File 13: News archive
The following items appeared in previous columns and are stored here for the curious. Note some links will be out of date.
HERSCHELL WATCH (11/14/03)
This just in ... "Herschell Gordon Lewis has put the stamp of approval on
Herschell Gordon Lewis' Grim Fairy Tales. Lewis will be directing and Michael James, producer of Hunting for Herschell, will be orchestrating the chaos behind the camera with the script by Jarrod Canepa, also from Hunting for Herschell. Officially in the pre-production phase, the film will boast elaborate sets and over-the-top special effects. 'With Hunting, we just pushed through with what we had to get the job done,' James said. 'With GFT, we need to team up with a production company to make it happen and do it right. We have a great story and a top-notch script. GFT is definitely going to cause a few waves.' Lewis, who wrote the treatment for the project several years ago, asked Canepa to write the screenplay. The film is aimed for theatrical release in 2005. As for Hunting, they're still hunting for a U.S. distribution deal, James said. 'Several distribution companies have requested copies of the current version of the project for the European and Asian markets, but we've yet to strike a U.S. or Canadian deal.' He added that they're also planning to shoot two more scenes to 'flesh out' the current edit."
BULLETS, BOMBS & BABES ... ON SPIKE TV? (08/01/03)
If TNN thought Spike Lee was an auteur to be reckoned with -- they ain't seen nothin yet. CineSchlocker icon Andy Sidaris, who just treated five lucky readers to his autographed box set, has taken aim at basic cable's first testosterone haven as a potential new conquest for his L.E.T.H.A.L. ladies. Here's the skinny direct from Sidaris HQ in sunny Beverly Hills:
"The New TNN cable network (Spike TV) wants to hear from YOU!!!
The New TNN has just announced that its becoming The First Network For Men. They want to know the kind of shows YOU want to see.
Andy Sidaris has been hard at work on a sexy new TV series, one that'll be chock full of all the cool stuff you love about his movies -- BULLETS, BOMBS & BABES! And he's got some great ideas about sharing behind-the-scenes footage with all his fans.
Here's YOUR chance to let the people at The New TNN know what YOU want to see ... THE NEW ANDY SIDARIS TV SERIES!
Just CLICK HERE and write your comments! Cast your vote today for THE NEW ANDY SIDARIS TV SERIES!"
VICTORY OVER VHS OBLIVION ... SOON? (06/27/03)
Not every day is a happy, happy, happy day. Ardustry Home Entertainment tells CineSchlock-O-Rama their plans for 2003 do not include releasing Clint Howard's immortal Ice Cream Man. Their next guesstimate? Halloween 2004.
CHEATERS WATCH (05/30/03)
Cruel irony, or mere community theater on the high seas? Bespectacled mid-season replacement Joey Greco, whom devotees swear stabbed ousted "Cheaters" host Tommy Grand in the back, was himself ventilated with a fishing knife over the weekend. The grisly attack capped the "real reality" TV phenom's most embattled season as the leering press, including GQ magazine, have increasingly pondered "Is Cheaters Cheating?" by sweetening or completely cooking delicious "true" stories of covert canoodling. Now there's even more blood in the water.
In a syndicated finale truly worthy of May sweeps, a six-month mother to be is motored into the middle of a LAKE to confront her philandering babydaddy who's found fishing, shirtless, as his new honey sunbathes topless. Soon blurry-faced "Mitchell" tires of Mr. Greco's judgmental needling and lunges for the diminutive host's waist, touching off a melee as security goons spring into action and simultaneously send a member of the Cheaters crew tumbling into the lake. However, just as the boat-borne tussle settles, someone yelps "Blood! Joey's bleeding!" and viewers are unceremoniously confronted by the ghastly result of a "3-inch" puncture wound to Greco's lower-left abdomen. The show then came to a chilling close with Joey being rushed ashore to the care of paramedics -- all as cameras continued to roll.
Executive producer and master showman Bobby Goldstein assured me this week that "Joey is doing very well," yet didn't wish to elaborate further as it's a "sensitive matter that I would not want to impede the show's continuation." Mr. Goldstein then explained he "thought long and hard about leaving the event in the episode ... [and] decided to do so in spite of the risks of alienating the 'violence watch dogs.' "
But is it all Barnum-ish bunk? Well, Mr. Grand who threatened just weeks ago to sue Goldstein over the "unlawful greed" that led to his controversial dismissal, and who has previously denied knowledge of scripted shenanigans during his tenure, now suggests fans reconsider Greco's seemingly grim fortune as "you'll question what's real and what's not" after reading the GQ article in which a Dallas stripper claims to have played a paid role in a lesbian love triangle.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave! Given the show's festering air of suspicion, conspiracy theorists willing to take a momentary break from the Zapruder footage might pose "stabbing" questions such as these:
Why not simply confront the cheater on dry land?
Might the guy falling in the lake be a diversion?
Where's the knife? None is ever seen.
If his face is blurred and his "identity withheld," why aren't repeated references to "Mitchell" and his mother's last name bleeped?
Suspect is never shown in police custody.
Greco arrives ashore less bloodied than moments before.
No one other than Joey applies pressure to his wound.
Why would anyone be allowed to leave the scene?
How does a maintenance supervisor afford a big-ass jet boat?
Why does Joey remain mic'd throughout his ordeal?
How are TWO cameras allowed along for the ambulance ride?
Despite shortness of breath, paramedics don't cut away clothing or even remove Joey's coat.
Why would an ambulance stop well short of the ER entrance?
Greco hosted all but the season's final episode?
How'd local media miss news of such a public assault?
Those puffs of smoke from the Grassy Knoll? Sorry, force of habit.
CHEATERS WATCH (01/24/03)
Tommy and Joey
Tragedy strikes in Dallas ... again. Beloved "real reality" TV phenom and CineSchlocker idol Tommy Grand has been REPLACED as host of the weekly syndicated circus "Cheaters." Earlier this week, tuxedo-clad executive producer Bobby Goldstein introduced viewers to the show's new host, Joey Greco, and expressed hope they'll continue to tune in. Reached for comment, Mr. Grand, whose given name is Tommy Habeeb, says of his absence, "I did not leave the show by choice; but, to the contrary, have been forced out by unlawful greed to which I cannot fully comment at this time due to pending litigation. I also miss hosting this show that I helped give birth to and appreciate all the continued fan mail from disappointed viewers." Mr. Goldstein was equally cagey in his response, "To be candid, no acceptable arrangements could be made with Tommy for his continuation. However, as it is said, 'The show must go on.' Cheaters is mostly about the stories and not about the story teller. Please give Joey Greco a shot. The upcoming episodes are doozies!" Those unfamiliar with the BEST exploitation series on TV are encouraged to pick up Cheaters: Best of Season One. Sadly, there are no plans for a second disc at this time.
VICTORY OVER VHS OBLIVION ... SOON? (01/24/03)
In researching the rights issues surrounding Clint Howard's immortal Ice Cream Man, Santa Kleinman and myself ran across a bit of exciting news! Unapix/A-Pix which distributed some terrific schlock titles -- Jack Frost, Razor Blade Smile, Dance with the Devil -- went bankrupt, but very recently, their catalog was purchased by Ardustry Entertainment. Their first salvo of DVD releases will include Jack Frost among a half dozen others. Best of all, they've enthusiastically confirmed they intend to usher ICE CREAM MAN into the digital domain. No solid timetable has been set. Stay tuned.
All CineSchlockers mourn the passing of Doris Wishman -- truly THE "First Lady" of exploitation cinema. Doris began her illustrious career with nudist camp flicks in the '60s, discovered the 73-inch breasts of Chesty Morgan in the '70s, and after a semi-retirement, directed THREE films in just the last two years (Satan Was a Lady, Dildo Heaven and Each Time I Kill). Visit DorisWishman.com for her obituary and to share memories with fellow fans. Of course, many of her beloved flicks are available on DVD, but A Night to Dismember boasts a must-hear commentary by the feisty auteur.
HERSCHELL WATCH (07/19/02)
Shooting has begun on Hunting for Herschell, a comedic ode to the Godfather of Gore, which was first brought to the attention of CineSchlockers last November. The flick follows the travails of two grossly untalented filmmakers, Eddie and Thomas, who go on a search for the illustrious Herschell Gordon Lewis, in the hope he'll produce their picture. During the course of this endeavor, the gruesome twosome permanently side-step those who would stand in their way through reenactments of particularly grisly scenes from Herschell's classic gore films.
Mr. Lewis, who will appear in the film as, well, himself, greeted the cast and crew during a recent rehearsal session in Fort Lauderdale. "I'm not only truly honored, but overwhelmed that something like this is taking place at all. I think you're all crazy," Lewis deadpanned. "You're my kind of people!"
What grim fate awaits comely Ms. Allison Fabre?
He then offered time-tested words of encouragement for not only the low-budget filmmakers in the room, but everywhere. "An aspect of the motion picture business that I've always found fascinating, is the lack of relationship between how much money is spent and what the reaction of the people who go to see that movie turns out to be. That's where great hope lies for those whose dedication, intelligence and spirit of adventure can overpower this notion of 'We've got to spend a lot of money, because that's what the big shots in Hollywood are doing.' The big shots in Hollywood made Ishtar."
Production will continue in South Florida throughout the summer utilizing local talent. Visit HuntingForHerschell.com for the latest news, photos and a list of cast and crew.
Meanwhile, Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat is beginning to make the midnight circuit while still in search of a distribution deal. The Florida Film Festival screened the picture just last month, proving as Mr. Lewis quipped, "If you live long enough, you become legitimate."
CALL TO ACTION (03/29/02)
This time last year, CineSchlockers were the FIRST to learn of the Godfather of Gore's triumphant return with Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat. Just six months ago, we were the FIRST to go behind the grue of H.G. Lewis' historic sequel to his 1963 classick. And at long last, newsstands finally bare witness to this glorious happening with a recent cover story in Rue Morgue (featuring our photos) and a five-page report in Fangoria's current issue. None of it is exactly NEWS to CineSchlockers, but this is one blood buffet BIG enough for every gorehound to get his fill.
NOW the time has come for a gutsy distributor to step forward and release this important picture on special edition DVD.
It's said that after screening the uncut flick, genre-friendly outfits such as Anchor Bay, Elite, Image, Lion's Gate, Synapse, Ventura and others have expressed STRONG interest, yet in these dicey financial times, have fallen short in their willingness to sign on the dotted line. Please click the links above to write your favorite distributor (or click here to email them all). Respectfully assure them you're anxious to use your fan dollars to support NEW genre titles as well as classic favorites. In other words, it's time they GET SOME GUTS!!!
IN PRINT: Yours truly is quoted in "Blood, Guts and Advertising" -- a fantastic ode to Herschell Gordon Lewis by City Link Magazine's T.M. Shine. The article delves into the bizarre dual nature of this stately exploiteer with insights from filmmaker John Waters, partner Dave Friedman, distributor Mike Vrany, wife Margo and myself. CineSchlockers in the South Florida area should pick up a copy at their local newsstand, or read it online like the rest of us.
COMING ATTRACTION: The horror-comedy Hunting for Herschell follows two failed moviemakers desperate for the Godfather of Gore to produce their disastrously awful flick. All human obstacles encountered on their quest are gruesomely dealt with in copy-cat murders based on the schlockmeister's famed films. Currently, real-life filmmakers Jarrod Canepa and J. Michael James are making final preparations and hope to begin shooting early next year for a fall 2002 release. The movie sprouted from "a kernel of an idea" first planted 10 years ago when James interviewed Lewis for a weekend radio show. They got into a discussion afterward about writing and it ended with Lewis suggesting James give him a call when he had a project ready. That call has been made. "It's a mild self-parodying spoof of Herschell's films. We will also touch on his direct-mail career -- that's the more frightening part," James recently told me. "And realizing that most of the general population have no idea who [Lewis] is, it will also be a film that will stand on its own merits. It will have gore, at least one large-breasted 'virgin,' a self-sustaining story line and Herschell himself!"
-- April 24, 2001
Prayers to the gore gods have been heard. Their grisly reply ... BLOOD FEAST 2: Buffet of Blood
Blood Feast, the original gore film, shocked the world with its meaty debut in 1963.
The immortal film's sequel is set to begin shooting in July, nearly 40 years after drive-in audiences first witnessed the unspeakable butchery of Fuad Rames (Mal Arnold). Blood Feast 2 also marks the reunion of exploitation legends Herschell Gordon Lewis and David F. Friedman. Lewis will direct the full-length feature.
Producer Jacky Lee Morgan describes his labor of love as the campy story of Fuad's grandson, who knows nothing of his notorious grandpappy, but is cursed with an irresistible blood lust of his own. According to Morgan, the film will be shot entirely on digital video and will be "low budget, the way it should be." So far, Lewis is impressed.
"The difference between Jacky Morgan and everybody that's come before him is two fold. First, he has a script. It's not the script that I would have written, but he has invested in a full-length professional script. Second, he's already sent me a shot breakdown, which normally the director does. This is not just, 'Let's make a movie!' He is seriously interested in this. His shot breakdown makes a great deal of sense. He has an 18 or 20 day shooting schedule, and I'm half inclined to believe this really will materialize," Lewis said.
In addition to commissioning W. Boyd Ford's script, Morgan has recruited Nick Leon and Horst Sarubin to create gore effects for Blood Feast 2. Original music will be performed by Rick Miller of Southern Culture on the Skids. Something Weird Video's Mike Vrany and Jimmy Maslon are executive producers. Morgan also hopes to include cameos by Mal Arnold and gorehound John Waters. Shooting locations have been narrowed between Mobile, Alabama and New Orleans. A website has been established at www.bloodfeast2.net.
But ultimately, Morgan insists, "It's about Herschell and Dave. This is their day."
Morgan is a self-described Southern redneck from Covington, Louisiana who began his career producing concerts and now produces movies. Films like Larry Clark's chilling Bully; Love Liza with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates; and The Rosa Parks Story with Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson. Morgan now divides his time between New Orleans and Los Angeles.
TELL 'EM YOU CARE! (02/19/01)
Here's a real chance for CineSchlockers to be heard! One of the truly great genre filmmakers, Andy Sidaris, is considering releasing 12 of his guns-n-babes epics on DVD. The proposed discs would feature audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and never-before-seen production stills. But first, he'd like to "get a sense of how much interest there
is among our fans." So, go on, do it -- drop Mr. Sidaris a note!
Titles under consideration: Malibu Express, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, Picasso Trigger, Savage Beach, Guns, Do or Die, Hard Hunted, Fit to Kill, Enemy Gold, The Dallas Connection, Day of the Warrior and Return to Savage Beach. Stay tuned to CineSchlock-O-Rama for further developments. And tell 'em you care!