My Halloween CostumeThis year I decided to dress up as a conservative white male Republican. Apparently, that scares the beejeezus out of some people...
Things That Make Me Sad: Meltdown EditionLast night my beloved Kansas City Royals suffered an ugly 9-3 loss to the New York Mets in Game 3 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura, who has been mediocre at best in four postseason games this year (0-1, 5.09 ERA in only 17 2/3 innings over four starts), was even worse than that last night, surrendering 5 runs on 7 hits (two of them home runs) while only recording 10 outs. The 4 runs the bullpen gave up were troubling, too, even if the outcome was no longer in doubt.
A couple of other items of interest:
- 20-year-old Royals shortstop prospect Raúl Adalberto Mondesí made history by being the first player ever to make his major league debut in a World Series game. Don't worry about the strikeout, rook. Get 'em next time...
- Noah Syndergaard is an arrogant, bush league little fucking punk.
|"You think it's hopeless if they lose today, don't you?"|
You've known me all these years, and you still have to ask?
Chatty GadgetsI'm not sure which gadget was responsible, but yesterday I started seeing a message on my TV screen telling me the power in my DirecTV remote control was running low, and that I should replace the batteries ASAP.
|"It wasn't me."|
Whatever. All I know is, I haven't been wild about TVs trying to communicate with me since Poltergeist...
Scariest Movie EverOne of the great things about the internet is that if you're interested in lists of things, you could spend the rest of your days looking at nothing but lists of things. If you want to see lists of the Scariest Movies Ever, there is no shortage of them. I'm partial to the list from the Chicago Film Critics Association, but to each his own.
For me, it is a tie for the top spot. And if you didn't see these films in a proper big-screen theater when they first came out, you simply have no idea how frightening they were. No. Idea.
|1973 The Exorcist one sheet poster|
Simply from overexposure, many of the scenes audiences found frightening back then have lost their emotional punch. But
I can honestly say I have never been in an audience that was any more completely terrified (myself included) than that one was that day.
My mother got to see it in a theater, too, and to her dying day you could freak her out doing an impression of Mercedes McCambridge's Pazuzu voice...
|1979 Alien one sheet poster|
Now that I've seen it so many times, it is fun to analyze the clever ways Alien director Ridley Scott manipulates his audience's emotions. It is also fun to read what the actors in the film had to say about their experiences.
When I saw it the first time, though, in a proper big-screen movie theater on its May 25, 1979 release, I didn't know any of that. There had been some buzz in the SF community about the film, but this was the pre-computer, pre-internet days, so no one really knew anything. There were at least four occasions when the film scared me so badly I jumped in my seat. At least four.
Until Next Time...When I was growing up, local TV stations regularly showed scary movies ("creature features") on Friday nights, and quite often the late-night Saturday movies were science fiction thrillers. Thanks to my mom, who loved all of that stuff, I often got to stay up late with her to watch. I've never lost my enthusiasm for the genre.
|2014 Godzilla one sheet poster|
I don't recall the first time I saw the original 1954 Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but I couldn't have been very old because rather than finding it comically silly I was enthralled. I have now seen every movie starring the first and best of the Kaiju, some of them several times.
I thought the most recent entry, released last year, was quite good.
Needless to say, if there had been a way for me to be Godzilla on Halloween back in those days, I'd have been delighted to do so.
As luck would have it, guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser of Blue Öyster Cult, one of my favorite bands, is a big fan of the Big G also, and in 1977 he wrote "Godzilla," a wry tribute which was included on the band's album Spectres. The song quickly became a fan favorite and a staple of their live performances.
Today's send-off pairs the song with classic footage from the original 1954 film. Enjoy...