If you are a fan of Claudia Jennings, you will undoubtedly enjoy this well-researched, fascinating portrait by Eric Karell. I first spoke to Mr. Karell almost two years ago and immediately perceived his remarkable passion for horror and cult movies. His knowledge of Claudia Jennings and her place in the cinematic universe is unrivaled.

-Roger Corman, from his forward for Claudia Jennings, the Authorized Biography.

Now available for purchase on Amazon.com or www.midmar.com
 

       Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All

Christmas was Claudia's favorite holiday and she placed great importance with being along side family and friends during the season. She was also a generous and thoughtful gift-giver, a fact rarely mentioned by the media.

This season and always, be kind, be generous and hold those you love close. As Claudia's story shows us, life is fleeting and nothing is guaranteed.

 

 

                                    Movie Review- The Reflecting Skin- 1990

Imagine walking into any of the fine Metropolitan Museums of Art in our country, say San Francisco, Chicago or New York. Then imagine a gallery with just one painting, a work so vast that it takes two hours to see all of it. Every part of the painting bears careful examination because it would be a shame to miss any nuance, symbol or emotion the masterpiece elicits.

The Reflecting Skin, directed by Phillip Ridley, is not so much a horror film but an art film that explores the horrors, and fears of childhood depicted as a nightmarish descent into adolescent hell. As I see it, if Ingmar Bergman was born and raised in the Midwest, this would be his contribution to the horror genre. It is one of the finest American Gothic horrors to be filmed, all the more miraculous since its director is British.

The story is viewed through the eyes of young Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper, in a bravura performance), who lives on remote farm, in the middle of a bucolic paradise, somewhere in the Midwest. He and his friends delight in tormenting a young English widow, Dolphin Blue (Lindsey Duncan) for no apparent reason except childish cruelty. The opening scene is one you will never forget.

 

Seth lives with a domineering mother and detached, withdrawn father, who run a gas station. One day a group of black leather clad punks drive up in a black Cadillac needing some petrol. These are no singing, dancing hoods from Grease as we will discover. They make Seth a promise that someday soon, they will return for him.

Forced to go Dolphin Blue's home to apologize for a vicious prank, Seth is fascinated by her family's whaling artifacts. He also learns her backstory, how her husband committed suicide a week after their marriage. Dolphin Blue then mentions her depression and how she feels "two hundred years old.". Because Seth had heard his father discussing vampires because of a novel he's reading, so the lad starts to believe Dolphin is a real vampire.

When one of Seth's friends goes missing, he and another friend ransack Dolphin's house, but run in terror when they spy her masturbating. Seth later finds his friend dead in an isolated cistern. The police suspect Seth's dad, owing to a previous homosexual incident in his past. The father, overcome with despair and believing the police will not leave him in peace, pours gas over himself and becomes a human s'mores.

Cameron (Viggo Mortensen), Seth's brother, comes home to look after the boy, as the mother has become comatose. While visiting their father's grave site, Cameron meets Dolphin and find they have a mutual attraction. To Seth's horror the two begin a passionate affair. Cameron confesses to Dolphin he was part of the government's atomic bomb experiments. Seth and his friend then witness the two making love which repels them.

As the boys run away, the black Cadillac appears and the leather gang kidnaps Seth's friend, who is found dead the next day.

Cameron we discover is dying from radiation sickness. Seth interpret this as a sign of Dolphin's vampirism as she is slowly sucking the life out of him. He decides not to warn her of the black Cadillac and Dolphin happily accepts a ride from the men. Later on, when Dolphin's body is found, Cameron melts down in front of his brother. Seth, finally realizing what he has done, screams into the setting sun, a cry that is simultaneously filled with anger, shame, despair and sorrow.

One can describe this film in many ways. A work of great beauty, it is reminiscent of the films of David Lynch (Blue Velvet in particular) that even a sunny, All-American setting se can hide real decay and terror. Sometimes the horrors happen in broad daylight. The use of shadow in nighttime and interior shots are striking, especially when Seth's father erupts in a ball of flame in the middle of the night.

There is no doubt The Reflecting Skin is a morbid, over-the-top and disturbing work. It takes time to unfold so if you're looking for a roller coaster type horror romp, this is not that film. Instead it is a door few of us want to enter; a world of nightmares, unspeakable acts, unknown antagonists and a downbeat ending so profound that it's controlled and visionary qualities cut through the heart like a broadsword. Ridley is one of the most talented individuals in the world. He is a distinguished writer, lyricist, and director. A man for all seasons, it seems. Between the acting, photography, story and a general sense of uneasiness, I feel this is his Magnum Opus.

 
 

My Favorite 103 Films of All-time

2019 Edition

 

1.Casablance (1942)

2. The Godfather (1972)

3. Vertigo (1958)

4. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

5. Raging Bull (1980)

6. Citizen Kane (1941)

7. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

8. Singing in the Rain (1952)

9. La Jete'e (1962)

10. Fargo ( 1976)

11. City Lights (1931)

12. Schindler's List (1993)

13. The Searchers (1956)

14. Unforgiven (1992)

15. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

16. Potempkin ( 1925)

17. The General (1927)

18. Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

19. Treasure of the Sierre Madre (1948)

20. Lawrence of Arabia ( 1962)

21.Miller's Crossing (1990)

22. On the Waterfront (1954)

23. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

24. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

25. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

26. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

27. The Battles of Algiers (1966)

28. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

29. The Godfather Part 2 (1974)

30. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

31. The Grapes of Wrath ( 1940)

32. Double Indemnity (1944)

33. Intolerance (1916)

34. West Side Story (1961)

35. Taxi Driver ( 1976)

36.Duck Soup (1933)

37. Cabaret (1972)

38. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

39. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

40. Chinatown (1974)

41. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

42. Gone with the Wind (1939)

43. Come and See (1985)

44. Dr. Strangelove ( 1962)

45. The Sound of Music (1965)

46. Mary Poppins (1964)

47. The Thing (1954)

48. Goodfellas (1990)

49. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

50. Rashamon (1950)

51. Michael Clayton (2007)

52. The Exterminating Angel (1962)

53. No Country for Old Men (2007)

54. The Tree of Life (2011)

55. Performance (1970)

56. Ran (1985)

57. Breathless (1960)

58. Annie Hall (1977)

59. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

60. Rear Window (1954)

61. King of Hearts (1966)

62. Jaws (1975)

63. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

64. The Third Man (1949)

65.The Long Good Friday (1979)

66. La Strada (1954)

67. Haxan (1922)

68. Solaris (1972)

69. Silence of the Lambs (1991)

70. Stalker ( 1979)

71. Little Big Man (1970)

72. L'Avventura (1960)

73. Casino (1995)

74. The Dark Knight (2008)

75. Orphee (1950)

76. The Vanishing (1988)

77. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

78. The Wild Bunch (1969)

79. 12 Angry Men (1957)

80. Wings of Desire ( 1987)

81. Spartacus ( 1960)

82. Blade Runner (1982)

83. Knife in the Water (1962)

84.Psycho (1960)

85. Star Wars (1977)

86. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

87. Closely Watched Trains (1966)

88. Grande Illusion (1937)

89. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

90. The Seventh Seal (1957)

91. Taxi Driver (1976)

92. Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf (1966)

93. Metropolis (1927)

94. The French Connection (1971)

95. Aguirre Wrath of God (1972)

96. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

97. Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001)

98. Before the Devil Knows Your Dead (2007)

99. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

100. Fail Safe (1964)

Unlike many GOAT lists, mine spans all genres and directing philosophies.

101. Anatomy of a Murder
102. Reservoir Dogs
103. King Kong

   Horror Movies So Bad That They're Good

With Halloween approaching I thought it would be a nice treat to recommend some of the more off-beat and downright bad films that are lovable for any true horror fan.These movies are campy, outrageous, and one wonders if the cast and crew realized what a mess they had gotten themselves into. I give you ten films that your brain will say "these suck" but your heart will say "I love it!"

1.Robot Monster-1953-Goofy creature that falls in love with a human girl.

2. Rawhead Rex-1986- First of Clive Barker's works to made into a film and he was frozen out of the production. Still, plenty of juicy action, much of it in extremely poor taste.

3. Troll2-1990-Surprising considering how excellent the first film was. 

4. Spider Baby-1967- Eerie and the epitome of bizarre, Sid Haig and Lon Chaney Jr. head up a great cast

5. Leprechaun-1993- How can you not love this jaunty number with a feisty little guy who wants his gold? Jennifer Anniston's debut.

6. Frankenhooker-1990-Directed by Frank Henlotter who gave us Basket Case.

7.Tusk-2014- Kevin Smith channeling David Cronenberg. Like watching a slow trainwreck.

8. The Brain from Planet Arous-1957-Brains flying all over the place like frisbees with nasty tails. 

9.Book of Shadows-Blair Witch 2- I loved this film, which was 10x better than the original.

10. Plan 9 from Outer Space-1959- Did you really think I could leave off an Ed Wood Jr. picture? The whole list could could be filled by his efforts, but Plan 9 is by far the most entertaining

 

Butterscotch-Apple Cobbler

What could be better than two Fall flavors combined in one classic dessert?

Ingredients

Filling:

5 Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds), peeled and roughly chopped

1 (11-ounce) bag butterscotch chips

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 lemon, juiced

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, plus more for greasing

Topping:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup quick oats

Pinch kosher salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup pecans, chopped

Butter pecan ice cream, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.

  2. For the filling: Toss the apples, butterscotch chips, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, and lemon juice together in a large bowl. Add to the buttered baking dish and dot with butter.

  3. For the topping: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Blend the butter into the mixture until it forms pea size lumps. Stir in the pecans and sprinkle over the filling.

  4. Bake until the apples are tender and butterscotch is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Plate with a scoop of butter pecan ice cream on top.

My Magner's Autumn Bomb

The season always needs a beverage to bring on the spirit and the weather of the time of year. The following is a simple and refreshing way to celebrate the Fall. Whether enjoying an al fresco drink on the patio or trying to numb the pain of your football team's ignominious defeat, this treat combing a trans-Atlantic taste of cider and bourbon will do the trick. Happy Halloween!!

Pour 1 pint well chilled Magners Cider into a large glass. Pour a measure of your favorite bourbon in a clean shot glass. Carefully ease the shot glass into the Magners and drink quickly. Take a deep breath to enjoy the flavors and repeat.

 

For any inquiries, please email us @ericjonathan@claudiajenningsbyerickarell.com

© 2018 by Eric Jonathan Karell- Proudly created with Wix.com

  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon