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Origin of Names of Florida’s Towns and Counties L to M....The Prodigal Son Returns to the Stars
 by William Moriaty

"The Grudge"
 by Mike Smith

“Crazed Fans”, a New Reality Series Starring Crazedfanboy, Lalin80’s, Branded, Cthulhu, Arbormor, and Couchpotato.
 by Vinnie Blesi

The People vs Crazed Fanboy....Marc Almond Victim In Crash
 by Andy Lalino

 by Matt Drinnenberg

The Curse Is Over (Almost)....Movie Notes....Love Those Canucks....A Genuine Honor....Meet The Beatles, Part 39
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2004!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our fifth calendar year!
    Number 239  (Vol. 5, No. 43). This edition is for the week of October 18--24, 2004.

Crash and Recovery
Message Board Meltdown

•  October's Coffeehouse Film Review
•  Dunedin Comic Art Show

It was pretty scary. I had been in bed about 6 hours, an amazingly long time in my current situation, when I awakened to the sound of the phone ringing at 12:30AM last Thursday night/Friday morning. It was PCR's original bad boy and close friend Terence Nuzum calling to alert me to the fact that the Crazed Fanboy Message Board had developed an error preventing anyone from reading any posts. I stumbled to the computer to check out these insane ravings. Sure enough, accessing the Board I could see the Forums and the Topics, but could go no further due to something called a "1016 error" which put the Board into a perpetual "Debug Mode".

This I needed like a hole in the head. After a rather dormant summer, the message board was really taking off. Not surprisingly, it was the very political stuff that was attracting attention as we were entering the time of the presidential elections which were looming close. The PCR staff is fairly evenly divided between left and right, despite accusations from each side to the contrary---how many of each side post replies, however, can be out-of-whack, leading to occasional lop-sided soapboxing. My first suspicion was someone out there tried to hack the board due to a bad reaction stemming from over-exposure to loquacious Bush defenders Andy Lalino and Brandon Jones.

Before laying too much blame too quickly, I remembered Brandon had also inadvertantly opened a can of worms by posting a topic on the otherwise bland-sounding Shark Tale movie, but added "...and Tales of the Clueless Andy", a direct challenge to fellow PCR writer Andy Lalino, that inexplicably erupted into a war zone between fans of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and their detractors!! (Okay, Terence Nuzum and Drew Reiber contributed heavily to this digressive meltdown.) Within days the message board had set a new record of reaching 5 pages' worth of replies in just a few days, topping the old record of "Politics" (which took months to reach 5 pages), and "The Passion of the Christ" (which built up the now comparatively tame 2 pages in about two or three weeks). Could too many people on the board have caused a crash?

Investigating, I opened what is known in the web biz as my "Control Panel" online (where website administrators like myself do their various managing and bean-counting rituals) and was horrified to discover I was apparently out of web space! That would account for the codes behind the message board not having room to work. It would also account for the now out-of-order hitcounter, which showed up as an empty black box. Only one problem with this "solution": it was impossible. I couldn't be out of space. I just upgraded my hosting plan last July to ensure I wouldn't run out of space for at least a year! So now what?

Something was taking up a hell of a lot of space and it wasn't Crazed Fanboy. As soon as I'd try to make more space by deleting old files or folders, it would just fill back up again. Foul play, of course, was still the prime suspect.

Frantic calls to tech-support, searching the web for answers, more calls to tech-support, emptying email boxes and accounts, pruning old folders, emailing and calling tech-support, and general like-themed mayhem resulted in a slight gain in space (enough to finish last week's PCR), but still no message board, no hitcounter, and the email boxes were bouncing mail back. One week later the situation was not improving. Tech support was spread thin due to acquiring more companies under its corporate umbrella. Desperate measures need to be taken. The day PCR was to go up I got another 25MB put on so I could at least finish the update for the week. The next morning all 25 MB were gone, eaten. Finally, the next day, I hooked up with a manager who remembered me from the old days--she finally took command. Together with the best and brightest gathered 'round Crazed Fanboy, the Message Board was fixed, the space issue was resolved, and the email accounts were moved to another server. Final diagnosis: I'D BEEN SPAMMED. For months. All gathering into a folder I didn't even know existed. I REGAINED 550 MB OF SPACE I'd been supporting that was nothing but spam. Valuable lessons learned that week. Heroes named. But most importantly, Crazed Fanboy dotcom and its Message Board were saved for the free world forever.

Note: If recently you'd tried to access the Message Board and were unsuccessful, or tried to email me at nolan@crazedfanboy.com and got error messages, or found the hitcounter to be an empty box, those situations have been totally resolved and the programs are now fully functional. I don't anticipate any more problems. Thanks for your patience in this matter.

From Episode 1 ("Critters")
"In his wisdom, he willed me the entire tenement castle and all the treasures within."
"We have some critters of our own creeping around here going bump in the night."
"In this library I found books like 'Hack and Jill' and 'Grimm's Scary Tales'."
"I've traced the bumping sound down here to my sarcophagus."
It's Mr. Vump who goes bump in the night!
More antics between the Professor and the diminutive Mr. Vump.
What we've all been waiting for: a return to the unliving room of Dr. Paul Bearer
The Return of Creature Feature
As you'll recall my mentioning in last week's issue, fans of the old Creature Feature starring your ghost Dr. Paul Bearer, are enjoying a reincarnation of said program---of sorts---care of producer Jason Thomas and WTOG Channel 44 during October. (Due to the above-mentioned catastrophes and other work-related problems I didn't have any time to write a proper review of episode 1. Just as well as I have now seen two episodes back to back and have adjusted my originally less-than-thrilled tone.)

I was apprehensive after the 2003 Channel 10 appearance, when it looked to all the world like the actor was basically doing an imitation of Dick Bennick, but with a heavy dose of Beetlejuice. Yes, yes, I know he's supposed to be the nephew, but for crying' out loud, the reverse-falsetto voice, the undertaker clothes, the rythmic chortling, and especially the name, "Paul Bearer", it was obvious to me they were trying to recreate Creature Feature as closely as possible for all the fans who so sorely missed it. Nothing wrong with that on the surface, I guess, but if that was the case, they had some mighty big shoes to fill.

After watching the first two episodes and I became aware of the direction they were actually going, I was a little better settled with it. Where Dick Bennick's Dr. Paul Bearer was deranged with a distinctive vocal delivery (that wonderfully ludicrous reverse-falsetto monotone) and would do things like eat lady fingers and boxes of Lice Crypties while talking to pet spider Spenjamin Bock before annoucing the day's horrible old movie, The Professor is much more burlesque and animated with the obvious movements of an experienced stage performer. Dick Bennick was from a radio DJ background, although he has a history of playing horror hosts like his Count Shockula character when he lived in North Carolina. The Professor comes across like a Universal theme park version (I think he actually was hired from there) of Bennick. Again, nothing wrong with that, it just depends on your expectations and what you want to get out of Creature Feature.

Critters 4
In episode one, emerging from smoke and shadow, the new host, a character named Professor Paul Bearer II (discussed in last year's PCR, issue 189 and obviously dressed and made up to emulate a "family resemblance"), announces he's inherited the Tenement Castle from his "uncle", Dr. Paul Bearer (played by the late Dick Bennick), and "...allll the treasures within--if I can only find it!" This sets up a series of extremely brief bumper spots during the show where the Professor appears in a different part of the house, commenting on different props and looking for the source of a mysterious bumping noise. The day's horrible old movie, found in an old film can, is "Critters 4". And it was really horrible. Well, it was a little better than I remember it.

Back to the tenement castle...

In one well done effect, the Prof appears to enter one door as he simultaneously exits another....his facial expression triple take was pretty funny. In another scene, the Prof enters the "library" (more like a small corner bookshelf) where he discovers copies of books with titles like "Hack and Jill" and "Grimm's Scary Tales". Other spots were just long enough to utter a quasi-pun and walk on and off camera saying, "We'll be right back."

Hour two introduced the source of the "bumps": a midget named Mr. Vump, who goes bump in the night (yes it helps to think of that whole last line as his name), a new character in what I assume will be a regularly recurring role. After being discovered inside a sarcophagus, he does a little stage business with the Prof, does a little dance and exits. He pops up in every bumper spot until the end of the show.

And the end of the show brought out a welcome sight: the recreation of the "unliving room of Dr. Paul Bearer", the original Channel 44 stage set most of us think of as the Tenement Castle (now in the possession of Springhead, Florida collector, Rusty McClellan, and on loan to Paul Bearer Productions), where the Professor sits in the original chair surrounded by original props from the series. It's hard not to get a lump in your throat at a sight like that, kinda brought it home. Closing line, "There's someone new lurking for youuuuuuu..."

Week two brought the Professor back into the unliving room and, searching in the fireplace, he finds another horrible old movie, "Aberration", about predator monster lizards attacking a couple in a lonely log cabin somewhere in the mountains. Early in the movie, the female lead is seen taking a bubble bath as she relaxes for the night. This was appropriated for a bumper spot where, through some clever editing, the Professor is seen on the other side of the tub! As she says a line, he answers. A gag Dick Bennick never would've done, I confessed I laughed out loud at that one.

Another gag revolved around a suspicion that a monster lizard was loose in the tenement castle's neighborhood. When it bangs on the door to gain entry, The Prof and Mr. Vump open the door to discover...it's a lounge lizard, a Tom Jones look-alike singing, "It's not un-yooo-sual to be loved by anyone...."

OK, I'm caving. If they can keep this up, they may win me over. The only thing missing is pet spider Spenjamin Bock, and I suspect the producers are waiting to spring that on us in a later episode; sort of like coming full circle. If the Prof is siting there in the legendary chair talking to Spenjamin Bock, well.....that's as close to a Creature Feature Classic reincarnation as we're likely to get in our lifetimes. Besides, I can see a generation who never knew a time where there were horror hosts developing a new fandom over this.

October's Coffeehouse Film Review    by Chris Woods
For the first time, The Romeo Coffeehouse Film Review screened a feature-length film, which was "Bleed". The film was made by Icon Film Studios (myself and Simon Lynx.) This was the third showing of the film in Tampa, since its big premiere at the first Saints and Sinners Film Festival back in August of 2002 (where it picked up four awards, including The Sinner award for best picture.) Anyway, enough with the history, Simon and I arrived with the film around ten to eight. We saw the usual bunch, The Guzzo brothers (Pete and Paul, who run CFR), Walter Romeo, who owns the coffeehouse (Studio 1515), and actor Jereme Badger was there as well. We wish that Nolan could've been there, but due to work he couldn't make it (Overwhelmed I was --N). Other faces that were there: Jorge Gimenez (Another member of ICON), Rodrick Colbert of USF, actress Natali Ragan, and actor Joe Makowski from Other Side Cinema's "Night Demons" and "Homeland Security".

Okay, now that I got all my cheap plugs and shout-outs out of the way, I'll continue my review of the night. The crowd was a decent size, I wish there could've been more people there, but it's kind of hit or miss.

ICON Coffeehouse group
From Left; Jorge Gimenez, Natali Ragan, Simon Lynx, Jereme Badger, Chris Woods.
We started out by showing a reel that we made of trailers from different Florida Filmmakers. Right before it, the crowd heard the score from the Superman films. Then on the big screen appeared a picture of Christopher Reeve. We wanted to pay tribute to Chris who has been a hero to all of us and will always be remembered. Then the reel started which included trailers of Andy Lalino's "Filthy", The Guzzo's "A Joyce Story", Noeland Collins' "Pain", and ICON's "POP". Now on to our feature presentation. As soon as the film started, Simon, Jorge and myself went outside (hey we don't need to watch the film, we lived it! - LOL) with actors Jereme and Natali to discuss some business.

Both Jereme and Natali are going to star in ICON Film Studios' latest production "Sever", which we'll be shooting in November. With this film we'll be working with film and video. Also we will have some visual effects provided by Jorge Gimenez. After that we returned inside. By that time the film had just ended and we were just in time for everyone's reaction which was a good one all around. We were very happy everyone enjoyed the film and we were very thankful. It's a great feeling when someone tells you they thought your movie was great or when they tell you their favorite moment from the flick. Simon, myself, and everyone from ICON would like to thank everyone who came out to watch our little film. If you would like to know more about ICON Film Studios, check out our website at www.iconfilmstudios.com (Okay, that was the last cheap plug) Thank you again.

- Chris Woods

The Dunedin Fine Arts Center Comics Show
Last Sunday, William and I traveled to Dunedin to visit their beautiful Fine Arts Center and witness a display of an amazing comic art collection. Among the rarities were works by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Wayne Boring, Joe Shuster, Curt Swan and Bob Kane along with more modern examples by Neal Adams, Carmine Infantino, Brian Bollland, Adam Kubert, John Romita, Jr., and Jim Lee, to name just a few. Also featured are models, movie posters, statues, and movie props (like the hand of Hellboy and the actual Batcycle from 1966's Batman TV show and motion picture). I didn't realize until I formatted the table below how Superman-heavy my pictures were, but I guess I was in such awe to be among the legends of my favorite hero, I couldn't resist. By all means if you can make it to the exhibit before it ends in January, by all means do so!

The Fine Arts Center is located at 1143 Michigan Boulevard, Dunedin, FL, Phone number is (727) 298-3322. Admission is free, but contributions are welcome. William and I wish to thank museum curator David Shankweiler for his expertise and guidance and some darn good fanboy talk during our stay!

Click on images to view larger versions
The Dunedin Fine Arts Center on a cloudless afternoon
The Batcycyle!
A rear view of the Batcycyle
A super close-up: now we know it's a Yamaha!
Hellboy hand taken from same mold as movie prop
The Art Center's main display room
Early '60s work of Jack Kirby on X-Men
Actual movie cell taken from Kirk Alyn Superman serial showing animated flying scene
Original pencil drawing of Superman by Joe Shuster, Superman's original artist!
Wayne Boring's version of Superman
Pencil drawing of Fortress of Solitude by Curt Swan
Superman's signature artist Curt Swan with a pencil rendering of a battle scene
Left: Original Batman artist Bob Kane's B&W pen & ink drawing of the Caped Crusader; Colorful cover recreation of an early Batman cover by Sheldon Moldoff.

Right: William Moriaty stands outside the Dunedin Fine Arts Center against their colorful tiled wall.



Starring Tina Frankl and Francince Wolf
Written by Bonnie Anderson
Directed by Mark Nash

"Just when you thought it was safe to go into the restroom!"

The Royalty Theatre
Tuesday, October 19th at 7:30pm
Friday, October 22nd at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 23rd at 8:00pm
Sunday, October 24th at 3:00pm

For ticket prices and reservations call The Jagged Edge Entertainment Office at 727-461-7726

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    
Crazed Fanboy dotcom is owned and operated by Nolan B. Canova

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