February, 2011

Interview with David Brin

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

ED- The Eerie Digest has interviewed many exciting and well-known celebrities, but author and scientist David Brin is the most exciting personality that we have had the pleasure of presenting to our readers to date. David, amongst today’s scholars and futurists you are the best known. With many books, stories, TV and speaking experiences, how are you able to juggle all that you do?

DB- Badly! I am spread so thin. My novel KILN PEOPLE foresaw a technology when folks may be able to make lots of cheap, one-day copies of themselves, or “dittoes,” and assign them to take care of all the pesky things that need doing, each day, the ideal servants who know exactly what to do, because they are you. And, by downloading their memories, each night, it really WAS you who did all those things. It was a cry for help! I so want that!

ED- Your works, dealing with the possibilities of the future, include ‘The Postman’, in which Kevin Costner directed and starred in. Your beliefs of what ‘could be’ strikes a chord in my own heart. Your educational background is fantastic and has given you the basis to support much of what you write about. Please tell our readers about your achievements in your education and fields of study.

(more…)

Interview with Stunt Woman Marneen Fields

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Marneen Lynne Fields

ED- The Eerie Digest has always been lucky enough to interview some well-known stars for all our readers to know about. We would like to introduce you to someone with unique abilities. Marneen Fields had started in this industry as a stunt woman. First discovered in 1976 by famed stunt man Paul Stader, she began training in his school to become a Hollywood Stunt woman. Marneen, you were first cast as a mischievous schoolgirl in ‘The Spell’. How exciting was this for you at the time?

MF-This was the luckiest day of my life. A day where some kind of supernatural powers were working perfectly on my behalf. I remember a woman calling me and reading me the scene over the phone as I took notes. I showed up at the audition location which took place in a gymnasium because my character had to climb a rope to the top without her legs. I was also to double the girl spinning on the rope, and do a back high fall while dangling from the top of the rope. The lady on the phone told me that I already had that stunt part. When I walked into the gymnasium there were about 300 girls there, and I was at the end of the line. I watched as girls tried to climb the rope. Eddie Foy III the casting director yelled out, “Is there any girl here who can do the rope climb?” Then someone said, “Paul Stader sent over Marneen Fields.” I couldn’t believe they were asking for me in front of all these other girls. I saw Eddie Foy III a few years back and he said, “He remembered me walking towards him, coming from the end of the line.” After I did the rope climb, he grabbed me and a few other girls and took us in to read for the parts. I couldn’t believe it, I landed the acting part too! My first line was, “Who’d want to take out that tub-O.” Paul Stader was a very powerful man who really believed in me as a young college gymnast turned Hollywood stunt girl.

(more…)

Interview with Actor Tom Lyle

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Tom Lyle

ED- The Eerie Digest recently attended the birthday party of Producer Carlos Roman, of Roman Pictures, just outside of Washington, DC. We had met a number of familiar faces along with many new acquaintances as well. New to us was actor Tom Lyle, an up and coming personality, and a ‘find’ for the Roman Pictures family of actors. Tom, we understand that you were an Army paratrooper early on. Can you tell us about this aspect of your life?

TL-I learned organization and discipline at an early age.  Something I believe many young people need today.  It was an eye opening experience and adventure for a young man. I grew up in a poor multi ethnic section of Baltimore, MD started working a newspaper route at age 8 (usually 12 required) so I was somewhat conditioned for the mental and physical demands.  I loved the Army and thank them for helping me with college under and grad school.

ED- Some years ago you owned your own Health Club and was a physical fitness instructor. How has that helped you in your current career?

TL-Two of my many passions are physical fitness and acting, both of which I studied in college under and grad school.  I have worked a variety of jobs and had many experiences all my life that help in one method of acting I use Lee Strassberg’s style. I owned the first 24 hour Club in Maryland, which was very successful income and people experience for me.  In 20 plus years in the Health Club Business you meet and learn to communicate with a variety of people. 

ED- What was your greatest influence in pursuing acting?

TL-A third grade teacher who performed in theatre, mostly musical encouraged me at an early age.  She was a singer, dancer, actor and a wonderful teacher.  I stared performing in school plays at an early age.  The beginning of my love and passion for performing.

(more…)

Interview with Author Diane Scott Lewis

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

ritphotography

ED- One of the most popular genres of writing today are Historical Fiction, and I am proud to introduce fellow Virginia Writer’s Club member Diane Scott Lewis to all our readers. Diane what was your greatest inspiration to become an author?

DSL-Thank you for having me at Eerie Digest. I love to lose myself in imaginary scenarios. What would happen to someone if…? I’ve read voraciously since I first learned to read, and, I must admit, epic movies such as Mutiny on the Bounty and Cleopatra inspired my fascination with history. I started to write stories as a small child, and penned my first novel at age ten. A story about ancient Rome. Of course, I didn’t yet have the concept of plot, theme, character arcs or Point of View. My stories rambled on as long as there was lead in my pencil. In school I discovered I excelled in creative writing and the “dreaded” essay questions on tests. Through helpful critique groups, I grew as a writer.

ED- Tell us of your earliest achievements in writing and how they strengthened your resolve and confidence in what you do?

DSL-Every story I wrote was praised by my teachers and that gave me confidence. At seventeen I had a short story submitted from my high school to a literary festival. I didn’t win, but that also urged me on to write. I wrote many stories and poems for school magazines. Two years ago, I won second-place in The Golden Nib for my non-fiction essay, Islands. My recently released novel, The False Light, won the CTRR Award.

ED- Please tell our many readers about your novel, ‘The False Light’. Our readers are students of Mystery and we would love to learn all about it.

DSL- Here is the blurb for my novel: Forced from France by her devious guardian on the eve of the French Revolution, Countess Bettina Jonquiere must deliver an important package to further the royalist cause. In England, she discovers the package is full of blank papers, the address false and she’s penniless. Stranded in a Cornish village, Bettina toils in a bawdy tavern and falls in love with a man who may have murdered his unfaithful wife. Tracked by ruthless revolutionaries, she must uncover the truth about her father’s murder—and her lover’s guilt—while her life is threatened.

(more…)

Interview with Actor Phil Sky

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

ED- The Eerie Digest recently attended the world premier of Damian Chapa’s film, ‘Brando Unauthorized’ in Hollywood. While reviewing the movie we caught the performance of actor Phil Sky, who played Marlon Brando, Sr. in the film. Phil you made a remarkable performance in this role. What led you to your career in acting?

PS-When I was a young teen, I looked at myself and said, “I am an all around athlete and ambidextrous, I can sing, dance, ride horses and pick up dialects well, and not afraid to show my emotions in front of others. Maybe I should be an actor.”

ED- What actor inspired you the most in making this career decision, and what was the most memorable role for you that they played?

PS-Hands down, it was “Spartacus” played by Kirk Douglas. That character molded my personality for life. The story had love, compassion and a rags to riches story line, although the riches attained, where the richness of spirit and character.

ED- When did your acting debut take place?

(more…)

Interview with ‘Iowa’ writer & Director Ryan Quinn

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Ryan Quinn

ED- In viewing the screening of a TV pilot we had been following we chanced upon the cast of the short film, ‘Iowa Is Closed Today’. Both projects were being introduce in THEARC Theater in Southeast Washington, DC. There we met writer/ Director Ryan Quinn. Ryan, please tell us what your greatest interest in filmmaking was?

RQ- I’m drawn to film for the same reason most people probably are – film lets us escape into a different world, into the lives of different people, and a good film often runs the gamut of emotions. It’s a completely immersing human experience. Now, why do I want to make films? Looking back at the films I’ve made, I guess you could say none of my stories had to be told. Which I guess is pretty subjective, but it’s not like watching something along the lines of Spielberg’s Munich, which is an important story deserving of the cinematic touch of a masterful artist like Spielberg. The films I tend to write are more just a collection of interesting ideas and conversations I’ve had with friends, and there’s just something really, for lack of a better word, fun about putting all of that together into one coherent thought, that is, the finished film. So I suppose I just love inventing and film is the medium I fell in love with, thanks to all those movies I used to watch with my Grandfather and running around with Dad’s movie camera as a kid.

(more…)

Interview with Actress Sandy Lisiewski

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

ED- The Eerie Digest is proud to introduce actress Sandy Lisiewski to all our readers. Sandy, we recently had the pleasure of meeting you at a party for Producer Carlos Roman on the East Coast. One of your first performances was in the TV movie, ‘Geezers’, in 1999. Please tell us about this production and your greatest influence to take up acting as a career.

SL- First of all, let me say how thrilled I am to have this opportunity to be interviewed for your magazine.  In response to your question about my taking up an acting career and thinking back, I became very interested in acting in high school and was a member of the Drama Club and was cast in several plays during those years.  Then I guess you could say “life took over” and I went on to complete a successful business career.  So, actually I began my acting career in 1995 purely by a “fluke” when I heard an ad on television for the casting of movie extras for the Hollywood film “First Kid”.  I worked as an extra for five days and during that time met many people and did a lot of networking.  I guess you could say that during that experience I caught the “acting bug” and began training in various aspects of the business.  When I felt I was ready, I had my headshots taken and began to audition and build my resume. I met Carlos Roman around 1998 and began a long association with Roman Pictures when I auditioned for the role of Mildred, the frisky blind date to Alfred, one of the “Geezers”.  Working with Carlos on this production as well as meeting the other actors was a lot of fun and I knew I wanted to continue to work with Roman Pictures.  The role of Mildred helped me gain some comedic experience as I worked to expand my talents in those beginning years.

ED- You then appeared in the film, ‘Far From India’, in which you played Chloe’s mother. How did this role strengthen your confidence in your acting abilities, and tell us about this production ?

SL-  The film “Far from India” was a wonderful learning experience for me.  I loved the screenplay when I read it and was thrilled to be cast in the role of Chloe’s mother.  The role definitely strengthened my confidence as I portrayed a protective mother of an only child who moves from her parents home in the country to the city and becomes involved with several Indian men.  My husband is a very prejudiced man and as the story unfolds I become torn between my love for my daughter and dealing with his angry feelings.  This story remains one of my favorites to this day.

(more…)

Interview with Author Joyce Yarrow

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Joyce Yarrow

ED- The Eerie Digest is excited to introduce a fellow writer from the Publisher’s own home ground in the South Bronx in New York City. Joyce Yarrow has been in many fields of writing and now devotes herself to the type of stories that we love best. Joyce, please tell our readers about your first written works in your early years and what your greatest influence was that established yourself as a writer.

JY- Thanks for this opportunity to talk about my work. Early years we’re talking about writing short stories as a pre-teen about children escaping from a violent neighborhood via the Staten Island Ferry. When that failed, I escaped to the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan instead, where I composed songs, set William Blake to music and wrote poems about riding the bus late at night. Anais Nin convinced me that prose could be as “good” as poetry; Balzac and O’Henry showed me that you could write about anything as long as you cared about it; and Lenny Bruce put us all to shame by having the courage to go to jail for saying what we now hear on the radio every day.

ED- You had worked as a screenwriter, a singer- songwriter, and a multi-media performance artist. Tell our readers about this phase of your career.

JY- These days the line between music and poetry is blurred, especially in rap. So without bragging, I think I can say I was a little ahead of my time in blending jazz vocals with poetry and multimedia storytelling. I was extremely fortunate to work with the great Brazilian pianist Jovino Santos Neto on these shows, which we performed in Seattle. While living in Los Angeles, I wrote narration for some Greenpeace films and scripts for animated cartoons. I loved in living in LA, no snobbery, everyone going full tilt toward their own windmill – and writing to picture is great practice for eventually attempting that intimidating first novel.

(more…)

Interview with Author Steven Nedelton

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Steven Nedelton

ED- The Publisher of The Eerie Digest is very excited to introduce an author who writes in the same genre that he does. Steven Nedelton began writing short stories in his teens and has become a very important author today. Steven, tell us about your early years in writing and how they provided you with the confidence in your career.

SN- Thank you very much for this opportunity to present my novels. I believe I became an avid reader after getting Tom Sawyer novel for my tenth birthday. And so, in a way, Mark Twain is to blame for all my later writing woes, including the nagging desire to become a writer some day too. They say Twain was a great writer, but I think he was a genius. How could a mere mortal write so many masterpieces? Actually, we were similar in some ways in our early youths, at least similar to his Tom and Huck. Just like those two, my friends and I used to go to the nearby river, though we never fished. We also ran along the sandy beaches, fought, got badly sunburned, smoked cheap tobacco, cursed abundantly, drank alcohol, and got sick from the evil combinations. Yet, unlike Tom and Huck, we were most often home on time. Those two had it easy, did not have to suffer the wrath of an infuriated parent waiting on them. I believe my friends and I started experimenting with the short story writing at the age of twelve or thirteen, definitely bitten by Twain’s bug. And one of my short stories did get published later in a literary journal, when I was in my twenties. But then I graduated from a university, and my writing nightmares began. I had to write job related technical reports at the end of each completed assignment. And that definitely put an end to all of my writing aspirations during the next three decades.

ED- Your first novel was ‘Fear!,’ you started it in the late 1990′s. Please tell our readers about this story and the theme behind it.

SN- Actually, it was my second book, and I completed it a few years ago. My very first novel or novella, some 30 K words total, ended in a shredder after I failed to come up with the central plot. In general, in order to get published, one should write in a genre that is at least partly popular, and provide a decent content. At first, I thought of writing an autobiography, but only the famous people use variations on their personal life in their first novels. I did not wish to write a novel based on my life alone and so I decided to present a view on life in general. Fear! is all about that. And so, this book, almost my first one, turned out to be my third novel. It should be released the next year.

(more…)

Interview with Actor Laurence T. Miller

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
 

Laurence T. Miller

ED-  The Eerie Digest has quite a few readers who are aspiring actors who are looking to make a career of it. We have introduced them to many in the acting field in all ranges of their careers, and now we’d like to introduce a newcomer. Actor Laurence T. Miller has just started into his career of acting, but the stage is no stranger to him. Laurence, after a stint in the Navy you took up the drums as a musician. Please tell us about this period of your early musical career.

LTM- I fell in love with music as a young boy and tapped on everything from my legs to tables and chairs, constantly creating a beat of some kind. Once out of the Navy, a dear friend told me I could set up a kit and practice in their basement. So I did! After a couple of lessons I understood what it was I needed to learn. I spent hours a day practicing rudiments and playing to CD’s. After 3 months, my friend and I created a small band a put together approx. 15 song set.  Once I could play by instinct, I discovered my connection to the source and/or the divine. There is no better feeling in the world than living every moment of the creation process. If you can add to that with the exchange of energy between people, it is a mind blowing experience. I hope to discover a similar connection the the universe via acting.

ED- You prefer to perform rock music. Tell us about the first band that you were in.

LTM- The very first band I played in was formed shortly after I picked up the drums. I came up with the name “Mr. Novocain”, and it stuck. The other two members were high school buddies. Since the singer/guitarist had 10yrs of experience, he created a set list. We learned to play approx. 20 covers and created 3 originals before we split to go our separate ways. That time in my life was an exceptional blessing because I found a way to channel the over abundant energy I had at the time in a creative, non-destructive way, lol.

(more…)

Interview with Producer Gloria Kisel-Hollis

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
 
 
 

Gloria Kisel-Hollis

ED- Many people outside the Entertainment Industry are confused when asked what a Producer is, and often relate the term to a Director of a film. I’d like to present Gloria-Kisel-Hollis to all our readers to shed some knowledge on this subject. Gloria, I have recently met you through the world premier of Damian Chap’s film, ‘Brando-Unauthorized’ in which you were one of the production’s Producers. What is the difference between a film’s Producer and Director?

GKH- A director is the person who tells a story on film and “directs” the actor to play it the way the story is. A producer is the person who assembles everything necessary for the director to do his job. It takes an army to make a film and sometimes a lot of money. A producer is the grand organizer. Sometimes we are creatively involved, sometimes not.

ED- I understand that in an Independent Film these positions are often shared by one person. What is the benefit of this?

GKH- Well, with both an independent film or a major film most directors produce at some level, but the smaller the budget to work with, the more multitasking from all.

ED- What is the primary focus of a Producer, and what responsibilities befall them?

(more…)

Interview with Actress Amanda Wright

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Amanda Wright

ED- The Eerie Digest is excited to introduce a young actress who has started her acting career at an early age. She has already been on stage and is now breaking into film. Amanda Wright is traveling the path that many young actor dreams of. Amanda, tell us about the training that you have taken so far to reach out towards your goals.

AW- I have been taking private and group acting lessons from teachers at George Mason University, and Hollywood directors such as Tom Logan. I have also recently undertaken singing lessons, and I hope to someday advance to dance lessons to make myself a triple threat.

ED- When did you first started training and what classes did you feel that were the most important for you to take towards your career?

AW- I first started training when I was in seventh grade, right after I finished Annie with my middle school. I have been continuing these lessons for the past four years and I like to think that I am improving!  Improvisation classes are definitely the most important classes I need to take. Thinking on your feet is a necessary skill in this field, and without the training I know I would not be able to do it very well.

(more…)

Phantom Phantasy by Guest Author Alex Knight

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Lydia had a lot of unpacking to do but she was tired and needed a break, pregnancy fatigued her. She filled the kettle and searched for the instant coffee, a mug and spoon. It would have to be taken black this time. Would Jeremy remember to pick up everything on the shopping list? She should have just done it herself, but wanted to get as much unpacked as possible before he arrived home tonight. This was their first house, a fixer-upper that needed a lot of repair, which they would do as they went along. It was quite a distance from the city but the tranquility of the countryside made the drive worthwhile.

The coffee made, Lydia decided to look around again. Venturing from room to room, she envisioned what the place would look like decorated in her chosen colors. A paint and wallpaper sample had been taped on a wall in each room so that Jeremy could see what his wife had in mind. Climbing the stairs Lydia found it chillier than the lower part of the house. She walked down the hall to the last room, the one that had been designated as the master bedroom. Lydia felt a draft and thought she could actually see her breath. Impossible, she thought, it’s not even that cold outside. The weather was unpredictable in late October, but it hadn’t even been necessary to wear a sweater today.

Opening the bedroom door Lydia was amazed to see that all the windows were open; she hadn’t noticed that during her arrival earlier. Closing one window after another, Lydia thought she detected movement out of the corner of her eye. Whirling around, she was in time to see the bedroom door slam shut. Just the wind, she reasoned. Yet the hair on the back of her neck was bristling. I’m being silly, it’s just a case of nerves being out here alone with no phone. It was supposed to be installed today but the installer had already been out and left a note saying he had to restring a new line. It would be another three days before he could complete the job. (more…)

Night Trains- Chapter 24

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Captain Peters arrived a half hour later and was staring eyeball to eyeball with Mac.
“Come off it, Lieutenant!” he yelled. “What kind of line are you handing me anyway?”
“Just the facts,” Mac yelled back.
“Well, its just damned impossible!” Peters yelled. “Nothing could have withstood that kind of impact. We should be able to pick him up in a vacuum cleaner if they hit him like they said.”
“Have they found any sign of him at all?” Peters said lowering his voice now.
“Not even a drop of blood,” Mac glowered now, but with an even voice.
“What’s the toll, Lieutenant?” Peters said, offering Mac a cigarette.
“Two dead, three injured with no hits, runs, or errors,” Mac snapped.
“Knock off the crap, Mac,” Peters said.
“Sorry,” Mac said accepting the cigarette and a light.
“That’s all right,” Peters said. “It just sounds too fantastic.”
“I agree with you one hundred percent, but it’s all there,” Mac assured him. (more…)

Jack Palance and Louis Jourdan by Guest Author Eddie Butler

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Author Eddie Butler Photo by Branwell Bronte

The film was scripted by Richard Matheson, the Godfather of American horror stories; The Incredible Shrinking Man, I am Legend, and scriptwriter for a number of the best horror films of the 1960s and 1970s.

There had been talk in the early 1970s of a Hammer film titled Dracula Walks the Night, to be co-written by Matheson and resident Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were to continue in their roles as Dracula and Van Helsing as they square off in Victorian London. Van Helsing would team up with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to destroy the fiend. As a further plus, it was to have been directed by Terence Fisher. Unfortunately, with the advent of vampire saturation from the American market with films like Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) and Blacula (1972), Hammer had to churn out more economical potboilers like Dracula AD 1972 (1972) and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), robbing fans of what would  have been the most interesting Dracula story conceived up to that time.

On viewing Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I came to the conclusion that I thought that  Matheson had meant his story to be set on a larger scale; maybe utilizing ideas from the ideas mentioned above. Although that is only conjecture on my part, but with the confines of the budget and only a promise of a television showing, the finished script had to be scaled down somewhat. What we are left with is a short film loaded with references to Producer/Director Dan Curtis’s previous explorations with vampires: The House of Dark Shadows (1970) and The Night Stalker (1972), also scripted by Matheson, with a smattering of dialogue and incident thrown in from Stoker.

Jack Palance probably seemed an odd choice to take the lead role, but, in frock coat and graying temples, he does his best effort to bring humanity to his ethnically correct Count, playing him as an obsessed tyrant yearning for his lost love, Marianne, and finding her in Lucy Westenra. (more…)

5: Effigy by Guest Author R.B. Clague

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011


‘Okay, Sammy my lad, give me your lunch money,’ demanded Bobby Clarke grabbing the boy by the front of his shirt, lifting him off his feet and pushing him up against the lockers, which lined the school corridor.
Samuel Jakobson reached into the back pocket of his jeans and removed a ten-dollar note, which he handed over to the bigger boy.
‘That’s a good geek,’ said Bobby slapping him lightly across the cheeks. ‘Now, here’s my homework,’ he added shoving some papers into Sam’s shirt pocket. ‘Make sure you have it for me, before the bell goes in the morning.’
Sam nodded his acquiescence to the demand, not wanting to talk and further aggravate Bobby, the biggest, meanest, and toughest kid in Year-ten. He was also captain of the school football team and as dumb a jock as had ever walked the hallways of Grafton high school.
Bobby lowered Sam back down onto his feet and mockingly straightened out his shirt. ‘Now, you just make sure you have that homework done and I’ll meet you out front of the school in the morning. You got that?’
‘Sure,’ replied Sam. ‘I’ll be there.’
‘Oh, and one more thing,’ said the bigger boy as he started to walk off, ‘make sure you double check it, this time. I got one of the maths problems wrong the other day, which was a bit of a let down, because usually I get everything right.’
‘Okay, no problem,’ said Sam, ‘I’ll make sure.’ (more…)

The Three Low Masses A Christmas Story by Guest Author Jim Gaines

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

By Alphonse Daudet

Translated by James F. Gaines

“Two stuffed turkeys, Garrigou?”
“Yes, reverend father, two magnificent turkeys stuffed with truffles. I know all about it, since it was I who helped stuff them. You would have thought their skin was going to crack in the roasting, it was so tight…”
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and I love truffles so much! Quick, hand me my surplice, Garrigou. And besides the turkeys, what else did you see in the kitchen?”
“Oh, all kinds of wonderful things. Since noon we’ve been doing nothing but plucking pheasants, grouse, game hens. There were feathers everywhere. Then from the pond they brought trout, golden carp, eels…”
“How big were the trout, Garrigou?”
“Big as this, reverend father, enormous!” he declared, spreading his arms wide.
“Oh, my God, I can just see them. Have you put the wine in the cruets?” (more…)

EXTRA! EXTRA! The VWC Newsletter is HERE‏

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

VWC E-NUNCIATOR Newsletter of the Virginia Writers Club, Inc.

N E X T V W C M E E T I N G

Volume 3, Issue 1 • December, 2010 – January, 2011

P. O. Box 115 • Bremo Bluff, VA 23022 • VWCMail@aol.com • www.virginiawritersclub.org

Click here to read January’s newsletter!

Guest Author Eddie Butler

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Jack Palance

The film was scripted by Richard Matheson, the Godfather of American horror stories; The Incredible Shrinking Man, I am Legend, and scriptwriter for a number of the best horror films of the 1960s and 1970s.

There had been talk in the early 1970s of a Hammer film titled Dracula Walks the Night, to be co-written by Matheson and resident Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing were to continue in their roles as Dracula and Van Helsing as they square off in Victorian London. Van Helsing would team up with Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to destroy the fiend. As a further plus, it was to have been directed by Terence Fisher. Unfortunately, with the advent of vampire saturation from the American market with films like Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) and Blacula (1972), Hammer had to churn out more economical potboilers like Dracula AD 1972 (1972) and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), robbing fans of what would  have been the most interesting Dracula story conceived up to that time.

On viewing Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I came to the conclusion that I thought that  Matheson had meant his story to be set on a larger scale; maybe utilising ideas from the ideas mentioned above. Although that is only conjecture on my part, but with the confines of the budget and only a promise of a television showing, the finished script had to be scaled down somewhat. What we are left with is a short film loaded with references to Producer/Director Dan Curtis’s previous explorations with vampires: The House of Dark Shadows (1970) and The Night Stalker (1972), also scripted by Matheson, with a smattering of dialogue and incident thrown in from Stoker. (more…)

Random Chance by Guest Author Alex Knight

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Alex Knight

I watched as they shot Nicky Fingers in the back of the head, twice. The second bullet wasn’t necessary. Why didn’t I do anything to help? Heck, I couldn’t help myself earlier and Nicky sure didn’t put up a fuss when Mario took the baseball bat to my arms and legs. They didn’t kill me because I was going to be their messenger.

“Tell Giovanni for him and his boys to stay away from the south side. Tell him it’d be a big mistake to show his mug there again.”

I was randomly picked as the messenger. Things happened that way all my life, randomly. That’s why no one ever addresses me by my given name of Randolph. To everyone who meets me, I always become known as Random, Random Chance.

Protesting that I didn’t know Giovanni personally was of little use. I was with Nicky and therefore I was deemed to be one of Giovanni’s boys. Of course I know who Giovanni Colucci is. Everyone in town knows, with the exception of the local constabulary, that is. I have been writing about Colucci and his boys for a long time now. I have also been writing about his archenemy, Vincenzo Martini for just as long.

(more…)