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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!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Endless Nights...

So, gang - I'm still hard at work looking for just the right movie for our next BIG EPISODE. Although I do think I've hit on what we may show for our Anniversary Special. In keeping with the nature of the traditionally-styled "Anniversary Show", we here at Madblood Manorette (or is it "Mansionette" - it seems to change at will) will be in a reminiscing mood - inviting our audience along on a strange and spooooky trip through some of the many high-points of this past year on The Son of Madlood. Ah - the fun! Ah - the nostalgia! Remember that time Igor couldn't stop bleeding on the 'There Will Be Mad-Blood" Episode? Of course you do! And, since re-living so many of these acme moments will most likely take up a huge chunk of our running time, I was thinking of showing something short for this one - something not feature length. I mis-remembered the length of The Demon Lover (aka Demon Tower aka Coven aka Demon Master) - it felt very short.. I guess it's just the thinness of the story that allows it to take up less space in my brain. It seemed like a good fit: throwing a party/raising a Demon.. a little kung-fu.. sounds like anniversary material to me. But, alas - it turns out to be a whopping 83-ish minutes so we'll have to save that one for another time. Plus - it's hard to imagine watching it without the augmentation of the fabulous Demon Lover Diary making-of-documentary.

So - time constraints led me to checking into the Masters of Horror series that I had shied away from until now - I just had such a hard time with those DVD covers and how they all just looked like cheap doo-doo:

Just... not good looking, kids.

But- I finally listened to Igor and gave
The Screwfly Solution a chance despite it having all the earmarks of disaster: Jason Priestly and Elliot Gould? Not exactly horror-dudes.. Joe Dante? When since The Howling has anything of his been SCARY? Well not until now - because I found this to be completely scarifying. On the surface it doesn't sound like much: a virus is turning the male population into religiously-fanatical killers of women and scientists Gould and Priestly do the race-against-time trying to stop it. Priestly's wife and daughter go on-the-run in an attempt to escape the break-down of society. As sci-fi it could have been ho-hum but, instead, Dante pulls the focus from the science and why-for of it all and zeroes in on the horror: the ugliness and brutality of blind rage on a grand scale. And, by tapping it into the real horror of violence against women it all becomes shiveringly unsettling.

It's a hard one to watch - and whereas most of Dante's work (including this series' Homecoming) has too much of an over-abundance of humor and goofiness to be that horrific - in this one any traces of humor that are there in the beginning are quickly drained out as the situation escalates and becomes more desperate and dire. It's a disturbing vision and with an aspect of sadness surprising for a piece in this genre of t.v.-series-horror. There's a lot touched on and hinted at: domestic violence, sublimated gender-fears, eco-horror - it feels big enough to have been a feature but this hour-long running time keeps the momentum at such a pitch that it only adds to the feeling of dread and scares.

Unfortunately - my liking this one has awoken a desire to see MORE of these badly-box-arted shows and, so far - it hasn't payed off as well as this.. Too much - looks, feels, sounds, acts like television and short-films. There's a few I'm looking to sink my worn teeth into still...

So - that could be the one for the Anniversary Episode, kids.. now - just gotta get it together for the Not The Anniversary Episode Episode.. Maybe it'll be The Funhouse.. I'm going to re-watch
Hatchet For The Honeymoon (as a PRE-Anniversary theme? It works, right?) and more.. Possibly looking for something with a theatrical/traveling show/vaudeville backdrop.. Any suggestions, kids?

One more thing, gang - starting REAL SOON: Your faithful servant, I, the Son of Madblood - will start writing about each previous-Episode film that we've seen in the order we saw them in..

First up in the "reviews" section will be:

Uh-oh.. I left the Bunsen Burner on - better go turn that off...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What to show at the next show?

Hey gang, Madblood here - Brain tells me that the future is in the Internet, soooo...
I've been doing some re-watching research for the next show - the NOT the Anniversary Show Show (
that's the Sunday before Halloween). I'm trying to find something suitable that we'll all enjoy.. I guess that's what I'll be doing here on the old blog-thing: talking about not only what's coming up on the next show - but also all the stuff and fluffer behind it.. All the strange goings-on here at Madblood Manorette: the watching horror movies and thinking about horror movies and thinking about watching horror movies.. and writing.. and reading.. reading and writing and 'rithmatic.. and the rhythm method! Please bear with me while I find my rhythm method. It might take me a while to find my Internet-feet..or flippers.. or paws.. We're coming up on our one year anniversary - at about a show a month that makes around... 12 episodes total! Except - we missed one somewhere because the next will be number 10... Musta been a Leap Year or something. A roundown of the year-so-far can be found up here^... But now it's time to pick the feature for the next spine-chilling, hair-raising, scary-fying Episode of... The Son of Madblood! What will it be? I've been doing some research:

Last night was 2 by Tobe:

And I don't care what the people say - I am NOT taking my Eaten Alive poster down from the kitchen wall! I was quite surprised to learn that this is not considered the classic I had always felt it to be. I'm still creeped out by it. I'm always creeped out by it. It's one creepy movie. Families and everybody screaming at each other, a muttering and mumbling maniac, endless screeching sounds and music on the soundtrack.. this thing just pounds into the skull. It's anything but a comfortable movie to watch - and so effective as horror. It's particularly pleasing to see Tobe Hooper - straight from the heights of success with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - take his new-found bigger budget and, instead of going bigger and opening things up, he goes and makes this tiny weirdo of a termite movie. It's so claustrophobic that it feels like the entire thing was filmed in one closet with everybody really starting to hate being near each other. Sure everything looks fake: the sets, the constant red glow, even the dialogue seems overly ripe.. it almost veers into the realm of avant-garde theater.. or the stuff of nightmares.

The Funhouse rides along more the conventional lines of the kill-off-the-teens type horror but Hooper brings enough imagination and detail to set it apart from the routine slashers that were being made at the time. He devotes alot 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. Alot 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.
I wish I had that poster for
The Funhouse -
that is creepy. Ick.

The Funhouse is defiantly in the running for the next show - but I need to keep looking.. and I kinda want to watch Eaten Alive again right now. I'll get more into that one and why it just may be a candidate for my One I Might Have Saved in a sec. Right now I gotta watch something. And Igor needs feeding and Brain needs his bowl cleaned after all that popcorn.. The Son of Madblood's work is never done.