Welcome to Monday, and another week here at the Bleat. More of the same, and how! But different. I hope you had a good weekend, and did not spend it all archiving, as I did. I threw out some photographs. (Massed sudden inhaling through clenched teeth) Sorry. I can’t save everything. Sometimes I think you’re doing the occupants of the picture a favor. No one will ever squint at you again, and wonder who you were. I’m not throwing this away out of indifference. The last person who saw your face in this picture knew you, and remembered you. Thus you are consigned to the fire.

Fancy way of saying I just didn’t want to carry it along forever and curse descendants. Who’s this? Don’t know. Were we related? Probably. Where as this taken? An empty field.

Really, the picture was two inches wide, and taken from a distance of 20 feet.

Now I’m feeling guilty.

I also threw out expired Nyquil. I’d bought a two-pack - Dayquil, for when you want to be miserable and awake, and Nyquil, when you’re out of bourbon - when the pandemic hit, or perhaps before. They are now out of date. Apparently the stuff goes bad like raw hamburger.

Oh, I could tell more - tales of scanning! Phone cleaning! Photo sorting! - but it would seem as if I hadn’t left the house all weekend. I did. Went to the grocery store Sunday night, and noted that everyone was masked again. It was 30-70 mask / no mask two weeks ago. 50 / 50 last week. 90 / 10 today. And we’re talking masks in the parking lot, too.

Hey, here’s an idea. Let’s go back in time.


Vie Reddit: This upscaled tour of 8th avenue c/ 1945 is quite remarkable. Wrong, but remarkable. Wrong in its hues: all those rusty purple cars. Everything has an unworldly cast, but aside from that it seems more alive and real than the black and white source.

I suppose it’s a matter of opinion, but everything here looks more interesting than today. It’s older and feels careworn - nothing new had been built in years - and it’s less congested, but it feels not just more alive, but somehow more relaxed.

The signage is idiosyncratic, even though there are chains everywhere. The Squire theater hung on until 2007:

We will never know his story. For a moment, he moves, turning his head as the means of his immortality moves behind him, unnoted.

The bane of the documentarian:

His mob name is Jimmy Fourth-wall. Looks like he suffered an industrial accident in Ted Turner's colorization lab.

If you hadn’t seen the landmarks, and didn’t know the street, you could find it from this.

Penn Station and the Post Office. Now:

Moving day, it seems:

There’s another, with the same hues of the Joker’s clothing:

The most ordinary streets seem extraordinary.

Sports Radio? Wikipedia: "Davega Stores was a consumer durables, appliance, sporting goods, and apparel chain which operated 27 stores in the metropolitan New York City."

Across from Madison Square Garden. Must have been a rollicking place after the game.

Now and then you see something distinctive that might have survived . . .


It's a church. We can go inside . . . and see the true colors of now, and of then.


Newspapers regularly published big letters, so people could cut them out and use them as they liked! Really

You'd think he would've drawn it the other way around.




So . . . Frankenstein?

We begin with a horrible crash of a model:


Pretty good effect. Everyone’s electrocuted, except for one guy - or so we’re informed by a radio announced who’s apparently broadcasting from his office:

Sorry, son, you’ve landed in St. Noir’s Hospital:

And who’s the electrocuted guy?

Oh, the poor fellow. Stuff just keep happening to this fellow. Except it hasn’t happened yet: this one comes before Wolfman.

His job is actually dealing with electricity - down at the Midway he’s a “yokel-shocker,” carny term for impressing the rubes with fake voltage tricks.

The doctors recommend another venerable doc for outpatient treatment - and get a load of the set-up this guy has in his house. On the ground floor, even.

Working in the lab, using electricity to UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF LIFE, we have . . . .

Yay! Lionell Atwill!


Back at the hospital:

They really didn’t think people read very fast, did they

He goes to stay with the Doctors, gets fond of the man Doc’s girl, and is subjected to ex-perrrr-i-ments at the hands of Eeevil Doctor Lionel:

Since the process - whatever the hell it is - takes a long time, this requires a MONTAGE!

He starts to require electricity to survive, and after ten minutes of our poor fellow getting weaker and mopy, we are treated to . . . ADDITIONAL MONTAGE


We don’t even have to check to know some of those shots are lifted from other Universal movies.

The effect is pretty good:

Dr. Lionel instructs him to take care of the other doctor, who is meddling in his work; he duly kills him, and confesses. He’s not happy about it. Maybe this science stuff isn't for him.

It turns into a brief courtroom drama, and then we have perhaps the least appropriate act by the corrective arm of the state imaginable:

Isn’t that just asking for it?

Now, back to your LOCAL REPORTER

Who is this guy? Jack Gardner.

Anyway, as you might expect, zapping a man who feeds on electricity does not have the desired effect. I’ll leave it at that.

It’s a damned good little monster movie. There’s even a little recurring story about a dog that pays off, in a modest way. It’s all modest, compared to the BIG TENTPOLE monster movies, but it’s an hour long and completely satisfying.

Say, remember the ghoul movie from a few weeks ago, the theme that sounded a lot like the (cough) inspiration for Elfman's Batman theme?

Well then

I guess they passed that one around a lot.

  That will  have to do. Matches await!



blog comments powered by Disqus