A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 6: A Magickal Holiday

The Holidays and New Year are upon us, and with it comes episode 6 of A Shadowed Path. In this episode, I show a bit more of my witchy side, but not to worry, it's not scary...



Beginning with this post, I am no longer going to do a visual of all the content included in each episode. Frankly, it's far too time-consuming, and not many of you are actually reading these posts (sorry to disappoint all 5 of you) for me to carry on. I will, however, still be writing posts for each episode, for those who prefer to listen this way.

Each New Year, I think of a motto that encompasses the changes I want to make. My motto of this New Year is "Work smarter, not harder." Meaning many things in my daily routine will need to change if I'm to accomplish the necessary leaps forward I desperately want to complete.

One of the "presents" to myself this holiday season, was to switch things up within my own household. So after 14 years in one very tiny, cramped room, my office is now twice the size it's ever been, and comfortably located in our basement studio alongside hubby's monster-making workshop. And my bedroom is now not only mere steps away from the bathroom (what a concept!) but also on the same floor as the rest of our living space, instead of in the upper story which has no air ducts for heating and cooling. Needless to say, it was a brilliant switch, but no small feat. My entire inventory had to be moved down a flight of stairs, bookcases and all. Along with my very sturdy solid wood desk, shipping station, and much more.

Moving forward, I feel like I know how "working smarter, not harder" can be done, and am excited to begin on a couple of new projects I have in the works. Stay tuned to see which ones see the light of day, and which ones get kicked to the curb. Only time will tell!

I hope you enjoy Episode 6 of the podcast, Episode 7 (and the first of 2018!) will air on Jan. 15th, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Thanks for listening, and Happy New Year everyone!

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!

***

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!

Tales from the Darkside - Halloween Episodes


I was going to make this another installment of the Triple Movie Mini-Reviews, and I may still do that later this month featuring Halloween movies. But in my efforts to keep all posts Halloween related this month, I thought I'd get more specific, and just a little bit different...

Hence came the idea to feature a favorite show as nostalgic as big hair of the 80's, Tales From The Darkside - The Halloween Episodes. To my knowledge, there are three Halloween-centric episodes, and each is excellent and completely different from one another. Let's dig in, shall we?

 Season 1 - Episode 1: Trick Or Treat
 Frankly, it never really does get better than this. Beginning the series with an episode as good as this one, is extremely difficult to live up to. George really knocked it outta the park here, and you simply couldn't ask for a more Halloween atmosphere. Begin with this one, or save it til the end (yeah, right), it truly is the best of the bunch.

Season 2 Episode 5: Halloween Candy
This episode is special because Tom Savini not only had his hands in creating the creatures for it, but he directed this one as well. Creepy undertones abound here, and you know something is coming, but you're not quite sure until the first creature appears. This would not be the last episode Tom Savini directed, be sure to check out Inside The Closet (Season 1 - Episode 8) as well, his hands are definitely in the candy bowl there too.

Season 4 - Episode 14: The Cutty Black Sow
Now I don't know that anyone would consider tales from the Darkside really scary, but this episode is the only one of the entire four seasons to actually creep me out--for real. Maybe it's because it's one of the few that has an ending that is...well not quite as favorable as one would hope. But I LOVE it because for that reason, and because it is a genuinely scary premise, and full of Halloween trickery. Not to be missed!

HONORABLE MENTION: Another favorite episode of mine is In The Cards (from Season 1 - Episode 13) it's not Halloween related, but deals (ha) with Tarot Cards. Turn down the lights, snuggle up on the couch with your favorite treats, and have yourself a Tales From The Darkside Halloween fest! I'll be back next week with more Halloween goodies for you. Stay tuned!

Internet Radio Deadair.co - The Sound of Halloween 24/7 365

My goal this month is to feature posts that are all Halloween related for the whole of October. Kicking off this month's festivities is something I think you'll really dig, and is most appropriate to get you into the Halloween spirit.

Feast your eyes (and ears!) on DeadAir.co - The Sound of Halloween an internet radio site which features spooky cool music, film clips, radio spots and even TV commercials celebrating our beloved holiday ALL YEAR LONG.

For someone who always plays music, podcasts or movies while working, I could not ask for a better addition to my collection of favorites to play. You will literally hear a little bit of everything on this site, from silly, old-timey songs to classic bits and newer music in remixes from pop to hard rock. It is truly a ton of fun, and I really hope you'll check it out.

The site plays perfectly on desktop and mobile, and there's even running titles, so you'll always know what's playing or has just been played. It even has a Halloween day countdown!

Consider contributing to this fantastic cause, the site is run solely from listener donations. Anything that is ad -free in this day and age deserves enthusiastic support. I would imagine that even the cost of one Pumpkin Spice Latte would go a long way to help.

My thanks go to Miranda from the SpookyLittleHalloween Blog for the heads up on DeadAir.co, I felt it was my duty to pass along the info to you, my dear readers. Enjoy!

Blog Series: Triple Movie Mini-Reviews #5 - Season of the Witch / Necromancy / Witch Who Came From The Sea

This installment of mini-reviews was a delight to write. All three films are favorites of mine and feature a witchy theme, but maybe not in the ways you might expect. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll notice I post a lot of what I'm watching, which just happen to be films from the 70's, and feature witchcraft in all its varying forms. Well all three below have that, and much more. So put on your pointy hats and read a spell....ha.

GEORGE A. ROMERO'S SEASON OF THE WITCH - 1972

Most will likely know about this time-capsule gem, but I really wanted to feature it here because it has grown on me over the years like a fungus...in a good way. Now certainly, it is full of questionable editing, hilariously bad dialogue and a few plot holes, but let's face it, it's from our beloved GEORGE ROMERO, so all is forgiven and enjoyed.

What I perhaps like best about the film (aside from the fabulous 1970 clothes, makeup and hair) is that our heroine just up and decides to become a witch one day, goes to a witchy shop to buy all the necessary accoutrements and abracadabra, InstaWitch! Now I know enough to realize that it doesn't really work like that, but it's fun to play along.

Enjoy it for what it is, and I can almost guarantee that if you watch it more than once, you'll be under its spell.


         NECROMANCY - 1972

1972 must indeed be the year of the witch, as this gem was released the same year as the above Season of the Witch. The lovely Pamela Franklin stars in this seventies-centric, slow-burning occult venture, along with Michael Ontkean and Orson Welles as the mysterious Mr. Cato.

There is something fascinating and highly appealing about these late 60's to late 70's occult films. It was definitely a time of exploration and perhaps just a smidge of acceptance that the world had not quite opened up to previously. These are the films I actively search out and enjoy as often as I can.

Necromancy had a recent Blu-Ray release that is still pretty pricey, but worth every penny. Until then, at the time of this post, it is available on Amazon Prime, and last I checked, on YouTube as well. Highly recommended, go check it out!

THE WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA - 1976

While this one might have the least to do with witchcraft, I fucking dig its weirdness, its batshit insanity and its controversial subject matter.

Millie Perkins is the true star here. Her performances in some of the film's most shocking scenes are jaw-droppingly impressive; bold, unafraid and chillingly real. Known best, of course, for her breakout role as Anne Frank in 1959, but this character could not be more different. She may well be practicing witchcraft on the viewer, as we are unable to take our eyes off her.

Despite some odd editing choices, there is a lot to take in and process with this film, but I highly encourage you to go along for the ride. It will be anything but boring.

***

And so ends this installment of mini-reviews. As always, I hope you have enjoyed them and maybe have a few "new" films to watch. I've already been thinking about Halloween season, and what movies to watch and review. It will be a little tricky, as horror fans are mighty savvy, but I'll do my best. Stay tuned!

Re-Vamping the Etsy Shop With More Occult, Paranormal & Supernatural Books


It's certainly no new news that I am a devout horror fan, and that I started LaCreeperie because of my love of horror. But since things are changing with my business, and I'm still trying to get my foot in the door with a writing career, I thought I'd do some rearranging and finessing of the Etsy Shop.

As I've said previously, I will continue to keep the Etsy Shop open for the duration while I explore other income avenues. And since the lovely Adeline of L'Entresort acquired half of my inventory (nearly ALL the horror books) it was the perfect time to reassess what works and what could use some improvement within the Etsy Shop.

The biggest change you will see in the coming months is I will be growing the Occult/Metaphysical and Paranormal/Supernatural categories by A LOT. I have always had a great interest in these types of books, but was so focused on creating my niche in the Horror world, that I didn't give as much attention to these other categories in the shops. Also increasing will be the Non-Fiction section, as well as the Classics/Pop Culture category.

But never fear! I will always, always be on the lookout for choice Horror/Halloween Books for you, because really, how can I resist? I hope you will enjoy these few changes, and will find some titles to add to your own bookshelves. Sadly, I know I will lose some customers who, for whatever reason, do not want to shop on Etsy. Them's the breaks...but if you haven't previously bought anything via Etsy, you can always checkout as a guest, and they offer the same payment options as my website.

Lastly, I will be removing the Vinyl Records category at the end of the month FOR GOOD. The time for vinyl selling has passed for me, so I'm keeping the focus on books for the time being. This will not only give me more storage space, but will cut costs on shipping materials.

Thank you, as always to my devoted 5 or 6 readers here. You are the main reason I keep this blog going! Also because, you know, I'm trying to act like a writer. Until next week--oh, speaking of that--I have finally settled on the perfect blog schedule, once a week on Fridays. It seems to be a really good fit, and easy to keep up with for both you and me. Huzzah!

How To Safely Remove Stickers From Book Covers

Heads up book lovers! Today I'd like to share with you a way to remove those nasty price/store stickers from your precious book covers--WITHOUT DAMAGING THEM! 

I know, I know, I've done it too, plenty of times, and ruined an otherwise great looking cover all in the name of either impatience, ignorance or sheer stubbornness thinking I could remove it carefully without peeling a part of the cover picture overlay off. Well, no more of that I say...read on!

                                                       THE TOOLS:

1. Lighter fluid (yes, I know, it sounds terrifying, but TRUST ME). It works amazingly well, and it's CHEAP.

2. Exact-O Knife (or tweezers would work great too)

3. A soft, absorbent cloth or paper towel

4. Q-tips (optional)


STEP 1:
First off, you'll want to be doing this on a flat surface, with plenty of light to see the fluid/glue residue.




Saturate the sticker with lighter fluid CAREFULLY, it will come out of the spout very quickly--so watch it. Make sure you get the whole sticker thoroughly wet with fluid. The fluid will start to run/bleed quickly--don't panic, it's ok--wipe off excess with your cloth or paper towel. Fluid will immediately start to soak into the sticker, then begin to evaporate.





STEP 2:
When the fluid has nearly 'dried' (10-15 seconds), take your Exact-O knife (or tweezers, knife, fingernail) and gently pry up a corner or edge of the sticker to see if it will come off easily.

If it looks like the sticker won't come off cleanly or very easily--no worries--do step #1 again. Re-saturate, and wait for fluid to evaporate. Now sticker should come off really easily and cleanly. Repeat process again for extra stubborn stickers. 

STEP 3:
Depending on the type of glue, the kind of paper and what kind of cover you have (matte and textured or glossy) there may be a little glue left behind. This is where the Q-Tips come in handy. Put some fluid on either your cloth/towel or Q-tip and rub in a circular motion to remove any stubborn glue or bits of sticker left behind. Most all stickers I have found come off without this step, but I've added it here because there are so many variables; how the book was stored, how old the book/sticker is, paper and glue types, etc.

Now. If you see what looks like an 'oil spot' or residue from the fluid on the cover DON'T PANIC this WILL evaporate in a short time. Unlike alcohol, lighter fluid won't remove any color or texture from the paper. And unlike GooGone, it won't leave a nasty, smelly, oily residue that you'll be stuck with forever. Just let the cover sit for a bit, and it will return to it's original state.




                                                                                                                                There, now wasn't that slick and easy? Hope this helps, and now you won't be deterred from buying any books that have stickers all over them--you can restore them (and it's actually kind of fun!).

RELATED TIPS:

Sharpie/Permanent Ink: Alcohol works well for Sharpie marks and grease pencil, but be careful--as stated earlier, it can/will remove color from the cover if you rub too hard. Use a Q-tip and work small areas at a time.

Stubborn Stickers: So far, the only type of cover/sticker I have had trouble removing is on covers that are matte and old. Generally, only the top layer of the sticker seems to come off, despite several attempts of removal without damage. The result looks something like this:


I hope this tutorial has helped you, it's actually kind of fun to watch your sticker-laden covers become sticker-free! Also, this method works just as well for record album covers too. Huzzah!

Blog Series: Triple Movie Mini-Reviews #4 - Rock My World / Kill Your Friends / Whatever Happened To Harold Smith?

I love it when things come together unexpectedly, as did this installment of mini-reviews. As a self-professed Anglophile, I was stoked that two of the three films jumped right into my path. All three films feature distinctly British elements, but are very different indeed. And the best part of all is that each one revolves around music. So lend us an ear, darling, and prepare for another British Invasion!

ROCK MY WORLD AKA GLOBAL HERESY - 2002

Now before you roll your eyes at this one, I fully had ZERO expectations going into it. See, I watch a lot of movies while I work, so I just put this on knowing it would only be worth half my attention. WRONG. This may be a Canadian film, but it really feels like a British venture, full of sweetness and fabulously clever.

Obviously, you won't be impressed at Alicia Silverstone's performance as an accomplished session musician. But she does try, sorta, and the whole of the story itself is not too far-fetched. The highlights, for me, were Peter O'Toole and Joan Plowright, who clearly give the film its credibility.

Save it for a sick day, a Sunday afternoon or after a shitty day at the office, it will make you feel better. Promise. Oh, and be sure to watch thru the end credits, there are some funny outtakes. Rock on!


KILL YOUR FRIENDS - 2015

Normally, I try to review older movies here, but WOW. Three words: British American Psycho. Set during the explosion of Britpop in the 1990's, this one ticked allll the boxes on my Anglophile checklist. Boasting a killer soundtrack; fast paced, wickedly sharp wit, and jeezus, some truly startling gore. You'll want to give this one your full attention, as there's never a dull moment. Especially when the characters act just as surprised as you do. Great, great fun.

This one definitely warrants a second viewing, and just may make its way into my personal collection. It was an extra special treat to see James Corden, whom I adore, and he has some of the most hilarious scenes in the whole film. Flashy, brutal and deliciously demented. Brill.


WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HAROLD SMITH? 1999

Oh my stars, what a delight! Now I've had this film in my personal collection for quite some time, so it is not new to me, but it fit in so well with the other two films in this installment that I simply had to include it.

"When Punk meets Disco" is the tagline for the film, and it's got a wonderful supernatural element running through it as well...or does it? An odd mix you say? Perhaps. Which is exactly what I love about it. It's SO British, and makes me long for my home-away-from-home like nothing else. But I digress...

I will forever watch anything which features Lulu, but rest assured that each character will steal your heart. Particularly, our beloved Tom Courtenay, who plays Harold Smith so endearingly. Stephen Fry is charming and hilarious, as per usual. And once again James Corden sneaks in a wee role too. Family friendly, and a feel-good time for all. Highly recommended.

***

This concludes another installment of mini-reviews, I sincerely hope you enjoyed it. This series has begun to get it's "legs" and I am now considering publishing a 'zine of them, with extended and extra reviews not included here on the blog. What do you think? If you'd be interested in something like that, let me know! Feel free to comment here on the blog, via email or thru my Instagram account. Until next time.... 

LaCreeperie Guest Hosted Episode of the DFC Podcast

Heck yeah! Once again, I don the headphones and try not to make an ass of myself as I play music for the masses, with the hopes of introducing you to something "new" and exciting. Tony of the Damn Fine Network graciously asked me to guest host an episode of the illustrious Damn Fine Cast, and I happily accepted the challenge.



This episode mostly focuses on songs from some of my favorite films, but with a few surprises too. When I embarked on this journey, I quickly became obsessed with finding vinyl singles on 45 (only with picture sleeves, cuz I'm that much of a snob) of film tracks of my youth. But I found more, much more, and began exploring titles I hadn't heard before, but felt compelled to include in the episode. To be sure, I took a few chances, but I think it came out all right in the end.

Speaking of the end...it may be the end of The Damn Fine Network if the Patreon campaign doesn't improve soon. The content provided well outweighs the $5 monthly commitment (the cost of one Pumpkin Spice Latte, come on guys!) and provides you with hours of listening pleasure. Be sure to sign up so we can keep the DFN on the air!

Writing and recording this episode had me toying with the idea of a special Halloween episode of A Shadowed Path Podcast. Whether that shows up via the Damn Fine Network, or a standalone episode here on the blog remains to be seen...

Stay tuned!

Blog Series: Triple Movie Mini-Reviews #3 - Psychophobia / The Island / Ed and His Dead Mother

Thrilled to have made it to the third installment in this blog series, whether anyone is reading them or not! I am really enjoying finding odd (and some not-so-odd) films to review so much that it may as well be a running log for myself. In any case, let's dig into the titles for this edition. Each one is a different genre and style this time around...

PSYCHOPHOBIA AKA EL SER - 1982

Despite the bitchin artwork promoting this film, it's all about the last 10 minutes, I'm afraid. This is a poorly dubbed (aren't they all?) Spanish supernatural thriller, as slow as slow burn can be. But like I said, it's worth the wait for the final 10 minutes for a truly fascinating and unusual plot twist I personally had not seen before.

Don't cheat and skip to the end, you'll deprive yourself of the hilariously bad editing and all-around strangeness. Oddly enough this film doesn't feel Spanish..I was thinking more along the lines of Finnish, Norwegian or some other Nordic country.

Put it on while you're doing something else, you'll be able to follow along. Just give it your full attention well before the payoff so you don't miss the best part.


THE ISLAND - 1980

Another film I've always been aware of, but had just never gotten around to watching. WOW. Written first of course by Jaws author Peter Benchley, I haven't read the book but now I definitely want to. I went through several emotions while watching this, from "What is this bat-shit insanity?!" to "Holy crap that was a great movie!" and a little of everything in between.

This is filmmaking of the finest kind. Big budget, big studio, classic talented actors. The cinematography is simply gorgeous, I wish I had seen it in the theater, while mindlessly devouring a big bucket of popcorn. A movie like this filmed today would have gone way over the top. I was so pleasantly surprised by it, that The Island just may make it into my personal collection. Highly recommended action/thriller!



ED AND HIS DEAD MOTHER - 1993


First off, um, hello early 90's Steve Buscemi, am I right ladies? He was the only reason I needed to watch this super fun Black Comedy. Well, that and the fact that it was written by my husband's uncle's neighbor. How's that for fittingly wacky?

This film is filled to the brim with a band of beloved character actors, most notably Ned Beatty who plays Ed's (Steve Buscemi) Uncle, and is absolutely heee-larious. John Glover is our resident shyster-with-semi-good intentions, and it was a joy to see Jon Gries (giving us shades of a yet-to-come Uncle Rico). Most impressive, I think, was how spry Ed's portly mother (Miriam Margolyes) turns out to be, and a real delight.

Give it a shot when you're in need of something light, and a good laugh. Oh, and I almost forgot; the set design and art direction are remarkably stellar. The film has a retro-vintage vibe, expertly executed, and a real rarity in 90's cinema. Enjoy!

That concludes this installment of mini-reviews, I hope you enjoyed them. Perhaps I would get more eyes on these reviews if I mentioned they are spoiler-free. No one likes a tattle-tale. Join me next time for another round of what I'm watching, and let me know if you have any titles that you think should be included. Stay tuned!

Follow Up to the Upcoming Closing of the LaCreeperie Website


Ch-ch-ch-changes! If you've read this blog or followed me for any length of time, you'll know that I am constantly changing things up to not only stay relevant, but to try to maximize the success of my micro-sized e-commerce business. So, with that, this post is a follow-up to the previous one I wrote about closing down the shops for good.

I've recently had a tiny bit of success in getting my writing career off the ground, enough that I feel comfortable with the decision I've finally come to regarding the future of the shops. What this all boils down to is time management, largely. It's time I could spend writing, which has a better potential for earning me money than $8 books do. And let's be honest, I'm not doing this for my health, I need to make some sort of a living.

That's why I've decided that the website will be the thing to go. I will continue business as usual in the Etsy Shop from here on out. I will have a much lighter presence on social media (mainly Instagram) because joy-of-all-joys I don't have to spend the time hawking my wares on social media, begging people to buy my shit. This is because Etsy has it's own traffic, and it's enough to keep my shop happily chugging along. Oh, and don't worry if you're not signed up on Etsy, you can always check out as a guest, and it has all the same payment method options that I have on the website.

So for those who were sad to hear that LaCreeperie was going to be no more, rejoice! At least for the foreseeable future, unless I hit the literary jackpot! The website will stay open for a little while yet, probably until the first of the year (2019) I just won't be adding too many new titles to it.

I feel good about this decision, it is very freeing in more ways than one. After all, my motto this year is "work smarter, not harder" and this change will help me to do just that. I hope website customers will embrace the Etsy Shop, as there is now no difference in inventory, just a different look and actually a more efficient checkout system. Join me, won't you?

Blog Series: Triple Movie Mini-Reviews #2 - Fear / Hideaway / Raising Cain

Here we are at the 2nd installment of Triple Movie Mini-Reviews! This little venture is one I am enjoying immensely-despite lack of feedback-simply because I'm having fun writing about movies that 10 billion other people haven't written about. Given that I have had a bit of idea block lately (I call it idea block instead of writer's block, because I write something most everyday) it's nice to freely write about these films with the hope of bringing awareness to at least one person about one film. And I've just watched a batch of interesting films, so it's time to share them with you here...off we go!

Oh, and one more thing...normally I like to switch up the genre of films to review, but this batch happens to be all supernatural thrillers. It's just the way it worked out, so I'm rollin' with it.


FEAR - 1990 

Once again, a title that had previously escaped me, but thanks to Amazon Prime, it popped up in my recommended list one day, and I decided to give it a shot.

I think this is Ally Sheedy at her best. Granted, it's not far from the brat-pack golden years, but I really enjoyed her in this role. Ally plays an author and psychic who helps the police catch killers. She is able to psychically connect with the evil-doers and see what they see. All goes well until a particularly nasty slasher gives her a taste of her own medicine, and calamity ensues...

Fear is definitely one I will revisit again soon, I really enjoyed it way more than I was expecting to. I love a good supernatural thriller, especially when the heroine is not only psychic, but a writer as well. Give it a shot, you won't be disappointed!



HIDEAWAY - 1995

Amazon Prime is batting 1000 for me lately. When I saw the cover for this film with Alicia Silverstone and Jeff Goldblum, I was like, what?! Then add in (a very young) Jeremy Sisto, Christine Lahti, Alfred Molina AND a cameo by Rae Dawn Chong (whom I freakin LOVE), it didn't take two seconds to hit that play button.

Admittedly, it was difficult for me to buy Super Sexy Jeff Goldblum as Alicia's DAD, but I'll watch him in anything anyway. Also, Christine Lahti is a fab actress, but I wasn't buying her and Jeff's marital chemistry either. Regardless, the supernatural thriller element begins almost immediately (um, hello first five minutes, did I just unknowingly ingest psychedelic mushrooms??).

Ok, so the CG is suuuuuuper cheesy, even for 1995, but I'm willing to overlook it. The soundtrack by Trevor Jones is of course great, and helps keep the tension building. I have not read the book the film is based off of by Dean Koontz, but he wanted his name removed from the credits after screening the film. Hmmm. Well, I enjoyed it, but it is probably a one-and-done viewing. But wait, be sure to continue watching for a post credit blurb...were they perhaps vying for a sequel?


RAISING CAIN - 1992

Now here's one I actually had seen before, but it has been a very long time, probably since the film was released, since I had seen it so it was time for a revisit.

As I recall, this was the first time we had seen John Lithgow play a "bad guy" so it was intriguing on that level, not to mention it's Brian DePalma written and directed, so that warrants a looksee right off the bat. Mr. Lithgow has of course revisited the bad guy role in Dexter, and proves he's GENIUS at it.

I love me some Lolita Davidovitch, but I thought her character was too sweet, and not really believable as a surgeon/doctor. But I love her face so much so who cares? Steven Bauer is plenty easy on the eyes too, and look out for a younger Frances Sternhagen, who always brings natural authenticity to anything she's in.

It certainly keeps you guessing right up to the end, even though it's played out maybe just a wee bit too conveniently? Since DePalma brilliantly adapted Stephen King's Carrie, you have to wonder if this was perhaps his version of The Dark Half.

 ***

If you're enjoying these little mini-reviews, please let me know! Got a film suggestion? Feel free to contact me. Another installment will be coming soon to this blog near you. Stay tuned!

Summer Blowout Sale on the LaCreeperie Website

Just wanted to post a note here about my SUMMER BLOWOUT SALE running through the end of July. This is the first time I've had a sale of this size, so I encourage anyone who has been eyeing up something on the website, to grab it now. 50% off will not come around again any time soon.

The sale of course includes vinyl records, desk calendars, CD's & Cassettes and much, much more. This is in preparation for some changes I'll be making in the Fall, to the website and my business in general. If you've read the blog lately, you'll know that I have been looking for other forms of work outside of my business, which has proven fruitless and a huge, frustrating waste of time. So I have put on my thinking cap, and have come up with a few ideas which I am in the process of working on now.

As I've said, the 50% off sale will run thru July 31st, never to return! So come get a smokin hot deal on the website, it's a win-win situation. If you prefer to shop via the Etsy Shop, all items are 30% off there for a limited time. Because of Etsy's recent fee increases, I am unable to offer the same deal there as the website.

Triple Movie Mini-Reviews #1 - Fade to Black / Angst / Forbidden World

I'm very pleased to bring you another new blog series: Triple Movie Mini-Reviews! As is with everything else I do, this is a trial run to see how it goes. I realize there are about a zillion places you can go to get reviews of various films, but I thought it would be fun to do mini-reviews of slightly-off-the-beaten-path films I am currently watching, or have just watched, or revisited. Needless to say the majority of these will be Horror based, previously unearthed gems that I've come across, or well-known titles that I have somehow missed. Why triple? Well I watch a lot of movies and I like the idea of mixing up genres to give you a well-rounded flavor. Let us begin...


FADE TO BLACK - 1980 


I don't know HOW this one managed to escape me for so long. I remember when it came out. I remember when it was running on the newly-established cable, and I remember being enthralled at the cover art of the VHS box at the video store. Alas, somehow it still managed to escape my eyes for 38 years. Well no more.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable character study of an accidental killer, set in the cusp between Punk, New Wave and Disco. Those with an appreciation of the barely-there 80's will rejoice at the look and tone of the film, and make no mistake, everyone is dead serious. I couldn't help being reminded of the original Willard (1971), with the similarly boyish Bruce Davison. Dennis Christopher (highly underrated) plays our resident film geek with as much authenticity and honesty as DeNiro in Taxi Driver. OK, so it's not an award-winning film, but a highly respectable little flick from my beloved era.

Ooh, and be on the lookout for a very fresh faced Mickey Rourke, decades before the loss of his magnetically handsome visage. R.I.P. Still a great actor, and a pleasure to find him here in the early part of his career.

WHERE TO WATCH: DVD, AMAZON PRIME


ANGST - 1983 (AUSTRIAN - SUBTITLED)


Wow. Ok, what can I say about this? Batshit insanity comes to mind...but like any good train wreck, you cannot look away. Googly-eyed Erwin Leder just happens to fall into my sick & twisted infatuation box, and he hardly says a word...

You'll want to pay attention to the beginning which is a series of text, photos, quick shots and narration. It is our demented hero's backstory, and you will do well to remember it as the film moves along. After the lead character begins his journey, the outstanding soundtrack becomes a character unto itself. Tangerine Dream's Klaus Schulz is the master behind the music, and definitely hooked me right in to the film. If you're a fellow synth fan, (or a Tangerine Dream fan) you'll love this. The soundtrack is available on Vinyl and CD and is worth the price of admission alone for the track 'Silent Survivor' which clocks in at over 30 minutes! Sooooo gooooood.

Not for the weak of heart or stomach, but a really interesting POV look through a serial killer's eyes and mind.

WHERE TO WATCH: DVD, BLU-RAY, SHUDDER


FORBIDDEN WORLD - 1982


Ok so I love Roger Corman films just as much as the next horror fan, but wowie was this a stinker. Basically an Alien ripoff, but you know, with more sex and nudity. Which is fine, it just didn't translate very well, and the acting is pretty bad. But there are three reasons to watch it if you haven't seen it yet;
1. Our leading sexpot is June Chadwick, whom I adore in Spinal Tap as Jeanine.
2. A brief part for Michael Bowen, our beloved bad boy in Valley Girl, Jackie Brown and countless other favorites.
3. The soundtrack/score. Albeit brief, it's a delicious synthy romp and worth a listen on it's own merit. As I'm sure you know, the soundtrack is available on Vinyl, CD and digital download.
Perhaps if the creature looked anything like what is in the wonderful cover art, this would be a better Sci-Fi/Horror flick.

WHERE TO WATCH: DVD, BLU-RAY, AMAZON PRIME

I hope you've enjoyed the first installment of this new blog series. If so, lemme know! Got a film suggestion? Get in touch! Stay tuned for another installment coming soon...