Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Peggie Castle

Once up on a time, in a place called Hollywood Land a beautiful blonde was discovered while sipping a malt in a drug store. Is this fantasy? Or. Is this reality. The story of how Lana Turner was discovered has always been a driving factor for why so many actresses migrated to Hollywood. They pinned their hopes on being discovered in an every day setting. Many said that the Lana Turner story was only made up for publicity, yet, there are many actresses who have a very similar story. One of those actresses is Peggy Castle.

Peggy was discovered by a talent scout while eating in a restaurant in Beverly Hills and soon after signed a seven year deal with Universal-International. In the 30s/50s many starlets would be signed to long contracts and only be used as bit players (if they were even that lucky). Being signed to a studio didn’t guarantee work. In Peggy’s case, she was off to the races almost immediately making her debut in a When a Girl’s Beautiful. (1947) This movie was followed up by Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949), Payment on Demand (1951), The Prince Who Was a Thief (1951) Invasion U.S.A. (1952), Wagons West (1952), 99 River Street (1953), Beginning of the End (1957) and Arrivederci Roma (1957),  and Hell’s Crossroads (1957).

Eventually, she moved onto television, starring mostly in westerns.

Sadly, Peggy died at the young age of 45 from cirrhosis due to alcoholism.

One of my favourites of all of her movies is Beginning of the End (1957). I have posted it below along with as many of her other movies that I was able to find. Enjoy!

Invasion USA (1952)

Finger Man (1955)

Hell’s Crossroads (1957)

Back From the Dead (1957)

Beginning of the End (1957)

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!

Bat Adventures – Research and Science!

This week in bat adventures… we didn’t actually make it out for any, well, bat adventures. However, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole on bat researchers and wanted to share what I found! I also threw in some books you might find interesting.

Famous bat researchers:

If you are anything like me and my love of bats, you will also want to know about famous bat researchers. There are many out there, all over the world, who continue until this day, to educate themselves and others about the magical flying creature.

Below is a short list of some researchers you should know about. Because of them, we know more about bats than ever before. Seriously, read up about them, you will learn many new things about bats!

Dr. Brock FentonProfessor Emeritus, Department of Biology, Western University and Dr. Bonnie Schmidt, Founder and CEO, Let’s Talk Science, will deliver our invited lectures at OBD 2019. {source Western Science} https://www.uwo.ca/biology/directory/emeritus/fenton.html

Gerrit S. Miller JR. (December 6, 1869 – February 24, 1956) was an outstanding early twentieth century bat biologist at the Smithsonian Institution. Miller’s work on the evolutionary relationships of chiropteran families and genera to one another still strongly influences taxonomic thinking about bats today. {source North American Society for Bat Research – https://www.nasbr.org/miller}

Thomas H. Kunz (June 11, 1938 – April 13, 2020) was an American biologist specializing in the study of bats. He was credited with coining the study of aeroecology; additionally, he wrote several fundamental textbooks and publications on bat ecology. {source Wikipedia} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kunz

Donald Redfield Griffin (August 3, 1915 – November 7, 2003) was an American professor of zoology at various universities who conducted seminal research in animal behavior, animal navigation, acoustic orientation and sensory biophysics. In 1938, while an undergraduate at Harvard University, he began studying the navigational method of bats, which he identified as animal echolocation in 1944. In The Question of Animal Awareness (1976), he argued that animals are conscious like humans. Griffin was the originator of the concept of mentophobia: the denial of the consciousness of other animals by scientists. {source Wikipedia} https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Griffin

Books about bats:

The Families and Genera of Bats, by Gerrit S. Miller, Jr. https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/16306

The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson https://sciencemeetsadventure.com/the-bat-scientists/index.html

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

Bats: A World of Science and Mystery by M. Brock Fenton, Nancy B. Simmons https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/bats-a-world-of-science/9780226065120-item.html

Type of bats: N/A
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

Queen of Schlock! Beach Party Monsters!

As soon as the warm weather hits, so does the craving for Beach Party Monster Movies/Creature Features. I generally kick if all of with all of The Creature From The Black Lagoon movies, even though they aren’t technically beach movies, they still are my all time favourite creature features.

If you want to watch along, I’ve created a list below of the ones we’ve watched or will be soon. These are mostly 1950s/60s bmovies, but as you know, it seems to be the era that is my go to!

When possible, I post links to full movies.

It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)(trailer) This movie is a lot of fun and if you can find a copy of it, I highly recommend it, the special effects make it all worth while!

The Horror of Party Beach (1964) This movie has it all! A cheesy monster, a beach, music and babes! The dialogue and acting might be laughable, but it’s a fun watch, especially just before heading the beachside.

The Beach Girls and The Monster (1965) I‘ve lost count how many times I’ve watched this movie and I keep coming back for more. Unfortunately, there aren’t many good prints of it out there. This seems to be the best. One day I hope to track down a bluRay copy!

The Monster of Piedras Blanca (1959) Another favourite. Mostly because…. well.. wait until you see the costume!

Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) The first time I saw this movie was when I was a kid. I watched it with my dad and remember laughing all the way through it. When I rewatched it as an adult and wondered if I was high on sugar as a child. Either way, another bmovie winner for creature features.

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!

Bat Adventures Are Back!

And we’re bat! {see what I did there?} That’s right! Batastic!

We went on our first official Bat Adventure on Sunday, May 23rd, but due to the amount of fire works there wasn’t any action. My heart breaks for all animals when the fireworks go off. I’ve never liked fireworks and in my opinion they should be banned. 😦

As with every bat adventure blog post, I will be posting with the dates that we were out and I will be adding sightings to the map (link below). Once it is safe to do so, I am hoping to bring friends along. I will do weekly posts that will run from Monday (posting the previous week on the Monday) to Sunday and will be starting my regular posts next week.

May 25th, 2021

We’ve got bat action!!!

We went out for our second night of bat adventures and saw some of those flying beauties tonight. Last night we didn’t see anything, but that was due to the firecrackers.

There was a lot of action near Ravina Park and in the field beside Humberside Colligate. Hearing the chirping noises on my bat detector made me incredibly happy.

May 26 to May 29th – I won’t be able to go on any bat adventures. If we end up going out Sunday night, I will add it to next weeks adventures.

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

Everything that Theadora Feu Follet does on her theremin! She is the spookiest of them all afterall. You can follow her on YouTube (video below) and on IG at Thea Munster, and her band Night Chill. She is also on TikTok as Thea Triffid. Thea has inspired me to learn the Theremin, I just need to save up to buy one. Unless, someone wants to gift me one. My birthday is coming soon!

Type of bats: Big 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

International Goth Day, Bats and a Little Bit More

Happy International Goth Day!

If you met me on the street today, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you I was Goth. All dressed in a plaid chambray gauze fit and flare dress, hair in a high ponytail, I’m more of a vision of a hot summer day in 1950. Even for those who question if I am, I will always be Goth. The clothing may change, but what I feel in my my dark heart, never will.

Not everyone continues to dress Goth their entire lives. Many of us transition to more of a vintage look, with some Goth thrown in. My Gothy wardrobe will start reappearing when Fall hits. It happens, we grow, change and try out other things. Don’t be afraid to explore what amazements are out there!

I’ve tried to find some pictures of me as a Goth, but I’m so Goth… I can’t find any. Maybe, like a vampire, I don’t show up on film. Here is a picture of a bat instead.

So…. where have I been? Didn’t I say I would restart blogging again at the beginning of May. Yes, yes, I did. I just wasn’t feeling it. I have been writing/editing the required changes to my novel, so creativity has been happening, I just haven’t wanted to blog. Additionally, I think Covid fatigue has sucked away some of that desire to put my thoughts down onto a screen. I’m getting back around to it, especially now that it’s warm enough again to go on Bat Adventures.

We are so close to being on the other side of this pandemic. I’m really hoping that people co-operate and follow the restrictions this long weekend. I would be heart-broken if a post Victoria Day long weekend caused a surge sending us two steps or how it really feels, two miles back. We hit 60% 1st vaccination and 190K doses given yesterday for Ontario and the numbers on steadily dropping for new cases and hospitalization. I keeping hoping that this continues!

And yes… Bat Adventures begin again now! I’ve got fresh batteries in the bat detector and we will be doing some nightly walks starting this weekend!

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 will be taking a blog vacation.

(except when it’s my bedroom)

Tis time for this girl to take a break from blogging. There won’t be any blog posts for April and May as I need time to concentrate on other writing projects and building a business. When I return, it will hopefully be with Bat Adventure posts!

See you all in June!

Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Peggy Webber

One of my all time favourite b-movies/horror movies is The Screaming Skull. I’ve mentioned this several dozen times and if you know me, you’ve likely watched it with me. I love everything about it from the sets, to the jump scares, to the cinematography, but me most favourite part, is Peggy Webber.

Peggy Webber is an incredibly versatile actress and performer who I was first introduced to via old time radio broadcasts. (I’ve done a post about them here) If you are a fan of old time radio programs you may have heard her on a variety of shows including, The Dreft Star Playhouse, Dragnet (approximately 100 episodes), Pete Kelly’s Blues, The Damon Runyon Theatre, and The Man Called X and Sears Radio Theatre. Oh, but her talent doesn’t end there, Peggy wrote and directed hundreds stage plays, radio and television programs.

Peggy Webber worked continually in television and voice acting and retired in 2005. I wonder what she thinks of the popularity of her 1958 horror movie these days or the fact that she was literally one of the very first scream queens. Have you heard her scream? It’s spectacular!

The Screaming Skull is moody, creepy an a lot of fun to watch. Peggy Webber’s Jenni Witlock would be the inspiration for the half out their mind, tormented character you would see in future horror movies. She is incredibly brilliant and is the reason I keep going back and watching it over and over again. Of course, let’s not forget her fantastic wardrobe. I insist that you go and watch this movie right now! Don’t give me excuses! Just do it! I’ve also written a blog post about The Screaming Skull, which you should also go read!

Peggy has been a very private person for most of her life, so there isn’t much written about her personal life.

Peggy was also in another memorable movie called The Space Children. If you can find a copy, I highly recommend it.

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: Zsa Zsa Gabor is The Queen of Outer Space!

Socialite, beauty queen and one of a trio of Hungarian born actress sisters, Zsa Zsa Garbor was known for so much more than her beauty, glamour and many marriages. AND when I say so much more — I mean b-movies. I could write a long post about her very colourful past, but instead, I’m going to talk about a b-movie she made, because it is spectacular, she is spectacular! The whole thing just brings me so much joy! That movie is the Queen of Outerspace!

The Queen of Outer Space is a 1958 Allied Artist picture that runs 80 minutes and is shot in Cinemascope, was produced by Ben Schwalb and directed by Edward Bernds. The movie is about a revolt against a cruel Venusian queen, and was originally titled Queen of the Universe.

The sets, the costumes and the soundtrack is out of the world! As a matter of fact, you will recognize sets, models and costumes from other outer space themed movies such as Forbidden Planet (1956) and World Without End (1956). It wasn’t unusual for low budget movies to borrow or reuse sets, costumes and other materials from previous productions. Even the rocket ship was from another movie, a comic by Huntz Hall in the 1954 Bowery Boys comedy Paris Playboys. All of this only adds to the beauty of this movie.

Now let’s get back to Zsa Zsa. She is sheer perfection in this movie and as the true hero. I’ve seen this movie twice and continue to drool over her glorious costumes, which she knows how to showcase. Every time she comes on screen, her presence overshadows everything else going on. Zsa Zsa definitely steals the entire show. This is a must watch movie for all b-movie fans.

A copy of the full movie can be found over on Daily Motion. Here is a link or click on the video 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 Bad Girls

Vamp, Vixen, Sassy, Sinful, Smart Ass, Wilful, Wiley, Badass, Bitch… The many, many names that bad girls get called. Personally, when I think about my favourite bad girls, I use words like tough, fierce, independent, resourceful, stubborn, motivated, clever, street-smart, and a word shared with the other list, sassy. It has always bugged me that women who won’t put up with anyone’s guff end up with the first list of names and labels. Even to this day, society is still both intrigued and frightened of the bad girl.

They’ve been around since the beginning of time and will be here when it all ends. They are your grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and friends. Some are there to help you learn life’s hard lessons while others are there to save your sorry asses. What ever end of the spectrum they fall in, they all deserve our respect.

Ok.. speech over. Now onto my favourite bad girls.

I was first introduced to Theda Bara by my Great Grandpa Bill. He loved Silent Film and her really loved Theda Bara. Sadly, not a lot of Theda’s work still exists on film, but if you are lucky you can still catch short clips of her on YouTube. Some of the only things that still exist are a short clip of her as Cleopatra, and a couple short films. (The Unchastened Woman (1925)/Madame Mystery (1926)/45 Minutes from Hollywood (1926))

Clara Bow will always be my sassy favourite! Not only could she act, she could hold her own to any man. Both in life and on screen she was a force! Clara was a tour de force in Silent Film and once she found her footing, a joy to watch in The Talkies! A few of my all time favourite Clara Bow movies are It (1927), Hoop-la (1933), Children of Divorce (1927), Call Her Savage (1932) and Wings (1927).

The first time I fell in love with Barbara Stanwyck was when I saw Night Nurse (1931). Her character Lora Hart, was tough, dedicated and took no guff, not even from the handsome bundle of trouble Nick, played by Clark Gable. She had a job and she was going to do it if it killed her. Many of Barbara’s roles in the late 1920s and the pre-code years of the 1930s had her playing gritty, down to earth women who had to fight to stay alive. It’s that spunk and determination that has always drawn me to her. As with many of her characters, Barbara Stanwyck had a hard childhood and had to learn early to fend for herself. This bad ass lady deserves everyone’s respect!

My favourite Barbara Stanwyck movies are Ten Cents A Dance (1931), Night Nurse (1931), Babyface (1933), Stella Dallas (1937), Meet John Doe (1941) and Lady of Burlesque (1943).

Bette Davis is the queen of the bad girls. Her most famous bad girl role and one of my absolute favourite of all of her films is Of Human Bondage. She oozes everything in that movie, from sex appeal to horribleness! She showed the world how incredibly talented she was and to this day, I have yet to see a performance to equal that. Like any actress at that time, she would do what was necessary to succeed and never look back! She was tough, driven and successful, setting a standard for others that would be hard to follow. She knew what she wanted and got it.

My list of bad girls wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include the illustrious Joan Crawford. She oozed a glamour that was blinding. Many actresses of that era started out as chorus girls. It was a way on stage and a foot into the door known as Hollywood. Joan worked her way up from the chorus lines of Detroit and onto movie screens. Joan Crawford started out in Silent Film and her long career lasted until the 1970s.

I tend to favour more of Joan’s Silent Films, but am also a huge fan of her work in the 1940s.

Last, but certainly not least is Tura Satana! The badass of all badass women! Tura lead a very amazing and colourful life, with parts of that life being incredibly tough. Tura was a survivor of sexual assault, domestic abuse and had to take care of herself from the age of 15. She was a burlesque dancer, a photographic model for Harold Lloyd (yes, that Harold Lloyd) and turned down Elvis when he asked her to marry him. I can’t wait for the documentary about her life to come out!

Two of my all time favourite Tura Satana movies is The Doll Squad (1973) and Faster Pussy! Cat Kill! Kill! (1965) By the way and for those of you wondering, she knew martial arts. She wasn’t just faking it for the cameras.

Who are some of your favourite badass actresses?

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: 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.