Yesterday, Saturday, was unusual. Normal in most respects but unusual in one. The date was normal, the 7th November and although quite mild the season was as it should be, namely Winter. So the 7th November, two days after Bonfire Night here in the UK.
So why are there Christmas trees and lights appearing already?
Is it just me or does this look daft; fully-decked Christmas trees in the town centres on the 7th November? For all I know they have already been up a week!
Is November now the new beginning of Christmas? What is going on?
OK. That's the unusual bit out of the way and my rant! The rest of yesterday was spent browsing the stalls of Huddersfield Second Hand Market, which is quite a large affair and rocks up on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Among the obligatory brasses, old hoover parts and countless LP's, there are always a few vintage toys.
This Saturday was no exception and I saw a slew of old Dinkys, some boxed Yesteryear, a tinplate Mr. Magoo-type car, a roofless and figure free original Fab1 [is it worth restoring them?], a bag of old Batmobile parts, gangs of action figures and a small library of Sixties and Seventies kids annuals like Valiant and Tina.
Being an adopted Yorkshireman I have sadly become somewhat spendthrift; I only buy something if it really takes my fancy and the price is modest. On this occasion, with the approving nod of Missus Moonbase, I spent £2 on some old plastic Christmas figures in a very appealing Sixties box, which I'll blog during the festive season proper [so that'll be December!]
After stuffing ourselves on fancy burgers and proper chips, whilst reading about the town centre Ghost Walk [does everywhere have one now?] at one of the City's many boho eateries, I considered what to watch in the evening at home with a Jagermeister or two. Missus Moonbase would be catching up with X Factor so I would be on the laptop.
The answer came from a book I'm currently reading in the toilet library, Tomarts Guide to Horror Collectibles, as pictured, published in 2003:
I've had this softback guide for years but because it covers more modern fare like Buffy and Freddy I've just not bothered reading it. Being a Sixties kid the only monsters worth their salt are the classics, but I love Tomarts guides and magazines so I bought it and stored it.
Having released it from bookshelf limbo I am really enjoying it! Yes, the writers have covered 'new' stuff like Buffy but also many of the old guys like Drac and Wolfie, buts its films and series I never really took seriously that have caught my attention e.g. Night of the Living Dead and Tales from the Crypt [Nineties version].
And there it was - in the EC comic - inspired section: "Demon Knight" from 1995. I love EC comics and having seen the Cryptkeeper's other film, Bordello of Blood, I new what I was going to watch Saturday Night.
I wasn't disappointed. Demon Knight was as EC-inspired as they come: a salutary tale of greed, selfishness and avarice in the comic's grand tradition, with an interesting biblical back story to boot. Billy Zane performs some memorable demon dancing as he attempts to bring Hell to Earth and his blessed antagonist, the Demon Knight of the title, fights tooth and nail to stop him.
As with all EC-type stories there is a happy ending and good defeats evil. The morale of the story is basically to be as kind as possible to your fellow man when faced with a demon army outside!
On the strength of Billy's performance in Demon Knight I then watched him, along with Martin Sheen, as two magicians slugging it out in "Well Cooked Hams" [the title doesn't fit the story!], part of the Tales from the Crypt TV series.
I followed this slice if Americana with some traditional British creepiness, in the form of the very first episode of the Seventies series, Thriller, which I loved as a kid.
The simple title music is perhaps the most chilling I've ever heard and to this day sends a shiver down my spine. Listen to it yourself courtesy of You Tube. Do you remember it readers?
The episode itself, Lady Killer, is still unfolding as its over 90 minutes long. I fell asleep half way though as by this point it was after Midnight! To be continued.