Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sunny Day Spooks

Today was my early work day. While it was a little steady off and on, it mostly remained fairly quiet. I did the trash inside and out and the few returns that were there, but once again, I was mostly outside with the carts. And once again, it was likely just as well. The wind was wild and it was chillier than yesterday, but it also remains sunny and nice. Not only is the weather too gorgeous for shopping, but it's a little early for most people to be planning their Thanksgiving menus.

When I got home, I changed, then did some baking. Made Teen-Time Chocolate Chip Bars while watching a few Halloween and horror-themed episodes of Perfect Strangers. "Aliens" from the fourth season sees Larry having a nightmare after watching a horror movie marathon on Halloween and dreaming that Balki is an alien bent on taking over Earth. The seventh season show "Fright Night" has them trying to clear a ghost out of their new house. Balki's worried for Larry in the third season episode "The Horn Blows at Midnight" when a psychic claims he'll die at midnight. Larry brushes off his concerns, until it looks like her predictions are coming true.

Worked on writing for a while after the bars were in the oven. Leia talks to her brother Luke, who is still in mourning for Vader and the Jedi. Luke says he'll give his money to UCLA's journalism department for special classes and a scholarship in Ben Kenobi's name. Even though his father did terrible things, he regrets not being able to know him better. Leia doesn't at all. She's never quite forgiven him for his part in kidnapping her and Harry in France or for his killing their Papa Bail and his workers.

Broke for dinner around 7. Did two horror cartoons while eating leftover Italian chicken legs and Chinese beans with mushrooms. "The Horror of Slumber Party Mountain" was the last of the Tiny Toon Adventures spooky episodes. In this parody of 50's and 60's B-scare fests like Horror of Party Beach, Babs, Fifi, and Shirley are having a slumber party in a remote cabin. Their boyfriends Buster, Hamton, and Plucky scare them by dressing as One-Eyed Jack, a legendary local monster. The joke turns out to be less amusing when they discover that the monster is real, and is picking them off one by one!

Switched to a short Danger Mouse episode after I finished. Danger Mouse and Penfold discover "The Trouble With Ghosts" in the first season when they find themselves staying at a hotel filled with creepy creatures and scary monsters. The monsters, however, are really creations of Baron Von Greenback, who is out to capture the dynamic duo.

Finished the night after a shower with the 1931 English-language version of Dracula. Bela Lugosi is once again the title character, who has attacked the solicitor Renfield (Dwight Frye) in his home in Transylvania, turning him into a slave and a raving madman. They eventually travel to London, where he meets the Seward family, including daughter Mina (Helen Chandler), her fiancee John Harker (David Manners), and her friend Lucy Weston (Frances Dade). Lucy's interest in the Count proves to be his undoing. She's his first victim, but far from his last. When Mina's also infected, John turns to none other than Professor Van Helsing (Edward Van Sloan) to find out how to help her, and to stop the Count's reign of terror.

While it's creaky and very slow-moving by today's standards, it's also undeniably creepy and atmospheric. Lugosi is the thing here. Few actors are as associated with the character; between the accent and his hypnotic stare, he's a terrific vampire. Most of the rest of the cast isn't quite as good, although Frye does pretty well as the groveling Renfield.

The scary feel and some violence makes this not for young horror buffs; for older kids on up who love monsters and don't mind how slow it is, it's one of the classics of the genre and is recommended.

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