Author: Lizzie Violet

Behind the deceptive smile waits the child of darkness! Never trust a girl in pigtails!

This Girl Needs a Break

I’ve decided to take the month of August off from blogging… sorta. I’ve been going steady since lockdown began and am having a bit of blogging fatigue. I started out doing daily posts and then moved to 3 times a week. Doing all of that was great for my creativity and quite a feat. But… my fingers and brain need a bit of a break, as well, I’m needing time to concentrate on my next novel. What does that mean… I will continue Queen of Schlock every week, but Bat Adventures and Redheads Writing in Cafes will be on a break.

Queen of Schlock! X: The Man With The X-ray Eyes

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Roger Corman. Yes. Oh well, I’m going to say it again! I LOVE ROGER CORMAN! One of my all time favourites is Little Shop of Horrors. I’ve watched the 1960s version, many, many times. That is followed by Masque Of The Red Death, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Terror, Dementia 13 and Creature from the Haunted Sea! However, I have a new favourite to add to this remarkable line up! X: The Man With The X-ray Eyes!

X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes is a 1963 independently made color science fiction-horror film, produced and directed by Roger Corman, that stars Ray Milland. The film, written by Ray Russell and Robert Dillon, is notable for featuring comedian Don Rickles in a straight dramatic role. Veteran character actor Morris Ankrum makes an uncredited appearance in his final role. American International Pictures distributed the film in the fall of 1963 as a double feature with the Francis Ford Coppola-directed horror thriller Dementia 13. (source Wikipedia)

Would I ever have loved to see that double-bill when it came out! Sheer perfection! Right from the opening scene I was hooked by the story and the premise of what was to come. There is also a wonderful surprise of how good Don Rickles is playing the bad guy! He is the sleeziest of the sleezes and does an amazing job!

Ray Milland was brilliant as Dr. Xavier. A man determined to find success in his X-ray eye drops. Nothing, even the possibility of losing his mind was going to stop him from completing his experiment, even going as far as using himself as a test subject!

Personally, I don’t think I would want X-ray eyes and after watching this movie I definitely don’t. You can see through everything. Which means if you were to look up, nothing would protect your eyes from the sun and your eyes and brain would melt. No thank you!

Along with Ray Milland, this movie also has a very talented and often recognizable supporting cast.

I highly recommend this movie! At the moment, you can find it on YouTube! Below is the link.

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!

Bat Adventures Myths and Conspiracies True or False

There are sooooo many false facts about bats out there. Too many in fact. I thought I would post some of the main ones here. I have also included links to articles with even more information. Please take time to read and enjoy them!

Bat will fly into your hair FALSE! Bats use echolocation to get around. This prevents them from flying into things.

Bats are good for the environment and the ecosystem! TRUE! The bat population helps to control flying pests such as mosquitoes.

Bats turn into vampires! FALSE! This is a thing of fiction. Movies such as Dracula helped to fuel this myth.

Bats are flying mammals. TRUE! Not only are they mammals and I’m sure not everyone will agree with me, but I think they are adorable!

All bats carry rabies. FALSE Yes, bats can carry rabies and if you are bitten, scratched or come into contact with a bat you need to get a rabies shot. However, not all bats are carriers. Still, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

They are blind. FALSE! Bats use echolocation to navigate and find food, but they can also see and have well developed eyes.

Bats are bad luck! FALSE! In fact, I personally think, if you see one, you are truly lucky!

Type of bats: Large Brown bats
No. Mosquito bites: 0

Here is a link I’ve created to all of our bat sightings.

Important: Do not handle bats. They can carry the rabies virus. Only those who have been properly vaccinated and have knowledge of bats should be handling them. If you find a bat in your home call a bat rescue. Do not call an exterminator, call a rescue. Bats are important for our environment. I have links below for rescues.

Types of bats in Ontario: https://onnaturemagazine.com/bat-guide.html
High Park Nature Centre: https://www.highparknature.org/wiki/wiki.php?n=Mammals.Bats
Bat rescues: http://www.ontariowildliferescue.ca/wildlifecentres/?care=bat

Redheads Writing In Cafes: Why I’m obsessed with thrifting & making my own clothing!

(except when it’s from my bedroom)

I was asked recently why I love making my own clothing (I get asked often) and this led me down a rabbit hole of all of the whys including why I thrift or go antiquing rather than buy anything new. Oh and of course why I will repair things, until they are literally falling apart. One reason, it’s in my blood, the other, well, there are many and you will need to read on.

My Mother Made Our Clothes We grew up poor and with a growing family and no extra money to buy things such as clothing for her growing children, my mother had to rely on hand-me-downs or making clothing herself. Like myself, my mother was taught the basics, but is mostly self-taught when it comes to sewing. Not only did she sew our clothing, she self drafted patterns AND would use what ever material was available to her. Discounted ends of bolts, old dresses, sheets… she was beyond crafty! Along with sewing our clothing, she knit us lots of outfits as well. I know this brought her a lot of joy and was a creative outlet for her.

Creative Outlet I have always been a creative person. Growing up my mother always made sure I had art supplies, writing journals, yarn and fabric at my disposal. Since she didn’t have time to do art herself, she made sure that her children could. Out of the four of us, I am truly the creative one. Along with doing art (mostly drawing) Sewing, knitting, crochet and cross-stitch helps my mental health. You heard that right, it helps with your mental well-being. While I am working on projects, I can go off into a meditative state. When I am done, I calm and in many cases have been able to work out problems and issues that were irking me.

Thrifting vs Buying New Many people want to participate in ways to help the environment beyond recycling and composting, but don’t always know how to do that. Thrifting rather than buying new actually makes a huge impact, especially in regard to clothing. Did you know that fast fashion contributes to Climate Change because of how much of it ends up in landfill! Check out this article! When you thrift vs buy new, you are not only helping the environment. you may come across some vintage gems that are generally better quality than much of what we buy today. Not to mention, I have found basically brand new small appliances at my local Value Village!

Antiquing falls under this category as well. I love, love, love going antiquing. It’s like going on a treasure hunt for me. We have a few favourite spots, but I’m always looking for new places to go. I love walking up and down the aisle, trying to find that one particular item or take a chance and see if I find something I wasn’t actually looking for. I always make sure to love in every corner just in case something has been hidden away.

You Save Money That’s right folks! You save money! That alone should get you excited about thrift stores!

Do you thrift? What do you look for when you do?

Queen of Schlock! The Best-Worst Movie Monsters

Monsters, monsters and MORE monsters!!!

One of the reasons I love watching b-movies is because of the monsters. If I’m lucky, the monsters will be bad, really bad. Laughable bad. I alway hope all the hopes for this and when I get my way, you will hear me squeal. One of my all time best-worst b-movie monsters has to be the garbage bags with suckers glued on looking monsters from Attack of the Giant Leeches. If you’ve seen this movie you know exactly what I’m talking about! I have a great appreciation for Roger Corman movies! This one is close to my heart for sure and to be honest, when we make our own b-movie, I may be looking to his ingenuity as inspiration!

I have great appreciation for b-movie makers. Most had little to no budget and either had to put together sets and costumes out of nothing or reuse them from other movie productions. Sure they aren’t Tim Burton level in all of the cases, but they are monsters… maybe just not scary ones.

There are so many other best-worst b-movie monsters, here are my favourites! (no specific order) What is your favourite best-worst movie monster?

The Killer Shrews (1959)

The Green Slime

Day the World Ended (1955)

The Giant Claw (1957)

The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)

Robot Monster (1953)

Night of the Blood Beast (1958)

The Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

The Creeping Terror (1964)

Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

The Alligator People (1959)

Octaman (1971)

Killers from Space (1954)

Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)

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!

Bat Adventures and Bats in Art

How many bats does it take to make me happy? All of the bats! All. Of. The. Bats! Yes, I’m a bit batty. See what I did there… Right… Back to bats. I’ve been thinking a lot about bats from more a creative view. We see them in movies, songs and on t-shirts. Their imagery is everywhere, but, what about bats in historical pieces of art or art in general. Cats, dogs, birds and insects show up all of the time in art, but, do bats? They sure do!

Japan Bat appear in a lot of Japanese art. The images can be both terrifying and humorous.

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Bats and Umbrellas, 1882

Utagawa Hiroshige – Bats, Japan, 1840-1850

There are thousands of vintage bat illustrations. I use them all of the time in my bat posts. They are my absolute favourite!

Ariel on a Bat That’s right, bats also appear in religious art, medieval art and art of all of the ages!

If you want to read more about bats in art, I have included a few links below to amazing articles on that subject!

http://blog.healthywildlife.ca/a-short-history-of-bats-in-art/

https://www.leidenartsinsocietyblog.nl/articles/from-bad-to-good-looking-at-the-bat-in-art-and-natural-history

https://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Animals/Wild-Animals/Bats.html

https://hyperallergic.com/406164/why-chinese-art-is-swarming-with-colonies-of-tiny-bats/

https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2008/12/09/ancient-australian-rock-art-depicts-unknown-bats/

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting Shook Boys!

Type of bats: Big Brown Bats
No. Mosquito bites: 0 (not sure how I’ve made it this far without getting bit, the bats are doing their work!)

A side note. Since May long weekend it has been non stop fireworks every, single night. Then Canada Day and now the fireworks are even crazier every night. Fireworks not only affect pets, please remember is scares the wildlife as well! I haven’t seen as many bats in our hood and I attribute it to all of the loud noises. Please stop!

Here is a link I’ve created to all of our bat sightings.

Important: Do not handle bats. They can carry the rabies virus. Only those who have been properly vaccinated and have knowledge of bats should be handling them. If you find a bat in your home call a bat rescue. Do not call an exterminator, call a rescue. Bats are important for our environment. I have links below for rescues.

Types of bats in Ontario: https://onnaturemagazine.com/bat-guide.html
High Park Nature Centre: https://www.highparknature.org/wiki/wiki.php?n=Mammals.Bats
Bat rescues: http://www.ontariowildliferescue.ca/wildlifecentres/?care=bat

Redheads Writing In Cafes: Why I Love Silent Movies

As a child I spent many hours hanging out with my Great Grandpa Bill. I’ve mentioned him before since he is someone who influenced me as a writer. He was an incredible story teller and someone who didn’t shy away from telling spooky ghosts stories to me. He knew that they wouldn’t frighten me, rather intrigue me. I am so incredibly thankful for the time I spent with him. There was another thing that I fell in love with because of him and that is Silent Movies.

Because of my Great Grandpa, I have been watching Silent Movies since I was a kid. Back then I was fascinated by them, but it wasn’t until I became an adult and started rewatching them, did I really learn to appreciate the craft and dedication that went into making those masterpieces of art!

Over the years I have also been working on a Silent Movie script of my own. I’ve also, been reading about incredible female scenario writers such as Frances Marion, Anita Loos and Gene Gauntier for inspiration on how to write a good Silent Film. I highly recommend reading this article if you want to know more about them. These incredible women are another reason I am drawn to Silent Movies. Women shaped the beginning of Hollywood and the Silent Film industry. If you want to learn more about women who were scenario writers, producers and directors, this is a great resource.

Two other resources I highly recommend are the documentary and the book called Without Lying Down. It is the story of Frances Marion and the beginnings of Hollywood. The book is much more in depth than the documentary, but you should give both a go!

Living in Toronto we are blessed to have many rep theatres and most of them show Silent Movies. Once we are out of pandemic jail, we will be returning to them to show support and to enjoy silent movies. We are also incredibly lucky to have The Toronto Silent Film Festival. It had to be rescheduled to late Fall this year and we can’t wait to attend the screenings.

Silent Sundays is a monthly series held at The Revue. We rarely miss a viewing. It is really well curated and I’ve seen films that are new to me, as well as ones I have enjoyed many times.

The Fox in The Beach neighbourhood of Toronto also hosts Silent Movies regularly along with other fun classic movies.

There are a few blogs I regularly check out and you should too!

Movies Silently https://moviessilently.com/
Silentology https://silentology.wordpress.com/?wref=bif
The Hollywood Revue https://hollywoodrevue.wordpress.com/category/silents/
Meet Me at the Soda Fountain https://meetmeatthesodafountain.home.blog/?wref=bif

I can’t leave you without letting you know what my top favourite Silent Movies are. These are in no particular order. Where I can, I post links to full movies. Enjoy!

Metropolis (1927) (this is a gorgeous HD copy)

Girl Shy (1924) This is one of my all time favourite Harold Lloyd films. This is a really clean copy of it.

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) This is a restored version, but with the German title cards. There are other versions with English, but I highly recommend you watch this version.

Our Dancing Daughters (1928) This is such a wonderful movie and Joan Crawford steals the show! I’m so grateful to my fellow swell dame Heather Babcock for introducing me to it.

City Girl (1930) F.W. Murnau is one of my all time favourite film makers and you will understand when you see City Girl. It was also one of the last Silent Movies, as Talkies were all the rage at this point.

Diary of a Lost Girl (1929) The film stars the beloved Louise Brooks. The title cards are in German, but you can find English subtitles.

City Lights (1931) This film is truly the last of the Silent Movies. It really speaks to The Great Depression of the 1930s and I personally feel it is relevant with what is happening right now. The full movies can be seen over on Netflix.

The Last Laugh (1924) This is another favourite F. W. Murnau film! It also has German title cards, but you can find English subtitles.

I’m sure a few of you were wondering where the Silent Horror Movies are. Do not fret!

Nosferatu (1922) The creepiest and best of all of the Dracula movies! I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve seen it.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) is absolutely wonderful and the special effects are pretty awesome for the times!

What are some of your favourite Silent Movies?

Queen of Schlock! Let’s Begin With B-movies!

What is your favourite b-movie? Is it a classic or is it current? 

Every time I am asked those two questions, the first movie that ALWAYS pops into my head of Plan 9 From Outer Space. I can’t help it. It’s so awful, it’s actually genius. Oh and if this is your first time reading my blog, hi, I’m Lizzie, I’m a wee bit obsessed with bad b-movies, well… let’s be honest, all b -movies. I figured it was time to do an ongoing, weekly series about it!

There are a lot of reasons that I love this movie. My number one is Ed Wood Jr. did anything and everything to get the movie made, including not so cutting edge special effects. Can you see the strings?

I often rewatch his movies when I feel like I’m not motivated to finish a project I’ve started simply because I never feel like it is good enough or I feel like walking away from art altogether. Ed Wood Jr., never gave up and he got his movies made!

Then there is Vampira! How can I pass up a movie with my favourite ghoul! Seriously, she is beyond spooktacular! Along with the ghouliest ghouls of all, there is homemade sets using anything available, actors who can barely restrain themselves from laughing, (I’m not kidding, once you see it, you can never unsee it) a cast of well known b-movie actors that you will see in multiple Ed Wood Jr. Films and Bela Lugosi!

BELA LUGOSI! Sadly, this would be his last role as he died while they were filming the movie.

Okay! Okay! I will give you a hint, Joanna Lee has some issues with holding in her laugh during many scenes that take place inside the ‘spaceship’. You are welcome, now stop yelling at me!

Plan 9 From Outerspace is just one of many b-movies I will be writing about. I hope you will join me on my b-movie journey and it will be quite a journey because I watch A LOT of b-movies.

For your viewing pleasure, this is where you can view the movie in it’s entirety. Give it a watch and let me know what you think.

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!

Dr X: Psychologist

If you are a fan of 1930s serials/Victorian Penny Dreadfuls, check out the one I’ve started over on Wattpad. The link is https://www.wattpad.com/919907049-doctor-x-psychologist-just-another-day-at-the. It’s free!

Here is the blurb I’ve written for it.

Hey all! I’ve started writing a 1930s style serial/Victorian Penny Dreadful over in Wattpad. The link for the weekly instalments will be in my profile. It’s called Doctor X Psychologist.

Doctor X isn’t your ordinary Psychologist, well… he isn’t actually a licensed one any longer. We will get to that. No license, that sure isn’t going to stop him, plus his clientele isn’t really… your usual clientele. Serial killers, occultists, cannibals, a woman who dates a Satyr. Yes… you heard that right — a woman who dates a Satyr. Even human’s dating Satyr’s need relationship advice one in a while.

Need an appointment yourself? Is a Succubus keeping you up at night? Is the ghost of your murdered mother weighing you down with guilt? Stop on by the office of Doctor X and book yourself in.

Written in the fashion of a #1930s movie serial, with a dash of a Victorian Penny Dreadful, I hope you enjoy Doctor X.

There is also an option to vote for me! Please do, it will help my story get seen on Wattpad.

Bat Adventures and What Bats Eat

Did you know that bats eat their own weight in food everyday? If humans did that… oh boy! Bats need to eat so much food to accumulate fat reserves of up to one third of its body weight before hibernation. So it’s important that you let them eat.

Bats provide humans with many benefits. Bat dung has been mined as guano from caves and used as fertilizer. Bats consume insect pests, reducing the need for pesticides. And in the summertime, the less mosquitos the better! They are important in their own and our ecosystems because they pollinate flowers and dispersing seeds; many tropical plants depend entirely on bats for these services. (source Wikipedia)

Wikipedia has a really great write up with a good breakdown of what types of food different species of bats require. If you want a quicker read on what they eat, here is a nice short article. Basically, different bats eat different things, some eat mainly fruit/fruit nectar, while others depend on bugs.

If you’d prefer to watch a video on the subject, this is a great video!

For those Toronto readers, once High Park Nature Centre is open again, I highly recommend you go on one of their bat walks. They provide amazing information. In the meantime, here is an article on what Toronto bats eat!

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! With the summer weather literally heating up, we need some surf music and today I’m suggesting The Surfragettes.

Type of bats: Large brown bat
No. Mosquito bites: 0

Here is a link I’ve created to all of our bat sightings.

Important: Do not handle bats. They can carry the rabies virus. Only those who have been properly vaccinated and have knowledge of bats should be handling them. If you find a bat in your home call a bat rescue. Do not call an exterminator, call a rescue! Bats are important for our environment. I have links below for rescues.

Types of bats in Ontario: https://onnaturemagazine.com/bat-guide.html
High Park Nature Centre: https://www.highparknature.org/wiki/wiki.php?n=Mammals.Bats
Bat rescues: http://www.ontariowildliferescue.ca/wildlifecentres/?care=bat