#3-April 1999

    Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday afternoon, April 24th. The location has been changed. We will now be meeting at the Baltimore County Public Library in White Marsh. This will not be our permanent home. This is simply a chance to gather without having to pay for parking or hobnob with vagrants. Our goal is still to find a location for Saturday nights. Hats off to Mr. Dave Henderson for scouting this location for us.
    The library at White Marsh is located next to White Marsh Mall. The formal address is 8133 Sandpiper Circle; Baltimore, Maryland 21236. Their phone number is 410-887-5097.
    If you're coming by the Beltway 695 from the direction of Towson exit on 31-C, White Marsh Boulevard, Md. 43 East. Drive about three miles, turn right (south) onto Perry Hall Boulevard. Turn left at the second light to Honeygo Boulevard. Take the first right onto Sandpiper Circle. turn left into the library lot.
    If I-95 is closer go to exit 67, west on 43 to White Marsh Boulevard. At the first traffic light turn left onto Honeygo Boulevard. Continue through two traffic lights. You'll see a large sign marked "LIBRARY" pointing left onto Sandpiper Circle. The library will be on your immediate left.
    The library permits light refreshments. Anyone wishing to bring some chips or pretzels (or anything else in that vein) is permitted to do so. Let's not take advantage of our new hosts though. Let's make sure we the room clean.

    Our dues structure has been proposed by the Board and approved at our last meeting. The dues are $20 per individual and $30% 0D per couple. At this point the dues are payable in cash only. Our treasurer, John Clayton, is investigating banks for us but until we have a bank account we're not able to accept checks.

    Starting with this issue of the newsletter everyone has 3 issues grace to pay their club dues. If we don't receive payment by then, we still love you, but you won't be receiving the newsletter or considered a part of the club. If you'd like to belong but for whatever reason you've got trouble paying, let the Board know. We'll try to accommodate you.

    We've hit a few pot holes in our search for a new location where we can hold Saturday evening meetings. The church in Perry Hall is still a possibility but it is no means certain. We hope to have news for you by our April 24th meeting. At our last Pratt meeting on March 27th we formed a search committee if the Perry Hall location falls through. The committee will be calling around the area to see what spaces are available. The committee is headed by Dave Henderson and is made up of  Lorne Marshall, Charlie Wittig and Joe Plempel. If you'd like to serve on the committee or if you have any red-hot ideas for them get in touch with them or the Board.

    Those of us who've suffered through back-attacks know how much they hurt. Virtually every move we make causes some kind of friction and shifting on the ol' vertebrae. When the spine feels like it's made of broken glass the slightest move, sneeze or cough is excruciating. Right now ICS'er extraordinaire Howard Gostin is fighting the painful back-battle. We missed Howard and Jennifer at our last meeting. Howard, we hope your back is back soon and that. well before our April 24th meeting you're both hale and hearty and able to join us.

    We've decided to extend our quest for a club logo for at least another meeting. Please bring it with you to the next meeting or send it to someone that's coming if you can't be there yourself. We've had some good submissions so far. Keep it up!

    Since we're a club dedicated to imaginative cinema, let's take a look at the Spring releases in the field of science fiction, fantasy and horror. This year, because Star Wars threatens to kick any competitor's butt, producers are looking to release their films before or well after Phantom Menace hits the screens. As a result, more than ever before, releases are tentative.
    April 9th (or May 21st), The 13th Floor starring Armin Mueller-Stahl and Vincent D'Onofrio
A group of explorers discover that they can create and control a series of parallel universes like our own. They begin to suspect that our universe itself may be a copy.
    April 23rd (or September), eXistenZ starring Jennifer Jason-Leigh and Jude Law.
In the near future virtual gaming is elevated to a new level with the development of game pods that jack into the human spine. Directed by David Cronenberg.
    April 23rd, Idle Hands starring Devon Sawa and Seth Green
A 17-year old slacker discovers his right hand is demonically possessed. He has to halt its murder spree.
    May 7th, The Mummy starring Brendan Fraser
A remake of the Universal classic.
    May 21st, Star Wars, Episode I, The Phantom Menace.

    Go see Matrix. It's one of the wildest action/science fiction films that I've ever seen. The goal of the directors, the brothers Andy and Larry Wachowski, was to create a living anime. They succeeded brilliantly! By the time the movie was over over I discovered that I was covered in sweat and my pulse was racing! I'm not going to tell you the plot. I'll let you have the pleasure of seeing that for yourself. Check it out!

    SHORE LEAVE 21 is coming to the Marriott Hunt Valley (you know how to ge t there, don't you?) July 9th-11th. They'll feature Tim Russ (from Star Trek Voyager), Alyson Hannington (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Eric Pierpoint (from Alien Nation), Barbara March (from Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Gary Lockwood (from the original Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey). They also feature an interesting assortment of writers and scientists. For more information visit their web site at or call 410-496-4456.
    MONSTER RALLY '99 is coming to the Crystal City Hyatt in Crystal City, Virginia August 6-8. As detailed in an earlier issue, they have a stellar guest lineup that includes Christopher Lee, Ray Harryhausen and Harlan Ellison. Check them out at or call 410-665-1198.

    Sometimes folks who we may never have heard of die and we wonder why we should care. On March 13th a man who fit this description passed away. Leon "Lee" Falk was 87 when he died in New York City. As a college student in 1934 he created the comic strip "Mandrake the Magician." The story of the amazing crime-fighting hypnotist are still enjoyed in 125 papers around the country. Two years after creating Mandrake Mr. Falk introduced the world to the mysterious jungle hero, "The Phantom." The Phantom still runs in 500 papers and spawned a (not-very-good) 1996 film.  Mandrake and the Phantom fired the imaginations of millions of young boys in the thirties and forties. Those young boys grew up to become the science fiction, fantasy and horror writers, screenwriters and film makers of today. Let's not forget on whose shoulders we sit. Thank you Mr. Falk.
    On March 14th Kirk Allyn succumbed to a long illness in a hospital near his home north of Houston. He was 88. He was trained as a ballet dancer in his home state of New Jersey. But we don't remember him for that. He toured with Olsen & Johnson in their legendary stage show Hellzapoppin! But we don't really remember him for that either. We also don't remember him for his pioneering appearances on New York City television in 1939 or his small roles in such genre' classics as When Worlds Collide. What he is remembered for is his casting in 1948, at the age of 37, as Krypton's most famous expatriate. He was the first to don a cape and a big red "S" to portray The Man of Steel in 15 chapters of Columbia Picture's Superman serial. He came back for another 15 in 1950 for Atom Man vs. Superman. Both were re-cut into features and re-issued. He became so identified with the part that he found it tough to find work in the B's and serials that were his regular fare. He dropped out of acting a few years after his final Superman serial. The name of his autobiography is, A Job for Superman.
    On March 7th director Stanley Kubrick died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack. He was 70. He passed away two years shy of the year that he made so famous. While he was not strictly a genre' director his forays into imaginative cinema had more impact than many directors who've cobbled whole careers from science fiction, fantasy and horror. Those of us who were science fiction fans before 1968 remember the terrible stigma that was attached to the field at the time. Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey did more than any other single film to de-ghettoize science fiction. Prior to what has become his final film, Eyes Wide Shut, he was in pre-production on a very high budget science fiction film to be entitled A.I. (as in "artificial intelligence"). He decided that film technology hadn't quite caught up to his vision for the film. His plan was to spend a few years on Eyes Wide Shut and then resume his work on A.I. We'll have to wait and see if any other director can rise to the challenge of making a Stanley Kubrick film without Stanley Kubrick.