The Week That Was, or Poverty Row Double Feature

Along with trying to meet some deadlines, I’ve been getting time in with the kids and their wonderful goofiness. Even in winter, the three-year-old seems to be allergic to pants. I am also watching videos about changing dryer heating elements. ‘Tis the season, I guess.

Part of a conversation I heard last night:

3YO: *Leaps onto mom’s legs and recently dislocated knee.*
Wife: Get off my knees, please!
3YO: *Still on legs.* That rhymes!
Wife: Yes. Yes, it does.
3YO: That Grinch is nekkid.

 

Screen Shot 2017-12-29 at 1.58.48 PM
I recently finished My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 1 by Emil Ferris. There’s a lot to like about this book: the art, composition, and colors, just for starters. I love the meaningful incorporation of horror comics and art into the story and its themes. I can see why people are so excited about the next volume and disappointed in its delay. Here’s a great comic about how the book came about and is an example of Ferris’s unique approach to the form.

 

As a monster kid myself, I’ve long wanted to see some of Bela Lugosi’s non-Dracula roles, but they were difficult to locate growing up. I recently watched two: Bowery at Midnight (1942) and The Corpse Vanishes (1942). These are perfect late night low-budgeters, if you like that sort of thing. Both are mixed-genre horror films. Bowery incorporates detective/thriller elements (and one could say that it’s more a crime film with elements of horror, but, anyway–) and Corpse incorporates sci-fi and gothic devices. A favorite plot element of Bowery involves the dual lives of Lugosi, who still sounds like Dracula in both, but no one recognizes him as a professor because when he manages his soup kitchen (his front as crime boss, which I guess is really his third role, sort of), he doesn’t wear glasses.

It takes a certain type of person to want to sit through that and maybe even another type who loves it. Corpse had me at the summary that begins, “Lugosi revels in his role as European horticulturalist Dr. Lorenz.”

Both films are worth multiple viewings for B-movie fans.

I hope you enjoy your New Year’s weekend!

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