Monday, December 31, 2012

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #101!

Let's kick off the next 100 of these posts with another theme week - as befits the holiday hovering around...

Year Movie Titles!

2001: A Space Odyssey  (United Artists, 1968)

After Star Wars I wanted to take in every science fiction movie I could get my hands on - and it took me a couple of years and the advent of home video to finally get to see this much lauded Kubrick classic. I managed to rent it  - ON BETA - and I have to admit - at the age of 12 or so - after the flashy fun of Star Wars - I really didn't much care for this one. I've kind of not seen it since - but I'll sit down with again one of these days and form a more adult opinion about it - though I also have to admit there's no guarantee my opinion won't be exactly the same. The body might be older...but the 12 year is still running the show in a lot of respects!

1990: The Bronx Warriors  (United Film Distribution Company, 1982)

I saw this on VHS way back there - then re-familiarized myself with it when I realized I was working with the female lead (and daughter of the director) - Stefania Girolami Goodwin - on Super Mario Bros. I wouldn't mind seeing it again - it's been a while.

That's me and Stefania on the set of the CBS series American Gothic - right from my scrapbook.

Terror in the Year 5000  (American International Pictures, 1958)

I haven't seen this 50's sci fi potboiler - but I'd like to - I know Ward Costello as an older character actor in the 80's - he played an alien possessed Starfleet admiral who famously beat up Klingon Lt. Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation among many other roles. I've love to see him as a younger leading man type. And I'm alway up to watch something featuring a "hideous she-thing!"

Until next post - sometime next year - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What Have We Learned in 2012?

With only one last Maniacal Movie Poster Monday post left for 2012 - it's time to take a look back at what we've discovered in our journey through Pop Culture a la LGOOH this year...

We learned that Tom Cruise is in this picture - but danged if I can see him.

We learned that girls in creepy mansions sometimes develop splitting headaches.

We learned that actresses running for the restroom are sometimes nonplussed when you snap their picture.

We learned that a guy name Mike Jittlov built a briefcase that you could drive at 35 mph!

We learned that 20th Century Fox could get a little racy with their teaser posters in the 1960's!

We learned about Michael Caine:
10. Has been killed by Steven Seagal. (On Deadly Ground)
9. Worked for producer Irwin Allen twice in the 70's, battling killer bees (The Swarm) and helping to loot the capsized Poseidon before it slips beneath the waves forever (Beyond the Poseidon Adventure).
8. Has acted with William Shatner, Jim Belushi, and the Muppets (Miss Congeniality, Mr. Destiny, The Muppet Christmas Carol).
7. Came back to play Harry Palmer for the fourth time after 28 years (Bullet to Beijing).
6. Is the voice of a talking Aston Martin in Cars 2.
5. Has been nominated for an Oscar at least once in five consecutive decades (1960s-2000s).
4. Played Austin Powers's dad Nigel (Austin Powers in Goldmember).
3. Played the younger man in Sleuth (1972). Then played the older man in Sleuth (2007).
2. Has been the co-star to both Sean Connery (The Man Who Would Be King) and Roger Moore (Bullseye!).

1. Accepted his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters via satellite from the set of Jaws: The Revenge. When asked later about Jaws: The Revenge Michael Caine said "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."

We learned that perhaps the worst sin a movie can commit is to be inert.

Thanks to the great Beverly Gray of Beverly in Movieland - we learned that these are NOT Roger Corman's feet, but they could have been...

We learned that if you ask this blog's buddy Melissa Bradley of Melissa's Imaginarium to help you pick three random movie posters - she might call out the late great Rondo Hatton for one of them!

We learned that when the movie Halloween was released in Great Britain - their version apparently had Michael Myers killing with a death ray from his hands!

We learned that James Bond is always ready to start another cycle of action...

And finally, we learned that when it comes to Robots, everybody loves Robby!

Thanks for coming by - whether once or throughout the year - please come back often in 2013, stay late, and comment whenever the mood strikes you - hopefully we'll keep the fun coming all year long!

Until 2012's last post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies 12/29/12!

Who cares what picture we see?

Alan Cumming might not, in all honesty - but to close out this 50th anniversary year for James Bond in the cinema - we're going with this one:

It seemed like an eternity since we'd had a James Bond movie in those dark years after Licence to Kill was released in the summer of 1989. Finally, near the end of 1995 - 007 was back in action! I couldn't have been happier. Pierce Brosnan took on the role and did a fine job as the fifth official James Bond.

Let's wrap up our year-long jump onto the Bond Wagon with this little trailer promoting the Bond 50 Blu-Ray set - but serving as a fine overview of the 50 years of 007:


GoldenEye is of course in the video vault as a part of that selfsame Bond 50 set - so it is ready to watch anytime - even tonight - if you wanted to make it a 007 night!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cry Marvel! Cry Excelsior!

Let's take another trip into that notorious Batman villain's library for a new book review!

Bookworm's Book Club!

This wild new book is a pretty complete history of Marvel Comics – the company – not the universe they tell their stories in. Starting way back in the early part of the 20th century, the book traces the origins of the company that really started (under the name Timely Comics) with the publication of Marvel Comics #1 in 1939 and proceeds to lay out the ups and downs of the company through to the release of The Avengers movie earlier this summer.

Mmmmmmm....comics goodness...

What a ride it is, too! Howe’s punchy prose style and willingness to cut through the company PR and spin machine helps to sort out the various versions offered in official sources and legends - and to give a warts and all history of what really went on. Stan Lee is featured throughout – and not always in a positive light, despite his perpetually sunny manner; in this book he is much more nuanced; he perpetually longs to escape the comic book business that he is synonymous with - no matter how much success it brings – and he takes some shots too – from lack of support for some of the people working for him, to the rather needless revelation that he has been wearing a toupee for decades. Jack Kirby comes off as the grouchy genius – and his image as a persecuted workhorse gets a good going over – though not with huge depth (there are whole books about Kirby and his battles with the comics biz). Steve Ditko is shown to be the outsider – becoming a reclusive activist and follower of Ayn Rand even as his relationship with Stan Lee deteriorates into not speaking to each other while still working on the same books.

Ditko might have been upset about this centerfold Stan did. I know I can't unsee it.
And now, neither can you!

Throughout the book Howe boils all of the gossip, rumors, and official news to find the more complicated human story underneath. No writer or artist comes off as persistently good or consistently right – everyone is shown to be fairly complex and flawed – and this serves to make these long-read names into the human beings we never got to know no matter how many Bullpen Bulletins or Stan’s Soapboxes we read.

Here's the Marvel Pantheon of live-action heroes for special appearances back in the day.

In addition to the interpersonal strife that plays a part across the decades, the main drama the company faced was from a series of corporate raiders with no interests in the artform of comics - just in how much money they can make with a quick run and gun approach that did generate big sales initially, but eventually served to undermine the usually carefully constructed universe that was the initial draw for most fans.

While the book's history thins a bit going in to the 21st century - I got caught up on the world of comics that I left behind when I gave up reading new comics in 2004. (That was my third time giving them up - it was always a price hike that did it - and this most recent one has held. Although I do have a stack of the Marvel Essentials and DC Showcase Presents black and white reprints volumes I'm working my way through.)

If you're a comics fan at all - I think you'd enjoy this book - even if you mainly used to read DC comics. If you're a card carrying M.M.M.S. member, or a Marvel Zombie - you cannot miss this one.

Check it out!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The very brightest of Yuletides to all!

For fun, here's a quick trip into the Video Vault of Mora Tau for two of my favorite Christmas songs!

Mavis Staples - Christmas Vacation

The Waitresses - Christmas Rapping

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #100!

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the blog, picking up steam...three movie posters were stirring - and there was definitely a theme!

It's the big 100th edition of this trifecta movie poster celebration! Huzzah! And this week the theme is:

Christmas Movies I've Never Heard Of!

Christmas Knight  (Mike Hill Productions, 2012)

I'm not entirely sure this movie has been completed - but wow - Santa Claus as a superhero? Sure, why not?  I'd see it quick if you get a chance - that Santamobile design alone should be bringing Warner Bros.' lawyers down on these guys!

A Trap for Santa Claus  (Biograph, 1909)

It's like Santa meets Saw! Silent! Stupendously old! This is now the oldest movie poster featured in this blog series!

A Cadaver Christmas  (Prescribed Films, 2011)

Another one I'm not sure has been released - but I'll check it out when it is - it looks pretty funny!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday Night at the Movies 12/22/12!

Who cares what picture we see?

Jose Elias Moreno absolutely does - so on this late December day we will pick this one:

When you think holiday cheer - you think the 1959 Mexican Santa Claus movie too, don't you? This one was brought north of the border by the incredible K. Gordon Murray - and after he gave it a good Americanizing dub job - his prints got dusted off year after year for matinee play in theaters across the country into the 1980's!

K Gordon Murray FTW!

As we get into the homestretch leading up to Christmas Day - this mind boggling flick is ready to be grabbed out of the video vault and popped into a player - and it could happen tonight if you wanted to come over!

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Was A Teenage Production Assistant: Island of the She-Devils Part Two!

Wherein once again you may wish I'd gone for three parts by the time you reach the bottom of this Megapost. Just keep reminding yourself "There's lots of pictures...there's lots of pictures...there's lots of pictures..."

When last we left off - bad news had come down the pike - erstwhile co-producer Lewis had returned from Parts Unknown - but with none of the $2000-$3000 he'd promised to raise for the production of Island of the She-Devils.

I wasn't happy that he'd come back empty handed - but that was as far as that went - but then I did get upset when Lewis acted very "la de da" about it - acting as though he'd never really meant to get my hopes up and acting as though I was taking all this much too seriously.

I fired Lewis. Seriously.

That left a hole in the crew as Lewis was supposed to be co-producer - and that left a hole in the cast as Lewis was supposed to play Dr. James Hyphen-Hyphen. It also left us with no money whatsoever to make the movie.

I decided to press on and try to find alternate funding. (What I wouldn't have given for a IndieGoGo / Kickstarter back then!)

We kept on rehearsing the script - and as I'd already been reading Dr. Hyphen-Hyphen's role throughout Lewis's absence - everybody said I should just go on and take the role myself. So I did. I went out and bought a goofy looking "explorer's outfit" all in khaki and a great hat to wear - and Dr. Hyphen-Hyphen was truly born.

Dr. James Hyphen-Hyphen

As far as funding - I went and made pitches to a few working film professionals in town. Despite my incredibly compelling pitch and the obvious quality of the product - no one contributed. In reality - they were all looking to involve themselves in the really serious type indie filmmaking that might never be seen by anyone but film festival judging committees. I on the other hand wanted to make a goofy movie that would evoke memories of turning on some old Roger Corman flick on The Late Late Show or renting a brand new Jim Wynorski or Fred Olen Ray movie on VHS.

As the fall approached, I had zero investors. I was working on local TV commercials with my old buddy Chuck - the guy who got me my first extra work on Amos-n-Andrew - and I was continuing to do little bits of extra work here and there (I'll try to cover those in a separate post). So I had a little money. More importantly - I had a special little piece of plastic in my wallet. No. Not one of those.

A credit card. And heaven help me - I used it.

Although that's not my name on the card, weirdly it
is my credit card number!

I worked out a deal with Chuck to rent his equipment - it wasn't cheap, and was going to represent an investment of several hundred dollars. I also employed two young men to provide me some makeup effects - my buddy Jeb and a gentleman we referred to as Hamster. They made up a list of what they'd need to craft all of the effects in the script - and I paid a makeup house somewhere $500 for it to be sent to us. Once it arrived they went to work. One thing that Hamster was bringing to the party was some prop tool molds that he'd been bequeathed at the end of production on Super Mario Brothers a couple of months previously. He had molds to make foam rubber pliers and screwdrivers - stuff so the prop toolbelts the actors wore could be filled with these lighter models - but none of them really interested me. However, he did have something that did interest me - a mold for a sledgehammer head - when I discovered that I promptly wrote in a sledgehammer battle as part of the climax of the movie.

All these years later - my foam rubber sledgehammer
is still in great shape! And don't you love the axe handle!

Next up was wardrobe. I had decided that the She-Devils would be running around the island in designer swimwear - allowing each woman appearing in the movie to wear her own swimwear that they already felt comfortable in and that they knew made them look good. As we'd be shooting outdoors I told the girls they'd wear high heeled pumps so they wouldn't endanger bare feet out in the boonies. To explain this in the movie I'd written in a scene where the scientists find an old crate in the She-Devil village that has stenciled on the side "Swimwear and Shoes for Sports Illuminated photo shoot" - a scene that eventually got cut as I never got around to getting someone to build/get me a crate, let alone get anything stencilled on it. Not explaining it just made it sillier and more fun I reasoned. I know better now.

In any case, I had Renee and Chantelle come by my place with some bikinis to show me - and WOW what a great idea I had with this wardrobe choice! However, the girls balked at my high heeled pumps idea and asked to show me another idea they'd had - so when they came out in their bikinis to show me how they looked - they were instead wearing - cowboy boots! Cowboy boots were still a fashion must have at the time - so every female who appeared in the movie had them! And as goofy as it sounds - it worked. It gave the girls something more structurally sound and safe to wear for running around - and it still gave them the lift of high heels.

This would have been the poster image.

With this fashion decision locked in - I presented the idea to Michele - who was able to put together a splendid outfit for Sabrina that was a little less revealing than a full on bikini - but which still amply showed off her physical charms. I couldn't have been happier.

Sabrina, Queen of the She-Devils

The next step was to get some special props made. I'd written in to the script that all of the She-Devils wore crystal necklaces - which tied in to the energy buildup and worked with some other aspects of the story. I went out to a local business that sold gemstones and jewelry - and I got the gentleman there to make me up a dozen crystal necklaces on thin black rope - and asked him to use a larger crystal for the twelfth - Sabrina's Queenly necklace. In addition to a credit for the business in the movie's end credits - at the end of production he would get nine of the necklaces back to sell as memorabilia when the movie came out. My three female leads would get to keep theirs. When I returned to see him - the necklaces looked great - and he'd gone above and beyond on Sabrina's - he'd found a cat skull in the sand dunes outside the place, and he'd utilized it in Sabrina's necklace - making it look really amazing.

Sabrina's necklace. Right there. In the center!

It was edging up on October when all of this was finally in place. Now all that was left was to make the movie!

The shooting took place across the month of October in fits and spurts - mainly the weekends, but some other days in the week when Chuck wasn't using his equipment too. We bled over into November for a pickup day that only featured two of the actors. All told it was about twelve shooting days - averaging 10 hours or so. I don't remember the day to day events or activities - but I have a couple of stories to tell about the shoot (Oh goody! More words!) but now it's time for some pictures. Cast member George (playing comic relief annoying sidekick Cosmo) was a talented photographer - and he spent a few of the days on set taking photos for me. Consequently - as he was kind of on his own with this while I was busy producing and acting and directing - we never thought to get a cast shot that featured him - so no pictures of the character of Cosmo were ever shot.

These are three versions of a prop photo used in the opening moments of the movie. She is Lisa, playing Kelly, and he is Bob, playing Bob. She calls him on the phone and leaves a message on his answering machine with the photo standing nearby - the one on top was the one we actually used. This was a fast and cheap way to get the plot explained within seconds, and it set Bob up as the lead.

Bob Martin and Dave Everitt in a dramatic moment. Note the prop on Bob's belt - not a cell phone -  this was the early 90's - it's his "electromagnetic spectrometer" - which comes in very handy more than once on the island.

The She Devils - Megan and Lucinda. Jeepers.

From left - Zach (Les), Lucinda (Chantelle), Dave (Jeff), Bob (Bob), Megan (Renee), and Dr. Hyphen-Hyphen (lil ol' me!)

We're watching a plane in flight - yes - I actually rented a plane for this movie! PRODUCTION VALUE!

Jeff shows off his patented gadget - which we called the Psychometric Crystal Reader.

At one point in October Chuck wanted me to shoot one of his commercials for him while he was doing something else out of town - and he told me I could use the equipment after the shoot for free for the day he'd be gone. So, after shooting the TV commercial - I started calling around to see who was available - and from there - what we could pull from the script to shoot quickly.

Jeff laying down on the job.

It turned out only Jeff and Chantelle were available. Now, as we'd proceeded through production, both leading ladies had asked for more material - new scenes featuring them to allow them more acting time on screen. And I had obliged them - so I decided to shoot the new scene that involved the two of them. To save time - I figured we could shoot it right outside my apartment - bumped up against some bushes that looked like the foliage down behind the aquarium. The scene involves them in post coital bliss after taking a break from saving the world for one last sexual encounter - in case they fail and the world blows up at least they'd go out with a bang. The sex is not shown - and when we find them they are both supposedly naked under some rather convenient blankets they had.

To shoot this Jeff was in gym shorts and shirtless. Chantelle was in gym shorts and a strapless bikini top - which she pushed down pretty far to allow a fair amount of cleavage under the blanket. We shot the scene, just a couple of shots, and wrapped up. A half hour, tops.

Chantelle looking coy at the thought of appearing to be naked under a blanket...

Well, as we were breaking down the equipment and getting ready to leave, a guy comes walking up. As I go to greet him and see what he wants, he flips out a badge. Turns out he's a cop, and he's come to see what's going on as apparently people in my apartment building saw us out the window and had called the police to report that we were out there "shooting a porno" (!) I told him we weren't and explained what we'd been doing (calling it a "student film" so there would be no talk of shooting licenses or anything like that) and I think I showed him the footage on the tiny camera monitor to show him there was no nudity or anything - just Jeff and Chantelle chatting under a blanket. He never got any less stern, but he told us it was okay - we were free to go. So we did - quickly. That cop and I actually ended up running across each other again - but I'll leave that story for the future...

More pictures!

All is not well on the Island of the She-Devils - as these shots from one of the riveting action sequences shows...

Looking like I know what I'm doing as a director.

Renee behind the scenes.

The boys chat about the weather.

This was another possibility for the poster.

Crew guy/actor Josh on the left; crew guy/actor Jon behind me manning the boom - and me eyeing the scene.

An overdressed She-Devil.

Apparently a female (not Renee or Michelle) around the production was miffed at how good Chantelle looked at 6:30am.

Behind Chantelle is the only Hooters girl to actually appear in the show - I may have mistakenly gave the impression Chantelle and Renee were Hooters girls - they certainly could have been, but were not - this young lady - whose name I've forgotten - came out to shoot one day with us. When she saw the primitive conditions - no trailers (she didn't wear her bikini under street clothes as requested - and consequently had to change covered by blankets held up by Renee and Chantelle) and our ragtag production methods - she apparently went back to the restaurant and rough talked us.

The next big Hooters girl day was to support Sabrina's big scenes as Queen of the She-Devils - and I was given the impression I had about seven girls lined up - and on the morning of the shoot they didn't show! I was left scrambling for young women to show up in bikinis for me. I got three - and Renee actually did double duty - running home for a different bikini and wig to give me a fourth She-Devil for the day - as much as I already adored her before - I was head over heels for her after she helped save me that day.

And this actually touched off a goofy conceit for me - all my four leads actually played two roles - the second in disguise (just like The List of Adrian Messenger! Not!) Bob was also the Australian pilot Oliver Wording Bittman-Warthog; Renee was the second She-Devil (who coincidentally kills Bittman-Warthog); Jeff was one of my Nazis; and Chantelle was a maid cleaning Bob's apartment in the opening scene (when a TV news report comes on that Bob's ship has been sunk in a violent tropical storm - the ultimate minimalist filmmaking - you never even SEE a boat - just hear a news guy talk about it - the maid steals his VCR and runs away)

Still my good friend - here is effects makeup guy/actor Jeb as Milo, Dr. Hyphen-Hyphen's ill-fated assistant.

The area behind the Fort Fisher aquarium where we shot the bulk of the movie would flood during high tide - so one shooting day we chivalrously carried our leading ladies through the flooded section to higher ground to shoot - that's me carrying Renee above, and Jeff carrying Chantelle below.

The ladies go after Bob - why? You'll have to see the movie for that...

I shoot away with my script professionally held under my arm as Jon booms.

I could explain just what's going on here - but then I'd have to bore you.

Now it's time to meet the Nazis:

That's Jon in front - Jeff is hiding his face under his helmet - and Josh is in back. 2/3 of my Nazis were played by young Jewish men. This made us laugh a lot.

Yes, I know they're in American army uniforms. I know it NOW....

I don't think Sabrina finds the Nazis much of a threat...

Argument on the Island of the She-Devils!

That concrete bunker behind Bob had something to do with World War II and watching for enemy submarines - in the 1960's a guy known as the Fort Fisher Hermit lived in it. In the 1990's it served as Dr. Hyphen-Hyphen's scientific installation on the Island of the She-Devils!

Lucinda brings the boys an important prop - check out that hang in mid-air - great photography by George!

Behind the scenes - shooting a Sabrina monologue. You see how good an actress she is - she could act with a broomstick holding a microphone covered with a gym sock in her face!

A fun publicity shot as the ladies turn the tables on the villainess...

A chilly Renee bundles up in a prop blanket.

And here's one of my favorite sequences in the movie:

The plan to save the world involves stealing Sabrina's Mega Crystal - after seducing her. Obviously there's only one man for the job. And he's exhausted.

Oh boy. She's waking up. I hope she doesn't notice her necklace is missing...

Oh bugger. She's noticed.

"I've had a wonderful time, but I think I'll split."
"No...I WILL!"

Another action sequence. Jon is monitoring the sound, letting me concentrate on the picture - while crew member/actor Dave booms and keeps our actresses' warm covers handy just off camera.

Blooper on the Island of the She-Devils!

Preparing to shoot the "watch the airplane" scene.

I love the action of this picture. George nailed another one.

The ladies. I adore them all.

A repeat picture from part one - but here's the real story - that tour group is in my shot - and I'm overacting an angry reaction for this shot.

A She-Devil Queen and her director.

And with that, the cast and crew of Island of the She-Devils disappear into the land of legend...

After we'd wrapped, I cobbled together a VERY rough cut using VHS dubs and two VCRs - none of the cuts was sharp - because the VCRs both had a second delay coming into and out of pauses - so you can hear me say action sometimes, and match cuts don't - stuff like that. Through this rough cut I saw that there were several points where an additional insert shot or something would make the movie flow better - and one scene I thought I'd cleverly played out in one long shot turned out to be interminably long and needed closeup coverage shots to break it up. That wouldn't be too difficult - a day, maybe two - of pickup shots and the picture would be fine.

The sound, on the other hand, was a mess. Despite the camera utilizing a wired mike that we boomed on the end of a broomstick - the sound we'd picked up was pretty bad across 70-80% of the movie. We could never find anything to cover the mike that would muffle the constant wind that came with shooting near the ocean. Oh, and the scenes on the beach? They were like a silent movie with the wind and the crashing surf. In fact, during shooting I purposely rewrote a bit of dialogue to get the character of Bob to want to leave the beach - he says the beach is "too open," but really I was helping the sound a little by moving over the dunes - just that little bit made the sound only half as bad. So, in addition to investing money in the reshoot day, and the rental of editing time in a studio - it was the sound that was going to be the most costly post production element - an almost complete replacement of the sound track. I had spent a couple of thousand dollars so far - and I was guessing the post was going to cost another couple of thousand. All of it on one credit card - my only credit card.

I was working on getting the post set up - and I called out to Cinema Home Video to let David DeCoteau know that I'd finished principal photography and would hopefully be sending him a screener tape in a few weeks.

So, I'd spoken to Mr. DeCoteau sometime in the last three months - and now I'm calling him in November or December - and the phone was answered by a different someone - who then proceeded to tell me that David DeCoteau had sold the company! While I was reeling from this news - I still had the presence of mind to ask if I might send the new owners a screener of Island of the She Devils - and I was then informed that they were "regrouping and examining a new business model" and that they weren't looking for any movies for release for the the foreseeable future.

So there it was - I now had no real place to go with the movie. So I had to decide - invest the same amount of money to get the movie into shape and hope to sell it? Or cut my losses and shelve the project.

I shelved the project. I just couldn't risk spending another couple of thousand dollars without even a company willing to look at the movie. The raw footage was boxed up and put into storage (I still have those tapes - though because the masters are 3/4 inch tape - not a VHS cassette - I have no idea if they've held up all these years.) The rough cut on VHS still survives - I pulled it out and dusted it off and risked a play a couple of months ago - it still looks okay. I won't put it into another VCR until someone can assist me burning it onto DVD - so I can keep a digital copy at least, even if the VHS cassette rots.

Over the years since I lost touch with a lot of the cast and crew - Bob moved to LA to try to break into acting - and rumor has it retreated back to Ohio a year or two later when things didn't work out. Jeff is still here and we've run into each other a time or two. Renee and I lost touch - but I believe she might still be around - just haven't tracked her down. Chantelle moved to LA to try for an acting career - she got a speaking part on Unsolved Mysteries - but gave up the acting thing and got married out there. Michele and I are still chums - I periodically refer to her as Your Highness when we see each other - which still makes us chuckle. Everybody else has moved on to other things and other places.

There's been a couple of blips on the remake radar in the intervening time - I sent the script to Troma - but they didn't bite - and there's an indie producer here in town that's been circling the script for the last six months or so - though it will go through a thorough rewrite if he takes it - and even though that rewrite would be by me - I'm loath to change it. I probably will though - and if it actually gets made and released - and you watch it - be sure to look for a hidden Easter Egg on the disc - I'm going to try to sneak the rough cut (or at least clips from it) onto the remake as a secret bonus - but you're already in on the secret! Sorry this one ends on a bit of a down note - but although I may not have gotten the movie on video shelves across the country and around the world - I did come out of this project with some good friends, and eventually - after months of interest being added to the original credit card debt - an unfinished movie that might rival the budget of Waterworld!

Next up for this department will be a brief catchup on the bits and pieces I did during the long fallow period from late 1992 into mid 1993. And then - the one after that will detail my part in helping to desecrate the memory of a film legend's classic movie...

Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!