Friday, February 17, 2017

Troublesome/Evil Children Day on FFB

On the theme of evil children, my idea was to review THE BAD SEED, which I bought. But my terror of the story, based on the Patty McCormack movie, gave me a nightmare the first night. So I read THE EVIL FRIENDSHIP instead. Thanks to those who took the time to see out an evil child.

Here are some of the evil children we may have overlooked.

THE EVIL FRIENDSHIP, Vin Packer (reviewed by Patti Abbott)

This novel is based on the Parker-Hulme case in Australia in the sixties. There has been a movie (HEAVENLY CREATURES) and a non-fiction book and lots and lots of discussion about it over the years.

Two girls, given to flights of fancy and a budding lesbian relationship, kill a mother that gets in their way.

When one of the girls' mother decides to take her to America after the breakup of her marriage, the two hatch a plot that she will instead stay at her friend's house. When this doesn't work out, the two girls murder the recalcitrant mother that won't fall in with their plan.

This novel excels at creating the atmosphere of a school where close relationships are the norm. It also excels at showing how lonely girls could perhaps drift into a relationship that was not mutually desired. They bond over their fear and.mistrust of men, parents, and school mates. Their parents relief that they have found a friend allows them to overlook the sinister nature of the relationship. I am not talking about its lesbian aspect but rather the unleashing of a murderous plot.

The movie is able to romanticize these events a lot more than the book. It is a sad little story indeed.

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for sending this book my way.

Bill Crider, ELEGY BEACH, Stephen Boyett
Jerry House, BAD RONALD, John Holbrook Vance
George Kelley, KING LEAR, William Shakespeare
B.V. Lawson, DEATH OF A MYSTERY WRITER, Robert Barnard
Todd Mason, THE LITTLE MONSTERS et seq. edited by Roger Elwood and/or Vic Ghidalia; stories by Jerome Bixby, Kit Reed, Damon Knight, "Matthew Gant" (Arnold Hano) and C. M. Kornbluth
J.F. Norris, THE SECRET KEEPER, Shirley Escapa
 James Reasoner, THE TWISTED THING, Mickey Spillane
TracyK, MILDRED PIERCE, James M. Cain

Sergio Angelini, PAINKILLER,  N.J. Fountain
Mark Baker, TRUNK MUSIC, Michael Connelly
Yvette Banek, SMALLBONE DECEASED, Michael Gilbert
Les Blatt, HALLOWEEN PARTY, Agatha Christie
Elgin Bleecker, DEATH WISH, Brian Garfield
Brian Busby, Helen Duncan
Martin Edwards, SOMEBODY AT THE DOOR, Raymond Postgate
Richard Horton, THE HELMUT OF NAVARRE, Bertha Runkle
Nick Jones, David Mazzucchelli
Margot Kinberg, THE HIDDEN MAN, Robin Blake
Evan Lewis, SHADOW COMICS 64-66
Steve Lewis, THE POISONERS, Donald Hamilton
THE RAP SHEET, Steven Nester, ANGELS, Denis Johnson
Kerrie Smith, WHAT REMAINS BEHIND, Dorothy Fowler
TomCat, DEATH AT THE DOG, Joanna Cannan

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Town Detroit

The Lone Ranger debuted on the evening of Jan. 30, 1933, live from Detroit's WXYZ studios in the Maccabees Building (now a Wayne State University office building) on Woodward and Putnam. The show’s exact origins have been the source of eternal debate. However, it’s safe to say that the principal creators were station owner George W. Trendle, who had made his money managing local vaudeville houses and movie theaters; Buffalo-based writer Fran Striker, who fleshed out the characters and story lines for a few dollars per script; and WXYZ’s drama director, James Jewell, who, like several others involved in the show’s beginnings, went to his grave feeling he was robbed of proper credit.
To accommodate different time zones, each half-hour Lone Ranger episode was performed live three times. Although Beemer’s voice is the one most closely associated with the show, he actually was just one of several radio Rangers. A dapper little actor named Jack Deeds played the title role in unconvincing fashion for the first six episodes. When Deeds arrived at the station drunk one evening, he was fired on the spot by Jewell, who took over for that night’s broadcast.

There is a woman who works locally at a library whose mother took her on a trolley car to voice whatever children were on the show.  She still attends conferences on radio shows personalities. A dying breed I am sure.

For more about THE LONE RANGER in Detroit, click here

Have you ever listened to one of these radio shows?Or any radio show? I have not.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Forgotten Movies: THE ICE STORM

I doubt there are many movies more cynical than Ang Lee's film of Rick Moody's book, THE ICE STORM. I rewatched this last week, having forgotten just how misanthropic it was. Even the kids come off pretty badly (Ricci, Macquire, etc.),  Suburbia has never looked more desolate or dispiriting.
Can you think of a more cynical film? 

(For those who may have forgotten or never seen it): 

 In the 1970s, an outwardly wholesome family begins cracking at the seams over the course of a tumultuous Thanksgiving break. Frustrated with his job, the father, Ben (Kevin Kline), seeks fulfillment by cheating on his wife, Elena (Joan Allen), with neighborhood seductress Janey (Sigourney Weaver). Their teenage daughter, Wendy (Christina Ricci), dabbles in sexual affairs too -- with Janey's son Mikey (Elijah Wood). The family's strained relations continue to tauten until an ice storm strikes.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Things That Make Me Happy


2. That the Ninth Circuit Court did the right thing. Perhaps it's the courts that will save us.

3. This thrills me every time. 

4. That it is possible to create a TV show about spirituality that is neither saccharine nor disrespectful. Just brilliant. Every episode made me cry--in a good way. And every character had times of grace notes and moments of frailty.

5.That it is possible to meet a couple late in life that feel like home. Arnold and Elaine Shifman.

Well, not happy in the traditional sense, but happy that his words and voice have been captured on this bracing film. Not easy to watch but watch we must.

Saturday, February 11, 2017