Tag Archives: Yvette Vickers

Creepy Times

We’re living in creepy times.

There’s the in-yer-face daily creepiness covered by breathless reporters on CNN/FOX/MSNBC/OAN/EEYI-EEYI-OH and promulgated with ghoulish delight by Mr. Trump and his how-many-fingers-am-I-holding-up swarm.

  • Life-stealing creepiness like 175,000 US citizens dead from a worldwide plague while we fret over bits of cloth — flags and masks.
  • We fret about whether professional baseball should play 60 games this year or 75, while black parents and spouses worry about whether their loved ones can even make it home alive this evening. I think that qualifies as pretty creepy.
  • We are titillated by the daily televised travails masters of hard-eyed greed like Bannon, Manafort, Stone, Cohen, and Flynn, while nuclear-equipped hard-eyes like Putin, Kim Jong-Un, Erdogan, and Xi chat with our president regularly and off-the-record about who knows what. How creepy of us and them.

But enough of all that mundane, casual life-sucking, je ne sais yuck.

Let’s talk real creepy.


…how Facebook and Amazon and Google seem to know what we’re thinking, almost before we do.

I wrote a blog about my battle with beetles on our roses and the next day an organic bug spray was offered to me by Amazon. The beetles were creepy enough, thank you very much.

I watched a Roger Corman/Vincent Price flick; The House of Usher. It was my disc, copied from a VCR tape of a local late-night TV showing (commercials intact) from the 80’s. The next day Facebook flashed a sponsored ad for a Lego Castle-Building set. I adore Lego, but my skin crawled.

Last week, Janie and I were working in the yard (our lilies are spectacular this year BTW) and we commented that the bushes had exceeded our capacity to keep up and several trees had pruning needs that were above our pay grade. That evening, a gypsy landscaper dragging his tools behind him knocked on our door. What are the odds? Two hours later, our urban farming needs were met…and at a reasonable tariff. I’m convinced that Google was somehow eerily involved.

And now, just when I was thinking there’d be no vacation for the Leasors this year and how much I might be missing an ocean (I have long believed that my beloved Lexington was pretty much heaven on Earth but for the lack of an ocean and a major league baseball team) when Turner Classic Movies read my mind.


The next thing I know I’m watching Annette and Frankie in a yellow jalopy convertible toolin’ down a Pacific-bound highway singin’ “Beach Party Tonight” in several unrelated keys, three chords, lotsa breath, and devoid of harmony. Annette’s hair helmet and Frankie’s skinny arms are impervious to the breeze of the convertible and the demands of the curvaceous road. Soon I’m thrilled by Frankie and Deadhead and the boys challenging the fearsome one-and-a-half-foot waves on their surfboards, Annette and the girls bouncing from beach blanket to beach blanket in their hair helmets and Mouseketeer-approved one-piece swim suits (which have clearly never known dampness), and the wearisome wonder of Candy Johnson gyrating in her fringed swim suit (which has clearly never known dampness) to the sterile rockin’ sounds of Dick Dale and his Del-Tones.

I, of course, have all his albums.

There it is! There’s the missing ocean vacation, courtesy of TCM.

It’s an all-night bikini binge of beach movies from 50 years ago.

I can lose myself for a night to Deborah Walley, Tommy Kirk, surfboards, Annette, Harvey Lembeck, skateboards, Connie Stevens, Troy Donahue, ersatz mermaids, Frankie, Morey Amsterdam, chimpanzees, Tony Curtis, Claudia Cardinale, feeble motorcycle gangs, Annette, Yvette Vickers, and Sharon Tate.

How. Did. TCM. Know?


But it was great…

…just what I needed…

…for about fifteen minutes.

Then, insidiously, a notion crept into my head.

What if Mr. Trump had been around this frolicsome group?

  • Surfing?
  • Dancing in the sand? To Dick Dale and his Del-Tones?? With Candy???
  • Leading a motorcycle gang?
  • Getting his hair wet?

Grim…and yes, creepy.

Suddenly, the bloom was off that rose.

I drifted off to sleep, pondering what a beach flick made by Ingmar Bergman might have been like; Summer With Santa Monika, Smiles of a Summer Surf…The Virgin Summer……

Cold-Weather Corman

Movie night!

If you are a devotee of cheesy horror, Edgar Allen Poe movies, women-in-cages flicks, and films about vegetables that aren’t vegetarians, Roger Corman is your guy.

Where would you like to begin?

There’s his contemplative “beast” series (The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes, The Beast from Haunted Cave, and The Beast of Yellow Mountain)?

Then there’s his Machen-like exploration of nature run amok (Attack of the Crab Monsters, Attack of the Giant Leeches – featuring Yvette Vickers in her best slutty Daisy Mae rendition, It Conquered the World, and The Creature from the Haunted Sea).

Or his taboo-shattering exposés of the sexual politics of beings that don’t even exist (Scream of the Demon Lover, The Wasp Woman, The Velvet Vampire, and Night of the Cobra Woman).

Corman’s canon is a treasure trove of cultural delights; discomfort food for the easily entertained. I shop there willingly and often.

Tonight’s film fare however, is a bit off the beaten Corman trail. It’s his 1960 WWII epic; Ski Troop Attack. Imagine The Longest Day. Now, imagine everything as much the opposite of The Longest Day as possible.

Cast of thousands? Try six – not six thousand – six.

The English Channel? German mountains.

Thousands of ships? Skis.

Years in the making? Two weeks tops.

You get the idea.

I will give the nod for acting to Ski Troop Attack but that’s by default as any discernible acting that happens in The Longest Day is accidental and laughable. Who can ever un-watch Richard Burton’s interpretation of the deathless line; “Ack-Ack.” Or Roddy McDowall crooning the word; “June” in the drizzle. Heady stuff.

Given all that, Ski Troop is OK in my book. It tells a straight-forward, stripped-down Guns of Navarone, The Dirty Dozen, etc. war adventure story pretty well. However, I didn’t care for all the snow. Frankly, I got cold. I think I would have preferred Surf Troop Attack with Lieutenant Moondoggy leading the squad. Ah well, I just put on a jacket and finished watching the film.