#55 August 2003
CLUB NEWS
OH HECK…JUST READ THEM ALL
TV NEWS
ALIAS SURPRISES COMING 
TREK BOSSES DEFEND THEIR FRANCHISE 
AND CHANGES ARE REVEALED 
KINGDOM CAST IS SET
EVENT NEWS
August 15-17     HORRORFIND
August 28 Sept 1   TORCON3
September 4-6   International Comic Arts Festival
Oct 31- Nov 2   CHILLER THEATRE EXPO
LITERARY NEWS
ELLISON CRUSADES AGAINST AOL 
HEINLEIN AWARD INAUGURATED
THE COMICS and GRAPHIC NOVELS HOUR
MOVIE NEWS
MAGUIRE REBUTS SPIDEY REPORTS 
CAMPBELL IS HURT IN CRASH 
PUNISHER CAST IS NOW SET 
THE LAST EMPEROR OF CHEESY MONSTER MOVIES
TRANSFORMING THE TRANSFORMERS 
UNDERWORLD STAR GETTING TOUGH 
WISEMAN UNVEILS BLACK CHAPTER 
AZKABAN IS DARKER 
ANIME HITS THE USA

ACTION FIGURE NEWS
COLLECTIBLES CORNER

MUST SEE MOVIES 
Freddy vs Jason, Jeepers Creepers2, The Princess Blade

DVD NEWS
Lon Chaney, The Hulk, Killer Tomatoes and some Anime

FAREWELLS
Bob Hope, Buddy Epson, Alex Gordon, Matt Jeffries

THE LAST "WARD"
 

ICS CALENDER

Post it up on the Fridge!
 
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JULY MEETING PART 1 – ASIAN GRUE
  July’s presentation on modern Japanese horror was real treat as Andrew Kent gave an  enthusiastic and informative talk complete with clips of standouts of the genre.  We viewed clips from TETSUO, TOKYO FIST, TOMEI, SUICIDE CIRCLE, BATTLE ROYALE, AUDITION, WILD ZERO, UZUMAKI and VIOLENT COP. 
 Andrew spoke about modern Japanese history and how the undercurrent of nihilism is reflected in these films, some of which can also described as Cronenbergian or Lovecraftian because of their depictions of bodily metamorphosis and decay and philosophy on the nature of evil.  Also, several films have manga, or comic book origins and/or tie-ins.  Andrew brought in a display of the Tomei and Uzumaki mangas as well as other related DVD’s.  All in all, it was a very informative and interesting presentation.  Great job, Andrew!

JULY MEETING PART 2 – PIZZA PARTY
    July was also special because it was our 5th annual pizza night.  37 members feasted on Pizza Hut’s best.  Thanks to the board for organizing the event and making it an annual tradition.

JULY MEETING PART 3 – ONE DEAD – 41 TO GO
    Thanks to Andrew’s presentation and film clips, the club had a good basis on which movie to select.  And select they did – we viewed Kinji Fukasaku’s controversial film, BATTLE ROYALE, which was about a class of high school teens forced to kill off their classmates on an island.  It was a true delight to see this rarity on the ICS screen.

WELCOME JANET FARWELL!
    Looks like ICS Fever is spreading to yet another spouse.  Janet Farwell, wife of Troy Farwell, joined our club on her second meeting.  We’re pleased to have you in our club Janet! 

WELCOME GUESTS!
    Other guests last evening included Inge Heyer and Blake and Taylor Sherblom-Woodward’s mom.  Thanks for stopping by – come back and see us anytime! 

A FOND FAREWELL
    Members Tim and Heather Fleming have been in our club for what seems like forever.  They originally drove all the way from College Park – then after they moved up north, they traveled all the way from NJ to faithfully attend a meeting every month.  Now, they’re moving to New Mexico.  We’ll miss Tim’s quick wit and razor sharp MST3K comments.  We’ll miss Heather’s sweetness and good-natured tolerance of her hubby.  We wish you the best on your move and life in NM.  As honorary life-time members, we hope you will keep in touch and stop by when you are in the area.  We wish you the best on your move and life in NM.

PASS THE HAT
    Sue Feder is a survivor of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  She actually joined the club back in 2000 and was absent from the club temporarily while she received treatment.  Every year she asks for donations to support research for the disease.  ICS has always been generous in the past when she has passed around her hat.  This meeting was no exception – she collected $54.  If you’d like to donate, Sue will be collecting again next month.  It’s for a good cause.

OUR CONDOLENCES
    Tom Noll’s wife passed away while in intensive care. 
      We are all sorry for your loss, Tom. 

FROM THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN
  Joe Plempel assembled a 6-foot tall PVC stand for our banner.  We’ll use it at FANEX to draw attention to our club (more on FANEX later).  Thanks, Joe – the sign and stand look fantastic! 

ICS TO THE RESCUE
  Shore Leave was in a bind – they needed help putting together a Sci-Fi panel.  Dave Willard was able to quickly put together a group of ICS members consisting of Tim Fleming, Dave Henderson, Michael Schilling and Troy Farwell.  Betsy Childs and Heather Fleming assisted from the audience. 
   The group discussed 1950’s sci fi films and received much audience support and participation.   A big thanks to all who volunteered – you helped out a fellow organization and put on a great show!  P.S. Check out the ICS Forum to see pics of ICS in Action at Shore Leave!

FARPOINT PANEL
  Since the Shore Leave panel went so well, Farpoint has requested our help in putting together a panel.  Farpoint is held in February at the Hunt Valley Marriott.  If interested, please contact Dave Willard to volunteer as well as to provide panel ideas.

NEWS OF OUR AUGUST MEETING: THE BASICS (NOT THE LAST SATURDAY!)
  Our next meeting will be held on Saturday August 23rd at 5:30 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 443-570-6455. That's Dave Willard’s cell phone. He'll talk you in. 

OUR AUGUST MEETING: THE BIG HEAT – IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
  Diversity is one thing that makes our club great - one month we’re viewing a Universal classic, another month it’s movie parodies and yet another it’s a Japanese horror film.  So, no one should be surprised that the theme of August’s meeting is Film Noir, with presentation and film by Troy Farwell.  He will discuss the history, influences and elements of Film Noir as well as show clips.

2004 – CALENDAR UPDATE
  The theme for the 2004 calendar is TV Shows of the 60’s and should be available at the October meeting.  The calendar is $15 – if you want one, please leave your name with Regina.  Pre-payments are accepted or payment can be made later when the calendars arrive. 

2004 – CALLING ALL MANK-STERS!
  Respected author, Greg Mank, will visit during the April 2004 meeting.  Mr. Mank has interviewed many great stars.  And if you follow Dave Willard’s advice, ask him to tell the one about John Carradine.  More details will follow as the date gets closer.

2004 – DUES UPDATE
  The board proposed our first ever dues increase and the club passed it at July’s meeting.  The new dues structure will be $25 per person, $40 per couple and $15 per additional person added to the membership – an overall increase of $5 per person per year.  The reason behind the increase is that we want to create a larger cushion in case we need to replace the projector or in case our club grows the point where we need to find a larger home.  And while a clubhouse is not a reality at this point, we would like to work towards Hendo’s Hideaway sometime soon.  If this increase proves to be a financial hardship, please contact the board and we will work with you – we don’t want to lose members over this item.

FANEX 17 – OR IS IT FAN-ICS?
  Thanks to all of the ICS members who were so generous with their time and old movie donations to Fanex 17.  We really appreciate your volunteer time, whether it’s spending a day at the Dealer’s Room or giving up an hour to relieve someone for lunch or dinner.  The club made a profit of $398 in the Dealer’s Room and had several prospective members on the sign up sheet. 
 The members who did attend have remarked that they enjoyed talking and hanging out with the other ICS members as much as or more than the actual convention itself.  And maybe we can get the scoop on the stars from Barry Murphy, who was the special liaison to Beverly Washburn and Hank Garrett! 
 The ICS presence at Fanex is getting to be quite formidable – the club has a good buzz and people are even approaching to members with badges asking questions about ‘that film club’.  Thank you again for volunteering time and goods to the convention – it all helped to make the Fanex 17 experience both successful and enjoyable.

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ALIAS SURPRISES COMING 
   Alias co-star Greg Grunberg (Weiss) said that the ABC show's upcoming third-season premiere will contain big surprises.  "I got the first script yesterday, and I absolutely freaked out," Grunberg said. "At the end of the first episode, there is something revealed to Sydney and to us that is so shocking my wife, Elizabeth, screamed when I told her.  This reveal is so huge I don't know how Sydney [Jennifer Garner] will deal with it."
   Grunberg added that almost every major character, including Jack Bristow (Victor Garber), has gone through a life change, many of which were a result of thinking Sydney was dead.
   David Anders (Sark), meanwhile, told the site to expect a "David Bowie-like villain." Kevin Weisman (Marshall) added that David Bowie himself might land the role.  "I know David has expressed interest in doing the show," Weisman said. "But they're trying to work it out. He's a very busy man. He's a rock star!"
   Grunberg added that Merrin Dungey (Francie/evil Francie) will be coming back for a few episodes.  "Hopefully a bunch of episodes, but Bradley Cooper [Will] has some great opportunities coming at him, so I don't know," he said. "We're all saying 'Damn him!' because we love him so much."

TREK BOSSES DEFEND THEIR FRANCHISE 
   Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, the executive producers of UPN's Enterprise and de facto keepers of the Star Trek flame, found themselves on the defensive in a discussion with reporters about the franchise's health.  Signs of trouble include the recent box-office failure of the 10th Star Trek movie, Nemesis; the declining ratings of Enterprise; and the recent lawsuit by game publisher Activision against Viacom, claiming that the company and Paramount have allowed the franchise to "stagnate."  The future of Trek has been the subject of magazine stories in TV Guide and Entertainment Weekly, among others.
   So the two producers found themselves defending their work and the new direction Enterprise is slated to take as it begins its third season in the fall. "I don't think the franchise is in trouble," Berman said at a UPN's fall press preview in Hollywood.  He added, "Viacom and Paramount have been very supportive of what we do, both in terms of the television shows that we produce and the movies that we produce."
   As for Enterprise, which is taking a bold new direction, Leslie Moonves-chairman and chief executive of UPN's parent, CBS-denied to reporters that the company was close to a drastic change such as taking it off the air and coming back later with an entirely new Trek series.  "I don't think we were close to it," he said. "Everything is talked about. And obviously, we looked at all permutations. And as [UPN president] Dawn [Ostroff] said, we looked at our research, we talked to the producers, we talked to the studio, and we felt this was the best plan." 
   For his part, Braga told reporters, "I don't think creatively we were doing anything wrong. It can be debated from many different angles whether there are problems with the show. There are many people that love the show. We're very proud of the show, but we did feel that after a couple of seasons, it was time to do something differently." So why did viewers bail last year? "Don't know," Braga said matter-of-factly. "Don't know."

AND CHANGES ARE REVEALED 
   Producers and cast of UPN's Enterprise revealed details about the show's coming change as it enters its third season, including new cast members, evolution of key characters and a dramatic new story arc.  The series' new direction was set in motion in last season's finale, when a new alien threat-the Xindi-revealed themselves, and Enterprise set off into the dangerous Delphic Expanse to confront them.
   "What you see are guys that have spent the entire hiatus trying to position the show and new scripts and new ideas, and they're rethinking everything," star Scott Bakula (Capt. Archer) said in an intervie.  "I'm saying to them every day, 'Think out of the box.' ... And they're saying, 'Let's do this.' And everybody is doing that. They spent all of their energy creating this new place. And now they're peopling it. And we're discovering it."
   Executive producers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman and the cast revealed several key changes in interviews and during a press conference on July 22:
   The Enterprise crew will be joined by new characters, members of Military Assault Command Operations, or MACO.  "They're kind of semi-recurring and will be used on certain away missions," Braga said.  Those characters have yet to be cast.
.Archer will get a little darker, a bit more driven in his mission to stop the Xindi.  "The idea of being the peaceful 'We-come-in-friendship' [guy], ... that guy is gone," Bakula said.
.   T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) will no longer be under the control of the Vulcan High Command and will begin to explore emotions and humanity.  She'll also get a new look: new hair, new costumes.  "We've got color, and that's always exciting," Blalock said.
.Trip (Connor Trinneer) will grieve for his sister and struggle to balance a need for revenge with his sense of duty to Starfleet. Seeking help from T'Pol, he may find himself more intimately involved with her than ever before.
   The Temporal Cold War and the Suliban storyline will become an integral part of the Xindi arc later in the season, Berman said.

KINGDOM CAST IS SET 
   Andrew McCarthy, Diane Ladd and Bruce Davison will star in ABC's upcoming 15-hour series Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital, a supernatural show from the horrormeister.  The series debuts on Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT with a two-hour premiere, the trade paper reported.
   King wrote all 15 hours of the hour-long series, which is based on the Danish miniseries Riget (The Kingdom) from Lars Von Trier.  Kingdom Hospital tells the story of a hospital where patients and staff have chosen to ignore tell-tale signs of mysticism and unseen powers.  King describes the project as a cross between ER and The Shining, the trade paper reported.
   McCarthy will play Dr. Hook, a surgeon who lives in the hospital basement and collects medical equipment.  Ladd plays psychic hypochondriac Mrs. Druse, a regular in Kingdom Hospital's emergency room. Davison will star as Dr. Stegman, an arrogant, inept physician, the trade paper reported.

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August 15-17 2003  HORRORFIND
3rd annual Horrorfind weekend at Hunt Valley Maryland
This will be a convention of Horror movies galore, dealers room, costume ball/contest, celebrity panels and autograph sessions. 
Alice Cooper (yes, Alice Cooper) here LIVE at HuntValley in Maryland. 
Available for autographs only 4 hours each day
Other honored guests include – 
Tony Todd from Candy man
David Naughton from American Werewolf in London
Bill Mosley, of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Ken Foree from Dawn of the Dead.
Traci Elizabeth Lords, Dee Wallace Stone, Doug Bradley (Pinhead) and Gunnar Hansen.
    HorrorFind is pleased to present the Night of the Living Dead cast reunion
With, Judy Odea, Russ Streiner, Kyra Schon, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman and lots more. 
www.horrorfind.com

August 28 September 1 – TORCON3
The 61st WORLD SCIENCE FICTION CONVENTION- 
Toronto hosts the first Non-USA World Con of the new millennium.  This Con is the one.  Guests from every venue of the genre. (pretty good there) Writers, Artists, Costumers, Technical aspects – if it is science fiction related, it is talked about here.  The Hugo’s will be announced and the first Heinlein award will be given this year.
www.torcon.com

September 4-6  - International Comic Arts Festival
Georgetown University, Washington DC
Comics – the writers, artists and fans.  This is a chance to see some great comic artists and writers and pick up some artwork and it is all very close at hand.
www.wsfa.org

October 31 thru November 2   CHILLER THEATRE EXPO
Held in Rutherford NJ, you can find here three days of Horror Movies, great guests and Dealers Room Galore!  Check the site out for the phenomenal guest list.  What a great place to spend Halloween!!!!
www.chillertheatre.com

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ELLISON CRUSADES AGAINST AOL 
   SF author Harlan Ellison is pressing ahead with a lawsuit against America Online for copyright infringement.  Ellison charges that the Internet company didn't act fast enough when a fan posted some of his stories without permission on an online forum carried by the service.  America Online says it's not to blame and that it removed the stories once it was aware of them.
   While he is seeking money from America Online, Ellison said that the suit is more a crusade to hold Internet service providers accountable for material pirated by their users.
   In March 2002, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled that the company wasn't liable.  Ellison appealed to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
   Ellison's lawyers initially sought as much as $488 million from AOL, according to a court filing.  But in his deposition, Ellison said he wants only "to get recompensed for the money I laid out," plus what his contributors gave and an extra $20 for each donor, the newspaper reported.

HEINLEIN AWARD INAUGURATED 
   The first annual Heinlein Award, recognizing excellence in written science fiction or fact that inspires humanity's expansion into space, will be presented at Torcon3, the 2003 World Science Fiction Convention, in Toronto, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, organizers announced. The award is named for SF author Robert A. Heinlein and was created at the request of his widow, Virginia A. Heinlein, who died earlier this year.
   The award will be given annually by the Heinlein Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Heinlein's legacy. The first award dinner will take place Aug. 29. Judges are Greg Bear, Joe Haldeman, Yoji Kondo, Elizabeth Moon, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Spider Robinson, Stanley Schmidt, Herb Gilliand and John Hill.
 

JEANNES BOOKSHELF…

A Forest of Stars  - by Kevin Anderson

   Five years ago humans applied alien technology to convert a gas giant planet into a sun.  However, when they destroyed the gas giant the humans unintentionally massacred the previously unknown residents, numerous Hydrogues.  The unwittingly genocide has since led to a solar war never seen on this scale befoe aimed at the Terran Hanseatic League as the Hydrogues keep the pressure on their foe.  The Hydrogues see an opportunity to rid themselves of a more dangerous enemy to their existence than the humans.  They feel they can finally eradicate their ancient foe, the Verdani, an interconnected, semi-sentient Worldforest. 
   Meanwhile the Earth Defense Forces must also deal with another enemy not as blatant as the Hydrogues; the Klikiss robots reprogram "compies" into human exterminating machines.  On the positive side, contact with other sentient beings may lead to a needed ally or two, with both of these species apparently caught in the middle of the increasingly nasty solar hostilities.  The action is packed and the cast includes a “compy” fully developed, but what makes this sequel in the “Saga of Seven Suns” so good is the deep look at the causes of war.  The story line never loses sight of its theme even while insuring plenty of adventure without preaching.  The non-human species appear real, which makes the annihilation threats stronger, generating an even more powerful military science fiction novel that readers will appreciate for its insight into a terse thriller.
 

THE COMICS and GRAPHIC NOVELS HOUR
This months feature - the ANIME Graphic novels 
By Taylor Sherblom-Woodward 

“Brigadoon”- vol 1. By Nozomi Watase, published by Tokyopop. 08/26/03. 9.99
This is the manga adaptation of the strange 2000 sci-fi anime, also released by Tokyopop.
   In an alternate version of 1970’s Tokyo, an orphan girl named Marin finds herself to be the target of  weird cybernetic killing machines, the monomakia. Luckily another monomakia is sent to protect her, Melan-blue. But with the question of why she is being targeted still lingering, Marin and Melan set out together to discover the answer

“Magic Knight Rayearth”, By CLAMP, published by tokyopop, 08/05/03, 9.99 
each, three volumes
   This is actually a reissue of this title, it’s now in it’s original Japanese format of right to left. Written by the popular four woman team Clamp (also the creators of “Card Captor Sakura”, “X”, “Clamp School Detectives” and many, many more), this is their classic ‘girls fall into another world and are destined to save it’ kind of story. Hikaru, Fuu and Umi, girls from separate schools, are one day all at a school trip to Tokyo Tower  and magically find themselves sent to the world Cephiro. Apparently they need to save the Princess Emeraude, who has been imprisoned by the evil high priest Zagato. But even with the aid of newly acquired magic and weapons, their quest will be filled with many challenges and difficulties.

“X-day” vol 1. By Setona Mizushiro, published by tokyopop. 08/12/03, 9.99
Rika Saginuma is in her senior year of high school and things are not going well. She’s had to drop out of the track team due to an injury, and now her boyfriend has dumped her, and for her rival at that. Finding similarly disenchanted teens online, they meet in person and come up with a plan to blow up their school (Thankfully, they plan to do it when no one else is there). All of these students face many different issues in their lives but they are now united by a common goal- destroying their school on “x-day”.
 
 

If any ICS members would like to share their view on a recent book that they’ve read – fiction or non-fiction, please email it  attn betsy at ICSBETSPOTS@aol.com.

We are a cinema club, but many movies we watch were started in book form with our own imaginations creating the images that come to life in the films we love.
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MAGUIRE REBUTS SPIDEY REPORTS 
   Tobey Maguire, who reprises the role of Peter Parker in the upcoming sequel film SPIDER-MAN 2, gave his version of the controversial events surrounding his hiring.  Maguire denied widespread reports-including articles in the Los Angeles Times, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter-that he was nearly dropped from the project after his representatives raised the issue of his bad back.
   "It's not true that I was fired," Maguire said. "Basically, I had some concerns, as did the studio, because the level of stunts are so much greater on the second picture than the first, and we both wanted to make sure I could do it.  So we went through some tests in terms of me getting into harnesses and performing some of the stunts.  We were pretty close to production. So I think things got blown out of proportion.  We were three weeks out, and we were making sure-or you could say questioning-whether I was able to do it.  After I did the tests, we all felt good about it, and off we went."
   It was reported that Maguire suffered injuries on the site of SEABISCUIT, in which he plays a horse jockey.  For his part, Maguire said that he's always had a lower-back problem. "It was pre-existing," he said. "It wasn't on [Seabiscuit]. And it's just been something that has come and gone over a few years. Nothing I did on the film really hurt my back, and since [then], it's gotten a lot better."
   On May 11, the Times reported that Maguire was trying to get more money for the sequel. Maguire flatly denied that assertion.  "That's an invention of a journalist," he said.
   Maguire said that he is exhausted as a result of his weight-training regimen for SPIDER-MAN 2, on top of daily shooting.  "Just working 14 hours a day, and you're only getting six hours of sleep a night, and then after your workday, you've got to come home and do a workout, you get a little tired," he said. "But I'm OK. I'm just saying [that before shooting begins], I'm working out three hours a day, six days a week.  Then you get on the picture, and you can't quite do that, because you just don't have the energy to, and it wouldn't be wise to [do so] anyway, because your muscles fatigue." SPIDER-MAN 2 is scheduled for a July 2, 2004, release.

CAMPBELL IS HURT IN CRASH 
   Genre actor and director Bruce Campbell, 45, suffered minor injuries in an auto accident this weekend in Oregon.  Campbell's car was struck on July 26 by a Jeep driven by Steven Michael Sellars, 36, who was listed in critical condition with head injuries. 
   The Jackson County Sheriff's Department cited Sellars for driving under the influence of intoxicants, assault, failing to maintain lane of travel, driving while suspended and for outstanding traffic tickets.
   Campbell (Evil Dead), who makes his home in Jacksonville, Ore., was treated and released from the hospital. 
   Reports that local Fan and ICS member Steve Vaught had been seen pacing outside the hospital door waiting to hear the news are unsubstantiated.

PUNISHER CAST IS NOW SET 
   Samantha Mathis and Will Patton will lead the cast of Artisan Entertainment/Marvel Studios' comic-book movie “The Punisher” for director Jonathan Hensleigh.  Production starts Aug. 2 in Tampa, Fla., with Thomas Jane in the title role of Frank Castle.
   James Carpinello, Mark Collie, Ben Foster, John Pinette, Eddie Jamison and Russell Andrews have also signed on, joining John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Laura Harring.  PUNISHER is based on Marvel Comics' vigilante hero, who dispenses harsh justice to criminals after his wife and children are slain by the mob.
   Mathis will play Amanda Castle, the tough, beautiful wife of Jane's character.  Patton is set to star as Leonard Glass, the right-hand man of villain Howard Saint (Travolta).  Carpinello will play Saint's son, John Saint. Collie will play the evil assassin Harry Heck. 

THE LAST EMPEROR OF CHEESY MONSTER MOVIES
   Mike Mignola-who created the Dark Horse Comics series “Hellboy” said that he was gratified by director Guillermo del Toro's determination to remain true to his creation for the upcoming film adaptation. 
   "Not only did he understand “Hellboy”, but he understood everything that went into the making of ‘Hellboy’," Mignola said “As we talked, he said, 'I want to make the Last Emperor of cheesy monster movies.'  And I said, 'Wow, if there's any formula to what I do, that might be it.'  And that's, I think, what he's making."
   Initially, Mignola gave del Toro free rein to do his own version of the character.  But the director insisted on preserving Mignola's style and vision for the film.  "I think from the very first conversation I said, 'Listen, I've done my version.  I've done it my way.  You do whatever you want,'" Mignola said. "'I've seen the Mike Mignola Hellboy, go make the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy.'  And he wanted to make the Mike Mignola Hellboy. But he can't help but have the del Toro-isms in there. So I think it's a really interesting mix of a del Toro picture and a del Toro/Mignola picture.  And there's scenes where it's literally a Mignola character and a del Toro character beating the crap out of each other."  Got all that? Phew. 
   HELLBOY actually represents the second film collaboration for del Toro and Mignola, who worked together previously on BLADE II.  Mignola said that del Toro gave him a generous amount of creative design input in his role as visual consultant on both films.  "I'm his wrist," Mignola said.  "He said, 'I've got an idea for a costume.  I've got an idea for a set.  I've got this. I've got that.” 
   “On BLADE II, and on this, I was involved before there was an actual production designer.  And by the time the production designer came in, we've got this body of work to turn over.  Some of it will change radically, other things will stay very much the same. ... It's nice, because I was the guy to redesign my guy.  And a lot of this is stuff that I went, 'Wow, that's really cool. I wish I had thought of that for the comic.'" 
   HELLBOY is eyeing a May 2004 release.

TRANSFORMING THE TRANSFORMERS 
   Tom DeSanto-the X2 producer who is also producing a proposed live-action TRANSFORMERS movie said that the film will make use of both computer and practical effects for the signature machines and will be based primarily on the original 1980s lineup.  "We're working on the storyline for TRANSFORMERS, and we're hopefully going to set that up,"  DeSanto said in an interview at Comic-Con International over the weekend.  "We're going to start going out to studios."
   DeSanto also said that he and producing partner Don Murphy are close to hiring a director.  "We've been talking with several now," he said. "But we have a big guy next week."  He declined to comment on a report on IGN FilmForce that quoted Murphy saying that the candidates include Michael Bay, Robert Zemeckis and Joseph Kahn.
   The movie will go "back to sort of the roots" of the franchise, DeSanto said.  "But if there's something great that ends up from a later storyline, it's the same principle as X-MEN - don't try to follow continuity, but get to the heart and the soul of what made it work."
   As for the effects, DeSanto said, "I think relying 100 percent on CGI would be a mistake.  But, you know, you need CGI. ... You will believe that an 18-wheeler will transform."

UNDERWORLD STAR GETTING TOUGH 
   Kate Beckinsale, who stars as the werewolf-hunting vampire Selene in the upcoming UNDERWORLD said she found herself in the role of an action hero, even though she considers herself a "wuss" in real life.  "There's a lot of action in this," Beckinsale at Comic-Con International in San Diego. "And that's what was really kind of scary and also attractive about it. ... I have four brothers who know that I'm the biggest wuss on the block.  And I'm like, 'Oh, I'm going off to do my, ahem, combat training.' ... You know, they're like, ha ha. ... And actually to see the movie, you know? I kick ass [laughs]! I can't wait for my brothers to see it!"
   The British-born Beckinsale said that she had to undergo training to learn how to fight and to fire a gun, as well as how to do wirework stunts.  "I kind of had learn how to box initially," she said. "They're like, 'OK, show me how you punch.'  And of course I'm from ... West London [mimes a limp punch]. ... They said, 'You have to get your whole body and your feet right, and the whole thing.'   So, they had a bit of that to do. 
   And then a whole bunch of shooting the guns.  And they hardly had to do any of that with me, because I was naturally a genius with guns. "
   But Beckinsale said the training stood her in good stead, particularly as she had to segue immediately upon completion of Underworld into the lead female role in Van Helsing, another action-filled movie, in which she plays a vampire-hunting gypsy princess.  "The dangerous thing about doing an action movie is, for about a month afterwards, you think you're pretty tough," she said. "Kind of thinking, 'Come on!' [puts up dukes] And then you realize, no [laughs]."  Underworld opens Sept. 19.

AZKABAN IS DARKER 
   The upcoming third Harry Potter film, THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, will be darker than its predecessors, owing to new director Alfonso Cuarón (A Little Princess).  "Alfonso is much more gritty than Chris [Columbus] ever was," star Emma Watson (Hermione Granger).  "He's really into the idea that shooting should be fluid and natural."
   Among other things, the film will feature the soul-sucking dementors, who guard Azkaban Prison.  Cuarón's design team promises that the movie's palette will reflect the gathering darkness.  For Hogsmeade, set designer Stuart Craig labored to avoid a "pretty, chocolate-box" village, creating a main street that swerves zanily.  Honeydukes, the candy store, is floor-to-ceiling psychedelia.  Wild colors and wonderful surprises.  So, Cuarón has reimagined the role of Professor Dumbledore after Richard Harris' death.  It should be very interesting now with the British actor Michael Gambon now playing the Hogwarts headmaster as an elegant old hippie. 
   AZKABAN will hit theaters June 4, 2004.

ANIME HITS THE USA
   Anime conventions seem to be slowly turning into trade shows, and Anime Expo, the biggest anime convention in North America, was definitely no exception. All of the major companies were there, and were announcing several of their newest and hottest acquisitions to the fans.
   Tokyopop had a few announcements to make, but few of them came as surprises to fans, since an inattentive web designer for them inadvertently leaked the info out. MAHOROMATIC, CYBORG 009, AI I LOVE YOU, GETBACKERS and PSYCHIC ACADEMY, as well as the beloved shoujo series FRUITS BASKET were all announced.
   Also mentioned was the Rahxephon Bible, a guide to the first 15 episodes of the TV series licensed by ADV.
   As anime goes, NURSE WITCH KOMUGI-CHAN, D. N. ANGEL, GRAVION, BIRTH, BAST OF LEMON (which is actually Korean), MANI MANI, as well as the RAHXEPHON movie, TAGEN HENSOUKYOKU.  Mention was made of the AZUMANGA DAIOH movie, which is presumably the five-minute piece that was played in theaters alongside another movie in order to promote the TV series.  Unless ADV has decided to fund a full-length movie, which fans would probably appreciate as well.
   Pioneer Entertainment is in the habit of now announcing stuff before it has finished airing in Japan, or occasionally while it’s still in production.  The first announcement was of TEXHNOLYZE, the most recent Yoshitoshi ABe work. 
   Scheduled for a limited theatrical release is the recent japanese film, THE PRINCESS BLADE. It's essentially a remake of the 1973 samurai film known as LADY SNOWBLOOD, wtih one major exception- instead of being set in fuedal Japan, it's takes place in an unnamed country 500 years in the future, under a totalitarian regime.  Yuki, played by Yumiko Shaku, is the last of the House Takemikazuchi line, and is working as an assasin along with the rest of her family.  Upon learning about the truth of her mother's death she flees from her family and encounters Takahashi, played by the popular Hideaki Ito, a man with terrorist connections.  The movie has a rather impressive staff working on it- the original story is by Kazuo Koike and Kazuo Kamimura ( the "Lone Wolf and Cub" manga), Donny Yen does the fight choreography and the music is composed by Kenji Kawai (GHOST IN THE SHELL, RINGU).

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COLLECTIBLES CORNER - 
by Gary Can't Wait for the new Lara Croft Movie  Roberson

   1950's SCI - FI Department  Are you a fan of the 1950's  science fiction flics, such as ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS and GODZILLA ? 
   If so, then Canopy Games' I Was An Atomic Mutant’ for PC is one you should check out.  It's a first person shooter game, where you can play one of 4 characters, based on a fictional quadrology of '50's sci-fi flics, Wrath of the She Beast /  Invader From Dimension X / The Brain From Beyond Infinity and  Reptomicus.  As these giant creatures, you get points dependiong on how many buildings you knock down, how many militairy vehicles you destroy and how many people you eat and/or step on!  For that 1950's feel, you can even play the games in black and white!  If nothing else, check out the game's website - it's hilarious!  Just type in the title  I Was An Atomic Mutant and click on the official web site, or refer to Canopy Games.

   UNIVERSAL EXPORTS Department   James Bond fans fondly remember Desmond Llewelyn as the actor who portrayed  Major Boothroyd, a.k.a. Q, in 17 of the series' films.  He passed away in November, 1999 - not of old age but as the result of a tragic auto accident.  Fortunately, he had actually filmed what were to be his final "retirement" scenes in the series, where he hands over the reigns to John Cleese in  THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.  Sadly, Llewelyn missed the London premiere by a number of days...   Now, Sideshow Collectibles is taking pre-orders for a 12" Q figure - complete with tweed suit and the gadget-laden attache case he presented to Bond in the movie that marked Llewelyn's 1st appearance in the series - FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE.  This is an export item only available on Sideshow's web site.

the "TO THINK WE ACTUALLY USED TO ATTACH 'EM TO OUR BICYCLE SPOKES" Department 
   If your into non-sport collectors cards, check out a very cool web site - Warp 9 Cards. They offer a ton of different card series at some great prices and some other prices that'll give you a heart attack!  Autograph cards, i.e. a Seth Green Oz card from BUFFY will set you back a few ICS bucks... Just out - TERMINATOR 3, LARA CROFT & THE CRADLE OF LIFE and FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY! (just kidding...)

the THIS DOESN'T REALLY BELONG IN A GENRE CLUB NEWSLETTER,  BUT IT'S MY COLUMN - SO THERE!  Department 
   If any of you had seen the terrific movie GETTYSBURGH, you'll remember that actor Jeff Daniels all but stole the show with his portrayal of Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the "Lion of Little Round Top" who led the 20th Maine Infantry in an incredible bayonet charge, when they ran out of ammo, against the Confederate opposition.  His prelude speech to the men and the subsequent battle were the high points of this excellent film.  Now, Sideshow Collectibles is coming out with a 12' figure of Chamberlain, replete with full battle uniform and weaponry, and, it looks remarkebly like Jeff Daniels!  It's part of the Brotherhood In Arms series.

and finally....
     the "Where's that can of Raid?" Department 
Check out a very cool movie called  INFESTED (2002) on DVD. It's written and directed by Josh Olson, and stars Zack Gilligan (GREMLINS),  Amy Jo Johnson (Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger in that series) and Robert Duncan McNeill ( Tom Paris in STAR TREK VOYAGER).  Think of this film as THE BIG CHILL meets THE LORD OF THE FLIES.  It's alot of fun with an equal dose of laughs and chills.  There are a few scenes not for the faint-of-heart, but it's generally low on the gore factor. 

And more on this subject from the Anime gal –

   Tokyopop has announced that they’re teaming up with Radio Shack to make remote controlled products (presumably cars) based on Tokyopop’s property of INITIAL D.
   INITIAL D is about a tofu delivery boy, Takumi (referred to as “Tak” in the manga, and presumably the English dub as well) who becomes involved in the world of street racing. Starting onTV in Japan in 1998, INITIAL D became very popular and ran for several season and had a few movies made as well.
   These items will be hitting stores sometime in September, as part of Tokyopop’s aggressive advertising plan for this property. Having acquired the rights to the TV series, the manga, as well as the merchandising of this title, Tokyopop has no doubt invested a lot of money in this and is trying to make sure that it will pay off. 
   They’ve already stated their hopes to have it on TV, and to have it be sort of like a new SPEED RACER. As a result they’ve already given the characters in the manga nicknames to make them easier for American to follow and have edited some of the more sexualized content to make it appropriate for younger audiences. This has of course annoyed many hard-core anime fans, and thankfully Tokyopop has promised that the DVDs will still include the unedited Japanese version with the original soundtrack. The DVDs were due out in august, but delays are forcing the release date back to September.

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August 15th   FREDDY VS JASON - Rating R
Cast: Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), Ken Kirzinger (Jason Voorhees),
James Callahan (Tim), Monica Keena (Lori), Jason Ritter (Will), Kelly
Rowland (Kia), Lauren Lee Smith (Gibb), 
Premise: A group of teenagers finds themselves stuck in the middle of a battle between two forces of evil: silent stalker Jason Voorhees (Hodder) and gabby dream master Freddy Krueger (Englund), as the battle wages from Elm Street (the beginning of the film) to a climactic finale fought at Camp Crystal Lake.
 

August 29th   JEEPERS CREEPERS II - Rating R
Cast: Jonathan Breck (The Creeper), Ray Wise (Jack Taggart), Nicki Lynn Aycox (Minxie Hayes), Drew Bell (Jonny Young), Billy Aaron Brown (Andy "Bucky" Buck), Kasan Butcher (Kimball Ward), Lena Caldwell (Chelsea Farmer), Marieh Delfino (Rhonda Truitt) 
Director Screenwriter: Victor Salva 
Premise: Set soon after the events of the first film, a group of basketball players, coaches, cheerleaders, and their friends on the bus going home from the state championship (which they won) find themselves attacked by a winged people-eating monster called the Creeper (Breck), as he continues his 23-day-long feeding frenzy... (Aycox and Delfino play cheerleaders; Brown plays the team's manager)
 

December 15th World Premiere: THE PRINCESS BLADE: 
Language: Japanese with English subtitles; original title in Japan: "Shurayuki-Hime" 
Cast: Yumiko Shaku (Yuki), Hideaki Ito (Takashi), Shiro Sano, Yoichi Numata (Kuka)
Director: Shinsuke Sato (feature film debut) 
Premise: Set in an unnamed country (similar to Japan) in a post-apocalyptic future, this is the story of a young female assassin, Yuki (Shaku), who discovers that the leader of the band of outlaws she belongs to murdered her mother. Finding herself targeted for elimination after she confronts the group's leader about her mother's death, Yuki goes on the run from her former coworkers. Barely surviving an attack, she finds refuge with a young man who used to be a terrorist, with whom she gradually falls in love, but with trained killers getting closer and closer to finding her, can their love survive?

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The Lon Chaney Collection $39.95
   One of history's most amazing movie magicians, illusionist Lon Chaney will finally get the deluxe treatment on October 28th courtesy of Warner Home Video.  This will be a two-disc set that includes three of his best silent classics: The Ace of Hearts, Laugh Clown Laugh and The Unknown.  Each is presented in 1.33:1 full screen and newly-remixed Dolby 2.0 stereo tracks, and extras include audio commentaries by Chaney expert and makeup artist Michael F. Blake, the documentary "A Thousand Faces," and a reconstruction of the unfinished feature London After Midnight. 

Alias: The Complete Second Season  $69.95
   Double Secret Probation Agent Sydney Bristow returns in this collection on December 2nd, this six-disc set includes 22 episodes.  The hit spy series is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and Dolby Digital 5.1, plus plenty of extras including audio commentaries with the cast & crew, "the Telling" documentary on the making of the second season finale, the additional "Undercover: The Look of Alias" featurette, deleted scenes, a gag reel, the parody as seen on Monday Night Football and a making-of the Alias video game spot. 

Battle of the Planets: The Ultimate Box Set  $59.95 
   Who can forget one of the most beloved cult cartoons of the 80's, , streeting on September 9th from Rhino Home Video.  This four-disc set features the first 12 episodes of this animated series presented in 4:3 full screen and remixed Dolby Digital 5.1, plus a nice batch of extras.  Goodies include audio commentary by Janet Waldo and Casey Kasem, new interviews with Kasem, Waldo and Ronnie Schell, a memorabilia gallery and promotional trailers
Also Rhino will also release a limited edition set numbered at 15,000 and including a special Jason action figure. Retail for that set is $69.95And get 'em while you can. 

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes  $14.95
   Perhaps the greatest movie ever made is saying too much.  Getting a much-deserved new two-disc 25th Anniversary Edition due on September 23rd, this one gets a newly remastered transfer, plus extras including an audio commentary by writer and director John DeBello, co- star Steve Peace, and "Creator" Costa Dillon, deleted scenes, six exclusive featurettes, the short film "Do They Accept Travelers Checks in Babusuland?" that inspired the movie (also with commentary), the trailer and radio spots. Yikes! All this can be yours for $24.95, and movie-only version, sans the extras aside from the trailer. 

The Incredible Hulk: The Television Series Ultimate Collection  $69.95.
   He's back and busting out of the small screen and onto DVD...he's The Incredible Hulk. Just in time to tie in with the October 28th DVD release of Ang Lee's big-screen remake, a week earlier Universal Studios Home Video will release. This six-disc set will be presented in 4:3 full screen and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono and will feature a hodgepodge of 18 episodes culled from various seasons (discs titles include "The Search for a Cure," "The Race Against Time," "The Legend of The Incredible Hulk," "The Jack McGee Files," "The Beast Within" and "The Hidden Powers of The Incredible Hulk." No extras have been announced. 

More Anime, No fooling, Here is some of the hottest – 

JUNKERS COME HERE- Bandai Ent, released 08/19/03. 29.98, 104 minutes
   Made in 1995, this movie is the sweet tale of a troubled 11 year-old girl named Hiromi. Struggling with issues of adulthood, and the fact that her parents are getting divorced she finds friendship with a talking dog, Junkers.
   DVD has Japanese/English audio, English subtitles, art gallery, interviews, and the original trailer and pilot film.

KIKAIDER vol 1 - Bandai ent, released 08/05/03. 29.98, 100 minutes
   From Shotaro Ishinomori, the creator of titles like GENMA WARS and CYBORG 009, this OAV and tv series has recently been airing on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim program.
   Kikaider is a robot created by the genius professor Dr. Komyoji for the purpose of protecting his family.  Kikaider has the ability to simulate real emotions that aid him in knowing the difference between right and wrong, something which he’ll need in the battle against the evil Dr. Gill and his own army of androids.
Japanese/English audio options, English subtitles, illustration gallery and trailers.

HAIBANE RENMEI vol 1- Pioneer, 08/26/03. 29.98, 100 minutes. Special Edition, 34.98
   Having finished airing it’s 13 episode run in Japan only in December, HAIBANE RENMEI has been praised as being one of the most unique shows to come out recently.  Created by Yoshitoshi ABe ( the creator of the mind-warping SERIAL EXPERIMENTS LAIN), the name “Haibane Renmei” translates into something like “Charcoal Feather Federation”.
   Rakka one day awakens out of cocoon with no memory and into a mysterious walled town where humans dwell with Haibane, which are angelic like beings, complete with wings and halos.  As Rakka adjusts to new life , she can’t help but to wonder about what her old one, and even wondering about the true purpose of the Haibane, and what exactly lies behind the walls of the city.
   Japanese/English audio, English subtitles, textless opening and art gallery.  Also included is a mini-shitajiki, which is a weird little Japanese item, also called a pencil board.  They’re made out of plastic, and have a picture on them.  They’re used for the purpose of putting between papers when writing, so that the other pages don’t have the imprints on them.  They’re pretty cool, trust me, and people sometimes collect them, since they’re used as part of merchandising for anime.  There’s also the option of buying the special edition version, which comes with a box that will eventually hold all four volumes, and yet another mini-shitajiki.

farewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfarewellsfar
Leslie Townes Hope
1903 – 2003

Bob Hope was a Star of Vaudeville, a Star on Broadway, a Star of the Golden Age of Radio, a Star of the Golden Age of Movies, a Star of the Golden Age of Television and first in the hearts of us all. He was “the Bee’s Knees” in the 20s, “the Cat’s Meow” in the
30s, a “Hep Cat” in the 40s, “Cool, Daddio” in the 50s, “Groovy” in the 60s, “like, Cool Man” in the 70s, “Awesome, Dude” in the 80s and will always be an Entertainment Legend of the 20th Century.
 

Buddy Ebsen
1908 – 2003

Buddy Ebsen, television icon of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, who started his career dancing on the big screen with Shirley Temple has died. He is best remembered for his TV roles, first as George Russel (sidekick to Davy Crockett), then as Jed Clampett and finally as Barnaby Jones.  He was 95.
 

Alex Gordon, who produced low-budget exploitation movies in the 1950s and '60s, including one of the ICS’s favorite punching bags THE SHE-CREATURE, has died.
Born in London, Gordon and his younger brother Richard both became avid fans of the movies and both made their careers in film. Alex enjoyed the American westerns of
the 30’s & 40’s and especially those of Gene Autry. Eventually he landed a job with the singing cowboy and rose to the vice presidency of Autry’s Flying A Productions. He was also the director of licensing for the Gene Autry Music Group. 
He also produced another ICS favorite THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED as well as SHAKE, RATTLE & ROCK and DRAGSTRIP GIRL, dear to the hearts of Barry and
myself. We got to talk to Richard Gordon at Fanex 9 and when we wandered on
to the subject of B westerns he said, “Oh, you should talk to my brother, he loves those
old movies and he knows everything about them”.  Wish we had. 
Alex Gordon was 80. 

Matt Jeffries, motion picture and television art director, has died at age 81. 
In the 1950s & 60s he designed many sets for television series and movies, but is best remembered for designing the Enterprise for television’s STAR TREK. The ship’s
engineering tubes are called "Jeffries Tubes" in his honor. He will be featured in a future DVD release of STAR TREK GENERATIONS.

THE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARDTHE LAST WARD
THE LAST WARD…
by John Ward

Several months ago, I tried to explain why I liked movies so much.  I think I did a pretty fair job of explaining that it wasn’t just about the movies, but the movie experience.  That experience includes the theater, the people you’re with, the food, the time, even the weather, if you’re at a drive-in.  But all of that’s just the gift wrap; we still want the present that’s inside.  After all, it is about the movies.
I’ve compiled all kinds of lists over the years describing my favorite movies, and when I look back at those lists, I realize they’re heavily weighted toward more recent films.  I’m not sure I can explain why.  Modern films have been more easily accessible, I guess, with the video explosion of the past few decades.  When I was a kid, there was one movie theater in town, and it showed one movie a week.  Our television in the years B.C. (Before Cable) got three channels, and I wasn’t allowed to stay up to watch movies until I was older.  So it was harder to get to the classics.
But I knew when a special movie moment came along.  It affected me in all sorts of ways; it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me cringe in fright.  These moments were not always found in great movies, either, or even good ones.  There have been a few golden memories that I found buried in some pretty smelly celluloid.  Collected together, however, these moments have provided a much clearer picture of my love for movies.  They are not especially cinematic landmarks, but they all had an impact on me.  Here are a few of them.

48 HRS. (1982) Eddie Murphy had already become well-known as a member of the Saturday Night Live comedy troupe, but his notoriety exploded into movie stardom after this film, and it can be traced to one scene:  the redneck bar.  Convict Murphy and his keeper, tough cop Nick Nolte, end up at a cowboy bar looking for information.  Murphy bets Nolte he can get the info they need with just his street smarts and his attitude working for him.  Nolte watches as this skinny little black guy proceeds to bully the entire clientele of the bar, taking it over by the sheer hurricane force of his personality.  I’ve never seen anything like it.

JAWS (1975) There are actually two scenes that do it for me in this film.  The opening attack, in which you never see the shark but are entirely aware of where it is and what it is doing, is a milestone of tension.  Whenever I hear people wondering if you can really have a scary movie without showing the scary monster, I always point to that scene.  The other scene that grabs me is the nighttime scene in the Orca galley, with the three principal leads eating dinner.  It starts with Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss trying to one-up one another with their various scars and injuries, then segues smoothly into a gripping monologue from Shaw about his experience on the U.S.S. Indianapolis.  The three leads (including Roy Scheider) then wind up harmonizing on “Show Me the Way to Go Home.”  It’s a funny, intense, but relaxing interlude, in between shark attacks. 

GOLDFINGER (1964) Usually regarded by fans as the best James Bond movie ever made, and in my opinion, it can be distilled to one particular scene.  After being captured, Bond (Sean Connery) wakes in darkness; when the lights click on, he realizes he is strapped to a metal table.  The villain Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) approaches and describes the mechanism pointing at Connery: an industrial laser.  Someone switches it on and Frobe continues to talk off-handedly, while the single red beam burns its way through the table, straight toward Connery’s crotch.  The tension is palpable; you can literally feel Bond’s mind working overtime, trying to come up with something, anything that will make Goldfinger turn off the laser.  Stalling for time, Connery asks, “Do you expect me to talk?” and Frobe comes back with the classic reply:  “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!”

THE THING (1982)  Science fiction?  Not on your life.  This was a true horror film, the same way that the original ALIEN was a haunted house film set in space.  But THE THING ratcheted up the scares and shocks in a way that had rarely been seen before.  It was the anti-JAWS, because it showed you everything: each manifestation of the creature was more terrifying, more disturbing than the last.  The most suspenseful scene in the film didn’t really bring the monster in until the very end.  I’m thinking of the scene in which Kurt Russell attempts to identify “who’s who” by checking everyone’s blood.  You just know one of the scientists is the alien in disguise; it’s a matter of waiting for the truth.  You squirm.  And squirm some more.  The truth, when it comes, does not present a sigh of relief; it simply signals an onrush of violence so chaotic, you almost wish the tension came back.

DIRTY HARRY (1971) One of the best cop movies of the ‘70s, and while it wasn’t nearly as gritty or realistic as THE FRENCH CONNECTION, a film from the same year, it was just as brutal, if not more so.  There is a moment midway through the film when Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) corners the killer (Andy Robinson) in the middle of a football stadium.  Harry yells, “Halt!”  The stadium lights come on, flooding the field.  The killer stops, puts his hands up, and Harry shoots him anyway.  When Harry demands the whereabouts of a kidnap victim, the killer blabbers about his rights, and what follows is a moment of torture so in-your-face, the camera cannot bear it; the point-of-view spirals up and away from the violence, ascending into the dark, leaving Eastwood and Robinson as two tiny, disappearing specks in the mist.  An unbelievable shot.

THE ODD COUPLE (1968) Most of the film is a two-character study of total opposites, a slob and a neat freak, hilariously played by Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.  It’s all very funny, but my favorite scene is just after a depressed Lemmon’s introduction at the credits; it’s a wonderful scene of male dialogue around a poker table, a scene that actually opened the play version.  Neil Simon never wrote anything funnier than the lines these men threw back and forth across the table.  Many of the lines identify the characters’ personalities. (“Okay, who wants to eat?  I got brown sandwiches and green sandwiches.”  “What’s the green?”  “It’s either very new cheese or very old meat.”  “I’ll take the brown.”)  It’s the best example I’ve ever seen of dialogue helping to set the scene.

GETTYSBURG (1993) An adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War novel that many thought was overly long.  At nearly four hours, those critics might have had a point, but the closing scene of the first half was worth the price of admission.  Jeff Daniels commands center stage as Col. Joshua Chamberlain, leader of the 20th Maine regiment, and charged with defending the far right flank of the Union line at Little Round Top.  The Confederates send wave after wave of soldiers up the hill to storm the line; time and again, Daniels’ men repel the attacks.  His men are exhausted, dirty, bloody, and at long last, out of ammunition.  The Confederates come yet again.  The men look to Daniels one last time.  He stares down the hill, then simply commands his men to “fix bayonets” for a charge.  It’s a simple, straightforward order; they’re out of ammo, so what else can they do?  It was one of the most heroic acts of wartime bravery I’ve ever seen on film.

GIANT (1956) Okay, now you’re thinking, where have all the genre pictures gone?  Hey, I never said they all had to be those kinds of movies.  Anyway, this film was probably at the apex of ‘50s melodrama; it contained the final film appearance of James Dean, and while he is strong in a role that ages him like no other young actor since Orson Welles in CITIZEN KANE, he has nothing to do with the scene I remember.  That honor goes to a scene near the very end of the film.  On their way home from a huge banquet thrown by rival Dean, millionaire Texas rancher Rock Hudson, wife Elizabeth Taylor, and assorted family members stop off at a roadside diner to eat.  They watch as a poor Mexican family is refused service by the burly owner of the diner.  Hudson, with his Mexican daughter-in-law sitting mortified across from him, stands up for the family, and proceeds to get beaten to a pulp, while the diner jukebox plays a rousing “Yellow Rose of Texas.”  It was racial tolerance disguised as ‘50s-style pulp, and it worked.

AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981) This film contains the single greatest transformation scene in the history of monster movies.  I still think it ranks as makeup genius Rick Baker’s crowning achievement, even though he has gone on to win several Oscars.  Things happen when David Naughton becomes a werewolf that old-timers like Jack Pierce and the Westmores could only have imagined.  When Pierce turned Lon Chaney Jr. into the Wolf Man, it was slow dissolves and a lot of yak hair (I think).  Naughton’s change is pain personified:  bones crack, feet stretch into claws, nose and mouth elongate into a nasty, fang-filled muzzle, hair rustles along the back like leaves in the wind.  You can’t look away.

THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001) As many club members know, the most indescribable pleasure I have had in a theater in the last few years has been Peter Jackson’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS.  There is nothing more pleasurable to a book and movie lover than to see a favorite novel translated perfectly onto the screen, and that has happened not once, but twice in the last two years.  I have many favorite scenes, but the one I always come back to is Gandalf’s (Ian McKellen) stand against the Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dum.  It is a marvel of suspense, excitement, and wonder.  The righteous fury on McKellen’s face is great acting; when the unthinkable happens, the audience is left as stunned and limp as the rest of the Fellowship.  I can watch this scene again and again and never get bored.  DVD is a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (1978) I said up front that there have been memorable movie moments in bad movies, and this is one I like to use as an example.  After filming SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and GREASE, producer Robert Stigwood thought he could do no wrong.  So he made this homage to the Beatles, packed it with some of the most popular music personalities of the period (Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees), and put it up there for us all to witness.  It remains one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life.  But… there is one scene that really works.  I can’t even remember the context (and I don’t particularly care), but hard-rock group Aerosmith shows up to cover “Come Together.”  It’s a great number; don’t ask me why, because I couldn’t tell you.  But it kept me from running out of the theater, screaming.

Looking back on this list, I cringe when I realize the oldest scene is from 1956.  I really do like old movies.  It’s just that these were the first scenes that came to mind.  So I have to go back into my memory vaults for more, and I’m pretty sure I could come up with something a tad… ummm… dustier.  But I’ll put that off for my next column.  In the meantime, I hope these movie moments have stoked the furnaces of your memory.  If so, I wish someone would start a forum thread and share a couple, because I’d love to hear them.
 See you next month!

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MAY CALENDAR
MARK THESE DATES
August 15-17   HORRORFIND
 

August 23  ICS meeting – NOT the last Saturday so make note!
 

August 22 -28   MARS is closer than ever before in recorded history – check it out!
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Have you seen these movies?????

BUY OR DIE  . . . . . . HALF OFF IS JUST THE BEGINNING!
CHOPPING MALL  1986

BY THE END OF THE DANCE SOME OF THE SORORITY SISTERS WERE DEAD ON THEIR FEET
KILLER PARTY  1986

THEY'RE HERE!
POLTERGEIST  1982

THERE'S ONLY ONE THING WRONG WITH THE DAVIS BABY . . . . 
IT'S ALIVE!  1974

A HORROR HORDE OF CRAWL-AND-CRUSH GIANTS CLAWING OUT OF THE EARTH FROM 
MILE-DEEP CATACOMBS!
THEM!  1954