Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Roderick Usher

A few days back I was asked who’s this “Roderick Usher” that’s mentioned passingly in one of my BUSCAFUSCO stories.
I was also told that I shouldn’t put obscure references in my stories, because the readers like to know who’s we’re talking about.

I was quite taken aback, but, considering yesterday was Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, here’s The Fall of the House of Usher, animated, and narrated by Christopher Lee.


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The Hound of ’59

vMy friend Lucy published today a nice lengthy piece about the 1939 adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.
You can find the post here, and read it through the usual Google Translate thingy. It’s excellent, and it raises an interesting question, by noting that The Hound of the Baskervilles is treated as a proper Gothic story, an old dark house film.
This got me thinking about the connection between the Canon and the Horror genre, and so while clouds gathered and the storm approached, heralded by thunder and lightning, I brew myself a cup of hot tea, and I took a look at the other Hound, the one that was unleashed on the moors, in the full shocking splendor of Technicolor, by Terence Fisher, with the assistance of the fine gentlemen of Hammer Films.
The first Holmes movie in color.
Another Gothic adaptation, featuring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
It was, if you recall, the year 1959. Continue reading


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Three for the Long Shadows

This is the Weekend of Long Shadows, as we celebrate the birthdays of Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price.

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I will not bore you explaining how much these three gentlemen kept me company as a kid. There was a time when their movies were everywhere and at least once a week you’d be able to catch on of their works on the TV.

To celebrate these old friends, I’ll be re-watching three of their movies today.

First, The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, featuring Peter Cushing.

Then, The Mummy, featuring both Cushing and Christopher Lee.

And finally, The Raven, with Vincent Price (and Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre, and Jack Nicholson…)

It’s going to be a good day.


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She Who Must Be Obeyed

The 1965 take on H. Rider Hagard’s She was the most expensive Hammer project to date, and they could pull it off only because, after much searching, MGM agreed to foot the bill.
After all, it was to be a vehicle for Ursula Andres, that three years before had caused quite a splash as the first Bond Girl ever in Dr No.

And so, yesterday being Andress’ birthday and all that, I watched the old movie again, and it was just as much fun as the last time I’d seen it. It’s not exactly a Tits & Sand movie, despite the fact that both ingredients figure prominently in the mix (but in a classy way). Continue reading


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Killer fossils on a train

Some movies remain with us for a long time.
I caught the trailer for Horror Express in 1972, and later saw the movie in some seaside drive-in.
I was around 12 or thereabouts.
Horror Express.
Featuring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Telly Savalas.
A Spanish movie set on the Trans-Siberian.

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And yet, here I am, thirtyfive years later, a paleontologist writing a blog about my obsession for the East and the Silk Road and pulp writing and all the rest, and all of a sudden I remember… Continue reading