07 November 2008

I'm In The Del Toro Exhibit!

The exhibit Diseccionando Fantasías: Los Secretos de Guillermo Del Toro (Dissecting Fantasies: The Secrets of Guillermo Del Toro officially launched yesterday in Alicante, Spain, after months of hard work by organizers Carlos Durbán Colubi and Daniel Dìez. I wish I could be there--not only am I a major fan of del Toro the man and the artist, not only are Carlos and Daniel lovely people whom I wish lived close by so I could hang out with them--I've got art in the show!

Of course, nothing I've done can compare to the fantastic renderings of William Stout, a frequent Del Toro collaborator (among many other achievements in film and comics) who created the gorgeous exhibit poster posted here to the left.

Carlos contacted me some months ago about providing some storyboards from the film Mimic to the exhibit--an assignment I took on nearly a dozen years ago. It was painful gig, truth be told--I was brought in at the 11th hour by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures to quickly crank out a few scenes for proposed reshoots on this troubled production, which was Del Toro's second feature and first time dealing with the trials of the American studio system (even though the film was being shot in Toronto--"Hollywood North", as they say).

I pumped out something ridiculous like 50+ drawings in under 24 hours, with only a few days after that to tighten the lines, improve perspective, correct likeness, add some much-needed details and tone, etc. before they were faxed to Bob Weinstein for approval. But I've never regarded the Mimic boards (a few of them are posted here) as anything remotely approaching my best work.
Unearthing the pages many years later, I was surprised to find they didn't look nearly as bad as I remembered them. My art style has loosened up and changed a bit, but I resisted the urge to cheat too much for the show, save for fixing up a few minor errors here and there and quickly re-inking every panel top-to-bottom, mostly because the pencils had faded over time.

I should take an annoying autobiographical pause here to mention that this is not the first time my work has been featured in such an exhibit. Storyboard artists work in a curious nether-region--they're either regarded as "fine" artists nor lauded like comic book/graphic novel illustrators--so it's rare that such work is displayed beyond a production office, or, at best, a DVD supplement. In 1997, I was featured in the exhibition "Designing For The Screen" hosted at Toronto's Design Exchange, sponsored by The Toronto International Film Festival Group.

Check out the event's site here. Carlos will eventually provide some photos which I'll post here and on my Facebook page. There are plans to bring the show to North America, and I'm going to help out any way I can.
Interested in seeing the show? Start making some noise!

14 October 2008

Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2008 Begins!

Don't miss Adam Lopez' annual freakfest at the historic Bloor Cinema in downtown Toronto. Now in its third year and lasting a full week (Oct. 17-25), TADFF is making waves internationally and one day, tix won't be so easy to get. So why not get 'em now, here? And check out this programming schedule! Plympton? Perlman? Swedish vampires? All this plus the Zombie Walk! Why aren't you already in line?!

21 September 2008

TIFF 2008 Reviews Begin at "Movieforum"

Started a little later than usual this year--thanks to the comic book project and my prep for upcoming parenthood (twin boys! due in January!)--but at long last my reviews for the just-finished Toronto International Film Festival are slowly materializing for your reading pleasure. My take on my first screening of the event, Ed Harris' sophomore directorial effort "Appaloosa", can be read here.

25 August 2008

Fan Expo: Happy Fans Who No Idea Who I Am

My first of the day!

And this is Maya Ruins, of the local "Pillow Fight League", or somesuchthing...

Not my best work, but not bad for what I could crank out in about five minutes!

Fan Expo 2008

I've been attending the annual Fan Expo at the Metro Convention Centre for about eight years straight, although certainly, I'm no stranger to comic book conventions, most of which have been modest meet-n-greets between local merchants and fans. But this event has exploded into an overstuffed pageant of PR and hoopla spanning film, television, video games, role-playing, and somewhere in the midst of the madness, the very thing that spawned the event in the first place.

Ordinarily, I dutifully attend to get a few photos or books signed, pick up some discounted trades and a cool t-shirt or two, and muster up some inspiration to finally pursue a career in a medium I've long-loved and fantasized working within, but for various reasons--most of them fear-based--never took the plunge. It's been hard enough to make a living in the thankless trenches of film and television--why pursue misery when I've got a full plate, thankyouverymuch?

This year was different. Thanks to my association with Bootcamp Comics, spearheaded by noted Marvel and DC artist/writer Ty Templeton, one of my many still-unrealized dreams became a bit more possible, as I was enlisted to work the Mr. Comics booth (right next to the Hoverboy Museum, and kitty corner to the heavy-hitters at Marvel) promoting our upcoming anthology. It was a soft launch as I pretty much expected, as I sketched for hours on a time for fans who were a little reluctant to approach--let alone embrace--new talent but seemed appreciative of the free sketches (which were pretty damned good if I can blow my own horn for a minute) all the same.

It was definitely odd, though, to have complete strangers ask me for autographs and even take my photo, even though I'm not even at footnote status at this point in my burgeoning comics career. Still, who knows? This year's unknown is next year's breakthrough overnight success, right? Right? I sure hope so, because sketching for free is fun, but you know what's better? Getting paid for it!

29 July 2008


Today we wish Molly a happy birthday. Being that she came from an animal shelter, we had to guess her actual d-o-b, but since she was presumed to be about six months old when we got her, we backtracked and decided on July 29th. Had she not passed away too young in 2005, she would have been 14 today.

28 July 2008

Maleev And King Create "N"

I love the unique art of former "Daredevil" artist Alex Maleev--his next project is a series of animated "webisodes" created by Stephen King, based upon his short story "N", which will appear in the "Just Before Sunset" anthology later this year. A trailer and the first episode of the 25-part series--King's latest collaboration with Marvel along with the "Dark Tower" prequels and the upcoming comics adaptation of "The Stand"--is now available online at Nishere.com.

27 July 2008

"Bootcamp Comics" Previews Online

The two stories I've illustrated for Mr. Comics' upcoming anthology "Sex, Violence, Suffering, And Wickedness" (edited by Ty Templeton) are now available to preview online at Bootcamp Comics official site (click here for "Baby, Bunny, And Mum", and "A Different Class".)

As well, "mini comics" print previews will be available at the upcoming FanExpo at the Metro Convention Centre from August 22-24, 2008. Stop by the Mr. Comics' booth (look for Hoverboy)and collect 'em all!

25 July 2008

"London After Midnight" Found?!

Yeah, I know--we've heard this one before. But this time, the news is a lot more encouraging, if not entirely convincing: a fellow with the dubious name of "Sid Terror" (presumably, because "Rob Zombie" was taken) claims to have held, in hand, a long-lost nitrate print of Tod Browning's legendary "lost" silent classic, which headlined Lon Chaney, Sr. Although it's been said that the last known print was burned in a fire in the MGM vaults, and also that a private collector owns it and has been waiting for its copyright to lapse, Terror has revealed that he came upon the film in the late 80s, when he was tipped off that it was filed under the title "The Hypnotist" in a film storage facility owned by Turner Entertainment.

Now, Ted Newson, a horror "historian", confirms that he, too, came upon the catalogue entry for "The Hypnotist" (co-labeled "London After Midnight" years earlier by "Terror") while employed at MGM in 2004. He tried to interest his employers, and some higher-ups at Turner into restoring the film, but with no success.
Now comes dire news that the storage facility housing the alleged print has been leased to new tenants and that its contents have been transferred to Warner studios and UCLA. And according to a recent search of the new database, the film has been lost again.
(Damn, Sid--you sound like an honest guy and all, but why the hell didn't you just tuck the reels under your shirt?!)
Read Terror's detailed account here at Horrordrunx. Just a few months back, nearly 30 minutes of lost footage from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" were found, so who knows? TCM's stills-based "recreation" back in 2002 was a noble experiment, but generations have waited long enough for the real thing...

23 July 2008

TIFF 2008: Midnight Madness Schedule

This year's Midnight Madness lineup has been announced! Mr. Geddes and company offer up the usual 10-day extravaganza of international weirdness, plus, Jean-Claude Van Damme! Who, I guess, could qualify for "international weirdness" these days.

Opening Night:

International Premiere

Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Jean-Claude Van Damme in the comeback story of one of the biggest action stars in movie history. When a trip to the post office lands the down-and-out Van Damme smack-dab in the middle of a dangerous heist, the “Muscles from Brussels ” is exposed as an ordinary guy, complete with fears, contradictions and hopes. What can he do when the gun pointed to his temple isn't filled with blanks? JCVD finds himself at the turning point of his life as a presumed hero.

The Burrowers
World Premiere

A horrific take on John Ford’s The Searchers, director JT Petty (S&MAN, TIFF’s Midnight Madness 2006) tells the story of a band of men who, in 1879, set out upon the plains of Dakota to find and recover a family of settlers mysteriously taken from their farm. Expecting the offenders to be a fierce band of natives, the group prepares for a routine battle. But, upon discovering strange holes in the ground, they soon realize that the real enemy is stalking them from below.

World Premiere

In this kinky, funny and chilling exploration of friendship, morality and the horror of growing up, two teen boys discover the naked body of a long-forgotten girl in a sealed basement of an abandoned asylum. They quickly realize something far more mysterious is at play when the girl, who they presumed to be dead, begins to exhibit signs of life. When they decide to keep her, their twisted teen fantasy soon erupts into a desperate and dangerous battle of wills between friends. As word of their dark secret threatens to spread, the boys are forced to decide how far they are willing to go to get what they want, and at what cost.

World Premiere

A serial killer is loose at a medical school in Spain , and nobody suspects that the culprit is Barbara, a sexy, fashion-obsessed student whose hunger for blood can't be satiated by what she gets in anatomy class! She’s Paris Hilton with the mind of Hannibal Lector. But when her fellow students’ experiment to discover the killer's identity goes terribly awry, Barbara's victims start coming back to life. Add in some zombies and chainsaws for a bloody spin on the term “fashion victim.”

Detroit Metal City
International Premiere

Based on the hugely popular manga series, Detroit Metal City tells the tale of Souichi, a sensitive and wimpy music geek who came to Tokyo from the country with the dream of becoming a fancy pop musician. But bubblegum dreams are crushed to a bloody pulp when Souichi is forced to front the satanic death metal band Detroit Metal City (DMC), whose trademark is eccentric makeup and destructive performance. Winning recognition as one of Japan ’s top acts, DMC is challenged to a death metal duel by rock icon Jack IL Dark (KISS’s Gene Simmons). Souichi must battle for the title of death metal king while keeping Ms. Aikawa, his long-time crush with an affinity for shiny happy pop, unaware of his double identity.

Not Quite Hollywood
International Premiere
Free-wheelin’ sex romps! Blood-soaked terror tales! Blazing action extravaganzas! The same cultural explosion that gave birth to Australian art classics also spawned a group of demon-children – maverick filmmakers who thumbed their noses at authority, made their own rules and, in the process, unleashed films such as Razorback, The Man from Hong Kong, Patrick and Mad Max. A rip-roaring documentary on Australian genre cinema of the 70s and 80s, Not Quite Hollywood features Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Hopper, Stacy Keach, Quentin Tarantino and other celebrities sharing their love and memories of an unjustly forgotten cinematic era.

North American Premiere

When they discover the body of a murdered Canadian backpacker buried in the woods, three high school students trace the crime back to a suspected killer. Taking full advantage of their situation, they attempt to blackmail their suspect into killing again. Their target? A brutal bully – recently released from prison – who has victimized them all their lives. But as their scheme lures them into a violent and sadistic world, the vulnerable teens soon discover that rather than destroying their childhood nightmare, they have created one far deadlier.

North American Premiere

Starring martial arts dynamo Jija Yanin, Chocolate reunites the director and action choreographer of the breakout Midnight Madness hit, Ong-Bak Muay Thai Warrior (TIFF 2003). Exiled from a powerful Thai crime syndicate following a passionate but forbidden love affair with a Japanese gangster, cancer-stricken Zin struggles to raise her shy, autistic daughter Zen. When she learns of some outstanding debts owed to her mother that, if collected, would pay for much-needed medical treatment, Zen sets out to collect from dangerous and reluctant debtors, soon realizing that years obsessively playing video games and watching action movies have transformed her into a martial arts savant.

Eden Log
North American Premiere

Inspired by Manga and video game imagery, Eden Log is a visually stunning sci-fi vision of a tomb-like underworld. A man regains consciousness at the bottom of a deep cave. He has no idea of how he got there, nor can he determine what happened to the dead man whose body he wakes up next to. Only one thing is certain – he must escape the menacing creatures that are pursuing him, and climb back to the surface through a cemetery-like world that has been abandoned by a mysterious organization called Eden Log.

North American Premiere

One night in the early 1970s, Lucie, a little girl missing for over a year, is discovered wandering by the side of a country road, unable to say anything about what has happened to her. Hospitalized, Lucie slowly learns how to live again with the help of Anna, a victim of terrible abuse at the hands of her own family. In no time, they are inseparable. Fifteen years later, with the help of Anna, Lucie sets out to wreak vengeance on the family she believes to be responsible for her capture and torture. A visceral and deeply disturbing exploration of what it means to be pushed to the limits of human endurance, Martyrs redefines the nature of horror cinema.

Check out the official site here. Remember, TIFF 2008 runs September 4-13!

18 June 2008

John Carl Buechler Update: "Troll Redux" Gets A Lohan?

John Carl Buechler just won't give up on this whole "Troll" thing. First, he sues J.K. Rowling alleging that he stole her cash cow's character's name and concepts from his mid-80s shlockfest, and now, he's crusading to launch a big-budget remake (just $25 million, but that's a king's ransom compared to the buck-and-a-half Empire must've spent on the original).

Obviously, he feels that once the young wizard's saga has been wrapped up onscreen, the viewing public will be so starved for anything Harry Potter that they'll line because one of the characters in it has the same name.
But in case that isn't enough to generate lineups at the Bijou, Buechler has another ace up his sleeve: star power! And being a remake of a 1986 B-flick, it's appropriate that his top draw is strictly C-list.
It's none other than Ali Lohan, who has reportedly auditioned for the role of "Eunice St. Clair", who helps Harry Jr. fight the evil troll "Torok". Anne Lockhart, "Sheba" on the the original "Battlestar Galactica" series, played the role the first time around.
"The camera loves her", swoons, Beuchler, whose last effort as a director was the Sci-Fi Channel movie "The Eden Factor", starring genre vets Jeff Fahey and Dee Wallace Stone. "She's a really good actress...I am personally going to fight for her."
No word on who'll take on the Sonny Bono role, or if the troll's steady stream of mucus will be computer generated this time around...
Read the whole thing here at E-Online...

14 April 2008

Rowling Sued...Again...This Time By The Director of "Troll"!

Now that J.K. Rowling has finally ended her Harry Potter series, someone's decided--after seven books and five film adaptations--that he's been ripped off! This time it's John Carl Buechler, a name that might be familiar to hopelessly devoted and forgiving genre fans (like me) as a former makeup FX artist-turned-director of straight-to-video potboilers. Buechler has launched a lawsuit against Rowling accusing her of plagiarizing his directorial effort, "Troll", and preventing him from helming a remake.

"Troll" in case you haven't seen it, is a 1986 shoestring fable produced by the notorious Charles Band, whose Full Moon Entertainment label cranked out programmers like "Demonic Toys" and the "Ghoulies" saga throughout the 80s and 90s.

It's likely best remembered as the one in which the snot-nosed titular character--in search of a magic ring--bewitches a San Francisco apartment building populated largely by TV has-beens like a pre-"Seinfeld" Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, her real-life hubby-and-former SNL writer/performer Brad Hall, ex-WKRPer Gary Sandy, former "Charlie's Angel" Shelly Hack, original "Battlestar Galactica" costar Anne Lockhart, and the one-and-only Sonny Bono. In the film's piece-de-resistence FX gag, Bono mutates into a swamp. Yes, a swamp...

True to fantasy form, there's a kid nobody listens to who befriends the creature. A kid (played by Noah Hathaway, Boxey on the original "Galactica") named after his father (played by another has-been, Michael Moriarity): Harry Potter. Yes, there are not one, but two characters in this otherwise forgettable film who share the name of kidlit's current reigning icon.

Buechler claims that because of the character names, he can't move forward with his plans to remake "Troll" (and now I figure, why the hell not, after the who-needs-it "Prom Night" remake just opened at Number One...). But Warner Bros. insists it owns the name outright, and that's what's holding up the Troll-Redux script.

Buechler also maintains that there are "a lot" of similiarities between the Potter books and his film, while the author denies ever having seen it (hell, even I'm hard-pressed to admit it!). His lawyer says his client was "shocked" when the books first came out, which has apparently taken eleven years to wear off so he could file his charges.

Of course, Rowling has been accused of plagiarism before, most famously in 2002 by an American writer who lost her claim that Rowling stole elements from her novel.

Funny, though, how it's only the insanely successful artists who are ever sued for copyright violation--no one's going to convince me that bombs like "Far And Away" and "Megaforce" are among the only 100% original ideas ever generated in Hollywood...

Read more about it here at Australia's Courier Mail.

24 February 2008

My 2008 Oscar Ballot (Look and later, weep...)

Despite the fact that most people know me as a "walking film encyclopedia", my performance in the annual Oscar pool is usually spectacularly wretched (I'm apparently the only person who didn't think the Academy would award Best Picture to a fantasy epic, so I went with "Mystic River" over "Return Of The King"--oops!). That's because predicting award winners has nothing to do with how well you know your Coen Bros. from your Mast & Cohen, but how well you can predict what the 82-year-retired-caterer from "Vertigo" will feel about last year's film crop…and Harvey Weinstein’s gift basket.

I've studied the various guild winners, and have decided to skip EW's predictions in the minor categories entirely, since they tend to get most areas like "Best Live Action Short Subject" wrong anyway...

Since my cynical, defeated workplace has skipped the event, this year's Oscar pool will be a competition between just me and my significant other LF. So here are my predictions:


"No Country For Old Men": It's brilliant and everyone in Hollywood seems to love it, even though I predict about a third of them actually "get" it. That being said--


"Atonement" is the sort of Eurocentric period melodrama that would be literary-types excessively fawn over to show how much they’re above superhero films and sequels. It's still a challenging film, though, in terms of structure, and is pretty damned dark. It’s far better than most of its type, but I wouldn't put it on the list.


The Coens (No Country For Old Men): these guys are long overdue, and this is one of their finest efforts in a solid career.


Little chance of that, but it’s possible that PT Anderson could be a dark horse for a versatile career and the genius of his “There Will Be Blood”.


Diablo Cody (Juno): Writers tend to vote for cooler films overall and this quirky, quotable gem seems to be on everyone's lips. Comedies, however, tend to be undervalued in ALL categories, and this "little film that could" might now be considered "too popular", so--

POSSIBLE UPSET: Hmm, I’m thinking Michael Claytons expert balance of thriller and drama could score it for Gilroy, or the charms of the truly wonderful “Ratatouille” will be too tough to resist…


The Coens (No Country For Old Men): a difficult novel more faithfully translated to the screen than I expected when reading it. With that--


--maybe the Academy will feel the Coens adapted very little and just shot the book page-by-page, and instead give it to Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood”, since the film scores little chance of winning anything else other than Best Actor.


Daniel Day-Lewis (There Willl Be Blood): it’s been a long time since he won for “My Left Foot” and this one’s a powerhouse. Some feel it’s a bit hammy and strange, though, so—


George Clooney (Michael Clayton): a less “showy” role and thus more conventional turn for the oldsters, but an equally fine performance that’s full of minor touches whereas Lewis’ is all about acting for “the back row”…but I’d give it to Depp.


Julie Christie was great in “Away From Her” and is a respected vet long-overdue for some kudos, but I’ve been surprised here before. If nostalgia doesn’t win out—


--then it could go to Cotillard as Piaf in “La Vie En Rose”, ‘cause Hollywood loves dem musical biopics!


A toughie, with uniformly stellar work here. But with all the acclaim for “No Country For Old Men”, it’s Bardem’s for sure.


Hardly—but Philip Seymour Hoffman is memorable in everything he does and “Charlie Wilson’s War” is a bit less indie and weird than most of his other efforts.


Tilda Swinton as the stone cold PR flack in “Michael Clayton” should be the only choice here.


Warm nostalgic fuzzies could give it to Ruby Dee for her five-minute role in “American Gangster”. There’s buzz for Blanchett as Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There”, but her performance might be dismissed as a straight, albeit gender-bending, impersonation.


Well, everyone knows the year’s best score was Johnny Greenwood’s for “There Will Be Blood”, but it wasn’t eligible for stupid reasons. And “No Country For Old Men” doesn’t have one—at all. I remember liking the ambient score for “Michael Clayton”, so I’ll stick with it.


Who knows? I didn’t see “The Kite Runner”…maybe it’s better…


I haven’t a friggin’ clue. I liked the songs in “Once”, and haven’t heard any of the ones from “Enchanted”. But there are THREE of them for consideration here, so I’ll split the difference, take the one in the middle, and choose “So Close”.


One of the other two songs from “Enchanted” I didn’t choose…


“Ratatouille” might be Pixar’s best film to date, and that’s saying a lot...


“Persepolis” is pretty damned impressive, too…


Y’know, I see enough foreign films in a year, despite my low-brow tastes, but none of the ones I thought were any good got nominated. In fact, I’ve seen none of the five nominees. But I hear good stuff about “The Counterfeiters”, so I’ll go with that one.


Pick one: “Mongol”. Whatever.


Popular docs used to be shut out, but that’s changed for the better. Still, I don’t see it going to Moore again for “Sicko”—Bush is on his way out, so there’s not much to say. While Iraq-themed features failed to register, the doc “No End In Sight” might take the prize.


Okay, so maybe a lot of people wanna hear what Moore might say after all (Sicko).


No idea, much like every other year. Sari’s Mother sounds sentimental, and sentiment always works.


Salim Baba. Moving on…


“The Mozart Of Pickpockets” is a cool title. A little classical music, a little Bresson. Yeah, this is the one.


Take yer pick. Il Supplente…just because…


Canada offers two promising candidates. I’ll go with the boomer-friendly “I Met The Walrus”.


The other Canadian animated short: Madam Tutli-Putli.


Roger Deakins’ sun-baked landscapes (and faces) from “No Country For Old Men” should guarantee the win.


“There Will Be Blood” is chock full o’ equally haunting imagery…


Fantasy never gets it, so it’ll go to the period fetishes of “Atonement”.


Well, “Lord Of The Rings” actually did get one, so maybe “Sweeney Todd”? (which should)


Remember when “Star Wars” LOST this to “Annie”-frickin’- “Hall”? Forget fantasy—it’ll go to either “Atonement” Or “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”. There are more extras in “Elizabeth”, thus more costumes, so it’ll win.


Everyone’s talking about Kiera’s green dress in “Atonement”, so there you go.


Didn’t this use to be “makeup effects”? No? Oh well—Rick Baker is a genius and should win for anything he does—unfortunately, he’s nominated for Eddie Murphy’s “Norbit” which everyone hates. So it’ll go to Depp’s eyeliner, Keef’s spackle, and all those fish people from “Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End”.
What’s up other than “Norbit”? “La Vie En Rose”? Okay, then that one…

I thought “Grindhouse” , “Sunshine”, and “I Am Legend” had better FX than any of the nominees, but what the hell. Optimus Prime and co. were impressive in “Transformers”” (I just wanna hear someone on stage announce “Transformers!!!”)


Who cares. Maybe those wily “Pirates”, with Keef and the Kraken?

The “No Country For Old Men” semi-sweep should assure a win here.


Action films, which embody the art of film editing like no other genre, never win, but maybe, this year the Academy will clue in and give it to the deserving “The Bourne Ultimatum”.


I went to film school for four years and have worked on features for nearly 20, and still have no idea what the difference is between the two sound categories (sound must be recorded, edited, AND mixed, doesn’t it? Why not a best film processing category to go with cinematography?). I’ll give it to “No Country For Old Men”, which relies entirely on natural sounds with no background music to convey dramatic mood.


In case “No Country”s achievement is a bit too subtle, maybe it’ll go to the noisier “The Bourne Ultimatum”.


Action films, again, excel here. Which is why it should go to “The Bourne Ultimatum”.


Must’ve been tough to record all that clanging metal for “Transformers”, but everything in the animated world of “Ratatouille” had to be created from scratch.


And there you go. Bring on Stewart, bring on the Price-Waterhouse-Coopers guys, bring on the heartbreak!

04 February 2008

Barry Morse: 1918-2008

Barry Morse, the Canadian-based character actor (born in London, England) best known for the original "The Fugitive" and season one of "Space 1999", passed away on Feb. 2 at the age of 89. He was a terrific actor and as a major fan of "Space 1999" (dated, certainly, but the moodier season one is still one of the finest s.f. series ever, IMHO--Morse wasn't part of the more"Star Trek" influenced second and final run), I was honored to have worked with him on the film "Memory Run". Here's the first obit on his official site. And here's a drawing I did of Morse as "Victor Bergman" when I was 10!

01 February 2008

Once Again, He Who Yells Loudest...

Once again, it's the so-called "moral custodians" who appoint themselves (that, or God does it) to save us from ourselves who are the ones with the most to hide. From the good folks at Mobius Home Video Forum comes this depressing nugget:

Operator of "Clean Flix" Store Arrested for Statutory Rape:

The operator of the Utah-based Flix Club, which, as part of the Clean Flix chain, drew fire from major studios for removing scenes depicting sex and violence from home videos, has been arrested in Orem, Utah on charges of having sex with underaged girls. According to Orem police, Daniel Thompson also told the girls that his business was actually a cover for a pornography studio and asked them to participate in making a porn movie. The police report also said that they uncovered a "large quantity" of pornography at Thompson's business. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Thompson told the arresting officers that he was unaware that the girls were not of legal age and that the porn movies were for his "personal use." Thompson previously operated the Clean Flix franchise in Orem but shut it down last month after giving away 400 sanitized versions of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. The studios, he said at the time, had told him that "if I don't shut down, they would break me."

And more here from the Salt Lake Tribune, and from The Hollywood Reporter.

Granted, there's not much fun to be had in any scenario in which kids are sexually exploited, but I have to laugh at the notion that someone thinks there needs to be a censored version of Pirates Of The Freakin' Carribean! What, did Kiera Knightly show too much ribcage? Time to shut these idiots down...

29 January 2008

Sean Young Replaced With Replicant At DGA Ceremony

Well, okay, not really…but what possible explanation can there be? This is Sean Young, after all—Rachel, the impossibly beautiful Replicant with no-known-life-span who bewitched “cold fish” Rick Deckard and teenage sci-fi buffs like me who preferred Young’s effortless, Old Hollywood smolder to Reagan-era bimbettes like Loni Anderson and Susan Anton.

Of course, I’m conveniently forgetting that Young has already debased herself publicly on more than one occasion—her costumed bid to win the role of Catwoman (watch it here), her alleged threats to James Woods (mutilated dolls?), --so it shouldn’t come as any surprise. But I just bought the long-awaited collectors’ set of Blade Runner, and just saw the “Director’s Cut” in theatres in late fall, so I’m perhaps still longing the days where I associated Young with not only Scott’s masterpiece but for her memorable turns in comedies like Ivan Reitman’s Stripes and Young Doctors In Love (still Gary Marshall’s best movie…) and her appearance as Freman Chani in David Lynch's underappreciated Dune.

Seems Young had a few too many (that, or she’s just nuts) at the recent Directors’s Guild Of America awards (what the hell was she doing there in the first place?) and decided to abuse everyone who took to the stage, even yelling at a clip of George Clooney. She hurled insults in French at actress Marie Cotillard (La Vie En Rose), and then disrupted Julian Schnabel’s nomination speech, yelling at the director of The Diving Bell And The Butterfly to “get on with it”, eventually parading around the table with her fur coat on, prompting Schnabel to remark “why don’t you have another cocktail?” But before she could offer another booze-soaked retort in either French or English, security guards forcibly removed the 48-year old actress from the premises.

Read about the whole sorry mess here at Cinematical. And Julie Chen, who was there, mentioned the actress by name on last night’s David Letterman. The Tyrell Corporation can implant memories, but can they remove them? Man, to extinguish this, I’m gonna have to put Blade Runner—any version!--on continuous loop...

25 January 2008

Rambo: A Handy Guide To Unhinged Mayhem

Boy, when I'm 61, I hope I've outgrown the need to maim various foreign nogoodnicks while grunting platitudes like "Live for nothin', die for somethin'" (the current Rambo), or even better, "The world don't meetcha half way" (the classic Over The Top). No matter, Stallone felt the need to don the headband and the hair helmet for the fourth time (discounting the fine animated series), and for those of you who haven't kept up on the series since its last entry (almost 20 years ago), Slashfilm has provided a comprehensive chart chronicling the Vietnam vet's assorted picaresque adventures. I'll make every effort to catch Sly's latest allegory this weekend...because if I don't, the terrorists have won.

Steve Coogan's "Dr. Terrible's House Of Horrible"

I thought Edgar Wright's mock-trailer Don't was the unheralded highlight of Grindhouse (more in-jokes in a minute-and-a-half than a film buff could hope for), but I was surprised to learn that he wasn't the first to parody Milton Subotsky's notorious Amicus Productions ("The Studio That Dripped Blood!") and their unique brand of then-"modern" British horror (most of which was based on American comic books!).

My friend Chris F. just turned me on to Dr. Terrible's House Of Horrible (2001), a short-lived BBC series starring the great Steve Coogan that-- somehow--I missed out on completely. Conceived by creator Graham Duff as a spoof of Tales From The Crypt-type anthologies, each week showcased a riff on a particular British horror icon--Hammer Studios, Amicus, Tigon, even the salacious shockers of Pete "Frightmare/House Of Whipcord" Walker (what, no Norman J. Warren?)!

A DVD is available from the UK, but it's a pricey import. So here's a list available now on You Tube.

Abrams' Magical Mystery Box

To tide you over until this week's return of Lost, here's a very informative (and entertaining) lecture by co-creator J.J. Abrams on the importance of "mystery" in the arts (and in life), and why he's been obsessed with boxes-literally and metaphorically--his whole life.

Good stuff from TED, courtesy of JWT. Check it out here.