Queen of Schlock! The Car

When I was a kid, I loved going to the drive-in movies. On hot summer nights, my parents would pile the four of us kids into the back of the old, white Pontiac station wagon and head off to Owen Sound’s Twin Drive-In Theatre (sadly, it’s no longer there). Mom would always have plenty of snacks for us, even though we would always beg to go to the snack bar. There would be a variety of Pop Shoppe soft drinks, salt and vinegar or plain potato chips, Whoppers, and sandwiches. To be honest, though tempted by the overcooked hot dogs and dry popcorn of the concession stand, we always fared better.

No matter how hot it was, we would always don our pyjamas before leaving for the twenty minute drive. Our parents would try to pick a double bill that had a kid friendly or as close to…. movie as a first feature, since most of the time we’d be sound asleep before intermission. That didn’t always work out as planned for them.

By the way, I wrote another blog about the Owen Sound Twin Drive-In Theatre a couple of years ago when I heard it was being torn down. https://lizzieviolet.com/category/owen-sound-twin-drive-in-theatre/

Now back to the story… I would have been ten years old when this happened and at this point, was generally immune to horror movies, since I had watched quite a few with my Dad already. Oh, the 1970s… such an innocent time. So… I’m not really sure why this movie bothered me as much as it did, however, The Car (1977) scared the crap out of me!!!

I’m sure by this point of the evening my parents figured the four of us were sound asleep. Little did they know, their eldest was wide awake and taking in every little bit of the movie, including the scenes where the car runs people over and the terrifying first person or maybe it was first demon view coming from inside the car. There was a point that I had to go to the washroom and was pleading with my Mom to take me. I was too afraid to go on my own. I mean, come on! We were in a drive-in theatre filled with cars! Normally, we would go on our own, again… the 1970s… Finally, my Mom relented and took me. She wasn’t pleased that she was missing all of the on-screen carnage. For quite a while after that evening, I would be occasionally startled by passing cars, especially while cycling. (You will understand when you see the opening scene) Eventually, I got over it.

Now, a little bit about the movie.

The Car is a 1977 American horror film directed by Elliot Silverstein and written by Michael Butler, Dennis Shryack, and Lane Slate. The film stars James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, and Ronny Cox, along with real-life sisters Kim and Kyle Richards (as Brolin’s daughters). It tells the story of an unmanned, self-driving mysterious car that goes on a murderous rampage, terrorizing the residents of a small town.

The film was produced and distributed by Universal Studios and was influenced by numerous “road movies” of the 1970s including Steven Spielberg‘s thriller Duel (1971) and Roger Corman‘s Death Race 2000 (1975). {source Wikipedia}

One other movie freaked me out and that was The Amityville Horror (1979), but, all that did was help me become obsessed with haunted houses and thunderstorms. Now that I’ve come to think about it, both movies starred James Brolin. Maybe, I was scared of James Brolin? Movies like The Duel (1971 – which I saw years later) Christine (1983) or Maximum Overdrive (1986) didn’t bother me, so why did this movie? I’ve been rewatching trailers and I still feel tense. Just look at the one below.

I’ve been rewatching movies that freaked me out as a kid and in most cases, they are now laughable… except for clowns… I won’t be rewatching movies with clowns, this one though, chills! We finally rewatched The Car and after viewing it for the second time in my life, I understand why it freaked me out. This movie gets right to it in the opening scene and I mean right to it! When we were kids we cycled EVERYWHERE and that was why the first scene got to me. Also, cars are everywhere, even in the middle of nowhere, there is bound to be a car. There is literally no escape from them in the real world or in this movie! There are even children being terrorized , which was another thing that upset me. One of the kids was my age (at the time). I really, really want you to watch this movie!

If you are interested in watching other movies about murderous cars, check out this article. https://www.treehugger.com/horror-films-featuring-villainous-motor-vehicles-4863697

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 Man From Planet X

I’m a sucker for b-movies with aliens in them. Generally, they are a really good laugh. The aliens are generally entertaining and the story… well… there usually isn’t a great one. Either way, they are a lot of fun. When I found The Man From Planet X, I thought I’d found myself another bad b-movie, but to my surprise, it was actually pretty good. It held my attention for the entire movie (meaning I didn’t pick my phone up to scroll) and trust me, that fact says a lot about a movie.

The Man from Planet X is a 1951 independently made American black-and-white science fiction horror film, produced by Jack Pollexfen and Aubrey Wisberg, directed by Edgar G. Ulmer, that stars Robert ClarkeMargaret Field, and William Schallert. The film was distributed by United Artists.

A scientist is monitoring a mysterious “Planet X” that has entered our solar system and is now near the Earth. A spaceship from the planet lands and a space-suited humanoid emerges who speaks in musical tones. The alien makes contact with a small pocket of humanity in an isolated, fog-shrouded Scottish moor. Meanwhile, the scientist only wants to exploit the spaceman’s specialized knowledge for his own selfish ends. (source Wikipedia)

There is action, some sciency stuff, a love story… there is always a love story and of course a groovy looking alien. Even the space ship was well designed. Don’t expect any top-notch special effects here. It’s the 1950s and they are pretty cheesy.

Do yourself a favour and watch this movie. It’s currently streaming on YouTube, but who knows for how long.

Check out this blog post with a really in-depth break down for the movie. There are spoilers so you may want to wait until after you’ve seen the movie. https://scifist.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/the-man-from-planet-x/

Here is the movie. Enjoy!

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! 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!

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