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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2009!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum.                 HOME           ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our tenth calendar year!
Number 467  (Vol. 10, No. 10). This edition is for the week of March 2--8, 2009.

Comic Book Confidential: Watchmen
Missing Boaters .... Must Be A Side Effect .... Manny Caves .... Farewell, Great One .... Free Agency! .... .... .... i
Get Well Soon .... Musical Notes .... Passing On .... On The Road .... .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... e

Moving Forward
Cult Filmmaker Bill Grefé at the Gasparilla Film Festival
Return of The World of Nolan Video Series
The Death of Paul Harvey
Readers Comments

Cult Filmmaker Bill Grefé at the Gasparilla Film Festival

Tampa's Gasparilla International Film Festival, now in its third year, has grown incredibly quickly, making impressive strides toward becoming a truly international affair. If it hasn't already, the jam-packed 10-day event may soon be comparable to the likes of the Sundance Film Fest. Comparisons to the Telluride may be a little lofty just yet, but not all that far off.

Marcus Koch, March 18, 32 yrs.
This year, Hollywood luminaries Armand Assante, Terry Moore, Anne Jeffreys and Rod Lurie attended the GIFF, awards and honors were given, and thousands of patrons gathered to celebrate independent film.

Local indie film representation, somewhat of a sticking point in the past, has improved greatly with showings by Andy Lalino (Brainjacked preview), Chris Woods (Joe Redner: Strip Club King), and Pete & Paul Guzzo (Combination Lock and their Charlie Wall documentary).

With Ye Olde Editor's physical condition not what it used to be, attending the festival can be a complicated affair, but not an impossible one. An unfortunate breakdown in communication earlier this year apparently cost me the position of Young Filmmaker Award judge, something I'd done for GIFF the past two years, and enjoyed immensely. If the position is open next year, and the corporate sponsors don't object to my semi-underground self's presence, I'd be glad to jump back onboard.

William Grefé and The Death Curse of Tartu
One year after many of us on staff met cult filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis before the GIFF showing of his classic gore-fest Blood Feast, another special occasion was upon us. Andy Lalino (Filthy, Brainjacked, former PCR columnist) and the GIFF staff had arranged for a personal appearance from another cult legend, Bill Grefé (Stanley, Impulse, Mako: Jaws of Death), who would attend the showing of his 1967 Florida-filmed creature feature, The Death Curse of Tartu, meet and greet fans and sign autographs. The notable significance of both Grefé and Lewis is how many of their films were shot on location in Florida.

The Saturday night showing was preceded by the extended trailer for Film Ranch's Brainjacked. The projection crew obviously did not experiment beforehand with the projector as it took several minutes of adjustment to stabilize the image and center it properly onscreen, but that aside, Brainjacked looks to be quite a ride, as it tells of a mad doctor and his experiments (best I could tell). Even after further adjusting the projector for Death Curse, the image and audio quality suffered in part from an obviously sub-par transfer acquired from Something Weird Video (nothing against Something Weird; it's just their company watermark was conspicuous in the lower-right picture of this DVD, so I know it was them).

 Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
William Grefé, standing, left, talks to fans about his movies. Film critic Steve Persall, standing right, moderated the Q&A.
A pretty special moment for Ye Olde Editor (left), as I stand with Bill Grefé, center, and Steve Persall.
Cult film legend Bill Grefé, left, converses with PCR staffers Chris Woods (right) and John Miller (center).
  Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
ED Tucker (standing, approx. center) and Andy Lalino (right) converse with cult film fans.
PCR group shot, sans Ye Olde Editor who had to be photographer! L-to-R, Chris Woods, Andy Lalino, Lonnie Dohlen, ED Tucker, Cindy Tucker, Joel Wynkoop, and John Miller.
Adapting to the shifting viewing experience having finally settled, The Death Curse of Tartu, the story of an ancient Indian mummy resurrecting to avenge his tomb's being disturbed by partying explorers, displayed that great combination of low-budget, high ambition, mixed production value cheeziness that makes creature features like this such an enjoyable experience. (I'm sure Dr. Paul Bearer showed this "horrible old movie" on Channel 44's Creature Feature several times!)

After Death Curse, we were shown several snippets, gleaned from home-recorded VHS tapes, of TV interviews featuring Grefé over the years. Following this, was the short film Fairy Princess, a shocker dealing with a little girl's turning the tide on a kidnapper during Halloween. This was a great little film tacked on by Gasparilla, but unrelated to Bill Grefé in any way.

Film critic for the St. Petersburg Times, Steve Persall, led the brief question and anwser period following the film (as he'd done last year for H. G. Lewis). Mr. Grefé told many interesting stories of his experiences in Florida, including filming Impulse with William Shatner, being second-unit director on the Bond film Live and Let Die, and the challenges of directing so many "wild animal" scenes which permeated his career.

A genuinely nice man, he seemed to really enjoy hobnobbing with fans and answering questions.

Several of the PCR staff were in attendance (see photos), along with indie film notables Joel Wynkoop and Shelby McIntyre, as well as Dr. Paul Bearer über-fan, Lonnie Dohlen. (You all might be amused to know that Lonnie and fellow über-fan ED Tucker had driven to Tampa directly from Orlando's MegaCon to join us this night. That's adding to the fact that each drove from Bradenton and Jacksonville, respectively, to get to Orlando in the first place. Lots of driving!)

Return of The World of Nolan!
It's back! In this 2-minute "episode" I simply re-introduce the series that was intended to be much more prominently featured than it has been the past several years.
The little proprietary video player at left is an experiment to test compatiblity with y'alls browsers more than anything. The future TWONs will be hosted on YouTube and this player will host other duties right here on Crazed Fanboy. If it gives you trouble, go to the YouTube version.

Anyway, I'm going to try my level best to keep it afloat this time. AND...yes, I intend to finally edit "lost" episodes, search for ones I haven't seen in a while, and re-post old ones that were encoded originally as Real Media (sorry about that, folks, but most of the original MPEG source files have been lost to time). I won't find everything.

But I need to get back in the saddle as a video producer and host. And there's no time like the present for that.

The Death of Paul Harvey at 90

Although I became a TV zombie shortly after birth, it took me a little longer to appreciate talk radio. The transition was made easier and faster when I discovered special individuals who did both equally well. One such individual was broadcast commentator Paul Harvey whose noontime appearances on whatever news show I watched in the '70s (likely Channel 13's "PULSE") absolutely rivted me to the spot with his baritone voice, deep thoughts, infamous "pregnant pauses", and, of course, the notable "Good Day" wish that always closed his few minutes on the air. He was special and he was unique. That people would imitate the "Good Day" part helped make him a household name probably more than any other thing he did. But, of course, it was his stories told with slow and meticulous pacing, along with his brooding news commentary, that forever influenced me as a writer, video producer and radio fan.

Paul Harvey just died at the age of 90, and I believe he continued to work right up to the end, adding to the indelible mark he made on broadcasting long ago. He was a classic and 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 listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Terence [10-03-2009 09:05] 
If all the things that you are saying continue through the years then thats encouraging to me. maybe it'll finally be a festival worth getiing exicted about. though I will admit as long as its at channelside i wont go. the last thing i need to to do is go into my place of work on a day off haha theyd probably try and make me clock in. i think paul in the end you and I are getting all heated over nothing here. you know how message boards and stuff can be and you are blindly positive and i am blindly negative. thats liable to start something anyway haha. remember the Drew Rieber Rocky thing and then you guys met and it was no biggie.
Terence [10-03-2009 08:50] 
my post wasnt aimed to say that no local films got in this year, that no low budget got in, or that anyone i know got rejected. it was a simple question because all of a sudden this year you are coming on like a frickin press agent for the damn thing when the last couple of years you were dissatisfied. sorry but i think people are gonna wonder why the sudden change of heart. that was the question. you keep trying to make it like im making it a personal vendetta agaisnt Gasparilla because i didnt get in or some crap. whatever dude thats you out of left field. sh#$t youd think you had stock in the company or something. as for local films not getting shown...the last couple they werent lets face it. three or four for a festival named after a local parade is just balls im sorry. but you claim this year it wasnt like that and that was the answer i asked for! why you are copping a attitude about is just f#$ing wierd.
Paul Guzzo [10-03-2009 08:01] 
As for locals who got shut out ... deal with it. You think Pete and I get into every fest we enter? Christ ... talk to out of state filmmakers at fests who have been travelling with their film all year. If you get into A THIRD of the fests you enter, your film is good. That means SEVENTY PERCENT of the fests you enter will turn your film down.

It's art ... it's all based on opinion. When Pete and I were on the board we shot down a film we thought was TERRIBLE that ended up winning a ton of awards at other fests. All part of the process.

If you can't take rejection, get an accounting degree.
Paul Guzzo [10-03-2009 07:58] 
As for lower budget films not getting shown - WROOOOOOOOOONG!

The local film that showed at opening night was part of the 48-hour contest and was made for pocket change.

Giselle's Closet didn't cost him a ton of cash either.
Paul Guzzo [10-03-2009 07:56] 
Reasons why GIFF was a defining moment for Tampa film:

1,200 people at opening night to see a great film (BTW, a local film opened for it)

500 people at closing night (BTW, THREE local films won awards - Giselle's Closet won best short, Charlie Wall Best Film Featuring Florida, and Misconceptions won Best Feature)

More celebrities than ever before - visit the website to see the list. And every celebrity was cool and willing to talk film with everyone.

Better films than ever before - again, see the website. An amazing lineup.

Just a ton of sellouts and large crowds at every film (BTW, for the SECOND straight year every screening had at least one local film shown)

More people than ever before celebrated indie film in Tampa this year and with the quality of films and celebrities they met, they had a great experience and have a new appreciation for indie film.

how do I know that? I asked a TON of people.
Nolan [09-03-2009 23:35] 
Adding to what I just posted (lest I be misunderstood), is that the GIFF's film roster was an amazing thing, truly remarkable films. Every year it improves, and I hope featured cult filmmakers (like this issue's Bill Grefé) continue to be part of the line-up.

The GIFF has very lofty ambitions and it seems to be moving towards them with great success. The "I" in GIFF stands for International. That's a pretty big responsibility. I sincerely congratulate them.

The locals who felt shut out still have YouTube and (gulp) CAP's online film festival.
Nolan [09-03-2009 23:20] 
Wow, here we go again. I've been away for about 24 hours and Readers Comments devolved into Message Board turf again.

Despite the events of the past two weeks, I consider us all friends here (no "sorta" about it). But like any close-knit group, arguments can break out and misunderstandings can make things get out of hand.

The GIFF has indeed been more generous to local film than in the past, no doubt about it. I think what has Terence frustrated (and I'm risking life and limb daring to speak for him) is the possibility that the evolving proprietary screening process may have put lower-budget, lower-profile local films at a disadvantage. No surprise, just the nature of the game. (This is speculation, since The Last One made it in. Who won the Young Filmmakers category, BTW?)

Guess we need the TFR back?
Terence [09-03-2009 19:05] 
wait The Streak is a local film how? it is UK backed and the director was born in New York. how is this local?
Terence [09-03-2009 14:14] 
um when did i say they never showed local films? no one is saying that. but they basically only showed high end stuff. which wasnt representative of the local film scene at the time. no i dont only mean my friends. though both you and Chris had films playing there and you are sorta a friend and Chris is my friend so that sentence wouldnt make sense would it? i support them in my own way. just because I dont go out to them doesnt mean I dont want them represented. what does that have to do with it? I always steer people towards Gasparilla and TFR when it existed. dont talk what you dont know.

CAP-ish? haha please. no more than your constant cheerleading is Gus Perez or Joel Wynkoopish. for the record I didnt say it was but you did say I was being CAPish. but whatever. all I did was ask a question and you read it all negatively. not my problem.
Paul Guzzo [09-03-2009 11:33] 
Why do you still contend they never showed local films at past fests??? Do you really think only your friends make films? Just a question.

And for a guy who bitches so much about the lack of local films shown ... where were you in support of any of them? I didn't see you at Redner, or Last One, or Giselles Closet, or the Streak, and so on.

Every year they show a lot of local films man ... just cause you don;t know the directors doesn';t mean they're not local.

Get your head out of the sand man ... your criticism is getting CAP-ish.
Nolan [09-03-2009 08:50] 
Paul, glad you had a good time. I wish I could've gotten down there more than I did, but it wasn't in the cards this year.
Terence [09-03-2009 08:46] 
the best thing? i find that hard to believe. i dont remember Gasparilla being so well thought of in tampa filmmakers minds. why the recent obsession? cus they played you guys films? cus they played more local films than usual? just curious.
Paul Guzzo [09-03-2009 05:36] 
Gasparilla Fest is over and wow ... can't begin to explain what everyone missed by not attending. Easily the best thing to happen to Tampa film.
Proud Paul Guzzo [07-03-2009 07:38] 
Gasparilla was amazing again last night ... Charlie Wall sold out .- 150 seats .... The Streak sold out - 200 seats .... and Redner sold so many tickets they had to move it to the 350 seat theater. Dunno what their head count was, but I heard it was big.

All three of those films are local.

Petrey [07-03-2009 02:46] 
Yep Nolan, the video player is king! Smooth streaming. I have a videotape of two of your old shows so we need to get together to see if you need any of the material.

Good to see the ROLLING THUNDER and J.C. reviews up John. Thanks for the plug!
Nolan [06-03-2009 02:52] 
Steve -- The Atomic Beach segment we filmed back in 2000 was intended to be the opening of Radioactive TV when it was going to be a regular series on Public Access and a sequence of which I'm still quite proud. But, at four minutes long it's way too long to be an internet video opener (much like the new TWON opening is reduced to 20 seconds from its original 60). However....if nothing else, I intend to post it as a stand-alone segment, and I'll likely keep the theme music intact.

The Guzzo Bros doc of Charlie Wall is excellent and a must-see for any fan of Tampa history and its darker past. Maybe we can secure you a copy someday soon.
Steve Beasley [06-03-2009 02:21] 
It's good to see TWON back. Any chance of Atomic Beach making an appearance?

I remember back in 1972 or '73 when Paul Harvey flew into the high school stadium in a helicopter, climbed out, had a short chat about our entry into the world after high school...then flew off again. All this was just prior to our Homecoming game. I was very impressed!

I wish I could be there to see the Guzzo's documentary. I've always loved reading about Tampa history, including the Charlie Wall saga and to see it on screen would be nothing less than awesome!
Nolan [05-03-2009 23:44] 
Mike, thanks! Serling's TV appearances had a profound influence on me growing up, you might have something there. Castle was awesome, too, though, in a similar movie vein.

My brother Ron is who I've pegged to host future Radioactive Television episodes, now in development (finally, yes, I'm writing scripts). Whether he'll smoke on-camera or not is undecided, we haven't talked about it. But I've made no secret of RTV being heavily influenced by Twilight Zone, and I'm very excited about its deployment.

Nick King: You're on! I'll be in touch. Good to hear from you, young man!
Michael [05-03-2009 19:26] 
William Castle? I was thinking more Rod Serling....especially with the subliminal images in the background. All you need is a pocket watch and a door. Great job!
Nick King [05-03-2009 15:53]  
Nolan, if you're interested, I'd love to do an episode of Nolan's Radio with you. It'd be an awesome experience. Send me an email if you like the idea.
Electroc Kool-Aid Guzzo Test [05-03-2009 12:58] 
If anyone is into Kesey history, visit his son Zane's myspace page ... he uplaoded over 70 photos from the historic Acid Test Graduation ... amazing photos of Kesey, an aging Cassady, Mountain Girl, a young Dead, and so on...
ED [05-03-2009 09:38] 
Nolan - thanks, it wasn't easy to hold off on Megacon but I already had this planned. Megacon will be next week and Gasparilla the week after.

Lonnie - Yes, sad news about Robert Quarry. Act fast and try to find a copy of the DVD of Deathmaster. There were a limited number of these that came with an insert signed by Quarry.
Nolan [05-03-2009 08:45] 
ED, terrific job on the Watchmen comics and movie! I confess I thought you'd be doing a MegaCon article this week, but the piece on Watchmen is definitely Retrorama excellence.
Promoting Paul Guzzo [04-03-2009 11:50] 
This Friday, MArch 6 at the Gasparilla Film Festival, TWO locally-produced documentaries will be showing.

It is VERY rare for a film fest the size of Gasparilla to provide local films with Friday night slots ... I hope it is not the last time. BUT, that means we need people to get out and support the films. The reason high profile films usually get Friday night slots is because they guarantee a good crowd ... local films don't always guarantee a crowd. SO, if you want local films to continue to be respected by major fests in the area, get to the films.

My film, Charlie Wall the Documentary, shows at 7:15 p.m.

Strip Club King: The Story of Joe Redner shows at 10:40.

SO, for one Friday night, skip the usual trip to the usual bar to drink your usual stale beer ... turn off the television and skip reality shows for one week ... and get out to the film fest.
Lonnie Dohlen [04-03-2009 11:12]  
Ed,Robert Quarry from "Count Yogurt,Vampire" passed away @ age 83.
Byron [04-03-2009 09:33]  
after having given it some thought after a very very late dinner. I now rate the movie as only 3 stars out of 5. I have to downgrade it an additional 1/2 star, because like Mike, i agree the off-planet filming with dr. manhattan was a complete waste of film. In order to pull off the "trick" by ozy, i think we should have had a lot less of dr. manhattan in the movie, because when they tell you about him he is omniscent, but then you find out he is omniscent like yoda was and lets the arch-villain get so close as to be his confidant. Dr manhattan should have gotten as much screen time as nite owl 1, plus the streets were supposed to be a lot grimmier --- like new york without garbage collectors for about a month. at least on the comedians wall was a Nagle print (Way to go --- very 80's). Rorshach and the Comedian make excellent performances.
Michael [04-03-2009 00:39] 
ED, glad you enjoyed it. We seem to agree on a lot of the film, especially Haley's performance. Guess he doesn't look as cool as a big blue guy or someone in an owl suit!
ED [03-03-2009 19:55] 
I saw a preview screening of Watchmen tonight. Byron gives it 3.5 out of 5 stars sighting it for being too artsy. I give it a very solid 4 out of 5 stars. I felt it did an excellent job overall of retaining the flavor of the comics. The casting was good and the soundtrack is very creative. Jackie Earl Haley is a good Rorschach but the advanced publicity I saw did not reflect this. I had no problem with most of the artsy touches and thought they were decent ways of conveying a lot of information in a short period of time. Some scenes are abridged or combined but they work well on film and all of the really good pieces from the comic make it to the screen. The detractions to me were some final act story changes, over emphasis of certain plot points that are more subtle in the books, and the omission of some background information in favor of the inclusion of others. This movie is a Fanboy must see to me but be warned it has lots of nudity and violence. It's not for kids.
Nolan [03-03-2009 18:59] 
William Castle, ha ha! Cool, thanks, guys.
Terence [03-03-2009 18:42] 
I like the cigarette puff. reminds me of William Castle.
Chris Woods [03-03-2009 17:46] 
Welcome back World of Nolan video! It's pretty cool. Great job, Nolan. Look forward to seeing more.
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2009 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova    
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