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Nolan's Pop Culture Review
PCR Archives 2004
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What’s In A Name? A Look at the Origin of Names of Florida’s Towns and Counties E to G
 by William Moriaty

"Alien vs Predator"
 by Mike Smith

The Fiery Furnaces....Comets On Fire....Rogue Wave....The Hives
 by Terence Nuzum

Pirates of the Spanish Main....I, Robot....The Village....Fay Wray
  by John Lewis

Happy Birthday, Nolan....Exorcist 4: The Beginning....LXG A#1!....Grindhouse Cinema, Revisited
 by Andy Lalino

Swiftboat Veterans For Truth -- NOT!!!
 by Matt Drinnenberg

Moron....Do You Like Pink?....Movie Heaven....LXG Is A-OK....Passing On....Sorry About The Knee....Meet The Beatles, Part 30
 by Mike Smith

Flash Fantastic
Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 230  (Vol. 5, No. 34). This edition is for the week of August 16--22, 2004.

Recovery: Hurricane Charley
 Cheryl Ford, R.N. On The Hurricane
 What you can do to help
 My late birthday celebration
 ED Tucker's Trip to Vegas and...
 Filmmaker legend Ted V. Mikels interviewed!

I'm just glad to be here and in one piece. Have all y'all seen the wreckage that was once the Punta Gorda region of South-Central Florida? Those poor people...and to think that with just the slightest twist of fate, they could've been us.

As mentioned in the special update in last week's PCR, the high-pressure trough from North Florida dipped much further south than expected, pushing Hurricane Charley into a premature northeastern turn 100 miles or so south of Tampa and smack into Punta Gorda, then continued to level the land in a pretty much straightforward march to Daytona Beach. By then, however, it had weakened somewhat; Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda got the full brunt of a Category 4 Hurricane. Tampa was missed completely. (It's worth noting that if the storm had continued north as had been anticipated, it could easily have fed off the intervening Gulf waters to become a Category 5 Hurricane by the time it hit Tampa.)

Nurse Cheryl
My personal dentist's main assistant, Cheryl Ford, R.N. is quite politically active, and both of them have participated vigorously in the Terri Schiavo case. In this case, too, their generous outpouring toward the victims of Hurricane Charley is nothing short of awe-inspiring as they gear up to take whatever non-perishable goods they were able to collect personally down to Hardee County where help has been slower to arrive.

I now give the floor over to Nurse Cheryl, so this remarkable lady can tell you first-hand her experience during the notorious Friday the 13th storm. I know many people who live in evacuation Zones A, B, or C in Tampa (myself included), her story speaks for so many of us...

Friday the 13th, Our Day With Charley!
By Cheryl Ford, RN

Friday the 13th! Evacuation in our area was to commence at 6 AM. We were in evacuation Area C, in Hillsborough County. Hurricane Charley was on the way and it was anticipated that the Category II hurricane was still heading straight for Tampa Bay!

Little time to prepare! Despite the evacuation notice, we still contemplated leaving our home. We did not wish to be inconvenienced with the hassles of packing up all the animals, going to a hotel, and not immediately being available to rescue any potential harm done to our home.

As did the majority of our neighbors, we had spent most of the prior night awake listening to the local news and preparing our house for its encounter with Charley. We were all very tired! Not knowing what to expect, we carried in all of our lawn furniture and hanging plants, wrapped everything in clear plastic, disconnected all the electrical appliances, foamed all the door seams, boarded up windows and some even sand bagged their driveways.


American Red Cross

P.O. Box 97089
Washington, DC 20090-7089
and on the check write:
For Disaster Relief for Hurricane Charley.

Red Cross Website:

From FL filmmaker Jason L. Liquori:


     As the host of Jason's Jungle I thought I should write in about some ways animals may have been effected by 'ole Charley. When making donations of food and clothes, etc please keep in mind that many pets are now homeless too. An $11 bag of `Ol Roy dogfood or a bag of dry cat food can go a long way. Blankets and old crates you may have from a past pet will be welcome as well. Check with the local SPCA (http://www.ohs-spca.org/ ---to get info ) on where to make donations.
     If you find a lost animal, keep in mind that many people still are without power. Call the radio stations to make the announcement about a found pet. This is still how many people are getting their news. Posting signs at open stores and alerting nearby shelters will also help get the word to the right people. You could really make someone's day by finding their pet alive and well. You may also want to check with your local vet's office to find out if they have a record of who the animal belongs too.
     Finally, we come to our wild friends. With all these trees down and flooding in certain areas, much of Central Florida's wildlife has been displaced as well. You will encounter more animals trying to cross roads or bunker down in your backyard. Please be on the lookout when you drive. Use your high-beams on empty dark roads. Be careful when reaching into piles of debris, you may wake up a frightened raccoon, possum or snake. Check your yard before letting your dog or cat out. My large dog has noticed the extra traffic through our yard and her idea of play has some of the smaller local animals upset.
     If you're reading this on Nolan's website it means you have power (or batteries) and an internet connection working. Be glad. Stay safe. And please keep in mind that we are all in this together, no matter how many legs we may have.
     P.S. Wear bug repellent and keep pets indoors if possible. Larger than normal amounts of standing water have caused mosquito populations to be worse than ever in some areas.

Jason L Liquori
Hocus Focus Productions

Twenty-eight telephone calls later, we finally located a hotel in Orlando with an available room. We reluctantly piled the 3 dogs and my son's rabbit into the car, slapped the breaker box to the OFF position...and out the door we all went hoping for the best.

The skies were only overcast at the time. To the south we could see a roll cloud and bands of darkness. As we drove east on Interstate 4 on our way to our Orlando accommodations, we listened intently to the news reports about Charley's approach upon Tampa Bay. We sighed and moaned some more! Further east, the weather worsened on the roadway. We encountered torrential rains on I-4, leaving us with little visibility. We were a bit north of Lake Wales, when it was reported that a large tornado was spotted touching down in Lake Wales.

Following the tornado alert, there was another important announcement on the radio. Hurricane Charley had been upgraded from a Category II to a Category IV hurricane. The news stated that Charley had also spontaneously changed the course of direction it had been on. The change had meant that it would bring hurricane Charley south of the Tampa Bay area. Far enough south to remove the potential water surge threats from the Hillsborough Bay. A Bay located one block from our home.

Hearing the news that Charley was coming onto the coast near Port Charlotte led us to believe that it would most likely follow a pathway northeast up the state, and eventually end up over Orlando where we had our hotel reservations. Paying for accommodations in order to feel the direct affects of a Class 4 hurricane was not our idea of fun.

We looked at each other with raised eyebrows, and in unison said..."Let's turn around and go back home."

Relieved to hear the hurricane was no longer a direct threat to us, we made it home safely and quickly unpacked the car. We spent the afternoon cuddled with our furry babes, watching the news in the comforts of our family room in our quiet neighborhood with boarded up homes.

We, in Tampa Bay were spared by the wrath of Hurricane Charley yesterday. However, there will be others! Port Charlotte and other neighboring little towns were not as lucky.

Hurricane Charley had spent about 20 minutes visiting each little town in its path, ripping into them like he was an osterizer as he proceeded northeast across the state of Florida. In a few hours time, sadly, several lives were reportedly taken and there was mass destruction costing in the billions.

Though our lives in Tampa Bay were spared this time, I learned something about hurricanes Friday. I learned that a hurricane can have spontaneous direction similar to a tornado. I learned that it does not matter how much water you buy, how many flashlights you have; or how many windows you have boarded up, hurricanes do not discriminate!

In 100 MPH winds, limbs from neighborhood trees, building material and vehicles can quickly be turned into deadly missiles.

Nothing, or no one in its path is spared devastation of some form! A hurricane grants no mercy!

If you live in a neighborhood that happens to be in the path of a hurricane and can safely LEAVE, do so! Don't contemplate! Don't wait! Don't ignore evacuation notices!

After closely witnessing the path of rapid destruction and loss of human life Charley accomplished after terrorizing our neighbors to the south, instead of us here in Tampa Bay, I would not ever spend another moment contemplating the decisions of riding out a hurricane in our home. Nor would I opt to avoid an evacuation alert, just in order to save our home or personal possessions.

Sorry Charley and thanks for the lesson!

Delayed birthday party finally happens at Hooters
Hooters group
L to R, Vinnie Blesi, William Moriaty, yours truly, Terence Nuzum, and Drew Reiber gather at the Hooters on Gandy Blvd last Sunday to celebrate my 49th birthday that had to be postponed from Friday the 13th due to catastrophic weather conditions!

As you all know from reading last week's issue, my birthday happened to fall on a Friday the 13th this year---and I was determined to live it up despite the predictable trepidations of a bad luck date. But Hurricane Charley had other plans in mind, and I, like all others in my evacuation zone, had to clear out when it looked like Tampa was going to be directly hit. Thankfully, such was not the case (of course we sincerely regret the track it subsequently took through mid-central Florida).

For Tampans it was a time for celebration (as it would've surely been a Category 5 by landfall here). Some of my closest friends (and PCR writers, pretty much the same thing) treated me to a post-traumatic birthday bash at the local Hooters, where yours truly got the pitcher of beer he always wanted! Thanks guys, hopefully next year it won't be such an ordeal.

Guest Editorial
Velveeta, Las Vegas!
By ED Tucker

I recently ventured into the wilds of 24-hour everything, legalized gambling, indoor amusement parks, and buffets the size of a warehouse to meet two legendary cult filmmakers, Ray Dennis Steckler and Ted V. Mikels. For those unfamiliar with the history, Vegas isn’t what it used to be. The Strip in Las Vegas comes across these days as some kind of Disneyland on acid. Almost every casino now has a theme to it and giant recreations of everything from the Statue of Liberty to pirate ships and even a working volcano line its streets. If gambling is not your forte, Las Vegas offers a host of other entertainments to keep you occupied. In addition to the celebrity shows and tourist attractions, there is also an abundance of collectibles stores that could clean out a fanboy’s pockets faster than any one armed bandit! These were the hazards I navigated fearlessly to bring these interviews to daylight!

This trip to Sin City was instigated by a friend of mine who gambles as a hobby and receives continual offers from casino chains for free rooms, show tickets, meals, and other amenities. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to this adult playground for what basically amounted to the cost of my airfare. This was actually my second visit to Las Vegas and, while only a brief four days, I was determined to get the most out of it. In addition to spending time with my friend, making the obligatory casino tour, and checking out a few of the local clubs, I also planned a day of shopping and a day of interviews. It was a busy schedule indeed.

I only made a minor contribution to the casinos while enjoying their hospitality. There is so much to see in most of them now that gambling can easily become secondary or completely arbitrary. There were no celebrities performing in town that were of interest to me but I did manage to take in the Star Trek exhibit while staying at the Hilton. Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton consists of two different theme rides, a memorabilia exhibit, a recreation of Quark’s Bar from Deep Space 9 and, of course, the gift shop from Hell. The Klingon Experience is a combination walk through and simulator ride that easily rivals anything at the Orlando theme parks. The basic plot of the attraction involves the audience’s interaction with the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation to thwart the Klingons from eliminating one of Picard’s ancestors. The dogfight climax over the Las Vegas Strip (destroying some of the Hilton’s competition) is not to be missed. The Borg in 4-D is a new addition to the exhibit featuring the cast of Star Trek: Voyager. It has some excellent simulations and gives the audience as close to an actual alien probing as most will ever want to get. I’m not the greatest Star Trek fan in the galaxy but I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit and recommend that anyone that likes the series or theme rides in general set aside time for this during a visit.

The highlight of my shopping day was a trip to Cinema Collector’s World. This unassuming little building in a strip mall right off The Strip houses one of the most extensive and affordable movie poster inventories I’ve ever run into in person. The floor stock is fairly typical, although I did find lobby cards for “The Green Slime” and “Scream, Blacula, Scream” and an awesome Frazetta style artwork one sheet for Larry Buchanan’s “The Loc Ness Horror”. The real treat came when I started talking to the extremely helpful sales lady about the types of films I collect paper on. After finally convincing me to write up a make shift list of titles, she absolutely floored me when she stepped into the back and I could see rows and rows of file cabinets. After about ten minutes of digging she returned with items from at least half of the esoteric titles on my list. I left the store a very happy man with original one sheets from “The Astro Zombies” (the 71 release and one of my personal favorite posters of all time), the shady re-release of the Florida made “ZAAT” under the title of “The Blood Waters of Dr. Z”, and “The Undertaker and His Pals” (a cool duo tone poster I had never seen before).

During my shopping extravaganza, I actually found myself in the vicinity of Ray’s video store while looking for another shop, so I decided to stop in. Ray was out that day but I did spend a few minutes talking with his friend Bill Libby (this is how I always run short of time but at least I have fun). Bill regaled me with stories of living over seas in the military, previous business ventures, and how he came to meet Ray Steckler and convince him to move to Las Vegas while I plundered through stacks of videos, DVDs, and magazines. I finally settled on a used DVD of the 80’s “Jaws” rip off “Crocodile” and rocket off to continue my travels, promising to return the following day.

The remainder of my collectibles hunt consisted of comic book stores, a few fairly impressive record stores (yes those 12 inch black platters that preceded compact discs), and a pretty cool vintage toy store called “Toys of Our Time”. The latter was a treasure trove of old toys from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s and some more esoteric items like a full size prop space worm from “Men in Black”. While I didn’t add anything to my collection from this visit, I did spend a good half hour discussing the hobby with the owner. I had more stops planned on my list but the day just wasn’t long enough and any excuse to visit Vegas again is a good one.

Ray Steckler and Ted Mikels hold court on opposite ends of Las Vegas. Mikel’s studio is just off The Strip in a small industrial park while Steckler’s video store is several miles away in the suburbs. Both gentlemen were extremely generous hosts giving freely of their time and rich memories of their long careers. I could have easily filled a whole day with each but made the mistake of trying to fit it all into one. This was only a four-day vacation for me and both men have very active schedules I had to work around. Fighting traffic on The Strip caused me to be a few minutes late for my appointment with Ted Mikels and there was no way I could resist an invitation to sift through boxes of memorabilia whose contents eluded even Ted. At one point I unearthed an original one-sheet poster for the ’69 release of “The Astro Zombies”. This surprised Ted immensely as he had just told me that one had sold in Australia for $400.00 and he was seriously considering parting with the only copy of this poster he thought he had. As the sun was setting on a day I will never forget, I bid Ted farewell and loaded a bounty of posters, press books, photos, and even some 45 RPM radio spots into my car. Needless to say, I was several hours late returning from my adventures but I think readers will agree that the resulting interviews were well worth it.

Ted and Ed IT'S FINALLY HERE!! Click here (or on the picture).

A full-length interview with one of filmdom's cult favorites, TED V. MIKELS. Included is a video primer for those unfamiliar with his work.

COMING SOON: The Incredibly Strange Gab Fest That Stopped Living And Became A Crazy Mixed-Up Ray Dennis Steckler Interview! by Ed Tucker.

Saturday, August 28th, 2004
9:00pm to ???
The Castle Gothic Night Club
2004 North 16th St.
Ybor City, Florida 33605 (Tampa)
Club Phone: (813) 247-7547

*Note: "Filthy" will be shown on the club's big screen TVs at 9:15pm

      Yes, the moment has finally arrived to celebrate the Official DVD Release of "Filthy", the new short horror film from Metropol Productions! Make a date for Saturday, August 28th to meet the cast and crew of "Filthy" during this special occasion. The party will be held at THE CASTLE, a famous Goth Club in Tampa's Ybor City. If you haven't picked one up yet, "Filthy" DVD's can be purchased at the Release Party at the special pre-order price of $9.99 - special discount coupons will be given out during the party.
      RSVP's are not necessary - bring as many family/friends as you can - and spread the word! Cover charge from 9pm to 10pm is only $1 (cover charge increases after 10pm). If possible, arrive a little early so you'll be able to catch the showing of "Filthy" at 9:15pm. The party will continue at The Castle way into the night!
      If you've never been to The Castle, it's one of the best clubs in Florida - it was even parodied on TV's "Saturday Night Live". It's unique haunted castle decor creates a horrific backdrop that's the perfect place to host the "Filthy" DVD Release Party. Don't forget to wear black!
      If you can't make it to the Release Party, "Filthy" DVD's are always available for sale on the Official Filthy Website: www.filthythemovie.com. The Official "Filthy" Website also features the latest news about the movie, tons of photos, the "Filthy" trailer, and lots more.
      I will send another e-mail when it gets closer to event time. Just a reminder...times/dates may change, but if they do, I will announce it via e-mail.
      Thanks again for being part of the "Filthy" family and your continued support of the movie. There are a lot of great things happening on the horizon - so stay tuned!

- Andy Lalino
President, Metropol Productions

August 16, 2004 – ENIGMA FILMS and CREATURE-CORNER.COM have combined to create a DVD compilation that fans of independent horror will want to take note of.

Carefully chosen from submissions received from around the world, THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTION - VOLUME 1 contains five of the best short horror films the indie scene has to offer.

      Hosted by NECRO NANCY, a bombshell with her own horror story to tell, THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTION is jam-packed with extras like behind the scenes features, audio commentaries, gag reels, trailers and more. An added BONUS is the collectable comic packaged with each DVD detailing the events of NECRO NANCY’S life and subsequent unlife.
      Let Nancy take you on a revenge tour while introducing the following tales of terror:
  • My Skin
  • Monster
  • Bad Company
  • The Wretched
  • Don’t Worry, It’s Only Your Imagination
      Don’t Worry, It’s Only Your Imagination is THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTION’S main event and also marks the directorial debut of FX master Bill "Splat" Johnson. Bill is well known in the film community for his work on theatrical hits like Eight-Legged Freaks, In Dreams, Mel Gibson’s The Patriot, as well as the horror classics Sleepaway Camp II and Pet Sematary 2.
      After scaring the pants off the sold out crowd of the 2002 Florida "Saints & Sinners" Film Festival, "Don’t Worry..." helped spark the initial concept for the creation of THE NIGHTMARE COLLECTION.
      Available on 8/16/04 at www.nightmarecollection.com, ENIGMA FILMS continues to promote this 3+ hour extravaganza for worldwide distribution, including a release via the website for the upcoming HORROR CHANNEL.
      VOLUME 1 is only the beginning of what is planned to be a series of DVD’s presenting some of the best short horror films from the genre’s newest up and coming filmmakers.
      Stay tuned for more news as we expect to generate a growing interest once these outstanding films are unleashed upon an unsuspecting movie-going public.

Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan
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"Mike's Rant" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2004 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2004 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2004 by Andy Lalino    "Splash Page" is ©2004 by Brandon Jones    "Couch Potato Confessions" is © 2004 by Vinnie Blesi      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova    
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