Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Music for Halloween

THE FUTURIST! ends SHOCKtober on this Halloween day with a double dose of Saturday Music. First we have the wonderful melodic opening song from THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. The video you will see does not have the iconic giant red lips singing the song, but it will show clips from the many films mentioned in the song. It is chock filled with perfect Halloween viewing choices.


written by Richard O'Brien

... and now the scariest music video THE FUTURIST! has ever seen. Dr. Steven Seussonoras brought this haunting video to the THE FUTURIST!'s attention. The eerie aura of this little musical film envelopes THE FUTURIST! each time he sees it ... he is especially scared of people wearing animal head masks. Nevertheless, watch it and listen to the music and pay attention to each second ... and every inch of the frame.

performed by Bat For Lashes

Dr. Seussonoras' Scientifically Selected Top 5 Horrors

Dr. Steven Seussonoras, Michigan scientific genius,
poses with his alternative dimension ray gun
while leading an alternative lifestyle.

THE FUTURIST! is proud to present one of the most important people he has never met, namely Dr. Seussonoras of Ypsilanti, Michigan. AS stated in many blog posts and other venues, THE FUTURIST! is in constant contact with the good Doctor regarding new scientific breakthroughs in the field of the unknown and bizarre. Dr. Seussonoras has provided THE FUTURIST! with many items of great interest; several being the Cerebral Cortex Dream Visualizer, his Time Tunnel Garage and the Lower Torso Stress Reducer (patent pending).
THE FUTURIST! can not express (in mere words) his good fortune in finding the Doctor and making him a source of continual intelligent correspondence ... and he's a damn good writer.

(the intro is in his own words ...)

"Being a doctor -- and therefore a learned man -- practically nothing on this earth can scare me. I would love to see more great horror films, but it seems the genre isn't as substantial as I'd like. But there are a few films that give me "the chills" or "the willies" or the like. Here's five:

1) Alien

Ridley Scott is a proven master of mood and atmosphere, and nothing gets those pesky neck hairs standing on end like his first sci-fi masterpiece (I really must remember to dust off the Seussonoras "Spinal-Follicle-Eradicator"). In the film, youth betrays mother, machine betrays man, and mother eventually rebounds and kicks ass. Some might wonder who is the real outsider: the human intruders or the alien natives? The answer is neither: it's the viewer, and that makes it all the more terrifying.

2) Rosemary's Baby

I'll have to agree with Mr. Eliminator -- I really didn't like this movie very much upon first viewing, but Polanski's great skill as a director (in the early 70's, at least) flourishes in this film to a degree that will no doubt startle audiences even in another 30 years. Over the film's daunting length, Polanski tugs us deeper and deeper into both the claustrophobic madhouse of the apartment building and the increasingly paranoid psyche of Mia Farrow's motherly heroine. Everybody knows the ending, but it's the maddening journey through those plastered hallways and maternal nightmares that make this film a worthy endeavor for the horror enthusiast and casual Halloween film-goer alike.

3/4) The Thing/Halloween

I can't decide if John Carpenter gets too much credit as a director or just enough. Everybody's seen at least half of his oeuvre, but I'm not sure if many realize the great skill he has for establishing mood by deftly defining space. By the time the alien parasite begins its rampage upon the American research base in "The Thing," we feel like we know both the characters and the base itself inside-out. Each tight corridor and cramped living quarter has become so familiar that we know exactly what corners to fear peeking around. The same goes for "Halloween": Carpenter creates a world in which the amorphous terror of The Shape (or Michael Myers, as he is more famously known) manages to deceive and surprise us, even in a clearly established territory. Scary stuff, indeed.

5) The Descent

The first time I saw it (in the rather dank and dated basement of my good friend Liz Aker's house in Monroe, MI) I was scared stupid. The second time, I might as well have seen the zipper on the spine of each of the beast's costumes -- each alleged "scare" was met with either laughter, an embarrassed cringe, or both. Nevertheless, I had fun upon both viewings."

THE FUTURIST! applauds you, Doctor! Bravo!

The Invisible Man Seen?

THE FUTURIST! tried out his acting chops in his younger years at Henrik Ibsen High School in Utter Despair, N.J.. Being insecure and terribly neurotic, however, he decided, after being asked by his good friend Howard Reckson (director of the Talent Show) to perform and contribute writing to the show, to perform something that would help him hide from the audience. His decision, also, provided him an "armor" of sorts against his stage fright. He performed this moment from James Whale's THE INVISIBLE MAN completely swathed in bandages and sported a dashing smoking jacket and white gloves. In a rather distressing choice of supporting casting, the fiancee Flora was portrayed by a thin girlishly attractive 17 year old Charles Bender in female drag. Charles was still trying to find himself ... and THE FUTURIST! hopes he did, by now.

In the spirit of SHOCKtober and the mention of Henrik Ibsen High School, this photo has come to THE FUTURIST!'s attention recently. Could this be THE YOUNG FUTURIST! at age 17 sporting a hideous gold sport coat and polyester blue and gold necktie? And look at that scary poised robotic head tilting applied by a moustached oily Board of Education paid photographer! And that smile ... hiding pure utter despair.

Girls! Do Not Come Alone!!

Tonight, on Halloween, THE FUTURIST! will have his own Spook Show, will you?
Happy SHOCKtober!

The Amazing Frollo's Really Lazy Last Minute Favorite Scary/Funny Film List

The Amazing Frollo is a magician, of sorts, that THE FUTURIST! has made the acquaintance of ... and he is the most blatantly worst magician he has ever seen. His "tricks" and his showmanship of illusion are quite anti-climatic. He has attempted to vanish and escape from strait-jackets and water tanks, but has usually fallen asleep during the attempt. It may be narcolepsy, but THE FUTURIST! believes it is pure laziness. The Amazing Frollo has the constitution of a garden slug. He barely can dress himself. He can rarely be relied upon for anything. He has been lucky that his cheap sideshow accomplices have saved his life the hundreds of times he has fallen into a sleepy stupor in an airtight trunk or, as mentioned, a locked water tank wherein he has almost drowned many times. Why s he a magician? Why does he persist in this half-assed attempts at prestidigitation? THE FUTURIST! doesn't know ... but he is continuously amazed at The Amazing Frollo.

In the above photo, he is pictured in a trunk during a recent show at the Marriott Marquis Theater in Manhattan. He fell asleep in the trunk pictured above during his show. The lock was not unlatched, due to the fact that his assistant was arrested for male sexual solicitation during intermission and he had the only key. The stage hands at the theater put the trunk, with Frollo inside, in the standby parking area of the Marriott Marquis Hotel and it was mistakenly picked up with other hotel guest luggage. In this case, it was included among Broadway diva Bernadette Peters' personal bags and transferred to Branson, Missouri where she was doing a revival of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. The Amazing Frollo is currently awaiting bail in a "Show Me State" city jail.

In the spirit of his supreme mastery of sloth, The Amazing Frollo waited until Halloween to add his list of SHOCKtober film favorites. Here they are:


This may not be considered a horror, but it has ghosts in it so I don't care. It also scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. And it's also one of the best comedies ever made, hands down.

Young Frankenstein
Somehow or another, Gene Wilder and Mel Brooks managed to make the definitive Frankenstein movie. Brooks' direction is faithful in a way that he would somehow forget to replicate in every other movie he made afterwards.

Return of the Killer Tomatoes
This film manages to be both a brilliant satire of awful low budget 80s horror flicks, and an awful low budget 80s horror flick. And George Clooney was absolutely charming, even back then.

An American Werewolf in London
John Landis' love letter to the monster movie genre is a good old-fashioned horror disguised as one of them newfangled gorefests. It could have fit right in in the 1940s, had the Hays Code not explicitly prohibited the depiction of werewolf penis.

Shaun of the Dead
This film really surprised me when I first saw it. I was expecting a funny zombie movie, but what I got was a brilliantly crafted comedy with scares and romance and fight choreography set to Queen. The total package, really.

Evil Dead II
I remember one of my friends brought this to a sleepover party that I had and I was disappointed that it wasn't as bad as Evil Dead I. But it does have Bruce Campbell going insane for 45 minutes, and that you can't really beat.

Something about this movie utterly appealed to me as a child, and for that I will always love it. I think it might have been the complete and utter silliness of everything that happens in the film. I've always been a sucker for that sort of thing.

Arsenic and Old Lace
Okay, this is really stretching the definition of horror, but I'd be remiss if I didn't put it on here. It's one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, and a great way to spend two nice cozy hours at the end of Halloween.

You will notice there are only 8 and not 10 films in the list. In the spirit of his inertia, The Amazing Frollo could only transcribe 8, before succumbing to a loss of energy. He was then shot out of a cannon into a vat of beer at a recent Oktoberfest.

Unreal Estate

A truly fantastically edited visual video essay on strange, scary, eerie, and unsettling places in film. It's been said before that atmosphere lends a great deal to fine film watching and this wonderful work by Matt Zoller Seitz proves that statement to be true. Watch it carefully and feel the places that you have visited before in film. See how many you recognize as you sit mesmerized by that classic Bernard Herrmann score.

It's Almost Here, Everyone! Put on Your Silver Shamrock Satanic Pagan Cursed Masks!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Introducing Paolo Erasmus Carone

Young Paolo Erasmus Carone
dressed as director Wes Anderson

THE FUTURIST!'s first fan and most fervid follower was Paolo Erasmus Carone; that is his real name. Paolo or Paul, as he is called by his friends, is part of the Michigan contingent of THE FUTURIST! followers (and, also, a friend of Dr. Steven Seussonoras). Who was the first person THE FUTURIST! contacted when he became known on the Internet? It was Paolo Erasmus Carone. THE FUTURIST! is a big motion picture fan, but he is amazed at the mania that possesses Paolo. He loves films of all sorts and talks about them all the time ... he even writes screenplays and has tried his hand at making films. Paolo is going to college in Michigan and is working at a landmark of historical cinema significance in his home state. At this motion picture palace (and it is a palace ... an old theater made magnificent once again in all it's 1920s splendor) he is a jack of all trades and bathes in its glory every working shift. He sees all films released (it seems) and always informs THE FUTURIST! of his latest viewing.

THE FUTURIST! wanted Paolo to add to the SHOCKtober series of 5 favorite scary movies, but he thinks Paolo over thought the assignment ... or maybe he just couldn't decide since he loves so many films. Whatever the case, THE FUTURIST! did not receive a list. But ... THE FUTURIST! still wanted to feature his first fan Paolo this SHOCKtober and is doing so with the above picture. Please gaze at it and you will see a young Paolo dressed as director Wes Anderson awaiting to attend a Halloween party. Paolo is and will always be a clever favorite of THE FUTURIST!.

Cheers, Paolo Erasmus Carone! THE FUTURIST! will see you, one day, at the picture show!

Mmmm ... Candy Corn!

THE FUTURIST! doesn't like Candy Corn, yet he can't resist it. Is that confusing? Maybe ... anyhow, THE FUTURIST! remembers getting lots of Candy Corn in his trick or treat bag on Halloween. He recalls eating so much of it once that he vomited. He could not stop chewing one piece after another. It was irresistible, yet disgusting. It's just pure sugar colored with dyes and gleaned with edible wax. Watch this video from the Food Network and they will explain "Mouth Feel" It's all about Mouth Feel. Yes. THE FUTURIST! wants his mouth to feel that sugary mass and eat it all up and then get a tummy ache and ... upchuck. And, yes, he'll eat it again.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

SHOCKtober Magazine Cover

From THE FUTURIST!'s personal archive.
FILM COMMENT Volume 16 Number 4
JULY-AUGUST issue 1980

THE FUTURIST! Presents Halloween Safety from 1977

THE FUTURIST! finds this Halloween Educational Safety film to be wonderfully pessimistic and full of potential despair. In fact, after viewing it, you'd never want to trick or treat again. Why? Well, you might wear the wrong costume that may make you fall in the street and get run over by a car, wear the most overly paranoid prepared apparel and people may poison your treats or stick sharp things in your candy, so you and Mom must perform an autopsy on EVERY piece of candy in your treat bag.

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

See You Next Wednesday!

Introducing The Eliminator of Bullshit

The Eliminator of Bullshit, in a quiet moment of
Michigan winter contemplation,
ponders why the world is full of bullshit.

In the ongoing series of Top 5 SHOCKtober lists of scary movies, THE FUTURIST! proudly presents a roster compiled by The Eliminator of Bullshit. The Eliminator's title is very to the point, in fact, there is no bullshit regarding who he is or what he does. The name says it all. THE FUTURIST! encountered The Eliminator via his association with Dr. Seussonoras. The good doctor fronts the Seussonoras Labs in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He invents many things of vast importance for people all over the world including THE FUTURIST!. You have occasionally read his name in many older blog posts. The Eliminator is Dr. Seusonoras' aide de camp, much like haiku is to THE FUTURIST! The Doctor relies on The Eliminator to attend all Seussonoras Board meetings and listen to projects being recommended or proposed. After any new idea is tossed out for the Doctor's approval, he first turns to The Eliminator to give his opinion ... for instance:

"Inflatable Psychiatrist Dolls with recorded dialogue"


"Car Tanning Salons."


"Peruvian Mountain Goat Semen De-Aging Facial Creams"


"A Sex Closet."

"Interesting and bold thinking ... Go on ..."

and so on.

Without The Eliminator, Dr. Seussonoras would be no where. And not only is The Eliminator a decisive force for Science, but he is a poet and writer. His work can be read here. He recently published his latest volume of poetry entitled, IF THAT'S LIFE, THEN THAT'S BULLSHIT! It gives THE FUTURIST! great pleasure to -

"Hey, let's stop the bullshit!"

Whoops! The Eliminator wants THE FUTURIST! to stop prattling and get on with the list ...

(in descending order)

Good horror movies are hard to come by, perhaps more so than any other genre. I don't why there are so many terrible horror films, and so few actually scary ones. I must admit that I don't have very much experience with the genre because of this, especially with older horror movies, but I have seen Rosemary's Baby, and it's rather creepy. It's not a particularly good movie, but it does a good job of being creepy without actually showing anything scary. The atmosphere is key.

I put this on the list only because it psychologically scarred me as a child. I saw it at my grandparent's house when I was about 12 during one of my parent's trips out of town. That night, when my brother and I went back to our house, we couldn't get the door open. Later, inside, I had to go to sleep in a dark and quiet house where there were no parents around the corner to shield me from the bogeyman. Needless to say, I kept the lights on that night. And many others. In fact, for about two years, scenes from this movie haunted me. I had trouble going into the bathroom at night for many months.

While never truly scary, Halloween offers a uniquely spooky atmosphere and sense of dread perfect for my favorite holiday of the year. There's one scene in particular that I imagine whenever I think of this movie. It's one of the scenes where Jamie Lee Curtis' character jut walks around and feels like she's being watched or sees someone possibly stalking her. Those are the most effective scenes in the movie.

The best (serious) zombie movie I've seen. There are a few good comical ones, but it's difficult to make zombies frightening. 28 Days Later does it. Fantastic atmosphere and frequently startling. Unfortunately, the zombie craze has now depleted the genre of its vitality.

Sci-fi is one of my great loves, so of course, my top scariest movie is a sci-fi classic. Alien isn't necessarily scary, but it can be and is to many people, and I just love it too much to give it anything but the number one spot. Again, a unique atmosphere wins my heart. And, it always fascinates me to put myself into the situations that heroic individuals find themselves in and see if I could come out alive. This is one case where I doubt I'd ever set foot on Earth again.

Thank you, Eliminator. Have a Happy No Bullshit SHOCKtober!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Just Plain Batty

Here are two moments of people dressed up for SHOCKtober Halloween themed antics.

First, we have Remi Gaillard. This is the crazy Frenchman prankster that had the funny Mario Kart video on YouTube. It featured him, dressed as Mario, driving around Paris as if he were in a video game. It had real arcade sound effects, too. This one features him as a bat roaming Paris at night surprising French citizens and, oft times, just falling down as blind as a bat. THE FUTURIST! finds this quite funny in a slapstick manner. Thanks to Joshua Heller at Current Comedy for the heads up.

Secondly, THE FUTURIST! asks you to watch this "batty" unknown person dressed as a scary clown. Who is this person? Is he insane? Was this done with friends for a chuckle? Or is this a filmed prelude to him dancing behind that house, then entering and killing everyone inside in the dead of night? THE FUTURIST! must not let his imagination run wild ... no ... no ... NOOOOO!

Monday, October 26, 2009

8mm Monster Memories

So many memories as THE YOUNG FUTURIST! regarding monsters ... oh so many. One memory that was recently brought back was the discovery of a shoe box in back of a closet. The box contained, amongst other forgotten objects, several small cardboard boxes from Castle Films. THE YOUNG FUTURIST!'s father had an 8mm projector and Castle Films produced these little tiny reels of abridged Universal horror classics. They would take THE WOLFMAN, DRACULA or ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN and cut them down to 8 minute movies; excising most of the story but still creating a fast paced idea of the original film ... little plot and all the action. THE YOUNG FUTURIST! has in his possession this particular film below. It is one of the many repetitious Lon Chaney Jr. Mummy movies .. in this case, THE MUMMY'S TOMB.

... and more kid 8mm monster mayhem ... here's a compilation of creative attempts of movie madness by kids inspired by monsters. THE YOUNG FUTURIST! had an 8mm camera, too. However, after filming his two reel epic about a detective who steals robbery money from a deserted hotel hide-away and suffers the wrath of the dead zombie robbers, he realized, after it was developed at The Utter Despair Pharmacy, that he had left the lens cap on. The pain of Life started very very early for THE FUTURIST!.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

haiku's Top 5 Horrors

The very young haiku using his
homemade giant lizard shrink gun.

THE FUTURIST! asked haiku to compile his favorite scary movies for the SHOCKtober blog series. It seems haiku does not watch many scary movies and, at first, made a roster of fright films that included Steve Martin's Pink Panther reboot and Howard the Duck, but THE FUTURIST! tossed that list in the trash bin and told him it was to be actual SCARY movies ... with zombie killers and monsters and such.

It seems haiku was an avid monster fan as a child. In the photo above, he can be seen making believe he is battling Gamera, Ghidorah or Godzilla in his backyard. haiku loved those monster movies and constructed a monster lizard shrink reducer gun out of a shoebox, some old Polaroid camera parts, a car radio antennae, and a mayonnaise jar lid. Tragedy struck, however, after his friend Bing convinced haiku that his sister's pet chameleon was a successfully shrunken mutant radioactively (once large) lizard monster. haiku, afraid that the reducer ray effects would soon wear out and that the lizard would again reach gargantuan size and destroy parts of the tri-state area with fiery breath blasts, flushed Bing's sister's lizard down the toilet. This caused emotional distress on the part of Bing's sister which caused parents in both families to scold haiku and punish him. The worst part was, however, that haiku had harbored a secret crush on Bing's sister and she never spoke to him again. This resulted in huge psychological trauma in haiku and he can't watch any Tokyo Monster stomper movies anymore without weeping. Bing's sister is now a stripper known as Cammy Meleon. Small moments of young trauma have such rippling effects later in life. * sigh *

And now:

Top 5 Scary Movies
for SHOCKtober!
(no giant lizard monster movies included)

Psycho (1960)
Not only my favorite horror film, but one of my
all-time favorite films. Gets better with every viewing.

2. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Amazing direction and camera work.
Not to mention a deliciously lusty Hyde played by Frederic March.

The Shining (1980)
Probably the only film on my list that's genuinely scary,
though only at parts -- I don't have a high tolerance for fright.

Carrie (1976)
Not really scary, but a whole lot of fun.
The last 20 min. are especially great.

5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
This scared me so bad as a child that I couldn't sleep
for two days after seeing it. Not so scary the second time
around as an adult, but still a good movie.

Thank you, haiku.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Music for Exorcising Demons

THE FUTURIST! has never met THE EXORCIST!, but if he did he wonders if he would hear this music accompany his entrance into his home. The 1973 film has got to be one of the creepiest horror films ever made. The mood it creates is palatable and you actually feel you are seeing something real. Of course, heads turning completely around and bodies levitating is NOT real, but the mounting minutes of menace convince you it is real. The music was a distinctive element of the film and even became a hit selling record that reached the top of the pop charts. Now, hearing it again, THE FUTURIST! feels it's a bit of a rip on music he has heard in Dario Argento movies ... or ... is it the reverse? Anywho, does anyone know how to get spewed demonic green vomit stains out of a silk nectktie? If so send all answers to

Listen (from a safe place):

theme from the film THE EXORCIST (1973)
composed by Mike Oldfield

Friday, October 23, 2009

Christopher Lee Sings ... Again!

Yesterday, THE FUTURIST! posted a recording of horror acting icon Christopher Lee singing a tune from Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera. Those that commented on it seemed to love his deep resonant voice and for those admirers THE FUTURIST! posts this musical sequence from THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN INVINCIBLE (1983). This is a very obscure film starring Alan Arkin as a retired superhero who was disgraced, then retired and became an alcoholic. According to the plot, he is called back to save the day once again and foil a villain named Mr. Midnight played by Lee. In this scene, Mr. Midnight tries to tempt Captain Invincible into succumbing to the allure of drink once again. He tries to seduce him with a song (written by Richard O'Brien, song writer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show). Listen to Christopher Lee's diction and how he reaches those deep low notes. He's a towering testament to testosterone.

This is a good one.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SHOCKtober Scary Static Shot

This scene from the surprisingly entertaining THE EXORCIST III (1990), made THE FUTURIST! have an involuntary urinary mishap. Please watch closely and allow it to lull you into a state of boredom and ... then ... WHAM!

(160) Days of Slaughter

A SHOCKtober montage of Jason Vorhees mayhem. You will hear this sound - * squisssssh! * - a lot during this video compilation and you may not eat steak tonight after watching this:

Just Stick a Sharp Spook Stick in My Ear

Here's something really scary ... the star of countless Hammer Horror films Mr. Christopher Lee warbling a tune in his stentorian style. The tune is from The Threepenny Opera ... in actual German.

You didn't finish listening to it, did you?

Let's see how long you last with this terrifying rendition of the Carly Simon classic pop tune YOU"RE SO VAIN. Ladies and Gentlemen, THE FUTURIST! presents the blood curdling maiming of a melody by Tony Randell and Jack Klugman "singing" as their ODD COUPLE characters Felix and Oscar.

THE FUTURIST! wants to die.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Costumes and Ice Scream Cakes

Some nostalgic commercials from years gone by ... for the Spooky Season from Utter Despair NJ television lost airwaves.

Remember those Halloween costumes with those plastic masks and the rubber band-like string that secured the mask around your head? That elastic string always gave THE FUTURIST! an irritating red mark behind his small ears. The eye holes on the masks were scary, too. Every time you blinked you could feel the sharp plastic edges scrape your tender eye lids. Very often it was so chilly on Halloween night you had to wear a jacket over that thin cheap costume that covered your torso. You walked around like Batman or Captain America wearing a hooded parka. How humiliating and destructive to the aura of your surreal reality.

And no Halloween was complete without the annual airings of Carvel Cakes. These local ads feature the voice of Tom Carvel. He sounded as if he was bloated on his own ice cream products and need to belch for at least an hour. FACT: THE FUTURIST! never had a Dumpy the Pumpkin or Wicki the Witch. He did once have a piece of the Carvel Thanksgiving Ice Cream Cake, however.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nights of Fright

As a very young child in Utter Despair , N.J., THE FUTURIST! recalls three horror movie shows on Saturday nights. It was a cornucopia of creepy creature treats as three of the major non-network local New York channels had monster movie shows every Saturday (sometimes into the early morning of Sunday). THE FUTURIST! most favorite of fright features was WNEW-TV Channel 5's CREATURE FEATURES with its host The Creep. The Creep was a middle-aged man in a tuxedo with sunglasses who sat in a velvet upholstered chair and introduced that night's flick. Channel 5's show was a favorite because it had the rights to all the classic Universal Monster movies. This is where THE FUTURIST! first met Bela Lugosi as Dracula, Karloff as the Frankenstein Monster and the original Mummy, Henry Hull as The Werewolf of London, the fantastic teaming of Karloff and Lugosi in THE BLACK CAT, THE RAVEN and the underrated THE INVISIBLE RAY. Most of all THE FUTURIST! remembers this is where he first marveled at the voice and comic horror of James Whale's THE INVISIBLE MAN starring Claude Rains. Below is the theme music used to introduce the show, but the video is a slight reconstruction of the opening. The original opening slowly morphed from one Universal Monster to another:

Next up is the opening to WPIX Channel 11's CHILLER THEATER. This was originally hosted by Zacherley who became an icon of monster movie hosts. THE FUTURIST! does not remember ever seeing him, but does remember this scary opening that was used later. It could induce nightmares in the fevered brain of a young boy. The show, at the time THE FUTURIST! recalls, had no host and featured more films of the sci-fi genre such as MONSTER ON CAMPUS, THE LEECH WOMAN and TARANTULA and some dubbed horror films from Italy. There probably was some Mario Bava featured at times; BLACK SUNDAY, for instance.

Lastly, there was WOR-TV Channel 9's FRIGHT NIGHT. If he remembers correctly, THE FUTURIST! thinks this was on much later at night ... maybe 11:30 pm or even after midnight. THE FUTURIST! rarely watched it due to it being broadcast way past his bed time, but he occasionally crept from his bed to tune in to see what might be featured. It, too, had no host ... and though it includes classic monsters in its opening, the show NEVER featured them film-wise. The announcer at the end of this clip proclaims that the night's feature is Michael Powell's PEEPING TOM. Wow! Classy thrills for a young impressionable lad!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Music to Listen to While Being Consumed by a Gelatinous Red Alien Goo

Burt Bacharach is absolutely one of THE FUTURIST!'s favorite composers of music. This has been made evident in previous Saturday Music posts. Every year THE FUTURIST! has his Back to Bacharach Martini Party and everyone that comes must be in tie and jacket or party dress. It's a blast. Appropriately for SHOCKtober, THE FUTURIST! was shocked to learn that Bacharach wrote the title tune to the Steve McQueen fright film THE BLOB. The tune that accompanies the animated credits is quite catchy and seems so playful and bouncy... it doesn't prepare you for the hi-jinx perpetrated by the gelatinous mass of dark red goo from deep dark outer space that feeds on human flesh. Well, let the fun begin!


from the film THE BLOB (1958)
composed by Burt Bacharach and Mack David

Friday, October 16, 2009

Introducing The Gentleman of Leisure

The Gentleman of Leisure relaxes

More of THE FUTURIST! news from The Emerald Isle.

THE FUTURIST! has been in contact with The Gentleman of Leisure. As many find THE FUTURIST! to be a mysterious figure, so does THE FUTURIST!, likewise, finds The Gentleman of Leisure. The only information THE FUTURIST! has ascertained is that The Gentleman resides in Galway, Ireland, drinks Jameson Whiskey, is not employed, appears disheveled in appearance (though he does dress very impressively), is overly confident and must own a laptop. Why must he own a lap top computer? Well, this is how he communicates with THE FUTURIST!. Recently, he even sent several communiques while riding public transportation.

The mysterious Gentleman is a very amusing debonair fellow and THE FUTURIST! will continue to engage him in electronic communication. Asking for a photograph, THE FUTURIST! received the visual above. The Gentleman looks very relaxed and cool and straight out of a 1960s Fellini or Richard Lester film. THE FUTURIST! likes that.

In honor of SHOCKtober, THE FUTURIST! asked The Gentleman for his five favorite horror/scary/thriller films. The Gentleman wanted to add many James Whale films, since he admires his work, but refrained to provide variety. Perhaps, in the future, The Gentleman will provide more lists ... we shall see.


(in chronological order and with his own commentary)

1. Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
A bizarre, silent "documentary" that features the director as the
devil at one terrifying point. Whereas most horror films become cheesy
with age, I think silent ones become eerier.

2. The Invisible Man (1933)
I've included only one of James' films, for variety. This was the film
that got me into classic cinema. Aspects of the film might seem
laughable now, but there's still something quite scary in Claude
Raine's demented vocal performance.

3. Eyes Without a Face (1960)
Not a great film, but one with some really eerie moments. Also, a
Billy Idol song.

4. Don't Look Now (1973)
Nicolas Roeg's bizarre tale of loss is the one film out of this list
that genuinely freaked me out. Also, has Julie Christie in the nip.

5. Scream (1996)
A clever take on the slasher film. It dissects the genre, while still
fitting nicely into it. I remember the opening scene being scary when
I was a lad, though I haven't seen it in years. Very influential on
popular culture, for better or worse.

THE FUTURIST! approves greatly in the choosing of THE INVISIBLE MAN and DON'T LOOK NOW. The Gentleman has good taste in his horror, as well in his clothes.

Thank you, Sir.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


If a film is EVER made about THE FUTURIST!, can this please be the film's intro logo?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The County Claire Witch Project

Oddity of oddities, but THE FUTURIST! has some faithful followers in Ireland. Yes, Ireland. Why this is so is just too complicated to delve into at this time, suffice it to say that THE FUTURIST! is honored to have such a cult following, of sorts, on The Emerald Isle. Through his communications with his Irish contacts, THE FUTURIST! became aware of a young poet, teacher, goal keeper and musician named Tommy who not only writes magnificent poetry, but occasionally creates this low budget series of videos under the title TRAFFIC. Tommy wanders about his environs with a friend (or two) and just films and verbalizes.

In honor of SHOCKtober, Tommy has made a special video for THE FUTURIST! It takes place in the dark of night, well, it starts at 8:18 pm ... okay? ... well, anyway, it takes you on a creepy ride into the spooky night to a place called The Cherry House. This abode is Tommy and his friend's destination to investigate rumors of strange noises, a strange death from climbing a tree and a rocking chair that moves by itself. Do ghosts exist there? Is James drunk? Can you hardly hear their narration? Did they bring a poorly powered flashlight? Is it anti-climatic? No matter. THE FUTURIST! is tickled pink that the lads took the time to create this video in their free time.

Oh ... and it has an eerie conclusion. Perhaps this video was found after something happened to the lads ... it ends, yet it continues in silence as someone walks rapidly away with the camera still on. Oh, the low budget, grainy video gives THE FUTURIST! the creepy crawlies. All it needs is a chainsaw or a zombie. THE FUTURIST! (in a non-Fascist manner) salutes Tommy and (the possibly inebriated) James for this Halloween themed addition to SHOCKtober!



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Music for the Pagans in the Audience

If THE FUTURIST! were to list the most frightening films he has ever seen, he would most certainly include Robin Hardy's THE WICKER MAN. Even viewed in its edited form interrupted by commercials on a late night television broadcast, this tale of a Scottish policeman investigating the mysterious disappearance of a young girl on a neighboring island was terrifying. The mood permeated all moments of interruption in THE FUTURIST!'s mind. The film's terrifying conclusion plays out in broad beautiful sunlight and that very scenic set makes the fright more creepy and emotional. It makes you, as many a good film does, feel sympathy even for a very unsympathetic character. It makes you question your beliefs about a higher power and the rigidity of other's rock hard religious ideas. Who is to say what one believes is the right answer and what another believes is the wrong? The friendly, folksy ways of many of the island's townspeople masquerade pure evil from our point of view, eventually, but not in their perception ... as does this folk song that accompanies a scene of mental erotic seduction as a naked Britt Ekland dances and slithers against the opposite wall of a boardinghouse room. On the other side of that room is a man of strict religious upbringing who feels the temptation and is angry and very scared ... as you shall be while watching this brilliantly constructed cult horror film.


from the film THE WICKER MAN (1973)
composed by Paul Giovanni

Friday, October 9, 2009

Less Than 10 Minute Matinee # 5

THE FUTURIST! brings you a special SHOCKtober Less Than 10 Minute Matinee! Yes ... spine tingling previews of a scare show featuring THE VAMPIRE'S COFFIN and THE ROBOT VS THE AZTEC MUMMY. Only the best in SHOCK ATTRACTIONS direct from Mexico! And these South of the Border Classics are brought to you in HYPNOSCOPE! One time THE FUTURIST! experienced Hypnoscope and later found himself waking up alone, in his shirt, tie, suit coat and boxer shorts, in a vacant lot next to an H & R Block Tax Office in Utter Despair, N.J. Oh ... and he was handcuffed and wearing a cat mask.

Getting scared at the movies can "amp" up the hunger factor in that gut of yours ... so, calm it down with some delicious, oh so tasty cardboard pizza soaked in sauce with some kind of odd cheese spread on top. Is that dog food sprinkled on there? Good Pagan God, that's scary pizza.

And now our feature attraction. Modern science is used by evil fiends, including a Middle Eastern looking Dracula, to revive the Frankenstein Monster, who appears to be covered in that refreshment stand pizza cheese. Be prepared for bad editing, bad acting and boredom.

directed by Al Adamson

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Universal Horror: Monster Montage

THE FUTURIST! found this excellently edited montage of old school Universal horror films. It is accompanied by that creepy opening credit music from Kubrick's THE SHINING. It fits quite well. During this presentation you will see a clip of Renfield from DRACULA creeping across the floor toward the unconscious body of a chambermaid. THE FUTURIST! imitated this move in his youth. He crawled with eerie stealth toward his sleeping dog Mitzi. "Blood blood life!" THE YOUNG FUTURIST! intoned as he approached the prone pet. AS he raised a claw posed hand over her collared neck, Mitzi awoke and licked THE YOUNG FUTURIST!'s face. Life is not like the movies. * sigh *

Monday, October 5, 2009

SHOCKtober Double Feature!

THE FUTURIST! kneels in awe before these examples of vintage Universal Monster Movie poster art presentations circa 1931-32. Just gaze at the illustrative technique and color ... what pre-pubescent lad in his 1930s knickers, knee socks and argyle sweater vest wouldn't be in a state of suspended disbelief, not even aware of the drool forming on his lower lip as he stared, mouth agape, at these pictorial promises of silver screen wonders awaiting inside his neighborhood theater? The "fantastic Sensation" of an invisible man and a wrapped Egyptian mummy coming to life portrayed by "Karloff the Uncanny"! THE FUTURIST! feels faint ... he needs a double feature of vermouth and Vikingfjord Norwegian Vodka.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday Music for a Peeping Tom

Many directors work again and again with the same composer of music for their films. THE FUTURIST! can think of Spielberg with John Williams, Blake Edwards with Henry Mancini and Hitchcock with Bernard Herrmann. Today's Saturday music is from another pair of artists who colaborated many times; a film directed by Brian De Palma and scored by Pino Donaggio. BODY DOUBLE is not thought of as much as other De Palma thrillers, but it has its own unique perverse charm. It incorporates all the Hitchcock tropes that De Palma employs (or steals) and then heightens them, in his usual style, to a degree of orgasmic cinematic perversity. While watching this film you see shades of REAR WINDOW and VERTIGO and hear Donaggio's playful, erotic and extremely 80s style of movie score; a synthesizer, a siren song of temptation with a recurrent sinister rattle of a snake. It titillates you with seductive menace.


(from the film BODY DOUBLE - 1984)
composed by Pino Donaggio

Friday, October 2, 2009

Midnight Show at The Single Scream Theater

It's October! Or SHOCKtober, as THE FUTURIST! likes to call it; the month most appropriate to watch some scary movies. In that regard, allow THE FUTURIST! to present this clip from the "lost" horror film of 1973 entitled MESSIAH OF EVIL. It was co-written by Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz who later went on to write the screenplay to George Lucas' AMERICAN GRAFFITI and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and uh, ... well, HOWARD THE DUCK. This shocker, that reeks of that distinct 70s indie horror feel and "look" of grainy low budget fright effect, will be released on DVD later this month. Today's horror looks so slick and full of fast edits and fake grimy Hollywood art direction. This film takes it slow with eerie long shots to build suspense. It has been rarely seen since its initial release and has become a legend of scare and 70s shock. Watch this creepy clip as a lone girl ventures into a movie theater at night. You may never go to the movies alone again ... well, this might not happen in a multi-plex ... but then again there are quite a lot of zombies at New Jersey Shopping Malls.