One of the most popular cult television shows from the 1960s was also one of the most original and audacious ever produced. Think of a combination of the western and spy thriller genres (the latter especially as depicted by the James Bond 007 movie series) with beautiful women, colorful over-the-top villians and enough anachronistic inventions to mow down an army, then set it in the 1870s United States during the Grant admistration and you've got The Wild Wild West.
February 2009 Archives
My apologies for not noting this sooner, but last February 2nd marked the 40th anniversary of the passing of horror film icon Boris Karloff, whose Thriller TV series I had discussed here a while back. Rather than risk sounding maudlin about what an impression Mr. Karloff's performances gave me when I was growing up, watching his films on late night TV (and later, at art house theatre revivals and on home video) and reading any article or book that mentioned his work, I'm going to instead cite blogger Richard Harland Smith's tribute at the Turner Classic Movies web site (with links) here. Mr. Smith (whose reminisces regarding Karloff's work are eerily similar to mine; yeah, I too collected Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, amongst other things) pretty much sums up why Boris Karloff's work still appeals to movie fans even after all these years.
Related link: Boris Karloff films available at Greenwich Library.
The economy is affecting everybody in the job market, including those skilled professionals with disabilities seeking work because they've either been "downsized" or are just beginning their careers. An online source for those professionals to seek new employment opportunities is The Employment Resources for the Disabled (ERD) site, offered by the Riley Guide (itself a good site for job seekers of any persuasion). The ERD has links to various employment-related sites that professionals with disabilities can take advantage of, such as GettingHired.com and JobAccess.org. If you have a disability, or know somebody who does, and you or they need assistance in finding work, take some time and see what the ERD offers.
It was because of the original 1966-69 Star Trek series that I first got into (and took seriously) science fiction literature. Finding a good science fiction series on television at that time in the sixties meant you had a choice of various anthology series (The Twilight Zone, Thriller, The Outer Limits), shows with sf-inspired trappings (The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Avengers) or just plain goofy "monster-on-the-loose" programs (Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space). Yet for whatever it's faults, Star Trek took a much more sober-minded approach to the genre than previous TV shows had.
This past weekend (February 6-8), I attended the fourth annual New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, an event that lets fans of the various fantasy/science fiction media (novels, computer games, movies, TV shows, graphic novels and comics) to get together and meet with popular writers, artists and performers in one gathering.
Back in 2005, the Library of America published a collection of stories and one short novel by American horror-fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) entitled simply Tales, edited by Peter Straub. The tome, which collected such genre classics as "The Dunwich Horror", "The Colour Out of Space", "Herbert West - Reanimator" and the novel At The Mountains of Madness, is a terrific introduction to Lovecraft's works. (This and other collections of Lovecraft's tales can be found at the library here.)
Mr. Lovecraft's influence on the horror and fantasy genres has influenced a number of writers, artists and filmmakers over the past century. The H.P. Lovecraft Archive site notes just how wide and persuasive the author's presence has been over the decades in various media. Check out Lovecraft's output yourself and see if you don't agree that his work not only holds up but can still frighten the heck out of a reader!