With the passing of Tobe Hooper on August 26th of 2017, the pantheon of horror legends has grown smaller. I certainly made sure to share my shock and disbelief at the passing of Tobe Hooper on Facebook. However after talking it over with the Projectionist we came to a decision. To venture back into the Retroist Vault and record this special episode, one focusing on the works of Tobe Hooper.
I realize of course that Tobe Hooper is probably best remembered for his 1974 film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Of course this is rightfully so. But in all honesty he was behind the camera for many more excellent horror films as well as TV series.
Granted there is in fact a debate on who actually directed 1982’s Poltergeist. As the Projectionist and I brought up back 27 episode ago. Thankfully for you, the listeners, this is…mostly…avoided this go around.
Furthermore we have a special guest segment for this show. We are joined by none other than Daniel XIII! Whose reviews are easily found over on the That’s Not Current spot on the internet.
If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future special. Or possibly you have comments on the current show, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook.
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In literature, the horror anthology is one of my favorite things. In particular I enjoy the buffet like quality that a horror anthology can offer. Case in point, Forever Darkness where we are introduced to The Kretcher Motel. A seedy type of establishment that one would do well to avoid when visiting Atlanta . Certainly there are those who are drawn to the special…amenities…that the Kretcher Motel offers. Those lost souls down on their luck or those seeking souls as a matter of fact.
The Kretcher offers cheap rates because the motel has a unique hunger. As does its proprietor, the beautiful and equally dangerous Sybline Kretcher. Quick to lend a helpful hand as well as manipulating guests, letting them find their deserved punishments. Moreover the proprietor in some cases even offers redemption. Yes, indeed, Sybline has been tending to the motel since the early 1960’s…but she has been around for a lot longer than that. A lot longer than you might imagine.
Sybline Kretcher as well as the Kretcher Motel are the two constants in the new horror anthology from Colors in Darkness. Forever Vacancy collects 13 diverse stories, ranging from hauntings to the wickedly humorous. All manner of characters find their way to the run down Kretcher Motel and their tales are the perfect fit for an anthology. Having said that I will add that I’m rather fond of the format in general. In addition to books I have similarly thrilled to those horror anthology in film and TV format however few they might be in number. A few of my favorites being 1972’s Tales from the Crypt, 1982’s Creepshow, and 2007’s Trick ‘r Treat of course.
Are you a fan of Creepshow? You might want to take a moment and listen to when we covered it on the Saturday Frights podcast!
With 13 different styles of stories presented in Forever Vacancy a few naturally stand out. While it all comes down to a matter of taste, I found Karma Suture by Tawanna Sullivan, The Honeymoon Suite: Jacob’s Reunion by Sumiko Saulson, and A Devil Of A Deal by David O’Hanlon to really shine amongst the other fine stories presented.
With Karma Suture, we are introduced to a location scout named Stephanie. Actually she has desires to be an actress but has taken a position with her ex-boyfriend, helping him on a film he is producing. For Stephanie the Kretcher Motel offers a bit of comeuppance for those that have wronged her…or she feels have wronged her.
A Devil Of A Deal I found to be the most fun. David O’Hanlon has crafted a rowdy as well as bawdy leading man. Or fallen angel in the case of Mr. Scratch. A raconteur who finds himself mixed up with a young woman who is being extorted by an unsavory character. There are all manner of surprises for Mr. Scratch and the reader. By the time you finish the story you just might find you have Sympathy for the Devil…or devils in this case.
[Via] The Rolling Stones HQ
The Honeymoon Suite: Jacob’s Reunion is hands down the most moving of the stories. In it we learn of the grief of Jess whose love Jacob was killed in a train-car collision. Deep feelings of survivor’s guilt due to not joining Jacob to attend his class reunion haunt Jess. But can forgiveness be found in a place like the Kretcher Motel?
While this anthology collection from Colors in Darkness is the first to feature Sybline Kretcher and her motel. I can only hope that we will be given new chances to…temporarily…visit that establishment. The setting is absolutely perfect and if you too are a fan of the horror anthology I highly suggest you pick it up. You can grab your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble in addition to the Colors in Darkness website.
I would also like to thank author David O’Hanlon. As he was the one who contacted me on the Saturday Frights Facebook page, asking if I would be interested in reviewing Forever Vacancy. Furthermore we were both delighted to learn that we had something in common beyond our love of horror. As a result of providing my mailing address we learned that we live in the same neck of the woods, a mere ten minutes away from each other in fact!
With Forever Vacancy being such a great horror anthology. Is it too much to hope for a television adaptation in the near future?
Additionally I believe I have fond the perfect actress to play the role of Sybline Kretcher!
Don Rickles was a legendary entertainer. Furthermore he earned that title through his years of incredibly cutting humor. As well as receiving the moniker of ‘Mr. Warmth’, which was bestowed on him by Johnny Carson in fact. Don Rickles owed his big break in TV thanks to Carson, not that you would see him acting thankful. No, I would add that it caused him to lean in with the insults even more. To say nothing of taking shots at his special guests, like Frank Sinatra.
I think it is quite important to understand that Don Rickles never actually meant what he said. It was all part of the act. Beyond a life of stand up comedy, Rickles of course worked in film and television. Appearing in everything from The Twilight Zone to Innocent Blood. While he might have best been known in his later years as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story animated films and shorts. I remember the very first time I was introduced to him, thanks to a showing at the 62 Drive-In. It was in 1970’s Kelly’s Heroes as the sarcastic supply Sgt. Crapgame!
I feel that if you really want to see Don Rickles at the top of his game however. You need only take a look at his appearances on the popular The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. For example, I think you will enjoy how he handles the then Governor Ronald Regan.
On the other hand, Don Rickles was also known to momentarily go after his fellow roasters, temporarily letting the roastee off the hook. Remember I did say temporarily as is proven in this clip from the roast for Jerry Lewis.
The world is a bit sadder for the loss of Don Rickles, friends. Of course we hockey pucks have a silver lining. And that is Rickles certainly has left us with an impressive legacy. 62 years of solid performances and laughs.
One of my favorite TV appearances by Don Rickles was his role in the Tales from the Crypt episode entitled The Ventriloquist’s Dummy. The perfect blend of horror as well as humor.
The Sealed Book was a short lived old time radio series from 1945. It began airing on the Mutual Radio Network on March 18th and lasted only to September 9th. Our episode today is entitled “I’ll Die Laughing”!
Produced and directed by Jock MacGregor, the show is a bit like the Tales from the Crypt comic books. Equally important the stories were written by David Kogan and Robert Arthur Jr. The two also scripted The Mysterious Traveler. In addition to being a long running radio series you can of course see it was developed into a comic book!
To say nothing of the fact that many of the scripts for The Sealed Book were actually rehashed from the latter!
Now what is The Sealed Book about?
Each week would find a new tale of horror and suspense being introduced by Phillip Clarke. Who was the show’s host in addition to being the character of the Keeper of the Book. Although this was heard in episodes later than the one today.
In spite of that I think you will dig this episode. It concerns a man by the name of John Drayton who learns of a secret Aztec treasure. Furthermore it was “lost” in a place called the Devil’s Cave. Thankfully for John, his Wife Laura, and their best friend Harvey. A prospector has managed to locate the stash – dying after warning them of the curse on it. Surprisingly the trio go in search of the treasure…but two of the protagonists are not on the level.
If you have any comments or feedback for the show you can e-mail them to at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also reach me on Twitter and of course on Facebook.
The music on the podcast was graciously provided by Peachy! You may contact him by e-mail at peachy@Retroist.com.
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It was a sad day for fans of sequential art the other day as it was confirmed that the legendary cartoonist and illustrator Jack Davis passed away at the age of 91. While it can’t be denied that he lived a long and fulfilling life – for those of us that loved his art style it still hurts to know we won’t be seeing any new artwork from Davis.
Jack Davis really got his start when he obtained a job with William Gaines of EC Comics – providing illustrations for the covers of Tales from the Crypt from issues #29 to #46. He also provided the art for some of the legendary stories from that comic series like “Foul Play”, “Tight Grip” and “Lower Berth” to name a few.
Davis also worked on Gaines’ other EC titles such as The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, Two-Fisted Tales, Incredible Science Fiction, Terror Illustrated, Frontline Combat, and Piracy. Sadly Dr. Fredric Wertham helped put a nail in the coffin of EC Comics and Jack found work briefly with Marvel Comics on their title The Rawhide Kid. Although there was one publication from EC that survived the witch hunt that Wertham started and it might be what David is best known for and that was Mad Magazine!
While it is most certainly a sad thing that Jack Davis has passed away and another reminder just how brutal 2016 has been – we can take some measure of comfort no matter how small that he left us with an amazing amount of work to enjoy as his legacy, work that will entertain for many more years to come.