March

There’s this goofy meme going around, something like “Which musical genre would you get rid of, and why is it country music?” I don’t much care for most country music, but you don’t get to speak for my musical taste, and there’s some great country music out there (not Lee Greenwood, which is the poisonous crap I usually hear.) I will approve of the Chicks, though.

Besides, why would you pick on country music when Christian rock exists?

Saturday afternoon creature feature? Sure!

Back when I was a kid, the local stations would have the creature features with the horror host on Friday and Saturday night, but they’d also show them on Saturday afternoons for the kids. It’s Saturday Afternoon. Are you ready for The Giant Spider Invasion? It stars, sorta, Alan Hale Jr. as the sheriff — he’s better known as the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island.

The first lines of dialog:

Young man: “Sheriff!”
Alan Hale Jr: “Hi, little buddy!”

Because of course they are.

Other notable facts: it takes place in northern Wisconsin, but none of the residents seem at all perturbed at finding tarantulas all over the place. Just the usual house spiders, I guess.

The big bad monster is cheesy and fake, but by the standards of low budget horror/skiffy of the day, it’s actually not too bad. They do a good job of framing it with the camera so you can’t see the puppeteers wiggling the legs and moving it along. I want one.

Also by the standards of the genre, they did an OK job imitating the chelicerae of a mygalomorph.

The story ends with an abrupt deus ex machina, but it’s really an excuse to show buckets of multi-colored goo and slime oozing out to an excessive degree from the dead spider puppet. Young me would have appreciated it.

Sex and folk songs

Often, on a weekend I’d go to our local theater to see whatever was booked, no matter what it was. That was right out this weekend for two reasons. One, the movie playing was I Still Believe, “The true-life story of Christian music star Jeremy Camp and his journey of love and loss that looks to prove there is always hope.” Jesus. No. Just no. The theater does this every once in a while, booking some dreadful Christian dreck, usually at the request of local churches, to lure in the believers. They tend to come in droves. I wondered whether this was a cunning plan to bring in a mass of Christians to cross contaminate each other and terminate that ugly segment of the population, but no, the people who run the theater are nice and try to be accommodating to the community. Only I am wicked enough to imagine using cheesy evangelical Xian movies to seduce the faithful into embracing an epidemic.

Besides, the second reason I couldn’t go to the movies was that the theaters are all shut down. The plan was foiled.

But I still have Netflix! I started browsing, and perhaps it was my anti-Xian fuming that made it leap out at me, but The Wicker Man is available. No, not The Wicker Man, the 2006 abomination with Nicolas Cage, but the original 1973 movie with Edward Woodward. I remember seeing it when it first came out and enjoying it, but that was almost 50 years ago. It was memorable enough that I remember the plot. Spoilers ahead…but it is a 47 year old movie.

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