THE ICS FILES

#16-May 2000

PROJECTOR!
    We did it! It was an impossible dream in December, when we first brought up the idea of buying a video projector. We agreed that we'd see what we could do by our April meeting. We hoped, by then, that we may have half of it. Thanks to the auction, in which we raised $487 (!), and thanks to the many selfless sacrifices made by club members leading up to it, we raised the money far faster than any of us anticipated. Job well done. Particular thanks for the auction go to our master auctioneer, BARRY MURPHY, his chief henchman, JOE PLEMPEL, to the rest of the auctioning staff, JOHN WARD and TOM BURKE and to the many club members who generously donated the many items that we've auctioned off. And thanks, once again, to the members of this wonderful club who made this dream a reality.

AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE MEETING STARTING TIMES!
    OUR MEETING STARTING TIMES ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE! We have been "officially" starting our meetings at 6:00, but no business is discussed until 6:30. We open our doors at 5:00. We encourage everyone to get there early to socialize with other members. STARTING WITH OUR MAY MEETING, WE'LL BE STARTING OUR MEETING ITSELF PROMPTLY AT 6:00. We hope that this will give us some breathing room between events so that we're not regimentally rushing from panels to movies to business meeting to diner. This is an experiment. We welcome ask for your patience and invite your guidance.

NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
    WE HAVE MOVED THE MAY MEETING SO THAT IT DOES NOT CONFLICT WITH MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. Our May meeting will be held on Saturday May 20th at 6:00 P.M. at the church hall behind the Perry Hall Presbyterian Church located at 8848 BelAir Road. We have shifted from our usual weekend due to Memorial Day. 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 410-598-8005. That's Dave Henderson's cell phone. He'll talk you in.

TEED OFF WITH  I.C.S.
    At our May 20th meeting, those of us who wish to experience the thrills and wonder of miniature golf will be arriving at 4:00 to challenge the windmills, crazy turns and laughing clowns on the course next to the meeting parking lot. That is if the weather behaves. Come on out and join us!

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST MEMBER!
    MITCH KLEIN is one of our oldest attendees and one of our newest members! He was with us for our first meeting back in January '99. He recently made it formal. That beautiful lady on his arm, by the way,  is KELLY (who has already volunteered to help us with a flier!). If you haven't met them yet, get to know them! They're great people.

I.C.S. MARKS THE BOX
    As with every auction, you may have gotten several items that were thrown in a lot that you may not actually want. I recommend that you grab a box and mark it "I.C.S." and place the orphaned items in there. We'll probably have another auction in October. It will be your chance to empty your box of that useless stuff and fill it with other useless stuff!

GET WELLS AND WELCOME BACKS!
    JOHN CLAYTON, who was at the last meeting, is still going through back trauma. We hope that he mends A.S.A.P.!
    LINDA CONRAD had to miss the last meeting thanks to a nasty rash that's hit her in reaction to some medication problems. We hope that you're better soon.

THE GLASS TEAT
Al Gore-President of the 30th century? When Fox shows it's final episode of FUTURAMA on May 21st it will be with a famous guest-voice in place. Current vice president and the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Al Gore, will be voicing one of the characters. . . . Rocket to STAR PATROL. Charles Rocket will star in the new Fox parody, STAR PATROL. It's about a team of Space Rangers protecting the galaxy in the 27th century. . . . ROSWELL struggles to survive. The WB's teen-alien show, ROSWELL, is struggling to survive into its second season. The show's finally been moved from its Wednesday night slot (opposite STAR TREK: VOYAGER) and into Mondays. So far, the ratings have continued to improve. . . . The Tabasco revolution. On ROSWELL, the aliens have quite an affection for tobasco sauce, soaking everything in it. Out of solidarity for the show, fans sent about 2,000 bottles of the stuff to Warner Bros. execs as they ponder the future of the show. . . . X-FILES, season 8? Will there be another season of THE X-FILES? David Duchovny has gone on record as saying, "At this point, it's just about the money."  Gillian Anderson has said that she's interested. So, in the spirit of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, I hereby proclaim, "Hey kids! Let's put on a show!" . . .
Wolfe Talks ANDROMEDA. Robert Hewitt Wolfe, head writer for the upcoming series GENE RODDENBERRY'S ANDROMEDA, has recently talked about a central character for the show. The starship Andromeda Ascendant has a personality. "It's basically very advanced artificial intelligence. It thinks of itself as a person, and it is a person by the rules of the Commonwealth, where basically anything that has a certain level of sentience--whether it's a robot or a missile or a ship--is a person. After a little while she'll have a body that looks completely human, which is indistinguishable from a human as long as you don't look too close or cut it. But it's a fully sentient robot, which is much more advanced in many ways than Data. It can use contractions, for example. Its skin is the appropriate color, and she has full emotional range,  which means that sometimes she acts like a very confused graduate student, especially in the situation in which our crew will eventually find themselves. ... a very emotionally confusing situation in that everything that they've come to depend on is changed after some really bad things happen in the first couple of episodes, which I'm not going to talk about.". . .  Buffy Tops Stalkable List. Sarah Michelle Gellar and four of her current and former cast mates on The WB's hit television series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER won the dubious honor of being among the "Ten Most Stalkable People" ranked by People magazine. Gellar, who plays the title role in the popular show, topped the list. She first appeared on the list two years ago at No. 8. A panel of law enforcement officials compiled the "Most Stalkable People" list based on how often a celebrity had been the target of threats, kidnapping attempts or arrests of obsessed fans. The panel's chairman, Orange County, Calif., Sheriff Bill Stroger, said that Gellar received the most such attention in 1999 "by a very wide margin." Other Buffy cast members made the list as well. David Boreanaz, who co-starred with Gellar in Buffy and now headlines the spinoff series, ANGEL, was the highest-ranked male on the list. Angel co-star Hannigan and Anthony Stewart Head were also deemed among the most "stalkable." . . . Joss Whedon Discusses His Other Slayer. Joss Whedon, creator of The WB's hit series BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, admits that Faith the evil slayer could carry a show of her own. "I think absolutely you could have a show that revolves around Eliza," Whedon said, referring to Faith actress Eliza Dushku. "She is an extraordinary talent. But [it] would be a very different show." But don't expect Whedon to actually come up with a new show. He's already got his hands full with BUFFY and ANGEL. . . . Fox Family Channel and THE FEARING MIND. Fox Family has picked up the fantasy series THE FEARING MIND, a one-hour drama from Jim Henson Television. It's slated to premiere in the fall. The show, originally developed as a pilot for NBC, revolves around a short story writer and his family. Each week, one of the writer's stories comes to life. The series will mix horror and fantasy and will make use of Henson's trademark puppetry and animatronics. . . . STARGATE SG-1 shall return. Fans of the show, STARGATE SG-1 can breathe a little easier now. Showtime has renewed it for a fifth season. . . . ULTRAVIOLET, American style. The British vampire miniseries ULTRAVIOLET will air on The Sci-Fi Channel beginning July 31st. A pilot for a U.S. series based on ULTRAVIOLET is also in the works at FOX for the fall, with a cast that include Madchen Amick (TWIN PEAKS), Eric Thal (SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS), Spence Decker (MERCURY FALLS), Joanna Going (PHANTOMS), and Idris Elba (FAMILY AFFAIRS).

TREK FANS RALLY FOR EXCELSIOR
    Only about 30 Star Trek fans showed up Saturday, April 22, to demonstrate in front of Paramount studios to push for a new television series based on the character of Capt. Hikaru Sulu and the U.S.S. Excelsior, organizers said. The fan-driven Excelsior Campaign had hoped to rally as many as 1,000 fans to demonstrate in front of the studio, part of a nationwide show of fan support for the idea. But Russ Haslage, head of the campaign, said about 500 fans turned out in 12 other cities around the country. In Los Angeles, fans drove in from as far away as Las Vegas and Sacramento, Calif., to take part in the demonstration, during which they handed out flyers and held up an Excelsior sign, Haslage said. Paramount and STAR TREK: VOYAGER executive producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga have been cool to the idea of a Sulu-based series to replace VOYAGER once that show ends its run at the end of next season.

HUGO NOMINEES ANNOUNCED
    The annual Hugo Awards, the prestigious prize recognizing the best achievements in science fiction, have just announced their nominees. What follows is a somewhat abbreviated list of hopefuls for this year's awards.
    Best Novel: •A Civil Campaign, by Lois McMaster Bujold, •Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson, •Darwin's Radio, by Greg Bear, •A Deepness in the Sky, by Vernor Vinge and •Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling
    Best Novella: •"The Astronaut from Wyoming," by Adam-Troy Castroand Jerry Oltion, •"Forty, Counting Down," by Harry Turtledove, "Hunting the Snark," by Mike Resnick, •"Son Observe the Time," by Kage Baker and •"The Winds of Marble Arch," by Connie Willis
    Best Novelette: •"Border Guards," by Greg Egan, •"The Chop Girl," by Ian R. MacLeod, •"Fossil Games," by Tom Purdom, •"The Secret History of the Ornithopter," by Jan Lars Jensen, •"Stellar Harvest," by Eleanor Arnason and •"1016 to 1," by James Patrick Kelly
    Best Short Story •"Ancient Engines," by Michael Swanwick, •"Hothouse Flowers," by Mike Resnick, •"macs," by Terry Bisson, •"Sarajevo," by Nick DiChario and •"Scherzo with Tyrannosaur," by Michael Swanwick
    Best Dramatic Presentation: •BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, •GALAXY QUEST, •THE IRON GIANT, •THE MATRIX and •THE SIXTH SENSE.
    The winners will be announced at this year's World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Chicago, August 31-September 4. Stay tuned to "The ICS Files" for the results.

BENFORD JOINS SPACE.COM
    Nebula Award-winning SF author Gregory Benford will join the Space.com Web site as a monthly columnist, with his first column focusing on the practical demands of getting humans to Mars. Benford, author of Timescape, joins fellow SF author Larry Niven as a contributor to Space.com. "Benford's monthly column will allow him free play in both literary and real-world subjects," said Space.com science fiction editor Scott Martin in a statement. "However, I expect he will gravitate toward the rich borderland between space science and space fiction, a territory in which he has few peers."
    In addition to writing, Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, and acts as an adviser to the Department of Energy and NASA, among other things

CLAUDIA CHRISTEN'S SHORTS
    BABYLON 5 actress Claudia Christian will write, produce and perform in Claudia Christian's Shorts, a series of story vignettes for the GalaxyOnline.com Web site. The shorts began production in late April, GalaxyOnline.com announced. The first episode, "The Experiment," showcases her in three separate vignettes tied together through an isolated telephone booth located in the middle of the desert. "The Experiment is very progressive and challenging, and we are shooting the piece on 35mm film, which gives us top-quality production values that translate well to the Internet and beyond," Christian said.

FAHRENHEIT 452
    STAR TREK: VOYAGER actor Tim Russ, meanwhile, recently completed filming the teaser of GalaxyOnline.com's upcoming comic SF series Fahrenheit 452: "The Art Police," in which he stars with Bruce A. Young (THE SENTINEL) and Dan Chace (EAST OF HOPE STREET). The trio portrays the Art Police, a special law enforcement unit whose assignment includes busting artists who create distasteful work. Russ and the others will generate 24 three-to-four minute episodes for GalaxyOnline.com.

ALL TREK BOOK POSTED
    Susan Sackett, former assistant to late STAR TREK creator Gene Roddenberry, is publishing her own tell-all memoir, Inside Trek, which will be available on the Internet. In the book, subtitled "My 17 Years with Gene Roddenberry," Sackett said she will reveal details of what she claims was an "intimate relationship" with the producer, who was 22 years her senior and married to Majel Barrett Roddenberry during the time. Sackett is offering subscriptions to the Web book for $19.95. The price will entitle purchasers to read 24 chapters of the book, to be posted over several months. The site also contains links, images and other TREK-related material. The book is not authorized by Paramount Pictures.

CLARKE RECEIVES SATELLITE HONOR
    Legendary SF author Arthur C. Clarke, credited with the idea of the geostationary orbit, received an orbital honor in April when the European satellite organization dedicated its latest communications satellite in his name. SESAT, the new satellite of the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization, or EUTELSAT, went into orbit in Clarke's name after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 18, EUTELSAT announced. Clarke's "visionary theories on use of the geostationary arc (also called the Clarke Belt), presented in Wireless World as far back as 1945, opened the door to radically enhanced communications," said EUTELSAT Director General Giuliano Berretta in a statement. "As a result, commercial satellite operators such as EUTELSAT are today delivering television, radio and interactive services to millions of homes, connecting businesses around the world and now tapping into the Internet for a new generation of sophisticated consumer and corporate services."

THINGS TO COME
    SHORE LEAVE 22 is coming July 7-9 at Marriott's Hunt Valley in Hunt Valley, Md. This year their featured guests include Claudia Christian (BABYLON 5), Denise Crosby (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION), Gerrit Graham (guest on STAR TREK: VOYAGER and STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE), Richard Herd (V, guest on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION and STAR TREK: VOYAGER), Marj Dusay (guest on STAR TREK) and Mark Goddard (LOST IN SPACE). Their guest writers will be Dennis Bailey, Ann C. Crispin, Peter David, Tim DeHaas, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Roberta Rogow, Howard Weinstein and Joan Winston. The science guests include Dr. Kirk Borne (astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center), Dr. Helen Hart (astronomer for the Hubbell Space Telescope), Dr. Leslie Katzel (physician and biophysicist with the University of Md. School and Medicine), Dr. Jesco von Puttkamer (NASA aerospace scientist), Ray Villard (public information manager for the Hubbell Space Telescope) and Skip Westphal and Bill Hathaway (discussing star gazing). There'll be an art show, a masquerade, a Klingon Feast and, of course, a sprawling dealer's room. Tickets are $45 in advance (by May 31st) or an unspecified higher price at the door. For more information visit them on line at http://www.shore-leave.com/index.htm or write them at Shore Leave 22, PO Box 6809, Towson, MD 21285-6809.
    MIDNIGHT MARQUEE'S CLASSIC FILM FEST 2000 will be held July 28-30 at the Hyatt Hotel in Crystal City Virginia. Their stellar line-up includes Sam Arkoff (co-founder of American International Pictures), Veronica Carlson (Hammer Film Star), Roger Corman (legendary director), Robert Dwan (director of YOU BET YOUR LIFE), Linda Harrison (PLANET OF THE APES), Jonathan Haze (LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS),  Candace Hilligoss (CARNIVAL OF SOULS), Patricia Hitchcock (daughter of Alfred Hitchcock), Betsy Jones-Moreland (CREATURE FROM THE HAUNTED SEA), Janet Leigh (PSYCHO), Kevin McCarthy (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS), Ib Melchior (cult sci-fi director, writer and producer), Yvonne Monlaur (Hammer film star), Paul Naschy (Spanish horror legend), Margaret O'Brien (former child star), Jessica Rains (daughter of Claude Rains), Robert Skotak (Oscar winning special effects artist), Elena Verdugo (HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN) and Dana Wynter (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS). It's $60 for the weekend, $20 daily. For more information go to http://www.midmar.com/filmfest.html or contact Midnight Marquee Press; 9721 Britany Lane; Baltimore, Md. 21234.

THINGS FALLING INTO PLACE FOR MATRIX II & III
    So far Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves have signed to star in the next two chapters of THE MATRIX. Shooting begins this Fall on a grueling 250-day schedule. They're aiming at a late 2001 release for part two, with the third installment six months later.

NO JAMES CAMERON IN TERMINATOR'S FUTURE
    Producer's Mario Kassnar and Andy Vajna are in early pre-production on T-3 (and 4?). Both Schwarzenneger and Linda Hamilton have said that they won't commit without James Cameron. Cameron said recently that he has no plans to become involved with further entries in the TERMINATOR franchise. If the projects get green-lighted without the star backing then I guess we'll see, TERMINATOR: THE NEXT GENERATION.

NO DEVLIN AND EMMERICH FOR GODZILLA 2
    Dean Devlin, one half of the producing-writing-directing partnership that produced Godzilla, confirmed the rumors that he and Roland Emmerich won't be involved in a U.S.-made sequel to the giant lizard movie. Devlin explained, "What it came down to was creative differences between the direction the studio [Sony] wanted to go and the direction we wanted to go. ... We had a vision of what we would have to do in order to do a sequel and also fulfill what the fans need. We had an idea for a monster vs. monster story, and for Sony it was more expensive than they were willing to spend, and we felt anything less would not be that exciting." Gareth Wigan, vice chairman of Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group responded "People withdraw from projects for creative reasons all the time, and that's what happened with GODZILLA 2. That decision hasn't had an impact on our overall relationship with Dean and Roland."

RINGS FANS PETITION FOR RESPECT OF TOLKIEN
    More than 11,000 fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy of novels have signed an online petition imploring makers of three movies based on the books to honor Tolkien's vision. The Tolkien Online fan Web site has posted the petition and intends to forward it to Peter Jackson, director of THE LORD OF THE RINGS movies, and to executives at New Line Cinema, which is producing the epic films. The petitioners in particular express concern about the
depiction of Arwen, daughter of Elrond, as a young elf warrior princess, which the fans feel varies significantly from Tolkien's characterization. "We understand that things of this sort are virtually inevitable, to some we believe wholesale alterations of the kind discussed above are completely unnecessary, would violate the integrity of Tolkien's work and alienate his many fans." The first film is slated for a Christmas 2001 release.

SCREAM FAN REPORTEDLY KNIFES PARENTS
    In the latest case of apparent movie-inspired violence, a 16-year-old Paris youth has been charged with brutally attacking his parents with a carving knife after seeing SCREAM 3. The teenager had fashioned a mask and black cape like the serial killer wore in the SCREAM movies. French gendarmes reportedly found videos of the Wes Craven films lying on the boy's bed and Scream posters hanging on his bedroom wall. After the attack, he reportedly fled the scene still wearing his costume

DARK CASTLE TO REMAKE 13 GHOSTS
       You might remember Dark Castle, the production company formed by Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis created to produce mid-budget horror films, particularly remakes and updates of horrormeister William Castle. Well, on the heels of the success of HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, Dark Castle remake another lovable William Castle horror movie, 1960's 13 GHOSTS. They'll hire commercial director Steve Beck to direct the new GHOSTS. It will tell the story of a family that inherits a mansion haunted by ghosts visible only with special goggles. In the original film, theatergoers were handed a special viewer to see the ghosts on the screen. They may be gearing up to make a sequel to HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL. Writer Dick Beebe (who did the screenplay of the 1999 film) would write the script.

LUCAS GOES DIGITAL FOR EPISODE II
    Following four months of testing of high-definition cameras produced by Sony and Panavision, George Lucas has announced that six of the units will replace conventional film cameras for "most" of the live-action production of STAR WARS: EPISODE II, due to begin shooting in June. Lucas said, "The tests have convinced me that the familiar look    and feel of motion picture film are fully present ... and that the picture quality between the two is indistinguishable on the large screen." Jim Morris, the president of Lucas Digital, called the tests "astonishing" and said that they "exceeded our expectations." The company plans two months of shooting in Australia beginning in June, another month in Italy and Tunisia in August, followed by 18 months of post production.

WITCH PEDDLING
    The hyping of the BLAIR WITCH sequel has already begun, even while production is under way. Artisan has established an odd little web site at http://www.blairwitch.com/twana.html. Those of you on the web might want to check it out. It will take a while for most modems to load it. It's worth a case of the creeps.

IMAGINATIVE CINEMA FOR THE MONTH OF MAY
    MAY 5TH: GLADIATOR is the multi-million dollar three hour extravaganza of this movie season. It's set in the year 180 A.D. Russell Crowe is the Roman general Maximus, stripped of his rank by a new Roman emperor, fearful of the general's prestige. Maximus must fight his way back to life in the gladiator's ring.
    MAY 12TH: BATTLEFIELD EARTH is the science fiction project that originated as a novel by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard. It's set in the year 3000, a thousand years after the alien conquerors, the Psychlos, have destroyed most of humanity. The humans are starting to revolt, under the leadership of Johnny Goodboy (Barry Pepper). John Travolta and Forest Whitaker play two of the no-goodniks. Those of you with computers may want to check out the interesting article in the Washington Post about the underlying Scientology links in this film.
    MAY 19TH: DINOSAUR is Disney's knock-your-socks-off computer animated story set at the close of the era of the great lizards that ruled the Earth. To tell this prehistoric tale Disney has made the most technologically advanced technique ever employed in the history of motion picture to date.
    MAY 26TH: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 features Tom Cruise, as Ethan Hunt, racing to stop the release of a devastating virus by German terrorists. The cast also features Brendan Gleeson, Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Ving Rhames, Dougray Scott, Rade Serbedzija and Steve Zahn. John Woo directed.
    SHANGHAI NOON is Jackie Chan's story of a traitorous captain of the Emporer's Imperial Guard who kidnaps a princess and takes to the American wild west. Jackie Chan, one of the members of the guard, is dispatched to retrieve the princess. Along the way he makes some unusual alliances. It's sort of RUSH HOUR set in the old west.

PHANTOM MENACE MAY GO TO DISC SOONER THAN EXPECTED
    In a recent radio interview in L.A., George Lucas surprised listeners with the news that the Industrial Light & Magic special effects shop was working on a DVD version of STAR WARS: EPISODE I, complete with extra footage. The director offered no release date for the DVD.

STUDY FORESEES THE IMMINENT EXTINCTION OF THE E-TAILER
    According to a study just released by Forrester Research Inc., online retailers are facing a major shakeout by the end of 2001. They expect the demise in three waves, with online DVD, CD and videocassette dealers to be in the first wave. This is not to say that no one will survive. The study predicts a massive consolidation leaving only the largest players still standing. Those with the best prospect of weathering the storm are the "clicks-and-mortar" sites--places that have actual physical locations in addition to cyber-space such as Walmart.com or Borders.com.

DVD IS IN THE AIR
    Blockbuster has just acquired InMotion Pictures--a small chain that rents DVD's and battery-operated players to travelers in airports. For $14 you pick up a player and disc at your point of departure and drop them off upon your arrival. Blockbuster is taking the concept nationwide.

TiVo TO ALLOW TV VIEWERS TO WATCH INTERNET MOVIES
    TiVo, which produces a digital TV recorder that allows users to "time shift" their favorite programs, announced that it is teaming up with the Web site IFILM in a deal that will deliver directly to TV sets short films that have been uploaded onto the Internet. Chief Kevin Wendle remarked, "This really is convergence -- content developed for the Internet that is finding its way into [the] living room television set. ... This is [also] a way for us to fulfill our promise to filmmakers to help get their films out there."

MIRAMAX: SOON TO APPEAR ON A MONITOR NEAR YOU!
    Miramax Films will have 10 titles available on a pay-per-view basis over the Internet. The films (whose titles have not yet been announced) will be accessible through Miramax-created sites by the year's end.

D-VHS IS A STEP CLOSER TO MAKING IT'S DEBUT
    Digital VHS (D-VHS) has been waiting for some time to make it's bow. It's been stopped by fear over concerns with copy-protection. JVC has unveiled standards for copy-protection that would prevent consumers from copying pre-recorded tapes to D-VHS and would allow only a single recording of an over-the-air broadcast. The hardware and software will be available by year's end.

VIDEOCY
Rental titles releasing 5/2: BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, last year's very unusual comedy, releases today. It's cast includes John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and, of course, John Malkovich. The DVD is available for $24.95. . . .DOGMA, the Kevin Smith comedy about a plot by a pair of renegade angels to unravel existence, gets released today. The video is rental priced. The disc is $24.95. . . . In VIRTUAL SEXUALITY, girls get equal time to look as dorky as guys did in WEIRD SCIENCE and all of its various knockoffs. A young girl constructs her dream-man on line, only to have him become real. . . . THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN (or as they knew it in Hong Kong when it was released in 1977, HSING HSING WANG) is a lovably inept attempt for the Chinese to knock off KING KONG (the regrettable Dino DeLaurentis version had been made a year before this). This high camp flub is being being released by Quentin Tarrentino's ultra-hip Rolling Thunder Video collection. . . .

Rental title releasing 5/9: AMERICAN BEAUTY, the surprising comedy/tragedy of last Fall, goes on the rental market today. The movie features stand-out performances from Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning and a strong supporting cast. . . . WITCHCRAFT XI: SISTERS IN BLOOD is about a college production of "Macbeth" that hits a wee snag--they actually resurrect the souls of three long dead witches. . . .

Rental titles releasing 5/16:  EVIL LIVES is sort of a boy-meets-corpse story. An immortal man roams college campuses to seduce and murder young co-eds. This enables him to bring back his long-dead wife for moments at a time. . . . FELICIA'S JOURNEY is Canadian director Atom Egoyan's tale of a lonely serial killer (played by Bob Hoskins) who befriends his young female victims before he dispatches them. . . . NAKED HUNTRESS has Asian superstar Michiko Nishiwaki taking on a Thai slave ring. . . .

Rental titles releasing 5/23: SLEEPY HOLLOW, featuring Tim Burton's reworking of the Washington Irving classic, makes it way to VHS and DVD today. . . . AMERICAN MOVIE is a documentary that pays homage to the zero budget independent film makers armed with a video camera and a dream (and, in this case, not much talent). We witness the throes of struggling Wisconsin artiste-wannabe Mark Borchardt as he enlists the aid of his elderly cranky uncle and a ragtag band of friends and family in his attempts to make a low budget horror film. This documentary is both fun and creepy. . . . LASERHAWKE features a young man who stages a phony alien attack that even draws military big shots to his small town. When he discovers a real 250 million year-old plot to dominate the planet, his only corroborating witness is a delusional mental patient (played by Mark Hamill). . . . DRAWING BLOOD, from Troma, is about a struggling artist who falls for a beautiful painter. He doesn't know that she's a vampire. . . . HIDE AND SEEK has Daryl Hannah as a newly pregnant housewife that's been kidnapped by a deranged couple (Jennifer Tilly and Vincent Gallo) that intends to raise her baby as their own. . . . EYE OF THE BEHOLDER is a neo-noir thriller. Ewan McGregor is a British private detective (known only as "The Eye") with a troubled life and a troubling assignment. He's paid to follow a woman (Ashley Judd) across the country. He begins to suspect that she's a serial killer but is so obsessed with watching her that he's powerless to intervene.

Rental titles releasing 5/30: DEADLOCK features a couple who are overjoyed to find a home in L.A.'s superhot real estate market. They don't know that the ghostly inhabitants plan to make one of them a cadaver and the other a murderer. . . .

Sell through titles releasing 5/2: GALAXY QUEST, the affectionate nudge in the ribs to Trekkies everywhere, gets released today, directly to sell-through. It stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman. The tape has a suggested retail of $22.99. The disc goes for $26.99. The DVD features a special language track entirely in Thermain, the alien language in the movie. . . . PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE gets released today.The VHS goes for $14.95. The DVD contains commentary from Paul Reubens and director Tim Burton, footage from the film's premiere party, a live performance in Chicago and a music-only track from Danny Elfman. The disc sells for $24.98. . . . THE MASK, with Jim Carrey, hits the streets today. The box contains the statement (warning?) "THIS FILM EDITED FOR FAMILY VIEWING." This is edited-for-television version is missing 8 of its original 101 minutes. The VHS is $14.98. The disc is $24.98. . . . ANACONDA, the title that is my personal pick for the movie most likely to recede, gets repriced down to $9.95. . . .

Sell through titles releasing 5/9: THE X-FILES gets six episodes released of it's fourth season today (on three volumes). They sell for $14.98 each or three for $39.98. . . . X-FILES SEASON I: GIFT PACK releases on DVD. You can pick up all 24 episodes of season one on six disks, with a seventh disc for bells and whistles. The quality of the discs exceeds anything available in broadcast quality. . . .

Sell through titles releasing 5/16: The BATMAN BEYOND animated series releases a pair of titles today. BATMAN BEYOND: SPELLBOUND and BATMAN BEYOND: CRUSH go on sale for $12.95 each. . . . THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH becomes the first Bond title ever to release directly onto sell-through. The tape sells for $19.98, the DVD for $34.98. . . . Accompanying the new Bond are five of his ancestors. DR. NO with Sean Connery; THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, MOONRAKER and THE SPY WHO LOVED ME with Roger Moore; and ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE with Timothy Dalton all get re-released today. The VHS is $14.95. The DVD is $34.98. . . . BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID gets another release today. It's been unavailable for over two years. The Paul Newman and Robert Redford title sells for $14.98 for the video, $29.98 for a first-ever DVD release. . . . What's that you say? Why can't anyone do a movie with martial arts, assassins, guns AND nekkid babes? Well your payers have been answered. Go out and buy NAKED KILLER (aka CHILKO GOUYEUNG) today for $24.95. This is a 1992 Hong Kong action flick about a young lady recruited to be a man-mangling assassin. The ad for this Chinese import is describing it as "high camp a la Roger Corman and femme fatale action at its naked best." You be the judge. . . . THE HUNGER COLLECTION features three volumes of the edgy Tony and Ridley Scott show. The episodes are "Vampires," "Wicked Dreams" and "Soul for Sale." They feature Terence Stamp, Bruce Davison, Sally Kirkland and Giancarlo Esposito. The VHS are $59.98 each. The DVD is $19.98. . . .

Sell through titles releasing 5/23: THE CORRUPTER, with Chow Yun-Fat and Mark Wahlberg, gets re-released today for $14.98. RUMBLE IN THE BRONX with Jackie Chan and LAST MAN STANDING with Bruce Willis are both $9.98. . . . The "Wu Tang Forbidden Treasures Collection II" becomes available today. We get treated to SILVER FOX MASSACRE, THE CAVALIER, DEAF MUTE HEROINE, SHAOLIN KUNG FU MASTER, DEMON STRIKE, THE ODD COUPLE, MAN HUNT, GUY WITH SECRET KUNG FU, WAYS OF KUNG FU and the wonderfully titled HARD BASTARD. They retail for $19.98 for an SP tape, $9.98 for EP. . . . If you liked the TV show, MY FAVORITE MARTIAN, you're in luck. A collection of eight tapes, covering 32 episodes, becomes available today for $19.95 each. If you're absolutely nuts about the show, you're still in luck.  You can grab the whole shebang for $99.95. . . .

Sell through titles releasing 5/30: GROOVE TUBE features a young Chevy Chase and Richard Belzer in this 1974 wildly inventive vignette comedy. The DVD is $19.95. . . .

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES
    CATHERINE De CAMP passed away on April 9 in Texas at the age of 92. She was an educator, author, editor and longtime collaborator with her husband, science fiction author L. Sprague de Camp. She wrote books for young audiences like The Money Tree, Teach Your Child to Manage Money and Creatures of the Cosmos, and collaborated with her husband on The Bones of Zora and The Swords of Zinjaban, among others. De Camp was a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Authors Guild, First Fandom and other groups. Born in New York, she graduated from Barnard College in 1933 with degrees in English and economics. She taught English and tutored students in private secondary schools in New York until she met L. Sprague de Camp. She and her husband had lived in Plano, Texas, since 1989. She's survived by her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

                                    A is for AMY who fell down the stairs, B is for BASIL,
                                           assaulted by bears . . . U is for UNA who slipped down
                                           a drain . . . V is for VICTOR squashed under a train. . . .
                                                --"The Gashlycrumb Tinies,"
    The author of those ghastly meditations, the gorey Edward Gorey,  beloved tongue-in-cheek writer, illustrator and contributor to "entertainments" that once earned him Broadway's Tony award, has died at the age of 75. Edward St. John Gorey was born in Chicago. He served in the Army during World War II and then studied French literature at Harvard. He took a few drawing courses at the Art Institute of Chicago but was largely a self-taught artist. His style-- often using rectangular patterns and short pen strokes--emerged "somewhere between my 18th and 21st year and it was more or less full-blown." "Sometimes," he said in 1986, "I think that my life would have been completely different if I had ever learned to draw." Once asked why his prolific words and drawings focused on violence and horror, the plain-spoken Gorey replied: "I write about everyday life." Gorey was asked why so many children met untimely ends in his works. "Oh well, children are the easiest targets." He earned his Tony in 1978 for costuming "Dracula" for Broadway. But when he allowed a friend to take him to see it, he said later, "I hated it. Here was an old-fashioned play being camped up mercilessly." But the writer who thrived on horror movies and TV mysteries did like the special effects, adding: "The bats were wonderful." Gorey's gothic giddiness permeated the more than 90 books he wrote and 60 others he illustrated. An acquired taste, Gorey published much of his work under his own imprint, Fantod Press. The Victorian word "fantod," meaning heebie-jeebies, perhaps describes the feeling evoked in his public. In addition to his own writing, Gorey illustrated the books of such diverse authors as Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Edward Lear and Virginia Woolf.

MAY CALENDAR
TUE. 2ND: VIDEO RENTALS- BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, DOGMA, VIRTUAL
                   SEXUALITY and THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN hit rental shelves today.
              VIDEO SELLTHROUGH- GALAXY QUEST, PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE,
               THE MASK and  ANACONDA go for sale today.

FRI. 5TH: MOVIES- GLADIATOR debuts today
                TV- NOW & AGAIN season finale'.

SAT. 6TH: TV- THE PROFILER season finale'.

SUN. 7TH: TV- JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, part 1

MON. 8TH: TV- JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, part 2

TUE. 9TH: VIDEO RENTALS- AMERICAN BEAUTY and WITCHCRAFT XI: SISTERS IN
                  BLOOD become available today.
                   VIDEO SELLTHROUGH- THE X-FILES six episodes of season four and the
                   entire first season on DVD come out today.

FRI. 12TH: MOVIES- BATTLEFIELD EARTH  gets released today.

SAT. 13TH: TV- THE PRETENDER season finale'.

MON. 15TH: TV- ROSWELL season finale'.

TUE. 16TH: VIDEO RENTALS- EVIL LIVES, FELICIA'S JOURNEY and NAKED
                    HUNTRESS get released today.
                   VIDEO SELLTHROUGH- BATMAN BEYOND: SPELLBOUND and
                   BATMAN BEYOND: CRUSH, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, DR. NO,
                   THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, MOONRAKER, THE SPY WHO
                   LOVED ME, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, BUTCH CASSIDY
                   AND THE SUNDANCE KID, NAKED KILLER and THE HUNGER
                   COLLECTION all hit the shelves today.

FRI. 19TH: MOVIES- DINOSAUR premieres today.

SUN. 21ST: TV-FUTURAMA season finale'.
                         X-FILES season (series?) finale'.

TUE. 23RD: VIDEO RENTALS- SLEEPY HOLLOW, AMERICAN MOVIE, LASER-
                    HAWKE, DRAWING BLOOD, HIDE AND SEEK and EYE OF THE BE-
                    HOLDER get released today.
                   VIDEO SELLTHROUGH- THE CORRUPTER, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX,
                    LAST MAN STANDING, SILVER FOX MASSACRE, THE CAVALIER,
                   DEAF MUTE HEROINE, SHAOLIN KUNG FU MASTER, DEMON STRIKE,
                   THE ODD COUPLE, MAN HUNT, GUY WITH SECRET KUNG FU, WAYS
                   OF KUNG FU, HARD BASTARD and MY FAVORITE MARTIAN episodes
                    come out today.

WED. 24TH: TV- STAR TREK: VOYAGER season finale'.

FRI. 26TH: MOVIES- MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 and SHANGHAI NOON  both debut today.

TUE. 30TH: VIDEO RENTALS- DEADLOCK gets released today.
                   VIDEO SELLTHROUGH- GROOVE TUBE comes out today.