Old Time Radio at OTRCat!

Friday, February 03, 2012

 So what else is an Aardvark to do on a Friday night? I have an overabundance of weariness, tiredness rather than ennui. I am beat. Got no oomph. AND I have no clue.
Our TV weaning continues apace. We go whole days  without the squat one-eyed Buddha enlightening our lives. For some years now, Saturday night has been devoted to the enjoyment of those hollow echoes of Chillerdom, Elvira's Movie Macabre and Wolfman Mac's Chiller Drive-In.

The charm and gruesome gags of Zacherley, Dr. Morgus, and Ashley Ghastley are gone. The heart is missing from these resurrected horror shows. The movies are more dreadful than the old days, and apparently culled from the Public Domain section of the Internet Archives. The compression artifacts are so terrible that the screen often looks like a checkerboard. Movies like "Teenagers from Outer Space", "The Giant Gila Monster" (actually, not a  bad flick...it has some decent acting and character interaction. The less said about the Gila Monster itself, the better.), "Horrors of Party Beach", and that stinker of stinkers "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" (Doctor's girlfriend is decapitated in an auto accident. Doc carries the head wrapped in his Jacket to his lab nearby, keeps Sweetiekins alive in a Petri Dish of Unusual Size, then does what any normal researcher would do: kills strippers to Use Their Bodies for Science. Sweetiekins, meanwhile, develops Mind Powers, and it all goes downhill from there. Moral: Don't tamper with Things You Are Not Meant To Know.)

Well, we don't have to be held hostage by Mac's bad makeup, and Elvira's boobishness. Our little Roku hockeypuck grants us access to Pub-D-Hub, a channel for public domain movies, TV, cartoons, documentaries, cautionary films, commercials, serials, and old time radio episodes. Their free service displays some artifact issues, but for a whopping two dollars per annum, you can get the premium package with more content, at better quality.

Where else are you gonna see Winsor McKay's "Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend", a Chinese language cartoon "The Conceited General", and "Duck and Cover" all in an evening?

Pass the popcorn. And the rarebit.


Michael W said...

I've had to regale my son with tales of growing up watching "Project Terror" (broadcast from San Antonio on Friday nights) and "Shock Theater" on Saturday nights in Austin. At the same time I'm bemoaning the decline of the televised horror movie venue.

Recently we here in Charleston have been getting "Svengoolie" on Saturday nights . . . but the poor shlub hosting the show is trying too darn hard to be funny and he's ending up more of an annoyance than an asset.

Agree about "The Giant Gila Monster". Among other things, it's my favorite film to be adapted by Mystery Science Theatre 3000.

In the meantime, more and more goodies have been sneaking onto YouTube. Recently saw Menzies' "The Maze" for the first time in quite a while, and last night watched the 1959 "Jack The Ripper" (a film I haven't seen in almost 40 years, and which still features one of the most ghoulish death scenes I've ever encountered).

But I still yearn for the old days of "Project Terror" ("where the SCIENTIFIC and the TERRIFYING emerge!").

The Aardvark said...

If ever you need to do penance for summat, like say, a Mitch/Tarzan crossover, you should treat yourself to the MST3K treatment of "Laserblast", a movie with some great David Allen stop-motion, but little more. A few months after we were married, I took the Dread Dormomoo to see it. When I saw the Mystie treatment of it in '05, I immediately went to her and apologised. That our marriage stood it is testimony to our love, or at least to our bull-headed tenacity.

Michael W said...

I gave "Laserblast" points for (A) Allen managing decent stop-motion animation on a box lunch budget, and (B) having Roddy McDowall in the cast. I haven't seen the Mistie version of it yet, but will hunt it up.

Interesting how cheap SF movies tend to punctuate some relationships. For our first date, Denise and I attended the showing of "Evil Brain From Outer Space".

We'll have been married 35 years this April.

The Aardvark said...

35 years in July for us! Comme c'est bizarre, comme c'est curieux, et quelle coincidence!

Meh...I had forgotten about Roddy McDowell's role. That was a treat, like finding a Whitman's chocky ina dead possum.

DUDE! (He said like a stoner 'tard)
What about a webcast?

Michael W said...

Perhaps not so much a bizarre coincidence as you might think. For our 10th anniversary I gave Denise one of those cards which contained a summary of what the world was like a decade earlier. Looking over the list of Top Ten Songs, Highest Rated television shows and popular movies I remarked "No wonder we got married".

A webcast? Interesting. How would that work?

The Aardvark said...

Webcast. We would have to somehow sync our household Logics and have webcast software (There is Open Source stuff out there), and have you with a nicrophone better than a Radio Shack lapel crystal mike from the portable reel-to-reel you got selling greeting cards.