I’ve been looking for this film on DVD, but I haven’t been able to find it locally. I’ll have to turn to Amazon.
In the meantime, I found that someone had posted the full film on YouTube. The story makes much more sense to me now than it did when I first saw it back in the 80s. Jonathan Price is really creepy in this film.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is a prime candidate for a remake, but with a little less…“Disney.” Guillermo del Toro? Peter Jackson? I’d be happy to offer some advice. Continue reading →
“…that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain…” From The October Country (1955) by Ray Bradbury.
The house featured in the Amityville Horror stories, missing from the list, seems to have lost it’s spookiness. The current owners report no usual occurrences, apart from the large number of visitors who pass by just to see it.
Of course, they neglected to mention Piety Hill, the home of Russell Kirk, reported to be haunted by more than a couple of wandering spirits.
In my thinking, there is no better way to hear a story than in the author’s own voice. He knows how the audience should hear it, what needs to be emphasized, what can be downplayed.
Russell Kirk’s best ghost story is called “There’s a long, long trail a-winding,” an eerie tale good enough to earn Kirk a Hugo award. In 1976, just prior to it’s publication, Kirk presented this story to an audience at Hillsdale College. The telling was recorded and is now on file in Mp3 format at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute website, and you can listen to it here along with additional anecdotes of Kirk’s personal experiences with the supernatural.
Kirk does not read in the dull monotone you might expect from an academic. Rather, Kirk is a master storyteller and proves himself a dynamic reader, even giving the protagonist his own voice characterization. Kirk even throws in a little singing to liven things up.
The lesser quality of the recording only serves to enhance the experience, reminiscent of the old radio broadcasts of yesteryear. And, given the time in which part of the story takes place, it is a fitting coincidence for this recording. It was easy for me to understand what brought people together around the old radio of an evening as my family and I huddled around the computer listening carefully so as catch every word.
Run time on this piece is about 1 hr. 22 min., but well worth it.