Creature Feature

Another victory in my gradual battle to reclaim my adolescence….I received an email today from Roberta Solomon– better known to folks who were growing up in the Kansas City area between 1981-1988 as Crematia Mortem, the “ghostess with the mostest” host of KSHB-TV’s “Creature Feature” which ran on Friday nights.

I had tracked down her address (found through her current voice-over work), and sent her an email asking if she knew whether or not episodes of her program had been archived by anyone. (I’ve been dying to get ahold of even just a couple of episodes, since they formed such a huge part of the best memories of my high-school years)

She said that she’s got some stuff, and she thinks that her Director might have archived a few, and that she’s been thinking of putting together something—because so many people contact her, she feels that it might be time for a “Crematia comeback.”

Horror hosts used to be a huge part of late-night broadcasting on small local channels, a trend which pretty much died towards the end of the 80s with the invention of the Infomercial—where channels could be paid for their airtime, instead of having to fill the time themselves. I’m sure it’s just another example of my rapidly-approaching middle-age and the accompanying nostalgia, but I miss being able to turn on a cheesy old monster movie, and groan at the goofy antics of a ghoulish host, rife with bad puns and wobbly sets.

So, I’m still looking for tapes. But I’ve got an email from Crematia, and that’s cool.


Supposedly, there’s a new Sherlock Holmes film in the works (link here). Normally, I’d be happy about this, except that in this case, the writer and producers are hacks, and, worst of all, they’ve decided to set it in modern London, with a descendant of Holmes “living the life of a modern playboy until the strikingly beautiful Dr. Jane Watson manages to involve him in a complicated plot of murder and intrigue.”

Jesus wept.

In other movie news, I saw a few this weekend on video:

Road to Perdition–Tom Hanks was alright, but nothing special. Paul Newman’s performance, also nothing special, pretty much convinced me that his Oscar nomination is just another “you’ve put in a lot of good work over the years, so we owe you” nod. The film was ponderously slow, and predicatable as well. Ah well.

Deuces Wild–1958 Brooklyn street gang melodrama. Seemingly designed to be an excuse to show guys wearing leather jackets and engineer boots, smoking Lucky’s and brooding while late-50s doo-wop blares on the soundtrack. Not really a crime drama, not really a slice of life, not really a coming-of-age film…just sort of sits there.

Queen of the Damned–Not nearly as bad as I had been led to believe. I do concede that it was essentially the Cliffs Notes version of the novels The Vampire Lestat and Queen of the Damned, and if you hadn’t read those, you’d be pretty much lost, as it condenses two 500+ page novels into 1 hour and 40 minutes of film. A fun bit of fluff, though.

The Four Feathers— Victorian action in the Sudan, as the British Army fights the forces of the Mahdi, and snivelling coward Heath Ledger has to redeem himself after resigning his commission and deserting his fellows. Gorgeous film–pretty people, pretty costumes, pretty scenery, pretty battles.