This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: August 15 – 21st

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

The Voyager Interstellar Record – The Sounds of Earth

Access the record’s complete playlist here.

(Thank you to my son for finding it and bringing it to my attention.)

This week, I’m most excited about:

stranger-things

~THE MOVIES~

NEW NETFLIX & REDBOX:

Stranger Things (2016) Netflix Original Series 

Not yet Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
Based on what I’ve seen in your Facebook feeds, most of you have already discovered this little gem. I still need to watch the last episode or two, but I love it, of course. It’s especially charming for those of us who grew up (as nerds) in the late 70s / early 80s. I’ve received several messages from junior high school friends asking if it looked familiar. (The actual time setting, btw, is 1983.) So far I think the appeal is mostly in the nostalgia, because the story is a little on the thin side for me. Still, well worth a watch.

After her young son inexplicably vanishes, Joyce joins an intensive but fruitless search for him. As the mystery deepens, Joyce begins to suspect that supernatural forces may be involved in the boy’s disappearance. Winona Rider.
Description from Netflix.

The Real Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) British Documentary 

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Not On IMDb.
I’ve added this to my queue, but it’s clear from the reviews that it doesn’t really have anything to do with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Working on a tip, police start to unravel the case of a British former mental patient who hoarded guns and have links to a famous Texas crime.
Description from Netflix.
(No video.)

~***~

Sleepy Hollow (1999) R 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
This is an old favorite that is included in my Halloween Movies list … which is a like a movie-a-week film festival of 13 Halloween-themed movies to be watched as we journey toward the big day. (We are only 11 weeks out from Halloween, as of today, btw, so if you want to get going on that, now’s the time.)

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman.
Description from IMDb.

~***~

Slow TV

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Not On IMDb.
I am surprised to see that “Slow TV” has come to Netflix this month. This is a strange and wonderful concept brought to us by the Norwegians. The shows (when they are at their best) are minute-by-minute, real-time recordings of a time-consuming, “normal” event or activity.

Most folks think it’s boring once you get past the novelty, but I think there’s something deeply soothing about it.  

If you want to see what you think of it, I’m going to recommend that you start with Train Ride: Bergen to Oslo, just as I did when I discovered the concept a year or so ago. (The entire recording is SEVEN hours long.) It’s utterly hypnotic. One of my favorite features of this particular piece is the tunnels … the longest of which is 13 km (8 miles) long. The recording goes almost entirely pitch black after entering a tunnel, while the sound of the train continues. Other topics include: firewood, knitting, salmon fishing, a canal trip, and additional train trips. Just enter Slow TV into the search at Netflix to see the whole selection.

Best played when you plan to read, write, knit, etc.  Be aware that the sample “clip” I’m providing below is an hour and eighteen minutes long😀

The television program Bergensbanen minute by minute – train journey across Southern Norway was … the 7-hour train journey from Bergen to Oslo along the Bergen Line. The event was planned as part of the 100 year anniversary for the existence of the Bergen Line. Four cameras were used to produce the documentary, showing both exterior and interior views, along with interviews with both crew, train conductors, historians/past workers and passengers. (I’ve yet to see one of these interviews while watching, but I assume they are in there somewhere.) The train went through 182 tunnels. The show was first broadcast on November 27, 2009, while the recording had been done earlier during summer.

The program was followed by an average of 176,000 viewers, and 1,246,000 Norwegian viewers (20% of the population) were watching the event at least once during its screening time. The event received attention in both Norwegian and foreign media, and has in relation to the Slow TV event Hurtigruta minutt for minutt, received both renewed attention and appreciation, mainly among its Norwegian followers.
Description from Wikipedia.

~***~

Black Widow (1987) R 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
1987. When watching the trailer for this, I was shocked at how incredibly dated it looks and sounds. If you’re into Stranger Things on Netflix right now, this might be fun too … it’s just a bite later, but very evocative of the 80s, if from a more adult angle. Film Noir-ish.

An inquiring federal investigator becomes intrigued — then fixated — when she uncovers and unusual pattern of deaths by seemingly natural causes. Debra Winger, Teresa Russell.
Description from Netflix.

~***~

NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS:

Nothing exciting in the theaters right now, I’m afraid.

~ON TV~

All quiet on the TV front too.

 

~*~

‘Sorry to be so short and sketchy folks. I may have missed some good stuff, but I’m eager to move on to other things now.  My Ogre took last week off, during a lull between projects, so I’m just getting back into the swing of things today. I’ve been writing a fair bit of fiction around the edges of his vacation, and I’m excited to be able to throttle up this week. I hope to be back with some additional blogs later this week too, but we’ll have to see how deep the story takes me into fictionland.

Remember, only 11 weeks until Halloween!

~***~

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: June 27 – July 3

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

A conversation with composer and musician Rob Kapilow,
about the magic of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

As July begins, there isn’t much in the way of newly released ghost- or monster-based media around, but I’ve found a selection of sci-fi and fantasy films that should keep us entertained. (Plus my usual one complete outlier, in the form of The Great British Baking Show, which comes back to PBS on July 1st.) The July 2016 Netflix new releases list has a few fresh-from-the-theater titles, but mostly it looks like they went into the vault to pull out and dust off some old stuff. So many classics are being made available, in fact, I had to add a special section to M&M Media this week, to list old favorites returning to streaming. (They aren’t macabre or mysterious, but when it’s this hot outside, we need lots of viewing options as we seek cool, dim places.)

This week I’m most excited about:

gallery-uktv-great-british-bake-off-02-2 legend-tarzan-movie-poster-2016

~THE MOVIES~

NEW NETFLIX & REDBOX:

Dreamcatcher (2003) R 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix July 1st.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
I’ve read the Stephen King novel, of course, but I’ve not yet seen the movie. I’m wondering how the filmmakers will deal with the … indelicate nature of the symptoms caused by the parasite. I find the story itself and the relationships within it to be compelling, but Constant Writer’s descriptions of the intestinal distress experienced by the protagonists was just too visceral for me. In this case, for that reason, the film might be better than the book for me. All that aside, I do love watching a deep-winter movie in the heat of high summer. (And vice versa.) Stars Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane, Jason Lee. 

Friends on a camping trip discover that the town they’re vacationing in is being plagued in an unusual fashion by parasitic aliens from outer space.
-from IMDb.

~***~

The Lovely Bones (2009) PG13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix July 1st.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
Here again, I’ve read the book, but haven’t seen the movie. With this one, I suspect the film will be less enjoyable than the novel. It’s tough for a movie to capture the magical realism of a written story without going over the line. The shots of Susie’s “own perfect world” in the trailer below feel forced to me. I should confess, too, that I’m one of the few people who didn’t go gaga over the novel. Reading it was a pleasure, thanks to its elegant prose and rich characterizations, but I found the ending unsatisfying … which is my usual response to literary fiction. 

Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family – and her killer – from purgatory. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.
-IMDb.

~***~

Pandemic (2016) NR?

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix July 1st.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
I’m looking forward to firing this one up. I love a good post-apoc and this one seems to be a crowd-pleaser (85% audience score at Rotten Tomatoes.)

Pandemic is set in the near future, where a virus of epic proportions has overtaken the planet. There are more infected than uninfected, and humanity is losing its grip on survival. Its only hope is finding a cure and keeping the infected contained. Lauren (Rachel Nichols) is a doctor, who, after the fall of New York, comes to Los Angeles to lead a team to hunt for and rescue uninfected survivors.
-from IMDb.

~***~

Terminus (2015) R 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix July 1st.
Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
An Australian indie film that many critics are praising as sophisticated and low key sci-fi. Hmm.

Following a near-fatal accident, David Chamberlain makes an unprecedented discovery that will not only determine the fate of his family, but of mankind.
-from IMDb.

~***~

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) PG13

Not yet Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
The way they use the song I Think We’re Alone Now in this trailer is brilliant. It hits the perfect creepy/unsettling chord for me. Some reading around the net tells me this movie is a favorite with both fans and critics, with the critics loving it a little more than the fans. That puts it square in my “I’m probably going to love this” sights. I think I’ll go ahead and rent it this week, rather than waiting for it to hit Netflix.

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.
-from IMDb.

~***~

Catwoman (2004) PG13 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix July 1st.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
This movie is legendary in some circles for being so very, very non-canon. And, at the 25th annual Razzie Awards, it won for Worst Actress, Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Director. Is this so bad it’s good? Should I add it to my queue?

A shy woman, endowed with the speed, reflexes, and senses of a cat, walks a thin line between criminal and hero, even as a detective doggedly pursues her, fascinated by both of her personas.
-from IMdb.

~***~

Batman: The Movie (1966) NR

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix July 1st.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
Luckily for Batman fans, Netflix is also going to stream this gem.

The Dynamic Duo faces four super-villains who plan to hold the world for ransom with the help of a secret invention that instantly dehydrates people.
-from IMDb.

~***~

Phenomenon (1986) PG

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix July 1st.
Not Available from Redbox.
On IMDb here.
I honestly can’t remember if I saw this. If I did, it didn’t leave much of an impression. As I read reviews though, I ran across the phrase “Capra-esque”, which intrigues me. John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forrest Whitaker, Robert Duvall. Should I give it a go?

An ordinary man sees a bright light descend from the sky, and discovers he now has super-intelligence and telekinesis.
-from IMDb.

~***~

 ~Titles in the following section are linked directly to Netflix for your queue management needs.~

OLD FAVORITES RETURNING TO NETFLIX STREAMING JULY 1ST:

* Lethal Weapon1 (1987), 2 (1989), 3 (1992), & 4 (1998)  *
* Beverly Hills Cop 1 (1984) & 2 (1987) *
* Back to the Future ~ 1 (1985)2 (1989),  & 3 (1990) *
* Big Trouble in Little China (1986) *
* The Sting (1973) *

HEADS-UP ON MOVIES LEAVING NETFLIX IN JULY:

* 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) ~ leaving July 1st *
* A Clockwork Orange (1971) ~ leaving July 1st *
* Medium, seasons 1 -7 ~ leaving July 1st *
* all the Star Trek movies ~ leaving July 1st *
* Serenity (2005) ~ leaving July 16th ~ Tell me it ain’t so! *

~***~

NOW PLAYING IN THEATERS:

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) PG13

In general release as of June 24th.
On IMDb here.
Oh, dear. The reviews coming in aren’t good, which is sad, because I loved Independence Day (1996). (You can get that one from Netflix DVD.) The only good thing I’m hearing is that the special effects are amazing … and plentiful. I’ll be waiting for this one to come to me on Netflix.

Two decades after the first Independence Day invasion, Earth is faced with a new extra-Solar threat. But will mankind’s new space defenses be enough?
-from IMDb.

~***~

The Legend of Tarzan (2016) PG13

In general release July 1st.
On IMDb here.
Now this looks like fun. It even has Christoph Waltz as the bad guy. The trailer is so chock full of pretty and awe-inspiring visuals that I know I want to see it on the big screen while I can. (I have a thing for big gorgeous apes … speaking of which, my husband wants to see it too.) This, I believe, is certain to earn our movie money this week. 

Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.
-from IMDb.

~***~

~ON TV~

The Great British Baking Show | PBS | Fridays | 9/8c | Season 3 starts July 1st

I’m slightly less excited about this than I normally would be, because I accidentally found a spoiler last year, and I know which contestant wins. (Such are the perils of watching British shows on PBS, a year after they air in the UK.) Though I’m still annoyed about that, I’ll probably forget all about it once the season gets underway for me. After all, this is less about who wins and more about the baking itself — which is a soul-soothing experience for an American TV watcher like me. (There’s just something so wonderful about watching a reality show that doesn’t emphasize or fabricate drama between the competitors.)  

Follow the trials and tribulations of passionate amateur bakers whose goal is to be named the U.K.’s best. Each week, the bakers tackle a different skill, the difficulty of which increases as the competition unfolds. Mary Berry, a leading cookbook writer, and Paul Hollywood, a top artisan baker, serve as judges. Together with hosts and comic foils Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, Berry and Hollywood search for the country’s best amateur baker by testing the competitors’ skills on cakes, breads, pastries and desserts, crowning a winner after 10 weeks of competition.
-from the PBS homepage.

~*~

Overall, I think we’re in pretty good shape for the upcoming long holiday weekend. 

What are you doing to celebrate? What will you be watching?

Because the Ogre has been working long hours and some weekends lately, he’ll be taking some extra time off this week. That should give us enough time to build some bookshelves, make beef jerky with our daughter, hang out at the pool, and watch a hell of a lot of movies. (We still need to go see The Conjuring 2 even!) 

PS: I suppose I should’ve mentioned that The Purge: Election Year (2016) is also coming out (on July 1st) but, blech. 

~***~

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: June 13 – 19, 2016

~YOUR MUSICAL SPOKEN WORD INTERLUDE~

Christopher Walken reads The Raven

The first M&M Media of each month is always more extensive than those that follow, but the following paltry offering is ridiculous. I promise, I’ve checked all my sources; this week is just a dud for new macabre and mysterious entertainment. Remember to check last week’s edition if you missed it, because all the media I featured there is still available.

How bad is it that the most exciting thing about this list, for me, is my own nostalgia for an imported melodrama I watched for a while 30+ years ago?

prisoner_cell_block_h

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Orange is the New Black, season 4 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix – seasons 1-3 already available, season 4 arrives June 17th, 2016.
Not Available from Redbox.
Not a movie. Not paranormal in any way, but a guilty pleasure, nonetheless. I drifted away from watching this show after the second season, for no particular reason. It’s ideal for a marathon though, so there may be a stretch of too-hot-to-think days ahead that will allow me to catch up with the women.
On IMDb here.

That reminds me: Does anyone besides me remember the show Prisoner: Cell Block H? (Fun article at that link, from Den of Geek.) I got totally sucked in as a very young teenager, when I could watch it in syndication in the afternoons. Netflix has a DVD collection on offer, but by all accounts it’s terrible. (Incomplete, out of order, etc.) All 692 episodes, however, are apparently available on You Tube. Just sayin’.

NOT-NEW, BUT GOOD, ON NETFLIX:

Dream House (2011) PG13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
I had completely forgotten about seeing this until I ran across it today while desperately searching Netflix. This movie belongs on two of my existing best-13 lists, and on one I’m still compiling. There’s some controversy around this film, including the idea that the trailer below gives away too much. (Skip it if you want to go in completely cold.) I don’t mind. I think the story is compelling and the atmosphere is delightfully mysterious. Excellent acting by Daniel Craig. Visually striking, lovely to look at. If you haven’t seen it, you should.
On IMDb here.

Angel Heart (1987) R 

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
Ah, I found a gem. I’ve seen this movie, but I’ll be honest and admit that it was so long ago that all I can remember is thinking it was amazing. It’s now in my to-watch queue. I’ll reserve my final color coded judgement until the re-watch, but it’s either going to be green or orange (I’m pretty sure it’s REALLY intense, possibly too intense for some.We’ll see what my older, kinder, wiser self thinks of it.)
On IMDb here. (linked)

~ON TV~

Mother May I Sleep with Danger? | Lifetime| June 18th| 8/7c 

I’m too old for this, right? I mean, the original was a 90s phenomena, and I’m more of an 80s chick. That’s gotta mean at least part of the cool factor here is lost on me. (But the way, I checked; the ’96 version is NOT available on Netflix.) I’ll have to go in clueless. Still, I love James Franco, so I’ll give it a shot.

From the homepage:
“In honor of the 20th Anniversary of the cult classic, “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?,” Lifetime and Sony Pictures Television team up with James Franco to remake the classic TV movie … The retelling stars Franco and reunites Tori Spelling and Ivan Sergei from the original film …With a story by Franco, this updated classic features a vampire love story that brings a whole new meaning to “sleeping with danger.””

~***~

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: 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.

Fun, 1 inch, collectible, buttons for Halloween!

Regular readers know that my creative and talented daughter has an Etsy shop where she sells original designs on 1″ collectible buttons.

size

BTW, a one inch button is about the size of a quarter. Thanks to the movie Office Space, many of us think of these little gems as “flair.”

Pooka’s buttons can be purchased in a pin-back style ($1.25) or as a magnet ($1.75). (Oh, I almost forgot that she now offers key chains too, for $3.)

The magnets can be used to decorate any metal surface, of course, but they can ALSO can be worn in a pendant (which Pooka Creations sells.) Here’s a video I made about it a couple of years ago, that shows how it works. (I think all the designs shown in the video are still available.)

HALLOWEEN HERO BUTTONS

Just last night, Pooka listed this year’s limited edition Halloween Hero button for the 2015 season.

HH2015-CollageFinished

Does that look familiar? She chose this year’s design in honor of my cross stitch project.

I have written about Halloween Heroes in the post, Twisted Ding Dong Ditch (Reverse trick-or-treating the Halloween Heroes).

At the Pooka Creations shop, My girl describes the intent behind these buttons, and why she began to make them. Here’s an excerpt:

On Halloween 2013, I went through neighborhoods looking for thirteen houses that had decorated fabulously and were handing out candy to kids. I gifted each of those houses with a special “Halloween Hero” button I had made just for the occasion, and I thanked each of them for keeping my favorite holiday alive and well. I thought others may enjoy collecting these designs for themselves, or may want to hand them out to awesome Halloween Heroes in their own neighborhoods.

HH2015-4WM

OTHER SPOOKY BUTTONS

Now seems a fine time for me to share a selection of my daughter’s Halloween-appropriate wares. There’s plenty of time for you to order some as tokens for the Halloween Heros you know, or to choose some favorites, from all of her designs, to be special hand-outs on Halloween night.

Pooka Creations is known for careful craftsmanship, quick shipping, and helpful (and charming) customer service. (Check out her nearly-200 five-star reviews.)

Aside from the designs shown in the video, here are a few that I think are especially appropriate for the folks who find their way to this blog:

Then there’s the special things:

pooka creations steampunk set

… and this REALLY special thing:

necklace

This post-apocalyptic styled necklace is the first piece she’s offered that branches away from her beloved buttons.

(… Well, the SECOND piece, really, because the first one already sold.)

Clicking on any of the stand-alone images in this post will whisk you to Pooka Creations,

where you can browse through even more designs and place your order.

Otherwise, click the following link to go to the shop’s main page.

www.pookacreations.etsy.com

 


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