#7-August '99

    The Imaginative Cinema Society has been twice mentioned by Baltimore Sun movie critic Ann Hornaday in her Friday column concerning cinema related events around Bawlmer. Her piece on July 16th prompted 9 inquiries about the club, including one new member (see below). The mention that we got on the 30th prompted several new people to drop by and give us a look-see. Thank you Baltimore Sun and thank you very much Ann Hornaday!

    Greetings to Leith J. Lomakin of Catalpha Road in Baltimore. She saw Ann Hornady's piece on the club, decided that we were what she'd been looking for, and mailed in her membership dues without ever having attended a meeting or speaking with any of us. Wow! Thanks Leith, and welcome from your new friends at the Imaginative Cinema Society.

    We also extend greetings to our new guests who have either inquired about us or dropped by at our last meeting. Introductions are in order. In alphabetical order we're saying hello to Jodi Beeler, Kevin Brian, Nancilee Campion, John Cucina, Sue Feder (and maybe her husband, Larry Miller), Bob Kuzyk, Carl Lee, Judith Ludwig, Bob Smith, John Ward, and Jennifer Warnk. Welcome all!
    We should explain that we are a dues-paying club. This newsletter is usually one of the privileges of membership. Our dues are a modest $20 a year for individuals and $30 a year for couples. We pro-rate those dues for the year as the months roll by, so you would actually only need to pay a fraction of the dues cited. However, since you've been nice enough to show an interest in us we're showing an interest in you! You'll each receive three complementary issues of "The ICS Files" while you're checking us out. We hope that you each decide to join.

    Our August meeting will be held on Saturday August 28th at 6:00 P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. Take Baltimore Beltway exit 32 north on Belair Road. Turn left onto Joppa Road. Immediately past the miniature golf course turn left into the parking lot. If you miss it there are ample turn-around opportunities. If you get stuck call 410-598-0085. That's Dave Henderson's cell phone. He'll talk you in.

    Well, assuming that you're not illiterate or just hate my writing style, you may have an older computer that does not read "h.t.m.l." code. You may need this in a text only format. I've tried to weed out who I could. If you see a lot of loose floating garble on your screen (apart from my writing) please let me know. I'll send you a "text only" edition of this newsletter. It's easy and painless. Just let me know.

    The Imaginative Cinema Society now exists in the eyes of the United States government. We've recently sent in forms to our uncle (Sam, that is) to gain official recognition with the I.R.S. This will enable to do things like open a bank account instead of relying exclusively on ceegar box.

    No, I'm not referring to the 1962 Val Guest film. I'm talking about July 31st, on the day of our last meeting! The mercury outside climbed to 100o and the humidity was struggling to keep with it. I looked at the thermometer at midnight and noticed that it had only crept down to a very sticky 85o. Dave Henderson got to the meeting room at 12:30 that afternoon to cool down the place for our 6:00 meeting. Ordinarily the series of window units there would have been adequate but these were not ordinary circumstances. Our apologies to those for whom it was too hot to venture out and our thanks to the many of you who braved the blast furnace and sat there sweating along with the rest of us.
    The heat not withstanding, a good time was had by all. We achieved record attendance since we've moved to our new facilities with 26 people there. We gorged on pizza, saw the "MST3K" version of The Corpse Vanishes (thanks in part to all-round good guy Lorne Marshall), and met until we melted.

    The Board has begun to look forward to the Fall, thinking of special events for Halloween. We're considering sponsoring a special afternoon for children in a library (maybe White Marsh if they're available) that would include a Halloween costume contest and a movie. We're considering Saturday, October 30th.
    We're also thinking of special events for the club that evening. We're talking about a potluck dinner and auction. Please let us know what you think of these ideas.

    About 15 years ago I won a radio contest (I knew that Boris Karloff's real name was "William Henry Pratt"--that's the product of a liberal arts mind, I can never remember stuff that will actually get me anywhere in life but dead film star's real names--no probs). My prize was a pass to a "Star Trek" convention. I hated it. I rubbed elbows with fans whose passion for minutiae over the "Trek" universe would rival a German theologian's fervor to find split infinitives in sacred text. I really like the shows but I do have a life apart from them. By the time I left I was pretty creeped out.
    Fast forward to last summer. I was curious about the World Science Fiction convention taking place here. People warned me that I'd have a miserable time--that I'd be awash in an ocean of geeks and nerds. I went anyway (with all the passion of a sacrificial lamb being led to the alter). You know what? I loved it! They put on a smooth well-run convention and the fans were terrific. I decided to roll the dice again for last Spring's Balticon. Loved it. Had a great time. Well I decided to go for the whole enchilada in July. I decided to check out Shore Leave. Like the cowardly lion seeking a audience with the Great and Powerful Oz I discovered that it was my own groundless apprehension that was the "man behind the curtain."
    "Trek"-cons have had to change because "Trek" fans have changed. Shore Leave had some guests who'd never been on a "Trek" show--in fact may never even have seen one. I saw fans with tee shirts and outfits representing "Babylon 5," "The X-Files," Star Wars, and other shows and movies. "Star Trek" conventions may be changing into science fiction conventions with an allegiance to "Trek" but with enough diversity to satisfy a wide range of fans.
    Elsewhere in this issue you'll find a reference to this October's Far Point '99 out at Marriott's Hunt Valley. You might want to check it out. There are few things in life as satisfying as discovering the previously held biases and assumptions are in error.

New "Star Trek" series.  There's been more gas generated over the future "Star Trek" show than most supernovas. The rumor that it is to be called "Star Trek:Flight Academy" have been resolutely denied by the show's producers. They say they've never even contemplated a such a show. They will only confirm that there will be a new show slated for 2002. We'll have to wait on the rest. . . .Meet "The Oblongs." The WB will air a new animated series called "The Oblongs." It's a comedy about a family mutated by toxic waste. It's being done by some of the people responsible for "The Simpsons" and "The Drew Carrey Show." . . . The return of Uncle Martin. Nick at Nite has acquired the rights to "My Favorite Martian." They will begin airing episodes this Spring. . . . Dinotopia hits the small screen. Hallmark will be doing a 6-hour miniseries on the first two of James Gurney's Dinotopia novels. They will combine live action, CGI and animatronic effects. The budget will be in excess of $50 million. Look for them on ABC's May sweeps period in May, 2001. . . . Speaking of Hallmark, they'll be showing the 10-hour fantasy epic, "The Kingdom," on NBC on February 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th. Diane Wiest will be the evil queen and Camryn Manheim will play Snow White. The cast also features Rutger Hauer, Ed O'Neill, John Laroquette and Kimberly Williams. . . .The Return of Tron. There's been a rumor for some time of either a sequel or re-make of Disney's 1982 film, Tron. While either rumor may still be true Disney now has plans for a Tron series called "Warriors of Tron," featuring a group of teenagers who venture into the computer with the assistance of the aging programmer, Flynn. The series is expected to debut January 2002. . . . Slip slidin' away. The Sci Fi Channel announced that the TV series "Sliders" will not be renewed after a somewhat bumpy 5 seasons that saw the show slide from 4th network Fox to the world of basic cable. Sorry slide-heads (are there such things?). . . . The Profiler shuffle. Jamie Luner ("Melrose Place") replaces Ally Walker on "The Profiler" next season. She plays a former prosecutor- turned-FBI- profiler who joins the cast in its 2 part season premier. . . .Haven't seen much of the invisible man lately? Well the Sci-Fi Channel has just the cure! They've just greenlighted a 2-hour pilot based called The Invisible Man with an intention of creating a new weekly series. This has nothing to do with H.G. Welles. It's described as an "action/comedy" about a thief that agrees to the high risk medical test for invisibility rather than face prison. It will be produced by director of commercials Brent Eisner. He's Michael's kid. . . .CBS' new mini-series: This November 14th and 17th CBS will air their new mini-series set in what could be the big apple SAUCE if this mini epic has its way. It's called "Aftershock: Earthquake in New York." It stars Tom Skeritt, Charles S. Dutton and Cicely Tyson. . . . How much is that parrot in the window? It might be a bit of a stretch discussing "Monty Python's Flying Circus" to imaginative cinema fans but the show is awfully surreal. Every Saturday night at 11:00 P.M. A&E is now giving us a 1-hour dose of "Python." I'll see you at the Ministry of SillyWalks.

    Have you found yourself restlessly tossing about the bed sheets lately wondering what it would be like to have ships from the "Star Trek," "Star Wars," and "Babylon 5" universes all facing each other in combat? Well , you have two alternatives. Either get a life or get to where you can see your fevered fantasies playing out on the screen before you. It's an odd sight but kind of fun.

MST3K'S S.O.L. D.O.A.-R.I.P.
    "Mystery Science Theater 3000's" Satellite of Love broadcasts its final new episode on Sunday, August 8 at 9:00 P.M. with an immediate rebroadcast at 11:00 P.M. The final celluloid bone chewed will be Danger Diabolik. With its close we say farewell to the longest running piece of Imaginative Television in the 50 year history of American TV. Farewell Satellite of Love. Godspeed.

    We all join Vince DiLeonardi in wishing for the speedy recovery of his wife Melinda as she nurses a broken ankle back to life. Vince thinks that her return to health means he can abandon his new-found role of domestic-goddess functioning as the lug nut that keeps the DiLeonardi house from falling apart. Guess what Vince, you have crossed the Rubicon, baby! A standard guy-ploy is that we can do all that household stuff. We're too dumb. Now that she knows what you're capable of you ain't going back! No retreat! (all right youse guys, the preceding was just a joke--get well soon Melinda, no kidding).
    We had the pleasure of the company of Cindy Ruth Collins at our July meeting, on the arm of that towering inferno, Brian Smith. Cindy broke her wrist in March and has not had much of use of it until June. She has full use of it but it will take some therapy before she has full range of motion. She can now go back to her favorite past times--writing, playing Irish music and making Brian deliriously happy.
    We were thrilled to see Ralph and Peggy Gervasio at our last meeting. Someone forgot to show them the page in the rulebook that says after you retire you slow down and take it easy. While us kids are anchored to our jobs and lives here in and around Mob Town the Gervasios are trotting around the country with grandchildren, movie conventions and God knows what else. They'll be "previously engaged" on the West Coast for our August meeting they promised to try to pen us in on their bulging schedule in September.

    In a scenario reminiscent of Warner Brothers cartoon elephants being terrified of mice, the studios for the multi-million dollar blockbusters to be, Mystery Men and Deep Blue Sea, have shifted the respective release dates away from July 30 out of terror of the little-film-that-thought-it-could, the low budget, low tech Blair Witch Project. Mystery Men will now be August 6th, Deep Blue Sea got pushed to July 28th.

    The 5 person production team responsible for The Blair Witch Project has signed a 2-year deal with Fox TV and Regency Television. They'll work on designing new series.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has just announced many science fiction, fantasy and horror related television shows and limited series among their nominated shows for the 51st Emmy Awards. "X-Files" topped the list with 8, including Gillian Anderson for best lead actress in a drama series, "Third Rock From the Sun" received 7 including best comedy series, "Alice in Wonderland" got 6, "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" got 4, "Star Trek: Voyager" received 3, and receiving 2 each were "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and "Stephen King's Storm of the Century." Receiving one each were "Futurama," "First Wave," "Fantasy Island," "The Pretender," "The Profiler," "Total Recall 2070," "Invasion America," "Xena: Warrior Princess," "Tom Clancy's Netforce," "Todd McFarlane's Spawn," and "Touched By an Angel." The Emmies will air on Sunday, September 12th.

Marvel Comics CEO Avi Arad has said that Marvel has 12 projects currently in various stages of production. The 12 are:
"Black Panther".................Wesley Snipes' production company is developing this
"Blade 2"..........................Apparently Wesley Snipes is returning
"Captain America"............Producers are negotiating a deal for the film rights
"Daredevil".......................In development
"Dr. Strange"....................They're cutting a deal for a script by David Goyer (Blade, Starman)
"Fantastic Four"................A director's being lined up now.
"Incredible Hulk"..............The script's complete. It's on a fast track for production.
"Namor"...........................Phillip Kaufman's developing a script by Sam Hamm (the original Batman movie)
"Prime".............................Looks like it will be a live action TV series.
"Spiderman".....................Script stage. Looks like James Cameron won't be involved
"Thor"..............................It will be an animated series
"The X-Men"...................Casting is going on now
Additionally there may be interest in producing "Iron Man" and "Silver Surfer."

    At this point most new DVD releases will continue to sell between $25 and $35. There are early signs of second tier releases selling as low as $10 in some discount stores. Simitar Entertainment has 100 licensed titles with a suggested retail of $14.98 that it expects some retailers to sell at $9.98. It recently released entries in their "Mysteries of Magic" series and "Velocity" that it expects retailers to offer for $6.99 to $7.99.  Some of its DVD's are as low as $4.99. Wal-Mart and Best Buys will be part of upcoming $9.99 promotions. K-Mart has 1/2 dozen Warner's catalog titles at $9.99. So keep your eye on the DVD price tag. This could be a trend that will lower pricing across the board eventually.

    Declaring that he has "other things to do" David Duchovny has vowed that the coming seventh season will be his last on "The X-Files." Since Gillian Anderson has signed for an eighth season, the show might continue without him. Maybe Duchovny ought to check in with McClean Stevenson form "M*A*S*H" about this. Or maybe David Caruso from "N.Y.P.D. Blue." Ot maybe most of the cast of "Seinfeld," if he can find them.

    Do you remember the hours (uh minutes, uh seconds, all right nano-seconds!) of pleasure we've had listening to various members of various Star Trek casts serenade us on recordings that will live forever (much to the embarrassment of the stars who recorded them). Well a new annul (or is that "anal") has opened up in the checkered history of sci-fi TV stars' vanity recordings. Renaissance Records has just released "Trying to Forget" by "The Be Five." The group consists of Bill Mumy, Claudia Christian, Mira Furlan, Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas all late of the show "Babylon 5." If anyone finds it and hears it, lemme know.

    Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, at this writing, has done nearly $500 million worldwide. Though it doesn't seemed to have lived up to the some of the lofty goals that studio execs had for it, 1/2 a billion bucks ain't bad! And that's before it completes its theatrical run and hits the video and DVD market (which could happen in November, in time for Christmas). It has set new records in almost every country in which it's opened. It is probably our most popular world export at the moment. I vote for Jar Jar Binks as our new U.N. ambassador!

    The Sci-Fi Channel has announced a new series to debut early next year called "The Sci-Fi Short Film Series." The intention is to serve as a spawning place for the next generation of science fiction superstars. The channel has promised, "emerging sci-fi cinema auteurs whose short works dazzle SCI-FI- talent scouts can also look forward to possible production deals with the network." If you think you or someone you know has the right stuff contact Dave Brody/ Supervising Producer/ Sci Fi Channel/ USA Networks/ 1230 Avenue of the Americas/ New York, New York 10020. Or you can send e-mail to Just remember to mention ICS in your Academy Award acceptance speech.

    The Matrix has done more to influence the look of current Hollywood production than any movie in recent history. I've read boasts from people attached to movies as diverse as Schwarzenneger's new supernatural thriller End of Days to Richard Hatch's trailer for Battlestar Galactica bragging that their movie looks like The Matrix. With this kind of buzz Warner's is not going to let the project rest. The word is that there will be two sequels to The Matrix. They'll be shot simultaneously and released within months of each other. The 2nd movie will end in a cliffhanger that will be resolved by the 3rd. And the plotline? I've heard 2 floated, although there's probably more. In one the world that Mobious, Neo and company think is real is, itself, a fabrication of the machines. In the other Neo encounters another human who has the power to manipulate the matrix too, only this one's sided with the machines.

    As you know, August 6-8, Monster Rally '99 with its all star guest line up will be coming to Crystal City, Va.
    In September, for those comic-ly inclined, there's Expo SPX-99 at the Holiday Inn Select in Bethesda on the 16-19. It's a convention of independent comic book artists, creators and publishers and their fans.
    In October Far Point '99 is coming to the Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn on October 8-10. Guests include Peter Jurasik of "Babylon 5," "James Darren of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" and "Time Tunnel," Robert Colbert of "Time Tunnel," Mary Kay Adams of "Babylon 5" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," and astronaut Alan Bean.

AUGUST 6th: The Iron Giant--The animated story of a gigantic robot who falls to earth and befriends a small boy.
The Thomas Crown Affair--A remake of the Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway 1968 crime classic. This one stars Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo.
The Sixth Sense--Bruce Willis plays a troubled child psychologist who tries to assist a young boy who is in nearly constant contact with the spirits of the dead.
Mystery Men: A group of wannabe superheroes come to the aid of their city's actual hero.
AUGUST 20TH: Teaching Mrs. Tingle--This movie was originally entitled Killing Mrs. Tingle but in light of recent school violence the title was modified. Helen Mirren plays a history teacher from hell. When she blemishes the record of an ambitious honor student she has to face unpleasant consequences.
    Universal Soldier, The Return--The muscles from Brussels is back as a returned-to-life animated cadaver placed in charge of his formerly breathing army buddies. The computer that controls them decides to rebel and use them as an indestructible army.
AUGUST 27TH: The Astronaut's Wife--An astronaut returns home after a troubled mission a new man. His wife begins to suspect that he is a very new man indeed. She begins to wonder exactly what the baby she's carrying is going to look like. Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron star.
The 13th Warrior--After sitting for over a year in the can (usually not a very good sign of studio confidence in a title) this movie is finally seeing the light of day. Antonio Banderas stars in this film  based on a Michael Chrichton novel about a reluctant Arab exile forced to turn warrior to confront a flesh-eating nemesis.
    The Muse--An Albert Brooks comedy about a struggling Hollywood screenwriter whose life is made complicated by his encounter with an actual mythological Muse in modern L.A. Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell and Jeff Bridges also star.
   Stigmata--Religion and supernatural mix as an agnostic woman falls prey to intense demonic attacks leaving stigmata on her body.

    DVD-18 is a new method of offering an extended play DVD. It is a dual-layer, double-sided disc that can hold up to 8 hours of programming. Later this year Artisan Entertainment will be offering Stephen King's 6 hour mini-series, The Stand, on this new type of disc.

Rental titles releasing 8/3: The Billy Crystal/Robert DeNiro comedy Analyze This! releases today. . . . Buena  Vista gives us Tale of the Mummy with Jason Scott Lee, Michael Lerner, Shelly Duvall and Christopher Lee. . . . And the independent company A-Pix is releasing the movie with this month's goofiest plot line--Killer Tongue with Robert Englund and Melissa Clark. A bank robber accidentally eats a piece of meteorite and grows a cannibal tongue with a mind of its own. Sheesh!
Rental title releasing 8/10: Today you have your chance to rate how the Motion Picture Academy did last April when its pick for Best Picture of 1998, Shakespeare in Love, releases. . . . The British director Guy Ritchie is being heralded as "the next Tarrentino" (come to think of it, I haven't seen much of the last Tarrentino lately) mostly because of his movie Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels. This dark violent comedy tells the story of four young con men who loose a 1/2  million pounds in a fixed card game. They have to rip-off every criminal they can find to pay off their debt in seven days or face death. . . . Chow Yun Fat and Mark Wahlberg team up as cops in New York's Chinatown with a load of hidden agendas in The Corrupter (the DVD loaded with the usual bells & whistles will be released at $24.98). . . . Spectrum gives us the old-friends-getting-their-overnight-reunion-messed-up-as-they-get-picked-off-one-by-one-by-a-psycho- killer-dressed-as-an-elderly-woman routine in the movie Granny. . . . Y2K is a violent little fantasy where those who've prepared for the millennium become the targets of those who didn't.
Rental titles releasing 8/17: Sarah Michelle Cellar and Sean Patrick Flattery star in Simply Irresistible. A department store executive struggles to resist the allures of a beautiful young restaurateur who he believes has him in a spell. . . .  The evil genie returns today in Wishmaster II with Andrew Divoff and Paul Johansson. . . . TaiSeng video releases Iron Monkey today. It's about a sort of kung-fu Robin Hood story  from director Yuen Wo Ping. He was the  director of the martial arts sequences in The Matrix. . . . Ron Howard's take on a Truman-Show-esque kind of story arrives today with the release of Edtv with Matthew McCaunaghey, Jenna Elfman and Woody Harrelson. . . .Fangoria Presents Lady of the Lake is about a man who falls under the spell of a witch that had been drown in a lake centuries before. He travels back in time to battle the evil knight that placed her there. . . Blood Guts Bullets & Octane is the story of 1 1963 Pontiac LeMans, 2 used car dealers, and 34 corpses spread along the highway to Needles, California. . . .Full Moon releases a pair of its ersatz classics for your viewing pleasure. Blood Dolls is the story of an evil billionaire who releases animated puppets to exact revenge on rivals (documentary film maker Penelope Spheeris did a documentary on the making of Blood Dolls called Hollyweird which would mark the first time a documentary about a film was shot on a higher budget than the film itself). Aliens in the Wild Wild West has a group of teenagers who've time traveled to an old Western town struggling to rescue aliens who have crashed there. . . . The Cat and the Canary is a 1979 re-make of the classic 1927 silent film that we saw at our April meeting. This version stars Carol Lynley, Michael Callan, Olivia Hussey, Honor Blackman, Edward Fox and Wilfred Hyde-White.
Rental titles releasing 8/24: Dean Koontz's Mr. Murder releases today. Stephen Baldwin has to face his genetically engineered duplicate that has been designed to be the perfect assassin. . . . Warlock 3 has a woman who discovers she's got a dark family legacy that goes back 500 years. . . . If you have a taste for the unusual you want to try Freaks Uncensored. The Village Voice heralded it as " . . . a veritable menagerie of pinheads, midgets, Siamese twins, giants, bearded-ladies, dog faced boys and more." More? I don't think that I can take much more!
Rental titles releasing 8/31: For those who like classic comedy teams mixed with classic horror we have For Love or Mummy with Laurel & Hardy. . . . Idle Hands has Satan possessing one of the hands of a 17-year old slacker. It has Devon Sawa, Seth Green and Vivica A. Fox.

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A NOTE ON SELL THOUGH PRICING: The prices cited are the suggested retail price from the studios. You should never pay more than the quoted pricing. With smart shopping you may be able to get lower prices. Some studios have strictly enforced "M.A.P.'s" ("minimum allowed price"). For others, it's as low as the retailer cares to set it. If you're collecting videos or DVD's I recommend that you shop aggressively. It pays!
Sell through titles releasing 8/3: Today seems to be collection day. You may have seen infomercials for Universal's Alfred Hitchcock Collection. For $14.98 each you get The Birds, Torn Curtain, Family Plot, Psycho, Vertigo, Marnie, Saboteur, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Shadow of Doubt, The Trouble With Harry, Rope and Topaz. . . . What could be called "The Linda Conrad Collection" releases today. At $19.95 each we have Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, The Rebirth of Mothra and The Rebirth of Mothra II. . . . MGM releases their Movie Time Collection. For $14.95 a piece you can buy Audery Rose, Breeders, Child's Play, Dead of Winter, Leviathan, Lifeforce, Lord of Illusions, Phantasm, Pumpkinhead, Species, Squirm and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II. . . .
MGM releases a second collection today with their Contemporary Classics Collection. For $14.95 a pop you can scarf Carrie, 8 Men Out, Silence of the Lambs, Fargo, Ronin, Mississippi Burning, and The Falcon and the Snowman. . . . Paramount is releasing five more episodes of "Star Trek: Deep Space 9."  The five episodes are 52-56, "The Abandoned," "Civil Defense," "Meridian," "Defiant" and "Fascination.". . . Believe it or not there are actually two movies releasing today that are not in collections! The first is Species 2, shot mostly in and around Baltimore. "Mating season begins" for just $14.95. . . . The second is the Farley Brothers comedy There's Something About Mary for $14.95 (the DVD for $34.98). The box promises "OUTRAGEOUS NEVER BEFORE SEEN FOOTAGE." The mind reels at the possibilities!
Sell through titles releasing 8/10: Warner Bros. lobs us some softballs today as they give us a quintet of light horror films. They've got the direct-to-video Adams Family Reunion (with Daryl Hannah and Tim Curry as Ma & Pa Addams), The Goonies, Beetlejuice, Gremlins and The Witches. They're all $14.95.
Sell through titles releasing 8/17: It's time to go back 30 years to the 23rd century! Four original "Star Trek" episodes arrive today on 2 DVD's. They're $20 each. . . . Kino on Video launches it's new "Brit Noir" series featuring 1940's film noirs of the U.K. Today we have Contraband (1940) with Conrad Veidt and They Made Me a Fugitive (1947) starring Trevor Howard.
Sell through titles releasing 8/24: Anchor Bay re-releases The Night of the Living Dead in various flavors. You can get regular, the "30th Anniversary Edition" or the "Collectors' Edition." The VHS are $14.98. The DVD's are $24.98 for the regulars and $34.98 each for the two enhanced.
Sell through titles releasing 8/31: We have another day heavy with collections. "Ahnold" Schwarzenneger has 8 hitting the streets today. He has (1) True Lies, (2) Terminator, (3) Terminator 2: Judgment Day, (4) Total Recall, (5) Predator,  (6) The Running Man, (7) Commando and (8) Red Heat. You can buy the VHS individually for $14.98 each, the DVD prices range from $24.98 to $34.98. You can buy numbers 1-5 as a VHS "Action 5 Pack" for $64.98.
You can buy 4-7 as a DVD pre-pack at $94.98. . . . The Bruce Lee Master Collection from Fox hits today. It includes The Chinese Connection, Fists of Fury, Game of Death and Return of the Dragon for $9.98 each. Or you can buy the pre-pack at $39.98 and get the bonus Bruce Lee the Legend thrown in. . . . Fox is also releasing 4 other martial arts titles today. For $9.98 each you can pick up The Deadliest Art, Best of the Best 2, Rapid Fire and Only the Strong. . . . Big news today for fans of Universal classic horror. Universal is releasing their Universal Classic Monsters Collection. The gem of the Collection is the 1931 Dracula. It will have a new score written by (Baltimore born) Philip Glass and performed by the Kronos Quartet. Also in the Collection, in their original form, are Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Phantom of the Opera, The Mummy, The Wolfman and The Creature From the Black Lagoon. They're all $14.98 each. . . . Universal releases a second collection today. Universal Thrillers includes Child's Play 2, Child's Play 3, Bride of Chucky, Dracula (1979) and  Sea of Love are $14.98 each.  Firestarter, , Cape Fear, Play Misty For Me and Cape Fear are $9.98 each. . . . Universal releases a third collection today! The Wes Craven Collection contains Shocker, The People Under the Stairs and The Serpent and the Rainbow. They're $9.98 each. . . . As part of its ongoing Century Collection Warner/New Line is putting out Pleasentville where, we're told, "nothing is as simple as black and white." It includes "The Art of Pleasentville," which looks at the Academy Award nominated special make-up effects. Pleasentville lists at $19.98. . . . Also releasing in the Century Collection today are Soldier with Kurt Russell (allegedly set in the Blade Runner universe--it was mighty subtle) and Practical Magic Collector's Edition (it contains the bonus "Casting a Spell" on making the movie). Both are also $19.98.

    Some of you might remember Sylvia Sidney from her recent work with director Tim Burton. She was the cranky case worker in the 1988 film Beetljuice. Inhaled smoke from cigarettes would ooze from the slit in her throat. She was the nursing home patient whose taste for Slim Whitman made her the savior of Earth in the 1996 movie Mars Attacks. She passed away on July 1st at the age of 88. You may not have realized that she was a star whose career extends back to silent films. Film historian Ephraim Katz once said that her intense vulnerability and waif-like looks made her the "perfect screen heroine" of the Depression. She appeared in dozens of high profile films with Hollywood's greatest stars. One odd footnote to her career was the use of her photo from her starring role in 1932's Madame Butterfly by a Japanese condom manufacturer. The condoms were always informally known in Japan as "Sylvia Sidneys."
    Edward Dmytryk was a classic film director whose work will be watched and enjoyed for years to come. He passed away in July at the age of 90. His wifeof 53 years, actress Jean Potter, was at his side. We should remember him for his film noir Murder My Sweet in 1944 with Dick Powell, or his socially conscious film noir that dealt with anti-Semitism in 1947's Crossfire. We should remember him for doing brilliant work with legends like Boris Karloff, Humphery Bogart and Spencer Tracy. But unfortunately four letters cloud his name, "H.U.A.C." In 1947 the House Un-American Activities Committee sentenced 10 un-cooperative witnesses (mostly directors and writers) to a year in jail for "contempt of Congress." Dmytryk was one of the "Hollywood 10." When they got out they found themselves blacklisted. No studio would hire them. In 1951 Dmytryk named 26 people (most of whom were already known to the Committee). He became known as "the Judas of the 10." It restored his name and brought him work. It rescued his family. It also brought everlasting contempt in the eyes of many in Hollywood. Each of us likes to thinks that if it were us we never name names. We'd never talk. In reality I hope to God that we'll never find out. In reality it was never Dmytryk who was the villain. It was the strident zealotry of narrow minded men who confused jingoistic intolerance for patriotism. No one should ever be forced to choose between providing for their family of betraying friends. Now that he's gone I hope that we can finally place the work and life of Edward Dmytryk in the perspective in which they belong.


Tue: 3rd  VIDEO RENTAL-Analyze This!, Tale of the Mummy and Killer Tongue
               VIDEO SELL-THROUGH-Alfred Hitchcock Collection, Species 2,There's
                Something About Mary, Movie Time Collection, Contemporary Classics
                Collection, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II,The Rebirth of Mothra and
The Rebirth of Mothra II
FRI: 6th:  EVENT- Monster Rally '99
               MOVIE-The Iron Giant
               MOVIE-The Thomas Crown Affair
               MOVIE-The Sixth Sense

SAT 7th  EVENT-Monster Rally '99

SUN 8th  TV-"Mystery Science Theater 3000's" final new episode
                EVENT-Monster Rally '99

TUE 10th VIDEO RENTAL-Shakespeare in Love, Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels,
                The Corruptor, Granny and Y2K
                VIDEO SELL-THROUGH-Adams Family Reunion, The Goonies, Beetlejuice,
                 Gremlins and The Witches

TUE 17th VIDEO RENTAL-Simply Irresistable,Wishmaster II, Iron Monkey, Edtv,
                 Fangoria Presents Lady of the Lake, Blood Guts Bullets & Octane,
                 Blood Dolls, Aliens in the Wild Wild West and The Cat and the Canary
                VIDEO SELL-THROUGH- "Star Trek" DVD's, "Brit Noir" Series

FRI 20th  MOVIE-Universal Soldier, The Return

TUE 24th VIDEO RENTALS- Dean Koontz's Mr. Murder, Warlock 3 and
                Freaks Uncensored
                VIDEO SELL-THROUGH- The Night of the Living Dead in various flavors

FRI 27th   MOVIE-The Astronaut's Wife
                 MOVIE-The 13th Warrior
                 MOVIE-The Muse


TUE 31st VIDEO RENTALS- For Love or Mummy and Idle Hands
                VIDEO SELL-THROUGH-The Arnold Schwarzenneger Collection, The Bruce Lee
               Master Collection, The Deadliest Art, Best of the Best 2, Rapid Fire, Only the
                Strong, Universal Classic Monsters Collection, Universal Thrillers, The
                Wes Craven Collection and  Century Collection.