Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tuesday's Overlooked Films and/or Other A/V: the links to reviews, interviews, etc.

Kansas City Bomber
This week's adventures in audio/visual materials that the reviewers think need at least another look (or, occasionally, actually deserve obscurity); thanks as always to everyone, and please let me know if I've missed your or someone else's notable posts.  

--Todd Mason, 
who notes that the Criterion Blogathon is responsible for a few more Criterion DVD and BluRay reviews this week...see Kristina Dijan, Ruth Kerr and Aaron West's citations for guides to the participants and their essays, and hear them on Criterion Close Up; also, Stacia Jones and Rod Lott on the National Lampoon documentary...I was able to non-virtually meet, along with his wife Pamela Scoville and old friend Ray Ridenour, contributor Paul "John Grant" Barnett at what I could attend of the annual convention in the area, the PhilCon, over this past weekend, and it was a very pleasant evening...wish him a happy birthday if you see him soon...he notes his daughter provided him with his most proud-making gift, the token of her Oxfam contribution in his honor...

A. J. Wright: The Fighting Kentuckian

Aaron West: Criterion Blogathon: Day 5

Alien: Resurrection
Anne Billson: Porky's II: The Next Day and other films better than she expected

Anonymous: Easy Living; 5 Fingers; Crazy, Stupid, Love; Noah Beery, Jr.; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Bhob Stewart: Giger Museum; Liberace Museum; 1968 Comic Art Convention (NYC), etc.

The Big Broadcast: 22 November 2015
Tony Rome

Bill Crider: Kansas City Bomber [trailer]

Brian Arnold: Simple Gifts: Introduction and "The Great Frost"

B.V. Lawson: Media Murder

Colin: Tony Rome
The Girl Can't Help It

Comedy Film Nerds: CFN vs. Keith and the Girl on The Martian; Rock 'n' Roll Movies with Lord Carrett

Criterion Close Up: Criterion Blogathon, New Releases for February, etc.

Cullen Gallagher: Barquero

Cynthia Fuchs: Democrats; Mimi and Dona; Secret in Their Eyes
June Havoc

David Vineyard: Midnight (1934 film)

Dorian and Vinnie Bartolucci: Lady in the Lake; Trancers

Elgin Bleecker: The Prowler

Elizabeth Foxwell: Black Friday (1940 film); about Anatomy of a Murder

Evan Lewis: Dick Tracy (1950s tv series): "Dick Tracy and FlatTop"

Gary Deane: June Havoc

George Kelley: Spotlight

Gilligan Newton-John:  Mad scientist film bondage (some mildly NSFW imagery)

How Did This Get Made? (featuring guest Lennon Parham): Lifeforce

Iba Dawson: some of the worst...

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: The Strange One; The Garment Jungle

Jackie Kashian: Chez Amanda on The X-Files; The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Deadly Mantis

Jacqueline T. Lynch: Jerome Cowan

James Reasoner: The Deadly Mantis; The Bold Caballero 

Janet Varney: Colin Hanks

Jerry House: Roy Rogers and his peers; X Minus 1: "Nightmare"

John Grant: Curtain at Eight; Crime Unlimited; Flat Two

Jonathan Lewis: Treasure Island (1972 film)
Top 25: Shield for Murder

Juri Nummelin: Morons from Outer Space

Karen Hannsberry: William Conrad; Top 25 Noir Films 

Kate Laity: The Hudsucker Proxy

Kelly Robinson: Criterion and Lynch (and Kelly)

Ken Levine: On Roseanne; further on Roseanne; Undateable; Wish I Was Here and Kickstarter abuse

Kevin Pollack's Chat Show: Vince Gilligan

Kristina Dijan: Criterion Blogathon: Day 4

Laura G:  3 Bad Men; Murder in the Fleet; The 33Pocahontas (1995 Disney animation); 42nd Street (stage)

Lucy Brown: River; Once Upon a Time (current US tv)

Marty McKee: The Final Terror

Mildred Perkins: The Mummy (1959 film)

Mystery Dave: "Captain EO"
the book

Patricia Nolan-Hall: Harry Carey and the Carey family

Patti Abbott: Reflections in a Golden Eye

Rick: 1960s TV series on the road...

Rod Lott: Rattlers; Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

Ronna and Beverly: Jessica St. Clair

"Rupert Pupkin": Broken Lance

Ruth Kerr: Criterion Blogathon Day 6

Sam Juliano: A Room with a View; Carol

Scott A. Cupp: The Mad Miss Manton

Sergio Angelini: Molle Mystery Theater (radio); Thriller (US tv); et al.: "Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper" and its extensions by Robert Bloch
(...and...A Thriller a Day on that adaptation)
The Mad Miss Manton

Stacia Kissick Jones: Manos, the Hands of Fate; The Night of the Generals; Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead

Stephen Bowie: Sunday Showcase (1959 US tv): "What Makes Sammy Run?"

Stephen Gallagher: Stan Lee's Lucky Man

Danger Theater presents: "The Voice"

North by Northwest

TV Obscurities: The Tammy Grimes Show

Victoria Loomes: Louise Beavers

Vienna: North by Northwest (stage); Leslie Howard; Bad Day at Black Rock

Yvette Banek: La belle et la bete
Beauty and the Beast

Saturday, November 21, 2015

2 Fritz Leiber horror novels in online PDF reproductions of their "natural" habitats (CONJURE WIFE in UNKNOWN WORLDS, 1943; YOU'RE ALL ALONE in FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, 1950)

The links below take you to the highlighted titles as they have been scanned online from their original magazine appearances.


  • , pp. 9-78 - PDF

  • Novelette 

  • , pp. 105-132 - PDF

  • Readers' Departments 

  • , pp. 6-8 - PDF

  • Short Stories 

  • , pp. 79-93 - PDF
  • , pp. 94-102 - PDF

  • [+] Book Reviews (Anthony Boucher and Langley Searles)
     (2 Reviews) 
    , p. 103 - PDF

  • All Stories Complete 

  • , pp. 8-81 - PDF
  • , pp. 84-89 - PDF
  • , pp. 92-99 - PDF
  • , pp. 102-108 - PDF
  • , pp. 110-123 - PDF
  • , pp. 126-127 - PDF
  • , pp. 130-149 - PDF
  •  - PDF
    Illustrating a scene from "You're All Alone"

  • Three "bonus" issue covers (texts not obviously online that I could find...go find the hardcopies/books!):

    The third Leiber horror novel, in its original shorter form, later expanded for book publication as Our Lady of Darkness (and Edward Ferman might be the most underrated editor in the field's history, if his one-time assistant, later Fantastic and Heavy Metal editor Ted White, isn't):

    And another Jones cover...the Virgil Finlay interior illustrations were Much better--
    the Bloch story is an excellent zombie metafiction(!), adapted for television with moderate success (and a good cast save the star) in the early 1970s; the Sturgeon and Simak stories were good, and the McGivern, Sheldon and Phillips stories not too shabby, either...from the intermittently impressive Fantastic Adventures issues in the several years running up to the launch of Fantastic in 1952):

    Friday, November 20, 2015

    FFB, Winter Holiday Edition: ALL THE LIES THAT ARE MY LIFE (and SHATTERDAY, the collection) by Harlan Ellison (1980 publications in various formats)

    For the second week in a row, I found myself compelled to reread an item I hadn't intended to review, but even more than last week's, it turns out that Harlan Ellison's "All the Lies That Are My Life" resides in a curious nexus for me, as well as being a good and engaging example of quasi-autobiographical fiction, not the first piece nor the last that The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction would print that wasn't in any way actually fantasy or science fiction so much as being drawn from the lives of several sf and fantasy writers.  It involves a funeral and the playback of the videotaped reading of a will, the last testament of a highly successful writer, whose writer-friend is the protagonist and narrator of the story. Naturally, the writer-friend gets to reminisce throughout of his relation with the writer and the other members of the inner circle of family and friends gathered for the reading, including the woman who had been our protagonist's ex, before marrying the late writer some decades before and having sustained a tempestuous and open marriage since.  Ellison has been willing and able to share autobiographical details in various fora, not least in the introductions to his various collections and anthologies, so much is familiar even as transmogrified here, i. e. the late writer's sister getting a final kiss-off in the taped presentation; Ellison has written occasionally of his utter enmity with his sister, perhaps at greatest length in describing the eulogy he delivered at their mother's funeral, and his sibling's voluble hostility as he spoke. There are bits and pieces drawn in the story from earlier accounts of Ellison's relations with Robert Silverberg (though apparently in the introduction to the chapbook publication of the novella, Silverberg makes it clear that the story doesn't in any obvious way parallel their friendship or interactions), though even there there's a mix and match of
    autobiographical and personality and personal style bits between the two primary characters, who are both to some extent mixtures of Silverberg and Ellison and utterly their own characters as fictional creations...no simple roman a clef here. I note "apparently," since I don't yet have the chapbook form of the novella, published in 1980 by Underwood/ Miller in an illustrated text (visuals by Kent Bash, whose work is mentioned in passing in the story and whose paintings can be seen on both the book's cover and that for the F&SF issue the story is in, above and at right).  I'll need a copy of the Underwood/Miller edition, I think, not only for the Silverberg "rebuttal" in advance but also for the number of afterwords by other notable writers, at least a few of whose interactions with Ellison and details of their own lives play into the story. (And quite aside from any notions of the Winter of Our Discontent, a notable passage in the story takes place just before and after a holiday snow-covered roadway accident puts the two writers at the heart of the story inside a Chevy temporarily jammed into a snowbank...this for a Winter Holiday Theme edition of Friday's Books, this week.)

    Barry Malzberg, whose review of the Galaxy retrospective anthology I FFB'd a few months back follows the novella in the magazine, has written some similar quasi-autobiographical contemporary-mimetic work set in the fantastic-fiction literary/fan community, among others "Corridors" (first appearing in his 1982 collection The Engines of the Night); for that matter, Malzberg also reviews a Robert Sheckley novel, Sheckley being one of the writers who wrote an afterword to for the Underwood edition and one I was thinking of whose interaction with Ellison was probably mined for a few aspects of the story. And I'd forgotten that "Lies" had also been published in that year in Ellison's major collection released that year, Shatterday, one of his strongest collections gathering much of his best 1970s work; it and Deathbird Stories might be his two best collections of fiction. And my copy of Shatterday is deeply in storage somewhere at the moment, it being the copy my Aunt Beverly traded me for an Ellison nonfiction collection, Sleepless Nights on the Procrustean Bed, which had been published not too long before her mid-1980s visit to my parents' house. Beverly, despite being a very great fan of Ellison, had not heard of the small press collection before. I was reminded of this not too many weeks ago, when Beverly, who'd been holding on through no few medical crises in recent years, passed...what I wrote on that occasion wasn't quite as detailed as what I wrote after Thomas Disch's death some years ago (Disch, too, contributed to the Underwood edition), but my cousins were kind enough to suggest they were given a little comfort by it. All the things we take from this life and do what we can with them. 

    And I bought my new copy of this issue of F&SF a month or so ago at a community booksale at the high school around the block, from the tables staffed by the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, whose annual PhilCon begins tonight at a hotel a mile away. Insert Zeno's Paradox references here, amid the notions of what we remember, how we remember, and what's gone and always with us.

    For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.

    Courtesy ISFDB and the Contento/Locus indices:

    •  · Introduction: Mortal Dreads · in
    •  · Jeffty Is Five · ss F&SF Jul ’77
    •  · How’s the Night Life on Cissalda? · ss Chrysalis, ed. Roy Torgeson, Zebra, 1977; Heavy Metal Nov ’77
    •  · Flop Sweat · ss Heavy Metal Mar ’79
    •  · Would You Do It For a Penny? · Harlan Ellison & Haskell Barkin · ss Playboy Oct ’67
    •  · The Man Who Was Heavily into Revenge · ss Analog Aug ’78
    •  · Shoppe Keeper · ss The Arts and Beyond, ed. Thomas F. Monteleone, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977
    •  · All the Lies That Are My Life · na Underwood-Miller; Columbia, PA Oct ’80
    •  · Django · ss Galileo #6 ’78
    •  · Count the Clock That Tells the Time · ss Omni Dec ’78
    •  · In the Fourth Year of the War · ss Midnight Sun #5 ’79
    •  · Alive and Well and on a Friendless Voyage · ss F&SF Jul ’77
    •  · All the Birds Come Home to Roost · ss Playboy Mar ’79
    •  · Opium · ss Shayol #2 ’78
    •  · The Other Eye of Polyphemus · ss Cosmos SF&F Magazine Nov ’77
    •  · The Executioner of the Malformed Children · ss Iguanacon Program Book, 1978
    •  · Shatterday · ss Gallery Sep ’75; Science Fiction Monthly v2 #8 ’75
    • Publication: All the Lies That Are My Life
    • Authors: Harlan Ellison
    • Year: 1980-09-00