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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......