When a carnival showman named Mr. Electrico told Ray Bradbury to “Live Forever!” perhaps he didn’t say it loud enough, because as of this year, no more Ray Bradbury. On the other hand, maybe he said it just right but meant it not quite literally. Something Wicked This Way Comes, a novel which came directly out of that youthful experience (and which was originally suggested as a movie for Gene Kelly, of all people, to direct) maybe WILL live forever, and the author’s name with it.

Jack Clayton’s film, like Truffaut’s film of FAHRENHEIT 451, is sometimes not good enough. Sometimes, however, both are beyond perfection, (ie 451’s final scenes) and a few moments like that in a film count for an awful lot.

This week’s autumnal edition of The Forgotten.

5 Responses to “October”

  1. There’s something about Clayton’s direction on SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES that reminds me of Fulci in CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD or HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY. Maybe it has something to do with a feeling of languid creepiness and the dream-like sense of events unfolding with an emotional logic that doesn’t quite admit the rational.

    Also, just watched NIGHT OF THE DEMON last night, so I appreciated your Karswell shout-out. You’re right about the way that the character works because he’s so… ordinary. But that’s because, to him, magic is so ordinary.

  2. Screenwriter Charles Bennett’s Hitchcock experience obviously informs his decision to give the character a sweet old mum, which really helps normalize him. All villains should have mums.

    Well, maybe not Mr Dark…

  3. I love SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES. I can only watch it once every few years, though, because I frighten easy. THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS is another creepy Disney from that period.

  4. Watch SWTWC in a double bill with STRANGERS ON A TRAIN if you are into dangerous fairgrounds/carousels.

  5. Watch Strangers with Night of the Demon if you are into dotty mothers with dangerous sons…

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