Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Hellfire and Violinists

Speaking of things demoniacal, I read a short story, 'The Bishop of Hell', by Majorie Bowen. Poor stuff, no doubt inspired by Byron, though the last image of the eponymous bishop anticipates the Ghost Rider iconography.

(Just did a little search: how could a writer so dull come up with a novel called 'Black Magic: A Tale of the Rise and Fall of the Antichrist'?)

Speaking of anticipation, one episode of the the fourth season of 'The Twilight Zone' (1963) (when the format went hour long), a story by Charles Beaumont called 'Valley of the Shadow', anticipates both the replicator and the transporter from Star Trek. A reporter gets lost and ends up in Peaceful Valley, a town with a secret so big they don't want him to leave. It also reuses his earlier 'The Howling Man' theme, wrapping it in pseudo-scientific garb and changing the ending for a less apocalyptic denouement.

Only getting around to the fourth series now, I also watched 'He's Alive' and was startled to see a young Dennis Hopper take centre stage playing Hitler's American protegée. Given the episode's preoccupation with the evils of the Nazis, it had to be a Rod Serling story. Not the greatest story, but Hopper is pretty electric.

And that reminded me of a film that featured a rivetting performance by William Shatner (honest!) in a similar role. Roger Corman's 'The Intruder' is well worth a look.

Watching 'Poltergeist 2' for the first time yesterday (it was on at teatime on MGM, so why not?), I realised why I have avoided it for so long. It's no good and does a great disservice to the great original (that's why not). Do you really need to explain the previous events with an evil cult?

Di Caprio's environmentally friendly 'The 11th Hour' was on tonight; now that's a documentary that might have benefitted from a little intervention from the Bishop of Hell. Catching the last twenty minutes, it nearly sent me out to the nearest MacDonald's (leaving the lights and tv on while I went) to buy a Big Mac with which to litter the street (wrapper and burger would I discard, for even an evil me couldn't eat one of those things). When you hear crap like 'Love is what makes us human', you almost want the Bush's of this world to destroy us all. No, love is not what makes us human and it ain't going to save the environment either. Recognition that we're all going to die if we don't do something about it might. Hell, just go to Peaceful Valley and ask why we can't have the replicator!

Maybe the rest of it was better. I suppose when it comes to the environment, even 'bad' publicity is good publicity.

Luckily evil me did not make an appearance at the retirement party last Friday. I was reasonably well-behaved. I tried to chat up the female entertainment, a fetching Dundalk violinist, by discussing Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto, but she preferred U2 'any day'. That didn't shake me though, nor did the wine, Guinness, sambuccas or lager. Forgive me Bishop, for I didn't sin.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home