The Official Newsletter of The Imaginative Cinema Society
The love of many, the work of a few....

April 2006  #87

 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CLUB NEWS

        JUST READ ALL THE CLUB NEWS!

TV NEWS

        Whats happening with our faves

MOVIE NEWS

        The hottest news out on ICS genre films

DAVA's DELVINGS

MUST SEE MOVIES

FAREWELLS

        Old friends, now gone

THE LAST WARD

        From ICS member John Ward

ICS CALENDER

Put this up on the Fridge!


Editor-Betsy Childs 
Staff Writers- Regina Vallerani, 
Mike Laird, Jim Childs, 
Joe Plempel, John Ward, 
Dava Sentz, Andrew Kent

 
 

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CHILDREN IN JEOPARDY
 The house was packed for Norman Prentiss’s presentation on this blackly humorous subject.  He opened with anecdotes about a child with brittle bone disease who wanted to arm wrestle and one with a tracheotomy who used an unlikely waterproof seal to take swimming lessons.  And if you think that real life is more entertaining than fiction, then you missed the meeting.  Norman is an accomplished fiction writer with a creepy imagination.  We were enthralled as he read his on-topic short story ‘In the Best Stories’ (see below for more info).  And since this IS a film club, Norman also showed the famous baby stroller clip from THE BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN.  All in all, it was a rousing presentation on what could have been a very controversial subject.
 After the presentation, THE INNOCENTS was the highest vote-getting film.  The film is an adaptation of Henry James’s novella, The Turn of the Screw.  It was about a governess who had to take charge of a small boy and girl.  Little did she know, the prior governess and her lover had an unwholesome effect on the children.  The film itself is very moody and dark – a true classic of the genre.
 Thank you for the evening’s entertainment, Norman!  And GREAT JOB on the short story!!

ALL HAIL TOGA JIM
 The OSCAR Pool results were in!  With 16 correct answers, Jim Childs came out on top!  Being the nice guy that he is, he donated his winnings back into the club treasury.  Congrats, Jim and thanks to John and Andrew for taking care of the business end of the OSCAR Pool!

MR. BLACKWELL SAYS…
 … your Spring attire is not complete without an ICS T-Shirt.  For those lucky dozen who ordered them – the wait is over!  T-shirts have been printed and picked up – they will be available at the April meeting.

WELCOME THOMAS DIGGIN!
  Let’s welcome our newest member, Thomas Diggin.  Tom came to our January meeting and returned in March to join the club.  He is a knowledgeable, articulate fan and added lots of valuable insights to our film discussions.  Look for the man in the Fantastic Four jacket and say Hello next time you see him!

PRESENTATION IDEAS
One of the best things about the ICS is the diverse interests of our members.  One of the best ways to share these interests with the whole club is through the pre-movie presentations.  Presentations can be educational, biographical (or autobiographical), or thought-provoking (as in a round table discussion).  The only limit to your presentation should be your imagination.  Ideally, presentations should last between 30 and 60 minutes.  And while we encourage you to get up in front of the club during your turn, we realize that not everyone is comfortable with public speaking.  If you'd like to have a turn at showing films, but would like to skip the presentation, let John Ward know when you sign up.  The board will gladly fill in that time with a round of ICS Academic, an auction, a special guest or some other imaginative treat.  Consider offering a late night movie – or one for the Halloween All-Nighter.  Traditionally our Yankee Swap in December is the default no-presentation meeting.

NOW THAT YOU’VE HEARD THE LIVE READING…
  Once again, Norman Prentiss’s short stories are going to be published!
 Available Now - DAMNED NATION is published by Hellbound Books.  It is an anthology of Hell on earth tales – “Dangerous visions of incarnate damnation visited upon our delicate world by some of today's most imaginative authors.”  Norman contributed the story “The Everywhere Man.”
 Coming Soon - SHIVERS IV is published by Cemetery Dance Publications.  IV is the fourth entry in an award-nominated and best selling anthology series.  It contains over twenty short stories, including (ta-daaa!) “In the Best Stories” which we heard at last month’s meeting.
 Congratulations, Norman!!

MEMORIAL WEEKEND PICNIC
 Our May meeting will have something new – a pre-meeting cookout.  A sign up sheet was passed around at the March meeting and will also be passed out at the April meeting.  We will need general picnic food and drinks.  So, if you have not already volunteered to bring something in, you’ll have another chance to think about what you want to bring and do so in April.

MID-ATLANTIC NOSTALGIA CONVENTION 2006
  Need a convention fix?  The ICS will be participating in The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in Aberdeen on September 14-17.  Guests will include David Hedison from VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM of the Sea and Marta Kristen from LOST IN SPACE.  The convention is geared to fans of Old-Time TV and Radio and Antique Cars.
 ICS will have 2 tables in the dealer’s room (so we will need donated movie goods – see below for details – and volunteers once the dates get closer).  This convention will be sponsored by one of our ICS files subscribers, Martin Grams.  More details on the con can be found online at WWW.MIDATLANTICNOSTALGIACONVENTION.COM.

MOVIE GOODS NEEDED
  So, what’s lying around in your basement?  Old VHS tapes that have been replaced with DVDs?  DVDs that were replaced by the deluxe director’s cut version?  As you do your spring cleaning, keep in mind that the ICS is looking for movie donations for two special events this year.
• JUNE – The Minimum Bid Kid and a mystery auctioneer are going to auction the stuffing out of our donated goods!!
• SEPTEMBER – Mid Atlantic Nostalgia Con Dealer’s Table (VHS/DVD only).

 The board will be accepting donations for these events beginning at our next meeting, so if you have anything to donate, please bring it in.  Joe Plempel (Thanks Joe!!) will be storing them.  Movie Related goods only please.

NEWS OF OUR NEXT MEETING (*ALWAYS* THE LAST SATURDAY)
 Our next meeting will be held on Saturday April 29th 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.

APRIL PRESENTATION – HAMMER TIME!
  It’s been a long 12 months for Skip Phillips.  His presentation has been postponed since April 2005.  But now, ladies and gentlemen, minors and pets, get ready for our first ICS look at the nuts, bolts, evil, curses, revenge, madness and violence that are The Hammer Frankensteins.

APRIL LATE NIGHT FEATURE
  The late night time slot will feature a film not yet released in the states.  It is director Neil Marshall’s follow-up to the werewolf flick, DOG SOLDIERS.  It is a tale of female cave explorers who discover that they are lost in the deep recesses of the Appalachians and not alone.  It is on John Ward’s Top 10 of 2005 list.  It is … THE DESCENT.  See the original downer ending courtesy of Regina Vallerani before Hollywood mucks with it.

LOOK AHEAD - 2006 SCHEDULE
May 27 ICS Cookout
 "Big" presented by Jim Childs
June 24 (*) ICS Auction
 “Celebrity” picks
July 29 The films of Val Lewton presented by John Clayton
August 26 (*)  Is it ICS-Worthy? Part 2 presented by Barry Murphy
September 30  Werewolf films presented by Betsy Childs
October 28 (*)  Greg Mank Returns -- Lionel Atwill and  Murder at the Zoo,
  Halloween Potluck Dinner
  All-Nighter
November 25  Jackie Chan Part 2 presented by Andrew Kent
December 30 (*)  Yankee Swap
  Revenge Movies presented by Regina Vallerani

(*) denotes Late Night Feature
 

tv news tv news tv news the glass teat tv news tv news tv news

WHO SEASON TWO REVEALED
   Russell T. Davies, executive producer of the BBC's hit SF series Doctor Who, said that the upcoming second season—debuting in the United Kingdom on BBC1 starting April 15—builds on the strengths of season one (currently airing on SCI FI Channel Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT) .
   "A lot of it was 'more of the same,'" Davies, who plotted out the entire season as well as writing half of the episodes himself, said. "The temptation of the format is to keep being too different, but it's easy to forget that for a lot of people, it's a brand-new series. Even for the oldest, most dedicated fan, it's a new series. So we've got some new elements and some new elements that I want to become regular elements, including what I call the 'celebrity historical.' Doctor Who always did historical stuff, so last year we met Charles Dickens [in the episode 'The Unquiet Dead'], and this year we meet Queen Victoria [in episode two, 'Tooth and Claw']. Next year there will be another one of those stories, because I really love that Dickens episode, and I absolutely adore the Queen Victoria one this year. So that's a little format within a format.'"
   The first episode of the new season takes place in the year 5 billion. "It's a return to that setting from last season, where we did 'The End of the World,' and now we're going to see what happens after the end of the world," Davies said. "It's an episode called 'New Earth,' which is the next planet Earth, where mankind has a new home. That episode features the return of Cassandra [Zoe Wanamaker], who was a very successful enemy last year, the thin piece of skin on a frame."
   The season's second episode is "Tooth and Claw," featuring Queen Victoria and a werewolf. And in episode three, "School Reunion," fans will see the return of Sarah Jane Smith and K-9, characters from previous incarnations of the show.
   "Episode four ['The Girl in the Fireplace'] is a marvelous story by Steven Moffat, featuring Sophia Myles as Madame de Pompadour, which is an absolutely beautiful episode," Davies said. "Episodes five and six are the return of the Cybermen in 'The Rise of the Cybermen' (what a marvelous title!), which also sees the return of Rose's father, who was killed off last year, but was so marvelous that we brought him back."
   Davies added: "There's also the big end-of-season climax, which seems built into every show these days, and even though it's a much less British thing to do that, we've kept it very much the same."
   The second season of Doctor Who will bring back Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, but she will be joined by a new Doctor, played by David Tennant, who was introduced in the holiday special episode "The Christmas Invasion."

SMALLVILLE FACES LAWSUIT
   A federal judge in Los Angeles has found that Smallville may be infringing on the copyrights held by the widow and daughter of Jerome Siegel, who created the Superboy character for DC Comics, Variety reported. The March 23 summary judgment also found that Joanne Siegel and Laura Siegel Larson had successfully recaptured the Superboy rights as of Nov. 17, 2004.
   The ruling now throws into question the ownership of Smallville episodes that have run since that date. The judge denied a request by the defendants—Time Warner, Warner Brothers and DC Comics—for a ruling that Smallville did not infringe on the Superboy copyrights. Warner Brothers said in response that it "respectfully disagrees" with the rulings and will pursue an appeal, the trade paper said.
   Still to be resolved is the question of whether Smallville—now in its fifth season—is actually infringing on the Superboy copyright. No trial date has been set in the suit, which was filed in 2004, the trade paper reported.

GALACTICA WINS PEABODY

   SCI FI Channel's original series Battlestar Galactica has been honored with the prestigious Peabody Award, which recognizes distinguished achievement in electronic media. It is the first Peabody Award for the network.
   The winners of the 65th Annual Peabody Awards were announced April 5 by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for 2005, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the University of Georgia Campus and presented at a luncheon hosted by two-time Peabody winner Jon Stewart at New York's Waldof-Astoria Hotel.
   The Peabody Board is a 16-member group—made up of television critics, broadcast and cable industry executives and experts in culture and the arts—that judges the entries. Selections are made by the board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students and staff. "As is the case every year, submissions for consideration by the Peabody Board provide insight into the astonishing array of electronic media productions," said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards. "These are the works self-selected by creators and producers as their very best work from the previous calendar year. This year's Peabody Award recipients stand as hallmarks of excellence in news, documentary, comedy, drama, education and public service."
   The Peabody Awards, the oldest honor in electronic media, does not recognize categories, nor is there a set number of awards given each year

HORROR’S GARRIS HELMS BARKER
   Director Mick Garris, who helped create Showtime's anthology series Masters of Horror, said that that his next episode will be an erotic ghost story written by horror master Clive Barker. "You know with Clive it's going to have some very kinky sexual twist in it," Garris said. "That's what he's good at writing, and that's the one I'm going to direct."
   The episode, part of Masters of Horror's upcoming second season, will be based on Barker's original story "Valerie on the Stairs"; Garris began shooting this week. "I'm not afraid of the rubber monsters or that kind of thing," he said. "That's not what scares me. ... I'm more afraid for the health and safety of the people in the story. This is a good ghost story and extremely sexual in nature."
   "Valerie on the Stairs" is set in a dead writers' house that has become a hospice for failed authors, with a desperate scribe in each of nine rooms. Barker's story "Haeckel's Tale" was the basis of a first-season Masters of Horror episode directed by John McNaughton.
   Garris denied rumors that he would be working on Barker's next project, a grisly story called The Midnight Meat Train. "I'm not directing that, no," he said. "I'm not involved with it. Right now, I'm busy producing the Masters of Horror, and I'm doing my own segment."
   Garris confirmed that he is taking meetings to see what his next step would be in a genre-related project, which he declined to discuss.

BBC AMERICA SCARES UP JEKYLL
   BBC America will develop a new series based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic SF tale Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde among other new dramas set to air next year.
   Jekyll will consist of six 90-minute episodes and will update Stevenson's tale to the modern day. James Nesbitt stars in the title role of a man with two personalities. They share the same body, but Hyde is unaware that Jekyll is now married and will do anything to protect his family from the dark side. It will premiere in the second quarter of next year.
   BBC America general manager Kathryn Mitchell said  that the offshoot of the venerable British broadcaster wants to broaden its appeal to a slightly younger audience, "but we don't want to lose those loyal viewers."

LEE AUDITIONS FOR SUPERHEROES

   Comic-book creator Stan Lee, producer of SCI FI Channel's upcoming reality series Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, said that he was quite impressed with the imagination of the potential superheroes who showed up to audition in Hollywood, Calif., on April 4. About 120 contestants braved a torrential rainstorm to try out at the Sunset Gower Studios, but the weather didn't stop Monkey Lady, Bubble Man or Ice Bitch. "I defend the environment and can imprison you in icicles," said the white-haired woman with "IB" on her chest, who is really Lisa McLaughlin from Sherman Oaks, Calif. "I teach those who are teachable and punish those who are not."
   In Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, a group of people dressed in costumes of their own design will take part in a series of weekly challenges. At the conclusion of each episode, Lee will appear and, much like Donald Trump on NBC's The Apprentice, dismiss one of the contestants. The winning contestant will have his character immortalized in a comic book to be published by Lee's Pow! Entertainment.
   Lee shook hands with all the contestants, stopping to hear a ditty by Accordion Man—who looked a bit like Grandpa from The Munsters—and he talked to a few along the way. "I feel safe with you here," he told a Ninja. "I look forward to seeing more of you," he said to the scantily dressed Robot Girl. One masked guy in a too-tight yellow leotard with his hairy stomach hanging out said, "I'm such a big fan of yours!" Lee shook his hand and deadpanned, "And I admire your taste."
   Hula-Hoop Girl (aka Anah Reichenbach) walked three blocks in her silvery outfit to the audition. "I read a lot of comic books, and Stan Lee is the guy," said the professional hula-hoop champ. "My power is to tele-transport, but my powers are erratic in prisons or insane asylums." One guy demonstrated how he could encase himself in a giant pink bubble, and another escorted his superhero Rottweiler. The lineup also included a ballerina, a guy balancing a sword on his head, a rock star, a mouse man and a green-faced, loud-mouthed youth calling himself Slimeball. The six-week, one-hour show is seeking contestants through April 7.

SG-1 WINKS AT SERENITY
   Brad Wright, co-creator of SCI FI Channel's original series Stargate SG-1, offered a few spoilers on the show's upcoming 200th episode, which tips its hat to a much shorter-lived SF series about civil-war veterans in space. The episode will be part of the 10th season, which debuts this summer.
   The 200th episode will bring back the character of Martin Lloyd (Willy Garson) and his fictional TV show Wormhole X-treme, which was the subject of the 100th episode, "Wormhole X-treme," and is a parody of SG-1 itself.
   "The 200th, ... as we've all put our heads together on that one, is based on a great idea Robert C. Cooper had, and we've all written bits and put them all together," Wright said on SG-1's Vancouver, Canada, set earlier this month.
   This time around, the SG-1 team helps Lloyd turn Wormhole X-treme into a movie. "Even though the series was canceled after three episodes, it did well on DVD," Wright said. "It's a little nod to Serenity, I suppose." Serenity is based on the failed Fox TV series Firefly, which was canceled in the middle of its first season, but which went on to sell well on DVD, warranting a feature film.
   As for Wormhole X-treme, Wright said: "The Air Force loves it, because they love the notion of a television series out there that is ostensibly [based on the] real events in SG-1, in Stargate Command. So plausible deniability. ... It's a series of, I guess you could call them vignettes or flashes, scenes, that are kind of unusual."
   In the episode, which also marks the return of former SG-1 star Richard Dean Anderson, viewers can expect the kind of broad, insiderey humor that characterized the 100th episode. "'Wormhole X-treme' was pushing it," Wright said. "This is pushing it twice as far. But, you know, it's the 200th episode."
   Currently in production on its 10th original season (its fifth on SCI FI), Stargate SG-1 is now the longest-running SF series on American television, surpassing The X-Files and every iteration of Star Trek.
 
 

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WEINSTEINS SNAP UP MINIMOYS
     The Weinstein Co. announced that it acquired rights in all English-speaking territories to the live-action/computer-animated fantasy film ARTHUR AND THE MINIMOYS, based on filmmaker Luc Besson's best-selling French children's book of the same name. The screenplay was adapted by Besson (THE FIFTH ELEMENT), who will direct the movie, which will star Freddie Highmore and Mia Farrow and the voices of Madonna, Snoop Dogg and David Bowie. The film is currently in production by EuropaCorp.
     The film centers on 10-year-old Arthur, who discovers that his grandfather hid a treasure somewhere on the "other side" in the land of the Minimoys, tiny creatures who live in perfect harmony with their environment.
     Besson's 2003 book was a best-seller in France and ultimately led to a four-book series, including Arthur and the Forbidden City, Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard and Arthur and the War of the Two Worlds.

ANOTHER KILLER CROC IN TOUCHSTONE'S PRIMEVAL
     Touchstone Pictures is mounting a new killer-crocodile movie called PRIMEVAL, even as Dimension's similarly themed ROGUE is headed for a wrap under director Greg McLean in Australia. PRIMEVAL will star Dominic Purcell of BLADE: TRINITY and Fox TV's PRISON BREAK in the story of a news producer, reporter and cameraman who travel to South Africa on an assignment to bring back alive a 25-foot croc called Gustave. Not only do they find the reptile violently uncooperative, but they also run afoul of a vicious local warlord. Orlando Jones, who had an early role in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 3 before turning to comedy vehicles, also stars.
     The film will mark the feature directorial debut of TV veteran Michael Katleman, who has directed episodes of THE X FILES, AMERICAN GOTHIC and TAKEN, among many others.

D-WAR MONSTER-SNAKE MOVIE TO ATTACK U.S.
     The South Korean monster epic D-WAR is currently in FX postproduction and is targeting a November release in the U.S. Directed by Shim Hyung-rae (whose previous giant-monster pic YONGGARY was released Stateside as REPTILIAN by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), the movie stars Jason Behr (THE GRUDGE), Amanda Brooks, Robert Forster (ALLIGATOR), Chris Mulkey (TWIN PEAKS), Elizabeth Peña (JACOB’S LADDER), Aimee Garcia, Craig Robinson and John Ales in the story (based on Korean legend) of a giant serpent that goes on a destructive rampage through LA in search of a girl with the power to transform it into a dragon.

TWO NEW HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS MOVIES
     With 2001 MANIACS headed for DVD this month and a WIZARD OF GORE remake currently filming, it’s only inevitable that the man behind the original films of those two remakes, Herschell Gordon Lewis, would get back behind the camera himself. Film State 51 is backing a pair of new features from the Godfather of Gore: the long-mooted HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS’ GRIM FAIRY TALES and BACK IN BLOOD: REVENGE OF THE GORE-CRAZED MANIACS. Film State 51 partners Andrew Allan and Andy Lalino (FILTHY) are producing both features as well as scripting and directing REVENGE.
     GRIM is Lewis’ answer to the current reality-TV craze, featuring a game show in which losing contestants pay the ultimate price. “This will be my crowning cinematic achievement!” said the director, who also scripted the film. “We have a great production team in place, and a story that’ll spray the big screens with blood—stage blood, of course.” REVENGE is a reunion of several antiheroes from Lewis flicks past, including Fuad Ramses (BLOOD FEAST), Montag the Magnificent (THE WIZARD OF GORE), Adam Sorg (COLOR ME BLOOD RED) and Rodney and Granny Pringle (THE GRUESOME TWOSOME), uniting for nothing less than world domination. “BACK IN BLOOD will be a dream come true for my fans,” added Lewis. “To see my beloved super-villains teamed up in such an ingenious story pleases me to no end. It’ll be a wonderfully horrific addition to the legacy.”
     “There are at least five different HGL projects in the works between Film State 51 and other production companies,” Lalino added, “but what sets our projects apart is that they offer our audience the only HGL-related feature films which aren’t remakes—the storylines are new and refreshingly original.” Both movies are set to roll in 2006.

THERE'S A SHIVER IN THE AIR AT DIMENSION
     Dimension Films will produce and release a chiller called SHIVER. The movie is an example of the current vogue for "torture movies" inspired by the success of HOSTEL. In first-timer Mikey Wigart's script, reportedly based on a true story, a group of partiers get into a car accident on a snowy New Year's Eve in Minnesota. They seek refuge at a remote house, not knowing at first that the widowed doctor who lives there is obsessed with the scientific study of torture.
     Michael Cuesta, who made a highly praised debut with the indie drama L.I.E. and will direct and produce. He said, "When it's done honestly, with serious intent, [the horror genre] can tap into the social fears and anxieties of our time. I find that exploring the grotesque, the abhorrent and what disturbs us is a chance to convey some universal truths about us and our society." No start date has been announced.

VAUGHN SPRINKLES STARDUST
     Paramount has set Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Charlie Cox and Sienna Miller to star in STARDUST, an adaptation of the Neil Gaiman fantasy novel, to be directed by Matthew Vaughn.
     Vaughn, who committed to the project last fall, wrote the script with partner Jane Goldman. STARDUST centers on a star-crossed youth from the English village of Wall who tries to win the heart of his true love by searching for a falling star and heading into a magical world where he must deal with a witch and a pirate.
     Vaughn (LAYER CAKE) dropped out of the third X-MEN movie for personal reasons.

PERELMAN TO DIRECT GIVER
     Vadim Perelman (HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG) has signed on to adapt and direct a film based on Lois Lowry's Newbery Award-winning fantasy novel THE GIVER for 20th Century Fox and Walden Media.
     The story centers on Jonas, a 12-year-old boy living in an idyllic future society where all memory of human history has been erased. His life is thrown into turmoil when he is designated to inherit the role of the Giver: the sole keeper of the vast range of human emotions. Perelman will work from an earlier draft penned by Todd Alcott.
     Jeff Bridges is one of the producers on the film. Walden Media previously produced THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.

ROTH TO DIRECT KING'S CELL
     Dimension Films has acquired rights to Stephen King's latest novel CELL and has set Eli Roth (HOSTEL) to direct it. King's novel is a throwback to his early apocalyptic horror novels. In a single moment, a pulse sent out through cell phones around the world turns every phone user into a crazed, murderous zombie.
     This marks Dimension's second deal with King, as the studio prepares to cast the Mikael Håfström (DERAILED) directed adaptation of the King novella 1408.

CUSACK CHECKS IN TO ROOM 1408
     John Cusack (IDENTITY) will star in Dimension's film version of Stephen King's short story 1408. He'll play a man who specializes in debunking allegedly supernatural phenomena, but is forced to face real horrors after checking into the titular room at the Dolphin Hotel. Mikael Hafstrom, whose thriller EVIL is about to open domestically from Magnolia Pictures, will direct from a script by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (ED WOOD.)
     "This film is so much a one-man show," Hafstrom said. "It's quite a contained drama. It is a horror film if you want to put a label on it, but the way I see it, it's much more an inner journey of this character." Hafstrom directed DERAILED last year.
     1408, which rolls this summer, has bounced among a few writers, including MIMIC's Matt Greenberg, and before him, Eli Roth, who was also set to direct. Dimension has signed Roth to script and direct another King project, a feature adaptation of the author's new novel CELL. 1408 was originally issued in an audiobook titled Blood and Smoke before appearing in the 2002 anthology tome Everything’s Eventual.

CRANE PENTALOGY ADAPTED
     The Weinstein Co. has acquired the worldwide rights to CRANE—IRON PENTALOGY, a series of five martial-arts-oriented novels written by Wang Du Lu, and plans to realize the stories as stage shows and feature films. The fourth book in the series, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has already been made into a blockbuster martial-arts-fantasy feature, and it will be the first of the stories to receive the theater treatment.
     Weinstein Co. bosses Bob and Harvey Weinstein also intend to spin shows and movies out of the other four stories, Crane Frightens KunLun; Precious Sword, Golden Hairpin; Sword Spirit, Pearl Light; and Iron Knight, Silver Vase. The stories follow three generations of a martial-arts family throughout the Qing dynasty.
     Harvey Weinstein said that he anticipates "a series of great films, much like the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy." He added that he considers the four as yet un-produced stories to be prequels and sequels to CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, which received an Academy Award nomination as best picture in 2001.

UNIVERSAL FINDS THEIR CREATURE
     Universal Pictures has cast veteran creature performer Brian Steele to play the Creature in their remake of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Steele’s more recent gigs have included lycanthropic shenanigans in both UNDERWORLD films, a Hell Knight in DOOM and the Drake Monster from BLADE: TRINITY. He even played the creature in Stuart Gillard’s aptly titled TV movie CREATURE.
     Breck Eisner (SAHARA) is set to direct the film, which is scripted by Gary Ross. In the original a scientific expedition traveling up the Amazon River encounter a dangerous humanoid amphibious fish creature.

WOLF MAN TRANSFORMS
     Universal Pictures is developing a new version of its classic horror movie THE WOLF MAN, with Benicio Del Toro playing the title role. SEVEN writer Andrew Kevin Walker has begun writing the script. The studio owns the underlying rights to the character.
     Like the 1941 original that starred Lon Chaney Jr., the new movie will be set in Victorian England. Del Toro will play a man who returns from America to his ancestral homeland, gets bitten by a werewolf and begins a hairy moonlight existence. The deal came out of a series of meetings with the producers, Walker and Del Toro, who collects Wolf Man memorabilia.
     Walker spent several months working on some frightening new twists to a familiar tale, adding several characters and plot points that take advantage of cutting-edge visual-effects technology.
     Walker will turn in his first draft by the spring, and the producers and studio are optimistic that THE WOLF MAN will shoot early in 2007. The expectation is that THE WOLF MAN will see a summer 2008 release.

U.S. TO REMAKE JAPAN’S INFECTION
     The Japanese horror film INFECTION, the first in producer Taka Ichise’s J-HORROR THEATER series, will be remade in the U.S. Although Lionsgate released the original Stateside, New Line is behind the remake.
     Directed by Masayuki Ochiai (THE HYPNOTIST), the original INFECTION is about a gruesome plague that overtakes a hospital which already has enough problems with incompetence and cover-ups. The new version will be scripted by Channing Gibson, whose credits include LETHAL WEAPON 4, CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE and another remake, WALKING TALL. No director has yet been attached.

DREAM HOUSE OPENS
     Universal has signed Belgian director Erik Von Looy (THE MEMORY OF A KILLER) to direct the supernatural thriller DREAM HOUSE. The script is by David Loucka, one of several writers who worked on New Line’s SNAKES ON A PLANE.
     The story concerns a family who move into a country home that at first seems perfect, only for things to go awry when bizarre and frightening events begin to befall them. Van Looy’s THE MEMORY OF A KILLER was Belgium’s official entry for the 2005 Foreign Language Academy Award and was released by Sony Classics.

DAVA’S DELVINGS

The Libertine - A Movie Review by: Dava Sentz
   Those of you who have read the ICS files and my column faithfully know I have consistently shared my thoughts on the film and theater circuit. Whether you've read my articles in every issue or have had a conversation with me at a meeting, it should be clear that I have a high respect for the dramatic arts, even if I can't always afford to see the show. Acting is a captivating profession, one that has been praised and criticized for centuries.
   A modern day hero of this artistic endeavor is Johnny Depp. There have been many inspired performers in cinema history, but never one quite like him. Having portrayed everyone from an eccentric constable, to a violently disturbed writer, to a flamboyant pirate, Johnny Depp is the type of performer who can play any role, and do so equally well. This is why, when The Libertine, was released on March 10th, I jumped on the bandwagon opening weekend. What I was met with surprised and, quite frankly, confused me.
   Set in 16th century England, The Libertine tells the story of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochchester. A well-to-do patron of the arts with an uncontrollable lust for wine and women, the Earl drove himself into an early grave through his excessive drinking and reckless behavior. I want to provide a more detailed overview of the plot, but fear I may not be able to as it was very hard to follow. In the simplest format, The Libertine can be summed up in one word: Bizarre! The film opens with a close-up of John Wilmot, aka Johnny Depp, spouting a monologue of his perverse and addictive nature. He speaks for 10 minutes: First to the women in the audience about procuring and bedding his conquests with very little regard for sensitive seduction. Second to men, advising them to take note of their sexual endeavors, pausing to consider the nature of their erections and wondering "is this what he felt when he pleasured a woman?" Where the movie was going was not yet known, but as John went on about the sins that plagued him, he always returned to one definitive point, "You will not like me." He said that over and over, as if that was to be expected, as if that's what he wanted. Yet, to spite his resistance to the contrary, I did like him. I just didn't know why.
   Something about the character appealed to me. John Wilmot, as I have read, was hardly a man who would make for suitable companionship, yet still appeared to be a fascinating individual.
   Using Johnny Depp in this role was a wonderful idea, both in theory and in film. After all, the Earl was a man of high society and theatrics, a man with a questionable reputation and eccentric tendencies. Johnny Depp's public life has been presented very much in this way. He has been arrested three times during his career. He has also acquired a number of ex-fiancées including Jennifer Grey, Kate Moss, and Winona Ryder. I can certainly see some similarities which could be the reason why his performance was so intriguing. Depp was, without a doubt, the movie's most appealing asset. Other than him, however, it was not what I would call entertaining, lacking an understandable script for an otherwise talent cast.
   Though John appeared to have lead an opportunistic life as a boy, The Libertine chooses to focus on his adult years. Throughout his short-lived existence, Wilmot became best known for his raunchy poetry and manuscripts. Though married to an attractive lady of leisure, John continued to pursue sexual involvement within the whorehouses and theatres of England. One night, after a particularly bad performance, John took aspiring actress Elizabeth Barry, played by Samantha Morton, under his wing. Determined to mold her into a sophisticated woman of the stage, he began to coach her in the fine are of acting and, while things started on a professional basis, Miss Barry eventually fell pray to Wilmot's alluring charm. As his marriage falls apart and his relationship with Miss Barry gets to be too dramatic for even her theatrical activities, Wilmot drinks himself into a disturbing and undeniable stuper. His reckless behavior continues until his good looks began to die out as did the rest of his body. The Earl is assumed to have died of syphilis in 1680. He was 33 years old.
   Samantha Morton and Johnny Depp make a great on-screen couple, processing a natural on-screen chemistry. I only wish I could be fully aware to the extent of their involvement. Other notable performances include Rosamund Pike, who portrays Wilmot's lonely and frustrated wife, Miss Elizabeth Malet. While you cannot help but feel sorry for her to some degree, these feelings are perhaps short-lived in light of the torrid circumstances. Was she not aware of the Earl's reputation before entering the marriage bed? Did she actually think she could trust a man whose idea of courtship was to kidnap a woman off the streets? In any event, the performance was amusing and, in some ways, admirable.
   Lastly, of course, there was John Malkovich. Playing Rochchester's most trusted friend King Charles II, Malkovich and Depp appear to have a healthy report. It is only fitting that two such highly regarded, and oddly original actors would be paired up to convey such an oddly original pair of men. To watch them together, it's almost as if they knew each other well in a past life, as Charles and Wilmot did.
   Yet still, in spite of these great performances, the movie was not enough to achieve critical acclaim in my eyes. Maybe it was the script, maybe it was the distractions in the theater, or maybe it was my poor sense of history. Whatever the reason, it just didn't make the grade.

IMAGINATIVE CINEMA COMING SOON
MUST SEE MOVIES FOR YOU!

APRIL 14th Hard Candy
 Cast: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, Jennifer Holmes
 Premise: A provocative drama about a 32 year-old man who takes home a 14 year-old girl he meets on the Internet, with surprising consequences.

APRIL 21st    Silent Hill
 Cast: Sean Bean (Christopher), Radha Mitchell (Rose), Deborah Kara Unger (Dahlia Gillespie), Laurie Holden (Cybil Bennet)
Premise: When Rose's (Mitchell) ill daughter becomes obsessed with a small town called Silent Hill, she takes her there to see a faith healer she hopes might be able to help, only to discover themselves trapped in a strange alternate reality that comes and goes over the town in a dark, forbidding mist.

APRIL 21st       The Sentinel
Cast: Michael Douglas, Keifer Sutherland, Kim Basinger.
Premise: The lead secret service agent is presumed a traitor and hunted down
by his protégé.

MAY 5th          Mission Impossible 3
Cast : Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ving Rhames, Laurence Fishburne
Premise: Ethan Hunt's Impossible Mission's Force team returns for its next
covert mission.

MAY 12th      Poseidon
Cast: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett , Jimmy Bennett
Premise: A remake of the Poseidon Adventure. Imagine CGI and the tipping of the Poseidon!  You know, Up is now Down, so they must go Up to get Down which is Up.
 
 

farewellsfarewellsfarewells Good bye farewellsfarewellsfarewells

Maureen Stapleton, only the tenth performer to win the triple crown of acting, a Tony, an Emmy and an Oscar, has died. She earned her Tony in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' THE ROSE TATTOO. Won an Emmy for her leading role in TV’s AMONG THE PATHS TO EDEN and her Oscar in Warren Beatty's epic REDS.  She was in such films as LONLEYHEARTS, THE FUGITIVE KIND, BYE BYE BIRDIE, AIRPORT, PLAZA SUITE and INTERIORS.  ICSers will also remember her from COCOON and COCOON, THE RETURN. Maureen Stapleton was 80 years old.

Richard Fleischer

director of such films as GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING, THE VIKINGS, BARABBAS, THE BOSTON STRANGLER, TORA! TORA! TORA!, and MR. MAJESTYK, has died. His father was animation pioneer Max Fleischer, who created Betty Boop and popularized Popeye and was a bitter rival of Walt Disney. So of course, over fifty years ago when Disney called Fleischer to ask him to direct 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, he was so taken aback that all he could reply was “You do know who I am?”. But Disney hired him and the lavishly produced 1954 live-action adaptation of the Jules Verne adventure became a box office hit and the big break that lifted Fleischer’s career off the B-movie treadmill.
He also directed such Imaginative entries as FANTASTIC VOYAGE, SOYLENT GREEN, AMITYVILLE 3D, CONAN THE DESTROYER and CALL FROM SPACE. He was 89.
 

Myron Healey, a movie character actor whose deep rich voice and sly smile helped make him one of the top-10 badmen of westerns in both films and television, has died at age 82.
Healey played his first western heavy in 1948 in HIDDEN DANGER, which launched him as a regular in low-budget Monogram westerns. He quickly became one of the best, most recognizable and most frequently seen heavies in the world of westerns. On television, he appeared regularly on dozens of western series, including THE ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK, RANGE RIDER, BONANZA, MAVERICK and RAWHIDE. In the late '50s, Healey replaced Douglas Fowley in the role of Doc Holliday for a year on THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF WYATT EARP. He also showed up in such genre films and JUNGLE MOON MEN, THE UNEARTHLY, THE MONSTER VARAN and THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN.
 

THE LAST WARD . . .

By John Ward

 The last time I did a column about lists, LOST had just recently premiered on television, and Bruce Springsteen was leading a last-minute barnstorming concert charge (Remember “Vote for Change”?) to see if Dubya could be unseated in the White House.  Well, LOST has long since become a cult phenomenon, things have become pretty depressing around 1600 (Just ask Deadeye Dick), and my passion for lists hasn’t cooled at all.  So here’s a fresh batch for your perusal, whipped into a heaping pile of … well, something.  All I know is, it isn’t edible.  Enjoy!

5 GREAT LEGAL DRAMAS

1. 12 ANGRY MEN
2. ANATOMY OF A MURDER
3. THE VERDICT
4. A FEW GOOD MEN
5. PHILADELPHIA

5 THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

1. The parting of the Red Sea
2. The first Passover
3. The Exodus
4. The finger of God writing the commandments
5. Lily Munster with a great tan

SAM PECKINPAH’S BEST FILMS

1. THE WILD BUNCH
2. RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY
3. STRAW DOGS
4. THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE
5. THE GETAWAY

5 OUTRAGEOUS MOVIE TITLES

1. CAN HIERONYMUS MERKIN EVER FORGET MERCY HUMPPE AND FIND TRUE HAPPINESS?
2. BRING ME THE HEAD OF ALFREDO GARCIA
3. HAWMPS!
4. JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN’S DAUGHTER
5. LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT
The Merkin movie is the clear winner here, adding bonus points for character names like Polyester Poontang, Goodtime Eddie Filth, and ol’ Mercy Humppe herself.

DAVID CRONENBERG’S BEST FILMS

1. A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
2. THE DEAD ZONE
3. THE FLY
4. SCANNERS
5. VIDEODROME

5 CLASSIC TRAILERS

1. PSYCHO
2. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
3. TOYS (Robin Williams doing 2 minutes of totally unrelated standup in a field)
4. CASABLANCA
5. ICE AGE

5 GREAT LIVE-ACTION DISNEY FILMS

1. 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
2. THE PARENT TRAP (1961)
3. OLD YELLER
4. THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR
5. THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH

5 GREAT “ANIMAL” THRILLERS

1. JAWS
2. KING KONG (1933)
3. THE BIRDS
4. CUJO
5. WILLARD (1971)

FIVE REASONS WHY THE TOWERING INFERNO IS A BETTER DISASTER MOVIE THAN THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE

1. Steve McQueen.
2. Paul Newman.
3. The “kids in danger” aren’t nearly as obnoxious.
4. More big-name stars have death scenes.
5. The stunt work is way more spectacular.

SIDNEY LUMET’S BEST FILMS

1. 12 ANGRY MEN
2. DOG DAY AFTERNOON
3. NETWORK
4. THE VERDICT
5. FAIL-SAFE

…AND 5 MORE GOOD LUMET FILMS THAT NO ONE EVER THINKS OF

1. RUNNING ON EMPTY
2. POWER
3. DEATHTRAP
4. THE HILL
5. Q & A

4 MOVIES WITH EXPLODING HUMANS

1. THE FURY
2. SCANNERS
3. SLITHER
4. ALIEN

THE TEN BEST MOVIES BASED ON STEPHEN KING BOOKS

1. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
2. STAND BY ME
3. THE GREEN MILE
4. THE DEAD ZONE
5. THE SHINING
6. CARRIE
7. CUJO
8. CHRISTINE
9. MISERY
10. THE RUNNING MAN

THE FIVE WORST MOVIES BASED ON STEPHEN KING BOOKS

1. CHILDREN OF THE CORN
2. MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (The only film directed by the Kingmeister himself)
3. CREEPSHOW 2
4. THE LAWNMOWER MAN
5. FIRESTARTER
 
 

 UNUSUAL CO-STARS IN JOHN WAYNE MOVIES

1. Shirley Temple (FORT APACHE)
2. Ricky Nelson (RIO BRAVO)
3. Frankie Avalon (THE ALAMO)
4. Fabian (NORTH TO ALASKA)
5. Glen Campbell (TRUE GRIT)
6. Roman Gabriel (THE UNDEFEATED)
7. George Plimpton (RIO LOBO)
8. Bobby Vinton (BIG JAKE)
9. Ann-Margret (THE TRAIN ROBBERS)
10. Richard Attenborough (BRANNIGAN)

THE FIVE BEST LORD OF THE RINGS ACTION FIGURES

1. Balrog Battle Gandalf
2. Possessed Galadriel
3. Twilight Gollum
4. 14” Treebeard
5. Peter Jackson

AND FINALLY…QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
…SHE MARRIED HER BOSS

WHO’S MINDING THE MINT?
…THE BANK DICK

WHO’LL STOP THE RAIN?
…THE RAIN PEOPLE

WHY SHOOT THE TEACHER?
…HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE

WHERE’S POPPA?
…IN A LONELY PLACE

WHO SLEW AUNTIE ROO?
…GANDHI
 
 

ICS CALENDER OF EVENTS

APRIL 14th    Hard Candy
 
 

APRIL 21st     Silent Hill
 
 

APRIL 21st       The Sentinel
 

APRIL 29th       ICS MEETING  - Saturday at 5:30 P.M