WhooNEW is excited to have a special guest contributor on our site who is perfect for Halloween.
Doctor J. Morbius Moreau – aka Doc Moreau – is a mad scientist, movie expert and long-time sidekick of Northeast Wisconsin’s own local late-night horror host, Ned the Dead.
The Ned The Dead Show has been on an extended hiatus. While fans wait for a comeback, Doc Moreau has agreed to share some of his infinite movie wisdom with all of us.
Make sure to visit nedthedead.com for more musings and movie lore as well as other stuff fans of Ned the Dead will love to enjoy.
Without further ado – here’s Doc…
Bloggin’ ‘Bout Black & White
Doc Moreau loves him some black and white!
One of the best things about Halloween (now that it’s an official season that lasts the whole month of October) are the classic horror flicks that pop up full of bright highlights, dark shadows and all the shades in between.
(50 Shades of Black and White, baby! Yeah!)
Little Doc Moreau’s Monochrome Love Affair
When I was a kid, the parents had this amazing old black & white TV up at the cottage.
Everything was in black & white. High contrast, bright as hell and with rich, mad blacks. I especially liked my cartoons: the bold, black out-lines filled in with gray tones.
Even my so-called “coloring” books were done up in black & white.
My tools were pencils, charcoal, black flair pens (yesterday’s sharpies, kids) and gray and silver crayons.
I liked my cartoon characters in full on “noir” mode, man. All limned with white backlighting amidst shadowed and shaded backgrounds.
That’s how Kid Doc rolled!
Why Halloween and Black & White Go Hand-in-Hand
I’m saddened by how folks today have mostly lost interest in the black and white. But Halloween is always the perfect time to check it out again.
Today, the classics never looked better, all digitally re-mastered for them new-fangled HD TV’s and Blu-ray DVDs and such.
For TV classics, most folks first recall “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits”, “The Addams Family”, “The Munsters”, the original “Perry Mason” and the older folks even flash back on all the old-timey westerns.
Thanks to MeTV’s classic TV line-up, I am currently inhaling episodes of “Wanted Dead or Alive”, the show that made history when its young star Steve McQueen bucked the system and quickly broke out into the movies.
For movie classics, stuff like Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” and Michael Curtiz’s “Casablanca” may well knock your socks off on the afforementioned Blue-ray or even on Turner Classic Movies HD.
My absolute favorite film noir is Jacque Tourneur’s “Out of the Past” with Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas and world-class femme fatale, Jane Greer.
Watch a Clip from Out of the Past
At Halloween time, folks may be amazed at how much entertainment value the Universal Horror classics have:
From Dracula, through the Frankensteins, the Wolfman and my absolute favorite 50’s creature feature “Creature From the Black Lagoon.” Julie Adams in that white one-piece bathing suit is still a highlight in mirrored swim strokes with the creature in the gray-toned depths beneath her.
Another creepy fave for me is Tourneur’s “Curse of the Demon”–! Every shot, every scene is an eye-popping pleasure of light and shadow. (If you ever catch it in the TCM listings, it is not to be missed!)
And of course the other perennial classics like George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” and even some of the silly Ned the Dead favorites like “Plan 9 From Outer Space” if you can find a good print.
As I became a full-fledged film fanatic in my young adult days, I was amazed at how directors had to fight when wanting to make new black & white classics. Like Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”, Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”, Tim Burton’s bio-pic “Ed Wood”—even Mel Brooks’ brilliant “Young Frankenstein” and most recently Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller’s noir-on-crack masterpiece “Sin City”.
I sometimes cringe at how many major modern films have such dulled, watered-down, weak-ass color palettes. (“Just make it in black & white!!!”, I scream inside my skull.)
That dream-like black & white world: where the distractions of color give way to raw iconic imagery.
(Remember that horrifying “colorizing” fad back in the 80’s? What did it give us? Greedy Old Man Potter in “It’s a Wonderful Life” became an old man in a nice blue suit–! Aaaarggh!!!!)
Learn to love the black & white, I say to young movie lovers. Movies are at heart all about the light and shadows on the screen, after all.
Sure, I suppose gorgeous full-color has its place, too. But yet—when I first get my hands on a home video version of “Gravity”, I’m gonna kill the color and see how it plays as a full-on classic horror movie.
But maybe that’s just me…
Get Your Own Ned the Dead Show Black & White Favorite
Just in time for Halloween, Doc and Mistress Inga have put together a new DVD featuring a classic film featured regularly on Chiller Theater with Ned the Dead. (With a little help from a minion or two)
It’s Plan 9 From Outer Space – the sci-fi/fright flick from infamous director Ed Wood. It’s viewed by many as the worst movie ever made!
Get Plan 9 From Outer Space and other favorites from the NedtheDead.com online store!
These DVDs include all of Ned and Doc’s hilarious wisecracks and goofs throughout the movies as well as their wacky banter sandwiched in-between segments.
If you’ve been missing the Ned the Dead Show – here’s your chance for a walk down memory lane! Or WHAT?!
You can also Like The Ned the Dead Show on Facebook.