By • Jun 21st, 2002 •

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Greetings everyone. The site has been idle for a bit, but recently began picking up steam with David Del Valle’s new column, Glenn Andreiev’s DVD review of an Image Entertainment ‘Something Weird Double Bill’ from the Swamps of Florida, Victoria Alexander’s review of BLACKHAWK DOWN, and a few others. Then, two weeks ago, our new Webmaster – Diana Parrington – took over the controls, and we’re on our way again. Hopefully most of our readers have been checking in periodically, and those that jumped ship will climb back aboard.

On the Home Front, Rocco and my new film, THE SWEET LIFE, is in the final stages of post production. Before us: the laying in of the music, the ADR work, the Mix, and then…festival city, to see what our audience is really like before making up our minds about how to distribute the film. I can tell you from watching the fine cut that it’s funny, and the widescreen digital video looks good. How good the movie really is will have to be determined when everything’s finally done. So, I’ll be giving you my opinion of that in July.

I’m always mentioning new indie films of note, and it’s an interesting coincidence that just as MPI is releasing a DVD extravaganza of DARK SHADOWS episodes, an independent feature by Howard Nash and William Hopkins – SLEEPLESS NIGHTS – pays tribute to the style of the immortal vampire soap opera of the 70’s. I caught an advance screening of the film, and was particularly impressed by the shrewd casting of the leads. How sad a truth it is that no matter how much talent is involved behind the camera, if the casting is off, the film will barely stand a chance. So I’m pleased to look forward, in particular, to a long career for Matthew Thomas, who portrays Christian Grey, a vampire with a major chip on his shoulder.
SLEEPLESS NIGHTS was an official selection in the Long Island Film Festival last month, and I’ll keep you updated as to its whereabouts so that, as vampire completists, you can catch up with it. There are literally 16,000 websites about vampires worldwide, and a Halloween tour to Transylvania is being organized as we speak (www.DracTour.com). Given all that, it would seem to follow that a good film about the bloodsuckers is always a safe bet. You can pursue SLEEPLESS NIGHTS on your own at www.sleeplessnights-themovie.com.

Columnist Glenn Andreiev has begun filming his latest feature – EVERY MOVE YOU MAKE – his first on digital video, and your editor took leave of his senses and did a cameo. I don’t know what Glenn was thinking to invite me into his movie this way, particularly in light of what I said two paragraphs ago about the importance of casting, but thankfully it’s a small role, and I tried my best.

FIR notes the May 5th passing of Michael Todd Jr., aged 72, at his home in Ireland. I conducted a phone interview with Todd Jr. several years ago, and the resulting article was scheduled for The Perfect Vision Magazine just before it went belly up, and then for FIR before it closed shop as a printed pub and went onto the web back in ‘97. The article finally appeared as a special supplement in Classic Images (which I hope is still publishing, I’d hate to think Todd Jr. deep-sixed yet another media mag) in their Christmas ‘97 issue. But in honor of the man, and his showman father, I’m going to reprint pieces of the interview on the FIR site, with some extremely rare photos I was allowed to take from the Mike Todd archives.

This is looming as such a good year for film. I’ve already got eight films on my top ten list – INSOMNIA and HBO’s PATH TO WAR among them – and it’s only the beginning of June. Either I’m getting soft, or the fates have conspired to inundate us with quality work for a change. Check our review page, then go judge for yourself.

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