am a young writer who is in the process of directing
my first short film. I have written a few short scripts,
completed one screenplay, and am currently working on
my next screenplay. I enjoy going on line and reading
many scripts that have yet reached the big screen. Out
of all the websites that I have surfed though (which
is a alot) of amature writers and people who have been
in the business, I would just like to say that yours
is one of the most impressive sites. You seem on top
of you game. I began to read Above the Line and told
myself that I have to read more of your work. I enjoy
reading as much as I do watching. I tend to study the
art by reading the screenplay and then watching the
movie or film. I feel as if I get a better feel for
what the director and writer was trying to accomplish.
I know you mentioned that you have directed a few of
your films. I know some of them were done years ago,
and might not be available to the public. Are these
something I can pick in the video stores, or do I have
to search for them? I would enjoy studying you skills.
Is there a way I can get a hold you your movies?
of my four features are available right on the main
page of this site if you just click on them. "Lunatics"
shows with some regularity on cable TV, so keep your
eyes peeled. "Running Time" now shows on IFC
in their Pulp Indies series so you can wait for that
if you'd like.
I can't believe you actually watched the new Dennis
The guy couldn't get a job anymore outside of football
announcing, so he became a conservative to pander his
worn out humor to the GW Bush crowd and I am sure he
will be a success now!
We did a spot with him a while back before he became
'Mr. Conservative" and he was just a smug, unfunny
asshole on the entire shoot. He deliberatly tries to
go over your head with his ridiculous vocabulary in
order to make himself feel important. He is a droll
troll in my opinion.
With regards to you comments on the WMD's, I enjoy Andy
Rooney quite a bit and over the past four months, he
has been saying some great things during hsi segment
on "60 Minutes".
I respect this guy a lot. Unlike people like Bush, Miller,
and Schwarzenegger. He actually has clout in my book.
He was a journalist in Europe during WWII and with that
experience alone, he is more credible than the lot of
them. The guy is like in his eighties and he is still
as sharp as a tack.
He was against going to Iraq, and I watched a great
inerview with him which was shot here in NYC right after
we went to Iraq. I wish I would have written down everything
he said, because he was absolutely right!
This link is to one of his segments on '60 Minutes"
from November before Saddam Hussein was captured. It
is great and he received a great deal of hate mail from
it which he validated on the following week:
Also, I am in the midst of writing lyrics for a song
idea that I have had for some time. I should have it
done soon, but I will leave you with a bit of a taste:
Hey Mr. Bush!
Hey Mr. Blair!
Can't you pull your pant's up boys
We are all standing down here.
Become leaders instead of feeders to the "Machine"
which uses its power to control the masses, while killing
our seas, trees and grasses.
used to like Dennis Miller, before 9/11. He comes up
with absurd, stupid similes, but that's part of his
shtick. But the deep fear that burrowed into him after
9/11 has killed his humor. And what the hell is he so
afraid of? That he'll lose his rich, Beverly Hills life?
That he might have to get a real job? After he fucks
up this show on CNBC, maybe he'll move to the Home Shopping
Network. And I like Andy Rooney. I met him once at the
Farmer's Market in L.A.
point that Al Franken makes in his book (which I highly
recommend) is that people criticized President Clinton
all the time when the US was at war with Kosovo. It
was the exact same people that are chastizing others
for attacking Bush now. Sean Hannity, to name one.
You probably saw the episode of "Real Time"
when Dennis Miller said he moved over to the conservative
side because liberals were labeling everybody "Hitler."
I could understand how you would quit associating yourself
with liberals if you didn't agree with the labeling,
but I don't understand how that leads to a complete
switch-over in values. On the very same episode of "Real
Time", Bill Maher says something to the effect
of: "If you're not liberal at the age of 20 you've
got no heart, but if you're not a conservative by the
age of 40 you've got no brains."
(Ironically, Arianna Huffington also seemed to make
a big shift from liberal to conservative right before
she ran for governor of California)
guess I've got no brains because I'm 45 and I'm a liberal.
I think it's a very good sign that John Kerry won the
Iowa and NH primaries because I think he can beat Bush,
and that's the big issue right now, bigger than the
war, taxes, or health care. Bush must go. He's a liar
and an asshole and has made America a worse place than
when he got in. John Kerry isn't everything I want in
a candidate, but if he can beat Bush, he'll do. Bill
Maher on the last ep addressed the calling Bush Hitler
syndrome, and pointed out two important differences
between them: Hitler was a decorated front-line war
hero, and more people voted for Hitler than for Von
Hindenburg. Al Franken pointed out the difference between
a conservative and a liberal by saying that a conservative
loves their country like a baby loves its mother --
the love is unquestioning and she can do no wrong; a
liberal loves their country like a grown man and a grown
woman love each other -- they both have issues, but
they deal with them like adults.
Well, you must be getting more and more excited about
directing one of your screenplays...
I have a number of questions in regard to the upcoming
production. First, are you going to redraft the script,
or has it already been rewritten by others?
How did your screenplay "Humans in Chains,"
Will you have any kind of final cut with the film itself?
What's the approximate budget for a t.v. film of this
How far can you go in terms of a rating since it's for
cable...Will there be a version that is released theatrically
overseas, a more R-rated version?
Best of luck with it.
Have a good one.
had to adapt the script to get it to come out to eight
acts, but that wasn't very difficult. I haven't gotten
any notes from anyone yet, but expect that I will, and
I'll deal with them as the come in. Bruce and I have
these sales agents named Creative Light that handle
overseas sales, and they had already done a project
with Sci-Fi Channel, and wanted to go back to them,
so Bruce offered up "The Man With the Screaming
Brain" and I offered up "Humans in Chains."
That was two years ago. After fermenting sufficiently,
like a fine wine, the deal appears to have gone. I'll
get my director's cut, as usual, but they can do whatever
they want to it after that. The budget is $1.5 million,
and I don't know how far I can go, not that the script
really goes very far, because Sci-Fi is a commercial
channel. There's no discussion of a theatrical version,
nor of an R-rating, although I do hope to shoot wide-screen,
It's your site, so tirade all you want. I haven't seen
Miller's show, but I'm looking forward to hearing Al
Franken on the radio. Actually, I don't know if it aired
yet or on what station, but I only heard that it will
be happening. Typically, the left is more creative and
the right is less. That's why you have so many liberal
sentiments in art while talk radio has a lot of conservatives.
So I'm interested whether Al Franken just tries to entertain
or if he will actually discuss.
think Mr. Franken intends to get into the thick of it,
as his book apparently does, although I haven't read
it. Bill Maher is still the man.
Have you seen a cut of Scott Spigel's Modesty Blaise
movie? What are your thoughts on the project?
haven't seen it. I really hated the 1966 version, though,
so I'm not particularly eager to see the remake.
For the one who asked about sad endings, the most definitively
sad ending I can remember in recent movies was "Arlington
Road." Did you ever comment on that? I enjoyed
it greatly, and it left me with a sick feeling. Of course,
I'm avoiding the many independent films where nothing
but saddening sickening things happen to everyone, and
you can't imagine why the story was even being told.
I can't think of any at the moment, but I've seen them.
Also, to answer a question you asked a few weeks ago,
"Does anyone use the phrase 'ditto' anymore?"
it is in widespread use among Rush Limbaugh fans who
call in and say, "Mega dittos, from Wherever."
In fact, they are called "dittoheads."
Rush Limbaugh's fans use "ditto," then I'll
avoid it. I couldn't sit through "Arlington Road"
so I don't know how it ends, nor do I care. But I personally
have no problem with unhappy endings as long as they
are appropriate to the story I've been watching, and
conversely, I'm against happy endings that don't fit
the story. I just saw one of those, "Little Man
Tate," which takes a giant left turn in the last
five minutes so that everybody has a happy ending, and
it sort negated everything that had gone before it.
of Rush Limbaugh, I caught the first ep of Dennis Miller's
new show on CNBC, and it's kind of awful. He's gone
fully over to the conservative right and thinks it funny
to call for various people's deaths, which I find immoral
and basically unbearable. Miller sat there and pandered
to Governor Schwarzenegger like he's hoping to get the
bad guy part in "Terminator 4." Then there
was a panel discussion with two right-wing assholes
and one left-leaning woman, who was sort of being ridiculed.
I just hated the whole thing. And these two assholes,
Horowitz and Frum, keep saying the most ridiculous,
stupid things, like it's wrong for the Democratic candidates
to be bad-mouthing GW Bush, our commander-in-chief,
because "we're at war." I'm sorry, but didn't
our commander-in-chief, when he played dress-up and
landed on the aircraft carrier, tell us the war was
over? Mission accomplished? To Republicans the war is
over, if that's what the discussion calls for; and the
war isn't over, if that's what the discussion calls
for. They won't even own up to weapons inspector David
Kay, who was the most vehement proponent of there being
WMDs, who now says that there aren't any and never were,
well, he must have defected over to the left, he couldn't
possibly be telling the truth (although he must have
been telling the truth when he thought there were WMDs).
How is it that I, a regular old citizen, knew that there
were no WMDs just from watching the news and a single
documentary, "Stealing the Fire," and I somehow
had better intelligence than the president, the congress,
the CIA and the FBI? And I didn't even see that documentary
in some weird place, I saw it on TV. Admittedly, it
was on the Sundance Channel, which I suppose those guys
don't watch. But the film, which is about the nuclear
proliferation of the world (excluding the USA), clearly
points out that although Saddam purchased centrifuges
from Germany in the late 1980s (where all of the nuclear
equipment comes from), none of the equipment was ever
set up, or even unwrapped from the German newspapers.
And, unlike what these right-wing idiots keep saying,
Saddam did not have the people or the technical know-how
to set anything up. There never was a nuclear weapons
program in Iraq. It's bullshit. And capturing Saddam
has clearly not made the world any safer -- more American
soldiers have died since his capture than in this amount
of time before he was captured. Bush & co. kept
telling us that Saddam was behind all of the insurgency
in Iraq, and that was clearly just one more lie. Now
I've got to keep hearing all of these fucking Republicans
tell me that the war was not about WMDs, and never was.
It was really about Saddam being a bad man and killing
Kurds. However, if Bush had gone to Congress or the
public with that there wouldn't have been a war. Bush
lied about WMDs and imminent threat to get us into a
war we did not need to be in. That is malfeasance, and
no amount of rational afterward will ever make it right.
Sorry for the tirade.
I'm almost embarrased to ask but Peter Cushing and Christopher
Lee made their careers doing "Hammer" films,
but I can't find out what or who Hammer was. I've seen
almost all of Cushing's and Lee's films and I generally
know by sight which ones are "Hammers" but
I don't really understand the name derivation. Was that
the name of the producer? Isn't it amazing how active
Lee remains? He must be in his eighties.
Thanks as always,
Films was formed in 1948 by Will Hammer and Sir John
Carreras. Christopher Lee was born on May 27, 1922,
so he's 81 years old.
Can you think of any good movies that end with the lead
character failing to achieve their goal? Specifically,
I'm writing a script that is similar in some ways to
A Face in the Crowd. It's not about fame, but the basic
trajectory of the lead character is the same. I think
that the story is working fairly well at this point,
but I'm afraid that I'm going to lose the audience with
the ending. What are some other good films that end
with.. not necessarily an indictment of the main character,
but a tragic fall, his reach exceeded his grasp. He
actually dies at the end, and the story is supposed
to be a comedy, a tragi-comedy. Are there any pitfalls
in this you think I should look out for?
only thing you should look out for is if you intend
to try and sell your script to a Hollywood company,
they probably won't understand an unhappy ending. If
it's meant to be independent, then go for it. Since
one moment ago I was discussing Orson Welles, both Georgie
Minafer (Tim Holt) in "The Magnificent Ambersons"
and Charles Foster Kane in "Citizen Kane"
come to sad endings. Georgie gets his come-uppance "three
times filled and running over," and Kane dies a
lonely, cloistered old man longing for his youth. Of
course, neither picture made money, but they're both
classics. In my film "If I Had a Hammer" things
don't work out for the lead characters, and no one released
the film. Coincidence? At the end of "From Here
to Eternity," the lead character, Pruitt, gets
killed and the film won Best Picture. At the end of
"Midnight Cowboy" Ratso Rizzo dies and it
won Best Picture. At the end of "Gone With the
Wind" things don't work out for the two leads,
and that film did okay. I say, be true to your story
and take it where it seems like it should go.
just viewed "The Trial" directed by Orson
Wells on DVD.
An interesting movie. I don't know if you have seen
the Trial since it has apparently not been widely seen,
but the star is Anthony Perkins. It is based on the
famous Franz Kafka story, which in German was called
Der Prozess and in French Le Proces. The foreign titles
convey the meaning of the movie more than the English
title, as well as perhaps our justice system. Also appearing
in the movie was Romy Schneider, who may be a little
more well known as the love interest to Tom Tryor(sp?)
in The Cardinal.
I watched Citizen Kane a few weeks ago, and I can see
some similarities between the movies, even though Kane
was released in 1941 and Trial in 1963. For one thing
in the Trial there are those uses of vast spaces, in
the the case (no pun intended) of the Trial, it was
an office with thousands of desks and the use of the
diagonal moving aerial shots, I guess they are known
as dolly and crane shots. It does capture the sense
of space with the action from the viewpoint.
I found this DVD at the public library, where I have
been obtaining many movies lately. The price is right.
You did get me interested though, through your various
comments in seeing Orson Wells movies and I'm gaining
an appreciation for them.
forget, you're dealing with a severe movie geek here.
I've seen "The Trial" a few times at the movie
theater. I think it's lesser-Welles and doesn't really
come off. Welles thought of it as a comedy, and apparently
at screenings he'd just laugh his head off even if no
one else was laughing. I do like the "pornograph"
line, and I love the way he sets up a shot and blocks
his scenes, but the film doesn't hook me or move me.
I'd say an overlooked Welles film like "The Stranger"
is much more successful.
E-mail: upon request
I've been away from internet access for several weeks,
a super belated thank-you-very-much to Darryl Mesaros
for answering my query about the Letterman/Iraq visit
and the bizarre helmut gear. Mystery solved.
Josh! I'm so jazzed for you and your Sci-Fi project.
I prefer the "Humans in Chains" title, but
hell, it's moving and shaking! Is your John Hancock
now on it's way back to TPTB? Has there been dramatic
re-writes of your original script, and would that be
the reason for the title change? Or is it just a case
of making it more appealing-sounding (ya know... scifi-ish)
for us geeks.
And working with Bruce again! Jost how fabulous is that?!
I couldn't be more thrilled for you guys. Can you give
us an update on how his hand is healing?
Again - CONGRATS! I raise a Yuengling lager to you.
but I don't even have a signed contract yet. Bruce does,
though. Anyway, I'll believe it when I'm on the plane
going to Bucharest or Sofia. Joe LoDuca, who I believe
will be scoring these films, is scoring three films
right now that were all shot in Bucharest, including
a French production. And what is TPTB again?
a few thoughts on SOUTHERN COMFORT and THE WARRIORS.....Regarding
SC, one disclaimer: the National Guard is not that bad
anymore; we actually receive training, don't wear goatees,
and have a general idea what we're doing. Other than
that, I thought the film was great, and alot of the
dynamics rang true. My favorite scene is in the beginning,
where the wannabe hardcore team leader is talking to
the squad leader (a Vietnam veteran) about going to
South America as a mercenary, and the squad leader says,
"yeah, but they're looking for REAL soldiers down
About THE WARRIORS, I didn't see much of the film. I
used to work at the New Haven Coliseum [sic] with a
guy named Louis who did a great bit from the movie.
We'd egg him on, and he go "The Warriors did it,
man! They shot Cyrus!" and "Waaariiioooors!
Come out and plaaaaaay!" which always cracked us
Also of note: my battalion's nickname is "The Warriors"
which tickles me to no end.
Warriors" has a lot of quotable lines, like when
Cyrus is giving his speech and keeps ending every sentence
with, "Can you dig it?" And when the Warriors
find themselves on the Orphan's turf and Michael Beck
says, "We're gonna soldier right through these
lame fuck's territory." Or when they first see
the blad-headed guys in the school bus and Back says,
"The AC Turnbulls," and James Remar quips,
"Lousey skin-headed fucks." One of the things
I really like about Walter Hill's first three films
is that I don't feel like I'd seen them before, whereas
"Southern Comfort" is so obviously based on
"Deliverance," it just bored me, not to mention
I didn't care for any of the characters, nor did I understand
why northerner Keith Carradine was even among these
Louisiana guardsmen. After "48 HRS" all of
Hill's films just seem like hybrid pitches trying to
cash in on something that was recently popular. Once
he tasted the big, big money there was no going back.
saw an intelligent discussion of Walter Hill and immediately
became elated and got curious on your opinions of "The
Long Riders", "Southern Comfort", and
"Streets Of Fire", and the rest of his ouevre.
Personally, "the Long Riders" sticks out because
it's Hills' first out and out western, as all of his
films share western themes. I've only seen it once and
the fact that none of it sticks can't be a good thing.
"Southern Comfort" - there's something about
the use of Ry Cooder's music in this film that makes
me think it's better than it actually is.
I think "Streets Of Fire" is a throwback to
the world of "The Warriors". I love how Hill
describes it: "leader of the pack steals the queen
of the hop and soldier boy comes home to do something
about it". So simple, yet the cringing use of 80s
synthesized pop songs makes some scenes unbearable.
He should have used the Springsteen song that the film
was titled after.
I think there's a good picture in "Extreme Prejudice"
but the lack of a well-written female character hurts
the overall result.
Lately, his films stink and I can't believe how a film
like "Undisputed" gets made (and with Hollywood
stars, nonetheless) while screenplays like your "Devil
Dogs" and "Cycles" remain unproduced.
love Walter Hill's first three films, "Hard Times,"
"The Driver," and "The Warriors,"
and I think they all fit together as a sort of existential
film trilogy. Although I enjoyed "48 Hrs."
it's clearly a big sell-out, and, like everyone else,
once he got wind of the big, big money he went totally
wrong and never recovered. I don't care for any of his
films after "48 Hrs." except "Aliens,"
which he produced and co-wrote, but didn't direct. "The
Long Riders" is a lame rip-off of "The Wild
Bunch," and "Southern Comfort" is a lame
rip-off of "Deliverance." And everything thereafter
is just awful. "Undisputed" is complete garbage.
I have been wanting to see the film "The Station
Agent" for some time now and I finally went to
see it last night.
I really enjoyed that film very much and I recomend
it. It is not a great film, but I liked the story and
the characters. It was a nice film about people for
catch it when it's on cable.
Cynthia E. Jones
Congratulations on "Alien Apocalypse!" Whoo
hoo! A new project! With financing! Too cool.
I watched "The Warriors" the other night with
a friend of mine. We were laughing our asses off. It
was absolutely ridiculous. I love the idea that all
gang members in New York actually have matching outfits,
so you can spot them a mile away. "Ooh! Look out!
It's the baseball-bat wielding guys with the makeup
that Marilyn Manson ripped off! And they're coming this
way!" Then the subway doors would always close
just in time for people to not follow them... I kept
asking, "Why don't they just get a cab?" Anyway,
in the great tradition of crap begetting crap, apparently
it's being remade by Tony Scott. And yet, I'm not surprised.
I hope the gang members will still look like the Village
love that movie. Yes, it's ridiculous, but it's a nice
simple concept, beautifully handled, and very exciting.
It certainly makes a hell of a lot more sense in the
context of "The Warriors" than it did in "The
Gangs of New York," when each side shows up in
matching outfits -- in 1864. But, in my opinion, Walter
Hill was pushing the edges of storytelling with his
first three films, "Hard Times," "The
Driver," and "The Warriors," which are
all interesting examples of existential filmmaking (inspired
by "Point Blank"). In "The Driver"
nobody even has a name, it's simply the Driver, the
Cop, and the Girl. In "The Warriors" it's
a fantastic, alternate version of reality, where you
can't get a cab and every gang is after you. I must
say that the way Walter Hill shot the fights directly
influenced me. There are also some wonderful lines of
dialog that have never left my head. The whole opening
title sequence, intercutting to the subway going by,
where you get all of the exposition, and ends with one
of the Warriors saying (and I haven't seen this film
in ten years), "Cyrus be the leader of the biggest
gang in the city, he don't take no shit." Ajax
(James Remar), replies, "Aw, fuck him." Perhaps
you need to see "Hard Times" and "The
Driver" to get the context. Also, on different
level, the film was a bit of a sociological phenomenon
in that it caused violence in theaters across the country
and it was the first time security guards had to be
hired due to the film they were showing.
In reference to the Vincent Price discussion, you speculate
on the comedic career which might have been his. I would
think that Tony Randall's career probably looks as close
to what Price might have had as is possible. Both were
somewhat effette, but amiably so. They were both "high
culture" people, with a wide variety of interests.
The timing of their careers was slightly different,
of course, as Price didn't have access to television
until later in his career, but I do think there's room
My favorite Price film, by the way, probably isn't all
that good, but it's a lot of fun, and that is "The
Raven". I know the principals were playing to type
but it was certainly with tongues firmly planted in
cheeks. The duel at the end was the best magical duel
I've ever seen; compare the "Harry Potter"
duels which are simplistic and avisual. And was that
Nicholson's first role? It was very early at any rate.
Price, by the way, was quite the philanthropist in Saint
Louis, Mo, as well.
Raven" is Jack Nicholson's seventh film. His first
is "The Cry Baby Killer" in 1958 (the year
I was born). He had also made "The Little Shop
of Horrors" before "The Raven." I can
barely remember the film. I remember the 1935 version
of "The Raven" with Karloff and Lugosi much
better. Back in 1983 when I was attempting to put together
the feature version of "Cleveland Smith Bounty
Hunter," I contacted Vincent Price's agent about
him appearing in the film. His agent was very nice and
told me to get back in touch when we had our financing,
which we never did. Oh well.
you seen "House of Sand and Fog"? Care to
I haven't seen it. After "Mystic River" and
"The Missing" I was so put off going to the
movies again I haven't bothered. I just watched Hiroshi
Inagaki's "Samurai, Part I," and that was
pretty good. Lovely color and an interesting story.
Inagaki isn't that good at staging or shooting sword
fights, but his use of the camera was very nice. Toshiro
Mifune is always fun to watch.
didn't realize that Bruce's picture for the SCIFI channel
was MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN (I have to go on his
website more often). I remember he was carrying that
project as officially shit-canned. (shaking head) Wonders
Going back to THE BIG RED ONE, I do feel that Lee Marvin
was too old to be a buck sergeant. Presuming that he
was a corporal or a buck sergeant at the end of WW I
and stayed in the Army afterwards, he should have been
anywhere between a Sergeant First Class or a First Sergeant
by the beginning of WW II (I won't say Command Sergeant
Major, because those slots were few and fiercely competed
over). He certainly should have been at least a Staff
Sergeant; in late 1941, the War Department issued an
across the board promotion to all NCOs serving in combat
units, in anticipation of an expected war.
However, if he were a much higher rank, he couldn't
have been in the duty position he filled in the film.
A buck sergeant, although he normally leads a team (half
of the squad), can lead a squad if no higher NCO's are
available, but normally the squad leader is a Staff
Sergeant. A Platoon Sergeant is usually a Sergeant First
Class, and a company First Sergeant is a First Sergeant
(E-8). A Command Sergeant Major would be the leading
NCO in a battalion, regiment, brigade, or division.
What it all boils down to is that Marvin's character
should've been a higher rank than he was given his time
in service, but if he was, he wouldn't have been in
the duty position that he was or known the other characters
like he did. Sam Fuller should've put some more back
story in the film to explain Marvin being the rank he
was (passed over for promotion, busted a few times,
etc.). Believe me, military audiences pick apart that
detail, too (Wait a minute! He's almost 60 f**kin' years
old and he's still an E-5?! What the f**k is that shit?!)
War movies just aren't as much fun after serving awhile,
unless the attention to detail is extreme.
haven't served in the military at all and it still bugged
me. I did appreciate Fuller getting legitimately young
guys for the soldiers, and of course Lee Marvin was
a terrific actor with great screen presence, so I just
went with it. I'm still convinced that Spielberg saw
the documentary on Sam Fuller made by Tim Robbins and
Quentin Tarantino, where Fuller says that his depiction
of D-Day was accurate "except for the meat,"
which he explains was the body parts all over the place.
I can see Spielberg's little brain whizzing, saying
"I can do meat." And thus the beginning of
"Saving Private Ryan" was conceived.
left out a religion--being right that all others are
wrong. Religion isn't the root of the evil, answers,
period, are. Atheists and theists are the same in that
sense. One is irrational, the other rational. Neither
answer the question of transrationality because, as
you alluded to, remaining open to the question, the
mystery is they key. NEVER answering it, for what is
answered is dead. (Including this answer and this and
way of putting it. Yes, I agree, anyone who thinks they
know for sure is full of it, including Athiests. The
mystery and irrationality of life is the point, and
how we deal with it is our measure as a human being.
If you toss in your cards right away saying that the
religion you were brought up with has all the answers,
now you don't need to think about any of that anymore,
you've closed yourself off to a great portion of deep
thought and all the mystery of life, and ergo you will
be a limited person. Religion is along the lines of
sticking your fingers in your ears and chanting "La
la la" so you don't have to hear anything else.
you're in Romania, you should visit Charles Band's castle.
But in all seriousness, most of the films he produced
were shot in Romania as well, and it's a gorgeous, beautiful
country (but then again, basically all of Europe is).
Just for fun, I'd love you hear what you think of Charles
Band. Did you ever bump into him at a gathering anytime
over the years (I hear you're friends with Jeff Burr,
who directed "Puppet Master 5" for Band)?
run into Charlie Band a few times over the years, although
he certainly doesn't know me. My friend Jane, who produced
my last two films, was head of accounting for Empire
Pictures for a couple of years (she knew when they were
going out of business before they did) and is good friends
with Charlie's former wife, who got his castle in Italy.
As a filmmaker, Charlie Band has never made a good film,
or even a decent one. He's a shit-monger like Roger
Corman -- they can get films made, but neither one has
the slightest clue what a decent film is. As a friend
once said about Charlie Band (which still amuses me),
"His middle name should be Daniels, that way he'd
be Charlie Daniels Band."
see others are interested in this Vincent Price topic,
too. His daughter, Victoria, wrote an excellent biography
of him last year, titled VINCENT PRICE: A DAUGHTER'S
BIOGRAPHY. It's very thorough, starting with a brief
history of his family in America, and covers his life
from birth to death.
I always found it fascinating that Price was so well-rounded
and disciplined. Many big-screen actors today never
finished high school, let alone pursued or completed
higher learning. Many others seem to have no interests
other than marrying other stars and sinking into pits
of drug abuse and crime before being "cured"
by rehab. Price was highly educated (Bachelor's from
Yale, Master's from the Courtald Institute in London),
worked hard, and had several interests, primarily the
visual arts and cooking (he and his first wife wrote
two cookbooks, and Price was a nationally recognized
authority on art).
P.S. In an aside, if you have to watch COLD MOUNTAIN
for locations, you could always do it with the sound
it's still at the theater, I guess I'll have to hear
it, too, unless I plug my ears. Sadly, I have no more
to add about Vincent Price. If you ever get a chance
to see "Champagne for Caesar" you'll see the
alternate career in comedy he could have had. He was
a very funny guy.
response to your question, nothing made this past year
any different, for some reason I ended up seeing more
crappy films than I would have liked. I am in full agreement
that films of the last decade and beyond have been awful,
and are getting progressively worse. Having said that,
I have been to Oregon, and I can tell you that some
of the locations in Cold Mountain are very similar,
particularly the lush mountainous areas. I know Alien
Apocalypse is a ways off but was wondering if Bruce
Campbell might be a part of it? Also, please keep us
updated on the project. I'm thilled to hear that it
is a valid possibility.
will star in "Alien Apocalypse" and co-produce.
Then he'll turn right around and make "The Man
With the Screaming Brain," which he wrote, he'll
star in, produce, and direct, with the same crew. This
is all supposed to occur in April. Knock on wood, it
all seems to be happening, too.
Reading your comments on Anthony Minghella's "Cold
Mountain" (and that you haven't seen it), I was
curious as to what you thought of his past films like
"The English Patient" and "The Talented
Also, I read a disturbing piece of news the other day
concerning Minghella's 18 year old son, who's actually
directing a feature-length movie with Richard Gere,
without absolutely no experience behind the camera.
I think that's one of the most sickest examples of nepotism
I've ever read about Hollywood and it's been pissing
me off so I just had to ask your opinion.
Good luck in the new year, and I'm super-psyched for
your new film for the Sci-Fi channel...it sounds like
a lot of fun.
English Patient" bored me out of my skull and I
didn't care at all about anything. The idea that Ralph
Finnes is supposed to Hungarian, and everything hinges
on that, was completely stupid. And the entire relationship
with the Indian guy seemed totally out of left field.
I went with my mother thinking it would be her kind
of film, and 45 minutes in she whispered to me, "This
is interminable." I guess it wasn't for her, either.
I bailed out pretty early on "Mr. Ripley,"
which just seemed weak and Matt Damon is a drag. And
I have no doubt that "Cold Mountain" sucks
the big one. Meanwhile, all the wrong people are getting
to direct these days, so why not Minghella's kid? Hollywood
has turned against anyone with experience. The reason
they shoot everything in eastern Europe with non-union
directors is so that the producers can pull bigger fees,
and that the product turns out far worse means nothing
regards to Cold Mountain, save your money. It is far
worse than that piece of crap The English Patient, because
it is, believe it or not, more senseless. First of all,about
70 percent of the cast was Brittish, and couldn't hold
American accents to save their lives. All of the northerners
in this film were portrayed as child murderers and rapists.
This film was so biased towards the south it seemed
as though it were written by Trent Lott, and John Ashcroft.
Slavery was mentioned in one scene, but was insignificant
to the story, and yes Jude Law meets Nicole Kidman for
5 minutes, thinks he's in love, and later goes to war.
His infatuation for kidman runs so deep it causes him
to go Awol. He spends the rest of the movie wandering
the contryside, running into an assortment of A list
celebrities who decided to make cameo appearances in
this piece of garbage. Not only did Jude Law's accent
sound 4th rate, but he was severely miscast. While watching
the film I thought someone like Kirk Douglas would have
starred in a film like this 50 years ago. Now all Hollywood
has to offer are these pretty boys who can't act. No
matter how scruffy they made Jude Law look, he was still
too damn pretty to be in a film like this. The biggest
problem with the film was it's unfocused, and poorly
written script. The first act is about 30 minutes of
flashbacks before the story truly begins. What depressed
me the most was wondering how this film got greenlit
and financed, however I have asked the same question
about too many films I've seen this year.
they decide on shooting "Alien Apocalypse"
in Romania I'll still have to see "Cold Mountain"
just to see the locations. Otherwise, I could care less.
And "this year" you say? What makes this year
read about the Price films you mentioned, but never
saw them (Champagne for Caesar and Baron of Arizona
are hard to find, but not seeing Comedy of Terrors is
my own fault). The Sam Fuller who directed BOA, is he
the same one who directed THE BIG RED ONE? I didn't
see it, but do remember another western that Price was
in, THE DEADLIEST MAN ALIVE, I think it was, starring
Clint Walker. Price played a traveling medicine show
drummer, and was gunned-down in a slow-motion hail of
bullets worthy of Sam Peckinpah. Between that and his
small role as Mr. Morality in CHATAQUA (where, Price
stated, he never even met Elvis Presley), those were
about the only non-horror roles that Price played in
By the way, I just read your
interview with Screaming Stoner Video. It seemed
to me to be better than the internet/radio interviews
you've given in the past. The questions were more focused
and mature, and you're answers weren't so vitriolic.
They did post a picture of you looking like you were
about to dive into a mosh pit, though.
One last thing about Vincent Price, then I'll get off
the subject. Do you remember in Three Tales of Terror,
in the Black Cat sequence, when the drunk Peter Lorre
crashes foppish Vincent's wine-tasting? The business
of Price making those ridiculous little sips and swishes
from his wine spoon while Lorre gulps cup after cup
of wine (and matching Price on identifying every vintage)
always cracked me up.
film is just called "Tales of Terror," and
it was okay, but I liked all of the Poe stories better
before they were changed for the film. A lot of what
I admire about Poe was his prose style, which of course
does not come through in the films. And yes, Sam Fuller
that wrote and directed "The Baron of Arizona"
is the same guy who did "The Big Red One,"
which I enjoyed, except that Lee Marvin is way too old
for the sergeant. Before that film came out I saw Fuller
speak at a movie theater in L.A. and he told us a bunch
of the stories that make up "The Big Red One."
I enjoyed Fuller's two Korean War films, too, "Fixed
Bayonets" and "The Steel Helmet."
I haven't yet seen the movie and I don't remember seeing
any comments from you about it, but I've been hearing
a criticism of "Cold Mountain" which is really
pissing me off and I wonder what you think about it.
The criticism is that the movie doesn't address slavery.
As I understand it the movie is set in the back country
of the Appalachians, hardly a strong hold of slaveholding.
To me that's like saying that you can't make a movie
about the Roman Empire without bringing up Christianity.
Slavery was certainly an important story in the South
of the day, but it was hardly the only story worth telling.
Nor is it historically inaccurate to portray a significant
geographical area in the South of the period without
a sizable Black population. Even today there are many
such areas, having lived there myself.
I certainly have no objection to stories focusing on
slavery, though I wish they were a little more contextually
accurate, but there is surely room for stories of the
South which do not involve slavery.
Apparently a lot of people, particularly African Americans,
have a real problem with this aspect of the movie. To
me, this is political correctness in its most insidious
form. This sort of thinking leads to mandatory stereotyping;
the noble savage, the completely-evil Nazi, the diligent,
hard-working Asian. These stereotypes are just as damaging
as the Black gang-banger, or the poorly-complexioned
latino drug dealer. At any rate, I got irked.
How are you?
fine, thanks. Well, any story about the American Civil
War has got to be somewhat about slavery since that
was the main reason for the war. Also, as far as I know
(I haven't seen the film), Jude Law's character is traveling
across many miles of the south to get back to his girl,
so I would suspect that he ought to be encountering
black folks somewhere along the way. The real issue
with with "Cold Mountain," as far as I'm concerned,
and it directly relates to this issue, is that the film
was shot in Bucharest, Romania, where you're certainly
not going find many black people to cast in the film,
and no black extras for color, if you will. On top of
that, the two lead American characters are played by
Aussie Nicole Kidman and Brit Jude Law. This was at
least an $80 million film, but they couldn't bring themselves
to shoot it in the U.S. where it takes place. That's
not, as they've stated, because they couldn't find appropriate
locations in the American south, it's because of the
exchange rate in Romania which allows all the top-end
people to pull bigger fees. And to me cast Aussies or
Brits as Americans is like casting Caucasions as Indians,
or gentiles as Jews. I'm sorry, is there a shortage
of American actors? But worse than all of that, as I've
read the two lovers in "Cold Mountain" spend
a couple of minutes together at the beginning, then
Jude Law spends the next two and half hours walking
back to Nicole Kidman so they can spend the last couple
of minutes together. That is structurally a severely
fucked-up love story. I got shit from a few reviewers
on "Lunatics" because it's 45-minutes before
the boy and girl get together, and I agree that that's
too long. It shouldn't have been anymore than 35-minutes.
But if you're making a love story and the two leads
are never together, that's a bad love story.
to respond to Kevin's comment, "They'll take any
independent movie, they have this thing called TROMADANCE
once a year where anybody with a film can go to colorado
and show it for free, no judges or fees or anything"
That's a misconception. I sent my first feature to them
for the Tromadance festival and it got rejected. Mine
didn't have the usual Troma themes in it so to speak
(in example, heads melting, lesbian vampires, diareah,
ext.) yet a film called "tales from the toilet"
will be shown. Go figure.
On a side note on Vincent Price, I too enjoyed his comedy
roles much better. Especially the great character of
Egghead he played on the Batman series. But all the
campiness in that show still makes me laugh anytime
I see reruns.
Take care Josh, and be careful on the roads out here!
forgot Egghead. Man, they had the best bad guys on that
show: Burgess Meredith, Caesar Romero, Frank Gorshin,
and Vincent Price. And they really took their campiness
seriously; I'm not sure anything has ever been as successfully
campy as "Batman." Meanwhile, that whole Troma
outfit is just a bunch of losers with absolutely no
taste. Even if you were "lucky" enough to
get them to release your film, it probably wouldn't
do you the slightest bit of good since they're such
crappy distributors, and I have no doubt that they've
never returned a penny to a filmmaker in their lives.
the icy roads, a foot of snow came down in less than
24 hours. I've attempted to shovel my driveway twice
already and I've still got about half of it to do.
I too always loved Vincent Price, and wished he had
been as successful in other roles as he was in horror.
Shelby in "Laura" was a terrific characterization,
and he used a little bit of his natural semi-Southern
accent. I especially liked his rambling voice-overs
in the Dr. Phibes films, as they gave him a chance to
use the wonderfully smooth voice of his.
He used to turn up pretty regularly on Johnny Carson,
and was as you say a very witty, urbane guest. I recall
at some point in the mid-70's he actually was a guest
host once on the Tonight Show, and he did a fine job
with the monologue, and with maintaining intelligent
conversation with the guests.
I read a bio of him around that time too. Did you know
his first big "break" was on stage, with Helen
Hayes? He played Prince Albert to her Queen Victoria
in "Victoria Regina," which was apparently
a huge hit in the 1930's.
did not know that, although he certainly seemed like
he came from the stage.
also liked Vincent Price in THE SONG OF BERNADETTE,
where he played the cynical, intellectual Imperial Prosecutor
that questioned Bernadette. It wasn't a large role,
but he brought an interesting conflict to it. I especially
liked the way that the cynical (and now-dying from throat
cancer) Price goes to the miracle fountain and sees
the pilgrims congregating, and thinks to himself of
his impending lonely death. It is not at all an admission
of faith, but rather a desperate longing to share the
comfort and serenity the pilgrims derive from theirs
[he finds his own intelluctual cynicism and snobbishness
cold comfort]. That Price could bring that to so small
a role showed what a truly talented actor he was. His
horror films were fun, but many critics felt that he
wasted his talents on them (the more practical Price
preferred to be a working B-movie actor rather than
a critically acclaimed, but underfed, mainstream or
theatrical actor). His period horror pieces were undemanding
of him, and I rather prefer his "contemporary"
scare movies from the early '70s, such as SCREAM AND
SCREAM AGAIN, or THEATRE OF BLOOD. His non-horror roles
were always good, but too few and far between once he
became typecast as a horror actor.
once he went into horror he never got out. But I still
like him best doing comedy. Nobody remembers "Champagne
for Caesar," which is about a TV quiz show, circa
1950, with Ronald Coleman as a genius who gets on the
show and can't be beaten. Vincent Price plays the evil
sponsor of the show, and is really hilarious. I also
thought he was pretty funny in Roger Corman's "Comedy
of Terrors," where Boris Karloff is his old, feeble
father-in-law whom Price keeps trying to poison, but
his wife won't let him. Price keeps filling a spoon
with poison, offering it to Karloff and saying, "Here's
your medicine, papa," then the wife smacks it out
of his hand and Karloff gets upset, saying, "Why
won't you let me have my medicine?" It's a silly
movie otherwise. And has anyone seen Sam Fuller's film,
"The Baron of Arizona"? In the old west, Vincent
Price shows up one day in the Arizona territory with
a deed from the king of Spain saying he owns the entire
state, and everyone there can either stay and pay tribute
to the new baron, or leave. It's a terrific set-up.
with you in Champaign, IL, waaaaay back.
I am writing after "discovering" your website.
My girlfriend and I were at the "Running Time"
preview at the University of Illinois when you and Bruce
presented it and we loved it. After finding it for sale
last October 03 locally, I purchased several copies
for friends and colleagues. My point.
My band, Spektral Motion, just released our debut CD
and wanted to offer any tracks to you if you found them
to be appropriate. I didn't see any dates on your website
Q & A's, but I did read that you and Bruce have
two potential films coming up. We are indep-endent and
own all of our publishing/synchronization rights so
there wouldn't be a whole lot of red tape. Our music
is electronic rock, kinda poppy I guess with lyrics
from dark to light. You can hear samples at www.cdbaby.com/spektral
I appreciate your insights on the site, and loved reading
about you as the "Bearded Wonder" in Bruce's
"If Chins Could Kill" book. Oh, and to answer
a question I saw on the Q & A, "Lunatics."
is still $29.99 for the DVD at Amazon.com.
remember showing the film in Champaign way the heck
back when, but there were a lot of people, so I don't
remember you specifically. You're confused, my friend,
"Lunatics" is not available on DVD anywhere,
and hasn't been transferred to DVD, as far as I know.
It's only available on VHS, as it clearly says at Amazon.
luck with your band.
schmucks at Troma would never release a film like "Buds,"
it's nowhere near stupid enough for them.>>
They'll take any independent movie, they have this thing
called TROMADANCE once a year where anybody with a film
can go to colorado and show it for free, no judges or
fees or anything. There doesn't have to be sex or stupidity
or violence in it. on the other hand... they have managed
to lower the bar a few hundred notches.
because it's being shown at a festival certainly doesn't
mean it's being distributed in any way. Still, it's
better than a sharp stick in the eye.
I would imagine your not being a christian to be an
advantage when judging Christmas movies. When you give
your opinion of a Christmas movie, you don't have to
be more forgiving of it because it's a Christmas movie.
I guess we christians really don't have to be forgiving
of Christmas movies either, but it seems like we do.
But you, on the other hand, can simply judge them as
movies. Anyway, since I consider you an impartial judge
on the matter, which, if any Christmas movies are your
P.S. I realize it's well past Christmas. It took me
this long to come up with a way to ask you this question
that wasn't just saying "Hey! What's your fave
Christmas movie?" And since it's the closest national
holiday, to you and yours I wish a very happy Martin
Luther King Jr. Day!
on 34th Street." I am a big fan of the film's writer-director,
George Seaton, who made many films that I admire, "An
Apartment for Peggy," "Anything Can Happen,""The
Country Girl," "But Not For Me," "The
Tin Star," "Teacher's Pet," and "Airport."
He was also a writer on the Marx bros. films "A
Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races."
Also, "Miracle on 34th Street" has nothing
to do with Christianity, it's about Santa Claus.
sorry, I really didn't mean to get your hopes up, I'm
just some shmuck who makes $6.50 an hour... I was thinking
of just shooting it on video for fun with some of my
friends and taking it to TROMA or something. $25,000.00
IS VERY generous, if I can raise it I'll let you know...
I'm sorry $25,099.99. I like RUNNING TIME and I'll eventually
LUNATICS: A LOVE STORY (now that the price went down...
the price go down on "Lunatics"? How do you
know? It isn't available on DVD is it? Meanwhile, that's
okay, you certainly didn't get my hopes up. The schmucks
at Troma would never release a film like "Buds,"
it's nowhere near stupid enough for them.
"no back end participation" mean no royalties,
profit sharing, etc? Also, in THE RETURN OF THE KING,
there is a flashback to Sean Bean's death scene from
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. Does a flashback from a
previous film in a current sequel count as a new scene,
and can the actor earn royalties for it? No doubt you're
right about his salary; American companies have been
wooing British actors with Hollywood bucks for years,
but Bean wasn't particularly famous, except for a certain
cult following. Still, the exposure is good for his
You're right about Vincent Price having that odd, sort
of effeminate quality to him. Watching him, the viewer
can never believe him capable of getting physical or
violent (on the few occasions when he did, it was always
surprising), which is strange. In life, Price was 6'
4", and no doubt was physically capable; he just
never came off that way on screen. Perhaps that is what
made him such an interesting villian.
probably receive SAG residuals (unless the cheapskates
at Miramax figured out how not to pay them), and he
does get them for a sequel with footage of him from
the previous film. But you're talking about a few thousand
dollars. Mr. Bean has no profit participation, nor do
any of the others actors in the three films, which is
part of the whole scheme -- no big name actors, and
shoot it in New Zealand where you don't have to use
most of the American unions (remember, they only had
$275 million US dollars). The idea that anyone on the
planet believes that a Miramax film is an independent
is patently absurd. Miramax is just one more division
of a multi-national conglomerate, and is no different
than Touchstone or Hollywood Pictures, the other divisions
of Disney. And I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings,
but the Weinstein bros are just two more fat, uncouth,
tasteless Hollywood slobs that are no more than purveyors
of shit, just like the rest of Hollywood.
I liked Vincent Price much better in all of his other
character roles than his horror stuff. Films like "Laura,"
"His Kind of Woman," "The Baron of Arizona,"
and "Champagne for Caesar." Price was a legitimately
funny actor, and along with George Sanders, could play
a rich snob better than almost anyone.
checked out WGA Minimum... HOLY CRAP!! $50,199?! ! Whoa!
And there are two writers on that script right? That
would like double, triple that... damn... jaw drops...
that is awesome. Now I want to sell a screenplay...
You'll have to excuse me for a moment... hmm, I think
I'll hock a few organs, sell a car... gee I love the
screenplay. That is one good movie (refering to BUDS).
I'll see where I am a year from now. Break a leg.
there's two writers they split the fee, you don't double
it. Look, I'm a reasonable man, and I'm not in the WGA,
so I'm not bound by their rules. I'll take half of that
amount, how's that?
Congrats on the impending Sci-Fi deal - we're all keeping
our fingers crossed. If it won't jinx anything to tell,
is this going to be a revamped version of "Humans
in Chains?" (Which I think is an awesome story.)
Once the paperwork is signed, I think a lot of your
fans would love to read an essay on your experiences
in getting the deal done.
On "Deliverance" - I thoroughly agree - one
of the best films of recent years, and superb ensemble
performances from the cast. What's your opinion of some
of Boorman's other work from that era, like "Excalibur"
and "Emerald Forest?" (I won't mention "Zardoz.")
On "Deus ex machina" - I can add a little
historical background on top of what you already said.
It means "god from the machinery," and refers
to stagecraft of several centuries ago. If there was
a weak plot, especially in an opera (which might be
about valkyries or Siegfried or Hercules or whoever)
then it might be resolved by some god magically appearing
and resolving everything. So usually they'd lower the
actor playing the god on ropes or wires from the rigging
above the stage - hence a god from out of the machinery.
Even Shakespeare wasn't above it - in college in "As
You Like It," in addition to several other small
roles, I played the previously unseen third brother
of Orlando and Oliver, who shows up to announce that
the villain who was coming to wipe them all out met
a holy man and experienced a religious conversion, so
that everyone can live happily ever after. Go figure.
BTW - two people from your past are celebrating birthdays
- Laura Kelly, who used to visit your site all the time
in '99 and '00, and took part in that wonderful celeb
chat you did, turns 23 today (1/12) - and your old buddy
Campbell Cooley is alive and well and still living in
Auckland, and turns 38 on the 13th.
the SciFi film is "Humans in Chains," now
retitled "Alien Apocalypse." An essay about
this deal wouldn't be all that interesting. The script
had to sit around for 14 years first and collect a lot
of dust. Then it's been over at SciFi for the last 2
years collecting more dust. Now we're going to potentially
make it, that's the exciting story.
didn't care for "Excalibur" or "The Emerald
Forest," both of which seemed rather poorly written
to me. Both have lovely photography, though. As I said
before, I think Boorman is a talented director, but
not much of a writer. His two best films, "Deliverance"
and "Point Blank," were both written by other
birthday to Laura and Campbell.
I sent you your tape of "Hammer." Thanks for
buying it, and I hope you like it.
saw that you mentioned LORD OF THE RINGS and wanted
to throw my two cents worth in. I rather liked the series
(okay, I'm a fan of monsters getting hacked to bits
with swords, so shoot me!), but my favorite character,
Boromir, was killed off in the first installment. Boromir,
by the way, was played by Sean Bean, who also played
Richard Sharpe in the Sharpe television series (he was
also in GOLDENEYE and a few other high profile films).
The one character with an interesting moral dilemna
(the conflict of duty: destroy the ring or save his
country with it), and they kill him off. Granted, it
happened that way in the book, but it sounds almost
like Spielbergian thinking. In any case, I'm happy too
see Sean Bean cash in on a Hollywood payday.
bet you he didn't make all that much money. He's a fairly
unknown character actor, I'll bet he made no more than
ten grand a week and worked for a couple of weeks. And
I'm absolutely certain he's got no back-end participation,
so it wasn't a payday for him. The exposure is probably
good for him, though.
heard it all; If you liked the movie Falling Down then
my screenplay Forty Plus is for your collaboration-
Ben Rand is a computer operator who goes postal when
his mainframe computer is phased out. Enough said.
than enough said. I've got news for you, that premise
wasn't strong enough to sustain "Falling Down,"
which truly does fall down no more than halfway through.
That's not a whole story. A guy gets mad and goes ballastic
is an act one. This ought to lead us to something else.
Just a comment on "Deus Ex Machina and THE BIG
Yes. What you said. And it all needed sayin'.
I ran across your article while looking for info to
improve my own writing, and found it very helpful.
glad I can be of service.
much do you want for the rights to your screenplay,
a reasonable man, I'll take WGA minimum.
hate to admit it (it seems awfully shallow), but the
real reason I liked Scarface was that the dude got cut
up with the chainsaw in the bathtub, and Al Pacino hoovered
that pound of Columbia's finest and blew a bunch of
guys away with an M203. Intellectual? No. Satisfying
in a testosterone-laden sort of way? Hell yes!
Now for a non sequiter: what did you think of WITCHFINDER
GENERAL, otherwise titled THE CONQUEROR WORM? I saw
it awhile ago, and recently read an interview that Vincent
Price gave about it. He stated that it was a challenging
role, and that the director was talented but very difficult
to work with (the director later committed suicide when
his fiancee left him). I recall that Mr. Price's performance
in the film was more laid-back sinister and far more
genuinely evil than his other performances (his daughter,
Vicoria, stated that in his other roles, it was like
you could see him peeking out and winking at you from
behind the role of the villain). As is every Price film,
it was a pleasure just to see him perform (it's hard
to find an actor today with his voice and his annunciation),
but CW was a more pithy film than his usual stuff from
Speaking of Vincent Price, I remember about a year ago
we were talking about him screening for the role of
Ashley Wilkes in GONE WITH THE WIND. You stated that
he wasn't handsome enough to play the role, authentic
Southern demeanor (he was raised in St. Louis) or no.
I disagree. Price certainly had classical, aristocratic
features, which would have been adequate. I think he
could have pulled it off, like Bette Davis did in MR.
SKEFFINGTON. In that film, Davis (pretty but certainly
no heart-stopping beauty) pulled off the persona of
an extremely attractive woman through sheer personality
alone. I think Price could've done the same. Any thoughts?
liked Vincent Price a lot, and I'm sure if he had to
he could have pulled off Ashley Wilkes, but I don't
think he's particularly suitable for the part. Leslie
Howard was a big star at that time, and he certainly
knows how to play a stick-in-the-mud, even if he wouldn't
bother with the accent. But since David Selznick cast
an unknown as Scarlett, he felt that he had to surround
her with big stars, like Clark Gable, Olivia DeHavilland,
and Leslie Howard. Vincent Price was nobody at that
time, so he really didn't have a chance. He does seem
aristocratic, but he wouldn't have made a strong love
interest, as he comes off as slightly effeminate. Meanwhile,
I've never sat all the way through "The Conquerer
Worm." I love the poem, which ends with the wonderfully
descriptive line, "In human gore imbued."
How is your deal with Scifi going? Are you and Bruce
still working on getting a film going?
all goes well (knock on wood). Bruce signed his deal
and I'm supposed to be getting my contract today or
tomorrow. This is actually for two films, one I'll direct
(based on my script), the other Bruce will direct (based
on his script). This is supposed to occur -- the first
film -- in April, May. Originally we were to shoot in
Sofia, Bulgaria, but it may have changed to Bucharest,
Romania, where they just shot "Cold Mountain."
does the word deus ex machina figuratively symbolizes?
what movie or TV show has a deus ex machina?
p.s please write back soon i need these answers for
you bother to read my essay about it? Literally it's
"God in the machine;" figuratively, it's a
stupid, inappropriate ending on a story. A prime example
is John Boorman's film, "Hell in the Pacific,"
where Lee Marivin and Toshiro Mifune are starnded on
a Pacific atoll during WWII and end up fighting the
war by themselves. Originally, as Boorman shot it, they
learn to repect each other at the end. The producer
didn't like the ending, so he had an artillery shell
hit them and blow them to bits, which always seemed
like a good example of deus ex machina to me.
You really remind me of Lester Bangs. He was to music
what you are to film.
I appreciate that.
Have you ever heard of The Process? Was it really a
popular group in the late 60s, early 70s? What do you
think about Scientology?
never heard of The Process. As for Scientology, well,
I have no respect for the old, well-established religions,
so I certainly haven't got the slightest shred of respect
for a recent religion dreamt up by a science fiction
writer. I used to regularly walk past the Scientologist's
building on Hollywood Blvd. on my way to my friend's
house, and every time I went by a guy would hassle me
to take an E-meter personality test, and if I joined
I'd greatly improve my memory. After about the 50th
time I went by and was hassled, I asked the guy if being
a Scientologist had improved his memory? He smiled widely
and said, "Yes, very much so." I replied,
"Then remember my face and never bother me again."
He bothered me again the very next day, and didn't even
remember us speaking the day before. Obviously, it doesn't
it as i just read Mark Gados account of crowley...the
remark wipe the seat had me laughing man some of them
were tough in there last seconds on this earth in the
death chamber bob elliot shouldnt have been so quick
with that goddam switch as people have a right to speak..i
beleive when the military executed soldiers here in
england the proceedings took up to an hour speeches
etc..the verdict readout..
almost like a party canned beer passed around way to
go..not that way..great writing all best dave
there's a definitely a movie there with "Two-Gun"
Crowley. One of these days . . .