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Caroll Spinney (1933–2019)

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Dec 9, 2019

Caroll Spinney died yesterday. Although millions of us grew up with him, most of us didn’t know his name. That’s an occupational hazard for a puppeteer, and Spinney was one of the best. For nearly half a century, he performed and voiced Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch —  two ends of the read more

I’m a Guest on the Cinema Shame Podcast!

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Mar 5, 2017

I’m proud and honored to be the very first guest on Cinema Shame, a new podcast where movie lovers talk about iconic films they haven’t seen — and why. You may recognize host Jay Patrick from his work as the evil mastermind behind the James Bond Social Media Project and as moderator of read more

Forgotten Stars Speak Again on TCM

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Dec 4, 2016

In the early years of the 20th Century, New York City was the Vaudeville capital of America, with a collection of popular and peculiar performers plying their trade live on stage. A few icons of that era found fame in other mediums, but most were forgotten after Hollywood made the transition to “Tal read more

The First Talking Pictures Regain their Voice

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Nov 21, 2016

“What was the first movie?” my 9-year-old niece asked after a recent trip to the multiplex. I hate questions like that. Because I’m a “movie guy,” I feel like I should have an easy reply. But I never do. The first time pictures moved? The first narrative short film? The first feature? There’s read more

I Discuss Horror Movie Hosts on New Podcast

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Oct 31, 2016

Over the last five years I’ve co-hosted two classic film podcasts and been a guest on countless others. But my favorite chats have always been with Miguel Rodriguez, host of the Horrible Imaginings podcast. Miguel and I have only met in person a handful of times at the annual TCM Classic Film read more

Horror Fan Celebrates Halloween w/ Classic Movie Cakes

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Oct 31, 2016

Halloween is like Comic Con for Old Movie Weirdos. For a few brief weeks, the mainstream sheds its confounding anti-classic bias and embraces our pop culture past. You see it in retro-themed decorations and costumes, old horror movies on TV and in local venues, and in a cultural ubiquity that remind read more

John Zacherle (1918-2016) Horror Host, TV’s Cool Ghoul

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Oct 28, 2016

In the 1950s, the new medium of television was hungry for content that was inexpensive and plentiful. So local stations turned to classic movies, particularly those of the spooky variety. Fright films from studios like Universal became an early TV staple, launching a revival of interest in the genre read more

Remembering Uncle George

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Oct 17, 2016

“He sounds like a second father,” a friend said when I told him about Uncle George. Honestly, I didn’t need another father. I had two before I was six months old. I never met the first one (his loss) but the second treated me like the best thing that ever happened to him. What I needed was an read more

TCM + Criterion’s FilmStruck Launches Oct 19

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Oct 6, 2016

Streaming video was supposed to be the great equalizer. With a century’s worth of movies from all genres available on-demand – without the programing or advertising constraints of a linear TV channel  – fans of obscurities old and new would finally be on a level playing field with the mainstream read more

Barbra Streisand + Mitzi Gaynor Specials – Tonight on getTV

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Aug 29, 2016

Since its launch in February of 2014, getTV has been home to some of the most innovative classic-themed content available on television today. And that trend continues tonight with two rarely seen 1960s variety shows and a brand new special featuring Barbra Streisand in performance. First up at 8 p. read more

TCM Names “Ultimate Fan” as On-Air Host

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on May 24, 2016

It’s a story right out of the movies: plucky newcomer dances her way from the chorus to center stage. And where else but TCM would a classic movie dream like that become a reality? Turner Classic Movies announced today that Tiffany Vazquez, the winner of the TCM Ultimate Fan Contest in 2014, will read more

KING OF JAZZ (1930) Restoration Debuts to Cheers and Tears

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on May 15, 2016

“You will be the second audience to have seen this film in a close approximation to its original form since 1930,” film curator Dave Kehr told a capacity crowd at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on Saturday. The movie about to screen was KING OF JAZZ, a Universal musical re-edited by the studio read more

TCM + Criterion Partner for FilmStruck Streaming Service

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Apr 26, 2016

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans,” John Lennon wrote in “Beautiful Boy.” And FilmStruck, a just-announced subscription video-on-demand service from TCM, is what happens to Old Movie Weirdos while we’re waiting for the option to subscribe directly to read more

KING OF JAZZ (1930) Reigns Again w/ Restoration + New Book

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Mar 28, 2016

It’s a story right out of the movies: forgotten star gets a second chance at fame. Only this time, the star is actually a film – and the second chance is both a new restoration and a new book. But best of all: you get to be the hero. Very soon, film fans will get a chance to see a sparkling read more

Classic Horror + Sci-Fi Films Streaming Free on Comet TV

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Mar 8, 2016

You may not know what a digital sub-channel is, but, if you enjoy classic movies and TV shows, there’s a good chance you’ve watched one. More than two dozen nostalgia-themed TV networks have debuted since 2009, when the switch from analog to digital broadcasting allowed American television stations read more

Film Censorship in Focus – This Month on TCM

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Mar 2, 2016

I’ll never forget the day our pastor Fr. Tunney told my mom I shouldn’t watch The Benny Hill Show. For a newly minted adolescent in the pre-cable Dark Ages of 1980, this was an unconscionable attack on my God-given right to gawk at scantily clad British women. But it was non-negotiable. Because read more

Lost Marx Brothers Musical Returning to the New York Stage

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Mar 1, 2016

On May 19, 1924 the Marx Brothers made their Broadway debut in I’ll Say She Is, a musical comedy revue at the Casino Theater in New York. The show closed on February 7, 1925 after 313 performances and has never been revived. Until now. This May, I’ll Say She Is returns to the New York stage with read more

I’m a Contributor to a Book Nominated for an Award!

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Feb 22, 2016

If you know me, you know I enjoy writing about obscure old movies most people have never even heard of, let alone want to read about. While this strategy has done nothing to reduce my high-interest credit card debt, it has allowed me to collaborate on some fun projects and make some IRL friends (alw read more

Honoring a Forgotten Chapter in Film History w/ “Pioneers of African-American Cinema”

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Feb 14, 2016

I spent Valentine’s Day with the devil on a train to Hell. No, that’s not a euphemism for a relationship gone sour. It’s the plot of HELL-BOUND TRAIN, a newly restored silent rarity that screened today at Film Forum in New York City. Sunday’s double feature was the first in the downtown Manhattan read more

THE PHANTOM SPEAKS (1945) from the Paramount Vault – And I Obey

Cinematically Insane Posted by Will McKinley on Feb 1, 2016

The more classic films I watch, the more affection I develop for B movies. These low budget “programmers” from the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s are often faster-paced, rougher, and more creatively daring than their better-known contemporaries. But many are forgotten today, because they don’t read more
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