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January 11, 2008:

THE TOP TEN BRAIN

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, for those who may have been errant and truant yesterday, or for those who only read the notes, we had some lovely news yesterday, when the Talkin’ Broadway Sound Advice reviewer named The Brain From Planet X one of the ten best cast recordings of 2007. It doesn’t really mean much in the scheme of things, but it was a pleasant surprise and he had wonderful things to say about it in his recap paragraph. Isn’t that exciting? Isn’t that just too too (oot oot, spelled backwards)? The rest of yesterday wasn’t so bad, either. For example, I got up. That wasn’t so bad. I toddled off to get coifed by Teddy, and he did his customary wonderful coifing job. There only a handful of people in the salon – the gal at the counter said it’s been like that for the last couple of weeks and said that the WGA strike has impacted their business. Teddy told me that in March he and several others from the salon will be moving to a brand spanking new salon a block away. I’ve been wondering if that was going to happen, because it’s been eight years since he moved to this salon, and he was at his former salon for eight year, which seems to be his moving on number. After that, I headed home and FJL was nice enough to call me on my cell and give me the news about The Brain. Of course, I’m in good company – last year, The Last Starfighter made the ten best list. I got home, made some telephonic calls, then began writing. I did three pages pretty quickly, then went out and did a couple more errands and got some lunch. I came back and wrote for another two hours and did a little more than I’d intended, so that was good. I’m at the point where I’m introducing a whole slew of new characters, so this section is a bit more slow going, writing-wise. After that, I answered a bunch of e-mails and then finally sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched two count them two motion pictures on DVD. The first motion picture on DVD was entitled Invisible Strangler, a film from the mid-70s that was beyond inept in just about every way but one. Obviously made with private money and not much of it, somehow they managed to get Stefanie Powers, Sue Lyon (who may or may not have been related to producer Earle Lyon), Elke Sommer, Robert Foxworth, and the reason I took a chance on the film, Miss Leslie Parrish, in what may have been her final screen appearance. Both Miss Lyon and Miss Parish are on-screen for less than five minutes and are dispatched by the invisible strangler (yes, the title character wills himself invisible, that’s how inane this film is). Poor Miss Parrish (who looks beautiful) – her entire role is sitting in some woodsy area painting, hearing the invisible person approaching, and then running from said invisible person after he slaps her across the face, and then pretending to be strangled by said invisible person. Why she would have agreed to have appeared in this tripe and to play a virtual walk on, is anyone’s guess. It certainly couldn’t have been the money. I gather the film is PD (who would bother to copyright such a thing) – the DVD I got cost me fifty cents, marked down from a dollar. The quality is horrendous – it looks like someone sprayed insect repellent over the entire transfer. I then watched the second motion picture on DVD, which was entitled Bone, starring Mr. Yaphet Kotto, Miss Joyce Van Patten (ALL of Miss Van Patten – more than you ever wanted to see), Mr. Andrew Duggan, and Miss Jeannie Berlin. The film was written and directed by the very strange Larry Cohen, who would subsequent to this film go on to give the world It’s Alive, It’s Alive II, Q, The Winged Serpent, God Told Me To, The Stuff, and several others. Mr. Cohen, no matter what one thinks of him, is an original, and a wacky one at that. Bone is a Black comedy – well, sometimes it’s a Black comedy and sometimes it suddenly gets serious and according to producer Jack H. Harris after it flopped during its initial release, it was somehow then played up as a comedy – Mr. Harris doesn’t seem to clear on the details, though, so I’m listening to the commentary track by Mr. Cohen. Some of it is quite off the wall and the actors are clearly having a field day getting to do the kinds of roles they never got to do before or after this. The film was made and originally released prior to The Heartbreak Kid, but they re-released it (using the comedy angle) after Miss Berlin got raves for the latter film, and they used her as the selling point. She’s quirky and fun in the film. As Mr. Harris makes clear, despite three attempts at distributing the film and changing the campaign, ultimately no one wanted to see the film. But, it does have its weird pleasures. The transfer is fine. There are two trailers – one text only touting Miss Berlin, and one with the title for the third try at releasing the film = Housewife.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below whilst we celebrate The Top Ten Brain.

Today, I shall, of course, write. I have a few errands to do, but mostly it will be a writing day, and then an early supper somewhere interesting. I also have to figure out which two or three photos from the 70s TV shows I did I’ll be using for the Hollywood Collector’s Show. I have to get them over to the place that makes prints inexpensively. I can’t remember what Michael Shayne sent me, but I’m thinking I definitely have to have The Partridge Family in there, and I’d like Happy Days, too, but I have to have one of the stars in the shot with me. I also have to order more Nudie Musical DVDs, as I’m down to my last two copies.

The weekend should be nice and quiet – I’ll write both days, and then just relax and smell the roses or the coffee or the Ben-Gay. I may just have to dine at the Kansas City Barbecue this weekend.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, write, write, do errands, write, and sup. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player, and your DVD/video player? I’ll start – CD, the new Chico Buarque CD. DVD, next up is season one of The Fugitive, which I’m curious to see after all these years. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, and if you don’t have your Brain From Planet X top ten CD, now would be a good time to get it.

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