Paul’s “Fear and loathing at Newsweek” has prompted the following message from Steven Den Beste:
One of my favorite B movies from the early 1960’s is “The Raven,” a low budget Roger Corman flick (but I repeat myself) starring Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre. And Jack Nicholson, with a full head of hair!
It’s actually a comedy, and it’s played for camp. Lorre, Karloff, and Price play wizards, with Lorre being by far the weakest and least powerful of the three. At one point the three of them are eating together, and Lorre gets drunk and challenges Karloff to a magic duel.
Karloff’s magic is so much more powerful than Lorre’s that he is able to foil each of Lorre’s attacks with just a simple gesture of his hands, leading Lorre to mutter those immortal words, “You’re defending yourself, you coward!”
Who says you can’t learn anything from a Roger Corman film?
I keep running into this from lefties. They criticize others (us), and if in turn they’re criticized suddenly they squeal about “censorship!” and “McCarthyism!” Their freedom of speech demands that we not say anything in our own defense, let alone actually point out their problems.
And so it is here. Howard Fineman is deathly afraid that the Republicans will point out what the Democrats actually stand for. How dare those scheming Republicans actually defend themselves!
By the way, that film is well worth watching if you get a chance. Eventually Price and Karloff have a real magic duel, and within the rather serious limits of Corman’s budget, it’s actually pretty damned cool. And Nicholson is really amazingly good. You can see why it is that he eventually became a big-name star; this is one of several films he made for Corman early in his career where he was given the chance to show what he was capable of. Corman is legendary for giving newcomers a chance; all he cared was that they were at least marginally competent and were willing to work for cheap.