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One of these days I’ll read Dune. Read it and then watch it because that’s what you do when David Lynch and Dale Cooper are your pretend best friends. New Twin Peaks is magical, like following a trail of monster stories up the stars.

Did you see the images of the surface of Betelgeuse? It’s right there, between, oh, 430-650 light years away. That’s a very helpful estimate. I live between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, so now you know where to find me. Betelgeuse is the red star in Orion 1,400 times bigger than our sun. A supergiant living large and dying young. The explosion will be stunning, they say, but probably won’t happen in our lifetime, they say, but maybe it will, they say. Thanks.

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ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/E. O’Gorman/P. Kervella

We may not get to see the death of Betelgeuse in a supernova, but at least we have David Lynch and Cooper back together again. You can’t love Twin Peaks too much, especially not if you’re up with the news. Read the bozo’s and bozo’s family’s and bozo’s cabinet’s and some of the republican party’s daily offenses then watch an episode of Twin Peaks. It’s like spinning in reverse to undo existential dizziness. Effects last a few hours.

Other good times to have, when you need a break from trying to figure out how to help someone you love afford the medications keeping them alive once/if/when/? repubs take away our healthcare, include watching horror masterpieces.

Carnival of Souls (1962)

A friend’s show was rained out so we picked up pupusas with curtido, one of my favorite meals, and watched Carnival of Souls as lightning flashed in what shaped up to be a hazy red sky night. I read that this movie is not copyrighted in the United States. Perhaps that’s why it’s currently available to stream on YouTube.

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Carnival of Souls is about a church organist named Mary who is the only one to walk away from a car crash. After the crash we skip ahead. We don’t know how she survived and maybe she doesn’t either. Right away Mary takes an organist job and moves to a boarding house in Utah. Who knows what she was like before the accident, other than that she seemed to enjoy riding in the drag race. Now she’s detached. The only thing that really interests her is that abandoned resort in the middle of nowhere.

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Somethings off, but it’s subtle until a pale, intent man with dead eyes shows up (played by the Director, Herk Harvey).

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The film’s director Herk Harvey

That’s all I’ll say about the plot. Maybe it’s a ghost story. Maybe it’s about a woman running from her demons. Maybe death will not be cheated. The ambiguity is done with a steady hand. The dream-like quality to the creeping horror is grounded in Mary’s very real terror.

 

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Wes Craven coined the term “rubber reality” to describe introducing the supernatural to the slasher world in A Nightmare on Elm Street. The term aptly describes the unsteady feel of this movie, too. You’re no more sure of what’s real than Mary is. It’s unique and riddled with angst. We’re neither racing to keep up nor two steps ahead. It’s really well done, the kind of movie you feel like clapping for at the end. The only thing I didn’t love was the score. The organ music is fitting, but it’s also grating and unfortunately plentiful.

Fans of David Lynch and the Twilight Zone will get a kick out of this movie. Expect chills not jump scares. And watch it in the dark. I’d love to see it as part of a drive-in double feature. Perhaps paired with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

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