Redheads Writing In Cafes: I Actually Miss People

(except when it’s my bedroom)

That’s right folks. You are hearing it here first. I actually miss people. You know that the pandemic has gone on way too long when it’s getting to the introverts. I didn’t always feel this way. When it all started back in March of 2020 — fuck… has it almost been a full year — I was actually ok with lockdown. I can personally go many days without seeing other humans and be ok with it. I used to do it all the time when I lived alone. (I don’t live alone any longer, I have a super hot husband to spend my time with) Living alone or not, I’m now at the point where I miss humans. Ok. Let me back this up a wee bit. I have always missed my friends and my family, it’s the other humans I speak of.

What I am missing the most is being able to hug and spend actually time with my friends and family. I haven’t seen my parents in a year + and it will be almost two years by the time it’s safe (when we all have vaccines). I need to keep them safe. With regard to friends, I miss having movie nights, going the Rep Theatres (ie The Revue, The Royal & The Fox), eating in retro style restaurants, running Killer B Cinema at See-Scape, BBQs in the backyard, house parties or just sitting on a patio having a few beverages. I also can’t wait to be able to stroll along Queen street with a coffee in hand and go fabric shopping or to go into any of my favourite stores for that matter. One of the biggest activities I am missing right now is going to see my friends bands. I really miss being in a small crowded music venue listening to Toronto’s amazing musicians and bands! I can’t wait for the pandemic to be over so I can go back to supporting them.

Due to the pandemic some other plans have been put on the back burner. I fully intended to return to selling my creations at artisan markets with a few other artist friends. I can’t wait to start sharing booths and tables again with likeminded friends. There is something satisfying about having someone buy and appreciate your creations.

I could write a very, very long list right now on all of things I’m missing and consider what I want to do first, but going full circle to my original thoughts, it’s truly people I miss the most.

What are you missing the most.

Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Dolores Fuller

Dolores Fuller is a name known to many fans of b-movies and especially to those who have seen Ed Wood movies. Dolores was the gorgeous blonde bombshell from movies such as Glen or Glenda, Bride of the Monster and Jail Bait, known as the girl in angora sweater and Ed Wood’s off and on again girlfriend. The thing is, I would absolutely hate if it that is all she was remembered for, because this girl was known for way more than that. She was both a talented actress and songwriter. She was an inspiration to actresses trying to get a start in the 1950s. She was driven and determined and wanted to be known for more than just the films she did with Ed Wood.

At age 10 Dolores was bit with the acting bug and appeared in Frank Capra’s, It Happened One Night. It would be a few more years before she started acting full-time. In addition to small parts in movies, Dolores also appeared on television in Queen for a Day and The Dinah Shore Show and once she worked with Ed Wood, her name would finally be recognized. However, Dolores has so much more to offer, including a talent for songwriting.

“Fuller’s ability as a songwriter manifested itself through the intervention of her friend, producer Hal Wallis; Fuller had wanted to get an acting role in the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii, which Wallis was producing, but instead he put her in touch with Hill & Range, the publisher that provided Presley with songs. Fuller went into a collaborative partnership with composer Ben Weisman and co-wrote one song, “Rock-A-Hula Baby“, for the film. It was a beginning that eventually led to Elvis Presley recording a dozen of her songs, including “I Got Lucky” and “Spinout”. Fuller’s music was recorded by Nat ‘King’ ColePeggy Lee, and other leading talents of the time.” {source Wikipedia}

Below is a list of songs that Dolores wrote: {source Wikipedia}

Never underestimate the girl in the angora sweater. There is more there. So much more!

I think you should now go and enjoy a few of Dolores Fuller’s movies. I’ve posted them below.

Glen or Glenda (1953)

Mesa of Lost Women (1953)

Bride of the Monster (1955)

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Redheads Writing In Cafes and Finding Joy

(except when it’s my bedroom)

The longer we are in this bloody pandemic, the harder it is to get out of bed in the mornings or even finding the energy to do many of life’s or my life’s routines. Raise your hand if you are feeling this. As much as I try to keep myself from being idle, it sometimes just doesn’t work. I think in my situation, I’m worried that if I take a break, I might not restart again. I know a huge part of the issue is the how dark it is in the mornings, and that will gradually change as we inch our way towards Spring, but nonetheless, it makes it hard. The lack of sunshine is also a strong contributing factor. The sad thing is, in the before times, I liked a gloomy day. My inner goth is really disappointed in me right now. Wait… this blog is supposed to be about joy.

Over the last 11 months, yes, it is getting close to a year of this, I have been trying to actively find joy, even if it is a tiny bit of it, and every day. There is a variety of things I try to do such as booking video chats with friends, so I have something to look forward to. A group of us have started a regular ‘watch a TV series’ together night. We are picking fun, light, comedies to help us all find something to laugh at. Another group of friends have a weekly online games night that we join in weekly. I also have regular chats with my parents and a few sewing/knitting/crafty friends. Thank goodness for Zoom! There are other ways to find bits of joy as well. Some things I do regularly when I’m starting to feel depression creep in is watch over the top British comedies such as the IT Crowd or movies like Shaun of the Dead. For a quick fix, I will watch that GIF of Wednesday Addams dancing and yes, kitten and puppy videos.

I mentioned in a previous post that I have started a list of the things I want to do once we are out of Covid Jail. I think it is important, or at least for me, as it helps me keep my eye on the prize. With vaccines there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I know we will there eventually. On days where it feels hopeless, it helps to find things to bring a bit of the happiness back. One huge lesson I’ve learned is not to take anything for granted.

What types of things do you do to bring joy into your life?

Queen of Schlock! Valentine’s My Way

Traditionally, when it comes to Valentine’s Day I’m not very traditional… truth be told, I’m not a fan. Considering that I am married to a very romantic and affectionate person, you would think otherwise. I’ve just never really been into it. I am however, trying to make more of effort, especially this year. We all need to find things to bring us joy, even when it’s not normally our thing.

One of the things, I can definitely get into is movies. I’m not a lover of modern day RomComs. I just can’t, but give me a classic romantic comedy, pre-code or a film noir and I’m in! Even many of the 1950s sci-fi b-movies are considered romantic for me. Leading up to VDay, I plan on watching some of these movies, along with episodes of The Addams Family. (the most romantic couple on the planet) and movies of that other wonderful couple, Nick and Nora of The Thin Man movies.

When I can post a full movie I will, otherwise, there will be trailers.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

The Apartment (1960)

Evenings For Sale (1932)

The Thin Man (1934)

Invasion of the Saucer -men (1957)

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

What are your favourite classic romantic movies?

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Redheads Writing In Cafes: We Are More Than Just Our Shell

(except when it’s my bedroom)

During Covid we have all had to resort to Zoom (or other video conference platforms) to have visits with friends whether it be old friends or brand new friends. I cannot express how grateful I am that we have such a platform to stay in touch with loved ones. Over the last while, I’ve connected with a new friend and in the Zoom chats we’ve had, we have not only realized we are very, very similar in many ways, but our conversations (for me definitely) have been therapeutic. After our last conversation, I continued to think about the topics we discussed. One that impacted me the most was our discussion about those who live inside a tiny box and those who remain on the outside of it. Or as I put it, do you strictly live inside your shell or outside of it?

It became very clear early on in our discussion that both of us live outside of our shell, leaving me to do some self exploration on why I am drawn to certain things that keep me on the outside and why some might assume they keep me tightly inside. One of those ‘things’ is fashion. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I make the majority of my own clothing. Partly due to my love of creating and largely due to the ability to custom size the garments I make to fit my curves. As a curvy girl, it is hard to find manufactured clothing that fit properly. The style or decade I am attracted to is the 1950s fit and flair, aka and often referred to as Rockabilly.

For many years I identified as Goth, hell, I still do even though most of my wardrobe doesn’t. However, I was also attracted to the Rockabilly scene and already belonging to one sub-culture I found it easy to slide into the other. This was many, many moons ago. For reasons I won’t discuss here, I walked away from that scene, however, I still have a love for the style/music and it has always remained with me. Recently, (in the before times), I found myself wandering back into that scene because of my love of Surf, Rockabilly and the Tiki culture. I’m truly there for the music and have made some new friends because of it, but it’s not a place I plan on permanently staying. I have so many more interests and I am someone who refuses to be pigeonholed. If you look around my home you will see an eclectic decor and a vast array of interests. I’m not putting down those who love that scene or any other sub-culture, I just find it impossible to focus on one particular thing. Life is just too damn short to stay inside a shell.

Anyone who knows me could ask me the question, “Then Lizzie, why is your wardrobe full of Rockabilly style clothing?” And that would be a fair question. However, after my discussion with my friend, I realized that I keep making reproductions clothing from the 1950s because of b-movies. That’s right folks. B-movies.

Since I was a child, I was obsessed with silent movies, then later on pre-code and classic horror (mostly sci-fi of the 1950s). When I’m creating clothing, I tend to be influenced by these movies and more than ever lately, 1950s b-movies. Last year, I worked on creating outfits that were reproductions of Audrey’s from Little Shop of Horrors. I also find myself sketching designs based on 1950s b-movies as well. I can pinpoint certain looks that can be matched with other movies or actors. As a teenager (and well into my 20s), I would sew garments that were inspired by the Victorian and Edwardian era’s. As a child I was so obsessed with the Flappers of the 1920s that I would hassle my mother to dress me that way. I feel like I’m not the only one who is influenced by the movies we watch.

As a young person, especially a teenager who grew up in a small town, dressing in such a way does come with its difficulties. Especially, in High School. I was singled out, bullied and tormented. There was a time that I was pushed to a breaking point and it was my Grandma Betty who pulled me out of it, got me to understand that I should be proud of being an individual and because of her, I became a much stronger person. This has allowed me to be part of subcultures and still be true to myself at the same time. It has allowed me to know when it is time to walk away and to continue to grow as an individual being. I personally feel that we need to keep evolving or we will get stuck inside that box. This all goes way beyond fashion. To live outside of your shell, you also need to have broad interests. Again, I’m not shaming those who can’t, if that brings you joy, you go girl/guy.

Do you consider yourself someone who lives inside your box/shell or well on the outside of it?


Queen of Schlock! Oh Canada! Billy Van

Did you know that The Billy Van Singers performed the theme song for 1967’s Spider-Man? You know the one, it’s that earworm that gets stuck in your head… and… you… can… never… get… it…. out! Even just mentioning the show, triggers it. I thought it would be fun to start the blog post this way, so you can all join in on my torture. You are welcome!

Now you are likely wondering why I have that song stuck in my head. It isn’t because I’ve been watching the cartoon. I not so secretly dislike it, along with The Mighty Hercules. As a child, the reruns ran on one of three channels we got and my brother was obsessed with them and even to the point where he would have a meltdown if he couldn’t watch them. The cartoons also annoyed me. But… that isn’t why we are here today. Today, I want to talk about someone and a program that brought me great joy. Billy Van and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.

I lovingly remember Billy Van from shows such as Sonny and Cher, Bizarre (with another favourite John Byner) and Bits and Bytes, but, it was Hilarious House of Fightenstein that had the most impact on me. As a creative kid, I loved that he played almost all of the characters on the show (with the exception of Igor (Fishka Rais) and Mini-Count (Guy Big), The Professor (Julius Sumner Miller), Super Hippy (Mitch Markowitz), Harvey Wallbanger (Joe Torbay), and of courses the host Vincent Price) and I often imagined how much fun it must have been to go to work everyday.

If you aren’t familiar with The Hilarious House of Frightenein, let me give you a bit of background. The Hilarious House of Frightenstein was the brilliant creation of Billy Van. The show was shot in a studio in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1971 and there are 130 episodes. Most will remember the host, Vincent Price, but it is truly Billy Van who made the show into the wonderful sixty minutes of entertainment that it was. If you grew up in Ontario the 1970s and 1980s, the show ran in reruns consistently. I’m certain I’m not the only one who remembers it fondly, or were inspired by the show. I think Grizelda will always be my favourite character. I dreamed of making potions with her.

This show and Billy Van helped to spark creative inspiration in myself and many others. I’m certain that many filmmakers born in Ontario, can say that Billy Van and his wonderful show set them on their path. Stacy Case was so inspired by Billy Van, that he co-wrote a book (with Greg Oliver) and created the Billy Van Museum. What are your fond memories of Billy Van and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein?

Coming back around to my opening few sentences; Billy Van was an incredibly talented person. He started his career as a teenager with his four brothers as a singing act called the Van Evera Brothers. Eventually, he left the brother group and dropped Evera from his name, eventually forming Billy Van Four. He then went on to create the Billy Van Singers (the band that did the Spiderman cartoon theme song). He also appeared in many Canadian variety television shows. I really, really miss variety television shows. As Billy continued to hone his skills, he landed the CBC show Nightcap. This would make him a household name and put him onto that path, that brought him to The Hilarious House of Frightenstein and so many of his other successes. As with actors in the silent and pre-code era’s they needed to be able to do it all and Billy Van truly could. He will also continue to be my inspiration to strive to be a better creative.

A little extra tidbit. Deadly Grounds sells the official Hilarious House of Frightenstein coffee. I have a bag and don’t want to open it so I can keep it pristine! Please also support The Billy Van Museum.

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Redheads Writing In Cafes It’s Been A While

(except when it’s my bedroom)

Raise your hand if you are over this pandemic! You know it’s gone on waaaaay too long when it’s starting to get to the introverts. Let me tell you, it’s gotten to me. I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a more personal blog (and I’m going to start doing them more regularly again), and that is mostly due to the fact that writing about b-movies has been the distraction I’ve needed. So… how are things? Frustrating to say the least. I miss so, so many things. One of the most missed, is being able to see my friends and family, especially the latter. Zoom is great and all, but it isn’t the same. It will be more than a year and a half before I will be able to safely see my parents. Why so long you ask? Let me tell you.

My parents live in a small town north of Toronto and are in the age group that puts them at the highest risk of catching Covid. Because I’m not a selfish, self-centred jerk who thinks that a) I will never get it, b) no one can tell me what to do, and c) it’s a hoax, I am choosing to not visit my parents and chance spreading Covid to them. It’s a four hour drive, which means needing to stop at least once, risking exposure. I want to keep my family safe. It’s also the other reason I haven’t spend any reasonable amount of time with friends. Yes, this whole situation frustrates me, especially when there are so many who refuse to follow recommendations. Oh, I get it, some are just over it all and have given up, but hold up, there are a large number of people who don’t think the rules apply and therefore they can do what ever the fuck they want! To them, I say grow the fuck up. If you are someone who is following recommendations and are making a concerted effort to help stop the spread, thank you.

What have I been up to? Currently, I am working on what I hope will be the final edits on my novel (as suggested to me by the publisher), I’ve also eeked out a first draft of a compilation of short stories (which I will go back to when the novel edits are done) AND, I’ve pulled The Last Single Girl back out to update and complete. I also decided end of last year, that is was time that I start selling my ready to wear, vintage reproduction knitwear/garments designs, which means I’ve been knitting and sewing a lot. I’ve been thinking about this idea for quite a while and working it all out. If you give @killerkitsch13 on Instagram a follow, you will see what I’m working on. I know that seems like a lot, but I need to keep my mind and hands occupied, otherwise I will fall into that deep cavern known as depression and anxiety. I know I’m not the only one.

Now that the vaccine is finally getting put into peoples arms, I am starting to feel like there is an actual light at the end of a very long tunnel. Every once in a while, I will run through my head a list of things I want to do as soon as it is safe and what we can do as soon as we are fully on the other side of this. Here are my lists. What is yours?

As soon as it is safe to be around other people, even though we still need to social distance:

Fabric shopping with Laurie! I need to touch the fabric! (it will still be a social distance excursion)
Nature walks with Cate!
A walk in High Park with Heather B AND Heather M.
In warmer weather… (this will help me get through the winter) Sit on a patio with friends.
Show movies in the backyard. (this helps with the deep sadness of not being able to do Killer B. Cinema)
Social distance crafternoon in the backyard!
Writing sessions on my own and with friends in the backyard.
Coffeeshop writing on a patio.
Sketching in High Park with Heather B.

As soon as we are on the other side of this:

See my parents.
HUG my friends.
Have a movie and dinner double date with Heather and Neil at the Revue and Skyline.
Go to the theatre with Cate.
Games night in person with Kevin and Lisa.
Have friends over for a BBQ!
Do a bat walk with friends.
COFFEE SHOP WRITING (inside a cafe)!!! Holy fuck do I miss this!
KILLER B CINEMA
Go see live events again (local bands, poetry, artisan shows, other b-movie night events)
HALLOWEEN!!!!!

In the grander scheme of things, these seem like little things, but they are things that I need to look forward to for my own mental health and I know there are many more things I want to do. By giving myself this list, I have something to look forward to and that is really important. I am fortunate that I’m not doing this alone. I have an amazing husband and even though we need to connect virtually right now, truly wonderful friends and family.

I truly look forward to a day when this is over and things go back to what ever our normal will be. What things are you doing to help yourself through this pandemic?

Queen of Schlock! The Screaming Skull

It has suspense. It has physiological horror. It has a stunning dame with a gorgeous sweater girl wardrobe. Most importantly, it has a SCREAMING SKULL!

The Screaming Skull is one of my all time favourite 1950s b-movies. When I need a little pick me up, I will either watch it or Plan 9 From Outer Space. Why these movies instead a comedy? Because they both remind me that dedication and love of your craft help you succeed in making your end product. Also, they are both a helluva lotta fun!

The Screaming Skull is a 1958 independently made American black-and-white horror film, produced by John Kneubuhl and directed by Alex Nicol, that stars John HudsonPeggy WebberRuss Conway, Tony Johnson, and Nicol. The Screaming Skull marked Nicol’s directorial debut; he decided to try it because he felt that he was not acting in the roles which he wanted. The film was distributed by American International Pictures as a double feature in different markets with either Earth vs. the Spider or Terror from the Year 5000 {source Wikipedia}

If you are a fan of westerns you will likely recognize Alex Nicol. During the 1950s he starred in dozens of them. As mentioned above, he personally didn’t feel as if he was getting the roles he really wanted so he decided to create his own, though funny enough a lot of his directing efforts were in westerns. Like they say, do what you know.

Personally, the thing that keeps bringing me back to this movie is the main character Jenni Whitlock and the actress who played her, Peggy Webber (she will be getting her own blog post soon) and of course the skull. Peggy Webber is perfection in this movie. The issue with some movies in this genre, is actors can take the acting really over the top and not in a good way. Peggy Webber doesn’t do that. She is very convincing as a fragile, newly wed, in a creepy old house. Dealing with the circumstances she is put in, would be enough to put anyone on edge, let alone be recovering from a nervous breakdown. She is an absolute delight to watch. It’s why I keep watching this movie over and over.

As I also mentioned before, though minimal, her wardrobe is fantastic, including the bullet bra look! She is classic without looking boring. As a sewist, when creating my own wardrobe, I tend to look at the b-movies of the 1950s. Currently, The Screaming Skull and Little Shop of Horrors have been a huge influence and will continue to do so.

Now, back to the movie. If you haven’t seen the movie before, you are in for a treat. It’s about a newly married couple moves into the home of the husband’s late wife. {seriously, who does that to a new bride} The grounds are lovingly looked after by the late wife’s ever loyal gardener, who is still grieving and reminiscent of the dead woman’s memory. Almost immediately after they cross the threshold, creepy and nerve wrecking events begin. These spooky moments have the new lady of the house thinking she is having another breakdown. This movie has it all! Now go watch it!

Below is a link to the entire movie!

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Queen of Schlock! Oh Canada! Robin Ward

As a kid I was obsessed with a Canadian television show called The Starlost. It originally ran from 1972 to 1973 and the reruns ran for many years on one of the three channels we received when I was a kid. Oh yes, small town life.

Being the oddball child, I didn’t have a crush of Keir Dullea’s character, rather on Garth, played by Robin Ward. His broodishness seemed to be the more appealing character of Cypress Corners.

After Starlost, Robin Ward did guest appearances in several movies and television series, most notably as the narrator for the 1988-1989 Twilight Zone. You will also recognize him from roles in The Littlest Hobo, Night Heat, The King of Kensington and most recently, Murdock Mysteries.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Robin Ward graced your television screen as a weatherman for Toronto televisions stations and The Weather Network. It was a welcome and familiar face to see him giving the weather report each morning.

Recently, we saw Robin Ward in a Canadian horror classic Frankenstein on Campus. I wrote about it and you can read all about it here.


If you watched Starlost, were you a fan of Devon or Garth?

I have posted either full movies or trailers below.

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Beverly Garland

When you hear the name Beverly Garland, what movies or television shows come to mind? My Three Sons is usually the first thing that pops up. Am I wrong? The thing is, this incredibly talented actress is know for more than that. So much more. Anyone who is a fan of 1950s sci-fi b-movies will be nodding their head in agreement right now.

My introduction to Beverly Garland was not My Three Sons. As I’ve mentioned in many posts, I grew up watching horror and sci-fi movies with my Dad. Many of them on late night television, especially 1950s b-movies. Midnight seemed to be the prime time for them. The perfect way to end your broadcast before the station went off the air for the evening. Yes, I was watching late movies with my dad or at least part of them. I usually fell asleep.

The very first movie I remember seeing Beverly Garland in was It Conquered The World. This is a 1956 black and white Roger Corman movie and possibly one of my favourite 1950s sci-fi movies. The movie also starred  Peter Graves and Lee Van Cleef. I’ve seen this movie several times and never tire of it.

As with many directors Roger Corman loved using actors in a number of his movies and Beverly was no exception, the following year (1957) she appeared in Not of This Earth. This movie is another sci-fi featuring an alien. If you are looking for the perfect Beverly Garland double bill, I strongly suggest watching Not of This Earth and It Conquered the World.

In 1959 Beverly starred in The Alligator People with Lon Chaney Jr.. This is a science-fiction horror film directed by Roy Del Ruth. It’s one of my favourite bad costume movies.

Eventually, Beverly Garland would become known for her television work, starring in many film noiresque and action themed shows. A few to check out if you can find them are The Asphalt Jungle, Danger Man, Dr. Kildare, The Fugitive and Gunsmoke.

Over the years, Beverly Garland would have guest appearances in many televisions shows, but would have a reoccurring role in both My Three Sons and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Having a long and illustrious career, there are many different genres to chose from, but I highly recommend you check out her 1950s sci-fi movies first.

I’ve posted either the full movies or trailers below.

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!