphere are memorable.
On IMDb here.

The Addams Family (1991) PG-13

My favorite love story ever.
On IMDb here.

Nightbreed (1990) R

This is fantasy, not horror. Very Clive Barker. Very 1990.
On IMDb here.

Stonehearst Asylum (2014) PG-13

A fairly faithful retelling of the Poe tale, The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether (You can read the short story at this link.) Lovely to look at. Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine. This is a great movie for anyone who doesn’t want grue & violence but does want something macabre & mysterious. Again, I’m sharing a clip rather than the trailer which gives away the plot. (What’s up with that anyway?)
On IMDb here.

The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014) R

I’ve recommended this before. A brave, absolutely stunning performance here by Jill Larson, who plays the title character. The first 2/3 of the movie is the best … really, really creepy.
On IMDb here.

Twixt (2011) R

A surreal, beautiful film. A bit of a challenge, and (as is so often the case) it devolves toward the end. There’s some sharp, witty moments in the writing … especially about writing. Quirky. I love it for the look and feel more than the story.
On IMDb here.

~ON TV~

MeTV HALLOWEEN EPISODES

(Check you cable/satellite provider directory,  or go here to search for it. You probably have this channel which features retro TV shows. I’ve shared the original air date, but most of us saw these in syndication.)

Svengoolie presents “Frankenstein”

James Whale’s 1931 horror masterpiece for Universal Pictures returns in a gorgeous new print. See Boris Karloff’s monster in crisp detail. What better flick to put on for Halloween night?

See it on MeTV on October 31 at 10PM | 9C

*

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW “THE HAUNTED HOUSE”

Original air date: October 7, 1963

 Beware that old Rimshaw house! Opie and his pal hit a ball into the decrepit manor. They hear eerie noises inside. Andy sends Barney and Gomer to investigate, and those two get spooked as well. We won’t give away the ending, but anyone who’s watched Scooby Doo can surmise it’s not supernatural.
 
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 9PM | 8C.

*

THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES “TRICK OR TREAT”

Original air date: October 31, 1963

 This early episode, the sixth overall, has a premise that seems unlikely to modern ears: The Clampetts have never heard of Halloween. The new Beverly Hills residents make the rounds to meet neighbors and are delighted to earn candy along the way.
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 8AM | 9C.

*

CHIPS “TRICK OR TRICK”

Original air date: October 21, 1978

 Thirteen black cats jump from a van in front of Ponch, kicking off an array of lighthearted Halloween capers. The saddlebags are filled with candy and costumed kids — sporting some great boxed Ben Cooper costumes of the era — are about. It all makes for one of the most enjoyable CHiPs outings.
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 6PM | 5C.

*

HAPPY DAYS “HAUNTED”

Original air date: October 29, 1974

 The gang sports some great costumes here. Richie wears a classic skeleton suit, like the punks in The Karate Kid. Ralph is Alfred Hitchcock. Potsie is a superhero. Fonzie is, well, the Fonz with a mask. At one point, Joanie tells Richie that it looks as if, “Bela Lugosi sucked all the blood out of you!” Learn how Fonzie bobs for apples.
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 9PM | 8C.

*

LAVERNE & SHIRLEY “HAUNTED HOUSE”

Original air date: March 22, 1977
Laverne and Shirley and Lenny and Squiggy head to a supposedly haunted Ramsdale Manor for a couch. Shirley warns, “Beware the legend of the Ramsdale Hairy Thing!”
See it on MeTV on October 30 at 9:30PM | 8:30C

*

M*A*S*H “TRICK OR TREATMENT”

Original air date: November 1, 1982

Just as Cheers was starting, George Wendt appeared as a guest on this late M*A*S*H— as a Private with a pool ball stuck in his mouth. Again, there are some fantastic costumes here, perfect for a deep reference for your next Halloween party. Hawkeye is Superman, BJ is a clown, Hot Lips is a geisha, and Potter is a cowboy. A psychologist would have a field day with those decisions.

 See it on MeTV on October 30 at 7:30PM | 6:30 C

*

PERRY MASON “THE CASE OF THE DODGING DOMINO”

Original air date: November 1, 1962
The wonderful Ellen Burstyn is in the horror hall of fame for her role in The Exorcist, a genuinely disturbing film. A young Burstyn plays a part in this Halloween mystery, too. Saying any more might give away whodunnit!

See it on MeTV on October 28 at 9AM | 8C.

*

MY THREE SONS “MONSTERS AND JUNK LIKE THAT”

In  “Monsters and Junk Like That,” father Steve is stuck wearing a costume of a Tin Man.

See it on October 30 at 6AM | 5C.

*

Elsewhere on the airwaves:

On History

The Real Story of Halloween 

 “A look at how our modern-day Halloween traditions have ancient roots.”

See it on Oct. 27 at 4PM | 3C OR Oct. 31 at 6PM | 5C

*

On PBS

American Experience: “War of the Worlds”

“Recalling the 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” by Orson Welles and his “Mercury Theater on the Air” crew, which occurred on Mischief Night. Some listeners believed the program’s account of a Martian invasion to be true and panicked due to the format, which featured “reporters” breaking into “regular programming” with realistic accounts of an in-progress attack. Included: remarks from film historian Peter Bogdanovich; and Welles’ daughter, Chris Welles Feder.”

See it on Oct. 27 at 8PM | 7C

Secrets of the Dead: “Vampire Legend” 

This episode follows a group of scientists as they uncover ‘deviant’ burials dating back to medieval England, pointing to a belief that the dead could rise from their graves. Predating Eastern European legend, these discoveries force a reexamination of modern vampire lore. The show features an interview with a modern-day vampire slayer, who, for the first time publicly, gives his account of the vampire-slaying ritual.”

See it on Oct. 27 at 9PM | 8C

*

On ABC

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

“An hour-long special that includes the original Peanuts classic and the bonus cartoon “You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown.”

See it on Oct. 29 at 8PM | 7C

*

On FXX (Look up your channel here.)

The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror

“All 25  episodes air in consecutive order.”

Oct. 31 from 12PM-12:30AM (Central time:11AM-11:30PM)

*

DON’T FORGET THESE SERIES, WHICH START THIS WEEK:

Wicked City | ABC | Tuesdays | 10/9c | Oct 27

Ash vs Evil Dead | STARZ | Saturdays| 9/8c (?) | October 31

~***~

Find links to (nearly) all featured Macabre & Mysterious Media here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.