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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Favorite Universal Monster films

Halloween is by far my favorite holiday, and not because my 4-year-old son brings home a ton of candy on the night of Oct. 31.

I love the old Universal Monster movies from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Watching them now, they're not scary at all, but there's so much nostalgia associated with them. Plus, the film makers did a great job bringing humanity to the likes of Frankenstein's monster, the wolf man and the mummy.

If you've never seen one of these classics, check them out. The cable station, Turner Classic Movies, re-runs them on occasion, especially during October. Here's one man's favorite Universal Monster films, with a few honorable mentions:

1. "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935): Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein monster is superb, and Elsa Lanchester's gray-streak hairdo remains iconic to this day. Easily the best Universal Monster film ever, and a must-watch.

2. "The Wolf Man" (1941): Lon Chaney Jr.'s makeup as the Wolfman is awesome, as is his performance as the tortured Larry Talbot.

3. "Creature from the Black Lagoon" (1954): One of the last films from the golden era of Universal Monster movies was years ahead of its time. Before "Jaws" made you fear what lurks beneath the water, the gil-man did the same.

4. "Frankenstein" (1931): Not as great as its sequel, but a fine film nonetheless. Victor Frankenstein's "It's alive! It's alive!" and the laboratory scene creating the monster is
spooky fun.

5. "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948): Loved this film when I was a youngster. What more could a kid ask for then two comedians, the Frankenstein Monster, Dracula and the Wolf Man?

Honorable mention: "Dracula" (1931); "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" (1943); "The Mummy" (1932); "The Invisible Man" (1933)

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Backwards Thanksgiving

Now that Macy's is joining the other stores opening on Thanksgiving, I wonder if some families are going to start doing things in reverse.

Instead of enjoying the holiday, then going shopping, they would do it backwards.They would use Thursday to travel and rest up for the big night (don't forget to hydrate. You don't want to cramp up while racing down the aisle to electronics).

After shopping from Thursday night into early Friday, everyone would come home exhausted, sleep in Friday, and then have a big meal, giving thanks for the bounty they secured the previous evening.

Does that go against the original intent of Thanksgiving? Pretty much. But the stores wouldn't be opening if there wasn't demand, would they?

-- Howard Primer