CineSavant Column

Saturday May 8, 2021



First up, here’s a call-out to CineSavant’s resident reviewer Charlie Largent, whose coverage of The Dungeon of Andy Milligan Collection last Tuesday has been getting rave reviews and comments on Facebook and in my email queue. Charlie is the same talented writer (and screenwriter) who wrote great content for Video Watchdog and I’m very proud to have him contributing to CineSavant.

Then, Gary Teetzel tells that the season finale episode of Shudder’s Creepshow TV series featured a story called Night of the Living Late Show in which Justin Long invents a Virtual Reality device that allows the user to seemingly transport themselves into any old movie. ()  Perhaps the machine’s sophisticated programming makes sure that the movie in question is Public Domain, so Shudder doesn’t have to pay for a bunch of expensive clips. Fortunately for the show’s budget, it just so happens that Justin Long’s favorite movie is the PD classic Horror Express. Justin Long ‘meets’ Christopher Lee in the trailer from Dread Central. We get an extended look at Long entering the alternate reality of the movie in this Second Clip, which somehow manages to look less impressive than similar effects from Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid from forty years years ago.

The episode has garnered a generally favorable response from fans. According to the IMDB, actress Hannah Fierman is credited with the role of ‘Countess Petrovska,’ played in the original by Española Silvia Tortosa. Is it fair to guess that Justin Long interacts with the Countess far more than he does with Professor Saxton or Dr. Wells?   We wonder if the episode director Greg Nicotero arranged for the KNB effects shop to recreate the original film’s scary caveman/alien monster. Finally, inquiring busybodies want to know: Horror Express is in the Public Domain, but was a deal made with the estates of Lee and Cushing for the use of their likenesses?



And thanks to the input of Gary Teetzel and Craig Reardon, today is a link-heavy day for Bernard Herrmann fans. Gary offers a steer toward an NPR radio review of a new recording of some of Herrmann’s postclassical, non-film music, with excerpts. The album in review also has Hitchcock’s 1968 reworked suite Psycho: A Narrative for Orchestra. NPR’s reviewer talks about the Psycho music as if it were some long-lost piece that nobody heard until John Mauceri ‘rediscovered’ it. The Naxos Records album in question seems to be called Whitman.

Craig turns our attention to Michael McGehee’s New Discovery Recordings, specifically, a series of ‘Melodram’ re-recordings of vintage radio music composed by Bernard Herrmann. It’s a sales page, but I have to admit that I never heard of this music, and I’m tempted to investigate: New Discovery Recordings: Bernard Herrmann. The titles are interesting: ‘The Younger Brothers, Why Some of Them Grew No Older’, “Pizzaro, His Heart on a Golden Knife” and “Blackbeard’s 14th Wife, Why She Was No Good For Him.” The program notes are illuminating as well… there was apparently a Herrmann radio ‘Western Suite’ library library of music cues that were used on countless television programs throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Here’s a video clip of a Melodram rehearsal session for a recording of Herrmann’s The City Brass.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson