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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I've been a Boris Karloff freak since grade school. Without checking with imdb, I can tell you off the top of my head that Karloff was born on Nov. 23, 1887 and died on Feb. 2, 1969 (which I used to call the "Day of Mourning" -- what a geek). I made it my mission to see every movie Karloff was ever in. (Not much chance of that, since he was in more than 150 going back to the silent days.) This was before VCRs and DVD players, of course, so any opportunity to catch a "Karloffilm" (a word coined by Famous Monsters of Filmland editor Forrest J Ackerman) was not to be passed up.

When "The Strange Door" was to be shown on Channel 10 at 3 in the morning on a school night, Yours Truly was not permitted to tune in. But I did anyway. I couldn't sleep knowing there was a Karloff film on, so I got up in the middle of the night and watched it with the sound turned down. I couldn't make out everything that was happening, but I remember Charles Laughton was a smiling baddie with bad hair and Karloff had a small role as a good guy working for the bad guy.

"The Strange Door," neither a great film nor a bad one, has turned up on a new five-movie DVD set from Universal, "The Boris Karloff Collection." It should actually be titled "A Boris Karloff Collection," because there's nothing definitive about it. The films are all over the map chronologically (two from the '30s, one from the '40s, two from the '50s). Karloff is top-billed in only two of the five. And only three qualify as "horror" films. Of those, none have any sort of supernatural element. The films are: "The Night Key," "Tower of London," "The Climax," "The Strange Door" and "The Black Castle." Of the five, only "Tower of London" qualifies as a great Karloff performance.

Now that I've run the set down, let me hurry to add that I LOVE it. Because, as I stated earlier, I'm a Karloff freak. Love, love, love the guy. And it was great watching "The Strange Door" again and hearing the dialogue for the first time. NOW it makes sense!


Anonymous Dismas said...

What follows is a post that I tried to make on Bob Ingle's post on September 13th. Bob had a problem with what I wrote. Apparently Bob doesn't like anyone talking about his drinking. Do you think the following is that bad? What appears in italics is what Bob wrote.

"As a matter of fact, I saw a fireman in a TV interview on 9/11 who said knowing what he knows now he would not have gone in. You can keep the steak."

I never welshed on a bet in my life, Mr. Ingle, and I certainly won't start with the likes of you. Do you have a name for this coward / alleged fireman that, as per you, would, now, refuse to search for his potentially injured brothers in the rubble of the Twin Towers? Provide a source for your claims and I'll contribute the cost of that steak I promised to the Lunch Break soup kitchen in Red Bank. I'll even send the certified check to you first, and you can mail it to Lunch Break yourself. Hell, if I have to pay out, I'll even scan a copy of the check and post it here in PDF format.

"No emergency worker should ever have to think twice about it."
Think about what twice, Bob? That the possibility exists that one might actually get hurt or even die while making their living as a cop, fireman, EMT or Marine? That their job might involve some element of danger? If so, you've been sitting behind that computer in your ivory tower way too long, my friend. You ought to take some time to actually talk to the working people that suit up five days a week and make their living doing just that. Risk is part and parcel of being an "emergency worker." It is in the job description.

"I'd like to see the evidence used to reach the conclusion the air was safe."

The air wasn't safe. If Whitman claimed otherwise, then her remarks were idiotic and negligent to be sure. Do you really need someone from yet another government commission to tell you that, or are you really just looking for any excuse to bash the Bush Administration? I think you aren't at all interested in these "emergency workers" that you you feign concern for. I think you, like these congressman you spoke of, are far more interested in bashing an Administration that you don't particularly like. I think you have your own political agenda.

"Kids were going to kindergarten in south Jersey on a site contaminated with mercury the state DEP had on its danger lists but dropped it."

Mission Control to Bob: Come in Mr. Ingle. We seem to have lost you in tangent space somewhere. Lest you forgot, you began this thread talking about Special Prosecutors and Christie Whitman's alleged "crimes." Now you are rambling on about kindergarten and mercury levels? Far be it from me to disturb your incoherent rant, but are you all there, Bob? One martini too many at lunch, perhaps?

9:10 PM, September 14, 2006  

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