THE ICS FILES
WHO ARE WE?
Pardon me while I take some of your time and attention as I ponder the question as to who we are collectively. I ask this because I've been spending a lot of time scouting around lately in an attempt to make "The ICS Files" as newsy as possible. I've been struck with what a unique club we are. There is a solid community of interest around movies, generally. You'll see in this and past issues that I've attempted to bridge us into that community. Yet they don't seem to have any special regard for imaginative cinema and television. There are numerous fan groups of science fiction (and related genres) fanatics. They often seem to only grudgingly admit there is a fan base that is not completely tied to literature (see, for example, the notice below about the Hugo awards).
We belong in both places. That's what makes us unique. There are so few groups like ours. And as long as I am writing the newsletter for the Imaginative Cinema Society (with the permission and encouragement of the club) I will continue to try to keep you aware of both the general world of movies and the world of science fiction, fantasy and horror fandom. I hope that we can go on to claim all the rights and responsibilities of our dual citizenships.
One of the things that I omitted from the above editorial is that we are a community of friends. This has been very apparent to me as I have recovered from the recent round of surgery that I've just undergone. Everything went well and I'm sore but fine. Thanks to everyone for their kind thoughts, their funny cards, their offers of assistance and their support in general. Even if you didn't have the chance to contact me I know your thoughts were with me and I'm grateful for it.
Words fail to express my gratitude for your many kindnesses. I deeply appreciate it.
NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
Our July meeting will be held on Saturday July 31st at 6:00 P.M. at the church hall connected to the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 Belair Road. For directions see the previous 2 issues of "The ICS Files."
WELCOME ABOARD SKIPPER!
"The Skipper," a.k.a. Barry Murphy, has just hopped aboard the good ship "ICS." The club is richer for your presence. Welcome home!
JUNE MEETING WAS A HIT
The June meeting was held on the 26th. Judging from reports of people milling around the parking lot in the afterglow of a fun gathering it sounds it was well received. Everyone was held spellbound by that all time rodent epic, The Killer Shrews. There was discussion of attending a movie at White Marsh in the late afternoon before attending a monthly meeting that evening. There was also an idea floated of holding a crab and hot dog feast in the late summer. Our new logo was chosen. There was general assent to the idea of holding panels at meetings. And there was a strong desire expressed to buy a larger screen TV. Members displayed their new badges. Dave Henderson has gotten name tags to everyone. If you haven't gotten one yet, please contact us. The above mentioned Mr. Murphy will be bringing the movies for July's soiree.
WEB SITE CONSTRUCTION WELL UNDER
The intrepid Mr. Charles Wittig has worked doggedly to construct an interesting web site for the club. Check it out. It's at http://www.celluloid.cjb.net. If you're not web capable you may wish to stop by a public library and ask the librarian to walk you through getting on line and getting to the site.
SHORE LEAVE'S COMING!
On July 9-11 SHORE LEAVE 21 will be coming to Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn. They're reaching beyond the confines of the Trek universe and into general science fiction for this show. Featured are Tim Russ ("Star Trek: Voyager"), Allyson Hannington ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Eric Pierpoint ("Alien Nation"), Barbara March ("Star Trek:TNG"), and Gary Lockwood (the original "Star Trek" and 2001: A Space Odyssey). They also feature an interesting assortment of writers and scientists. For more information surf over to http://memeber.aol.com/shoreleave/ or call 410-496-4456.
MONSTER RALLY COORDINATION
"Monster Rally" will be held shortly after our next meeting. The dates are August 6-8. Those of us going will want to start looking for travel and room sharing. We can discuss this at our July meeting. Get the latest on Monster Rally '99 by heading to http://www.fanex.com.
ANOTHER IGUANAZILLA BACCHANAL!
Linda Conrad, the hostess with the mostess (Godzillas!), is throwing a Summer paean to the mighty lizard on Saturday, July 10th at her house on 12842 Sand Dollar Way in Baltimore. This one is called "IgUaNaZiLLa PaRTy 1999" and features the sci-fi epics of Devlin & Emmerich. She promises "GAMES, PRIZES, TOYS, FOOD, FILM, TOO MUCH FUN ! ! !" The hours are 10 A.M-midnight. Call her at (410) 335-7671 or e-mail her at email@example.com. Her web site contains the world's most elaborate party invitation. Check it out at http://members.aol.com/gojigirl/index.html.
GET WELL WISHES TO THE KING
By now most you have heard that writer Stephen King has been severely injured on June 19th when a Dodge Caravan struck him while he was strolling near his summer home in Lovell, Maine. He suffered a punctured lung, a broken hip, scalp lacerations and numerous fractures of several ribs and his right leg. One surgeon looked at his leg and said the shin bone looked like "a bag full of marbles." He'll be in the hospital for sometime for a series of surgeries and then a very lengthy rehabilitation's ahead of him. Anyone wishing to send cards or letters can reach him at Stephen King/ 49 Florida Avenue/ Bangor, ME. 04401. If you wish to reach him online go to his official web site at: http://www.stephenking.com/contact_special.html. This area's set up for get well wishes.
THE GLASS TEAT
Lost episodes of Buffy revealed! The execs at the WB have decided to air the missing episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" that were pulled in the hysteria that accompanied the Littleton Massacre. The second half of the season-finale will be shown Tuesday July 16th (which showed violence toward a 60' demon-lizard). The other pulled episode, "Earshot" may air July 27th. . . . "Crow: Stairway to Heaven," has been dropped by Universal. Executive Producer Bryce Cabel is trying to form a financial group to produce and distribute the shows himself. . . . "Star Trek: Voyager" will begin airing 5 nights a week in syndication. . . . "Doomsday" is upon us. A creative alliance between Film Roman and Howard Stern Productions along with writer/producer Tracy Torme has generated a new animated science fiction comedy called "Doomsday." The show will feature a family roaming across post apocalyptic America searching for a home and trying to re-establish family values. Stern and several other celebrity voices will be featured. . . . Fox Noir! Fox will be producing a new series of TV movies under a new series called "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" (sounds like a Chinese gangster film). They will be made-for-TV remakes of classic film noir (see below) titles done by Fox. . . . Sci Fi Channel will air a special on The Blair Witch Project on July 12th. It's to titled "The Curse of the Blair Witch" and will feature an examination of the myth underlying the film.
SATURN AWARDS HANDED OUT FOR EXCELLENCE
IN IMAGINATIVE CINEMA
On June 9th, in Los Angeles, the 25th annual Saturn Awards were handed out by The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Since they sound like a kindred organization I've been trying (unsuccessfully thus far) to contact on the club's behalf.
As is so often the case, some of the inclusions and omissions seemed rather mysterious (like how did Apt Pupil, a movie devoid of supernatural elements, win "Best Horror Film"). Whatever! here's a list of the winners:
Best Science Fiction Film (tie).............................Armageddon
Best Fantasy Film................................................The Truman Show
Best Horror Film..................................................Apt Pupil
Best Action/Adventure/Thriller Film...................Saving Private Ryan
Best Actor.............................................................James Woods (John Carpenter's Vampires)
Best Actress.........................................................DrewBarrymore (Everafter)
Best Supporting Actor..........................................Ian McKellan (Apt Pupil)
Best Supporting Actress......................................Joan Allen (Pleasentville)
Best Director........................................................Michael Bay (Armageddon)
Best Screenplay....................................................Andrew Nicol (The Truman Show)
Best Music............................................................John Carpenter (John Carpenter's Vampires)
Best Make-up.......................................................John Carpenter's Vampires
Best Special Effects.............................................Godzilla
Best Network Series............................................"The X Files"
Best Syndicated/Cable Series............................."Babylon 5"
Best Actor/TV Series...........................................Richard Dean Anderson ("Stargate SG-1")
Best Actress/TV Series.......................................Sarah Michelle Geller ("Buffy, The Vampire Slayer")
Special Achievement Awards.......Ray Bradbury, Director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) Director Nathan Juran
(Attack of the Fifty 50' Woman) Actor James Coburn (Affliction) Film Restorer
HUGO NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
The nominees for the 1999 Hugo Awards have been announced. The list is too extensive to repeat here. For the literary among you here are the nominated novels: Children of God by Mary Doria Russell, Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson, Distraction by Bruce Sterling, Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer and To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. They have a non-literary category called "Dramatic Presentation." This lumps television and movies (and potentially any other media such as games, audio books, stage plays, etc.) together. The nominees are "Babylon 5--Sleeping in Light" (the final episode), Dark City, Pleasentville, Star Trek Insurrection and The Truman Show. The Hugos will be awarded at Aussiecon 3 in Melbourne September 2-6.
TCM'S SUMMER OF DARKNESS
For those of you not familiar with "film noir" you have your chance to atone this summer. Film noir is the thouroughly American film genre with the French name. It plays out crime dramas in a world of the basest instincts of human nature. They're like horror films without an element of the supernatural and with self-serving opportunistic chiselers replacing the "good" guys. Virtually nobody's good in a film noir. Every Friday and Saturday night in July and August on Turner Classic Movies the seedy detectives, the deadly dames, the crooked cops and the sneering creeps return to their dark alleys, cheap hotels and greasy spoons. Turner will be showing 94 movies from the dark universe of "noir." Check it out!
FOR SALE: ONE SATELLITE OF LOVE,
If you surf over to the internet auction site "eBay" and type in "MST3K" in their search field you'll find an avalanche of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" stuff for sale (I found 46 listings). Some of it is from the production company, Best Brains (now that the show's run has ended), and some of it's from individuals around the world. I found cheap (videos for under $10), to pricey (Pearl's bomber jacket for $1,225.00), to you-got-to-be-kidding-me (their ball-of-spaghetti logo for $3,701). You may want to check them out. My birthday's in November and that ol' spaghetti ball would look perfect on my desk!
MOVIES UNDER THE STARS I: MOVIES
The Senator Theater and the Little Italy Restaurant Association have teamed up to offer the public a chance to enjoy movies outside this summer. Every Friday evening this summer at 9P.M., rain or shine, at the parking lot located at High and Stiles Street in Little Italy, examples of classic Italian cinema will be shown (with English subtitles). So grab a paisan and a couple of chairs (chairs will be provided but there's no guarantee you'll get one) and enjoy! There will be no admission charged.
MOVIES UNDER THE STARS II: MOVIES
There's yet another way to enjoy movies in the hot sticky summer air. Every Monday and Friday evening this summer, until September 18th, the Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival will be screening "G" rated (mostly) family films at the Columbia Town Center Lakefront off Little Patuxent Parkway. Admission is free. Some of the anticipated titles include The Prince of Egypt, Babe, The Truman Show and Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Check it out.
IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH
JULY 9TH: Arlington Road--The recently widowed main character (Jeff Bridges) begins to wonder if that affable couple that's just moved in across the street (Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack) are as harmless as they seem.
JULY 16TH: The Blair Witch Project--No hon, this wan't filmed around "Blair" Road. But this frightening little tale of terror was filmed in Maryland (in and around Burkittsville, Adamstown, Brunswick and Seneca Creek State Park). Bill Littman and Joe Plempel have seen it and were very enthusiastic about it.
Eyes Wide Shut--This could be subtitled "Farewell to the Master." Stanley Kubrick has left us this final tale about a married pair of psychologists (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman) who are having affairs with their patients.
Lake Placid--Bill Pullman and Bridget Fonda are part of a small team of people who investigate unusual reports about strange wildlife in a remote deep water lake in Maine. The movie is a mix of terror and humor. It was written and produced by David E. Kelly, the creator and executive producer of "Ally McBeal" and "The Practice."
JULY 23RD: The Haunting--Jan deBont's remake of the Robert Wise classic. It features Liam Neeson, Lili Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Inspector Gadget--A movie that looks like it's taylor-made for the front end of a Bengies triple feature. Matthew Broderick plays a bumbling security guard who gets blownup and remade as mechanical crime fighter.
JULY 30TH: Mystery Men--This satire of super hero teams is oozing with names--Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Paul Reubens, Janeanne Garofolo, Geoffery Rush and Greg Kinnear. Hope they make something good.
The Deep Blue Sea--Samuel L. Jackson and company have to struggle against a bunch of genetically enhanced sharks that they've created.
TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES GOES TO THE
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of mankind first flirtation with a heavenly body, on Tuesday July 20th TCM goes lunar tunes with the following 5 classics:
8:00 P.M. A Trip to the Moon (1902) This is considered the first science fiction film epic. In an era when 1 or 2 minute films were common a 21 minute movie was unheard of! The movie was written, produced, directed, stars and had special effects done by the same man--Georges Melies. TCM has a 15 minute version.
8:15 P.M. From the Earth to the Moon (1958) A loose adapdatation of a Jules Verne novel featuring rivals George Sanders and Jospeh Cotton off to the moon together.
10:00 P.M. Destination Moon (1950) An intelligent speculative look at moon travel from producer George Pal. This was one of the pioneering efforts to do a mature science fiction film. This movie won an Oscar for its special effects.
12:00 A.M. Mouse on the Moon (1963) A Peter Sellers-less sequel to The Mouse That Roared features the Grand Duchy of Fenwick beating the Russians and Americans to the moon thanks to their wine powered rockets. Directed by Richard Lester shortly before he did A Hard Day's Night and Help.
1:30 A.M. Invisible Invaders (1959) Scientist John Agar has to save us from invisible aliens who've re-animated a bunch of corpses (including John Carradine) to take over the world. If you have to rip off a movie for an idea why would it be Plan 9 from Outer Space? Go figure.
UPCOMING MOVIE NEWS
I have vowed to keep movie production news out of "The ICS Files" simply because there's so much of it. It's too difficult to feature it regularly. But there are two projects that just look too cool to exclude.
Casting has been announced on Burned to the Light. It's a fictional account of the making of the 1922 German silent vampire classic, Nosferatu. The cast consists of Udo Kier (Blade), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride), Catherine McCormack (Braveheart), Eddie Izzard (The Avengers) and John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe.
This next is of particular interest to Hammer fans. Christina Ricci recently commented on the new Tim Burton title, Sleepy Hollow, due to open 11/19. Ricci said that he's doing it as an homage to Hammer Films. The movie will feature tongue-in-cheek dialogue, obviously painted backdrops, overdone makeup, and Christopher Lee!
CAMERON DIAZ MOVES IN WITH BARRY
MURPHY! FILM AT 11
Well ok, maybe they won't be sharing a toothbrush but she'll be frighteningly close to the Murphy residence this summer. She'll be in BelAir and around Harford County filming My Father's House with co-star and Baltimore transplant Josh Charles (son of former Sun columnist Laura Charles). Be afraid Cameron. Be very afraid.
RETURN TO THE MATRIX
Brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski have given us the chance to further explore the world of The Matrix. The official web site for the movie will soon offer a comic book with some very exciting artists and writers (such as Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman and the Wachowskis themselves) doing stand-alone stories set in the universe created in the film. And it can be downloaded for free! It's at http://www.whatisthematrix.com.
ANOTHER ECHO FROM LITTLETON
Warner Brothers has announced that there will be no sell-through repricing for the VHS of their hit movie The Matrix. This announcement will cost them $50-60 million in anticipated revenue. A rental copy will be available on October 5th. This was done out of sensitivity of the charge that the studios are marketing violent product to teen audiences. The gun toting black trench coated main characters of the movie are thought to be too close to actual tragic events. There will be a DVD that will be priced to sell but the format is thought to attract an older crowd.
Rental titles releasing 7/6: Affliction, the tiny independent title that got a Best Actor nomination and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for James Coburn releases today. It's not a piece of imaginative cinema but it was directed by genre' veteran Sam Raimi. . . . Wing Commander is being touted as "Top Gun meets Starship Troopers." You may want to check out this video game turned cinema. . . . The Eternal (with Alison Elliott, Jared Harris and Christopher Walken) is about an American socialite who discovers with her return to her native Ireland that her family's power comes from ties to powerful ancient forces. It's being called "The Shining meets Frankenstein." Uh, ok.
Rental titles releasing 7/13: Universal Soldier III will release today. It stars Burt Reynolds (gee, I guess it's been a long time since Deliverance hasn't it?) and Matt Bataglia.
Rental titles releasing 7/20: Virus, with Jamie Lee Curtis, William Baldwin and Donald Sutherland releases today. A deserted Russian research ship adrift in the eye of a hurricane has been infested with a malevolent alien intelligence that's cobbling together machinery and humans with an eye toward cleansing the Earth of what it perceives as a virus--us! . . . Resurection Man releases today. It's being called "an Irish Goodfellas."
Rental titles releasing 7/27: For any young boy (or girl) who's ever look up at the sky and dreamed of flight and rockets we have October Sky. It's about
Sell-through titles releasing 7/6: "Star Trek: Deep Space 9," releases 5 episodes today at $14.95 each. The five (numbering 47-51) are "The Search I," "The Search II," "The House of Quark," "Second Skin," and Equilibrium."
Sell through titles releasing 7/13: The torch has been passed to a new degeneration today when The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4: The Next Generation becomes available for 19.95. This 1995 charmer languished for two years in the can until two of its stars, Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, became stars. . . . Today Trimark releases a pair of four-packs. The Best of Horror has The Landlady, Sometimes They Come Back, Leprechaun, and The Dentist. . . . The Best of Sci-Fi four pack contains Cyborg 2, Evolver, Death Machine and Solar Crisis. Hmmm, I'm going to need to get to my dictionary and check out this word "best."
Sell through titles releasing 7/20: Anchor Bay has a couple of gems that it's sharing today. First we have the 1975 title Trilogy of Terror starring Karen Black in 4 different roles across 3 different stories. It sells for $14.98. . . . Then we have the 1977 definitive James Brolin classic The Car for a mere $9.99.
Sell through titles releasing 7/27: Is the world just making too much sense to you? You need a heaping helping of surreal strangeness that will make you question the nature of memory and reality. You need the 1961 art house hit, Last Year at Marienbad. This French-Itallian production is very murky and strange but it just might be your cup of tea. Just don't try to drive or operate heavy equipment for at least two hours after seeing it. Your brain will require all that blood to try and figure out what it just tried to take in.
I'M DEAD JIM
By now most of you have heard of the passing of DeForest Kelley, the "ol' country doctor" that served aboard a 23rd century starship in the original "Star Trek" series. This is just a formal for-the-record collective "Thanks Bones" from the Imaginative Cinema Society.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
Because of his "Star Trek" connection DeForest Kelley is the most prominent genre' favorite to leave us recently. Sadly, he is not alone.
Vanessa Brown never really seemed to be able to convert the success of her stage career to the big screen. She was born in Vienna on March 24, 1928. Fans might remember her as "Jane" in Tarzan and the Slave Girl in 1950. She was the original Mrs. Anna Muir opposite Rex Harrison's ghostly sea captain in the 1947 film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. She died in Woodland Hills, California on May 21, 1999.
Hillary Brooke didn't do a lot of genre' movies but she did do some memorable ones. In 1951 she was ducking dinosaurs with Caesar Romero in The Lost Continent. In 1953 she was in the classic nightmare-generator for kids everywhere, Invaders >From Mars. She got to work with the Master, Alfred Hitchcock, in his 1956 remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much. She died in Bonsall, Ca. at the age of 85.
THE ICS FILES #6 SUPPLEMENT
It has occured to me that there are a lot of dates thrown around in our newsletter. To make it a more useful tool I thought that a calendar would help that would pull everything together. This is only going out to those of you with on-line access. I'll need to get feedback from you as to its helpfulness. If it's useful I'll make it a feature of the newsletter. There will be no explanation offered for the items listed. You'll need to check The ICS Files for that. As with the newsletter live links will be inserted where it's pertinent.
Tue: 6th-VIDEO RENTAL- Affliction, Wing Commander &The
Eternal release today
VIDEO SELL THROUGH-5 episodes of "Deep Space 9" release today
Fri: 9th-EVENT-Shore Leave 21 opens
MOVIES-Arlington Road opens
Sat: 10th-EVENT-IgUaNaZiLLa Party
EVENT-Shore Leave 21 continues
Sun: 11th-EVENT-Shore Leave 21 concludes
Mon:12th-"The Curse of the Blair Witch" airs on the Sci-Fi Channel
Tue: 13th-TV-"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" missing concluding episode airs
VIDEO RENTAL-Universal Soldier III releases today
VIDEO SELL THROUGH-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4, The Best of Horror 4 pack & The Best of
Sci-Fi 4 pack release today
Fri: 16th-MOVIES-The Blair Witch Project opens
MOVIES-Eyes Wide Shut opens
Tue: 20th-TV-TCM airs a festival of science fiction in honor of the
30th anniversary of the 1st moon landing
VIDEO RENTAL-Virus & Resurrection Man release today
VIDEO SELL THROUGH-Trilogy of Terror & The Car release today
Fri: 23rd-MOVIES-The Haunting opens
MOVIES-Inspector Gadget opens
Tue: 27th-TV-"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" pulled episode "Earshot" airs
VIDEO RENTAL-October Sky releases today
VIDEO SELL THROUGH-Last Year at Marienbad releases today
Fri: 30th-MOVIES-Mystery Men opens
MOVIES-Deep Blue Sea opens
Sat: 31st-EVENT-ICS monthly meeting