Pixel Scroll 10/31 Standlee’s Instant Summons

(1) The title of Jeb Kinnison’s review encapsulates his opinion — “’Tomorrowland’: Tragic Misfire”.

Having seen mixed reviews, I waited until Tomorrowland came out on cheaper streaming services. Directed and mostly written by Brad Bird, auteur of brilliant work like Iron Giant and The Incredibles, the previews looked promising — a story about the shiny visions of the technological future we had as kids in the 1960s, and a world where they actually happened.

(2) An old b&w photo of a scientist controlling waldos to diaper a baby doll is one of the relics in the Vault of the Atomic Space Age.

(3) William Shatner tells how his face was used for the mask that Halloween film franchise killer Michael Myers wore.

(4) “Jim Burns’ Halloween Reverie: Then and Now” from last year, at the local New York CBS station’s website.

Twenty-five years ago, youngsters at my door could see through the screen to a life-sized Superman and Batman that were just past me, in the living room.

On another night, every window of my home was adorned with special Halloween themed balloons, the merry Mylar reaching high into the October sky.

For another year, a wide assortment of latex masks of classic  Hollywood monsters (a wolfman, a mummy, Planet of the Apes’ Dr. Zaius and  creatures from The Outer Limits)–an amazing collection I had somehow acquired–peered out from those portals, gazing upon a lawn filled with a virtual galaxy of giant pumpkin lawn bags!

(5) How big did you say those pumpkin bags were, Jim? A giant inflatable pumpkin got away the other day in Arizona….

Diego Ramirez captured video of the 25-foot-tall jack o’lantern blowing around in traffic after it broke free of its straps at the Peoria Sports Complex.

“I was so shocked to see that it was like bouncing like a basketball all the way down the road,” Patrick Sparkes of Big AZ Promotions, the company that owns the decoration, told KPNX-TV.

The company said the 350-pound pumpkin broke free from its straps with the help of strong winds.

“We showed up and it wasn’t there and we spent the last 40 minutes driving around looking for it,” Sparkes said.

There were no injuries from the pumpkin’s dash for freedom, but there was some damage done to streetlamps.

(6) The Addams Family: The Broadway Musical evidently has been around for years, but it’s news to me!

THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

 

(7) The SJW viewpoint strikes again! A. J. Jacobs told NPR host Scott Simon some famous monsters aren’t as horrible as you think. I think I hear “Officer Krupke” in the background…

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Misunderstood, misunderstood.

JACOBS: Misunderstood – that’s what I’m here to do is trying to salvage the reputation of some of these Halloween monsters. So yes, Frankenstein I think gets a really raw deal in the reputation department. We all think of Frankenstein’s monster as this monosyllabic idiot from the movies. But actually, in Mary Shelley’s original novel from 1818, Frankenstein’s monster was more of a sensitive intellectual type. He read Plutarch and Goethe. He was more Brooklyn hipster and less unfrozen caveman.

(8) A mysterious castle, a deserted village and things that go bump in the night are all in a day’s work for a TODAY team on the hunt for Dracula — “Take a Trip ‘Behind the Screams’ in Transylvania”

(9) Today In History

  • October 31, 1926Harry Houdini dies. Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital. Twelve days before, Houdini had been talking to a group of students after a lecture in Montreal when he commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows. Suddenly, one of the students punched Houdini twice in the stomach. The magician hadn’t had time to prepare, and the blows ruptured his appendix. He fell ill on the train to Detroit, and, after performing one last time, was hospitalized. Doctors operated on him, but to no avail. The burst appendix poisoned his system, and on October 31 he died.
  • October 31, 2001 — Lovecraft adaptation Dagon makes its theatrical premiere in Spain.

(10) Today’s Birthday Boy

  • October 31, 1961 — Peter Jackson is born on Halloween in Wellington, New Zealand.

(11) The photo comes from “Susan Beatrice Recycles Old Watch Parts Into Intricately Detailed Steampunk Scultptures” on EarthPorm, but here full gallery is here. Amazing stuff.

recycled-watch-parts-sculptures-vintage-antique-susan-beatrice-36

Beatrice’s creations bring boring old gears and machinery to life. She has the ability to turn ratchets and other tiny technical parts into a lively mouse, seahorse or fairy. The more you look at her varied artwork the more you wonder what this woman can’t do… as it appears she can make everything out of anything.

(12) How badly do you want to be one of the first people to see the new Star Wars movie? Air France can help you out.

Lines will form at the crack of dawn on December 18 as die-hard fans set out to snag the best seats to see Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in theaters.

But some very lucky trans-Atlantic plane passengers will get the jump on them.

In what seems like a ploy to rope super-fans into buying very expensive plane tickets, Air France will be letting passengers watch the much-anticipated flick two days before its official release, on December 16.

The French airline is teaming up with EuropaCorp CINEMAS to offer the advance screenings for passengers on four Paris-bound flights, AF083 from San Francisco to Paris, AF065 from Los Angeles, AF011 from New York and AF009 from New York.

[Thanks to James H. Burns, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day, Soon Lee.]

178 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/31 Standlee’s Instant Summons

  1. Also, Jim Henley’s been killing it with the bracket titles and write-ups. Every bit the equal to Kyra…which, as we all know, is really saying something.

  2. @Greg: Thank you! There is no higher praise. I stand on the shoulders of giants there – all I did was go to school on what Kyra and later David did, then throw in a couple twists out of sheer eccentricity.

  3. FILE 770 LIVE-ACTION TV TOURNAMENT AND BRACKETS – ELITE EIGHT

    1. Babylon 5 (1)
    2.Doctor Who [Classic] (3)
    3.Doctor Who [New] (2)
    4. Star Trek: The Original Series (1)

  4. 1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Abstaining. While B5 didn’t speak to me, it can fairly claim to be as formative of the medium as TZ. Isn’t there at least a dotted line from B5 to Sopranos to Breaking Bad and TransParent?

    2. ROVERS
    The Prisoner (1)

    Maybe the truest realization of the glorious mess that was the SF print New Wave on the small screen?

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1)

    Je Suis Scooby.

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Star Trek: The Original Series (1)

    It’s Trek!

  5. 1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Babylon 5 (1)

    2. ROVERS
    Doctor Who [Classic] (3)
    (Spinward Region)

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1)
    (Rimward Region)

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Farscape (2)
    (Trailing Region)

  6. 1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Twilight Zone (2)

    2. ROVERS
    Doctor Who [Classic] (3)

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1)

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Farscape (2)

  7. FILE 770 LIVE-ACTION TV TOURNAMENT AND BRACKETS – ELITE EIGHT

    1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Twilight Zone (2)
    (Coreward Region)

    2. ROVERS
    The Prisoner (1)
    Doctor Who [Classic] (3)
    (Spinward Region)

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1)
    Doctor Who [New] (2)
    (Rimward Region)

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Star Trek: The Original Series (1)
    Farscape (2)
    (Trailing Region)

    That one hurts. Ouch. I’m less than 10 episodes from the end of my original series re-watch, and it’s lost a lot of its charm at this point. I think I’ll go with Farscape.

  8. (opens fresh package of cloths)

    1. Babylon 5 (applies all cloths)
    2. Classic Who

    1. New Who
    2. ST:TOS, without which much of the whole shebang wouldn’t exist

    (Man, I am losing it terribly in the spreadsheet thing. I thought TNG would go farther and Prisoner not as far.)

    The next two rounds are going to be tough.

  9. FILE 770 LIVE-ACTION TV TOURNAMENT AND BRACKETS – ELITE EIGHT

    1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Babylon 5 (1)
    (Coreward Region)

    2. ROVERS
    Doctor Who [Classic] (3)
    (Spinward Region)

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1)
    (Rimward Region)

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Star Trek: The Original Series (1)
    (Trailing Region)

  10. 1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Babylon 5 (1)
    (Coreward Region)

    2. ROVERS
    The Prisoner (1)
    (Spinward Region)

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Doctor Who [New] (2)
    (Rimward Region)

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Star Trek: The Original Series (1)
    (Trailing Region)

  11. 1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Twilight Zone (2)
    (Coreward Region)

    2. ROVERS
    The Prisoner (1)
    Doctor Who [Classic] (3)
    (Spinward Region)

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1)
    Doctor Who [New] (2)
    (Rimward Region)

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Star Trek: The Original Series (1)
    Farscape (2)
    (Trailing Region)

    I thought this was going to be harder for me. Maybe in the year 4002 we recognise all the true classics?

  12. WHISTLE BLOWS IN HALF AN HOUR!

    Results might be slow coming in this time, as I had to attend a dinner with my co-workers tonight. On the bright side: free dinner! And if you have some money to spend – or bosses who feel like springing for a meal – you can do a lot worse than Buddakan in Philadelphia.

  13. FILE 770 LIVE-ACTION TV TOURNAMENT AND BRACKETS – ELITE EIGHT RESULTS

    Eight enter! Four Leave! Protest vote for Slings and Arrows! Lament for Quantum Leap! Silent grumbling by the tournament administrator about BSG! Many forehead cloths but, in the final analysis, no squeakers. Each match in the Final Four will feature evenly matched contenders, based on total points and margin of victory in this round. But who will those four contenders be? Let’s find out!

    1. HOW TO SERVE MAN
    Babylon 5 (1)
    Twilight Zone (2)
    (Coreward Region)

    It was metaplot versus microstory, arc versus archetype, telenovela versus novelette, on this proving-ground of paradigms. “You never knew who was coming at you next,” said Station Commander Jeffrey Sinclair of the B5 team. “Like, all of a sudden Ambassador Londo just isn’t there any more. I’m like, where did he go? And this creepy kid says, ‘Ambassador Londo was a bad man.’ That’s when Captain Sisko signalled me from the stands and said, ‘You need to play our game not your game, for 60 minutes.’ And I said, ‘If that was such a good idea why didn’t you try it when you had the chance?’ And he said:

    “‘You don’t get it. I mean, you know, phasers and stuff.’

    “So I thought, hey, why not try that? First thing I did was vaporize the creepy kid from orbit, just to be sure.” After that, the momentum began to shift, and in the end, longer boats were coming to win us. Final score:

    Babylon 5 – 38
    Twilight Zone 27

    2. ROVERS
    The Prisoner (1)
    Doctor Who [Classic] (3)
    (Spinward Region)

    The TARDIS team took an early lead in our second match, but Number Six battled back. The Villagers kept getting close, but couldn’t manage to pull even. “Look, said Number Four – on the Doctor side, that is – you’re shooting from too far away. You need more points in the paint. Let me arrange things through my UNIT connections and we can lift you into a better range in the TARDIS here.”
    “Who is Number One?!” Number Six – not the Sixth Doctor, the other guy – demanded.

    “In one sense,” said the Number Six – this actually was the Sixth Doctor, “it was William Hartnell. But really we’re all the same person, so in that sense I guess we’re all Number One.”

    “Conceivably you could’ve been one of us yourself, I suppose,” said Number Two – the Doctor Number Two, that is.

    “Really you could’ve,” agreed Number Two – the other one this time.

    “AAAAAAAUUUGHGH!!!!” cried Number Six. (You know which one.) Suspecting a trick, he slipped away and continued sniping from long range concealment. But it was not a trick. Having spurned his last best chance to get in a better scoring position, the Village team fell too far behind to catch up. Final score:

    Doctor Who [Classic] 38
    The Prisoner 26

    3. ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER THAT YOU’LL EVER DO
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1)
    Doctor Who [New] (2)
    (Rimward Region)

    Two teams came to play, each bound, in their way, by very strict natural or supernatural law. Each, in their way, prone to rewriting the rulebook in their favor. Doctor fought Slayer and Slayer fought Doctor, Companion fought Scooby and beloved teammates fell in perfect silence. Each side suffered key talent losses to semi-successful spinoffs. In what was surely the tensest moment of the match, Buffy herself drove straight at the Tenth Doctor and, once she was nose-to-nose with him, demanded:

    “Why do you have to be so emo about everything?!”

    Dumbfounded, Ten let down his guard for the duration of a lengthy, outraged and admittedly affecting-if-you-didn’t-think-about-it-too-hard monologue about the sheer gall of such a complaint, considering the source. It was all the opening the Sunnydale Scoobies needed. Point guard Rupert Giles scored several times in quick succession, “Like they didn’t even realize he was on our team somehow,” marveled shooting-guard/human trainwreck Xander Harris. By the time the Tenth Doctor concluded his peroration and slyly looked around to see if everyone was moved, the match was out of reach. Final score:

    Anthony Stewart HeadBuffy 41
    Doctor Who (New) 25

    4. CGI IS FOR THE WEAK
    Star Trek: The Original Series (1)
    Farscape (2)
    (Trailing Region)

    It was Living Starship versus Living Legend in our final match of the day. “How hard can it be?” asked Small Forward Scorpius of the Farscape squad. “We already beat the crew of a USS Enterprise in the first round!”

    It wasn’t a good theory. This Trek team brought teamwork, sort of military sort of precision, the boundless optimism of a more hopeful time, and plenty of expendable red-shirted bench-players. Also, you know, phasers and stuff. “They took our toughest shots,” Aeryn Sun complained, “and it turned out we’d actually scored against somebody unimportant.” Added Farscape’s star power forward, Ka D’Argo, “Some of them didn’t even have names on their jerseys.”

    D’Argo’s frustration got him in foul trouble early. “You nobodies are going down like a sack of hydroponic potatoes in front of the whole stadium” he taunted some scarlet-swaddled defenders. Helmsman/shooting guard Hikaru Sulu responded, “Your wife goes – ”

    After D’Argo’s swift ejection, the ‘Scapers never recovered. “More like ‘ScapeGOATS amirite?” exulted the Helmsman. Final score:

    Star Trek: TOS 43
    Farscape 23

    Final Four action begins shortly.

  14. Well, damn. I just heard this was going on, too late to vote for Farscape, which, while not as groundbreaking as ST:TOS, holds up much better IMO.

  15. Dammit. I only picked 2 of the Final Four! I had Twilight Zone going all the way to the finals.

  16. I curse the towel rails of all who voted TOS! May your towels never quite dry and always be wonky! *shake fist*

  17. Meredith: Whoa, the curse of perpetual towel wetness! I don’t want to mess with that.

    My towels were always damp the summer I lived in a basement apartment in Bowling Green. Something about the humidity — once something got wet it never dried out.

  18. “As John said, at least we went down in a swing.”
    “Swinging D’Argo, went down swinging…”

  19. Well, I’m out. I still have two of my final four in contention… but my two finalists were both eliminated. I’m done, with 75 points. (Still, I think that’s a respectable score…)

  20. I didn’t fill one in, but since in this round I would have bet on Twilight Zone beating Babylon 5 and The Prisoner beating Doctor Who Classic, my prognosticatin’ abilities are probably not to be overly relied upon.

  21. I never managed to make the spreadsheet work on my iPad… Mainly because of a password issue. Next time, if there’s a next time. 🙂

    @Mike Glyer

    There aren’t many mundane things as disappointing as a still-damp towel! Summers in England are awful for it if your towel-containing rooms don’t get much sun.

  22. Darn. I predicted New Who over Buffy, so I got only 3 out of 4 right. For 95 points.

  23. Mike Glyer, I think that’s just one of the Three Curses that have been laid upon Ohio. Perpetually Damp Towels, Critical Electoral College Votes, and Interstate Highways of Infinite Length.

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