Thursday, October 30, 2014


Happy 61st Birthday, Charles Martin Smith!
It's that special time of year again when my favorite holiday and my favorite actor's birthday meet face-to-face. It's been an extra good year for Mr. Smith.  It makes me happy to see Charles doing so well in both his professional life as well as his personal life. Besides directing a successful sequel to his hit film "Dolphin Tale" (2011), he's also been spending time with a special ladyfriend recently. Is love in the air? Possibly maybe... Judging from what I've seen the two of them share via Twitter, it looks like it may be serious! Awww...

Regular readers know my yearly ritual by now: I watch a double feature of CMS's directorial debut, "Trick or Treat" (1986), paired with a 2nd horror-related feature starring the sexiest man alive: Charles Martin Smith! This is a film that I will always have a bit of a special feeling for, since it ties in personally with my own life in the 1980s. For one thing, it makes me nostalgic for Fangoria Magazine (I was a huge horror nerd even then), where I first saw mention of this film shortly before it's release in theatres. I also relate somewhat to the main character, as I struggled as a bit of a misfit myself back in junior high and high school at the time. I think this film does a great job with the main character of unpopular kid Eddie Weinbauer (Marc Price), making his humiliation at the hands of the school bullies uncomfortably realistic... and his final revenge so satisfyingly cathartic.

This year, the 2nd half of the double feature is another installment of "The Ray Bradbury Theatre" first broadcast February 22, 1986. Ace Award-winning episode "Banshee" pairs CMS with the legendary Peter O'Toole in a story based partially on true experiences when Bradbury interacted with director John Huston. Bradbury was writing the screenplay adaptation of Herman Melville's classic novel "Moby Dick" and Huston was directing the film. Apparently, the time the two spent together in Huston's house in Ireland was very unpleasant for Bradbury, who was tormented by his host with insults and pranks. The story that was drawn from these experiences adds a supernatural torment in the form of a beautiful but eerie banshee (Jennifer Dale). Smith is great as the early-career Bradbury stand-in, and O'Toole is fabulous as ever playing Huston's fictional alter ego. I can see why the episode won the Ace Awards for Best Directing- Dramatic Series (Douglas Jackson)... and of course Best Actor- Dramatic Series (O'Toole). 

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