As a gentle reminder to the TDOY faithful—the deadline for entering the latest Thrilling Days of Yesteryear giveaway is Friday evening at 11:59pm EST…and the prize (and there are two of them) is the latest Radio Spirits CD set (a $31.95 value), The Life of Riley: My Head is Made Up!. Eight discs containing sixteen classic broadcasts of the 1944-51 situation comedy that starred William Bendix, plus you get a collectible booklet penned by yours truly. If you’ve been meaning to e-mail me an entry—the address is igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com (and just stick “Life of Riley giveaway” in the subject header), and I’ll draw two winners from the Random.org hat and get those prizes out to them posthaste.
By now you’re probably wondering if you may have perhaps stumbled onto the wrong blog, what with all the recent activity going on of late. I haven’t been able to sit down and scribble down the sort of material I like to post here in the past, but with the massive outside project over and done with, I’ve in essence “found my voice” and am ready to start doing a little yard work around the blog (because I have just noticed that we have a serious crabgrass problem). I made myself sort of a New Year’s resolution that I would put forth an effort to post more often, and I thought it might be kind of…oh, I don’t know—organized…if I did it in the form of regular features at TDOY. Yesterday was the premiere post of “B-Western Wednesdays,” and I want to thank both the people who commented here and at Facebook on how much they enjoyed the review. I really am going to knuckle down and work hard at this, unless I get…hey! Who threw that Frisbee?
All seriousness aside, you may have also noticed the return of a moldy oldie on Tuesday in “Grey Market Cinema.” GMC will be a part of a larger feature that I’m attempting to coordinate with Todd Mason’s Sweet Freedom blog—every Tuesday he posts links to blurbs about “overlooked movies” from such TDOY chums as Bill Crider, Evan Lewis, Yvette Banek, Stacia Jones and many, many more. Todd has been nice enough to link here on so many occasions…even when I haven’t anything prepared, so I’m going to move Heaven and Earth to make sure there’s something here on Tuesdays for him to point to—and I also want to apologize for not reciprocating his blog in the blogroll; I rectified that error as soon as I discovered my fox paw.
“Overlooked Films” will consist of GMC reviews, not to mention a bodacious stack of promotional films that the good people at VCI were nice to send me…and I’ve also got some stuff I swi…er, recorded off The Greatest Cable Channel Known to Mankind™ (ka-ching!) that I’ve been telling myself I should watch but keep procrastinating like a madman. I’ll have a little more time to tackle the TCM material simply because…well, let’s be honest, cartooners...my father has established such a formidable blockade with regards to the new living room TV set—my mother cracked the other day: “If a movie doesn’t have a horse or isn’t in color…he’s not interested.” (You know, you try to raise parents right…and still you make mistakes.) The other night he was watching—I swear I’m not making this up—some program about security people spying on shoplifters in stores.
When TCM starts their Saturday morning scheduling of films in Columbia’s Boston Blackie series March 10, that will be TDOY’s cue to review each movie a day ahead of schedule (Fridays)—I bought the entire Blackie collection a while back and I just thought it’d be kind of fun to review each movie scheduled to be shown so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the time investment. Personally, I rather like the Boston Blackie movies—they’re certainly not great art by any stretch of the imagination but they’re witty, character actor-rich little mysteries that barely run over an hour and 10 minutes, making them pleasant little time-killers. (They’re definitely more entertaining than the radio show, that’s for certain.)
In the “longest-wait-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop” department, I’m going to resurrect a feature I started back in 2009—“Serial Saturdays.” This one went great guns for a while, and then I found myself facing a rather formidable obstacle in the dullness that is the 1945 serial Jungle Queen. I did one chapter and then got preoccupied with something else…and because of this, I get an e-mail every now and then asking me when I plan to pick it up. Well, if all goes well—I’ll start on Chapter 2 (“Jungle Sacrifice”) this coming Saturday…and if you need a refresher, here’s Chapter 1. (I could tell you that my plan to add screen caps to the posts will make this a much more enjoyable experience…but that would be a big stinky fib.)
Finally…I get more e-mails asking for the return of “Mayberry Mondays” than anything else on the blog—and the story behind its disappearance is similar to “Serial Saturdays” (got distracted by something else, etc.) except for an added wrinkle. When the ‘rents and I made the move to the new Castle Yesteryear back in May of last year I utilized a rather complex packing system that, boiled down to its simplest interpretation, consisted of me throwing shit willy-nilly into any open box. As such, when I went to retrieve the Mayberry R.F.D. DVDs from where I put them…I discovered that one of the discs was missing. Not such a big deal, of course…except for the fact that was one episode on that disc that I had yet to do a write-up on—so there was a considerably lengthy passage of time (you had to have noticed the glaciers moving) before I stumbled across it again (and no one was as surprised as I was to see that it wasn’t where I thought it was).
Again, if all goes well this weekend…look for the return of “Mayberry Mondays” in its original time slot (don’t think I don’t hear you groaning out there). The rest of the time spent here at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear will no doubt be devoted to my usual ramblings on nostalgia-related subjects and award-winning tales about just how insane my mother and father really are. There’ll be cute pictures of my nephew and niece; there’ll be shout-outs to the many people I’m fortunate to be friends with…anything that crosses my mind may and probably will appear on the blog because I really have missed sitting down and coming up with something to make at least one person laugh and smile. I apologize for being away for so long, and I’m ready to make up for it.
Oh, just one more thing…if you haven’t already heard the news, my BBFF (pronounced “buh-biff”) Stacia has now become a full-fledged film critic, with all the prestige and perks that such an honor bestows. (Free screeners! Complimentary Donettes!) You can read her magnum opuses (opi?) at Spectrum Culture Online, beginning with her dissection of Samuel Fuller’s Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street (1973)—a movie I tried to watch one time on IFC when I was still in my Morgantown exile…and sad to say, simply could not stay awake during its showing. So Stacia already gets props for accomplishing what I could not.