Twilight Zone

Wicked Wednesday: “The Midnight Sun” (1961)

I’ll gladly admit it: I’m a Wisconsinite through and through. I can handle all shades of pretty-fucking-cold, but as soon as it’s over 70 degrees/21 C – I’m over it. And living in Britain doesn’t help things. For one: they don’t use screens on their windows, and despite the fact that it gets hot here EVERY summer – not a single place has air con (minus some stores and restaurants).

And the heat is getting to me.*

To celebrate my good mood, I tried searching for horror movies about heat/heatwaves/hot weather. And nothing. Granted, I wasn’t exactly searching very hard. There was too many crap half-assed articles about ‘summer horror movies’ that I nearly fell asleep at my laptop.

But then I recalled The Twilight Zone episode “The Midnight Sun”.

My father raised me on ZZ Top, Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone. We’d sit and watch the marathons each New Years and Fourth of July, even if we had seen each episode more than half a dozen times.

“The Midnight Sun” is perhaps not one of the most mind-bending episodes, but its one that always stuck in my mind. In the beginning of the episode, Rod Serling introduces us to a situation where the Earth has changed its elliptical orbit and has begun heading closer to the sun every single day.

In New York, two women are the only ones left in their apartment block. Mrs Bronson and the young painter Norma only have each other’s company. They try their best to stay sane in a world of water shortages and people with increasingly-short tempers.

One day, the women hear a radio announcement telling them to keep their doors locked. Looters have taken to breaking in, and all the police have been called away to deal with the traffic heading north.

But one day, the heat causes Mrs Bronson to forget those locks. A man breaks in and takes a jar of Norma’s precious water. He threatens them with a gun before he shows his remorse. He tells them that he’s simply an innocent man in search of water, mostly driven mad by the death of his wife and his baby – neither of whom could handle the heat.

The man eventually leaves, and Mrs Bronson notices Norma’s painting of a waterfall. The older woman is thrilled to see the cool-looking painting. She sings her praises, and reminices about swimming by a waterfall before she collapses. Norma tries to help her, but she then notices the painting is melting from the heat. Then she herself collapses.

When Norma wakes up, she is in her reality: the Earth has moved off its elliptical orbit and has begun to move away from the sun. The days are nearly complete darkness. Norma tells Mrs Bronson of her horrible dream – unaware of her own reality.

It hardly feels so different from our own reality of extreme weather. Though I doubt we would be quite so pleasant as those characters in the episode. You only need to get on the Northern Line at rush hour on a hot day to realise that.

*So it rained on Tuesday and it was cool in the morning. That’s what you get for complaining: exactly what you want.

Horror Block November 2015 unboxed

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This is a post I’ve been putting off for a few days now because quite frankly, I find these so dull to write (which I then imagine means it’s pretty dull for you to read). So as I say every single time, this is the last box I will ever get. But I’m dead serious this time (I think) because I triple-checked that my subscription was totally done with. Things aren’t easy when you’re poor as fuck. Christmas time + moving into a new flat + broken television + father visiting in a week’s time = one extraordinarily poor lady.

As you can tell from the sexy picture above, this was taken in haste. Why? Because I am so uninterested in most of this box that I didn’t bother bringing it home. Also, I thought at some point I would have had time to take a nice photo of some of these items, but then I realised that winter is a perpetual month of endless hell and darkness. So thanks, florescent lights of the office, you allowed for one atrocious photo!

If you can’t tell, there is quite a smattering of items this month. From the really great to the really… meh. So… what’s in the basket box?

1. Bela Lugosi t-shirt from ShirtPunch.com<

I love me some Bela Lugosi, so it was rather nice to get a shirt from Horror Block that I could actually get excited about. Plus ShirtPunch! are now also doing limited-time collectibles twice a week. Like the shirts, they will be constantly changing, though which items will be available and on what day and time available will be a mystery. That's certainly one way to keep people checking back.

2. Addy Miller autograph

The worst part about being a horror fan lately is being out of the Walking Dead loop. I have absolutely no interested in it. If you’re really into this show, every subscription box in the world must be fantastic. A young Addy Miller appeared on the show as a young zombie girl back in the premier. The print is pretty fantastic, and it comes with an authentication card.

3. Sharknado vinyl bobblehead

This is hands-down the, uh, most “interesting” item I’ve ever gotten in a sub box. But yes. Here it is: a bobblehead of David Hasselhoff with chainsaw! While I do love me some B-movie goodness, I never watched Sharknado or any of its incarnations. Turns out no one in my office has either because NO ONE will take this thing off my hands. This is an exclusive item to Horror Block. How exclusive, I don’t know. But if I liked this movie, I would certainly find this hilarious (I think).

4. Rue Morgue December issue

I am SO happy to see a proper issue of Rue Morgue back in Horror Block this month. While their books are quite interesting, I always want a copy of this magazine. This is such an expensive mag to buy in the UK, unfortunately, so I will have to savor it for sometime before being able to afford another issue. There’s a pretty great interview with Michael Dougherty for his new movie, Krampus. It’s a cool Q&A which mostly talks about Trick ‘r Treat, but really just says what we Halloween-obsessed always want to say: “Screw Christmas. When’s Halloween?”

5. Bloody cleaning cloth

As I’ve said a few hundred times now, I’ve moved into a new place. Getting cleaning supplies in this block actually made me excited. So that either means I am a.) lame b.) old or c.) both.

6. Twilight Zone Mystic Seer

This exclusive from Springz ranks among some of the best stuff I’ve ever gotten from a subscription box. I’ve seen every episode of the classic Twilight Zone at least half a dozen times. In the episode “Nick of Time” William Shatner and Patricia Breslin come across a fortune-telling machine in a cafe. This little Mystic Seer appears on the top of the machine. This is meant for a car, but I’ve currently got this proudly displayed on our bookcase. Well done, Horror Block. All the classic horror stuffs, please!