deathvalley

Remember DEATH VALLEY DAYS? I review the first season of the old TV western series on DVD today on Cinema Retro. 

The rich treasures of autumn,
The ruby red, the gold, the sunset orange and burnt sienna,
Waved so bravely in the high branches,
Stirred by the chill breezes of November
Shaken loose and floating to the ground
Now
Racked, stacked and packed
Waiting for the trucks to come
To haul them away
While we wait for winter.

Today over on Cinema Retro I review SEVEN MILES FROM ALCATRAZ, a peculiar little b movie from RKO Radio Pictures. It’s the day after Pearl Harbor and a couple of convicts doing time on the Rock want to escape because they’re afraid the Japanese might bomb the west coast next, including the prison. Two things worth mentioning about it. It’s the first film Edward Dmytryk directed for RKO, and one of the cast members is Cliff Edwards, better known as the voice of Jiminy Cricket.

rhqia

The wind blows east, the wind blows west
The leaves fly accordingly
The big black rock in my garden
Is moved in neither direction.

 

 

A writer sits late at night
Struggling for the right phrase, the right word
A spider waits in a dark corner of his web
The writer pounces just as quickly when the auspicious moment arrives.

newyorkprotest

Hey, you rowdies,
Hey, you boys,
I hear it in the distance,
I hear it in the sky,
It’s coming soon
It’s building slow.
The sound of feet marching,
Voices chanting, asking why.
They’re coming over the horizon
Just barely visible
But they’re moving.
The great awakening has begun.
The video-game, selfie-induced stupor
Of befuddled minds,
Not capable of thought,
Not aware enough to realize what was happening
Splashed awake
By the cold water of reality the day after.

Come on you rowdies,
Come on, you boys
Hey you women,
You children too. Time to test your mettle.
You’re staring it in the face
And you wonder how it could have happened.
How could a carnival barker
Fool so many
How could a self-important clown with an
Oversized ego and injured pride
Beguile millions and convince them
To join his war
On every standard, value and principle
That we have ever stood for
Until Now.

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Catch my latest BluRay review of “Boy on a Dolphin,” starring Alan Ladd and Sophia Loren over on the Cinema Retro website. The American screen debut for Loren, the beginning of the slide to oblivion for Ladd.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chirlane McCray

If Hillary Clinton had looked half as sincere during her campaign as she did giving her concession speech, she would have beaten Trump. I suppose the years of constant attacks, accusations, investigations, and inquisitions have made her into an automatically guarded personality who can’t reveal herself easily when in the public eye.

I covered Clinton one time briefly at a press event on child safety sponsored by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the 1990s. It was held at a DC public school and when she came into the room full of school-age children, you could tell that this was where her heart interest really lie. She seemed to light up being among the kids, and even though it was a photo-op, she seemed genuinely glad to be there and to be involved with children’s issues.

I remember that woman in her early middle age with so much ahead of her and it’s sad now that her path took so many hard turns. Whether they were her own fault, or the fault of her spouse, or whether she was merely the victim of shrewd, and relentless political opponents, it’s difficult to say. But seeing her addressing her loyal followers today for perhaps the last time, it was disheartening to see what bitter reality can become of a woman’s lofty dreams and aspirations.

taoYin and Yang.

Yin and Yang.

It is the Tao.

 

 

 

 

9-lives

Turning to what really matters, the other night instead of watching election coverage,  I watched THE MAN WITH NINE LIVES with Boris Karloff on GET TV. This is one of those Nick Grinde horror flicks from the 1940s that is so bizarre and off-the-wall, you just sit there with your mouth hanging open. The opening scene is in an operating room where Dr. Tim Mason (Roger Pryor) is demonstrating a new scientific breakthrough called FROZEN THERAPY. As one of the doctors in the audience watching the demo explains,the theory is that by freezing someone with a fatal illness you can cure whatever’s ailing them. (Well, its more complicated than that, but lets not get into it.)

So Dr. Mason has an unconscious woman on the table and has begun freezing her. Now this is low budget B movie stuff, here. So he’s not using any advance science technique to freeze her. Those kinds of special effects cost money. He’s got a nurse piling chunks of ice on her and taking her temperature with a thermometer. He gets her temp down to 88. Five days later she’s still a human popsicle and the audience thinks she must be dead. But oh no! He proves she is very much alive with another ultra science method. He gets the nurse to pour hot coffee into her mouth through a funnel! And that is just the first scene in the movie.

Of course the doctor is suspended from the hospital, but he seeks help to advance his work by going to the home of the late Dr. Leon Kravaal (Karloff) who invented Frozen Therapy. When he gets to the good doctor’s dilapidated house on an isolated island, guess what? The doc ain’t dead. He got accidentally frozen himself. When he gets thawed out things really heat up (yuk yuk).

Anyway, you get a chance to see this flick, check it out. It’s wild.

An 11th woman, a porn star, says Trump offered her 10 G’s to have sex with her. Sounds like Hillary isn’t the only one guilty of pay for play.

(Any late night comedians: you want to use that joke, just send a check.)

p5492_p_v8_aaWatching Dracula’s Daughter on Svengoolie. I’ve get a better copy of that movie on Laserdisc than the one they’re showing. Laserdics were a very fine home video medium. And I’m shocked at young people who say they’ve never even seen or heard of them.

Well, why would I be shocked. Young people today have never heard of much of anything.

downey-3Speaking of laserdiscs, and other things that have become extinct, it seems the rate of extinction is accelerating more rapidly than at any other time in history. That’s a new scientific term I just invented. The rate of extinction. It means the rate at which things in our lives come and go. Stuff comes and goes in a flash. It’s coming and going faster than ever before. Remember pet rocks and mood rings?People are becoming extinct faster than ever. Remember Morton Downey Jr.? How about Joe Pine? Or McLean Stevenson.

Mass consumerism is producing more and more junk, and more and more junk people who appear on the horizon briefly and then get quickly buried under a giant trash heap, as new junk appears. Just think as the seconds are ticking away, you’re getting that much closer to extinction yourself. And not only extinction. Oblivion. Oblivion, if you look in the dictionary, actually means the state of being totally forgotten. We’re all floating in a giant Sargasso sea of junk, about to be swept under by the next wave of garbage. Ponder that for a minute.