Christmas is long forgotten. The New Year is here. Halloween is a long way in the future. Still, I thought I’d give a brief update on my October Halloween themed blog project for 2022. I have material for three of the projects I had on my list. Of those three, I picked one, and I actually got a jump on it before the new year. As of this writing, I’m a third of the way through. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but it’s a big endeavor, a big project.
For the third year in a row, inspired by my late friend and fellow blogger Gary Loggins of CrackedRearViewer, I had a Halloween themed month-long blog project. I have to write; I love doing these, mostly. You got to take it all in; good, bad, and ugly. October is over, and it’s time to start “booking” a year in advance. In 2019, my blog project centered on the films mentioned in the song “Science Fiction/Double Feature” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For 2020, I reviewed all the NWA/WCW Halloween Havoc pay-per-views. This past October, I had a Black Sabbath album review blog project covering the original “Ozzy Years.” Below are a few of the ideas I’m considering for 2022 in no particular order.
Album Review: Black Sabbath (1970) Paranoid (1970) Master of Reality (1971) Vol. 4 (1972) Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973) Sabotage (1975) Technical Ecstasy (1976) Never Say Die (1978) Poetry: My Mind Eyes of Fire You Say Goodbye to the Nighttime Film Review: Live in Paris (1970) Black Sabbath (1963) Copyright © Drew Martin 2021
Jack Prelutsky’s 1977 charming collection of Halloween poems for children, It’s Halloween, is one of my favorite Halloween traditions. When I was a young boy, my mom read it to me at least once, and probably several times before the day of trick-or-treating. As I grew older, I read it at least once myself in October as Halloween approached. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to review this top rated, top shelf, all-time favorite.
The subject of today’s review is the film that gave its name to the pioneer’s of heavy metal. Maybe that’s not true. They probably just took it. Anyway, my review of 1963’s Black Sabbath is going to be slightly different. There isn’t a lot of real information about the version I watched. Black Sabbath is originally an Italian film. American International Pictures created an English version from the original, making changes and cuts to certain stories, scenes, and references. After watching the 93 minutes that make up this three tale trilogy of an anthology film, I’ll put it on the third shelf.
We’ve reached the end of the original Black Sabbath run. The final album of the “Ozzy years.” Never Say Die! hit record store shelves on September 28, 1978. Another Vertigo album and produced by Black Sabbath, namely Tony Iommi. The Sound Interchange in Toronto, Ontario served as recording studio from January to May 1978. At 45:11, Never Say Die! is a tick or few over my perfect album length. The critics and most listeners hate it. I don’t think it’s that horrible. Third shelf.
I thought I’d be taking a step back from the previous album, but this proves to be a few steps. Technical Ecstasy hit record store shelves on September 25, 1976. Tony Iommi produced this Vertigo album recorded at Criteria in Miami, Florida in June 1976. It doesn’t even sound like Black Sabbath, but generic mid-70s arena rock. The band was managing themselves. Ozzy had thoughts of quitting. The drink and drugs were an increasing issue. A third shelf selection. I think.
Maybe I gave up on this Halloween project too soon. Some might say I did, but after reading the third book from 1992 in R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, I can’t. Monster Blood, where to begin? I’m generous with the second shelf status. If I finish it, even if I didn’t like it, I finished, and those I don’t go on the bottom. I really didn’t like Don’t Go in the Basement, the previous entry, either. Monster Blood, and there’s several sequels in the series, is pretty boring. The action’s at the end, and well, it’s so far-fetched, so contrived. It makes no sense. Stine tries to draw in witches, and spells, sets up a false witch before the true outing.
Say goodbye to the nighttime baby
A new kind of darkness come
Inspiring fear in so many, but
Revered and rejoiced by some
Now’s the time when the phantoms
Celebrate and play
The shadows dance in the wickedness
You know heaven’s a long, long way
If September is the dawn of the Harvest season, October is the day. The full swing, the full bloom, the full circle of the Harvest season. The days are shortening in the mountains. Not by the time of the clocks, but the by time the sun sits in the sky. The fiery sphere retires early at this time of year. The mountains feel a chill once it retires, and even as it takes its seat the following the day. As hints of color creep into the leaves, an Autumn wind carries the first casualties to their final resting place.