Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sex Machine Gets 'Tubed

People jonesing for mo' SEX MACHINE before its DVD debut this spring can check out this on YouTube: A little package done for an Austin, Texas, cable TV show about the movie's screening there. Has some nice footage and a funny Q&A. NSFW! But you probably already knew that.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Betcha By Golly Wow

Apparently ARMED AND FAMOUS is going over to VH-1, if y'all want to see more of our midwestern crackheads.

In other entertainment news, my war against STUDIO 60 continues. However, after my last post, I spent some time on the internet and found out a lot of people think that it stinks. I smell doom around it. And believe me, I have smelled a few doomed projects, many of them my own.

I have to give credit to STUDIO 60 for one believable subplot. I can believe a poisonous snake can get loose in a studio, and a ferret would be set loose to catch it. I believe this because once when I worked at WIPB-TV a penquin got loose and pooped on my foot. And once when I worked at WXOW-TV a piglet got loose in the back of the production van and shat all over the place, and it stunk so bad that when I drove up to the TV station an engineer smelled it from clear inside and came out with a bucket of water.

Less believable is the subplot where Amanda Peet, an unwed mother and also some high-up at the fictitious network, ends up locked on the roof with her coke-addled stalker, who happens to be an employee who in real life is married to the mom from MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE. He mentions that it is an essential element of any romantic movie to be in a creepy situation like this. Note to writers: just because you point out something is trite in the context of your story, doesn't make it suddenly cool and all self-referential. It's still trite. That goes double if you try to put some 70s music to it, unless you're Quentin Tarantino and maybe not even then.

Until later, give me a holler at

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Where Waters Fall Frozen

ARMED AND FAMOUS, the reality show taking place in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana, has been cancelled after three weeks. In a way, I'm glad. Last week's episode, featuring domestic abuse, prostitution, and assorted crackheads on the familiar streets of my old southside neighborhoods gave me nightmares. I thought it looked like a frightening place to visit, forgetting I had grown up there.

In this nightmare I was appearing on the show and responding to a police call, feeling somewhat untrained. It was very dark and I couldn't see anything as we pulled up to a house where a guy was holding his wife and kids hostage. I was sent around back and all of a sudden the guy loomed out of the darkness with a pistol to a kid's head. I warned him I was going to shoot him if he didn't put down his gun so he shot me first. As I was going down I was able to get off a shot and kill him. I saw the whole thing was being taped as I fell to the ground.

Right now JANE EYRE is on Masterpiece Theatre, and I think that's safe enough.

I stood outside in the snow tonight and cooked myself a nice New York strip on the grill, so I think I'm ready to return to the living.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Wild Strawberries

I had been complaining that there was no winter, so of course I woke up and the world was ringed in a crystal-clear ice, snow dusting the fields. Thursday morning I walked down the hill to my office in a bitter, biding wind and I heard a "caw! caw!" I looked up and saw a crow in a stark bare branch above my head, against a cold iron sky. It was so Seventh Seal that the film buff in me had to admire it even as I was filled with dread. Later that day I fell ill and left work and that night while I was bundled in a blanket on the couch and feeling miserable my daughter asked if she could borrow some clothes as Friday was "Nerd Day" at school and certainly I had something that would fit the bill. It is January in Indiana.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Studio 60 in the Cornfield

It's funny that right after I declared war on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for their unfair portrayal of midwestern life they slipped off the air. But they crept back on last night thinking that I had forgotten about them. If only it were so.

I don't know, perhaps midwestern life is a lot different than life in LA. For instance, we saw Amanda Peet meeting a new rival and within ninety seconds they were all, "You don't like me, do you?" In most offices this animosity would lie under the surface for many years and long-term subterfuge would be employed rather than out-and-out confrontation. But we are not as hip as Amanda Peet.

Even more alarming was the depiction of office romance, where a recovering coke addict abruptly falls in love with his much younger boss, who happens to be pregnant by an unnamed man. He begins stalking his boss to the point that most people would be fired and dragged off the premises by the police. But this is accepted as cute and funny by his colleagues even though most people I know would be creeped out by this man's behavior.

In LA, people get married a bunch of times and give their kids dumb names and booze it up while leaving their panties and newborn babies at home. We have those people here also, but they live across the creek in the trailer park. I guess I expected more of my Studio 60 characters.

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Weighing In

My wife's best friend from childhood has turned out to be a best-selling author, and with one thing leading to another she ended up staying with us for a few days. She gave me this as a Christmas present and thus earned my undying respect, but even more than that she rather kindly talks as if somehow we share similar career paths. That would be like Donald Trump walking outside Trump Tower and telling the guy with the "Will Work for Food" sign that they are both entrepreneurs. Allow me to examine this more closely.

Best-selling authors get paid six figure advances. B-movie scriptwriters figure they might get paid someday. Advantage: Best-selling authors.

Best-selling authors have book clubs that meet to discuss their works. B-movie scriptwriters have drunk dudes hosting "Bad Movie Nights. " Advantage: Best-selling authors.

Best-selling authors see their books in the front racks at bookstores. B-movie scriptwriters pray they don't see their DVDs in the dollar bin. Advantage: Best-selling authors.

Best-selling authors have friends in the same circles, who send them gifts like Prada bags and IPods and advance copies of books. B-movie scriptwriters have directors who every once in a while send them pictures of scream queens in bikinis. Advantage: B-movie scriptwriters.

Best-selling authors get on the Today Show, or Oprah. B-movie scriptwriters might get asked to be on a late-night cable-access show. Advantage: B-movie scriptwriters.

Best-selling authors appear in "People." B-movie scriptwriters appear in "Fangoria." Advantage: B-movie scriptwriters.

Perhaps all things are equal in the end, after all. If loyal readers can think of any other comparisons, feel free to post them. Until then, give me a shout at

Sunday, January 21, 2007

O, Happy Day

At the beginning of the season I stated that a Colts/Bears Super Bowl would be great, but I doubted we would see it.

And now we will see it.

2006 mostly sucked. Actually, so did most of 2005. But 2007 is turning into the best year ever.

We went out to dinner the other night and saw our wedding photographer--a good harbinger for my twentieth wedding anniversary this year; or, as I like to tell my wife, "Two Decades of Excellence."

Go Colts!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Back in the New York Groove

With PRIMAL tucked away and percolating along in California, I tip my keyboard towards the great state of North Carolina and a new project, a rewrite of a horror script featuring a junkyard killer titled MENTAL SCARS, for producer Richard Myles. More soon.

Today I recorded my audio commentary track for the DVD release of Christopher Sharpe's SEX MACHINE, and hope I didn't talk out of my ass too much. Try talking for 90 or so minutes straight without talking out of your ass. It's not easy. But I hope people enjoy it, and it is winging its way to Texas soon.

It was fun to watch SEX MACHINE again. I think people will enjoy it when it gets out there to a video store near you, in Spring 2007.

You know, Al Gore may have something. It's the middle of January, and it has been a modest 40-50 degrees in temperature, with nary a flake of snow anywhere. Not that I'm complaining.

My Colts keep breaking my heart, but pulled off a shocker over the bruising Ravens and earned a trip to the AFC Championship against their old Achilles heel, the Patriots. We'll see what happens. Do I dare to eat a peach?

Also have to love the Saints. In the late 80s I worked at WXOW-TV in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where the Saints had their training camp, and got to mix with Saints luminaries such as Bobby Herbert, Dalton Hilliard, "Ironhead" Heyward, and others, and have followed their largely hapless adventures since. I usually like to jump off bandwagons when others jump on, but I will stick with the Saints.

I was going to write a bit about how I like the ends of things, when great comic book runs dry up and flame out and the foster kid joins the wheezing sitcom and so on, but hate watching final episodes, and the fact that I won't watch the final episode of THE PRISONER has stuck in my brother's craw for years, but downstairs I hear my wife singing along to The Carpenters, and that is a siren's call I cannot ignore.

So, until later, give me a shout at

Friday, January 12, 2007

Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand

Well, I saw the debut of the new reality show ARMED AND FAMOUS, which takes place in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana, and it was pretty much what I expected. I knew it would start with a shot of some cornfields. Of course, we saw some rubes looking at the limo coming into town with open-mouthed wonder. Of course we saw the trailer park, and the only restaurant in town where you can throw peanut shells on the floor as well as the longtime all-night cafe fondly called "The Awful Waffle." We saw Wee Man riding a bull at a local bar, natch, with plenty of guitair pickin' on the soundtrack.

What surprised me was that there was more crack than I thought and fewer mullets. It surprised me that Jack Osborne was such a dead shot. But the biggest surprise was that I think my whole family had a celebrity sighting of Trish Stratus and didn't know who she was. It started with my son observing, "that chick is pretty hot, for a cop," at which point I noted an attractive, buffed-out young woman who did seem unusually desirable for the local constabulary. While we were watching the show my wife said, "Didn't we see her somewhere?" and both being somewhat unfamiliar with the intricacies of life in the WWE realized we may have missed our brush with greatness.

So far, I have seen three people I have met on the show; thankfully, they are the mayor, the police chief, and a policeman who is the son of my mother's best friend.

New projects on the horizon; until then, give me a shout at

Monday, January 08, 2007

Everybody's Talking

I have not one, but two projects in the hopper that I need to be rolling on, so here are just some links to things on my mind:

An extremely cool article on tech trends in 2006, here (poached from my pal Bill Cunningham).

The reality show based in my hometown, ARMED AND FAMOUS, gets the stinkeye from The Washington Post, here.

Not for me, but interesting.

This site, $1,000 Spielberg, is also pretty interesting. When they get down to $100 Spielberg, I am so there (also poached from Bill).

If you missed "Bigfoot Stole My Six-Pack," the theme song of my sasquatch epic AMONG US, currently playing on the SPACE channel, somebody YouTubed it here (courtesy of my pal Tim Shrum).

You know what song brought tears to my eyes the other day? "Year of the Cat" by Al Stewart.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Da Vinci Curse, Japanese Flava

The poster for THE DA VINCI CURSE in its Japanese release, via my pal Shogo (the DP for SEX MACHINE). How cool is that?