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"Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one." - Harry Callahan, THE DEAD POOL.
"Anyone proud of being a critic is a fucking fool" - Scooter McCrae (Director, Screenwriter and Movie Critic)
"You do not choose the Soy Sauce. The Soy Sauce chooses you!" - JOHN DIES AT THE END

Welcome to the Critical Condition web site. For those of you unfamiliar with Critical Condition, let me give a little background. Critical Condition (CritCon for short) was started as a small  bi-monthly newsletter in 1982 to alert my friends about the new horror films that were released to theaters. The early 80's were a boon to the horror business as many home-grown and foreign-made horror films         Leonard Nimoy  

03/26/1931 - 02/27/2105

  "Live Long And Prosper"were being released to theaters every month. Some were good (Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND; Gary Sherman's DEAD & BURIED) but most were bad (Jim Henley's JUNIOR; Bruno Mattei's NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES and countless others). Being the horror maven that I am (and will always be), I started CritCon to separate the cream from the crap. The first CritCon newsletter was merely one typewritten xeroxed page that I passed out to my friends. By 1985 CritCon had mushroomed into a 20 page semi-pro magazine that had a circulation of about 1,000. The year 1985 was a turning point in the horror film business. It was the year that home video became wildly popular and forever changed the way we viewed movies. Cheap horror films were no longer being screened in theaters. Video distributors got wise and started releasing every cheap horror film they could get their hands on. I must have viewed over a thousand horror movies on video in 1985 alone! By 1987, I had burned-out writing about all the horror films that I had watched and ceased publishing CritCon with one final 100 page issue. By this time  there were plenty of other semi-pro magazines on the market that were covering the same market that I was. I took a much-needed rest from the writing game and began to read all these other magazines. For the next five years I kept a low profile but I was also becoming somewhat disillusioned. While some of these magazines flourished and were quite well done (Tim & Donna Lucas' VIDEO WATCHDOG, Mike Accomando's DREADFUL PLEASURES [now defunct]; Mike Weldon's PSYCHOTRONIC VIDEO [also now no longer publishing]), most were merely rants disguising themselves as film reviews. You would be lucky to get the name of the actor who starred in the films they were reviewing. Forget about getting the directing, producing or screenwriting credits because they were non-existant. They seemed more interested in raving about their political views or complaining about some insignificant pimple on their ass. By 1992, I'd had enough and decided to begin publishing Critical Condition on a semi-regular basis. I kept my own politics to a minimum (usually confined to the editorial page) and concentrated on the films and filmmakers themselves. Each issue of CritCon was jam-packed with reviews of films that you probably never heard of along with full cast and crew credits as well as original rare ad mats. CritCon accepted no advertising making it a complete read from the first page to the last. NOTE: After a long and hard look at the publishing business (or the "rip-off business" as I call it), I will no longer be publishing Critical Condition. It will now be completely web-based. I hope you enjoy this web site. If you do (or if you don't), drop me an e-mail and let me know what you think. Check back often to read the new reviews, news, scans and informative emails. NOTE #2: Now with the advent of "Publishing On Demand" there has been a new proliferation of genre zines flooding the market, some excellent and some self-serving. But bringing print back to horror is always a good thing and I wish these people nothing but the best of luck. I buy a lot of these POD zines and enjoy the hell out of them (check out Tim Paxton's MONSTER!, Brian Harris, Paxton and Tony Strauss' WENG'S CHOP and Billy & Vanessa Nocera's EVILSPEAK to read some of the best new zines on the market [look them up by name on Facebook for ordering information]), but don't look for me to revive CRITICAL CONDITION in print form. I'm a lazy bastard.

Fred Adelman
Editor & Publisher

PS: For all of you that have emailed me asking if I sell the films I review, the answer is NO!!!. I do this for the sheer joy of it and would never think of turning a profit off of something I love so dearly. While most of the films I review are available from reliable distributors, some of the films have been out of circulation for years and will probably never get a legal DVD release in the near or distant future. If you do not see a link to a distributor at the end of my reviews, I could probably make you a copy of the film on DVD-R (which will play on most DVD players sold in the last couple of years) if you have films to trade. Email me with your inquiries (I have over 7,500 films in my library) and I'll see what I can do for you. These films are to be distributed from one collector to another (Legal disclaimer). Don't expect crystal clarity as they are being copied from VHS to DVD-R and you may be able to get your hands on a film that you've been dying to see for many years. (Good news: I've completely turned all my VHS tapes to DVD-R, so you can probably get any film you want reviewed on this web site.) Good luck! To see my VHS and DVD library list (it's not complete and badly needs an updating), click HERE. You must have Microsoft Excel 2000 or later to view the file.

Want To Own Unique Pieces Of Film History? Click HERE and HERE For Amazing Deals! UPDATED!!!

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ODDS 'N' ENDS - BIASED MUSINGS OF ANYTHING ON MY MIND UPDATED! (Lots Of New Stuff Including: Lists Of The Best & Worst Remakes Of The New Millennium; the Best & Worst DTV Genre Films Shown on Cable TV, my thoughts on the 2014 - 2015 TV Season, and The Best Zines And Books of 2014.)

(Hundreds Of New Scans Added!)

Want To Own Unique Pieces Of Film History? Click HERE and HERE For Amazing Deals! UPDATED!!!


Contents © 1982 - 2015 One Eye Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Watch 12:01 BEYOND (unlike anything you have ever seen) by clicking HERE.
WWE Studios and Gene Simmons form partnership to make horror films. Read HERE.
R.I.P. BOB SIMON, CBS & 60 MINUTES reporter who was as good as they come. His livery cab crashed Wednesday night, February 11, 2015 in NYC and he died instantly. He was 73 years-old and won an amazing 24 Emmy Awards® for his reporting.
Could THE X-FILES be coming back to TV? Read HERE.
Goodbye Craig Ferguson and thanks for one hell of a sendoff after 10 years on THE LATE LATE SHOW! (It put Stephen Colbert's to shame.)
Suicide is never the answer, but I understand it. Read my thoughts HERE.
Nearly 100 years-old Sherlock Holmes film found in France. Read HERE.

 If you know someone who was a victim of Superstorm Sandy or the devastating tornado in Oklahoma, please make a donation to the Red Cross (www.redcross.org) to help the victims out. Even if you don't know someone who was affected, please still give. The Jersey Shore, of which I was a constant visitor from a young boy until a couple of years ago, is mostly gone and must be rebuilt. Miraculously, most of the Jersey and New York shoreline has been rebuilt and will be ready for Summer, but to these old eyes, it will never be the same again. The town of Moore, Oklahoma is nearly completely destroyed and must also be rebuilt. Please, I beg of you to give if you have the money to spare. I know money is tight, but think of these poor victims who lost everything. Including hope. Without hope, there is nothing. UPDATE: 80% of the boardwalk in the Jersey Shore town of Seaside Heights burned down on August 12, 2013 due to corroded electrical wires caused by Superstorm Sandy the previous year. Many of the businesses there were just getting back on their feet due to Superstorm Sandy a year earlier. They need your help more than ever. Please give generously to the Red Cross and mention Seaside Heights in your donation..

FORREST J. ACKERMAN  1916 - 2008, R.I.P.

PAUL NASCHY (Jacinto Molina Alvarez)  1934 - 2009, R.I.P.


To see a comprehensive up-to-date 2014 Obituary List, Click HERE.
To see a comprehensive up-to-date 2015 Obituary List, Click HERE.

R.I.P. DONNA DOUGLAS  09/26/1933 - 01/01/2015
R.I.P. ROD TAYLOR  01/11/1930 - 01/07/2015
R.I.P. SAMUEL GOLDWYN JR.  09/07/1926 - 01/09/2015
R.I.P. TAYLOR NEGRON  08/01/1957 - 01/10/2015
R.I.P. BRIAN CLEMENS  07/30/1931 - 01/10/2015
R.I.P. ANITA EKBERG  09/29/1931 - 01/11/2015
R.I.P. LOUIS JOURDAN  06/19/1921 - 02/14/2015
R.I.P. LEONARD NIMOY  03/26/1931 - 02/27/2015
R.I.P. RICHARD BAKALYAN  01/29/1931 - 02/27/2015
R.I.P. DANIEL VON BARGEN  06/05/1950 - 02/28/2015
R.I.P. SAM SIMON  06/06/1955 - 03/08/2015
R.I.P. IB MELCHIOR  09/17/1917 - 03/13/2015
R.I.P. WALTER GRAUMAN  03/17/1922 - 03/20/2015
R.I.P. GREGORY WALCOTT  01/13/1928 - 03/20/2015
R.I.P. ALBERTA WATSON  03/06/1955 - 03/21/2015

Since I just rejoined Facebook and have been out of the loop for a while, my friend Mario Dominick has informed me that filmmaker Andy Copp has passed away and he took his own life on January 19, 2013. Andy and I never met in person, but we traded many films and talked for hours on the Internet. I know he didn't have the very best upbringing and continuing heart problems and the loss of his mother a couple of years ago really took a toll on him. He always had suicidal thoughts ever since I have known him (we always talked about my second wife's father's suicide and another at my place of work and the feelings I had for both of them), but when he was behind a camera, it was cathartic for him. His trouble getting funding for his last film could have been a trigger for his suicide (I can only speculate), but when you take your own life, it hurts everyone who has known and loved him, including myself. I only wish Andy could have been recognised as the major talent he really was and my thoughts go out to everyone who knew and loved him. R.I.P. Andy. I can only hope you are happy where you are. You deserved happiness.

Porn star/actor Ron "the Hedgehog" Jeremy is in the hospital after driving himself to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, with chestClick Photo For Bigger Image pains. He is in intensive care and on a respirator after doctors performed two heart surgeries. Doctors also said the next couple of days will determine if Jeremy will be taken off the respirator and be able to breathe on his own. I'm not a religious man, but my thoughts are with him. Those of you that are religious, put your porn bias aside (if you have one) and pray that he fully recovers. Jeremy appeared in over 1,700 porn films/featurettes and was slowly becoming a legitimate actor (ANDRE THE BUTCHER [2005] being one of his legit films). I hope he makes it, because I always liked the guy whenever I ran into him at conventions. Some women porn stars, both past and present don't share my sentimentality, but put your disgust aside and hope he has better days ahead of him. UPDATE: Jeremy is doing fine and is off the respirator, but he will be spending some significant time at the hospital to recuperate from two aneurism surgeries, according to his 94 year-old father. UPDATE #2: Jeremy is now out of the hospital and making films once again. Even though he is officially "retired" from porn films, he is still in demand for starring or making cameos in low-budget independent movies like the funny GIRLS GONE DEAD.

Is it just me or does everyone understand the conundrum of Visual Effects house Rhythm & Hues winning the Academy Award for best visual effects for the film LIFE OF PI (2012), yet they had to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection? Hey, I'm not a big proponent of CGI, but when it is done well, so well that you don't even notice it is CGI, a place like Rythm & Hues should be commended, not go out of business. It just proves that movie making is a tricky gamble, with studios conveniently blaming effects houses for holding up production, yet the studios fail to mention that they have changed the release date to sometime earlier or some other financial mumbo-jumbo shit developed by studio financial lawyers in $1,000 suits that makes effect houses employees work overtime to the point of exhaustion. I believe all VFX companies should go on strike, just to see how many summer blockbusters would be released. My bet would be zero. Hell, even regular films use visual effects to a certain degree. These people should be applauded, not be out of a job. UPDATE: Since the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection of Rhythm & Hues (It looks like it will be purchased by a company in Mumbai, India), several other effect houses have closed-up shop or cut staff. Phil Tippett Studios has cut their staff by 40%. Tippett Studios will remain in California, but many of the VFX companies are being purchased by companies in China and India (So what else is new? China owns half of the United States anyway.) so they can apply the newest technology to their films (and maybe steal some tech in the process). The only good point I can see in this whole mess is that maybe practical effects will make a major comback in films (although it is nearly impossible to use practical effects if you are showing landscapes of a different time period, like the 1800's). The bad points I see in this is that CGI could look like the stuff in Asylum Films or SyFy Original Movies. Now that would really suck! UPDATE #2: February 25, 2014: To show just how badly Rhythm & Hues failed and declared bankruptcy (I challenge anyone to show me one instance when you didn't think that tiger was real. Just one instance.), two former employees have made a YouTube documentary called “Life After Pi”. Just go to YouTube and type in the title. I guarantee you will be devastated. It's only 30 minutes long, but will stay with you forever.

Valerie Harper is facing a devastating diagnosis: terminal brain cancer. The television icon, Click For Larger Photobeloved for her role as brash New Yorker Rhoda Morgenstern on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW and its spin-off, RHODA, received the news on Jan. 15, 2013 she revealed to PEOPLE. A battery of tests revealed she has leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare condition that occurs when cancer cells spread into the fluid-filled membrane surrounding the brain. Her doctors say she has as little as three months left to live. Resolved to face her last days with courage and humor, "I don't think of dying," says the actress, 73, who previously battled lung cancer in 2009. "I think of being here now." (I was never a big fan of Moore's or Harper's TV shows, but she was also an excellent actress, appearing in such films as FREEBIE AND THE BEAN - 1974; NIGHT TERROR - 1977; DON'T GO TO SLEEP - 1982; THE EXECUTION - 1985; THE PEOPLE ACROSS THE LAKE - 1988; MY FUTURE BOYFRIEND - 2011; SHIVER - 2012; as well as dozens of TV show appearances. It breaks my heart every time I hear news like this. UPDATE: It's now June of 2013 and I'm happy to say that Valerie Harper is still alive, defying doctors' predictions. UPDATE #2: August 29, 2013: Doctors have said that Valerie Harper's brain cancer is "close to remission", but say the prognosis could change at any time. To say I am happy for Ms. Harper is an understatement and apparently she is back at work on TV and is even appearing as a contestant on DANCING WITH THE STARS. While I am not a big fan of the series, here's to wishing that she wins the competition [she didn't]. She has handled herself with grace, gratitude and, above all, with a sense of humor. People could learn a thing or two from her behavior. UPDATE #3: February 25, 2014: Ms. Harper is still alive and kicking, proving once again to never believe your doctor. Your brain has ways of fighting off the most horrid of conditions. May she live a long and healthy life. - Editor)

HANNIBAL just got harder to find in Utah. KSL TV, the Salt Lake City NBC affiliate which has previously vetoed THE PLAYBOY CLUB (2011; NBC only aired 7 episodes before canceling it) and THE NEW NORMAL (2012 - 2013; NBC just announced that there wouldn't be a second season) over content issues, announced on its Facebook page that it will no longer be airing the spin on SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. "After viewing the past few episodes, as well as receiving numerous complaints from viewers, KSL TV will cancel the airing of the NBC show HANNIBAL on Thursday evenings," reads the post. "This decision was made due to the extensive graphic nature of this show. The time slot will be replaced with a special edition of KSL 5 News at 9 p.m. NBC remains a valued partner to KSL TV. KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so." KSL is owned by Bonneville International Corporation, a Church of Latter-day Saints company. The Mormon ownership and largely Mormon audience in the market make the move a not entirely unsurprising one. Ahead of the 2012-13 season, KSL preemptively pulled Ryan Murphy's gay couple comedy NEW NORMAL for what it called "rude and crude dialogue." As it has in the past, KUCW (an Ogden-licensed station with ties to The CW, ABC and NBC) has picked up KSL's discards. The affiliate will air HANNIBAL on Saturday nights after fellow NBC series SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. This is not the first preemption news for HANNIBAL. At the insistence of showrunner Bryan Fuller, NBC decided opted not to air an April 25 episode about violent children out of respect for bombing at the Boston Marathon. Parts of the episode were later repurposed for a series of web shorts. (This is exactly what happens when you let a major network affiliate use their religion as an excuse for not showing network programs. I don't care whether they are Mormons, Christians, Jews, Muslim or Hindi, they have no business dictating what the audience should or shouldn't see, even if a small minority of the viewers voice their complaints. If they want to own a TV station, let them show nothing but religious programs. Lord knows there are plenty of them! As for HANNIBAL showrunner Bryan Fuller refusing to show Episode 4 out of "respect" for the bombing at the Boston Marathon, my feelings can be read HERE. NOTE: Season 3 of the show will not be shown until the Summer of 2015, but don't fear that the show is in jeopardy. It's a smart move by NBC to show original programming during the Summer, where there is a lack of new scripted TV series and is usually populated by idiotic reality programming and repeats. I predict that HANNIBAL will get better ratings during the Summer than it would during its usual late-Winter/early-Spring showing. - Editor)

Talk about a sign of things to come. According to the IMDB regarding Marvel's IRON MAN 3 (2013): "The film was heavily edited for Chinese audiences. The Chinese edit has additional scenes featuring the character Dr. Wu and his assistant (played by Chinese stars Xueqi Wang and Bingbing Fan respectively)." This was a money-making decision by Paramount/Walt Disney Productions to cave-in to China for finally letting more of their theaters show American-made films. The gamble paid off. The film was the highest grossing film overseas, especially in China (as of this writing, it was close to grossing one billion dollars). I don't know about you, but this seems a little dangerous to me. More and more American films are opening overseas before making their United States debut (corporate greed once again raises its ugly head) and cow-towing to China to give them their own version of the film, especially since it was successful, opens the floodgates for other films to do the same thing. I don't know about you, but I want to see a film as it was originally made, not an altered version made for a communist country. Imagine the possibilities in the future. We already owe China billions of dollars that our government borrowed from them (not to mention that they own a huge amount of American real estate) and now we are giving them films in versions that we think they will appreciate. I'll only be satisfied when the Chinese people are as free as we are (Cutting ties with North Korea would be a nice start). Giving them altered films to appease their palate is the last thing we should be doing. This is not the same thing as movies making both clothed and naked versions of scenes in their films (especially European films during the 60's & 70's); this is about changing the actual plot of a film which, again, is a dangerous proposition. At least in my opinion. DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YOU DEPT.: Chinese actress Li Bingbing has been cast in TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (2014). The news was first reported by China’s m1905.com, a state-owned film site. The casting comes during recent high-profile efforts to court and increase Chinese interest in Hollywood tent-poles: IRON MAN 3 was shot with footage specifically for the country, which is now the world’s second-largest film market. Meanwhile, TRANSFORMERS 4 CHINESE ACTORS TALENT SEARCH REALITY SHOW will air Summer 2013, a reality TV competition to cast four speaking roles in the upcoming film, which jettisons franchise star Shia LaBeouf in favor of Mark Wahlberg. Bay also intends to shoot in China, which will help it qualify as a Sino-U.S. co-production and thus avoid the country’s import quota on foreign films, which is designed in part to promote its own domestic (and relatively much less lucrative) film industry. Bingbing’s role wasn’t specified by the story Paramount, though the news is surely more evidence that the film’s plot is headed East. One request: No more racist robots. UPDATE: EW has confirmed the casting. “I am excited to have Li Bingbing join our cast and to be shooting portions of the movie in her native China,” Bay said in a statement. Said Bingbing: “I am very happy to be able to join this international production. Thank you Paramount for the invitation!” (And it starts. - Editor) UPDATE #2: Prime Focus will open a new office in Beijing later this year, the visual-effects company said Wednesday. In addition to effects work, Prime Focus said it will also offer 3D conversion and animation work. The company, which has worked on recent big-budget films such as THE GREAT GATSBY and WORLD WAR Z expects to open its doors in the third quarter of 2013. The move is only the latest in a series of Hollywood investments in China, which surpassed Japan last year to become the second largest market for films. Lured by its burgeoning population of moviegoers and its financial resources, companies like DreamWorks Animation and Legendary Entertainment are establishing Chinese footholds. Prime Focus will team up on the venture with Hong Kong-based private equity firm AID Partners Capital and its Chinese partner Zhejiang Jingqi Wenhua Chuanbo Company. In March, Prime Focus announced that AID Partners had made a $10 million equity investment in return for a stake in the visual-effects company. “We are enthusiastic about the shared opportunities our expansion into China brings,” Namit Malhotra, founder of Prime Focus, said in a statement. "We have always recognized the advantages that globalization coupled with intense localization brings and have evolved our business strategy accordingly. After India, Europe and North America, China was the growth story waiting to happen." Prime Focus also maintains offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, London and Mumbai. UPDATE #3: March 6, 2014: In the latest linkup between Hollywood and the booming Chinese film business, Walt Disney Studios has struck a multi-year deal with Shanghai Media Group Pictures to co-develop Disney-branded movies for China and other markets.  Under the deal, Burbank-based Disney Studios will partner U.S. screenwriters with writers and directors in China to co-develop film projects that are essentially Disney, yet contain "Chinese elements." Also: In one of the biggest China-Hollywood teamups so far, a spokesperson for Chinese production company Huayi Brothers says it plans to inject between $120 million and $150 million in Studio 8, a firm to be launched by former Warner Bros. film studio chief Jeff Robinov. “Once Huayi Brothers become the shareholder of Studio 8, Huayi will be responsible for the issue of all its movies in Greater China,” a Huayi Brothers spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. The spokesperson said the details of the agreement have not been finalized and the timing remains unclear. ("Chinese elements"? Isn't that just film-speak for cow-towing to Chinese demands? It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The Chinese have conquered everything else. Why not the American Film Business? - Editor) UPDATE #4: June 23, 2014: John Cleese, founding member of Monty Python and eminence grise of British comedy, has taken aim at one of the U.K.'s most beloved film franchises: James Bond. The 74-year-old actor said he believes the Bond films have sacrificed their signature English wit in order to pander to the booming movie markets of Asia. In an interview with the U.K.'s Radio Times magazine, Cleese said: "I did two James Bond movies and then I believe that they decided that the tone they needed was that of the Bourne action movies, which are very gritty and humorless. Also the big money was coming from Asia, from the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, where the audiences go to watch the action sequences, and that's why in my opinion the action sequences go on for too long, and it's a fundamental flaw. The audiences in Asia are not going for the subtle British humor or the class jokes." Cleese played Bond's gadget guru Q in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999) and DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002). Both films performed well at the box office, but have paled in comparison to blockbuster Bond films of the Daniel Craig era. Whatever Cleese's gripes, the international strategy behind any shift in tone for the Bond franchise appears to be working, financially. The latest installment, SKYFALL, grossed $304 million in the U.S. and $804 million internationally. It is also the highest-grossing film ever at the U.K. box office. (Sometimes making money is not the answer. It's why they switch the formula to fit the world's biggest film market and pander to their needs while ignoring everyone else's. The film world is changing. And not for the better. The newest TRANSFORMERS film runs a mind-numbing 2 hours and 45 minutes and much of it takes place in Hong Kong. Just who was Michael Bay catering to? - Editor). Just last week, Zhang Hongsen, a director at the powerful regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), said 2014 was “the year when the battle between Hollywood and China really begins.” He called on theater chain owners not to give TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION 100 percent of the screening time and encouraged them to help boost locally made products. However, theater chain owners seem happier to reap the rewards of the growing popularity of the Transformers franchise. Many multiplexes showed the film in all their theaters. Based on a trawl of Beijing venues, THE BREAK-UP GURU was seemingly the only Chinese movie available -- with just a couple of showings at that. The movie’s success was boosted by the decision to weave strong Chinese elements into TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, such as using popular actress Li Bingbing and heartthrob Han Geng, and choosing young actors in the fourth installment via a Chinese reality TV show. It also premiered in Hong Kong and closed the Shanghai International Film Festival, and also opened day-and-date with the rest of the world. Chinese theater owners ignored the Film Bureau’s call not to give too many screens to TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, as the Paramount tentpole notched up the biggest opening weekend ever for a foreign movie with a gross of $90 million. The $90 million haul in just three days puts it within striking distance of the biggest ever opening in China, which is the $106 million that Stephen Chow’s JOURNEY TO THE WEST: CONQUERING THE DEMONS grossed in its first week (It performed poorly in the States, taking in less than $100,000 in seven theaters in about two months). It is is shaping up to be a big year for Hollywood in China, the world’s second largest market. (Didn't I warn you? China is now where most of our Summer blockbusters will be made for. - Editor)

The Twitterverse and other social media sites were all aflutter over the July, 11, 2013 premiere of SyFy's latest cheesefest original film SHARKNADO, another one of The Asylum's ultra-cheap CGI monster flicks. All manner of celebrities were Tweeting and Facebooking humorous posts about this film, making it look to be the best thing other than sliced bread. Unfortunately, they seem to be the only ones  who actually watched it, because the ratings were a paltry 1.4 million viewers, no different than any other SyFy original film (Which they moved from Saturday nights to Thursday nights). It seems the days when the Internet could attribute to the success of a movie (like it did for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT - 1999) are over. It reminds me of all the Internet buzz for SNAKES ON A PLANE (2006), which then went on to fail miserably in theaters (and that was a pretty entertaining movie, unlike these SyFy films). It just proves one thing: You can give a film the most humorous name you can think of, but if it isn't good, people won't watch it. I expect that The Asylum will churn out more of these grade-school CGI films as long as SyFy will air them. With all the coverage this film got on the TV news and entertainment programs after the fact, and because it caused a frenzy on Twitter, why wouldn't they? Any publicity is good publicity in the film business. UPDATE: A sequel has already been announced (A repeat of the film, shown Thursday, July 18 at 7 PM EST, drew 1.7 million viewers and a later showing drew over 2 million viewers), this time taking place in New York City. Stars Ian Ziering and Tara Reid, screenwriter Thunder Levin and director Anthony C. Ferrente are all slated to return because, really, what else do they have to do? UPDATE #2: SHARKNADO is getting a one-night-only cinema replay, with Regal Entertainment Group set to stage midnight showings of the creature feature on about 200 screens on Friday night, Aug. 2, 2013. Tickets are priced at $12.50 apiece, hoping to build a potential of having another ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW type of franchise on their hands. (Anyone who would spend $12.50 to see this piece of crap in a theater deserves their fate. It will never achieve the status ROCKY HORROR did because, let's face it, SHARKNADO stinks on ice - Editor) UPDATE #3: Apparently, the theatrical showing of SHARKNADO sold out in the one theater showing it in New York City, so they added two more showings. Theater owners and reporters are calling it the new ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. (Listen, selling 600 tickets in one theater is not a complete success, no matter how they spin it. Just factoring-in the lookie-loos and people who have never seen it and wanted to know what all the hub-bub was about probably accounts for half the ticket sales. Tell me it is a success when it plays in more than a couple hundred of theaters across the U.S. and sustains its popularity over the years like ROCKY HORROR did. Until then, you can put a pretty bow on a pig......- Editor) UPDATE #4: February 21, 2014: Apparently, the sequel, SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE (They held a contest and everything and this is the best title they can come up with folks! Proving once again that there are no really true fans of the first film, otherwise this one would have a much catchier title.), is filming in New York City. I'm sure The Asylum is going all out to throw money into the city's economy. And if you believe that, I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. Most of these film are made for less money than it would cost at the craft table of an A-production. I wouldn't be surprised if the city's new mayor, Bill "Do as I say, not as I do" DeBlasio, is having the police handing the crew jaywalking tickets left and right to fill up the hurting city's coffers. Hell, The Asylum is even running contests for free walk-on roles, which is essentially begging for unpaid background actors. Could they be more cheap? How they got Judd Hirsch (I watched a YouTube video with footage of Hirsch with a rope around his stomach while standing on a cab and he looks like "What the hell did my agent get me into?") and Viveca A. Fox to do cameos still has me scratching my head, but it doesn't surprise me that they got Andy Dick, Judah Friedlander, Kelly Osbourne and Mark McGrath to appear in this crap. (SyFy plans on showing the film on July 31, 2014 and you can be sure they will be playing up the Twitter angle. But I bet people have grown tired of the whole experience and have finally seen the first film for the lousy movie it actually is. Still, expect SyFy to play this movie up like the second coming of Christ, only this Christ has sharp teeth and fins. And failing miserably. You can't create a cult film, it has to become one and I'm betting both of these films will be nothing but an asterisk in most film reference materials in the near future. The DVD & Blu-Ray release of the first film got more one star reviews than five star reviews on Amazon.com and most of those that gave it five stars said it was terrible, but in a way that makes you want to see if it gets any worse. And it does.) UPDATE #5: March 8, 2014: Somehow they got comedian/actor Robert Klein (as the ex-Mayor of NYC) and wrestler Kurt Angle to join the cast. (If the madness doesn't stop soon, this film will be known as the ISHTAR of 2014 [except, of course, the entire film cost less than Dustin Hoffman's salary in that 1987 film.]). UPDATE #6: April 12, 2014: The producers behind SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE are seeking $50,000 on the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo to shoot a bonus scene with “chainsaws being used in the vicinity of sharks. The extra scene will only be shot if the small studio (The Asylum) reaches its goal in 48 days. In return for pledges, donors can get a shark named after them ($45), record a scream to be heard in the TV movie ($120), tape a walk-on role on either a “death scene or heroic scene” ($5,000) and be credited with a much coveted associate producer title ($25,000). (Sounds to me that The Asylum bit off a little too much than they can chew. Begging for money on a crowdfunding site? Sounds a little suspicious to me.) UPDATE #7: May 08, 2014: SyFy has ordered SHARKNADO 3  before the second one has even been shown. (Ugh.) UPDATE #8: March 13, 2015: Over a week into a strike on the Syfy sequel, producers The Asylum have sunk their teeth into IATSE over the labor action – and it looks like they intend to draw blood. “To accuse me, my partners, or my company of somehow being anti-union is insulting and untrue,” said Asylum COO and SHARKNADO 3 producer Paul Bales in a long and detailed statement today. Seemingly disinterested in reaching a deal with the strikers, Bales says that the bad experience the company had dealing with IATSE’s NYC local on 2014’s SHARKNADO 2 is what made them decide to go non-union with this sequel, which is set to air on Syfy this summer. “The IATSE’s actions on this film have confirmed that we made the right decision,” he adds. Citing his own union background, Bales on Friday also claimed that the union is guilty of “cyberbullying, threats&ldots;verbal asylum logoand physical intimidation, staged pedestrian accidents, and mysteriously flattened tires” against those who replaced the crew who walked off the job on March 3. Seeking a union contract, IATSE has picketed Asylum’s Burbank offices as well as SHARKNADO 3 shoots in L.A. and D.C. Here's Bales'original screed against the IATSE: "Before I started with The Asylum, I worked at Screen Actors Guild for almost 10 years; first as a contracts representative, and then as Director of SAGIndie. In fact, I was instrumental in unionizing the SAG business reps and still consider myself a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Five years prior to that I was West Coast Representative for the American Guild of Variety Artists. The Asylum, at my insistence, has voluntarily signed agreements with all of the entertainment unions and guilds when the budgets allowed. And while other studios have moved to Canada or elsewhere, we have chosen to keep our production business in the United States. So, to accuse me, my partners, or my company of somehow being anti-union is insulting and untrue. It is true that SHARKNADO 2 was made under an IATSE contract. However, dealing with the New York City locals was the worst experience we’ve had in making over 200 movies. After all of the manipulation and bullying, inefficiency, overcharging, lying, and featherbedding, we had absolutely no desire to repeat this experience on SHARKNADO 3. The IATSE’s actions on this film have confirmed that we made the right decision. Unmotivated by the crew themselves, the IATSE pulled the union members working on the film and coerced most of the non-union crew not to cross the picket line by claiming that they would never be able to join the union in the future. The replacement crew and the crew who have continued to work have been subject to everything from cyberbullying, threats, objects being thrown at them, verbal and physical intimidation, staged pedestrian accidents, and mysteriously flattened tires. Most disturbingly, the majority of the vitriol has been directed at the women on our crew, including the posting of their photographs, phone numbers, and license plate numbers to invite their harassment. Furthermore, of the 30-40 picketers who paraded around our sets in Los Angeles and Washington and our production offices, only about three or four of them had any prior involvement in this project. The crew was replaced within a day and production has continued unabated. The delivery and release of the film is not, and has never been, in jeopardy. The only thing the IATSE’s 1920s shakedown tactics have achieved is the unemployment of our original crew, erroneous stories planted in the press, and the persecution of a young and dedicated crew who want nothing more than to be a part of the cinematic history that is the Sharknado phenomenon."  It didn’t take long for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to respond to dismissive and disparaging remarks from SHARKNADO 3 producer The Asylum earlier today. “This new collection of lies is nothing more than an anti-union screed,” the union bluntly said Friday in a statement about the more than weeklong labor action. With this war of words as well as picket lines and replacement workers in the mix, it’s going to be a very long walk back from where both sides are now. Here’s the full statement from Vanessa Holtgrewe, Assistant Director of the IATSE Motion Picture Department: "Once again, The Asylum distinguishes themselves as not only misrepresenting the truth but outright lying about the facts. The IATSE stands with the original crew of SHARKNADO 3 who voted overwhelmingly for union representation. Many of the crew were on the picket lines in Los Angeles day after day, and their Facebook page, Strikenado, is filled with their testimonies, as well as those who have had the displeasure of working for The Asylum before. Like The Asylum’s original statement which mocked this hardworking crew, this new collection of lies is nothing more than an anti-union screed." (Well, I guess with fame comes all the pluses and minuses that go with it. If you are going to make a proper film, you need the IATSE. Every other legitimate production company has used them and it looks like The Asylum wants to stay independent, hire scabs and not work with Unions. Well, Asylum, you can't have your cake and eat it too. A tough lesson I hope they learn. If not, they will have to go back making no-budget mocumentaries. Which they will when they keep on refusing to work with Unions. Pay particular attention to where Bales mentions that he has voluntarily signed agreements with all of the entertainment unions and guilds when the budgets allowed. Looking over their catalog of titles, it seems like this is only the second time that The Asylum has ever worked with Unions. And staying in the U.S. instead of going to Canada? Well, that explanation is simple. They just didn't have a travel budget and most of their films were filmed here in the U.S. under the Union radar for what most films pay for craft services. Sounds like it has all caught up with them. Could this be the end of The Asylum as we know it?)

October 10, 2013: AFM: Why the Found-Footage Genre Is Here to Stay. EXISTS, a Big Foot-themed chiller from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT co-director Eduardo Sanchez, is among the projects making a splash at this year's market. The found-footage film has been declared dead more than once, but at AFM the low-budget horror genre is in rude health, with a stream of new projects continuing to find buzz and buyers worldwide. Case in point: EXISTS, the Big Foot-themed chiller from THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT co-director Eduardo Sanchez – the grandfather of the found-footage movement – which International Film Trust sold to eOne in the U.K. and looks set to close worldwide by the end of the market. Sanchez may be a found-footage pioneer, but he, like most of the industry, largely abandoned the genre after BLAIR WITCH spawned a horde of copycat titles, none of which set box offices alight. (EXISTS went directly to VOD and refuses to reveal the financial status of the film). “The genre really didn't jell for Hollywood until maybe CLOVERFIELD, nine years later,” Sanchez tells The Hollywood Reporter. “But now you are seeing a new generation of found footage directors who are taking what [Blair Witch co-director] Daniel Myrick and I began and taking it to a whole new level.” Sanchez contributed an episode to found-footage omnibus feature V/H/S/2 (direct to limited theatrical/VOD; it made $21,833 in 12 theaters; the second sequel, V/H/S: VIRAL made even less money theatrically), which Memento Film International has had little problem selling worldwide. Other buzzy indie FF titles include [REC4] APOCALYPSE ("Limited theatrical/VOD" release; made $837 in 5 theaters), the concluding chapter in the hit Spanish franchise, which Filmax unveiled to buyers at this market, and AFFLICTED, the found-footage-with-vampires movie that premiered at Toronto's Midnight Madness section and immediately sold to CBS Films for the U.S. (It also went directly to the "limited theatrical/VOD" release, making an anemic $121,179 theatrically). “This is still the only genre where you can have a $4 million film and go and do $50 million at the box office,” says Marc Schipper, chief operating officer at Exclusive Media, which is shopping found-footage title PROJECT BLUE BOOK at AFM, explaining the inherent appeal of the genre (It looks like the film has been abandoned). The studios have certainly embraced it. Paramount continues to ride the Paranormal gravy train, with the latest, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES (making $90,904,854worldwide in theatrical release on a $5 million budget; which would make it the highest-grossing film in the titles listed here), a Latin-themed spinoff of the tentpole found-footage franchise ($718 million worldwide gross and counting) set to bow Jan. 3, 2014 and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 5 slotted for an Oct. 24, 2014 release (NOTE: It has been retitled PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION and has been moved to a March 13, 2015 release; not a good sign). Paramount is also pushing ahead with PROJECT ALMANAC, a found-footage meets time-travel title, for which rising talents Jonny Weston and Sofia Black-D’Elia are in negotiations to star (It also bombed at the boxoffice during the weekend of January 31 to Febuary 2, 2015, making around 8.5 million dollars in 2,893 theaters in its first week, with an estimated budget of $12 million). Warner Bros. tornado disaster found-footage pic INTO THE STORM ($47,602,194 in boxoffice receipts, but still not reaching that "$50 Million" plateau, since it was one of the most expensive found footage films to make, with an estimated $50 million budget), from Steven Quale (FINAL DESTINATION 5), will rip through theaters Aug. 8, 2014 and DreamWorks, after winning a bidding war for the found footage sci-fi project GLIMMER, penned by Carter Blanchard, is looking to begin shooting this summer, with Shameless star Jeremy Allen White attached (as of January 2015, the film was still listed as being in "pre-production" and Jeremy Allen White's name is nowhere to be found). “I definitely think found footage is here to stay this time,” says Sanchez. “I think it will change into something different, maybe a mix of found footage with conventional filmmaking, but that's where the next big thing is going to come from.” (And this is the exact reason why the horror film genre is going down the crapper. "Found-footage" is starting to affect other genres of films, too. Anything for a quick buck, even if it means extreme nausea and migraines for the audience. What's next, a found footage movie filmed in 3D? How much punishment does an audience have to take? UPDATE: Well, apparently not too much more, since almost all the films listed above did poorly at the boxoffice or went directly to Video On Demand. It seems the days of these "found footage" films making $50 million are long gone and audiences are tired of watching them while popping Tylenol. - Editor)

November 24, 2013: Hard to believe that FAMILY GUY would kill off their beloved dog Brian, but that is just what they did in the latest episode shown this day and it seems not to be a publicity stunt. He really is dead. Now I don't know the reasoning behind doing such a thing on an animated series, especially when no one ever ages on these shows (Bart has remained a ten year-old on THE SIMPSONS for twenty-three years!), but I wondered why they picked Brian? Was it because it was a dog and he would get the mostR.I.P   Brian Griffin

   1999 - 2013 sympathy? The episodes with him and Stewie out and about throughout the world were some of the best parts of the show and gave Seth MacFarland the chance to sing his heart out. Those days are long gone unless they can come up with a way to bring another dog into the show. Maybe Brian can be reincarnated into another puppy and start making mischief all over again, Needless to say, the ending was emotional, as well as hilarious (showing Brian's antics throughout the years in black & white flashbacks), but when a beloved character from an animated show you use to love (I haven't watched it in about three years because Sundays are crowded with good shows), but I DVRd this episode and it did leave a lump in my throat. Somehow, it was like losing a member of the family. R.I.P. Brian Griffin  1999 - 2013. (Let's not even talk about Taraji P. Henson's Detective Joss Carter's death on PERSON OF INTEREST a few days before this happened. That came as a total surprise, too, as well as Patrick Jane's [Simon Baker] killing of "Red John" on the episode of THE MENTALIST shown the same night as Brian's death.) I know they plan to kill off another character on THE SIMPSONS this season, but since it has such a huge cast, the death won't mean as much as Brian's. Let's just hope this doesn't become a trend. There have been a few memorable deaths of TV characters throughout the years, including the one-armed man in THE FUGITIVE (1967); Lt. Colonel Henry Blake's (McLean Stevenson) on M*A*S*H in 1977; Agent Caitlin Todd's (Sasha Alexander) unexpected head shot on NCIS in 2005; the murder of Agent Aaron Hotchner's (Thomas Gibson) wife Haley (Meredith Monroe) at the hands of The Reaper (C. Thomas Howell) on CRIMINAL MINDS (2009); Eddard 'Ned' Stark's (Sean Bean) beheading in GAME OF THRONES (2012; not to mention the "Red Wedding" episode in 2013); the murder of James 'Jimmy' Darmody (Michael Pitt) on BOARDWALK EMPIRE (2012; also the death of Richard Harrow [Jack Huston] in the fourth season finale) and a few others, but I personally will never get use to it. We have enough death in real life when it comes to family and friends. Do we need it on our TV family, too? UPDATE: December 15, 2013: Yes, we were all taken for a phony ride, when it was revealed that Stewie used his time machine to bring Brian back to life. So much for killing off a major character. I don't know if I should be happy that Brian is alive or livid at Seth MacFarland pulling a fast one on his audience.

December 3, 2013: A new study unveiled by The Library of Congress notes that a scant 14 percent of the feature films produced and distributed in the U.S. from 1912 - 1929 exist in their original 35mm format. That’s only 1,575 of the 11,000 or so features made during this nascent era of cinema, according to “The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912-1929,” the first comprehensive report of its kind. Meanwhile, 5 percent (or 562 films) of those that have survived in their original 35mm format are incomplete, and 11 percent of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (1927)

Considered A Lost Film Forever.the films that are complete (1,174) only exist as foreign versions or in lower-quality formats. “The Library of Congress can now authoritatively report that the loss of American silent-era feature films constitutes an alarming and irretrievable loss to our nation’s cultural record,” Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a statement. “We have lost most of the creative record from the era that brought American movies to the pinnacle of world cinematic achievement in the 20th century.” The study was commissioned by the National Film Preservation Board and written by historian and archivist David Pierce. Pierce also prepared an online inventory of information on archival, commercial and private holdings — who has custody of what films, how complete they are, the films’ formats and where the best surviving copies can be found. The hope is that this database will facilitate the repatriation of lost American movies. Films initially thought lost have been found in Australia, New Zealand, France and elsewhere. In August 2011, for example, it was revealed that the first three reels of Alfred Hitchcock’s THE WHITE SHADOW (1924) had turned up among a cache of unidentified American nitrate prints safeguarded at the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington. The Czech Republic has the largest collection of American silent films found outside the U.S., the study discovered. “This report is invaluable because the artistry of silent film is essential to our culture,” director and film-preservation advocate Martin Scorsese said in a statement. “Any time a silent picture by some miracle turns up, it reminds us of the treasures we’ve already lost. It also gives us hope that others may beCLEOPATRA (1917)

Considered Lost Forever. discovered. “The research presented in this report serves as a road map to finding silent films we once thought were gone forever and encourages creative partnerships between archives and the film industry to save silent cinema. Among the most notable silent films considered lost in their complete form are Lon Chaney’s LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT (1927); THE PATRIOT (1928), directed by Ernst Lubitsch; CLEOPATRA (1917), starring Theda Bara as the Queen of Egypt; THE GREAT GATSBY (1926), released a year after the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel was first published; and all four of Clara Bow’s features produced in 1928, including LADIES OF THE MOB. Silent-screen legend Mary Pickford paid for the preservation of her films, ensuring that most of them survived. Of her 48 features, eight were lost from the first three years of her career. Pickford’s 1911 short, THEIR FIRST MISUNDERSTANDING, was discovered in a New Hampshire barn and has been preserved by the Library of Congress. And famed director Cecil B. DeMille showed great foresight when he mandated that production company Famous Players-Lasky strike prints of his films for his personal archive when he exited to form his own company in 1925. He kept the prints in a concrete vault in his Hollywood home, and more than 40 of his early features have survived. Said DeMille in a 1956 speech: “The [motion picture] industry will not come of age until it makes a determined effort to keep its own great classics alive -- and to present them regularly to the public in a manner worthy of their merit and worthy of the great names who made them.” (And we still have problems finding usable film prints of films from the 1960's, 1970's & 1980's for release on DVD and Blu-Ray. Films are an important part of our planet's history. To let them dissolve into vinegar or to throw them away like trash is one of the world's biggest tragedies. - Editor)

December 27, 2013: Fuck DUCK DYNASTY and the entire Robertson clan with their ancient views on gays, lesbians and blacks. That shit went out the window years ago and giving them an outlet to espouse their hurtful words amounts to nothing less than political correctness gone amuck. Once again religion triumphs over reason. And a special "Fuck YOU!" goes out to the A&E Network for lifting Phil Robertson's "suspension" less than ten days after they initiated it for the main reason that the Robertson clan threatened to move their show to another network if their patriarch was not reinstated. A&E promised Public Service Announcements for tolerance towards Gays and Blacks, but hasn't said if the Robertson clan would be part of those PSAs. If they aren't, what's the point? One can see DUCK DYNASTY

Religion or Reality

(or are they the same?)

the dollar signs in any corporate bigwig in A&E's eyes as they get to keep their precious money-maker and try to appease GLAAD and the NAACP. If I belonged to either one of those groups, I would be screaming for Phil Robertson to get before the cameras and state that even though it is his right to believe what he wants, he used an outlet where he should have kept his mouth shut and stuck to the scripts of his fake show. After all, he attended Louisiana Tech University where he played football, but turned down an opportunity to play professionally with the Washington Redskins. He received a master's degree in education and spent several years teaching. Does that sound like a redneck to you? Of course he's not and neither is any member of his family, yet they play them on TV with beards they have grown expressly for the show. I don't give a flying duck if they are devout Christians, Muslims, Hindu, Protestant or any other religion, what Phil Roberson said in the pages of GQ were intolerant of anyone not like him. When people like Paula Deen and Dog The Bounty Hunter lose their shows (and in Deen's case, her whole life, including all her endorsements) for saying the "N" word (in Deen's case, it was over 20 years ago and in Dog's case it was during a taped phone call that had nothing to do with his TV show) and yet Robertson gets off scott-free because he was paraphrasing "Scripture", it just shows that religion runs this country as sure as China owns it. There is no justice in this country any more, especially when millions of ignorant U.S. citizens side with Robertson because of his religious beliefs. A recent poll shows that 33 million Americans have no religion (I am one of them and proud of it) and another 14% are "not sure" if they do. That's a hell of a lot of people that aren't sure if God really exists, yet the country is run by tunnel-visioned politicians and business executives who would rather believe in something they have never seen or heard than have tolerance towards their fellow man/woman, all in name of the almighty dollar. I thought this country was makingThe Robertson Family

Would you want their fake asses

as your neighbors?

leaps and bounds when it came to Gay, Lesbian and Black rights in this country, but with one decision, they have managed to set this country back 60 years. Shame on A&E (I will never watch or DVR one of their shows again) and shame on the Robertson Family for succeeding in turning their religious beliefs into a political quagmire. I'm not religious, but I hope they all rot in Hell. All this coming from a company that produces duck calls to get ducks sexually excited so hunters can blow on them and shoot the poor flying creatures (Phil has publicly stated how he loves to shoot the heads off ducks while they are flying!). I hate to see the real percentage stats of those "hunters" who actually eat what they kill. Another double standard wins out over what is right. And yet Faith Based Consumer, who created the IStandWithPhil.com website, which yielded 260,000 signatures in support of Robertson, still want an explanation why Phil Robertson was suspended in the first place. I and many of my fellow non-believers want an explanation as to why Phil Robertson and his entire clan (including a son, Alan, who is a priest and preaches this hate every Sunday) have not been fired from TV. The answer to both questions is the same: Money. A&E Network knew all about the Robertson's beliefs before the first show even aired, so the burden of the blame lies heavy on thier shoulders. Follow your conscience and never watch another show on A&E again, especially DUCK DYNASTY and their family of fake-ass hillbillies who have enough money to buy their own network. And please don't buy any of their merchandise. Doing so just puts money in the pockets of racist family values. UPDATE: If you want to find out about the controversy right out of the Robertson's mouths (including Phil's inflammatory remarks in 2009 about parents marrying off their daughters at "15 or 16"), you can always turn on FOX News on 2013/2014 New Years Night and hear them tell the whole sordid story in their own words (Well, at least their Far Right side of it). How's that for fair and balanced? And while you are at it, make sure to watch A&E's marathon of DUCK DYNASTY episodes to ring in the New Year. Poke me with a fork, I think I'm done! UPDATE #2: A&E have been promoting the show endlessly like there was no controversy at all. Read Jess Cagle's editorial in the January 10, 2014 issue of Entertainment Weekly to read how he expresses exactly how I feel. Jess is a gay man, so I believe he has the right to say what he does. I don't always agree with what Jess says, but he hit the nail on the head this time. For those of you who don't get Entertainment Weekly, I scanned Jess Cagle's response HERE. ©2014 Jess Cagle & Entertainment Weekly HAPPY NOTE: The fifth season opener only opened with a little over 8 million viewers, down from over 12 million from the Season 4 opener. While still a hit for A&E, it shows that nearly 4 million viewers were offended by the Robertson clan's uncalled-for religious remarks. These four million viewers may very well still be religious, but they don't want their views splashed across the screens or printed page telling everyone how they feel. They have the right to feel the way they do, but they don't have the right to spread their hatred of gays and blacks in an open forum and expect to keep their flock. I respect those four million who refused to return to Season Five. From what I read in the newspapers, DUCK DYNASTY has been becoming stale as of late (Hamburger cookoff, anyone?), as the scripting becomes more apparent. My take on the whole debacle is that the show will last two more seasons and then finally be off the air. Phil then can go to all his church group gatherings and compare gays to beastiality, while his adoring believers fawn all over him. And the Robertson clan can finally shave off their beards and run their business again like the normal preppy family they use to be. The funny thing is that A&E doesn't even feature Phil in any of their bumpers for the show that they air 100 times a day. Most of the bumpers feature the antics of Uncle Si Robertson and Phil is not even mentioned or shown. It's not hard to read the writing on the wall. DUCK DYNASTY is dead meat. UPDATE #3: May 8, 2014: HGTV has pulled the plug on its upcoming reality series FLIP IT FORWARD, after a controversy emerged surrounding the anti-gay views held by its hosts, twin brothers David Benham and Jason Benham. "HGTV has decided not to move forward with the Benham Brothers' series," the network announced on its Facebook page. (Now that's how you deal with bigotry on TV. You listening A&E? - Editor.)

February 6, 2014: Goodbye Jay Leno and thanks for 22 years on THE TONIGHT SHOW. You handled yourself with grace and dignity not seen for a very long time on TV, Everyone knew that the whole Conan O'Brien Tonight Show Takeover/Jay Leno Daily 10:00 PM Weekday Show 2009 debacle was because of the NBC suits (O'Brien couldn't handle THE TONIGHT SHOW and was taken in by TBS, where ratings don't matter as much as the top three networks) and so was this latest move, because they wanted to skew the show to a younger audience. You can be sure I won't be watching that pipsqueak, Jimmy "Look at me, ain't I funny?" Fallon (they are moving the show from California to New York Makes me wanna puke.City and will start after the Winter Olympics are over), who is about as funny as a kid with cancer. At least you went out on top, with the highest ratings in your THE TONIGHT SHOW's career, even among the coveted 18-46 demographic, showing those NBC suits that you were still popular with those people you hoped Fallon would pull in. I hope NBC chokes on their decision and wants you back, because Fallon couldn't fill even half of one of your shoes. And you turn it down for a third time because, frankly, enough is enough. You can be sure of one thing: I will never watch the show again. You were always graceful with the audience; shaking their hands just before you did the monologue and I am really going to miss how you read those ridiculous "Headlines"every Monday night (and it broke my heart to hear you say please not to send any more headlines to the show on your last Monday), "Jaywalking" among the stupid people (and inviting yourself into people's households to get them to do ridiculously funny things) and the hilarious "Battle Of The Jaywalking All-Stars" game show. Now we get "The History Of Rap", "Slow Jammin' To The News" and other comedy bits meant to skew to the younger crowd, especially with that smirky jerk at the helm. NBC doesn't care that older audiences couldn't give a rat's ass for those bits. They may have played well at 12:38am, but they don't play well an hour earlier. Fallon plays for the camera, where Jay acted like the cameras weren't even there. That's quite a difference and one that doesn't get mentioned much. I feel like I am losing a friend every weekday night and now won't know what to do between 11:35pm and 12:37 am EST. You can be sure that I will not be watching that crank David Letterman or the self-aware Jimmy Kimmel. NBC can do something right and put out a Blu-Ray set of your best moments (there were many) that I can pop in my player during your regular hours. At least there will be something to watch. And do me a favor: No more talk shows. The TV is full of them and most of them suck. There can only be one TONIGHT SHOW and I hope the ratings plummet drastically after everyone has their initial lookie-loos. Note to all the people that don't like Jay: He only agreed to quit now as long as his staff gets paid until next September. That is the type of guy he is. Love him or hate him, he cared about the people he worked with. That is called total dedication to the people who made you stay on top until your last day. Goodbye old friend. It seems NBC's late night talk shows are being hosted by old Saturday Night Live cast members (Seth Meyers will be taking over Fallon's LATE NIGHT duties and Fred Armisen will lead the band!). No thanks, I haven't found that show funny in over twenty years and Will Ferrell was the only truly funny guy on during that period (at least the only one still alive). Lorne Michaels can suck it as far as I'm concerned. He won't be happy unless he owns all of NBC's late night shows and it looks as if he is getting his wish. Frankly, I'm 57 years-old and am tired of being treated like I don't exist when it come to TV shows. I still like the shows the younger people like, but it's hard to get involved in a show when you know that the network may pull it from the schedule at any time. Maybe that's why long-established shows like NCIS, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, LAW & ORDER: SVU, BONES, GREY'S ANATOMY, CRIMINAL MINDS (which got over 13 million viewers on it's 200th show recently) and other older shows with nearly ten years or more behind them are still the best rated shows on TV. Or let shows like HOUSE M.D. (2004 - 2012) and BURN NOTICE (2007 - 2013) end on their own terms, even though they were still pulling in the ratings. The Baby Boomers still stick by them and have since we were younger (BONES has been in more timeslots and days than I care to remember, but the fans followed it). Just like we have stuck by Jay and THE TONIGHT SHOW. But not any more. You have to earn our trust, but yet you spit in our faces like we are some dead species. Eat a pizza and enjoy your many comedy venues, Jay, and I hope you have a long and healthy life. Long enough to see the juggernaut called THE TONIGHT SHOW  become dead and buried. A class act all the way. My best to you, your wife and your cat. UPDATE: On April 3, 2014, David Letterman announced his retirement from his late night show when his contract expires in 2015 (His last show will be on May 20, 2015). Late night talk shows will then become a young man's game. I'm not a fan of Letterman (he comes across as a little too angry at times, unlike his younger days at NBC when some of his comedy bits were pure inspiration [Dog haiku: "My dog dish mocks me." The "Barney Brittlebones" bit. The "Ass Cake" gag. Appearances by the late Larry "Bud" Melman; real name: Calvert DeForest.]), but today's younger hosts forget that there are plenty of people over 50 that still stay up late and watch talk shows, but they cater none of their comedy to them because they do not fit in the coveted 18 to 49 year-old demographic. Looks like my talk show days are over. Stephen Colbert will be taking over hosting duties, but since no one has really seen him act like himself (his entire act is satire), only time will tell whether he will be accepted on his own rather than a caricature. Time to switch over to movies or shows I have DVRed. UPDATE #2: On April 28, 2014, Craig Ferguson announced he will be leaving THE LATE LATE SHOW on December 20, 2014, when his contract expires. This comes as no surprise to anyone, since Ferguson had a clause in his contract that stipulated if he didn't replace Letterman when he left his show, he would get a minimum of 7 million dollars. Ferguson was one of the funniest late night anchors on TV, as well as a great interviewer (he won an Emmy® for his interview with Desmond Tutu and his full hour one-on-one with friend Stephen Fry was one of the most intelligent hours on TV), but you can only be snubbed so many times before you say enough is enough. Ferguson (who didn't get along with Letterman) is a talented actor and writer (and was very open with his audience about his past addictions), so he should have no trouble finding work. Now let's see who they replace him with. It might as well be Gary the Skeleton (you have to watch the show to get the inference), because I am through with all late night talk shows (It turns out that Ferguson's replacement will be British comedian James Corden [Who?], who will take over hosting duties on March 23, 2015. Until that date, the show will have a series of guest hosts.). The Press keeps building up Jimmy Fallon like he is the next Johnny Carson, but he couldn't shine Carson's shoes.

FEBRUARY 7 , 2014: I haven't been a fan of Woody Allen and his films for quite some time (apparently, I'm in the minority, since he or his actors get nominated for an Academy Award® what seems like every year) and only like his 60's & 70's films, but anyone with half a brain can see that the letter his fully-grown adoptive daughter Dylan penned to the New York Times accusing Mr. Allen of child molestation by raping her in the attic of their home when she was 7 years-old has Mia Farrow's name written all over it. Ms. Farrow never forgave Woody for romantically getting involved with her adoptive daughter Soon-Yi (she was of legal age and was adopted between Mia and Andre Previn; Woody was never married to Mia and Dory Previn [the wife of Andre, the married man that Mia stole away] wrote a song "Beware Of Young Girls" [a dig at Mia Farrow] in which the album also contained a song titled "With My Daddy In The Attic". Coincidence?: I think not.) and then marrying her and adopting two children of their own. Their marriage has been going strong since 1997, so the love must be there and there has never been any suggestion of impropriety of child abuse thrown at him except from Dylan. Even Woody's own adopted son, Moses, a psychiatrist, says his adoptive mother drummed it into their kids' heads constantly that Woody was a monster who did bad things. Moses and Woody are now on good terms because Moses knows the signs of psychological torture. I question the timing of this letter and Mia quoting that another one of her non-adoptive sons, Ronan, may be the offspring of Frank Sinatra, which seems to imply that Mia was cheating on Woody when they were together. When those proclamations proved false, this child abuse letter suddenly appeared just before Oscar® time. Here's hoping Woody comes out of this unscathed and Mia never finds a job in show business again. False accusations, when drummed into your head over-and-over somehow become true when you are a small child. False accusations also ruin careers. I wish Woody nothing but luck. Sexual child abuse is one of the worst crimes in the world, but being falsly accused of it runs a very close second. February 8, 2014: Dylan pens another letter (This time to the Hollywood Reporter. Coincidence? No.) that's long on accusations but missing the most important thing of all: facts. I have a feeling that this will be going on right up until the Academy Awards ®. I hope Woody keeps his word and doesn't write any more letters and lets Mia and Dylan sink in the quagmire of their own making. In this day and age it is beyond me why such well-timed letters are even considered as truth. Dylan could have easily released her letters in September or July, but then they wouldn't have much of an impact would they? The fact that Mia got some sympathetic judges to vote for her years ago and deny Woody right to visit his own adoptive daughter Dylan (Timed to when Woody announced his love for Soon-Yi) says a lot about our judicial system and gave Mia plenty of time to drum bad things about Woody into all her kids' heads. Any moron with the brain the size of a pea can see Mia is a vindictive woman and doesn't deserve to have any children, adopted or not. That's your judicial system for you. You didn't hear this from me, but I hope Woody's Oscar®-nominated movie BLUE JASMINE wins Woody the Best Screenplay award and Cate Blanchett the Best Actress award just to piss Mia off. (NOTE: March 2, 2014: Well, at least Cate Blanchett won an Oscar® for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. I can just see Mia Farrow throwing something at her TV.).

February 12, 2014: The new reboot of ROBOCOP is going to be rated PG-13? Everyone do themselves a favor and show your non-support for these watered-down theatrical releases and wait for the eventual R-Rated or Unrated Blu-Ray and DVD. If it's Wait until the home video release.one thing I am sick and tired of is going to a theater to see a film and then find out that it was cut to shreds to get a lower, more family-friendly rating, only then to find out that the uncut version will be released on home video. Meanwhile, the production companies make more than what they would if they released the same version of the film both theatrically and on home video. Show your loyalty to the director's original vision and skip the theatrical release and rent or buy the home video version. Maybe the production companies will finally get the hint, although I doubt it. They are like brick walls and your wallet is actually your head. The Brazilian director of the new reboot, José Padilha, called this film "The worst experience of my life. For every ten ideas I brought to the film, the studio refused nine." Welcome to Hollywood, José! Besides, no one can top director Paul Verhoeven's 1987 classic of sarcasm and violence. So much of that film has come true in the ensuing 27 years, including Detroit going broke. NOTE: The new version is getting crushed in theaters by of all things, THE LEGO MOVIE. The movie has grossed $40 million around the world, but it took over $100 million to make it. It will do much better on home video and VOD, as long as an R-Rated or Unrated version of the movie exists. If not, it will be a giant fail. UPDATE: The Blu-Ray & DVD are Rated PG-13, so why bother?

February 18, 2014: Here's a good reason why Comcast should not be allowed to buy Time Warner for $45.2 billion: It has already purchased NBC Universal (and now own not just basic channel NBC, but such channels as SyFy, Bravo, MSNBC, Chiller, Cloo, Telemundo, USA Network, other channels and a controlling interest in DVR service TIVO) in the past for $13.5 billion and we all see what they have done with those TV channels, especially the idiotic decision to replace Jay Leno from THE TONIGHT SHOW with that little smirking turd Jimmy Fallon (The NY Post devoted it's February 18, 2014 cover saying Fallon nailed the gig "big time", which in normal speak says he sucked.). If Comcast does buy Time Warner (and it looks like a done deal), it will choke the internet since it will control about 38% of internet traffic (When Comcast bought NBC Universal, it committed to an open internet through 2018, meaning that it would not discriminate against companies like Netflix in providing Internet services, but what happens after 2018?). The useless FCC hasToday NBC, tomorrow the World!!! said nothing except "We'll look into it.", yet as 2018 rapidly approaches (it is less than four years away) we will have a juggernaut telling us what sites we can or cannot use if we use their internet pipeline. The FCC better get off their fat ass and start doing their job, first by not allowing this latest acquisition to go through and then by amending the 2018 deal that Comcast made with the FCC to not limit internet traffic. The internet should be for everyone to use at any time, not to be told that the site you wish to visit cannot be accessed with your current service provider. Think about it: You want to watch a streaming movie on Netflix in 2018 and you are told that the service is not available on your internet service. Scary, right? I have always said that in the future there will be three or four companies in the world that will run everything. Don't let it start now and don't let it be Comcast. They already have proven to us how their decisions affect our everyday lives, and not for the better. The decision to change the names of the Sci-Fi Network and The Mystery Channel to SyFy and Cloo lies squarely on Comcast's shoulders and just show how they are contributing to the dumbing-down of America. Don't let them do any more damage. They will surely get rid of all of Time Warner's print media and replace it with their online subscription versions and do other major damage to the things we take for granted. A merger like this spells disaster to all everyday citizens. The only people this merger helps are those already with enough money to buy countries. And that will probably be next on their agenda. The FCC has already proved their non-worth, so send an email to Time Warner and tell them to reject the deal. As The Washington Post reported (who I usually almost disagree with on a daily basis, but agree with here), this deal does not pass the "smell test". The merger will leave Comcast with a virtual cable and internet monopoly in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., and it will be able to exact price concessions from content providers, forcing some out of business, limiting innovation and variety. We have seen enough of that already. Do we really want to see it happen more frequently in the future? Use the power you have and voice your opinion any way you can. As have been reported on other sites, Comcast would become the "bully in the schoolyard" if this acquisition goes through. Haven't we already dealt with enough of them? Comcast (the largest cable company in the U.S.) has been accused of already giving Netflix slow internet speeds (it sits in the bottom four internet providers) while giving its preferred movie streaming sites more bandwidth, so why give this site any more power? Or less of your own personal privacy? The reason I refuse to keep my important information in the "cloud" (just another new catchphrase for storing your information on a server) is because you never know who has access to it. People need to open their eyes and start questioning things that affect them personally. And this acquisition is the perfect place to start. NOTE: In similar news: Dish Network is hosting its own elimination chamber, with the satellite service saying it will no longer offer WWE’s pay-per-views, including April’s “WrestleMania 30.” The move comes as WWE is Be prepared for another price increase.about to launch a digital network on Feb. 24, 2014 which will include all of its 12 PPVs and a slate of original series beginning after Sunday’s “Elimination Chamber.” Company is charging $9.99 a month for subscriptions to the service. Dish said it was upset that the network was being launched without WWE’s TV partners. “As WWE enters the increasingly fragmented media world by themselves, Dish will continue to consider the value of WWE pay-per-view on an event by event basis,” it said. Imagine, dropping a new pay cable channel because your feelings are hurt. Of course, the FCC will do nothing about this either. NOTE #2: February 24, 2014: Netflix and Comcast have struck a deal that will allow Netflix to directly access Comcast's broadband system. The only reason Netflix did this was because they saw the writing on the wall with the Comcast/Time Warner merger. If this is a harbinger of things to come, nearly all streaming services will have to purchase their own pipeline to the internet and the only people it will really hurt is you, the customer, with higher prices. The internet was supposed to be free for everyone to use (besides the over-priced monthly charges for the privilege), but apparently in the future that's not the way the internet will be. It will be just like buying tiers from a cable provider. Cablevision already offers three tiers of speed for their internet, so get ready to spend even more for your streaming movies and using the internet in general. Don't say I didn't warn you.

February 21, 2014: Just a word of warning for those religious fanatics that think they must see the film SON OF GOD when it opens in theaters on February 28, 2014. If you get a sense of deja-vu while watching the film, chances are you will realize that you have seenViewers are going to be in for a surprise. And not the good kind. most of the film before as part of the ten-part, 20-hour History Channel mini-series THE BIBLE (2013). The movie will take selections from the miniseries and add scenes that were left on the cutting-room floor, although Christ (played by Diogo Morgado) appeared in five of the 10 two-hour episodes. The fact that the "film" is Rated PG-13 is really a head-scratcher, too, since Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett would think that at least a PG-Rating would be more palatable for most of the viewing public, especially parents trying to teach their kids about the life of Jesus Christ. Well, since I'm an Athiest, it makes no difference to me, since I have no desire to watch the movie and never was tempted to watch the original mini-series, but it just seems strange to me that some parents will not take their young kids to PG-13 films, no matter the subject matter. And it also seems strange to me that none of the advertising material state that 90% of the footage came from a TV mini-series. Hey, we're not talking about Mel Gibson's super-gory PASSION OF THE CHRIST (2004; and don't forget to purchase your Christ merchandise!) here, we're talking about an abridged mini-series getting a theatrical release, but like all religion, some truth is held back from the public. Religious people beware. UPDATE: February 28, 2014: Paramount has added an “explanatory message” to its Biblical epic, NOAH, at the request of a religious broadcasters group, the studio and the group announced on Thursday. The decision followed an appeal by Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, to help audiences better understand that the feature film is a dramatization of the major scriptural themes and not a line-by-line retelling of the Bible story, the statement said. The statement added to the film is: “The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.” And there we go again. Letting religious groups dictate what we see on their terms. If I were a boardmember of Paramount, I would have told Dr. Jerry A. Johnson to go fuck himself. He doesn't own the Bible, therefore he should have no say in a film that depicts Noah and the flood. I bet if the film was made by a low-budget company and starred Kirk Cameron, Dr. Johnson would have kept his big biblical mouth shut. NOTE: February 28, 2013: The reviews are in for SON OF GOD and hardly anywhere do the reviews mention that it once was part of a TV miniseries (of the twenty-some reviews I read, only a handful mention it in passing). The real question by reviewers is that towards the end it becomes so bloody and gory, that most of them question the PG-13 Rating, saying if the same thing was shown in an action film, there is no doubt that it would receive an R-Rating. Religion wins once again. And here's the kicker: It beat the Liam Neeson film NON-STOP in Thursday advance ticket sales and is probably the only film in the theatrical roster that is immune from the Oscars® TV telecast on Sunday, since devoutly religious people don't watch such things (I've got news for you, even Athiests like myself son't watch self-congratulatory back-slapping award shows, either, but NON-STOP managed to beat it in the end). If this film does good in theaters, expect a whole slew of religious films within the next couple of years. Besides the already mentioned NOAH, Christian Bale will star (as Moses) in EXODUS, directed by Ridley Scott and released at the end of 2014. Think of this more of a GLADIATOR-type of film than your standard religious-preachy film. There will be the plagues, the Burning Bush and the parting of the Red Sea, but this will be more of an action film than a religious one. One wonders who will try to get to get Scott to add something to the beginning of the film that states it doesn't quite gel with the Bible. Knowing Scott, he will probably tell them to take a hike through the desert. Since Ridley's brother Tony committed suicide by jumping off a bridge and religion says suicides can never get to Heaven, I doubt  Ridley really gives two shits about religion. UPDATE #2: March 31, 2014: While NOAH was the highest grossing film of the week, raking in nearly $44 million, a small religious film (endorsed and partially financed by the Robertson clan of DUCK DYNASTY [see article above]) called GOD'S NOT DEAD (now in its second week) incredibly made it to the fifth spot, making a total of $21.8 million in less than one third of the theaters showing NOAH. What's upsetting is that this film manages to portray non-believers as heathens and science as bogus nonsense that can be explained away by religion. That a film can do this and still make more than its budget back in the second week is truly troubling, because it shows that there are a whole lot of narrow-minded people who refuse to believe that science and religion can co-exist. Even I'm willing to accept that, but this film is not even able to acknowledge it. In this film, God is responsible for everything that happens in this world, even the junk science they spout (I haven't seen the film and don't plan to, but I read excerpts from the script that truly made me cringe. Not in the fact that it is being spoken, but that there are still people that believe that this planet is only 6,000 years-old!) It takes all kinds to make up a planet, but stupid is still stupid and sometimes faith is false. Next they will be showing me Polaroids of Adam and Eve riding a dinosaur. How did Kevin Sorbo (as the Atheist professor) and Dean Cain get involved in such intolerant trash? UPDATE #3: April 13, 2014: Up next is the film HEAVEN IS FOR REAL (2014), based on the book on the New York Times best sellers list which is supposedly based on the true story of a boy who died, saw Heaven and then became alive again. It befuddles me which part is true: That the boy died and was revived (most likely) or that he actually saw Heaven (most doubtful). Either way, it will bring in droves of believers at least for the first two weeks. UPDATE #4: Well, it look like HEAVEN IS FOR REAL isn't real at all because the 4 year-old boy, Colton Burpo, now much older, has admitted that he lied about the whole thing. Of course, the religious faithful believe that he is being forced to say such things by "Godless Souls" and believe his original story. Meanwhile, the best-selling book based on Colton's recollections, will now be listed as fiction rather than non-fiction and will have a message in the beginning of the book explaining and apologising for their error. UPDATE #5: The good news is that the theaters are being filled with so many so called "faith-based" flims, they are all tanking at the boxoffice. The recent dismal September 2014 boxoffice receipts of the film THE IDENTICAL, a Christian-messaged film, is the beginning of the death knell for future religious films. Kirk Cameron's SAVING CHRISTMAS (2014), whose tagline is "Putting Christ Back In Christmas", is now going the VOD/limited theatrical route in November 2014 and has one of the lowest ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (0%; you can't get any lower than that!), a really big deal when it comes to films. Cameron himself released a YouTube video begging and praying for people to increase the ratings (which he has since pulled off the site), but it has not worked and has been nominated for many Razzie Awards® for Worst Film and Worst Actor of the year (among other technical nominations). And rightfully so. I dare you to watch a more fractured film than this. It's obvious by the look in Cameron's eyes that he has lost any bit of sanity he has left. (NOTE: SAVING CHRISTMAS was the biggest winner at Saturday night’s [02/21/15] Golden Raspberry Awards®, if you can call it “winning” to be named the worst film achievement of the year in four different categories. The faith-based film from the former GROWING PAINS child star “won” in the Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Cameron), Worst Screenplay and Worst Screen Combo categories, with the last award going to Cameron “and his ego.” The awards meant that Razzie voters considered Cameron’s film a lesser achievement than THE LEGEND OF HERCULES, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, LEFT BEHIND,  and TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, even though that last film had led all films with seven Razzie nominations. And former Razzie winner Ben Affleck was given the newly-created "Razzie Redeemer Award" for turning his career around [both in acting and directing] after the awful film that will be forever known as GIGLI - 2003, showing even the Razzies have a heart and can admit when they are wrong.) - It seems there is a God and he has a great sense of humor! - Editor.

March 2, 2014: It looks like GRAVITY (2013) took the lion's share of statuettes during the Oscar® telecast. Seeing the film in a theater was an experience, and it definitely was worth Alfonso Cuarón's win as Best Director. But I am glad Matthew McConaughy won Best Actor for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (what a performance, both in this and HBO's TRUE DETECTIVE, along with Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto, who was simply amazing as the transgender Rayon) and Cate Blanchette as Best Actress for BLUE JASMINE. Especially deserving was 12 YEARS A SLAVE as Best Film of the Year (and Lupita Nyong'o as Best Supporting Actress), the first film to win an Oscar that was directed by a black filmmaker (Steve McQueen; and give John Ridley a statuette for Best Adapted Screenplay) and Spike Jonze for his Best Original Screenplay for HER (although it did remind me of a little film called ELECTRIC DREAMS in 1984), but GRAVITY walked away with more Academy Awards® than any other film (Best Original Score; Editing; Cinematography; Sound Editing; Sound Mixing; and Visual Effects). I'm always happy when a sci-fi or horror film wins a statuette, but GRAVITY was sometimes pure tedium to sit through, something the Academy members like, maybe so they can take a pee break. All-in-all, a normal Oscars® telecast with no surprises. See, your fearless editor does go to the movies to see other things besides genre films and if I were to recommend one of these award-winning films to see, it would be DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. You'll laugh, cry and if you lived through the 80's, you will also relate. One of the best films about the 80's (and A.I.D.S.) you will ever see and Matthew McConaughy and Jared Leto both suffered in this film for their art (just look how much weight McConaughy lost for his role). McCounaghy is a revelation and has many more awards in his future. He's come a long way from playing the bongos nude while trying to avoid the police in his real life. And Leto is no lightweight, either. Why director Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y. - 2005) was not at least nominated is one of the Academy's usual gaffes. And don't get me started on Bruce Dern in the film NEBRASKA. It had everything the Academy likes, great photography (in black & white, no less), a slow pace and Bruce Dern like you never saw him before. At least he was nominated for Best Leading Actor (and ex-SNL performer Will Forte was simply fantastic as Dern's son), but it was a tough field this year. I went to go see the film by myself because I couldn't get any friends to go see a black & white film (time to get some new friends!) and was blown away with Dern's performance. I doubt he will ever get the chance to do a film like this again. And there lies the shame.

Let's get very serious for a moment: The August 11, 2014 suicide of comedian/actor Robin Williams should bring to light just what clinical depression can do to a person. It proves that having all the money and fame in the world cannot beat this dreaded disease. While having cancer is bad, some forms of it can be cured, but clinical depression has no cure. Every day, 117 people leave this world by taking their own lives because they believe it is the only way out. While some of those suicides may be from bullying and other factors, clinical depression is the leading cause of taking one's lives. People say, "But don't theyRobin Williams, RIP understand their actions affect everyone, especially their loving family?" The answer is yes, they do, but the depression is so bad it overwhelms their desire to stay alive. It is apparent that psychiatrists and all the drugs they prescribe do absolutely no good. They are only a stopgap measure and leave the person walking around like they are in a fog. After a while, the human body becomes acclimated to the meds and a different set is prescribed. That is not a soultion. That is like sticking your finger in a leaking dike until all your fingers are stuck in holes, yet more holes and leaks pop up. We have to come up with a radical different way to treat clinical depression. It is very apparent that what we are doing now is not working. Until we know how the human brain works (we are gaining ground, but not fast enough), there will always be people who suffer from clinical depression. I have witnessed the dreaded disease (and it is a disease, not a "condition") take the lives of two loved ones, plus my Facebook friend Andy Copp. We have to try harder, increase funding to come up with a cure and wipe out this dreaded disease. Until we do, 117 people will take their lives every day. I don't know about you, but that number is not acceptable to me. I know people who rather not talk about depression, but it should be discussed out in the open, including with children, so they can understand the signs. If Robin Williams did one thing by taking his life, it was bringing clinical depression out in the spotlight (although I would still rather he be alive). Now is the time to discuss it openly before the next big thing comes around and people forget about clinical depression and what it can do to people. Mr. William's wife also revealed that Robin was also suffering the early stages of Parkinson's Disease, which probably put Mr. Williams over the edge (And now every photo I see of Robin, all I see is sadness in his eyes). Let's not let this awful opportunity pass us by without coming up with some solutions for this disease and I hope the trolls that made fun of Robin's death to his daughter Zelda on social media sites, (including Twitter and Instagram), posting awful remarks and Photoshopped photos of her father's death (which I won't describe here due to the family wanting privacy; and a big "Boo!' to the Coroner's Office and Police Department for graphically telling the Press the manner of Mr. William's death after the family begged for privacy), all get caught and are punished accordingly. No child should have to go through what poor Zelda did, but the Internet is full of "keyboard warriors' who are nothing but cowardly little twerps. Zelda was forced to quit her accounts on these sites because of those taunts and photos, proving once again that the internet is full of both good and bad. But the bad overrides all the good intentions with just one insensitive comment. Let's try and be more understanding from now on. Suicide is never the answer, but until we understand clinical depression and the way it screws with our brains, there will be more. You can count on that.

Orion Pictures, the distributor of ‘80s and ‘90s independent hits such as ROBOCOP, THE TERMINATOR and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is making its first theatrical appearance in 15 years. THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN a horror pic from AMERICAN HORROR STORY director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, features the Orion label in a trailer released Wednesday, September 10, 2014; its first appearance since director Lance Hool's 1999’s ONE MAN'S HERO. Gomez-Rejon’s film follows the recreation of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders after a mysterious killer attempts to remake the events over 60 years later and is a retooling of late director Charles Pierce's 1976 film of the same name. Orion Pictures declared bankruptcy in 1991. After exiting bankruptcy in 1996, Orion was bought by MGM, ending its nearly two decade run. MGM brought back the Orion label as a television brand in 2013, which is currently used on syndicated court show PATERNITY COURT. With no staff assigned to the label, MGM intends to use the venerable indie name Orion as an international brand for smaller releases on VOD and limited theatrical releases. (Good. Now let's see the return of American International Pictures and New World Pictures and then I will be a happy man, although I'm not too happy that they are retooling Charles Pierce's classic true-life period crime film Well, at least it is Rated R, but is the trombone murder in this new version? - Editor)

According to Entertainment Weekly: Sherlock Holmes has appeared on stage and on screen numerous times played by dozens of actors, and now, thanks to a recent discovery, fans of the world’s greatest detective will be able to view a lost but key piece of his on-screen history. The French film archive Cinémathèque Française announced on Wednesday that a silent film version of Sherlock Holmes produced in 1916 was discovered in their collection a few weeks ago. Produced by Essanay Studios, the film, simply titled SHERLOCK HOLMES, stars William Gillette as the titular detective, a role for which he was known around the world. Gillette is also credited with some of Holmes’ trademark characteristics, including his deerstalker hat, magnifying glass, and pipe. A nitrate dupe negative of the film was stored away in the archive’s vault, but is now undergoing a restoration process thanks to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival in conjunction with Cinémathèque Française. The film, directed by Arthur Bethelet, is not only the last surviving appearance of Gillette as Holmes, but it is also his only portrayal ever committed to film. For those who want to witness a piece of Holmes and cinematic history, the film will make its European debut at the Cinémathèque Française’s festival of film restoration, Toute la Mémoire du Monde, in January 2015. The film will then premiere in America at the San Francisco Silent Film festival in May 2015. (This is a great piece of news. It tells us that maybe some other hidden treasures will be discovered. We have the technology today to restore them, so film archive vaults around the world should start doing an inventory check before the film itself totally disintegrates and even modern technology cannot save it - Editor)

According to Entertainment Weekly on January 17, 2015: Fox’s new agenda is looking a lot like their old one. Confirming some prior reports, the network’s leadership says they are seriously chasing a reboot of THE X-FILES and are possibly interested in bringing back PRISON BREAK too (along with yet another edition of 24 as well — but that’s another story). On THE X-FILES front, Fox chairman and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman say they have been in talks with series creator Chris Carter about reviving the supernatural procedural, which was a major hit for the network from 1993 to 2002. The executives also revealed they hope to have original series stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their roles on the show. One thing all three titles have in common is they’re properties of 20th Century Fox Television, which Walden and Newman ran prior to adding the Fox broadcast network to their plate last year.“It’s true that we’ve had some conversations on X-Files,” Newman said. “We’re hopeful of being able to bring that back at some point.” Walden added: “Gary and I both worked [at 20th Century Fox Television] through the entire run of THE X-FILES. It was a great experience. We’ve maintained good relationships with Chris, David and Gillian. We’re very hopeful, but it’s hard. The actors are very busy. They have a lot going on. Chris has a lot on his plate, so it’s just trying to carve out the time.” Amazon recently declined to make Carter’s new post-apocalyptic series project THE AFTER, so the writer-producer may be more open to revisiting his past. More problematic is that Duchovny has an upcoming NBC event series, AQUARIUS, while Anderson has a recurring role on NBC’s HANNIBAL. Both actors would presumably have to get contractually clear of their commitments to Fox’s rival before signing onto an X-Files relaunch. As for BREAK, the team sounded more skeptical of a reboot coming together, but also very interested. “There is some speculation in the press about PRISON BREAK, which honestly was slightly news to us,” Newman said. “Although we’ve made it clear over the years to the studio that we would bring PRISON BREAK back in a heartbeat. It’s probably the perfect event series. If our old partners in that show are interested, that would be great. ”It wasn’t clear if the executives planned to do PRISON BREAK with a new cast or not, but the show’s stars Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller are currently recurring as villains on The CW’s THE FLASH. (I was never a big fan of PRISON BREAK, but since THE X-FILES was [and still is] my favorite TV series of all time, I would love to see it come back. It would be a dream come true, as long as they kept the conspiracy theory plotline to a minimum. I believe that is what killed the show [I like the duo tackling strange monsters of the week]. I even went to see the two X-FILES movies [not to mention the convention that came to NYC in 1998, where I met the beautiful and warm Gillian Anderson], even if the second one was weak when I first saw it, but it has grown on me over time. I really, really hope this happens! - Editor) UPDATE: It's now official. New episodes of THE X-FILES will start to be filmed in the Summer of 2015, with both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson returning to their iconic roles. The Bad news? It will air on FOX as a six-episode "Event Series". I guess six episodes are better than nothing, but it hardly puts a dent in audiences' hunger to see the duo back together again, the first time since the 2008 theatrical film. Let's hope that the ratings go through the roof and make FOX order more episodes from original creator Chris Carter, who is overseeing this Event Series. No air date has yet been set.

From Variety: March 26, 2015: WWE Studios has formed a partnership with Gene Simmons to launch label Erebus Pictures to finance and produce movies. The alliance is launching with a three-picture co-production deal starting with TEMPLE, originally acquired and developed by WWE Studios. The moniker Erebus is taken from the Greek God “representing the personification of darkness.” It will sell worldwide rights on all titles and use WWE’s TV shows, including MONDAY NIGHT RAW and SMACKDOWN, along with digital, social media and the WWE Network, to market its titles. “The horror genre continues to fascinate me as it proves to be endlessly thrilling and engaging for audiences,” said Simmons, who has been in rock group Kiss for four decades. “Horror films fall into a genre that thrives on genuine passion, and I believe this partnership truly capitalizes on that sentiment and supports our vision,” said Michael Luisi, president of WWE Studios. TEMPLE, written by Matt Savelloni, follows a team of trained operatives who find themselves trapped inside an isolated military compound after its artificial intelligence is suddenly shut down — and then begin to experience strange and horrific phenomena. A director will be announced shortly, with principal photography expected to start this summer. Erebus Pictures’ second feature will go into production later this year. Simmons is repped by legal team Kleinberg-Lopez. Bradley Buchanan negotiated on behalf of WWE Studios. (I'm going to hold my tongue until their first movie as a team appears. I hope it is more like SEE NO EVIL [2006] than the pathetic Soska Sisters sequel SEE NO EVIL 2 [2014]. While Gene Simmons has proven himself to be quite the capable actor, in films such as RUNAWAY [1984] and WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE [1987], only time will tell if he knows what makes a good horror film. I mean, he's no Rob Zombie, is he? Remember KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK [1978]? Let's hope these three new films are better than that one. - Editor)




BURKE & HARE (2010)











NEKRO (1998)

PIG (1999)




MR. HUSH (2011)

SMILEY (2012)


V/H/S (2012)





THE BAY (2012)





BLADE (1972)


INKUBUS (2011)

VILE (2011)

SLASH (2002)








TOMCATS (1976)




BAD ASS (2011)





MY PURE JOY (2011)






DEAD MEAT (1993)

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