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THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HENDERSON
Now you probably thought the movie night was supposed to be “Hammer
Frankensteins”. Due to a last minute wedding invitation, SKIP “Get me to
the church on time” PHILLIPS was unable to be there. So DAVE “Hendo” HENDERSON
switched months with him. So next April, you’ll get to hear about Hammer
Is there anyone out there who ever wondered what would happen
if they drank Alka Seltzer and red-tinted Seltzer water? DAVE “what
he’ll do for a laugh” HENDERSON did (to illustrate a scene from Robert
Louis Stevenson’s tale, not just for kicks) and within seconds, he was
grimacing, his teeth rotted and his eyes bugged out. But, luckily
for us, his personality didn’t change.
The term ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ has become part of our collective
culture. Most people know that it refers to a person who seems to
possess two opposing personalities. Hendo gave a brief background on how
Robert Lewis Stevenson literally dreamt up the idea for his short novella.
He turned to science as a means of splitting one’s good side from their
evil side. Unfortunately for Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll, it took stronger and
stronger doses for the good doctor to shed his evil Mr. Hyde persona!
And eventually, he transformed into Mr. Hyde without the drug!
Movie producers have made several versions of the film, with
the good doctor turning into ape-like neanderthals, handsome fellows, elephantine-man
characters, and even into women! Over 50 variations of the movie
have been made. And Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde recently showed up in the movies
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” and “Van Helsing”.
Hendo had a fine selection of movies representing the many incarnations
of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”, and the club voted to see the one considered
the “classic” version- the one with Frederick March. Still the only Oscar
winner for a role in a horror movie.
In addition, there was a search for the elusive Mr. Hyde in the
building. Hendo had posted a wanted poster on the front door, announcing
a reward for the capture of Mr. Hyde. He was found hiding in a drawer
by JIM “Hey, that’s Super, man!” CHILDS, who collected the reward of a
$20 Best Buy gift card.
EVERYBODY WAS KUNG-FU HUSTLING
As an extra bonus feature, the after-hours club members decided
to watch “Kung Fu Hustle” instead of “Ong Bak”.
ISSUES DISCUSSED AND ISSUES SETTLED
Chairman DAVE WILLARD had to miss the meeting last month, so “Jumping”
JOE PLEMPEL stepped up and did an admirable job chairing the meeting.
Three issues were put to the members for discussion and voting:
1.The meeting day. The idea of changing our current meeting day policy
of moving meetings for holidays was brought to the floor. Pros and cons
of all possibilities were considered (move the meetings for holidays, move
the meeting to the third Saturday, not move the meetings except for Christmas,
and don’t really care), and when it came time for a vote, the members voted
to always leave the meetings on the last Saturday (except for Christmas).
Moving to the third Saturday came in second. Hendo the Magnificent was
talking with Helen the Church Secretary, and has informed her that next
year the schedule won’t be moving for holidays, which she said was great.
2.Voting on the second movie. At the previous meeting, “Jovial” JOHN
WEBER asked why the members who stayed for the second movie couldn’t vote
on it that night, rather than having a rigid standard of being voted on
advance. The notion was put to the club, and they overwhelmingly agreed
to vote for the movie the night of the second movie.
3.Moving Pizza Night. Since we are having a special Zombie Night in
July, it was suggested that Pizza Night be moved to August. It takes a
lot of effort to plan and arrange pizza night, and the members agreed to
SPECIAL JULY GUEST! PHD ZOMBIE EXPERT AND AUTHOR!
Speaking of Zombie Night, on July 30th we have a special guest
presenter. We have Dr. Peter Dendle, an Associate Professor of English
from Penn State’s Mont Alto campus.
According to the university’s
catalogue, Dr. Dendle’s fields are Old English language and literature,
World Folklore and Zombie Movies and Literature. Dr. Dendle is the author
of the work that’s considered to be the definitive work on undead movies
– The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. He will discuss zombie films from
the early WHITE ZOMBIE days to current films like 28 DAYS LATER and DAWN
OF THE DEAD 2004. The presentation couldn’t come at a better time
being that Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD is due to be released in October 2005.
THE LIVING DEAD AND THE DOMINO EFFECT
To prevent Zombie Overload, on June 25th, we will have another
change. ANDREW “The Copperhead Encounter” KENT, who was going to be presenting
an evening of Zombie films, will now be offering an evening of Jackie Chan.
My question is, will it be the Sydney Toler or Warner Oland Chan?
THIS MONTH’S MOVIE PRESENTATION
This month, BARRY “You Will eat the Salad!” MURPHY is presenting “Are
they ICS-Worthy?”. Considering the movies we’ve seen over the past few
years, it’s hard to believe that ANYTHING would NOT be ICS-Worthy!
Remember, the meeting will be held on May 21st -
check the ICS calendar at the end of the Newsletter!
ONE DAY MINI-MINI CON
JOE “the good ol’ shmoe” PLEMPEL mentioned that the board has been
considering the idea of doing a one day mini-con to get some notoriety
(you know, the good kind) for the ICS. The idea is to do a small one day
convention in an area where there is a lot of people traffic. Not far from
where we meet is the newly built Honeygo Community Center.
The idea is to rent the place one afternoon. Cost would be $200 for
4 hours. We are looking for any ideas or suggestions. If you have done
something like this before with another group and can help, it would be
appreciated. Any thoughts on this idea? Direct them to any board member
in person or via email.
The ICS is having a pledge drive from now until May to collect funds
to donate to the Save The Children Tsunami relief charity. There
will be a cigar box at the May meeting where donations may be dropped.
We are accepting checks made out to “Save the Children” (put "Tsunami Relief"
in the memo line). Your cancelled check is your receipt if you want
to include it as a 2005 charitable donation. Save the Children
told us that they will also try to send individual receipts to those who
send checks. We are also accepting cash in the cigar box and pay
pal over the net (to ICSFILM@ HOTMAIL.COM). Regina can provide a
receipt for any cash or pay pal donations, but we do not know if the IRS
will accept an ICS receipt as proof of a charitable donation.
If you’d like to donate, but cannot attend a meeting, please send checks
payable to “Save the Children”/memo line “Tsunami Relief” to:
Regina (“and Teeka, too!”) Vallerani
1 E Chase St Apt 405
Baltimore, MD 21202
We will hold all donations until after the May meeting. Then,
we will bundle your individual checks and write a check from the ICS checking
acct for cash/pay pal donations and send them to Save the Children on behalf
of ICS. Every little bit helps, and for the cost of a few missed meals
at Wendy’s you can help make a difference.
JOE “Retired Man” PLEMPEL has generously agreed to match up to $1000
of funds donated by club members. Thanks, Joe!
The ICS is going to participate in the Horrorfind convention
from August 19-21. We'll need folks to staff the table. We will be passing
out a list to see who’s interested in helping out and who can confirm to
We will also be collecting movies to sell at Horrorfind.
No books or collectible figures or toys, please. Those items are
harder to sell and take up more space. Again, MOVIES- VHS or DVD
ONLY please. Now’s a good time to do some “Spring Housecleaning”
and get rid of some of those VHS tapes that you’ve replaced with DVDs.
ANDREW “The Audio-Visual Man” KENT assures me that DVDs are a stable format
that should last longer than those VHS tapes! So feel free to give up your
VHS copy of “Cannibal Holocaust”!
As for helping out, it’s really a blast! As JOHN “Nobody beats
ME at the Oscar Pool” WARD once said, half the fun is just socializing
with other people. If you can spare an hour or two, then come join
in the fun! As always, if you’re at the con and can spare an hour or two
but didn’t sign up to help, stop by our table to volunteer. Somebody’s
bound to need to use the bathroom!
STAR WARS NIGHT
Yes, the 900 pound gorilla of the Summer season opens May 19th.
Now maybe you’re not one of those (like our own editor Betts) whose idea
of a good time is camping out a month in advance where having to relieve
yourself is always an adventure.
Well, you can join your ICS bijou-buddies
at ICS Night at the Senator to see STAR WARS- Revenge of the Sith! None
of that camping out crap! Be a real girly man or manly girl and relax in
the comfort of the Senator’s private balcony! This time, popcorn and soda’s
on you, but that’s not a problem because the Senator now has an in-house
Loan Department to assist you in buying snacks!
See our treasurer Regina “Teeka hates
Theater of Blood” Vallerani at the next meeting.
NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING
Our next meeting will be held on Saturday MAY 21st 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.
Please note: This is NOT the last Saturday of the Month – see the ICS
calendar at the end of the Newsletter and make a note!
2006 CALENDAR NEWS
For 2006, we are trying a new approach with the Calendar theme
– call it Pot Luck. The months and front and back covers are for
sale to members for a fee. If you decide to purchase a month, you
must provide a movie still by the August meeting (nothing objectionable
please – some calendars are kept in places where young, impressionable
children can see them). You will get credit on the calendar for that
month. The Front Cover, and months March, June, September and December
are $15 and are color months. The back cover and remaining months
are $10 each and will be printed in black and white. Here is the
current month status:
JANUARY Dave Willard
FEBRUARY John Ward
MARCH Steve Vaught
JUNE Lisa Schilling
SEPTEMBER Andrew Kent
OCTOBER Regina Vallerani
NOVEMBER Jim & Betsy Childs
DECEMBER Masked Auxecutioner & Minimum
BACK COVER Sue Feder
A Special Editors Note - The Star Wars Craze –
As a self proclaimed Star Wars Fan and a member of the DC Star Wars
Collectors Club, I wanted to add a special editors column about the upcoming
Star Wars movie and my love for it and all that surrounds it….please note
this is one time event, not a new monthly occurrence.
This commercial has probably been driving you all nuts
the last month or so. It’s the one that has Chewie on the Cingular ads-
some sound director going: “now happy” Chewie: “Arrawwhh” Sound Director:
“that’s great, now one without the accent”. Or you might see Darth
looming as you walk into Burger King, or at the Target or Walmart. The
Dark side has even taken over Mr. Potatohead and the M&M’s. There
is no escape. It is your destiny. So, what is next? For a collector it
could be anywhere. So, allow me to introduce myself, Betsy Childs, Star
The collecting craze hit me hard this past week. It was
starting slow and just building up over the last month or so, but this
past week has been bad. Then finally, Boom. Like a Tie fighter on a strafing
run. I got that urge.
On May 7th it hit full blown.
That was the date that a bunch of us stood in line to
get tickets at the Senator. Yes, yes, me too. I stood in line with a whole
bunch of other people to those special tickets to the Midnight show of
the very first showing of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (the showing that
was not a charity showing a week before).
Actually though, you would all be proud of me. I did it
the smart way. The years that have passed since the last SW movie came
out that I wanted to stand in line for – Return of the Jedi, so I got some
of the youngsters to do the dirty work – that is- stand in line FOR me.
They bought me the tickets and from me they got coffee that evening and
donuts the next morning. They were happy. Of course, they were 22 and I
am 42. Oh what a difference just 20 years makes. They are still kids.
The collecting craze came upon me as we were sipping coffee
and comparing what SW stuff we had and what we needed, wanted and what
they should make. I looked around at all the things these kids had bought.
Silly things. Droid Pez, R2 Goldfish crackers, Vader M& M’s. It was
then that I remembered the collectors golden rule - you had to have one
of everything...no exceptions. (sometimes two if you want to open a package)
And I have boxes in my basement to prove it. I don’t follow that
rule, anymore, but I remember it.
See, the craze of buying all the paraphernalia in sight
passed me by during the last two movies. I really didn’t get into them
that much. The movies yes, the stuff that came with them, no. Just a tad
here and there, but not as fervently as in the past. Collecting was one
thing I had learned how to do very well. But In the last 10 years of ‘real’
life and those horrible things called bills, it had to ease off.
So to feel the craze again, is great, to just take a moment
and go driving by the local Burger King and get the special Star Wars toy.
To ask them if it is okay to go thru the box of them to see what toys they
have and grab the Darth Vader! Oh boy! He is a rare one! And I got him!
And the joy of standing in the Target to look
at Action Figures. Compare Storm Troopers and try to find a #41 (they have
their numbers on the sides you know). Then turn to the little kids next
to me. And feel good to a help them find it up on the top row that their
Dad wouldn’t reach for them. There is a Lava Darth. He is a rare one. Good
catch kid! And the kid doesn’t mind discussing the differences in minor
equipment variations that the Storm Troopers have – yep, makes me feel
good - try to explain that to a mundane Dad, and you can’t. So, I just
smile and shrug my shoulders.
Please understand, in some ways I am also very particular
about what I collect, I am not just a grab it all kind of gal. It
must be some of the unique and individual things. But once the Craze
hits…it hits. Do you remember when you might have felt this way?
When you have to have those B-movie one sheets or anything
that said Dracula on it or all the Harryhausen models that came out.
We all have an itch like that. It seems that mine is the Star Wars itch.
Now we have a movie coming that will hopefully
tie up the loose ends and answer the questions. Though by now we all know
I find as I look back, that some of the best parts of
my Star Wars collection is not found in the resin toy but in the memory.
A Star Wars Memory.
I can remember going to see the original Star Wars movie
when it came out in 1977 with my best friend. She and I went to the same
theatre in Easton MD for about 3 weeks straight that summer, almost every
night and saw it twice a night. The theater manager and her dad were friends/
drinking buddies, so after the third or fourth night the manager came to
us and said “Cindy, I can’t make you pay for seeing this darn ole movie
again….get in there.” So we saw it over and over for free.
Star Wars is a movie that just makes me stop and go ‘wow’
every time I see it. But even now, as I sit in front of the computer screen,
I don’t need a vcr or tv or theater.
I can close my eyes and see various scenes that come to
mind – the movie is in my mind. I can see Luke looking at the double
sunset and hear the music, can hear Luke’s voice as he tries to con Han
into helping him rescue the Princess...”She’s rich….” He drowls, and see/hear
the pain in Lukes face/voice as he cries “NOooo…” when Obi Wan is fighting
and takes the final cut from Darth Vaders lighsaber and the cloak falls.
It is all real to me. It was a beautifully orchestrated piece of
film. And I mean that both musically and filmatically. I love to
watch it even many years later.
I have tried to explain to people how it has touched me.
The only analogy I can come up with is to try and see if there is a movie
that has touched them at one point in their life.
It is not the same genre or acting style as say Ben Hur or Gone with
the Wind or Pyscho or Saving Private Ryan, but it was one of those to me.
And as a film, it became an unexpected wild card in the realm of movie
history. And I am glad.
How to explain to someone what it was like
to kiss Mark Hamill. I kissed Mark Hamill! On the lips and everything –
right here in Baltimore. It was after Star Wars and just about the time
Empire came out. He was doing a play called Amadeus and my Dad gave me
and my friend Cindy tickets to see it. My Dad was impressed I was
interested in classical music history. Ha ha. Well, we met Mark at the
backdoor of the stage and I got him to sign an autograph for me. After
that, a picture and a kiss. I was just 21 maybe and I floated for days.
Cindy and I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. We just talked and
talked about it. I look at those pictures now and will never forget that
That is the best part of my Memory Collection.
I told my boss today I was taking off work
to see Star Wars. She seemed to understand. Or at least didn’t seem to
be too upset. I told her I needed May 19th off almost two months ago, so
she can’t complain. I just never told her why I needed it off.
So by my viewing the Last Star Wars Movie,
at the Senator, it seems appropriate. It is a big old classic theatre and
a great one to see a movie like this. In fact I love this theatre because
it so reminds me of my theatre back in Easton where I saw the First Star
Wars. (yes, I refuse to call it the Lucas name of a new hope) It is a big
screen, old seats, a huge bathroom and even a balcony.
I look forward to seeing the Movie again. Not only
on the 19th, but also in June with my ICS family. It will become even more
special then. And a great memory. Thank you.
Zombie Wars - “And after 7-11 has the Vader & Yoda mugs, next comes
the Padme and Obi head cups. People will feel the force flowing as they
drink from your brains….”
Here be Zombies? Try they might, take my brains they won’t! Hrmph.
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BRAVO CELEBRATES SUPER HEROES
Bravo will air a three-part special, Ultimate Super
Heroes, Ultimate Super Villains, Ultimate Super Vixens, on three consecutive
nights starting May 26 at 10 p.m. ET. Narrated by Adam West, who played
Batman in the hit TV series, Ultimate Super Heroes celebrates the heroes,
villains and vixens who have created powerful impressions on fans throughout
The special features more than 50 experts, including
comic-book creators, filmmakers and producers and actors who brought these
characters to life, as well as a top-20 countdown in each category. Lou
Ferrigno will discuss The Hulk's relatable human side, and Mark Hamill
will talk about his total commitment to creating the fantasy that surrounded
Ultimate Super Heroes will look at characters from
comic books, movies, television and video games, based on their longevity,
iconic pop-culture status and their overall "cool factor.”
SALEM NOT BEWITCHED
Site of a real-life witch hysteria in 1692—are wrinkling
their noses at a proposed statue honoring the 1960s sitcom BEWITCHED. The
TV Land cable network wants to erect a 9-foot bronze statue in a city park
honoring the late Elizabeth Montgomery, who played Samantha Stephens in
the sitcom, about a witch married to a mortal man.
But residents like Jean Harrison said the statue
would be insensitive. She said that Montgomery played a fictional comic
witch, but those who were condemned to die in the Salem witch trials weren't
witches at all. Others point out that BEWITCHED had no connection to the
city other than a visit by the cast in 1970.
Mayor Stanley Usovicz strongly supports the statue, saying it would
be a fun spot for tourists to stop and have their pictures taken. He also
says it would be located far from Gallows Hill, where 19 accused witches
CARPENTER MASTERS HORROR
"Each of us has an hour to shoot in 10 days," says Director
John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) about the episode that he will helm
of the new Showtime anthology series MASTERS OF HORROR. Carpenter said
on the set of the upcoming remake of his 1980 film The Fog. He added, with
tongue in cheek: "The first director that they got was John Landis, who's
now way over budget and way over schedule. So there may not be any more
MASTERS OF HORROR. He may do them in. ... They've pushed me later in the
schedule, because they're going to take all the money out of my show and
put it into everyone else's."
Carpenter will film a script titled "Cigarette Burns,"
written by Drew McWeeney, better known as Moriarty of the Ain't It Cool
News Web site. "I've never seen anything else like it," Carpenter said.
"I'll be shooting in July at some point. As I say, the first director up
was John Landis. Last night I had dinner with Dario Argento. He's the second
one up. They're going to kick the crew's ass. [But] it'll be fun." MASTERS
OF HORROR begins airing on Showtime later this year.
ABRAMS COY ABOUT LOST FINALE
J.J. Abrams, co-creator of ABC's hit LOST, said
that the upcoming season finale will strike a balance between revealing
and concealing. "That was one of the, I think, requirements of the finale,
was to answer some questions and keep others out there and open," Abrams
said. "So, you know, like with everything, that's the ambition, and I believe
we've succeeded. But ultimately the fans are the judge."
LOST wraps up its first season on May 25 with a
two-hour finale. In the finale, they go back to the pilot episode and some
revelations are made with characters. “Answers we have been waiting for
all season occur. Some mysteries are not answered yet” Abrams says.
Abrams, meanwhile, said that he's recently completed a
global location scout for his upcoming feature-film directorial debut,
Mission: Impossible 3. "All over the world," he said. "It was like insane.
But it's a trip. I mean, literally, it was a trip. ... I'm so excited.
PRODUCERS TRY TO DEFEND ENTERPRISE END
Star Trek: Enterprise producers Brannon Braga and Rick
Berman said that they understood the recent disparaging comments made by
cast members about the final episode, but stood by their execution of the
series finale. "You have to remember, under normal circumstances, most
people probably would have thought this was a very cool episode, because
it has a great concept driving it," Braga said in a conference call with
reporters. "But when it's the final episode of a series, emotions are running
The most vocal objection came from cast member Jolene
Blalock, who plays T'Pol on the show. "I don't know where to begin with
that one," she recently said of the finale. "The final episode is ... appalling."
The episode, titled "These Are the Voyages," features
Star Trek: The Next Generation stars Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis,
who reprise their roles as Commander Riker and Deanna Troi. The pair will
view the episode's historic events through a holodeck recreation. Berman
said he thought that the opinions expressed by Blalock had to do with the
episode's references to the previous Trek series. "The feeling was that
if this was going to be the finale of Enterprise, then why bring characters
in from another series?" he said. "But I think when people see the episode
and realize that to be able to truly pay the respect to our characters
that we have, we've couched it in a unique fashion of being able to look
back on them, and I think it's going to be a very positive response towards
the Enterprise crew."
Braga said that he was aware that the Enterprise cast
had some minor issues with the storyline, but there were no serious objections
during the production. "There were a couple of people who were slightly
uncomfortable with the fact that we have Next Generation characters in
the show, and it is a different kind of episode," he said.
MTV DIGS DIRT SQUIRREL
David Arquette and Courteney Cox are producing a quirky
live-action/animated pilot for MTV tentatively titled DIRT SQUIRREL. The
project, which is the first partnership between MTV and Arquette and Cox's
Coquette Productions, features a mix of animated and live-action animal
and human characters against an animated background.
The pilot, which already has been shot, stars Arquette
as crime-fighting superhero Dirt Squirrel, who takes on neighborhood villains
with his own martial-arts style while spewing snappy one-liners.
Arquette performs in a costume with prosthetics. Dirt
Squirrel also gets help from a crime-fighting squadron known as the League
of Super Nuts, which includes two teens: skateboarder Merlin Ipswich (Jeff
Braine) and "rebel grrrl" Jeanie Ipswich (Brittany Finamore). The pilot
also features Cox, Paul Reubens and Lukas Haas as a trio of villains.
Look for some Action figures soon!
BLACK & BOWDER
Former Farscape star Claudia Black said that her character
in the upcoming ninth season of Stargate SG-1 will bedevil Michael Shanks'
Daniel Jackson for the season's first six episodes. Black reprises the
role of the mischievous Vala first introduced in last season's "Prometheus
"I've come to make Michael Shanks' life a misery," Black
said in an interview at the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles this week. "The
character I'm playing is sort of the hair-pulling variety. She's really
infuriating, but, I hope, funny."
Black added: "She's the naughty kid that says everything
that everyone else is thinking, but doesn't dare say. Everything she says
is to get a rise or reaction out of someone. ... She's also a highly comedic
character. She provides a lot of energy and comedy."
Black finds herself again sharing a show with Farscape's
Ben Browder, who joins the regular SG-1 cast as Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell,
a new member of SG-1. But Browder said that he won't share much screen
time with his former Farscape on-screen flame. "They're trying to keep
us apart," Browder said. "But we'll break them down eventually. They've
got to give us one scene together!"
Black added: "There's a good reason, though, for keeping
us separated," she said. "It underlines how obviously different our characters
are this time around. It's a whole different ballgame."
Browder said that the SG-1 cast has been nothing but welcoming.
You know, it would be hard to ask for much more in regards to the cast
taking us in.
Black and Browder added that they hope Farscape lives
on, though it ended its run on SCI FI Channel last year with the miniseries
Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars. (The miniseries won three Saturn Awards.) "I'd
love to see a Farscape feature film, but for now I'm very happy launching
the ninth season of Stargate [SG-1] with Beau Bridges who joins the cast
as Maj. Gen. Hank Landry." He added: "Beau Bridges is running the show.
Every time he comes into the room, I stand at attention."
"We all do," Black added.
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New Line Bites Into Meg
New Line has acquired Steve Alten's best-selling
novel Meg, about a voracious prehistoric shark, and slated the film adaptation
for release in the summer of 2006. The film, which will have an estimated
budget of $75 million, has been fast-tracked after languishing at Disney's
Hollywood Pictures for more than a decade. The title refers to the carcharodon
megalodon, an 80-foot-long ancestor of the great white shark, which terrorizes
the California coast in the novel.
Jan de Bont (Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,
Speed) is set to direct, with Shane Salerno (Armageddon) rewriting Alten's
original script. De Bont will also produce along with Larry Gordon, Lloyd
Levin, Guillermo del Toro, Ken Atchity, Chi-Li Wong and Nick Nunziata.
Sommers Collides With Worlds
Stephen Sommers, director of The Mummy and
Van Helsing, will write and direct a remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi
film When Worlds Collide for Paramount. Sommers will also produce the film,
alongside his partner, Bob Ducsay.
The original film centers on a scientific
discovery that another planet is on a collision course with Earth and the
race to save a handful of humans from the inevitable destruction. The project
will reportedly be ambitious in scale and budget.
Worlds is the most recent project to come
out of the newly formed Sommers Co., which announced last week that it
will be producing a feature adaptation of the Top Cow comic series Proximity
Effect for Universal.
Sony Snatches Grudge 2 and Pang Brothers Film
Sony Pictures Entertainment has signed a two-picture
distribution deal with Ghost House Pictures to release The Grudge 2 as
well as the English-language debut film from the Pang brothers, entitled
The agreement comes on the heels of a number
of successful collaborations between the two partners, including the release
of last year's The Grudge and the recent Boogeyman. Columbia Pictures execs
Matt Tolmach, Doug Belgrad and Shannon Gaulding will work with the Ghost
House team to develop The Grudge 2. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who starred
in the first film, has not yet committed to the sequel. Director Takashi
Shimizu, the creative force behind the Grudge / Ju-On franchise, is back
at the helm, and will re-team with writer Stephen Susco; producers Sam
Raimi, Robert Tapert and Taka Ichise; and executive producers Roy Lee and
The Pang Brothers rose to success with their
Hong Kong blockbuster THE EYE. They hope to translate their Asian
box-office appeal to the US market with SCARECROW. Mark Wheaton is the
new writer. The movie, about a family encountering supernatural forces
when they move onto a rundown sunflower farm, is based on an original script
by Todd Farmer (JASON X), which was given a rewrite by Stuart Beattie (COLLATERAL),
before Wheaton came on board.
Ray Harryhausen sets sail with new SINBAD
Rob Cohen, director of Columbia’s new THE
8TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, just revealed that FX guru Ray Harryhausen will be
a consultant on the film. "I met with him and said, ‘I really would be
honored if you would be with me on this, since none of us would be here
without you,’" Cohen said. "What Ray understood in movies like 1958’s THE
7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD was how to do action-fantasy-adventure at a time when
there was no CG. So he’s coming out of retirement to be our creative consultant,
The director says it was his choice of actor
to play the monster-battling hero—Keanu Reeves—that helped inspire Harryhausen
to join the project. "He just laughed and went, ‘Oh, that’s so brilliant.’
Ray thinks Keanu [could be] the greatest Sinbad ever." Cohen also wants
Ziyi Zhang (HOUSE OF FLYING DAGGERS) to play the female lead, and adds,
"Sinbad’s got a crew, so it’s gonna be a whole interesting group of actors.
I’ve talked to Jet Li, Djimon Hounsou and Hayden Christensen." 8TH VOYAGE,
set in 10th-century China, will film in January and, according to Cohen,
"I’m gonna make it PG, so that everyone can go!"
THE DEAD ARRIVE FASTER THAN EXPECTED
Universal must be asking themselves what the
hell they waited so long for in the first place. After years of no one
giving him a break, George A. Romero finally got to make his fourth zombie
film through the studio, and it seems they’re so damn pleased with the
results that they’ve moved it’s release date up an unprecedented 4 months.
Originally slated to open October 18th, 2005
(though that date was always tentative), Land of the Dead will now shamble
it’s way into theaters on June 24th, 2005, according to Universal’s official
That gives them just over two months to market
the living hell (or would it be living dead?) out of this movie, a formidable
task since we haven’t even seen a teaser poster or official site for the
film yet. Get psyched, folks, cause this summer’s going to stink of the
LOST STAR FOUND ON FILM
Seems being in a top TV show has its advantages-
you get paid to die on film. Josh Holloway (LOST) and Sarah Wayne Callies
have been cast in the supernatural thriller Whisper. Stewart Hendler is
making his directorial debut on the film for Gold Circle Films. Callies
plays the girlfriend of a convict/kidnapper, to be played by Holloway,
in the story of a New England-set kidnapping of a young boy. The screenplay
is from producer-turned-writer Chris Borrelli. The producers are Gold Circle
president Paul Brooks and H2F partner Walter Hamada and Deacon head Damon
YOU GOT BLOOD IN MY CHOCOLATE
Olivier Martinez (S.W.A.T.) and Agnes Bruckner
(The Woods) have signed on to star in MGM/Lakeshore's werewolf film Blood
and Chocolate. Adapted by Ehren Kruger, Blood and Chocolate is based on
Annette Curtis Klause's novel about a teenage werewolf who has spent her
life trying to hide the fact that she is part wolf. She must choose between
her love for a human and her family after her relationship with a visiting
American threatens to expose her secret.
German helmer Katja von Garnier directs. Lakeshore
is co-financing and co-producing the picture, which will likely be released
through Sony. Lakeshore's Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi will produce
alongside Daniel Bobker. Kruger will exec produce. Bruckner's recent credits
include Haven and Stateside. She will also be seen in The Woods. Martinez'
credits include Unfaithful, Before Night Falls and The Roman Spring of
DARTH VADER VS. FATHER MERRIN
Nearly three years after Paul Schrader began
production on his prequel to The Exorcist, Morgan Creek Prods. has decided
to give the pic a theatrical life. It will bow May 20, the same day as
Star Wars – albeit in considerably more limited release.
Warner Bros. Pictures will handle the pic's
distribution, under its former arrangement with the shingle. Schrader's
movie began production in November 2002 and Morgan Creek left the Warners
lot for Universal Pictures in late 2003.
Morgan Creek's Jim Robinson pulled the plug
on Schrader's nearly finished film in September 2003 over creative differences
-- Robinson wanted pea soup and Schrader didn't. The producer shelled out
another $35 million to have Renny Harlin take another stab at it, with
Stellan Skarsgard once again starring as troubled Father Merrin. Harlin's
film was released last August and earned about $80 million worldwide.
That might have been the end of the story
had Schrader not decided to take his finished film to the Brussels Fantasy
Film Festival last month for its world premiere. Morgan Creek Intl. handled
the pic's foreign distribution, and Schrader's film has already been released
in the Netherlands. Now all that remains is the matter of a title. Harlin's
pic took the original title of Exorcist: The Beginning. In Brussels, Schrader's
movie screened as Paul Schrader's The Exorcist: The Original Prequel. Now
Morgan Creek is leaning toward Dominion: A Prequel to the Exorcist. Confused
Diesel Iced In xXx Sequel
Lee Tamahori, director of the upcoming sequel
film xXx: State of the Union, said that he had a hand in getting Ice Cube
to take over the starring role from Vin Diesel, who headlined the first
installment of the action franchise. "I was undecided as to whether I would
do it or not," the New Zealand-born Tamahori said in an interview. "I had
just made another of those big, giant movies [Die Another Day], and I didn't
know if I wanted to go straightaway into another one."
Tamahori said that a script for xXx: State
of the Union was already written, tailored to Diesel's character, extreme
athlete Xander Cage. But, the director said, "If I had Vin in the picture,
I would have had to do extreme sports again, and I did not want to do a
That is when "the ground shifted rapidly,"
Tamahori said, and he was offered "a hook" that made him change his mind.
"The studio cinched the deal by telling me that I did not have to do the
movie with Vin," he said. "They said that the initial idea for the XXX
franchise, as conceived by the first film's director, Rob Cohen, was to
not have the same lead actor each time out. That immediately made it more
interesting for me, because it would allow me, as a director, to go someplace
A substantial rewrite of the script eliminated
Diesel's character altogether and bumped a secondary character, Darius
Stone, to the lead role. Stone is a man recruited to stop a covert takeover
of the United States government. Tamahori, long an advocate of dramatic
action pictures and a fan of such '70s thrillers as Three Days of the Condor
and All the President's Men, felt that the rewrite made the sequel a smarter
movie. "This is definitely a much more intelligent movie," he said. "It's
not brainless, and it's not another Bond movie. This is a homegrown story
with a lot of '70s dark, thriller, paranoid concepts in it. And, no, I'm
not worried about it being too smart for its target audience. Teenage audiences
are not stupid. I think they'll get it." xXx: State of the Union opens
No Todd in Final 3
Glen Morgan—who with partner James Wong is
returning to the Final Destination franchise by writing and producing the
upcoming third installment—said that the sequel will feature an all-new
cast and that Tony Todd won't appear. "You know, I think Tony's a great
actor," Morgan said, referring to the actor who played a creepy mortician
in the previous two installments. "I like that character a great deal.
[But] I kind of felt that even in both films, it kind of brought the movie
to a stop. And I don't know what to do with that character, other than
to make it … that he's Death or some kind of goofy thing like that."
Todd played a mortician who explains the rules
of the franchise to the young stars "and to give you a little clue, that
guy at the edge of the dark forest kind of thing," Morgan said in an interview
during a break in filming in Vancouver, B.C., last week. "And you know,
I think that people kind of get what the ... series is, and I don't really
know if he's needed."
The new cast includes Ryan Merriman and Mary
Elizabeth Winstead, both of whom appeared in The Ring Two. The cast also
includes Kris Lemche, Alexz Johnson and Texas Battle. But FD3 won't feature
either A.J. Cook—whose character, Kimberly, survived the last Final Destination
film—or Ali Larter—whose character, Clear, died.
"We wanted to ... sort of do it over again
with somebody new," said James Wong, who is again directing the film. Wong
added: "Because you have the first two movies, you can just sort of skip
over a lot of the exposition about what is going on, because now the character
can say, 'I read this on the Internet. This happened.' And that's it. That's
all you have to deal with it, and then you get on with your own story."
Final Destination 3 is now filming with an eye to a 2006 release date.
Jennings Guides Hitchhiker In-Jokes
Garth Jennings, director of the upcoming film
version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, said that fans of late
author Douglas Adams' original book and other versions of the story should
be on the lookout for in-jokes and insider references. For example, Simon
Jones, who played the main character, Arthur Dent, in the British television
series, can be seen and heard briefly as a Magrathean announcer. "Simon
Jones was just great as Arthur Dent, and we needed a face and voice for
that sequence," Jennings said. "We actually shot it in 3-D, so if you wear
red and green glasses, he actually jumps out. I haven't really told the
studio that I did that. I thought it'd be more fun if we just did it. No
one really knows. But I just couldn't resist doing it."
Jennings added: "The original Marvin robot
that was used in the TV series, we managed to track down at the BBC studios.
It was all in pieces, like this dismembered body. It was really grim. And
they got him out and polished him up and made all his lights work and everything,
and it was great. We put him on set in the queuing group, where Arthur
[Martin Freeman] is queuing up to save Trillian [Zooey Deschanel]. He's
just in there, volunteering up, and Arthur looks at him. He was quite an
icon when I was growing up, that Marvin robot. He even had a record on
the charts. He was a smash hit when you were a kid."
And there's more, Jennings said. Images of
Douglas Adams are scattered throughout the movie. "He had cyberscanned
his head for a computer game," Jennings said. "We had access to his data,
so when we built the Temple of Deep Thought, which is this giant nose and
nostrils, etc., it's actually Douglas' nose, perfectly rebuilt 30 feet
[high]. Not that anyone is going to go, 'Hey, that's Douglas' nose,' but
it just felt like quite a fun thing to do. And then one of the planets,
as they're flying through the planet factory, is Douglas' whole head that
just is this giant planet. It's quite lovely."
Jennings added: "At the end, the final improbability
effect is Douglas' face. It disappears and says 'For Douglas.' His mom
and family are in it. His mom is the old lady reading the newspapers who
couldn't really care less as the Earth is being destroyed, and she's in
it again at the end. Douglas' daughter and sister and everybody are around
the table. There are tons of things crammed in there. Basically if we needed
a prop or a name for something we just used the original material as a
Threesome Aboard Fincher's Zodiac
Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark
Ruffalo will topline serial-killer thriller Zodiac, the Paramount and Warner
Bros. co-production to be directed by David Fincher (SE7EN, FIGHT CLUB.)
The production is slated to start in mid-August,
with Phoenix Pictures producing. Screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt is adapting
from Robert Graysmith's 1986 true-crime book Zodiac and 2002 sequel Zodiac
Unmasked: The Identity of America's Most Elusive Serial Killer Revealed.
Gyllenhaal will portray Graysmith, a San Francisco
Chronicle cartoonist who began tracking the mystery of the serial killer.
The Zodiac killer terrorized the San Francisco area from 1966-78, committing
at least 37 murders and documenting his exploits in taunting letters sent
to the Chronicle. Graysmith believes he identified the killer, but competing
investigations and other circumstances prevented the suspect, who died
in 1992, from ever being apprehended. Ruffalo will portray the lead investigator
in the case, Downey a reporter.
Bettis and McKee Team Up Again for Roman
Fans of Lucky McKee’s unsettling psychochiller
MAY will be pleased to know that the writer/director has paired once again
with May herself, actress Angela Bettis, for a new digitally lensed feature
titled ROMAN, currently shooting in Los Angeles. This time around, though,
there’s a twist to the arrangement: Bettis is directing the film from McKee’s
script, while the latter steps in front of the camera to play the title
character, who might be best described as May’s more disturbed sibling.
"It’s about a lonely guy who has nothing in his life except for looking
out a window after work," McKee said. "He watches the same girl go by every
day, but he never talks to her, until he meets her by chance. Unfortunately,
he’s obsessed so much over her that things go horribly wrong."
Kristen Bell, star of TV’s VERONICA MARS,
and Jennifer Carpenter from the upcoming THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE round
out the cast; both co-starred with Bettis in the Broadway revival of The
Crucible. Longtime McKee collaborator Kevin Ford handles cinematographer
duties ("He’s a genius with digital," McKee says), while Dean and Starr
Jones, late of Tobe Hooper’s TOOLBOX MURDERS and MORTUARY, handle the special
Hutton in The Kovak Box
Spanish horror factory Filmax International
has begun shooting its new horror thriller THE KOVAK BOX. Directed by Daniel
Monzón, THE KOVAK BOX stars Timothy Hutton (THE DARK HALF), Lucía
Jiménez, David Kelly and Gary Piquer. Scripted by Monzón
and director Alex de la Iglesia’s longtime collaborator Jorge Guerricaechevarría,
THE KOVAK BOX concerns a science fiction writer who is invited to an island
to host a conference. Next, according to the official synopsis, “a series
of tragic and mysterious events cause him to try to escape but it proves
impossible. However illogical it might seem, he cannot help but ask himself:
Could it be that somebody or something is making people commit suicide?"
Filming on THE KOVAK BOX will last eight weeks
in various Spanish locations in Mallorca, followed by another three weeks
in Madrid. No word on U.S. distribution yet.
Bava is Back
Lamberto Bava, son of Mario and director of
DEMONS among many others, is returning to horror features for the first
time in many years with a project called THE TORTURER. Based on a story
by veteran Italian screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti, Luciano Martino and
Michele Massimo Tarantini, the movie was scripted by Bava with Diego Cestino
and Andrea Valentini. Here’s the questionable English synopsis: "A dark
and gloomy theater set for strange castings. An awful and neglected villa.
A stage writer who pushes young actresses to put themselves at risk in
morbid auditions thick with physical pain and pleasure. Around the writer
stir his ancient and sick mother, his agent/stepfather, the aspiring actors
and a young actress with whom he falls in love. Who is the torturer who
tears to pieces the bodies of the actresses?"
Filming is scheduled to begin this May, with
DUE P.T. Cinematografica, Dania Film and Surf Film producing. THE TORTURER
will be shot in English in anticipation of international release.
Production begins Monday on the slasher flick
HATCHET. The film stars the man behind the Jason hockey mask, Kane Hodder,
Tony Todd (CANDYMAN), Josh Leonard (BLAIR WITCH PROJECT), Mercedes McNab
(ANGEL) and Robert Englund. Filming will be split between Los Angeles and
New Orleans on the indie production, under Adam Green’s direction. John
Carl Buechler handles the makeup FX on HATCHET, about a group of tourists
lost in the haunted swamps of New Orleans.
"We are having a blast so far," producer Sarah
Elbert said. "We have created a real sense of family with our crew and
cast. It’s kind of ironic to be working on a horror film where everyone
is smiling and joking around. Everyone is very happy to be here, and I
am sure it will show on the screen. Adam took some of the cast members
to see AMITYVILLE HORROR over the weekend, and we had a great time."
Elbert reveals that the shooting of HATCHET
will be fully documented on the web. "We are also doing a journal/blog
at our hatchetmovie.com website that recounts the day-to-day events of
producing a low-budget horror movie," she says. "Cast and crew will be
posting thoughts and stories about the making of the film."
Rock Joins Southland Tales
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will star opposite
Seann William Scott and Sarah Michelle Gellar in the science-fiction thriller
Southland Tales for writer-director Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko). The Cherry
Road Films production is slated to begin Aug. 1 in Los Angeles.
Southland Tales is set in Los Angeles on July
4, 2008, as the city stands on the brink of social, economic and environmental
disaster. Johnson will star as an amnesiac action star whose life intertwines
with an adult film star developing her own reality television project and
a Hermosa Beach police officer who holds the key to a vast conspiracy.
Southland Tales also will be presented as
a nine-part interactive experience, with the prequel saga to be published
as six separate 100-page graphic novels written by Kelly. These will be
released over a six-month period early next year leading up to the film's
release, with the feature film covering the story's final three chapters.
Will Ferrell Travels to Land of the Lost
Will Ferrell is attached to star in the comedy
Land of the Lost, based on the 1974-77 television series of the same name
for Universal Pictures. Adam McKay, a former Saturday Night Live writer
who directed Ferrell in Anchorman, is attached to direct, with Chris Henchy
and Dennis McNicholas signing on to adapt the screenplay.
The series revolved around forest ranger Rick
Marshall and his children, Will and Holly, who are caught in a time vortex
while rafting on the Colorado River and transported to a mysterious world
populated by dinosaurs.
Ferrell will next be seen in Universal's comedy
Kicking & Screaming and will star opposite Nicole Kidman in this summer's
Bewitched. He is playing Franz Liebkind in the film version of Mel Brooks'
Broadway hit The Producers for Universal.
SIN CITY - A Movie Review by: Dava Sentz
Comic book movies have become something of a cliché
in recent years. With the possible exception of Spiderman, I've found that
if a movie is based on a comic or graphic novel, it is usually not worthy
of all the praising and hype it receives. They're quite often just a series
of cheesy comic lines with cheesy comic plot lines. Fortunately, I was
able to find another comic book film to add to my enjoyable list, Sin City.
It may not be the best film I've seen all year, but it
was certainly very impressive. Directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez
and Quentin Tarantino, Sin City was not only based on a graphic novel,
but it was actually presented like one. Filmed almost entirely in black
and white, Sin City was depicted in the same chapter splicing fashion that
we've all come to love so much.
This film interweaves the lives of six principal characters.
The heroic cop and his innocent young hostage, the corrupt cop with a thirst
for revenge, the crooked mayor with a cannibalistic plan, and of course,
the take charge hookers of downtown. A graphic tale of sex and violence,
the CGI and dark animation that illuminated the actors gave this movie
a highly original look. It was anything but dull, moving at a fast and
intriguing pace. Unfortunately, this made for a highly confusing journey.
To begin with, cannibalism has always made for great filmmaking.
The Silence of the Lambs trilogy is genius, aided considerably by Anthony
Hopkins as the charmingly creepy Doctor Lector. As much as I've enjoyed
his work in the past, I really don't think the cannibalistic plot line
works with a former hobbit as the cannibal. This is not to say he didn't
do a great job. But his sweet baby face and irresistible blue eyes give
him a rather innocent persona, so to cast him as a martial arts doing,
head-mounting psychopath is almost laughable.
Then there was the whole Marv/Goldie/Wendy story. Again,
this was a very exciting thrill ride. It was even romantic, from a Tarantino
perspective. But, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't really sure how it tied
in with the rest of the film. The same thing can be said for Hartigan and
Nancy, Gail and Becky, Shellie and Jackie Boy, and all but especially "The
Man". Josh Hartnett's presence in this film made very little sense to me.
Perhaps the reason why I had so much trouble following it is because I've
never read the novels, so I don't know exactly how all of these characters
relate to each other. Clearly, all of these stories connect somehow. There
is a common factor that unites them, as in the grand tradition of such
Tarantino/Rodriguez classics as Pulp Fiction and Four Rooms. But, I just
didn't see it. And as a viewer, I should.
But, on a positive note, I have to give major props to
the directors for creativity. I can honestly say that this is the most
original format I've ever seen in a movie. While Sin City boasts an eclectic
and talented cast featuring the likes of Bruce Willis, Elijah Wood, Mickey
Rourke, and Alexis Bledel, when you watch the movie it's not as if you're
watching the actors, but rather dark animated versions of the actors. It
felt very much like being in the middle of a virtual reality, part comic
book and part video game. The principal players were all highlighted in
silhouettes, magnifying the brightness of their eyes. This technique not
only gave the film an eerie glow, but it also was a terribly clever way
of disguising the violence. Sin City is graphic in every sense of the word,
so much so that presenting the film any other way would've no doubt given
it an X rating. This means "straight to DVD" which would be a tragedy on
behalf of the film industry. To get the full effect, Sin City is best viewed
on the big screen.
I hope get to see it again before it leaves the theaters.
While I was never bored and enjoyed my visit to Sin City very much, I must
admit there is still a lot I have yet to understand.
IMAGINATIVE CINEMA COMING SOON
MUST SEE MOVIES FOR ICS MEMBERS LIKEYOU!
MAY 19TH STAR WARS - REVENGE OF THE SITH
Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid,
Samuel L. Jackson
The third and final installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy -
the sixth Star Wars movie overall. Anakin Skywalker's turn to the Dark
Side of the Force, the continuing Clone Wars and the final fate of the
Old Republic should be revealed.
Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala, Kenny Baker as R2-D2, Samuel L. Jackson
as Mace Windu, Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, Peter Mayhew as
Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa and Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in
20th Century Fox's Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith - 2005
HOUSE OF WAX
Cast: Elisha Cuthbert (Carly Jones), Jared Padalecki (Wade), Paris
Hilton (Paige Edwards), Chad Michael Murray (Nick Jones), Jon Abrahams
(Johnson Chapman), Damon Herriman (Lester), Emma Lung, , Brian Van Holt
Premise: A group of friends on their way to a college football game
falls prey to a pair of murderous brothers in an abandoned small town.
They discover that the brothers have expanded upon the area's main attraction
- the House of Wax - and created an entire town filled with the wax-coated
corpses of unlucky visitors. Now the group must find a way out before they
too become permanent exhibits in the House of Wax.
MAY 6TH KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Cast: Orlando Bloom (Balian), Eva Green (Sibylla), Marton Csokas, Brendan
Gleeson, Jeremy Irons (Tiberias), Liam Neeson (Godfrey of Ibelin), Alexander
Premise: Set during the 12th century in the holy city of Jerusalem,
a young peasant blacksmith (Bloom) becomes a knight so that he may help
join the Crusades as they attempt to repel the Muslim forces of Saladin
who are attempting to take control of the city of Jerusalem. Meanwhile,
the young knight also falls in love with the city's beautiful princess
MAY 20TH DOMINION : A PREQUEL TO THE
Cast: Stellan Skarsgard (Father Lankester Merrin), Gabriel Mann (Father
Francis), Clara Bellar (Rachel Lesno), Billy Crawford (Cheche), Ralph Brown
(Sergeant Major), Israel Aduramo (Jomo), Andrew French (Chuma)
Premise: Three years after a traumatic experience at the end of WWII,
Father Lankester Merrin is working as an archeologist in British East Africa.
His team uncovers an ancient Byzantine church, preserved in pristine condition,
and buried beneath the church is an ancient crypt that contains the remnants
of Satanic ritual and brutal sacrifice. The locals are convinced that uncovering
the church has unleashed a demon, and young Father Francis believes that
a boy has been possessed by it. Father Merrin realizes that he must try
to recover his lost faith if they are to have any hope of overcoming the
Attention ICS Memorabilia Collectors –
Got this email and wanted to share it. It HAS been checked to be valid.
Discovery Channel’s new show “Pop Nation” is coming to
Baltimore! We are looking for pop culture collectors (extreme and
amateur) as well as buyers of these collectables. We are looking
for items that fit into the following categories: TV, Toys, Movies, Sports,
Sci-Fi and Technology, Music, Fashion, and Housewares.
We are focusing on the era from 1960’s to late 1980’s.
We will be filming at the Baltimore Convention Center on June 4th. If you
or anyone you know is interested in showing off their collection, having
an item appraised or buying items, please go to our website and register
(link below). For people with huge collections (our extreme collectors),
we may want to visit their homes/etc. where they house their collection.
If you have a mailing list or web site that you can pass
this along on it would be extremely helpful. Contact http://media.dsc.discovery.com/fansites/popnation/popnation.html
There, you can register to attend one of the 4 events around the country,
including for Baltimore.
farewellsfarewellsfarewells Good bye farewellsfarewellsfarewells
Yoshitaro Nomura, one of Japan's most prolific post-World War II directors,
who made 89 films over three decades and was also a fantastic pioneer of
Japanese film noir, has died at age 85.
Born in Tokyo, Nomura joined Shochiku, a major Japanese film studio,
when he was 22. Twelve years later, he made his directorial debut with
Hato (Pigeon). His films ranged from samurai dramas to musicals to crime
stories, including harikomi (stakeout), kage no kuruma (the shadow within),
suna no utsuwa (castle of sand), jiken (the incident), kichiku (the demon)
and giwaku (suspicion).
In 1995, the Japanese government awarded him an Order of the Rising
Sun, one of the nation's top honors.
Ruth Hussey, who was best known for her Oscar-nominated role as James
Stewart's sassy photographer girlfriend in the classic 1940 film The Philadelphia
Story, has died. Ruth Carol Hussey was born Oct. 30, 1911, in Providence,
R.I., and graduated from Pembroke Women's College at Brown University.
She studied acting at the University of Michigan and became a contract
player for MGM when she was spotted by a talent scout while in Los Angeles
with the road tour of Dead End.
Her first film was an uncredited role in The Big City in 1937. She
has appeared in such other films as Northwest Passage, Flight Command,
Our Wife, Tennessee Johnson, The Uninvited, Bedside Manner, I, Jane Doe,
The Great Gatsby, Stars and Stripes Forever and her last feature film The
Facts of Life, playing Bob Hope's wife.
She was 93 years old.
George P. Cosmatos, the director of such hit films as Rambo: First Blood
Part II starring Sylvester Stallone and Tombstone starring Val Kilmer and
Kurt Russell, has died. As a boy in his native Italy, Cosmatos loved the
1940s-era American movies he saw, he never planned on a film career until
he met filmmaker Otto Preminger during a summer vacation on Crete. Preminger
hired him as assistant director for Exodus and Cosmatos never looked back.
Some of his other films included the beloved, the cassandra crossing,
escape to athena, cobra, leviathan, and shadow conspiracy.
He was 64.
Sir John Mills, the Academy Award-winning actor and father of actresses
Hayley and Juliet Mills, has died at age 97.
Mills won an Oscar and a Golden Globe as best supporting actor for
his role as the brain-damaged mute villager in Ryan's Daughter, David Lean's
1970 romantic drama set in Ireland during World War I. Mills started his
career in London’s West End theatre district as a musical comedy song and
dance man. His versatile career spanned more than 70 years and more than
His filmography includes goodbye, mr. Chips, in which we serve, great
expectations, war and peace, around the world in eighty days, swiss family
robinson, the singer not the song, king rat, Quatermass, murder with mirrors
He was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976.
Mason Adams, the veteran character actor best known as the compassionate
newspaper managing editor on Lou Grant and for 30 years the voice of Smucker’s
T.V. commercials, has died. Born in Brooklyn, Adams received a bachelor's
degree in theater and speech from the University of Wisconsin in 1940 and
a master's degree in theater arts a year later. He also studied acting
at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City. He
made his Broadway debut in Get Away Old Man in 1943 and acted frequently
on radio, including roles in Big Town, Gasoline Alley, Inner Sanctum, Grand
Central Station and Superman, on which he played the Kryptonite-powered
Atom Man. Though Adams appeared prolifically on T.V. and stage, his film
career was not large and tended to be “Imaginatave” cinema such as demon,
omen iii, f/x, toy soldiers, not of this earth, and the lesser evil. He
was 86 years old.
THE LAST WARD . . .
By John Ward
By the time you read this, a certain space opera will have premiered
around the world to the tune of millions and millions of tickets sold,
or it will be about to premiere, and the lines will be long, I can assure
you. For those out there who don’t know what movie I’m talking about
– and if that’s true, then what are you doing reading this newsletter,
for Chewbacca’s sake? – note this: STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE
OF THE SITH is here.
Hide your wallets.
It seems that not a day goes by that there isn’t some report
in the news or online about folks lining up for tickets across the country.
I had to laugh at the uberfans in L.A. who stubbornly set up housekeeping
on the pavement outside the theater after having been told REVENGE OF THE
SITH would be playing at the theater down the street. They weren’t
buying it, since 20th Century Fox had pulled a similar tactic on a previous
release. I tip my hat to them; there but for the grace of God, 3,000
miles, 25 years, and a passel of family responsibilities, right there with
them I might be, as a certain green-skinned walking walnut would say.
It’s hard to believe that we’ve come to the end of the road –
in a cinematic sense, of course. There’s talk of the franchise setting
up shop on TV, focusing on minor characters in the STAR WARS universe.
But it wouldn’t be the same. True fans know it will end where it
began: in the hands and imagination of George Lucas.
Twenty-eight years ago, I had just finished my freshman year
at Penn State. It was late May, and I was spending a few days at
my cousin’s house near Pittsburgh. STAR WARS (which was all it was
called back then) had opened at the Showcase Cinemas in suburban Monroeville,
a new state-of-the-art multiplex, and we were eager to see it. I
knew exactly three things about it: the guy who did THX-1138 and
AMERICAN GRAFFITI directed it, it was set in outer space (because of the
title, I figured) and it had Peter Cushing in it. Hell, he was the
only recognizable name in the cast. Well, there was Alec Guinness,
but neither my cousin nor I had seen THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, so we
weren’t impressed. But I was a big Hammer fan, so I knew about Peter
I don’t remember fighting for a ticket. We walked right
up to the window, paid our money, and walked in. I was actually a
tad more impressed by the lobby of the theater – Wow, this place is cool,
nothing like what we’ve got back in Indiana – than I was by the movie we
were about to see. I was even smitten by the tableful of souvenir
books for sale. Yes, I bought one. It cost me a couple of bucks,
it was only about 20 pages, and I don’t remember what happened to it.
But in hindsight, it probably could have paid for grad school. How
was I to know that little four-color brochure would be the first taste
of the mother lode of collectibles?
We settled into our seats, my small-town values still shaken
by the price of city popcorn and soda, and we waited. I passed the
time by leafing through the pamphlet. Each time I leafed, I felt
like I had been screwed in the wallet. This movie better be good,
I told my cousin.
I mean, it’s true that THX-1138 was the first time I had ever seen nudity
in a movie, I said, but this one was rated PG, so there was no hope of…and
then the lights went down.
And the world changed.
Two hours later, I knew a lot of things. I knew I wanted
to swing a lightsaber like Luke Skywalker. I knew who Harrison Ford
was. I knew that C-3PO was the most effeminate robot I had ever seen,
and I didn’t care, because Princess Leia was macho enough to balance him
out. I knew that Darth Vader was one of the greatest screen villains
of all time. I knew about Jawas, Tusken Raiders, the deserts of Tatooine,
Wookiees, space cantinas, Death Stars, X-wing fighters, and a lot more.
And if it wasn’t for the fact we had to meet my aunt and uncle for dinner,
we’d be turning around and going right back into the theater. That’s
a feeling I’ve had maybe a half-dozen times in my life, the need to see
the movie again right now. It’s a feeling that there’s nothing more
important in life than the desire to experience the film all over again.
There have been many great films over the years that have made me think,
and ponder, and smile, and contemplate – THE GODFATHER, for one, comes
to mind – but those films that grab you and don’t let go of your conscious
will – man, they’re rare.
We simply weren’t prepared for the phenomenon. STAR WARS
wasn’t the first of the summer blockbusters – Spielberg’s JAWS created
that monster two years before – but STAR WARS was unlike anything that
had come before it. I think it was too easy to pigeonhole it as a
sci-fi flick. Sure, there were spaceships and far-off planets and
“lightsabers,” but there was also the Force, a quasi-mystical creation
that refused to be categorized. It was truly the stuff of magic.
When Lucas announced plans for a sequel, expectations were jacked.
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK came along three years later, containing one of
the greatest plot twists in the history of cinema, and many people to this
day consider it the best film of the series. They might have a point.
My favorite film changes with my mood; one day it’ll be the original (renamed
EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE), the next day it’ll be EMPIRE. Two things
are clear: the first two were great, and the third just didn’t measure
Of course, not being able to measure up to two of the greatest
films of their genre still made for a pretty good movie. RETURN OF THE
JEDI was a lot of fun, some of it dumb, but it provided appropriate closure
to the series. This was around the time I really started to notice
the trinkets trade. I remember Burger King ran a series of drinking
glasses for JEDI, and I seem to recall getting the one with Leia in harem
girl garb. Or was it the one with Jabba the Hutt? Who knows?
It disappeared down a deep, dark hole with that original STAR WARS brochure.
Around this time, Lucas spoke imaginatively in interviews about
making three trilogies: a prequel trilogy explaining how Vader came
to the Dark Side, and a sequel trilogy showcasing the future exploits of
Luke, Leia, Han, and their offspring. But somewhere in the intervening
years, Lucas set aside the idea of a sequel trilogy. I think he recognized
that RETURN OF THE JEDI represented the endpoint of a journey, and he needed
to fill in the beginnings of that journey. Too bad it took him 16
years to do it.
In those 16 years, the STAR WARS phenomenon was kept vibrantly
alive with all sorts of additions, some great (many of the novels fit this
bill; a couple, like Heir to the Empire, even went to no. 1 on the best-seller
list) and some far-from-great (anyone remember that TV travesty, The Ewok
Adventure?) Not much of it was connected directly to ol’ George.
He was too busy running things at Industrial Light and Magic, the groundbreaking
special effects company he created with STAR WARS money. And Lucas’
creative jones continued to be satisfied by his collaboration with Spielberg
on the INDIANA JONES movies. But fans kept hoping for the STAR WARS
thrills to return to the screen. What we got was THE PHANTOM MENACE.
In hindsight, I think we were all looking for a miracle:
a movie on the level of the original series. Not even Lucas’s fertile
imagination could keep that promise. Which doesn’t mean he didn’t
try, but for every Darth Maul, there was a Jar-Jar Binks. Actually,
there were thousands of the Jar-Jars, since we’re talking about an entire
race, and all of them were obnoxious. By the end, with everyone gathered
together on the dais in a direct steal from the final shot of A NEW HOPE,
I thought they were just going through the motions.
Which brings me to EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES. This
remains as my least-watched installment of the series. My son has
it on DVD, but I haven’t seen it since I saw it in the theater in 2002.
We plan to watch it this week, in preparation for EPISODE III, but it’s
quite possible I won’t watch it again for a long, long time. For
some strange reason, I remember liking it more than PHANTOM MENACE, but
still feeling like there could have been more. Maybe I was just bummed
that Yoda’s lightsaber duel lasted about three seconds.
So, here comes the finale. Only George Lucas could put
together a final chapter that ends in the middle. But advance buzz
has been very positive, so I’m cautiously optimistic, maybe delusionally
so. But I’m not alone.
For the first time since RETURN OF THE KING, my son and I are
hotfooting it over to the theater right after school, not bothering to
wait for trivial little scheduling quirks like weekends. We’ll be
there with tickets in hand at Loews for the late afternoon show on the
19th, hoping against all hope that the long wait will be worth it.
The final chapter. The last bite of the enchilada. (By the
way, did you notice I never mentioned the souped-up versions of the original
trilogy that Lucas pumped through the theaters in 1997? I have my
pride, after all.)
My partner in “columnist crime,” Mr. Kent, has joked that after
he sees REVENGE OF THE SITH and George Romero’s LAND OF THE DEAD, he’ll
never have to go to the movies again as long as he lives. At least,
I hope he’s joking. Because watching movies like STAR WARS explode
across a big screen in a darkened theater are what it’s all about.
Movies like STAR WARS are what keep my imaginative fires burning, long
after the last reels have rolled.
As a special added extra (kind of my own EPISODE II), I’ve put
together a list of my STAR WARS favorites. You’ll notice a pronounced
slant toward the older stuff. It wasn’t accidental. Enjoy:
MY TOP TEN FAVORITE STAR WARS SCENES, in ascending order:
10. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Han Solo is frozen in carbomite.
I remember reading that Harrison Ford ad-libbed his farewell to Leia.
When Leia says, “I love you,” Han deadpans, “I know,” as he sinks out of
sight. It fit his character perfectly.
9. A NEW HOPE: Darth Vader’s first appearance, through the
smoke at the end of the corridor, right up to the point where he throttles
an unlucky rebel, lifting him about two feet off the ground with one hand.
8. A NEW HOPE: Obi-Wan Kenobi’s final lightsaber duel with
Vader, when he sacrifices himself so that Luke and the others can escape.
27 years later, and I still can’t accept that he’s dead. Look at
the scene: it appears that Vader swipes through empty air.
Yeah, that’s it! He disappeared! He’s still out there, folks!
7. RETURN OF THE JEDI: Luke and Han escape from the clutches of
Jabba the Hutt and his minions. This is one long scene of slam-bang
derring-do, featuring everything from walking the plank to the Sarlacc
pit to Leia’s killing of Jabba to the death of Boba Fett.
6. THE PHANTOM MENACE: Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon’s duel with Darth
Maul. Of all the scenes from the last two movies, this is the only
one, IMHO, that approaches the operatic heights of the original series.
You sense the impending tragedy as the scene unfolds, with Obi-Wan helpless,
watching the action through the force field doorways.
5. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: The attack of the Imperial Walkers
on Hoth. The first glimpses of the walkers are downright eerie, through
long-range binoculars, nothing more than tiny specks. But they grow
in size, and the tension grows, as well. The rebels bring out their
snowspeeders, and the battle is joined. I actually liked this battle
scene more than most of the outer space duels, where it was often hard
to tell the ships apart without a scorecard.
4. RETURN OF THE JEDI: Luke and Vader face off in their
final duel. This was the battle that most fans had been waiting for
since the beginning of the series. Despite the pure evil of the Dark
Side, we bought into Vader’s rehabilitation. It made for a truly
3. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Yoda raises the ship from the
bog. I liked just about all of Luke’s training scenes with Yoda on
Dagobah, but my favorite had to be the moment when tiny little Yoda closes
his eyes, extends his three fingers, and the X-wing fighter rises from
the muck. Luke expresses his disbelief, and Yoda simply replies,
“That…is why you fail.”
2. A NEW HOPE: Luke blows up the Death Star. It was
the best of all the space battles, featuring a ticking clock, one last
fighter, one last proton charge, and the last-second heroics of Han Solo.
Not to mention Vader spinning away into the ether. “It’s all yours,
kid! Now blow this thing, and let’s go home!”
1. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: Vader’s final, familial revelation.
Come on, fess up: did you see it coming? I didn’t. But
it set the scene for the rest of the series, the next four movies, the
next 25 damn years. What better legacy is there than that?
The movie opens on Thursday, May 19th. Our next club meeting
is Saturday, May 21st. If there aren’t at least a dozen people at
that meeting ready to talk about what they’ve already seen, I’ll be flabbergasted.
See you on the 21st!
ICS CALENDER OF EVENTS
HOUSE OF WAX
MAY 6TH KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
MAY 19TH STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH
MAY 20TH DOMINION : A PREQUEL TO THE EXORCIST
MAY 21ST Our next ICS meeting - Saturday at 5:30 P.M
HAVE A SAFE and ENJOYABLE MEMORIAL DAY!
Remember those Americans who
ARE serving in foreign lands this holiday.
And those who Have served.
“Of all the wars we’ve been in, only 5 were declared by Congress”- Barry