Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fourth calendar year!
Number 189 (Vol. 4, No. 45). This edition is for the week of November 3--9, 2003.
The Matrix Convulsions
• Fans wrangle over The Matrix|
• At long last the NEXT episode of The World of Nolan, segment one, is "on the air"! Some Halloween memories of Rakuween.
• Who is "Professor Paul Bearer II"? I trace some of the mystery.
No, I haven't seen it yet. The Matrix Revolutions, I mean. It's only Wednesday just before noon as I write these words, and it already seems like half of fandom either attended today's 9:00am(!) show, or saw it with special passes last night. (Where am I when all these special passes are being given out?)
But I've heard things. Oh lordy, have I heard things. Let me put it briefly: Mike Smith in his current PCR review gave it 3 stars. So far, so good. Then Drew Reiber (remember him?) said he wouldn't feed it to his dog (or words to that effect). Terence is completely uninterested in seeing it, and the rest of the movie critic world seems to think "Well, it's better than number 2, but I won't be up nights over it".....or words to that effect.
All is not lost. After this week's PCR is at least 90% done, I'll get on the stick and get out there and see where I stand on it. I have no prejudice one way or the other--except I'm hoping to like it!
New World of Nolan episode premieres
Or more specifically, the first segment, and the very top of this webpage and you're darn tootin' I'm proud of it! This first segment for November, uploaded last Saturday morning for those who missed it, covers Brandon Jones' and Bill Turner's massive, privately-owned Halloween bash called "Rakuween" after the ceramic art called "Raku" (rack-KOO) that Bill practices at his gallery in Dover, FL. I still have some music and titles to add, but I didn't want to wait any longer to put it up on the web. Some pics from this year's party can be seen at www.rakuween.com. Still to come in November: Strange Agents play a local art exhibition and Corey Castellano provides some brief insights into making Vampire fangs at this year's Necronomicon.
Coming in November or December: NIGHT DEMONS. "Mad" Matt Cerrato surfaced last Saturday night for the first time in 6 months. After raking him over the coals for his absence I told him about an indie movie shoot I wanted to cover called "Night Demons". Problem: they were on location WAY out there in the deep jungles of west Pasco County. Matt says "no problem", ha ha, and away we went. Screwed with my head, but we had a great time and you'll be seeing some video of that event right here.
Professor Paul Bearer II?
About a month ago, I got a head's up from a loyal reader who alerted me that my old aquaintance Russell McClellan (aka, "Dr. Paul Bearer Jr"/"Dr. Freddy Freak" to his eBay customers, and owner of 90% of the late Dr. Paul Bearer's effects and props) had posted something on Horror Hosts dotcom to the effect that he and "a friend" were fixing to horror host a new version of "Creature Feature" (Channel 44's Saturday afternoon staple which ran for 20 years, hosted by the late Dick Bennick, aka, "Dr. Paul Bearer"). The announcement, unedited, was written in Rusty's inimitable...er...style...and vaguely implied it would be soon. Fast-forward to the middle of last week, when suddenly I'm pelted with emails from all corners saying that someone named "Professor Paul Bearer II", the "nephew" of Dr. Paul Bearer would be appearing on a Channel 10 interview segment Halloween morning for two hours. The origin of the announcement (a forwarded form letter) was murky, but at least the writing was intelligible.
A search on the web turned up only the name of one Jason Thomas (from a FOX 13 story) and very little else. I set up my VCR.
At 6:25am, on the Life Matters series, I finally saw the new guy. (I don't know where they got the "two hours" business.) Jason Thomas is the make-up man/producer behind this little shenanigan, not the performer playing Bearer. No, that name will remain a mystery for a while; they neither said who he really was, nor did anyone ask. They all played along and called him "Professor". (The station's weather-girl, Anna Allen, did the interview with great enthusiasm.) This Jason Thomas guy, well-dressed, and rather unassuming did all the serious talking while the "Professor" did his gags, mostly with borrowed(?) props from the McClellan collection, including the original chair and "coffin table" from Bennick's original tenement castle set.
A very brief clip from a forthcoming DVD retrospective was shown, where the Prof is showing us his box of "Lice Crypties" from his cabinet in a sort of living room (dying room?) set.
The Channel 10 news segment ends with the revelation of what this all turns out to be about: to inspire/instigate a letter-writing campaign to Channel 44 to hopefully resurrect "Creature Feature" and put these guys in charge.
The performer does a decently passable impersonation of Dick Bennick's character (it's a little too fast, but then again, he's a younger man). Their website, www.paulbearerproductions.com gives a funny little backstory to how "the family" is related. I should also mention the www.tampabays10.com website for further information since they went to all the trouble of, you know, having him on and everything.
OK, well, he's no Dick Bennick, but then, who is? And Rusty finally has some of the attention he's sought for so long. The question is: in this day and age of hundreds of channels is there enough demand to see "Creature Feature" resurrected for this cause? (Interestingly, among my comrades, the thought emerged that had Bennick survived, Creature Feature would likely have been cancelled anyway when UPN took over the station.)
To help illustrate this story I took the liberty of sharing some of my vid-caps for your enjoyment/perusal. These are from the video I recorded for my personal use and I do not claim any rights, this segment is obviously copyrighted by Channel 10 News and Paul Bearer Productions. That being said, regarding the grainy quality: I don't have cable anymore, so these are as good as my rabbit-ear antennas will let me have--we never did get Channel 10 all that well in Tampa. (Ironically, I get Channel 44 great!)