Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Niece Makes THE DAILY SHOW!

My niece Jenny Hamel is a reporter on the Fox affiliate in San Diego. In this DAILY SHOW clip, she's one of the reporters Stewart cites during his riff on reporter chic. Jenny's the one in "goggles and fire jacket!"


It's the "Californincineration" clip from 10/29. I'm so proud!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Razor Screenings...

FYI, barring disaster, I hope to join the fine folks who make it to Ventura California for the Los Angeles "Razor" screenings, Monday Nov. 12. Check the Sci-Fi website for more info on getting tix to these events, which sound very cool. See you there!

My Latest Thoughts On The (Possible) Strike...

Actually, I've been so busy I haven't had time to consider it that much. That said, if stress and tension and general atmosphere means anything, it feels like we went on strike three weeks ago.

The problem is, nothing's really changed. The producers took the rollback of residuals off the table, but it never should have been there in the first place. As I told a friend, I guess now the writers can pull back on their "one million dollars a day" salary demands.

I think what baffles me a little is the reluctance (a kind word) of the studios to even entertain formulas for sharing the wealth on the internet, i-tunes, downloads, webisodes, mobisodes and whatever-a-sodes. It's not like the WGA's demanding advance payments on money that hasn't been collected yet via these new distribution systems. We just want a (small) piece of whatever DOES come in. And yet somehow this is all too complicated, possibly requiring a three year study (gee, what a coincidence, three years until the next contract negotiations!) to figure out just how much money the networks are making from the new technologies that they can't share because it's all too heady... or something.

Jeff Zucker said today that NBC made "only" made $15 million from i-tunes. Okay. All we want is a percentage of that $15 million, then...

That said, it remains to be reiterated that the last thing ANY working writer wants is a strike. This is a tough, time sensitive, mercurial business, and work stoppages can have ramifications beyond the checkbook. And writers, especially in television, are not blind to the downside of what happens when shows go out of production. Besides the damage done to the production staff, when the shows stop coming it's possible audience eyeballs will go with them. So I'm still crossing my fingers that wisdom trumps... something... and next week finds us all busy at our keyboards.

That said, if I had to lay odds, I'd be hoping for nice weather Friday, because picket signs don't hold together very well in the rain...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

MY NAME IS BRUCE: Summer 2008

We're starting to get definitive about the MY NAME IS BRUCE release. Check out the piece on the FANGORIA website for the details...


Free Nick Lowe!

No, he's not in prison, but Nick Lowe the singer/songwriter/famed producer of Elvis Costello has been touring this year, and NPR has one of his concerts up on their website, for listening and/or download. Lowe's style has shifted with the years, from New Wave pop to country to laid-back swing, but it's all worth a listen.


Thursday, October 25, 2007


It's COMING! The book that's been two years in the making! An expansion/adaptation of the first EVIL DEAD movie, written by yours truly and painted by the astonishing John Bolton. Four issues, all in the can, so start saving your $$$.

More details at the link, and some lovely art from this month's Diamond Previews backcover.


Skidoo The Movie is Coming...

I posted about Otto Preminger's astounding film SKIDOO some pages ago... suffice to say, the 1968 production is one of the strangest and most confounding big budget Hollywood movies ever unspooled. Rumor has it that Otto's estate has been keeping the movie under lock and key, but those fine folks at Turner Classic Movies have scheduled a run on January 4, 2008. Viewers will have to decide if this is a sign of the coming apocalypse or a wonderful New Year's treat...

Jackie Gleason goes on an LSD trip that includes, as a hallucination, Mickey Rooney. Carol Channing strips and sings. An elderly Groucho Marx plays "God." And when the thing's finaly over, you'll have the lyrics "Skidoo, skidoo!" implanted in your brain. See what all the hub-bub is about!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Strike News? Here's Strike News...

Battlestar Sitrep pointed the way, and they're right -- Nikke Finke's column in the L.A. Weekly has some good info on the ongoing WGA labor negotiations. (And a lot of other interesting Hollywood gossip, but hey, who's interested in that?)


24 - Season 7 Trailer

Soul patch is back (umm, but he's dead!), Chloe gets a cameo and evil Senators wanna know why mean ol' Jack keeps torturing people. Sounds like another politically messed up but gloriously insane season to me!

The U.K. preview trailer can be viewed at:


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hello "Blogs Of Note" Folks...

If my sitemeter is to be believed, I've got a lot of new folks checking out my blog this week. As a quick look will tell, it's an eclectic mix of personal ramblings along with information on my professional projects. Look for updates on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, TEEN TITANS the movie and MY NAME IS BRUCE starring Bruce Campbell, along with my personal pop culture obsessions -- Elvis Costello, Smithereens, Swamp Pop and whatever else piques my interest.

The impulse to blog comes out of my life-long self-publishing jones; I've been writing small personal 'zines for (gasp) over thirty years, and I guess I just can't shake the impulse. I'm not big on design, just the facts, ma'am. (Did I mention I also love DRAGNET?)

Anyway, welcome!

Swamp Pop? Yes. Swamp Pop!

I've been a devoted fan of "swamp pop", an upbeat style of Cajun music, since coming across a compilation of Tommy McLain's best tunes a few years ago. McLain's big hit was a version of "Sweet Dreams", which has sold over three million copies since 1966 and continues to get air play.

Well, it seems Tommy and fellow swamp masters Warren Storm, CC Adcock and many others got together for a live show back in 2005, the results of which are available on an official release from the fine folks at the link below. If you're even vaguely familiar with the genre, you're going to know some of these songs.

1. Shirley (3:48)
2. Prisoner's Song (2:38)
3. Lonely Nights (3:19)
4. Cindy Lou (2:07)
5. Irene (3:49)
6. Life Problem (2:45)
7. Jukebox Songs (3:19)
8. Before I Grow Too Old (3:23)
9. Baby Doll (3:22)
10. First You Cry (5:06)
11. Mama, Mama, Mama Guess What Your Little Boy's Done (3:09)
12. This Should Go On Forever (3:58)
13. I Hear You Knockin' (2:11)
14. Sweet Dreams Of You (5:17)
15. Seven Letter (4:42)
16. Sea Of Love (3:25)
17. Verdi Mae (2:28)
18. Sea Of Love - Reprise (2:42)
19. Mathilda (3:22)

Swamp Pop Review:
Warren Storm
Tommy McLain
Phil Phillips
King Carl
David Egan
C.C. Adcock & His Band

I'm a firm believer that it's important to support the music (and television shows and films and comic books) we like with more than praise and/or criticism... a little $$ helps ensure that these artists can continue to perform and small labels like the JazzFest folks can continue to record and release their music. Check out this release and a whole bunch more at:


More WGA Strike Thoughts... by someone else

My friend Mark Evanier continues to write some of the best and most thoughtful pieces on the looming possibility of a WGA strike. This piece, which includes a link to Nikki Finke's story on the current mindset of the studio bosses, does not paint the warmest picture of future events. But for those interested, it's definitely worth a read...


Sunday, October 21, 2007

MY NAME IS BRUCE - More Updatin'

From the 10/20/07 Portland OREGONIAN, a long, interesting interview with Bruce Campbell and Mike Richardson about the long developing saga that is MY NAME IS BRUCE. And no spoilers, not that you could EVER spoil MNIB...


Friday, October 19, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Season Three Soundtrack!

Okay, so the DVDs are still a ways off, but you can still savor the musical genius of Bear McCreary with this new release, which includes the wonderful, controversial but musically exquisite version of "All Along The Watchtower." BUY BEAR!

Steeee-RIKE! Or not...

Seems to be some confusion about the announcement that the Writer's Guild membership has overwhelmingly approved giving our negotiating team authorization to strike. That does NOT necessarily mean there will be a strike, or that it's going to happen exactly on Nov. 1. It DOES mean that our negotiators go into their next work session knowing that 90+% of the membership will back them if they decide a work stoppage is the only way to be heard.

Also, it should be made clear that the vote does not mean that 90% of the membership WANTS to strike. I certainly don't! We're fully aware that a strike not only hurts our bottom line, but rolls through the rest of the entertainment community as well. Still, after being a member of the WGA for many years now, I also don't want to settle for rollbacks, or even the status quo.

I was on the periphery for the 1988 strike, which lasted four months, and it was devastating to far too many people, not to mention the business in general. Let's hope that cooler heads prevail and we can make a deal that's fair to both sides.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

30 Days Of Night... THE PREMIERE!

My buddy Mike Richardson at Dark Horse Comics/Productions got me into the premiere, and a good, scary time was had by all. After a hug from my pal D'Anna The Boxed Cylon (AKA Lucy Lawless, married to Rob Tapert, one of the producers on 30 DAYS, is that enough Kevin Bacon-ness?), we enjoyed two hours of vampire intensity. The story is in the title; when 30 days of night fall on Barrow, Alaska, a crew of vampires decide to "take advantage." Danny Huston is especially nasty as the lead vampire, who speaks a very bizarre Hungarian-ish dialect while chewing up every human in sight. Indeed, the vampire designs are fun, and clearly napkins are in short supply up North because they guys NEVER wipe up after a meal...

I've seen plenty of horror pictures so I'm pretty sanguine when it comes to gore, but 30 DAYS revs it up into high gear, with many spectacular "kills" and one especially spectacular/grueling on-camera whacking.

Vampires, blood, TWO giant mulching/grinding machines, and if that's really what Barrow Alaska looks like, I'm giving up on my plans to develop my "Alaskan Hideaway" vacation resort. Opens Oct. 19!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Elvis Costello & Clover - LIVE

That's right. Clover! The back-up band from Elvis Costello's seminal record MY AIM IS TRUE will be performing the entire album, with Elvis, live for the first time ever this November in San Francisco. It's a charity event and if I can possibly find my way North that night, I'll see you there!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

WGA Strike Heats Up! Ooo, boy, it's hot!

Not sure who wrote this, but it's been flying around in various e-mails. And I resent the comment about "surly, over-paid, bearded nerds." I shaved my beard YEARS ago...


Writers Guild drafts really hardline regulations this round!


The WGA clearly wants to send a signal. The guild has formulated strike rules that would impose an exceptionally aggressive stance on its 12,000 members.

In addition to a ban on any guild-covered work in features and TV, a draft recap of the WGA rules said the guild plans to prohibit any writing for new media and declare that writers can't do animated features -- even though that realm is not under WGA jurisdiction. Included in non-guild covered restrictions, writers are further prohibited from writing personal letters, emails, texts, greeting cards and even from writing personal checks. Signing one's signature is not considered a violation, but writers are absolutely barred from filling out the amount of a check, who it's made out to, and from filling in the memo section. "Writing is writing," said guild Executive Director David Young, "that's our stand!" Many writers are understandably confused as to how they will be able to pay their mortgages and utility bills in light of this oppressive mandate. "Just fill out all your checks and holiday greeting cards through '08 before November first", suggests Young, "I did, now all I have to do is sign them."

The WGA didn't specify what the penalties would be for violating the rules, but would only somewhat ominously state that punishment would be swift and severe. When asked to elaborate, the guild would only respond with a sinister chuckle. It's also asserting that non-members who perform banned work during a strike will be barred from joining the guild in the future.

News of the rules began circulating Wednesday as the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers met in the afternoon in their eighth face-to-face session; they plan to resume talks next week. The two sides have achieved no progress during the previous sessions and have simply blamed each other for taking untenable stances. Violence broke out at the most recent sit-down when WGA West prexy Patric Verrone leaped over the negotiating table and tackled AMPTP head Nick Counter in a headlock, after Counter threw his beer in Verrone's face. Security had to break up the melee and the session was cut short as a result. While being escorted form the premises, Verrone and Counter continued to hurl insults at one another, Verrone was heard calling Counter a "parsimonious Philistine!" While Counter was overheard shouting, "You're all a bunch of surly, over paid, bearded nerds!" In light of such unprofessionalism, the industry was left scratching their heads Wednesday, wondering why drinking has been allowed to occur during such tenuous and heated debates.

In preparation for a strike, the WGA suggests that all members start Netflixing "Norma Rae", as it is the most famous movie in recent years to be about a strike. Also check out, "The Empire Strikes Back", though not about union striking, it does have the word "strike" prominently featured in the title and is widely regarded by many "Star Wars" geeks as the best of the six "Star Wars" films.

More Smithereens! Christmas! Solo Pat DiNizio!

The New Year opened with an album of Beatles covers by Mssr. DiNizio and his cohorts, and now we're ringing it out with a CD-full of Xmas standards (and not so standards). CHRISTMAS WITH THE SMITHEREENS is exactly what you would expect from the boys, which means it is defacto great and deserving of your monetary support. Some pretty insane stuff here, ranging from "Christmas" (from the Who's TOMMY) to a rendition of "The Night Before Christmas" that sounds like a knock-off of Napoleon IV doing "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha Ha." If that sounds like something you absolutely, definitely must have, check out the link.

And if that weren't enough, Pat's just issued a solo record that's also tops on the MV hit parade. A little harder rocking than the Christmas CD, it's ten glorious slabs of DiNizio. Only a hard-hearted MONSTER would refuse to support Pat and the Smithereens as they enjoy one of their most prolific years ever!

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Name Is Bruce - Smallish UPDATE

It's coming. Honest. Final version is almost locked and right now we're looking at a release in 2008, hopefully earlier rather than later. Lucky folks at this year's AFM (American Film Market) may actually get a peek at the final product...

Bruce Campbell. Guan-Di the monster. A cast of tens. Hillbilly singers. Dance numbers. The blacksmith guy from ARMY OF DARKNESS. You'll laugh, you'll cry (well, you probably won't cry), but forget that, because I'm telling you THIS MOVIE HAS IT ALL.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Enough Strike Talk, How About Something Positive?!

With all the doom and gloom enveloping Hollywood, sometimes you need to pull back and smell more than a few roses.

For instance, it's always interesting to watch BATTLESTAR dailies. For those outside the film-jargon loop, dailies are essentially compilations of all the raw scenes done each day, slapped on DVD and sent to the producers to evaluate. What's fun about watching OUR dailies is a); they're almost always amazing and b), sometimes you get to a moment that just throws you back in your chair and forces you to go "wow."

We've had a bunch of those moments as season four rolls on, but recently we saw the dailies on a scene that was especially heart-wrenching. In my patented "no spoiler" mode, I will not disclose any info, except to say the scene involves one of our main characters in a very bad place (what else is new?), who then sings, to themselves, an acapella lament to help ease their pain. I got chills (and no, I didn't write the episode!), and it's the special moments like that that remind me, as all this other stuff is swirling around, why this is a pretty amazing job on a pretty amazing show...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Season Four Promo

I am, of course, biased, but there's a very cool promo for what's coming in season four over at the Galactica Sitrep site (see my blog list, "Battlestar News Site", and click to get over there).

Roslin with a gun, CHECK. Tigh with a gun, CHECK. Kara on the deck, CHECK. Ahh, that's my Battlestar...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

BSG and the WGA Strike...

If you've been paying any attention to the on-going machinations between the Writer's Guild and the Producers, then you probably have the idea that things aren't going so well and there may be a writer's strike. Of course, there is inevitably posturing on both sides as we come down to the wire, but this year's negotiations have a harder edge to them than I've seen before (I joined the WGA just after the long strike in 1988, so I missed what must have been considerable drama then).

My friend Mark Evanier has been active in WGA politics for quite some time and he's been posting informative articles re: his view of things over on his newsfromme.com website. If you're interested in some background on the whole strike issue and a seasoned perspective, give his pieces a look...

In terms of what a November strike would mean for BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, well, I'm not exactly sure, except there would be nobody writing scripts if a strike is called, and there are still several episodes left to be written. I'm hoping that the waters calm and a deal can be made, of course, but if there is a strike, then a lot depends on just how long it goes. A few weeks is one thing, six months is quite another... and nobody can predict anything.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Greatest Elvis Costello Album EVER

If your idea of a rollicking good time is listening to bizarre, inexplicable orchestrations of somewhat familiar Elvis Costello songs sung in heavily accented English by Japanese disco bands, have you got a treat in store! TRIBUTE TO ELVIS COSTELLO is a brand new and really quite amazing collection of E.C. songs (well, technically, "She" was a cover), "updated" in often unintelligible but fascinating style. I've probably heard the original version of "Oliver's Army" five hundred times, but even I had trouble figuring out the lyrics in this version, where the Oliver's Army refrain is mangled into "Olipert's Allami." And I swear to God, "Only Flame In Town" really does become "The Only Frame In Town."

It's an unfortunately pricey Japanese import only, but hopefully some enterprising America company will pick it up and give it the full U.S. release it deserves.