Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Matinee: Classic Sixties Folk Horror


Stuck inside and looking for something to take your mind off all the black helicopters and armored vehicles ambling past your crib? 

How about some classic folk horror from the Sixties that combines the classic ambiance of quasi-Hammer English and quasi-Lovecraftian New English horror?

Here's the skinny:
In 1692 in fictional Whitewood, Massachusetts, a witch named Elizabeth Selwyn is burned at the stake. Before her death, Selwyn and her accomplice, Jethrow Keane, sold their souls to Lucifer for eternal life and revenge on Whitewood in return for providing the Devil with two yearly virgin human sacrifices on the Hour of Thirteen during Candlemas Eve and the Witches' Sabbath.
In the present day, following his lecture on witchcraft, a university history professor, Alan Driscoll, advises an interested student named Nan Barlow to visit Whitewood during her vacation to slake her interest in witchcraft by studying Whitewood's history. Nan settles in The Raven's Inn, a hotel owned by eccentric Mrs. Newless, becoming acquainted with the only normal-seeming local resident Patricia Russell, who loans her a book on witchcraft. Reading the book, Nan learns that this night is Candlemas Eve.

Oh, you just know that's all going to go kerblooey in everyone's face, Buster!


When you're done with that, check out this hilarious roast of the pre-fame Madonna stinker A Certain Sacrifice by the great Todd in the Shadows, a highly-bingable channel for music nerds like myself.

Kind of makes you wonder when you hear all those internet rumors about big stars having to partake in human sacrifices in order to achieve fame and fortune, doesn't it? After all, Madonna might well be the biggest superstar of the last 40 years when all is said and done. 

Has anyone made a spreadsheet of all the huge stars who had people close to them die before the rocket took off? Asking for a fiend.


Speaking of horror and binging, I've been binging this song like the mentally-sick basketcase I am all week. OG Bene Frasserit high priestess Toni Halliday was part of the first wave of Fraserlings, a large number of which were startlingly beautiful like herself.


Such as the charming and spunky Miki Berenyi, whom I met back when Lush first toured the US. She was the Manic Pixie Dream Girl to end all Manic Pixie Dream Girls back in the day, believe it.


And since it's Sunday we can't forget Harriet Wheeler, whose band released three absolutely immaculate albums and went back to the real world. Bless their hearts.


Taking inspiration from the recently rereleased Victorialand was the unjustly forgotten Shelleyan Orphan. The combo was co-led by ginger goddess Caroline Crawley, who died too soon back in 2016. Their first album Helloborine is a stunner from start to finish if you dig classical-folk-dream-pop.

By the by, that presenter is Paula Yates, ex-wife of Bond villain archglobalist Bob Geldof, paramour of the late Michael Hutchence and mother of the late Peaches Geldof.

I can't quite figure why, but that seems to make some kind of sense with the feature presentation of this post. 

Let me know if you agree in the comments.