films released on this day in horror history


Cartoon Network’s The Scooby-Doo Project

a ten minute long parody of the then huge hit The Blair Witch Project, the short uses the ‘98-'99 voice cast (The “Zombie Island” Voice Cast) and unusually animates the gang against real world footage of various locations. It has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray, possibly because it holds the dubious honor of being the one of the most complained about shows in Cartoon Network’s history.

(watch on YouTube)

Every group of working musicians has its own origin story, ranging from the widely familiar — friends jamming in a garage, someone responding to a classified ad — to the random and unusual. The story of how the Pet Shop Boys met — by chance at a hi-fi shop in London as they were separately browsing equipment — makes for a particularly charmed example. The band Algiers might have one of the most unexpected stories of all: As one member explains, it all started not merely before they knew each other, but before any of them individually existed.

“You can probably trace our origins back to the births of me and Ryan, because our mothers were friends before we were born,” Lee Tesche says. “We’ve been playing music together for probably almost 20 years.”

Tesche is speaking on the phone from Atlanta, the closest thing his band has to a hometown. Deep as its roots go, Algiers also has distance and disagreement woven into its DNA. On a separate call from the UK, where he’s lived for some years, Ryan Mahan tries to be a bit more precise.

“Really, the band fundamentally came together in 2012,” he says, pointing specifically to the day a tiny Southern indie released the group’s first 7" single. “Before that, we were spread out: We were exploring our own musical and political spaces, and trying to figure out how it would work. It really didn’t form until Franklin put down the foundations of ‘Blood’ and then it came into the world.”

Joining our conversation from New York, Franklin Fisher listens as Mahan lays out his timeline. When asked if he agrees, he laughs and responds, “No — but that’s what makes this band interesting. We’ve gone through just as many evolutions and phases as any band that’s put out however many records, in however many years’ time.”

Exactly when and where Algiers began may be less important than where it is has ended up. Founded as a trio of Atlantans, it is now four musicians living in three cities on two continents, separated by one massive ocean. On June 23, Matador Records will release its second album, The Underside of Power, a work of political critique that draws on and repurposes aggressive '80s punk, Italian horror soundtracks, modern-day hip-hop and R&B, film, literature, current events and continuing tragedies, all conceived as national politics on both sides of the Atlantic were boiling over. If there’s anything in their history that the members do agree on, it’s that the group — named for The Battle of Algiers, the 1960s film about an anti-colonial uprising — has always prized a collective instinct, where no one vision is definitive.

A Band Apart

Image: Photos: Courtesy of the artist / Illustration: Sarah Gonzales for NPR


August 14th 1975: Rocky Horror Picture Show debuts

On this day in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show premiered in the United Kingdom, followed by a US release in September. The film, directed by Jim Sharman, was based on the 1973 musical The Rocky Horror Show, written by Richard O’Brien, and opened exactly two years after the premiere of the musical in London. It is a parody and tribute to science fiction and horror B movies, starring Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as a young engaged couple whose car breaks down and are forced to seek help at a mysterious castle occupied by an alien transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry). Iconic songs of the film include ‘Science Fiction, Double Feature’, ‘The Time Warp’, and ‘Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul’ (which featured an appearance from Meatloaf). Despite not being a success upon its initial release, Rocky Horror has since gained a cult following, with fans attending screenings of the film and performances of the musical in costume, and frequently shouting callback lines during the show. It remains the longest-running film release in history, as it has never stopped screening since 1975.

40 years ago today


history films then were considered too academic and boring. i’m pretty sure a lot of students didn’t look forward to the reaction papers they had to write on these films required by their school because hey history

and then something happened; in about three years’ time, historical films and television series were released one after another. however, it was not until “heneral luna” did history films claim the spotlight which we can say is overdue

however, this is what i’m curious about, and this is what i also fear: 

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Tim Curry

Celebrates Forty Years of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

by Michelle Kacavas

“I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey." 

And so it began, in the beautiful Los Angeles City Hall Council Room, with a speech by District 5 Councilman Paul Koretz. He started by calling up the Nuart Theatre Shadowcast Company, Sins Of The Flesh, to do the "Time Warp”, introducing the council and all present to the world of The Rocky Horror Picture Show

One of the council members noted, “Oh, we have a naked golden boy here." 

Councilman Koretz, in a Rocky Horror tie, continued on with a heartfelt speech about the U.S. premiere of the movie being shown at the Festival Theatre in Westwood on September 26, 1975. He went on by elaborating on how the small film grew and grew, with audience participation and word of mouth, and that it is "without peer, the longest running film release in history." 

Of special note, Councilman Koretz also mentioned that "the film has also been helpful and began the bisexual rights movement, the acceptance of fabulous drag queens and has provided an essential community for people who otherwise may feel themselves on the fringe of society.”

Before he introduced the producer of the movie, Lou Adler, he officially declared October 30, 2015, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show Day.”

Adler began with saying he grew up in Boyle Heights and “if someone had told me I was going to City Hall this morning I would have been more scared than excited."  He said he never would have expected to be celebrating the movie 40 years later. He attributes the entire success of the movie to Tim Curry, saying "to those of us who were disappointed that in 1975 he (Tim) didn’t get the Academy Award, he is the reason that this started and has never ended.”

Tim Curry (who suffered a major stroke in 2012 and is still recovering) was given a microphone and said, “Thank you, councilpersons.  This is a great honor.  What a beautiful building this, this is…. So close to my favorite American holiday, Halloween."  There was a long pause and Marcia Hurwitz, his longtime agent, asked if he had anything more to say, and Curry said, "I don’t think so, just thank you.  Thank you, thank you.”

Up next was Sal Piro, The Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan Club founder and  President since 1977.  Piro was part of the original New York Waverly Theatre audience where all of the audience participation started.  He spoke about the fans who have kept this movie alive “week after week, year after year…. We didn’t need social media back in 1975. We were our own social media. We were the people who loved the movie so much that we spread the word, and we came, we saw and we conquered.”

After much applause and a wrap up by Councilman Koretz, we adjourned to a meeting room where we got to take pictures and briefly interview Curry, Adler, Piro and the Shadowcast.

Curry was asked what his favorite moment of the movie was and he joked, “When the check cleared." 

Curry looked for Hurwitz time and time again, and she would occasionally blow kisses at him, which made him smile. Hurwitz told me that her relationship with Curry was wonderful. She had been with him for many years and she was his "person.”

Curry was asked what he thought the difference was between the play and the movie and he said, “The film is, dare I say it, it is a tiny bit more subtle.”

About the movie’s timelessness, Curry said,  “I think it’s partly that it was beautifully lit, and beautifully shot.  It happened very quickly.  We shot it all in eight weeks.  It was very exciting for me because it was my first movie." 

He was also asked what city took the movie to heart the most. "Budapest,” he said.  “I’m serious.  I made a film in Budapest, and the crew came up one by one, practically knelt at my feet…. Film is strictly controlled by the government in Hungary, so they were very excited by Rocky film.”

Liz Stockton, the Sins of the Flesh’s Dr. Frank N. Furter, told me she has now has “been doing this for 25 years, so I’ve met him before, but this was an honor.”

Everyone then went to the Festival Theatre, where a plaque was presented, stating “At this site on September 26, 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show made its U.S. premiere,” with the words “Don’t Dream it…Be it!” written across the bottom. 

Much the same speeches were made by Councilman Koretz, Piro and Adler, but I did ask Councilman Koretz how The Rocky Horror Picture Show Day came to be.  He said he had known Lou Adler many years because he owns the Roxy which is in his district, and they got together and had this idea, so the councilman made it happen.

I got to get to ask Curry what his least favorite part of filming the movie was.  He said “The pool. It was cold. It took an hour." His most favorite scene was the floor show. And what a floor show it is, even after 40 years!

Copyright ©2015 All rights reserved. Posted: November 3, 2015.

Photos ©2015 Cynthia Marie H.  All rights reserved.

December 14

On this day in horror history, Edward Scissorhands was released in 1990.

This was Johnny Depp’s first ever Tim Burton movie and he slayed it. Tim Burton has a tendency to create films that are multi-seasonal. 

Edward Scissorhands can be enjoyed at both Halloween and Christmas. Or just whenever, really. 

Last thing: If you have never seen this movie, your whole life and existence is a lie. This film is 105 minutes of pure magic. Go bathe in it.