Spooktober II: Electric Boogaloo

So last night’s Spooktober viewing was NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF, a 1981 Spanish film whose original title was El Retorno Del Hombre-Lobo.

It’s one of Paul Naschy’s twelve-film series about the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky. It’s only a “series” in the strictest sense — they’re largely unrelated films, all of which feature a 16th century Polish nobleman who’s been cursed to be an immortal werewolf. Each film pretty much stands alone, and this one, in fact, is a higher-budget remake of one of his earlier stories, 1970’s La Noche De Walpurgis (Walpurgis Night, known in the US as The Werewolf vs The Vampire Woman, in which Daninsky combats the vampiric Elisabeth Bathory, who has returned from the beyond the grave to something something.

Gotta be real: NOT a good movie. There’s something about bad dubbing and Cinemax Bewbs that just makes even the most earnest attempt nearly unwatchable. But, it was a fun bit of horror-adventure-pulp, and really wasn’t trying to be more than that.

Spooktober, Part The First

Haven’t posted here since August. So much for the plan of “getting back into regular updates.” As always, when you make plans, God laughs. In my case, the past couple of months have been filled with tons of work getting the FAR WEST manuscript finalized and ready for layout, and then entering into a seven-days-a-week grind as Laura and I started our yearly gig running the shop for our artist friend Ruth Thompson out at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.

Exhausted Gareth is exhausted.

But, it’s now October, and as is my habit, I’m spending the month watching horror movies at night. I’ll be doing a brief look at each of the films I watch, for those so interested.

After missing the first day, I doubled up on October 2nd for my Spooktober viewing. The night’s films: THE LEGACY (1978) and MR. FROST (1990).

THE LEGACY was… OK. Jimmy Sangster script & Richard Marquand directing, so I had high hopes. Mostly opportunities left unexploited, which was frustrating. (Charles Gray and Roger Daltrey completely under-used, for example). Oddly up-beat soundtrack, complete with Kiki Dee theme.

I’d seen MR. FROST before, once. It’s not a great movie by any stretch, but effectively creepy, with Jeff Goldblum at the height of sexy-devil-ness — and this former Catholic school kid always responds to good old-fashioned religious horror.

Last night’s Spooktober viewing: NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS, the second of the two Dark Shadows films from the early 70s.

I’d seen the first (HOUSE OF…), which adapted the Barnabas Collins resurrection story, but hadn’t seen this yet. It adapts the Quentin Collins/Angelique story.

All in all, it’s a pretty solid gothic-romance ghost/possession story, with traces of Lovecraft’s “The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward.”

A nice way to wind down my days, and keep my observance of the Darkening of The Year. Feel free to stop by throughout the month and see what I’m watching.


RPGaDay, Day 31 — Share why you take part in RPGaDay

The last day: Share why you take part in RPGaDay.

First and foremost, it’s a good way to get me back into the habit of updating this blog regularly — something that I intend on continuing. Writer Warren Ellis, via his newsletter, Orbital Operations, has talked about a growing backlash to the chaos of social media, found in more private, personal and selective formats, such as newsletters, personal chat servers, and blogs. He referred to it as “The Isles of Blogs”, each on their own, sending their messages out into the world, and hosting visitors who arrive at their shores. I think I’d like to get back to that.

Second, it’s a sharing event which allows me to connect positively with the wider gaming community — too much of the connection seems negative now: Edition wars, arguments over who “really counts” as a gamer, the seemingly never-ending fight for inclusivity in our spaces, etc. This was a chance to be reminded of the good things.

Hope you enjoyed this month. See ya around.