Sinister Cinema: Cheese Zombies


In the words of a Great American Icon, “DOH!!!”

Here I’ve been goofing off, not updating the Blog of the Mean Streets and the Eldritch Spheres (and whatever else attracts my interest at the moment — and, yes, I’m still poking along on a reread of a great many stories by H. P. Lovecraft), and I completely forgot to blurb my first appearance this season on Cheese Theatre!

Nuts. Although it’s not like it is easy to track down and watch any given episode of Cheese. You have to go to the station in real time, punch it in using Flash on your computer or internet TV — I’m hoping someday they’ll put up an archive. (And episodes do get rerun, so you’ve always got another shot at it, if you’re a dedicated manhunter type.)

Last night Cheese host Bill Arney had me sit in as a guest for the airing of The Fat Man, based on Hammett’s radio show of the same name, featuring an early role for Rock Hudson and the earliest film appearance of the clown Emmett Kelly.

I caught the last clip, it looked pretty good, but I’m actually more interested in the next movie where I’m doing the Talking Head routine.

On December 8 at 10p.m. (Saturdays at 10, Bill’s new improved time slot) you will find me as a guest on Cheese explaining the Zombie Apocalypse to Bill as we screen The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price, based on Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend  — which heavily influenced George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which led eventually to my fave TV show of the moment, The Walking Dead, and to Brad Pitt fighting some super-fast zombies next year in the movie World War Z (based on the terrific novel of the same name — I can only hope the movie is half as good).

I don’t know how much zombie info will make the cut, but whatever is left ought to be fun. As I’ve been telling everyone I know for a couple of years now, I don’t understand why there aren’t more zombie shows on TV — The Walking Dead cracked the glass ceiling and is raking in the ratings, so what’s holding up the brain trusts in Hollywood? It’s not like you had one doctor show — Dr. Kildare or E.R. — and no Ben Casey or Grey’s Anatomy. One western — Gunsmoke — and no Maverick or Have Gun Will Travel and a legion more.

Apparently there are several zombie comic book series that could serve as the outline for new shows, so Bring Out the Dead.

(I understand there’s talk of a movie version of the comic Last Blood, about vampires defending the last remnants of humanity against the zombie hordes, so they’ll have a food source — but wouldn’t that make a cool TV series? Zombies vs. us vs. vampires. Love to see it.)

To give you something Cheesy to look at, I’m featuring a clip of Bill in his occasional guise of Gil Trisco, Private Eye — if you click on the Cheese Theatre link in the caption you’ll find the rest of his YouTube archives, including interviews with Creature Features host John Stanley and Film Noir Foundation guru Eddie Muller, something to wile away a few minutes as you’re waiting for the next episode of Cheese or The Walking Dead.

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