New Dog!

Cover by Dakota McFadzean

So what's more horrifying--a city election or a two-six of scary movies? Maybe don't answer that until you've picked up the latest, greatest prairie dog. The Halloween cover says monsters but the big feature is politics. Either way, this is a frightful issue you'll want to read under the covers with a flashlight. Ignore the scratching at the window--it's probably just a branch. Or is it...a campaigning politician? WooOOOOooo!

31 Days of Horror: The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Tomorrow the theatres will be bombarded with yet another crappy Saw movie. But before Jigsaw came around to keep Lions Gate in the green - Vincent Price was torturing and killing people in needlessly complex death traps way back in the 1970's.

The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) features Price as a horribly disfigured doctor who blames nine other doctors for the death of his beautiful wife (the uncredited Caroline Munro). He along with his beautiful but mute assistant Vulnavia (Virginia North) murder each of the doctors using one of the ten plagues as inspiration. A plague of frogs involves a costume party with a mechanical frog's head that slowly crushes the wearer's throat. The plague of blood involves removing all the blood from Price's victim. You get the idea.

The movie is a weird combination of humor, gore and some strange surreal scenes. Out of no where - Phibes and his assistant break into a ballroom dance sequence. Yet the film works as a whole. Price is his usual fiendish self and he manages to play his role without once moving his lips. Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, The Third Man, Gaslight) plays the head doctor that Price blames.

Director Robert Fuest spent most of his career directing TV. From The Avengers to a bunch of ABC Afterschool Specials although he did direct the very cool thriller And Soon the Darkness (1970). Fuest also directed the sequel to this film Dr. Phibes Rises Again with Price reprising his role as Phibes and Robert Quarry (Count Yorga, Vampire) is Phibes' adversary this time out. There was suppose to more Phibes films but fortunately they quit while they were ahead. The same can't be said about the Saw films.

Pick of the Day: A Spoon We Are Not

For several years now, the Globe Theatre has run a Sandbox Series under the sponsorship Jacqui Shumiatcher and the late Morris Shumiatcher. It's held in a small performance space at the Globe and, as the title implies, is intended to allow artists to "play" ie experiment, take risks, present work that is still in the process of being developed.

It's a neat idea. And one that provides true value to emerging artists, and potential young theatre-goers, in the city. In the Globe's overall operation, however, the Sandbox Series has tended to play second fiddle to the theatre's main stage productions. As a result, it hasn't always been as dynamic as it could have been. This year, the Globe is trying a new approach. It's handed over direction of the series to Andrew Manera, Fallon Mazurkewich and Jayden Pfeiffer. With the goal of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, they've invited six different groups of artists to present performances with run-dates in October, January, February, March, April and May.

The season kicks off tonight with A Spoon We Are Not. Conceived by Heather Cameron, Fran Gilboy and Misty Wensel of FadaDance, the work, which will be performed Oct. 22-24 and Oct. 28-31, riffs on the idea of forks, and the different prongs/pathways that the utensil metaphorically embodies.

Here's a snippet of video from an unrelated FadaDance performance at the Exchange this spring. (YouTube)