Monday, July 30, 2007

Film Studies

Once upon a time, when I studied film, there was always somebody around who wanted to talk about "Breathless" or "Bicycle Thief" or "The Seventh Seal." I lamented at this blog that not too long ago I went out to dinner with a group of college film studies whose references were "Reservoir Dogs," "Boondock Saints," and the like. And therein lies the rub.

The great world filmmaker Ingmar Bergman died. Though his work can be some pretty tough sledding, might I recommend the archetypal world cinema classic "The Seventh Seal." Young readers might be surprised to learn that no less an august film than "Bill and Ted" paid tribute to this classic (and "The Virgin Spring" became "Last House on the Left," by the by). I am also a fan of "Wild Strawberries" and "Smiles of a Summer Night" (as light as you are going to get, and was adapted into "A Little Night Music"), and many people value "Personae" (as dark as you are going to get, probably).
Check out a nice story from the New York Times here.

We now return to our regularly scheduled b-programming.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is me and the great Boston-area filmmaker (and Microcinema Scene founder) Jason Santo chillin' like Bob Dylan in front of the theatre when the fest was in Rapid City, South Dakota a few years ago. Mostly I just posted this to remind everybody that the deadline for entries for this year's fest in Palatine, Illinois is tomorrow. You can check out more at the site here (, which was just updated today. I was surprised to find this shot in a cache of webphotos Jason had and I didn't think he would mind if I snitched it. Usually when I surf the interwebs googling my name I get to find reviews where people think I suck and wish that I would die. This was a welcome surprise.

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Cleanest Dirty Shirt

My friend Doug showed up Sunday with a grocery sack full o' comics, so I should be happy for a while. It was a nice surpise after a hellacious migraine on Saturday. Although apparently Marvel's "Civil War" is in there, way at the bottom.

My NZ pal Amit Tripuraneni, who I wrote URAMESHIYA (GHOST SCREAM) for, has a pretty interesting interview about his new horror film FIVE right here.

One of these things popped up in front of the McDonald's in the next little town over, making it the closest video store to my house. Has anybody else seen one of these, or tried one?

I don't know where my brother finds stuff like this (probably NSFW).

Give me a yell at

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back to the B-Mailbag

New reader Michael writes:

I googled your name and your Blog popped up. I couldn't help but notice we have many of the same interests -- screen writing, b-movies, film making, comics, gaming, Kurt Vonnegut, The Catcher in the Rye, etc. After discovering this and the fact you've accomplished many of the same things I want to accomplish, I had to stop myself from prostrating three times at your feet, and asking you to teach me the WAY (or at least be my mentor). But I thought that might be a little unprofessional.

Aim higher! I am still hoping for William Goldman or Michael Tolkin.

I'm looking forward to watching the movies you wrote. I actually purchased two online over the weekend, PETER ROTTENTAIL and RAZORTEETH.

Well, we'll see how much you want to prostrate yourself afterwards!

I watched the SEX MACHINE trailer, and it looks really well done. I see your friends with Bill Cunningham. I've read Bill Cunningham's Blog before and have rented SCARECROW... or maybe it was SCARECROW SLAYER... or both...

Bill is a smart guy with great advice on his blog, especially the part where he told everybody to watch SEX MACHINE.

Thanks for writing, and feel free to give me a yell at

Friday, July 20, 2007

Smells as Sweet

I don't do a lot of memes on my blog anymore, but sometimes one really strikes my fancy:

1. YOUR SPY NAME (middle name and current street name)
Oak Lone Oak. True!

2.YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME (grandfather/grandmother on your mom's side and your favorite candy):
Vermont York. OK.

3. YOUR RAP NAME (first initial of first name and first three or four letters of your last name):
J-Dalt. Yeah, 'bout right.

4. YOUR GAMER TAG (a favorite color, a favorite animal)
Blue Kitten. Don't understand this one, must be too old.

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME (Mom's/Dad's middle name, and city you were born in):
John Muncie. Funny.

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME (first three letters of your last name, last three letters of mother's maiden name, first three letters of your most recent pet's name)
Dalamspan. Good one.

7. JEDI NAME (middle name spelled backwards, your mom's maiden name spelled backwards):
Koa Smillaiw. Even better.

8. PORN STAR NAME (first pet's name, the street you grew up on):
Daisy Colson. Kind of limits the kind of parts I could take, unfortunately.

9. SUPERHERO NAME ("The", the color of shirt you're wearing and the automobile your mom drives):
Orange Olds. Not too inspiring.

10. YOUR ACTION HERO NAME (first name of the main character in the last film you watched, last food you ate):
Jaguar Ribeye. Kinda cool.

Not sure this one worked out the best for me, but there it is. Give me a yell at

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

You Might Say I Was A Musical Proverbial Knee-High

On Friday an old friend invited me over to watch SEX MACHINE at his house, cook out, and have a few beers. My filmography always plays better that way. It was a nice evening and good to see SEX MACHINE through fresh eyes. I don't think I had watched it since it played at Microcinema Fest last summer.

My old pal Pete Bauer weighs in on SEX MACHINE here. Thanks, Pete.

I keep forgetting to post that the final chapter of my article I WAS BIGFOOT'S SHEMP was posted up at Microcinema Scene, here.

I shot off my second draft of URAMESHIYA (GHOST SCREAM) to New Zealand director Amit Tripuraneni on schedule Sunday. His new horror movie, FIVE, is winging its way to the U.S. from the opposite direction as we speak. I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Thinking about doing this now that my stitches are out. I love nerd extreme sports!

Give me a shout at

Friday, July 13, 2007

Feel Sunshine Sparkle Pink and Blue

I take the bandages off of my thumb tonight, which is good because I need to finish up a few scenes for GHOST SCREAM this weekend. Still hurts a bit to type, though.

In the meantime, somebody found my site by googling boring facts about john dalton and when a squid is frightened, it turns red and Jeremy Mark Bolt needs to quit sticking out his stomach. I can promise the first but I'm not sure about the others.

Are these guys the future?

I love this kind of stuff. And this.

Give me a yell at

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

On the Set of "Frankenstein Thumb"

I had sort of promised myself to stop typing in my blog until I got my stitches out. But last night I had another strange dream about the making of "Frankenstein Thumb."

My hand was throbbing and pulsing like a Bee Gees album and so I gobbled down some Vicodin and crashed out. And though I always thought Vanilla Coke was a good muse, Vicodin might even be better.

In this dream, I was an actor in the movie "Frankenstein Thumb." Something had happened to my thumb--it was implanted with a microchip, or it was a demon thumb, or something--and I was being interrogated by some mysterious people, being played by filmmakers I know from Microcinema Fest. And, curiouser still, I was being interrogated on the stage at Cutting Hall in sunny Palatine, Illinois, where the festival plays.

The fact that these people were mysterious was denoted by the fact that they were all holding flashlights under their chins, giving them Bela Lugosi shadows. I guess now even my muse is used to thinking low-budget.

Any interpretations of this dream are welcome. Until later, give me a shout at

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Making of "Frankenstein Thumb"

I had this really vivid dream that me and a bunch of filmmakers I have met at Microcinema Fest were making a movie actually at the festival. It may be because I am looking forward to this year's Fest. It also may have been because I was flying along on Vicodin. Which undoubtedly was because I almost peeled my thumbprint off opening a can of tuna for my cats.

I was using a hand can opener and it slipped out of my hands and fell into the kitchen sink. The first thing I said was, "I screwed up," which I knew I had because I didn't feel anything, just a wave of cold. Which was bad because my thumb was spraying blood on the kitchen floor. I looked closer and saw the ball of my thumb canted out away from everything else. So I wrapped a towel around it, but not before my daughter's friend glommed onto the whole thing and vomited. It was a zany few minutes. I had my wife drive me to the emergency room where after spending a few hours reading five-year-old magazines a friendly doctor put nine stitches in my thumb and patched it back together again. Though I suspect I will never be able to commit any left-handed crimes, because I think I am going to have a weird-looking thumbprint; sort of a Colts horseshoe.

The funny thing was that later my daughter and her friend found a piece of broken Cheeto on the kitchen floor and thought it was the tip of my thumb, until she picked it up with a spoon and butter knife and looked closer. I would have given anything to see my daughter creeping up on what she thought was the remains of one of my appendages with a spoon and a butter knife.

So the muse has gone silent here for a bit longer, maybe until I get the stitches out.

The name of the movie we were making? "Frankenstein Thumb." Ah, Vicodin, my fill-in muse.

Give me a yell at

Monday, July 02, 2007

Man Has Cried A Billion Tears

I just sent off a few new scenes to the Polonia Brothers for NEW JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH and am still punching up the third act of URAMESHIYA (GHOST SCREAM) for director Amit Tripuraneni. So let's go to the mailbag for today's entry:

Sporadic reader Joe writes:

Hi, I was watching a movie called Las Vegas Bloodbath, and in the credits, it credits the fx to someone named John Royal Dalton. Any relation?

Some research on IMDB tells me that this is actually David Royal Dalton. No relation. How come nobody wants to know if I'm related to Timothy Dalton?

Loyal reader Dave writes:

Hey, I just signed in to E-mail you. I decided to take a break last night from wrestling (as I usualy watch every night, but the Benoit thing has me reeling) and finaly got to watch Sex Machine. I dug it, you were right, my kind of movie. My only cretique of it has to do with the lack of a budget they had. I assume the budget =the bad ADR which was pretty distracting in some scenes, but other then that I enjoyed the hell out of it.

Thanks, Dave! Good luck with your wrestling career!

New reader Don writes:

During my hitch down in Louisiana (late '80s, early '90s), I remember watching a video from the rental store that a friend had rented, and I'm wondering if it isn't the Cannibal Campout listed under Jon McBride's body of work. I remember a chunky kid with an '80s haircut singing along to a song in a van on the way to the woods, and the bad guys pulling the guts out of a living victim while his buddy had to watch--not much else. Memories!

With that description, it could be nothing else but! Jon enjoys singing in his movies--check out "Bigfoot Stole My Six-pack" in AMONG US.

Write me at