Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A quick update, then back to the grind

Got back from The Halloween Horror Picture Show in Tampa. It was a fun trip, despite a ride in a plane smaller than a phonebooth and weather that made you feel like you were hanging out inside someone's mouth. Amy was one of the hosts of the day, along with our friends Debbie Rochon and Brinke Stevens (and our new friend Denice Duff). There were some promoting problems on the part of the venue, but I won't go into it here. You'll have to wait for December's issue of Sirens of Cinema for that. (And speaking of such things, the new issue is out, so if you haven't picked yours up yet.... well, I can't think of a way to shame you into it - it's too early. Just go buy one. If you can't find it in stores, buy it off the site. Buy two, just in case.)

I'm immeshed in multiple rewrites on Cameron Romero's first feature, 24 Frames, though I'm told that title will be changing soon. The project keeps getting bigger by the day. I'm relying on the producers to keep this from becoming Apocalypse Now. (I'm kidding... Cam hates the smell of napalm, whatever the time of day it is.)

In other news, as I mentioned in my last post, I have to major-to-minor coups coming out at the end of the month. The first is this one:

I contributed the story "The Dead Life", which most of you know is an excerpt from The Resurrection Game novelization. There are some terrific stories in here - a lot of cool twists on the zombie sub-genre, a lot of things I wish I'd thought of. The Undead can be ordered here.

Second, coup is this:

This is the zombie movie I wrote for The Asylum. You'd think after this, The Undead and The Resurrection Game that I'd be tired of zombies. And you'd be right. But I think that's just a phase I'm going through right now. C'mon, zombies are the new vampires (or are they the new "yellow"? I forget). And Dead Men Walking can be pre-ordered here, and released on October 25.

Finally, I'd like to mention that the Happy Cloud Pictures website is up and running again after a year-long hiatus. Thanks to Camop, particularly Joel, Joe and Mike. It still has some tweaks to go through, but it's there again. Now we have to get Hollywood is Burning whipped into shape.

Now I head back to polish 24 Frames. If I survive the rewrites, I'll drop a line later.

(Oh, wait, Genghis Con! We just added Tom Sullivan! If you're not busy the weekend of November 18th, you have no excuse but to come down and hang out with us!)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A new proliferation

This past weekend at Wasteland proved that there are periods where, quite frankly, I'm hard to escape. Apologies to my enemies who do their best to avoid me because, darn it, I'm just everywhere.

The new issues of both Ultra-Violent and Sirens of Cinema hit the stands this weekend. Sirens, as I've crowed endlessly about by now, is the relaunch of the title once published by Draculina, now put out by RAK Media and edited by moi. Ultra-Violent is a fantastic once-underground mag put out by Scott Gabby and managing editor Art Ettinger. I have a piece in the latter on my hero Scooter McCrae.

At Wasteland, I ran into another hero, Andy Copp, who informed me that he recently posted positive reviews of our movies Severe Injuries and The Resurrection Game. For which I bought him a beer. But he was attending a screening of his own movie, so I drank it for him. (Because I'm a good friend)

I later discovered that Fangoria was running a full-page ad for the movie I wrote for The Asylum, Dead Men Walking.

Fangoria also ran a piece on the film I'm writing for G. Cameron Romero entitled 24 Frames. So a lot of people came over to ask me who the hell I thought I was writing for George Romero's son? (To which I'd grin and say 'Jealous, much?' and they'd say 'Bitch!' and go right for my eyes.) This single piece managed to get all over the place in a matter of hours, as I found variations of it on at least two dozen movie sites. So... okay, that's weird.
And then I got an email that a zombie anthology I'd contributed to, The Undead, just released its cover art. Which you can see here.

Finally, another friend, Roger Beckett, recently returned from his wedding in Indonesia. He quickly told me that he'd had a meeting with a prominent Indonesian director who had - wait for it - heard of me! That's right, somehow, word of my magnificence has reached Asia. (Or the fact that Film Threat can be read all over the world. I'm sure there are people in Outer Mongolia saying "who does this hack think he is?")

So, there you go. That was just one weekend, for pete's sake! You'd think that, with my being this famous, people might actually know who I am... and would give me presents.

Monday, October 03, 2005

And my universe continues to spin...

Thursday night, I'm sitting at dinner with Amy and Bill and I start feeling this cramp in my back - like I pulled a muscle. Within minutes, I'm doubled over and I can't breathe. I can barely see. With that in mind, we excuse ourselves from dinner and I have Amy take me to the hospital.

As I'm turning blue from the pain and lack of oxygen, I struggle to give the half-listening triage nurses my insurance info. The pain won't let up. It's not throbbing - it's just there, constant and militant in its desire to kill me. I felt like something had wrapped around my kidney and was squeezing it.

That's when I realized what was going on. I made a quick, breathless phone call to Jeff Waltrowski, who had endured a similar ordeal earlier in the year. Jeff confirmed my suspicion: kidney stones.

Oh... yay. A brand new horror to confront as I take a brand new shuffle towards the mortal coil. That's right: I'd hit thirty a couple of years back. The warranty has expired on my body.

About a half-hour later, I lay twisted and gasping on a table back in the ER. I still haven't seen anyone. Suddenly, I'm no longer in pain. It didn't taper off - it just stopped. As quickly as it came.

I gave the knuckle-dragging orderlies another ten minutes. Still no visit, but still no return of the pain. So I got dressed and prepared to check myself out.
That's when the orderlies suddenly realized I was still here. As I prepared to leave. Images of lawsuits dancing in their heads, one hulking brute of a life-giver hastened to find a doctor who would at least talk to me before I exited.

The good doctor, a former extra from Gandhi, drew me a nifty little picture of my kidneys and my urinal tract and gave me a quick session on what a kidney stone actually was, in case I failed to dope it out from its far-from-self-explanatory name. What I had probably endured was something the size of a grain of sand (though as tense as I've been lately, I wouldn't have been surprised if it turned out to be a particle of a diamond) that had passed through the stem. He had the mouth-breather fetch me a urine strainer to catch it. Not being interested in examining this said-grain any further, I immediately forgot the plastic funnel-shaped screen.

Oddly enough, the only thought going through my mind at the time, beyond "Christ, make it stop!", was "can I spend the entire weekend like this?" I had this thought because it was the eve of Cinema Wasteland, and I wasn't about to miss it. I love Wasteland. It's practically the only show I enjoy doing. And kidney stone, unbearable pain, or no, I was going. Which would have made me just oodles of fun to be around, I can assure you.

But as of today, four days later, I am still pain-free. I should probably return to my physician for an ultrasound to make sure there's nothing else rattling around back there. And I'm sure I'll do this sometime after my visit to an oral surgeon, who will determine whether or not I should have my impacted wisdom teeth removed.

And after that, the kidneys and the teeth, I think I'll go in for some elective open-heart surgery. You know, to round off the year.