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War of the Welles

The country was, in the autumn of 1938, primed for a panic. In August of that year, the German military mobilized. On October 15, they invaded Czechoslovakia. Despite efforts to appease Hitler, it seemed the German appetite for conquest and, more acutely, the desire to revenge itself against the harsh punishments levied against it after the Great War, was going to send Europe into a second horrible conflict. Although war had not been declared in 1938, and although the United States was determined to stay out.

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Ghosts of Monte Vista

Our night in Flagstaff was our night to spring for fancy digs before heading on to the Grand Canyon. The kind of place where they leave Aveda products in your bathroom. The kind of place where Clarke Gable and Humphrey Bogart once stayed. Historic. Antique. Old American regal, that combination of elegant class and refined ruggedness. Robert Mitchum made into a hotel. The Monte Vista was just that sort of place.

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Eastern State Penitentiary

On October 25, 1829, the gates of Eastern State Penitentiary — ESP — creaked open to admit the first of many criminals who would be confined behind its walls and within its solemn cells. Designed by John Haviland, one of the most storied architects of 19th century Philadelphia, it was the first true penitentiary in the young United States of America, embracing the “Pennsylvania System” conceived of by Benjamin Franklin. The primary principle behind the system was that imprisonment should be a time of reflection and penitence, with prisoners confined to solitary cells with very little to do beyond stare at the blank white walls and think about their sins.

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Son of Booooozy Tales

Last Halloween, I wrote an article on Alcohol Professor about haunted bars in New York City. Well, gather ’round the campfire, children, because I’ve more macabre drinking tales yet to tell. Only this time, we’re going global. Son of Booooozy Tales: Haunted Bars Go International looks at haunted pubs, bars, and watering holes in New Orleans, Seattle, London, Wales, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Sydney. Be ye fairly warned. The person sitting next to you at the bar might have been there since the 1800s.

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Creature of Destruction

“There is no monster in the world so treacherous as man.” So we are reminded at the beginning of Larry Buchanan’s Creature of Destruction and, just in case we forgot, at the end of the film as well. I like a film with a message, but the message is considerably less interesting if the film…

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Murders in the Rue Morgue

Director Gordon Hessler is back for another AIP Poe adaptation, this one mildly clever in the way it incorporates the Poe elements into the film. As we saw with The Oblong Box and many others, it was common to take the title of a Poe short story or poem, apply it to the film, then…