All posts tagged: movies

Strange Happenings in December

December is typically a month that horror fans and Halloween enthusiasts bemoan as the glitter encrusted, eggnog soaked, saccharine month of Christmas. I myself don’t mind the holiday itself, but the commercials, crowds, parties, and over wrought feel goodness that leads up to it can really wear me out. Well fear not grinches, because there are plenty of things in December for us to look forward to. There’s Krampusnatch and the winter solstice to celebrate ( I’ll show you how as the month goes on), one more Friday the 13th, the brightest meteor shower of the year, and darker entertainment to enjoy. I’ve even got a list of Christmas horror movies at the bottom of this post. So muster up some enthusiasm worthy of Gomez Addams, and enjoy December your way. December 5th Not much is known about the origins of the European holiday Krampusnatch, but we do know that it is celebrated the night of December 5th, before the feast of Saint Nicholas. The holiday pays homage to Krampus, the hairy, horned companion of …

A Night on Bald Mountain

A few years ago I bought a Halloween compilation with a mix of movie themes and dark classical music. After it downloaded, I noticed that the recording for Night on Bald Mountain was actually titled A Night on Bald Mountain. I spent a few minutes trying to google whether adding “A” to the beginning of the title was correct or not (did not find a definitive answer) and didn’t think much of of it after. Until this summer, when I finally bought a car with a USB connection that lets me connect my phone to my car’s stereo system. By default, it will play the first song alphabetically listed in my music library, which is A Night on Bald Mountain. Mussorgsky’s tone poem is now what I wind up listening to while I back out of my driveway. Which is fine with me, since Night on Bald Mountain was my favorite part of Fantasia growing up. Leopard Stowoski‘s blending of the piece with Ava Maria is the reason why I chose to walk down the …

Strange Happenings in November

November 1st All Saints Day November 8th Doctor Sleep in theaters November 9th Fathom Events airs Madama Butterfly from The Met in Theaters November 13th The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park , New true-crime series on AMC November 14th Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood on shelves November 17th Black Bequeathment by Simon Strantzas on shelves November 18th Peak of the Leonids Meteor Shower November 27th Thanksgiving Knives Out in theaters

Mickey’s House of Horrors

Only in a Disney movie would the biggest fright in a horror movie be providing music for a skeleton dance party, and that’s exactly the position Mickey Mouse finds himself in Disney’s first horror themed cartoon. The cartoon had some difficulty getting passed censors, but was released in early December of 1929. My favorite part is the skeleton who plays himself like a xylophone and winces every time he hits his own head.

Dueling Banjos

On it’s own, the jangling banjo tune featured in the 1972 film Deliverance doesn’t have a hint of foreboding to it. But when it’s layered over the antics of it’s four main characters, it builds an increasing sense of dread. The movie centers around four friends, Lewis, Bobby, Drew and Ed embarking on a canoe trip down the Cahulawasse River, which is about to be dammed and turned into a massive lake. When the group arrives in the area at the beginning of the film, they stop to gas up and hire a few locals to drive their cars down to the end of the river, where they will meet them in a day. As the camera cuts from the musical exchange between a steely eyed local and Drew to the increasingly obnoxious antics of Lewis and Bobby, the audience, along with Ed, becomes increasingly unsettled. The whole scene provides foreshadowing for the conflict the group will face with a pair of locals later in the film, and the tune itself will bring a feeling …

Early Birds

Every few months I bring my dogs to a groomer who operates out of a small storefront in a strip mall. I typically schedule them for an early morning appointment so I can run errands while they get groomed, and then pick them up by noon. I’ve noticed on my last few trips another early riser, a large group of black vultures roosting on the roofs of the stores and on top of the parking lot lights. Not entirely unsurprising, since vultures are known to feed out of dumpsters in populated areas.  I used to look at their early morning presence as an interesting curiosity, until I spent some time reading up on them, and learned that they occasionally will corner a baby deer or cow, stun it by gouging out its eyes, and then swarm in for the kill. Now I look at them with a greater degree of respect, and hope they stay on top of the buildings.