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Where’s that Damn Brain?

It is Bad Attituesday, and my attitude is so bad I do not want to go back and see how long it has been since I made a post about I Can’t Write a Blog Post Today.  Is it Writer’s Block?  Is it Writer’s Blank?  Is it Writer is Too Damn Lazy and Irritable?  SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!  Whatever it is, my brain is not cooperating.

A little Bette Davis is always a good idea.

I was looking through my Media Library for the picture I have of The Brain from Planet Arous, but I found this one from Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte first and thought, “Rest in Peace, Cindy’s brain (was that a Freudian typo?  I first put “piece” instead of “peace” and I meant to, because as I typed it I thought, “pie as in a piece of pie”).  I am in the mood to see Hush.. hush again.  I suggested it for our cinematic Sunday, but we decided to watch shorter movies instead, in order to fit more in (in fact, we watched two more after I made my blog post).

Perhaps the problem is that I had made up my mind to Write More.  I have one of those perverse dispositions that as soon as I make up my mind to do something, I only want to do the exact opposite, or do nothing at all.  As I walked into work, having almost a half hour before my shift began in which to write, I thought about a blog post I wanted to write about one of the movies we watched this weekend.  My brain soon became bogged down, so I thought I would ease into it by working on a letter I had started to a friend.  I got about a paragraph written, felt quite dry and dumb, so worked on an anacrostic puzzle I happened to have handy (what, computer, that’s not how you spell anacrostic?  That’s a word, isn’t it? Damn!) (just googled it: anacrostic and acrostic are apparently the same thing, but Google seems to think anacrostic is also a word).

Where was I?  Ah yes, brain dead and not making much of a post.  And yet I am over 300 words. What does that tell you?  It does not tell me much, but I think I’ll put in another picture and call it a day.  I hope I have managed to amuse somebody.

“Don’t look at me! I’m not writing a blog post for you!”

There’s that damn brain!  Happy Tuesday, everyone.

 

Severed Heads on Melting Monday

I promised myself a Monstrous Monday post, and I felt it would be better to get new (to this blog) monster pictures.  After quite some time of puttering around Facebook looking for them, I found not a monster, exactly, but what one might see as monstrous.

Some people just don’t like to sleep alone.

This is a shot from one of my favorite movies to watch on a Severed Head Sunday, which alas, I did not have yesterday: Straitjacket with Joan Crawford.  I sure do like movies that feature severed heads.  I looked for more pictures.

She’s giving him the side eye.

Another big favorite of mine: The Brain that Wouldn’t Die.  The sad thing about the movie is that the head wanted to die, but the obsessed boyfriend would not allow it.  These mad scientists always think they know best.  It took me a while to find a third photograph.  I tried to think of movies that featured severed heads and thought of Sleepy Hollow, or, as I like to call it, The Headless Everybody.  But all I could find was pictures of Johnny Depp looking sultry.  So I tried Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, with another of my favorites, Bette Davis.  Charlotte is more contemporary with the pictures I’ve shared thus far.

Very atmospheric, isn’t it?

I could not find a picture of the severed head, but I’m not really surprised, because in the movie the head is more often talked about than seen.

So this is my Monstrous Monday post.  Foolish, you say?  In my defense, it has been meltingly hot all day, and I have been at work for the first time in two weeks.  And if you’re going to ding me for whining, just go away.  I will too.  Perhaps we can meet again tomorrow on Tired Tuesday.

 

Ghosts, Birds, Heat, and Bette Davis on Non-Sequitur Thursday

I am so tired of this heat!!!  There, I complained. I have been all day on and off Facebook and have not, but now I did.  And I have more blog followers than I have Facebook friends, which gives me no virtue for refraining to complain there only to complain here.  So judge me if you are so inclined. Never mind that, I want to make a blog post, even if I feel too wrung out and mildewy to do so. Pretty much all I have done today is to  watch movies, so how about a Non-Sequitur Thursday movie post?  I’ll even include pictures.

Up the stairway, into the unknown…

We began our movie watching with The Haunting, the 1963 original, not the pathetic remake.  It is an excellent movie I have written about before, extremely scary using only sound effects, lighting, and acting.

I’m thinking they don’t want chicken for dinner.

We continued our movie watching with another movie from 1963, The Birds.  It is a perennial favorite of ours.

All that beauty, all that talent!

Next I suggested Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), because it takes place where it is very very hot, so we could totally identify.  Steven agreed that he could not object if I left him for Paul Newman.  I feel the same way about him and Elizabeth Taylor, although we did not discuss that.

There’s a Rogue’s Gallery, if you like.

My next suggestion was Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), because it was another southern movie.  Bette Davis, Cecil Kellaway, Agnes Moorehead, just to name our favorites!  In fact, I think I will close with Bette Davis, in a shot I have used for my Facebook profile picture.  I loves me some Bette Davis.

“I could spit right in your eye!”

 

Bette and Joan on Tired Tuesday

I’ve got the I CAN’T POST THAT disease,  also known as the Type It In Backspace It Out disease.

They look how I feel.

When in doubt, post a picture.  I confess to not being a great fan of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? although I adore both Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, as well as old horror movies.  You may ask me, what’s that all about? But I will not have a good answer.  After all, one can’t like everything.

“I can just about spit in your eye!”

I may not have that quote right, but here is Davis in a movie I thoroughly enjoy, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, which ironically enough (given my enjoyment of one and dislike of the other) was originally titled Whatever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?  I read all about it in a wonderful book called The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine.  Ooh, now I should find a picture of Crawford in a movie I like, preferably horror.  How about Straitjacket?

The caption is not a line from the movie. Also, Miss Crawford did not appreciate being referred to as a “broad.”

I may flatter myself, but I think this is turning out to be a not bad silly post. I haven’t even mentioned my headache (that was one of the lines I typed in and backspaced out, as mentioned earlier) (oops.  Well, go ahead and judge me for whining).  I’ll keep it short and end with another favorite picture.

She really lost her head over that movie.

Happy Tuesday, everybody.

 

Why Can’t I Celebrate Father’s Day Like a Normal Blogger?

Let me preface this post by saying that I have a terrific father.  He is fun, he is funny, he gives great advice and he is always there for me.  However, I wanted to make a kind of a different Father’s Day post, perhaps involving pictures, so I thought I would discuss a couple movies in which fathers play a key role.  Spoiler Alert!  I may give away a few salient plot points along the way, so if you have never seen The Wolf Man or Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, you may like watch them before reading this.

Last night we watched a movie involving a rather sad father and son story, The Wolf Man with Claude Rains and Lon Chaney Jr., as the father and son, respectively.  Chaney returns home, because his elder brother has died.  There is a nice scene where Chaney and Rains discuss how they don’t talk about their feelings and so are not that close, but that they are going to try to do better in the future.  Then, of course, Chaney gets turned into a werewolf and comes to a bad end, and it is very tragic, in addition to being a scary monster movie.

“Holy crap, I DO look like hell first thing in the morning!”

I can’t find a good shot of Claude Rains, but here is Lon Chaney, Jr., looking stunned and horrified at what he has become.  Bela Lugosi also has a small but pivotal role.

Not as slick as when he played the Count, perhaps, but, still, Bela.

Another movie I watched recently in which the father plays a pivotal role, although not nearly as large a role, is Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.  In fact, Victor Buono, as Charlotte’s (the incomparable Bette Davis) father, is listed as Guest Star on the DVD cover.  He is an extremely important character, however.  In the opening scene, he orders Charlotte’s married boyfriend to break things off with her.  When the boyfriend is subsequently murdered, the father whisks Charlotte off to Europe, so she is never forced to face charges for a murder she may (or may NOT) have committed.  Dear old Dad is dead for most of the picture, but his shadow looms over the proceedings.  One thing that cannot be denied is that he loved his daughter, and she him.

Clockwise from top left: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotton, Mary Astor, Victor Buono, and Agnes Moorehead.

And, just for me, here is a shot of Davis, chewing the scenery divinely:

“Don’t you tell me to hush!”

I know, you all thought I was going to talk about Atticus Finch or Spencer Tracy.  I don’t know why you thought that, but never mind.  I will repeat that my own father is an awesome human being, and I wish a Happy Father’s Day to him and all fathers.

 

 

Hush…Hush, Sweet Cheese

I know I’ve mentioned Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) in passing, but I don’t believe I’ve written a full post on the movie. I watched my DVD of it Memorial Day. I don’t like war movies, and that was all TCM showed all weekend. Yes, I KNOW it was in tribute to our fallen soldiers. I can’t help what kind of movies I like.

I guess you could call Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (I can’t shorten it to Hush because of a rather hideous movie of that name made many years later) a Gothic horror. There’s an ill-lit Southern mansion, well past its prime, and a Southern belle in similar condition. That’s Bette Davis, tearing into her part with gusto. I love Bette Davis.

It’s kind of a contradiction in Davis’ character. She was vain enough to insist that she play her younger self in the flash back, but she eschews all glamour in the “present day” scenes (don’t know if I really need the quotation marks; it was the present day at the time). Maybe not such a contradiction. She was rightfully proud of her acting ability, and uglying oneself up for a part is a time-honored way to show one’s acting chops. To this day it’s what glamour girls do do prove they can so act.

Charlotte (see there, I can short the title) is as interesting for its background as for the movie itself. It was kind of a follow-up to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and was to have again paired Davis with Joan Crawford. Baby Jane famously re-ignited both actress’ careers. I have to admire Oscar winners who don’t scruple to do cheesy horror movies just to keep working.

I’m not sure, though, I would call Charlotte cheesy. For one thing, there are no cheesy special effects. There is no need for them: the horror comes from what the characters do to each other, not ghosts or monsters (ooh, I could do a whole blog post on how people are the most horrible monsters) (preview of coming attractions). The atmosphere is excellent, a brooding threat and air of mystery hangs over the whole. We slowly find out what’s going on, but all is not fully revealed till the end.

At least, I guess some astute viewers guessed the big reveal ahead of time. I almost never do, which is perfectly fine with me. How much fun is a horror movie where you can see everything coming? (Ooh, another future blog post: suspense vs. surprise. Discuss amongst yourselves.) (Oh, and I just heard another amongst you sniff, “What fun is ANY movie where you can see everything coming?” Read the sentence again without “horror.” It doesn’t sound as good.)

The movie boasts an excellent cast, especially Agnes Moorehead as Davis’ faithful servant. Speaking of eschewing glamour, it’s a far cry from her Endora on Bewitched. Olivia deHavilland, Joseph Cotton, Cecil Kellaway and Mary Astor round out the cast.

I realize I have not said much about the plot of Hush.. Hush Sweet Charlotte. I think this is a movie best enjoyed when you let it unfold before you. I recommend it. Would I say if you liked Whatever Happened to Baby Jane you’ll like Hush… Hush Sweet Charlotte? I guess I wouldn’t, because I never really liked Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? And that might be a subject for a whole other blog post.

By the way, I got all my information about the movie’s background from a wonderful book called Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine (E.P. Dutton, New York, 1989). Highly recommend that, too.