Vanity Scare #12

RUE MORGUE (#127, October 2012)

It's only fitting that I sieve through the Halloween issue of Rue Morgue, what with Christmas approaching.  And sieve I shall, like a colander filtering the parching water from a bowl of corzetti.  What, you've never had corzetti?  It's a flat, embossed delicacy that typically pairs well...I feel that I'm in danger of meandering astray.  Look, I'm going to try to keep this column curt and condensed.  Being that this particular sliver of Rue-scented rectitude is forty pages longer than your average issue, I couldn't possibly cover everything.  These are just the bits that stiffened my fuchsia birch (plus a couple that didn't).

~ As I'm sure you've gleaned from the cover, RM #127 celebrates the hundredth anniversary of Universal Studios by drawing attention to the monsters that every genre hound has come to know and love.  I'll get this out of the way right now; the pages devoted to Dracula and company are worth the price of admission alone.  Maybe you have to be a fan.  Maybe not.  James Burrell's recital of Universal's nascency and proximate supremacy is studiously compiled.  His subsequent interview with film historian David J. Skal is just as interesting.  I loved the side panels, compendiary biographies of "unsung horror heroes" such as Dwight Frye and Hans J. Salter.

~ The Gillman gets his own goddamn bulletpoint.  I absolutely adored the chat with aboriginal scream queen Julia Adams.  Elsewhere, we are shown a snippet of test footage revealing The Gillman's initial design.  Wow.  I'm glad that revisions were made.  And no, I still don't own the fan-fucking-tastic Universal Classic Monsters Blu-ray set, but it's glued to the top of my Kwanzaa list.

~ There is a movie called Big Tits Zombie.  Mm-hmm.

~ To me, Cinema Apocalyptica: A-Z of End Times on Film screams filler.  It's a blah piece.  The concept?  Match each letter of the alphabet up with a cause for Armageddon.  Certain letters are obvious ("E" is extraterrestrials, "D" is disease, etc.), but others...man, I'll give the staff credit for creativity.  "G" is gender.  "L" is language.  "S" is shadows.  Right.  Personally, I would have given this section the axe.

~ Stand back!  Michael Doyle's article on Halloween III: Season of the Witch is more tantalizing than a bee's knees.  I should know.  I dated a hornet back in college.  A gentleman is precluded from kissing and telling, but suffice to say, that bitch could pollinate the compound pistil of a tulip blindfolded.  She put the "gyno" in gynoecium, if you know what I mean.  My sex life notwithstanding, director Tommy Lee Wallace reflected on the divisive sequel with a congenial attitude.  I had no idea that Nigel Kneale wrote a draft of the script.  Apparently, he hated the final product and referred to Wallace as a hack.  Talk about sour grapes!

~ I want Kirk Hammett's collection of horror memorabilia.

~ The Late-Nite Archive takes a look at TCM Underground, the exalted channel's Saturday morning time slot (it usually starts around 3 ante-meridiem).  I always try to catch it myself.  I almost always miss it.  It's worth taping, though.

~ Classic Cut profiles Rondo Hatton, an underappreciated screen heavy.  He played The Creeper in three pictures throughout the 40's, including a Sherlock Holmes mystery.  Tragically, he died young as a result of acromegaly, the same condition that gave him his Hollywood features.  I should rephrase that.  It gave him the features that Hollywood exploited, even after his passing.  I suggest viewing 1946's House of Horrors.

I'm pulling the plug on this edition of Vanity Scare.   The moral of the story?  Subscribe to Rue Morgue.

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