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The Ring Two
 by Mike Smith

"Filthy" Reviewed in Video Watchdog....In Defense of Billy Idol's "Cyberpunk" CD....Schlockarama Reviews on the Way....Filming begins on "Descansos"....U2 at the St. Pete Times Forum
 by Andy Lalino

Let The "Star Wars" Propaganda Begin....Apologies To Garth Ennis
 by Brandon Jones

Adam Strange...."Hostage"
 by John Lewis

Scumbag At Large....Steroids Aplenty
 by Matt Drinnenberg

TV Memories .... Coincidence? ... 'Roid Rage....Passing On....Jaws: The Story, Part 10
 by Mike Smith

Nolan's Pop Culture Review, 2005!
    Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our sixth calendar year!
    Number 260  (Vol. 6, No. 11). This edition is for the week of March 14--20, 2005.

NolanCon 2005 is on!!

Nolan has the flu
March Coffeehouse Film Review
Eric Idle and "Spamalot" reviewed by Hugo Morley
The PCR is 5 years old this week! The Message Board is 1 year old

If it wasn't that I had some terribly exciting news for fandom assembled, I swear, I would've postponed this week's issue until at least tomorrow (Thur). Somewhere, somehow, over the last 24 hours I've caught my death of...something. For lack of a more precise term I'll call it "the flu" because it seems about everybody I know over the last two months, including work associates, has had "the flu".....everybody but me. So now, of course, that I'm under the gun time-wise more than ever, I have to slow WAY down and get some rest. It's counter to the way I usually drive myself, but it's necessary. I ache in every bone of my body right now. I already called into the hell-pit and asked them to give me a sick day. I'm here for the night. So, due to my infirm condition it will take me a couple days or more to update the PCR this week, please forgive.

But there is something I need to tell you...

NolanCon 2005 is on
This is to confirm that after two years of speculation, soul-searching, phone calls, hurricanes, and just plain wackiness on my part, I will be holding a very special---and very weird---pop culture convention the weekend of August 13th and 14th, 2005! Brandon Jones and I shopped for a suitable venue and reserved the hotel space last Friday. It will be at The Best Western Hotel, 1200 N. Westshore Blvd in Tampa, Florida.

With the help of the amazing ED Tucker, we have, so far, two very special guests confirmed from the world of cult filmdom: Ray Dennis Steckler ("The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies") and Bill Rebane ("The Giant Spider Invasion" and the forthcoming "Above Top Secret").

Mouse Surplus warehouse owner/proprietor Brian Ramsey will be onboard to display and discuss cast-off Disney props from extinct theme park rides that he buys and sells.

You can expect a room for gaming, a room (or two) for showing films (16mm!) and videos, panel discussions, wrasslin' she-babes (care of Bouttime Studios), and favorite Dr. Demento performer The Great Luke Ski will be performing live (he specializes in fan-related comedy).

And yes....oh yes....the *!@&% band reunion. Long-time PCR readers may remember that August 13th is my birthday. To help celebrate my big "five-oh" (groan) and on Saturday night only, the heavy, rusty tones of my old band Blade will darken the night as we attempt a musical reunion that I'm sure will be...er...unique. Also along for the ride in the music room will be St. Pete punk artist Josh Sullivan's band Can't Do It, and the very strange ambient/din noise of Strange Agents (Agent Orange and Dr. Bud Mayhem).

On Sunday we will continue the insanity and, the way it looks at this moment, the events will concentrate more on the strange world of UFOs, the paranormal, and conspiracies, with slide shows, panel discussions and special guests. There are special film events scheduled around that, too, but, like the rest of the Con, details are still being worked out and the schedule being hammered.

The reaction so far has been most encouraging, as friends from all over the country will be flying in to join us, including, for the first time in ages, a complete reunion of all PCR/Crazed Fanboy writers, past and present. All of us will be mingling with guests, and participating in panels. William Moriaty will be selling and signing copies of his book, "William Moriaty's Florida". Plus, the list of interested special guests is growing every day--I'm honored, of course, I forget how many folks out there read this 'zine! This list will be fine-tuned over the coming weeks. Which brings me to...

The NolanCon website
There isn't one yet, but there will be very shortly. The website will be where all interested parties can check up on the status of events, guests, and dealers' tables as information becomes available. And speaking of dealers tables...

Dealers Tables
We will have 59 dealers tables available in the main ballroom, and until May 18th, the tables are selling for $150 for 8' x 30" of table space. Please note that I am amenable to dividing some tables into two 4' x 30" spaces for $75 each for those who simply don't need so much space, but would like to double up with a buddy or something. (Note: At this point although all reservations are guaranteed, specific placement is first-come, first-served, day of show in order of receipt of payment. Specific placement is not guaranteed for half-tables. We need to make sure there are NO wasted spaces, so all half-table dealers are arranged at management's discretion day of show.) The new website is still under construction, so please find the appropriate PayPal buttons on the Crazed Fanboy homepage for anyone interested in getting an early reservation on tables. After May 18th, table rates may increase depending on supply and demand.

The promotional campaign I have in mind is complete lunacy and I am excited at the prospect of a huge turn-out. Until the new website is done, you can always email me directly with questions at Crazedfanboy1@aol.com or nolan@crazedfanboy.com.

The March Romeo Coffeehouse Meeting
After a two-month absence from this event, old friend Gus Perez was finally able to make it back and together we went up to sample this month's works. It turned out to be among the strongest packages ever produced by Too Productions and the Coffeehouse. This is in no particular order, as frankly I forgot the order! But all are accounted for. Let's begin...

Tom Prophet on left, And Joe DiCanio on right, both of A Few Short Productions, compare notes on cameras with Hocus Focus Productions' Jason Liquori, center.
L-to-R: Tom Prophet, Joe DiCanio, Nolan Canova, Jason Liquori, and, visitng from Sarasota, Greg Rivera ("The Uninvited")
I remain very impressed with the current crop of youthful filmmakers! L-to-R: yours truly, Ben Waller, Damien Kincannon (Ben's friend, crewed on "Above") and Robert Elfstrom (starred in same).
The crew behind the Indiana Jones fan film. L-to-R: Richard Hunter, Mike Beazel (director), Daniel Simmons and Scott Jones.
Darkness. by 4:AM Productions. Named after the comic on which it is based, the filmmakers scanned the comic called "Darkness" then added movement and voiceovers and sound effects. (They want to market it to comic companies and see what happens.) One of those clever uses of continual panning, zooming, and loud sound effects with added animations (like smoke) that make the panels seem to move more than they actually are. Very interesting experiment. It's a way to get fantastic artwork on the screen without worrying how you can effectively animate detailed inking lines!

Death As A Salesman by Hocus Focus Productions (Jason Liquori): Very unlike the play with the similar title. "Bob" just lost his girl, his house and his job. What does he have to look forward to? Enter Billy "Seal the Deal" Reaper on his quest to help solve the world's overpopulation problem one useless son of a bitch at a time. Like so many things Jason Liquori does, this 15-minute "deal-with-the-devil" morality play (of sorts) with comedic overtones ends too soon! To me, almost abruptly. The script is strong and the performances are giddily over the top. I could've invested another 15 minutes to see more of Bob's struggle!

'68 by Jerry Myers and David Biggerstaff. This stars Robert Elfstrom (who's popping up in movies left and right) in a film depicting the emotional roller-coaster of a soldier's bittersweet adventure finding love in a foreign land in wartime and its ramifications for his future. Well-shot, well-acted, good script and highly recommended. I remember conversing with the director after the movie on the current whereabouts of David Biggerstaff (who long-time readers may remember from my very first World of Nolan video). The elusive one has moved northward, I think.

The Love by Richard Hunter: A young lady returns home from work to a lonely home amidst reports of local slayings. As she sleeps a figure enters her home. She awakes from a nightmare but was the figure real or dreamt. Competently produced, but I've always felt cheated by endings like that. At least at 10 minutes it wasn't too much time invested, but the filmmaker does show potential.

Silence in the Aisles, a short shocker by A Few Short Productions (formerly Rykar Films) and currently still playing at the top of the Crazed Fanboy Homepage. A beautiful young woman gets off a downtown Tampa street trolley and is almost immediately stalked by a masked man carrying an axe. A long chase sequence down the backstreets of Ybor City eventually puts the young lady in a dead end alley. Her goose is cooked unless she can hide quietly. She almost loses the killer when....her cellphone starts ringing....loudly. The killer finds her and swings his axe. She's definitely had it. Freeze frame. An onscreen admonishment about turning off cellphones finishes this delicious gag and was unanimously voted a must-have for the start of any horror film festival. Or any festival, period. (Joe DiCanio actually taped the Coffeehouse exhibition of "Silence" which he emailed me a copy of---it shows the "pin drop" silence of the audience before the hysterical laughter. Quite a souvenir. (Further, he has quoted me on the DVD cover. I'm honored.)

Above, by Ben Waller. 17-year-old Ben Waller is a young man already full of surprises. Just last month we saw his first ultra-short and slightly crude 16mm film---this month he's evolved another 3000%!! Jereme Badger and Robert Elfstrom play two men, total strangers, who find themselves talking philosophy on a park bench. Young vs old, pessimist vs optimist, atheist vs spiritual, the final philosophy. This would be a great script even if it came from someone ten years or more older than Ben. That he got Badger and Elfstrom to work for him already is testament to his credibility. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

Indiana Jones and Runes of Ende by Mike Beazel. Indy searches a small island for the Runes of Ende and encounters a Nazi officer and his mercenary henchmen. After several rounds of fisticuffs, gunplay and whippage, Indy escapes with the relic. A lot happens in this well-made fan film, but unfortunately, the filmmakers were dogged by not one but two badly burned DVDs that simply would not play past the ten-minute mark. Until that point, however, the whole Coffeehouse became caught up in this homage to the Indiana Jones series. I know I was. Action-packed, good photography and stunt work. Paul Guzzo reminded everyone that even in the age of DVDs it's always good to have a tape backup. Ironic, that, but good advice.

My World by K Productions. 23-minute pilot episode destined either for public access or informercial TV. Host K. MacGuinnes travels the Tampa Bay area interviewing teachers of mind, body and spirit. His deep Scottish accent makes for lilting listening (did I just coin a phrase?). I'm not sure a TV pilot has ever played at the Coffeehouse and I wouldn't have thought it a good idea, but it went over pretty well anyway. Good work, interesting interviews, and faced-paced editing to prevent fatigue. I wish Mr. MacGuinness luck in his TV aspirations!

Between nursing this horrific bug I caught and my usual insane workload, I nearly forgot a very special couple 'o birthdays: THE PCR IS 5 YEARS OLD THIS WEEK! (Specifically, March 19th). Thanks to all who made that possible. Also noteworthy, the Crazed Fanboy Message Board is 1 year old this week (specifically, March 15th). And now I'm announcing NolanCon. I don't know what it is about March...

Guest editorial

Spamalot: Idling Away My New York Minutes       by Hugo Morley

I'm one of a not inconsiderable group of people who considers that a meeting with a 'Python' actually outranks a meeting with a 'Beatle'. The late George Harrison once said that the essence & spirit of The Beatles was reincarnated in Monty Python's Flying Circus. The Beatles were, after all breaking up as the Python's were launching themselves on British television. Both groups were British, male, anarchic, unique & undisputably brilliant. Like the Beatles, the Python's career as a group was relatively brief but they are as popular if not more popular today than they were in their performing heyday over thirty years ago. Also, like the Beatles the Pythons (with the possible exception of the late Graham Chapman) have all had very successful solo careers but have not equalled the sheer genius they showed as a team. Growing up in England I was very fortunate to meet Michael Palin & Terry Jones and last week I was able to add a third Python encounter when in New York I met Eric Idle.

It was because of Eric Idle that I was in New York in the first place. Unlike the other surviving Pythons who distance themselves from their earlier career Idle is the sole remaining professional Python. He has been California-based for the last few decades & along with American film & TV appearnces, work with the South Park team & hosting rides at EPCOT Idle has made a very successful career recycling old Python material. He was integral in the Pythonline website & has toured the United States twice with Python material. First with his 'Eric Idle Rips Off Monty Python' tour and more recently with his 'Greedy Bastard' tour. He has now adapted (with John Du Prez) the most successful Monty Python movie "Monty Python & The Holy Grail" as a Broadway musical, "Spamalot" and it was to see this that I was in New York.

The original plan for "Spamalot" was to cast six unknowns to recreate some of the Python's most famous moments: the black knight, Tim, the enchanter, the knights who say 'NI', the taunting Frenchmen ("Your mother was a hamster & your father smells of elderberries"). However once the legendary director Mike Nichols was brought on board the idea of unknowns was thrown out the window. Instead the cast now boasts Frank N' Furter himself, Tim Curry as King Arthur, Hank Azaria - most of the Simpsons and formally Mr Helen Hunt as Sir Lancelot, Tim the enchanter, a knight who says "NI" & a taunting Frenchmen & David Hyde Pierce best known as Dr. Frasier Crane's neurotic brother Nils as brave Sir Robin ("When danger reared its ugly head, brave Sir Robin upped & fled") and others. The original movie, like everything else Python did not offer any great parts for women, although Carol Cleveland made a funny & beautiful nun offering to be spanked. This has been remedied by Idle in the creation of The Lady Of The Lake. She was referred to but did not appear in the film. Eric Idle said that you can't have a Broadway musical without women. You need beautiful scantily-clad girls in stockings & suspenders, and that's just backstage. As The Lady Of The Lake buxom 'newcomer' (who like all great newcomers has been performing for over a decade) Sara Ramirez makes the the most sensational Broadway leading lady debut since Cady Huffman wrapped her legs around Mathew Broderick in 'The Producers'. She also gets the best original song in the show, The Diva's Lament complaining about her lack of stage time in Act Two. Tim Curry is suitably regal as Arthur but David Hyde Pierce seems sadly underused despite his star billing and undeniable talent. He gets one big number "You Won't Succeed On Broadway" telling the King that the show will probably flop due to its lack of Jews, funny and quirky but not showstopping. Hank Azaria shines as the true star of the show displaying his versatillity playing most of the parts that John Cleese created on celluloid. On screen it didn't seem to matter that there is no discernable plot but on stage this becomes more of a concern.

Nearing an age when most mortals are considering retirement, Eric Idle is working harder than ever. As well as a twelve million dollar Broadway show he also has a new DVD and a new book out this month. The DVD is a somewhat lacklustre sequel to his hilarious 1970's mockumentary 'The Rutles'. The Rutles you may remember were very similar to 'The Beatles'. From their early days playing The Ratkeller in Germany (Ratkeller literally translates as Rat Cellar. A cellar full of rats not a purveyor of rats) to their final rooftop concert which was stopped by the police, not because it was too loud but because it was too bad. The pre-fab fours great songs included 'All You Need Is Cash' and 'The Tragical History Tour'. The original movie featured cameos from John Belushi, Bill Murray & George Harrison himself and was very much a forerunner to 'Spinal Tap'. The Rutles 2 features performances cut from the original as well as new interviews, David Bowie being a highlight but it basically repeats the jokes from the original and not so well.

More successfully Idle has a book out called 'The Greedy Bastard Diary' and it was during a booksigning of this that I got to meet the great man. Before signing he spoke and answered questions for about half an hour. Often mistaken for fellow Python Michael Palin he likes to try destroying his former teamates 'nice guy' reputation by saying 'Yes, I am Michael, now will you please F*CK OFF!!!!'. The Greedy Bastard diary follows his recent stand up tour of America. He had enjoyed his first tour but complained that with the cast & musicians it was too expensive. A friend suggested a greedy bastard tour. These are apparently very popular amongst rock musicians who after successful large tours like to cut out the entourage & tour with little more than a guitar thus being able to cut out most expenses & keeping all the cash themselves.

Next week: Brain Robbers From Outer Space

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 ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2005 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "La Floridiana" is ©2005 by William Moriaty     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2005 by Andy Lalino    "Splash Page" is ©2005 by Brandon Jones    "Creature's Corner" is ©2005 by John Lewis      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova    
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