Thursday, October 29, 2020

Scary Tales On a Rainy Day

Awoke to pouring rain and gritty gray skies as dark as evening. Livened up the morning with oatmeal for breakfast and an episode of Arthur. It's "Hic or Treat" as Arthur tries to figure out how he can scare his little sister D.W out of her annoying case of the hiccups. Buster's tired of Brain being "Mr. Alwaysright" after he insists that the hat he bought isn't right for his mother and sets out to find something Brain isn't right about.

Switched to writing after the cartoon ended. Re-wrote yesterday to have Gene just go to his dressing room instead of onboard the plane. He's packing when he switches on one of Los Angeles' local independent stations. As the Technicolor film The Spanish Main flashes across the screen, he imagines what it would like to be a pirate like Paul Henried's character and really stick it to Richard and his boss...

Broke for a quick lunch at 11. The Three Stooges are detectives who must find a young woman kidnapped by mad scientists, before they take her mind and put it in the body of a gorilla! The mad scientists try to use "Spooks!" to scare them off, but the Stooges fight back with a stack of cream pies.

Rain still fell heavily at 11:30. I ended up taking Uber to work and back. As you can probably guess, work wasn't that busy today. We got steady only during the lunch and dinner rush hours. There were a few grumpy customers, but otherwise, most people were in pretty decent moods considering the weather. I got off with enough time to grab bags of candy to give out at Halloween (Oaklyn is doing trick or treat from 2 to 6 on Saturday) and folders, glitter markers, and twistable crayons leftover from back to school last month on clearance.

As soon as I finally got home, I put on Phantom of the Paradise while turning the leftover chicken cutlets into Chicken-Pepper Stir-Fry. I go further into this rock and roll Faust story at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog.

Cult Flops - Phantom of the Paradise

Ran the original 1932 version of The Mummy on TCM when I went online. The movie begins somewhat similarly to the remake, with the discovery of an unusual mummy (Boris Karloff) who was once an ancient high priest named Imhotep. This time, archeologist Sir Joseph Whemple (Arthur Byron) is the one who found him, his friend Dr. Muller (Edward Van Sloan) who warns about curses, and their assistant Ralph Norton (Bramwell Fletcher) who ignores it, reads "the Scroll of Thoth," and loses it when the Mummy comes to life.

This Imhotep doesn't need any help from devotees, thank you. He's figured out how to make himself up well enough to pass among humans. He shows Whemple's son Frank (David Manners) and Professor Pearson (Leonard Mudie) where to find the untouched tomb of the Princess Anck-su-namun. They donate the treasures to the Cairo Museum, further learning that Imhotep was buried alive because he tried to resurrect his lover the Princess. He thinks he's found her reincarnation in the form of half-Egyptian beauty Helen Grosvenor (Zita Johann) and wants to kill her. It may take an unusual form of divine intervention to save Helen from being buried with the walking mummy!

Not as pretty to look at as the 1959 version, but a tad bit creepier, with shadows around every corner. Karloff gives one of his better performances as the walking corpse determined to have his former love at any cost. Those who are looking for more action may want to check out the later 90's-2000's films, but fans of the classic Universal monster movies will find a lot to enjoy here.

Finished the night on YouTube after the Match Game syndicated premiere with an animated rarity from Ruby-Spears, The Trouble With Miss Switch. Miss Switch may be the best teacher Rupert and Amelia ever had, but the "trouble" is she's a witch. The truly wicked witch Saturna has taken over the Witch's Council with the help of her Computer Witch, who claims Miss Switch is too old-fashioned. She'll be banished to the Haunted Forest if she can't prove she's a very modern spell-caster. Rupert suggests working her magic on the big school football game, but Saturna interferes and makes the team lose. Now the kids and Miss Switch's cat Bathsheba have to prove their friend is more than a thoroughly modern witch - she's a truly fair and kind teacher.

For all the comedy with the mixed-up football game and the tense moments on Witch Mountain, this ended up being rather sweet. Too bad it's currently YouTube-only. I might have to check out the sequel, Miss Switch to the Rescue, there tomorrow. 

The Trouble With Miss Switch

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