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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2007!
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eighth calendar year!
Number 401  (Vol. 8, No. 48). This edition is for the week of November 26--December 2, 2007.

DVD Review: "HELP!"

Robert Sandsmark - R.I.P., DVD Grindhouse: "Rats...Night of Terror"
Metal Health....Mr. Karloff....House of Dark Shadows Coming to DVD?
I Know They Have Hannauka Songs, I've Heard Them .... Giving Up His Day Job .... Ho Ho Honolulu .... Hogan Knows Best? .... And So This Is Christmas .... Passing On .... Andy's Challenge .... .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 35: Next Week!
Ends and Beginnings

To all PCR Writers
Kevin DuBrow, RIP
Robert Sandsmark, RIP

I got a wee bit of a head start on the homepage this week due to a screwy work schedule, plus I'm diligently trying to finalize the Creature Feature store so it's operating in plenty of time for the upcoming holidays. In addition to that, there's a surprise offer from Unique Video Andy Lalino and I just finished conforming for the website. Click Here to see our new Fan Club Card deal that will get you a 5-day video rental at regular prices.

Thanks to everybody who wrote to us last week with "best wishes" for Thanksgiving. It was truly appreciated.

As we sail on into December, Christmas is on the horizon and the end of the year obviously looms just behind that. I can't believe another year has passed so quickly! As I get older, they speed up it seems. I need to tie up quite a few loose ends before year's end and I imagine all of you out there are looking at a similar scenario.

To All PCR Writers....
Please start thinking about your year-end wrap-up pieces! It will be here before you know it. The plan is the same as all past years': the final two weeks' issues constitute the "wrap-up" for PCR 2007. Either of the final two weeks (or, hell, both if you're super-regular) in which they can be sent will be fine.

I'm planning some changes/upgrades to the website for 2008. But I'm saving those announcements for the end of the year.


Kevin DuBrow, R.I.P.
Word came in just a few hours ago (as I write this) that Quiet Riot vocalist Kevin DuBrow was found dead at a home in Las Vegas. He was 52. Details at this writing are still scant.

When we used to play clubs in the '80s, Quiet Riot covers were always popular. Thankfully, they were usually very easy to play as well.

Dubrow became infamous for a while whenever he'd do interviews. He'd diss other bands and their singers as inferior. A firestorm erupted and he backed off, but I thought it was funny.

Among other accolades for Quiet Riot was that it was the late Randy Rhoads' first professional band. Randy Rhodes left Quiet Riot to audition for Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne, got the gig, and the two formed the Blizzard of Oz around 1980.

Kevin Dubrow was one of the few big LA acts like Motley Cre and Van Halen to make it out of clubs and into record stores and touring. He had a big ego, but had every right to be proud of his accomplishments.

Robert Sandsmark, R.I.P.
Robert Sandsmark was not a famous man. He was my partner at 7-Eleven for almost exactly a year. We got along famously, agreed on almost everything and he made life at the overnight job infinitely more bearable. We eventually got to be pretty good friends. He eventually registered on the Message Board as "Sandsmark" and posted some political thoughts. We talked a lot about politics, particularly presidential candidate Ron Paul, of whom he was most enthused.

Early Tuesday morning of this week, around 2:00am, Robert complained of "heartburn" and bought some Rolaids. I didn't think much of it and continued working. Later, he said he thought he might've gotten mild food poisoning and wasn't feeling well at all. We decided to take a cigarette break outside and stretch out. This would be roughly 3:30am. After a couple silent minutes (very unusual, that) I turned to him and asked "You alright, man?" Robert said, "No.....it....hurts." I thought what an odd way to describe heartburn. Outside of looking uncomfortable, he didn't seem particularly aggitated. We went back inside and he continued loading the cooler. About 4:45am, well before our shift normally ends (6:00am), Robert asked me if he could clock out immediately. I said, "Sure, I guess. Could you count your drawer before you leave?" "No," said Robert, "I need to go." I said, "Wow...OK, well, I'll finish up here as best I can."

The next thirty seconds or so will haunt me for a long time. He was walking toward the office to clock out and I said, "Look, do you want me to call 911?" He stopped, turned and looked at me straight in the face (the last time he would ever do so), and simply said, "No, I just want to go home." The thing is, when he stopped to look at me, his eyes were watery and his face was flushed. I got a horrible feeling right then I might never see him again. That was really, really a disorienting moment. But I blew it off as me over-reacting. As Robert left the building, I called out to him something to the effect of, "See you again around the weekend, eh?" He didn't answer.

Last night, Tuesday evening as I write this, I was called into work because Robert Sandsmark had been found dead in his apartment of an apparent heart attack. He was only 35 years old. Rob was a big boy, well over 300 pounds and smoked heavily. According to the police, his brother reported that he also suffered from untreated high blood pressure.

I've never faced this exact situation before and it sucks. To say life at 7-Eleven will never be the same again would be an understatement. He was a kind and intelligent man. What a waste. He will be sorely missed.

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! The comments below are posted starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Derrek [03-12-2007 00:25] 
Technically it is not even their debut album. They had released two albums previously (with a pre-Ozzy Randy Rhodes on guitar), but I think they were only available in Japan.
Terence [02-12-2007 20:55] 
to derek:

i guess they are refering to ridiculously specifically american heavy metal bands debut albums. in that case Metal Health would be the first. of course they dont make a note of that. i guess we are just supposed to know. pretty useless if someone was doing research on it and went to Billboard.com
Derrek [02-12-2007 15:27] 
Terence, I guess Billboard doesn't consider Led Zeppelin to be heavy metal because in their review of Metal Health, it says that it was the first metal album to reach #1. What the hell is that all about?
terence [02-12-2007 13:52] 
although i will add that i think the quiet riot album was the first heavy metal DEBUT album to go #1.
terence [02-12-2007 13:51] 
gotta correct mike smith on something. unless you no longer count Led Zeppelin as heavy metal then you are wrong about quiet riot being the first heavy metal album to go to #1. Led Zeppelin II went to number one way back in 1969. and if you are counting UK charts Black Sabbaths Paranoid went number 1 in 1971.
Puff Chrissy [02-12-2007 01:59] 
I'm sorry about your friend, Nolan.
Joel D. Wynkoop [01-12-2007 21:23] 
I said "Hi Valerie, what are you doing here?" She put her arm around me and walked me quickly to her car, she sat me down inside the car turned to me and said "Your Dad died honey" That was the worst night of my life. I thought he was going to be fine, nothing could have changed what happened. Sorry for your loss Nolan but I bet you made his days fun and happy and you were probably atrue friend to him and that probably meant alot to him. Take care buddy.

your friend
Joel D. Wynkoop [01-12-2007 21:20] 
Nolan, I just read about your friend at 7 eleven, I'm so sorry man. I'll share a story with you, I was called back from Tampa because my Dad was in the hospital, we drove back to Fort Pierce and saw him at the hospital, he said he was fine and he said he was proud of me for going back to school (College,
Ttampa Tech) he said he'd be going home the next day. He gave me his gas card to tank up my car after I told him some stuff about circuits and electricity and stuff I had learned at Tampa Tech, he said "I'm impressed I don't know what your talking about." I got my gas and came back and visietd him with my Mom and my nephew who had driven back with me, he was fine. We said goodbye and I told him I loved him and kissed him and we went back to Tampa. I left school that night and here was my Dad's sister waiting to meet me in the parking lot as I walked out the door of Tampa Tech. "What's she doing here?" To be continued.
Nolan [30-11-2007 18:59] 
To Mark and Matt, re: RIP Evel Knievel. Another childhood hero is gone. PCR is closed out for this week as you surmised, so the passing of Evel Knievel will be covered in next week's issue. Thank you both for your comments. The Message Board is still open, of course.
Mark [30-11-2007 16:29] 
RIP Evel Knievel
matthew [30-11-2007 14:42] 
..and i just learned that Evil Kenieval has passed away. surely this will be covered in next weeks pcr.
matthew [30-11-2007 14:41] 
terence, i've also heard they are looking for an extended House of Dark Shadows that supposedly exists.

several scenes strike home with me that i may have seen, such as davids hanging, and barnabus and juia hoffman walking arm and arm int he courtyard. from what i understand, these two scenes, amoung others, are not in the vhs version...which i use to have, but can no longer find.

nol', i'm glad you're not blaming yourself over Roberts unfortunate and untimely death. i now how you sometimes let things come 'home to roost' and i'm relieved this isnt one of them.
Nolan [30-11-2007 11:05] 
Lonnie, yes, I think that was Robert. I'm glad you remembered. Thanks.
Lonnie Dohlen [30-11-2007 10:50]  
Nolan,so sorry to hear about Robert.I think I met him on the night of Fri,Oct 27,2007.I asked him where your Bathroom is.Did he have Dark Hair?
Nolan [30-11-2007 07:59] 
To Lisa: WOOPS! Thanks for the head's up. In a half-asleep state Wednesday and distracted by current events, I uploaded the homepage before I figured out what I was going to do with that link. It was meant to show and describe the new Club card and now it does.
ED [30-11-2007 05:11] 
Mike - that is an interesting report on the traveling exhibit of John Lennon's work. I can't help but recall that old joke about what Yoko Ono and Ethiopians have in common. I have never really understood the concept of prints having different values since they are all copies. I know there are limited runs but you can always make more copies any time. As a movie poster collector I would much rather have one worn original poster than 100 of those little masterprint posters everyone is hocking these days for $10.
Lisa [30-11-2007 01:29] 
Nolan -- When you get a sec, could you please check the "see below" link referencing something about Unique Video? I clicked on it but nothing happened. I scrolled down to look "below" but didn't see anything that looked like whatever it is I should have been looking for. :) Thanks.
Nolan [30-11-2007 00:02] 
Lisa, Michael, thank you both for your kind and supportive thoughts. Mike, yes, I believe Sandsmark was indeed working the night you and Matt visited me at the store. The only other person I work nights with is Pastor Tom Green (another blessed soul that makes life at work tolerable, and the co-contributor to our only hosted Chat Room session to date), but Tom and I normally only had one night a week together. The lion's share of overnight hours were worked by Robert and me.
Michael [29-11-2007 22:24] 
Hey buddy. Very sorry to hear about Robert's passing. I believe Matt and I met him when we stopped by the store last month. He seemed like a good person and I always enjoyed his contributions to the message board. If you need anything or want to talk you have my number.
Lisa [29-11-2007 21:19] 
Nolan, I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's death. When you told me on the phone this morning, I didn't ask any details because I didn't want to pry. I didn't realize until reading your tribute that you were there to see him not feeling well and in pain. I'm sorry, too, that in addition to your sadness and loss about his death, you've got the sad and painful memories of your last moments with him. I hope as time goes on, you'll be able to concentrate more on the many positive and fun memories you have and that they can provide some comfort to you.

Chris P -- I'm sorry to hear about your friends' deaths as well.
Nolan [29-11-2007 20:23] 
Thank you, Matthew, and thank you Chris Woods. I sincerely appreciate your messages.

Re: Matt's message. I didn't mean to convey that I felt in any way responsible for what happened to Robert and I apologize if I gave that impression -- I merely meant I felt helpless given the fact he refused help because he refused to believe there was anything to feel alarmed about, even if I felt differently.

In any event, I am moved by the outpouring from fandom over this simple but tragic story. Again, thank you all very much.
matthew [29-11-2007 16:53] 
oh nolan. i'm so sorry to hear about Robert. knowing you for some 3 decades i know how you must bear so much burdon over this. trust me, my friend, you are not the first person to be in your predicament, and you certainly won't be the last. we all have moments in our lives we wish we could go back to and change this or that, but as true as the sun in the sky, life is filled with uncertainty and the unknown.

i hope you can let go of any blame you may be placing on yourself as you are undeserving of such a thing. i know you like i know myself and mike; the three of us are special to one another in ways others may never understand. you are part of a brotherhood of love that overflows for you. i'm crushed you lost your friend, and crushed you feel somewhat responsible. i pray you can let that go and embrace life the way you always have.

i love you, my friend.
Chris Woods [29-11-2007 15:32] 
Nolan, I'm very sorry to hear about Robert.
Nolan [29-11-2007 11:31] 
Thank you, Chris. Yes, I do remember that you also met him, and with a similar introduction by me (i.e., fellow message board posters). I, of course, can sympathize with the loss of your friend especially as it's so similar to what I experienced.

I am grateful to ED Tucker who wrote me a very personal e-mail sharing one of his life experiences along these lines. Thank you, ED.

I appreciate everyone's support. Thank you all so much.
C. A. Passinault [29-11-2007 09:31] 
My condolences on the loss of your friend, Nolan. I, too, met Sandsmark, and he was a cool guy.
I've been through what you are going through. I've lost two friends to heart attacks the past three years, and one of them was a situation much like yours. The night before he passed away, he had just been released from the hospital after a bypass and was eating some really bad food. I got on his case about the choice in food. The next day, he died of a massive heart attack. I was the last person to talk to him, and it sucked.
Nolan [29-11-2007 08:21] 
Thanks, Paul.
Paul [29-11-2007 07:52] 
Film News is updated again after a week off for Thanxgiving.
Paul [29-11-2007 06:44] 
So sorry to hear about your friend Nolan.
Nolan [29-11-2007 04:44] 
Thanks, John, I appreciate that. I remember now that Sandsmark was there the night you came by 7-Eleven recently and I introduced you both to each other. ("One message board poster to another ," or something along those lines.) I tried to involve him in things I was doing and was glad to introduce him to my "circle".
J.MILLER [29-11-2007 00:00] 
Wow Nole I am shocked and saddend to hear of Sandsmarks passing...What a shame...
Terence [28-11-2007 14:09] 
hey Matt. thats interesting news about Dark Shadows. i have been hearing for years that Night was going to be a directors cut. Dan Curtis said that the cut scenes though had no sound and if an actor was dead they were going to need to be dubbed by an impersonator. For instance Grayson Hall. it was supposedly going to come out for the anniversary but never did. i figured they gave up on it.
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2007 by Matt Drinnenberg    "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith    "Oddservations" is ©2007 by Andy Lalino    "FANGRRL" is ©2007 by Lisa Ciurro    "Film Biz 101" is ©2007 by Corey Castellano    "Retrorama" is ©2007 by ED Tucker      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova    
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