Hillbillies in a Haunted House

Hillbillies in a Haunted House (which would be one word in German) seems dumber than a rock, but Ferlin Husky just picked up a guitar and sang a beautiful ballad so I’ll keep watching. Sonny James just sang another. It was shot in 1967 without a hippie in sight and set in a haunted house on the road to Nashville. John Carradine, Lon Chaney Jr and Basil Rathbone (in one of his very last roles) provide the spooky parts, but they’re not really ghosts but Russian spies, back when being a Russian spy was a bad thing. Imagine that. If you would betray your country you would betray us, Basil says to a treasonous FBI agent in a rare plot complication, and shoots him.

Anyway, waiting here for Merle Haggard and figure Ferlin’s got more sanging to do. Joi Lansing is in a shirt a size too small except when she moves and it’s three sizes too small. They really knew how to fasten buttons on in those days. She’s supposed to be a country singer. But this tacky torch tune she’s singing is about as country as chicken fried steak in Santa Monica.

Oops, Merle’s on, cooler than fuck. Someone told his story, he’s singing, in a song.

Stephen King

Fyl’s watching yet another Stephen King movie. Apparently that is all IFC shows anymore, Stephen King movies. Or is this Sundance. Or whatever channel this endless series of commercials punctuated by monsters, violence and really bad acting is on. After an afternoon of this, as I rush about from one household crisis to the next (refrigerator is dying, which is actually a lot more of a hassle than a dead cat, let me tell you), I’ve a genuine appreciation for the old studio system, in which these two howling babes, possessed of the devil or whatever, would have been left spinning on their stools at Schwabs. Oh Lord, what hath Brando wrought. Method acting for dummies.

If only King hadn’t let his characters talk so much. Nobody ever mumbles in a Stephen King story. No one ever just shuts up. He’s from Maine, I know, but in Maine they appreciate silence. Yup. Nope. That’s a whole conversation right there. There are more words spoken in a single Stephen King movie than in the entire state of Maine in an entire year.

Another half hour of commercials and then back to the movie. One of the principles–a bad guy, I think–is talking and talking and talking. I could be watching a hockey game and instead someone is putting a curse on someone in ten thousand words.

Ohhh…the guy exploded. I think exploded. Something. I thought he was going to make it with the hot blonde but he exploded or glooped or turned inside out or something. Then this tentacle thing shows up and it’s the blonde’s turn.  This all makes sense to Stephen King fans, of course. They never seem the least bit confused by his stories. It’s like trying to listen to Alan Watts lectures on KPFK and thinking they’re complete nonsense while all around me people are omming. I say I don’t get it. This is just babble. They look at me and shush. I ask my wife where the tentacle thing came from. She looks at me and shushes. I want to ask about the hot blonde but decide against it. But does anyone ever get laid in a Stephen King movie? Without getting schlorped into the other world, I mean.

More commercials. Zombies this time. Funny ones.