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Now in our eighth calendar year!
PCR #391  (Vol. 8, No. 38) This edition is for the week of September 17--23, 2007.

The Tampa Film Review for September  by Nolan Canova and Chris Woods
MOVIE REVIEW
"3:10 To Yuma"  by Mike Smith
RETRORAMA
Loose In Las Vegas: Ray Steckler Update  by ED Tucker
ODDSERVATIONS
Movie Premiere: Secrets of a Medicine Man Documentary  by Andy Lalino
FANGRRL
Book Review: Rant by Chuck Palahniuk  by Lisa Ciurro
FILMLOOK
Reviewing a Reviewer: The Story Behind Bob Ross  by Paul Guzzo
MIKE'S RANT
Ocean's 14 .... Barry Bonds .... Sid Won't be There .... No Shadow Puppets This Year .... She Was So Drunk (How Drunk Was She?) .... Bond. James Bond .... Whatever Happened To -- ? Chapter 28: George Dzunda by Mike Smith
LETTERS
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
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CF Presents Retrorama

Loose In Las Vegas: Ray Steckler Update

When Ray Steckler and I met face to face for the first time in 2001, he was in a phase of downsizing his life that included reducing the chain of collectible video stores he owned to a single location. A mere six years later, it appears that a new flame has been ignited inside the cult movie maker and the fire is spreading rapidly. In addition to resuscitating his video business, Ray is also hard at work exploiting his classic film catalog. Most ambitious of all though is his plan for a sequel to the film he is most well known for, The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed up Zombies!

Video Exchange, the original store Ray kept when he consolidated, is a treasure chest of all manner of rare videos and DVDs but is located too far from the main drag to attract much tourist traffic. When Ray recently bought back his Mascot Video store, which is located only a few miles from the Las Vegas strip, he solved this problem and it is clear he intends this to be the flagship of his reviving chain. During my visit, Mascot was under major renovations to reorganize and repopulate its inventory. The shop filled up so quickly that Ray decided to rent another space adjacent to it and open a third store. When the dust finally settles, Mascot Video will specialize in rare and collectible VHS tapes and DVDs while the new location features Ray’s own films plus related merchandise, including T-shirts and hats, he is hard at work designing.

Speaking of Ray’s films, he has recently put two of his most popular titles, The Thrill Killers and The Incredibly Strange Creatures, together on one DVD as part of his new Grindhouse collection. This special edition also includes trailers and the promotional film Ray made for the forthcoming sequel to Creatures. The Grindhouse collection offers an excellent opportunity for new fans to view his best loved films and sample the entire catalog. More experienced viewers will appreciate the unique packaging and the first peek at the new movie. This 240 minute DVD is available for only $20 (autographed on request) and can be ordered, along with most of Steckler’s other films, from http://www.raydennissteckler.com.

The one question Ray receives from fans more than any other is when are you going to do a sequel to The Incredibly Strange Creatures? While the idea has incubated for many years and gone through several story changes, Steckler has decided that the time is finally right for the zombies to stomp again! According to Ray, the plot of the sequel is simple and straight to the point. Jerry (Cash Flagg’s character) did not die at the end of the original film and after years of psychiatric treatment is finally able to live a more or less normal life. That is, at least, until he runs into another gypsy mystic eager to revive the curse that turned him into a knife wielding maniac all those years ago! The sequel is currently in the casting stages and I had the pleasure of meeting one of the lovely actresses being considered for a gypsy role during my visit. One More Time is the 13-minute teaser Ray filmed in Santa Cruz to show that Cash Flagg has lost none of his menace in the past 40 years! Creatures 2 has a tentative release date of late January 2008 but keep checking the website for updates.



"Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker.   All graphics this page, except where otherwise noted, are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.