E-mail: Me again
I get the gist of the conversation we're talking about
"unsettling films?" I would add:
Smell of Success"
"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"
think of any others off the top of my head.
that John "Only this and nothing more" Campbell?
If so Hi John.
are good choices, particularly "Crumb," and
everything with his older brother. Another one that
comes to mind is "The Hustler," and all the
stuff with Piper Laurie, who is a truly weird, unsettling
character. Oh! And the most disturbing, unsettling film
from Hollywood in the 1940s has to be "King's Row,"
and Ronald Reagan's fate in it (which I won't mention
for those who have not seen the film). And has anyone
mentioned "Freaks"? Oh, and Edgar G. Ulmer's
wonderfully creepy "Detour."
that was me who sent the "anonymous" note
about Member of the Wedding. I had a computer snafu
and it got sent before I had a chance to write in my
craaazy! You're the only other person to see and apparently
like "Member of the Wedding." My friend Rick
and I once went to the theater to see the film and sat
through it twice. John Henry asks Bernice if she sees
better out of her glass eye? She says, "Oh, this
ol' glass eye don't do me no seein' good at all."
John Henry thinks about it, then asks, "Which eye
is your mind's eye?"
for the explanation about Tim Quill's bone (I couldn't
resist wording it that way). Now I can appreciate the
joke on it's intended level as well as seeing it as
one more absurd sight gag in a film full of absurd sight
you ever thought of releasing "official bootlegs"
of your earier short films? I own Cleveland Smith, Torro
Torro Torro, Blind Waiter and Stryker's War but of course
their in bootleg form and aren't as clear as they should
be. I actually own two copies of Blind Waiter from different
bootlegs and one of them is missing the scene where
John Cameron orders pork (I assume a ludicrous homage
to Five Easy Pieces).
reason I'm asking about stuff that you did 20 years
ago is because I like to see where film makers came
from and not where they are currently (personally I
think Sam Raimi's last good movie was Evil Dead and
I love it only for the fact that it was so low budget
and did so well*).
because I think that Ellen Sandweiss is hot.
can't release "official bootlegs" because
I'm too easily found. These films are literally coated
with stolen music and no one is interested in paying
for the quick response. Anchor Bay is talking about
an Evil Dead reunion showing here in Michigan at the
Redford Theatre - I've heard either February or April
of 2002. I'll let you know if they decide on anything
definite. I'd love to see you and Bruce. Take care,
possible, I'll be there. The Reford Theater, BTW, is
where the film originally premiered (there's a photo
of Sam and I in front of the Reford Theater in the scrapbook
section). Thanks for writing in. I hope to talk to you
in the not too distant future.
just finished reading "Dark
of the Moon" and I have a question. Why did
Mrs. Stevens keep Jessica and Marcy from talking to
each other? I'm assuming that it was due to some affiliation
with the cult, but I don't remember ever seeing it explained.
Did I miss somthing, or did you just decide to leave
it to the imagination?
weren't going to send Jessica to a place where she was
unsupervised. You do see Mrs. Stevens there at the end,
if I'm not mistaken. But you got the idea.
just watched "Running Time" for the 6 billionth
time and I was wondering if you could could suggest
another good heist movie. I know RT isn't purely a heist
film but the subject got me interested. The only one
I can think of that I liked was "Dog Day Afternoon".
yeah, and what the hell is wrong with movie critics?
Have you seen Leonard Maltin's "review" of
Taxi Driver? He should get his head out of his ass.
The only thing he liked was Bernard Herrmann's score."...the
film is ugly and unredeeming." Sorry, i just had
to vent my rage.
Congrats on getting the hell out of LA!
funny you bring up that example because so did I. I
wrote to Maltin and asked him how on earth he could
give "Taxi Driver" and "Blue Velvet"
both two stars, but a piece of crap like "Pulp
Fiction" got three and a half stars, the same as
"The Godfather"? His response was that he
simply didn't like "Taxi Driver" or "Blue
Velvet," and that I just didn't understand that
he "wasn't comparing one film to another"
when he gives both "Pulp Fiction" and "The
Godfather" the same rating. I wrote back saying
that the definition of "Rating" was the comparison
of one thing to another, and he was the one putting
out a book of ratings. He didn't write back. Now, regarding
heist films, there are a number of them, like: "The
Asphalt Jungle," "The Killing," "Rififi,"
"Topkapi," "Seven Thieves," and
"Grand Slam," to name a few.
noticed you responded to a question that Blue Velvet
was a very disturbing film. A friend and I were arguing
whether Lost Highway or Lynch's latest film, Mulholland
Drive was more disturbing. My friend argued that the
underlying themes in Mulholland Drive were far more
unnerving and chaotic. I believe that the film was more
of a parody of Lynch's earlier films and that Lost Highway
had a stronger effect on the viewer's state of mind.
Have you had a chance to see Mulholland Drive and if
so what would be your take on this arguement? Did you
think either of these movies compared to Blue Velvet?
Personally, I feel Blue Velvet was the best of Lynch's
work and many of his later films copied to much from
have seen the most recent one, but "Lost Highway"
was a disaster. Quite frankly, I think Lynch's career
was over after "Blue Velvet." He did that
dumb-ass TV show, then it was over, his edge was gone,
and he has been imitating himself ever since. I like
"Elephant Man" a lot, too. At least he wasn't
a one-trick pony, like say Jim Jarmusch.
your response to Derek...I hadn't really thought of
Member of the Wedding as disturbing but now that you
mention it it does have alot of unsettling moments like
when she's digging into her foot with that huge knife,
and when she's threatening Bernice with it. I thought
the little kid had a great line.."Frankie's craaazy."
DeWilde is the little boy, John Henry, and that is a
good line. But during the wedding service when Frankie
packs her bag and waits in the car, then has to be pulled
kicking and screaming out of the car, I found disturbing.
The next film DeWilde made, by the way, was "Shane."
He's also the lead in "Hud," then he died
very young. Bette Davis showing up at the ball in a
red dress in "Jezebel" was kind of disturbing.
In "The Best Years of Our Lives," when Harold
Russell is out in the garage and sees all the little
watching him through the window, can't open the door,
so he shoves his hooks through the window, I found disturbing,
too. Now that I have twice invoked Wyler, here's a third,
his film "Carrie," based on Theodore Dreiser's
"Sister Carrie,' I found to be almost entirely
disturbing, with a particularly unnerving ending. Anyone
else have any suggestions?
I gotta know Josh...
the hell does Tim Quill spit out a rubber bone in The
God, I'm explaining my gags from over 20 years ago.
Basically, Scott Spiegel and I thought it was funny.
He's eating fish in a restaurant, a door hits him in
the back and forces a bone out of his throat, see? The
fact that it's a six-inch long rubber dog bone instead
of a fish bone made us laugh.
E-mail: u all ready have it
just wanted to say, your last episode of xena is shown
in the uk next week for the first time. i've heard its
great. anyway, just wanted to say thanx for all the
great and memorable episodes u've made through out the
I hope you like it. I personally don't consider it to
be one of my best eps, it's filling in too many plot
holes from earlier on. Nevertheless, Lucy, Renee, Ted,
and Kevin Smith are all very good, as usual.
figured if Theresa can write you, so can I! I heard
you've moved out Oregon way. I'm still in Michigan,
believe it or not. I've been speaking with Betsy and
Theresa for the first time since Evil Dead premiered,
and we're planning a reunion, either sanctioned or not.
Glad to see your career is moving forward - cool website
too. Basically just wanted to say hi, since I haven't
talked to you since that drunken high school reunion
- by the way, did I say anything bad? (if so, don't
mention the details in this public forum please) Hope
all is well with you.
very nice to hear from you, Ellen. If you did say something
bad, although I can't imagine why, I sure don't remember
it. I was as drunk as you. For the readers, that was
our 20th high school reunion, which was already five
years ago. I'm sorry I couldn't make the "Evil
Dead" reunion and screening in Hollywood, but I
was in the middle of moving. You should hold your unsanctioned
reunion in Michigan, that way Bruce and I will both
have alternate reasons for attending, like seeing our
families. It's very good to hear from you and please
give my best to Beth (her cousin, with whom we all went
to high school).
would you say is the most disturbing film you have ever
seen? I finally saw A Clockwork Orange the other day
and it was pretty disturbing, but very good. What do
always liked "A Clockwork Orange," although,
over the course of time, I've come to believe that it's
really two-thirds of a great film, with an overlong,
obvious, draggy third act. Still, those first two acts
are brilliant. I found "Blue Velvet" to be
quite disturbing. In a completely different way, I thought
"The Member of the Wedding," one of my very
favorite films, was disturbing.
latest essay is truthful and, though somewhat depressing,
a bit of an inspiration as well in the sense that, at
least for me, difficult odds are more motivating. It's
sad to be in an era where it's just impossible to get
a good film made, but at the same time, I think it's
being done. One of the things that first attracted me
to horror/exploitation pictures was that, in the rare
case that you're dealing with an actual artist at the
helm, s/he can make a film that is untouched by Hollywood
producers and still recoup the investment. If you have
this element, be it horror/gore or tits or whatever,
and manage to say what you want to say, tell the story
you want to tell, while incorporating those "sellable"
elements, the picture gets made. A recent example I
like was Andrew Parkinson's "I, Zombie." It's
a real cheapie examining a single subject who is bitten
by a zombie and slowly degenerates into a monster himself.
Unlike all the other Romero clones, this one doesn't
portray the monsters as a mass plague, but follows one
guy and his trauma as his very being disintegrates.
I really liked it.
also think some good genre films are still coming from
Italy. Although it might not fit your structure essays,
I thought Michele Soavi's "Cemetery Man" or
"D'ellamorte Dellmore" was very good, and
got some distribution without having to compromise the
original script (at least according to what I've read).
own filmmaking ambitions don't include Hollywood for
reasons you're obviously aware of, but I am now working
in the documentary medium at Appalshop, a national film
studio producing documentaries on Appalachian culture,
and there is some fun in telling true stories, though
I'd rather be telling my own at some point soon.
dunno man, what do you think of those surreal Italian
genre flicks? Anything with Asia Argento is at least
fun to look at.....
it's not like those cheapie horror films you mentioned
are getting any kind of release here in the U.S. But
hey, if you can make what you want and get them out,
God bless you. I honestly don't think the folks in Hollywood
think gore or tits are "sellable," they are
strictly looking for big names. Anyway, I've never been
a big fan of horror films to begin with and I never
got into the Italian horror films.
think it was you who said that Johnny Depp was a shallow
actor (sorry, I couldn't find the exact quote). Say
you're part way into shooting and find you've miscast
and ended up with a surface actor. How would you work
with them to improve their performance?
a good question. First of all, you cast them so it's
your responsibility. This has happened to me -- in a
lead role, no less -- and I chose to sort of coddle
him, tell him he was fine, he could do it, he'd be great,
etc. I don't know that I improved his performance all
that much, but I kept him from walking out on me. I
just watched a documentary about my man, William Wyler,
called "Directed by William Wyler," which
contains an interview with Wyler conducted three days
before he died and he seems fine. Anyway, he had this
situation with Charlton Heston on "Ben-Hur."
After a few days of shooting (Heston tells this story)
Wyler pulled him aside and said, "Chuck, I'm sorry,
you're just not good enough in the part." Heston
asked what he could do? Wyler sadly shrugged and said,
"I don't know." Well, Heston ended up winning
Best Actor that year, so that method apparently worked.
work on "Bailing out on L.A.". Makes perfect
sense. I have been there twice this year doing the film
fest thing with my indi feature...I've never felt as
depressed and defeated as I did after coming home from
luck with "Warpath". Hey, are you gonna let
us fans know when you're shooting? I'm moving to Oregon
with a friend (and my own lead actor) and I know he'd
love to just be able and audition for ANY role in ANY
movie. I'd also (actually I think a lot of people would)
be willing to grip or do something for free. Gonna post
out and let us know what's going on? It'd be worth a
trip from Mt. Hood to Medford to work on a Becker film.
interested, and excited for your upcoming picture.
You've got one copy sold. And "Hammer" too,
if it ever comes out.
a good one.
I get to the point of actually making the film, I'll
let everyone know. Right now I don't even have the script
written. Since it would star Bruce, it would then have
to be a SAG film, so I'd probably do most of the casting
out of LA. When you move to Oregon, get in touch.
years ago, a favorite film of me was Otto Preminger's
Laura. I catch the other day on tv but this time I see
with a more critical eye or for better say suspecting
about the structure. What you say about? I love that
concept of flashbacks into flashbacks like in Postman
Rings Always Twice (?) or Mildred Pierce... But you
think about Laura... sorry the chaotic of the question...
never been a big fan of "Laura," nor Otto
Preminger, for that matter. "Laura" has always
seemed totally obvious to me. Preminger seems like the
sloppiest big-time director of them all. Watching "The
Cardinal" in widescreen at the theater -- a truly
miserable picture -- the boom mike probably dropped
into frame eight times. I think it's his trademark.
Dramatically, the problem with flashbacks is that your
story has stopped moving forward. With a flashback within
a flashback, your story is now moving backward. I think
it's far more crucial to keep the viewer's full attention
than to show off with film technique.
on your escape from L.A.
you have a DVD player? I was walking down 7th Avenue
here in New York City and came across a guy selling
DVDs of Men in War for five bucks. I got
one for myself and thought of picking up one for you
(only five bucks!) but I couldnt remember if you
have a DVD player.
you heard the new Bob Dylan record Love and Theft?
At first listen it may sound like his voice is shot
(because it is), but theres so much more to being
a great singer than having a good voice. I like to think
that hes earned the right to sing with that voice,
that croak, bark and croon; imagine what the voices
of the old testament prophets sounded like. And the
songs, each one a cryptic and playful jeremiad, are
tailor made for these dark times. Check it out. Ill
bet money that youll like Mississippi
and Sugar Baby.
just saw the Bob Fosse film Lenny for the
first time in over ten years, and just as I remembered,
it was a drag. Dustin H. is not funny, and for the story
to work, I think hes gotta be funny. But it did
have great sound design (like the way you could hear
the exaggerated breathing in all the phone calls) and
it used documentary story-telling techniques in a way
that point the way to some interesting possibilities.
The language of documentary films (the cinematic
grammar) is less cliché ridden, more free, more
vital, more capable of surprise than the current conventions
of narrative film. This is not a new observation (Orson
Welles knew this before he shot a single frame of Citizen
Kane) but my question for the director is this
what do you think of the possibilities presented
by the cross-breeding of fictional subjects with non-fiction
better get back to work now. Be well.
you good folks out there, John is a good buddy of mine
from Detroit that was an assistant editor on "Evil
Dead 2." I, too, found "Lenny" to be
a drag, and think that Hoffman just isn't funny, nor
is he really catching a sense of the real Lenny Bruce,
who was a whacky individual. Bruce did some pretty darn
accurate imitations that he would lapse in and out of
constantly, like George Macready, which I thought was
really funny. Hoffman isn't a going-in-and-out-of-imitations
type actor, like say, Kevin Spacey. Hoffman is NOT whacky.
Anyway, regarding documentary technique in fiction films,
it's been used a lot more recently with the spate of
mockumentaries, and it seems like a drag in all instances
but "This is Spinal Tap." I believe that documentary
technique -- in documentaries -- tells us what we're
watching is true and this was the only way the filmmakers
could capture it. Seeing it used falsely just annoys
me and doesn't sell what I'm watching anymore than if
it weren't used.
find it odd that you feel compelled to bash the works
of other writers and filmakers, seeing that your brilliant
body of work consists of a bunch of mediocre screenplays
that never get made, and a couple of "Jack of All
Trades" episodes. But, hey, whatever gets you through
the night, pal.....
my new policy is to ignore insulting emails, I think
there's an honest question in yours. First of all, if
you really think my scripts are mediocre, then explain
why you think so. I'm legitimately interested. As for
bashing fellow filmmakers, please note that I am truly
a fan of other filmmakers -- I don't bash them all,
just the ones I don't like. This is because, I believe,
that I have standards and, God forbid in the movie business,
taste. If you haven't got some criteria for what you
think is good or bad, you'll never make anything good
because you won't be able to recognize it. Unlike most
other filmmakers, I have seen a lot of movies (3556
as of this moment), and I have spent most of my life
figuring out why I like or don't like these various
films. I love good movies, but I dislike bad movies.
I don't think it's rational or necessary to love them
all. Does that answer your question?
glad you are transplanted in lovely Oregon now.
also wanted to comment on your new essay. I totally
agree that there are no new films worth seeing--especially
not ones that are playing at the multiplex. But I am
an avid video renter--I watched Repulsion and Shadrach
this weekend (from the "favorite film" list
of course) and loved both of them. The closing image
in Repulsion is great, (the close up on the family portrait)
and Shadrach was very enjoyable.
Roman Polanski still unable to make films in the US?
Or is he better off wherever he is?
Roman Polanski sets foot on U.S. soil he will be arrested
and sent to jail. He deals with the whole situation
pretty straightforwardly in his autobiography "Roman"
by Polanski. Whatever his legal deal is, he hasn't made
a good movie since "Chinatown" in 1975, and
I sincerely doubt he'll make any more. I'm glad you
enjoyed my recommendations. I think Harvey Keitel does
a hell of a good job in "Shadrach" (he plays
southern far better than his bud DeNiro ever has).
reading your newest
essay, I got curious.
decided that you need $150,000 to make "Warpath",
although I assume that's not a fixed figure. How did
you get to that amount?
how do you go about raising the money? Large bank loans?
Rich businessmen with nothing better to do with their
just a ballpark figure. Let's just say that I won't
spend more than that on an independent feature now.
For about that amount I shot for two weeks on "Running
Time" with a SAG cast. For my last two films, most
of the money was mine. I also hit my friends for some.
My first two films were both financed through local
Detroit business folk, doctors, dentists, lawyers, realtors.
few years ago I was kicking back watching tv with my
as of now ex-wife centerfold model and caught Lunatics:
A Love Story, but never got a chance to see what it
was called. I absolutely loved it and want to commend
you on a hell of a movie. I just found your site tonight
and realize that was the movie I saw. I book all the
top porn stars and centerfold models into stripclubs
worldwide so if you fall short or need a certain look,
look through our girls and I'll help out however I can.
Fall short of what?
a tiny reunion at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood
with Evil Dead gang. It was fun. Didn't realize there
was such a groundswell of interest in ed, glad you're
doing so well, me too. Betsy, Ellen and I are planning
sorry I couldn't make that reunion and screening, but
I was right in the middle of moving. I haven't seen
you or the other cast members of "Evil Dead"
since the premiere I suppose in 1981 -- 20 years ago,
wow! I wish you all the best and thanks for dropping
by my website. If you have another reunion I'll try
to make it.
for your reply on Band of Brothers. I can totally see
why you didn't like Saving Private Ryan, but my opinion
of Band of Brothers was that it was trying to tell the
true story of a Company in WW2, and that it was not
completely character based. There are simply too many
characters to feel for them, and they are always coming
and going (as soldiers did for various reasons). I did
manage to warm to a few of them though, Guarnere, Winters,
Luz, Buck Compton, Toye, Blythe (one episode) and a
few others. Most of the smaller characters though i
didn't, they were just soldiers in Easy Company.
was under the impression it was supposed to be as realistic
as possible, and not about the people but about the
you think all films should be character based, and how
would you have tried to make Band of Brothers better,
for example by making the characters easier to care
about. (You can't cheat and say i would make it better
by not making it :) )
really only have two kinds of stories: plot-based or
character-based, or some combination of the two, which
is what most stories are. "Band of Brothers"
isn't a plot-based story since the plots are so simple
-- "Go knock out those guns" -- therefore,
it has to be character-based. And the characters are
dull and undifferentiated. It makes no difference whether
it's true or not, you have to care about the characters
because the characters are the story. Everybody in "BOB"
was so damn grim it was depressing. Yes it's war, but
that doesn't mean everybody's in a bad mood all the
time. Soldiers, being young men, have a tendency to
joke around, say dumb things, or just be plain old stupid
due to their youth and inexperience. But, to Spielberg
and Hanks, war is hell so everybody has to be grim all
the time. Blah! And that angelic chorus music -- telling
us THIS IS SERIOUS -- really got me down. I'll take
"The Longest Day" any day of the week.
are you going to shoot your western film? B&W, 35mm?
Do you think Warpath will be the final name? Will it
be much harder to assemble a film crew in your new location?
was wondering if you (or anyone else) knew how to get
a hold of "Demon Lover Diary", the L.A. Film
Critics' 1980 Documentary of the Year. You're the only
person I have any contact with whose actually seen it.
I've been looking and calling everywhere I know of,
and the only place I may of found it is a questionable
bootleg website. I'm trying to write an essay on documentaries
that follow the production of other movies, and it's
not as big of a sub-genre as I'd originally thought.
I read about this other "rare" documentary,
"American Dreamer", about Dennis Hopper making
"The Last Movie" in the early seventies, and
I thought that might be cool since he's supposed to
be so crazy according to Biskind's book.
idea where you can get that film. I saw it at UCLA and
enjoyed it quite a bit. You might try contacting the
UCLA film archives and see if they know anything about
it. You also might want to read the book "Picture"
by Lillian Roth, about the making of John Huston's "The
Red Badge of Courage," which I thought was very
interesting and insightful.
there anyway I can order "Real Stories of the Highway
Patrol" on video?
don't think so. You're probably the only person on the
planet who wants them. It was a rather dull show, I
over your list of favorite films I was suprised to see
"Slacker", it seems like exactly like the
kind of film you would hate, since it lacks structure,
it is an interesting concept, though. What do you think
of his other films like "Dazed And Confused"
and "SubUrbia"? What do you think of his style
of people just hanging out and talking for most of the
film? Have you heard about or seen "Waking Life"?
couldn't watch "Slacker" the second time,
but I was honestly interested and amused the first time.
It probably shouldn't be on my list. I absolutely hated
"Dazed and Confused" and walked out on it.
It was a mean, lying little picture about a bunch of
truly uninteresting characters, with one lousy song
after another. I haven't seen the others.
you have any desires to see the new Johnny Depp movie,
"Blow" directed by Ted Demme. I just saw it
on DVD today and it was better than I thought. Throughout
the movie, I was looking for the act breaks. I just
saw the new David Mamet movie, "Heist" and
I was looking for the act breaks throughout that, too.
I do that now ever since I read those essays of yours.
I'm not particularly interested in "Blow."
Cocaine isn't much of a subject anymore; drug use in
general isn't a very good subject anymore. There isn't
much new to tell us about snorting or selling coke,
we've seen it and seen it. Also, I'm not a Johnny Depp
fan -- he's a perfectly utilitarian actor
that never goes deep inside any of his characters, he
just plays the surface of everything. Meanwhile, David
Mamet just annoys me now. The last several things I've
attempted to read or watch of his were just awful (his
book on film direction is a joke).
just started to work a biker screenplay and it already
appears to be coming along okay.It also seems like I
would enjoy writing it.Is this plagiarizing in anyway
off of you. I wouldn't want to do that. Anyway, I do
owe the motivation to you.Ever since I came to this
site, visited it on a daily basis and read those fantastic
articles, I felt inspired. Thanks for the inspiration.
long as you're not telling the exact same story as me,
I'm pleased to have inspired you. Inspiration is a good
thing. Everytime I see a movie I like I get inspired
to make my own.
is a western you are working on? If you dont mind if
I ask, what is this film about?
don't want to give the story yet, I'm still working
on it. But Bruce will be in the lead and we're thinking
the 2nd lead might be perfect for Kevin Smith, if he's
interested. We're also thinking about Anita Barone for
the female lead, although I haven't spoken with her
yet. It would be a two week shoot, like "Running
Time." Possibly early next summer.
a great director and since you've been Bruce's friend
for such a long time you must be a great guy as well.
I've only seen Bruce in person three times and think
he's wonderful, sweet, funny, witty, talented and one
heck of a good looking guy. Didn't mean to get too carried
away with "my thing" for Bruce.=)
Here are my only two questions for ya. What's it like
working with "The Man" Bruce Campbell?
How would you describe Bruce as the actor and Bruce
as the human being? I'm working on a site for Bruce
and as soon as I'm finished I'll let you know so you
can check it out and tell me what you think.
Liza with a Z, not Lisa with an S? Bruce is terrific
to work with. He's prepared, energetic, and takes direction
beautifully (meaning he listens and does something with
it). He has a no-nonsense attitude that I particularly
appreciate. As a person, he just cracks me up. We have
the ability to keep each other laughing for hours on
end -- as we did last night -- and there is very little
else in this world that I'd rather do. Good luck on
have been reading over your favorite films of all time
and I was highly surprised by you taking a liking to
"Boyz N The Hood". It is one of my favorites.
Do you like any more Singleton's work i.e "Higher
Learing"? I liked that but not as much as Boyz
N The Hood. And the rest of his work is not as good
as Boyz N The Hood, his debut. I am getting a little
bit off subject. Anyway, what I was meaning to ask you
was, what did you like most about it? And have you seen
Higher Learning? Have you seen "Menace II Society"
which was made by the Hughes Bros.? That and Boyz are
a bit alike but different nonetheless. I do want to
add that their other film: "Dead Presidents"
was pretty damn good as well. What are your thoughts
haven't seen those other films. I liked "Boyz"
mainly because it had a very believable atmosphere and
situation and I thought Cuba Gooding, Jr. was very good.
It's not really a film I ever care to see again, though.
E-mail: upon request
second the motion for you to write up "Why I got
the hell out of L.A." !
What would be **Becker's #1 method for quitting a lame
directing gig** ?
envisioning a scenerio much like Charlie Brown at rehearsals
for the Christmas play, where, upon the Peanuts Gang
breaking out into song and dance yet again,
he throws down his mellophone -bonk!- with an exasperated-
you'd spike one of those new fangled battery operated
loud speakers and you'd say something stronger than
that how it went down on the set of "Worst Case
exactly. I spent two days skulking around the production
office watching segment after segment and being introduced
as "the new story editor," when I had specifically
told the exec. producer (my friend Craig Peligian) that
I didn't want to be the story editor and that he couldn't
hire outside the Director's Guild, which has no story
editor category. Finally, having gotten stuck watching
endless hours of unedited footage until after 8:00 PM,
I snuck out of the office, called Craig on his cell
phone, which I knew he wouldn't answer because he was
in a meeting, and quit. Not a very spectacular ending,
really. BTW, I have three pages written about why I
split LA, but I'm still working on it.
your focus on the make believe world of movie making
and perception rather than truth because obviously have
no grasp on reality and history.
are just another anti-gun finatic. You need a firm boot
in the pants out of this country.
was wondering when some dimwit would comment on my anti-handgun
essay. Being against handguns is not the same thing
as being against guns. It doesn't say in the Bill of
Rights that you're allowed to have handguns -- it says,
"The right to bear arms." Concealed weapons
are illegal and the only advantage a pistol has over
a rifle is that it's small and can be concealed. By
the way, good Americans accept other points of view
before wanting people booted out of the country. Clearly,
you're just a stupid bad American. Instead of writing
nasty messages, try being a good citizen.
serious are you about starting up another movie? (the
you can tell us about it that wouldn't make you feel
a good one.
pretty serious, although I don't have much money at
the moment. That's not the issue right now anyway. Now
I have to write a good script that Bruce would want
to be in and help out with. I've got the treatment written
and about 15 pages of the script, which I was noodling
with yesterday. It's certainly a perfect location up
E-mail: Do Not Have One Yet
I am not yet an established screenwriter, can you help
me out on a premise I am trying to write? I am trying
to make it as original as possible. Can you give me
an idea or two on how to make it work better? I would
really appreiciate it. Anyway, so far, I have a brief
synopsis of my story. It's about a sick and dilluted
man who aids a woman after she gets in a car accident.
He takes her back to his cabin and he helps her get
better. What she does not know is that he grows an obsession
over her. Meanwhile, the woman's wife tries to her...
is all I have down so far. Can you help me out here?
woman's wife? What are you talking about? It sounds
a little bit like the 1972 Robert Duvall film "Tomorrow."
Anyway, I don't hear a story there. Remember, a story
is: something causes something else, which generally
causes something else. Try writing it first as a short
story to see if you can make it function.
sure you're still busy with moving and all, but whenever
you really get settled in, I think your fans would love
to read an essay on "Why I Got the Hell Out of
LA" or something similar, as well as maybe one
on your adventures (assuming you had some) in Amsterdam.
just recently (and finally!) read "The Evil Dead
Companion," and I noticed a quote from you that
mentioned influences that film had on Coppola's
"Dracula," Scorsese's "Cape Fear,"
and the "Mummy" re-make. Any scenes or shots
I was amused to discover that the negligee-clad model
in those ED publicity stills was Bridget Hoffman, later
to turn up as the tentacled, reptilian "Mother
of All Monsters" on the Hercules series, but she
turns up as "Ruby Marlowe" as well, in "Running
Time" etc. I'm guessing she is a Detroit buddy
for me, I've nearly entirely downloaded the remakes
of "Dracula," "Cape Fear" and "The
Mummy" from my head. One shot from "Dracula"
quickly comes to mind, which is the monster POV that
works MUCH better in ED. As to the essay on why I split
LA, it's a good idea and I'll think about it. And yes,
Bridget Hoffman is an old buddy from Detroit. She's
also one of the natives (in blackface) in "Cleveland
Smith Bounty Hunter."
caught Shock Corridor on a whim, and it has become one
of my new faves. I seem to remember you being a fan
of Sam Fuller, and was wondering which of his other
films you'd recommend seeking out, if any.
Shock Corridor was pretty daring in some aspects, even
more so considering it was made in the early 60s!
Thanks for any help!
Corridor" is a weird, whacky film, although not
as good as I'd heard. Other Sam Fuller films I also
like are: "The Steel Helmet," "Fixed
Bayonets," "The Baron of Arizona" and
"Pickup on South Street," although none of
them are great. Other interesting Fuller films are:
"China Gate" (the first Vietnam war film,
with young Angie Dickinson and Nat King Cole), "White
Dog," "The Big Red One" (which is about
the Normandy invasion and is better than "Saving
Private Ryan"). I saw Fuller speak when I first
got out to Hollywood in 1976 and he was very funny.
Someone asked why Rod Steiger never mentioned "Run
of the Arrow" (a Fuller film) when he discussed
his early career, and Fuller replied, "Because
he's an asshole, that's why."
i know you didn't think a lot of Spielbergs Saving private
Ryan, what do you think to Band of Brothers if you have
seen it? It's supposed to be a true account of Easy
Company in WW2 and all the characters are real people
and the actual times these people were injured etc.
I could see many differences from Saving Private Ryan
and think it is better, do you? If not, why not?
what about Moulin Rouge? I think everyone is going over
the top with it, though some of the songs are quite
good. Half of the film is other people songs either
spoken or mixed together, does this qualify as your
didn't see this "Moulin Rouge" (I have seen
the 1952 John Huston/Jose Ferrer version several times),
but the trailer looked empty and over-cut. Maybe I'm
wrong. I watched the first three episodes of "Band
of Brothers" and episode 5 or 6, and I found it
vapid and dull without a single decent character, which
is crucial for all drama, but particularly a war story
where everyone is dressed the same with dirt all over
their faces, and I'm supposed to care when they die.
Main characters would get killed and I wouldn't know
who they were. When they attacked the artillery emplacements
in ep #2, it was so badly directed I never knew what
was happening. As I mentioned a a while back, check
out "Tigerland" if you want to see an army
thing with well-drawn characters.
I have two easy questions for you.
Why the original Thing from Another World?
2. Why not the John Carpenter's The Thing
I didn't like Carpenter's version. He replaced suspense
with gore, which I found to be a bad boring choice.
Also, Kurt Russell is weak and Ennio Morricone's score
is over the top. As I recall, Dimitri Tiomkin's score
for the original was quite eerie and effective. When
you get right down to it, I don't like any of John Carpenter's
films -- they're all knuckleheaded.