At around ten or eleven years old I was considered sensible enough to be able to babysit my younger brother while my mother and father went out for the evening.
On one such occasion, having ensured my brother was safely tucked up in bed, I sat down to quietly watch Match of The Day. Instead of Jimmy Hill and Barry Davies et al, there appeared onscreen what I eventually identified as the 1953 animated version of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart. This immediately caused a sense of unease. The disturbing combination of scary music, James Mason’s sinister narration and the eerie nightmarish animated imagery totally terrified me. I couldn’t switch channels quickly enough, but not before the whole frightening vision imprinted itself on my memory, subsequently resulting in many sleepless nights.
Appointment With Fear was the ITV Monday late night film slot in the early 1970s. It had a wonderfully creepy opening animation which often introduced the first showing of British horror films from the 1950s and 60s – usually Gothically frightening affairs produced by Hammer or Amicus. If you weren’t lucky enough to be allowed to stay up and watch these classics, you would miss out on the enthusiastic discussions in school the next day.
During the course of this current crazy year, I have enjoyed being part of a friend’s weekly zoom group where the discussion centres around our passion for music.
The premise is this: We each create a 30 minute Spotify playlist around a central subject matter. This is then submitted to the host, who joins them all together into a master playlist and then sends the link to the group. Everyone gets a few days to listen, work out who each list belongs to, and then send the answers back to the host. The whole thing gets discussed at the next zoom. Correct answers are revealed and points awarded. The winner gets to choose the theme for the next week.
I am hosting this weekend and the subject is, appropriately enough, Halloween. In honour of my 70s TV memories, I have called the master playlist Appointment With Fear and created a series of graphic captions. For the master title I have borrowed an appropriately spooky screen grab from the aforementioned The Tell-Tale Heart. The design for each individual list has been informed by classic Hammer – this time using imagery from my own personal photographic archive.
I also created complete checklists in the same graphic style.
UPA’s Poe masterpiece can be viewed here, and the Appointment With Fear Spotify playlist is below. Happy listening!