Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 6/29/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

George Hilton does beyond the shadow of a doubt - so this it must be:

Nobody did batcrap crazy "homage" (read: ripoff) movies like the Italians did in their heyday! Here's another Mad Max type flick with the late great Christopher Connelly as the imported American star. I actually haven't seen this one - but I love movies like this - if you want to come check it out with me - give me the word - even for tonight! Now, this one is in the video vault on a VHS tape - but really - isn't that kind of the preferred format for a movie like this?

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

Friday, June 28, 2013

Random Stew 6/28/13!

For this post - we'll add one new ingredient to our ever-bubbling cauldron of stew with some nice and simple behind the scenes James Bond pictures.

Martine Beswicke enjoys a beer and a smoke between shots on Thunderball (1965).

Roger Moore and Carole Bouquet about to be keel hauled
in For Your Eyes Only (1981).

Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in Dr. No (1962).

Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi in
From Russia with Love (1963).

Moore and Bouquet in color.

Beswick frolics with the frogmen extras. My money's on her.

Boy, looks like fun making those 007 pictures, doesn't it?


Just for my pal Melissa B!

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #121!

Cujo  (Warner Bros., 1983)

This one seems to be a slightly underrated Stephen King adaptation - but I saw it in the theater during its release and I think it's a corker flick. Mom, kid, rabid dog, non-starting car. Go.

Hercules and the Captive Women  (Woolner Brothers Pictures, 1963)

I have never seen this muscleman epic (or "peplum") - but I'd check it out. Sometimes though, there sure is an awful lot of (dubbed) talking and not a lot of strongman action, though.

Maniac  (Analysis Film Releasing Corporation, 1980)

As the good reviews for the remake starring Elijah Wood start to pour in - I'm still bummed that getting my buddy Ray his Gunnar Hansen autograph at Mad Monster Party in March cost me seeing a screening of that remake - let's not forget the original - one of the seamiest, grimiest movies ever made. I love it of course, since first seeing it on VHS back in the day. I own it on Blu-Ray (!) now - and it looks pretty damned amazing.

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

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 6/22/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

Tony Todd will if you say the movie's title five times - or so I've heard...

Experience taught me in the late 90's to be a little wary of any movie with "Wes Craven Presents" above the title - as there were some fairly crappy movies in the WCP library. But this one turned to be a pleasant surprise when I saw it on VHS - a gleefully nasty flick about an evil genie - played to the hilt by the always entertaining Andrew Divoff. Throw in some cool effects - and appearances from a half dozen well known horror actors - and you've got a fine night's entertainment to me.

And why don't we fulfill our wish for more evil djinn - I know just the tonic - we'll do a...

Saturday Night at the Movies Double Feature!


And here's the second movie now!

The success of the first movie made the producers and studio wish for a sequel - so of course they made one. It's a little underbudgeted for what it tries to pull off - but they got Andrew Divoff to come back which makes up for quite a bit. So, a not bad sequel, well worth a watch.

(Yes, there are indeed two more sequels - and they could have made this a "Dawn to Dusk Marathon" except - Divoff took a hike after the second go-round - replaced by the underwhelming John Novak - and having seen Part 3 - you're welcome that I'm keeping it to these two flicks. They're not in the video vault anyway - which disqualifies them from appearing here.)

Both of these movies are in the video vault twice - on a flipper DVD and a more recent multipack horror set - so there's bound to be a copy in easy reach at any time - even tonight - if you want to come check them out with me!

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Celebrity Endorsement: Tyler Mane!

Tyler Mane

I generally won't tell you any tall tales - but you kinda can't help it with this guy. No, I don't mean stories that stretch the truth. We're talking height here. I risked a nosebleed for this one - but you all need to know that my Mane man likes a good blog...and that's what I'm here to Tyler....

The first celebrity we met at the Mad Monster Party - and one of the nicest.

Thank you Tyler Mane!

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

Monday, June 17, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #120!

Theme week! And this one should be purr-fect!

Cat People  (RKO, 1942)

I like producer Val Lewton's approach to horror - let the audience imagine more than it sees - consequently I'm very fond of this movie - with Simone Simon trying to convince anyone who'll listen that she'll transform into a large predatory cat if she experiences deep emotions - like anger...or love.

Curse of the Cat People  (RKO, 1944)

After the first movie was a hit, Val Lewton was pressed into a sequel - but he didn't give them more of the same. Instead - he carried on the story with the daughter of the couple in the first film. She is visited by Irina's ghost - or is it just her imagination? For the novelty of the change in tone alone I recommend this movie.

Cat People  (Universal Studios, 1982)

Paul Schrader took a script from Alan Ormsby (Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things) and made one of the most erotic horror movies ever.  My brother - in the throes of a one-sided love affair with Nastassia Kinski that continues to this day - took me to this at the theater when I was 15. That's a pretty perfect age to see a movie like this. It's also full of atmosphere and dread - and amazing makeup effects - and is highly recommended to anyone who likes a little spice with their frights. Oh, and look at THAT crane...

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

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 6/15/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

We damn well know Howard Sherman does - since he's actually endorsed this blog! So here's what it's gotta be:


I love Romero zombies! I'm still catching up on his recent efforts - but the first three are terrific flicks.

This third go-round in the first trilogy was not exactly the movie he'd planned to make due to budget issues (I don't know if there's a script for the movie he originally conceived, but boy would I like to read it!) but George Romero made do - and the movie turned out just fine in my opinion!

I have this one on a Blu-Ray I haven't even put in the machine yet - so if you'd like to join me for the initial viewing - even tonight - you merely need to come on by!

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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Teenage Production Assistant Special: The Call Sheet!

I started putting together the next post in the recurring I Was A Teenage Production Assistant series when I realized that the beginning of the post kept referring to something called a "call sheet." For those unfamiliar with that term - here's a bonus IWATPA post breaking that fine document down.

The call sheet is a daily one page document of the day’s work. For the illustrations in this post I'm mostly using a call sheet from the TV series Lost. I grabbed it at random off the internet - I did not work on the show or anything. But it was set up like most of the call sheets I saw across my years in the business.

Lost is wrapped, so I don't think there's any proprietary or sensitive info left on here - maybe something on here could tork somebody on Hawaii 5-O off - who knows?

The front side has a masthead with the production’s information – office address and phone number, project title, producers; director; sunrise; sunset; closest hospital; and even a weather forecast for the day (important when you’re shooting exteriors, of course, but potentially important for interiors too.)

The masthead

Under that section is the listed schedule of scenes for that day’s shoot, including the scene numbers, scene descriptions, cast needed, whether a scene is day or night, what script day it takes place on, and script page count. Script page count is always in 1/8's of pages. For example, a scene that runs 2 1/2 pages is listed on the call sheet as 2 4/8 pages. This has to do with the breakdown of each page and how much screen time a scene will take up. Script format produces roughly a minute per script page. When you put something in like "Establishing shot of diner" it will be listed as a 1/8 page scene. Shooting it took time, and it will add to the day's page count - and by it being 1/8 of a page everyone knows it is expected to take up roughly 7-8 seconds of screen time. If something happens in that shot - a character driving up, getting out, and going in to the diner - now that scene will have more description in it and will be listed as 3/8 or 4/8 of a page. Then it is also known that the shot is expected to run 20-30 seconds onscreen.

Scene listing

Under that is the cast listing – with the times they are to work (“call times”) or if they are on hold for the day. Usually the main players are printed every day – and the actors with shorter scheduled roles will be handwritten in or added only on the days when their status changes. And by the way, due to SAG rules – there are lots of necessary listed status changes. S = ‘start’ W = ‘work’ H = ‘hold’ F = ‘finish’ TR = ‘travel’.

So, accordingly, an actor may be blank for a few days if he doesn’t start work until some days into the shoot. Then, the day before he works he might be listed as “SWTr” which means that he is Starting Work with Travel – which he is paid for. The next day he starts shooting, so he would be listed that day as “W” for work. The day after that he has no scenes to shoot – so he would be listed as “H” – he is on Hold. Hold is important, because if the production gets rained out for exterior scenes – and has to move to interiors – the actor on Hold could be called in to work. This is handled by the second Assistant Director – AD – letting them know the day before the Hold day – “You’re on Hold tomorrow, but the weatherman is calling for a 50 % chance of rain, so if we move interior we will shoot scene 57 with you.” That way the actor knows to prepare for scene 57 and to either stay put at the hotel or keep the production notified as to his whereabouts all day – so he can be called in with a minimum of time wasted. Nowadays this certainly must be easier with cell phones – but the keeping in touch part was a whole different animal in the 90’s – when there were cell phones, but few people had them, and the pager was still king. So the actor has his Hold days, and his Work days. Finally, he shoots his last day – on that call sheet he usually would be listed as WF – Work Finish. Then after he is camera wrapped, he usually gets one more night staying over – then the next day is listed for the last time as TR – Travel home. If the person Is wrapping the show early on the last day he could be travelling home the same day – in which case he’d be listed as WFTR – Work Finish, then Travel. This is for the major actors on the show – or the smaller parts if the deal is worked out that way. Other actors on the show are called ‘day players.’ They usually only work a day or two. They also get less SAG consideration. They might not get TR days – so if they work only one day with no travel – they would appear on the call sheet one time – SWF – Start, Work, Finish. Then their name would disappear off the call sheet.

Cast info

Okay – under that on the call sheet is a two column block. On the left is a block that contains the information about the background extras, photo doubles, and possibly stand-ins for the actors. The background extras are the non speaking people who wander around in the background of a shot (not really wander – they have specific actions set by the assistant directors on set). They could be diners at other tables in an eating scene; a crowd gathering after some violence or an accident, or bystanders walking down a street. If there are people in the shot other than the actors – be aware they are always background extras hired to work in the scene – not actual bystanders who are lucky enough to be walking through the scene. There are several reasons why this is so. (And yes, it is possible that for a very low budget shoot especially in these digital days a production could stage a scene in public and let people just occur as background extras – but it’s still somewhat unlikely as you will see with my next statements). A production cannot put faces before the lens without the permission of the faces’ owners. This is accomplished either through the payment paperwork for a paid extra, or in rare cases where a show has called in extras they aren’t paying – through paperwork called a release form – which allows the production company to use and exploit your image forever and ever amen for no recompense. Extras need to be controlled. If you strolled down a city street shooting a shot of Tom Cruise – playing a nobody librarian – then you would get scads of people looking directly at him, and directly at the camera lens. This would look silly in your movie. Instead, you need professional extras, who would bustle down that street “on their way to work” totally ignoring that ordinary librarian – and the camera – just like real life where librarians aren’t Tom Cruise and cameras aren’t following him. You also need to be able to reassemble your extras to match for coverage shots. If a tall redheaded lady crosses behind Tom just as he flashes his million watt smile in the wide shot – then she needs to cross in exactly the same way when they punch in for a close up. Below they had 50 total background extras - the numbers on the far left are how many of each are needed. Note the staggered call times for each set of 20 travelers w/bags (20 at 5:30am, 20 at 6:00am) - this gives makeup, hair, and wardrobe time to check the extras out during the morning process.

Also listed here are stand-ins. The process of production is - the actors come to set and rehearse the first scene of the day - all of the departments watch to get an understanding of the scene in full. Usually the first set up will be the master shot of the whole scene in wide shot. After rehearsal the actors are sent out to finish getting ready (makeup, hair, and wardrobe) and the set is turned over to the director of photography (DP - not DoP) who then proceeds to set up the first shot - directing the camera crew, the electrics for the lighting, and the grips for anything that affects the camera (like a dolly track) or the lighting (a bounce screen; a light diffusing screen). In order to see the bodies being lit - there are stand-ins for the actors - they watch the rehearsal and then stand in the actors' places while the lights are set. They are usually as close to the same height and general coloring - you wouldn't have a woman with jet black hair stand in for a blonde actress like Cyntha Watros in our example. They also usually wear clothing similar in coloring to the wardrobe for the scene. When the DP is finished lighting the set, the stand-ins step out and the "first team" (actors) step in. The shot is completed, then the entire process is repeated for each successive shot in the scene (medium shot, over the shoulder, close-up, and then the reverses of each of those if needed) until the scene is complete. As listed below - they had regular stand-ins for the main actors, then a fourth "utility" stand-in to cover anyone else.

Photo doubles are people who resemble an actor – whether naturally or or through makeup and hair alterations. They are used for various reasons – perhaps the actor is facing away from camera in the background – the character is in the scene, but the actor won’t be seen clearly or speaking. Or it could be that during a sequence with the actor there’s particular attention played to a prop they hold, or the clothes they wear – the actor would shoot parts where his face is clearly seen – then a double would be used to shoot the shots of the hand holding the prop, or his shoes, with their incriminating mud spatters. Actors tend to like to skip shots like that – so they are often doubled for these shots. There are other reasons actors are doubled as well. When these reasons happen on the shows I work on I’ll mention them in more detail. That way maybe I can keep this thing down to 70,000 words or less.
 In any case - our representative call sheet lists no photo doubles.

The right hand side of this section is a block containing special instructions/needs for various departments. For example, perhaps props needs to provide a hammer and nails for a scene, along with an identical stunt rubber hammer. They would be listed here. Of course, the prop department would have been aware of the need for the two hammers and nails since they did their script breakdown in pre-production. This consists of reading the script carefully, and making a detailed list of every prop needed, as well as the scene numbers they appear in. Putting the props needed in this section of the call sheet is a reminder only. It's also a bit of a CYA - because no one (director; producers) can say something was asked for in a particular scene if it isn't listed on the call sheet - and no one (props) can say they didn't know something was needed if it is listed on the call sheet.

Lastly, beneath this section is the schedule ahead - usually 2-3 days worth of the upcoming scenes and locations, sometimes as little as the next day only if it's a big day. Again - no surprises (on paper). You read your call sheet, you can see scene 47 listed for Thursday at the bottom of Monday's call sheet. On Tuesday and Wednesday it moves up the schedule. Therefore you should not be surprised that the scene is shooting on Thursday. This is also a way to keep track of upcoming scenes as the schedule changes.  (Weather, actor availability, etc).

Like a time machine into the future...

The back of the call sheet lists all of the crew members in each department. It also provides a place for their call time to be listed - if they are supposed to be on set at "crew call" - let's say 7 am - or if they need to be there earlier (makeup and hair to get actors ready) or later - marine department for a boat scene after the crew lunch midday. Some departments are provided a call time by the department heads - like makeup and hair assistants, who get their call times from the keys (head person in the department.) Production might have called in the makeup assistant at 6:30am, but the makeup department key knows they are putting the burn scar makeup on the actress, so maybe the assistant needs to arrive at 5:30am to prep that. So, the key gives the assistant the 5:30am call time, and the call sheet just lists it as "per (key's initials)." I have a call sheet back for a different show - the WB series Roswell - as an example - coincidentally this show has Patrick Norris as a director - and I worked with him several times on Dawson's Creek!

If you want an explanation of any of these jobs in greater detail - let me know.

Call sheets are handed out at wrap - they usually make far more than are needed - goodbye, trees - and people carry them around all the next day. Another small call sheet will be attached to the front of something called "sides" - which are the script pages being shot that day, reduced in size to about the dimensions of a paperback book. This is for the actors mainly - so they can refer to the script quickly without having to pull out a full sized one and dig through it - but others use them as well - like the sound department - to get a feel for the dialogue in a scene.

This is a page from a set of sides. This picture is roughly how
big a set of sides is. Also, note the X-ed out scene - that's a
scene being shot on a different day - so in this case the actor
should concentrate on scene 13.

When a production is moving to a new location the call sheet may have attached to it a map showing how to get to the location. They base the map on getting to the set from the production office, or if a majority of the crew is being put up in a certain hotel  - to the set from that hotel. They may combine these. But locals will need to check for landmarks and pick up the path from their own homes. Here's a call sheet map from some show shooting in Los Angeles:

In addition to very efficiently supplying all of that information to all of those crew members every day - call sheets serve another function too. Anyone who wants to join the Director's Guild of America (DGA) as an assistant director needs to document 600 days working as a production assistant or non-DGA assistant director. So, you need to keep a call sheet (with your name listed on the back as crew) for each day you work until you hit 600. (There are other documents needed for this as well - but we'll get in to those in another post.)

And that, friends and neighbors, is a call sheet. I think it may work well to do some other pieces like this - laying out some of the terms from the industry in detail - maybe even a glossary one of these days.

When next we jump in to this department we'll be back to the regularly scheduled next job from my resume! And the next one is a virtual assault on a legendary director!

Until that post - or whatever is next - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Don't Call Him Rusty!

Iron Man 3  (Paramount Studios, 2013)

Before the Camera:

Robert Downey Jr.  (Iron Man)
Gwyneth Paltrow  (Marvel's The Avengers)
Guy Pearce  (Memento)
Don Cheadle  (Boogie Nights)
Rebecca Hall  (The Prestige)
Jon Favreau  (Iron Man 2)
William Sadler  (Die Hard 2)
Miguel Ferrer  (Stephen King's The Night Flier)
James Badge Dale  (The Departed)
Stephanie Szostak  (Dinner for Schmucks)
Dale Dickey  (TV's My Name is Earl)
Ty Simpkins  (Insidious)
Ben Kingsley  (Gandhi)
The Mandarin

Listen up for:

Paul Bettany  (Iron Man)
The Voice of Jarvis

Behind the Camera:

Directed by  Shane Black

Produced by  Kevin Feige, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Louis D'Esposito, and 7 other assorted Associate, Executive, and Co-Producers

Written by Drew Pearce and Shane Black

Iron Man created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck, and Jack Kirby

With Marvel’s Cinematic Avengers Initiative Phase One completed – that’s the group of films that started with Iron Man in 2008 and culminated in The Avengers in 2012 – Phase Two kicks off with the Armored Avenger’s third solo movie.

After the events in New York City at the climax of The Avengers – Tony Stark finds himself plagued with self doubt and unable to sleep. As he occupies himself tinkering in his lab on any number of things, his relationships and life begin to slide downhill. Then things take a turn for the terroristic when an A-1 nutjob calling himself the Mandarin (Kingsley) starts hijacking America’s airwaves to brag about his bombless explosive attacks on America – bombless because there’s no evidence of a bomb casing or explosive residue. Tony realizes there’s a connection between the Mandarin and a think tank called Advanced Idea Mechanics run by a twitchy genius named Aldrich Killian (Pearce). Aldrich sought out Tony’s help thirteen years ago, but the eternal party boy didn’t jump on board back then, and left Killian standing on a rooftop alone.

Stark continues to work out the bugs in his latest set of Iron Man armor, and uncovers evidence of a super soldier program called Extremis – and it seems Extremis is extremely dangerous – both to its recipients, and to those around them. Old pal James Rhodes (Cheadle) is busy protecting the US President (Sadler) in his newly rebranded War Machine armor – now painted up red white and blue and called Iron Patriot – and none of his Avenger pals are available to assist, leaving Tony all alone to stop the Mandarin’s mad machinations.

Freddy Krueger, Michael Jackson...and now Tony Stark.

After thoroughly enjoying the first Iron Man movie and all of the other solo hero films leading up to The Avengers, I found Iron Man 2 to be the weakest of the Avengers Initiative Phase One films. It just had sophomore slump written all over it. Consequently I wondered if IM3 would continue to go downhill, or would it pick up from the marvelous Avengers movie and keep the franchise flying high?

Well, before the movie even rolled a camera it became more interesting to me – because they decided to film it right in my backyard! (Mostly). They took over the entirety of Screen Gems Studios here in Wilmington NC and built all the amazing sets (and instituted a level of internal security that was never seen before at the studio that Dino built. In fact, those new security protocols might warrant a whole separate post.) They also shot in Raleigh NC and Miami Florida as well as a couple other spots in NC.

There were some fun stories of Robert Downey Jr interacting with the local crew in his inimitable manner; and it was funny when the production company attempted to camouflage the shoot by calling the production “Caged Heat” on paperwork and signage posted around town. That was the worst kept secret in the history of mankind as far as I could tell.

But I digress.

I chose to skip the 3-D and the IMAX 3-D versions, as the third dimension was an upconvert that didn’t add much according to some friends who saw it that way – and we don’t actually have IMAX here – we have IMAX Lite. Or LIEMAX – as it’s a 2 or 3 story screen that is distressingly close to the seating in the theater – nowhere near the 6 story awesomeness that I really want to experience one of these days.

But I digress.

Iron Man 3 turned out to be a terrific summer entertainment – fast moving, action packed, funny, and brimming with great visual effects. In his fifth film playing Tony Stark - (counting that cameo in The Incredible Hulk) – Robert Downey Jr proves worth every penny Marvel pays him. He is still fully committed to the role – and he seems to have effortless chemistry with anyone who shares the screen with him. Thankfully several of those co-stars are Iron Man vets now – with Pepper Potts ( Paltrow), James Rhodes (Cheadle), and Happy Hogan (Favreau) all returning. All three get some nice moments along the way, especially Cheadle, whose heroics as Iron Patriot could warrant an Iron Man-less spin-off film as far as I’m concerned. All of the actors strike the right notes in their roles – with Kingsley a surprisingly effective Mandarin – considering the character is a fairly dated non-PC Fu Manchu riff in the comics – and Pearce standing out as a socially inept science nerd whose AIM group provides a nice “wink” moment for those well versed in Marvel comics lore.

There’s obviously a lot of CGI in the movie – and it’s mostly very effective, though I have quibbles that some (all?) of the scenes of Stark in the armor have the suit digitally added (note when he touches Pepper’s lapels that his hands don’t seem quite “there.”) I also had an issue with a sequence in the movie called the “barrel of monkeys” scene. I don’t want to give anything away – but it involves Iron Man working to save several people in a very brief span of time. Well, that scene had a major chunk shot downtown here on the Cape Fear river, with stuntpeople flying all over the river thanks to cranes and wire rigs. I got to see a little of this being shot – and it looked amazing. Weirdly, when those moments actually came in the movie – the height it was happening at had been reduced (?) and they entire final few shots now looked completely CGI – which is really sad since there were actual stunts happening with people taking some long drops into the river during the shooting, and all of that has been negated into another digital scene.

See what I mean?

Still, those are some small quibbles in an entertainingly big and over-the-top superhero movie anchored by RDJ and his joie de vivre. If you’ve enjoyed the other movies in this franchise – I think you’ll enjoy this one too. And do I even need to tell you to stick around through all of the credits for a little extra bit at the very end?

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Very roughly around the hour and a half mark, Don Cheadle thinks he and William Sadler should head for quieter ground.

Eye Candy ?

Yes indeed.

Rebecca Hall! You just got the call! Now give us your all!

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says " Iron Man 3 has the mettle to prove no one
has gotten rusty making these movies!"

Thank you Buddha me lad. Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #119!

Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die  (Columbia Pictures, 1966)

This is a standard issue Bond ripoff from the period - with the added bonus of Mike "Mannix" Connors as the 007 wannabe! I haven't seen it - but like any of these movies - I'd watch it given the chance!

Fiend of Dope Island  (Essenjay Films, 1961)

Your guess is as good as mine! I haven't seen it - but I know Something Weird Video has it out on a double feature DVD with another island adventure flick - so I'm hoping I get to see it one of these days!

Piranha  (New World Pictures, 1978)

It almost goes without saying - except I keep saying it - that I LOVE the movie Piranha - it is exactly what a B movie drive-in picture should be as far as I'm concerned. However, I've never seen this poster before - and my initial response - that it wasn't as cool as the other two better known versions - soon changed when I really took a look at that red and black pattern in the middle top to bottom...

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

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies 6/8/13!

Who cares what picture we see?

Art Lafleur would on most days, so let's make this the choice for tonight...

This is a lesser known - possibly even obscure - Bruce Campbell movie, directed by his Raimi days cohort Josh Becker. It's a crime drama in black and white, with Bruce released from prison and plunging directly into a heist - trying to rip off his corrupt former warden.

Here's what makes this movie pretty essential in my book (not counting everything I just said) - the movie takes place in real time - just like the show 24 - and it appears to be shot in one long continuous take. (It isn't - but the number of shots in the movie could certainly be counted on two hands - and maybe on one!)

I happen to enjoy "real time" movies (Nick of Time, The Sadist) - and 24 - and with the added bonus of a "one continuous shot" movie (like Hitchcock's Rope) this one is a very cool watch.

I know right where the DVD for this one is in the video vault, and I could lay hands on it in seconds - if you decided to come over to watch it with me - even tonight!

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

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Random Stew 6/4/13!

It's time for a single new tasty ingredient in our ever simmering pot of pop culture broth...

Long before their recent successes with the Avengers and the various solo hero movies of the last five years, Marvel did not have a lot of luck at getting their properties made into feature films. But they did have some TV success in the late 1970's with The Incredible Hulk and (briefly) The Amazing Spider-Man. The Hulk got a resepctable five season run on CBS, while Spider-Man faced more trouble from ever changing time slots than supervillains in his single season.
But while the prognosis for both series was looking good - CBS tried for a hat trick with this pilot film about Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme. It strayed too far from the source material and had to make do with 70's TV special effects - but as a kid I was glued to my set that night!
Here's Doctor Strange from the comics:
And here he is in the movie:
It's in the ballpark, but goes a little too disco for me...

The outfit on the VHS cover is better - and look! There's Jessica Walter from
Arrested Development as the villainess Morgan LeFay!
The ratings for the TV movie were not very good - so no series for Dr. Strange. Sadly, this also put the kibosh on pilots being developed for The Submariner and The Human Torch.
So we watched Spider-Man until he was cancelled and then had to make do with the Hulk - which at least was a pretty good show - though I would have given my eyeteeth for them to have thrown The Rhino in for a big two part battle royale episode!
Well, until the Eye of Agamotto falls into the Flames of the Faltine - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #118!

After last week - we've really packed the movie posters in to this joint - but we're back to the usual - so here's three more!

48 Hours to Live  (Freja Film, 1959)

I have no direct knowledge of this flick - but despite the "space-y" look to the poster - it's apparently about nuclear spies, with at least one side trip into a Swedish nudist colony for good measure. Sounds like a good movie to me!

The Park is Mine  (20th Century Fox, 1986)

This was another movie that I saw on dozens of video shelves (or at least a couple of video shelves dozens of times...) I never ended up renting it back then, fearing too much talk. I really want to see it now, of course. Crazy Vietnam vet takes over Central Park as his own domain. Look at that cast, and directed by the man who helmed Rolling Vengeance!

The Dunwich Horror  (American International Pictures, 1970)

I saw this on VHS with my Lovecraft fanatic movie pal Richard, and we were fairly dismissive of its late 60's/early 70's treatment. I have a feeling a watch today might reveal this to be a fairly decent Lovecraft movie....

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