I heard it through the “raisin” vine..

I remember watching cartoons every Saturday morning and being as equally amped up about watching certain commercials as much as the cartoons. Especially the ones that showcased claymation. One of my favorite claymation commercial was the one that showcase a group of singing raisins.  Growing up I thought that the California Raisins was the coolest signing group ever to hit Saturday morning programming. Does anyone else remember them?

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Man of the Moment..

Hello and welcome to this’s week: MAN OF THE MOMENT.

This week belongs to John Waters. He is one of my heroes. Director, writer, artist, and fellow Bibliophile. John Waters is not ashamed to show off his bad taste to the masses and makes it look cool in the process.

“As a child, I always wanted to sit in William Castle’s lap, not Santa’s!”- John Waters

“When they throw the water on the witch, she says, “Who would have thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness”. That line inspired my life. I sometimes say it to myself before I go to sleep, like a prayer.” – John Waters discussing The Wizard of Oz

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Blue Verbot….

 

Hello all! Ro-Bert M. Verbot reporting and today I would like to talk about a movie I just watched called “Blue Velvet.” I consider this movie to be a modern day film Noir with very dark undertones of horror.

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“Blue Velvet” came out in 1986 and was directed by David Lynch. This was David Lynch’s third movie he made. This film has a stellar cast in it! Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini and Dean Stockwell to named a few. David Lynch tends to create a whole different worlds in his movies and you tend to become a voyeur instead of just a movie watcher. Blue Velvet is no exception to this; in the beginning of this movie you think you are about to watch something very wholesome like “Leave it to Beaver” but the more you watch it becomes more like “The Twilight Zone.”

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The idea of Blue Velvet came about from three combined ideas in the early 1970’s from Lynch. The first thought was the title of the movie and was the tone should be. The second thought was the random ear lying in the field and the final idea was the song that Bobby Vinton covered called “Blue Velvet.” The song was the catalyst of figuring out the time frame of when the movie took place.

Blue Velvet is one of Clarissa’s favorite movie soundtracks (on vinyl of course!) and was one of the first soundtracks she ever got. It has a lot of songs great songs and it was her first introduction to Roy Orbison. Which is one of her favorite singers.

I would always hear this soundtrack played constantly and  it is now completely ingrained in my Verbot’s memory board. It was said the during the filming of this movie Lynch would set up speakers on set and constantly play  Shostakovich to convey the mood he wanted for the film. He wanted the actors to completely become immersed in their roles and in the time frame.

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I really enjoyed this movie and I can see why this is one this is one of Clarissa’s favorite movie. Any movie that you are able to fully escape in is the best kind of movie to watch. Blue Velvet was also the inspiration behind Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Which is one of my favorite shows EVER!

Well I am off to go watch Blue Velvet again. This is Ro-bert M. Verbot signing off!

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A Freddy Krueger Connection

When I was about eight years old I remember my parents and my sister were watching a late night movie and when I walked into the living room the first I hear from my sister is “YOU CAN’T WATCH THIS… GO TO BED!” So I quickly turned around but I was able to quickly glance at the TV before making my exit. This was the image I saw on the TV Screen

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When I went to bed that night that image kind of stuck in my head. I did not find it scary with Freddy, I was actually more impressed with his claw metal hand and striped sweater. I kind of forgot about Freddy after that night

It wasn’t until I was  much older that I was able to watch and learn more about A Nightmare on Elm Street movies:

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The inspiration of Freddy Krueger came from the Los Angles Times; there was several stories about mysterious deaths stemming from repeated nightmares and the victims  ended up dying in their sleep. Wes Carven also cited that the idea of Freddy Krueger’s physical appearance was a mixture of  a bully from Carven’s elementary school days.  A deformed homeless man from Carven’s youth that really frighten him, and the song called “Dreamweaver” by Gary Wright from the 70’s.

I went through one of those phases where I have to get everything A Nightmare on Elm Street related. Some examples are below:

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When I first got this game I was about to rope my nieces into playing it with me. At first it was a bit confusing and it took forever to set it up but once we got the hang of the rules it ended up being a really great game!

I was so obsessed with the series that it end up becoming part of my wears. I am huge fan of any kind of artistic interpretation of my favorite horror characters. This shirt I got from  Scumbags and Superstars combined the movie Ferris Buller’s Day off and Freddy Krueger into on awesome shirt!

I am never one to stick with plain patterns but when I saw these pumps from Iron Fist I couldn’t resist! The cool thing about these is that the inside of the shoe has blood splatter and the heel is a shiny sliver to match Krueger’s metal claw.

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Even Mr. Potato head has a sense of humor!

Some of my top soundtracks in my collection have always been A Nightmare of Elm Street soundtracks. Even Ro-bert enjoys my Freddy  Krueger memorabilia!

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They are so many countless things in my collection that are Freddy related and I know some people made think it might be a little much. However I enjoy it and Freddy Krueger is such a memorable horror character that it is hard not to resist having something Krueger related!

I think it such a special thing that a person is able to create a character and it becomes so iconic that it becomes part of a genre. Wes Carven was able to accomplish that by taking on his childhood fears and memories and turning them into a pop culture symbol.

Who are your favorite Horror characters?

 

 

A Verbot Summer Top Ten Flicks Guide!

Hello everyone! Ro-bert M. Verbot here and today I am going to talk about my Top Ten Summer Classic Flicks!

These are my top ten go to movies for the summer season for  whenever I am stuck on what to watch. I do not usually rank my movies in any order but the number ten seems to be the magic number when I make these kind of lists. So here it goes in no particular order..

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Mac and Me (directed by Stewart Raffill): This movie was created in 1988 after the much successful ET movie. This movie is cheesy fun and if you are you in the mood to watch something that is light- hearted, has aliens and is overall family fun then this is the movie for you! However after I watch it always makes me crave coca-colas, Big Macs and Skittles for some reason….

Carnival of Souls (1962) directed by Herk Harvey is a great black and white horror movie!  The director said he got inspired to make this scary movie driving in Salt Lake City and passed by an amusement park called Saltair Amusement Park. This is the kind of movie you want to watch on a hot summer night and with the new Criterion Collection version on blu it is truly something worth checking out!

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Repo Man (1984) is directed by Alex Cox and stars one of Clarissa’s favorite actors in it: Harry Dean Stanton!!! I secretly wish I was a bigger Verbot so I can ride that sweet glowing Chevy Malibu that is in the movie. The movie is so kick ass and the soundtrack in it is amazing!

Halloween(1978) directed by John Carpenter is a definite must watch for every horror movie fan! Even though this movie is set in the fall I still feel like this movie can get you in the Halloween spirit any time of the year. Although Clarissa feels like everyday is Halloween!

Are you Afraid of the Dark? (1990-1996) – Nothing says summer more then telling scary stories around the campfire….or in this case: watching a TV show of kids around a camp fire telling scary stories!

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Boogie Nights (1997) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson stars Mark Wahlberg as Dirk Diggler an  up and coming porn star and the highs and lows of his career in the porn industry.  This movie was rated NC-17 before 40 seconds of film was cut to make it an R rated movie.

The Burning (1981) directed by Tony Maylam and is one of my favorite slasher movies. And it is one of those movies that once you watch the ending just sticks with you. My robot posse always like watching this movie! It even has Jason Alexander from Seinfield in too!

Over the Edge(1979) directed by Jonathan Kaplan is about a group of kids in the suburbs of America that rebel against all kinds of authority like their parents and any kind of adults after an incident occurred.  This movie was based off true events from an article about a planned community in California. If the plot does not draw you in then I am pretty sure that the soundtrack will. The Cars, The Ramones and Cheap Trick are just some of the bands on the soundtrack.

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Taxi Driver (1976) directed by Martin Scorsese. This is one of my favorite scripts by Paul Schrader. While it is not exactly consider a horror movie there is a lot of dark undertones that it could give you the impression of passing as one. Movie fact: in the cafe scene when Travis Bickle (Robert Di Niro) orders a slice of apple pie with melted cheese, that was the food pairing that serial killer Ed Gein requested in exchange for a confession to the police.

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Last one for the night is

Spaceballs (1987) directed by Mel Brooks. Sometimes you need a good spoof comedy to shake things up and the good thing about this movie is that every time I have seen it I always find a new thing about it. This is the kind of movie that can always make you laugh out loud!

What are you top ten summer movies?

 

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Well I am off to go watch Repo Man!

This  has been Ro-bert M. Verbot reporting!

*beep*beep*

 

Unsolved Mysteries Thursdays

I realized growing up I was not the kind of child that wanted to go outside and play. Sure there was the occasional summer nights where the kids in the neighborhood would set up a game of flashlight tag then I would totally be down to participate. But for the most part of was a TV child (kinda like the Mike Teevee character from Willy Wonka minus the cowboy hat and plastic toy guns… *bang*bang*.)

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I watched A LOT of TV when I was little.  Although I was never really snobby or had a high palette for what I watched. However it did take a lot for me to be dedicated in returning back to a show every time a new episode came on. One of those shows that made the list was this one:

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What first caught my attention of the show was the haunting theme show and then a booming voice from this guy saying: “TONIGHT…..”

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The magical and often expressionless actor was Robert Stack. He was one of those few actors that you are able to identified just by his voice. On the show he would always appear out of billowy corridors in old looking mansions or  out of empty alley ways in the middle of the night always looking like a 1950’s gum shoe detective. He was our narrator that guide us through the hour long show. I kind of related him to a TV father figure of sorts. He would set up the viewer and tell them in a very stern direct way about the real events that were about to be depicted on the screen. He never sugar coated  the facts he knew nor did he joked about what you were about to see.

This show was very addicting and I would be there front and center to watch it every Thursday night at eight on NBC for years. The missing persons, ghosts that haunted houses nor the near life death episodes did not scared me that would always leave me curious as to what happen but I would give a sigh of relief when I sometimes hear Stack say: “UPDATE!” and would continue to say that the last thing we watched was solved! However their was one set of episodes that would scare me….:

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The fact that there was something on an other planet(s) that was not human and that was abducting people at random and doing weird things to them was the scariest thing ever to me! Although looking at those episodes now the aliens looked kinda of funny and the people that were involved were really not believable but to a eight year old hearing those stories would keep me out at night. Even to the point where I would look out of my window for a year into the night sky and see if there was any UFOs out there looking for human beings to conduct their experiments on. After the show ended it’s run on NBC, I felt a little heart broken because it left a void in my TV watching and whenever I watch TV  I always try to find shows like it or reruns.

Until next time!

 

 

 

Ro-Bert’s Corner: Reading is Scary!

Hello Ro-Bert M. Verbot here! Today I want to talk about the summer book I have been reading:

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Scary Stories Treasury by Alvin Schwartz. This book is a volume set and contains Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones.  I always wanted to read it and past it over many times while looking at Clarissa’s bookshelf but I finally decided to go ahead and read it!

My original plan was to go to the library and check all three books out separately. (and yes Verbots do go to the library!) However when I found the newer editions, the covers and pictures were different. It made me want to cry Verbot tears! The cover that Clarissa had look way cooler, so I borrowed her book instead.

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All three of Alvin Schwartz’s books are great, however my favorite of the three would have to be the second one: More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. All of these stories are quick wonderful short reads and each one is guarantee to linger in your mind for the rest of the day! Some of the books had songs in them. Sometimes when I am bored I end up humming some of the songs from these books. There is also an audio version of these books and Clarissa likes to listen to them while driving.

Alvin Schwartz based a huge majority of these stories from folklore and urban legends and spent about a year researching and writing each book.  These books are usually found in the children’s section and they have frequently been on the banned  book list by the American Library Association claiming that these books promote violence and that the illustrations by Stephen Gammell are too scary for kids. I think that the illustrations Gammell made for these books gave the reader a surrealist view that not all kid’s stories have a happy ending and these stories are made to make a lasting impression  after you finish reading them. I think the illustrations help enhanced that!

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The most creepy one I have read so far is called “Wonderful Sausage” about a guy named Samuel Blunt who is a butcher that kills people in his town and uses them in his meat but then the tables turned against him and well… if you want to know what happens make sure you check out these books!

I am giving these books two Verbot hands up! I recommend checking them out and try to find the older editions!

 

Until Next time!!

*beep*boop*

 

Lady. Cult’s Guide to the CC sale!

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On July 5th Barnes & Noble started their Criterion Collection 50% off sale! Here is my ten top of movies to check out. I tried to pick out ones that I do not constantly recommend in order to spice things up!

In random order:

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This  was a blind buy for me I have seen other movies of Paul Bartel that is either he directed (Death Race 2000) or was in (Rock ‘n’ Roll High School) but some how this past my radar until the Criterion Collection released it.

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This movie is more than just horror, it mixes drama and mystery  in it as well. There were moments in this movie where I truly hated some of the main characters. I knew that if a movie stirs up some kind of emotion in me then it is worth having in my collection. It also doesn’t hurt that the spine number of this movie is #666!

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The space scenery in this movie is a pure delight! It is one of those movies that pops with color and have a monkey as a main actor. Plus Adam West has a short cameo in it!

 

 

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I got this movie because I have a huge crush on a young Martin Sheen. Aside from that fact  when I finally sat down to watch this I was more amazed by the use of voice over and the great acting chemistry between Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek.

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Catherine Deneuve stars as a unsatisfied housewife in the mornings and a happy hooker in the afternoons. I enjoy this movie a lot because of it great blend of fantasy and reality in the plot.

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I have a huge fascinated with Pier Paolo Pasolini, up until the re release of this movie I had watched all of his films, read all of this books, poetry and read his biographies. So I was not as turned off or grossed out in watching it. Yes it is a hard movie to get into and it was actually going to be a three part trilogy (much like Pasolini’s Trilogy of life movies) but he was killed and that never came to pass.

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I have always compared Pedro Almodovar as a sultry verison of John Waters. The dialogue in Almodovar movies remind me of the Spanish soap operas that my Aunts and cousins would watch when I was little. Almodovar is one of my favorite directors and he is one of the few directors that when a new movie of his comes out I will automatically go see it.

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This has always been one of my go to movies when I have no idea what to watch.

Random fact: Oliver Reed was arrest during the filming of this movie when he made a bet with someone that he could walk in the cold Canadian winter from one bar to another butt naked.

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This movie has extreme dark under tones that mixes horror with a side of comedy! Lou Castel stars in this little well know but amazing Italian film.

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This was Malcolm McDowell first starring role and he completely delivers as a student at a boarding school that decides to rebel against the school. It is truly worth a watch.

 

Movies on my Criterion Collection Sale Wants list:

Fantastic Planet

Dr. Strangelove

Carnival of Souls

The In-Laws

Easy Rider

The Kid

Burroughs: The Movie

The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates

 

 

Until Next Time!