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The Return of a Local Television Legend (well, almost)....Where the U.F.O.s in Florida are: 2004
 by William Moriaty

"Shark Tale"
 by Mike Smith

"Shaun of the Dead"  by Nolan B. Canova

Concert Review: THE CRAMPS, w/The Chesterfield Kings, and The Downshifters
 by Terence Nuzum


Fanzine Memoirs, Part 5, the Gazette Period
 by Vinnie Blesi

A Message to the Kiddies Who Contributed to "A Shark's Tales" Box Office Take....Professor Paul Bearer Debuts this Saturday....Goodbye Janet Leigh
 by Andy Lalino

Dead At 77!
 by Brandon Jones

Debated and Debatable....Thanks, Cheney!....Rodney Is Gone
 by Matt Drinnenberg

Get Well Soon....The Next Logical Challenge....No Mas....Do Not Pass Go....Passing On....Meet The Beatles, Part 37
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 237  (Vol. 5, No. 41). This edition is for the week of October 4--10, 2004.

  Debatable outcomes
  Bush/Kerry, Cheney/Edwards
•   Creature Feature back on WTOG 44
•   More Top 10 Live Albums
•   Sad Passings
Mike's New York Pics
Tech-talk: My XP Service Pack 2 debacle

•   Announcing: The Halloween Horror Picture Show

It was fully my intention to comment on the presidential debates last week, but due to an overwhelming workload exacerbated by post-hurricane clean-up duties and a sudden (but welcome) surge in webmaster work, I was unable to spend much time on the PCR or do a new episode of Nolan Radio.

The first Bush/Kerry debate has been...well...debated to death in the news, but I wanted to go on record as saying I, too, was impressed with Kerry's performance and underwhelmed by Bush's. This comes as no surprise as it was the general consensus that Bush simply wasn't really on top of his game. The two words most closely associated with the first presidential debates regarding President Bush were: missed oppotunities. Missed in that (apparently) John Kerry contradicted himself many times (I didn't catch them), but Bush didn't pick up on any of them and fire back. Not much was expected out of Kerry, this was supposed to be Bush's big night, crowing about the Iraq war, yet he failed to make a bigger impression. Since the next two topics are about the domestic issues, it's possible Kerry could take all three debates. Before this I would've said that while that's all fine and good, Bush could still take the election. BUT...after the first debate Bush's lead in most polls had vanished. So now I wonder...Kerry definitely has a chance come November.

Listened to this on radio last night (as I write this), then saw video clips on TV and the AOL welcome screen this morning. Very interesting. Much closer match than Kerry/Bush and most pundits are calling it 50/50. CBS News (unsurprisingly) declared John Edwards the winner, while FOX (unsurprisingly) awarded that honor to incumbent Dick Cheney. I myself am going with John Edwards (er...unsurprisingly). The kid kicked ass. Cheney got in a few jabs of his own with jabs at Edwards' "unimpressive" record and constant absenteeism. Cheney then shot himself in the foot later by saying he'd never even met Edwards before the debate. Within hours the TV and internet were ablaze with photos showing them together before now. Oopsy.

What's Next
The next Presidential debate is this Friday (8th) in St. Louis. The topics proposed are general-purpose "domestic issues" which could be about the environment, economy, both, or other. They are all Democratic strong suits, which looks good for Kerry. Touchy economic subjects would presumably be policies regarding outsourcing, tax cuts/breaks, and job losses. Stay tuned.

Creature Feature returns to WTOG, UPN 44
Long-time readers of this 'zine are acutely aware of the devoted fandom of most, if not all, PCR staff members regarding the original Creature Feature, which enjoyed a 20-year run on St. Petersburg's Channel 44, or its venerable host, Dr. Paul Bearer, played by the unestimably talented Dick Bennick. The show revolved around him and his weird sense of humor, his characters (like pet spider Spenjamin Bock), sets (he lived in a tenement castle), and props (ate cereal with names like Ghost Toasties, and Lice Crypties). It seemed no one could hope to fill his shoes and the day of the horror-hosted spook show of local origination was simply gone after his passing in 1995. With the sale of WTOG to UPN, and hundreds of channels available on cable and satellite TV, the concept was rendered obsolete, a quaint product of a bygone era.

Or is it?

You same long-time readers may remember last Halloween when I covered a story of a central Florida man who wanted to bring back the concept of Paul Bearer and Creature Feature to television. (See PCR #189 for the whole story. --N) Producer Jason Thomas appeared on Channel 10 News one morning with his prize protegé: Professor Paul Bearer II, ostensibly the nephew of Dr. Paul Bearer, there in the studios of Channel 10, sitting in the original chair of Dick Bennick's character! (The few props brought along were genuine Tenement Castle articles now owned by Springhead, FL collector, Rusty McClellan.) Sporting a very familar-looking undertaker costume and sounding very much like Dr. Paul Bearer himself, this character seemed poised to take over the role---if only WTOG would go along with it.

One year and a deluge of fan letter support later, apparently Jason's dream has come true--at least for the month of October. Starting this Saturday, October 9th, the air dates are as follows:

  • Sat., Oct. 9, 2pm :Critters 4
  • Sat.,Oct. 16, 2pm: Aberration
  • Sat.,Oct.23, 2pm: Humanoids from the Deep
  • Sun., Oct. 31: A Halloween Horror Fest:
    • Noon:Nightmare on Elm St. 4
    • 2pm: Freddy's Dead the final Nightmare
    • 4pm:Amityville: Dollhouse
You'll notice that they were able to get Creature Feature's old time slot of 2:00pm. You'll also notice the Halloween "marathon" of three movies. All of these episodes will be hosted by Professor Paul Bearer II.

I was admittedly ambivalent towards this project as I have never been a big supporter of resurrecting dead characters for new exploitation, preferring to create new things with new directions while respecting the contributions of talented performers of the past. I think the Professor's character is too close to Dick Bennick's to be considered "new", but then the whole point seems to be to recreate Creature Feature as closely as possible for those of us who miss the show so much (and we do). I don't want to be too harsh before actually viewing the episodes, so I'll be tuning in Saturdays in October and hopefully experience the magic so fervently worked for by Mr. Thomas and Co.

Matt' Challenge: Top 10 Live Albums of All Time
Continuing this week with responses to Matt Drinnenberg's challenge. In last week's issue we heard from Derrek Carriveau, Brandon Jones, Matt Drinnenberg, and Michael Smith. This week, Mack Beasley joins the fray.

The Top 10 Best Live Albums of All Time      by Mack Beasley

Like a moth to a flame I simply have to respond to another Top Ten List, particularly with music. I think it's a horrible incurable affliction but I can't help myself. I think it's because someone might just offer a great piece of music or an artist that I'm not familiar with and just maybe I'll hear some new killer talent or rediscover some crusty old long-buried gem of a tune. There isn't a bigger treat than discovering your newest favorite artist. This is especially true when the entire CD is solid back-to-back tunes. We used to see a lot more of that. It seems to me that many artists had albums that you could start at song one and play right to the end with every tune being a great piece on its own merit. Those days are long gone it seems. Live albums are seldom the best work the artist has to offer in my opinion but there are a few releases that really stand out.

  1. Woodstock (original 1970)
  2. The Who, Live at Leeds
  3. The Allman Bros Band, Live at Fillmore East
  4. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Live Alive
  5. Johnny Cash, At San Quentin
  6. Commander Cody & LPA, Deep in the heart of Texas
  7. Rod Srewart, Unplugged and Seated
  8. Eagles, Live
  9. Neil Diamond, Hot August Night
  10. Rolling Stones, Get your Ya Ya's Out

Sad Passings
In another one of those bizarre weeks where celebrities seem to drop like flies, I am saddened to report the passings of legendary astronaut pioneer Gordon Cooper, actress Janet Leigh ("Psycho"), and comedian-actor Rodney Dangerfield. Space buffs like myself remember Gordon Cooper and his landmark orbits that paved the way for later moon landings. Also, his later work with researchers on the subject of the possiblity of extraterrestrial visitations. Our own Mike Smith has, as always, done a superb job summarizing the careers of Janet Leigh and Rodney Dangerfield in this week's Rant.
(The late-breaking story of Christopher Reeve's passing will be covered in the new PCR, out Wednesday. For now, please see The Message Board. ---Nolan)

Mike Smith's Pics from NY
Delayed from last week because they arrived so late and I simply ran out of time, these are the pics that were supposed to accompany Mike's story of his trip to the Big Appple. Take another read if you need to, but here are the pics. The ruggedly handsome young man seen in nearly all the pics is Mike's son Phillip, about 20 years old. The big, blurry finger at top right in nearly all of them is presumably Mike's.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 update
I'm sticking this at the end as it has that odious tech-talk smell to it that bores so many of you to death. I've finally downloaded and installed the notorious Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. This is supposed to be the one that's all about security. All I'm going to say is devote some extra time to it, because it will seize your computer until it's damn well ready to release it. That includes configuration screens, EULA screens, the whole enchilada. I'd already been warned by Apopka fillmmaker Jason Liquori that his machine has not worked right since he installed the stupid thing.

Since I'm on dial-up (horrors) it's literally taken weeks to download the 78MB update a little at a time. It finally seemed ready to do its work this morning. All seemed to go well until Windows stopped responding after initial reboot. The install, well, just stalled. I was on the phone with Orlando correspondent Lisa Zubek when all this was happening and she suggested a hard reboot---switching the power off, then on, which I hate---as the only likely remedy. It took her advice and it worked (well, so far anyway). Only time will tell if I'll regret taking the update. But so far, so good. Thanks, Lisa.

So if this issue of PCR seems a little late getting out of the gate this week, I'm blaming it all on Service Pack 2!


ENIGMA FILMS and METROPOL PRODUCTIONS join forces to bring you an evening of frights and delights.

THE HALLOWEEN HORROR PICTURE SHOW 2004 will feature a gruesome mixture of Feature and Short Horror Films compiled from some of the best Independent Filmmakers from around the world.

LONDON VOODOO is a frightening import feature film from England that will leave you on the edge of your seat, while Metropol's own FILTHY will knock you off it. Enigma Films' THE REAPER, as well as the highly controversial THE FALL from Colonel Jim Productions will test your sanity. More titles TBA. Should you survive these horrific entries, they'll be more waiting for you in the dark!

The HALLOWEEN HORROR PICTURE SHOW 2004 will turn the Sunshine State into the Nightmare State as we spotlight indie horror filmmakers with a special block of Fearsome Florida Fright Flicks. This is a great way to support independent filmmaking right here in our home state of Florida.

In addition to the spine-tingling selection of horror films, there will be a COSTUME CONTEST and SPECIAL GUESTS in attendance. Please log on to the Official HALLWEEN HORROR PICTURE SHOW website daily for late-breaking updates and information.

Actors, actressess, and behind-the-scenes talent will be present to meet & greet fans and sign autographs. Indie horror filmmakers will have their horror films for sale in the auditorium. Please come out and support the Florida Independent Film community while doing something good for people who have suffered from the recent hurricane strikes. 100% of the admission fees for the HALLOWEEN HORROR PICTURE SHOW will go to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund, so come out and do your part while spending Halloween with the people who really know how to scare you.

The festivities will kick off at 5pm at Cooper Hall 103 located on the USF campus on 4202 E. Fowler Ave. in Tampa. You can get more information on the Various films that will be shown at the Official Web site located at: www.halloweenhorrorpictureshow.com. Tickets are $5 at the door and seating is limited so get there early.

Help do your part for a great charity and pass this on to everyone you know and help us promote this special night of fright. Anyone who is interested in getting involved by submitting a Short Film to be shown or donating funds for the cause, please contact us.

Saturday, October 30th, 2004
Beginning at 5pm
The University of South Florida - Cooper Hall 103
4202 E. Fowler Ave.
Tampa, Florida
FREE Parking: The northeast parking lot at the intersection of Leroy Collins Blvd and Alumni Drive directly behind or in front of the USF main campus library.
Admission: $5.00 (100% of the admissions donated to the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund)

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    "The Digital Divide" is ©2004 by Terence Nuzum    "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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