classic movies

Queen of Schlock! Giant Lizards and Spiders OH MY!

I love, love, love Lizards (all reptiles and amphibians actually) and spiders! As a matter of a fact, we have a few house spiders that keep the fruit flies at bay. Thank you spiders! However, not everyone can deal with one or either of those things. That folks is why they continually show up in horror movies!

As a kid, and to my mother’s dismay, I was constantly picking up frogs and snakes. On several occasions I tried to bring them home. I was really intrigued by them. My sister, on the other hand, was terrified of snakes and being the jerk kid I was, I once threw a green grass snake at her. She STILL brings it up to this day. I can still hear her screams.

Below are my favourite killer lizard and snake b-movies. For fun I threw in a few killer snake and killer frog movies.

The Giant Gila Monster

Giant Spider Invasion (1975)

Reptilicus (1961)

Tarantula (1955)

Earth vs The Spider (1958)

Sssssss (1973)

The Snake Woman (1961)

Frogs (1972)

Venom (1981)

Oh and don’t worry, I didn’t forget the biggest lizard of all, Gojira! AKA Godzilla!

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! Killer Flying Stingy Things

A little bit of Lizzie trivia: I’m terrified of hornets and wasps. Yes. Yes I am. I’m not allergic to them. Bumble Bees don’t upset me, but the other ones, especially, the yellow jackets, send me running in a panic. I’m also a wee bit paranoid about killer bees. Why? When I was a kid, I had really super long hair, as in, past my butt long. One hot summer afternoon, I was doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. I decided to raid the raspberry bushes. My mother told us to stay away from them because we would pick them clean! (they were delicious, of course, we would)

Me being the rebellious child decided that nothing was keeping me away from those delightful, fresh, sweet berries and I figured, no one would see me, so… why not take a chance. As I was greedily picking away and shoving them in my mouth, I seemed to have disturbed a hornet nest. Several of them flew at me and one somehow managed to get itself stuck in the back of my neck. I panicked… it panicked, we all panicked. It wasn’t a good time. When a stingy things panic… they sting you, a lot! Because wasps and hornets don’t lose their stingers, they can do that. Needless to say, I ran screaming into the house, my father killed the hornet and then had to deal with all of my stings.

Most people will avoid the things that scare them all together, including movies about them. Not me. Well… except for clowns. NOPE. No thanks! I gotta say though, if you are afraid of something, watch a really bad b-movie about it. You will be laughing so hard, you will forget your fears. Unless… clowns.

At least we somehow avoided Murder Hornets until now.

Below are a few of my favourite movies with stingy things in them. As always, if there is a link to a full movie, it will be included below.

The Swarm (1978)

The Deadly Bees (1967)

Killer Bees (1974)

The Bees (1978)

The Savage Bees (1976)

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! 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!

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!

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!

Redheads Writing In Cafes: B-movie Makers Who Inspire Me

I have always been madly in love with b-movies. Especially, 1950s b-movies. I’m extra in love with bad b-movies. The badder the better and especially in times like this. We need something fun to distract ourselves.

Prior to pandemic jail my husband and I ran a monthly b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. We were trying to figure out how to keep it going on YouTube, but they make it incredibly hard for you to do that. So, we are on hiatus until we figure something else out. We are praying that our venue (See-Scape in the Junction) continues to be ok, so when we get out of jail we can continue on. In the meantime, we are working on another way to show our movies.

The movies themselves are a lot of fun, however, for me anyway, there is something about the determination and passion of the people behind the movies that truly inspires me. Makers, writers, directors and producers such Ed Wood Jr., Roger Corman, William Castle, and Herman Cohen are tops for me with extra fondness for Ed Wood.

Why Ed Wood Jr.? Why not Ed Wood Jr.! To me, he was a genius. Not only was he a genius, he has a determination and passion that is beyond inspiring. Ed Wood Jr., would do anything and everything it took to get his movies completed and to the big screen. Many considered his films laughable, and critics panned him, but he never, ever stopped. Every once in a while, when I’m feeling discouraged and on the cusp of quitting, I remind myself, that Ed Wood Jr., never gave up. If he has no money, he would find ways to build his sets. Couldn’t afford actors, he’d cast friends, heck most of the actors who worked for him, were in several of his movies and continued to work with him knowing they may never get paid. They wanted his movies to succeed just as much as he did. Those same actors often helped to build sets, do make-up, wore their own clothing and even helped finance when they could.

Roger Corman is another film maker who got his movies done the same way. The 1960 version of Little Shop of Horrors, has many of the actors doing lighting, sets, make-up and wardrobe. Actress Jackie Joseph, who played Audrey (the human) wore her own clothing for the movie.

On a rainy or snowy day, it’s comforting to have a marathon of these kinds of movies, it has also inspired my husband and I to start making our own b-movie. If we follow the lead of those who inspire us, if we have a camera, the world is ours! If you remember your own passion, the world can be yours too!

Below are a few of their movies for you to watch (YouTube). Enjoy!

Stay The Fuck Home Creature Features Edition

I find some of the best cinematic entertainment, for me anyway, is b-movies. Especially, 1950s creature features and scifi. Honestly, how can you not. Not to mention how inspiring it is to hear stories about what the creators did to ensure their movies got made! Below are some really popular b-movies as a well as some of my all time favourites!

I have most of these in box sets, but you can find many on YouTube!

What are some of your favourite creature features?

Enjoy!

(links below are a combo of full movies and trailers)

Creature From The Black Lagoon

Little Shop of Horrors

Godzilla

Famous Monsters The Wolf Man

Famous Monsters The Mummy

Other B Movie Creature Features I Love Below are some of my favourite b-movie creature features that I’ve watch many times over!

The Giant Gila Monster

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster

Lady Frankenstein

Attack of the Giant Leeches

The Amazing Colossal Man

Them!

The Giant Spider Invasion

Stay The Fuck Home Guest Post By Philip Cairns

Turning 66 in February, and self-isolating due to Covid-19, has brought back a flood of memories. I see, now, that if I’d behaved differently, or said something different, the outcome of so many past experiences would have been much more positive. It’s painful because I can’t go back and relive them. 

Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor are two of my favourite movie stars. I was going to write a chronological timeline, focusing on their impact on my life. But, as the mind works, the memories came jumbling all over in time. 

My first memory of Marilyn Monroe was when I was eight, playing in the sandbox, in front of our cottage, at Lake Scugog. We went there every summer until my father’s business went bankrupt and he could no longer afford to rent the cottage. We (my 4 siblings and I, plus my mother) would spend the whole summer up there. My Dad was working in Toronto and would come up on weekends. 

My grandmother opened the screen door of the cottage. 

“Marilyn Monroe’s dead. It’s on the radio.” 

Nanna showed me a picture of Marilyn in a movie magazine. (Movie magazines were the People magazine of their day, only way more gossipy.)

“She’s so beautiful,” I remember thinking. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair. 

I watched a lot of TV when I was in school. I saw Marilyn in “How to Marry a Millionaire”, “The River of No Return” and “The Seven Year Itch” many, many times. I started reading movie magazines around the time of the sandbox incident. That’s how I discovered Elizabeth Taylor. In 1962, the same year Marilyn died, Elizabeth was in Rome shooting “Cleopatra” and having a scandalous love affair with her co-star, Richard Burton. Both were already married so it was hot gossip. Their pictures were on the cover of every magazine. Inside, were stories about “le scandale” and the making of “Cleopatra”. I couldn’t wait to see the movie when it came out in 1963 but it was classified “Adult Entertainment”. I was only 9 so I was too young to see it. 

Then Liz and Dick, as they were called, made another movie called “The V.I.P.s”

I asked my mother, “What’s a vip?”

“It’s pronounced v, i, p. It means, Very Important Person,” and then she explained what that meant. 

That film was also classified as “Adult Entertainment”, so I couldn’t see that one, either. 

I suppose I was precocious. At the age of 8, I was reading the Entertainment section of the Toronto Telegram; mostly the movie reviews. I was nuts about movies. I wanted to be a movie star when I grew up. When I was 10, I read a review of the foreign film, “Night Games”, directed by actress Mai Zetterling. The review mentioned a scene with a boy, in bed, masturbating under the covers, while his mother was reading to him. 

“Daddy, what does “masturbating” mean?”

“Don’t you know?,” he responded, looking very embarrassed. 

“No.”

He hesitated, then replied, “Well, you’ll find out, one day.” 

End of discussion. 

I watched lots of classic films, on our black and white TV, growing up. “Picnic”, “The Bad Seed”, “Suddenly, Last Summer” (starring Liz) and “Something Wild” (starring Carroll Baker) come to mind. I would watch them, again, and again. 

I was an outcast because I was very girlish, loved Barbie dolls and played skipping with the girls. I also loved “dress up”, i.e. drag. (I did have a few girlfriends to play dolls with, however.) My mom would let me wear her jewellery and dresses. The other kids were mean. They would follow me home from school, in groups, chanting, “Philip is a girl. Philip plays with dolls.” I’d come home for lunch, crying. My mother was a stay at home Mom, raising 5 kids, plus my niece, Julia. (My oldest sister got pregnant at 15 and ended up a single mom.) Mom was no real help in dealing with the taunting. She’d say, “When people are mean, you have to be extra nice to them. Then, they’ll feel guilty.”  Well, as you can imagine, that didn’t help matters, at all. 

Then, in Grade 5, Ian came into my life. He emigrated from England, with his family. We became almost inseparable. And he loved movies, too. We got a weekly paper route, The Scarborough Mirror, in Grade 5, which financed our movie going. Every Saturday, from the age of 11, we would go downtown, from Scarborough, on the TTC, and go to movies. We’d see a movie in the afternoon, have a meal, then see another movie in the evening. One Saturday, we saw 4 movies, starting in the morning. The Downtown Cinema, in a basement on Yonge Street, north of Dundas, played double features of Elvis Presley films and things like, “Get Yourself a College Girl”, starring Chad Everett, starting at 9:30 a.m. 

My oldest brother, John, had been going there for years. He’d come home and talk about the Beach Party movies with Frankie and Annette. I was too young to go and jealous as hell. He’d also go to all the amazing clubs on Yonge Street, in the 1960s, and see the soul singers. Toronto, at that time, had wonderful live entertainment. The black transgender soul singer, Jackie Shane, was very popular. I was too young to get into the clubs. John would rave about Jackie and tell stories about her. (Jackie was living as a man, back then.) I was so upset that I couldn’t see her live. 

Judy Garland played at the O’Keefe Centre, in 1965, and I couldn’t see her, either. (I couldn’t afford the tickets.)

When I was 11, I managed to get a modeling agent and a talent agent for acting jobs. My first go-see was for a colour spread in the Toronto Telegram. I was interviewed by two men in a room at the Judy Welch Modeling Agency. It was quite obvious they didn’t like me. In the waiting room, one of the mothers told me about Producers’ Services, a talent agency run by Molly Petty, Dini Petty’s mother. I went to an interview with Molly and she sent me on an audition for a TV commercial. Get this: It was in a hotel room at the King Edward Hotel. I went downtown, by myself, to the audition, at 11 years old!! Of course, I was nervous. The hotel room was a suite with a living room and a bedroom. I saw a well-dressed middle aged woman come out of the front door of the hotel room. I recognized her from TV. She smiled at me with very sympathetic eyes. In 2020, can you imagine letting your 11 year old son go to a hotel room, alone, to an audition?! And my parents thought nothing of it. It never occurred to me that I could possibly be in danger. It WAS a legitimate audition. I didn’t get the gig. Neither agent sent me out, again. My parents wouldn’t pay for proper headshots. All I had were snapshots taken by my brother’s best friend, who shot pictures for the Scarborough Mirror.

In Grade 9, Ian and his family moved back to England, just before Christmas. I was devastated. However, we were pen pals for years. I even visited him in England, the summer before Grade 13. That’s where I saw the gay-themed British film, “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” and Ken Russell’s wild and brilliant, “The Devils”, by myself, in London, both in one day. Six months later, I came out to Ian. He wrote back wishing me well, “in my new life”, and I never heard from him, again. 

The fall before Ian left, my father paid for me to take acting lessons with Jack Medhurst, a gay, middle aged, Toronto actor. He had a studio and a 50 seat theatre on the second floor of a building at Church and Carlton. (The building is still there.) I was 13 and 14 in an adult class. I was elated and terrified. We did improvisation and Jack taught theatrical make-up, as well. I was also in 3 children’s plays that he directed. I adored acting. I worked with so many excellent actors and would stay behind to watch them rehearse adult plays, such as, “Barefoot in the Park”. 

During the run of the first play, I got a splitting headache from nerves. After I exited, I threw up in the wings. Three other actors, also playing pirates, exited right after me, stepping over my vomit. 

I studied with Jack for one year. My dreams of stardom came crashing down when my mother said they couldn’t afford to send me for a second year. (“We can’t afford it,” was a mantra, all through my youth.) 

When I was 11, I had two girlfriends. Louann was a foot taller than me. We dated for a year or so. We would slow dance at parties with me standing on a chair. She was a fully developed woman and very sexually precocious. We were the same age but I had yet to go through puberty. She was always showing me her naked body. One day, Louann and I were fooling around in her basement. I was trying to remove her bikini top. She was giggling and flipped over onto my wrist and broke it. (At 9, I broke the other wrist when a bully tripped me on a skating ring.)

With Ian gone, and acting school over, I became a loner. I went to movies on my own. I sent away for a series of books called “The Films of…” One of them was ‘The Films of Marilyn Monroe’. I still have it. The first bio I read about Marilyn was, “Norma Jean”, by Fred Lawrence Guiles. I bought other books about her, as well. I’ve only seen her films on TV, VHS and DVD. The only time I ever saw her on the big screen was a few years ago at a very crowded Dundas Square. They were playing “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. I had seen it many times, already, so I only stayed for 10 minutes. The first time I saw “The Misfits” was on my sister’s black and white set in our basement. The tube was old so the actors looked like little people. I had wanted to see it for years and was totally enthralled. Half an hour before it was over, my sister came home, with her date, and made me turn it off. I was so upset. 

In high school, I didn’t have a part time job so I couldn’t afford to see many movies, except on TV. I was gaga for Classic Films. I spent my whole adolescence sleep deprived because I was always watching the Late Show. That created lots of fights with my mom. She believed that everyone should go to bed at 11 pm. I, however, loved the quiet of the night. 

I would go through the TV Guide, circling all the movies I wanted to see. Sometimes, I would watch 2 movies, on TV, in one day. And I had favourite actresses, like Anne Baxter and Lois Nettleton, who did a lot of TV movies and guest shots on series. I was in heaven. And, of course, there was always Marilyn. In Grade 12, one of her movies was on afternoon TV. I desperately wanted to see it. I asked mom if she would write me a note saying I had a dentist appointment. . 

“Okay,” she said. “You’ve been working very hard at school. You deserve it.” 

Liz wasn’t on TV as often as Marilyn was. A year after its release, “Cleopatra” was reclassified so I finally got to see it. It was a visually gorgeous film but rather boring for someone so young. 

I saw a lot of racy Italian films on TV, as a teenager. They were always cut to ribbons and badly dubbed into English. 

Ian wasn’t the first best friend to move away. John Weaver was my best friend in Grades 1 and 2. Then he moved away, too. I learned, at a young age, that friendship can be an ephemeral thing. I had been observing John in school and decided I wanted to be his friend so I followed him home to see where he lived. I boldly knocked on the door. His mother answered. 

“John invited me over to play,” I lied. 

John swore he hadn’t invited me. His mother scolded him and asked me in. We played and I stayed for dinner and we became best friends. 

Fast forward to 2005. I played a drag queen in a play, in a small theatre, at Take a Walk on the Wildside, a B & B/boutique for drag queens. I became friendly with Chrissy, one of the drag queens. We’d chat in the dressing room as I prepared for the play and he got ready to go out on the town. A few years later, Chrissie was hospitalized with cancer. The owner of the boutique asked me if I would help pack up his stuff, on Boxing Day, because he’d sold his house. I thought to myself, “Why am I doing this on Boxing Day?” I had nothing else planned and I figured it’s always a good thing to help people. In his bedroom, I picked up an inactivated credit card sitting on a dresser. The name on it was John Weaver. Right then, the phone rang. It was Chrissie calling from the hospital to see how things were progressing. I told him I had found the card and asked him if he went to St. Andrews Public School. It was the same John Weaver! He died soon after but I did get to visit him one more time in the hospital. So I knew him as a very young child and was reunited with him, at the end. 

One incident connected with movie-going sticks out in my mind. I was 16, walking up Yonge Street after seeing an afternoon movie. There was a 30 something woman walking with her young son. Following them was a middle aged street person, saying lewd and sexually explicit things to the little boy. It was truly shocking. The mother was saying, “Oh, you’re a horrible person”, trying to get away from him. The little boy had a silly smirk on his face. I can’t imagine he understood what was being said to him. To this day, I can’t forget it. 

 “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, starring Liz and Dick, was released to great fanfare in 1966. I was only 12 so that was another film I wasn’t allowed to see. It was very controversial for its time, using very frank language for the sixties. My parents went to see it and came home raving. I eventually saw it, a few years later, severely censored, on TV. It was brilliant despite the hack job.

I wanted to be an actor from the age of 4, watching The Mickey Mouse Club on TV, wishing I were one of the children on the show. Annette Funicello, one of the Mouseketeers, was one of my favourite actresses, along with Hayley Mills.  I would sit in front of the TV, in semi drag, watching the show. I used socks for breasts and rolled up long underwear as a wig. 

When I was 13, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Butterfield 8”, both starring Liz, were rereleased on a double bill. Ian’s mother forbade him to go, saying he was too young for such movies, so I saw it with a sibling. Even at that age, I could understand that “Cat” had a gay subtext, even though it had been totally neutralized compared to the play. A child’s admission price was 35 cents. 

Now, as an adult, I have so many of Marilyn and Elizabeth’s films on DVD or VHS, as well as numerous books about them. When Liz died, Christie’s published two fabulous catalogues of her jewels. I had thrown out my bed because of a bed bug outbreak in my apartment building. With $99 in the bank, enough for a new futon or the catalogues, I chose Liz over my own comfort. I’ve spent many happy hours drooling over pictures of her magnificent jewellery. I never got around to buying a new bed. 

Nowadays, I really don’t enjoy going to the movies. There are too many distractions from rude, inconsiderate people. I go, perhaps, once a year. I’d much rather watch a film from the comfort of my home. But I still love movies and I still love Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor.

For more about Philip, please check out his website! philipcairns.com

Stay The Fuck Home Saturday Morning Horrors Edition

I’m reposting an oldie (from 2017) but a goodie!

As a kid, one of my fondest memories of Saturday mornings was sugar saturated cereal and cartoons. Spiderman, Hercules, Scooby Doo and many others.  Oh hold on… put on the brakes. No…. I actually wasn’t a fan of those cartoons. One of my brothers was obsessed with Spiderman, Rocket Robinhood and Hercules. Not I! Generally, I couldn’t stand those types of cartoons. Those cartoons were unfortunately on first Saturday mornings, then came what was more of the ‘ordinary’ delights in our household. The Hilarious House of Frightenstein and re-runs of The Addams Family, The Munsters and The Twilight Zone. Oh what a delight to hear Rod Serling’s voice first thing in the morning.

Growing up we had three… THREE channels. CKNX, CTV, CBC and eventually a fourth TVO was added. Fortunately, one of them showed more than just the typical Saturday morning fare. I may have lost my mind otherwise. I’m sure one of the programmers was a fan of the darker style of Saturday morning entertainment and somehow convinced the station manager that Morticia Addams and Grimilda were a must on a late Saturday mornings.

Occasionally on an exceptionally clear day, we would be able to get in a few New York stations and when we did… OH BOY!  We were in for a freaky treat! How I would pray for a cloudless Saturday morning.

Recently nostalgia started creeping in and I did a search for some of the shows I loved and to my delight was able to find some YouTube channels that are still showing reruns of the creature style shows such as Son of Svengoolie, Creature Features (which had a House of Frightenstein type host) and others that I was madly obsessed with.

Along with the creepy kids cartoons, there would usually be at least one show that would play vintage horror movies. I was always excited to see what shenanigans the creeptacular hosts would be up to. I loved that they would also rerun shows from the 1950s. One of my all time favourite openings is still Vampira.

We also can’t forget Elvira Mistress of the Dark. Typically a late night show, one of the channels we watched on Saturday mornings still ran her Midnight Madness.

Skip forward to today and we have spooktacular hosts such as Ivanna Cadavar from Macabre Theatre taking over the reign as the new TV Queen of the Underworld.

But…. back to Svengoolie. When we were able to get some of the upper state New York channels, I would literally have to fight my brother for control of the remote. Since we couldn’t get these stations every week, when we did, I had to take the opportuntity to see one of the best things about Saturday morning.

If we were extra lucky we would get reruns of Ghoul A Go Go (http://www.ghoulagogo.com/)

or the Count Orlaf Show.

Lucky for us today we have the internets and YouTube.  I am fortunate that I can still binge on channels and YouTube shows that encompass the need for schlocky themed, low budget, local broadcast style productions. Here are a few of my other favourites.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000

Chiller Night Theatre (this clip showing on of my favourite all time bad horror movies The Manster.

Full Horror (This channel doesn’t have a host, but has an archive of some vintages, b-horror movies.  Though the list isn’t a long one, the movies selected are some of the best, worst b-horror movies.)

Let’s not forget Shock Theatre.

Not to be confused with the original Shock Theatre from the 1970’s/80’s.

http://www.mediaprof.org/shock/

Often I think of starting my own channel. One of my partners in crime and one of my longest friendships (October Young) is also a huge fan of bad horror movies and schlock TV.  Together we have started our own production called Queens of Schlock. We are currently writing horror shorts but have often talked about  starting our own YouTube show. When I spend time watching some of my favourite YouTube channels or when we have bad horror movie nights, the inspiration to create our own show grows.  Stay tuned, you never know, that could be happening soon.

Growing up was a creepy, wondrous time of freaky Saturday morning cartoons. It might be time to restart the tradition.

What are some of your favourite bad movies, horror themed and hosted TV shows?  My next blog post will be about some of my favourite awesomely bad b-horror movies!

Micro Cinema

Micro Cinema? What the heck is Micro Cinema you ask? It’s a term coined by a friend of ours, Greg Woods. Greg and three of his colleagues run a Film Noir movie night called Toronto Film Noir Syndicate. During a conversation we were having about movie nights held in pubs and Rep Theatres here in Toronto, he cleverly came up with the term to describe what we do!

My husband and I run a monthly b-movie night at See-Scape on the first Friday of every month called Killer B Cinema. We are one of several fun Micro Cinema events happening in Toronto. Our events are inexpensive and a lot of fun. You get to see movies that you may otherwise not see, unless you are already into b-movies. Even if you are, it’s a lot more fun to see the movie on a larger screen and in a room full of like-minded people!

Upcoming Events:
February 19 Low Life Cinema https://www.facebook.com/events/1315184471999333/
March 6 Killer B Cinema – Zuma Lord of the Snakes https://www.facebook.com/events/547387286003455/
March 6 Trash Palace – Spaghetti Western Stunt-fest
March 13 Terrible Toonie TwoDay Fest https://www.facebook.com/events/2517365858518539/
March 13 Drunken Cinema – Friday the 13th part 7 https://www.facebook.com/events/504353596855418/
April 23 Bloody Mary Film Fest https://www.facebook.com/events/199356511198962/

Micro Cinema:

Killer B Cinema https://www.facebook.com/killerbcinema/

Toronto Film Noir Syndicate https://www.facebook.com/TorontoFilmNoirSyndicate/

Trash Palace https://www.facebook.com/groups/6507395903/

Drunken Cinema https://www.facebook.com/DrunkenCinemaTO/


Eyesore Cinema Screening Collective https://www.facebook.com/EyesoreCSC
Terrible Toonie Tuesday https://www.facebook.com/EyesoreCSC/
Rad, Bad, Cinema Sundays https://www.facebook.com/Rad-Bad-Cinema-Sundays-432328400948603/


Lowlife Cinema https://www.facebook.com/lowlifecinema/


Squishy Freak Frolic Film Nite https://www.facebook.com/groups/301088557174427/