"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition

Buy The Amazon Kindle Store Ebook Edition
Get the ebook edition here! (Click image.)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" Available At G-FEST XVII!

Attendees for this year's G-FEST XVII in Chicago will be able to pick up a copy of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan at the Monsterland Toys booth in the dealers room.

So be sure to stop by Monsterland Toys and pick up a copy while supplies last!

Above, Yuu Asakura. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wonder Woman: New Look and Direction

Source: DC Comics' The Source

My mom is probably spinning in her grave.

DC Comics has announced that Wonder Woman has a new look and a new direction:

Starting today, Wonder Woman will appear like you’ve never seen her before.

As you may have seen in THE NEW YORK TIMES, bestselling artist and DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee has redesigned her costume for the modern era, just in time for BABYLON 5 creator and critically acclaimed writer J. Michael Straczynski and artists Don Kramer and Michael Babinski to launch the Amazon Princess into an exciting and epic new era of adventure.

Starting with their story in WONDER WOMAN #600, which is in comic shops today, JMS and Kramer will begin a run that is both forward-looking and true to the legendary character, planting her firmly in the modern era. But enough about what I have to say. Mr. Straczynski took some time out of his schedule to lay out some of his plans for WONDER WOMAN right here on The Source.

My mom was an avid Wonder Woman reader in the 1940s and she occasionally read the comic in the 1960s (the Ross Andru & Mike Esposito years) whenever I bought one.

The general consensus is that this "costume" looks too 1990s. What do you think?

To read the entire article, go here.

Armand's Endorsement Posted At Greg Smith's Campaign Website

Above, Greg, Kelsey and Missey Smith.

Greg Smith, who is the GOP nominee for the Kansas House in District 22, posted my endorsement of his candidacy on his campaign website last month. To see his posting, go here.

Regular Rancho readers will know that Greg is the father of Kelsey Smith, who was kidnapped and murdered three years ago (it's hard to believe that three years has already gone by) just after her high school graduation. Her case caught national attention. Fortunately, her killer was caught and convicted and is now serving a life sentence with no possibility of parole in Kansas.

Kelsey's case also caught my attention since I also have a daughter who wants to be a veterinarian, as Kelsey aspired to be.

I have corresponded with Greg since that time and had followed the trial of Kelsey's killer. Greg impressed me with the way he and his family rallied in the wake of Kelsey's death to turn a horrible, life-changing tragedy into something that will benefit the public good. They formed the Kelsey Smith Foundation whose mission is to educate young women in personal safety.

Also, since that time, Greg has been a tireless advocate in getting the Kelsey Smith Act enacted all around the country. The Act would require cell phone provider companies to fully cooperate with law enforcement in locating missing persons.

Greg and Missey Smith's efforts were recognized last year when they received a FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (above).

Greg is a real go-getter and would be a great asset in the Kansas House. This is one endorsement I was proud to make.

The Case of the Missing DVD

The Case of the Missing DVD

by Armand Vaquer

An alert fan discovered today that the Retromedia DVD, Destroy All Planets 2010 has "mysteriously vanished" from Amazon.com's website.

No doubt this may be due to the issues Ryan Clark and other fans raised pertaining to the rights issue at Amazon.com and several kaiju-oriented message boards.

This is probably a cautionary move on Amazon.com's part until the rights issues are resolved.

UPDATE: The DVD is still being offered at Amazon.com.

FOR THE RECORD: Kaiju historian August Ragone commented on several message boards about the rights issues. I had quoted him as he has the most knowledge on Japanese movie companies, DVD & screening rights and many other facets. As his comments are on several public message boards, I took the liberty in quoting him. Unfortunately, I should have given him a "head's up" first. It was not my intention to box him into the fray which may give someone the impression that this was an "August vs. Retromedia" situation. It wasn't. He also expressed that he'd like to also hear what Carl Craig has to say in his commentary. He was only speaking as a fan and not in any official (or otherwise) capacity with his role in Shout! Factory's Gamera releases. I apologize if that is the impression given.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Source: Famous Monsters Convention News Release

Here's the latest news about the 2010 Famous Monsters Convention:



Get your tickets online to AVOID THE LINES!

The Famous Monsters Convention arrives in Indianapolis, IN July 9-11, 2010. With only 11 days to go, more guests have been added to the monstrous weekend, and several very special presentations.

But first, we are sad to announce that Lori Cardille (Day of the Dead) will be unable to attend our 2010 show. All of us at FM wish her the best and a very speedy recovery. And now for a barrage of good news, Bela Lugosi, Jr. (Son of Dracula), Kevin Burns (Girls Next Door; The Telling; Biography), Bridget Marquardt (Girls Next Door; The Telling), Nick Carpenter (The Telling), Billy Gram (One for the Fire) and Sal Lizard (I Am Legend; The Box) have been added to our guest list.

Bela Lugosi, Jr., the son of Dracula, played by legend Bela Lugosi, will introduce the new line of Lugosi Wines at the FM Con in the spirit of keeping his father's memory alive. Limited samples will be provided. Kevin Burns (The Girls Next Door, Kendra and Holly's World) is a prolific producer of nearly 600 hours of critically acclaimed and award-winning television. As a studio executive at 20th Century Fox, Burns produced pilots for updated versions of Irwin Allen's The Time Tunnel (2002) and Lost in Space, directed by John Woo (2005), both of which will be screened for the convention's attendees. The Telling (2005), intended as an "homage" to several horror anthologies will also be screened at the weekend show, followed by a panel with Burns, writer Joe Lessard, director Nick Carpenter (The Ghost Whisperer, My Name Is Earl), and actor and producer Bridget Marquardt (The Girls Next Door, Bridget's Sexiest Beaches).

Marquardt, who rose to fame as one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends, is a big fan of the genre films and culture and will also be signing complimentary autographs for fans. With her beau, director Nick Carpenter, Marquardt will also be filming her new pilot Just Add Bridget at the FM Con on Friday. The new show will chronicle her adventures as a high-end party planner and designer with Carpenter.

The featurette anthology Monsterama, including a special one dedicated to Basil Gogos will also be screened. A fun-filled tribute to the sci-fi and creature feature movies of yesteryear, Monsterama shows previews of genre movies for the '40s and '50s.

With just about 90 guests attending the return of Famous Monsters Convention, this is one event not to be missed! Purchase your tickets online at www.CaptainCo.com to avoid the long lines and receive early admittance into the monster event of the summer.

"When there's no more room in Hell, the dead will walk Indianapolis."

Famous Monsters Convention
July 9-11, 2010
Wyndham Indianapolis-West Hotel
Indianapolis, Indiana


Order Tickets Online

Media Contact:

Famous Monsters of Filmland

P.O. Box 19123

Encino, CA 91416


About Famousmonsters.com

Famousmonsters.com represents the web entity of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Visitors can quickly and easily navigate between op-eds, video, news and reviews from our staff, exclusive interviews and columns from industry insiders and professionals, photo galleries, and much more.

FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND (words and distinctive lettering design) is a registered trademark of Philip Kim. Reproduction or use of the FM name or logo in any manner, including but not limited to internet "tribute" sites without express prior written permission from the trademark owner is strictly prohibited. All contents of website ©2008 Philip Kim. For more information visit: www.famousmonstersoffilmland.com.

Dark Shadows Festival In Burbank

Just got home a while ago and found in the mailbox the mailer from The Dark Shadows Festival about this year's convention in Burbank.

This year's convention, "Dark Shadows In The Sun" will be held July 16, 17 & 18 at the Burbank Airport Marriott (the site for Monsterpalooza). Weekend admission is $30.00 (available until July 10, thereafter at the door only) and they will have a special banquet Sunday, July 18 with Barnabas Collins himself, Jonathan Frid. The cost is $50 and reservations and payment must be received by July 10. Frid's autographed photograph (from the original negative) will be available only to those attending the banquet. The autograph will be personalized.

Also attending this year's show are David Selby, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, John Karlen, Marie Wallace, Jerry Lacy, Roger Davis, Kathleen Cody, Robert Rodan, Chris Pennock, Lisa Richards, Jim Storm, Bob Cobert, Sy Tomashoff and Michael Brockman.

For additional information, go to www.darkshadowsfestival.com

Additionally, on Friday, July 16, at 12:30 p.m., Jonathan Frid will be honored with a handprint in cement ceremony at the historic Vista Theater in Hollywood. Following this, House of Dark Shadows (1970) will be screened. Admission to this event is $10.00.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

"Destroy All Planets" DVD Controversy - Part II

Avery Guerra, who has been a reliable source for news and behind-the-scenes info on many movie productions, posted this message from Fred Olen Ray at the Monster Zero message board about the Destroy All Planets 2010 DVD controversy:

"I have never been contacted by anyone associated with these films in the ten years we have distributed them except about five years ago when I emailed Daiei to ask about buying rights to the wide screen versions and they told me they didn't own the US rights. Toei likewise denied knowing anything about THE MAGIC SERPENT which we also tried to buy the wide screen rights for at the AFM three years ago.

Otherwise as far as we know there are no rights issues "a'brewing".

The biggest point that everyone is missing is that I only put this out because I was led to believe that the fans wanted it. I had no intention, or desire, to do this, all my usual distribution outlets had turned it down... but I was encouraged by fans to invest in doing the commentary, which we did, but then thought better of putting the show out as it would have to compete with a plethora of other editions.

Continual and repeated emails from fans made me want to offer it to them, but I didn't believe there was enough people really wanting it to do a big run so I went the Amazon.com route so copies would only be created for those who really wanted it... why can't anybody see that I only tried to give them what they kept asking me for? I could give a OH GODZILLA! WHAT TERRIBLE LANGUAGE otherwise... this could have stayed on the shelf for the rest of my life and I wouldn't care. I'm not going to make any real money off the Amazon release, it was done strictly for the fans who asked me for this. It might move a grand total of 25 copies, who knows? Get a life guys, I have bigger and better things to do. The DVD company is my hobby, not my business, I do it for the fans... but probably should have known better.

On different points "Ryan" posted his slander in Amazon's "Customer Review", a section created so that people who have actually bought products on Amazon can view them, then create a review of them. It's not your private flame forum, dude. If this basement dweller doesn't understand the concept of "customer review" then maybe someone should cut him off from a word processor.

Secondly, Copyright registrations begin with the letters PA, not V... don't you kids ever do your homework? The copyright registration the other ignorant guy puts forth is also BS... that's a transfer letter and has nothing to do with registration. Period. He hasn't a clue about copyright laws.

The item you mention is probably a transfer for banking purposes, I don't even need to look at it to know it's not a registration of copyright. Please write 100 times "I will know what I'm talking about before embarrassing myself on-line again".

Third, I'm legally not able to disclose the details of the settlement we made regarding this film and its legal action. However, drop your own dime and search the LA Court records... it's there as far as I know...

After all is said and done DESTROY is already out on 30 different labels and has NEVER been out of print on Retro in almost 10 years... I'd say the horse is out of the barn on this one."


In response to Ray's comments, August Ragone (who is involved in Shout! Factory's Gamera releases) posted this reply also at Monster Zero:


Thanks for posting this. I just want to sort out the facts, and Mr. Ray isn't helping.

Everyone Else,

Since DESTROY ALL PLANETS is not PD, did Mr. Ray get the rights from Kadokawa? The issue is, that he has tried to copyright this as "DESTROY ALL MONSTERS 2010: Special Edition", much like a certain Wade Williams tried to copyright PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. But, unlike PLAN 9, all the Gamera films reverted back to Daiei (owned by Kadokawa).

Something Weird Video were ordered to C&D once the rights to the Mexican Horror films that they planned to release (including the US dubs by K. Gordon Murray) reverted back to the original owners in Mexico via the NAFTA agreement. Another company, Casa Negra, secured the rights and released the original Mexican versions with Subtitles and the English dub option. How is this different?

Now, I'm not posting to bash this release. I'm passing along information and asking questions regarding the relative legality of this release—it doesn't matter that MGM doesn't own the rights anymore to DESTROY ALL PLANETS. The fact of the matter is that they are now in the hands of Kadokawa, despite claims to the contrary. I don't understand how Kadokawa can own this film and how its in the public domain?

"Settlement"? What settlement? So, he has paid someone for the rights to this? MGM has some original elements, but they know that they don't own the rights and that they reverted back to Kadokawa. Also, Mr. Ray's unwillingness to post the proof of licensing or ownership, in his own defense, is also suspect. "Check on your own dime"? Right.

BTW, the interesting thing about Mr. Ray's comment about trying to get the rights to THE MAGIC SERPENT from Toei... I contacted their LA office on the behalf of a friend of mine, a couple of years ago, and they said it was available. Perhaps Ray isn't asking the right people. At the time, Toei wanted about $20k for the North American Home Video license for this film (for five years), and I rather doubt that Retromedia would want to shell that kind of dough out.

I wonder if Ray tried to contact Kadokawa Pictures through their Los Angeles office when he began this project. It would have only taken a simple phone call at the very least. (I even have their number programed into my cell phone.)

He said he sent emails to Daiei five years ago (was he aware that Kadokawa took them over around about that time or earlier and released Gamera The Brave in April 2006?). We all know that emails get lost, deleted (people thinking they're spam and other reasons) and it appears he might've emailed the wrong person. A traditional business letter would have been more appropriate in this instance (but that's just my opinion), sent via registered or certified mail if need be.

For the record, I happen to like Ray's output and have posted articles about his movies my blog and at Monster Island News, so I have nothing against him. In the blog posts on this DVD, I tried to be even-handed (by posting both sides of the matter) and just stuck to the facts as we know them. He can get permission to release the documents giving him the DVD rights from the parties involved. Doing so could possibly put to rest this matter.

It appears something fell though the cracks involving this particular DVD.

Friday, June 25, 2010

"Destroy All Planets" Rights Battle Brewing

A new controversy is brewing over whether or not a Gamera DVD being issued by Retromedia is legitimate or not. Cries of "bootleg" are being posted at the Monster Zero message board. Is it?

The movie in question is Retromedia's DVD of Destroy All Planets 2010 which features a commentary by one of the movie's stars, Carl Craig.

At issue is whether Retromedia has the rights to issue the U.S. version of this movie. Shout! Factory is slated to release the same movie (the subtitled Japanese version) in a few months and this is seen by some as a bit of one-upsmanship by Retromedia.

The movie was originally released in 1968 by Daiei, which was bought out by Kadokawa Pictures.

According to August Ragone, noted kaiju film historian and who is involved in the Shout! Factory's Gamera DVDs, posted at the Monster Zero Message Board:

Meanwhile, doing a copyright registration check at the Library of Congress website, shows that Destroy All Planets was re-registered by Orion Pictures (who owned the AIP catalogue at the time). Orion was bought out by MGM, which still has all of the original materials in their vaults. But, a friend at MGM tells me that the rights reverted back to the Japanese owners (vis-a-vis Kadokawa through their ownership of Daiei).

And he adds, "This [the Retromedia DVD] was released under the assumption that it is Public Domain. Kadokawa claims that all the rights to any version of the GAMERA films have reverted back to them."

Fred Olen Ray, who is the owner of Retromedia, said this in a response to Ryan Clark's review post at Amazon.com:

Since this program only became available yesterday it's physically impossible for "Ryan" to have seen it or even have received a copy of the DVD. Your "review" is a lie and obviously fueled by a personal agenda. Retromedia was the first company to ever present the AIP-TV Gamera films to the public on DVD and quickly became the source of material for all the cheap DVD labels that flooded the market afterwards. Retromedia also successfully initiated and won a copyright case based on their release of DESTROY ALL PLANETS, so your claim of illegality is BS as well. This DVD doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't. It's simply the best edition of the AIP-TV version of the film ever released on DVD and it has an actors commentary track with star Carl Craig. That's all it advertises as being and that's what it is. Next time try watching the film first before rendering your "opinion", and if you happen to work for a rival DVD company, I'd have to say I'm disappointed... these kind of smear tactics are nothing less than juvenile.

[Note: Ryan Clark never claimed to have viewed the DVD nor received a copy of it.]

In a comment post at the Classic Horror Film Board, Ragone took note of Ray's assertion of rights with:

Fred Olen Ray (who is Retromedia) has retorted to Ryan's comments on the Amazon page (Ryan is just a fan, and not an employee of Shout!), where Ray asserts that "Retromedia also successfully initiated and won a copyright case based on their release of DESTROY ALL PLANETS, so your claim of illegality is BS as well." I'd like to see the paperwork on that, because the rights to the AIP Gameras reverted back to them [i.e., Kadokawa Pictures. - Armand] once their contract with AIP expired. Now, I'm not accusing anyone of any wrong doing, but I'm curious to sort out the truth here (and not through second and third-hand parties).

If all U.S. rights to this film reverted back to Kadokawa (by virtue of buying Daiei), then Retromedia would be in hot water. However, if Fred Olen Ray is correct in claiming that he has the U.S. rights over the U.S. version (and can provide the paperwork to back that up), then he should be able to continue to offer the movie. At this point, no back-up material has been provided by Ray (he's welcome to send it me me and I'll be happy to post it).

As to the claim that Destroy All Planets (the AIP U.S. version) is in the Public Domain, Ragone posted this at Monster Zero:

Dubious Comforts* on the Classic Horror Film Board wrote: ...there exists a copyright registration to Destroy All Planets which precedes Retromedia's and Alpha's 2003 claims ("new soundtrack material" and "DVD box cover" respectively) by more than 10 years. Just look up document V2840P133 on the Library of Congress web site. The catalog only includes registrations from 1978 and onward, so there may be additional records prior to 1978.

[*"Dubious Comforts" is the handle of a member of the Classic Horror Film Board forum. - A.]

He continues in a subsequent post:

Copyright records, as well as a proper notice on the film's title sequence, show that the work is not public domain. The Library of Congress has guidelines pertaining to duration: http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/duration.html

To see the CHFB thread for the above quotes, go here.

As August Ragone posted several times on this topic, "the plot thickens."

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. The courts may have to be the ultimate decider in this matter.

"The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" Now Listed At TripAdvisor.com

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan is now listed at TripAdvisor.com in their Japan and Los Angeles resources sections.

TripAdvisor.com attracts over 46 million visitors per month who are searching for vacation ideas, hotels, attractions, restaurants and other travel-related items of interest. Fellow travelers are able to rate and review different attractions, hotels and services.

To view the listing, go here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WSJ/NBC News Poll Points To Disaster For Democrats

Confidence in President Obama and outlook for the United States is waning, according to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll. (Click here for the full poll results.)

62% of adults feel that the country is on the wrong track, which is the highest number since 2008. Also, more people disapprove of the job Obama is doing than approve.

57% now favor replacing their elected representative in congress, which is a bad omen for incumbents, particularly Democrats. This is the highest number in 18 years.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

For Democrats, the results underscore the potential for major losses in November. Both parties have been forced to contend with an anti-establishment wave this year. But Republicans, through strong fund raising and candidate recruitment, have put enough seats in play in the House and Senate to give the GOP a realistic shot at winning control of both chambers.

Even confidence in the job President Obama is doing by Democrats is in decline. 17% of Democrats now disapprove of Mr. Obama's job performance. This is the highest of his presidency.

This is good news for Republican candidates such as Mark Reed, who is running against a Democrat incumbent in a usually solid Democratic district in the San Fernando Valley. Reed emailed me tonight, "Without the Democrat and Decline to State [vote], we came within 5,700 votes [during the primary election] of the incumbent. We can and we will restore America for the people."

Unless something earth-shaking occurs, the Democrats will be facing disaster in the November elections.

Democrats Vote To Raise Taxes On Capital Gains and Dividends

The Democrats continue their march to dismantle the U.S. economy.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-So. Carolina) reported a few minutes ago:

Democrats just voted 57-40 to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends which could kill over 680,000 more jobs.

November can't come soon enough!

Mark Reed For Congress

Above, Andrew Breitbart (left) with Mark Reed.

The GOP nominee for the 27th Congressional is Mark Reed. He will face incumbent Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman in November.

Reed's GOP primary opponent, Navraj Singh, issued this gracious statement following Reed's victory:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Congratulations Mark Reed

The Singh Campaign would like to extend congratulations to Mark Reed for a clean, well-executed primary campaign. We stand 100% behind Mark to remove Brad Sherman from office and work to restore the constitutional principles to Congress which will revive our economy, our jobs and our nation.

Good luck and Godspeed!

Navraj Singh

Reed is facing an uphill battle against Sherman (above) as the district is heavily Democratic in party registration. But he may have a chance if enough Democrats are fed up with the excessive socialistic spending by the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled congress. Brad Sherman voted with the administration on the bailouts, TARP and Obamacare. He also supports the Soviet-style industrial policy of Cap and Trade that the Democrat Left is backing which, according to Brian M. Johnson and The Heritage Foundation, will be costly:

Although proponents of the bill are pointing to grossly underestimated and incorrect costs, the reality is when all the tax impacts have been added up, the average per-family-of-four costs rise by $2,979 per year. In the year 2035 alone, the cost is $4,609. And the costs per family for the whole energy tax aggregated from 2012 to 2035 are $71,493.

Read more: http://www.atr.org/costs-cap-trade-family-a3437##ixzz0ril6D5fS

To visit Mark Reed's website, go here.

Nurse In Iconic Photo Dies

Edith Shain, the nurse being kissed in an iconic photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt in Times Square on V-J Day (above), has died in Los Angeles at age 91.

According to Reuters:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A nurse famously photographed being kissed by an American sailor in New York's Times Square in 1945 to celebrate the end of World War Two has died at the age of 91, her family said on Tuesday.

The V-J Day picture of the white-clad Edith Shain by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt captured an epic moment in U.S. history and became an iconic image marking the end of the war after being published in Life magazine. The identity of the nurse in the photograph was not known until the late 1970s when Shain wrote to the photographer saying that she was the woman in the picture taken on August 14 at a time when she had been working at Doctor's Hospital in New York City.

The identity of the sailor has not been resolved and is still in dispute.

Many Americans from around the country celebrated the end of World War II in the streets of major cities when Japan surrendered.

It Finally Happened

Well, it's finally happened.

After three and a half years of illness-free living, not a single cold, flu or other common malady, I finally came down with a cold last night.

At first, I thought it might be allergy-related. I was coughing up gunk and it wouldn't quit. I took some aspirin and went to bed. But it persists this morning (it is in both my throat and nose) and I am fighting back with 500 mg. of Vitamin C, aspirin and orange juice. It seems relatively mild, even though annoying.

Still, I am grateful that I hadn't been ill for three and a half years. That's a record for me. The last was in the early 1970s when I went two years without any illness.

Several friends over at Facebook have posted that they either currently have colds or just getting over one. Obviously, it is something that's going around.

UPDATE: I had to call off for tonight. This cold has gotten worse even though I had some "Jewish cold medicine" (i.e., chicken noodle soup).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tonight's Movies: "Unthinkable" and "What Doesn't Kill You"

I watched two more movies tonight from the batch my cousin gave me a couple of weeks ago.

What Doesn't Kill You (2008)

Above, Ethan Hawke, Brian Goodman and Mark Ruffalo.

The first one was What Doesn't Kill You with Mark Ruffalo as Brian Reilly, Ethan Hawke as Paulie McDougan, Amanda Peet as Stacy Reilly, Will Lyman as Sully and Brian Goodman as Pat Kelly. Goodman also directed and co-wrote the script along with Paul T. Murray. I remember Goodman as the military dad in Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.

The plot involves two childhood friends from the South Boston area (there's a lot of snow in this movie) who work for a local crime boss to make a living. It is based on a true story.

I thought the movie was handled well and the acting top-notch.

My grade: A.

Unthinkable (2010)

Above, Michael Sheen and Samuel L. Jackson.

The second movie I watched tonight was a 2010 thriller called Unthinkable.

In this movie, Steven Younger, an American Islamic terrorist, is threatening to nuke three U.S. cities unless his demands are met.

The movie stars Samuel L. Jackson as Henry Herald 'H' Humphries, Carrie-Anne Moss as FBI Agent Helen Brody, Michael Sheen as Steven Arthur Younger, Stephen Root as Charlie Thompson and Lora Kojovic as Rina Humphries. It was directed by Gregor Jordan and written by Peter Woodward. Ex-Superman Brandon Routh has a small role as an FBI agent.

Jackson plays a black ops interrogator who uses extreme methods of torture to try to force Younger to disclose the locations of the nuclear bombs. The movie primarily deals with the moral conflicts involving torture and the saving of millions of lives.

Jackson begins his interrogation by walking into the torture room with a hatchet. The scene should have been a gross-out and shocking, but it made me laugh as Jackson just approached Sheen and just started chopping (as in "chop-chop-chop") off Sheen's fingertips.

Unfortunately, while the cast was good (with the exception of Sheen, who wasn't sleazy enough and his "tortured" acting laughable), this movie falls short of being the spellbinder it could and should have been. No wonder this was a direct-to-dvd movie. The "looker" in the movie was Lora Kojovic, too bad she wasn't given more to do.

My grade: B.

Of the two movies, What Doesn't Kill You was definitely the better feature.

Meanwhile, In The Sony Warehouse...

While there's anticipation for further news about Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. new Godzilla movie amongst G-fans, artifacts of the last U.S. production still languish in Sony Studios' warehouse in Culver City, California.

A friend was recently inside Sony's warehouse and shot the above cell phone photo of the Emmerich-Devlin Godzilla from 1998 (commonly known to U.S. Godzilla afficionados as G.I.N.O. or "Zilla" from Godzilla Final Wars).

He says there's many statues and advertisement materials stored in the warehouse. If the opportunity presents itself, he'll shoot more and better pictures and will send them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Father's Day turned out to be pretty good.

My daughter Amber came by with a coffee mug (I am a notorious coffee-drinker). She was on her way to work in Agoura.

We kicked back and were immediately set upon by our two cats while Elvis On Tour (1972) played on the television.

One thing she said that I haven't heard from her in a long time, "I want to go camping."

We'll have to do something about that!

Jack Larson In "Variety" Ad

Above, Jack Larson with Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich at the "Superman
 Week" ceremony in July 2001. Photo courtesy of the office of Michael D. Antonovich.
Lou Koza, the current editor of The Adventures Continue website on the Adventures of Superman, reported that the June 16 edition of Variety contains a two-page ad asking for votes for Jack Larson for an Emmy Award for his work on Law & Order: SVU.

While Lou was out and about, Jack Larson called and notified Lou's wife of the ad. Lou doesn't know if Larson was already nominated or if the ad was asking for votes for Larson to be nominated. He says that Jack will call him back.

The 2010 Emmy Nominations will be revealed in a ceremony at 5:30 a.m. on July 8.

Jack is one of television's legendary actors for his portrayal of cub reporter Jimmy Olsen on the Adventures of Superman television show of the 1950s. The show starred George Reeves as Clark Kent/Superman.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farm Business

Today's mailbox had some nice goodies for me.

First, a check for copies of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan intended for upcoming conventions. Domo arigato gozaimasu!

Second, I received an envelope full of forms for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, and from the Internal Revenue Service. Normally, one would see "IRS" and let out a "gasp." But this was for farm-related reporting, so it was not bad. Getting this taken care of now will save me from having headaches later.

It is nice to see how helpful that government agencies in the mid-west are willing to help one complete their forms. Each had notations and Post-it notes attached with directions. Either they are very helpful or just want to make sure I completed them right the first time so they don't have to re-do everything all over again. Any help I can get is welcome and appreciated, no matter the motive!

The Dept. of Agriculture has a number of programs for farmers and crops. The forms are for the current year's crop and for programs in which I will receive the benefits from.

To accurately complete one form of five questions, I had to call my tenant farmer in Nebraska for the information. With his help, I was able to complete the form in about a couple of minutes. He says that next year I should be an "old pro" at this stuff. (We'll see.) With that out of the way, we chit-chatted a bit. He says Nebraska is having "a normal June" and this year's corn crop looks great. He did say that rain has been down a bit in the region (I read that other states had too much rain for corn and soybeans), so some well-water will have to be used to make up the difference. Other than that, things look good on the farm this year. If luck and Mother Nature cooperates, we should have a good crop at harvest time in October.

For some reason, my mom had her crop payments divided. She'd receive one payment in October and the other in January of the following year for tax purposes. I disagreed with the reasoning when she did this, but it was her business to do as she saw fit. However, since the Democrats decided to tack on more taxes in 2011 on profits, I decided to have the whole amount of this year's crop payments sent this year (I was going to do this anyway).

Once I receive my share of of the crop proceeds, I will make my travel arrangements for an overdue and much-needed vacation in Japan.

Like me, my tenant farmer has daughters who are more adept at cell phone photo-sending than he is. So, as soon as he can get them seated long enough, he'll send some photos over of the corn crop and I'll post them when I get them. Looks like he'll be working the farm for years as he just hit "the golden age" of fifty. I have six years on him, and he said I look younger than that.

We were talking about dating at our age (he's happily married and intends to stay that way) with the cost of everything these days. I replied that I am at the age where I'm "too young for Medicare and too old for women to care." He laughed and said that I should "watch out for those cougars" (older women who seek out younger men). I told him that's not my problem, as I have been hit-on several times in Malibu by college-age girls. Maybe middle-aged men is the "in thing" with them these days. Either that, or they are just looking for a guy with money.

It is my intention to go to Nebraska next year with Amber to meet everybody and to get ourselves up-to-snuff on farming operations. This way, if something happens to me, Amber will be able to "hit the ground running."

So much for today.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Wuz Up?

Yesterday was a busy day. I had to do some claims work in the late-morning/early-afternoon.

I had to go to Santa Fe Springs, which was about an hour's drive each way and then wrapping things up in Woodland Hills. For about 3 1/2 hours of work, I made more money doing that (which includes drive time and mileage) than a whole shift of security patrolling in Malibu. I just wish the claims work wasn't so sporadic.

Speaking of Malibu, caught two more teens (a boy and girl, both about 15-17) in one of the community's women's shower room yesterday. I spotted him going in while patrolling the community's clubhouse. Nothing hilarious to warrant a full "Tales of Adventure In Malibu." He fussed about it, but I pointed to the "Women" sign on the door and asked him, "What part of the word women do you not understand?" Before this happened yesterday, I was told by one of the office ladies at the community that once school ends (college and high school) things will get wild there. I asked, "Even more so than what I've already experienced?" She said yes. At least I'll be able glean some more material to entertain Rancho readers with.

This morning, I shipped copies of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan to a dealer so they can be sold at the Monster Bash convention and got myself a much-needed haircut.

The insurer for my mom's doctor and Axminster Medical Group sent me a medical records authorization form for completion, so they can obtain my mom's medical records and investigate our claim for medical malpractice. This will take a while, but I am familiar at how the claims process works. It is our contention that she was misdiagnosed and her doctor failed to timely have a MRI done as requested by my mom's oncologist. He requested an urgent MRI. Several days elapsed before one was even scheduled. Had she had the MRI on the urgent basis, they would have been able to find the problem and she'd be alive today. There are other issues involved including non-responses to my telephone calls. I have the telephone records during the weeks preceding my mom's death.

My daughter Amber sent me several emails detailing my mom's problems before her hospitalization. Thank goodness she is a biology major and understands the terminology and was able to refresh my memory. Due to the stress I was going through then, I had forgotten a lot of it. I told her to save her emails, we may need them later when or if we are statementized during the investigation.

Well, that's it from here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

51 Years Ago...

Above, George Reeves on one of his many visits to hospitalized fans.

51 years ago today, actor George Reeves of the Adventures of Superman was found dead from a gunshot wound to his head in his bedroom at his Benedict Canyon home.

Had this tragedy never happened, it is probable that Reeves would've been the king of the comic book and celebrity convention circuit.

While Reeves is no longer with us, his work in the motion picture and television industry lives on for future generations to enjoy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One Way (2006)

My cousin gave me a bunch of DVDs last week and I watched another one of them.

Tonight, I watched a movie called One Way (2006), a story about big business, rape, blackmail and revenge.

The summary per IMDB is:

In New York, the competent creative director of Birk Advertising Eddie Shneider is living a successful moment of his professional life and is engaged and has just proposed Judy Birk, the daughter of the owner of the company where he works. Eddie is also a wolf and very successful with many women, and is having an affair with a neighbor of the street where he lives with Judy. When he gets the account of the greatest American airline for his company, he is promoted to partner and he celebrates with his assistant and friend Angelina Sable in a lunch party in a restaurant. After hours, when they are in the garage, Angeline notes that she had forgotten her car keys in the office, and when she returns, she is violently raped by the despicable brother of Judy, Anthony Birk. On the next morning, when Eddie arrives in the garage, he finds the traumatized Angeline on the floor and he takes her to a hospital. He returns to the company and Anthony blackmails Eddie with pictures of his many affairs. Eddie has to take a side between his career and engagement and his friendship with Angeline.

I had never heard of this movie before, but I thought I'd give it a try and was kept spellbound by the story. The summary doesn't mention that the Angeline character has a mysterious black army general as her "guardian angel." He kind of reminds me of the Clint Eastwood characters in High Plains Drifter (1973) and Pale Rider (1985).

The story has a prologue on the young Angeline and then it moves forward to present day New York City (actually Toronto).

Above, Lauren Lee Smith.

The movie stars Til Schweiger as Eddie Shneider, Lauren Lee Smith as Angelina Sable, Sebastien Roberts as Anthony Birk, Stefanie von Pfetten as Judy Birk and Michael Clarke Duncan as The General. Smith is more well-known for the television program CSI: Las Vegas.

This German production was written and directed by Reto Salimbeni.

My grade: A.

Recent DVD Viewings

A bunch of DVDs came my way this past week. My cousin gave me a half dozen and I picked up The Wolfman DVD at the local CD/DVD store.

Here's my thoughts on a couple of them:

Above, "The Wolfman" returned to the silver screen and now on DVD.

The Wolfman (2010) - I enjoyed the theatrical version when it first came out. The director's cut fleshes out more of the back story. Although I liked the movie in general, I really didn't like Sir John Talbot's characterization (played by Anthony Hopkins). He's a despicable person in this version. I preferred the tragic aspects of John Talbot in the original (played by Claude Rains) to this. Had John Talbot's character retained the characterization as in the original, I would have liked the movie a lot more. I found Benecio del Toro's portrayal of Lawrence Talbot to be very good. He seemed to channel Lon Chaney Jr. quite well at times. My grade: A-.

Above, Megan Fox in "Jennifer's Body."

Jennifer's Body (2009) - A high school teen (Megan Fox) is turned into a flesh-eating succubus by a rock band who also practices the black arts. This black comedy horror film was written by Diablo Cody and directed by Karyn Kusama. The film also stars Amanda Seyfried as Jennifer's best friend. This was an entertaining little movie. My grade: A-.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Al Williamson

Above, an example of the artistic genius of Al Williamson.

EC Comics art great Al Williamson has died.

He was 79 and was in ill health for the past several years. Williamson worked at EC in the 1950s and then moved to Warren Comics in the 1960s. He drew such characters as Flash Gordon, Secret Agent Corrigan, Star Wars and was an inker for Superman artist Curt Swan in the early 1980s at DC Comics before moving on to Marvel as an inker.

On inking Swan's pencils, Williamson said in 1999, "I had no idea he [Swan] was so good till I saw the pencils. His proportions were right, his action was correct."

On Williamson's inks, Swan said, "[Al] was the best. A fine draftsman in his own right, an extremely talented artist, he could render even the little mechanical parts of vehicles. He had a special flair the others didn't have." (Quote from "Superman At Fifty.")

"Big Bad John" Singer Jimmy Dean Dies At 81

Above, Jimmy Dean as billionaire Willard Whyte in "Diamonds Are Forever."

Singer and actor Jimmy Dean died yesterday at age 81, the Associated Press reported:

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Jimmy Dean, a country music legend for his smash hit about a workingman hero, "Big Bad John," and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand, died on Sunday. He was 81.

His wife, Donna Meade Dean, said her husband died at their Henrico County, Va., home.

She told The Associated Press that he had some health problems but was still functioning well, so his death came as a shock. She said he was eating in front of the television. She left the room for a time and came back and he was unresponsive. She said he was pronounced dead at 7:54 p.m.

Dean played the Howard Hughesesque billionaire Willard Whyte in the 1971 James Bond movie, Diamonds Are Forever starring Sean Connery and Jill St. John. One of his lines from that movie that seems to pop up on occasion between my friends and me was, "BAJA!? I don't have anything in Baja!" The movie's primary location was in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Reportedly, Dean and Connery became friends during the making of the film and remained friends until Dean's passing.

To read the Associated Press's full article, go here.

Anime.com Reviews Japan Monster Travel Guide

Above, Yuu Asakura. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Anime.com has posted reviews of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan along with Steve Ryfle's Japan's Favorite Mon-star and August Ragone's Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters on a page entitled, Godzilla and Other Monster Movies.

Each were reviewed by Brian Cirulnick.

There are also reviews of kaiju DVDs on this page.

To check out the reviews, go here.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Party (1968)

One of the funniest movies ever made was 1968's The Party, starring Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet. It was directed by Blake Edwards.

Sellers plays a bumbling Indian movie extra, Hrundi V. Bakshi, who accidentally blows up an expensive movie set. When the executive producer, Fred Clutterbuck, is told of the incident, he gives the order to have Bakshi fired, but writes Bakshi's name on the guest list for a party he's going to throw at his swank Beverly Hills mansion.

As one can imagine, Bakshi attends the party and proceeds to make an enormous mess of it.

The Party was purportedly Elvis Presley's favorite movie.

One of the players in The Party was Fay McKenzie, who plays the producer's wife. She spends much of her time falling into the mansion's swimming pool. One of my co-workers is Fay McKenzie's son. I knew she was in many westerns in the 1930s and 1940s, some with Gene Autry, but I found out last night that she was the party's hostess, Alice Clutterbuck. Her encounter with an elephant is hilarious.

Above, an upset Alice Clutterbuck (Fay McKenzie) after falling into the pool.

If you've never seen The Party and want (or need) a good laugh, go out and get the DVD!

My grade: A+

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Noel Neill Honored In Statue Unveiling Ceremony

Above, Noel Neill and George Reeves.

Several hundred people gathered in Metropolis, Illinois yesterday for the unveiling ceremony of the new Noel Neill "Lois Lane" statue.

Braving heat and humidity after an early rain, the gathering honored the "First Lady of Metropolis" with a nine-foot tall statue of Neill in her signature role of Lois Lane in the Adventures of Superman television show (1951-1957).

Above, with help from "Superman" Josh Boultinghouse, Noel unveils her statue. Photo by Bill Dillane.

Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel said:

We have a legend in the statue on the Superman square. This is a unique statue, because this is a living legend. A dedicated lady who has dedicated so much of her life to entertainment.

In her remarks at the ceremony, Noel Neill quipped:

Nine feet tall. Whatever. None of us are over nine feet tall, not even George. But that's showbiz.

Neill, of course, was referring to the show's star, the late George Reeves.

Above, Jack "Jimmy Olsen" Larson and Noel in 2005. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Sculptor Gary Smith created the Lois Lane statue and he also created the big Superman statue which stands in the main square.

WSIL-TV has an article on the ceremony along with a video. To view them, go here.

Noel Neill will be celebrating her 90th birthday this coming November.

Dollar vs. Yen: Stable But Low

It's been a while since I took a look at the current exchange rates between the U.S. Dollar and the Japanese Yen. So, I went over to XE.com's currency converter and this is today's result:

1.00 USD = 91.6400 JPY

The dollar vs. the yen has been relatively stable, but at a lower exchange rate than three years ago when I was able to get 116 yen for every dollar I exchanged. I always exchanged my currency at Narita Airport upon arrival in Japan.

I am currently planning a trip to Japan for this coming autumn, so I should keep a closer eye on the exchange rates. While the rates are much lower than I would like, at least it isn't in the 80s as it was only months ago.

If the rates stay about the same as it is now (hopefully it will go higher, not lower), I would probably have to bring more dollars than I normally would to make up the difference.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Just received an email on the Senate vote on the EPA Tax bill:

Yesterday, six Democrat Senators abandoned a plan for higher Energy taxes that would cripple the American economy.

Led by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who introduced a resolution to block the EPA from creating a backdoor energy tax, these six Democrats should be applauded for trying to stop the EPA's power grab:

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Ben Nelson (D-NE)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)

Harry Reid still wants to pass a job-killing energy tax by the end of this summer, and we will need your help in stopping him and his liberal allies.

If you haven't done so already, please call your Senators at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to stand up against Harry Reid and President Obama in opposing new energy taxes.

We will keep you informed of any new developments.

Thank you for all that you do.


Steve Everley
American Solutions for Winning the Future

Yes, those senators should be applauded!


Above, Yuu Asakura. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Spent most of the morning doing some banking (lots of deposits, so thank-you "God of Accounts Receivable") and getting some packing supplies. This also included a stop at the post office to obtain costs to ship multiple copies of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan to the dealers attending Monster Bash and G-FEST. Thank goodness the line at the post office was short, so I was able to make some purchases in very little time.

Got my Nebraska attorney's final check into the mail yesterday. He did a great job for me and I would recommend him to anyone who needs a Nebraska estate attorney. His name is Thomas Tye II of Tye & Rademacher. He got everything done faster than I expected and his rates were reasonable. I am so used to seeing and auditing (often excessive) California attorney bills that his was like a breath of fresh air.

Today marks the 31st anniversary of John Wayne's passing and the first day I worked as an insurance claims examiner. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

I received an email today from a friend who is a former police officer and detective for the Culver City Police Dept. He is retired, but works some security for the studios.

Last night, he worked the AFI Awards and sent me this photo that has him in the background:

Summer is nearing and it is warmer in Malibu. I haven't had to put on my jacket in days. No interesting Malibu "adventures" to report on this week, so far. We still have tonight and the weekend to go.

"Stuck In London" Virus

There's a virus email going around, I received it a few weeks ago.

It is supposedly one of your friends on your email list that alleges he/she is "stuck in London" without any money to get back home to the states.

The best thing to do if you get one of those, just don't open it. Delete it!

According to a friend and other sources, it appears to have originated in Nigeria. It seems that a lot of scams and viruses originate from Nigeria. This is just another one.

Just delete it without opening it and you'll be fine.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Blackmailer Wannabe

Some guys just never learn. I wasn't going to say anything further on the matter, but Brett Homenick still doesn't know when to stop and back off. Instead of letting things die naturally, he decided to attack me on his blog.

A year and a half ago, I set up a MySpace page for G-FAN as a gift to J. D. Lees as the mag didn't have a presence there and to boost circulation. I got the page set up and was in the process of getting friends (primarily vendors such as comic book dealers, etc.). The plan was to get about 25 of them and present it to J. D. and give him "the keys" to the site (i.e., the pass codes, etc), which I did. However, he felt that he could not devote the time to it necessary and we agreed to eliminate it. He did appreciate the gesture.

Brett Homenick took it upon himself to blow the whistle on the site before I was ready. Naturally, he was unaware of the plan at hand. Still, he could have checked with me first. I was annoyed a little. I got on his case about it, but had he picked up on some clues in my emails, he would have gathered that I wasn't totally frosted. I was just going to make my point and let the matter drop.

Instead, he started hurling insults and made a blackmail threat. Another case of Brett Homenick going too far after poking his nose where it doesn't belong.

A year before (around March or April 2008), I was working on what ultimately became The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan. I originally proposed it as a special edition of G-FAN, totally separate from the quarterly magazine, in writing via email. J. D. accepted the proposal and I began working on it. We were in contact about different subjects that should be included during that time (he gave me information on places that I didn't even know about).

About three months of work later, I received an email from J. D. that ticked me off. The night I received it, Brett happened to call me and I vented steam about it and mentioned that since I had an agreement in writing with J. D., this might constitute a breach of contract under a law signed by President Bill Clinton that email agreements are valid contracts.

Well, the matter between J. D. and me was ironed out in a day or so (I don't even remember what the misunderstanding was about) and the matter would have been forgotten, except Brett would constantly needle me with comments like, "How's your lawsuit going?" on the phone or in emails. He's such a funny guy! Right.

I never had any plans to sue J. D. Lees. I was angry at the time and was thinking aloud. My mistake was doing that with Brett. I should've known better.

On February 28, 2009, when the argument over the MySpace page came up (which seemed to go on all day), Brett sent me emails which included:

Is this MySpace page part of your plan to sue J.D. for breach of contract? Is that hwy you wanted it kept secret?


But the real clincher was his blackmail (known as 恐喝 in Japan) threat:

A couple of e-mails you wrote to me last summer are attached below. Perhaps J.D. would be interested in knowing what sort of character is running his MySpace page.

That did it! I severed relations with Homenick. I told J. D. the full story about it.

Recently, Homenick emailed me about meeting with him. If there were to be any practical good to do so, I would've met with him with an open mind. But subsequent emails from him feigning indignation over being called to task as a "blackmailer wannabe" told me that it would be a waste of time.

I ended my last response to him on June 6 as follows:

Your past is now coming back to haunt you. All the crap you've pulled over the years is now biting you in the butt. Nobody likes you. You really have no friends. You asked for the altercation with Dutch. You never knew when to back off. You claimed G-FEST is "my show." You're the one with the problems. None of the G-FEST committee likes you, they've told me. You're as popular as turd in a punchbowl.

On the blackmail threat you made, you may want to check your library of emails for those of February 28, 2009. Immediately when you made the blackmail threat, it was pointed out to you as such by me. So you can't feign ignorance. You never denied it. You never defended it. You never retracted it. So it is a little too late in the game to try to change history.

You are getting your comeuppance. I don't have to do anything, all I have to do is just sit back and enjoy the show. It is going to be fun to watch!

Your last email tells me you haven't changed a bit. Why should I bother with a schmuck like you? You made your own bed, now you can sleep in it. Don't ever bother me again. Any emails will be deleted. I don't have to meet with you, because you were told everything from the very start. Even JD knows you are a loose cannon. Others have used the same term, and that was the nicest thing said.

They are also laughing at you with your "self-important" attitude. Besides the old "Cousin Oliver" one, you are referred to as "Big Bird" and "Milk 'n Cookies." I almost pity you, but you brought it upon yourself. People notice how people act and treat others.

Karma has a way of nailing people. You are beginning to find that out. Enjoy it!

After that, I was going to do nothing further. Now he has decided to escalate matters with a vicious post on his blog with a title that seems to celebrate animal abuse.

It is interesting that he is acting concerned about the blackmail charge, when he knew about it from the start.

Immediately (on February 28, 2009) after he sent me the aforementioned blackmail threat, I called him to task. He sent me these in response:

How am I blackmailing you? What am I forcing you to do against your will? Quite honestly, I've done you a huge favor by keeping your talk of suing J.D. a secret. I've often felt he should know about it (talk about not being able to trust someone!), but in the interest of keeping everyone friends, I've remained quiet.


Now "blackmail" has been downgraded to a mere "threat." I guess we're making progress.

When someone states, "Perhaps J.D. would be interested in knowing what sort of character is running his MySpace page," that constitutes a blackmail threat. My attorney agrees. Now, since his past is catching up with him (including an altercation that took place last year at G-FEST with an attendee), and fans are now openly attacking him on message boards and Facebook, Homenick is lashing out. He fails to realize that he brought things upon himself. Karma has a way of doing that!

It is a stupid move on his part in bringing up the blackmail charge openly. Previously, any references to blackmail on this blog were without naming names. If he should happen to apply for a job, a potential employer will likely Google his name (as part of a background check) and references to blackmail will now also come up. Also, they will see what kind of character he has if they should take a look at his vicious blog posts. They say much more about him than anyone else. Another "smart move" on his part. Nothing like shooting your own foot! So now, if he doesn't get "that great job" he wanted, he can only blame himself.

By posting old emails, out of context and cleverly edited, Homenick is showing that he's perfectly capable of blackmailing someone (thanks for proving my point). Why would he keep old emails from years ago unless he planned to have them handy if that person crosses him? If anyone had any dealings with Homenick in the past via email, more than likely he's got everything they've said in his collection of dossiers. They would be wise to sever any ties with him.

What company would want to hire someone like this? He'd potentially compile dossiers on co-workers in order to engage in character assassination should he be slighted, passed up for a raise or promotion or for some other sin he felt the need to respond to.

Plus, he's an outright liar. He posted:

When that turned out to be a dead end, he instead sold Haruo Nakajima buttons at the convention for $10 a pop, with absolutely none of the proceeds going to Mr. Nakajima or his daughter.

The campaign-style buttons were made by me and at my expense (thanks to the George W. Bush tax rebate) and they were sold for $5.00, not $10.00 (he can't seem to get his facts right). Also, I never said that any "proceeds" would be going to the Nakajimas. I gave Haruo and Sonoe Nakajima buttons. Since I was out of work at the time, I made the buttons for income (thank God I did, I made enough to cover my auto insurance premium and other bills). There was no secret in that. Also, I have made and sold buttons at political conventions. Again, butting his beak where it doesn't belong and doesn't concern him. Sounds to me that Brett has a problem with capitalism, besides making up stories to support his sicko thesis. What a liar!

He is also known to stalk people on the Internet. On March 6, I caught him stalking me on a George Reeves/Superman message board. He has never expressed any interest in George Reeves or the television show. Other people who have dealt with Homenick have told me that he had stalked them on the Internet and that he tries to dig up dirt on people from various websites. This is called cyberstalking and it is a crime.

Recently, just before G-FEST XVII, he attempted tortious interference between a G-FEST dealer and myself when news hit that The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan would be sold at the convention. J. D. Lees had no problem with The Guide being sold at the convention and stated such to the dealer. The dealer basically told Brett to go fly a kite. Who's the one who can't "move on"?

People have wondered why J. D. Lees keeps him around. It wouldn't surprise me if he were being blackmailed too. J. D. would be wise to get rid of this troublemaker.

I'm no psychologist or psychiatrist, and this is only my opinion, but he appears to exhibit behaviors of a sociopath. I've dealt with sociopaths before (one being a former supervisor at an insurance company. Karma got him. He died of thyroid cancer in his 40s.). You may want to check this website out (specifically, the Summary of Sociopaths). I am not saying this to be mean, but anyone who would stoop to the gutter is either pure evil or a very sick person.

So, if he wises up and deletes his vicious posts, he just may save his future. I would, in kind, delete this one.

I could still initiate legal action, either in criminal or civil. The statute hasn't run out.

Mad Scientist #21

The newest issue of Mad Scientist magazine (no. 21) is at the printers. Editor/publisher Martin Arlt will be selling the magazine next month at G-FEST in Chicago.

The issue contains (Source: Mad Scientist magazine's website):

A full-color cover by Don Marquez
I Bid You Welcome... (Editorial)
The Monster That Challenged the World!
An appreciation of Inoshiro Honda
Monster Profile: Ebirah
Artificial evolution in The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Alligator People
A selection of storyboard art from The Mist by Pete Von Sholly
Tales from the Lab
Doctor Who Season 16: "The Key to Time"
Vault of Comics: Incredible Hulk 1
Art by Fred Hembeck, Mark Jiro Okui, and John Rozum
Plus more!

One of the "mores" is a review of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan. In the review, reviewer Martin Arlt states:

Ever watch a Japanese monster movie and wonder what Godzilla and his friends were destroying? Or maybe you’ve thought about taking a trip there to see things first hand. Either way, The Monster Movie Fan’s Guide to Japan should satisfy your needs. Armand Vaquer has put together a handy guide that, while tailored to the monster fan, is useful for any world traveler.

This guide is broken down into different regions of Japan. Within each region are separate entries that cover various cities and other areas. Within each entry is an explanation of famous landmarks and the monster films in which they appeared. It’s a nice mix of factual and historical information, coupled with the relevance to genre films.

To read the full review, buy the magazine! You can either get it next month at G-FEST, or order now at the website. Either way, you'll enjoy Mad Scientist as it is consistently a fun read!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Shot Fired Across Brothers's Bow?

While perusing the Monster Zero forum this morning, I came across this post by Ed Godzisewski (who, with Steve Ryfle, is working on another book on Japanese director Ishiro Honda) in a thread about Peter H. Brothers's book, Mushroom Clouds and Mushroom Men: The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda. It appears to be a pot-shot at Pete's book:

We are in the process of having over 17 hours of new interviews and some printed materials translated, so the research is still a work in process. What we have gotten done so far is quite fascinating stuff. Also trying to track a few more people down for interviews. We have a great selection of unpublished photos which we will be using. The original target is 2011 (the centennial of Honda's birth), but nothing is set in stone. All parties involved agree that doing the best job we can is more important than rushing it through. [Italics mine.]
Ed G.

Knowing that Pete worked on his book for years, I can assure those concerned that Pete did not "rush" it through. There's a little history on the "rivalry", see "Interview With Peter H. Brothers" for his side of the story.

My general attitude on books and kaiju-related merchandise is "the more the merrier." It is unfortunate that "rivals" in any particular fandom have to take pot-shots against others. But, that's sometimes the nature of the game.

An Unexpected Nap

Today started out normally. I had to go to the Woodland Hills, California office of the California Highway Patrol to obtain a copy of an accident report's face sheet (this is the portion of an accident or police report that contains the names, addresses, phone numbers and vehicle descriptions of the parties involved in an accident). The accident occurred in the jurisdiction of the Napa CHP. I had to get this as part of my job as an insurance claims examiner.

After obtaining the CHP report's face sheet, I had to transmit it to our main office in San Bernardino (as a PDF file) so that it can be used by our adjuster in Northern California to make contact with all of the parties while investigating the claim.

With this done, I headed to Crazy Tokyo Sushi for lunch. After this, I was planning on hanging out with a lady friend, Melissa. Before doing so, I stopped at home to take some aspirin for tooth pains from a filling that fell out a few weeks ago. I would then go to Woodland Hills for some business and, from there, head over to Melissa's.

Well, being in a rush, I mistakenly took some Advil PM instead of the aspirin and headed off to Woodland Hills. While en route, it dawned on me that I took the wrong medication! I knew that in an hour, the sleep agent ingredients would kick in and I'd get drowsy. So, I started heading back home before it did.

Melissa got a good laugh out of my error when I text her while in freeway traffic. Her reaction was, "You dork. Hee hee. Ok. Raincheck!"

Luckily, I did make it home. I ended up taking a three and a half hour nap on the couch. Now, at nearly 2:00 AM, I am wide awake, but refreshed.

Godzilla 2012 Blog

With the announcement of Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. co-production of a new American-made Godzilla movie, Ken Hulsey of Monster Island News has started a new blog titled, Godzilla 2012 - News and Info.

In it, any and all Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros. Godzilla news will be posted along with anything else newsworthy of the world of Godzilla. I am also a contributor to this new blog.

To access Godzilla 2012, go here.

Vote Today!

Today is Primary Election Day in California.

Don't let your vote go to waste. It is better to participate in the election process than let others elect people who don't share your views.

For the state's Republicans, check out each of the candidates' backgrounds, voting records and past statements. Too often, some GOP candidates talk a good game, but turn out to be Republicans In Name Only, or R.I.N.O.s.

We need more elected conservatives, not a bunch of "moderates" who are Democrat-light.

The main thing is to get out and vote!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Your Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost!

From Wikipedia:

The Christian concept of reaping what you sow from Galatians 6:7 can be considered equivalent to Karma.

According to karma, performing positive actions results in a good condition in one's experience, whereas a negative action results in a bad effect. The effects may be seen immediately or delayed. Delay can be until later in the present life or in the next.

Some people just don't seem to get the concept. They will pull dastardly deeds on people over the years and will scream bloody murder when the tables get turned on them. That is the way of the bully or thug.

They are of the type of person who "can dish it out, but can't take it" variety.

Sooner or later, karma will nail these people. When that happens, their "chickens are coming home to roost!"

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tales of Adventure In Malibu: Psychic Connection of Twins

Last night, I was talking to a girl I know at the supermarket near my work in Malibu. She told me that she has a twin sister.

Strangely, there have been a number of twins in her family although she and her sister were the first ones to survive, where (in the past) one of the twins did not survive.

I asked her if she has a "psychic connection" with her sister. She said "yes" and related a story.

She said that when she was seven, her nose was broken when it was hit by a baseball bat. At that moment, elsewhere, her twin sister complained of intense pains to her nose to their mother.

She showed me a recent picture of her sister and herself. Sure enough, they are identical twins. I have heard of psychic connections of twins before, the most recent was a story told to me few years ago by a co-worker who also is a twin.

I thought this was interesting.

Problem Solved!

With the economy the way it is, it isn't easy getting loans these days. That is complicated by the fact that I already have an outstanding loan. So, with a property tax bill due by September 1 and my attorney's bill due, I had to think of something.

Fortunately, I have both a 401k account and an IRA account to draw upon. Which I did. Problem solved! I'll just pay it back when the crop check comes in.

This also allows me to leave, untouched, what savings accounts my mom left me for the time being.

Now I can relax again.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good Start For This Month

Above, Yuu Asakura. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

June seems to be starting out pretty good, so far.

I've already received two claim assignments. I told the boss with the adjusting company to go ahead and load me up as I have a $1,500 property tax bill due September 1. Now that I'm a "land baron," I have to deal with such stuff now.

I put my mom's physician on notice of intention to file claims against his medical malpractice policy for my mom's death. Today, I heard from them.

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan continues to do well, with a lot of credit owed to the publicity shots taken in March with Yuu Asakura. She's becoming a familiar face and a household name, at least in kaiju/tokusatsu fan circles.

It has always been my intention to do a second round of publicity photos. I've a tentative commitment with an Asian actress/model already. I am looking to do this around October-November.

October-November looks to be a busy time for me. I am contemplating a trip to Japan (for the first time in three years). Possibly getting a booth at this year's Japan Expo in Los Angeles to sell The Guide. And, doing the photo shoot.

As the saying goes: Busy hands are happy hands!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Godzilla Week: 10 Years Ago Next Month

Photo courtesy of the office of Sup. Michael D. Antonovich, L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

Next month will mark ten years (!) since a piece of Godzilla history took place in Los Angeles, California.

In July 2000, G-FEST 2000 took place at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with movie screenings taking place at the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Blvd. This convention had the largest guest line-up ever in G-FEST's history.

But days before G-FEST 2000, an event to celebrate the convention as well as the first wide release of a Godzilla movie in fifteen years to U.S. theaters, Godzilla 2000, took place at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting on July 11. It was at that meeting that the Board declared July 10 - 16, 2000 as "Godzilla Week." The declaration was sponsored by L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

That year was the first year I handled publicity duties for G-FEST. The idea for "Godzilla Week" was to garner publicity for the convention as well as for Godzilla 2000, released by Sony/TriStar in August 2000.

Unfortunately, all did not go 100% smoothly for the "Godzilla Week" ceremony. At that time, Masaharu Ina was the general manager of Toho Co., Ltd.'s Los Angeles office in Century City. I had developed a good working relationship with him and when I proposed the ceremony with him, he was enthusiastic. He was instrumental in getting the Toho executives' cooperation in shipping a Godzilla 2000 event suit to Los Angeles for the ceremony. This would have been a great publicity event. G-FAN publisher J. D. Lees flew to L.A. several days early to participate in the ceremony.

However, the fly in the ointment was a lady at Sony/TriStar named Jaime Geller, who decided to take over the planning of this event. Since Sony/TriStar had the theatrical rights to Godzilla 2000, any publicity involving it had to be under their purview, or so she said. I tried to work with her on this, and it seemed that things were going good.

About a week or so before the scheduled event, a meeting was to take place at L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich's office with Geller, Mr. Ina and Antonovich's staff to plan how the appearance of Godzilla at the meeting would happen. Mr. Ina and I arrived at the same time and Mr. Ina had a somber look on his face. He said that when the crate containing the Godzilla event suit was opened at Sony, they looked at it and decided that it detracted "from the grandeur of Godzilla" and nixed the suit's appearance. Although shocked, we decided to go ahead with the ceremony anyway, with "rumble and roar" Godzilla toys representing The King. Each county supervisor received one from Toho.

While the ceremony went fine, the cancellation of the Godzilla event suit killed our chances for media coverage. When word reached fandom about Sony killing the appearance of the event suit, the "fit hit the shan." Many even called Sony's offices to raise hell with them. The fans were steamed (to put it mildly)!

Along with Ina and Lees, others participating in the ceremony were Toho Sales Manager Tetsushi Sudo, Richard Pusateri, Mrs. Mike Antonovich and their son, and me. Many fans showed up to attend the ceremony. A scroll was presented to Mr. Ina.

Above, the G-FAN article on the ceremony along with a photograph of the scroll.

After the ceremony, several of us gathered in Little Tokyo for Japanese lunch at Weller Court.

It is hard to believe that this event took place ten years ago next month. We had to wait four years later to see an authentic Toho Godzilla event suit at a ceremony.

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