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RISE OF THE TALKIES
Dave Willard presented the finale of his 2 part series on silent films.
The focus was on early Hollywood and the decline of silent films.
Many interesting facts from that night: Cecile B. DeMille was the
original riding pants/high boot wearing director that so many of the cartoons
parodied. Why that garb? The “stages” were full of nettles.
And how many of us knew that directors often employed orchestras and bands
to play motivational music for the actors? And what may be even more
surprising is what silent actors missed most of all when transitioning
to the talkies…it was the sound of the photographer hand-cranking the camera…
And to top it off, Dave handed out a list of over 100 lost transitional
films from the end of the 20’s – some featuring famous stars, like Lionel
Barrymore, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, and Rin Tin Tin and others featuring
actors whose voices just didn’t make the cut, like Pola Negri and Rex (the
Thanks for entertaining and informing us, Dave!! You’ve
whetted our appetites for your next presentation (2 years away?) on pre-code
WE NOW KNOW THE UNKNOWN
Lon Chaney and Joan Crawford gave amazing silent performances in Todd
Browning’s THE UNKNOWN. The film was an interesting portrayal of
a criminal who hid amongst a circus troupe, masquerading as an armless
knife thrower. Complications ensue when the owner’s daughter reveals
her disgust with men’s hands. So, how can he win her heart as a fully
functional male? Check out the DVD to find the answer.
BETTER THAN THANKSGIVING
And of course, ICS feasted on the annual Halloween pot luck .
There was barbeque, wings, shepherd’s pie, sushi, mac & cheese plus
genre desserts like a Brain Mold, Eyeballs on a Stick and Zombie
Cake and lots more. THANK YOU so much everyone who brought in food
or helped set up or clean up!!
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
Once again, ICS members competed to see who could stay up the latest
during the all night movie marathon. The die-hards viewed ZATOICHI,
the uncut 2004 DAWN OF THE DEAD and VAMPIRE CIRCUS. The person or
persons who stayed up the latest will be awarded with the Plemplee Iron
Man Award at the next meeting.
HELP WANTED: FOOD CO-ORDINATOR
So, what’s a food co-ordinator? Someone who makes sure that food
is opened in a logical order. If we have two bottles of coke, make
sure the first one is done before opening the second. Keeping extra
food either in the kitchen or in the ICS storage box until what’s on the
counter has been consumed. John Ward is in this temporary role right
now – but we are looking for his replacement. If you have good organizational
skills and a dose of common sense, think about applying! If you are
interested, you know the drill - contact a board member.
Joe Plempel is giving up his role as keeper of the equipment.
Andrew Kent volunteered to be his replacement. This job is a very
key part to the success of ICS meetings. The equipment person must
arrive early to set up the equipment, stay late for second features or
all-nighters and keep the equipment safe when not transporting it to and
Joe – Thank you for handling this job for all of these years!
You are truly a dedicated member. Andrew – Thank you for taking on
this new responsibility!
MIDNIGHT FEATURES – PART TWO
Remember this new policy from last month’s issue? Second features
will only be shown at the January, April, July and October meetings.
Several members questioned this policy and had their say at the October
meeting. The board is going to review the policy and approach the
club with a new policy at the next meeting. If you have any ideas
or comments, please contact a board member or be prepared to discuss it
at the November meeting.
DECEMBER YANKEE SWAP – NEW RULE!
Coming up – another annual event - the December Yankee Swap on December
18th. Please select a gift up to $25 in value. There is one
additional rule. Please include either a receipt or gift slip with
your Yankee Swap contribution. In case someone receives a second
copy of KILL BILL or a Jim Carrey movie, they can graciously accept it
in the swap and exchange for the gift of their choice later on. We
appreciate your co-operation! Plus, our movie choice will be ‘It
Came From the Yankee Swap Table’… So keep that in mind whilst shopping!
NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
NOT THE LAST SATURDAY---NOT THE LAST SATURDAY !!!
Our next meeting will be held on Saturday November 20th 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.
THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME
Our ICS Academic winner, John Weber plans to give us insight
into the original THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME. Given John’s knowledge
of the genre, it should be a most illuminating evening.
2005 Calendars are now available. The theme is big Japanese
Monsters. Steve Vaught was the first to spot the naked lady hidden
amongst the monster pics. Calendars are $15. See Regina at
the next meeting to pick up yours. We only have 1 extra calendar,
so if you didn’t reserve one earlier and want one, act fast!
The annual ICS Election is coming up at the January meeting.
Dave Henderson, who has been on the board since day one of the club, is
ending his term as a board member. Over the past several years, he
has contributed much as a board member, such as securing our current location,
arriving early to set up the building, participating in all conventions,
and handling reservations for the 5th anniversary bash at the Senator.
And this is just a small representation of what Hendo has done over the
past 6 years.
The current list of candidates is: Joe Plempel, Regina Vallerani,
John Ward, and Dave Willard. If you are interested in running, please
let Dave Henderson know.
It’s time to renew your dues. The Cost is $25 per person
or $40 per couple. Family memberships are available at $25 for the
initial family member and $15 each for the second to nth family member.
Dues can be paid in one of the following 3 ways:
Cash or Check to Regina at a meeting
Mail a check to Regina at:
1 E CHASE ST APT 405
BALTIMORE, MD 21202
Via Paypal to ICSFILM@HOTMAIL.COM. There is a Paypal link from
the ICS Website (WWW.ICSFILM.NET).
This is the list of people who have paid their dues. If
you have paid your dues, but are not on this list, please contact Regina
at RVALLER107@HOTMAIL.COM to correct the omission.
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GOYER CROSSES THRESHOLD
BLADE TRINITY writer/director David Goyer said that his
upcoming drama pilot for CBS, THRESHOLD, is "a science fiction show for
people who don't like science fiction." "Threshold is a TV pilot that I'm
developing," Goyer said. "I'm not writing it. A young writer named Bragi
Schut is writing it. ... It has to do with alien invasions, although people
will never really see the aliens involved. And it's meant to be filmed
in a more low-tech way, like 28 DAYS LATER or something like that: ...
a way of telling a very big story in a kind of microcosmic arena."
Goyer said that he and CBS are still waiting on a script
for the pilot, which he may also direct. "We have to see how it comes in,"
THRESHOLD is one of several projects Goyer is contemplating,
including several SF&F movies. BLADE TRINITY, the third film in the
vampire franchise Goyer has written and the first he's directed, hits theaters
on Dec. 8.
ENTERPRISE EP SCORES WELL
The first of three Star Trek: ENTERPRISE episodes featuring
guest star Brent Spiner ranked first in ratings among men 18-49 in its
premiere Oct. 29. The episode, "Borderland," drew a 1.7 rating among men
18-49 and also improved ratings for UPN in the Friday 8 p.m. ET/PT timeslot
among total viewers, with an audience of 3.2 million.
The second of the three-episode arc, "Cold Station 12,"
airs Nov. 5. In it, Spiner's character, the criminal scientist Arik Soong,
is reunited with his genetically engineered creations called Augments,
who break into a medical outpost where Soong once worked to steal the embryos
of hundreds more potential Augments. The third episode, "The Augments,"
airs Nov. 12.
NEW SHOWS ARE PEOPLE’S CHOICE
ABC's new SF series LOST, its freshman dramedy DESPERATE
HOUSEWIVES and The WB's JACK & BOBBY were among the nominees for favorite
new TV drama in the 31st annual People's Choice Awards, which were announced
Oct. 26. LOST’S Matthew Fox also got a nomination for favorite male TV
star. Fans can vote for their favorites on the awards' official Web site;
the winners will be announced in a Jan. 9 broadcast on CBS.
NBC's FATHER OF THE PRIDE was among the nominees for favorite
new TV comedy. ABC's ALIAS took a nod for favorite TV drama, and its star,
Jennifer Garner, got a nomination for favorite female TV star.
movienews movienews Silver Screen movienews movienews
UNDER THE SEA
The latest comic book adaptation project to get the red
rubber stamp of Hollywood approval is Atlantis Rising, a cult graphic novel
from Platinum Studios, whose black-and-white Men In Black comic has already
been plucked from near-obscurity and given the blockbuster treatment. The
political sci-fi thriller Atlantis Rising envisions a future where two
civilizations co-exist — one on land and one living far beneath the ocean
waves. When open war breaks out between the underwater dwellers and those
on the surface, the fate of the entire world hangs in the balance.
Producer Gale Anne Hurd, veteran of THE ABYSS, ALIENS
and the TERMINATOR franchise, has taken control over the early stages of
the adaptation. Platinum also is partnering with Icarus Studios to develop
a massively multiplayer online game in tandem with the film. Atlantis was
created by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and written by Scott O. Brown. It belongs
to what Platinum calls the same "Macroverse", which also includes COWBOYS
& ALIENS set up at Sony, and UNIQUE set up at Touchstone.
TAKASHI SHIMIZU’S HOLLYWOOD GRUDGE
When acclaimed director Takashi Shimizu was asked to remake
his own hit film, JU-ON: THE GRUDGE, Shimizu accepted the challenge, but
not without some initial reluctance. "At first I wasn't interested in doing
the remake, because I'd done the original and thought I was done", the
director explained through an interpreter. "But Sam Raimi asked me again
saying that he wanted this sense of aggression to come across in an American
film plus the fact that the remake of The Ring did very well, convinced
me that I should do the Hollywood remake."
In the new version, Sarah Michelle Geller plays an American
nurse living and working in Tokyo, who is exposed to a mysterious supernatural
curse, one that locks a person in a powerful rage before claiming their
life and spreading to another victim. Asked why he thinks Japanese horror
has successfully crossed over into America, Shimizu feels that "Japanese
horror is genuinely scarier than their American counterparts," he explains.
"There's sophistication in Japanese scariness, of which there are two types.
Japanese horror is intended to give audiences more mental scares, while
in Hollywood it's more simple surprising scares. I think audiences want
to be more scared than in traditional Hollywood films, and Japanese films
Shimizu says he wants to eventually get away from horror,
but is developing a horror comedy back in Japan. He doesn't rule out the
idea of a return to Hollywood in the near future. Meanwhile, he hopes to
scare up a storm at the box office when THE GRUDGE opens nationwide Oct.
MORE GRUDGES AND A PROM NIGHT
Screenwriter Stephen Susco, whose film THE GRUDGE starring
Sarah Michelle Gellar, opens in October, said that he's going to be quite
busy over the next year or so. He's just finished writing a remake of the
Jamie Lee Curtis scarefest PROM NIGHT for Sony/Columbia, which hopefully
will hit the screens sometime around May or June next year, a film he penned
called THRESHOLD is close to finding a director and he's also at work on
a science-fiction epic for Warner called THE FORGE OF GOD.
Susco also hints that a sequel to THE GRUDGE might also
be in the works. Which means Sarah Michelle Gellar won't have to 'work
for food' for too much longer.
Gellar Heads To Southland
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s next film looks likely to be Southland
Tales, which was written and will be directed by Donnie Darko auteur Richard
Kelly. "I had seen Donnie Darko, and I thought Richard Kelly was pretty
much a genius," Gellar said. "We met and he told me this idea he had for
his follow-up film."
Gellar added that she took the role based on the original
ideas in the script. "I pretty much would have said yes blindly, but it
was just such a great character, and he just had so many great ideas that
it was something I was definitely interested in doing. It's impossible
to explain, really. If someone hadn't seen Donnie Darko, or didn't know
anything about it, could you imagine trying to describe it? 'OK, it's about
a boy and this imaginary bunny?' Richard Kelly's movies are so abstract
that they're somewhat difficult to pigeonhole. But Southland Tales is basically
[set] over a Fourth of July weekend during an election year, and it's about
the chaos in the future [in 2008], and what happens to Hollywood. It's
sort of a biting comment on our tabloid society. Does that work?"
Gellar said that the film doesn't have the same kind of
SF and fantasy elements as Donnie Darko, but it's still a work in progress.
"Not as much as Donnie Darko. There are no imaginary talking bunnies, at
least not yet. There may be talking bunnies by the time we film it." Southland
Tales will be released in 2005.
SHADOW OF THE CANDYMAN
Tony Todd (CANDYMAN) isn't through with death just yet.
The 49-year-old genre actor with the recognizable husky, baritone voice
went a few rounds with the walking dead in Tom Savini's Night of the Living
Dead remake. He's going to be aiming for the head once again in Fever Dreams'
sophomore effort tentatively titled SHADOW. Currently shooting in the Philadelphia
area, SHADOW features Todd in the title role, a practitioner of blood rituals
whose execution sparks a prison riot that leads to the penitentiary being
closed down. When it reopens 20 years later as a women's prison, an inmate
gifted with both psychic and martial arts abilities senses Shadow's lingering
presence—and he eventually resurrects, along with an army of flesh-eating
SHADOW marks the directorial debut of Derek Wan. Wan's
cinematography background mostly consists of Hong Kong features like Jet
Li's Fist of Legend and Once Upon a Time in China V. He's taking a little
bit of that kung-fu action he's accustomed to and is applying it to Shadow
which is supposedly a heavy horror/action hybrid. Actress/martial artist
Carla Greene plays the heroine, with Tony Leung Siu-Hung, whose credits
include Jackie Chan's TWIN DRAGONS and DRUNKEN MASTER II among many others,
choreographing the action. The script is by Fangoria's Michael Gingold,
based on a story by Richard Siegel, with makeup FX by Brian Spears and
Peter Gerner of G&S Effects and Canadian artist Allan (WRONG TURN)
Cooke. Fever Dreams made its debut with 2003's Flesh for the Beast widely
distributed by Media Blasters.
As previously reported, The Chronicles of Narnia: The
Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe is currently filming in New Zeland.
Director Andrew Adamson (SHREK) recently spoke about the filming locations.
Outside of the studios, the battle scenes have been shot at the huge plains
and glaciers near Flock Hill, Christchurch, and scenes featuring Aslan's
camp and training grounds, near Oamaru. After Christmas, some of the winter
scenes will be shot in the Czech Republic and Poland because the snow is
not deep enough in New Zealand.
Make no mistake this is a big production with a $100 million+
budget and well more than half of the film augmented with computer effects.
Shooting wraps soon, but the movie will need a full year of post production
as it's on such a large scale. Weta workshop head Richard Taylor, KNB makeup
guru Howard Berger and VFX supervisor Dean Wright confirmed that both the
film's opening wartime in Britain and the fantasy creature battle scenes
towards the end have been greatly expanded upon from their short mentions
in the book. The other books, especially The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
have been used as guides to working out the intricate details of this world.
The lion Aslan came up and they confirmed he'll be 99.5%
CGI, though as photorealistic as technology can be these days. The other
0.5% is animatronics, but no details were revealed. The Stone table scenes
are being shot right now. No voice has yet been cast for Aslan. The Beavers
will be CG, over 23 different species of creatures have been created by
the KNB FX guys for the film including Minotaurs and Minoboars, and Mr.
Tumnus is a half man/half make-up deal. Tumnus, played by James McAvoy
who's best known as the 'rising to power' son Leto II in the Children of
Dune mini-series and most recently played Paul Bettany's brother in WIMBLEDON,
has CG legs but his upper body will use quite a few prosthetics including
a whole bunch of body hair along with horns and facial details.
Now, the biggest news is that the fourth book in the series
Prince Caspian is already under consideration for the sequel with a writer
being readied to have a go at adapting it. The film won't move past early
stages until the first film comes out.
THE DIRECTOR OF STEEL
Bryan Singer, the director who brought the X-Men to the
big screen with such success over the course of two movies (and, in doing
so, paved the way for the resurgence of comic book properties such as Spider-Man,
The Hulk, and even DC’s Batman Begins), has jumped ship and signed a deal
to direct Warner Brothers’ long-gestating Superman movie, following hot
on the heels of McG’s recent departure from the project. Joining Singer
on the flick will be writers Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, who penned
X2: X-Men United. No word yet if X-Men executive producer Tom DeSanto,
the man who first brought the mighty Marvel mutants to Singer’s attention
and was seen by many as guardian of the comics lore on-set, will join them.
Filming on SUPERMAN is scheduled to start in November, in Australia.
The move has sent shockwaves through the film (and comics)
industry. It had long been presumed that Singer was a lock to direct X-Men
3, and that he was first going to direct a remake of Logan’s Run in Vancouver
later this year. Now it seems that that project is on hold, and while X3
will still go ahead, it will do so without Singer at the helm.
BRANDON ROUTH IS NEW SUPERMAN
Relative unknown actor Brandon Routh will be taking on
the title role in Warner Bros. Pictures' Superman. Director Bryan Singer
and crew are headed to Australia in November to begin production. Routh's
credits include One Life to Live, Gilmore Girls, Will & Grace and Cold
Case. He recently wrapped his first feature role in Deadly, starring opposite
That '70s Show star Laura Prepon.
Meanwhile, the film's screenwriter, Dan Harris, revealed
new details about the plot. "He'll begin in his late 20s. He lost his powers
in Superman 2 and now he has the powers back. But something has happened
because he's been away for a long time," says Harris. "We're taking off
from the first two Superman films with Christopher Reeve. We use his history
and then move on with big twists and great special effects. He adds that
they are "not going to do the origin story again. Our view is if you're
over 25 years old, then you've seen the Reeve films and that's Superman
to you. If you're under 25, then you watch TV's Smallville, and that's
Superman to you."
X-MEN 3 GETS A WRITER
Things looked grim for X-Men 3 when director Bryan Singer
and his writers, Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty left the X-MEN franchise
recently, but the pieces are quickly being put back together. Simon Kinberg
has been hired on as the new writer. Kinberg is quietly making a name for
himself in Hollywood – and with Fox and Marvel especially. He’s already
carried out rewrites on both ELEKTRA and FANTASTIC FOUR, has written xXx:
STATE OF THE UNION for Sony, and is a huge comic book fan. "I'm a religious
reader of the comics, and I loved the first two movies," he said. "I had
a great experience with Fox and Marvel on the other projects, and when
they came to me and asked me if I had any interest in X3, I was ecstatic.
I grew up on them, and I love these comics, and it's exciting to take a
whack at making the third the biggest and best in the trilogy; it's our
RETURN OF THE KING.”
Fox is now beginning to press ahead with making deals
for those members of the X-cast whose deals ran out after two movies. That
group includes Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Halle
Berry (Storm) and James Marsden (Cyclops). The likes of Alan Cumming (Nightcrawler),
Famke Janssen (Jean Grey), and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (Mystique) signed
their lives away for three movies. Fox has yet to appoint a director, but
they’ve announced a Summer start date, in order to make a May 2006 release
WOLVERINE SPIN-OFF IN THE WORKS
TROY screenwriter David Benioff has signed on to pen the
WOLVERINE spin-off. It’s early days yet, so there’s no word on the plot,
or indeed whether the movie will feature any other returning X-Men, but
it is thought that X3 and Wolverine will shoot virtually back-to-back.
Hugh Jackman is expected to return as the adamantium-boned, memory-deficient,
big-haired feral mutant for both movies, which will be produced by X-stalwarts
Lauren Shuler Donner and Marvel's Avi Arad.
The hiring of Benioff, who also wrote Spike Lee’s 25th
Hour (and the novel on which it was based), continues Marvel’s policy of
mixing up relatively unknown screenwriters (X2’s Michael Dougherty and
Dan Harris; X3’s Kinberg) with recognized and respected talent. David Self
is currently writing Namor The Sub-Mariner, while James Schamus wrote The
Hulk. No release date for WOLVERINE has yet been announced..
SPACEBALLS: THE SEQUEL
A day after announcing plans to film the movie version
of his Broadway musical THE PRODUCERS in New York, Mel Brooks is being
quoted as saying that he is currently working on the script for a sequel
to his 1987 Star Wars spoof SPACEBALLS that he would like to rush into
production. When asked about a possible release date Brooks replied: "Best
case scenario: a week before the new STAR WARS opens. Worst Case Scenario:
a year after the new STAR WARS opens."
The new STAR WARS movie, REVENGE OF THE SITH, is due to
open on May 19, 2005. Brooks also indicated that he will appear in the
SPACEBALLS sequel (although, he said, he won't have a role in THE PRODUCERS).
"It wouldn't feel right to have anyone else play Yoghurt, and the first
one was the best experience I've had making a movie since BLAZING SADDLES,"
DEADER THAN A DEAD FILM DEAL
Screenwriter Neal Marshall (THIR13EN GHOSTS) Stevens can’t
help but express surprise when asked about his involvement in HELLRAISER:
DEADER, the yet-to-be-released seventh entry in the ever-growing franchise.
"HELLRAISER: DEADER? Honestly, I was never involved with it," he says.
Yes, the film is based on an old Stevens script, but that didn’t have anything
to do with Clive Barker’s creation. "Several years ago, I wrote an original
spec screenplay called simply DEADER, which had absolutely no connection
whatsoever to the HELLRAISER films or mythology," he explains. "Dimension
bought it for a pretty substantial sum. It was in development there for
a year and a half. They’d brought on a director (commercials veteran Jim
Sonzero) at one point and I worked with him on a draft, again with an eye
toward it being a [stand-alone] feature. And then, for whatever reason—and
it was never made clear, so far as I can tell, to anybody—[studio chief]
Bob Weinstein simply went cold on the project and it went into hibernation."
When DEADER first got shelved, Stevens reveals, "We were
trying to get it back from them for a while, but Dimension was neither
willing to make the movie nor to put it into turnaround, that is, consider
the possibility of having some other studio buy out the project and let
us make it somewhere else. Instead, they turned it into a direct-to-video
HELLRAISER sequel, with the cost of the screenplay probably being the single
most expensive item in the entire budget. Which, believe me, is never the
way percentages of screenplay to budget usually lay out."
Tim Day (HELLRAISER: HELLSEEKER) was the writer who transformed
DEADER into a Pinhead vehicle, with Rick Bota (who also helmed HELLSEEKER
and the series’ eighth entry, HELLWORLD) directing. Yet Stevens can’t share
his thoughts about the finished product: "HELLRAISER: DEADER has been complete
for quite some time now, but I haven’t seen it. Dimension hasn’t sent me
a screening copy. Last time I heard, and that was simply by way of on-line
rumors, it isn’t going to come out until next year—if then. So I’m in the
same boat with everybody else in terms of finding out what the end result
HART OF THE SAMURAI
Melissa Joan Hart is teaming with screenwriter Dan Gordon
(WYATT EARP) to do a live-action version of the manga series, Samurai Girl:
Real Bout High School. “The storyboard aspect of manga is already custom-built
for film,” said Steve Galloway, TokyoPop's Executive Director of Film/Television.
“And with Hart and Gordon attached to this story's fast-moving adventures,
we have all the makings of a terrific cinematic package for teens.”
Writer Dan Gordon describes the script as “a delicious
action/comedy mix of CLUELESS meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” It's
the story of an ancient Samurai warrior reincarnated as a twenty-something-year-old
sushi bar hostess. Ryoko discovers she is mankind's only hope in destroying
a coven of murderous wolverines who are hatched every 5,000 years and-if
left unchecked-will destroy all humanity.
IT’S HARD TO KEEP A GOOD CORPSE DOWN
Chazz DeMoss of Dead Dog Publishing is going to ensure
that "nobody makes it out alive" in his feature film Dead Rising. The creative
director, at the moment, is overseeing Dead Dog comic book projects like
Night of the Living Dead: Barbara's Zombie Chronicles, The Howling: Curse
of the Blood Clan, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Dead Skin Mask, and Tom
Sullivan's Book of the Dead: Devil Head. DEAD RISING will be DeMoss' first
stab at independent cinema; shooting gets underway sometime this month
and runs until November with special makeup effects by HHP & Effects.
Dead Rising concerns a young woman who learns her friends
have disappeared in a remote part of a vast national forest. With a search
party, she ventures into the woods in hopes to find some signs of life
but instead discovers a laboratory where dead cell re-animation research
has been taking place. The dead begin to rise all around our heroine just
as she realizes it's probably a good idea to high-tail it back to civilization.
Look for Dead Rising to surface in spring of 2005.
WOO-MAN AND THE STRANGEST MOVIE NEWS IN THE UNIVERSE
Though the 80’s cartoon series He-Man and the Masters
of the Universe was already turned into a live-action film in 1987, with
Dolph Lundgren as He-Man, Hollywood clearly feels that enough water has
passed under the bridge as it was announced that John Woo will both produce
and direct another live-action version.
Adam Rifkin will write the script for the movie, which
Woo will probably direct after his next movie, videogame actioner Spy-Hunter.
There’s no word yet on the scale of the movie, or the plot (the Lundgren
version brought He-Man to Earth for fun and frolics) or which Masters alumni
will appear. Of course, casting hasn’t yet begun on the project (Chow Yun-fat
as Skeletor, anyone?), but pretty much every actor with a six-pack within
a hundred-mile radius of Hollywood will be in contention for the role.
MEG, AS IN CARCHARODON MEGALODON
Jan de Bont will direct MEG, the long-in-development film
based on Steve Alten’s novel about a Carcharodon megalodon, a prehistoric
version of the Great White some 70 feet in length, that has managed to
survive to the present day… and now it’s come to the surface and is looking
for food. Human-shaped food. Lots of human-shaped food. De Bont, whose
last feature was LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE, previously
dealt with watery thrills in SPEED 2: CRUISE CONTROL.
CHUD.com honcho Nick Nunziata will co-produce the movie
– ripe with the potential for huge set pieces, special effects and gore
galore - along with HELLBOY trio Guillermo Del Toro, Lloyd Levin and Larry
Gordon, as well as Ken Atchity. It all sounds like a top team of creative
talent, and Nunziata becomes only the second movie webmaster to turn his
hand to movie producing after AICN’s Harry Knowles.
GUNN SLITHERS ON
Following the success of the DAWN OF THE DEAD remake,
screenwriter James Gunn has his hands full. He is now moving full steam
ahead on his directorial debut SLITHER, about an alien plague that takes
over a small town. Gunn explains, “It’s a movie in the style of the over-the-top
horror films of the ’80s and early ’90s that I love, like BASKET CASE,
RE-ANIMATOR, DEAD ALIVE, THE FLY, EVIL DEAD II and so on. It’s nothing
like any other movie being made today.” He also wrote the screenplay
for this project.
"Everything keeps zooming forward on SLITHER," Gunn said.
"If everything goes as planned, we’d like to start shooting next March
for a Halloween 2005 release. We’re gearing up, putting money into special
effects, etc. Everyone involved in the project is up for making a balls-out
horror film that brings back the in-your-face fun and gore effects of the
’80s films. We’re keeping as many of the special effects practical as we
possibly can, constantly reminding ourselves of the great craftsmanship
of favorite films like John Carpenter’s THE THING. CGI will be used only
sparingly. "My partners on the project," he continues, "are Paul Brooks
over at Gold Circle Films and Eric Newman, one of the producers of DAWN
OF THE DEAD.
ZOOEY TALKS HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE
Zooey Deschanel, who plays Trillian in the upcoming film
adaptation of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, has recently
wrapped filming on the project and spoke about the movie.
"It was so much fun to make that movie. We had these seven
foot tall alien Vogon puppets. They built four different alien planets,
the Heart of Gold set, like the most amazing sets and all the actors were
great. I’m making up my own system to control the ship and everything.
I have like a one piece suit. I have a couple different costumes but the
main one is this sort of aqua one piece suit, sort of like a karate one
Is the final product close to the books? "Pretty much
everything from the book is included. There’s an added character. Most
everything that was changed was Douglas Adams idea to begin with. It was
in his hard drive. With each incarnation of that story, there were changes
made. Between the radio series and the book and the TV series, there were
a lot of different things".
Will there be sequels? "I think they’re going to see how
the first one does to see if they want to actually do the rest. But yeah,
we all [signed] sequel parts of the contract". The Hitchhiker's Guide to
the Galaxy is scheduled for release May 6, 2005.
Much Voodoo About Nothing
Dimension Films' latest Louisiana-set horror film explores
the black art of voodoo. I Know What You Did LAST SUMMER’s Jim Gillespie
is taking the helm to direct BACKWATER. The list of victims will be fronted
by 'Method Man' Clifford Smith (Soul Plane) and Agnes Bruckner, who was
seen in the most recent series of 24. Adding to the body count is BULLY's
Bijou Phillips, DJ Cotrona and Jonathon Jackson. Filming on BACKWATER begun
in New Orleans in early October.
Jackson said, “It's a suspenseful thriller that has some
of the same horror elements, but it's a little less of a genre movie than
some of the other stuff they've done.” “It's [set in a] backwater in Louisiana,
so it's about this kind of evil that gets released in the swamps of Louisiana,
and a few young people have to try to escape and overcome it when it's
released.” Jackson said it features more character development than most
horror movies afford their future victims. “There's more character-oriented
stuff. There's definitely some special effects with the bad guy in the
movie, but it's more of a balance between a good, entertaining thriller
with horror elements and having a plot and characters and good acting scenes
Survival Of The Fiennest
Hollywood seems to have a sneaking suspicion that most
people possess the sort of black, twisted sense of humor that secretly
enjoys tales of people dying in idiotic and unlikely ways. Winona Ryder
and Joseph Fiennes have signed up for the romantic black comedy The Darwin
Awards. The title of the film refers to the posthumous Internet awards
for people who meet their death due to extreme stupidity, improving the
human gene pool by removing themselves from it.
The main pair will play a forensic detective (Fiennes)
and an insurance claims investigator (Ryder) who go on a road trip to create
a profile of a potential Darwin awards winner – it’s being described as
The X-Files with idiots rather than aliens. It will be directed by Finn
Taylor, who also wrote the film, and has a talented supporting cast in
the shape of Tim Blake Nelson, Jeffrey Tambor, David Arquette, Alessandro
Novola and Emily Mortimer – although it’s likely that at least some of
these will swiftly be seen off in all manner of unlikely ways. But enough
film news - anyone fancy running with scissors?
Coscarelli Says Bubba Ho-Tep 2 is a Go
Bubba Ho-Tep writer and director Don Coscarelli says a
sequel for the Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis film is a go:
"My sources say yes. Things are looking quite good. MGM was very happy
with the results in the States, the UK's looking very solid, there's a
lot of fan interest in it – and Bruce would love to play some more of the
old hound dog! So there's a good chance we actually will make that film."
However don't expect filming to kick off any time soon
as Coscarelli has yet to come up with anything other than the title, "There
is no story (yet) so we're gonna try and cook up something good…hard to
say (when), but as soon as we can."
KRUGER GOES TO MARS
Paramount Pictures has signed Ehren Kruger (The Ring,
The Ring 2) to write the sci-fi adventure-actioner A Princess of Mars for
a likely 2006 release. Paramount-based Alphaville Productions plans to
begin shooting in 10-12 months with Kerry Conran (Sky Captain and the World
of Tomorrow) directing.
The project is based on the first book in Edgar Rice Burroughs'
11-book series, John Carter of Mars, which centers on John Carter, a Civil
War officer from Virginia who is transported to Mars and finds himself
a captive of the savage green men from Thark. Eventually, he rises to become
the greatest warrior of all time, marries the beautiful Dejah Thoris, raises
a family and embarks on numerous adventures. A previous script for the
film had been written by Mark Protosevich (The Cell).
MANSON IN WONDERLAND
Shock rocker Marilyn Manson has taken a new film role,
playing the Queen of Hearts in a twisted re-make of the classic fairytale
Alice in Wonderland. Entitled Living In Neon Dreams, the film also stars
Alan Cumming as the King of Hearts, Nia Vardalos, Daryl Hannah, Tim Roth
and Jonathan Pryce. The film is described as a modern-day retelling, in
which a girl enters a fantasy land after a car accident puts her into a
coma. The actors will play multiple roles, appearing in both the real world
and the fantasy world.
Living In Neon Dreams is due to start shooting in November
in Germany and South Africa. Manson currently appears in the low-budget
indie The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things from director Asia Argento
and its currently making the rounds of the film festival circuit.
RAIMI KILLS FvJvA, TALKS EVIL DEAD 4
Sam Raimi and producing partner Robert Tapert kyboshed
the rumors about a proposed Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash movie, saying clearly,
"That won't happen." Raimi elaborated on why he didn't feel it appropriate
to bring Ash into the battle royale. "I have great respect for those franchises,"
Raimi said. "I didn't want to be in a position where I was protecting Ash,
the character that I want to eventually make another movie with one day,
protecting him and not allowing the director to do what he felt he had
to do." Later, Raimi also added, "As fun as that sounded, I think they're
in two different worlds, the Evil Dead and Jason/Freddy. Maybe another
time, that would be a better combination."
Regarding Evil Dead 4, Raimi says, "I would actually love
to and one day I hope to [make that movie]. I hope sooner rather than later.
I really had a lot of fun with them, and I think the audience may now want
to see one. Maybe when I’m done with the [third] SPIDER-MAN movie I can
get to work on one."
LARRY COHEN IS STILL ALIVE
With the 1974 film It's Alive! Recently arrived on DVD,
it only seems appropriate that talk of the remake would surface. Originals
screenwriter/filmmaker Larry Cohen tells of the upcoming re-make:
"I'm going to both write and direct the remake. I want
to make it my way, and this is the best way to do it so it will be kept
under control. It'll be fun. I haven't directed a picture in about five
years, actually, so it will be nice to get back into it. Certainly we'll
use CGI, but I expect to use it in a more creative way. I'll keep the creature
in the shadows so you won't get a good look at the thing thru most of the
picture. And when we pay it off, of course, it will be excellent. But it
could hardly be better than some of the shots of it in the original. They
were few and far between, but what you did see made it look like it was
DELPY FIGHTS A LEGEND
Julie Delpy (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS) will star
in Moody Street Pictures' supernatural thriller film The Legend of Lucy
Keyes, written and to be directed by John Stimpson. Lucy Keyes is inspired
by a legend in central Massachusetts about a family that moves into a rural
home where a girl went missing in the woods 250 years earlier.
"A lot of people from this region know about the legend," Massachusetts-based
Stimpson said. "There have been unusual experiences involving what people
claim to be the ghost of a young girl and her mother. The most amazing
and truly chilling aspect of the legend is that local historical records
revealing the truth of what happened to little Lucy Keyes were eventually
discovered. The unnerving fate of Lucy Keyes and the thought of history
repeating itself result in a very suspenseful and gripping story."
The movie will be produced by Moody Street Pictures' Mark
Donadio and Miriam Marcus, as well as J. Todd Harris, president of production
at Los Angeles-based Intellectual Properties Worldwide.
30 Days Moves Forward
Rob Tapert, who is producing the film adaptation of Steve
Niles' supernatural graphic novel 30 Days of Night, said that the author
has read the script and was pleased with its faithfulness to the original
story. "Steve has read [screenwriter Stuart Beattie's] draft that we just
turned in to the studio and thought it was the absolute best representation
of the graphic novel," Tapert said in an interview. "So he was incredibly
pleased. And right now we're just waiting for the studio to get back to
us as to how they want to proceed there."
30 Days of Night is a vampire story set in the arctic
circle, where it remains dark for a month each winter. Tapert is shepherding
the project under the banner of Ghost House Pictures, the production company
he formed with friend and partner Sam Raimi (Spider-Man). Though the company
was formed with the idea of making quality low-budget horror films, Tapert
said the exotic setting of 30 Days of Night will likely drive up the cost
of production. "Because it was such an expensive process, such an expensive
movie to make, all set in the snow, we—Ghost House and our partners at
Senator Entertainment—partnered right away with Sony on it, because it
was going to be a $50 or $60 or $70 million movie," Tapert said. "We know
that they're very excited with having read it. I think we're going to meet
in the coming week or so."
NOW SERVING FLESH BURRITOS
The zombie craze is now officially out of control. HOUSE
OF THE DEAD producers Mindfire Entertainment want to do the living dead
right with ALL SOULS DAY, a new ghoul picture now shooting in Santa Clarita,
CA. Directed by Jeremy Kasten (THE ATTIC EXPEDITIONS) and produced by Mindfire’s
Mark Altman (co-writer of FREE ENTERPRISE), ALL SOULS DAY, according to
the press release, "is set against the Mexican Day of the Dead, when the
dead return to walk the Earth to see their loved ones once more. When a
couple of young college kids unintentionally interfere with a small town’s
ritual sacrifice, they get into more than they bargained for and must find
a way to survive this Dia de los Muertos."
ALL SOULS DAY features Ellie Cornell (HOUSE OF THE
DEAD), Danny Trejo (FROM DUSK TILL DAWN), Laura Harring (MULHOLLAND DR.)
and fan fave Jeffrey Combs, alongside soap star Marisa Ramirez, Travis
Wester, Nichole Hiltz, Laz Alonso and Mircea Munroe. The zombie hordes
come courtesy of Almost Human, TV FX veterans of the recent Frankenstein
two-part movie as well as Angel and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER. After ALL
SOULS DAY wraps, Mindfire has a HOUSE OF THE DEAD sequel set to shoot in
LA, sans original helmer Uwe Boll.
BLING BLING GETS CUT
Omar Naïm, director of the science fiction movie
Final Cut, said that the film's futuristic world is not very different
from our own. "There's very few [science fiction elements]," Naïm
said in an interview. "There's only enough to get the ideas boiling." Final
Cut is set in a near future, where parents who can afford it can choose
to implant a chip into their children's brains that will record their whole
lives, negating the need for memories.
Naïm sees the film as part of a new trend in
the genre that reaches back to the roots of SF. "I think there's a new
wave of science fiction movies like, you can call Being John Malkovich
a science fiction movie and Final Cut. It's more intimate, less speculative.
Like, 'Let's find a metaphor to talk about now,' which is the way science
fiction started. I think the more 'bling bling' science fiction, as I call
it, sort of took over for a while, because we found that, 'Wow, we can
make anything!' you know? And we sort of lost touch with what science fiction
was all about, which is sort of us now and the human condition, with just
a small poetic device to get things going." Final Cut opened in theaters
FREQUENT VISITS TO HELL MAY CAUSE EMPHESEMA
Every time Mr. Constantine from the Hellblazer comic books
shows up he's puffing on a cancer stick. Well the effects of all that smoking
finally shows in the upcoming movie as Keanu Reeves struggles to breathe.
Warner Bros. Constantine hits theaters February 11th. Based on the DC/Vertigo
comic book Hellblazer and written by Kevin Brodbin, Mark Bomback and Frank
Capello, Constantine tells the story of irreverent supernatural detective
John Constantine (Reeves), who has literally been to hell and back. When
Constantine teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Weisz) to
solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister (also played by Weisz),
their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that
exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in
a catastrophic series of otherworldy events, the two become inextricably
involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.
THE FIRST erythropoietic porphyria
Canadian actor Andrew Jackson will play a 13th-century
Viking warrior in a new take on the vampire myth being created by Los Angeles
plastic-surgeon- turned-director Jason Todd Ipson. “(Jackson's) going to
be playing one of the supporting characters - the primary barbarian coming
back from being abroad,” Ipson said of his film The First Vampire. The
Jackson-commanded longship returns to Sweden to find “the people are drained
of blood, they're dying,” Ipson said. He comes home and dies with his wife
as their child is carried off by a vampire. “The audience is in store for
a whole bunch of surprises, a lot of twists with regard to the whole vampire
legend,” Jackson said. “This is not classic horror. When people watch it,
they're going to look upon vampirism as a very real condition.”
Vampirism, also known as Gunther's disease or congenital
erythropoietic porphyria, is a rare condition in which sufferers become
hairy and disfigured and, owing to extreme photosensitivity, tend to avoid
sunlight. Ipson won't say who's being courted to play the leads but hinted
there are some “big British stars” involved. The film is being produced
by Beverly Hills-based Asgaard Entertainment. Production is tentatively
set to start in February in Norway and later in another European country
yet to be determined.
HOCKEY MASKS OPTIONAL AT THE BLOODY SOCIAL
Warrington Gillette, who played Jason in FRIDAY THE 13TH
PART 2, is returning to the film business with a horror-thriller he’s created
called BLOODY SOCIAL, set among the rich and corrupt in Florida’s Palm
Beach. Loosely based on true events from Gillette’s life, the story concerns
an actor famed for playing a cinematic killer who believes his deceased
father was a victim of foul play. When a group of his fans get wind of
his suspicions, a series of gory murders begins to claim the guilty parties
and the conspiracy. Fangoria’s Michael Gingold is writing the script with
Gillette; filming is scheduled for early next year and a Halloween 2005
release is being targeted.
JUST PLANE SILLY
Jessica Biel co-stars in the upcoming sci-fi action film
Stealth, playing a Navy jet fighter pilot who must team with fellow pilots
Jamie Foxx and Josh Lucas to bring down a robot airplane after an incident
alters its artificial-intelligence programming. “The plane flies on its
own,” Biel said. “There's no pilot on the plane. It's got a brain of its
own. It can take off and land on its own. But it's supposed to listen to
Biel, who next appears in the upcoming sequel film Blade:
Trinity, added, “The brain has gotten jumbled... It starts to have its
own opinion. And it chooses to survive… So it decides to go off on its
own, and it starts to download [practice] missions from the computer,”
she said. “But if it carries out the missions against [other] countries,
it'd be starting World War III.” Directed by Rob Cohen (XXX), Stealth will
be released summer 2005.
HERE A BELL WITCH, THERE A BELL WITCH…
Seems everyone is adapting the story of the Bell Witch
all of a sudden. It is a case of a supposed haunting of a Tennessee family
which was covered most thoroughly in the book The Bell Witch: An American
Haunting by Brent Monahan.
Two indie films have recently wrapped based on the Bell
Witch stories, and now comes news about a third, albeit this one with a
bigger cast and budget. Donald Sutherland, James D’Arcy, Sissy Spacek,
and Rachel Hurd-Wood all star in An American Haunting, which is being directed
by Courtney Solomon (DUNGEONS & DRAGONS) and begun shooting in Romania
at the end of October. Solomon also wrote the screenplay. Ironically the
events take place in Tennessee, the movie is called An American Haunting
, but it is being filmed in Romania. That’s the magic of movies for you!
The basic premise tells the story of an unrelenting demon that torments
a teenage girl and her well-to-do parents in Tennessee in the 1800’s.
NO PROM FOR LEATHERFACE
When we announced that we were doing it, we could not
have had worse press from die-hard horror fans," recalls Andrew Form, producer
of last fall’s much-ballyhooed TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake. "The reaction
was violent. There were a lot of unhappy people out there in the horror
world." Luckily for Form, those unhappy people shelled out $28 million
on opening weekend alone and over $80 million all told, allowing CHAINSAW
to become one of the most profitable films of 2003 and ensuring the franchise’s
future. Form and partner Brad Fuller, co-founders of the Platinum Dunes
production company, are now overseeing an as-yet-untitled TEXAS CHAINSAW
prequel, tentatively set for release at Halloween 2005. While many horror
fans came to grudgingly embrace the remake, the prequel may prove even
more controversial due to its subject matter: the origins of Leatherface
"We thought that a lot of people who saw the movie always
wondered why he uses a chainsaw," explains Form. "No one really explains
it, he just does. We tried to explain a little bit in our version why he
wears a mask, but here we’re really going to try to show you how the mask
originated, and stuff like that… We’re not going back into his childhood.
You’re not going to see him at the prom—you’d be surprised at some of the
ideas we heard. This is still a TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE movie; it’s not
going to be a family drama where you see how this kid grew up and all that.
It still has to be what our last movie was, which was fun and scary and
kind of a ride. We still want to do that."
Production has yet to begin on the CHAINSAW prequel, which
retains the remake’s executive producer Michael Bay as well as AMITYVILLE
co-screenwriter Sheldon Turner.
Reckon it’s time for the Hunter
David Schneider and Drew Daywalt (Stark Raving Mad) have
come aboard to write the screenplay adaptation of the supernatural video
game Hunter: The Reckoning for director Uwe Boll and producer Shawn Williamson.
Boll and Williamson are coming off another game adaptation, BloodRayne,
starring Ben Kingsley, Kristanna Loken, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Madsen
and Meat Loaf. Hunter is slated to start preproduction in February in British
Hunter follows a group of men and women who become aware
of supernatural monsters preying on humanity and are imbued with special
abilities to combat them, the trade paper reported.
BESSON IN A MATERIAL WORLD
Madonna will head the voice cast of the big-budget computer-animated
fantasy movie Arthur, directed by Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita.) Arthur
is adapted from a series of children's books written by Besson, who also
wrote the screenplay for the movie.
Arthur centers on a 10-year-old boy who tries to save
his grandfather's house from developers by searching for a treasure hidden
in the land of the Minimoys, a tiny people living in harmony with nature.
Arthur, which is scheduled for a 2006 release, will include some live-action
sequences. The 3-D animation is being crafted by French specialist Buf
Compagnie. Madonna is understood to be voicing the part of Princess Selenia,
a character who travels with Arthur to a mysterious forbidden city where
an evil being dwells.
IRON MAN SEEKS A HELM
Screenwriter David Hayter's latest draft of Iron Man has
won over New Line Cinema and the studio is immediately going out with it
to directors who can get the film up and running by early 2005. This draft
of Iron Man is reportedly very Tom Clancy-esque in tone and involves the
conflict between Tony Stark and his father Howard over Stark Industries.
The armored avenger's origin has been updated from the Vietnam back story
used in the comics.
Iron Man is produced by Avi Arad and Kevin Feige of Marvel
Studios, who are currently on the set of Fantastic Four in Vancouver, and
Don Murphy of Angryfilms, who is also busy with DreamWorks/Paramount's
live-action feature version of The Transformers, which is slated for a
summer 2006 release.
EXORCIST OR MURDERER?
Campbell Scott, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Jennifer Carpenter
are joining the cast of Screen Gems and Lakeshore Entertainment's untitled
exorcism project. Scott Derrickson is directing the horror thriller that
was formerly known as The Exorcism of Anneliese Michel. The movie is based
on true events involving the Catholic Church officially recognizing the
supposed demonic possession of an 18-year-old German college freshman.
The young woman died during her exorcism, and a priest stood trial for
causing her death. The script, written by Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman,
unfolds Rashomon-style, with different points of view recounting the events.
THE LOST IS FOUND
Filmmaker Chris Sivertson talked recently about THE LOST,
a film adaptation of Jack Ketchum’s novel that he began directing in late
October from his own script. Siverston was the editor of Lucky McKee’s
MAY, and created the “Jack and Jill” short film seen therein; McKee is
producing the independently financed LOST. Siverston explained:
“The storyline starts out with this highly disturbed young
man named Ray Pye, played by Marc Senter, a great young actor, who kills
two women on a whim at a campground…He gets away with it even though the
cops always knew that he did it and the bulk of the town knows he was responsible,
and four years later he’s just as cocky as ever. He’s got a short-man complex,
so to cover it up he wears cowboy boots with crushed beer cans in them,
which give him a really bizarre walk, and he likes wearing makeup as well.
The cops start really pushing him, trying to get to this kid, and he also
has volatile relationships with several young women, and all this leads
to him going on a rampage again.”
While Senter and the other leads are largely unknown,
some of the supporting cast have genre experience. "We have Michael Bowen
from KILL BILL VOL. 1, who’s playing one of the cops," Sivertson says.
"Dee Wallace Stone has a role, and Ruby LaRocca and Erin Brown from SHADOW
are two girls who get killed in the beginning. And Jack Ketchum is going
to come out to do a cameo as a bartender at the bar where the cops hang
out." Troy Watson (SHINER) is providing the makeup FX.
GOING BACK TO AMITYVILLE
"We were looking for a very scary movie that’s somewhat
based in reality, and that’s how we landed on AMITYVILLE," says Brad Fuller,
producer of the upcoming AMITYVILLE HORROR remake, due for release April
15, 2005. "We loved the idea that it was based on a true story." Fuller
and partner Andrew Form are no strangers to the horror remake game, having
successfully co-produced last year’s controversial revival of THE TEXAS
CHAINSAW MASSACRE. However, unlike the revamped CHAINSAW, which many fans
deemed unnecessary if not downright sacrilegious, the mediocre AMITYVILLE
is a ripe target for an update. The 1979 film, which starred James Brolin
and Margot Kidder, follows the story of the Lutzes, a young family who
faces menacing horrors after moving into their new Long Island home. Their
travails were first captured in a best-selling book by Jay Anson—the main
source, according to the producers, for the remake.
Helmed by first-time feature director Andrew Douglas,
the 1975-set AMITYVILLE ignores its cinematic predecessor and goes straight
to the source material—the mystery itself. Form, Fuller and screenwriter
Scott Kosar (who also penned the CHAINSAW remake), spent hours researching
the Amityville story, interviewing many who were involved first-hand with
the investigation of the murders that took place in the Lutzes’ home. "We
try to give a real reason why [murderer] Ronny DeFeo did the things he
did, why George Lutz had this connection to the house," says Form. "In
our version, you will see what the evil is."
The AMITYVILLE remake, which wrapped late October outside
Chicago, stars Melissa George (ALIAS) and Ryan Reynolds, the actor formally
known as Van Wilder. He will soon be seen in BLADE: TRINITY and an upcoming
spinoff based on his BLADE character, Hannibal King. "BLADE really opened
a lot of doors for me," admits the actor, looking Brolin-esque in a full
MINOTAUR gets gored again
MINOTAUR, the Greek legend-based horror film that survived
one financial debacle, has now hit another snag. Studio Babelsberg, the
German facility that was to co-finance the film, has undergone restructuring
and will no longer be involved. Now the producers of MINOTAUR, which has
already received a presold to Lions Gate for U.S. theatrical release, are
seeking a new location, with possibilities including Luxembourg, Hungary
and South Africa (what, not Greece?). The movie, to be directed and produced
by Jonathan English from a Steven McDool/Nick Green script, will star Rupert
Evans (HELLBOY) as a young Greek who rebels when he is set to be one of
10 young men and women sacrificed by a palace ruler (Tony Todd) to the
The Woes of a Writer: The trails and tribulations of the literary Galaxy.
By: Dava Sentz
As I was growing up, I must have changed my career path
a thousand times. When I was about four, I wanted to be a nurse. The idea
of healing the sick seemed very heroic at the time.
Never mind the fact that needles are scary beyond all
reason and the sight of blood makes me weak. I wouldn't have to deal with
such things in the medical profession, after all. A few years later, I
thought acting to be my true calling. I never had any theatrical or musical
ability. But darn it, I was going to light up the silver screen with my
natural beauty and innocent grace.
At the age of ten, I wanted to be an astronaut. The thought
of being able to float weightlessly around in outer space was absolutely
thrilling. But, had I'd stopped and connected the amount of math and science
involved, I surely would have reconsidered.
And, throughout my teen years, I had plans of moving to
Pennsylvania for culinary training. I very much enjoyed the notion that
I might, one day, be a top-notch pastry chef. I always had so much fun
in my high school cooking classes. Yet, while I spent my childhood bouncing
from one interest to the next, there was always a hobby that stayed with
me through thick and thin, my writing.
Of course, I never considered this talent a career option.
During my youth, I'd always looked upon it as something I did to relax,
to have fun, to express myself with. It wasn't until my freshman year of
college that I began to change my thinking. It was then that I decided
I wanted to be a music journalist, combining my love for music and literature
into one creative outlet. I do not regret this choice by any means, but
it is not without it's share of heartache.
As I explore my path down the journalistic highway, I
have also branched out into the slightly more challenging genre of fiction
writing. Three years ago, I met a woman named Erika on a Lord of the Rings
forum. She was looking for a group of writers who were interested in creating
a kind of elaborate fan fiction combining the beloved characters of J.R.R.
Tolkien with those of her own Elven race.
These elves were called the Nenore, spectacular beings
of the sea, who lived on a small island kingdom known as Kel-Telpeon. An
elvish name meaning "The Silver Flowing", the setting's structure was so
grand, so beautiful, that it was almost beyond description and poetic justice.
I found myself instantly drawn to her project, and knew
I had to be involved. Shortly thereafter, two more writers signed on to
the story. Thus, the partnership was formed. But, it would be several months
before anything was written down.
The four of us spent the summer of 2001 devising a cast
of characters, worthy of living in Erika's aquatic paradise. I was to create
a total of three for this installment. There was the Nenorean healer Thinhithwen,
a fiery young maiden, who had just a way with nature, as she did with the
sword. I installed certain elements of myself in this character, including
a love for horses and a desire to succeed. Thinhithwen mirrors both who
I am now, and who I would like to become. Next came the birth of her father,
Lord Alagmenelion. He was once a brave and valued soldier of the Nenorean
army, who retired his blade for the purpose of marriage and family. By
the dawn of our tale, he spends his days alone in his cottage readily nursing
the wounds of the needy. Last came the creation of a handsome and boastful
young elf by the name of Nefpaurion. An immensely skilled warrior hailing
from the Lorien Wood, it is this characters fate to constantly annoy and
surprise Thinhithwen with his overly confident personality.
Once my team and I had our characters developed to our
liking, the next step was to come up with a plot. It had to be believable.
And, it had to allow these elves of diverse rank and social standing to
mingle together as equals.
We decided the best way to accomplish this would be for
Kel-Telpeon to host an Olympian-style festival. This celebration, (referred
to as Loa) takes place every five hundred years. Its purpose is to give
elves from all realms of Middle Earth the chance to prove themselves in
various types of competition. Among others, these include swordplay, horseback
riding, and archery.
So began our long and challenging journey through the
land of Middle Earth. After months of planning and discussion, my partners
and I were finally ready to bring our epic to life. And, the results by
far surpassed everything we had hoped to achieve in its telling.
We somehow managed to create, not just fan fiction, but
a novel; a novel alive with humor, drama, and healthy dose of painstaking
angst. Perhaps even more satisfying, however, was just how well the
four of us merged.
We were always on the same page, ever mindful of one another's
intentions. Our characters reflected our fellowship, brilliantly fitting
together as in the pieces a jigsaw puzzle. In fact, the project was
so flawless, so incredibly fun to write that we decided we could not allow
our creativity to fade away. We unanimously decided to extend our story
into a trilogy.
We only just started our second installment in February.
Our founder, Erika, was forced to stop working with us for health reasons.
But we, the remaining authors, dove into this sequel with the certainty
and pride needed to carry her torch.
The central story takes us back to Kel-Telpeon. Yet, rather
than enjoying the thrills and beauty of Loa, our characters, old and new,
find themselves faced with despair, as an upcoming war threatens to enslave
their homeland. I can honestly say that this has been the best of our efforts
so far. Our abilities as fiction writers have improved a great deal since
we first began this adventure. In addition, as the authors continue to
grow, so do their characters. I firmly believe that Thinhithwen and her
company have matured drastically, reaching their full potential in a way
that I never thought possible.
It has been a privilege exchanging ideas with these fine,
outstanding women. This is why I find myself in a state of hope and worry
over the times to come.
My fellow writers and I continue our dedication to this
literary cause. We have a strong need and desire to finish what we started,
and feel this is a tale that should be shared and adored by others. Yet,
sometimes I wonder if we've been kidding ourselves, if we've been entertaining
our own fantasies in a fantasy world. Lately, my feelings have been swaying
with the negative.
We cannot, after all, live in Middle Earth forever. Issues
in our own lives have constantly formed a shield between us, and our creative
ambitions. One of my partners has had a baby in the last few months. She
stayed with us for a time after the birth. But, since this past summer,
her involvement has been scarce. In fact, she has not written us since
July. This almost indefinitely means that the fate of our trilogy now lies
in the hands of my sole remaining partner and myself. And, while our willingness
holds true, our courage as well as our time is on shaky ground.
I am not entirely sure that a project of the magnitude
can survive with only two authors. And, I don't think that either of us
would feel right about bringing in new talent at this stage of the game.
As much as it pains me to say it, I'm beginning to lose faith.
I do not know what the future holds for Kel-Telpeon and
it's inhabitants. But, whatever the outcome, I'm proud of what we've done.
It has been an incredible ride, and has given me the confidence
I'll need to hack it in this profoundly competitive field. If it is fates
will to leave this project abandon, than I can walk away with my head held
high. But, should we go on I look forward to bringing our brainchild to
the open minds of the ICS.
May it be as much fun for the readers as it has been for
Qoutes from a favorite TV show –ANGEL - Angel, like Buffy the
Vampire Slayer, has always featured great writing, with the ability to
mix humor with horror.
From an episode where Angel saves an actress
from being hit by a car, and who later rescues her in her home from an
attacker, and is witnessed by her as casting no reflection in a mirror.
Angel: "I'm not what you think..."
Girl: "You're not? Because....no reflection....dark,
private office...I guess what I would think is.....VAMPIRE....."
Angel: "Then again..."
Girl: "..which is impossible....Bela Lugosi,
Gary Oldman...they're vampires."
Angel: "Frank Langella was the only performance
I believed, but..."
Girl: "This is real."
And more, just random favorites….
Cordelia: They didn't even have cookie-dough-fudge-mint-chip
when you were alive.
Angel: I want some. Can you get that?
Cordelia: It'll go straight to your thighs.
Angel: [to Spike] Don't you have to go
save the world from people like... you.
Angel: I..um..got turned into a puppet last night.
Nina: Oh... wow... are you okay?
Angel: Well, I'm made of felt... and my nose comes off.
[facing an endless unslaught of demons]
Gunn: Okay, you take the 30, 000 on the left...
Illyria: You're fading. You'll last 10 minutes
Gunn: Then let's make it memorable.
IMAGINATIVE CINEMA COMING SOON
MUST SEE MOVIES FOR YOU!
Nov 5th BIRTH
Cast: Nicole Kidman (Anna), Cameron Bright (The Boy), Lauren Bacall
Premise: A woman in her 30s (Kidman), living in New York City, is surprised
to meet a little 10-year-old boy (Bright) who seems to have a crush on
her, who then claims to be the reincarnation of her husband, who died ten
Nov 10th SEED OF CHUCKY
Premise: Following the events of 'Bride of Chucky,' killer dolls Chucky
and Tiffany are now faced with the challenge of raising their child, Glen
(Boyd), becoming a family of killer dolls.
Nov 12th FINDING NEVERLAND
Cast: Johnny Depp (James Matthew Barrie), Dustin Hoffman (Charles Frohman),
Kate Winslet (Sylvia Davies)
Premise: Set in early 1900s London, this is the true story of how Scottish
playwright and author James M. Barrie (Depp) struggled with a play called
"Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up", which was inspired by his
friendship with his neighbors, the Davies Brothers, George, Jack, Michael
and Peter, whose father had abandoned them, and their dying mother, Sylvia
(Winslet). As Barrie found himself becoming a surrogate father to the boys,
he was inspired to write a play about a magical place where people never
grow up or die or have any worries... a Never-Neverland.
Nov 19th NATIONAL TREASURE
Cast: Nicolas Cage (Ben Franklin Gates), Justin Bartha (Riley Poole),
Sean Bean (Ian Howe), Harvey Keitel, Diane Kruger (Dr. Abigail Chase),
Premise: Modern treasure hunters are all searching for the same thing:
a massive war chest treasure reportedly hidden by George Washington, Thomas
Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin as funds for the Revolutionary War, using
a secret code found in the Constitution which he plans to steal.
Nov 24th ALEXANDER
Cast: Colin Farrell (Alexander the Great), Rosario Dawson (Roxanne),
Anthony Hopkins (Ptolemy), Angelina Jolie (Olympia), Val Kilmer (Philip,
King of Macedonia), Jared Leto (Hephaistion), Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Cassander)
Premise: Conquering 90% of the known world by the age of 25, Alexander
the Great (Farrell) led his armies through sieges and conquests in just
eight years. This film will concentrate on those eight years of battles,
as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaistion
(Leto). Alexander died young, of illness, at 33. Alexander's conquests
paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread
of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that
might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words,
the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody,
yet unifying, conquest.
farewellsfarewellsfarewells Good bye farewellsfarewellsfarewells
Ed Kemmer World War II hero and POW, who played the heroic, steel-jawed
Cmdr. Buzz Corry on the popular 1950s children's science-fiction television
program Space Patrol, has died. He was 84.
Paid $8 per 15 minute episode when he started in 1950, Kemmer went
on to an acting career that lasted until 1983. He played in such non-genre
films as panama sal, hong kong confidential and the crowded sky. And there
were ICS favorites GiaNT FROM THE UNKOWN and earth vs the spider. He later
appeared in such T.V. soap operas as the edge of night, the secret storm,
as the world turns, somerset and another world.
An icon from my youth, I will always remember the announcer dramatically
intoning at the start of each episode, "High adventure in the wild reaches
of space … missions of daring in the name of interplanetary justice. Travel
into the future with Buzz Corry … Commander in Chief of … the Space Patrol."
Peggy Ryan, the tap-dancing partner to Donald O'Connor in more than
a dozen film musicals and who played Jack Lord's secretary on television's
Hawaii Five-O, has died. She was 80.
Among her films with O'Connor were When Johnny Comes Marching Home
in 1942, Mister Big in 1943, and Chip Off the Old Block, This Is the Life,
The Merry Monahans and Bowery to Broadway in 1944. Her final picture was
All Ashore with Mickey Rooney in 1953.
Gil Melle, jazz saxophonist, respected visual artist and pioneering
electronic music composer has passed at age 72. His 1970 theme for Night
Gallery was the first all-electronic main title for a TV series, and his
music for 1971 sci-fi thriller The Andromeda Strain became the first all-synthesizer
score for a feature film.
His music lent itself to sci-fi and horror projects, including orchestral
scores for the pilot of The Six Million Dollar Man and the four-hour Frankenstein:
The True Story, a cold night’s death, world war III and episodes of kolchak
the night stalker. Other projects included THE DELIBERATE STRANGER, THE
CASE OF THE HILLSIDE STRANGLER, MY SWEET CHARLIE, THAT CERTAIN SUMMER and
episodes of COLOMBO.
Academy Award and Emmy nominated cinematographer Charles F. Wheeler,
After meeting Walt & Roy Disney on the Polo field, he was offered
a job by them as an apprentice cameraman. He honed his skill as a Navy
combat photographer in the Pacific during World War II and by 1960 was
receiving on screen credit as a camera operator. In 2001 he received the
President's Award from the American Society of Cinematographers.
His films include inherit the wind, judgement at nuremberg, it’s a
mad, mad, mad, mad world and tora, tora, tora (AA nomination). He also
worked on such made
for T.V. movies as a tree grows in brooklyn, the day the earth moved,
red badge of courage, the lindbergh kidnapping case and babe (Emmy nomination).
He was 88.
Howard Keel, bass-baritone voiced musical star of Broadway and movies
He starred with Kathryn Grayson in Show Boat, Lovely to Look At and
Kiss Me Kate. He paired with Doris Day in Calamity Jane and with Ann Blyth
in Rose Marie and Kismet. He romanced Esther Williams in Pagan Love Song,
Texas Carnival and Jupiter's Darling, and he courted Jane Powell in his
favorite film, the rousing 1954 Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
After a start in musical theater on Broadway in Carousel and Oklahoma,
he was lured to Hollywood by MGM and became a hit in his first film ANNIE
GET YOUR GUN opposite
Betty Hutton. Some of his non-singing roles were in action films and
Westerns such as Waco, Red Tomahawk, The War Wagon and Arizona Bushwhackers.
His most remembered T.V. role was as Clayton Farlow on Dallas.
He was 85.
THE LAST WARD . . .
By John Ward
I am a child of television.
I guess life would be a lot simpler if that statement were not
true, but alas, ‘tis not the case. I am an aging baby boomer, one
of the first generation to grow up with television, one of the first to
grow old with the boob tube. One of the first to nurse at the glass
teat. One of the first to succumb to the brain-numbing waves of the
I know my parents never had it like this. Their childhoods
had no television; instead, they had books, imaginations, and occasionally,
the radio. My mother didn’t have a TV until she married my father
and moved out of her parents’ house. Her parents were TV-free until
my grandfather’s congregation bought them a big, clunky Philco as a Christmas
present. (Remember my grandfather? The nice old Presbyterian
minister who took me to my first R-rated movie? Yeah, that’s the
My earliest memories of television are a little hazy, which makes
perfect sense when you think about it, because in the olden days B.C. (Before
Cable), the television was pretty hazy, too. Everything for me was
black-and-white. Nobody in the neighborhood had a color TV; those
fancy things were for rich people. I remember my father fiddling
with the rabbit ears until he was satisfied that the picture was just the
way he wanted it – until my younger brother would come barreling into the
room, bumping my dad’s arm, sending the “just right” picture into the ether,
and driving my dad into a serious frenzy.
But when the picture was clear…oh, boy.
Back then there were exactly three channels on our TV, because
there were only three networks. Life was a lot simpler. In
Blairsville, PA in the early ‘60s, Channel 2 out of Pittsburgh (KDKA, by
the way – the first station in the country to air regular radio broadcasts
in the ‘30s) carried CBS shows, Channel 4 (also out of Pittsburgh) carried
ABC, and piddly little Channel 6 out of Johnstown carried NBC. I
remember the CBS eye. I remember the NBC peacock sprouting its colorful
black-and-white feathers. ABC didn’t have any snazzy logos like that,
but at least they had Batman. More on him in a minute.
Early memories? I can remember watching Captain Kangaroo,
with the “Tom Terrific” cartoons. I remember watching Timmy and Lassie
every Sunday night when my grandparents would visit after dinner.
And of course, there was Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.
Those were the only two evening shows I was allowed to watch at the age
of 5 or 6. The thing about Disney was that it always…always ended
the show with a commercial for a new, hot Disney movie. It was the
only time I ever saw movie ads on TV back then.
Bonanza was another popular show around our house. My mother
used to be really into jigsaw puzzles, and I still remember a gigantic
1,500-piece puzzle of the Cartwrights riding on horseback taking up a quarter
of our living room for several weeks – the amount of time it took Mom to
finish the dang thing. My all-time favorite Bonanza episode is still
the first one I remember: a Christmas show in which Hoss was buffaloed
by a bunch of midgets into believing that leprechauns existed.
Sure, there were plenty of genre shows at the time, but I wasn’t
old enough (or smart enough) to watch them. I mean, what could a
6-year-old possibly glean from The Outer Limits? No, what I remember
most about genre TV in the early ‘60s was that The Flintstones and Jonny
Quest were on in prime time. How cool was that? Cool enough
to send me running to Best Buy when Jonny Quest’s complete prime time run
came out on DVD last spring. These were strong ABC staples, as I
recall, right up there with Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, which I discovered
years before I realized there was an earlier film version. VTTBOTS
became something of a monster-of-the-week for me, which as it turned out,
didn’t really thrill the show’s true fans. But it made a wide-eyed
7-year-old sit up and take notice.
Voyage creator Irwin Allen was a hot property; CBS lured him
away to put out a kind of “Swiss Family Robinson in Space.” What
I liked about Lost in Space wasn’t the robot; it wasn’t the nutty monsters,
and it certainly wasn’t the god-awful costume design. No, what I
liked about the show was its sneaky way of starting the next episode a
week early by tacking on a 2-minute “cliffhanger.” It worked nearly
ABC was big in our family; my mother was a Peyton Place junkie,
calling her friends all the time about the previous night’s episode, etc,
etc. But ABC also had cool stuff like the back-to-back Green Hornet
and Time Tunnel. My dad and I watched those together.
In hindsight, I wished I’d paid more attention to Hornet, because I didn’t
know how big the martial artist who played Kato would become. (If
you don’t know whom I’m talking about…well, are you ever reading the wrong
newsletter.) I just thought The Green Hornet was a cheap Batman knock-off.
Which brings me around to one of my two favorite shows of the
‘60s, the other being the original Star Trek, which I’ve discussed in this
space before. (Notice how I insist on sneaking in the word original?)
Batman was an eye-opening experience to a generation who just started out
being weaned on The Flintstones, Underdog, and other Saturday morning sundries.
This was a live action cartoon, folks! I had only recently started
reading superhero comics, and here I had one in the flesh, twice a week
– same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.
Batman was “it” for me. I loved the villains, I loved the
action, I sort of loved the gorgeous molls (although I didn’t really know
why at the time), I loved the outrageous sound effects, I loved the corny
dialogue (“Holy Popsicle, Batman!”), I loved that it had the best cliffhangers
running. It was one of those shows I knew instinctively was in color,
despite our black-and-white set, because it just seemed to pop out at you.
Every guy in my 3rd-grade class watched the show. When my Pop-Pop
ran the BATMAN feature film at his theater, I got all my buddies in for
free and was treated like royalty for a week.
But I discovered that all good things eventually come to an end.
By its third season, Batman had gone to 3 nights a week; the villains were
laughable, some not even in costume; Yvonne Craig was brought in to sex
things up as Batgirl; and worst of all, they started doing away with the
cliffhangers. Batman actually ran single-episode stories. I
actually gave up on the show before it was mercifully cancelled.
Now I can look back at those shows and see them for the campfests they
were, and I wonder what I saw in them.
ABC still had its hooks in me. In the family, actually.
After my folks split and we moved away, I started watching my younger brothers
on nights when my mother worked late, because she couldn’t afford to pay
a babysitter. (No sweat, folks…I was 13 by this point and knew how
to dial 911.) I was an ABC junkie on Friday nights, running the distance
from The Brady Bunch to The Partridge Family to Room 222 to The Odd Couple
to Love American Style. I actually held out for Love American Style
at 10 because it was the closest thing to televised smut I could find.
(Hey, I was 13. What do you think was going through my mind, anyway?
Whether or not Felix and Oscar would ever agree on anything?)
It was around this time that my mother started letting me stay
up as late as I wanted on Friday and Saturday nights to watch the late
show. In western Pennsylvania in the early ‘70s, that meant Chiller
Theatre on Channel 11 out of Pittsburgh. Chiller Theatre was hosted
by a guy named Bill Cardille, affectionately nicknamed “Chilly Billy.”
He was the station’s go-to guy for most studio hosting jobs, like Bowling
for Dollars and Superstar Wrestling. But his true claim to fame was
as the host of Chiller Theatre.
This guy had horror chops. He had a cameo in George Romero’s
original Night of the Living Dead as a TV interviewer out in the field,
and his daughter Lori Cardille played the heroine in Romero’s second sequel,
Day of the Dead. Cardille ran two horror movies or sci-fi movies
back-to-back after the late news on Saturday nights, with the help of his
laboratory assistants. I forget the hunchback’s name, but the statuesque
redhead was named Terminal Stare. (No, really.) The movies
were usually uncut, because no one at the station really paid attention,
and none of us were complaining, that’s for sure. I was a bleary-eyed
mess most Sunday mornings before church, but it was worth it.
What genre delights were to be had in my teen years? Well,
there was Kolchak the Night Stalker, for a short but memorable run.
There was Night Gallery, which I never missed. There was Planet of
the Apes. There was Dark Shadows in the daytime. Wait a minute…I
think I’m getting out of order here…I used to come home from elementary
school to watch Barnabas!
I think the point here is that I’ve watched so much television
in my lifetime that I can no longer keep the memories in any kind of chronological
order – a shameful admission, but true. Other primetime “must-sees”
of the period included M*A*S*H, All in the Family, Happy Days, The Six
Million Dollar Man, and even Rich Man Poor Man, the first TV miniseries.
Then came college, and my tastes changed again. TV was harder
to come by in the dorms. We didn’t have one in our rooms, and the
sole TV in the viewing room downstairs was constantly being watched.
Your best bet was to hope that the guy already sitting in the room wanted
to watch the same shows you did.
That wasn’t hard with a show like WKRP in Cincinnati. This
was a very underrated sitcom, with one of the funniest ensemble casts on
TV. I still have my two favorite episodes copied on VHS: the softball
game against a rival radio station, and the legendary Thanksgiving episode,
in which station manager Carlson attempts a publicity stunt by dropping
live turkeys from a helicopter (“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys
could fly.”) Yes, WKRP was a funny show, but it still found time
to flex its dramatic muscles; its episode devoted to the infamous Who Concert
tragedy was a highlight.
On into the ‘80s, and genre TV product had pretty much fallen
below my radar. I wasn’t interested in junk like Battlestar Galactica,
Buck Rogers, or the soon-to-be-revived Star Trek franchise. My viewing
habits were about to change again, in a way that exists to this day.
Hill Street Blues was the show most responsible for this change.
It was a gritty cop thriller, a wonderful ensemble show, and a wealth of
sizzling stories and interesting characters. It set the stage for
the archetype of hour-long dramas I embraced: strong acting, stories
that continue from one week to the next, and endings that didn’t always
show that the good guys won. St. Elsewhere followed Hill Street,
and rapidly became my show of choice. It was quirkier, with great
acting (Denzel Washington’s breakthrough), and it wasn’t afraid to take
risks. I still recall the dream sequence with ZZ Top in the operating
At this point, I should also confess that I went for nighttime
soaps, too: Dallas, Dynasty, Falcon Crest, Knots Landing… the list
was nearly endless. I stayed with Dallas longer than the others,
for reasons that escape me. The Ewings were bigger than life, and
so were their stories. I think it was my weakness for nighttime soaps
that kept me from ever teasing other folks who went for daytime soaps;
one word from me, and I would have been branded a hypocrite for sure.
There was one other hour-long drama that I thought never really
got the recognition it deserved: Wiseguy. I used
to go over to my wife’s apartment when we were dating and watch Wiseguy
on Wednesday nights. I stayed awake, drawn in by the show’s powerhouse
guest actors (Kevin Spacey, Ray Sharkey, even Jerry Lewis) and its storylines
that worked out over 7- and 8-week arcs. Terri often fell asleep.
I have to confess that most of the shows I’ve grown to love over
the past dozen years or so have two things in common: they’re all
hour-long dramas, and they’re all on after my wife has gone to bed.
Let me tell you, that’s a dangerous time. There’s no one around to
keep me from falling asleep in the easy chair while I’m watching one of
my favorite shows, no matter how exciting it is. Let’s face it, if
I’m tired, I’m not long for conscious thought. One minute I’m watching
Dennis Franz bulldoze a murder suspect, the next I’m waking up with a stiff
neck at two in the morning, a thin line of drool hanging from my bottom
lip. That’s not a pretty sight. It’s also not one with which
I’d care to end this column.
Instead, it’s nice to run down that roll call of shows I mentioned
as being my favorites over the past dozen years or so. Not many genre
picks in the bunch; I’ve never been much for shows like Babylon 5 or Farscape
or Buffy or even Smallville. They’re all quality shows, but I’ve
always found it hard to jump into a show after it’s already found its footing.
I like to be there from the beginning.
That’s why the shows I remember with the greatest fondness are
the ones I’ve stayed with the longest: NYPD Blue, L.A. Law, Law and
Order, E.R., Chicago Hope, The X-Files, The West Wing, 24, and now Lost,
the latest entry in the hit parade. I never miss an episode.
Life is like that, in a way.
No one ever wants to miss an episode.
ICS CALENDER –the Month in review!
Nov 5th BIRTH
Nov 10th SEED OF CHUCKY
Nov 12th FINDING NEVERLAND
Nov 19th NATIONAL TREASURE
Nov 20th ICS MEETING
and its not the LAST Saturday !!!
Our next meeting will be held on Saturday November 20th at 5:30
John Weber will give us a presentation on the movie original
THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME.
Nov 24th ALEXANDER
Nov 25th HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!