things that go bump!

By amy ~ April 30th, 2014 @ 8:38 pm


And following a delightful weekend watching horror films in Edinburgh, I’m back …for a week, before heading to Glasgow, and er, Edinburgh before making my way down to London. Yes, I accept that I could have timed things better (although I suspect the people who own East Coast trains are happy).

Disembarking a train at Waverley in a non-prossie – and therefore unrushed – capacity is always a pleasant feeling, and since I saw no more of the place over the last few days than my little apartment, the inside of Filmhouse and the bit of Lothian Road that runs up to Tollcross inbetween the two, I’m sure I won’t be bored of it on returning. Needless to say I will be in slightly more appropriate accommodation as well as clothing next week – I expect that few punters would be best pleased with a headscarf, faded and mangy t-shirt dress, leggings and UGGs, but fourteen hours a day in a cinema seat puts comfort somewhat higher on the priorities list than worrying about looking like a bag of grubby laundry (and sadly, also smelling like one).


Whilst Dead By Dawn last year marked the 20th anniversary of the event itself, opening night this year happened to coincide with what would have been the 100th birthday of one William Castle – for those who don’t know, Mr Castle was the filmmaker, showman and lover of gimmicks responsible for (amongst other things) The Tingler (1959) where a handful of seats in the audience were rigged with electric buzzers, regularly parking ambulances outside cinemas and for whom even the advent of 3D wasn’t participative enough – screenings of Homicidal (1961) offered a 45 second Fright Break shortly before the finish for the terrified to leave and a full refund to audience members who did, and according to John Waters:

William Castle simply went nuts. He came up with ‘Coward’s Corner,’ a yellow cardboard booth, manned by a bewildered theater employee in the lobby. When the Fright Break was announced, and you found that you couldn’t take it any more, you had to leave your seat and, in front of the entire audience, follow yellow footsteps up the aisle, bathed in a yellow light. Before you reached Coward’s Corner, you crossed yellow lines with the stencilled message: ‘Cowards Keep Walking.’ You passed a nurse (in a yellow uniform?…I wonder), who would offer a blood-pressure test. All the while a recording was blaring, “‘Watch the chicken! Watch him shiver in Coward’s Corner’!” As the audience howled, you had to go through one final indignity — at Coward’s Corner you were forced to sign a yellow card stating, ‘I am a bona fide coward.’ Very, very few were masochistic enough to endure this. The one percent refund dribbled away to a zero percent, and I’m sure that in many cities a plant had to be paid to go through this torture. No wonder theater owners balked at booking a William Castle film. It was all just too complicated.”

As well the opener House on Haunted Hill (1959) we also got Mr Sardonicus (1961) a wonderful and thoroughly nasty tale that I’d long since forgotten I’d seen, and in which we all got to join in and decide whether the eponymous protagonist should be shown mercy via the Punishment Poll, a thumbs up/thumbs down voting card. He wasn’t. Happy days.

It is probably becoming clear I could ramble all evening and any new readers who were expecting discussion of hair, shopping for sex toys, or how I spend my free time masturbating in front of a mirror all day (or whatever) are more than likely feeling a little lost (and the Adultwork folk who aren’t allowed to have the links or video clips even more so). Anybody wanting festival picks can always ask although leaving the new releases aside, a chance to see Twilight Zone: The Movie again for the first time in roughly twenty five years and on the big screen, was worth the ticket price on it’s own. And not forgetting the documentaries, animation and short films. Here’s a good old-fashioned one that made me jump and drop my Snack-A-Jacks – yay!

Like everything else, all good things had to come to an end (booooo), and that’s it until Frightfest in August (yay). Monday morning was spent finding the perfect bacon and egg toastie before travelling home, and a spot of catching up and housekeeping has been going on since. Some will have noticed a few changes over to the right, including a few bits missing – I’m overhauling the links, and eventually the pictures (that one overleaf is getting old, as fond as I am of the top hat) which means that any of the ladies who hasn’t added to her own blog in roughly a year has been taken off the list. This includes a few retirees, and may they have a big wave, and all the good wishes in the world for the future! Anybody seeing their link has gone and has just been having a bit of a blog-hiatus, let me know and I’ll put it back.

The week ahead is pretty much spoken for as the DIY continues but occasional oddbods are available until I set off, at least for anybody who has been before, gives me at least 24 hours notice and doesn’t mind a bit of a building site; texts or emails as ever, please. Having now had to put my number back up on Adultwork in order that my tour ads for next week are shown, the call blocker is resolutely on and will remain so until I arrive on Wednesday. To my credit, I think I lasted an hour.

Back to the real world! More soon…homicidal_certificate

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