Thursday, February 10, 2022

From the Sid Archives - Interview with Joanna Going of the Dark Shadows Revival Series

Here's another article from my file cabinet. I loved the original Dark Shadows as a kid, so I was happy when the chance came along to interview actors from the revival series in 1991. It was polished and atmospheric, drawing heavily on the film House of Dark Shadows, and sadly didn't last long on NBC.

Joanna Going was one of several cast members I interviewed as the show was cranking up. A couple of moves let the press kit for the series slip away, but it was cool when it arrived at the newspaper building. 

The great shot of Going and Ben Cross as Barnabas Collins was just one of the color pics or slides that were included. 

Ben Cross and Joanna Going - Dark Shadows

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

From the Sid Archives - Interview With Gates McFadden of Star Trek: The Next Generation

I've been going through some files in anticipation of a move to a new place, and I ran across some fun things from my newspaper days.

Here's an interview I did with Gates McFadden in the middle of the Star Trek: The Next Generation run.

Full article .pdf here

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Wednesday Reads Fool's Run YouTube Review

Should have shared this a while back. It's a nice review of Fool's Run by E.G. Stone at

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Revisiting The Midnight Hour

I'm pretty sure I watched The Midnight Hour when it first aired in 1985. I don't remember much about that first viewing except an okay-fine reaction. I wouldn't have been watching for deep analysis then, and everything other than a vague notion of its plot pretty much got tucked away in my memory.

I decided to revisit it via YouTube. Because: October. And because the Pure Cinema podcast spoke highly of it fairly recently in an assessment of solid TV movies.

So, what a pleasant surprise a re-watch proved to be.  

In retrospect, it's heavily influenced by the Thriller video, coming down the pike just a couple of years after that event. It even has some of the same creative team involved in makeup and costumes.

But it's otherwise quite a bit of fun with a touch of camp and a sweet love story woven through its undead storyline with interspersed musical numbers and a comic performance by Fridays' Mark Blankfield as a zombie out to grab what he can of past life pleasures.

It also features LeVar Burton, Shari Belafonte, Lee Montgomery of Ben with Jonna Lee as a fifties teen returned to get one more chance at things she missed. Oh, and Kevin McCarthy of Invasion of the Body Snatchers on the flip side.  

There's one great musical number fronted by Shari Belafonte and one great horror set piece with a vintage '50s auto overrun by the undead. A few other flourishes including Jonelle Allen as a colonial vampire shore it all up. 

Wikipedia reports it received mostly negative reviews in the day. They're wrong or at least not taking everything it is now into full account.

It's not a fully satisfying feature experience for horror fans, but it's still worth a look for the intriguing package that it is. 

Check it out on YouTube here.

Friday, October 01, 2021

A Big Hand for the Little Lady and an Old Household Movie Viewing Mystery Solved

My wife, Christine, loves The Odd Couple original film, something about the combo of Neil Simon's humor and Jack Lemmon's performance as Felix. Anyway, it was streaming on Pluto the other day. I pointed it out, and she settled in to watch the what was left.

And Walter Matthau on screen suddenly reminded me of a conversation with my dad years and years ago. The, I guess, mostly forgotten comedy western A Big Hand for the Little Lady with Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward as the the "little lady" and Jason Robards came on TV, probably on NBC. This would have been the very early '70s.

As the show neared its conclusion, my dad said he'd seen it before. "But it wasn't with Henry Fonda."

An ad for the upcoming broadcast of Cactus Flower popped on the screen about that moment with a tight shot of Walter Matthau's face. "It was that fellow there," he said. 

Seemed weird, but we chalked it up to an odd coincidence or something like that and moved on.

But Walter Matthau--busy with a different set of poker buddies--was on my screen again all these years later via the Internet, which we didn't have in 1971. I thought, why not check it out? Maybe my dad had a point.  

The IMDB entry simply credits Sidney Carroll as the screenwriter, though there are mentions in the trivia of it originally being written for TV along with allusions to an alternate title or two. Big Deal in Laredo et al.


Let's Go the the Wiki
I moved on to Wikipedia, and gained clarity. In 1962, Big Deal in Laredo was produced for television as an installment of an anthology called The Dupont Show of the Week. It earned Emmy nominations including one for Matthau. There's even a press photo of him in character out there for purchase.  

Son of a bitch, my old man was right. It's a little thing, but that brought me a bit of joy. The TV show would have aired a month after I was born. 

My old man was a route salesman for a wholesale grocery company. When he came home from work after driving all day from mom-and-pop grocery to mom-and-pop grocery in rural Louisiana, he still had an hour or two of making changes to his price book, a heavy, leather bound thing with semi-circle holes punched for easy removal and replacement.

He would have been working on those changes or pricing order tickets from his customers as we watched anything. That was probably how he watched The Dupont Show years earlier and with a newborn in the house, more focused on the storyline than the brand umbrella. 

It's nice to have little things mined out of the memory, reconnecting with little moments from life flowing along. You never know what's going to matter. 

Some triggers on a quiet Sunday afternoon are good ones. 

Monday, August 09, 2021

The Strong Women in Science Fiction Event


Strong Women in Science Fiction Event!

Cat Ladies of the Apocalypse, which includes my story "The Witch of Washington Pari," is part of the Strong Women in Science Fiction Event for August 2021.

Check out all there is to see. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Short Film Based on My Flash Fiction Decoherence

 A few years back, a request came in to the writers Meet Up group Owl Goingback was running in the Orlando area. 

A student up in Gainesville needed a short mystery piece to shoot for a film class. I'd spent a bit of time teaching creative writing by then, gradually emerging from a creative coma induced by 12 years in a marketing job plus one damaging semester in an MFA program with a writing professor who'd go on to break the internet with a column on his harsh outlook on students. (I graduated with an MFA, but I still refer to that semester as The Lost Semester.)

A short time before, I'd written a bit of flash that landed at a webzine called DM du Jour.

To help out a student, I though sure, I can adapt that into a quick script, and I did. 

It was fun to do, but, as happens in the collaborative process, some adaptation of my script transpired for shooting. One character became two, and, partly for logistics I suspect, a moment in the story was reinterpreted. 

It didn't quite do what I'd envisioned in musing about timelines and mysterious visitors. 

I didn't say much about the product, which was mainly for a class anyway. The student got an A for her effort. I didn't think much about it. 

But literally as I was walking this morning, in my current timeline, I thought, maybe the reinterpretation played even more with timelines and many-worlds interpretation. 

So, look above. The short student film from my tale Decoherence can be viewed, and the short-short tale can still be read online as well.  

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