Oh where have I been lately? Well...I'll just say that I do miss this blog (even as I cringe looking back at a few semi-recent posts) and have been keeping myself busy, mostly, tinkering here and there, working out a few kinks in the machinery—still living and breathing—so there's no reason why the show can't go on. And I certainly still watch and enjoy movies, so this is the part where I mention a few that I've seen recently, all available in their entirety on YouTube—in their best available iterations—in the links provided below (*pajamas not included).
The Uncanny (1977, d. Denis Heroux)
The worldwide kitty cat conspiracy is real, and only author Peter Cushing knows the godawful truth. This horror anthology is unique in that it's all about killer, possibly evil domesticated cats and the havoc they wreak. Its three short tales are framed by the story of a fidgety novelist (Cushing) visiting his publisher (Ray Milland) to find out the fate of his new book (all about said international feline conspiracy).
And these cats aren't just messing around, they're agents of Satan (or something), so there's lots of sinister meowing and many scenes of cuddly kitties hovering ominously in the backdrop, waiting to pounce. There's also plenty of scratching, hissing, biting, and otherwise normal feline behavior. Seeming to contradict Cushing's contention that they're evil and the Devil's minions, these cats primarily attack people who deserve it (although in one of the tales, a pet cat actually turns an unfortunate young girl on to witchcraft and Devil worship in order to vanquish a bully).
Once Cushing's sputtered his way through a rather shoddy attempt to defend the veracity of his purportedly earnest claims from publisher, Milland (whom rightfully thinks he's bonkers), it's time to venture back out into the night—and everyone knows cats rule the night. Oh, and Donald Pleasance, Samantha Eggar and John Vernon also star. Boundlessly silly and preposterous (and a bit of a mixed bag, as anthologies often go), and yet if this sounds like fun to you, it probably will be.
Full length movie, here:
The Children (1980, d. Max Kalmanowicz)
Speaking of silly and preposterous, straight outta 1980's indefatigable b-horror movie pile-on, it's The Children. Now, I know what you're thinking—another festering turkey about killer rugrats, how original...
Well, did I mention these kids were infected by an irradiated toxic gas cloud (which turns their fingernails black) and when they hug their victims, they melt(!)? That's right—several scenes of these little buggers calling for mommy and daddy, who naturally comply with their demands for hugs, and in turn are reduced to sizzling, second-rate atomic sludge (but not before screaming their freaking heads off as they melt). Starring Martin Shakar (John Travolta's priest brother from Saturday Night Fever) and featuring the music of Harry Manfredini—who essentially recycles much of his infamous violin score from Friday the 13th—The Children remains one of the most memorably strange and funny low-budget horror movies of the eighties.
And here you have it:
The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972, d. Charles B. Pierce)
And last (but certainly not least), I give you a veritable classic of the American drive-in, producer-director Charles B. Pierce's one-of-a-kind pseudo-documentary about the infamous Fouke monster and the real-life citizens of the Fouke, Arkansas swampy backwoods (playing themselves or their relatives in interviews and re-enactments), who've claimed terrifying run-ins with a large, hairy, mysterious creature. If you haven't seen The Legend of Boggy Creek, there's really no way to prepare you for the experience. These people really do believe in the Fouke monster, and director Pierce believes in them, and so what we have here are re-enactments of each and every recorded incident involving the bigfoot-like fiend, presented matter-of-fact by a soothing, somewhat philosophical narrator throughout (who at one point quips, “I often wonder how the creature must feel”), with plenty of gentle, swamp monster-inspired folk music to keep things bewilderingly off-kilter. To say it's an unusual monster movie doesn't even begin to cut it. In other words, you haven't quite lived until you've encountered The Legend of Boggy Creek.
“The beauty of the bogs under soft moonlight transforms into dark, menacing danger, and the shadows of the night triggers your imagination into being places where possibly...the creature is lurking. Because you know he's out there, somewhere.”—actual quote from the narrator.
And lo and behold: