Silent Movies

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!

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!

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!

Redheads Writing In Cafes (except when it’s from my bedroom) Why I Love Vamps

No. No. No that kind of vamp. Not a vampire. The silent film vamp! Ok. Ok. Let me explain.

The term vamp (for a woman) originated in during the silent film era. Prior to that it was generally a short form for the word vampire. In the 1920s A Vamp was the combination of the Flapper and the now more public erotic behavior of women. It might have also been used toward a woman who was a tease. Vamp gained even more popularity when silent films began.

Along with my love of silent film, I absolutely a more interesting characters, clothes and their make up was always way over the top. They were saucy. They were seductive. They were sassy. They definitely were bolder, braver and stronger. These were women I would have looked up to if I was around in the 1920s.

Theda Bara was probably one of the most famous vamps or at least a name that is recognizable to most. But… there were more. So many more.

Olga Petrova, Nita Naldi, Pola Negri, even Hedda Hopper (aka Hollywood gossip column queen), and Virginia Pearson, were also incredibly popular vamps, but somehow their names don’t come up as often. Some of these actresses went on to have long careers on stage and screen while others were not able to make it past these roles.

Olga Petrova

Nita Naldi

Poala Negri

Here are a few other great articles on Vamps in the Silent Movies.

https://silentology.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/vamps-your-great-grandfathers-femme-fatales/

Bat Adventures and Bats in the Movies

Bats have featured predominantly in many movies. Sometimes in supporting roles and sometimes as the main character. In the movies, bats are usually associated with sinister things such as vampires or death. Sometimes, they are a foreboding message and generally, you see them in crypts, graveyards and creepy old Victorians. Thing is, bats live everywhere! Bats are good for our environment.

As you will know from reading my many posts, I’m a lover of classic movies, so this list will be mainly from that category. You are also going to see a few Bela Lugosi movies listed here as well. We all need more Bela in our lives.

Le Manoir du diable (1896) The movies begins with very clever Silent Movie special effects.

The Kiss of the Vampire (1962) I love Hammer movies and I especially love this one! https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057226/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

The Bat (1926) A masked criminal who dresses like a giant bat terrorizes the guests at an old house rented by a mystery writer.

The Bat Whispers (1930) This is a remake of the 1926 version of The Bat. I don’t generally like remakes, but this is a really great edition to bat movies.

The Bat (1959) We can’t have a list of bat movies without Vincent Price!

Dracula (1931) This is by far one of my all time favourite Bela Lugosi films ever!

The Vampire Bat (1933) The stunning Faye Ray is in another of my favourite bat movies!

The Devil Bat (1940) I also love this movie and of course it has Bela Lugosi! I warned you!

Here are a few great articles about bats in the movies.

https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/lists/10-great-bat-films

https://english.manoramaonline.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/2018/08/04/these-bat-movies-will-give-you-the-creeps.html

Each time I post, I am going to also suggest music that goes with bat adventures! Today I’m suggesting is The House Of Haunt! Go buy their music here! https://thehouseofhaunt.bandcamp.com

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

Stay The Fuck Home The Things I’m Going To Do When I No Longer Need To Stay The Fuck Home Edition!

Many are beginning to go a bit stir crazy now that we are 3 weeks into this pandemic, especially for you extroverts! I personally, am doing ok. I’m an introvert and have always been ok with spending time at home. There are things I do miss, I do enjoy being outside in the big blue room, over the last few years I’ve come to realize that my little goth heart actually does need some sunshine. Along with continuing to do creative and household things to stay busy, I’ve started creating a list of the things I want to do once we are on the other side of this thing.

See friends and family One of things I do miss is seeing my friends up close and personal. These friends are also considered my family. We have been having virtual phone dates, but it isn’t quite the same. One of the first things I hope we can do is get together for dinner and drinks!

Buy fabric! In order to keep busy, I’ve been finally finishing off a few sewing projects I had started, along with continuing with the Sew A Vintage Dress A Month Challenge. By the time this is all over, I will have sewn through my entire fabric stash. I’m actually getting close to the end of it, as I write this. I know I can order online, but I need to see and touch the fabric before I buy it.

Yoga in the park Last summer when we were walking through High Park, I noticed that there was a large group of people doing yoga. It is a weekly event. I have googled it and unfortunately can’t find any info, but as soon as the park opens again, I’m sure they will be back at it. Once I find out more, I can add it info here.

Eat out at my favourite places I have a bunch of places in our hood and around the city that I love to eat at. Some of my absolute favourites in my hood are See-Scape, Curry Twist, La Rev, Whelan’s and Thai by the Park. Close to me is the Skyline. In the west end of Bloomers, Machino Donuts and Discgraceland. I can’t wait to get back out and support them!

Killer B Cinema We’ve really been missing hosting our monthly event at See-Scape! In the meantime we are working on launching a YouTube Channel.

Walk through High Park I love that we are only minutes away from this park. In summer I love walk there, sitting somewhere to write or sketch, have lunch at the restaurant or take photos of all of its beauty. I’m also determined to go swimming in the pool this year.

Silent Movies I miss going to the monthly Silent Revue at The Revue and was looking forward to The Silent Film Festival that was happening in April. It’s ok though, all of these things have been rescheduled.

Long Walks through the city I love going on long walks. I love going on long walks through Toronto, stopping for lunch and taking in the hustle and bustle of the streets. Once we are able to, we will be taking the longest walk we have yet!

Go to the Island It’s been TWO YEARS since I have been to the island. Spring/Summer flooding has stopped most of use from going there. I’m hoping when all of this is over, the island will be an option for us this year!

Visit my parents My usual spring visit to my parents has to be put off due to the pandemic. Every few months I try to get up to their place and stay for a week. Am hoping by summer I can actually do this.

Picnic I’ve been craving a picnic! Anywhere!

Finally wear all of the lovely clothing I’ve been making As I’ve mentioned a few times in the blog, I’ve been sewing and knitting up a storm. I can’t wait to finally wear all of these lovely garments.

Have a BBQ with friends Last but not least, once we are out of this, we will be having friends over for a BBQ! Oh yes we will!

Day 18

Day 18! Today was a harder video, but… I LOVE the harder videos that challenge me. Though there were some poses I couldn’t do or hold fully, I’m a lot stronger than I was 18 days ago. One day… I will be able to hold all of the poses and for the amount of time that they need to be held.


One of my all-time favourite silent films is the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I’m also a sucker for any and all German Expressionist films of that period. Other titles you may recognize are Der Golem, Nosferatu, Metropolis, M, Asphalt and The Hands of Orlac. Fritz Lang, Paul Leni and F. W. Murnau are two of my favourite directors.


Which German Expressionist films are your favourite. Who is still doing the 30-day yoga challenge with me?


If you want to learn more, here is a great article.


https://www.movementsinfilm.com/blog/german-expressionist-films-1919-1931

Addition: I forgot to add, the last few days I’ve walked 10K+ steps (am trying to achieve this as often as possible) AND since starting yoga, my hips don’t hurt the next day!

Day 14

Day 14! Almost halfway. I’m really learning where my body needs help. Though… my left side isn’t as tight as it was 14 days ago, it is still tighter than the right. I will see where I’m at for day 30.


Anyone recognize the photo? It’s from one of my favourite pre-code movies Three on a Match. Along with wanting to be a Flapper (and I still don’t know how I was able to get away with it) I grew up being allowed to watch pre-code movies along with horror movies. This also makes sense why I loved Clara Bow and Jean Harlow so much. Give me all of the precode movies! I want to see them all!


Both my father-in-law and friend Heather Babcock also have the same passion I do and we talk about them and often. Want to make me happy, give me movies and books about silent and precode movies!


Not sure what a precode movie is, here are a few articles.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Code_Hollywood
http://pre-code.com/
https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/women-pre-code-hollywood-movies-before-hays