Monday, November 30, 2009

God Bless Tiny Tim ( April 12, 1932 - November 30, 1996)

Herbert Khaury fell in love with music at an early age, spending countless hours playing the classics of yesteryear on a wind-up gramophone. His rise to fame began in 1952, when he entered a local talent show and debuted his trademark warbling falsetto singing style. The gentle giant adopted the stage name Tiny Tim, and began amassing a healthy cult following.

Tiny Tim released his first album, God Bless Tiny Tim, in 1968, and became a regular "novelty act" on programs such as Laugh-In, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and The Ed Sullivan Show. In spite of the sheer ridiculousness of an enormous man with long, red hair, strumming a tiny ukelele while belting out ballads like Tiptoe Through the Tulips and I Got You Babe, Tiny Tim's repertoire showcased his vast knowledge of musical history.

His sound was ahead of it's time, at times resembling some of Alice Cooper's earlier releases. The legendary vaudevillian actor/comedian, Groucho Marx, employed Tim's version of Irving Berlin's Stay Down Here Where You Belong, in his act. The song depicts a conversation between Satan and his son, in condemnation of World War 1:

"To please their kings, they've all gone out to war,
and not a one of them knows what they're fighting for…
Kings up there are bigger devils than your dad.”

Tiny Tim suffered a serious heart attack during a performance in September of 1996. Ordered to give up performing due to his frail health, Tim chose to disobey the advice of his medical team. He collapsed onstage two months later on November 30, and died shortly thereafter. Ironically, the last song he would ever perform before a live audience, Tiptoe Through the Tulips, was the very tune that made him a household name.

Thanks for the music, Tim... Rest in peace.

Tiny Tim sports a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey during a visit to Canada.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Canada Loves Boris Karloff

Karloff and a spooky mewer in Edgar G. Ulmer's brilliant adaptation
of Edgar Allan Poe's classic: "The Black Cat"


In honour of the final day of Frankensteinia's Boris Karloff Blogathon, Killer Kittens From Beyond the Grave would like to share this interesting excerpt from Alberta History (Vol. 55 No. 2). Boris Karloff in Alberta was written by Stephen Jacobs, and details Boris Karloff's work with the Jeanne Russell Stock Company in the early 1900's.

"I felt I had to get away and work things out on my own.
When I blithely flipped a coin in the family solicitor's office,
the unfortunate losers were the Canadians."

This article was nabbed from Jacobs' web site, Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster, which is also the title of the biography he wrote about the iconic actor (scheduled to be published by Tomahawk Press).

Friday, November 27, 2009

Vote Kitty LeClaw!!!

A million Killer Kittens thanks to faithful THOIA reader Noel Tuazon for this spine-chilling surveillance cam footage from inside the Ms. Horror Blogosphere voting booth!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ms. Horror Blogosphere 2009

In case you've been off from school with mono, and didn't hear the news: The Vault of Horror is currently collecting votes for the Ms. Horror Blogosphere feature/contest which has been running over the last couple of weeks.

The contest boasts over 20 entries from some really fabulous blogs/blogettes -- including a submission from Yours Truly! If you're interested in exploring the weird, wonderful world of female horror blogging, head on over to The Vault for a meet & greet with the contestants! And don't forget the customary bucket of pigs' blood!

This contest is now closed.
Warm and fuzzy Killer Kittens thanks to all
who took the time to vote for their favourite feline!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gleam of Evil (1962)

Cats are known for their peculiarly possessive behaviour. I once had a cat who would systematically tear all the posters down from my walls if I failed to adhere to his strict feeding schedule (whenever he wanted to eat, he ate). If I scolded him, I could always expect to find something that belonged to me either torn apart or peed on the next day. Cute, cuddly, vengeful little beasts...

In honour of The Boris Karloff Blogathon that Frankensteinia is hosting this week (November 23-29), the THOIA Longboxes have donated this story about a fearsome feline from the October 1962 issue of Boris Karloff Thriller #1. "Gleam of Evil" tells of a pampered pussycat with the power to make terrible things happen to anyone who so much as casts a sideways glance in her direction! Will this pint-sized puffball be the demise of her brave, lion-taming owner?

If this story leaves you hungry for more, be sure to head over to The Horrors of it All, where Karswell has left a bowl out on the porch containing yet another story from Boris Karloff Thriller #1, entitled: "The Hand in the Wall"!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Don't Deliver Us From Evil (1971)

Caution: Spoilers Galore

Shipped off to religious boarding school by parents who ignored them, budding young women Anne de Boissy (Jeanne Goupil) and Lore Fournier (Catherine Wagener) became the closest of friends. Each night while in the convent, they would secretly share Anne's bed to read steamy passages together underneath the sheets. They exploited every opportunity afforded them to do wrong. Things they liked to do for fun included breaking rules, mocking Christianity, torturing pets, composing dark literature, and leading men into temptation. Together, they were preparing a very special ceremony to renounce Christ, and commit their lives to doing evil.

"Lore and me get such pleasure when we do
something wrong. To sin has become our chief aim.
Let the other idiots live their lives doing good.
We shall dedicate our lives to Satan, our Lord and Master."

As one might expect, all Hell breaks loose when Anne's parents, the Count and Countess, go away for the summer, leaving Anne all alone in the chateau, but for a few servants. Satan's willing, young slaves use this time to engage in some of their favourite pastimes, like arson, and leading even more men into temptation.

The beautiful Lore uses her god-given attributes to drive unsuspecting gents into a state of mad lust. Ample servings of sleaze follow the girls through several uncomfortable encounters of coerced near-rape for the purposes of fulfilling their Satanic mantra. What truly shook the foundations of this particular viewer was the way in which the diabolical duo leaped from one dangerously evil venture to another with blatant disregard for even their own personal safety. Clearly, these young women were not merely playing at evil. They were ready to give their very lives for it.

Ultimately, their summer of reckless abandon catches up with them. Lore breaks down before her friend, admitting that she is afraid of being caught, imprisoned, and separated from Anne. The dark, exotic beauty reassures the delicate, sobbing blonde that they will never be parted.

"When this fleeting life is done,
we will be together forever."

Mais ne Nous Délivrez Pas du Mal (Don't Deliver Us from Evil) is a taut, sleazy horror drama from French writer/director Joël Séria, based loosely on the notoriously fatal friendship of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme. The pair made shocking headlines in 1954 when they murdered Parker's mother after making plans to escape to the United States to work together in literature and film. Parker and Hulme's bizarre escapades were detailed in the Academy Award-winning Peter Jackson film Heavenly Creatures.

Although the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has yet to recognize Séria's efforts in re-telling the story with a Satanic twist, Don't Deliver Us from Evil is a certified cult cinema classic, brought back to life (with subtitles!) by the good folks at Mondo Macabro. Many thanks to Karswell for contributing this titillating title to the Killer Kittens library!

5/5 Kitty Skulls = Pick of the litter!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hello Frankenstein

The short film that answers the age old question:
"What if cats made the movie

Little Green Dog (ironic, isn't it?) put together this dreadfully cute short film based on Mary Shelley's classic tale of the tragic consequences which arose from a scientists aspiration to blur the lines between life and death.

D.R. Greenlaw and Alisa Loren Klein have lent their artistic abilities to the following projects you may have heard of (if you haven't, you might as well just shoot yourself in the face right now, for you are beyond help): Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, X-Men, and Pan's Labyrinth.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Devil's Nightmare (1974)

Caution: Spoilers Galore

Jean Brismée's La Plus Longue Nuit du Diable (The Devil's Nightmare) opens in Nazi Germany, with a birth and a baby killing. Baron Von Rhoneberg (Jean Servais) pulls a dagger from its sheath, and skewers his daughter within minutes of her birth. With a great war raging over land, sea, and sky, I suppose he figured nobody would notice the execution of just one baby.

The viewer time-travels to present day 1974. A group of seven impossibly-linked travelers are forced to spend the night in Von Rhoneberg's gothic castle due to a blockage of the main road. The tourists are a diverse lot. Father Alvin Sorel (Jacques Monseau) is a handsome priest with an honourable dedication to the virtues of the cross, and an admirable resistance of the pleasures of the flesh. Howard and Nancy are an unhappily married couple, bound together by money rather than any sort of romantic feelings toward one another. Erotic tension is provided by Regine (the Blonde Bombshell) and Corinne (the Brunette Bimbo), a pair of strikingly-beautiful girls with decidedly lesbionic tendencies. Mason is a formidably un-sexy, bespectacled old geezer, and rounding out the bottom of the barrel is Ducha, a greasy sweatball in a cheap suit.

Upon arrival at the castle, Nazi Lurch shows the guests to their rooms, taking great care to make them aware of the "gruesome stories" attached to each one. Evidently, Von Rhoneberg's staff have much to learn about running a successful bed and breakfast!

A beautiful, auburn-haired woman named Lisa Müller (Erika Blanc) arrives late to the castle, asking to be put up for the night. By the way the Von Rhoneberg's servant greets her, the viewer is left with the impression that the lovely Lisa has some sort of history with the Baron. She changes into her best floor-length gown with the stomach cut out, and joins the rest of the guests for dinner. All points considered, Lisa seems the perfect candidate to fulfill the Von Rhoneberg Curse of the Succubus that the Baron not-so-subtly mentioned to his house guests earlier.

Demons that adopt feminine appearances
in order to seduce men and lead them to perdition.

For the architecture nuts out there, here are a few neat-o features the old castle boasted. Talk about well-appointed!

  • a nifty alchemy lab in the basement (which the Baron uses to seek out "philosophical truths," and also to make gold)
  • a tortured cat in the attic
  • a sarcophagus (which functions suspiciously like an iron maiden)
  • a guillotine
  • wallpaper that matched the bedspread (in every room)

When the castle guests retire to their rooms for the night is when the fun really begins! Lisa the Succubus (or Lisabus, if you will) focuses her attention on the dashing, young priest. I suspect the soul of a clergyman fetches a much higher price in Hell than that of an Everyday Joe. Showing impeccable control over both his mind and his sex organs, Father Sorel resists temptation. Lisabus will have to return later to make a second attempt at Seduction of the Innocent...

Can't you talk about anything else, besides succubuses?

Seduction of the Fab Slob, Seduction of the Married Douche, and Seduction of the Brunette Bimbo go a lot more smoothly for Lisabus. The Slob consumes one too many glasses of poisonous demon wine. The Douche and the Brunette Bimbo sneak off to find a quiet place to fornicate, and instead wind up losing a battle to the guillotine and the iron maiden, respectively. Mrs. Douche's greed for the Baron's gold leads to her untimely demise, and the Geezer, being a geezer, can only run so fast. Meanwhile, Blondie's see-thru nightie is no match for the massive python conjured by Lisabus!

This is a very weird castle... Very weird, indeed!

Father Sorel finally sees Lisabus for what she truly is, in the midst of a steamy, slow-strip seduction sequence. Perhaps if he kisses his rosary an appropriate number of times, and thrusts it at the demon just so...?

The Devil's Nightmare is a shining example of what a Satano-themed 1970's cult film should be. Briskly paced, brilliantly scored, and remarkably well acted, this Belgian-Italian co-production delivers the very best in late-night horror delight. Even the Devil himself (Daniel Emilfork) drops by to join in the fun and frolic! I proudly submit The Devil's Nightmare as my 100th post.

5/5 Kitty Skulls = Pick of the litter!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

B-Movie Bags

Having a hard time finding a handbag to match your patent leather railroad spike heels? Have no fear, for B-Movie Bags is here!

Freelance artist extraordinaire Julia Griffin has assembled an impressive catalog of one of a kind, hand-painted handbags, hell-bent on solving your most pressing fashion dilemmas! Do yourself a solid, and check out her array of functional B-Movie masterpieces, featuring artwork from: The Bride of Frankenstein, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Nosferatu, and MORE!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paranormal Activity (2009)

Dear Katie and Micah:

Quit your blubbering. I've seen more harrowing hauntings on my local public
access channel. Seriously!


Kitty LeClaw

I thought I would have learned my lesson by now. Never, never, never, never, ever buy into the hype. I'm also making a mental note to stop buying tickets. I'd much rather take my chances with the 15 year old usher than shell out another precious, Canadian dollar on disappointing film fare. This kind of crap is the reason why video piracy is so rampant. To be totally honest, I'm not even sure Paranormal Activity is worth the cost of a blank DVD.

Just because it was shot on a handi-cam, does't make it real. I thought the trick worked for The Blair Witch Project, because at the time, it was a new trick. Film something really cheaply, call it "footage," and wait for the big budget release. As much as TBWP has been shat upon in recent years, I still feel that everyone involved did a commendable job in getting the viewer to believe they were being treated to a unique experiment in voyeurism. At times, I really did feel as though I was watching home movies of Heather, Mike, and Josh being hunted by a dark presence in the woods.

Did I believe that Katie and Micah were really being terrorized in their home by a demonic entity? Absolutely not. Now that I have seen Paranormal Activity, the only thing I can say about it with any certainty is that Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat should have been left to rot in whatever cut-rate acting school the production team busted them loose from. So, how did I make it through night after night after night of watching them wake up every time something went "bump," only to fall right back asleep? Popcorn. My local theatre makes really killer popcorn.

Almost from the very beginning, I saw this movie as little more than an attempt to cash in on the success of A&E's popular series Paranormal State. I've actually seen creepier hauntings featured on that show, and it never causes me to suffer any longer than an hour. The only thing missing was Ryan's weekly refrain: "In the name of Jesus Christ -- demon be gone!"

For the life of me, I can't figure out why people got so excited about watching two people sleep for 86 minutes, especially given the fact that Katie never once unleashed those powerful sweater puppets of hers. If you're really that anxious to give away your money, give it to me, and I'll come to your house and slam all the doors you can handle.

2/5 Kitty Skulls = This movie should have been aborted in the first trimester.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Satan's School for Girls (1973)

Caution: Spoilers Galore

Young, blonde, beautiful Martha Sayers (Terry Lumley) is desperate to find her sister, Elizabeth. An old caretaker finds her pounding frantically on Elizabeth's door, and kindly lets her in to the apartment. Once inside, she takes great care to lock the door behind her, and close all the drapes. It is as though she is hiding from someone, or something. An unseen entity approaches, and Martha emits a bloodcurdling scream.

Elizabeth (Pamela Franklin) returns home later to find the place swarming with cops, and her sister hanging dead from the ceiling. Refusing to accept the police's suicide theory, she decides to undertake her own investigation.

Elizabeth travels to the Salem Academy of Fine Arts, where her sister has been studying. She hopes that someone at the school can provide her with some insight into her sister's final days. She opts to go undercover, and meets with the Headmistress (Jo Van Fleet) in order to enroll as a student herself. She tells no one of her relationship to the late Martha Sayers.

Girls of good breeding are more easily groomed
into young ladies of culture and refinement.

Elizabeth begins to notice all kinds of weird shit almost immediately, beginning with a gloomy portrait of her dead sister painted by Debbie (Jamie Smith-Jackson), one of her new classmates at the Academy. Rat Mind Control and Manipulation class with Professor Delacroix (Lloyd Bochner) proves highly enlightening for Elizabeth, as well. And then, another suicide... WTF is going on at this goddamned school???

A mind can be broken to any level
by manipulation, and locked on any level...
make it believe what we want, and act as we wish.

Elizabeth's new friend, Roberta (Kate Jackson), tells her of the macabre history of Salem Academy. Eight young women accused of practicing Witchcraft were supposedly hung in the cellar of the building, which was reputed to be nearly 300 years old. The two girls seem to be coming to the realization that their is much truth in the old addage: they don't make 'em like they used to.

As luck would have it, the handsome art teacher, Professor Clampett (Roy Thinnes) is Malleus Maleforicum: The Hammer of Witches!!! But some just call him Satan. Roberta is in cahoots with him, along with six other girls - plus Elizabeth - mirroring the 8 girls hung as witches back in the burning times! Ain't nothing like a good, old fashioned sacrifice!

I welcome what man rejects.
I beckon what man despises.
I forgive what man will not.

While I am not going to blow the ending for you, I will divulge that it's a real scorcher of a climax/finale. Fans of 1970's TV-Cinema might recall this nicely-plotted, well-acted boob tube drama from Creature from the Black Lagoon screenwriter Arthur A. Ross. Satan's School for Girls was directed by David Lowell Rich, and produced by Aaron Spelling. The old coot was so pleased with the pairing of Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd (who played Jody, one of the witch girls) that he recast them together in the mega-hit Charlie's Angels.

Thanks to Karswell for including this tasty, television terror-fest in that big ole box of horriffic burns!

4/5 Kitty Skulls = Video Cocaine!