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Messages - Gothick

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406
Fans,

I'd never seen either of the early 70s Blacula films starring legendary Shakespearean actor William Marshall. Today I happened to notice that the second one, Scream, Blacula, Scream (which I think played on a double bill with Dr Phibes Rises Again in a lot of theaters), is available to view on youtube. Complete film here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99SS1PnW7Jk&list=WL&index=125&t=144s

It was a surprise to me how many nods there seem to be in this to DS, both the original show and hoDS, in particular.

Best, G.

407
Current Talk '21 I / Re: Discuss - Ep #1240
« on: July 10, 2019, 09:13:17 PM »
This is the point where David Selby had to have an emergency appendectomy (if I recall correctly) and was in the hospital, so they had to re-write how they had intended to conclude the entire storyline.

My speculation has always been that DC wanted the series ended before he had to go out to Tarrytown to shoot Night of DS. He may have actually negotiated just how many more shows the series would run before they switched to Password. Lela was producing so the network may have set up the logistics of the final weeks with her. It would be interesting to know definitely just how it all played out.

G.

408
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / OT: Phantom of the Soap Opera
« on: July 10, 2019, 06:09:27 PM »
Some of you might enjoy my friend Kev's review of a 1988 soap-themed mystery novel, THE PHANTOM OF THE SOAP OPERA by Judi Miller.

G.

Kev's review (includes spoilers):

Jamaica Plains, Mass., 1962. Party girl Emily abandons unwanted lovechild 'Noonie' to the dubious care of Mrs. Jackson's private "Orphanage" as punishment for (a) not being born a girl and (b) losing his job on a soap opera (the character was killed off). Noonie tries to change Mama's mind by throwing on a dress and chasing after her car. The other abandoned kids laugh at him. Beaten, drugged and abused at the 'Orphanage,' Noonie is eventually admitted to a psychiatric ward. His only fond memory of his time with Mrs. Jackson is assisting Joe the handyman in his work. Joe taught him how to use tools.

New York City, 1987. 'The Master' aka 'The Soap Opera Stabber,' is loose in Manhattan, murdering starlets with a trusty screwdriver, specifically those who play, audition, or are considered for the part of 'Heather' in "the hottest soap opera on the air." To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the All My Days team are planning "the most spectacular soap wedding ever filmed for television" - comparisons are drawn with that of Charles and Princess Di. Tragically, Kristi Marlowe doesn't live to enjoy overnight superstardom. One evening she invites a surprise visitor into her dressing room. A single blow from behind heralds a reign of terror!

The writers decide against "retiring" the Heather character, instead persevere with a hastily improvised script which sees the bride-to-be involved in a near fatal car accident. Comatose and bandaged from head to toe, 'Heather's life hangs in the balance as Wanda Furman, 'Crystal' in rival soap Shining Light, auditions for the part. 'The Master' is not best pleased and Wanda dies from multiple stab wounds.

Jessica Lee, the former child-star, is a controversial, deeply unpopular choice for Heather MK III. Hardly has she pulled on her costume than All my Days creator and chief writer Irma "Czarina of the soap opera" Hood, is petitioning for her to be sacked. The Phantom Stabber strikes again.

Detective Theresa 'Terry' Morrison of 20th Homicide is assigned the case. With three famous stars dead, it is imperative the police apprehend the killer before he-she strikes again. Terry rooms with Dierdra Miles, aka Joy on Shine A Light, the latest version of Heather, whose lucrative salary takes into account that "It's not a traditionally lucky role."

The chief suspects include everybody, but especially:

Aunt Beulah, a twisted, possibly demented harridan who has been with the soap from episode one. Probably the last person to see Kirsti alive, she loathes young actresses and revels in their murders. On the one occasion she is glimpsed sans blouse and wig, Aunt Beulah looks very much like an Uncle Beulah.

Maxwell Schwartz, an old school casting couch director who favoured Jessica Lee for the Heather role. Did he murder Kirsti and Wanda to bag the female lead for his latest conquest?

Kevin Gardner, a young hot head with romantic connections to all the victims. Kevin is a "serious actor," currently employed as a waiter, and despising it. Almost as much as he despises those of his vocation who sell out by appearing in soaps. Walking out on Deirdra, he takes all his belongings. And her screwdriver.

Irma Hood. Chief writer. As far as she is concerned, former child star Jessica Lee is entirely devoid of talent and should not be allowed anywhere near All My Days. Irma lives through her beloved characters. Would she kill for them?

Alan Alders. Dierdra's handsome thirty-something co-star on Tomorrow's Just Another Day. A screwdriver-owning alcoholic misogynist, who ..... was raised in an orphanage!

Bob Morrison, Terry's husband and fellow cop. Furious at being constantly outshone by the little missus, he good as demands she pack in her career and become a proper slippers-ready-when-I-get-home housewife like any normal woman. Terry angrily refuses and decides against informing him of her pregnancy.

Dawn Emory. Plays bit-parts on all the soaps. "She was dressed like Theda Bara in a black-beaded cloche hat and a complete black 1920s costume. Her shoes were black and in period. Only her stockings, patterned and lacy, spoke of the 1980s. She dangled a sequinned black cigarette holder from her mouth. No cigarette." Never in the frame, not even thrown in as a red herring, but, with everyone else seemingly gone AWOL from a Murder She Wrote shoot, her fashion sense raises sagging morale.

Walter Smith, gregarious editor of hot gossip mag, Soap Opera Scoops. Amiable, disgusted by the crimes and eager to do all he can to assist the police, still he blows a gasket when Terry confides that she's planning to raise her child as a single parent.

And who or what is Ignatious Xavier?

Everyone agrees that Terry is much too beautiful to be a detective and "You could be a soap star." The detective duly bags a speaking part as a Wedding guest. At least she'll be close at hand should a TV audience of millions prove temptation too great for the killer to resist. As if everyone weren't already stressed out, the episode is to be shot 'live.' A cop advises his pal that, should 'The Master' try his or her luck, "Let's keep cool, humor him, and wait for further orders. After all, Oswald killed Ruby on live TV."

409
So very sad. May her spirit know a peaceful passing.

I hope people who are in a position to do so come forward to help the family.

G.

410
Current Talk '21 I / Re: The Beginning of 1795
« on: June 30, 2019, 01:45:14 AM »
Aunt Abigail (a fabulous character, so brilliantly played by Clarice Blackburn) was the kind of person who must have suspected witchcraft every time the cook burned the scones or her bed was not properly made by the household help. It would have been child's play to manipulate the mind of somebody like Abigail into thinking Phyllis Wick was a witch; Wick would, in any event, have been the first to be suspected by Abigail and anyone who thought like her, since Wick was a stranger.

Once Abigail called in Trask, the professional witch-hunter, I'm sure the situation escalated quickly.

They gave Barnabas a moment early in the return to 1968 period where he reflected to Julia his perception that "the past is constantly reworking itself." I can't recall the exact words, but they were cool lines. Even if they were basically a case of the writers telling the audience that we shouldn't hold them to any expectations when it came to story continuity.

G.

411
Fans,

I'd somehow never caught up with (and don't even recall ever hearing about) Dan Curtis's 1977 TV movie CURSE OF THE BLACK WIDOW:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLap9g0hLZfxnWLj-ML5q3tFMZE9lz913v

It seems as if this may have been intended as a kind of re-boot of the KOLCHAK franchise, featuring Tony Franciosa's PI character, Higbie. The latter is a rather more mainstream type of character than Carl Kolchak, and there are fewer comic touches. The impressive cast includes Donna Mills, Patty Duke, and June Allyson, with cameo roles for June Lockhart and Dan Curtis's own daughter Tracy.

I thought this was a solid example of a typical 1970s movie-of-the-week thriller. The score by Robert Cobert is very reminiscent of the music composed for the Kolchak films.

You need to seriously suspend disbelief for certain things the script does, and the "twist" ending is telegraphed way in advance--but I thought it was fun!

G.

412
Current Talk '21 I / Re: John Karlen in HIDDEN FACES
« on: June 27, 2019, 04:41:33 PM »
Interesting that its final episode aired fifty-three years ago today. June 27, 1969. Which of course is a significant date in history for DS fans.

G.

414
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: Music by Robert Cobert
« on: June 26, 2019, 09:34:31 PM »
I was looking through the IMDB episode guide for 'WAY OUT and a number of DS actors appeared in this series, including Mitchell Ryan, Dana Elcar, and believe it or not, a young Carolyn Groves.

G.

415
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Re: Music by Robert Cobert
« on: June 25, 2019, 09:10:40 PM »
For fans who have never seen it, Daryl Schafer does a hilarious send-up of the Grayson Solo telephone meltdown sequence shortly after the 30 minute mark here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKPS3rr_47o

G.

416
Calendar Events / Announcements '21 I / Music by Robert Cobert
« on: June 25, 2019, 08:59:23 PM »
Fans,

The most obvious DS connection to this 1961 series, 'WAY OUT, hosted by Roald Dahl, is the music by Robert Cobert. This episode, written as a tour de force for legendary actress Constance Ford (who wound up as a regular on another soap), probably has other DS connections if one probed far enough. Teleplay was by Sumner Locke Elliott, and executive producer was David Susskind. The play seems to have been suggested by Jean Cocteau's famous one-act monodrama "The Human Voice," in which Grayson starred in the summer of this year, in a production at Pennsylvania's Hedgerow Theater.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_XX7AABsPU&list=PLQDQPZ3HQdzKaIecvPVGVQVCswLT0Bphy&index=5&t=0s

There was a nod to "The Human Voice" in what used to be known as the "Grayson Solo" episode during the 1967 storyline, when Dave Woodard's ghost was haunting Julia with harassing phonecalls.

All the surviving episodes of 'WAY OUT now seem to be available on you tube.

G.

417
I can never remember just who Herbie J. Pilato is. I think I checked some of his books out from the public library during the 1990s.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1277017/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

I hope the shows are released for those who wish to see them. In show biz, we are constantly being told that things are "coming soon" and half the time, they never materialize.

G.

418
I give KLS due credit... she infused life, luster and wit into very tired prose. The excerpt has her reading
 aloud a scene that, in a revised form, will be familiar to viewers of our show. It is one in which KLS herself was one of the players.

G.

419
I think that's smart, Brian.

The only way I could enjoy this is if somebody found a recording of Grayson Hall reading one of the books, perhaps while sipping a cocktail and making various "observations" about everything from the prose "style" of the author to the inanities of the various personalities in the "book."

Otherwise it would be a slow walk through aitch ee double hockey sticks for this fan.

Best, G.

420
More news. It says here that KLS is the reader. And there's a link to listen to a free sample (I haven't checked that out yet).

http://www.collinsporthistoricalsociety.com/2019/06/here-today-gone-today.html

The "temporarily out of stock" thing he say might mean that the production/distribution has been at least somewhat delayed, though at the end, it switched to "shipping."

G.

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