Archive for September 28th, 2020

by Sam Juliano

As we inch closer to October the 2020 Presidential Election is in full swing, and as a fervent supporter of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party I have reason to be optimistic.  Polls and movement are showing great promise for the Presidency and control of the U.S. Senate.  None of us of course are happy about the Supreme Court situation, but winning the executive and legislative branches will easily overcome that unfortunate situation.  Whether you are voting by mail or at the polls in your state, vote BIDEN HARRIS !!

J. D. Lafrance wrote an excellent review on David Fincher’s Seven this past week at Wonders in the Dark.  Next week I will post the remainder of my FB Night Gallery reviews, but we have Jamie Uhler’s masterful additions below of his banner Holloween HorrorFest 2020:

Spontaneous Combustion (T. Hooper… 1990) 
The Haunted Palace (R. Corman… 1963)
Last night I loaded up the flash drive for a night alone with the teevee with two more obscure works from a pair of American Horror masters. The first, an outlandish vehicle for Tobe Hopper’s continued descent into the ridiculous (he broke out with Texas Chainsaw Massacre like a bullet from a gun, but nonetheless made film after film thoroughly dulling that initial masterpieces’ blast) dubbed Spontaneous Combustion. Sure, it was quite ridiculous, but, it was also really interesting in parts and highly original in others, the sort of low rent trash that bad filmmakers just can’t muster. No, only a failed (maybe) master could do something like this, the tale of the world’s first (literal) nuclear family who, once ‘safe’ birth an offspring that decades later finds himself the continued scientific experiment that had killed his very parents in the first place (shortly after his birth, in, you guessed it, ‘spontaneous combustion’). He (the great, great Brad Dourif, one of America’s low art treasures for 5 decades or so) soon discovers the sinister plot and the pyrotechnics bloom. When all is said and done it’s a wonderful romp, a chuckle inducing quasi-super hero origin story for the modern age*. The second, Roger Corman’s The Haunted Palace, an eery, atmospheric tale dubbed (in the trailer and all promotional materials) as another in his masterful run of eight Edgar Allan Poe adaptations is, nevertheless, an H.P. Lovecraft film (literally perhaps the first one for film—certainly the first good to great one) in a similar vein. It’s cheap, but given his usual lush period color cinematography for all his genre works and evocative atmospherics and high-pitched (often) Vincent Price lead performances, works tremendously. Here, Price is two characters at once, a demonic worshipper of the dark arts in 1700’s New England and a peaceful offspring 110 years later returning to claim the family real estate castle (because, you know, the 1700’s heathen is torched at the stake). Since the town had killed his great, great grandfather—a fact he had no prior knowledge of—that once he inhabits the huge palace they suspect something afoot when he begins to fall under the swirling satanic forces. When coupled with the number of evil-doers that have stayed along waiting for offspring to return in the castle, it spells disaster for all involved…


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