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Messages - Gothick

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4351
Hi Brian,

I read an account of the theatrical release print butchering of VOH from an old issue of Castle of Frankenstein back in the day and it seems as if the chopping of that film was pure politics by the MPAA.  From what I recall, the censors were at the breaking point of frustration due to their failure to curb the trend of graphic violence in films, as seen in such then-recent releases as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, and the oeuvre of Sam Peckinpah.

It almost seems as if someone at the MPAA had it in for Amicus studios, as well--Amicus was then on their last legs.

Whenever I manage to get hold of the UK region 0 release of VOH, I'll post a short notice about it here.  Perhaps Tim Lucas will do an article about this in Video Watchdog--it seems like the perfect topic for that mag.

G.

4352
Current Talk '07 II / Re: Episode 1104
« on: September 18, 2007, 04:32:50 PM »
I love to think of Grayson cooking up a Mexican lunch for Clarice with perhaps Constance Ford (another very distinguished actress in soaps--her role in the late 1950s soapy flick The Summer Place was priceless) as a fellow guest.   I love the scene during Tom Jennings storyline where Julia asks Mrs J to darken the room for her--great stuff!

Of course Jules did describe Mrs J as a "neurotic hysteric" or something equally cutting and unkind when Mrs J was simply reporting what she was seeing during the days of Quentin's haunting at Collinwood...

Clarice brought so very much to her roles on the show, but it's nice to know that afterwards she enjoyed even greater artistic fulfillment in her new career as a writer.  Clarice's performances are one of the *many* reasons why I'm glad I get to see the Shadows shows again as an adult.  I really didn't have a proper appreciation of her as a child.

G.

4353
Current Talk '07 II / Episode 1104
« on: September 18, 2007, 02:39:58 PM »
Was Episode 1104 Mrs Johnson's last appearance?

I do appreciate her brilliant thesping so much, watching the series as an adult...

G.

4354
Oh, I remember this well!  I remember being stunned when I realized that Art Wallace was writing the thing in real time, so that with each episode we more or less got another half hour of Vicki's adventrue-filled first night and day at Collinwood.

This is basically why Alex had to wear that damned coat for what seemed like a week...

G.

4355
Fans,

Looks as if Fox Studios continues to give new meaning to the phrase "blood-spattered screen" with this week's twofer release of the Amicus classics Tales from the Crypt (1971) and Vault of Horror (1973).  From patron reviews posted today on Amazon.com (I have not been able to find reviews of the disc elsewhere), I gather that my worst fears have been released and Fox have chosen to release the butchered 1974 US MPAA-approved theatrical print of Vault of Horror.  Genre specialists were scandalized by the state in which the film debuted in US theatres back in the day.  I've never seen but have read lurid descriptions of butchered segment finales replaced by clumsy freeze-frames for more than one of the episodes in this typical Amicus omnibus entry (if you've seen Dr Terror's House of Horrors, Torture Garden, From Beyond the Grave, or any number of other titles in the Amicus catalogue, you've basically seen Vault of Horror).  I am particularly upset by this news because I've been waiting for years to see this one in a restored print, as it includes pairings of some of my favorite British thespians; notably Daniel and Anna Massey cast as brother and sister in the first and Glynis Johns and Terry-Thomas as husband and wife in a later segment.

Fortunately, a Region 0 UK release of Vault of Horror is available from British dealers on eBay and Amazon.co.uk.  This is now my sole court of resort for finally getting to see this one, it would appear.

I recommend another entry in the new releases from Fox: Devils of Darkness (a completely forgotten, stylish little film from 1965) paired with Witchcraft, a 1964 release directed by Don Sharp that's circulated for years in low-quality bootleg prints.  Both films have story elements that fans will find reminiscent of Dark Shadows, and from what I can determine, both films have been released in decent quality prints by Fox.

G.

4356
Current Talk '07 II / Re: today's slideshow
« on: September 12, 2007, 02:31:11 PM »
That was the day the Pod People made their clumsy attempt to infiltrate Collinsport.  Before the Pod Carolyn had spent even a single day at the Great House, the real Carolyn returned and decimated her alien imposter with a super-strength can of Aquanet.  It holds, and holds, and HOLDS!

"Marilyn" Ross later attempted to write a novel about this, but his innate insipidity took over and the truth was never told ... until now!

cheers, G.

4357
Current Talk '07 II / B & J
« on: September 10, 2007, 06:56:45 PM »
Over the past weekend, I took several breaks from catching up with various domestic routines to revisit set number seven of the DVD series.  In particular, the memorable episode in which an hysterical Julia discovered the *true nature* of Dr. Lang's experiment and was hollering into the phone to the operator to connect her to the police, "qu-HICK-ick-ick-icklyeeee, QUICKLY!" only to be told by Barnabas to "remember someone."

Despite the gaffe, I found Julia's next line to be beautifully understated:  "You always win, Barnabas."

Barn replies something like "We checkmate one another."

And Julia sadly and quietly demurs:  "No, you stop me but I seldom am able to stop you."

I thought it was a brilliant little moment, perfectly encapsulating a lot of the relationship between these too.... and it came in the wake of one of the most notorious blunders in the series' history!

G.

4358
Calendar Events / Announcements '07 II / Re: The Old House in Tarrytown, NY
« on: September 08, 2007, 11:28:05 PM »
Wow, what gorgeous images on Rob Yasinac's page.  Thanks for sharing that link, and the great shots, Midnite!

G.

4359
Some might appreciate what I wrote about her on my blog:

The book [A Wrinkle of Time]  had a huge influence upon me as a shy, bookish, all too self-concious child in the mid Sixties. Mrs. Whatsit was perhaps the first of a series of brisk, witty Crones I kept waiting to sweep into my own life with a dash of wisdom and ample comforting arms. Above all, I remember wiping away tears when Meg is told "Your faults are your greatest source of strength." I lost track of how many times I silently repeated that line to myself during my extremely painful, awkward adolescence (which only presaged an equally uncomfortable young-adulthood). Madeleine L'Engle was thus one of my mentors, albeit second-hand through her books; I'll always remember her with honor and love.

Incidentally, Hugh Franklin wasn't L'Engle's only Shadows connection.  During the 1940s she roomed with her lifelong friend, a flamboyant New York actress named ... Cavada Humphrey.

cheers, G.

4360
Calendar Events / Announcements '07 II / Re: That Familiar DS Ring...
« on: September 08, 2007, 11:18:07 PM »
The actual dog-howl sound effect from the show would make a FABULOUS cell phone ring tone.

G.  (not a cell phone owner)

4361
Current Talk '07 II / Re: Nicholas Blair's motivation
« on: September 08, 2007, 10:41:59 PM »
As Joy said, Nicholas frequently reminds Cassandra about their "bargain."  My understanding is that she was allowed to return to the mortal world in order to fulfill her curse upon Barnabas and drive his soul into the fires of perdition (Great Goddess, I think I'm channelling Rev. Trask!!).  Once he brings her back, we presume he hangs around to make sure she gets her job done without further blundering.

One of my favorite scenes is when Nicky and Cass are out on the terrace and he sneers at her for being "so in-COM-pe-tent."  I just adore HAA's reading of Nicholas' very fruity dialogue.  This stuff is better than heroin--hell, it's better than two sticks of Land-o'Lakes lashed together in a rough-hewn manner!

The Nicholas/Cassandra scenes hint heavily at some pretty dark and gritty backstory between the two, and a lot of fanfiction has been written speculating about just what this was.  It's too bad they never did a flashback to show how the two first met.

G.

4362
Testing. 1, 2, 3... / Re: Was something wrong (for over 2 weeks??)
« on: September 07, 2007, 10:40:40 PM »
Do you use Internet Explorer (IE)?  I do and this happens to me frequently.

In general, this site doesn't work very well with that browser--very sludgy and clunky.  I blame it all on Bill Gates...

G.

4363
Current Talk '07 II / Re: The Video Watchdog on 'Dark Shadows:The Beginning'
« on: September 07, 2007, 10:16:06 PM »
Thanks for this, retzev. Nice to see that Tim is finally starting to understand the unique fascination of DS!

G.

4364
What fun!  It's nice to hear that actual residents of Maine appreciate our kooky show.

G.

4365
Calendar Events / Announcements '07 II / Re: GH: A Hard Act To Follow
« on: September 06, 2007, 10:28:51 PM »
Thanks for that review, Brandon.  I heartily agree that Grayson was "f**king awesome" and I'd say the same about the book, too!  Hats off to R. J. Jamison!

G.

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