MT VOID 09/29/23 -- Vol. 42, No. 13, Whole Number 2295

MT VOID 09/29/23 -- Vol. 42, No. 13, Whole Number 2295

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09/29/23 -- Vol. 42, No. 13, Whole Number 2295

Table of Contents

      Co-Editor: Mark Leeper, Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, Sending Address: All material is copyrighted by author unless otherwise noted. All comments sent or posted will be assumed authorized for inclusion unless otherwise noted. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send mail to The latest issue is at An index with links to the issues of the MT VOID since 1986 is at

Middletown (NJ) Science Fiction Discussion Groups (NJ):

The only local meetings left are in Middletown, and they are in-person. The best way to get the latest information is to be on the mailing list for it.

Oct 5, 2023: FANTASTIC PLANET (1973) & novel by Stefan Wul
Nov 2, 2023: THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1981 TV mini-series) & novel 
    by John Wyndham 
    [Note: The Nov 2 meeting will start earlier: 5:00pm.]

Mark's Picks for Turner Classic Movies for October by Mark R. Leeper and Evelyn C. Leeper)

On June 29 we lost one of cinema's great funny men (though perhaps not as familiar as a Bill Murray). Alan Arkin only rarely strayed from comedy genre. He may be best known as the bewildered Russian navy submarine captain in THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING. In WAIT UNTIL DARK he played a rare non-comedic role as a creepy psychotic killer. But in THE IN-LAWS he is in his usual comedic mode, playing a dentist caught up in Peter Falk's bizarre international spy games. The film started out as a sleeper, building audience by word-of-mouth and now has almost a cult following due to home video. (Criterion Films has a DVD release of it.)

For reasons passing understanding, it was remade in 2003. The remake was both a box office and a critical failure.

[THE IN-LAWS (1979), Sunday October 22, 2:00 AM]

And don't forget the early Sunday morning GOJIRA/GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN double feature described in last month's MT VOID:

[GOJIRA (1954), Sunday, October 1, 2:00 AM]
[GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (1955), Sunday, October 1, 4:00 AM]


And some comments on some other films:

CABARET (1972): A great musical with a truly unsettling undertone of the atmosphere in 1930s Berlin.

DEVI (1960) and THE HOLY MAN (1965): Two Satyajit Ray films with connections to fantasy. DEVI is Satyajit Ray's greatest film (according to Francis Ford Coppola), about ayoung women who people think is a goddess after her father-in-law dreams she is an avatar of Kali. THE HOLY MAN is another Satyajit Ray film, this time about a man who claims to be agelss and to have met Buddha, Plato, Jesus, and Einstein. We haven't seen it, but it sounds like there are perhaps some similarities to MAN FROM EARTH.

"Return to Glennascaul" (1953): A short Orson Welles film based on the well-known story of the vanishing hitchhiker.

THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND (1929): The first film version of the Jules Verne novel. Well, sort of--Verne's novel did not have dragons or duck people.

MODERN TIMES (1936),THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940), MONSIEUR VERDOUX (1947), LIMELIGHT (1952): A Charlie Chaplin mini-festival, concentrating on his later, more serious films. (This cries out for clause at the end of the sentence, "rather than his earlier, funnier ones", but in Chaplin's case, there is no disparagement intended for his later films--they are just as good, only different.)


Other films of interest include:

SUNDAY,  October 1
6:00 AM    Tom Thumb (1958)
8:00 AM    The Time Machine (1960)

MONDAY,  October 2
12:00 AM    The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
2:00 AM    The X from Outer Space (1967)
4:00 AM    Genocide (1968)
6:00 AM    The Story of Mankind (1957)

TUESDAY,  October 3
3:00 AM    Cabaret (1972)

WEDNESDAY,  October 4
12:00 AM    Cat People (1942)
1:30 AM    The Hunger (1983)
3:15 AM    Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
5:00 AM    The Wasp Woman (1960)

SATURDAY,  October 7
1:45 AM    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
3:45 AM    The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
5:45 AM    The Tell-Tale Heart (1941)

SATURDAY,  October 7
8:00 PM    Harvey (1950)

SUNDAY,  October 8
12:15 PM    Cabin in the Sky (1943)

MONDAY,  October 9
8:00 AM    It! (1967)
9:45 AM    The Mummy's Shroud (1967)
11:30 AM    Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

TUESDAY,  October 10
6:00 AM    King Kong (1933)
8:00 AM    Son of Kong (1933)
9:15 AM    Kongo (1932)
10:45 AM    The Death Kiss (1933)
12:15 PM    Doctor X (1932)
1:45 PM    The Walking Dead (1936)
3:00 PM    The Vampire Bat (1933)
4:15 PM    I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
5:30 PM    Isle of the Dead (1945)
6:45 PM    The Leopard Man (1943)
11:45 PM    From Beyond the Grave (1973)

WEDNESDAY,  October 11
3:15 AM    House of Dark Shadows (1970)
5:00 AM    The Night Digger (1971)

THURSDAY,  October 12
6:00 AM    The Cockeyed Miracle (1946)
7:30 AM    The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945)
9:00 AM    Angel on My Shoulder (1946)
11:00 AM    I Married an Angel (1942)
12:30 PM    Forever, Darling (1956)
4:00 PM    Oh, God! (1977)
6:00 PM    Angels in the Outfield (1951)

FRIDAY,  October 13
6:00 AM    Hausu (1977)
7:45 AM    Mark of the Vampire (1935)
9:00 AM    Night of Dark Shadows (1971)
10:45 AM    Death Curse of Tartu (1966)
1:45 PM    The Ghost Ship (1943)
3:00 PM    Two on a Guillotine (1965)
5:00 PM    Tormented (1960)
6:30 PM    The Terror (1963)

MONDAY,  October 16
12:30 AM    The Magician (1926)
12:30 AM    A Trip to the Moon (1902)
2:15 AM    Devi (1960)
4:00 AM    The Holy Man (1965)

TUESDAY,  October 17
3:00 AM    King Kong (1933)

WEDNESDAY,  October 18
12:30 AM    Poltergeist (1982)
4:15 AM    Village of the Damned (1960)
5:45 AM    Children of the Damned (1964)

THURSDAY,  October 19
8:30 AM    Return to Glennascaul (1953)
9:00 AM    The Unholy Three (1925)
10:45 AM    The Unknown (1927)
11:45 AM    Miracles for Sale (1939)
1:15 PM    West of Zanzibar (1928)
2:30 PM    The Show (1927)
4:00 PM    Freaks (1932)
5:15 PM    The Devil-Doll (1936)
6:45 PM    Mark of the Vampire (1935)

SATURDAY,  October 21
1:30 AM    The Haunting (1963)
3:45 AM    The Woman in White (1948)
5:45 AM    Sylvia and the Phantom (1946)

MONDAY,  October 23
12:30 AM    The Mysterious Island (1929)
2:15 AM    Orpheus (1950)
4:00 AM    Beauty and the Beast (1946)
8:00 PM    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

WEDNESDAY,  October 25
3:30 AM    House of Wax (1953)
5:15 AM    House on Haunted Hill (1958)
6:30 AM    The Bat (1959)
8:00 PM    Soylent Green (1973)
10:00 PM    The Omega Man (1971)

THURSDAY,  October 26
12:00 AM    The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959)
4:00 AM    The Awakening (1980)
8:00 PM    Modern Times (1936)
9:45 PM    The Great Dictator (1940)

FRIDAY,  October 27
12:00 AM    Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
2:15 AM    Limelight (1952)
8:00 PM    Frankenstein (1931)
9:30 PM    Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

SATURDAY,  October 28
2:00 AM    Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954)
3:30 AM    The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
5:00 AM    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
6:45 AM    Cat People (1942)
12:00 PM    Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1982)

SUNDAY,  October 29
12:15 PM    The Enchanted Cottage (1945)
10:30 PM    The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1954)

MONDAY,  October 30
12:00 AM    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
2:00 AM    Cure (1997)
4:15 AM    Kuroneko (1968)
6:00 AM    Chamber of Horrors (1966)
7:45 AM    Freaks (1932)
9:00 AM    Mad Love (1935)
10:30 AM    White Zombie (1932)
11:45 AM    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
1:45 PM    The Body Snatcher (1945)
3:15 PM    The Seventh Victim (1943)
6:15 PM    The Devil's Bride (1968)
9:45 PM    The Devil's Own (1966)

TUESDAY,  October 31
4:45 AM    The Plague of the Zombies (1966)
6:30 AM    Rasputin--The Mad Monk (1966)
8:15 AM    Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
10:00 AM    The Mummy (1959)
11:45 AM    Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
1:15 PM    The Invisible Man (1933)
2:30 PM    The Black Cat (1934)
3:45 PM    Frankenstein (1931)
5:00 PM    Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
6:30 PM    The Wolf Man (1941)
10:00 PM    When a Stranger Calls (1979)

WEDNESDAY, November 1
1:30 AM    Carnival of Souls (1962)
3:00 AM    Night of the Living Dead (1968)
4:45 AM    Spider Baby (1964)

Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (letter of comment by Gary McGath):

In response to Evelyn's comments about Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov in the 09/22/23 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:

My song about Petrov is on SoundCloud:


George Laskowski, Writing, Grammar, TIME'S ARROW, Imperative Sentences, and HARD TO BE A GOD (letter of comment by John Hertz):

In response to various comments in various issues of the MT VOID, John Hertz writes:

MT VOID 05/26/23, #2277:
Thanks for introducing George Laskowski (of LAN'S LANTERN), as FANCYCLOPEDIA III acknowledges. He then introduced you.

MT VOID 06/02/23, #2278:
Luckily "Write about your own experiences" isn't the whole truth or we wouldn't have science fiction or fantasy.

MT VOID 06/23/23, #2281:
The U.S. hatred of diction, grammar, punctuation is leftover from the Revolutionary War. Two and a half centuries later we're still fighting it. Aristocrats had good English, so if I dare say "anticipate" doesn't mean "expect", a la lanterne! Where no diacritic mark is available we could still write "co-operate" but that would be evil. Superstition being what it is, we at the same time lust for the fancy word. Many misuse "attorney" for "lawyer", but few misuse "lawyer" for "attorney".

MT VOID 06/30/23, #2282:
The title TIME'S ARROW calls to mind "Time flies like an arrow" and its followers "Fruit flies like a banana," "Time gnats like a javelin". Merlin in T. H. White's ONCE AND FUTURE KING lives backward, but there too we don't get the details of ow he can talk backward drawkcab gnidnuos tuohtiw.

"Give me that book" and "Give us this day our daily bread" look the same in English because we don't inflect. Similarly "Lend me your ears" is not a command. In some languages change shape to indicate e.g. an imperative or an optative. We don't do that.

MT VOID 07/14/23, #2284:
I recommend the Strugatskys' HARD TO BE A GOD. Ursula K. LeGuin called it "a thoroughly good book ... robust, imaginative, satisfying."


Godzilla (letters of comment by John Purcell and Gary McGath):

In response to Mark's review of GODZILLA '98 in the 09/22/23 issue of the MT VOID, John Purcell writes:

Reading your latest issue of the Void made me think of any Godzilla movies might be forthcoming, so I Googled that up and discovered the following info. On December 1st of this year GODZILLA MINUS ONE opens, and then on April 12, 2024 (current estimated drop date) GODZILLA x KONG. This is good to know, I guess. Well, this year is the 70th anniversary of the big guy’s original debut (1953!), so having a new Kaiju flick featuring Godzilla is not a surprise. Keeps us skiffy fans happy. [-jp]

Gary McGath writes:

GOJIRA is an excellent movie, with obvious resonances from World War II. Some people can't get past the often cheesy special effects, but Serizawa's conflict and the scenes of mourning are very effective. [-gmg]

"To-Read" Stacks (letter of comment by Paul Dormer):

In response to Evelyn's comments on "to-read" stacks in the 09/22/23 issue of the MT VOID, Paul Dormer writes:

I started WAR AND PEACE the day before I flew to the 2016 Worldcon in Kansas City. I finished it about three weeks after I got home. But it was a great read.

My reading speed has gone right down in the last few years and I'm getting through fewer books each year. I'm trying to avoid all bookshops. [-pd]

This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

There is a recent Tik-Tok phenomenon which claims that people (mostly men) think much more often about ancient Rome than anyone had suspected. Whether this is really accurate is not clear (to me, anyway), but given that I am on my fourth listen to Mike Duncan's "History of Rome" podcast, I am sure that I think about ancient Rome than people would expect. And having just gotten to the episodes on the Gracchi brothers, I once again noticed the (distressing) similarities to our own time.

In ancient Rome, there were ten tribunes, and a veto by a single tribune could defeat a bill. When the Assembly refused to pass Tiberius Gracchus's agrarian reform bill in 133 B.C.E., Tiberius threatened to veto every bill that came before it. He also shut down the Roman treasury, basically shutting down the government. And when the election commission started to count the votes for tribunes in 132 B.C.E., Tiberius and his followers marched on the Capitoline Hill, where the voting was to take place, in order to control the results of the election.

This did not turn out well for Tiberius--members of the Senate, driven to desperation by Tiberius's actions(*), grabbed what weapons they could had headed for the Capitoline Hill to preserve the sanctity of the voting. Three hundred people died, among them Tiberius.

(*) Tiberius did many other things that broke unwritten rules--the mos maiorum--such as deposing another tribune, and bypassing the Senate and presenting bills directly to the Assembly.

It also did not turn out well for Rome--this began a hundred years of civil unrest and civil wars.

So in case you haven't figured it out, the agrarian reform is limiting the medical care the military can provide, and Tiberius is Tommy Tuberville. The GOP is the mob taking over the venue of the vote-counting, and threatening to shut the Treasury.

Cicero wrote, "The death of Tiberius Gracchus, and even before his death, the whole character of his tribunate divided one people into two factions." Even the fact that modern historians think the description of the pre-Tiberian society as one people is an over-statement makes this all sound very applicable to the current situation. [-ecl]

                                          Mark Leeper

Quote of the Week:

          When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick. 
                                       --George Burns 

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