The View From Atherton Court

Meat Pie and Movies

It is Sunday (I think), and thus time for my post. This sort of post is a departure for me, being more blog-like than I generally go in for. Still! I am feeling chatty. I will talk about me and my week in quarantine. Actually, I’ve been in quarantine now for… two weeks? Two and a half weeks? Three weeks? I am not sure. So, when I say “my week in quarantine,” I sort of mean “my I’ve-lost-track-of-time in quarantine.”

And what an interesting time I’ve had (in some ways)! I’m on an all-pie diet (more on that in a moment), I attended an online party (courtesy of Zoom), and I’ve watched several very odd films.


First of all, the all-pie diet. I am, of course, lying. It isn’t all pie. But! Alec and I have been making and eating exclusively meat pies for dinner every night. A single meat pie will do us for two dinners (at ¼ pie per person per dinner), so, on our weekly grocery trip, we get enough various sorts of meat for 3 pies. This is also a useful thing, as the meat section tends to look a bit looted, nowadays, but pies can deliciously accept lots of different sorts of meats. So, basically, whatever meat we can get, it can go in a pie, which goes in our faces.

The reason for this all-pie diet idea… well, actually, there are several. For one thing, pies take a bit of time to prepare, and we have lots of time at the moment. So there’s that. Also! Alec (who is responsible for making the crust—it is my duty to prepare the innards) wants to perfect his pie-crust technique. Also! We really like meat pies. They are very good, and comforting, and filling. And, I mean, we put in vegetables as well as meat, and we don’t go overboard on the gravy part, and we use low-sodium bouillon when we can get it, and so they are less bad for us than they could be. I feel as if I added that last sentence just in case my parents are reading this. Pie!

Movies: Introductory Remarks

On to movies. Here at Atherton Court (our pretentious name for our unpretentious suburban residence), we like movies that are trashy, but not too trashy; that are bad, but also wonderful; that are, if made in the 80s, as exuberantly 80s as humanly possible; that are horror, but also comedy. The comedy can either be intentional or not; we are not, in that regard, fussy.

All of the movies in this article are available (at least for us; I don’t know if Amazon Prime availability varies by country, but I suspect it probably does), either on Amazon Prime or on YouTube. So, I mean, you could watch them, too. Then, you could come back here and tell me what you thought (of them, or of me for recommending them).

Movies I Can’t Really Recommend, And Why I Didn’t Like Them

I have been seeing a movie a day recently. Most of them have been mediocre to bad. Some of them, like Nightmare Sisters (1988), were verging on pornography, and sometimes in uncomfortable ways. I cannot recommend Nightmare Sisters, even if it does have Linnea Quigley in it (which it does). Though, I mean, there are funny bits in it. It’s just that the funny bits don’t really make up for other things about the movie. For example, the extended three-girls-washing-each-other-in-a-tub scene. And most of the humor doesn’t really come off. In short: don’t watch Nightmare Sisters. Unless you’re really drunk. Even then, there are better things out there to watch.

Another big disappointment was House of the Long Shadows (1983). Alec and I were excited for this one, because it has Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing in it, all in fairly prominent roles. But, before you get excited: it sucks. We turned it off halfway through. It was too boring to go on with. It was also, I noticed as I watched, based on a book by Earl Derr Biggers called Seven Keys to Baldpate (1913), which I’ve read and have always mildly liked. Still… it just wasn’t any good. At least, Alec and I didn’t like it. But note: we did give up on this one. I think we had sufficient justification for doing so, because a movie shouldn’t be that boring for that long and expect people to keep watching. Still, I mean, it is possible that the rest of the film is a scream.

Speaking of things with “seven” in the title, another thing I saw this week (unless it was last week) was a silent film called Seven Footprints to Satan (1929). I wish I could recommend Seven Footprints to Satan. Most of it was really fun, in a couple-thrown-into-a-hellish-and-inexplicable-situation-with-creepy-shadows-and-apes kind of way. But the end is such a let-down that I sort of hate the rest of the movie for being sufficiently good to sustain my interest all the way to it. If you have the willpower, you could shut off the movie right before the lame explanation of the mysterious events. The scene where the main character is making the titular Seven Footprints would be a good place to stop. You’ll never know, then, how the movie explains itself, but this will be better for you, in many ways.

Seven Footprints to Satan is available on YouTube. Not that I am recommending that you watch it, because really the end is the biggest possible cheat, and robs the rest of the film of significance. But then again… the rest of the film is fun. Sigh…

House of the Long Shadows is also available on YouTube. You could watch it, but don’t do it while operating heavy machinery. You will fall asleep. Tragedy will ensue. I don’t want that to be my fault.

Movies That I Can Recommend

So far, I notice, I haven’t recommended any movies. I’ve merely warned my readers not to watch things. However, there are other movies I saw this week (or last week) that I can recommend.

For example, there is Night of the Demons (1988). This also has Linnea Quigley in it, and is (I think) oddly and eccentrically charming. Not that it breaks new ground. It is, in many ways, exactly typical for a horror movie of its vintage. You have a group of teenagers. You have a spooky house. You have a Halloween party with the teenagers at the spooky house. Things go very wrong. Most of the teenagers do not survive. So, yes—fairly typical horror fodder. But the teenagers in this case are sort of engagingly awful, and I was amused. Night of the Demons is trashy, but it is fun, and it has personality.  

Night of the Demons was a re-watch for us, which speaks well of it in itself. Another Night of the… movie we’ve re-watched lately is Night of the Creeps (1986). In this very fun movie, two nerdy college students try to pledge for a fraternity (because one of them has fallen for a sorority girl, and he assumes frat membership is a prerequisite for dating her) and unleash a weird leech-like space disease upon the unsuspecting campus. It is an odd, quirky movie, with amusing bits and also a part that I found touching. If you like horror-comedy, this one is worth your time.

A Movie That Baffles Description

Also we saw House (1977). The Japanese one. Can I recommend House? I am really not sure, but I will say this: if you want to see a different take on the group-of-young-women-go-to-a-haunted-house-and-are-killed-by-supernatural-forces theme, this may be the movie for you. One of the girls in question is eaten by a piano. I mention this merely as an example. There are lots of furniture-based death scenes in this baby. In fact, I think I would love this movie, or at least be able to recommend it more wholeheartedly, were it not for the fact that the weirdness begins at once, before the girls even get to the haunted house. The movie does not establish a sense of normalcy that it then departs from. It starts weird, and it keeps on being weird. The effect of this is that the viewer is left to wonder how abnormal the haunted house really is, in a world where a man can turn into bananas before he even reaches the place.

Atherton Signs Off

So that’s all I have to say for now. Have you been watching a lot of movies recently? Seen anything good that you think I’d like? Or, I mean, do you have views on the construction of meat pies? If you have a recipe, don’t be shy—tell me all about it.

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  1. Girl, you do watch some weird movies. LOL!

    The Old Shelter – Living the Twenties

    • Definitely. I do go in for weird. Sometimes, I will watch a movie just because the description of the movie sounds so weird that I kind of have to see how it plays out.

      What movie have you seen most recently? Was it good?

  2. Okay, I apologize for all these stupid comments. I am using you as a guinea pig to try to figure out why I am unable to leave comments on half the blogs this year. (The first three comments were actually left by my son as he tries to help me figure this out.) The fourth is me successfully leaving a comment as long as it includes no link, either in the website box nor in the comment. But JazzFeathers has a link, so now I am trying to figure out what’s up with that…

  3. Dark forces are at work.

  4. Intriguing. It would seem that WordPress is deliberately suppressing Blogspot. So I shall try to link you to someone else’s random blogspot blog…

  5. No, apparently it’s just me being blacklisted. Sadness. I would ask for a Golden Age Detective to solve this mystery, except that they probably wouldn’t be much good with computer problems.
    Let’s try one more thing.

  6. You should know that I had initially left a nice long comment about how I like pie, and how I dislike horror, and how happy I am that you’re posting on Sundays. In fact, I wrote it about three times. I have now given up on actual communication and am falling back into pathetic dribblets of nonsense. I give up for now, but I’ll be back.

    • Hey Anne! I am sorry your comments didn’t show up before! That is super-frustrating, and I respect you for going at the problem as thoroughly as you did. Your comments (or at least some of them?) are visible now, though, and that is not due to any action of mine. Can you tell me more about the trouble you had? I really wish I’d noticed this when it was happening yesterday, but I have my own little problems with this blog, and as a result of one of these little problems, all my comment notifications go directly into my spam folder. And I forgot to check my spam yesterday.

      I am especially sad because now your lovely comment about pie and horror is, I presume, lost forever. Also, I don’t like to think about you being reduced to communicating in pathetic dribblets of nonsense (though I have to admit I admire the phrasing).

      • By the way, I am leaving all of your comments up for now, because you might need to know which got through and which didn’t. At some point, I will neaten this section up and get rid of the “testing” ones at least.

        Tell me what you figure out! And if I can fix anything my side, I will!

    • Update: re-reading your comments, I now understand, I think, the actual problem you were having. Sorry, don’t quite know how I mis-understood before. It won’t display your link to your particular blog, though it will allow your non-blogspot site to display properly, eh? That is very provoking. Has Google (or whoever is in charge of this sort of thing, in this case) mis-identified you as a spammer? That happened to Atherton’s Magic Vapour. That’s why my comment notifications go into my spam box even now. I think.

  7. Okay, I’m back with something approaching communication. Yes, feel free to delete all the comments you like (or perhaps it would make more sense to delete all the comments you don’t like). I have isolated the problem, although I don’t know how to fix it. Of course you initially misunderstood my blatherings; I was hardly cogent at the time. And my issues are certainly not confined to your blog. There would be quite an irony in my being marked as a spammer, seeing how little I usually comment on anything – not that one would guess that from my presence on this post! But Google works in mysterious ways.
    Anyway, thanks for being tolerant of my using your blog as a laboratory for my commenting experiments.
    Also, pie features in my post for K, which should be next Monday, but which I posted today, because I’m like that.

    • No problem! Also, huzzah pie! Also? I am glad you have figured out what the problem is, though less glad about the whole not being able to fix it thing. It is very frustrating, to not be able to comment on blogs, especially during the month of April. Good luck!

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