Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Tuesday Sandwich

Movies 4 Men Channel 2, Tuesday....

18:45 High Risk
4 poor Americans conduct a commando raid & rob a Columbian drug baron but then have a problem escaping. James Brolin, James Coburn, Lindsay Wagner & Anthony Quinn star. 1981.

20:30 Crash Dive
The crew of a nuclear submarine rescues supposed victims of a boat disaster, but the victims turn out to be terrorists intent on capturing nuclear weapons aboard the sub. 1997.

22:15 Martial Law 2: Undercover
An undercover cop teams up with a martial-arts expert to stop a gang of drug smugglers and car thieves. Starring David Caradine, Chad McQueen and Cynthia Rothrock, 1990.

-- Now that's more like it! Between Lindsay Wagner and Cynthia Rothrock!

Kind of cool that they keep showing my movies in the 8pm slot. All of this stuff I wrote for HBO World Premieres a decade ago is still out there in circulation.

I was in the 99 Cents Only store a couple of days ago, flipping through their DVD bins, and found a movie made by my friend Paul Kyriazi - OMEGA COP - it's kind of DIRTY HARRY meets OMEGA MAN (as Steve Buscemi says: "No two movies should ever meet!") - and made for pocket change in Stockton, CA.

Paul went from making samurai and kung fu movies in the Concord/Walnut Creek area of the East Bay, to being a director for hire on a bunch of martial arts guy's movies all over the USA.

OMEGA was produced by this guy in Stockton who thought he was the next Chuck Norris, and when no studios or casting directors seemed to think that, he put his money where his mouth was and began making films starring himself... many of which were directed by my friend Paul.

The problem with all of these movies was that the guy in charge was the karate bum, who usually knew little about story and character and, well, acting. They'd scrape together enough money to make a movie, and Paul would get stuck trying to put together something that made sense.

The good thing (I guess) is that Paul basically criss-crossed the USA making these movies for a bunch of different kung fu guys. Then he retired to live with his wife and raise their daughter... and write all kinds of audio books that you can hear my voice in (the same "Teamster #2" roles I play in my movies, I play on Paul's audio books). Paul's movies, like mine, live on.

A few years ago I was clicking through channels and landed on a station showing my NIGHT HUNTER movie... a Spanish language station! It was funny to watch the movie in Spanish, all of my dialogue... though I didn't understand a word of it. I think the dubbing actually improved the acting in places. Strange to think of people watching one of my movies in Spanish or German or Chinese. Strange to think that someone in England will be watching CRASH DIVE tonight.

We write something, and then lose track of it. On to the next thing. Then you're flipping channels or walking through a video store or digging through the bin at the 99 Cents store and there it is... that movie you created a decade ago. That story you struggled with. That act 2 you couldn't crack for days. That scene that never worked, but they filmed it anyway. That part of *you* that you shared with strangers. Is it really your movie anymore?

- Bill


Yesterday’s Lunch: No lunch, but I had a Ceasar Salad.
Movies & DVDs: Nothing. I'm battling a killer head cold and spent most of last night coughing and blowing my nose... and I *should* have put some DVD into the machine, but instead I just kept trying to sleep. If I go through the same thing tonight I'll just give up and watch something - I have a huge stack of new DVDs.
Pages: Nothing, and it pisses me off. I need to be writing 5 a day on SLEEPER and instead I'm blowing my nose. I did a bunch of research on the script, though, which is something. And I puttered around on some articles that are due in a couple of days. But I need to get up to speed on the script - if I can get into that 5 page groove I'll have a new spec first draft... Sometimes that damned blank page can be threatening.

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