Monday, August 03, 2020

My Films Come Back To Haunt Me...

My movies on TubiTV.

TubiTV is kind of the old folks home for movies. When a film has played every cable channel and every broadcast channel (including Spanish language) and been released on DVD and Blu-ray and done it's theatrical run in every country - even the ones that show movies on a bed sheet, and every single cent has been made... They go to TubiTV. It's free streaming with lots of commercials. But R rated films are uncut.

I had 7 movies there last month, only 6 this month. You missed IMPLICATED from MGM home video. Here are the 6...

Crash Dive! HBO World Premiere Movie CRASH DIVE, made for HBO as a "World Premiere". Played theatrical overseas and was Top 10 box office in some countries. Catherine Bell's first lead role and the reason why she was cast in JAG. We originally had Scott Glenn signed and he ditched us to make a Clint Eastwood movie. Our last minute replacement from the HBO approved list was American Ninja (the theatrical films from Cannon Pictures, not the TV show) Michael Dudikoff. Last minute script rewrite turning lead from brainiac to Kung Fu guy. Oh, Chris Titus also got his own TV show after this... though I don't think this film had anything to do with it.

Steel Sharks, HBO World Premiere Movie STEEL SHARKS, also HBO, also theatrical overseas. Starring Billy Dee Williams and Gary Busey fresh out of rehab and some guy who was on the HBO approved list and was starring on BAYWATCH. Billy Dee told me that he had 3 scripts to choose from and chose mine... but he may say that to all the screenwriters. Also a US Navy Co-Op movie. Reason why I hate the director - we had 3 days on a real aircraft carrier with Billy Dee... and it all looks like stock footage. This guy made everything look like crap. Our pyro guy did the largest fireball on screen - going for a record - and the director forced the DP to shoot the base of the explosion - you have no idea how big the fireball was.

Night Hunter, Cinemax World Premiere NIGHT HUNTER, was a Cinemax Original Movie, which is what happens when an HBO movie goes wrong. This began as a cool vampire movie, but they cut out all of the horror in (my) rewrites. Star didn't want to make a horror movie. Some of the practical FX stuff we had planned was amazing - a Samurai vampire who gets sliced in half... and keeps fighting! A cool hall of mirrors chase scene (vampires don't reflect). A rooftop chase scene - where the vampires flew! More cool stuff... cut from the script! The director did a great job - very atmospheric. Made 3 years before BLADE. Oh, first shaky-cam film. Sorry.

Virtual Combat, HBO World Premiere Movie VIRTUAL COMBAT (aka GRID RUNNERS). Also HBO World Premiere and theatrical overseas. We were on the cover of Sci-Fi Entertainment Magazine a year before VIRTUOSITY script was bought. Same star as NIGHT HUNTER, same issues with the special effects scenes... but many of the FX stuff was *built* but never used! On this we had FX stuff made - crawling half formed bodies from the cloning tank... never shot. We were the 2nd film to shoot on LA subway (after that Keanu movie). Act 3 was rewritten overnight when we lost our original location.

Cyberzone, Made For Showtime... the Roger Corman deal CYBERZONE (aka DROID GUNNER) - my Roger Corman robot hookers from outer space flick. Began as a female lead BLADE RUNNER ripoff about the underground railroad for androids... But Roger's Production guys asked if I could do a page one and make it about robot hookers from outer space. Sure. They had a deal with Showtime and just had a film rejected - could I write this in 9 days so the film would be finished in time to plug that hole in Showtime's schedule? Sure. Film was written to be shot in 9 days (a week plus a weekend of 35mm equipment rental). I actually like this movie despite all of its problems. I wrote it for the guys I used to work with in the warehouse. Oh, special effects by some guy named James Cameron.

Invisible Mom, direct to vide INVISIBLE MOM - direct to video. Dee Wallace from ET played the mom. Barry Livingston, Ernie from MY THREE SONS played the dad. Rusty Tamblin from TWIN PEAKS and WEST SIDE STORY played the boss. Written as a favor - the producer, 80s heart throb Andrew Stevens had started a new company and one of his deals was with Corman's new family film video label. We called them "babysitters" - mom plugs in the video and the kids are busy for 90 minutes. Spawned 4 sequels that I didn't write. I pitched a great idea, they wanted to go in a blander direction. My nieces liked this one more than I did.

My two favorites are not here, but those 6 are free on TubiTV - use their search box to find them. I apologize in advance.

- Bill

1 comment:

Nathan Shumate said...

Cautionary tales on why you should never blame the finished product on the screenplay.

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