Carol For Another Christmas (1964)
Directed by Joseph L. Manckiewics for the United Nations
Written by Rod Serling
Presented without commercial interruptions, this "United Nations Special" was sponsored by the Xerox Corporation, the first of a series of Xerox specials promoting the UN. Director Joseph Mankiewicz's first work for television, the 90-minute ABC drama was publicized as having an all-star cast (which meant that names of some supporting cast members were not officially released).
In Rod Serling's update of Charles Dickens, industrial tycoon Daniel Grudge (Sterling Hayden) has never recovered from the loss of his 22-year-old son Marley (Peter Fonda), killed in action during Christmas Eve of 1944.
The embittered Grudge has only scorn for any American involvement in international affairs.
But then the Ghost of Christmas Past (Steve Lawrence) takes him back through time to a World War I troopship.
Grudge also is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present (Pat Hingle), and the Ghost of Christmas Future (Robert Shaw) gives him a tour across a desolate landscape where he sees the ruins of a once-great civilization.
Others in the cast were Percy Rodriguez, Eva Marie Saint, Ben Gazzara, Barbara Ann Teer, James Shigeta and Britt Ekland. Henry Mancini wrote the theme music, which was recorded for his 1966 holiday LP, A Merry Mancini Christmas.
Reality Is The Playground Of The Unimaginative
Home Of Sonic Screwdrivers, Supernatural Scares, Star Stuff, Superheroes, Swords, Sorcery, Sci-fi, Smeg, and Silliness
Saturday, 4 December 2021
Friday, 3 December 2021
Peacemaker explores the continuing story of the character that John Cena reprises in the aftermath of Gunn’s 2021 film The Suicide Squad – a compellingly vainglorious man who believes in peace at any cost, no matter how many people he has to kill to get it.
Josh Reynolds' superbly creepy, pulp Cthulhu adventure Wrath of N'Kai headlines the first wave of audiobook releases from Aconyte Books.
Based on the two-fisted tales played out in the Lovecraft-inspired Arkham Horror boardgame, Wrath of N'Kai explores the underbelly of Jazz Age Arkham society in the company of glamourous international antiquities 'acquirer' Countess Alessandra Zorzi, who is the hunting for a peculiar stolen mummy.
As first mentioned back in September, Aconyte has grand plans to take the audiobook world by storm, starting on December 7.
Wrath of N'Kai (read by Elizabeth Klett) - along with a pair of audio books from other franchises - is released next week across all the major audiobook outlets.
Later this month, in partnership with Tantor & Recorded Books, Acoynte plans to release audiobooks of Watch Dogs Legion: Day Zero, KeyForge: Tales from the Crucible, Legend of the Five Rings: Curse of Honor, Twilight Imperium: The Fractured Void, Arkham Horror: The Last Ritual, Descent: The Doom of Fallowhearth and Assassin's Creed: The Ming Storm.
And this is just the beginning.
Thursday, 2 December 2021
Tony Towers (Good Omens' Michael Sheen) is about to take the trip of a lifetime.Just to give this movie some extra geeky context, Michael Sheen is currently one of the bookies' favourites to replace Jodie Whittaker as The Fourteenth Doctor.
It’s 1985 and he’s a successful nightclub manager, a local celebrity and engaged to a much younger woman, Sue (Game of Thrones' Nathalie Emmanuel). Things are going great.
But when he embarks upon the 3:17 to Nottingham for a Christmas family reunion, things get a little strange.
Moving up a carriage to the buffet car lands him in 1995, where he finds his clubs have failed and his life has fallen apart.
Tony discovers that by moving up and down this fateful train, he can transport himself forward and backward to various stages of his life.
Not only that, but the actions he takes in one carriage directly affect his life in the next.
The question is, can Tony change his life – and the lives of the people he loves - for the better, or will he just make things worse?
Last Train to Christmas is pulling up to Sky Cinema on 18 December.
Personally, no matter how much I admire Mr Sheen and his genre chops, I think it's unlikely that the role will revert to a middle-aged white guy at the moment.
You can check out the full collection here.
You should also check out Bored Panda (here) to see more classic movies reenvisaged in ways you could never have predicted..
Wednesday, 1 December 2021
So, my October Horror Movie Challenge has now entered its third month, for reasons.
I watched the original 1992 Candyman the other week just to remind me of the titular character's backstory, little realising that this year's Candyman would actually turn out to be a direct sequel to that.
Not only does Nia DaCosta's film frequently reference the earlier flick, but it also subtly expands the established mythology and, ultimately, acts as a fresh origin story for the supernatural slayer kept 'alive' through urban legends.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, of Watchmen and Aquaman fame, is up-and-coming artist Anthony McCoy seeking inspiration for his next project from the brutal history of the Chicago community in which he lives, the increasingly-gentrified neighbourhood of Cabrini-Green.
His imagination is taken by a story spun by Troy (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, from Misfits), the brother of his girlfriend, art curator Brianna Cartwright (WandaVision and Mad Men's Teyonah Parris), about white graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen), who went on a killing spree in the area in the early '90s.
Digging deeper into this tale, McCoy learns that Lyle was chasing after the myth of the Candyman, a murderous hook-handed ghost that supposedly haunts the neighbourhood and can be summoned by saying his name five times in a mirror.
The more McCoy delves into the myth of Candyman, the more people around him fall victim to violent crime and the artist himself finds his body decaying as what starts as an innocent bee sting slowly rots away his flesh.
With a script by director Nia DaCosta and producers Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld, this latest Candyman is a modern reworking of the classic monster movie formula that manages to be simultaneously layered and straight-forward.
It's also one of the most creatively shot horror movies of recent time, with DaCosta not shying aware from blood and gore but often capturing the "kills" from unique perspectives that heighten the horror without glorifying the violence.
There's no requirement to know the '90s Candyman movie at all, as this one tells you everything you need to know to become invested in the contemporary story, but there are a few Easter Eggs that will delight fans of the original.
The blending of modern art, racial tension, and urban myths with a top tier cast and sublime script makes Candyman a powerful and engaging work that builds on the foundation of the first film, creating something new and important that could launch its own franchise but stands alone perfectly well.
Not only is Candyman the best 'new to me' entry in this year's on-going October Horror Movie Challenge, but it's also one of my favourite movies of the 2021.
- Candyman was released on Blu-Ray in the UK this week.
FILMS WATCHED: 28
NEW TO ME: 23