#59 December 2003
JUST READ ALL THE CLUB NEWS
MONTHLY ICS PRESENTATION
ALL THE LATEST LOTR TOYS
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|NOVEMBER MEETING – SOTHEBY’S MEETS PERRY HALL
As promised, The Masked Auctioneer and The Minimum Bid Kid made a welcome appearance to host the club’s auction. The Michael Ripper books were flying off the shelves as well as packages of tapes, DVD’s , books and collectibles. Troy Farwell was the evening’s highest bidder - $70 for signed art portfolios – that he won after a fierce bidding war with Steve Vaught. Andrew Kent’s OCD was in full force as he began bidding on 90% of the items for bid. All in all, the club took in $340. Thanks to all who contributed goods and to auction helpers Norman Prentiss, Regina Vallerani and John Ward, as well as our always entertaining auctioneers Barry Murphy and Joe Plempel (they always make it look easy – but thanks for the hard work!)
NOVEMBER MEETING PART 2 – NOT J. LO, IT’S GIALLO
NOVEMBER MEETING PART 3 – WE’RE A CLASSY CLUB…
NOVEMBER MEETING PART 4 – IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, IT’S…
THE FIRST ANNUAL PLEMPELLYS
CALENDARS ARE HERE
NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
YANKEE SWAP ON THE HORIZON
THE BEST OF 1958 OR SOUTHWEST SURPRISE?
ICS ANNIVERSARY BASH AT THE SENATOR
DUES ARE COMING
The following list of people have renewed for 2004. If you are
not listed, please see Regina.
TELL IT TO HENDO – THE 2004 ELECTIONS
OUR NOVEMBER PRESENTATION –ITALIAN HORROR!
Giallo is Italian for yellow. In the decades after WWII, pulp crime thrillers in Italy were churned out in paperbacks with yellow covers. The popular books became known as giallos; as more and more films were made based on the same material the name stuck to the films as well. One influential author was Edgar Wallace (which classic films should recoginize from KING KONG and THE HUMAN MONSTER) who wrote a series of crime novels in the 1910's and 1920's.
In 1963, Mario Bava directed the first true Italian Giallo: THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and followed it up the next year with BLOOD AND BLACK LACE. The motivating factors in these early thrillers are greed, lust and hatred rather than psychological disturbance, which later came to be the hallmark of the genre.
Towards the end of the 60’s, the genre moved to become more daring. Films like Umberto Lenzi’s SO SWEET, SO PERVERSE (1969) and ORGASMO (1968) counted graphic sex and violence, drug abuse, fetishism, insanity, sadism and a general tone of amorality among its thematic elements. By the end of the sixties the trend was cemented as the genre made it’s final metamorphosis. 1969 saw the opening of Dario Argento’s first film BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE. A psychological thriller which by examining repressed/violent characters who live among us peacefully, striking out without warning or apparent motive, set the standards for virtually hundreds of Gialli to come.
1971 saw fourteen Gialli opening in Italy, most of them to great success with the the most popular being Argento and Martino’s new outings CAT O’ NINE TAILS and THE CASE WITH THE SCORPIONS TALE. Another big hit that year was Lucio Fulci’s second gialli A LIZARD IN A WOMANS SKIN. This highly psychedelic thriller plays out on a swinging London backdrop with two hippies on acid witnessing a murder but only remembering seeing ” A lizard in a woman’s skin”. The film ended up in court due to a scene with mutilated dogs, but Fulci was freed after demonstrating the special effects to the judges. But the effect was already in, at the box office they loved it. And subsequently in 1972 no less than 24 Gialli premiered in Italy. The most controversial of the year was Massimo Dallamano’s WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLANGE? A harsh masterpiece where Fabio Testi portrays Henry, a London schoolteacher who is having an affair with a student. One day during a romantic afternoon on the river the girl witnesses the murder of one of her schoolmates. Henry falls under suspicion and desperately tries to free himself by finding the real killer only to expose a teen group sex club at the school. All the while the murders of schoolgirls continues with an elusive assassin killing by stabbing girls in the crotch and leaving them to bleed to death.
1975 saw the release of what many consider to be Dario Argentos magnum opus DEEP RED. It was Argento’s international breakthrough. DEEP RED both summarizes and refines the stylistic and thematic elements of the genre. Italian electronic-rock combo GOBLIN supplied an avant-garde rock soundtrack which also became a trademark of the genre. In the leading role David Hemmings witnesses the murder of a psychic. He is the first on the scene of the crime, but what has he actually seen? As he investigates the brutal murders continue and soon he is in mortal danger himself. DEEP RED explores a theme common in Giallo land - Childhood trauma resulting in murder and it does it in a visual style so unique that some argued for his place as successor to Hitchcock.
Although Gialli still went into production on quite a regular basis up until 1980, after 1975 they where mostly low budget cash-ins on the previous popularity of the trend. The most recent Giallo is the Italian box office hit SLEEPLESS (2001), directed by none other than Dario Argento. The Giallo seems to be one of the few staples of Italian genre film—they’re never really out of vogue.
A proper Giallo should follow certain rules.
Rule #1: Several persons must be murdered.
Rule #2: The killings should be shown in graphic detail.
Rule #3: The identity of the killer must not be given away during these
Rule #4: The killer must use various methods of killing. Innovations
are welcome, but so are the traditional black gloves, the razorknife and
the bathtub. Firearms do not count!
Rule #5: There may be several different killers, and, if so, one of
them may use a firearm.
Rule #6: It is preferable that the killer be unmasked by an amateur
detective, who may be an intended victim, and not the police.
Rule #7: The killer may crossdress, but only when killing.
Rule #8: The killer may die as the victim of an accident when about
to be caught.
Rule #9: The killings should be triggered by a traumatic experience
the killer has had in the past. Economical motives are disappointing! It
doesn't matter if the explanation is far-fetched.
Rule #10: The film, or at least its director, must be Italian.
|MOORE PARTS CARNIVALE VEIL
Donald D. Moore, co-executive producer of HBO's supernatural drama series CARNIVALE, said that the upcoming final first-season episodes will answer some questions raised by the offbeat show-but not all of them. "By the end of the first season you're going to understand a lot more about 'Management,'" Moore said in an interview. "You'll know who's running the carnival." The show deals with the strange performers in a Depression-era traveling freak show.
Moore-who is also executive producer of the SCI FI Channel's upcoming original miniseries BATTLESTAR GALACTICA-added that audiences will understand more about Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl) and Brother Justin (Clancy Brown) and why they are connected. "Even though those two characters aren't going to meet in the first season-which is a non-traditional way, that the hero and the villain aren't going to meet year one at all-you're going to understand that they're both players in a much larger story," Moore said.
Moore added, "People aren't in the carnivale by accident. You'll start to go, 'Oh my God, that guy is connected to the backstory, and that guy isn't.' You'll start to see that Brother Justin is on an arc, on a climb to power, and that Ben is trying to grapple with a role he didn't want, but was born into. That's where you'll be by the end of the first season. You'll start to understand where it's all going. But it's not really going to answer every single question."
TARZAN HALTED IN MID SWING
MORE JAKE 2.0 TO UPLOAD ON WEDNESDAYS
ANGEL STAR TURNS WICKED
TREKS TAKEI RECALLS INTERNMENT
NEW ANIME TV COMING IN 2004
WOLF’S RAIN is still yet to see a DVD release in America,
and if the American licensor (Bandai) knows what’s good for them, they’ll
put the first volume out before the show goes on the air. Anime fangirls
are a ferocious bunch, and they’ll crush any AS “n00b” in their way to
get at the limited edition goodies that are sure to be included.
"Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after 100 years, they can still surprise you." - Gandalf the Gray.
"I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. I choose a mortal life." Arwen of Imladris
"The battle for Helms Deep is over. The battle for Middle Earth is about to begin."-Gandalf the White
"Let this be the hour when we draw swords together."- Theoden of Rohan.
"Give it to us raw and wiggling. You keep nasty chips!"-Gollum
"We shall see The Shire again."- Merry Brandybuck
|December 12--14 PhilCon 2003
Marriott Center City Philadelphia http://www.philcon.org/
Principal Speaker: Jack McDevitt
Artist Guests Of Honor: Greg & Tim Hildebrandt
Special Guests: Peter David & Harry Harrison
December 27 – 29 Evecon 20 Frederick, MD
January 9 - 11: Chiller Theatre presents Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors
January 24 - ICS ANNIVERSARY BASH AT THE SENATOR
February 13-15: Farpoint is a Baltimore-based, Science Fiction Media Convention, held each February at Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn. We're a Fan-Run, Fan-Friendly Con, with a lot more to offer than your basic Autographs-And-A-Dealers-Room "Show."
February 13-14: Katsucon is an annual festival of Japanese animation. For our tenth anniversary year, we will return to the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City, where we will bring you the latest anime straight from Japan, plus great guests, panels, dealers, cosplay, gaming and much, much more!
April of 2004: Johns Hopkins
Film Festival 2004.
May 28-31 2004: BALTICON 38 At
the Wyndham Inner Harbor Hotel.
|HEINLEIN’S FIRST OFFERS INSIGHTS
SF writer Spider Robinson said that the discovery of Robert A. Heinlein's soon-to-be-published first novel, For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs, offers a glimpse at the legendary writer's earliest thought processes. Robinson wrote the introduction to the book, which will be released in January 2004 by Scribner.
"It predates any previously known attempts at writing by Heinlein. So it's our very first look at the functioning of the mind that would go on to invent modern science fiction, put men on the moon and teach an entire generation the three irreducible requirements of a civilized mind," Robinson said. "[And the three requirements are] make up your own mind always, but first, think it through, but first get the facts, to as many decimal places as possible."
Heinlein wrote For Us, The Living between 1938 and 1939, and the story revolves around Naval Airman Perry Nelson, who awakens in 2086 following a car accident in 1939. Robinson said that For Us, The Living is interesting for several reasons. "For one thing, it is our only sustained look at Heinlein's picture of the world before he met the most important person in his life, his third wife, Virginia Gerstenfeld Heinlein, and thus our only way to accurately assess the magnitude of her contribution to his thought and his art, which turns out to be enormous," Robinson said "At the time he composed For Us, The Living at age 32, he was, for example, basically a radical left-wing Democrat who subscribed to the economic theories of Upton Sinclair's EPIC party. At one point in this book, he comes perilously close to calling for a cradle-to-grave welfare state! That was soon to change, and drastically."
Robinson added, "Equally interesting are the opinions and attitudes that would persist for his lifetime, some of them most startling for that time. A delicious minor pleasure is a detailed, ingeniously worked out 'future history,' bridging 1939 and 2086, which omits World War II!"
NEW ARMY OF DARKNESS COMIC COMING OUT
MANGA – JAPANESE COMICS UPDATE
2nd editions of both “Battle Angel Alita” and “Cowboy Bebop” are being released, this time in the original Japanese format of right-to-left. This also means that there will be a slight price drop as well. “Cowboy Bebop” is the manga version of the popular futuristic pulp-fiction tale of bounty hunters, “Battle Angel Alita” is Yukito Kushiro’s classic about the beautiful cyborg who has no memories.
“Shirahime Syo: Snow Goddess Tales” by Clamp, published by Tokyopop.
“Hellsing”, published by Dark Horse, 12/12/03 SRP 13.95
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.
|MCKELLEN SPEAKS OUT AT BIFAs
Sir Ian McKellen, who received the British Independent Film award for Variety U.K. Personality in a ceremony in London on Nov. 4, had strong words for the British film industry in his acceptance speech. McKellen, who appeared as Gandalf in the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and Magneto in X-MEN and X2, criticised his country's film industry for its timidity, lack of ambition and failure to recognize the wealth of technical and artistic talent in Britain, the paper reported.
After accepting the award from his LOTR co-star Orlando Bloom, McKellen said, "Why are we happy in Britain to settle for small, independent films? ... Why wasn't a great film like LORD OF THE RINGS made in this country?" The British Independent Film awards, now in their sixth year, honor the best in British filmmaking.
STAR WARS -EPISODES VII-IX POSSIBLE?
GRADUATING TO THE DARK SIDE
FIGHTING FOR TIMELINE
CAINE ENTERS THE BAT CAVE
WOLVERINE IN LINE FOR 007?
BATTLE OF THE GALAXY -ALIEN VS PREDATOR
DEVELOPING THE CHUBBCHUBBS
OWEN REIGNS AS ARTHUR
DO ANIME AND OSCARS MIX?
MOVIES AT THEIR BEST
MOVIES INSTEAD OF CHAT ROOMS
NOT QUITE A MOVIE BUT OH SO MUCH FUN
Saruman, Grima, and The Scorning of The Shire: Has Peter Jackson gone
"At the end of The Two Towers, Gandalf says 'The battle for Helms
Deep is over. The battle for Middle Earth is about to begin.'
"You would not part an old man from his walking stick?"-Gandalf the White
"The eye of the enemy is moving."- Legolas
"It is mine to give to whom I will, like my heart."-Arwen of Imladris
"An alliance once existed between elves and men. Long ago we fought and died together. We've come to honor that allegiance. We are proud to fight alongside men once more." - Haldir of Lorien.
"I would have followed you my brother, my captain, my king." - Borimir of Gondor.
"Nobody tosses a dwarf!"- Gimli
"I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone. I choose a mortal life." Arwen of Imladris
"So be it! You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring." Elrond of Rivendell
"Oh yes, Lembras Bread. And Look! MORE Lembras Bread."- Sam
"There is still hope."- Princess Arwen of Imladris
"The Precious will be ours."- Gollum
"Become who you were born to be!"- Elrond of Rivendell
|Collectibles Corner – by Dave “I am Hendo” Henderson
Since my good buddy Garyzilla was not able to write a toys column this month, I thought I’d step in and pinch-hit for him.
Let’s face it, besides lots of snow, December is also bringing the much anticipated final installment of LOTR: The Return of the King. To go with it, two companies, “Toy Biz” and “Playalong Toys” are making assorted action figures from the movie. These are not the toys we grew up with. Today’s action figures are highly detailed, very accurate renditions of their subject. Truly collector’s pieces. I thought I would list some of what’s available from the new movie:
Toy Biz 6 inch figures offer: Frodo in Goblin Armor, Gollum with stone wall set, Eomer with sword set, Aragorn with sword set and Sam in Orc Armor set. The detail is remarkable.
Toy Biz also offers the following 12 inch figures: Legolas, Gimli, Legolas, and an Armored Troll. I’ve seen these, and again, the detail is remarkable.
The There and Back Gift Pack is based on a scene from "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King." This set features 4" versions of your favorite hobbits in all new costuming: Merry, Pippin, Frodo, Sam and an exclusive Bilbo. Also includes a replica of Bilbo Baggins' journal with authentic writing from the journal used in the film.
Now how about the new offerings from Playalong Toys? Glad you asked. They, too, got a license to manufacture ROTK items, such as: Gimli and Legolas sharing a ride on a horse, The Return of the King 6" Figure Bundles- one set which includes four action figures: Frodo in Orc Armor, Sam in Orc Armor, Eomer, and Uruk-Hai with Crossbow; another set that contains Eowyn, Gollum with Precious Phrase, Gollum with Smeagol Phrase, Pro Log Bilbo, and Treebeard .
There are also two assortment sets: The Lord Of The Rings Rohan Army 10-Pack includes King Theoden, Rohan Bearer, Rohan Footsoldier, Rohan Archer and Rohan Soldier, and The Lord of the Rings Warriors and Battle Beasts assortment features fully articulated figures from the representatives of Middle Earth. These highly detailed sculptures feature computer scanned likeness of the characters. Includes environmental display base and multiple weapons and accessories. So now you can stage your own epic LOTR battles!
More figures coming soon: Termite-infested Treebeard,& Extreme Makeover Eowyn, Bath Time Aragorn, "Why the hell am I not in this Movie" Saruman, and Centerfold Search Aerwyn! Stay tuned!
See YOU- at the Movies!
|December 5 THE LAST SAMUARI
Rating: R for strong violence and battle sequences.
Cast - Tom Cruise, Ken Watanabe, , Koyuki, Tony Goldwyn
Set in the late 1870s, this epic film shows the beginnings of the modernization of Japan, as the nation evolves past a feudal society, as symbolized by the eradication of the samurai way of life. We see this happen from the point of view of an alcoholic Civil War veteran turned Winchester guns spokesman, Captain Woodrow Algren (Cruise), who arrives in Japan to train the troops of the emperor, Meiji, as a break away from the tradition of relying on employed samurai warriors to protect territories. When Algren is injured in combat and captured by the samurai, he learns about their warrior honor code from their leader, Katsumoto, which forces him to decide which side of the conflict he actually wants to be on.
December 17th LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING
December 25th - PAYCHECK
December 25th PETER PAN
Now that ADV carefully remastered and released both GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA and SOUTHERN CROSS, it makes sense that they would want to re-do their DVD release of ROBOTECH- they already have the picture cleaned up, now all they need to do is re-cut it. Which is exactly what they’ll be doing starting in January. It’s the time-honored anime tradition of milking the dead cash cow.
So what to you do if a products interest starts to drop off? Make a box set with all the previously released DVDs in it, or possibly redo the DVDs with just some new extra features, maybe some new footage, maybe clean up whatever wasn’t done right the first time and then smack a “special edition” sticker on the outside. So if you haven’t bought it yet, good, now’s your chance. If you already have it on DVD, well get your wallet again, because you’ll want this version too. The first volume comes out in January, with the first 12 episodes in a special edition slipcase.
Humanoid, released 12/02/03 SRP 29.98
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi volume 1, released 12/16/03 SRP 29.99
Best actor Oscar for HARRY AND TONTO, 1974
82, a British character actor best known for playing spy boss M in four
James Bond movies, died at his home in Dorset, England.
who played the role of the young computer whiz Lucas Wolenczak on the submarine
adventure TV show SEAQUEST DSV, has died. He was 27.
veteran actor of stage, film and television has died at age 71. He was
born in King's Mountain, N.C. and attended U.N.C. at Chapel Hill.
best remembered as Blondie, the wife of Dagwood Bumstead (played
Academy Award-nominated art director for THE TEN COMMANDMENTS , has died
at age 91. He had a nearly four-decade career at Paramount Pictures and
was one of the last of the great studio system art directors.
by John Ward
I was tempted to do another “ellipsis” column this month; the time seemed
right. So I went back to the first “ellipsis” column I did, back
in the summer, to see what I had talked about (I didn’t want to repeat
myself), and as so often happens, I came across another column idea entirely.
So the magic ellipsis will have to wait.
Come back next month, and we’ll compare notes on the movies of 2003.
|ICS CALENDER –the Month in review
Dec 17th LOTR opens
Dec 25th Christmas
Dec 27th ICS meeting
a schedule of genre-oriented movies for the month of December on