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Monday, December 8, 2008

The Son of Madblood Continues...

Well, here it is, kids: a little One Year Anniversary Compilation video that Brain was so kind (?) to have put together for us and you. Notice the inordinate amount of me-getting-hurt-time - a clear indication of Brain's BRAIN - at work. We showed this at the end of our Big Anniversary Episode and the crowed went wild here at Madblood Manorette. It was the end of the evening and ALL of the Sangre de Loco had been drunk.. drank.. drinked? I can never get that right - especially when I'm drunked... It's a little on the long-ish side for computer-screen viewing in my, albeit humble, opinion - closing in on six-ish minutes in all. Pretty soon I'll get Brain to help me figure some of this stuff out on my own and we'll be presenting some nicely edited tight excerpts from specific shows posted right there in the Episode Guide (the Indispensable one) in a fitting manner. He's a bit stingy with his knowledge so it may take some time and some coercion in the form of money or nights on the town - one day I hope to be able to tap straight into whatever part of him I want to access - circumventing his sarcasm, brutality, grumpiness, his mocking and name calling and general vile attitude. So, really - who knows when we might get another video post around here. Until then - pop some popcorn and put your feet up and enjoy this "first look" at the first year of the show we call The Son Of Madblood...

And - as we're not the kind to quit while the quittin's good.. to dally when the dolly's done (?), to nap while the iron's hot - nope, not us - not the Gang here at Madblood Manorette... no siree, kids - it's just about time for the Next Episode of The Son Of Madblood! Yes - coming this Sunday, December 14th we're baaaaaaaack! Indeed - it's the beginning of our Big Second Season - our Season Premier, so to speak - Premire de Saison, as the French would have it..

I'm thinking of starting this season with a nice little shocker called The Funhouse.

Don't cry - cuz this is a good one! It's one of Tobe Hooper's most under appreciated film (the MOST most under appreciated being Eaten Alive which we'll be seeing later this season if I have my 'druthers). On the surface it appears as an almost routine teen-slasher genre film - but it's where it veers away from those tropes that it really gets good AND creepy. To quote myself from an earlier post: "Hooper brings enough imagination and detail to set it apart from the routine slashers that were being made at the time. He devotes a lot to the setting of the carnival, it's other-worldliness and strange characters - even just the weirdos milling about in the crowd - and the funhouse, itself, is perfectly atmospheric and nerve-jangling. He also is able to make a little go a long way in creating a slasher-flick scenario with only 4 characters, one of whom you know is going to survive anyway! And yet it still manages to deliver the frights in a somewhat old-fashioned-monster-movie vein. A lot of the chills come from the rantings and ravings of the monster hinted at in the poster - and something that could easily have come off as ridiculous is, instead, what really makes the film succeed. It's a classic monster in the Frankenstein/Wolfman mode: always scary, always dangerous, but also sympathetic; and it's performed so pitch-perfectly that you won't soon forget it." Not that anyone is really paying attention - but please forget all I've just said about the movie when you come to the Manorette to see it on the night of
Sunday, December 14th! You'll be scared...

PLUS it has that heart-throb, William Finley, in it!

I'm watching you...

AND wait til you see the Mad-raffle prizes! (Next post, maybe..) Curious?

Who will DARE enter? Who is BRAVE enough?

And don't forget to do some Holiday Shoppin' in The Son of Madblood's Mad-Mall!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holiday Chopping Is Here!

I know - I know.. We've been a heck of a lot behind here - getting back into the swing of things way too slow.. but - with the Halloween Holidays and the Big One Year Anniversary - we were just a tad bit in need of some R'n'R (Rye on the rocks) around here. Plus - it took me an extra long while to just wash all the pie out of my naturally curly locks. I needed a whole wash-and-set with a hot-oil treatment!

But we haven't just been lying here doing nothing - doing our hair and resting on our One Year laurels. No. We've been putting together a little surprise for you - our loyal fans.. Yes, kids - Black Friday and Black Tuesday have come and gone and it's time to battle tourist and townie alike in the race to get that special someone that something Why risk you neck and limbs and life, even? Out there in the throngs with the not so huddled masses - that is, unless they're huddling to determine the best strategy for separating you from that last whateveryamacallit-hot-this-year-item that you happened to un-luckily end up standing there holding - you haven't a chance!

So - why not get some of your shopping done right here at Madblood Manorette? You heard me right - the Gang here have got the gifts that keep on giving... ummm... no.. not THAT 'gift' that keeps 'giving' - the one that won't go away no matter how much Penicillin you bombard it with.. no, no.. What I mean is:

The MAD-MALL is open for business!

(even if you do have to click on it a few times to get it to work)

It's just opening up so we still need to get it all stocked - poor Igor has been working his stocky stock-boy fingers to the bone unloading boxes and popping those packing-bubble-sheets. Pretty soon, now, the isles will be overflowing with the best that we here at the Manorette can offer - all for your shopping satisfaction. We believe that the customer is always white.. or we keep a close eye on them for shoplifting... Your pleasure is our business. If you're not happy - we're not doing our job. And we believe that. And we believe other stupid truisms like: if it's not worth doing right - it's not worth doing at all. Or: where there's smoke there's fire - sometimes it's just smoke! Yes - your laziness is our bread and butter.
Shop at your own risk. You break it - we break you...

And don't delay - the next Son of Madblood looks to be coming round the corner on Sunday December 14th! So - get all your stockings stuffed and then come back here for some roasting-on-the-open-fire chestnuts in the coming soon updates.. What will we be showing next? What excitement? What fun? What Mad-Raffle prizes? A 3-D Son of Madblood in the works? Hold on to your hats!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Uncle (Son of) Madblood Wants You!

That's right, kids - the time is nigh for our big spectacular One Year Anniversary Episode! This Sunday - October 26th! The Big Numero Uno as our long-lost Manorette pal, Manuel, would say.. that is - if you could understand him in the first place - which I always had trouble doing.. So, anyhow kids - get your party-hats on because we mean to celebrate.. And "how to celebrate?" you may ask.. Well - that's EXACTLY what I'm asking you - our loyal watchers and fans: what the heckle should we do to celebrate such an event? See - the "thing" is - we're kinda at a loss over here at Madblood Manorette as to what to do for this upcoming Episode.. We've got a great movie with Halloween III (see below for a little TREAT) and some great Mad-Raffle prizes - but we're all just shrugging our shoulders over how to celebrate.. And - shut up Brain - I already heard enough of you and all your "so, what's new, Madblob" - I'm talking to our fans and, yes - there ARE a few out there..

remembering Manuel...

So, kids - we're bringing our problem to you, the audience. After all, we've been working hard for a year now entertaining you (shut up, again, Brain with your "hardly entertaining" remarks) and we thought you might be able to give us a little help.. a little boost up.. a little feedback, if you will. Yes - we're interested in your opinions, your feelings, your hopes and desires (just remember - it is a family show). You can help us here at Madblood Manorette out of our dilemma by letting us know what YOU liked about this past year of fun - what YOU thought were our best moments, our most entertaining bits and pieces, our high points (speaking of which - that reminds me of when Bones ate all those Brownies and got real small and started flying around singing 'Tiny Dancer').

What slap-dash memories of The Son of Madblood would you re-visit if you could? Which of our friends here at the Manorette did you love to see the most of? What good-times-past would you like the chance to re-live? (And any over-enthusiastic Brain-related responses will be ignored unless fully verifiable as not coming from Brain, himself!)

our humble beginnings...

If you tell us what you liked - it would greatly influence the manner in which we would proceed. (Stop laughing, Brain.) And - it could help us make this Special Anniversary Episode something to remember.. I mean, really remember.. unforgettable..I mean - I'm hoping that some of you remember the past ones, as well, or this is going to get us nowhere.. Unless, maybe.. that's where you think we belong.. nowhere.. not much to remember, anyway... completely forgettable.. Jeez - we're just trying to show you a good time, here...

We really are interested - we're not just looking for some lip-service - we really want to know... So - give it a whirl - knock on that Laboratory door... IF YOU DARE!

PS in case you didn't see it last post:
This just in from our Manorette friend, Sean, at Maysles Films:

What a fantastic Halloween TREAT! (as previously mentioned here...)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Almost Time You Lucky Kids!

That's right, kids.. it's almost time! For the BIG Son of Madblood Anniversary Special Episode! Sunday October 26 - 7pm - Sharp! So - don't be late.. This time we have more of everything in store for you: more food, more fun, more scares and more PRIZES! Yes - don't forget the famous and beloved Son of Madblood Mad-Raffle! And: Halloween III: Season of the Witch! It's a big favorite around here at Madblood Manorette and we're sure it will be one of yours, as well... So hurry on over kids - the fun is about to begin!

And - as a special treat - or trick (hahahaha) - the Son of Madblood Gang will be back for an encore Episode post-Halloween - Saturday November 1st - with a Special Back-to-Back Presentation of Halloween and Halloween II! Something we like to call The Son of Madblood Halloween-a-thon.. or, at least - I like to call it that.. Nobody else really calls it anything - at least not yet.. but just you wait - people will be calling it... something..

Yes - here at Madblood Manorette - the terrror NEVER stops... or - how about: The Night NONE OF YOU will go home!

PS: This just in from our Manorette friend, Sean, over at Maysles Films:

What a fantastic Halloween TREAT! (as previously mentioned here...)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Oily Years.. and What's To Come!

Thanks, kids, for all those who showed up for our Not The Anniversary Episode of The Son of Madblood. We hope you enjoyed the pre-show 'Yiddish Words and Their Definitions' Game and we sincerely hope you enjoyed seeing our "Early Years" here at the Manorette. It was very heartwarming to be able to share with you all our humble beginnings - back before I had found my calling as a man of Science and Igor, Brain and I were struggling our way through Vaudeville. It was also nice meeting all of our regular Manorette visitors "for the first time" in preparation for and as background to our upcoming BIG EPISODE..

That's right, kids - it's our big One Year Anniversary Episode coming up next - October 26th - the last Sunday of October and only FIVE days before the Gang here at Madblood Manorette's favorite holiday - Halloween! So - I, the Son of Madblood - am thinking (and I quote): "What better a way to celebrate our Anniversary AND Halloween than with the "{fill in the}_ more days 'til Halloween, Halloween, Halloween" movie, itself - Halloween III: Season of the Witch?"

That's what I'm thinkin. I know it's a favorite of some of the Gang here and some of our fans - as it is one of mine, as well. And don't worry if you haven't seen Halloween or Halloween II - because this one has nothing to do with them (story-wise, that is). There's no Michael Myers or Laurie Strode (which, I understand, will mean very little to those who haven't seen the first two - but, maybe you've seen one of the 4-8's).. In fact - it isn't really a 'slasher' film at all - more like a spaced-out-horror-ish-sci-fi-thriller (it has quite it's own strange rhythm and pacing). Originally, producers John Carpenter and Debra Hill wanted to start a series of films under the "Halloween" banner - a kind of movie Night Gallery of which this was to be the first. Carpenter's love of the similarly worked Quartermass movies (The Quartermass Experiment, Quartermass II, Quartermass and the Pit - all BIG favorites here at Madblood Manorette) had him bring in those films' writer, Nigel Kneale, to write this far-reaching and multi-faceted... um.. kind of a jumble.. but a good jumble! It involves stolen Stonehenge stone, killer robotic-automatons, Corporate Evil, and a loon who wants to send Halloween back to it's roots... And it's got one heck of a catchy commercial jingle.. EVIL! And, while John Carpenter did not direct this one, it's anti-corporate message, nihilistic tone and cynical critique of American consumerism are all part of ongoing Carpenter concerns.. Vincent Canby called it: "..anti-children, anti-capitalism,anti-television and anti-Irish all at the same time." And, if you saw our last Son of Madblood Episode - you know where we stand on such issues.

(are you... hypnotized?) There's also another fine John Carpenter (with the participation of Alan Howarth) score - and this would be the last Halloween film he would have real participation in.

I had been toying with the idea of showing the also often overlooked Halloween II.. More Of the Night HE Came Home!

Face it - it's easy to be overlooked when you're following in the footsteps of such a great predecessor as Halloween. I'm still lobbying for a Halloween night Halloween-a-thon with (at the very least) the first two - maybe throwing in H20 at the end - what's your favorite Michael Myers? Return? Revenge? Resurrection? 666? There are members of our studio audience who still haven't had the extreme fortune of having seen Halloween and even fewer who've actually watched the sequel. If you don't already know: Halloween II picks up right where the first one ends. Well, correction: it picks up right BEFORE the first one ends by a few minutes - which really makes them great for a back-to-back seemingly seamless viewing experience. The bulk of the movie follows our heroine Laurie Strode to the hospital where she's mostly comatose and where Michael Myers has followed her as well. It's a more standard stalk-and-kill-0ff movie than it's parent film and the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis spends almost all of it asleep means we're without that one's strong protagonist and, instead, watching a bunch of hospital folks who we don't know or care about get killed. But it somehow works in its bareness - the almost impossibly empty hospital corridors, lack of the 'outside' world, and its all-in-one-night time frame keep the tension high - you can almost feel the chill coming through that hard-to-tie hospital gown.

When placed side-by-side with Halloween - this one does feel a bit more routine and definitely not as nuanced - but there are also many quirks and details that give this one a richness and larger scope than many films of its kind from that time period (the early 80's). The poor razor-blade-in-the-candy kid! I love that kid and I love that little addition. And as a special mention: I positively love the use of the song 'Mr. Sandman' by the Chordettes in it - it not only counterbalances the horror with it's cheerful bounce but it also works on two other even more interesting levels: it addresses Laurie's date-less longing for the man of her dreams from the first movie and also the possibility that, maybe, this whole ordeal is some kind of dream-like fairy-tale (further enhanced by the fact that she's asleep through most of this).


Is anyone getting the hint that I, The Son of Madblood, am wanting to show this? Can I get anybody on board for the (at least) double feature Halloween-a-thon on Halloween?

more from The Oily Years - with THANKS to The Swan Archives!

We do hope all of you feel you got to know us a little better - seeing a bit of our background in the Theater and learning the histories of some of the Gang at Madblood Manorette.. our Landlord troubles, our personal dreams and hopes so horribly dashed at every turn.. I'm still reeling from Brain's tap-dance routine - I had nearly forgotten that.. and the 'visit' from my long-lost Nanny really pulled at my heart-strings (I'm just wondering who was pulling that string on the Fran Drescher doll - it was getting out of hand, I thought)..

(She's going for over $75 on Ebay! No joking! Do I look like I'm joking?)

As always - in the heat of the moment - I, The Son of Madblood, am apt to loose my concentration and forget to focus on what's at hand. I get tongue-tied. I get shy. It's often that, by the end of the night's show, I realize that I've forgotten to say anything that I'd wanted to say about the movie we're watching. There's always so much happening that, when the moment comes that I've put aside for the task - opinions, facts and trivia all escape me and all I can think to say is "Enjoy the movie". I will try to get better at this as we go along - although I am not at all opposed to it being part of the "post-show festivities" - if only people would stick around for some of the "post-show festivities".. (What are the "post-show festivities"? Well - talking about the movie could be one of them!)

So - here are some "fun facts" and odds and ends in relation to our last movie
Phantom of the Paradise with THANKS to The Swan Archives and IMDB and also BAM for that screening with The Phantom, Beef, and producer Ed Pressman all in attendance (it was a blast - and packed):

*for all you locals: the fire-escape where Beef tries to sneak away is at BAM - you can see it from Hanson St.

*at various points in the film (at the airport press conference, for one) the Death Records logo can be seen superimposed over something else and you can kinda see something is under it: the original was a "Swan Song" logo - supposed to be Swan's all-encompassing empire of which Death Records was just a part - but Led Zep threatened to sue so they either edited around it, masked it out or superimposed over it

*an uncredited Rod Serling is the opening Narrator

*Sissy Spacek was the set decorator - she was dating the production designer, Jack Fisk - whom she would go on to marry.. Fisk would later suggest her to DePalma for the role of Carrie White (thank GOD!)

*DePalma originally wanted Paul Williams for the role of the Phantom/Winslow. Williams thought he wasn't scary enough for the part and lobbied for the Swan role so the Phantom went to long-time DePalma collaborator Finley (thank GOD!)

*Sha-Na-Na had been cast as The Juicy Fruits but they couldn't agree which one of them would have the "better" parts

*Linda Ronstadt was in consideration for the role of Pheonix! (I love L.R. - but her involvement in 1974 would've made this movie into something completely different). Even though Jessica Harper hadn't any movie experience DePalma thought she was right for the role. And it was this role that Dario Argento saw her in that led to her being the star of Suspiria! (Thank GOD!)

*"Swanage" interior was 'played' by the Greystone Mansion, Beverley Hills

* The Paradise was 'played' by the Majestic Theater, Dallas, Texas as well as a number of other Dallas locations: "Swanage" exteriors - Dallas County Courthouse; Death Records - the Zales Building, Dallas (now an oil company building - still EVIL!)

*the room-filling synthesizer we see the Phantom playing in the basement of the Paradise is a real, one-of-a-kind instrument called T.O.N.T.O. (for "The Original New Timbral Orchestra"). It can be heard - not only on albums by it's inventors under the name T.O.N.T.O.'s Expanding Head Band (oft heard during the pre-show Son of Madblood warm-up) - but also on records by such varied artists as Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Steven Stills, The Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, Joan Baez

*the Phantom's cape changes throughout the film, from a black silver-lined cape (used in the scene which was first shot, the rainy night on the roof of the Swanage), to a red satin cape, to a red velvet cape. This was at once budgetary - they'd get dirty and just grab something else - and also that Finley hated the black and silver cape because it was too cumbersome and reflected light everywhere

*the record press in which Winslow was disfigured was a real pressing plant - an injection-molding press at Ideal Toy Co. - it was fitted with foam pads with chocks put in the center to stop it from closing completely - great in concept but supposedly did not hold up to the pressure of the machine - it continued closing on Finley's head and he was barely able to get himself out just in time - giving forth with the scream heard in the film. According to Finley - this was the last scene they shot for the movie..

*there were actually Phantom of the Paradise dolls! Two versions: one screaming with a plunger and one grimacing with a knife.. Yours truly, The Son of Madblood, saw a bunch of people with these at the BAM screening - at which William Finley and Gerrit Graham both spoke and, boy did I want to steal somebody's..

*according to Gerrit Graham - the cocaine that Beef was busy snorting was nothing but dried lactose which he does not recommend as it tends to clump up in the nostrils and has to be snotted out

We do you hope enjoyed it - it's hardly scary but it makes up for that by being constantly creative and fun - it's so over the top that the real suspense is in never really being able to predict what it's next move may be. As camp it never becomes just shrill - it's campiness being imbued with a real sense of satire and, most of all, intelligence. It's other strength - and one of the important reasons it has resonance beyond just being a joke - is that it takes aspects of itself seriously - this becomes all the more apparent when you hear that DePalma's desire to make this movie came from being in an office elevator and hearing a favorite Beatles song regurgitated as muzak - that idea that something good and loved can still be turned to garbage by corporate America's desire for dollars is just as biting today....

(for some of the most interesting and thorough Phantom of the Paradise info visit the insanely in-depth and awesomely committed site: The Swan Archives! It's like a DisneyLand for movie-fans..well - Phantom fans - phans?..)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

..and the winner is...

Phantom of the Paradise.. and YOU!

Yes.. I'm giving in and giving you all a treat this time - a brief respite from the usual jumping-out-of-your-seat frights that accompany a visit to Madblood Manorette with a thoroughly entertaining and all fun movie to eat your popcorn and drink your Sangre de Locos to. So sit back and relax (for the moment!) and marvel at the spectacle being served up in this razor-sharp (had to get a horrific image in there somehow) satire of the music business: it's an hilariously choreographed dance of music and mayhem as Paul Williams' impresario goes head-to-ummm.. mid-torso (?) with the always inspired William Finley as the sensitive artiste of the singer-songwriter variety.. stolen music, rigged contracts, true love, disfigurement and DEATH are all part of the toe-tappinest terror-show you'll ever see... And, actually - as horrific images go - you can't really discount the sight of Paul Williams rolling around on satin sheets with a bevy of beauties that include none other than the wonderful Cheryl 'Rainbeaux' Smith ! Now that's pretty scary to be sure (as illustrated in the fine lobby card seen above - which some lucky viewer will be taking home as a Mad-Raffle prize)...

You'll get all of this - and more - at tonight's Episode of The Son of Madblood!
(Including - but not limited to - the above lobby card and the below soundtrack.. don't miss the Mad-Raffle!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And then there's...


Which I also believe would make a nice Mad-Raffle prize for one of you lucky kids out there in our viewing audience.. I can almost hear the squeals of delight at the possibility of taking this one home.. It does seem that Phantom of the Paradise is measuring up to be the best fit for our up-coming show.. Yes - UP-COMING as in THIS SUNDAY! A big apology to all who planned and even showed up last Sunday to find the lab quarantined - it was for your own protection, I assure you. And I also assure you that Igor is, in fact, feeling much better.. I'm not sure if it's strictly due to all the drugs I've been pouring into his system or if he's really gotten over whatever bug was bugging him.. although the Raid did seem to help.. And I'm also sorry that news of Bones being "busted" struck so many devoted fans the wrong way - causing a panic and calls offering bail-out funds.. No, Bones was not in the clink - I was speaking of "busted" as in "broken" as in Bones was broken and is now, also - pleasantly on the mend and ready for Sunday's show.. Everyone's rush to support, however, was heart-warming..

This could be one of the best Son of Madblood shows yet, kids - I think the upcoming One-Year-Anniversary has injected a dose of excitement akin to the dosing I've been injecting into Igor (not only is he feeling better - but I think we finally knocked that Syphilis out for good).. We've got a brand-new show-specific pre-show game sure to entertain our live studio audience.. Plus - a special guest will be dropping in that's sure to be a big surprise.. So - we hope to see you at the Manorette this Sunday night.. Until then - don't be afraid to knock on the lab-door and put your two-cents-plus-tax in on which one of these possibilities you'd like us to be showing this Episode (or - if any suggestions for future showings)..

The Doctor will see you now......

Friday, September 26, 2008

Which Finley Do YOU Fancy?

Just a few of the many faces of Finley.. It's getting more and more likely that he'll be our man in one form or another for this next Episode of The Son Of Madblood.. Make your pick:

Family Man Finley - Eaten Alive?

Magic Man Finley - The Funhouse?

Musical Man Finley - Phantom of the Paradise?

For me - any Finley is good Finley.. I'm particularly partial to the highly stressed-out Father (go)figure of Eaten Alive.. And, ok - so Eaten Alive is not really in the running for this next Episode - but someday soon - I'm promising you.. Oh - and then there's that sweetheart Emil from Sisters.. talk about suave...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Famous Son of Madblood Mad-raffle!

Well, kids - it may just have to be that we show The Funhouse considering that I just found this on the streetcorner. A more perfect Mad-raffle prize I could hardly imagine. I do love novelizations - ever since elementary school thanks to Alan Dean Foster and Alien - and I do love giving them away as prizes. That Dead & Buried one was a real find. I'm still hoping to show the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers so I can raffle off this FOTONOVEL(tm) version of it that I found a while back. Plus - reading is good for you! Almost as good as watching movies. And with a novelization - it's kinda like doing both! (Pssst: Owen West is Dean R. Koontz! Larry Block is... Lawrence Block!)

Countdown.. to FUN!

What Will We Show?

Hey kids, The Son of Madblood here.. I've been in the trenches and notching my stethoscope with all the movies I've put down in the quest to find the right one for this next Episode. I do feel on the verge of a breakthrough, however - at least I now have a short list of what we're NOT showing (and not because they necessarily are dreck - for the most part - but more because they just don't seem to click with the show's general mood):


1) Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

An egomaniacal director, Alan Ormsby (co-writer/make-up/roustabout), forces his motley group of would-be-actors to spend a night on a graveyard island where they dabble in re-animating the dead and having party fun with Orville the corpse. Little do they know - but the dead were listening and are awake... It's kind-of a Weekend at Bernie's/Night of the Living Dead/Evil Dead scenario but, despite that I do have a soft spot for it - it just isn't scary. Some moments of eeriness somehow make it through the tongue-and-cheekiness - a credit to Bob Clark's direction of some of the zombies-coming-out-of-the-ground scenes with a good use of sped up film and mist. I like these scenes - they've got creepy.. and I do like all the weirdo acting-troupe stuff and all the pretty dismal humor - it's all as musty as the dead bodies rising from the graves. There's also a superlative music score by Carl Zittrer that sounds really scary. But, problem is: what lingers in the end isn't a feeling of dread or fright but a relief that you don't have to spend any more time with these annoying characters - even if they do have great clothes. Although it has a great pre-credit opening scare - it unfortunately takes over a half an hour more until anything at all happens besides a bunch of acting and bad jokes. I still would recommend it even though it's the least of Bob Clark's horror films - which include the great Black Christmas (which we DID watch) and Deathdream (which we WILL watch)..

2) Clownhouse

Three brothers must home-alone-it when their house is besieged by three homicidaly bent Clowns - and the youngest brother is phobicly afraid of Clowns! I know it's a favorite of one of our regulars so I tracked it down but it didn't make the cut for me. I don't know why - but I just couldn't get that creeped out by it. I think it took too long for it to get really going and centered so much on the kids that it started to feel childish. Directed by Victor Salva - it does make good use of some of the classic horror tropes that root themselves early in childhood: the quiet house, walking alone on the woods, closed doors and shadows are all exploited well and are frightening moments in themselves - but, again, it just took too long for anything to happen to make it a good movie for the show. It is an interesting movie, however (if you can get past the unsettling aspect that the director did time for molesting the main boy - that also made me not want to show it, to be honest) and has a lot of weird little nuances that keep it interesting. There's an other-worldliness and dreamlike quality where things just don't make sense logically to the point that - maybe there's something else going on here. That these murderous Clowns even show up at their particular home give the whole proceedings an air of some kind of Divine Intervention. And - Clowns are, basically - kinda scary. Maybe at another Episode...

3) A Real Friend

Ok, I admit it - I just watched this one for fun and not for the show - but it is a good companion piece to Clownhouse and fares a bit better in not feeling childish just because it's about a child. Part of a Spanish horror series - Films to Keep You Awake - it packs a whole lot into it's short-ish (73 mins) running time and it manages to be a lot, as well: scary, funny, touching, sad and truly horrifying. A young girl living alone with her Mother doesn't have many real friends but does have plenty of imaginary ones - they just happen to be Horror Movie Monsters! She hangs out with Leatherface! He sits next to her in class! This girl rocks! I wish she were my daughter! Enough with the !'s but it's just so awesome.. Unfortunately - because all of her friends are Monsters she may not realize that one of them is a little more real than the others - and this is when it gets real scary. It's a fascinating story with characters that deepen as it goes and layers and layers of ideas. I'm going to look for an excuse to show this one probably..

4) The Flesh & Blood Show

Just not that good..not really.

5) StageFright

Ok, kids - this is where it starts getting murky because this one is straddling the fence between the list of Not Showing and the list of Maybe Showing. And this is where you - The Son of Madblood Fans - can come in: if you've seen one of these Maybe Showings or want to see one or definitely don't want to see one - let me know; knock on the lab door - if you DARE! Or - if you have another suggestion that fits the 'theme' (do you see it - it's a loose one) I'd like to hear that, too..


1) StageFright (aka Deliria aka Aquarius)

This is one of the best in terms of the theme I'm aiming at - horror with a theatrical or show-type-ish backdrop - and this definitely fits the bill. I don't want to give too much away in case this is the one we watch but: a really cheesy musical/murder play is in rehearsal and there's a killer in the theater! And they've decided to lock all the doors!?! You'll see.. Director Michele Soavi worked as Dario Argento's assistant and did himself some learning - he brings a nicely stylized, witty and at times mind-boggling touch to what could have been a routine slasher picture. It takes a little while for it to kick in, though...

2) The Funhouse

The same people who said NOT to show Black Christmas are anti this one as well and we all saw how WRONG they were about that one; sooo..see down here * , near the bottom, for more about The Funhouse..

3) Phantom of the Paradise

Igor says you can't go wrong with this one and I tend to agree - this is a crowd-pleaser. Two problems: a) has The Son of Madblood crowd already been pleased enough by it? and b) it's not scary. Fun, yes - lots of fun.. but the screams it elicits are screams of joy and laughter - not fright and horror. Two solutions: a) I realize not every audience member has seen this - maybe we should do it for them? and b) I guess not every Episode has to be completely frightening.. but I do like hearing the audience jump and scream.. For those who haven't seen it: it's about a rock club and it's diminutive owner (Paul Williams), stolen music, revenge, murder, love and the mask.. it's Phantom of the Opera meets Faust meets Dorian Grey meets Rocky Horror (before there was one). And it's got "Beef".

4) Vampire Circus

This is a later Hammer horror and, as such, there's more of most everything: blood/horror/frenzy/sex/scares/violence are all upped. This one has a traveling theater troupe making it's way into a quarantined town only to bring a much more unspeakable terror. Carnage ensues.. As does our boy John Moulder-Brown. I'm just about to re-watch this one and I feel it could be just what I've been looking for.

So- stay tuned kids.. and it's a good thing I finished working on that new eye-drop formula - these orbs can use some lube.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Indispensable Son of Madblood Complete Episode Guide

This is where you’ll be able to keep up with what we have been up to here at Madblood Manorette - all the previous Episodes in the order of their original “broadcast”. Here you’ll be able to re-live what the gang and I were doing each Episode as well as read about what movie we screened that night. I, The Son of Madblood, will review each of the films as I’m able - see, until we finally hire a nurse to help out around here in the lab I’m afraid I remain one busy doctor - mostly patching myself up after the seemingly endless amounts of accidents that befall me.. or baffle me.. just how DID my toe get caught in Morty’s rib-cage?. Unfortunately we haven’t been getting the kind of response to the ‘Nurse Wanted’ ad that we had hoped - for some reason it ended up running in the “back pages” of the local free newspaper and I’m afraid that the responses we got have not been all too medically minded. We’ve had our hands full... So the reviews will be updated here as often as I have the chance between operations and experiments. But, more importantly - if any of our friends from the audience would like to share their feelings on a particular film we watched - please feel free to knock on the lab-door and speak up.. If you DARE!!!!!

EPISODE 1: The Son of Madblood Meets The Son of Brain
This was our Premiere Episode - the first night Igor and I opened up Madblood Manorette to our friends to come by and watch a movie with us. It also saw the creation - from an ordinary ‘Brain-in-a-Box’ mail-order-kit - of the extra-ordinary really talking, really living and really cantankerous co-host-of-sorts: Brain. Just who he really is and how he seems to know so much about me, The Son of Madblood, remains a mystery to the day. Somehow he’s always able to change the subject whenever I bring it up...

The Lab-a-liscious movie for our Premiere Episode:
The Revenge of Frankenstein

The audience reaction was mixed for this one and there was almost a fight when I suggested (to one of the people who actually really enjoyed it, no less) that it’s take on the personality schism issue was better handled than it was in the then current box-office-hit Eastern Promises. Igor, ever the faithful servant, intervened and no one was hurt.

It was a hard choice - the FIRST movie for the FIRST show - but I wanted something classy, classic, and Cushing. Something that not everyone in the audience would normally watch, perhaps. I felt it was an apt choice for The Son of Madblood’s coming-out as well as an exciting and intelligent film - my favorite of the Hammer Frankensteins with, I think, Peter “Props” Cushing’s most nuanced take on a character whose increasing megalomania he seems to relish portraying. And he kills a priest! Go “Props”! (Peter Cushing got the nickname in reference to the actor’s uncanny ability to just pick up a prop and use it in a scene without it having even been mentioned in the script - a tribute to his spontaneity).
More on
The Revenge of Frankenstein to come...

Episode 2: Daydreams and Demons
In this Episode we got a peek into the hopes and dreams of some of the Gang here at Madblood Manorette when we saw the fantasies of Brain, Igor and myself amazingly come to life before the very eyes of our studio audience. The Son of Madblood asks: why can’t we all just get along here?

The Dreamin’-Lover movie for Episode 2:
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

My favorite Nightmare. Patricia Arquette! Craig Wasson! (an Igor fave) Heather Langenkamp! (my fave) I like the sadness on hand here and the creepiness. These kids are suicidal - the idea of connecting the Freddy nightmares to a rash of teen-suicide gives this one a certain seriousness that is well0balanced with the more jokey aspects of the script. Zsa-Zsa Gabor and Freddy! Funny stuff.. And although this is the film where Freddy starts getting his funny (never my favorite aspect of the Nightmares) - it does keep y0u remembering: this guy was a child-killer. As the spooky tricycle-riding little girl in Kristin’s dreams reminds us - he took little kids down in his basement and killed them. He is to be hated. He is to be feared. And there is quite a bit of scary in this one. As well as being the one where we learn the origin of ‘the bastard child of a hundred maniacs”...
More on
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors to come...

Episode 3: A Very Scary Christmas
Christmas-time at Madblood Manorette and we share the warm feelings with some of our friends.. Minerva (our friendly neighborhood amateur Clairvoyant) and Bones Malone (our friendly neighborhood skeletal ‘Delivery’ guy) stop by with season’s greetings.. even Brain is in a festive mood and dressed as Santa.. But -wait - what did we just hear on the radio? Murderin’ Maguillicutty has escaped? The Santa-Claus-Killer? The Red Christmas Maniac? Brain had better watch out.. Why he didn’t just take off that Santa costume is beyond me... (Because - then THEY’VE won, Madbreath! -Brain)

The ‘Tis-The-Seasoning movie for Episode 3:
Black Christmas (1974)

Despite the protests of Igor and some of our Manorette friends that it is “dull” - I said “No way - I love it - it’s scary as all get out” and showed it regardless.. The audience was screaming like never before and I was told by a few that this one gave them nightmares. A resounding success, I’d say - and one of my favorite Episodes because of it. People were jumping out of their seats! Some have never come back for another show BECAUSE of this one.. So - sit on THAT, Igor! I have to admit - I for a long time did not think too much of Black Christmas. It wasn’t until I got the chance to see it in a theater (by myself - not smart!) as an ‘adult’ that it truly chilled me and had me squirming.
More on
Black Christmas to come...

Episode 4: Lust In Space
Madblood and the Gang somehow find themselves and the Manorette drifting in Space.. Igor is green? Madblood has antennae? Brain floats in the air? Just what is going on here as The Son of Madblood and crew forge into the Future in their New Year’s celebration.. Minnie visits via astral-projection... Bones stops by on his way to make a ‘delivery’ to Uranus.. An audience member is star-struck.. A Venusian drops by.. Will they ever find their way back without a map?

The Space-Case movie for Episode 4:

Favorite - Movie - Ever.
More on
Alien to come... (including a very personal Son of Madblood story)

Episode 5: There Will Be Mad-Blood
Special “Valentine to Brooke Shields” Episode in celebration of a) Valentine’s Day and b) the glorious return to television of Brooke Shields in ‘Lipstick Jungle’.. But Igor won’t stop bleeding uncontrollably all over the place. There is nothing The Son of Madblood can do to stop it! Minnie brings her friend Workout Wanda (our friendly neighborhood excercise guru) over to exercise Igor’s demons. A door-to-door Scientologist tries to get The Son of Madblood to renounce his love for Brooke Shields. Beer cures Igor’s woes.. Brooke Shields, herself, drops in to thank The Son of Madblood for not giving up on her and they perform a scene from the floundering ‘Lipstick Jungle’ together.

The Valentine to Brooke Shields movie for Episode 5:
Alice, Sweet Alice

“Me and my rhythm box” Paula Sheppard just may have killed her younger and more spoiled sister moments before she is to take her first Holy Communion (Brooke Shields in her first movie role!) . Her aunt thinks so. The creepy yellow raincoat and never-as-creepy-as-it-is-in-this-movie see through plastic mask are pointing in her direction - but she’s just a kid.. She definitely does throw a cat. A maximum of scary from this somewhat small-ish film. I love all the screaming - the family is constantly screaming at each other - it’s HELL. I also love that it’s a period piece set, maybe 10 years pre-filming - to me it’s almost like a secret depth that the film keeps close to the breast. Alphonso will give most people nightmares...
More on
Alice, Sweet Alice to come...

Episode 6: Cheers To You, Madmope
The Son of Madblood is depressed because Brain has gone on vacation - on a bike trip through Holland, no less. The Gang and various audience members try to cheer him up: magic tricks, jokes, Workout Wendy (Workout Wanda’s just as enthusiastic sister) tries to get him to exercise his blues away... Minnie shows up with some brownies she made from a recipe in his father’s lab-book.. Fozzie Bear drops by and tells some really good jokes.. Bones gets really small after eating too many of the brownies and serenades The Son of Madblood with the song “Tiny Dancer”..

The Little Friends movie for Episode 6:
Basket Case

He’s so cute!
More on
Basket Case to come...

Episode 7: Documentary of the Dead
The Gang has a Fourth of July cook-out right in Madblood Manorette and The Son of Madblood gets Bones to film a behind-the-scenes style documentary about the show. Brain has lost a hot-dog eating contest to Igor who only had to eat one hot dog because Brain doesn’t have a mouth. It is revealed that Igor is really a once-famous movie director who has givin it up since he realized his movies were starting to really suck.. Did anyone actually see ‘Shine a Light’? He has since found new meaning in life as The Son of Madblood’s trusted assistant. Minnie brings Madblood a duck. A visit from the Landlord leaves The Son of Madblood feeling all washed-up..

The Home-Movie-Holiday Cook-Out movie for Episode 7:
Dead & Buried

Welcome to Potters' Bluff!
More on
Dead & Buried to come...

Episode 8: Lordy-Lordy Madblood’s 40
In this Episode The Son of Madblood mourns the end of Summer and the end of Youth. The Gang (and Bones) return from the last day at the beach with horrible sunburns. Igor develops horrible blisters. There is a horrible seagull attack. A Singing Telegram arrives with birthday “wishes” . Workout Wendy has some exercises to keep The Son of Madblood young but, instead - his skin peels off from the sunburn. An Eternal Youth Serum from his father’s lab-book turns out to be nothing more than a very good skin cream. Minnie bakes a birthday cake that all enjoy.

The Back-to School/End of Summer movie for Episode 8:

We dedicated this showing to one of our Manorette friends who had just gotten her Green-Card.. The tale of a young woman who moves to a foreign country, develops a relationship with an older man, and makes lots of new friends...
More on
Phenomena to come...

Stay tuned for the next Episode - The Son of Madblood: The Early Years
Don't miss this all-new-scary-Episode thrilling you on September 28th!
Be there if you DARE!