Author Archives: James J. O'Meara

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The Rack Reborn:
Reflections on the Restored Edition

TheRackRestored2,016 words

A. E. Ellis (Derek Lindsay)
The Rack (Restored Edition)
Introduction by Alan Wall
Ashgrove Publishing Ltd, 2016

Constant Readers will no doubt recall my enthusiastic review of Valancourt’s re-issue of this somewhat forgotten masterpiece of midcentury British fiction.[1] There I concluded that

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“PC is for Squares, Man”
Alan Watts & the Game of Trump

TrumpJoker3,123 words

“Why . . . so . . . serious?” — The Joker[1]

“It’s all a joke.” — The Comedian[2]

“All humane people should admit that they are jokers; that they are playing games and playing tricks. That I am doing it on you—I am most ready to admit this. I hoaxed you all into coming here to tell you . . . what?” [laughs loudly, crowd laughs] — Alan Watts[3]  Read more …

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St. Steven of Le Mans:
The Man Who Just Didn’t Care

steve-mcqueen-the-man-and-le-mans5,471 words

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans (2015)
Directors: Gabriel Clarke, John McKenna
Stars: Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen, Neile Adams, John Sturges, Alan Trustman, Lee H. Katzin,  Jonathan Williams, Peter Samuelson
102 min.

Le Mans (1971)
Director: Lee H. Katzin
Writer: Harry Kleiner  Read more …

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The Secret of Trump’s A Peale:
Traditionalism Triumphant!
Or: He’s Our Evola, Only Better?

Normal Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale

7,144 words

“Personally, I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale appalling.” — Adlai Stevenson on hearing Norman Vincent Peale was supporting Eisenhower.

“I know that with God’s help I can sell vacuum cleaners.” — Rev. Norman Vincent Peale  Read more …

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Worlds Enough & Times:
The Unintentionally Weird Fiction of Fred Hoyle

4,547 words

October1stFred Hoyle (Sir Fred Hoyle, FRS)
October the First Is Too Late
London: Heineman, 1966; New York: Harper & Row, 1966
New York: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1968 (paperback)
Richmond,Va.: Valancourt Books, 2015 (with an Introduction by John Howard)

Penny: So, how you been?

Sheldon Cooper: Well, my existence is a continuum, so I’ve been what I am at each point in the implied time period.  Read more …

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On The Blunt Edge of Weird Fiction:
Two Short Novels by William Sloane

RimofMorning3,945 words

William Sloane
The Rim of Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror
New York: NYRB Classics, 2015

“Have you been hearing some weird stories recently? About telepathy, the fourth dimension, or GHOSTS?”[1]

NYRB Classics started off seeming like a nice little boutique imprint that would “rescue” lost classics that proudly never stood a chance at best-seller status, Read more …

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Anti-Mame:
Communist Camp Classic Unmasked

4,239 words

MamePatrick Dennis
Auntie Mame
New York: Vanguard Press, 1955
Reprinted as Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade (New York: Broadway Books, 2001)

Mame Dennis: Well, now, uh, read me all the words you don’t understand.

Patrick Dennis: Libido, inferiority complex, stinko, blotto, free love, bathtub gin, monkey glands, Karl Marx . . . is he one of the Marx Brothers?  Read more …

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This Ain’t Funny–This is Genocide!
The Rise & Fall of the National Lampoon

idd_layout_mona_large4,738 words

Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
Director: Douglas Tirola
Writers: Mark Monroe, Douglas Tirola[1]
Featuring: Judd Apatow, Kevin Bacon, Anne Beats, John Belushi, Richard Belzer, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, John Goodman, Christopher Guest, Al Jean, Peter Kleinman, John Landis, Tim Matheson, Chris Miller, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, Read more …

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It’s Not Always Good to be King:
The Folk Horror of Philip Loraine’s Day of the Arrow

DayoftheArrow3,654 words

Day of the Arrow (1964)
By “Philip Loraine” [Robin Estridge]
UK: Collins, 1964; US: Morrow, 1964
US reissue: Valancourt, 2015

Eye of the Devil (1966); aka 13
Directed by J. Lee Thompson and others
Screenplay by Robin Estridge
Starring David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Donald Pleasance, David Hemmings, Edward Mulhare, and “introducing” Sharon Tate.  Read more …

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An “M” of Our Own:
Creating an Aryan Version of Fritz Lang’s Masterpiece

LoseyM3,320 words

M (1951)
Directed by Joseph Losey
Produced by Seymour Nebenzal
Writing Credits (in alphabetical order): Leo Katcher (scenario revisions); Fritz Lang (scenario) (uncredited); Norman Reilly Raine (scenario revisions); Waldo Salt (additional dialogue) Thea von Harbou (scenario) (uncredited)
Cast: David Wayne (Martin W. Harrow); Howard Da Silva Read more …

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