It's Thanksgiving Day here in the States, and if that's where you are, I hope you're too busy cooking, socializing or inbibing Wild Turkey to read this holiday update until tomorrow at the earliest. Donna is downstairs cooking pies and listening to Christmas songs, and I am upstairs in my robe, Facebooking with a sidecar of coffee and pumpkin spice doughnuts. We're having dinner tonight with a portion of Donna's ever-growing family, which has begun splintering as our nieces and nephews have started founding new families of their own with new in-laws and extended families. So the holidays are changing a bit more with each passing year, not quite as sprawling as they have been the past (could it really be?) 35 years we've been together.
VIDEO WATCHDOG 153 (with the PHANTASM cover) is in the process of being mailed out, and VW 154 is in the latter stages of production, with much of the layout done and my editorial yet to be written. The prodigious Kim Newman has provided the centerpieces (or centrepieces) of this forthcoming issue, with a thorough report about what survives of the first and second seasons of the British television phenomena THE AVENGERS (the Ian Hendry and Honor Blackman years, now available in a box set in the UK) and also a "DVD Spotlight" on MATT HELM LOUNGE, collecting the Matt Helm movies starring Dean Martin... so it adds up to a Sixties Spy Special.
As for future feature plans, VARIETY's Fred Lombardi is preparing for us a full report on Lex Barker's five Tarzan films, which I intend to complement with reviews of all six Gordon Scott Tarzan pictures, including two films I've been waiting a long time to see released: TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE and TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT. All of the Barker and Scott titles are now available online from the Warner Archive Collection. I'm presently going through the Barker titles to prepare myself for the Scotts, and I may well be posting my thoughts about them here. I don't particularly miss blogging, but I miss the way that daily or at least frequent discipline kept my writing muscle toned, so there is a growing yen to be more active here.
My horror script SCARS & STRIPES, I'm told, is getting closer to pre-production, with director Ernest Dickerson having recently turned in his own draft of the script, which has introduced a number of exciting new ideas. Everything about the way this project is coming together gives me a really positive feeling about it. My film agent has decided to go into production, which leaves me without representation for ISHI, the new Native American-themed script I wrote with Diane Pfister. I have a very special feeling about that project and want to see it made, but I've been advised by friends in the industry that the best thing to do is wait for S&S to go into production, and then meet with agents who might take me on. In the meantime, I'm back to working on my script of Orson Bean's ME AND THE ORGONE, which is something I would actually like to direct myself, after which I intend to get started on writing a continuation of Irene Miracle's DAWNLAND project. I have other ideas in reserve, one of which is a contemporary rewrite or reimagining of a classic novel, which could either take the form of a novel or screenplay -- or both. I'd very much like to be writing a new novel, if only on the side, and I know I've been saying that for a long time.
That's all for now, and that's plenty... but check back in the days ahead and see what turns up. I need to start treating this blog like a gym. Happy Thanksgiving!