The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: A Comparison in Book, Film and TV Series

This beloved classic story is probably best known for its film adaptation, rather than the book it was made from. It could be argued that I am biased about the film since that is how I was introduced to the story in the first place. Without question, a true delight. The way the film was adapted added so much more to the story than even the book, in my opinion. There's not much more I can say about the film, it's essentially perfect.

It's kinda funny that today they would probably tag this as a paranormal romance, but I'm sticking with the much more enticing genre title of Gothic Romance.

Which leads me to the book. Now I am very familiar with Gothic Romance books, I sell them in my Etsy Shop and they are very popular. This book is simply no more than that, and actually I've read better ones. The book, oddly enough, did not capture the charm and growing affection between The Captain and Lucy Muir that was so evident in the film. Which is remarkable, being the film was made a scant 2 years after the book was written.

There are two major differences between the book and the film; the first being that they omitted one of the children for the film. In the book, Mrs. Muir has two children, a boy and a girl, and it's suggested by The Captain that she does not get on well with her male child, who grows up to be a pious student of the clergy. Constantly chastising his mother and sister for their unconventional ways. Pffft. I'll take a sweet and almost non-existent little Natalie Wood over that any day.

The other difference between the book and film is the love interest who comes into Mrs. Muir's life about halfway through the story. In the film, this is a minor plot point and nicely handled. In the book, it's a disaster. She falls head-over-heels in "love" with this unlikely other man, rather stirring the jealousy of The Captain, even though it was he who put this other man in the path of Mrs. Muir, citing that she should begin a new life and a new love, instead of wasting away as a widow in a remote cottage by the sea.

Further in the book, she becomes willing to abandon her children and go off with this stranger, and I just found that whole part really unlikely, not to mention a major disappointment in the character. What woman (in the 40's no less!) would do that? Ain't buyin' it.

You may notice there are different author names on the two books shown. This was at the author's, Josephine Leslie, insistence, because she thought a woman's name would lessen her chances of strong sales. Sadly, she was probably right.

Fast forward to 1968, and what is old is new again with the TV Series. Brilliantly cast, it is your typical sit-com fare for the late 60's, like an oddball cousin of The Brady Bunch. As in the film, the chemistry between The Captain and Mrs. Muir is believable and delightful, you're rooting for a supernatural miracle to truly bring them together.

The show lasted two full seasons, which at the time of this writing are available on YouTube and on DVD. Perhaps the network had been hoping for a third season, as the final episode of season 2 is rather ambiguous, but has enough of an "ending" to satisfy.

I highly recommend all three formats, despite certain faults. But at its core is a lovely premise, and one I feel should be revisited for the modern times. If it's done right...

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 5: A Very Heavy Metal (and Punk Rock!) Holiday

Aww yeah..bust out yer devil horns, shit's gettin loud for this episode! I couldn't bear to think of playing standard holiday music for you, so I dug deep into my rocker chick past to bring you some tasty licks from my heavy metal and punk rock stacks of wax. Air guitar!



This first track, Fast As A Shark off the Restless and Wild album by Accept has tickled my funny bone since 1986 when I heard it for the first time. See, I'm a big lover of polar opposites and dichotomy, and well, this track has both in spades. And what better way to wake everyone up than with a little needle scratching...and not the kind that goes with Hip Hop.


Ramping up the hilarity, we quickly went into Christmas with the Devil by Spinal Tap. Shown below are both sides of the picture disc which is also hilarious.



Keeping the metal energy high, but with a twist, we went into Symphonic Metal versions of two classic holiday tracks by Orion's Reign. This Greek metal band are new to me, and I highly recommend checking them out! 

Orion's Reign
Now it's time for books...it was difficult to narrow the choices down to just a small selection of favorites. I wouldn't go as far as to call this a gift guide for the metal/punk book lovers on your holiday gift-giving lists, but make of it what you will...

Here are two of my absolute favorite books EVER, and I really mean that. First is And I Don't Want To Live This Life by Deborah Spungen. This is of course the tumultuous true life story of Nancy Spungen, which I blogged about in this post. I said it before, and I'll say it again, even if you only have a casual interest in Sid & Nancy, you will be so taken in by her mother's heart-wrenching account of life with (and without) Nancy. Powerful stuff. 

Then you can lighten the mood with this true telling of life on the road with Alice Cooper in Billion Dollar Baby by Bob Greene. An absolutely fantastic read (and fantastically RARE!), this is truly a special gift for the fellow Alice fiends out there.


 From here we move on to the Punk Rock section of the podcast. Where my Ramones heads at? Got a couple of great ones for you here. Dee Dee Ramone wrote a "novel" called Chelsea Horror Hotel which probably has a lot more truth than fiction in it. Then if you're digging the non-fiction vibe I'm throwin' down you can check out Hey, Ho, Let's Go; The Story of The Ramones by Everett True.

Following that is one of my most favorite rock autobiographies; Rotten: No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs by John Lydon. It's exactly what you would expect coming from the famed lead singer of the Sex Pistols, but much, much more.


Lastly, if you want a thorough account of the first days of Punk seen through the eyes of rock journalist Legs McNeil, you MUST pick up Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk it will not disappoint. Shown here (from left to right) are the brand new 20th Anniversary edition and the first (UK) edition respectively. Don't be a tosser, grab one and go!


Let's get back to the music now, with a little-known "holiday" track from The White Stripes called Candy Cane Children from 2010 (see last photo). Moving right on with the Triple Track of this episode with Joey Ramone's Spirit In My House, then perhaps a couple of "mainstream" holiday tunes with Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight) and The Kinks' Father Christmas rounding us out. Both of these tracks are available on an unusual Christmas compilation called Little Steven's Christmas a Go-Go CD.




Two kickass rockumentaries I mentioned are It Might Get Loud and Under Great White Northern Lights on DVD. Both feature Jack White for those White Stripes lovin' friends.


Lastly, I felt Fear's Lee Ving would tie everything up nicely with his one-two punch 45 of Another Christmas Beer and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, proving even crusty ol' Punk Rock dudes can also sing a sweet melody.


I really hope you've enjoyed this off-the-beaten-path Holiday excursion, I had a blast putting it together. Hopefully you heard something "new to you" or just fist-pumped along to an old favorite. Join me on Christmas day proper for episode 6...what ever will it be about? Stay tuned, and thanks so much for listening! 

Book Review: Once Around the Bloch - The Unauthorized Autobiography by Robert Bloch

  You know the books that you can't wait to finish reading? Well this gem is definitely one of those. Truly, this has been one of the best autobiographies I have ever read and I can't wait to tell you about it. The title alone is a clue to the subtlety of his humor, and the book is fair brimming with it.

Who is Robert Bloch? Well, he is probably best known for writing the book Psycho which Alfred Hitchcock made into the famous film. However, Robert's writing career began 25 years before the sale of Psycho, and full of very trying times indeed. After Psycho, his name would became much more well known as he became a regular screenwriter for TV series, and finally to many more films and books.

One of the most intriguing bits is the time revolving around the making of the film Straight-Jacket starring Joan Crawford (if you haven't seen it, you MUST, it's great!) who would become a lifelong friend to Robert. It's refreshing to see a different perspective on Joan, away from the Mommie Dearest persona that became so popular in the 80's. However, she was most definitely a unique individual, and an extremely strong woman.

This is not a Hollywood gossip-type book at all. Any "dishing" he does is subtle and with tact. Also, he was not a typical jet-setter only interested in the Hollywood party lifestyle. Remember, he is a writer first and foremost, content to hide himself away with his typewriter. It wasn't until after he met and married his second wife (he proposed after a mere 22 minutes of their introduction!) that his social life picked up considerably.

Another one of my favorite parts is when he got his first writing job with Amicus and meets Christopher Lee. They become fast friends and collaborate on both sides of the pond. This would be a good place to mention my book review of Peter Cushing's autobiography, which holds the #1 place in my heart for favorite autobiographies.

Even if you are not a horror fan, you will enjoy this book. Be sure to pay close attention, sometimes his wit is so dry and subtle, you'll miss it if you blink. Highly, highly recommended.

Oh and P.S., did I mention he was pen-pals with freaking H.P. Lovecraft??!

LaCreeperie YouTube Channel New Playlist: Halloween Hootenanny



Well trick-or-treaters, I have been wracking my brains to come up with a suitable post for the upcoming festivities, and I tell ya it has been hard. Really hard. Because we're a savvy bunch, and there isn't much that escapes us in the way of all-things-Halloween...

So I figured the thing to do was to compile a bunch of Halloween themed videos, music and such that I enjoy every year, and share them with you on my YouTubeChannel in a dedicated playlist called Halloween Hootenanny.

The playlist features SNL skits, some of my favorite Halloween music, TV shows from my childhood, film clips and anything else I could think of to give you an evening's worth of entertainment celebrating our favorite holiday.

So grab yer treats, cozy up and let 'er rip. Hopefully the above window will play the list in its entirety, but if you have trouble, you can always go to my YouTubeChannel and check out all the things I have curated there for you. Incidentally, I am constantly adding titles and playlists to the channel, so hit that subscribe button if you wanna stay updated. I hope you enjoy, and of course, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



Triple Movie Mini-Reviews #6 - Halloween Edition: The Frighteners / Lightning Bug / Lady In White

Just passed the middle of our beloved month of October, with Halloween quickly approaching. Of course this installment of mini-reviews must be Halloween related, but not in the way you might think. If you've followed me or read this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I like to do things differently, away from the masses. And so it is with this batch of films, which I might add, are not specifically about Halloween, but have the elements within them. Read on...

 THE FRIGHTENERS - 1996

Believe it or not, I had never seen this all the way through before now, and if you don't get a Halloween vibe from it, well I can't help you. I love that this is a Peter Jackson film. I love that the role was written for Michael J. Fox with no one else in mind. And I think it's a bittersweet farewell to his leading man film roles.

This film is just fun, and what a delightful surprise to see Dee Wallace, whose character is a fantastic change from her previous "cool Mom" roles. Lots of other cameos and friendly faces here, set in a deliciously Tim Burton-esque landscape. Don't be like me and wait 20 years to enjoy it!

FUN FACT: Danny Elfman loved Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures so much, he agreed to do the soundtrack for The Frighteners without previously viewing any footage, or even knowing what it was about. And of course, it's excellent.

                                                           
LIGHTNING BUG - 2004

Ok this movie appealed to me for so many reasons. First off, it's based on a true story about a kid who makes monster masks and creatures, which my hubby does, so already I was intrigued. I enjoyed this film so much, I watched it twice in as many days.

Featuring a breakout performance by Ashley Laurence of Hellraiser fame, she is heartbreaking real and raw as the broken down mother. And while Halloween does feature prominently in the film, we are reminded that monsters are real and they most often come in human form.

I found this gem while mindlessly scrolling through one of the streaming services, and it was the movie description that made me hit the play button. Having never heard of it before, it would have been a shame to have missed out on this one completely. And it makes me wonder how many other gems are out there waiting to be unearthed.

 LADY IN WHITE - 1988

My love for this film runs deep deep deep. There are precious few movies that have this much heart, and execute it without overdoing it and turning it into some twee mushfest. Likely, you have seen it and know what I'm talking about, but just on the off-chance it has escaped your viewing list AMEND THAT IMMEDIATELY.

I mean the darn thing begins on Halloween day! And, it captures the exact feeling and atmosphere of Halloween in grade school "back in my day" when we were not only allowed but encouraged to wear a costume, bring a pumpkin and/or treats for the class, and enjoy a fun-filled day of spooky stories, craft-making, many treats and at the end of it all, a Halloween--that's HALLOWEEN--not Harvest, Autumn, or Fall--Carnival in the gym after school. Sigh, those were the days...

Do not miss this delightful ghost story, oh and it's family friendly too!

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Ok kids, time to round up yer treat buckets and put the finishing touches on those costumes. I hope you've enjoyed this Halloween edition of Triple Movie Mini-Reviews, and will join me next week for a final (yeah, right) Halloween-entric post...whatever will it be about? Stay tuned!