Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's hard to blow a horn with no lungs!
The entire staff of Sweet Skulls (as well as that of Monster Memories, Held Over Movies and My Star Trek Scrapbook) wishes you a New Year filled with success and happiness. And by entire staff I mean me.
And here's a cool link I just found that's right up my bony ally!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Face of the Future Part 2

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
"The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come" from "Scrooged"
(Click on images to see larger.)

Did you ever get the weird feeling that your TV is watching you?
In the 1988 film "Scrooged," Bill Murray stars as a modern-day lost soul in dire need of redemption. This is the second film to show the Ghost of Christmas Future as the skull-faced specter, but with a twist; the ghost has a TV screen in the hood that shows different images.

Taking a stiff drink to get a grip, the bony hand of the future is about to get a grip on him.

Eash Spirit is given a different interpretation than the usual; The Spirit of Christmas Past is an elfin cab-driver; the Spirit of Christmas Present a giddy, violence-prone fairy; however, the Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come is the closest to the original, only with more emphasis on the horror.

When cornered in the elevator by the oversized Ghost, a peek inside it's robe reveals the trapped souls of previous victims, an idea borrowed from the Nightmare on Elm Street series. More the specter of Death here than any other version, it only needs a scythe to complete the image.

At one point the shifting images in the Ghost's face screen reflect the main character's own visage in a decayed and horrific state. All this convinces our man Frank Cross to change his ways, although one gets the idea that he repents only to save his life, instead of having a truly humbling and heart-changing experience. This movie is pretty low on my list of favorite versions of the story, but it's worth a watch for a holiday laugh, like "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

In any event, we can all learn from Scrooge's lessons, and hopefully "to open our shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below us as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."

For a special treat, read the entire Marvel
comic adaptation of "A Christmas Carol"

Have a wonderful Christmas!
And, as Tiny Tim observed, "God Bless Us, Every one!"

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Face of the Future

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
"The Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come"
(Click on images to view larger.)

"Hey, Ebenezer, pull my finger!"

In the 1971 film "Scrooge," starring Albert Finney, we finally get to see what's hidden under the dusky shroud of the Ghost of Christmas Future. And as we suspected, it's not a pretty sight.

Scrooge did the smelly spook one better by actually soiling his shorts.

Earlier versions of the film never showed what this Ghost looked like other than the novel's description of a black-cloaked figure shrouded in darkness. But even there the resemblance to the Grim Reaper was not lost on Scrooge who, upon being taken to the cemetery in the final vision, looked upon the Ghost and "dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape."

"Watch that first step, it's a killer!"

In the scene depicted here, Scrooge, upon reading his own name on the tombstone, turns around to beg for mercy and stares straight into the bony face of his future. The fright causes him to lose balance and tumble into what is now an open grave. The film then takes this scene farther, by having Scrooge experience a little of his pending punishment right then, as he falls down a chasm til he ends up in Hades. The Disney short animated film version done years later was inspired by this scene and did their own take on it.

"And a partridge in a pear treeeee!"

This musical version of the story is my second favorite, right after the 1951 Alastair Sim version. Dickens knew that there was no better time for a ghost story than at Christmas, and he crafted the granddaddy of them all.

"Is it getting hot in here, or is it just me?"

Next time, another sinner sees the Face of Death!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Terminator Salvation teaser poster

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
The "Terminator Salvation" teaser poster
(Click to view large size.)

I have to admit this film is starting to look interesting. The trailer is intriguing, and I like the poster concept of the Terminator face formed out of the ruins of LA.

If you think this is cool, check out the animated Flash version!

I'm ready for a well-done story of the post-Judgement Day fight against the machines, leading up to the final battle when John Conner wins the war and sends his best friend (and father) back in time to stop the original cyborg, and die in the process.

I'm just hoping this film exceeds my expectations and meets my hopes, and spawns another film or two in order to bring it full circle and let us see the events at the other end of the first film.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Flesh Feast poster

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
The "Flesh Feast" poster art

You gotta love that rotting corpse hanging from the ceiling. They just don't make posters like that any more! From 1970, this el-cheapo filmed-in-Florida flick exploits the natural gag-and-ick factor of maggots, while providing ex-actress Veronica Lake a small check to pay for some extra dog food she might have needed. Surely the script didn't entice her to come out of retirement! I mean, what self-respecting actress would want that as the last movie on their filmography?

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Graveyard Shift poster

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
The "Graveyard Shift" poster

"Yeah, black lung killed me, but I'm still working off my debt to the company store!"

Although the poster seemed to promise coal miner zombies rising from the depths of the unsafe shafts to wreak bloody pick-and-shovel vengence on the tight-fisted company owners who put them at risk, no such luck. Maybe someone will make that movie someday!

As it is, it's a cool poster for a so-so movie about giant monster rats living under an old textile mill. It seems more like an extended episode of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" than anything else, and I can see our man Mike Rowe digging in and cleaning out the gunk and mutated rats, which aren't as nasty as some things he's had to contend with.