Review: Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price– October Frights blog hop–#‎Octoberfrights‬ #giveaway #zombies #movies

I am participating in paranormal author Clarissa Johal‘s October Frights Blog hop.

2015 October Frights Blog Hop, #‎Octoberfrights‬ Vincent Price, The Last Man On Earth, 1964 movie posterAs I mentioned in my last post, Richard Mattheson’s book I Am Legend has been made for the big screen more than once. The 1964 movie, The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price, is just one. People around the world are dying from a mysterious illness Continue reading

Vampires in Pop Culture–Movies #‎Octoberfrights‬ #giveaway

2015 October Frights Blog Hop, #‎Octoberfrights‬

vampire doll made by Cyndi.

vampire doll made by Cyndi’s Dollz

Vampires in pop culture

Silver-Screen Vampires
Hollywood has always been fascinated with vampires; from the early days of the industry with such classics as Nosferatu and Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the Undead Romanian Count right up to the present day and works such as Dracula 2000, Interview with the Vampire and the (tragically underrated) Queen of the Damned, these beings are constantly recurring film stars. The most notable portrayal of him would have to be Christopher Lee:

Dracula and Bram Stoker Today–Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee: Hammer Horror interview 2001

Christopher Lee: Masters of Horror
Short Bio and list of his movies to 1999

The Dracula Myth
From HH : the UNofficial Hammer Films Site

Christopher Lee talks about his stint with Hammer Films and his role as Dracula

I’m not too impartial to Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the Count either. Now, that’s a rendition to swoon over, ladies but never forget…he’s a monster!

And the much maligned but actually quite good rendition of Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned starring Stuart Towsend, as Lestat de Lioncourt

And of course that giant of Pop Culture, Tom Cruise took his turn as Lestat de Lioncourt, and Brad Pitt took his as Louis… Or the creme de la creme Dracula portrayal by the inimitable Bela Lugosi.

They’ve all put some sort of stamp on the face of the vampire, and probably will continue to do so, for better or for worse! Some will no doubt fall flat on their faces (like USA/SF Channel’s Dracula, Prince of Darkness–for all that they tried, bless their dark hearts. ;))

And then there’s that paragon of teen angst, Twilight.

*cough* Well, I only saw the first one; honestly that was all I could stand. As bad as the novel is, the movie’s worse. *shakes head* High school was never like that for me, and me? been there, done that. Don’t remember it in quite that light, thanks.  But me, I prefer the “real” vampires. The ones that would rip a girl’s throat out without worry about it. This whole, emasculated, “mooning love slave” vampire thing…*shrugs* eh.

Whatever…. It’s done the author(s) well…For the moment. I always wonder what will be the thoughts on our “latest thing” a hundred years down the line. Will Twilight survive the test of time? We shall–or rather our descendants–see.

What’s your favorite portrayal of the vampire?

Thanks for stopping by. You can see the rest of the participants in the hop by clicking the blue button below. Happy Halloween!!

Freaky Friday: No ghost..busters??

Egon, this reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole through your head. Remember that?
That would have worked if you hadn’t stopped me.

Dr. Egon Spengler and his crew introduced ghost hunting to a wider audience and made it cool. (And I know the films are responsible for the ghosts in my stories, and at least one scene in Drawing Down the Shades was written in homage to it. ;)) Unfortunately he is now in the Otherworld. Damn…..I always hoped there’d be a Ghostbusters 3. I guess not now.


However we will never forget—not to cross the streams. And I’m pretty sure, he’s going to have a hell of a time hanging out with all those ghosts! ;)

Harold Ramis, for this, and all your great, and funny films, man…you will be missed.

RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman–Movie Monday

Longtime readers know I’ve tried to do a movie review every once in a while. This week I’d planned to review Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. (because, you know, it’s traditional ;)) But yesterday news came in that an actor we’ve come to love has passed away. Many people may know of Philip Seymour Hoffman from the Hunger Games series, but we here at the tribal grounds first encountered him as pain in the butt reporter Freddy Lounds in the 2002 adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon. It was after that, with his role as Reverend Veasey in 2003’s Cold Mountain that we really fell in love with him. If you’ve never seen the movie, Veasey’s … a little less than what you’d come to expect from a preacher, but the character was the comic relief.

He was loveable, though, and made what could’ve been a very dark movie that much more endearing. He was also quite good in Capote I loved how he pulled off Capote’s squeaky voice.

Heck, he was good in every  role. Hoffman passed away yesterday, sadly. The news is all over the place but I just wanted to say here, as a fan, Mr. Hoffman, you will be missed!

Movie Monday–Where the Wild Things Are

WherethewildthingsareWhere the Wild Things Are (2009)

Starring Max Records, Catherine Keener, Catherine O’Hara, Forest Whitaker, James Gandolfini and more…

Max is a young boy with an attitude problem, plagued by an older sister and mother (Catherine Keener) who don’t seem to have enough time for him. His fits of rage serve as a way to get their attention but end up landing him in trouble. Fed up, he runs off into the night and sails away to a seemingly deserted island.
But as Max soon finds out, this land isn’t so deserted. He finds a group of strange creatures destroying little grass huts. He’s good at that kind of thing so he lends a hand. When the creatures start to question him, he says he’s a king, who conquered Vikings, with magic and that he can help him. The creatures have apparently never seen a human before and so believe him and make him their king.

They build a friendship and a fort and things go well for a while. The group comes to love and trust Max and he feels a particular kinship for the creature Carol (James Gandolfini), whom the viewer can see a lot of Max in. They have fun, Max teaches them…
And that’s where the trouble begins. He tells Carol the sun will die one day and decides to fight a mock war, splitting the group in two. When the losers lose, well you can guess how that goes. They (especially KW–played by Lauren Ambrose) throw a fit and things go downhill.
It was a sweet story and the creatures are interesting, but … a lot of the story as filled out here, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For instance ….

One: We don’t know where this world is, is it in his head? If so, where did Max land for the night?

Two: It seems as if there are only ten or less creatures on this entire island. So it seems like the huts they’re destroying in the beginning might be their own homes. If so, why destroy them? Why do the others not step in and stop it? (ah, see this is part of the lesson of this whole little trip, isn’t it?)

Three: The creatures say they ate their last king. If that’s the case, why do they put up with KW’s nonsense? Why not just eat her and be done with it?

Fourth: These are violent creatures to begin with but they blame all their troubles on Max. I don’t see that as being the case, really. So poor Max is a bit of a scapegoat. He’s lucky they didn’t eat him.

On the whole it was an interesting movie, and I love the creatures—but what do you expect from Jim Henson’s crew? It’s very nice to see them use actual puppets for the movie rather than to just fall back on CGI.

Poor Spike Jonze, he had to take a basically less than 500 word story and turn it into a plausible two hour movie and there just isn’t enough there to pull it off. Instead, Jonze fell back on what he did best and proves he’s still a video jock by making more than half the movie into a music video. Every other scene, it seems, is taken up with music-over a shaky scene. And while I suppose it was meant to add action, it really just served to make the movie drag. He could’ve done better to delve more into Max’s realizations and—oh, I know, resolving the story. It was nice to see the character Max learn something and grow, but as with all stories that end like this, I felt a little let down. The ending left much to be desired in that Max says nothing to his mother when he returns. No, “sorry mom”, no explanation of the previous hours. But Sendak signed off on the changes so for that, I guess it’s okay. For what it is, if you like this kind of fantasy story, I’d definitely recommend Where the Wild Things Are.

It’s available in streaming video via, to rent and own at Netflix and

For more on Where the Wild Things Are see:

the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

For more on Maurice Sendak see his page at Harper Collins here and here.

The official movie site.

Where the Wild Things Are at IMDb

Movie Monday–Repo Men

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these but…I’ve been a little busy. I have been watching movies from time to time though, so there are some in the queue. Like this one….

Repo_men_09Repo Men is a near future thriller. Medical procedures have become so expensive, the sick and dying having to take out loans to pay from them. If you can’t keep up with your bills, then you’re in trouble.

Remy (played by Jude Law) is the fella you don’t want to come knocking on your door. He plays a “repo man” and it’s his job to cut you open and repossess the organs with which the medical establishment saved your life. He’s cocky and loves doing his job, despite the grief it causes. His wife Carol (played by Carice van Houten), however wishes he’d move up in the ranks, from “repossessing” to selling for the company. Things come to a head at a cook out, when Remy’s pal Jake (played by Forest Whitaker) does a job in their front yard. She insists he get out of the business. Jake loves her, but he enjoys what he does too, and can’t see himself as a salesman.

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