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Rebuttal to “Walter Peck Was Right”

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri Finale Special)

(All Opinions are of the Author Alone)

(Spoilers Ahead)

Ghostbusters III Confirmed, Without Ivan Reitman | Time
The Original Trio (from Time Magazine)

Here’s a link to the Looper article that explains the Peck was Right aspect

I’ve had a lot fun recently playing The Ghostbusters Video Game on my XBox the last couple of months, and it’s led me to read a little more about the first film, which the game mainly acts as a sequel of.

Movie Beards: Walter Peck: "Ghostbusters"
An Overzealous Peck (from Movie Beards)

One thing I was fairly struck by was the considered view that sidekick antagonist Walter Peck was in some ways right in his treatment of the Ghostbusters. Now pushing aside for the moment the fact that Bill Murray’s Peter Venkman is an annoying lothario hack who’s into the fame Ghostbusting brings him and makes even an ardent Pacifist want to hit him, let’s look at some of the items that fans consider relevant.

Dumb things in Ghostbusters everyone ignored
Who’s the More Annoying? (from Looper)


First things first, let’s talk about the Ghostbusters’ lack of testing and facilities. Peck’s innuendos of everything not following protocol may be legit, but’s forgetting statements made by the team earlier in the film. Ray and Egon, the most qualified members of the team, made several applications for grants, funding, and adequate periods of training and testing and research, but were always turned down because of their former university colleagues statements of them being crackpots who’s research had no legit grounds for such investments. With having to go the route of acting as a privately run and operated organization that must adhere to state wide business requirements to prove their research and evidence is conclusive, that leaves very little time to go into the kind of research, testing, and cataloging that goes on in most, if not all, scientific endeavors. Remember that the team, Ray and Egon in particular, have done their homework, engaged in research, and went through the required approval of various security organizations to obtain the equipment they needed to operate. Those two are legit, even if academically discredited, scientists, and aren’t going to jeopardize themselves by going through areas that would have the FBI and CIA poking their noses in.

Walter Peck Archives ⋆
The Peck Hits the Breaking Point (from The Comics Agenda)

With all of this in mind, wouldn’t anyone think an organization like the EPA would give a struggling outfit like the Ghostbusters time to work out what they need to as they’re clearly underfunded, and won’t be getting any help from the State of New York or the various universities at the moment. Yes the quartet needed to take time to become more familiar with they’re equipment and material, but when you’re being called crackpot, your theories called a pseudo science, you’re looking at being shutdown any minute for not being able to prove your value, and of course a massive end of the world scenario looming over, you don’t have time for the basics.

ArtStation - Ghostbusters: The Video Game - Walter Peck, Ian McIntosh
The Peck in Video Game Form (from ArtStation)


This goes a little into the lack of funding field too, but deserves its own section. Peck is right in that the Containment Grid and much of the other items the Ghostbusters have could use a lot more testing and inspection, but again, when you’re an underfunded organization not given the same consideration as other outlets, what is available has to spent on the absolute necessities. The team has to make due with what it has, and sadly it isn’t enough. Again, Ray and Egon are the most experienced men of the outfit and have pretty clear cut ideas about how to protect both themselves and the citizens of New York City, so even if the material doesn’t meet the exact standards a group like the EPA would deem appropriate, it still does the job regardless of worry by an individual like Peck. With the Containment Grid, Ray and Egon were explaining in detail to Peck what would happen should it just be “Turned Off” but Peck’s general attitude and hatred of Peter Venkman made Peck’s judgement worse.

Pete Venkman and Walter Peck | Ghostbusters, Great movies, Ghostbusters 1984
You’re Outta Here, ya Peck!! (from Pinterest)

Now in all likelihood Peck’s singling out of the Ghostbusters is primarily based on his utter hatred of Peter Venkman and the embarrassment he suffered via Venkman’s rudeness, as well as not being able to prove the power of Gozer a hoax. I firmly believe he only wants to fire and imprison the others just to pay back Venkman and give him the same feeling of embarrassment he gave Peck, letting his professional pride snub cloud his judgement over the bigger issues, revealing he’d rather be thrown under the bus by the Mayor and other city officials as the sole bearer of the problem than have to admit he made a huge mistake. Ray and Egon on several occasions earnestly tried to be the voices of reason, with Venkman only making things worse and causing the normally level-headed Egon to attack Peck when Peck made a degrading personal insult to him.

(Please note that this is primarily my personal opinion rebuttal to the looper article and I do not in any way state that this is how others feel. Please feel free to constructively criticize the piece if there’s anything I missed here [please remember to be kind here folks]. This is in now way canon and my own ideas regarding from what I’ve seen of the film and the game sequel, I could be totally wrong and be perfectly fine with it. Thanks for tuning in this month, and any apologies for the more sporadic postings as things my way have been fairly crazy busy. HAPPY HALOWEEN!)

All images courtesy of Images and their respective owners

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Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Special Topics

Season’s Scaring’s

from Tony Nash

HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all my followers, those I’m following, and all curious visitors

Download the Best Happy Halloween Greeting Cards, Free eCards, Images &  Pictures With Best Wishes. | Scary halloween pictures, Halloween pictures,  Scary halloween
from Pinterest

Filed under: Annoucements

The Maestro of Horror’s Grand Opus

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri 5)

(All opinions are of the author alone)

(Major Spoilers)

(Review is of the uncut Italian language version)

(Author’s Note: This review will be a little different, as I feel to relate the film is to speak of personal viewpoint, so here I’ll be speaking in the first person for much of the review)

Lisa and the Devil (1973) Preview - Color / 3:05 mins - YouTube
A US Poster (from YouTube)

Lisa e il Diavolo (Lisa and the Devil) (1972/73) ****1/2 R

Telly Savalas: Leandro, the Butler/A Demon

Elke Sommer: Lisa Reiner/Elena, Max’s Wife

Alessio Orano: Max, the Countess’ Son

Alida Valli: The Countess

Sylva Koscina: Sophie Leher

Eduardo Fajardo: Francis Leher

Espartaco Santoni: Carlo, Countess’ Husband

Gabriele Tinti: George, the Leher Chauffer

Franz von Treuberg: The Shopkeeper

Kathleen Leone: Lisa’s Friend (as Kathy Leone)

Written by: Mario Bava & Alfredo Leone (as Alfred Leone)

Directed by: Mario Bava

Synopsis: A woman finds herself put through a night of bizarre terror and the supernatural while spending the night at a decrepit villa of a creepy Spanish noble family

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
The Countess recalls the Past (from the IMDb)

After years of having his films compromised by Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson for American distribution, Mario Bava finally achieved complete creative freedom for exhibition in both Europe and the States with his newest film Lisa e il Diavolo. Bava had the concept for the film in his head for years, having jotted down notes and a treatment throughout the years, but couldn’t convince anyone to back the film due to its artistic and experimental nature. The picture finally got greenlight after Bava had a string of successes and one of the Italian studios offered him the opportunity to make any film he wished. What audiences of the time were treated to was a series of surreal imagery and story that had them struggling to comprehend what they were seeing. This botch at the box office caused Producer and co-writer Alfredo Leone to make changes to the film without contacting Bava and the subsequent mess that resulted from the changes led to the first of Bava’s descent into poor health and a heart attack. Not until Bava’s passing was the original film praised.

lisa e il diavolo | Tumblr
The Weeds of Time (from Tumbler)

The film is very hard to explain, Bava employing the painterly qualities he learned from his father to the overall look to the piece. This makes the film seem much more akin to a puzzle that even I your humble reviewer had trouble deciphering. This doesn’t take away from the films’ beauty at all, and it is indeed very much a painting brought to life the way only a mind like Bava’s could achieve. What we the audience end up seeing on screen is a version of Hell in its most devilish form, the realization all of these characters are being forced to relive their horrific deaths night after night as punishment for their sins in life. Whether they try every night to escape their fates isn’t determined, but what we do know is that at least two of the characters are aware of what is really happening, with the littlest of hope they can change history.

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
Devilish Hands at Work (from the IMDb)

Telly Savalas, one of the most iconic character actors of several decades, gets to play in his one and only avant-garde artistic style role with the part of Leandro the Butler. Whether he is Satan himself (as the fresco in the film’s opening suggests) or A demon sent by Satan to ensure history is repeated daily is unknown, but it is clear he holds permanent dominion over this disturbed family and the unfortunate guests who happened to become ensnared in events, and is loving it. Amazingly, Leandro in no way manipulates the events to ensure the Horror of these poor souls continues, and seems to only be a presence that moves in and out of the scenes, interacting with the others when necessary.

(Author’s Note: The lollipop that would become Savalas’ trademark as the character of Kojack originated in this film. Savalas was having difficulties giving up smoking, and Bava recommended he suck on lollipops as a substitute.)

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
Going Deeper into the Madness (from the IMDb)

Elke Sommer, the Austrian beauty, reunites with Bava a year after working with him on Gli Orrori del Castello di Norimberga (The Horror of Nuremburg Castle/Baron Blood) in the role of Lisa. Very little is known about Lisa, other than that she decided to spend her vacation in Spain, which makes her ending up at the villa and her subsequent connection to the other participants even stranger as there’s no way to figure out how this is all happening. Sommer has very little to almost no dialogue in the film, making her like Leandro in that everything seems to happen around her, making her the central figure.

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
The Blind Countess (from the IMDb)
Film Review: Lisa and the Devil (1974) | HNN
The Unstable Max (from Horromews)
Lisa and the Devil (1973)
The Lovely Sophie (from the IMDb)
Lisa e il diavolo (1973) - il Davinotti
Francis and Leandro (from il Davinotti)

The two leads are joined by such performers as Alida Valli, Eduardo Fajardo, Sylva Koscina, and Alessio Orano. These players at one time or another engaged acts of infidelity, betrayal, and murder, and are forced by the power of the Devil to relive those sins, and the deaths they suffered because of them in an immortal loop, dying only to return to life not long after to begin the tragic cycle all over again.

Lisa and the Devil (1973)
House of Puppets (from the IMDb)

Mannequins play an important role in the film as since the majority of the characters are long dead, the life size figures act as recreations of the deceased, fixed and brought back to life by Leandro, once every murder has been committed. How Leandro does thins is never explained, only that each figure is created by a local shopkeeper to fit the likeness of the participants, and then animated by unknown forces.

lisa e il diavolo Tumblr posts -
Tragedy Lies Behind this Beautiful Facade (from Tumbral)

Like I said in the past , how each viewer interprets a film is based on their own experience, and Lisa e il Diavolo is the ultimate example of this. It can be really difficult to explain this one without giving your own opinion as the imagery Bava goes with is very visceral and is nearly impossible to be objective when discussing it. Since Bava made the film with no audience in mind and truly did make something he himself wanted to see, it makes pinpointing something exact hard. If Bava truly intended for this to be the type of film that every viewer would have a different perspective on after seeing it, then he succeeded a 100 times over since his death in 1980 as the film does continue to fascinate, unnerve, and confound people.

(This film isn’t for everyone, but those who do see it, while bewildered, do come away with interesting experience that leaves them thinking about the film for a long while after seeing it. The Blu Ray from Arrow Video is fairly immaculate, only small hints of age and wear present.)

all images courtesy of Images and their respective owners

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Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

Birthday Wishes to My Favorite Actress

from Tony Nash

Today is the birthday of my all time favorite actress ever, Miss Catherine Deneuve, who is 77 years young.

The 8th Best Actress of All-Time: Catherine Deneuve - The Cinema Archives
(from the Cinema Archive)
Indie Sales to Show New Film with Catherine Deneuve at UniFrance RDV -  Variety
(from Variety)

I first saw Catherine Deneuve in a film when I was 19 and watched my first ever French language film Un Flic (A Cop) from French Noir master Jean-Pierre Melville. Granted Melville had difficulty in writing parts for film actresses, she was still a graceful and wonderful presence to behold on screen.

I first came to really appreciate her after watching Le Parapluies du Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) about a year later, and was completely under her spell. There’s just something completely enrapturing about her, that soulful, and sometimes mournful, gaze just implores you not to look away from her. Few actresses have left this type of impression on me, the others being Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, so this naturally makes Catherine Deneuve pretty special, to me at least. I’ve seen a good amount of her films, have always been impressed with her, even when the film itself is a little clunky, which again shows just how much of a fine actress she is.

Another item that makes Catherine Deneuve great is that she’s one of a handful of actresses who’s never felt the need to always “bare all” for the camera to achieve desirability. Not that she wasn’t willing by any means, but she had this knack to give off the illusion of being au natural and that gave her an even more enigmatic feel as even her body remained an intriguing mystery.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mademoiselle Deneuve, you’re a first class lady

All images courtesy of Images and their respective owners

Here’s some English friendly interviews with the grand actress

Filed under: Film: Actor/Actress Spotlight

When Horror Met Trippy Art Cinema

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri 4)

(all opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Vampyros Lesbos (1971) - Posters — The Movie Database (TMDb)
US Poster (from the Movie Database)

Vampyros Lesbos (Las Vampiras) (1971) ****1/2 NC-17

Soledad Miranda: Countess Nadine Corday (as Susann Korda)

Ewa Stromberg: Linda Westinghouse (as Ewa Stroemberg)

Dennis Price: Dr. Alwin Seward

Paul Muller: Dr. Steiner

Heidrun Kussin: Agra, Nadine’s Mad Lover

Andrea Montchal: Omar, Linda’s Boyfriend (as Viktor Feldmann)

Jose Martinez Blanco: Morpho, Nadine’s Servant (as J. Martinez Blanco)

Jesus Franco: Memmet, the Mad Caretaker

Written by: Jaime Chavarri, Jesus Franco (as Franco Manera), and Anne Settimo, from a stroy by Chavarri and loosely adapted from Bram Stoker’s Dracula and J. Sheridan le Farnu’s Carmilla

Directed by: Jesus Franco (as Franco Manera)

Synopsis: Real Estate agent Linda Westinghouse is sent by her company to arrange the selling of a property owned by Countess Nadine Corday. The two quickly become romantically involved, only for Linda to discover Nadine is a vampire, turned by the late Count Dracula himself, and is now under her hypnotic influence. Complications arise when Nadine finds herself genuinely falling in love with Linda, while Linda’s boyfriend and a local doctor attempt to free her.

American Genre Film Archive VAMPYROS LESBOS
Hiding from Religion (from American Genre Film Archive)

Jess Franco’s first full on attempt at mixing avant-garde cinema with exploitation cinema is an amazing achievement which showed what Franco was capable of when given the right amount of time and freedom, and offered a pen-ultimate showcase of the talent that Soledad Miranda was fleshing out prior to her tragic death in a car accident. Taking elements from both Stoker’s Dracula and Le Farnu’s Carmilla, Franco and his co writers create a story that, while very basic in both subject and execution, offer up quite a bit of subtext, and deep emotion underneath the surface that while doesn’t seem to show itself as the film is being viewed, becomes clear to the viewer after thinking about the film for some time afterwards.

Vampyros Lesbos (1970) – Midnight Only
Countess Nadine Corday played by the ravishing Soledad Miranda (from Midnight Only)

Soledad Miranda, using the stage name Susann Korda, offers up one of her most subtle, compelling, thought provoking, and finest performance as Nadine Corday. A Countess by birth and once a human, Nadine was turned sometime in the 18th or 19th century by the infamous bloodsucker Count Dracula, and has since seduced and fed on mainly female lovers, having grown to hate men after Dracula betrayed her. Miranda’s soulful and hypnotic look serves the character of Nadine well, and while the actress shows very little emotion, half her choice and half Franco’s choice, there are still many moments where Nadine is clearly in conflict with herself over many of her choices since becoming a vampire, and hasn’t completely lost her humanity in how she feels about certain characters, particularly with Linda and the man servant Morpho. Possibly the only contradiction to her character concerns a woman named Agra, one of Nadine’s former lovers. Like Dracula had done to Nadine, so had Nadine done to Agra and abandoned her, leaving her to be caged in a mental institution. Whether she regrets this entirely is unknown.

Vampyros Lesbos
A Spiritual Ritual….with Blood (from Mondo Digital)

The first in a brief cycle of Franco themes in his experimental age is a female vampire existing in both daylight and night. Whether it began as budget constraints based upon the time frame he had to shoot on location with, or if it really was an artistic decision, Nadine Corday seems to be the first Franco vampire to have transcended the majority of limitations with the species and is able to function as a normal woman within society. That she still needs blood as her sustenance and both religious iconography and prayers repel her maintain the flaws of the vampiric people.

Vampyros Lesbos Blu-ray Review | High Def Digest
Linda Becoming Nadine’s Lover (from High Def Digest)

Ewa Stromberg, a Swedish actress who briefly acted in the 60’s and 70’s get one of her rare major roles in the part of Linda Westinghouse. Little is known of Linda’s life prior to the events of the film, but from all accounts she appears to have led a normal, uneventful, and maybe even boring life with her boyfriend Omar, and it all changes in an instant when she meets Nadine. What makes Linda different to most objects of a vampire’s desires is that she appears to be a fairly willing participant after a brief period of time. Like Nadine, Linda too begins developing real and genuine romantic feelings, but because she isn’t completely under Nadine’s thrall, is able to overcome the influence while recovering from blood loss and exhaustion. Unfortunately, Nadine won her heart fairly and now Linda must decide if she can muster the courage to free herself from damnation, and maybe give Nadine the freedom she felt lost to.

Vampyros Lesbos
The Dubious Dr. Seward (from Mondo Digital)
Vampyros Lesbos
The Mistress and Her Servant (from Mondo Digital)

The two lovely female leads are joined by an eclectic cast of characters including British expat actor Dennis Price, Swiss-German actor Paul Muller, Spanish actors Andres Montchal and Jose Martinez Blanco, two trying desperately to save Linda, one trying to aid Nadine in her plans, and another out for himself. Price is particularly effective as a play to the Dracula character Dr. Seward, this go around called Alwin Seward. Unlike the literary counterpart, this Seward isn’t entirely what he seems, and his methods are equally strange in getting to the bottom of things. The remaining cast seem to have little to do, but are still good at their respective parts.

Vampyros Lesbos / She Killed in Ecstasy - Psycho Drive-In
Vampyros Lesbos – [FILMGRAB]

The color red plays a very pivotal role in the film. Often used as the lighting in a room, the color of clothing, or in the form of liquid, red is ever present in the world Nadine Corday. Red showcases the always lurking aspects of life, death, love, blood, sex, death, immortality, and the erotic, acting as a symbol of what human life can never truly break away from, and that in spite of humanity’s evolvement in morality and behavior, is always there, waiting and watching in silence.

Vampyros Lesbos BD Review (originally published 2015)
A Tragic Love Story (from Genre Grinder)

While aspects of Homoerotic and Lesbian romances have always had a thin veiled presence in the cinema, usually subtly hinted at, Jess Franco broke a major boundary by having the Nadine and Linda characters openly, and very explicitly, engage in a sexual relationship. A sometimes forgotten aspect of Horror films is that occasionally at the heart of them is a tragic, dark, and twisted love story, and the one between Nadine and Linda is no different. What begins as a simple seduction to quench an everlasting need for blood to survive turns into a love that likely can never be for Nadine, as for her to do so would mean killing the woman she loves, thus losing the innocence and purity that made said love possible. For Linda, her unintentional falling in love presents a major complication: does she want to be free to be with her boyfriend, or will she want to succumb to most forbidden temptation to be one of the damned to live forever.

Vampyros Lesbos Blu-ray Review | High Def Digest
A Symbolic Representation of Light and Darkness (from High Def Digest)

One of Jess Franco’s more hypnotic films, and one that keeps a coherent narrative floating in the midst of varying symbolism and surrealistic imagery, VL proves to be a somewhat lesser feat of artistic achievement and showcases what Franco could’ve achieved had events not taken a tragic turn.

(This is another occasion where I feel I can’t recommend a film to everyone in spite of its fine quality and quantity, only because Franco’s latter period is clearly not to everyone tastes, even with higher production values and the feeling that though there’s an exploitive feel to the film, the film doesn’t showcase it for its own sake. Again, it’s one of those films that what you’re supposed to be looking for isn’t present as you’re watching it, but will start to become clearer as you go through everything you’ve witnessed afterwards. This is another example of sometimes having to really make your own choice, even if the majority says it is a film to start with regarding Franco.)

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Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri, Film: Analysis/Overview, Film: Special Topics

HorrorBabble Theater Presents: The Temple of Memory

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpurri 3)

(all opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Original Artwork by MG Keller Meyer (from HorrorBabble)

The Temple of Memory (2018) R *****

Ian Gordon: John Braxton, Beta Team Leader

Roslyn Hicks: Anna Channing, Beta Team Technician

Jennifer Gill: Lucy Davies, Beta Team Navigator

KINGSPOOK: David Hunter, Alpha Team Leader

Morgan Scorpion: Olivia Davies, Alpha Team Navigator

G.M. Danielson: Thomas Moore, Alpha Team Technician

Written & Produced by: Ian Gordon

Synopsis: A team from a government special agency encounters more than they bargained for as they search the Brazilian jungles for missing colleagues and look to apprehend a dangerous cult worshipping an evil sea goddess.

horrorbabble hashtag on Twitter
The Classic HorrorBabble Logo (from HorrorBabble)

HorrorBabble’s first foray into the world of Audio Drama is both a nod to the Lovecraft Cthulhu Mythos and co-founder Ian Gordon’s first entry in his recurring series on the modern entity Nokuth. That the story and new Mythos is set in the current era offers quite a bit of interest, intrigue, and horror as even with all the current technology available, it seems unable to detect the presence of something most certainly alive, but beyond worldly comprehension.

Ian Gordon: Actor, Extra and Band Member - Bolton, UK - StarNow
A Voice for the Ages: the Fabulous Ian Gordon (from StarNow UK)

Ian once again shows off his amazing skills as a writer by the pacing of the piece. While the majority of the story plays out like a typical Mystery Adventure, subtle sounds and atmospheric ambience slowly lead to a crescendo of utter terror and cosmic oblivion. What begins as a simple rescue, recovery, and detain mission soon turns into a fight for survival as two separate teams of government agents uncover an evil as old as the stars, and the hideous mutations that willingly serve it. That it all seems so simple is what adds to the horror of the situation.

This is Ian Gordon, the voice behind HorrorBabble. AMA about producing  weird fiction audiobooks. : Lovecraft
The retired original HB Mascot (from Reddit)

In addition to Ian and Jennifer’s voice talents, joining in the collaboration are Australian Roslyn Hicks, fellow Britons Morgan Scorpion and G.M. Danielson, and Canadian KINGSPOOK. All the case does great jobs in lulling the listener into a sense of security, and then slowly building the fear as more and more unusual and clearly out of the ordinary things begin to happen that turn an adventure that was to be so return into something of the thing of nightmares.

Harking back to the days of British radio plays and serials, The Temple of Memory offers up a very well done mix of Horror, Adventure, Anthropology, Archeology, and even a little peudo History, all equaling to a very intriguing ride.

(Lovers of Horror, weird fiction, and anyone openly curious to varied subjects will be completely enthralled by this totally original and different piece by Ian Gordon and company. Quite a bit has already been said of the piece on the HorrorBabble YouTube page and elsewhere, so I don’t really need to rehash all the positivity its received, only to check it out, even if Horror isn’t your main thing as its very well crafted.)

All images courtesy of Images and their respective owners

For more information

to listen to the drama

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri

HorrorBabble Theater Presents: Tentacles

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri Special 2)

(all opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Original Artwork (from HorrorBabble/Bandcamp)

Tentacles (2020) R *****

Miles Gordon/Amphibian Beasts: Ian Gordon

Lana Thompson: Jennifer Gill

Music and Produced by: Ian Gordon & Jennifer Gill

Written by: Ian Gordon, inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft

Synopsis: A Podcaster specializing in proving or disproving the paranormal presents her audience with what can only be described as the strangest case of the show’s history: what might very well be the recorded final hours of a noted paranormal investigator.

No photo description available.
Thomas, the HorrorBabble Mascot (from HorrorBabble/Facebook/ YouTube/Twitter)

Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill once again deliver in the audio play/Drama realm with this completely original presentation. Deciding to take the approach that Cthulhu, and most likely the entirety of The Old Ones, weren’t the creations of writer H.P. Lovecraft, but are in fact real, and unknown to the general public, Ian takes listeners on a frightful journey of one man’s attempt at proving or debunking something he witnessed as a boy, and possibly risking his sanity and his life by doing so. A little of the soap opera Dark Shadows comes into play as listeners must go into suspension of belief and put themselves into the realm of a world where Lovecraftian monsters aren’t the thing of literature and pop culture, but are indeed living and breathing, and lurking and waiting at the threshold of the Earth. Body Horror also comes into play as the investigator, through not knowing anything about the forces behind the house he’s in, slowly finds himself an unwitting guinea pig for the sport of beings from beyond who may or may not have dastardly plans.

Sollasina cthulhu – Nix Illustration
A Possible Fate for Those Who Worship Great Cthulhu (from Nix Illustration)

Ian Gordon once again shows both his ability as a writer and a voice actor by not only crafting a fine story, but also offering up a fine tragic and sympathetic performance as the ill fated Miles Gordon (interesting nod). Nodding to the entirety of Lovecraft’s themes, Ian presents Miles as a man seeking to learn and discover, unaware of the consequences that could very well befall him for going into areas he needn’t go in his search for answers, the typical Lovecraftian tragedy of suffering for the sake of education. Miles isn’t shown as a skeptic looking to prove or disprove something, he’s shown as genuinely curious seeking to discover what could or couldn’t be around folks, trying to tread as lightly as a can just in case what he’s looking for happens to be around the corner.

Podcast Networks Provide Much-Needed Comfort During Pandemic – Deadline
An example of Podcasting (from Deadline)

Jennifer Gill, more of a behind the scenes figure at HorrorBabble, gets to show off her voice acting skills in the role of Lana Thompson. Lana is more of a traditional paranormal expert, not taking anything at face value, looking to see if someone is acting out a hoax before she’ll confirm something truly out of the ordinary is happening. The possible fate of Miles Gordon does seem to have her unnerved, but at the same time given that the evidence before her is strictly audio recordings, she has to take into consideration that it could be edited together.

The Legend of Cthulhu (The Birdbox Monster) | by Mukesh Solanki | Medium
Cthulhu and His Minions (from Medium)

Ian and Jennifer mix Horror and Comedy well here, and put a unique and clever spin on the Lovecraft universe that is both modern, and still maintains a tie to the past.

(This is another HorrorBabble Audio Play I recommend as while it does have ties to the Cthulhu Mythos, Ian and Jennifer take such an interesting interpretation on it that it feels like Cthulhu is more of a traditional demonic deity than something completely from the outside who doesn’t care a thing about humanity or its worshippers. Granted only scraps of information are given on the High Priest of Ryl’eah, Ian has us the viewer believing Cthulhu in the real world is another in a long line of pagan gods that simply may be more powerful than his contemporaries, which is still pretty interesting, especially since he can mutate those in his presence into his form.)

all images courtesy of Images, their respective owners, and HorrorBabble

for more information

to listen to the recording

Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri

HorrorBabble Theater Presents: H.P. Lovecraft’s Dagon

by Tony Nash

(Halloween Potpourri 1)

(All opinions are of the author alone)

(Mild Spoilers)

Original Artwork (from HorrorBabble/Bandcamp)

Dagon (1917/2018) ***** PG-13

The Narrator/Turner, a Guard/Phipps, an Inmate/A Deep One: Ian Gordon

Music, Sound Effects, and Produced by: Ian Gordon

Adapted for the Airwaves by Ian Gordon from the short story by H.P. Lovecraft

Synopsis: While awaiting a decision on his mental capacity to stand trial for assault on a sailor, a man recounts to a doctor the strange, bizarre, and mind shattering events that led to an addiction to morphine.

Dagon | The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki | Fandom
Mind Shattering Eldritch Horror (from the HP Lovecraft-Wiki Fandom)

Ian Gordon and Jennifer Gill, co-founders of the website and YouTube channel HorrorBabble, bring public domain Horror Classics back to life for new audiences to appreciate, and offer old fans unique renderings of the tales. Two years ago, Ian began the process of turning some of the stories into dramatic adaptations, like the old radio plays of the 20th century, and the first two were of the author who inspired HorrorBabble: H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft, who most people know and are aware, was most famous for his grim and nihilistic Supernatural and Cosmic Horror, but his earliest efforts were quite different, as was the case with Dagon. Dagon is, by all accounts, about a man who’s world view has shattered beyond repair upon discovering something that is much older than humanity, but because Lovecraft had yet to give the basics for what would become the Cthulhu Mythos or The Lovecraftian Cycle and Yogsothoth -ary , this story can be interpreted in many different ways.

H.P. Lovecraft - Dagon | Lovecraft art, Lovecraft, Lovecraftian horror
Artist Depiction of What is on the Dagon Monolith (from Pinterest)

Ian took Lovecraft’s initial concept of a man recounting his horrific mental collapse through a diary in his home before taking his own life, and transferred it into a prison where the unnamed narrator recounts his tale to a visiting psychiatrist who may doubt the man, with a fellow inmate interjecting at interludes. Doing the adaptation as an audio drama, the mind comes into play, viewers encouraged to picture the murky dingy cell, the storm rattling outside, grungy looking prisoners, and a fancy looking guard & doctor. Ian’s use of music and sound effects are perfectly in tune with the atmosphere Lovecraft intended for the piece to invoke, recreating it through performance in fine harmony with the author’s words. The tempo slowly reaches the necessary crescendo as the audience and narrator go deeper and deeper into the vast unknown island, the terror, uncertainty, and awe bubbling to the surface. When the original Deep One first appears, the sound of wet scaley flesh smacking the ground and a gurgle like voice signify its horridness and menace.

Exploring Lovecraft: 1. Dagon – Setting the foundations - GeekChocolate
Artist Representation of Dagon the God (from GeekChocolate)

Ian is an excellent voice artist as well as author and adapter, giving enough distinction with each voice to make him the quintessential one man cast. He uses his own voice for the protagonist narrator, a deep Cockney style accent for the guard, a hoarse raspy voice for the protagonist’s cell mate, and sound effects to make up the noises of a Deep One. The Narrator in Ian’s adaptation is quite rebellious and seems to be very welcoming of death even by his own hands, his reason for wanting to tell his story is so he won’t be written off as just another kook who succumbed to drug abuse, and to let others know what’s out there waiting to rise up again. His cell mate seems very simple, but believes his story, encouraging the doctor to not dismiss the man’s story as a form of hallucination. While Ian’s voice is distinctive enough to know it is him doing all the voices, he is so good at giving each character a different feel that once audiences become acquainted with them, it no longer feels like the same person doing all the talking.  

(The COVID Pandemic, and mine not working my normal summer job has left me unable to get new titles to look into for my blog, so I decided to try something different that feels like Old Time Radio. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but this is purely experimental and something I always wanted to see of I could do justice to for reviews. I’m not the hugest fan of H.P. Lovecraft, but this story and The Nameless City are very good tales that, while are a part of the Cthulhu Mythos, were done early enough in Lovecraft’s lifetime and career that they can be taken as stand alone tales that aren’t too bleak or nihilistic. I’m a huge fan of Ian Gordon and feel he’s a highly talented individual who should certainly be famous worldwide, but still does very well with a large league of followers on the HorrorBabble YouTube channel. If anyone hasn’t already, please check out the channel, and I’ll be leaving links to both the video and the website.

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Filed under: Film & TV: Potpourri