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JOHN'S SCRIPT FOR JUDGEMENT DAY
Hello One And All:
The PCR cauldron should be bubbling over about now, or so it would seem. Just save some of the primordial soup for me. I wasn't aware that we had any all access pass military and intelligence experts hanging around here. Hey Fanboy, when do I get my pass? I'd like to be privy to all this top secret intelligence too. Then I can go around casting accusations and working the villagers into a frenzy. We can all run out with our torches and pitchforks to oust the dreaded, mad dictator from it's lair. Hell, I'll bring the marshmallows and Weinies. We haven't had a good torching in this country in a long time ( at least since Waco).
On to a subject much closer to my heart: MOVIES, MOVIE MAKERS, AND GOOD MOVIES FROM BAD ONES. There, I'm happy again. First off, ANDY, I'd love to sit around that campfire any time you want with "The Kids" and talk horror movies. Good, bad, Cheesy (sorry), and whatever other category fits horror movies. Before I go anywhere in the bus with all of you I must anounce a Creature disclaimer (The Crazed Fanboy Is Laughing now), I am not defending or attacking anything said by anyone. Trust me on that. It's just that now the fireworks have been thrown on the campfire so I feel the need to join in this lively exchange of testosterone and estrogen.
We're talking about the controversy over "B" grade movies vs. "Big Hollywood" productions. As usual, I take my stand out of the middle (you remember; Hatfields, McCoys). Now pay attention, there may be a test. Let's see if I got all this right; Eighties horror movies suck and modern day blockbusters are no good. That pretty much sums up the last twenty years (give or take a few years). I hope that's right, it's hard to keep track of the scorecard at times.
It goes back (again) to something I said a few weeks back. People tend to defend either what they grew up with or what appeals to them most. To this end they listen with deaf ears AND mercilessly attack anything that stands to threaten their idea of the "Utopian Movie Experience." I can understand that because quite often I find myself doing the same thing. Well, except the attack thing.
I actually started out writing this last week but my schedule has been so busy of late that I'm just now finishing it. I probably am not in the same frame of mind that I was when I started either but, Oh Well! I like movies from all eras (including the movies we see painted on cave walls and ancient ruins, fascinating stuff). I like blockbusters as well as back yard bombs. I also like lots of movies which are served with a bit of dairy product (I didn't say cheesy Andy, LOL) added for good measure. Are there movies I don't like; Hell Yeah! But I know someone out there does like them and that's cool. I just like to talk about the flicks that I like to watch.
Anyway, I read the letters, articles, reviews, rebuttals, attacks, defensive maneuvers, disclaimers, and opinions (I think that covers everything) and decided that this was one party I just had to crash. It appears nobody followed the rules of the game. The rules stated that if you were a low budget filmmaker or a fan of 80's horror and Sci-fi (SF, Science Fiction, Scienti-film, take your pick) DON'T read on. AND...if you do...DON'T COMPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! Oops, we all failed the test because we all kept reading. Remember, we were warned and I think we all missed the point. The point that was being driven into the blackened heart of that foul beast of darkness was that lots of indie filmmakers slam those that have risen above the challenge. Do those who shed their darkened visage to roam in the brilliance of success earn what they have or have they further blackened their souls by "selling out." That vile connotation carries quite a bit of weight among the masses. It can
bubble into a frenzy with just its mention. Here we go, folks, this is the new ride at Grizzly Land. ROLL ON CAMERA! ROLL ON SOUND! AND...ACTION!
INT. A COURTROOM JUST THIS SIDE OF PURGATORY. (DAY)
Honorable Justice Helsing Warloch stares out over the courtroom. There is a fine mist prevailing in the room, no doubt that of corporeal visitors who have heard about the landmark case being brought before this tribunal. The judge stares with bulging eyes at the table where the defence is preparing to call it's final witness. Defence Lawyer LANCE HENDRY approaches the bench.
(clearing his throat)
Your Honor, I'd like to call my final witness, Mr. Stefan Wheelbird
to the stand.
A collective gasp can be heard from the crowd as STEFAN WHEELBIRD is sworn in. He takes his seat on the stand showing no emotion. He stares first at the jury, then at his lawyer. A single bead of sweat can be seen slowly making it's way from his hairline and onto his temple. He is nervous as things don't look too good for him.
Mr. Wheelbird; is it true you used to perform little hand puppet shows
at the neighborhood Rec. Center for the kids.
Stefan looks at the jury and smiles.
Yes, it's true. I spent four years...every saturday...entertaining the
In your own words, can you tell the jury how your meteoric rise from
humble beginnings to becoming one of the nation's leading filmmakers
Stefan clears his throat, squirming a little in the uncomfortable chair.
Well, I was just finishing up a performance when a man approached
me with an idea for writing and editing a children's program for public
The prosecutor, one CLARENCE HARTLESS stands, dropping his pen on the desk just to attract attention.
I object. Counsel is trying to make this man out to be a saint to
all children. Was it really for the children, or was it for the money.
Your Honor, Counsel is trying to confuse the witness.
The bulging eyes of the judge train in on Lance Hendry. Hendry watches in horror as the judge rises up from behind the "Bench" supported by a seething mass of tetacles.
I see no confusion at all with the question. In fact, I HAVE
ALREADY HEARD ENOUGH! I have seen your movies Mr. Wheelbird.
Most of them have been major blockbusters. Explain that!
People consider me creative and a visionary so they want to
Support my projects. Is that a crime?
Your Honor, I do believe this line of questioning is a violation of
my clients right to a fair trial.
SILENCE! Mr. Hendry, you go too far. You will not make a
mockery of this court.
A tentacle shoots out from Warloch's body, snatching Lance Hendry, yanking him off his feet. He is dashed up against the wall with such force a loud pop can be heard as his spine is snapped in two. His lifeless body is thrown into the crowd of panic-stricken court observers.
The fine mist, ever present during the entire trial, begins to take shape as several scaly, winged creatures with razor sharp claws and teeth. They waste no time in attacking both the jury and the court witnesses, tearing them to pieces.
The room explodes into utter chaos with mangled bodies strewn all over the place. Stefan Wheelbird sits quietly, watching in horror the scene which is playing out before him.
Helsing Warloch trains his gaze on Wheelbird, snatching him from the witness chair in a blinding flash. Wheelbird is dangling by his neck several feet off the ground, choking as a massive tentacle holds him fast.
Stefan Wheelbird...this court finds you guilty of selling out to
the evil that is Hollywwood. Is there anything you would like to
say before your sentence is pronounced.
Wheelbird tries to struggle against the slimy grasping tentacle but to no avail. All he can make are some gurgling sounds as his strength fades. The lack of oxygen has taken its toll and Stefan Wheelbird knows he will soon die.
Stefan Wheelbird...for the crimes of selling out, making
multi-million dollar movies, and enjoying rewards from
said activities, the court hereby sentences you to hang
by the neck until you are dead, sentence to be carried out
Sometime during the reading of the sentence Stefan Wheelbirds body goes limp. He never hears the last of the judge's words.
Fade to Black
Good script, bad script. Who knows. I guess it all depends on who is watching, which is my point. Horror and Science Fiction films have been with us for more years than any of us have been alive. There have been hundreds of good ones and hundreds of bad ones. I don't think Ashley hates them. Hell, she was raised on them and she goes to see practically every one that comes out. She even saw Twenty-Eight Days Later Twice. (I only saw it once) The point was how people who live in glass houses are usually the ones who throw rocks.
Am I defending her. NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! She doesn't even know I'm writing this. I'm just reacting to the things I've read. I really like "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things." It remains one of my favorite Zombie flicks. At the same time I would agree that "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is not my favorite movie either. I've seen it four times but it wouldn't bother me if I didn't see it again. I like "Motel Hell" with Rory Calhoun. Now there's a chainsaw fight for you. I also love "The Hills Have Eyes." What a great movie about an unbalanced mutant family. I also admit to secretly liking "Jack Frost," the killer snowman being pushed around on a skateboard. Talk about dairy product with your movie.
See you all on the cutting room floor:
The Creature From Clearwater [aka John Lewis]
MIKE SMITH'S BASEBALL MEMORIES
As someone who has been involved with baseball in one form or another since I can remember I wanted to respond to what Brandon wrote in last week's "Splash Page."
I have so many baseball memories that I could probably fill a book. Among them are the same ones Brandon will always cherish, having a catch with his boys. As a young boy my family would go to the drive in movies. We would always get there early enough so that my father and I could go down to the play area and have a catch. Many days after work my dad would take me to the park near our home and hit me fly balls and grounders for what seemed like hours. In the summer my friends and I would, literally play baseball all day, only stopping for lunch and for when it was time to go home (when the street lights came on) I can't remember when I didn't play organized ball. My first uniform number was 10. I have worn that number since. My son has worn it all through his career when it was available, from little league through college. I agree with many of Brandon's suggestions. There is a rule where the pitcher has to pitch faster. I'm happy to see that more of the upcoming players are fan friendly. I was spoiled in Baltimore because so many of the players would come to my theatre and I would slowly build a rapport with them. Plus we had the greatest ambassador of baseball, Cal Ripken, Jr. I've seen the Orioles play in many different cities. But whether it was at home, in New York, Chicago or here in Kansas City, I never saw Cal not take at least a few minutes to sign and chat with the fans. Hell, for the month before he broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak, he would stay at the stadium, often until one in the morning, signing for fans. My hat is off to Toby Hall for making an impression on your boys. If more players took an interest in the young fans maybe the powers in the game would pay attention. I have no idea how far my son will go in baseball. But I know that he would be the kind of player your boys would like. And that makes me proud!
ASHLEY COMMENTS ON "GAY OLD TIME" (PCR #176 homepage)
Personally, I find it appauling that there are people out there allowing an all "Gay" school to exist. If I wanted to start an all "heterosexual" school than I would be considered an anti-gay activist and I would have every gay person on earth loathing me and sending death threats. Yet the fact that there will be a school like this is seems to be okay with the American public. Kids at 14 and 15 should not be worried about who they are sleeping with, nevermind the fact that they are gay or straight. That is the problem with this counrty, people have too much freedom. Yes I will say it again, there is too much freedom! By allowing people the right to say whatever they want and do whatever they want they influence other poeple to think that is a part of life and that it is okay to gay. In fact, I am not anti-gay though it may sound like it. I believe that if there are two consenting adults and its the lifestyle they have chosen, so be it. When it gets into same-sex couples
adopting children I have a serious problem with that. If its not natural, then that tells you something right there. If you want to live with someone of the same sex and spend the rest of your life with them, that's fine by me. Don't make children's lives more confusing than it already has to be in this complicated world that we have created. Having rights is what makes this country great but I think there is a point when you keep your mouth shut and go about your own business. A lot of people are gay for attention and some honestly have chemical imbalances. Fine, Keep it to yourself. If not I am gonna organize a heterosexual parade in Central Park (just kidding). Now you say, "Oh, well, that's ridiculous, you can't have a heterosexual parade, thats not politically correct." But a gay one is?
The other thing I have a problem with is...all black schools. Same scenario again, if I want to create an all white school, that is a problem. I can't stand the fact that there is reverse discrimination going on these days. Equality is a beautiful thing that just can't seem to find its place in this country. If a black comedian gets up and makes fun of whites, it's funny. If a white comedian gets up and makes fun of blacks, it's bigotry. This whole thing just pisses me off.
This country is going to hell in a fast car and we need to consider that before we organize another gay parade.
Sorry for ranting but when I read Nolan's "review" this week, I wanted to voice my opinion on the subject as well.
I'm glad you agree with my basic points about gay politics, but the parts about "all black schools" need a little clarifying unless I've missed some development over the years. Only now is forced busing being abandoned after 30 years -- the very thing that kept any school from being all-white or all-black that whole time. If you were referring to, say, a college that is adamantantly all-black, then it is likely a private institution with a different kind of agenda...maybe that's what you meant. --Nolan
STEVE BEASLEY EXPLODES FROM MIDDLE EARTH
For those of you who haven't dealt with non-Americans on a lengthy basis....At almost 45 years of age, I moved out of America and tho there are many things I can appreciate about my new location, I'd take America any day of the week. I am in New Zealand, where the scenery is as spectacular as anything America has to offer, albeit in a more compact location, however...although the political system is based on democratic principles, the locals (Kiwis) have done, as their fathers before them for so long that they (the young) by and large can't seem to find their own course. If there father was an auto mechanic then by-god their children are are expected to do the same, or at the very most, stay at the same socio-economic level. They are taught from a young age that, "If it's okay for "dad and grandpa then it's okay for me", or, even more to the point they seem to expect that is how life should be. That's fine and one shouldn't have issues with their parents line of work but, here in New Zealand, they are literally expected to stay at the very same same socio-economic level. The fathers and mothers claim that they want the best for their young, but they only assist if the young choose similarly.This appears to be the same in the political hierarchy, where there are multiple father-son "team" MPs, (Members of Parliament), mother-daughter teams, etc......and being that New Zealand has based their entire infrastructure on England's, I can't help but wonder if the very political system is essentially, essentially a holdover from the principles of a monarchy. I believe that these people have lived under a monarchy for so long that, even tho they espouse democracy, they don't truly yet grasp the meaning of the term as intended by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson....the actual writer's of the Declaration of Independence. I believe for some, the monarchy system is surviving today only as a security blanket. I believe in the form of total freedom that American's practice....wherein no matter if you're father cleans horse stalls or is a rocket scientist, you can be totally different and become ANYTHING your heart desires. The Kiwis, admittedly discuss enriching their lives beyond what they are familiar with when pushed, but even then seem to take on a defeatist attitude. It reminds me of all the stories I've read about Cold War Russia and the fact that any real achievement (against the grain ie; government dictum) is simply foolhardy dreaming....
Ya know, I thought I understood the American Dream before I left......but this past 15 months abroad has taught me the true meaning of the phrase. We, as Americans...take too much for granted, and we've also not properly appreciated the efforts our forefathers undertook to allow us to live as we do. I'm not only talking about the military as a lot of you may have assumed, but our founding fathers, especially. Seeing how others live in their country, combined with watching American news on CNN here in New Zealand, we, as Americans have a helluva lot to be thankful for. Our country has its problems and as bad as they are, at least Americans UNDERSTAND the definition of freedom. I have learned that merely being a democracy doesn't make you free, it's a combination of democratic principles and fully understanding what freedom means. Having said that....I have also come to realize that when we democratize a country, such as Iraq, it still will have a long way to go to fully comprehend freedom. Some of you that have lived in other parts of the world may also realize this but, as I mentioned earlier in this tirade, I'm coming from the standpoint of an American who, up until March 2002 had nothing to compare the U.S. with.
Understand that I am not a NZ basher, I do like it here (although I do miss home and plan to be back by March '04). The Kiwis (New Zealanders) are an incredibly polite people, to the degree that they don't stand up for themselves for, as best I can determine.....any
Note to Bart and other golfers: Golf is known to be a lot less expensive habit here than it is at home. There are more than a few ex-pat Americans who tell me this, as I don't partake of the game myself.
STEVE BEASLEY ON PCR (delayed from last week)
Great changes to PCR! I will very much miss the old version but I know ya
just gotta keep the site fresh.
Will Moriaty's "La Floridiana" slays me! In the late 60s and early 70s, I
loved going to Webb's City with the family. We would always go to the
Aquatarium the same day and what a treat it was!
Andy and Brandon...
In response to Brandon's and Andy's tirade against my bit on "It's only a
word,("EFFING") and words can't hurt anyone", I stand by my statement.
Andy Lalino replied in a later email that, "Words mean things", and went on
about, "For a ten-year-old hearing from their own mother or father that they
are a "worthless piece of garbage" hurts and even haunts."
Yes, Andy (and Brandon) I agree that the particular 'phrase' you mention
here would devastate any child. I agree 100% with that, however.....that
isn't a 'word', it's a phrase. I still say that words (not phrases) hurt no
one. Having said all this, I can even understand not wanting your kids to
pepper their speech with so-called 'dirty words', as you would naturally
want to give your child the best opportunities in life and coarse language
would deny them certain acheivements, ONLY because of how society views
these words that George Carlin enjoys so much. On the issue of Christianity
vs. Society and which determines societal behavior....I don't believe anyone
is under the impression that the bulk of American society aren't either
Christian or raised by Christians, meaning that even when your parents
taught you not to curse, or any 'sin' for that matter, and that this
indoctrination today emanates from a Biblical perspective. Curses also
abound in global societies around the world...Hell there's even a Flat Earth
Society still in existence today.
I am in agreement with you on films that children should or shouldn't
see.....images can stay with you forever. Look at the children of Iraq and
other countries in the Mideast....they grow up with violent deaths around
them almost on a daily basis....and they grow into violent adults as
evidenced by September 11, 2001. I'm not whitewashing anything here, just
stating facts, as I've perceived them over the decades. I have many
Christian friends and was myself a Sunday School Teacher for about 2 years.
My wife is a die-hard Christian....who, at this very moment asking me to
attend church services with her this morning...(she likes to have her
husband in church with her cuz some of her friend's husband don't go) which
means I've got to go get dressed shortly. Those last two statestements are
just so you don't think that I dislike Christians. Everyone is entiltled to
their own viewpoint, regardless of HOW WRONG THEY ARE! BWAH HA HA HA HA!
Now.....having said all this, I do not have any children, so this fact
likely play into my beliefs.
On an entirely different note, I enjoy your pieces on film and I can't wait
to see yours when I get back from this remote location on the other side of
the earth. Speaking of film, Kiwis are mad about it...I see productions
being made here at least twice a week.....and they generally air on
government-sponsored television about 2-4 weeks afterwards. Amazing speed,
Steve Beasley, reporting from Middle Earth.
Legal Addendum: Let it be known that three (3) people (Nolan "Superman-iac"
Canova, Will "The Mighty Arbor" Moriaty & Ronald "Basso Profundo" Canova)
can freely state that very little of my life is based on reality, so the
above conscript could very well be dismissed as inane drivel from a
Note to Brandon and Andy: Please be aware that through these web-discussions
we do not have the benefit of seeing each others tone of voice and/or facial
expressions, so don't think that I'm arguing. Nolan, Will and Ron (and
perhaps a few others) can tell you that I'm just voicing my opinion, though
it may be deranged (remember I'm the actor -- and I use the term ver-rr-rr-y
loosely -- behind Nolan's first movie sequence)...I'm not arguing.
Players under Contract?!?!?!
On a lighter note, the highest rated television program here in new Zealand
is "Shortland Street" (a drama set in a hospital), and the pay for the
performers ranges between $15,000.00 (bit players) and $50,000.00 for
contract players (key performers or stars) per year! The 2 networks are
owned by the NZ government (sounds very Russian to me). Since I make
$38,900.00 it hardy seems worth going over there to offer my acting skill,
and besides....I fear it may be difficult for the writers to find a way to
integrate a 'Mutant' into the script).
Mama, I'm comin' hooome! Da doo ron ron
I miss everyone (Nolan, Will, Ron, John, etc) back home in Tampa Bay and the
rest of the 'gang' (Andy, Brandon, Terrence, Ashley, Vinnie, Patty, that I
hope to meet in March '04. I'll formally announce now, that when I get back
to Tampa (with a new wife in tow), that I personally will be "Tell them
Johnny" "Sponsoring Nolan's internet service on a brand new broadband
To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com. Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan