Friday finds

Obviously! The folks at Hammer Films sure knew how to blow the dust off those old horror movie tropes, and Titan Books is gearing up to release a collection of the best examples in The Art of Hammer, due out in October. Along with eye-catching posters, Hammer produced some memorable taglines: e.g., “Frankenstein spills it! Dracula drinks it!” I wouldn’t mind getting the book, but where Hammer is concerned, what I’m really jonesing for is The Icons of Suspense Collection, if only for the chance to catch up with These Are the Damned, a 1963 Joseph Losey film that starts as an eccentric drama about Teddy Boys in a seaside town, then veers into memorable science-fiction terrain. I saw a butchered version decades ago on late-night television, and those voices crying along the cliff struck a deep chord.

I like Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf a lot more than Jeff does, but Jeff’s right when he tries to bring other, possibly even better translations out from under Heaney’s shadow.

The five weariest cliches of negative book reviews.

One of “the world’s most endearingly odd publishing houses.”

The story of Mad Dog and the Pilgrim, and the best place in Wyoming to find old books and fresh eggs.

For sheer sustained pop dementia, this Rajinikanth number is hard to beat. If the hero from Inception had been assigned to infiltrate Michael Jackson’s dreams and plant the idea of doing a Bollywood musical, this would have been the result.

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