Did you know? Surgeon General of the United States

Did you know we have a current Surgeon General of the United States?   I have to admit that I did not.  Mainly because he just started talking on television and when I finally saw him behind President 45’s podium in the correspondents’ press room, he was not talking.   The Surgeon Generals of the past seemed to have no problem commenting on medical things without a podium.

Dr. Jerome Michael Adams is our 20th Surgeon General, Vice Admiral, MD, MPH-HHS.gov, since 2017.   He is an Associate Professor of Anesthesia.   He is considered our Nation’s Doctor.   His mission is to advance the health of the American people.  The motto is “better health through better partnerships”.   He is to ensure that we are given the best information available regarding medical circumstances.  Prior to becoming Surgeon General, he served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner, from 2014 to 2017.

Generally, the SGs salary is $379,590 a year or $182 per hour.   A Doctorate Degree is the highest education required to become a licensed physician, 4-year undergraduate degree, and 3 years of medical school and residency.

I would have thought that Dr. Adams would have been spearheading the efforts against the Coronavirus, not Vice President Mike Pence.  Dr. Adams should also be wearing a mask when he is at the podium no matter who else does not.   Sorry to hear that he was hospitalized recently.

Source: 

Wikipedia

Moira McCarthy, “Anesthesiologists Are Vital in the COVID-19 Fight:  The Toll It Takes”, Healthline.com, April 19, 2020.

@JeromeAdamsMD, medicine.iu.edu (Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesia)

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Something Positive Found on Twitter shared by Lucifansgroup1

One of the most hopeful things I’ve seen lately on Twitter during the Coronavirus (COVID-19):

“The things that will not be cancelled:

+ Conversations

+ Relationships

+ Love

+ Songs

+ Reading

+ Self-care

+ Hope

May we lean into the good stuff that remains. 

From TWLOHA, To Write Love on Her Arms”

Update:

“Founder Opens Up About His Own Mental Health Journey”, founder Jamie Tworkowski of the organization To Write Love on Her Arms said that “it’s ok to ask for help” and discussed “the value of self care” among many other topics. https://www.healthline.com, written by Healthline Editorial Team, December 20, 2019.

[As any of us who have been on Twitter know, it contains good sources of information as well as hateful rhetoric.   Although I have only been on Twitter for a month, I commiserated with one of our front-line doctors who talked about the lack of protective supplies, etc. Then, some “nasty” person condemned the doctor and myself and others as whiners and we ended up being called slaves along with the doctor.   It was the first and last time I will comment to a negative person on Twitter.]

(I inserted the + sign above)

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of X-Files tv show

1993-2018, 11 seasons, 208 episodes, longest running science fiction series in American network tv history, 23 various writers including David Duchovny. Network:  Fox Broadcasting Company.

Conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and medical doctor Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are FBI Special Agents assigned to the X-Files unit, which handles cases that no one else wants because they do not fit into any usual category of crime.

You got your supernatural, science fiction including space aliens, mysterious snitches, Illuminati-type secret organizations like the Syndicate, government schemes, humor like Mulder country line-dancing under the influence (“Babylon”, seas. 10, ep. 5), Native American folklore and their terrible treatment (“Shapes”, seas. 1, ep. 19; “Anasazi”, seas. 2, ep. 25), and mostly human monsters like the Smoking Man.

My five favorite episodes have to do with eating gross things:

“Squeeze”, Season 1, episode 3, air date 9/24/93

This is our introduction to Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchison), a serial killer who has been alive for 90 years in which he hibernates every few years only to come back out to eat a few live peoples’ livers before hunkering down again. He is caught by Mulder and Scully and imprisoned in a mental facility, but it wasn’t long until he escaped because he could squeeze through vents and chimneys to get his prey.   His hole in the wall for sleeping was nasty and oozing.

Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by Harry Longstreet and Michael Katleman.

“Tooms”, Season 1, episode 21, air date 4/22/94 

Eugene Victor Tooms is back with a vengeance against Scully, squeezing through her bathroom vent.  He should have left well enough alone and moved to another state. Suffice it to say, he will not be bothering anyone else for their liver.

Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong; directed by David Nutter.

“Humbug”, Season 2, episode 20, air date 3/31/95

A drunken circus performer (Vincent Schiavelli) has a symbiotic brother inside of him as part of a circus act. I think you might drink too if you had to carry your brother inside you everywhere and always.    However, his drunken circus brother is dying so his symbiotic host brother is constantly escaping from his drunken brother trying to find a replacement host before it is too late. He ends up murdering other people with whom he is not compatible.   And, of course, Scully and Mulder are called in on the case. But, before they can solve the case, the symbiot finds the perfect host to get into but is eaten by Conundrum (the Enigma), the potential host, his fellow circus performer who is a flesh eater.  Not for the squeamish, especially the circus performer pulling needles through his body parts.

Written by Darin Morgan and directed by Kim Manners.

“Leonard Betts”, Season 4, Episode 12, air date 1/26/97.

Leonard Betts/Albert Tanner (Paul McCrane) was a paramedic who was decapitated in an accident. His head was put into a vat of waste and his body grew a new head at home.  This is when he became Albert Tanner working at a hospital and started killing people to eat their cancerous organs. I felt sorry for him because it seemed to me that he could have subsisted on the cancerous organs that hospitals were throwing away anyway, but no, I guess he liked his organs fresh.

Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz; directed by Kim Manners.

“The Gift”, Season 8, Episode 11, air date 2/4/01

Skinner and FBI Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) get to investigate the disappearance of Mulder. Another sickness eater (soul eater played by Jordan Marder) was required by his town to eat their diseases. And this guy was forced at gunpoint to perform this free labor which affected his body adversely for decades.    Not for the squeamish either because his body displayed the sickness he absorbed. He was the victim in this episode who saved Mulder’s life.

Written by Frank Spotnitz and directed by Kim Manners.

Sure, there were a few flaws in the plots, but I was never disappointed. Fox believed that his sister was abducted by aliens, and Scully depended on her medical skill and her faith. I would holler at the screen especially when they would split up inside a dark dangerous building or go somewhere by themselves without a partner. Both were thrown together by their FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) who was skeptical at first, but eventually had their backs.

“Fresh Bones”, Season 2, episode 4, 1995 was an episode that I could relate to today.

Haitian people were being held longer than necessary to be sent back to their native country because the commander secretly wanted to learn the secret of voodoo at any cost. He had begun studying voodoo when he was stationed in Haiti many years before. These are adults in cages, and the only child is a ghost. There is no press and no third-party monitoring. This story really relates to today’s situation of immigrant children in cages in the U.S. today where even the guards say, “they were never made to handle this type of prisoner”.

Written by Chris Carter (Creator) and Howard Gordon; directed by Rob Bowman. Chris Carter also had a horror series, “Millenium”, (one of the executive producers) which I intend to look up.

Main characters

Special Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny also in Return to Me, Zoolander, Chaplin, Red Shoe Diaries, The Craft, etc.)

Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson also in American Gods, Bleak House, Great Expectations, etc.)

FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi also in Supernatural, Shocker, Sons of Anarchy, Basic Instinct, Flash of Genius, Knight Rider, Transformers: the last knight, Vampire in Brooklyn, etc.)

Special Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick also in Terminator 2, Walk the Line, Trueblood, Bridge to Terabithia, Spy Kids, Die Hard 2, Endless Love, The Faculty, Last Action Hero, etc.)

Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish also in Wyatt Earp, Bag of Bones, etc.)

Victims

The drunken brother in Humbug (Vincent Schiavelli also in Ghost, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Batman Returns, Amadeus, The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Night Shift, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Beautician and the Beast, etc.)

Leonard Betts/Albert Tanner (Paul McCrane, also in Rocky II, Fame, Robo Cop, The Shawshank Redemption, ER, 24, Ugly Betty, CSI, etc.)

Soul eater in The Gift (Jordan Marder also in American History X, Virtuosity, L.A. Confidential, etc.)

Snitches/Villains

Eugene Victor Tooms (Doug Hutchison, also in the Green Mile, The Lawnmower Man, A Time to Kill, Con Air, Batman and Robin, Shaft, etc.)

The Smoking Man (William B. Davis, also in The Messengers, The Dead Zone, etc.).

Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin, also in Cujo, The Firm, Big Trouble in Little China, Roots: The Gift, Are We There Yet? etc.)

X (Steven Williams, also in Cooley High, Route 666, 21 Jump Street, The Equalizer, Blues Brothers, Supernatural, etc.),

Well-Manicured Man (John Neville, also in Fifth Element, Billy Budd, etc.)

Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea)

[TV shows and movies mentioned are ones that I have seen the actors in.]

Thank you to all the stunt people, the special effects makeup people, and the CGI computer people who helped make this series successful. I thoroughly enjoyed the series so much over the years that I recently borrowed the whole series from the public library—one season at a time.

Other sources:

Wikipedia

Devon Maloney, “The 10 Most Embarrassing X-File Episodes”, Vulture, Vulture Lists, January 18, 2016.

Ira Madison III, “Every Episode of the X-Files, Ranked from Worst to Best”, Vulture, January 22, 2016. (For some of these he did not explain what the episode was about but just gave it a pass or fail.)

Kimberly Roots, “The X-Files: A Deep Dive into Mulder and Scully’s Love Story (Which Began Waaaay Before You Thought It Did)”, TVLine.com, April 24, 2020

Meg Downey, “49 Actors You Forgot Were on X-Files”, Gamespot.com/amp-ga…, April 30, 2020.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

TIDBITS

Drug Recalls

Check FDA’s online list of recalled drugs at https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/drugrecalls or FDA Consumer line at 888-INFO-FDA and sign up for alerts.   888-463-6332 for updates.fda.gov/subscription management.

Sleep

Elle Hunt, (Sleep) “Shuteye and Sleep Hygiene: The Truth About Why You Keep Waking up at 3 a.m.”, The Guardian, February 17, 2020.

Rosa’s Opinion–What Makes a Good President

A good president cares about the world and all its people.

A president is only as good as the people she or he can rely on and the structure she or he has under them.    Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before he or she will crumble.

That’s where allies come in because a president of one country can’t do it all.

A president is known by the company he keeps—good or bad.   It’s been proven time and time again.

“What’s Eating America”

Andrew Zimmern, American chef, is a man of heartfelt convictions.   He came up with a 5-part series recently on MSNBC entitled “What’s Eating America” on Sunday nights at 9 p.m.   The series includes the topics of Immigration, Climate Change, Addiction, Voting Rights, and Healthcare.    I watched the episodes on Immigration (in which he was accompanied by José Andrés, a fellow award-winning chef and humanitarian) and Voting Rights, and I hope to watch the fifth one on Healthcare on March 15.

If they repeat the series (and I hope they do), I will watch the ones that I missed—Climate Change and Addiction.   I know I could have DVR’d them, but my skills at that need improvement.  

This is the same man who starred on the series, “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”.   Because I had seen some of that series, I wasn’t going to watch “What’s Eating America” because I figured it would be more of the same.

I appreciate that the results of the episodes I’ve seen which were well-reported and stuffed with pertinent information and locales across America.   I am so proud of his efforts.

Zawn Villines, “What is a Fecal Transplant?  Everything You Need to Know”, medicalnewstoday.com, May 8, 2019.

Here’s something I had never heard of.    And, don’t soon want to hear of it again.

“A doctor transplants feces from a healthy donor into another person to restore the balance of bacteria in their gut.  It may help treat gastrointestinal infection, etc.   Antibiotics destroy good as well as bad bacteria.  Other names the procedure goes under:  bacteriotherapy, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), etc.”

There’s something I’d like to implant fecally, but “won’t touch that”!

Review of movie, Little Woods (2018)

The movie is about what poor people have to do to make it in an impoverished rural area.     It was filmed in North Dakota and Canada.   Farming is North Dakota’s state industry.  The movie is set in a rural area inspired by Williston, North Dakota.   It is a documentary on poverty and drug abuse.

Ollie’s (played by Tessa Thompson) downhill spiral started when she had to cross into Canada at North Dakota’s border to get discounted prescription medicine for her dying mother, which got her caught up in the drug trade.   After some jail time and eventual parole, she makes herself content with providing laundry services and selling home-made sandwiches and coffee to workers who constantly ask her for pain pills.   She turns them all down because she is trying to get enough money to keep the home that she and her mother lived in before she gets evicted.  No one was making house payments for months.  I wonder why her homeless sister Deb didn’t move back in with Ollie to help with expenses.  Perhaps there was a past troubling relationship with her mother or Ollie.

Her sister Deb (played by Lily James) already has a child by her husband Ian (played by James Badge Dale) who appears to be living in some kind of group home himself, and she gets pregnant a second time.    Deb was already living in an abandoned RV in a superstore parking lot, thinking that the notices repeatedly posted on the RV didn’t mean that she had to move any time soon.    So, Deb decides that she needs an abortion because her first child’s father already is not taking care of that child—the reason she was living in an abandoned RV in the first place I assume.  But she is told that an abortion would cost $8,000 without health insurance.  Deb doesn’t have health insurance. 

Tessa’s character Ollie gets back into the drug trade to help her sister and keep her mother’s house so she herself will have a place to live.   Drug dealing is something she promised herself she would never do again because she’s on parole after doing it for her mother.   But now she has to do it again to get her unlucky sister out of trouble.   Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

To top it off, Bill, the local drug dealer (played by Luke Kirby) fronts her the money for the drugs so she can give him a cut of her business and, basically, she ends up working for him.   After arriving in Canada, her sister was nearly raped trying to get an illegal ID so she can get a free abortion in Canada.   And, she and her sister were nearly arrested by a Canadian policeman for loitering.  To top it off, Deb brought her child with them on the trip.   He was sleeping in a cold car.   Then, Ollie’s connection in Canada kept Deb’s child while Ollie took her sister to enroll in a program that would allow her to get the abortion. Opioids are the kind of drugs she purchases for average working people who need to work while in pain in jobs with no benefits or health insurance.   Ollie makes her former drug connection and gets the opioids that the American workers need. 

Tessa’s character Ollie can’t keep the money in her mother’s house because her parole officer makes regular searches of her home as part of her parole, so her sister volunteers to keep the money in the trailer.    I’m sure you can guess that the inevitable happened with the trailer.

The only bright spot (thank God there is one) is when Tessa’s character gets interviewed for a job through the efforts of her parole officer (played by Lance Reddick).   I found myself cussing out the characters trying to get them to avoid the obvious mire into which they were sinking, much like a horror movie.   I was glad when the horror of the movie ended.  I hoped that things would turn around for them.   At the end of the movie, it was still questionable whether they would survive.

Although the movie was intense—wrong step after wrong step—Tessa Thompson and Lily James gave award-winning performances.   Tessa Thompson I have seen in many things (Men in Black International, Furlough, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame, etc.), but she really displays the hopelessness of the situation she continues to get into just to help her family.   The half-sister played by Lily James is stuck in a bad lifestyle of her own making although we aren’t told why she’s not with her husband.   Lily James I know from the Downton Abbey television show, where I saw her for the first time.   Then I saw her in Cinderella and Mama Mia 2. 

The songs in the movie are so solemn because there is not much happiness in this movie.   Nia DaCosta is the writer and director.    Although watching this movie was like watching an inevitable accident that you can’t turn your eyes away from, I enjoyed the movie.   Official site:  https://www.littlewoodsmovie.com.

Other sources:

Melissa Healy, “How Factory Closings May Have Fed Opioid Crisis:  Study Finds More Overdoses in Areas Hit by Loss of Auto Jobs”, Baltimore Sun, SunPlus, Thursday, February 6, 2020.   The auto industry closing of factories have influenced drug use.  

Peter Debruge, “’Little Woods’ Review:  Nia DaCosta’s Tough, North Dakota-Set Debut”, https://variety.com/film/reviews, April 19, 2019.   I quote from this Variety review: “So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico.  But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long?” 

Deborah Rudacille, “Photos:  What Bethlehem Steel Meant to Baltimore; In Baltimore, Visions of Life After Steel”, May 15, 2019, Citylab.com.    I would also say the loss of manufacturing jobs period influenced drug use, including the closing of Sparrows Point’s Bethlehem Steel in 2012 in Maryland.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin 

Review of book, Sula, by Toni Morrison

I have finally read a book by Toni Morrison.    It was not hard to read, and she has a multitude of interesting characters to dig into.   The way she tells the story will have you hypnotized and entertained.   Her book is realistic about an isolated black town in Ohio which could still exist today.   The town was built upon a literally rocky hill called the Bottom that could not guarantee any crops—not like the fertile valley below in which white people lived.

Her book, Sula, begins with a black veteran of World War I who is released from a military hospital.  The doctors fixed his physical wounds, but not his mental wounds from seeing a fellow soldier’s face be blown off in front of him.   We used to call that condition shell-shocked when I was growing up, but now it’s called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and is treatable.   His character, Shadrack, plays a role throughout the book, especially in establishing an annual National Suicide Day which people’s lives revolve around like it’s an official holiday.

There are various people with various issues in this small segregated town uphill from wealthier white Medallion City below.   As in all groups, there are good and bad people and others who are a little of both.   It is the story of two families:   Eva’s family that gave birth to Nel and Cecile Sabat’s family that gave birth to Sula.

Eva married an unfaithful philandering man who left her to feed 3 children in the dead of winter.  And, since there was no aid to help her, she had to depend on her neighbors’ help to keep her children alive until she could find some income.    She ended up leaving her children with a neighbor temporarily (10 months) until she found income as a result of a loss of one leg.    Eva was able to secure her family’s future by having a house built in which she could have paying boarders while restricting herself to the fourth floor.  

Hannah, her oldest daughter, a free spirit who kept Eva’s house in the form of cooking and cleaning and taking care of her own daughter, Sula, was known for having sex with every man in town—married and unmarried, but she never took ownership of the men which pleased their spouses.   Eva’s young son, Plum, went away and came back a cocaine addict.

Cecile Sabat had a daughter, Rochelle, who became a prostitute in a house of ill repute, and had one daughter, Helene, who her grandmother Cecile got as far away from Helene’s mother as she could.   Helene ended up marrying an older man, Henry, who she seldom saw because he was a merchant marine.   Henry treated Helene well and gave her what he could.   She was content to have one child, Nel.

Nel ended up being friends with Sula as a child.  Sula caused a little boy to drown while she and Nel watched.  They got away with that crime.    When Sula left town, Nel was despondent, but eventually got married.

However, when Sula returned to town, she had the same reputation as her mother Hannah except Sula, instead of tossing the men back, she possessed them so much that they didn’t want to go back to their wives after she ditched them.   The townswomen hated her for it because they lost their husbands when Sula didn’t want them anymore.   This was Sula’s attempt to feel love.

Sula was a sociopath and psychopath to me, but today it’s called antisocial personality disorder.   According to WebMD, she had a “poor inner sense of right and wrong” nor could she “seem to understand or share another person’s feelings”.   Sula had no conscience much like a psychopath would and a weak conscience like a sociopath.   Both lack empathy to know how another person feels.

Sula used her beautiful façade to attract men just as a flower attracts bees.   She was even found by her friend Nel having sex with Nel’s husband in Nel’s house which was the death of their friendship, and her husband left Nel just as the other husbands left their wives because of Sula’s rejections.   She told Nel that she didn’t think Nel would mind if Sula had sex with Nel’s husband.   I rest my case.

However, when Sula finally found a man she could love, I believe she thought she had a lot in common with him.   But, as soon as he found out she was in love with him, he fled the town just as she would have.   I really enjoyed the book.   There was never a dull moment in the Bottom.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

“56 Ending or Canceled TV Shows for 2019-20 season”, www.tvseriesfinale.com

Review of movie, Moms’ Night Out (2014)

I saw this movie on DVD from the public library.

This movie is about moms who are stressed to the point of violent acts or suicide, but it’s a comedy.   I was nearly stressed out in watching the movie myself because I thought it was going to turn into a horror movie, but I had to continue to watch to see how it came out.   All of the moms have issues, not unlike mothers today, and the issues revolved around their husbands and children.

The main mom Allyson (Sarah Drew) swears she can’t do anything right in trying to raise three small children with her husband Dr. Sean (Sean Astin), who can’t understand why there is such a problem.  Even with his wife in hysterics almost daily, he can’t understand why.   She only came up for air once when her little girl had made crayon drawings on the wall and she decided to put frames around them.   I thought she would continue to calm down then, but, no, she fussed out someone at a restaurant, etc., on her night out.  I thought she should go to counseling along with her husband and then maybe her husband would really be able to see her side.

Mom Sondra (Patricia Heaton) thinks she has to be perfect at all times in her role as a pastor’s wife (husband Ray played by Alex Kendrick), and be the correctional officer over their one daughter at the rebellious teenage age.    I felt most sorry for the pastor’s wife who had to be “on” all the time no matter where she went.   Everyone in her husband’s flock, the other moms, her neighborhood, and the world at large used her for their confessor, therapist, etc., and she had no one to confide in, even her busy husband.

Mom Izzy (Andrea Logan White) is actually the calmest of the group of moms but is stressed thinking that she may be pregnant with a third child with her usually hysterical husband (Robert Amaya).   Here’s where the roles are reversed.  The husband is like Allyson in that he feels he can’t do anything right with his children.

Although the husbands don’t have a clue about the plight of their wives, the voices of reason are the men in the movie, except for Izzy’s husband.   Even a male single friend, Kevin (Kevin Downes) was also the voice of reason in his calmness in any situation to which he applied his own solutions.

That tall drink of water, Bones (Trace Atkins), biker/tattoo shop owner, gave Allyson some good advice when the other two mothers were arrested.    She finally had a chance to calm down while waiting for the police to release the other two moms.   Bones spoke things God must have put on his heart to tell her about not trying to be perfect in her life, but to calm down, etc.   The thing is he couldn’t remember what he had told her after the other moms were released.

In spite of the hysterics, the movie is very well made.    I enjoyed it once I got de-stressed.   It was directed by the Erwin Brothers (Andrew and John), young guys with a lot of energy.   Half the actors were producers.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie, Haunt (2019)

I wasn’t going to watch this movie on DVD because it was labeled as slasher/horror.    At the beginning, you see and hear someone building something.    You watch the party scene, and you think it’s business as usual.  

But, once it got into the slasher phase, I thought it was intense, and not in a bad way.    It was so well done.   Although it was never revealed why the whole complicated maze of horror was even built, co-writers/co-directors Scott Beck and Bryan Woods did a great job of keeping you glued to your seat.   Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, The House with a Clock in Its Walls, etc.) was one of the producers.

It starts off as usual with a nice group of young people celebrating Halloween.    One of whom has been beaten up by her boyfriend, so you are led to believe that the boyfriend will provide the horror.   

However peer pressure, daring each other, was what got them into this mess.   What Generation Z you know is going to leave their phone with anyone?   After the initial stupidity of leaving their cell phones outside as required by the clown, I assumed stupidity would reign.   After that, there were a lot of moments when you hollered at the screen, but not because they were doing stupid things necessarily.

Here kicks in the psychology of knowing a great deal about young people.   The maze of tricks and fixtures looked grungy which added to the excitement of the place.    The place didn’t look like they spared no expense to make this trap, but someone in a mask was seen constructing and drilling things at the beginning of the movie but you sort of forget that while you are getting involved in these young, beautiful people’s lives.  However, these characters were not your usual stuck-up kids.   They were intelligent college kids.

Supervising sound editor, Mac Smith,” used Skywalker Sound’s catalog of sounds created for other films—using sound as a story-telling device”.    There was a good combination of strong and weak characters, but all of them “manned up” when it became obvious that the danger was real.   Many times, though, they failed to take advantage of an opportunity for psychological reasons such as the costumed person acting friendly or acting as if they too were a victim in the same dangerous situation.  

The music was great throughout the movie, but the song at the end “Dragula” by Lissie was so appropriate—solemn yet tender (“Dig through the ditches, burn through the witches…”).  

The clown face on the cover of the DVD reminds you of Stephen King’s “It”, but the character studies in Haunt don’t go as deeply into each character, except for Harper’s character.   

The perpetrators’ costumes were so authentic, much more than I would think they would be when they knew the blood that would be splashed on them.    The costumes looked so expensive and detailed.  Spoiler alert–the horror increases when you see what’s under the costumes.    They were killing for no reason other than they could.

The actors were so talented.    They made a believer out of me.   I believed the danger they were in.  The traps were ingenious.

Katie Stevens played “Harper” the abused young woman who (spoiler alert) turned out to be the strongest-willed.   Lauren Alisa McClain played “Bailey”, Harper’s best friend.    Harper’s other girlfriends were “Angela”, played by Shazi Raja, and “Mallory” played by Schuyler Helford.

Samuel Hunt was the abusive boyfriend “Sam”.   Will Brittain was the new man of interest named “Nathan”.    Andrew Caldwell played “Evan,” the humorous pal skilled in picking locks.

Justen Marxen was the clown, but not necessarily the boss of the killers.

Spoiler alert:   The paybacks were a bitch and made it all worthwhile.   You’ve got to see it!

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Review of movie, The Amazing Mr. X, 1948

I saw this movie recently and found it so shadowy in black and white.   But that was ok because it and the music added to the mysterious atmosphere of the movie.    A rich widow Christine Faber (Lynn Bari) is haunted by the apparition, voice, and piano-playing of her husband Paul (Donald Curtis) who died two years before.  

Then Alexis, a fake medium (Turhan Bey) comes along to suggest that her husband is trying to contact her, so of course, right away I think that the fake medium is behind the so-called haunting.  You know what opportunists they were.   That’s how they made their livings.  As a matter of fact, Alexis showed the viewing audience every trick he used.   

But, no, her “poor” husband is actually poor, alive, and trying to drive his wife crazy (or kill her) so he can get her money.    Her new fiancé Martin Abbott (Richard Carlson) tries to dissuade her from using a medium.   But her sister Janet (Cathy O’Donnell) falls for the charm of the medium, who is cool—no doubt.

Then, there’s the not-obvious twist that her bum husband is alive and trying to get her money.   He even threatens the medium to get the medium to work with him in his plan.   But the medium finds out that the husband means to start murdering the people in his way and tries to figure a way out for everyone.

The acting is superb.    I remember Turhan Bey playing Asian or other exotic parts but I am surprised to learn that he was Austrian-born Turkish-Czech Jewish and couldn’t marry Lana Turner because his mom disapproved and he never married.    I remember Cathy O’Donnell as the girlfriend of the sailor who lost his arms below the elbows in the after-war movie, The Best Years of Our Lives.   She was great in this movie, too. 

I wasn’t as familiar with Lynn Bari, but her face is familiar to me.   And it seems like Richard Carlson was in everybody’s movie.  I remember him in It Came from Outer Space and Creature from the Black Lagoon (from romance/comedy to horror/scifi later in his life).

Directed by Bernard Vorhaus.   Labeled as a thriller/indie film.

Sources:  Wikipedia, IMDb, etc.

Written by Rosa L. Griffin

Georgia on my mind

In September 2019, I stayed with friends in Georgia for two weeks.   However, the sun was so intensely hot in Georgia that it felt like I was breathing inside a furnace.   Also, my allergies were acting up viciously because of the surrounding trees.   So, I didn’t go out much.

The people of all races were so hospitable and friendly wherever we went though.   However, the insects were treacherous and left me with a blister on my forearm and a knot on the elbow of the same arm.

Oh, the adventures we had.    My friend even took his car in for service at a Toyota dealer.  We ate out at Carrabba’s Italian Grill–my first time.  The waiter, Alex Matthews, was so professional and appeared to be proud to present what Carrabba’s offered.  The food was delicious.  

In addition, we visited two Waffle Houses, Home Depot a few times, IHOP once, Harbor Freight a few times, Kohl’s a few times, Walmart a few times, the Post Office a few times, and gas stations a few times (Flash Foods, QT, etc.).

There was a lot of building and development everywhere we went.   Also, they were starting to build second-level homes in areas that only had one-level homes.   However, cell phone reception in some areas was null and void.   There was a definite lack of cell towers in some places.

We saw armadillos and deer crossing the roads at all hours, even walking through my friends’ yard.   We visited Senoia, Fayetteville, Haralson, Newnan, and Peachtree City.

I helped out by washing dishes and laundering clothes and doing supermarket shopping.   Notice I didn’t say cooking.   I learned from the best—my mom and dad!    And, dad was a cook in the army when he was young.   I can cook but choose not to on a regular basis.   Someone else cooks for me.   That’s my little secret.

This is probably too boring for you adventurous types.   But I’m a writer who stays home a lot when I’m not serving the community or going out to eat with friends.

I wouldn’t mind returning to Georgia.   I had a nice time!

Written by Rosa L. Griffin