Monday, October 27, 2008

Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott

This pic is from October 18 when both House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows played at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Rarely has the Castro had such a large turnout of fans on a beautifully, summer-like Saturday night. Left in photo is Lara Parker who played Angelique on "Dark Shadows" and Kathryn Leigh Scott was famous for playing Josette and Maggie Evans.

They told some really great stories about the mishaps and low-budget filming techniques they endured. Like the time that Lara Parker's eyebrows were burned off from the excess lighter fluid when she lit the house of cards, which she built for an incantation. instead of a slow fire, there was a tiny burst of fire and it was gone. They patiently took questions and were kind to spend the best part of the weekend with us.

We were very excited to see rare footage being restored of Night of Dark Shadows.

Fans are waiting for the day that Johnny Depp brings Barnabas Collins "back to life."

Halloween songs highlighted this week on Music Choice's Sounds of the Seasons

I discovered that Halloween music has its own Music Choice channel. I was just listening to artists such as Laverne Baker from one of several Elvira compilations, nearly every song from her comps have appeared in the mix I caught. Now Oingo Boingo's "Dead Man's Party" from the New Wave Halloween album. Definitely material we would hear if listening to Dr. Demento. The other night there was an interpretation of "The Addams Family" theme song by someone I never heard of and then tonight "Addams Groove," by MC Hammer, likely from the first movie soundtrack (it's from Drew's Famous Halloween Party Music 2). Just as I type is the John Carpenter score "Michael's Sister" from Halloween II Soundtrack. It's pretty great. Twilight Zone by John Williams/Boston Pops Orchestra. Nice.

Plus they have trivia statements from news, people born on Halloween, movies, vampire facts, and little to do with the song itself. Halloween cities: Transylvania, NC. Gee, what's it like there!? Yeah, some are downright hoaky.

I heard the worm song the other night. "The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, The worms play pinochle on your snout." So some of it is great for kids, like from the Chipmunks voice: Andrew Gold's, "Trick or Treat" song. But some might be scary. It's very random. The dates of some of the music can be obvious. Lots of bad crap from the 80s and 90s. Twice I've heard "Feed My Frankenstein" by Alice Cooper (Elvira comp. again with her voice over the song near the end). 'Weird Al' Yankovic's "Nature Trail to Hell" is a cheesy high point. Yankovic is a vegetarian, according to Music Choice.

Cheesy goth music: Song called "Druids" by some musicians that call themselves Midnight Syndicate with a website that makes you click twice before you can find a menu that tells you much of anything.

But the stuff from the 60s and 70s can be remarkably cool. The Ran-Dells doing sugary harmonies on a novelty pop song called "Martian Hop" in 1963. It is much less predictable than incessantly playing "Monster Mash".

I love that they will play the theme from Psycho by Bernard Hermann. I have a Bernard Hermann collection on vinyl but no way to play it.

Dave Edmunds' "The Creature from The Black Lagoon" is a good saloon song, from 1979.

They also have scary sound effects, literally, that's the title of the album, song is "The Phantom Theremin Orchestra," which really is creepier than it sounds. Like you're spinning in a tornado of mosquitos.

And, indeed, it helps me stop the channel surfing for a while. This is what one should do on a Monday night anyways.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Powerpuff Girls 10th Anniversary Collection and the upcoming TV Special

"The Powerpuff Girls" 10th Anniversary Collection will be released on DVD January 20, 2009
Stay tuned for the Cartoon Network's schedule because sometime in December they will air "The Powerpuff Girls" TV special in which Roger Jackson plays Mojo Jojo singing two songs. One of the songs is "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," originally by Tears for Fears. Roger says that it was a lot of fun making this special and he looks forward to seeing it on TV.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Patti Smith: Dream of Life movie by Steven Sebring

San Francisco's Lumiere theatre was packed with people on October 19 for the special appearance of Patti Smith and Steven Sebring as their documentary Patti Smith: Dream of Life was about to screen. In the film she says when someone asks me, "How does it feel to be a rock icon, it makes me think of Mt. Rushmore." That's the wit we're dealt by this poet-singer-artist as she talks about her life.

She travels to places across the globe including Rome, Jerusalem, the graves of Gregory Corso, Arthur Rimbaud, and William Blake. Some precious moments are of her with her family and of her feeding a cemetery cat.

She's gentle in person and ferocious on stage whether it be footage of her live performances or of her war protests. Every time her live performances were shown, my hair stood on end. This is the effect she has on me live.

Guest appearances in the film include Philip Glass, Thom Yorke, Michael Stipe, and Flea (the latter compare peeing in a bottle stories).

We get to watch her paint as she confesses that she always wants to touch the paintings in museums, especially de Kooning's. She talked about Pollack's inspiration from Picasso's Guernica and that the drip from the tooth of the tiger in that painting is where he found a technique that hadn't been done before.

She had just came in from Australia and was terribly jetlagged, but wanted to answer questions for us. Someone asked her about how she met Robert Mapplethorpe. She said that he was her boyfriend and that they had met at Pratt College in Brooklyn. They found a way to continue to work together and remain friends until he died.

In a request for her to talk about her late brother Todd, whom had died from a rheumatic heart, she proudly exclaimed, "Isn't he handsome?" She recalled the time she came off stage in 1978 and backstage were Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel and her brother Todd. They were all the same age and she said that we all knew who was the hottest guy in the room.

Filmmaker Steven Sebring said that there was more music in the film, but those scenes that included music on the radio that was too expensive to obtain the rights to, had to be cut. In no way did they plan the filming around having to obtain rights of books used in the film or music that was naturally playing in the background in cafes or other locations. They let the filming process be as natural as possible and then worried about copyright permissions later.

Afterwards, Smith was signing the book that was released to go along with the film.

Into The Unknown with George Noory schedule

Into the Unknown with George Noory will air for one week on the SciFi Channel
full week airing dates below

(from Sci Fi's press release) Into The Unknown with George Noory, a late night television special exploring the realm of the unexplained. George Noory is host of Coast to Coast AM, a radio program nationally syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks. The show is the most listened to overnight radio program in North America, heard by nearly three million listeners each week on approximately 500 stations in the U.S. and Canada.

Check your local cable tv station listings:
11/16/08 (Su.) 11:00 PM SCI FI (#101) REINCARNATION
11/17/08 (Mo.) 11:00 PM " (#102) WITCHCRAFT
11/18/08 (Tu.) 11:00 PM " (#103) MONSTERS
11/19/08 (We.) 11:00 PM " (#104) UFO'S
11/20/08 (Th.) 11:00 PM " (#105) LEGENDS & LORE

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Movie Review - From Inside at Dead Channels 2008, San Francisco, CA - Oct. 3 & 5 screenings

Wednesday attended the two screenings of From Inside as part of the Dead Channels Festival at the Roxie Theatre, Friday night and Sunday afternoon. The audience members were a mix of tattooed-hair-dyed goth punks and average looking 30-something fans of animation wanting to see the "new blood." In total about 25-30 people were in attendance. Ironically, San Francisco experienced its first rains of autumn within hours following the first screening, as if in honor of From Inside's torrents of blood raining from the sky. However, the second screening fell on a bright balmy Sunday severely contrasting any dour outlook you have when the movie is over.

The graphic novel From Inside, written, painted and inked by John Bergin, was published in 1992 by Kitchen Sink Press. It has remained timeless in showing how vulnerable humans are to the whims of the people around them as they are the only survivors of a nuclear attack. Its characters are traveling on a train, just barely holding onto life. The main character, Cee, faces bleak prospects, being in her last trimester of pregnancy. She's dealing with some denial about what's to come. In the transformation of page to screen, the drama unravels steadily with a subtle narration by Corryn Cummins, balanced by a dark, ominous score from Jeff Rona and a sound design by Dustin Blegstad that draws us into the post-apocalyptic journey. Bergin's panels become richly animated with flowing rivers of blood and billowing caustic black smoke. Faces of fellow passengers beckon for hope in some of the most vivid images of despair. Bergin chooses to use animation techniques that delay the action and hold onto moments, which honors the quiet doom that permeates throughout the story. Some scenes from the book have more of an impact when animated such as when they come upon the herd of buffalo. Unfortunately, the story reveals all too well that perseverance is futile.

The novel-to-film process began for Bergin in mid-2005 and is well detailed on his blog. In order to stay updated on the movie's festival run, follow John Bergin's blog and Wednesday's Korner using Google Reader to subscribe to the blogs in order to view all the new posts.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pilot for Cartoon Network

Roger Jackson phoned and informs me that he was recently in the studio working on a pilot called "The Regular Show" for the Cartoon Network. "Guess who was in the studio with me!" says Roger. "Oh, I don't know," I answer. "Mark Hamill." Roger says he's a great guy and really fun to work with. Roger plays the Evil Voice and the Groundskeeper, while Hamill plays the Yeti. This is a show currently in production so there's no word on when it will ever air, but the blog will provide updates if there's any news.

We recalled a show we loved, that also had a Yeti, with superheroes comprised of marionettes. It was a scrappy version of Thunderbirds Are Go. Unfortunately, canceled by MTV before it even had a chance. It was called "Super Adventure Team," created by Robert Cohen and Dana Gould was the executive producer. The only identifiable real name actor is Daran Norris, but all the other actors had to fake their names in the credits. So it's been ten years since the show was on MTV and we both have a bootlegged DVD of all the episodes. Of course, Roger pulls a quote from it right out of thin air.

If anyone ever wondered what it is like to talk to Roger, the Ghost Voice from the Scream movies, on the telephone, well, I'll tell you. If you don't have caller ID, it's even more of a treat as he impersonates all sorts of people when you answer. This time, I saw it was him calling, so when I answer I just say, "Hi!" He was doing his Arnold Schwarzenegger voice which is Dana Carvey's impersonation skills multiplied times 100. He called just before The Sarah Conner Chronicles show (we both admit that we watch to see how great Summer Glau is on screen, though feel she deserves a better show). He tells me the news about his recent work, then goes back to the Arnold voice while the show is on, so I say, "This is just so much better than MST3K, but you should do Arnold a la Beavis and Butthead." The next five minutes is exactly that, Arnold's voice coming out of Roger's mouth with the stoner humor of Beavis and Butthead. "Oh, geez, that's a big haüs, heh-heh. They needz to vater their graz. Vhere'z the Terminator?! I vant to see the Terminator! Oh, yah, there she izz!" But it was funnier because his mind is so quick, I was laughing too hard to keep track of it all.

We're both fans of "Weeds," too. The announcer on the Mucinex commercial (where Roger is the voice actor playing the green guy) just so happens to be Andy Milder who plays Dean Hodes, Celia's husband. "Andy Milder and Elizabeth Perkins," says Roger, "have got great chemistry on screen."

Other shows we both watch are "Dexter," "True Blood," "Entourage," and "Lost."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Another chance to see John Bergin's From Inside

From Inside, the movie is playing at the Dead Channels Film Festival in San Francisco on Oct. 5 at 2:00 PM Sunday at the Roxie!! It screened first on October 2, Friday, which went perfectly with the storm clouds that brought us the first rains since April.

As previously mentioned Bergin's 71 minute film follows a pregnant woman on a train after a terribly destructive world event. It's tragic, sad and inspires haunting contemplation with unforgettable scenes of bleak landscapes and death. Dead Channels' week-long festival ends October 10 and will show films in San Francisco and in Oakland, CA. The film Latchkey's Lament screens with From Inside and fans of intricate animation and gloomy Sci-fi stories should make this a not-to-be-missed excursion into the City.

Read Dennis Harvey's summation of other movies shown during Dead Channels, which are also fantastically full of dread.