Sunday, December 10, 2006

2006 SUCKED!!!

2006 Sucked.

A few of the lowlights:

At the end of last year, my grandmother died. At the beginning of this year, my dad had a heart attack, followed by two surgeries. Then, my young son's first pet, a fish, died. So much death around me.

A couple of weeks later, I went to the doctor who was surprised I hadn't already had a stroke due to several medical conditions. He said that if things didn't change drastically, I was going to die, and sooner rather than later. Scared the crap outta me. I've made a lot of drastic changes in my life in the last few months. It hasn't been fun, but if I want to be around for my family, I gotta do what I gotta do.

Spent all that time photographing movies posters I had for sale and didn't sell a single one.

I cancelled my trip to the San Jose Fangoria Weekend of Horrors.

Found out that Heather Storm, who was in my movie UNDERBELLY had a role in NATIONAL LAMPOON'S DORM DAZE 2. Good for her. Unfortunately, I've yet to see a dime from Vista Street Entertainment for UNDERBELLY.

To top it off, Don Dohler, he of THE ALIEN FACTOR fame, a really nice guy and a big inspiration to me, died this month of lung and brain cancer.

A whole bunch of other crap went on this year that I don't even want to get into here. This is primarily a movie blog, so here's the status on the movies I still have on my plate:

TWISTED FATES: "New Neighbor" segment of is still not totally complete - still needs a bit of music. Robert J.Olin is set to direct the "Welcome Sister" segment in spring 2007. I still need to shoot more stuff, but am unsure of when I can pull it together.

DEADLY PREMONITIONS: I made a trailer, but that's as far as I've gotten. Special effects for Link Masters anchorman footage has been cancelled - going to reshoot.

DR. PUDDING'S MONSTER FILES: After hiring him to do so about two years ago, Tom Shaffer was finally going to shoot the TREESPIRIT segment a few weeks ago, but his lead actress was a no-show, so shoot was cancelled. The girl I'd hired to direct and star in a vampire segment at the beginning of the year completely flaked out, not only keeping my meager production funds and custom-made prop, but deciding she wanted to live as a man. I'm not kidding. Still working on the mummy costume.

Let's take a look back at my New Year's Resolutions 2006, shall we?

"1) Finish TWISTED FATES, DR. PUDDING'S MONSTER FILES and DEADLY PREMONITIONS"

HA! Nope.

"2) Publish an issue of Dr. Squid"

HA HA! Nope.

"3) Go to the June Fango Con in Burbank"

HA HA HA! Nope.

"4) Finish my CREATURE FROM BEYOND script as well as at least one of the other scripts I have half-started all over the place"

HA HA HA HA! Nope.

"I've got other hopes for the year, including losing 50 pounds, paying off my credit cards, and other stuff"

Well, I have lost almost 20 pounds and we did pay off all of our credit cards.

So, I am more than glad that 2006 is almost over. 2007 better be a better year, or I'm going to kill somebody!!!

Resolutions for 2007? Do I dare tempt fate? I think not.

Tell those you love that you love them. Tell them now.

God bless.

On to 2007...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Old Monster Pics

Well, there not THAT old, but they're not new. Just found one of those disposible cameras and look what was on it!



This is the "skull" for TARPO, carved out of a glued-together assembly of styrofoam packing things I got from the computer department where I work.



I used a pair of superballs purchased at The Dollar Store for the eyeballs.



Here is my son wearing the finished costume. I covered the skull with green plastic tarp material, attaching it with a bunch of glue, duct tape and staples. The body was made by cutting out a body outline from two sheets of tarp, stapling and duct-taping the edges and turning it inside out, plus adding a bunch of tarp strips to look like seaweed. I cut up some plastic jump ropes I bought at The Dollar Store to make the "tongues" that come out of TARPO's head.



Here is my son modelling one of the hands I bought for the TREESPIRIT monster



Here is the UNDERBUG before we painted it.



Here is my son with the finished UNDERBUG.

Monday, December 04, 2006

All Work Is Making Me A Dull Boy!

I've got a major project at work going on and have been bringing parts of it home to make sure it is done on time. As such, movie stuff is screaming for attention from it's current location on the back burner.

Tom Shaffer did report that his actress was a no-show on Sunday, so he's re-casting the lead. More news when it comes in.

Got one of those disposable cameras developed and there were a bunch of pics from early work on the Underbug and Tarpo monsters for DR. PUDDING'S MONSTER FILES. Will post when I have a moment.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Don Doher, 1946-2006



My friend John called me this afternoon to pass along the sad news that Baltimore filmmaker Don Dohler had lost his battle with cancer this morning. He was 60.

John and I were both in middle school when we seperately caught Don's movie THE ALIEN FACTOR on the channel 12 afternoon movie. The movie was a huge inspiration for us both and got us interested in making our own movies. The picture above is Don inside an alien outfit from the movie.

It impacted me for a number of reasons. I had moved all the way across the country from New Jersey a year or two earlier. To sit in my living room and watch this movie populated with characters who had accents like mine, who tromped around in woods like those around my old house, was almost like hearing from old friends. Of course the fact that I was around 12 and the movie was filled with all sorts of weird alien monsters made an impact as well!

My dad had a super-8 camera and had made stop-motion movies with his brother. I had made a couple of stop motion things with it as well and remember planning my own ALIEN FACTOR-inspired movie complete with storyboards and special effects notes. I had forced-perspective stuff planned and location-scouted up in the hills and woods behind my house. I never did get that project off the ground, but years later John got a VHS video camera for Christmas. The next thing you know, he and I and Rob Merickel had made STARCHASERS, a sci-fi chase movie shot in and around my house and clearly inspired by Don's ALIEN FACTOR flick.

Sometime back in the mid-80's, I think, TBS aired THE ALIEN FACTOR and I got it recorded on tape. That VHS tape was gold to me for I'd never seen the movie any other time and had never seen it available in video stores where I lived. At the end of the movie, in the end credits crawl, there was an address for the company that made the movie. I wrote to them, telling them how cool the movie was. Unfortunately the address was no longer good and the letter was returned to me. Rats.

Even more years later, I was out of college, working a regular 8-5 job and co-owner of a comic book and game store. I found an ad in a magazine for Don's Movie Club Magazine. I was self-publishing a photocopied zine at the time, Dr. Squid. I wrote to Don in hopes that he would do an interview by mail for my next issue - this was before I was really on the internet. To my pleasant surprise, Don not only wrote back but answered my questions with great detail. He unfortunately seemed a bit bitter about ever getting back into making movies, as he'd been burned by many distributors.

As time went on I moved from publishing a zine reviewing and about b-movies, to making my own. Don also ventured back due to the advent of digital video and partnered with Joe Ripple to form Timwarp Films.

Fred Olen Ray put out THE ALIEN FACTOR on DVD through his Retromedia label. Sweet.

Don and I corresponded via e-mail and I did a couple of interviews with him for websites and genre publications. He was always nice, supportive and seemed happy to share stories about his work.

I'll be watching THE ALIEN FACTOR tonight in honor of Don.

May he rest in peace.



This is a shot of Don in his basement where they built a set for the Sheriff's office for THE ALIEN FACTOR. I've always thought this was a cool shot - Don, surrounded by the movie world that he, literally, built.

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