Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy

It's been another one of those weeks at the Vicarage, one wherein responsibilities beckon like the withered hand of a fearful revenant of sin and neglect, and opportunities for sermonizing on the joys of the mad are squeezed shut like the knees of a pigtailed church-camp crush. And with the Duke off touring the bone-strewn catacombs of the Paris sewers in search of long-buried treasure and unspoiled casks of port (it's a great way to beat the heat!), things are quiet indeed.

But just as I began to worry that my lack of attention would cost me the affections of my parishioners and friends, a light breaks!! Kindred-spirit and fellow horror and blogging aficionado Venom5 of the excellent site Cool Ass Cinema (bookmark/follow it now!) has reaffirmed his devotion to the MAD by awarding your ever lovin' Vicar a Happy 101 Award, which is by far the manliest award ever bestowed on my balding, mitered pate:


First of all, my thanks! But like all gifts involving cupcakes, this one demands something of its recipient. According to the rules, I must publish a list of 10 things that bring me joy, and then pass the award on to 10 other worthies.

Friends, I'm nothing if not an iconoclast and a flouter of rules. The responsibility of finding joy is a heavy burden I do not wish to plague others with (except for The Duke, whom I encourage to construct his own entry), and so I scrape off that bit of icing and throw it in the bin. Check out my sidebar links for loads of awesome blogs sure to bring you joy as much as anything on your own personal lists.

So without further ado, here is a list of ten things that never fail to lift the Vicar out of the Slough of Despond:

10. Beer-ups with the Duke of DVD. It doesn't happen nearly often enough, but whenever the Duke and I can recline at our ease and down many pints of Avery Reverend, Corsendonk Ale, or another exotic brew available at our favorite drinking establishment, it's a joyful time indeed--for us, if not for the barmaids. Click here to get a taste of what happens when the Duke and I are together in our cups.

9. Peanut Butter. Seriously, my #1 comfort food.

8. Sculpture. I don't get a chance to see much art in my day-to-day, but I have traveled the world in the past, and whenever I do find myself in the presence of masterpieces, for some reason it's always sculpture that evinces the greatest emotional reaction. I was fortunate enough to visit the Tate Gallery in London in the 90s, and was awestruck to immobility by Rodin's The Kiss. On a trip to the Louvre I was interested but not really moved by the Mona Lisa, but when I saw the Venus di Milo, I had to sit down. Literally--my knees buckled. Still don't know why, but there you go.


7. Zombie movies in which the zombies actually rise from their graves. Quick--name the last movie you saw where a rotted ghoul clawed its way out of the earth or a locked crypt to feast on the living? Chances are it was made in the 80s, or early-mid 90s, right? I blame 28 Days Later. Sure, I like the movie, but once the "bio-zombie" became the de facto mode, we lost those great scenes like we had in Creepshow, Return of the Living Dead, and Cemetery Man. Anytime I see an honest-to-god supernatural zombie freeing itself from its grave, I get nostalgic and joyful all at once.

6. The Muppet Show. Fozzie Bear made me want to be a comedian when I was a kid. So sue.

5. Practical FX. An ancillary to #7 (and possibly #8 as well), whenever I see a latex face mold being pumped full of caro syrup or smashed to pig-gutty bits with a mallet, I just have to smile. The crafstmanship, the artistry, the fact that what you're seeing on screen actually existed somewhere at some point in time--I'll take it over photorealistic nothings any day.

4. Blow jobs.

3. Making new friends who share common interests. I stole this one from venom5's list, but it's true--there haven't been many people in my life other than the Duke who share my love for mad cinema and glorious failures, and I've seldom had what I would call a like-minded social circle. That is, I didn't, until I started blogging and found this brave new world of people who enjoyed geeking out on Pinnochio's Revenge as much as I do. Well, almost. Anyway, I love you guys!

2. Classic cinema of the 30s and 40s. Not just horror either, though from my Halloween Monster Memories series last year you can tell how dear to my heart the Universal classics are. I'm a huge fan of 40s noir (Humphrey Bogart is one of my idols, and Casablanca my favorite movie), screwball comedies, hell, even musicals. If I'm flipping channels and run across The Maltese Falcon, Singin' in the Rain, or White Heat, I put the remote down and settle in, because I know I won't find anything else as good. They make me happy.

And the top thing that brings the Vicar joy...

1. Paul Fucking Naschy.

Don't look so surprised. ;)

The Vicar


venoms5 said...

Hey, how about that nifty mass zombie grave rising from CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (1972)? I think that's one of the best. Was it the first?

Some truly great choices there, Vicar, (I still dig THE MUPPET SHOW) but where's your ten recipients?

The Vicar of VHS said...

I seem to remember some grave-rising going on in NOTLD, but now that I think of it, I think they were just *in* the graveyard, and we never actually saw him rise. A lot of the 70s Euro-zombie flicks had rising from graves scenes, and of course Tor Johnson does it memorably in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959). It's an image with a lot of history, and I think it's a shame it's fallen out of vogue. :P

As to my 10 recipients, I always get self-conscious about bestowing awards, not wanting anyone to feel left out should I fail to mention them (which is how I always feel when I fail to be honored, so thanks for the notice again! ;) ). If I overcome my innate shyness and reticence, I'll update the post.

Anonymous said...

Great observation on the zombie thing, Vicar. I hadn't noticed, altho I don't keep up so much on contemporary horror. I like mine Gothic and classic.
Speaking of, what do vampires rising from the dirt do for you? I think it's Hammer's 1963 "Kiss of the Vampire" that has a newly-minted vampiress rising from her (shallowly) buried casket in one of those great, atmospheric-as-only-Hammer-could-do-them graveyards, while being coaxed on by an old crone slave to the vampire master.
Pretty twisted stuff for '63. And just as tasty today.

The Vicar of VHS said...

Geo! The Duke and I were wherefore thou hadst foresaken us. ;) Good to hear from you again!

WRT vampires, it's funny that you don't see them clawing out of their tombs nearly as often as zombies, though it does happen occasionally. More often it's a nice sealed crypt, suitable for a creaky coffin-opening and gnarled fingers scrabbling along the sides, seeking a way out. Something in the specific mystique of each monster, I think. After all, it's hard to look suave and evilly seductive if your shorts are full of dirt. :P

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