Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Quick Hits

A number of news tidbits and notes to report on this morning, though some may be expanded into larger posts over the next week. Let's get started...
  • Legendary 20th-Century Fox exec William Self died at the age of 89. As a kid growing up in the 70s, Self's work as a production executive had a profound effect on me. Not only did he help bring two of my all-time favorite shows to television – the 1960s Batman and the small-screen adaptation of M*A*S*H – but he also reportedly had a hand in everything from The Twilight Zone and Lost in Space to Land of the Giants and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
  • For all the buzz that AMC's The Walking Dead is getting from genre fans, FOX's Fringe is still my pick for the best, most riveting show on the air. And last night's episode – which cleverly placed Olivia at the center of a serial kidnapping case in the alternative universe – was directed by Chuck Russell. If you haven't watched it in a while, Russell's excellent 80s update of THE BLOB is currently streaming in widescreen via Netflix. Check out our review at the ER website.
  • Also streaming is THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE: THE FIRST SEQUENCE. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't go out of my way to rent this one, but it'll be tough to resist its icky appeal in my Instant View queue. If you're not sure if CENTIPEDE is right for you, date night or the upcoming Thanksgiving family gathering, check out Casey Criswell's review at the ER website.
  • Like lurid horror comics and magazines? Did your parents throw out all your old issues of Creepy, Eerie and Tales of Voodoo? Or, were they like my parents who simply forbade me to read the mags, along with seemingly arbitrary household bans on KISS and Planet of the Apes? I've recently gotten my hands on two excellent, beautifully (and luridly) illustrated books about the sinister comics and mags that clogged newsstands for years. THE HORROR, THE HORROR looks at the history of horror comics while THE WEIRD WORLD OF EERIE PUBLICATIONS delves into the history of the magazines and comics. Both are huge and eye-popping and will receive more detailed write-ups as I make my way through them. I'm also hoping a copy of FOUR-COLOR FEAR – which dispenses with the editorial and reprints horrific comic tales – shows up under my birthday tree.
  • Another TV fave returned this week and while I'm not sure how much I dig the expansion of the shows' core team, Human Target never fails to entertain. Each week it's like some forgotten, one-hour Cannon flick has shown up on my tv screen. If you haven't caught up with this breezy and well-done actioner be sure to check out the first season DVD set.

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