July was Planet of the Apes month around my house. This past Sunday, we went to see the original 1968 feature film on the big screen, thanks to Fathom Entertainment and TCM. It’s wonderful to see these old films the way they were meant to be seen. If only I could have seen them without prior knowledge of the plot points! It would have been wild to get that first glimpse of gorillas on horseback, hear them utter their first words or see that final ‘gotcha’ shot as an uninformed viewer. It was still great to see it so large and uncut but so much of the joy of the movie is in the reveals. We’ve seen a few of these TCM Fathom Events at the theater but this one was extra special. Usually, host Ben Mankiewicz kicks off each flick with a little bit of history and trivia. But this time, he interviewed a special guest, Dr. Zaius. What a wit! I didn’t see this movie in the theater during the first run (I was a bit too young) but I did see it on the big screen when I was in my teens. Anyone remember the Jerry Lewis
This and That. . .
My sister Linda lived in San Francisco in the seventies when they were filming the last season of The Streets of San Francisco. Here are a couple of pictures you shot of them filming on the streets. . . . of San Francisco. The photo above is a lovely closeup of Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica. (My sister has mad photography skills, unlike me) He took over when Michael Douglas left. (WordPress is being weird, click the photo twice to blow it up to full size) If you look at the garage door, that appears to be Karl Malden trying to shake some sense into a young woman in the far shot. I don’t have that season on DVD yet, maybe when I get it, I’ll be able to figure out which episode this was.
In my mind, I’m a filmmaker. In reality, I’m a writer and sometimes crew girl. Since I’ll probably never make a film of my own, I like to support indie artists who had the guts, imagination and perseverance needed to put their vision on film. This week, I’m checking in with director, writer and executive producer Mark Edward Lewis. Mark’s current project is a scifi lollapalooza called Blade of Honor and it’s wrapping up funding next week on Kickstarter. I grabbed Mark in between takes and asked him three questions. (He would have answered 4 but I only had 3). Read on, then go over to Kickstarter and join the crew. Tell us everything we need to know about Blade of Honor in two sentences. Mark: Blade of Honor is a sci-fi thrill ride filled with intrigue, sexy starships against the backdrop of a war that humanity is about to lose. It’s also the sci-fi series we’ve been waiting for since BSG and Stargate went off the air. (I’m going to butt in here and mention that the project stars Alison Haislip (Attack of the Show), Richard Hatch (Battlestar Galactica), Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager), James Kyson (Heroes), Cirroc
I got my first look at The Haunted Mansion when I was 14-years old. In spite of the fact that I was completely enamored with classic horror at the time, I was still afraid to step inside that foreboding house at the end of the road. What was going to happen inside? Were people going to jump out at me (my biggest fear)? Was it going to be silly? Was it a show that we were going to watch from a little room? When the ride attendant stuffed us all into that little room, I got really worried and then crazy things began to happen. The room, wasn’t a room at all. It was an elevator. The magical paintings on the wall got increasingly creepy and then we were plunged into darkness. A hanging man. A scream. A crying baby and near panic, then the doors opened and I was led into an even more disorienting darkness. A long haul with windows that appeared to show a storm brewing outside. But how could they be windows if we were underground! Wait! We’re underground! (That thought freaked me out all by itself). Then we rounded the corner and saw the ride.
When I moved from New Jersey to California, I was all alone. My friend Jeannie had flown out with me, but after a week of playing tourist, I put her on the plane back home. That was a tough day. I had a return trip ticket, because it had been cheaper to buy a round trip than a one-way, so I could have called it off then and there. I was tempted, but I gathered up my courage and my sense of adventure and said good-bye. About now, you’re wondering what all of this has to do with the famous horror hostess Elvira, but stick with me, I’m getting there. As I walked away from that airplane terminal, I wondered if I had made the right choice. Later, as I stood in line to rent a car (mine was being trucked out from NJ and wouldn’t arrive for several weeks), I was sure I’d made a mistake. What was I doing in this big, smoggy city, so far from home? I had moved to Los Angeles to be closer to my beloved television industry, but I had signed a contract to teach school out in a small, desert town several
I don’t remember how I first learned about Star Wars, but I do recall my being desperate to see it. Lucky for me, the movie was going to premiere at a theater in Philadelphia – just a quick train ride from my home town in NJ. Then, I got even luckier. A local radio station was giving away tickets, not to the premiere, but to a special, private screening. The winners also got a Star Wars prize pack with a pin and the movie soundtrack. All you had to do to win was be the correct caller and answer which of two musical groups had “the force”. For days on end, I sat in my room with the phone in my lap dialing and dialing in hopes of being the right caller. For days on end, I got nothing but busy signals. Once or twice a voice would answer and my heart would leap. “You’re caller number 6. Try again.” Click. So close and yet so far. This was back in the days when we only had one phone, which means I had to keep my family off the line so I could keep dialing for Darth. It was a
We found this fantastic, rotary telephone at an estate sale today. We’ve been looking for one to add to our retro tech collection but when we saw that this one was in Irwin Allen orange, we had to buy it. The previous owner still had it attached to the wall! We went to lunch after and were tempted to take it into the restaurant and talk on it like it was a cell phone. If we had, we probably would have ended up on quite a few social media feeds. “Look, kids! That’s how we communicated before we had mobile phones.” Talk about Life on Mars!
Do you like ghost stories? Mysteries? Romances set in a small New England town? How about culture clash romances where the hero and the heroine come from different sides of the tracks? Yes? Super! Rush right over to Amazon right now and download my new ebook Waiting for Ethan. In the book, Joyce is forced to choose between two lovers: one is the most eligible bachelor in all of Mystic Harbor, and the other is, unfortunately, dead. A lighthouse, an orchard, a high school dance — Mack and Joyce are about to discover the dark side of love as they unravel the thirty-year-old mystery that left one young girl Waiting for Ethan. And look, back when the book was in print, I got a wonderful review from the biggest magazine in the industry, Romantic Times. Here’s what they had to say about Waiting for Ethan. RT (aka Romantic Times Magazine) Review: “This haunting tale of a love that transcends time, space and even death is reminiscent of a Victoria Holt novel. When the main character, Joyce, is torn between the love of a ghost and that of a living, breathing man, she finds that some decisions can be deadly. When