THE WIZARD OF MARS – (1965) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following
This 1965 film from David L Hewitt is my all-time favorite kitschy movie about space travel.
This one has all the little extras that separate a true bad movie classic from the mere pretenders. One of those extras would be incredibly cheap special effects, some of them cadged right from the old Soviet sci-fi flick Planet of Storms, which is a lot of fun for people like me who’ve seen those same bits of footage show up in countless other bad movies. (Especially the spaceship’s “viewscreen” complete with markings for North, South, East and West, which would, of course, be meaningless in space)
Another extra that this film has is the man I consider to be the Patron Saint of Bad Movies, John Carradine himself, as the titular wizard. I don’t recommend trying to see all the movies John Carradine has appeared in unless you plan on making a career out of it and I don’t recommend that either. (Somewhere around his Continue reading
It’s been a long time since I posted political cartoons, so here we go. These – from P.R. – are about the hypocritical way privileged Democrats are trying to ignore the very credible – and corroborated – sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden.
Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
PART FORTY: The October of 1910 issue of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer. LORE CHANGE – For the first time the Fool Killer is depicted using a Bomb of Truth against his targets, making these explosives the latest addition to his arsenal of weapons. Even today we often use the figurative expression “Truth Bombs.”
Best imagery invoked by Pearson and his Fool Killer this month: Congress as a collection of corrupt fools safely fighting the citizenry from behind high walls made of piles of taxpayer money. Some things never change.
Targets for this issue:
*** People who were hurriedly exploiting the still-new invention the airplane for wartime uses.
*** Those members of the wig industry who were harvesting most of the hair for their wigs from the heads of corpses.
*** John J Astor and his wife, who were going through an ugly and costly public divorce.
*** “Doctor” George W Carey, who was pushing the theory that the Sun was “the father” of all the planets in our solar system except for the Earth, which was “the mother” of those planets. Carey further stated that the South Pole was the womb of the Earth and that sunlight hitting the region eventually impregnated the Earth, which gave birth via Antarctica.
George also explained that the Moon was the Sun and Earth’s youngest child and that if the true South Pole was ever reached an umbilical cord running all the way up to the Moon would be discovered.
If that’s not enough “science” for you, Carey stated that the umbilical cord would detach from Antarctica around the year 1945, following which the Earth would get pregnant again by the Sun and give birth to another celestial body as a child. Any questions? Continue reading
THE RIVALS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (1971-1973) – The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes was not just a collection of stories by mystery writers who were contemporaries of Arthur Conan Doyle but also a television series which adapted such mysteries. Just as Holmes’ tales were set during the Victorian and Edwardian Eras so, too, were the stories of these detectives. The series lasted two seasons of 13 episodes each and presented the best non-Holmes London-by-Gaslight Detectives.
Episode One: A MESSAGE FROM THE DEEP SEA
Detective: Doctor John Evelyn Thorndyke, created by R Austin Freeman. The first Thorndyke story was published in 1907.
Review: In my opinion this is the best episode of Season One. Thorndyke, like Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, was miles ahead of the contemporary police in terms of Crime Scene Investigation. In both the Holmes AND Thorndyke mysteries there is a quasi-science fiction feel as those great fictional detectives use scientific methods disdained at the time but which are now commonplace in the solving of crimes.
The episode introduces us to Dr John Evelyn Thorndyke (John Neville), a forensic physician/ Police Surgeon of the era, as he is teaching a classroom of students. (Kind of a Quincy opening feel.) He is assisted by Dr Jervis (James Cossins), Thorndyke’s version of Dr Watson.
A former student of Thorndyke’s shows up requesting his former teacher’s help in his first big murder case as an Assistant Police Surgeon. Our star and his man Jervis accompany their former student to a brothel on Harrow Street, where a prostitute has been murdered in her bed by having her throat slashed. Continue reading
Thank you to the Bernie Bros who reminded me of this. Joe Biden is STILL being called everything from senile to demented to a sexual assailant (#DROPOUTBIDEN is trending over the latest evidence). “Hidin’ Biden” has resorted to trying to bluff his way through softball appearances ONLY with fawning Democrats in the media.
Senile Joe’s cognitive problems are such that even with the most delicate of handling he continues to gibber on camera. To quote one of his recent disordered babblings (link below):
“Um, you know there’s a, uh, during World War II, uh, you know, where Roosevelt came up with a thing, that uh, you know, was totally different, than a, than the, he called it the, you know, the WWII, he had the War Production Board.” Continue reading
THE MONSTER OF LAKE LA METRIE (1899) – This short story was written by Wardon Allan Curtis and was first published in the August of 1899 issue of Pearson’s Magazine.
Dr James McLennegan and his deeply depressed friend Edward Framingham travel to Wyoming to investigate oddities surrounding Lake La Metrie. Soundings make the lake seem to be bottomless and periodically fossils and extinct plant life show up in its waters.
The pair of researchers begin to theorize that the lake reaches down to the Earth’s “hollow interior.” (Yes, it’s one of THOSE notions again.) They suspect that plant and animal species long extinct on the surface are still alive deep within the planet and occasionally wash up in the lake’s waters.
One day during McLennegan and Framingham’s stay a full-grown elasmosaurus dinosaur emerges from the depths of Lake La Metrie. Continue reading
Comic book legend Dan Fraga shook the industry recently when he joined up with the daring, iconoclastic creative titans led by Ethan Van Sciver, Richard C Meyer, Jon Malin and others. Those “outlaws” – as I always call them – have broken away from the stale, corporate, suffocatingly conformist confines of the Big Two publishers to pursue their own creative vision.
Fraga became the latest addition to these blacklist-defying rebels and has dealt with the harrumphing backlash with true swashbuckling, two-fisted panache. Dan ran up the ComicsGate banner for the revival of his Black Flag superteam in their first adventure in 25 years.
The heroes Sniper, Rascal, Geisha, Guerilla, Raiden and Shrine are back at long last in a 48-page adventure which fuses the very best aspects of western comic books with manga plus unique elements that are pure Fraga. To order your Indiegogo copies: Continue reading
With assorted events in the news these days I keep being reminded of an old quote. You know the source.
I’ll paraphrase it as “Too late we realized that we would have to go on living under the new Plague Rules long after the Plague itself had gone away.”
In 1947 Albert Camus used a physical plague as a metaphor for his actual theme: The manner in which too many people react – or fail to react – when they are physically trapped by human “rats” who insist they obey orders and remain utterly compliant as their freedoms are taken away from them. Continue reading
The French who first came into contact with the people of Madagascar mistook Tompondrano for Leviathan from Christian mythology.
TOMPONDRANO – “Lord of the waters.” The supreme snake deity in Merina mythology. Not only were all other serpents subordinate to Tompondrano but he often acted as an ambassador between snakes and human beings, negotiating the end to conflicts between the two groups.
A major myth about this deity includes its role in advising the Vazimba how to use sacrifices to appease gods and demons. The Vazimba were little people who were previously the dominant race of Madagascar. They are similar to the Menehune in Hawaiian myths and to “little people” who figure into mythology and folklore from around the world.
One day a Vazimba boy was playing with a seven-headed serpent monster. That serpent decided to keep him and make him live with him under the water. The Vazimba prayed to Tompondrano to save him. Tompondrano advised the Vazimba boy to be patient, then sent the Kingfisher bird to the Vazimba’s parents with word that sacrificing a chicken and a sheep to the seven- headed serpent would appease it and get it to release their son. Continue reading