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ED Tucker, Nov. 20th, 41 yrs.
John Lewis, Nov. 21, 53 yrs.
Joe Davison, Nov 14, 32 yrs.
Forrest J Ackerman, Nov. 24, 91 yrs.
Walter Cronkite, Nov. 4, 91 yrs.
Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 397  (Vol. 8, No. 44). This edition is for the week of October 29--November 4, 2007.

"American Gangster"
Halloween Potpourri part 2 -- a Casanegra Halloween.

Halloween & Horrors Overload Pt. II: Beach Theatre Terrorthon and Cult-O-Ween
I Went To Cult-O-Ween And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt
Grow or Die: Art and the Review
The Nominees Are .... Passing On .... Movie Notes .... .... .... .... .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 32: Charles Durning h
Fall to Winter

Robert Goulet
Thanks for the Top 10 Horror Lists
Readers Comments

Here's hoping everyone had a safe and happy, spook-filled Halloween!

The CULT-O-WEEN event some of us attended at Unique Video last Friday night was extremely enjoyable and I'll be writing it up more fully Thursday (Halloween preparations, you know). There are lots of pics, too, so I hope to convey a better sense of "being there" for y'all when I get time to work on them. Thanks go out to Lonnie Dohlen and Terence Nuzum for help in the photography department for this occasion.

We wish to acknowledge the sad passing of singer/actor Robert Goulet at 73. Goulet was waiting for a lung to become available for a transplant when he died. Goulet made his biggest splash in the '60s starring in CAMELOT. His rich baritone voice was even more recognizable after dozens of appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show. A Las Vegas staple in recent years, he had fully expected to survive his lung operation and return to singing. His passing reduces yet again the number of "classic era" Hollywood and TV actor-singers whose like we'll never see again.

Letters to the Editor The Top 10 Horror Movie Lists
Thanks to all the PCR staff writers and Message Board posters who contributed to this year's "Top 10 Horror Movies of All Time" challenge! It was a lot of fun and very successful to say the least.

Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open
The Unholy Three are already gathered when Terence and I arrived. L-to-R: Lonnie Dohlen, Andy Lalino, Frank Granda, Jr.
Ye humble editor on left with Frank Granda, Jr.
Creature Feature archivist Lonnie Dohlen on left, John Miller (J.MILLER2) greets his homies from the background.
Unique Video owner Frank Granda, Jr. talks about some special videos on display.
Nolan B. Canova and Frank Granda, Jr.
Frank, right, resumes a discussion with John Miller, extreme left, and Andy Lalino.
Frank Granda, Sr. kindly watches the store while his son tends to Cult-O-Ween

Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open
SNACKS! A welcome sight for us starving artists.
Terence Nuzum (right) and I partake of the fabulous foodstuffs and talk about the event so far.
Frank Granda, right, joins our discussion and enlightens us on some cult film history.
Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum at Cult-O-Ween.
Finally getting a chance to sit down, I offer to guard the snack table while the others mingle.
The Joel D. Wynkoop section of Unique Video.
Lisa Ciurro (FANGRRL) arrives! Here's a nice portrait of Lisa and Frank. Andy's in the background talking to John Miller.
BONUS PIC! Lonnie Dohlen showed up at my job after the show to take this picture of me in my scary 7-Eleven employee Halloween get-up.
The first time I ever heard of Unique Video was, I think, a couple years ago when Tampa actor Joel D. Wynkoop recommended I visit this store that had an entire "section" devoted to his movies.

Joel's nutty like that. But since I don't live near the location in question, I couldn't get there right away (no car).

One day earlier this year, while tooling around with some friends on vacation, we found ourselves at Unique Video's doorstep on Armenia Avenue.

It was closed. I put my nose up to the glass window to at least take a peek at what was inside, but the sun's reflections made that difficult. Well, so much for that.

Somewhat about the same time, PCR columnist Andy Lalino either discovered or re-discovered this video rental outlet on his way home from work. Andy experienced what we use to call in Catholic school....an epiphany....and decided to become much more vocal about his very personal video-shopping retreat.

Message Board hijinks ensued as Andy plugged away the little store on Armenia Ave, all the while rebuffing objections from the PCR's cult video cognecenti that Unique Video's hours were too short (5:00pm --11:00pm), the rental policy too restrictive (overnight, basically), and the owner was never there, but his parents were. With some irony, the renegade cult video store developed an increasing buzz, increasing interest, and, well, a cult following!

Andy bull-doggedly forged ahead. As summer turned into fall, Andy engaged in talks to get Unique Video a Crazed Fanboy banner ad (which was successful), and further, began talking about staging a micro-mini convention where us PCR staffers would appear at Unique Video, meet the owner, Frank Granda, Jr., tour the place and, hopefully, meet other fans. That event took place last Friday under the interesting monicker Andy coined for it, CULT-O-WEEN. And it was a splendid time.

Terence Nuzum and I carpooled and arrived at Unique Video just past the 7:00pm start time. We entered and saw some movement toward the back of the tiny store. As we headed in, we beheld the initial gathering of Andy Lalino, Lonnie Dohlen (Creature Feature archivist), John Miller (aka, "J.MILLER2" on the message board, this is the first time we've met him), and Frank Granda, Jr., the owner. Frank certainly went the extra mile with his Halloween get-up. He looked like a wizard-esque host of a '70s horrorthon, with a touch of vampiric menace.

We got a major welcome, and I must say, I was impressed with not only the store, but with Frank himself. His knowledge of cult video is staggering. There is not a frame of footage in that store that he cannot wax eloquently about. Combine that with weird old videos playing on a TV behind the register (like '60s horror trailers or a Paul Lynde '70s TV special), vintage posters, index cards everywhere with personal notes Frank wrote on them, and the ambience has you pretty much captured. Not only that, he was nice enough to have snacks and drinks waiting for us as well.

I have to say, I'm a lucky man to know and be surrounded by so many smart people. I held my own for some of this, but I got a little overwhelmed early on (I hope Frank wasn't disappointed, haha). Several of us experienced a reality check as far as cult video knowledge!

After a wonderful evening of cult video talk, I had to, unfortunately, leave for work. Terence and I cut it a little short and bade adieu. As we were leaving, we crossed Lia Ciurro (FANGRRL) arriving from another appointment. Close call! We almost missed her.

Note 1: Frank told Lisa he drove up from Miami to be at the store this night. I thought he lived in Tampa. It was later clarified he lives part of the time in Miami and part in Tampa. That could be why his appearances are so rare.

Note 2: Frank told me that the reason the store is only open a few hours in the evening is because that's when all the cult film lovers generally show up. He used to have it open closer to noon, he says, but soon found that no real business was conducted until after "workday hours", or around suppertime.

Note 3: Regarding the overnight return policy. Frank's feeling is due to the nature of the videos he rents being rare and generally not easily replaceable, he doesn't want to keep potential fans waiting long for the single copies he has to become available.

Note 4: Since Cult-O-Ween was only promoted about a week before it happened, our turn-out was "modest" to say the least. The only real new person to join us was John Miller (thanks John!). Some folks ambled in later, but I don't think they were there for Cult-O-Ween.

But now we've got a feel for it. Next time it will go better. For more on Cult-O-Ween, be sure to read this week's FANGRRL and ODDSERVATIONS columns!

Then, later that week at 7-Eleven...

Dear friends Chris & Tina stopped by my 7-Eleven Halloween night in an amazing his & her zombie ensemble. I left the enlarged version full-rez so you can see the detail in the facial make-up which Tina applied to both characters.

YIKES! So I go outside on break and this was awaiting me around the side of the building! What is it? A character from Tomb of the Blind Dead??

Soothing the beast with a blueberry Slurpee, I was able to unmask it. The true horror lay underneath!!

It turned out to be our own Terence Nuzum, just back from "A Goth Halloween" event at The Castle in Ybor, stopping by for a scary visit.

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! Comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
tampafilmfan [03-11-2007 15:40] 
...vived. It's a wonder we all survived. -- That's what I meant to say. I've gotta stop thinking that the word count limit here won't apply if I'm in the middle of a sentence. Bottom line, Ed -- nice column.

Andy -- Whew! I knew I was probably representing all of womanhood the other night (although I don't have any sort of official documentation to show that I'm an authorized representative or anything) and was very curious to read your column to see how I had done. I was thrilled to read that I passed the test and did not get voted off the island.

(I should really pause here and say something about women not needing validation and that's what the "grr" in "fangrrl" symbolizes, but I don't have time. I have to write about this in my diary, bake Andy some thank-you cookies, have a pillow fight with my sorority sisters and churn some butter.)
tampafilmfan [03-11-2007 15:13] 
Nolan -- Very scary 7-Eleven employee costume you had there...looks like it came from the same store as the "disgruntled employee" costume I wore to work on Halloween...and wear to work pretty much every day, so I'll have the Halloween spirit year-round.

Ed -- Your article made me long for the good old days. I'm so glad I grew up in an era when I could dress up as a hobo without it being politically incorrect. (When you're 9, a hobo is just a word, really, and a very easy costume. Borrow your dad's most worn-out jacket, tie and hat, paint on a mustache and a 5 o'clock shadow, and you're good to go. I dressed as a hobo several years in a row, in fact.)

Going trick or treating -- in a costume that probably wasn't flame-retardant -- throughout your entire neighborhood without a parent tagging along, being able to ride your bike without a helmet, opening a new bottle of headache meds in under 30 seconds without any tools....those were the days! It's a wonder we all sur
Terence [01-11-2007 13:47] 
Well i didnt get any STDS from hookers or ugly dogs but i did go to The Castle in my Tombs Of The Blind Dead costume. I then swung by the CrazedFan 7-11 and came to collect my free slurpee from our ye humble editor. Unfortunatly i me and my friends made it a point to bring cameras to The Castle thinking the costumes there would be spectacular and they werent. instead everyone just took pictures of us. There was a killer Darth Vader walking around. when he took off his helmet he had the scarred vader face underneath.
Paul Guzzo [01-11-2007 08:37] 
Happy Halloween everyone ... I had breakfast with my ugly dog, watched PBS on my antenna-less television, and then snagged an STD from a 55-ton hooker ... good times.

Odds [01-11-2007 08:29] 
You can probably thank Barry Diller for the ruination of USA and the Sci-Fi Channel also. When I worked for the Diller-owned Home Shopping Network from the mid-'90s to 2003, he bought USA and the Sci-Fi Channel, which became part of his cable TV network empire. Those networks have not been the same since.
tampafilmfan [01-11-2007 06:48] 
Happy All Saints Day! I'm recovering from my wild Halloween night...I worked late, submitted my PCR column and ate too much candy while waiting for adorable trick-or-treaters who never arrived. (But three goth teens almost old enough to vote came by.) Wild times, I tell ya.

Off to read the columns....
ED [01-11-2007 06:21] 
It amazes me when I think about how crappy the USA Network is today that they ever produced programs like Commander USA and Night Flight. Both of those programs did a lot to bolster my exposure to cult movies even if a lot of them were cut to shreds. They also used to show heavily edited eposodes of Land of the Giants and Lost in Space at a time when neither show was available anywhere else.
Chris Woods [31-10-2007 14:40] 
Happy Halloween! I enjoyed Terence's, ED's, and Andy's articles.

Terence - I also remember seeing some of the Mexican horror films on Commander USA. I've been also watching a bunch of horror films in the past week to get me in the Halloween mood.

ED - Those old plastic costumes brings back memories. I use to have a ton of them back in the 70's and early 80's, like characters from Star Wars, and different Marvel and DC Super Heroes. I also remember the Tylenol scare back in the 80's.

Andy - I wish I could of been there for Cult-O-Ween. Hope there's another one. Also, I wish I got to see some films at the Beach theater. Hope they do it again for next Halloween.
J.MILLER [31-10-2007 14:24] 
Glad I made it over to Cult-O-Ween...It was cool meeting everyone...
Im pretty sure all in attendence were as dazzled as I by the wizard Grandas knowledge of all things cinema...
Though the real star of the evening was the store itself...Everything from the cramped shevles packed with rare titles to the small tv playing trailers of old films made for a incredible experience...
C. A. Passinault [31-10-2007 14:03] 
Happy Halloween, everyone....... I made lunch for a model friend here today, we watched a movie, and then after she left I went out and snagged a 55 Gallon Aquarium. I have to move a tank, set this one up, and I will probably relax and watch Bionic Woman tonight.
I hope that you all have a safe, and fun, Halloween. PErhaps next year my event planning company will be in the position to do an awesome Halloween event!
Nolan [31-10-2007 13:35] 
Actually, that was Terence's article, not Chris's. But I thank you on his behalf.
ED [31-10-2007 12:16] 
Chris - your article brought back a lot of memories of watching these old Mexican horror films on Commander USA's Grovvy Movies. Abel Salazar was certainly Mexico's answer to Bela Lugosi and I think the USA Cable Network owned every one of his Nostrodomas the Vampire films at one time. Those were some great mis-spent Saturday afternoons!
Nolan [31-10-2007 11:36] 
Happy Halloween, everyone! Me, I'm going out dressed as a 7-Eleven employee. It's the most horrifying costume I can think of. I know it scares me when I see it in the mirror!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino    "The Enlightenment" is ©2007 by Terence Nuzum    "FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro    "Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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