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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2009!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum.                 HOME           ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our tenth calendar year!
Number 503  (Vol. 10, No. 46). This edition is for the week of November 9--15, 2009.

"The Men Who Stare At Goats"
Texas Terrors: The Late Night Films of Larry Buchanan Part One
Horror Mags of the Late 80's
Japan Fest 2009 Orlando
I Heart CrazedFanboy.com
Suck On That, Cheeseheads! .... Sabby Was Robbed! .... Yanks Win Series .... The Return Of The Arena League .... Would It Be Sweet? .... .... .... u
Coming Soon! .... The Big 4-0 .... Who? .... Passing On .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2 o
Celebrations
Vatican Says OK To Extraterrestrials
Happy Veteran's Day
Happy 40th Anniversary to "Sesame Street"
Happy 50th Anniversary to "Second City Television"
Chris Heyn (La Femme Nikita) Visits Tampa
Readers Comments


Pope AlienVATICAN SAYS OK TO EXTRATERRESTRIALS
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2009

I could've sworn I'd heard about this years ago, and I think I did, but I also may be confusing it with the Vatican's about-face on Evolution. Namely, that Evolution does not appear to conflict with Scripture, so, hey, it's OK now.

Back when I was a kid in Catholic school, such talk would've landed you in the dean's office facing charges of heresy or something.

Now, evidently, four-hundred years after they locked up Galileo for challenging the view that the Earth was the center of the universe, the Holy See and his robed gang have decided to open their own X-Files and seriously inquire as to the possiblity of extraterrestrial life.

The Vatican's chief astronomer and director of the Vatican Observatory, Rev. Jose Gabriel Funes, says, "The questions of life's origins and of whether life exists elsewhere in the universe are very suitable and deserve serious consideration."

Umm....yeah! Welcome aboard! Where were you when I needed you in the '60's!

Long-time PCR readers are well aware, that though Ye Olde Editor-in-Webmonkey has been an atheist and skeptic for at least thirthy years, I have long been an enthusiastic supporter of UFO research and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Conflicting beliefs? Not really. My official stance is that while I'm not terribly impressed with the "evidence" for ETs that's come before now, I'm very hopeful that we will eventually find something out there, something verifiable by science.

The about-face by the church regarding aliens is significant in that, before now, the prevailing religious "theory" is that the Creation of Intelligent Life was determined to be unique to Earth, and that humans were oh, so special, and that the existence of aliens from space would conflict with Scripture. Extraterrestrials were never mentioned in Scripture. Just angels and demons. And if you're a Catholic and went against that, well, you remember what I said about Galileo.

But the Catholic Church has been moving slowly in a more liberal direction since the '60s. Unfortunately, it has also seen its share of controversy the past few decades. Despite my moving away from the Church, I still follow the news/gossip. I guess some parts of it never left me. So, if the Vatican says Evolution is OK and that The Truth Is Out There on space aliens, well, that's huge news to me!

However, on the skeptical side, I've said it before, I'll say it again: The Earth is no longer flat and is one of a family of planets that orbit a central sun. Religion can put up a ferocious and deadly battle, but in the end....slowly, over the centuries and with glacial pace...science wins in the end.



HAPPY VETERAN'S DAY
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2009

Today is Veteran's Day as I write this, November 11, 2009.

We at Crazed Fanboy, no matter what our political leanings (and they can swing pretty wildly), always commemorate our soldiers fighting overseas, extend gratitude to those who have served in the past, and, above all, honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. *Salute!*


HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY TO "SESAME STREET"
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2009

Yesterday, November 10th, the classic PBS children's show Sesame Street celebrated its 40th anniversary on television. It is the longest-running children's show in history, an amazing accomplishment.

The show is produced in the United States by the non-profit organization Sesame Workshop, formerly known as the Children's Television Workshop (CTW), founded by Joan Ganz Cooney and Ralph Rogers.

Of course, my strongest memories of the show were the classic Muppets characters created by the immortal genius Jim Henson. While Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Company commanded the most attention, it was Big Bird who basically hosted the show. Other memorable characters such as Oscar the Grouch and Elmo also left quite an impression.

And while the show was a landmark of educational television for kids, I myself being 14 years old at the time of its debut was a little old for its target audience. Nevertheless, I absolutely lived for the skits involving roommates Bert and Ernie, who I found to be consistently fall-down funny! I think it was the touch of subversive adult humor I perceived. (In retrospect, this was probably me reading too much into it. However, Henson was notorious for his double-entendres featuring the Muppets on talk shows. The latter sketches on SNL bore this out. But I digress...)

As I recall, Sesame Street was the first children's show to deal honestly with a death of an elderly character, "Mr. Hooper", when the actor who played him, Will Lee, died in 1982. Rather then recast him, they dealt sensitively with the issue to the largely pre-school audience.

The infectious theme song written by Joe Raposo became as much a part of beloved Americana as any nursery rhyme.

Hats off to Sesame Street and may it last another 40 years!


HAPPY 50th ANNIVERSARY TO "SECOND CITY (TELEVISION)"
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2009

Two things right off: first, I'm a little premature in that the Second City anniversary is December 10th, but I'm afraid I'll forget it. Second, the "50th" anniversary is actually for The Second City the precursor to what most baby-boomers remember today as Second City Television, or SCTV as it became in 1976. Both shows emanated from north of the border, namely Toronto.

The original SCTV cast (1976 on) consisted of John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Eugene Levy, Andrea Martin, Catherine O'Hara, Ramis and Dave Thomas. All also served as writers on the show, although Martin and O'Hara did not receive writing credits on the very earliest episodes. Ramis served as SCTV's original head writer, but only appeared on-screen as a regular during the first season (spread out over two years).

Similar in format to America's Saturday Night Live, the show centered around spoofing television. But additionally (and not like SNL), in-house media melodrama was also satirized with characters like John Candy's vain, bloated variety star Johnny La Rue, Dave Thomas's acerbic critic Bill Needle, Joe Flaherty's wheelchair-bound program manager Guy Caballero, Eugene Levy's swarthy comedian Bobby Bittman, Rick Moranis's bearded video deejay Gerry Todd, Catherine O'Hara's washed up TV has-been Lola Heatherton, and Andrea Martin's flamboyant, leopard-skin clad station manager Mrs. Edith Prickley.

My personal favorite was Joe Flaherty's horror host "Count Floyd" who always managed to get confused during his improvised monolgue, all while doing a Bela Lugosi-type accent.

Martin Short, who was part of The Second City improv troupe and later a cast member on SCTV was a featured guest on Live with Regis & Kelly this morning (11-11-09), and it reminded me of this anniversary.


Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
Old friend and author, Christopher Heyn, left, with traveling companion, William.
Ye Olde Editor, left, with Chris Heyn at Nina O's Grill & Bar.
Group shot attempt. L-to-R, Joel D. Wynkoop (camera hog as always, haha), Terence Nuzum, empty Nolan Canova chair (I'm the photog), Chris Heyn, Will, Chris Woods, Lisa Scherer.
CHRIS HEYN (LA FEMME NIKITA) VISITS TAMPA
POSTED BY NOLAN B. CANOVA, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2009

Chris Heyn (rhymes with "rain") is someone I've known for over 25 years. I first met him when I was working at a bookstore at Britton Plaza, and he was a teenager who'd come by after school. We talked frequently, got to know each other and grew rather close. I attended his Eagle Scout ceremony at St. Patrick's Hall. I was always impressed by how bright and energetic he was. He left Tampa soon after to attend Oral Roberts University and eventually go out into the world. We were separated for many, many years, and I thought I'd never hear from him again.

I'm always moved and not just a little honored when any of the many young people I've met and befriended over the years comes home and remembers to visit Uncle Nolan. Long-time readers may remember Chris's visit to me in 2003, shortly after he'd reinitiated contact. We caught up on missing time and I learned he'd taken the road to Hollywood.

Chris, now 44 years old, was a script consultant on La Femme Nikita, an American/Canadian television spy drama based on the original French film directed by Luc Besson, and was present during the whole run of the series. Eventually, he wrote a behind-the-scenes book about his experience, Inside Section One, which also features a complete episode guide and cast interviews. It is one of the most exhaustive and comprehensive books of its kind I've ever seen, and I gave it my highest recommendation in a review.

Chris and his friend Will came to the Tampa area last week on vacation from LA and we arranged to hook up at my gang's current watering hole, Nina O's, Sunday, November 8th. I was thrilled to be able to introduce Chris to the PCR stable and vice versa. The talk was animated, we took a brief jaunt down memory lane (always love that) and we were able to pick Chris's brain about his show-biz experiences.

I've included a few pics to mark the occasion. Hopefully, it won't be so long before we can all meet again, but I'm grateful for whatever experience we can muster.



Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
cheerleader blogger [17-11-2009 06:40] 
Rah rah rah!!
Simon Lynx [17-11-2009 04:45] 
Will be in town in 2 weeks, hope to see you guys at some point.
Kirk [17-11-2009 01:13] 
Spock is ready. He's been banging Uhura. He wants to be watched. The anti-Trek Trek movie by the filmmaker who knew nothing about Trek and just made some stuff up despite what the fanbase wanted is now out on DVD. At least the schmuck didn't get totally "lost" with his impossible mission and got the friggin' names right!
einee [17-11-2009 00:00] 
wat a bunch of loosers!
Petrey [16-11-2009 19:22] 
And your fake ID negates your whole paragraph.
omar reloskinolia [16-11-2009 18:57] 
You have to LOVE the selective censorship on this site! You delete the funny Drake Duck post and leave the pointless puppy pie post which triggered it. This misleads your readers. Such selective censorship, which is used on your message board, where critics of the friends of the editor find their posts edited or deleted have been noted. No wonder the message board is dead in the water. Nolan needs to be more unbiased if his site is going to be respected as an online fanzine, and if what is left of this site is going to survive. In just over a year, this biased site will be out of business as far as Tampa film is concerned. The cheerleader blog will be obsolete even sooner than that. Amateurs.
Jason Fetters [16-11-2009 14:32]  
While waiting for blood work, early this morning, I saw a clip on Bay News 9 about a 30-foot Sea Monster terrorizing Madeira Beach.
Go here and scroll down to Does the Bay have its own http://www.baynews9.com/VideoPlayer/index.html
Petrey [16-11-2009 11:22] 
Dang Beasley, I'd kill for a job like that, ha! Well my daughter's boyfriend, who plays Beeltlejuice at Universal Studios has agreed to do an intro to all the ride and attraction DVDs I'm going to whip up! That and the circus should just about do it. 100 copies of each. Man I'm excited!!
Beasley [15-11-2009 16:31] 
Back in the 80s I had a short stint in Alabama as a security guard for huge cemetery. My shift was from 6pm to 6am. There was one lone light in the cemetery atop a tomb and I'd sit at the base of it and read my new issues of Fangoria when they came out. I always said that the dead don't scare me...it's the live ones ya gotta worry about!
Petrey [15-11-2009 13:42] 
MATT: You should watch THEATRE OF BLOOD. There's a pooch in a pie sequence in there that should satisfy your hunger.

Travolta: They kinda did do a remake called Bubble Boy. More of a comedy though.

Beasley: Comedy is always good. Someone just mentioned circus so that's a possibility. Last year was cool. I copied 50 3D Rollercoaster DVDs and provided the glasses. This whole thing started in 2006 when I felt at my lowest at Thanksgiving and reached deep at what would help me pull myself out of the dumps. It worked nicely and now I look forward to it every year!!
MAD MATT [15-11-2009 11:21] 
Continued from previous post: in omelets, tacos, even puppie pie is delicious! But my favorite part is the preparation. I get to squash newborn pups with my hiking boots! Sometimes I toss in some little baby ducks to keep it interesting. have you ever stomped on little baby ducks? That cute little, "chirp, chirp, ch-SQUISH sound is marvelous...
John Travolta [15-11-2009 11:14] 
Speaking of, "The Boy iuin the Bubble"...I think it's time for a remake. I could be, "The Man in the Bubble"! Think about that while I fly to Bora Bora for lunch, okay?
Beasley [15-11-2009 11:10] 
Damn, John! I had no idea you were a nice guy. I mean, from what I've gathered from Nolan, you're...AWW! I'm kidding! It's very cool of you to do that. The only genre that comes to my mind is ANY genre that gets them thinking about something besides their medical issues.

Comedy might be a good place to start!
John Travolta [15-11-2009 10:57] 
"The Boy in the Bubble"
Petrey [15-11-2009 02:04] 
It's that time of year again guys! Please send me your suggestions on what DVDs to create for the All Children's Hospital for Christmas! Past DVD themes have been DisneyWorld/Land- Sea World - Florida Aquarium - Busch Gardens - Manatees.
This will be my 4th year in a row providing sick and terminally ill children with a little slice of happiness! All I'm asking is for suggestions on a theme on what kind of discs to create this year. Thanks in advance!
MAD MATT [14-11-2009 18:17] 
I like puppies...
Jerkie Boy [14-11-2009 16:07] 
I heart Crazed Fanboy? From one individual who is proud to be a "jerk" for calling people out and stating the obvious (I'm only a crazy to those who too stupid to figure basic things out), you're welcome. You stay real, you hear? I don't know about paybacks, but I am totally harmless, and actually unconcerned. Only on Crazed Fanboy can I discuss obscure topics to the same few people regardless of how biased and incorrect my opinions are. Praise our tiny, obscure group!
LOL.... With the mutual fan club going on, this was almost as comical to read as a recent newspaper article where a small band of friends basically built each other up and spun a failure as a success. The people who matter actually know the_truth.
Truth be told, this site has alienated many people who could have actually helped. You heart this site? Knock yourself out! The feeling is hardly mutual. I don't hear a site which, in my opinion, more resembles a hate site and a high school clique than anything else.
Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam [14-11-2009 09:08] 
Happy birthday to Mason, Joe Davison, ED and all the other November b-day peeps!
Simon Lynx [14-11-2009 06:46] 
I used to have a sweet t-shirt with an alien on the cross.
Miley [13-11-2009 14:53] 
Hawt! Who did the alien pope graphic?
Simon Lynx [13-11-2009 14:30] 
I thought contact was terrible it could have been a lot better.
Nolan [13-11-2009 04:53] 
Contact was a great book and a great movie!

Chris and Joel: you have me on the "Sub-Genre" fanzine as well...never heard of it. Joel, got a copy available?

HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH, EVERYBODY!
Petrey [13-11-2009 01:58] 
Logan's Run has been rumored for a remake for years on IMDB. Now I see there is a 2012 date set. I'll only believe it when I see it.
Chris Woods [12-11-2009 17:59] 
Nolan and Joel - Thanks again. I never checked out Scary Monsters or Filmfax. I should give them a look sometimes. Joel, I don't remember Marcus' Sub-Genre magazine, didn't know he ever had one. I guess it was a fanzine, right?
Matthew [12-11-2009 17:15] 
love watching old Sagan vids on pbs. never personally bought in to the alien vs bible debate. don't think there's really anything to debate at all.
Matthew [12-11-2009 17:12] 
loved contact as well. Jodie Foster was great as usual.

just got Logan's Run from netflix. what a great movie. forgot how much fun it was.
Jujubee [12-11-2009 15:36] 
Contact was not a crappy movie. It was awesome!
KkkrazedKkkonservative [12-11-2009 14:55] 
Meanwhile lets review...

As the rest of the world debates Sesame Streets liberal bias towards Fox News or as Oscar The Grouch referrerd to it Pox News...

We watch as the communist sympathizers at Nolans Pop Culture Review celebrate the shows anniversary.
Happy Young Man [12-11-2009 10:07] 
Nolan, have you read Contact ... yeah, the crappy movie is based on an awesome book by Carl Sagan and it revolves around the alien vs. Bible debate and the fictional story is a great backdrop for Sagan's usually way-too-complicated theories on the universe.
Terence [12-11-2009 08:47] 
yeah well my Fangoria is longer than yours!
Joel D. Wynkoop [12-11-2009 08:00]  
Chris,

Cool on your magazines of the 80's piece. Rarely do I comment (I should more often, thanks to you and Lisa and Ed on your Spooky Empire write up's as well. Those were also cool) Anyway, my experience was with a truck driver giving me a copy of Famous Monsters back in 68 0r 69, he said "This will keep you up at night." That's how my interest started in horror. Great piece man on the genre. Remember Marcus' old magazine Sub-Genre? Some others with not as broad a distributor were Independent Video, Draculina, I think the rest are 90's I'm looking through. But I remeber GORE ZONE, they did an article on us for KILLING SPREE. SLAUGHTER HOUSE is another one that covered KILLING SPREE. FANGO is definatley the one that has hung around the longest (I guess Famous Monsters outstanding) Anyway man, thanks for the trip down 80's memory lane, cool article brother.
ED [12-11-2009 05:37] 
Mike - I am holding a copy of Fangoria #1 right now. It's not my dog eared original but a mint copy that came with the Star Wars collection. You are correct about Dawn of the Dead. The full color zombie shot gun blast photo is on page 12! This issue features Godzilla on the cover and the first of a two part article on Doctor Who. Obviously they weren't strictly horror back then.
ED [12-11-2009 05:33] 
I also liked Scarlet Street magazine. It was a little more high brow and had some great Hammer articles in it. Filmfax started off well but then became too self serving for my tastes. They began writing too many articles related to the videos they were selling mail order. Scary Monsters was usually a fun read and very much in the Famous Monsters vien but it is almost impossible to find on the bookstore shelves around here any more.
Nolan [12-11-2009 05:27] 
Mr. Petrey: Thanks. The tagline was changed after a few of us had a discussion on the matter. You, John Miller and Terence all felt its underlying message was a little demeaning regarding where Schlockarama has evolved. It applied to the first "classic" section created by Will Moriaty years ago, but no longer does. I'm glad you like the new motto.

I also agree the original Creepy and Eerie magazines rocked! I have a lot of those, too.

Mr. Woods: I like Horror Hound as well, but I would also submit two more modern classics of retro horror journalism are Scary Monsters and Filmfax, although I don't think the former was out in the '80s.
Petrey [12-11-2009 01:01] 
"A look at classic horror and exploitation cinema. " May I be the first(?) to say that this adequately better describes your collection of reviews in the Grindhouse section.

As far as any monster related mags I collected during the 70's they would be EERIE, CREEPY and THE TWILIGHT ZONE paperbacks. I was more in to the comic side of it.
Michael [11-11-2009 22:08] 
You are correct, Matt. The Bucs went 0-14 their first year, then lost the next 12 before beating the Saints (the team fired coach Hank Stram the next day) and, I believe, the Cardinals.

If I remember right I bought the first issue of Fangoria...does it feature a shot of the zombie head exploding from a shotgun blast from "Dawn of the Dead?" I'm sure I have it in a box SOMEWHERE.

As stated in this section last week, Josh Freeman is a stud and I hope he can turn the Bucs around. Have to say I miss the orange creamsicle unis they broke out last week.
Matthew [11-11-2009 20:24] 
Chris, I know the Bucs first seson they were winless. When was the 2nd time? I do remember them winning the last two games of their second season.?

As for Famous Monsters...now you're speaking my language. Big news is supposedly going to break soon regarding FM in it's current state. I'll post here when I know something more.

Best to all!
Chris Woods [11-11-2009 19:09] 
Thanks everyone. Glad you all enjoyed the article. I wish I got a chance to get some Deep Red magazines. Always read about them and saw them in adds, but never bothered to send away for any. FantaCo was an awesome company (and right out of Upstate NY) that published a lot of great books, magazines, and comics.

If you're looking for a great horror mag out now, check out HorrorHound. It's way better than Fango.
J.MILLER [11-11-2009 17:35] 
Great article this week C.Woods! I am in 1000% agreement with everyone that Fangoria currently sucks
ED [11-11-2009 13:22] 
I started out just like you did Nolan with Famous Monsters and then graduated to Fangoria. I was hooked with issue #1. I agree it gradually became a promotional outlet for mainstream films but to this day they still turn out a few good articles on past movies and filmmakers. I can't believe it has been 30 years since I plucked that first issue with Godzilla on the cover off the shelf at my local Pantry Pride! Good article Chris.
Nolan [11-11-2009 13:08] 
Jason, I worshiped Famous Monsters and Castle of Frankenstein. They were the beginning and the end of horror mags for me.

I bought Fangoria steadily until about 1999 or 2000. After that, it seemed a compilation of press packets and not much more. It was all promotion. Fan reviews virtually vanished.

Charles Balun was a HUGE influence on me as a writer, he was amazing, I absolutely agree. I had the honor of meeting him at a FangoCon and told him my feelings. Fango was never the same after he left.
Jason Fetters [11-11-2009 12:42]  
Chris, excellent write-up on horror mags. I started as a Famous Monster subscriber then one day in 1983 no more issues came. No refund either. I remember being diappointed. Then for my birthday I got a Fangoria subscription and everything was fine. I also collected Gorezone. I would go to cons and used bookstores to find Castle of Frankenstein. Castle always had great writers. I'm glad you mentioned Deep Red because Chas Balun is great. I bought Gore Score, Horror Holocaust, and the Deep Red Horror Handbook. Balun wrote a great biography of Lucio Fulci too.
Nolan [11-11-2009 12:20] 
Shaping up to be another terrific issue, everyone. Nice work on the Horror Mags of the '80s, Mr. Woods!

And thanks for an early Sports Talk, Mr. Munger! GO BUCS!

Jason, I'm still working on Japan Fest. It'll be up ASAP.
ED [11-11-2009 11:47] 
Not first again!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith     "La Floridiana" is ©2009 by William Moriaty    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger     "The Asian Aperture" is ©2009 by Jason Fetters      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova    
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