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How's Your Lovecrafting?

One of my job-alert mailing lists has turned up the following exciting opportunity for writers:

The Lovecraft EZine is compiling an anthology entirely devoted to the subject of 'Cthulhu Autumn'.

The imagination reels, as it so often does when confronted with all that Nameless Dread and Necronomicon erudition. Frankly, the urge is immediate and overwhelming... make mock. Loudly and often.

Therefore, I apologise in advance for having written the issue a theme song. Apologies, also, to Billie Holliday, who probably wasn't a Lovecraft fan.

Tune: Autumn in New York


Cthulhu in the fall,
Why does it seem so appalling?
Cthulhu in the fall,
Out of the void the Dark God is calling...

Tentacles writhing and slithering, I feel
The strange urge to kneel
He'll make me his meal
I fear...

Cthulhu in the fall
That brings the nameless terror,
Cthulhu in the fall
Is definitely mingled with pain

Dreamers with time on their hands
May sigh for Tolkien lands
But it's Cthulhu in the fall,
It's good to see him again

Weirdos that bless the dark
In Miskatonic Park
Find Cthulhu in the fall,
They're sorry to see him again...

smiley - dragon

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Latest reply: 2 Days Ago

Freebie Film Tip: Surprisingly Good Submarine Movie

Forget 'Das Boot'. This 1932 movie will blow you away. Especially if you speak German.

The plot: A German U-Boot crew is fighting in World War I. Their wives and sweethearts are nursing and keeping the home fires burning. All the music is either folktunes or hymns, and they all have meaning. There's some great footage of a vintage sub. Good action stuff, some humour, and a message that's hard to forget.

As the captain's wife says, it's not about winning or losing. Those men did their duty, but victory is no cause for celebration when people get killed. A submarine movie written by pacifists?

The self-sacrifice at the end is just...well, you'll have to see it to believe it.

Think about it: if the Nazis hadn't taken over UfA two years later, what films might they have made? This shows the promise that was cut short by totalitarianism.

Anyway, watch it for the sea action, if you prefer. I found it because I wondered what a 1915 submarine looked like.

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [7]

Latest reply: Last Week

Freebie Film Fun: 'Dixiana', or 'Screeching at the Mardi Gras'

First off, this movie is so bad, on so many levels, that it approaches the surreal. It's from 1930, and it goes so far beyond the concept of 'politically incorrect' that it approaches new levels of appallingness.

At the same time, it's funny, and surprisingly clever in places. Sounds contradictory, no? Elektra says, 'There's too much lousy singing in it, and not enough Bill Robinson.' But 'Dixiana', the first film in which Robinson appeared, is an interesting curiosity.

Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson was the greatest tap dancer of his day. He was the first black solo vaudeville performer, the highest-paid black entertainer in America, and the star of an all-black-cast Broadway hit in 1928. Unfortunately, all we see here is a brief version of his famous dance on the stair steps, at about 1:22 (1 hour, 22 minutes), if you care to fast forward.

We recommend that you fast-forward through the songs. The singing is truly dreadful. However, the comedy's pretty good for vaudeville. Oh, you want a plot synopsis? The plot, such as it is: Cornelius van Horn, a Dutchman from Philadelphia, has inherited a cotton plantation. He and his wife aren't good at this plantation-owning stuff. Their son isn't good at the 'scion of the Old South' number, either: he falls in love with a circus performer, Dixiana (Bebe Daniels, as who wouldn't?). There are ructions at the Mardi Gras, weird costumes, hoop skirts galore, and too much singing. Skip the singing, and watch the silliest running gag in film history. Here it is, 'Dixiana':

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [1]

Latest reply: Last Week

Freebie Film Tip: How to Avoid Martian Timeslips

Do you need a laugh today? I did, because it's rained all day, and I'm feeling punk. (No, not like Amyl Nitrate.)

What to do? Go googling for fun, if not profit.

After convincing Elektra that the large-print keyboard she was lusting after was, according to outraged customer reviews, 'A piece of plastic junk, DO NOT BUY,' I ventured into the archives and came up with this gem:

The short film is a wonder of Prelinger Archive abuse. (They encourage this sort of thing. They must be as demented as I am.) I think it's worth a chuckle. It might also give you an idea of what we're up against in the US of A. Commies, Martians, and homosexual robots...

Now, if your neighbour offers you a piece of candy (Can-D?), just say no.

He may be a Martian.
smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [12]

Latest reply: Last Week

Freebie Humour: We Read Licinianus but to Mock

Want a good laugh at the expense of the Romans?

'Sie spinnen, die Roemer...' - Asterix

Try these fragments from Granius Licinianus' otherwise lost history of Rome. Read it aloud to an appreciative friend for maximum enjoyment. You will find gems, such as this:

'And Pompeius, when he was 25 years old and still a Roman knight - something which no-one had previously done - celebrated a triumph as pro-praetor from Africa, on the fourth day before the Ides of March. Some writers say that on this occasion the Roman people were shown elephants in the triumph. But when he came to enter the city, the triumphal arch was too small for the four elephants yoked to his chariot, although they tried it twice.'

Imagine this...and you think 'Gladiator' was an extravagant movie. Let me tell you, Russell Crowe had nothing on those REAL Romans.

Here's the link to the English version for lazy people:

Want to try your hand at deciphering these fragmentary texts from an old palimpsest? Be our guest, you overachiever:

Me, I'll stick to reading the translation aloud to Elektra and commenting, a la 'Mystery Science Theater': 'No wonder Mithridates lost. He was from PONTUS. I wonder how many 'Ponti' jokes they told about him...'

Licinianus seems to think that he's a GOOD historian. Not like that Sallust, who editorialised too much. But you'll still find a story or two in here that has the flavour of ancient Roman urban legend. Fun.

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [10]

Latest reply: 3 Weeks Ago

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