By • Jul 1st, 2000 •

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Greetings all…

Steve Reeves with FIR's Roy Frumkes, 1999

We’re welcoming Joshua Fischer as our new Web Designer, and waving so long to Jamie Kirschenbaum, who’s done such a nice job over the last few years.

Steve Reeves with FIR’s Roy Frumkes, 1999

We’re also waving the ‘big so long’ to Steve Reeves, who I interviewed when I was Editor of The Perfect Vision home theater magazine seven years ago (if you want to read that interview, with a new introduction, try Andrew Leavold’s worthy webzine in Brisbane, Australia, at here), to Vicki Sue Robinson, whose lively stage review FIR covered last year (she seemed so vibrant, and was bragging about having beat the ‘Big C’), to Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who I interviewed about Charlie Chaplin back when I was campaigning to produce the laserdiscs of Chaplin’s library for Image Entertainment (I lost out to David Shepherd, who did a great job), and to Francis Lederer, who went on record saying that the only film he really regretted doing was The Return of Dracula (available as part of the boxed laserdisc set ‘United Artists Horror Classics, Volume One’) a miserable little wrap-up to his long career, admittedly, yet he’s actually rather focussed and effective in it.

By far, though, the strangest and wildest misfortune to befall a Hollywood personality short of death – and death might have been preferable in this case – befell screenwriter/ director Eric Red. I’m quoting Variety.com, June 2nd:

“Two men have died a day after filmmaker Eric Red plowed his sport utility vehicle into a crowded pool hall near the UCLA campus. Red remained in critical condition after trying to cut his throat after the crash. Detectives had not determined whether the collision was accidental or deliberate because they were unable to interview the driver, Officer Dan Kemble of the West Traffic Division said Thursday. ”
Red, 39, best known as the writer of violent, edgy horror-actioners such as Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark and Blue Steel as well as the 1986 Rutger Hauer starrer The Hitcher, was on a ventilator at UCLA Medical Center.
“Noah Baum, 34, of West Hollywood, was run down and killed as Red’s 1994 black Jeep Cherokee jumped a curb and smashed into Q’s Billiard Club at 6:30 p.m.Wednesday. “‘We heard a loud crash,’ and the SUV came plowing toward patrons, one injured club goer told KCAL-TV on Thursday. ‘We all ran. It was a little faster than me and it caught me on my right side and pushed me across the floor up against the bar… it was pandemonium.’ ”
The Jeep had rear-ended a Honda stopped for a red light at an intersection, police said. The Honda driver got out and saw the other driver slumped over the Jeep’s steering wheel but ‘moments later the Jeep accelerated,’ a police statement said. The Cherokee shoved the car aside, demolished a tree, drilled through a bus bench, lurched over a curb and roared into the front section of the club, coming to rest inside the front bar in a hail of shattered glass and splintered wood. The driver then got out ‘and began to slash his throat using a broken glass from the bar. He was restrained by other patrons. A preliminary evaluation indicated Red was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Officer Kemble said. The driver and at least seven other people were taken to local hospitals.
“Red was collaborating with Artisan Entertainment on his first pic in five years, a thriller titled Teacher’s Pet. Pic was set to be written and directed by Red. He previously directed films such as Bad Moon starring Mariel Hemingway and Undertow, which he penned with Bigelow.”

Horrifying as this report was, my writing partner, Rocco, and I, couldn’t help but feel it all tied together at the end, probably unbeknownst to the reporters who covered the event. You see, we’ve also worked for Artisan Entertainment, but thankfully we live on the East Coast, and don’t have to confront the industry every day of our lives.

Back to the current state of FIR’s site, we’re looking forward to providing you with more film and DVD reviews, Jack Smith’s latest Soundtrack column, Victoria Alexander’s Las Vegas column as well as her other idiosyncratic opinions. And we’ve got a few new surprises as well. So settle back and dig in.

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