Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I was looking at the statistics for my blogs today and saw this on the Traffic Sources section:

I hope they found what they were looking for.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Insomniac Theater Presents: Blood on Satan's Claw (1971)

I am watching it now; the whole movie is available on YouTube

I didn't make it through last night.  I'll have to pick it up where I left off.

I first heard about this movie when I was a kid.  Channel 43, from Lorain, usually showed horror movies at 8 o'clock on Saturday nights and The Blood on Satan's Claw  was on once or twice a year (along with Don Sharp's Curse of the Fly, the Ishiro Honda's War of the Gargantuas).  Of course, since this was in the days of one television per household, we didn't watch many of these movies.  Curiously, Dad made an exception for Curse of the Fly. 

The Blood on Satan's Claw takes place in rural, 17th century England.  The tone is set early in the film when the Judge, played with extreme pomposity by Patrick Wymark, declares "Witchcraft is dead and discredited."  He quickly changes his mind when a series of bizarre and unholy events sweep through the shire.

My Scripture classes were never this interesting
Eighteen-year-old Linda Hayden gave a standout performance as Angel Blake, the leader of the nastiest church youth group since the Manson Family.  

Sometimes the pacing is a little slow, The Blood on Satan's Claw is an unusual and entertaining horror film.

Ciao, Oxford

Ciao, Oxford
I know it is a couple of weeks after the fact, but I finally got my farewell compilation to the place that had been my home for the last five years (almost to the day).

I started making mix tapes 30 years ago, when I was in college (coincidentally, that was also in Oxford).  Making audio compilations, whatever format, has always been something I have enjoyed to do.  I often listen to my favorite ones on my iPod.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

RIP Amy Winehouse (14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011)

Amy Winehouse's "Love is a Losing Game" had just started playing on my iPod, in a mix that I was preparing about my recent departure from Oxford, when I read that she was dead.  Her songs were musically very rich and often quite fun.  She blended many disparate different musical styles into a melange and fired it in the crucible of deep soul.  Plus she had a knack for an amusing turn of phrase.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Starting this afternoon, I will be without the Internet for several days while moving to Georgia.  Please wish us well and appeal to whatever Higher Power(s) you may recognize that my wife does not abandon me at an isolated rest stop along the way.


Blogging Harry Potter: Harry Potter vs Jane Eyre (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part One)

I finally watched the penultimate chapter in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part One, (directed by David Yates).  It was a Harry Potter movie: there is some inept, magical bumbling, some righteous indignation, and the growing presence of evil.

The night before watching Deathly Hallows, I watched Jane Eyre (Robert Stevenson, 1943), with Orson Wells and Joan Fontaine.  Harry has a few, superficial similarities to the plucky, gothic heroine: they both were orphans, brought up by cruel relatives, including an overweight, obnoxious cousin, and  both were forced to live under the stairs.

Jane Eyre and Harry Potter were also had submissive relationships; Jane had Rochester in what was a very strange relationship: The more he abused and humiliated her, the stronger her love for him grew.  Much the same with Harry and Professor Snape.  Alright, that last one was a stretch, but  all poor Alan Rickman (about $11 million poor) did in this film was walk dramatically, with his giant cape flowing behind him so I felt he needed a mention.

Not surprisingly, in Harry's darkest moments, when Ron deserts him and Hermiogne, he tries to bird dog Ron's girl.  This reveals a remarkable lack of character in the seriously flawed hero that Harry would be.  Harry Potter has always been just a boy, dependant on the people around him to protect him, shelter him and make his decisions for him.  He may have extreme powers, but he lacks the knowledge of them until he gets into a bad position.  Even magical screw-up Ron does more than Harry just by leaving the group when the going gets too rough for him.  All Harry does is whine, complain and so on.  At least Jane enjoyed her submission.

So far, in his story, Harry has been proven that it is better to be lucky instead of good; and at the end of Deathly Hallows, part One, that luck seems to have turned against him.

(aargh!  Too much work and not enough sleep;  I made a huge error when I published this yesterday, falsely naming Jane Eyre's beau Heathcliff.  Heathcliff,  of course is from Wuthering Heights, which I also watched prior to writing this post.)