Ahhh, it's one of the most wonderful times of the year as we come into Halloween, isn't it? I love that -- over the years -- it's become far more common for houses to decorate in such a way as to send out the proper chills and thrills for everyone to see. We, too, have increased our humble decor we each passing year, mostly because the collection of skulls and bones keeps growing. We like to call it 'the Boneyard,' and I've been known to receive a good deal of complimentary statements from those driving past and/or taking a stroll through the neighborhood. Honestly, it isn't anything all that elaborate, but it's a helluva lot of fun ... and that's all that matters.
It was a reasonably quiet weekend 'round the house, so much so that I was able to squeeze in a few movies on the television as well as one trip out to the local cheapie theater. On the silver screen, the wifey and I took in a showing of The Fellowship Of The Ring -- one of my all-time favorite flicks -- and at home I managed to work my way through the Apocalypse/Thriller called The Divide and then followed that up with a little something something called Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. I'm thinking about penning a few shorter style reviews for the MainPage, but I'll probably mull that over before committing anything to print.
And speaking of the local cheapie theater? That place has an INCREDIBLE October on tap for genre fans. They'd already announced that they were showing Alien and Aliens this month, and then over the weekend I learned that they were adding eight of the Universal Pictures Monster Classics to the rotation ... obviously in honor of Shocktober. This means that I can finally get to see flicks like Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and a few more up on the silver screen the way those pictures were fully intended. I couldn't be happier. And, yes, I'll likely take them in and pen reviews for SciFiHistory.Net. It's only proper.
Well ... that's all I have for now ... so how about a few highlights for October 2nd's trivia?
See, back in the day (circa the 1930's), Buck Rogers was all the rage in the daily comic strips. (Yes, yes, and yes: Buck Rogers is more properly known under the name of Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, you purists!) Appearing originally in 1929, Buck had established himself as a contender amongst readers, and King Features -- as the story goes -- wanted something that could compete with this man of tomorrow. According to Wikipedia.org, company president Joe Connolly gave his arist Alex Raymond the inspiration to craft something that might draw inspiration from the works of Jules Verne, and -- you guessed it -- Flash Gordon was officially born from Raymond's fertile imagination.
For a man whose creations brought an incredible degree of joy to readers, Raymond had a somewhat tortured life, at least this can be said regarding his demise. Killed in a car crash in 1956, there has been speculation that he actually committed suicide-by-automobile as he'd been involved in a previous four similar altercations very, very, very recently. There was talk that he was distraught over his marital relations, and some suggest this led him to take his life. If this is true, then that's a sad predicament for a man whose stories and artwork inspired so many, including George Lucas. The Star Wars creator is on record as attributing Raymond's works as one of his chief fascinations.
Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone first premiered on U.S. television sets on this day all the way back in 1959; and -- unless someone can prove to me otherwise -- it paved the way toward changing the way business was done in the realm of homespun Fantasy. The show lasted for an incredible five seasons, and -- across a wide spectrum of folks 'in the know' -- it's arguably considered one of the greatest programs of all time. Structured around an anthology format and casting both newcomers as well as established talent, The Twilight Zone become a cornerstore in the world of genre entertainment, and its legacy endures even to this day.
While I'll admit to probably not even having seen all of it (it just didn't run in broadcast syndication anywhere in my youth), I have seen enough of it -- likely half -- to both understand and appreciate why so many find it required viewing of anyone who thinks and/or writes about entertainment of that bygone era. Its performances are always pretty spot on, and the program surprisingly had few blemishes. Some of this is most likely owed to the fact that Serling himself oversaw so very much of the adventures, giving it a measure of narrative consistency many other anthologies of the day lacked.
Furthermore, the fact that Zone has been retooled on more than one occasion and has been re-introduced to contemporary audiences shows that its a formula that multiple generations can appreciate and relate to. It'll likely be with us so long as we're among the living in this wide, wide universe ... and each of us owes a debt to Serling we'll never repay.
That's all I have for now, faithful readers, but keep your eyes peeled. I may have a bit more new content coming for the MainPage over the day. It just depends on how much I can get done over the next few hours.
As always, thanks for reading ... thanks for being a fan ... thanks for sharing ... and live long and prosper!