So, how did you spend 2020?
We were all thrown for a loop in late winter of last year when the global pandemic had its wicked way with the whole world.
Here in the United States, I first saw a tangible impact on my life on March 23. That morning I was in Maryland having barely finished recording my commentary for Jungle Woman for Shout! Factory’s Universal Horror Collection No. 5 when I was informed that the governor of Maryland had declared the state be shut down in quarantine. Had the scheduled appointment been one day later (or even the afternoon of the 23rd) my commentary might not have made the deadline for the Blu-Ray June release (see below for more information on this project).
The recording studio was just off York Road, one of the major thoroughfares in Baltimore. When Barbara and I left, there was hardly a person or vehicle in sight. Eerie sensation!
Since that morning in March, I’ve spent much time working in my home office on various projects, and the enforced solitude was an incentive to finally finish and submit (on Halloween!) The Very Witching Time of Night Volume 2: More Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema to the publisher, McFarland & Company (particulars on this opus are to be found below). I’ve also begun a book project on the 1939 movie Of Mice and Men for BearManor Media, and which is targeted to be submitted to the publisher by the end of 2021.
Also, by mid-January of 2021, I hope to have good news about the publication of my first two “Porter Down Hollywood Mysteries” novels. If you’re interested in the iconic horror film happenings of 1931, and/or the Jean Harlow mega-scandal of 1932, click on the “Novels” link on the left for more details.
I’ve missed attending the several film conventions that I visit in pandemic-less years; I missed performing “Mr. Barnaby” for a 37th year with Baltimore Actors Theatre at Christmas time 2020 (the show was cancelled for the first time in over 50 years). I also missed visiting friends and relatives, going to weekly church services, to restaurants, and to theatre productions; and I missed traveling (a vacation planned to Arizona, Nevada, and Utah had to be canceled as well as various day trips). In the balance, however, I thank God that Barbara and I have avoided contracting the Chinese Virus, that we enjoy each other’s company every day, and that we have a comfortable home in which to shelter-in-place (with our dog Giselle). I trust you all are well, will continue to stay that way, and that we can resume “normal” lives very soon.
Meanwhile, allow me to give you more information on my recent endeavors:
Jungle Woman – On Blu-Ray!
The Very Witching Time of Night Volume 2:
More Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema
The real-life “Ape Man” lunatic who ran amok in 1931 Hollywood, attacking young women during the shooting of Murders in the Rue Morgue; the national contest that attracted 60,000 young ladies who wanted to play the “Panther Woman” in Island of Lost Souls; the wild and wooly censorship battles behind the making of Bride of Frankenstein; the kinky undercurrents flowing under the shooting of WereWolf of London; the many experiments attempting to inject a perverse, demonic power to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (and Spencer Tracy’s personal struggles playing Hyde) – all this and much more await readers in The Very Witching Time of Night Volume 2: More Dark Alleys of Classic Horror Cinema. I’ll update this website when I have a firm availability date from the publisher.
Of Mice and Men
It was the film that 1939 Hollywood said could never be made – due to its “shocking” ingredients of sadism, racism, promiscuity, mental enfeeblement, and mercy killing. This book provides the full, colorful, behind-the-scenes story of the making of this haunting classic and how it ultimately captured all the power of John Steinbeck’s tragic novella.
Hope to see you back here soon!