Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Some readers had some comments that I think are worthy of a response.

Ken Begg asked... I'm increasingly surprised that Disney hasn't released remastered editions of the original versions of the older Star Wars movies on DVD / BluRay. Get rid of all the lousy additions George Lucas shoved down the fan's throats. This would result in instant money, and make the fans happy, buying Disney further cred. 
Hell, release the Star Wars Holiday Special. It was always incredibly petty of Lucas to have had just a bug up his butt about that.

While I didn't like the changes Lucas made to his movies, I will acknowledge that he had the right to make those changes. The movies were his property.

What I didn't like was that he constantly refused to release a decent DVD version of the unsullied originals, and declared that the memories of the original fans didn't matter because it was his toy and they could go pound sand. Which was a tart blend of hypocrisy and arrogance since back in the 80s he fought so hard against Ted Turner colourizing the black and white classics he grew up watching.

Disney could release a "Classic Edition" DVD/Blu-Ray and probably make a few gazillion easy, but knowing George Lucas and his love of micromanaging and denying that he ever made a mistake might have made him put something in the sales contract to keep them from doing it.

If there isn't some poison pill in the contract, just pressure Disney to release the originals. If they can make money off of it, they will do it.

As for the Star Wars Holiday Special, I have to say that I have to agree with George on that one. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I remember seeing it as a little kid, and thinking: "This doesn't make any sense, and it's making my brain hurt."

Next comment...
Rainforest Giant here,

How hard would it be to combine the budgets from two or three of those scyfy channel abortions they churn out?
I mean they put up one or two new ones a week. So why not take some time and actually do one half-assed right? Or combine some of their properties into one show? Have 'Face Off' do the makeup for a couple movies and cross-promote with tie-ins all around. Give some money to people doing decent web shows like 'The Guild'.

I watched the first episode of 'Defiance' and it wasn't too horrible but there were no surprises. I am not sure if I'll keep watching. 'Continuum' was simply boring I quit watching that already.

They didn't have to reinvent the wheel with their Battlestar Galactica prequel thing. I guess they thought that having a fifteen year old girl who is too stupid to stay away from murderous morons was the way to go.

Somebody could produce some scifi for kids Saturday morning tv (do they still do that?). It wouldn't have to be too perfect kids don't demand that (look at 'Power Rangers') but they do want it to be engaging and fun. Any reason that cannot be a gateway drug to good science fiction/horror?
I don't think it's about money when it comes to the crapulence of the SyFy originals and their ilk. Only the major studios think massive amounts of cash are necessary to make decent science-fiction and horror.

There are ways to make those kinds of genre films on a budget, but they require resources that SyFy and other straight-to-DVD-cable producers have a shortage of.

Those resources are imagination and the ambition to create work that does more than just fill time on a schedule.

If they had those resources they would have put together something involving their other shows, which actually is a pretty good idea. They also wouldn't butcher popular science fiction novels into unrecognizable messes.

But they don't. Instead they clog the airwaves with crap, and those who actually do make good genre movies on a budget are lost in the shuffle.

And now a moment of RAGE!

Speaking of lazy b-movies. Last night I was channel surfing and came across a movie called Swamp Devil with Bruce Dern. Though I was only able to force myself to watch about 10 minutes of it I can say without a doubt that it was a perfect example of lazy b-movie making.



The titular 'swamp' was a pond in the middle of a forest of gently rolling hills in Quebec.

Now if you're going to put out anything with "Swamp" in the title, you better deliver lots of watery places teeming with all sorts of biting things. If you can't afford a swamp then you have to ask yourself:

What would Roger Corman do?

Corman would have hired some eager kid with talent looking for a break into the industry, like a young Robert Towne, or Francis Coppola, tell him the script needs a rewrite because they can't afford Louisiana, they have to shoot it in Quebec. Then he'd lock the writer in a room, like he used to with Robert Towne, and let him out when he was finished. The writer, hoping to make his mark would then change it from a swamp monster, to a forest monster, and make up something that sounded like Quebecois folklore as local colour so they can save money by not trying to make it look like America, contrive a reason for an American hero, and they're off to the races.

It's not rocket science, it's just using a little imagination.


  1. There's never a shortage of imaginative and ambitious writers looking for a job (and also willing to work for pennies). What's SyFy's excuse then?

  2. Finding them takes effort, like sorting through scripts from people that aren't already up to their neck in the industry.

    Better to just stick to the same old crew they already know, because they have a "track record." It's a crappy track record, but it's there.

  3. Disney has made it clear they're putting all their eggs into the new movies' basket. They probably don't think trying to get the rights from Fox is worth the trouble right now.

  4. Of course, track record. But wouldn't they also try to employ new people with just a couple years of experience because they will work harder, can be paid much less and bring in fresh ideas and perspective? Eventually you promote them if they perform well. I thought companies liked doing that, is TV different in that regard?

  5. Dirty McDingus sez:
    Also; how about we petition the mouse to release 'The Path to 9-11' the UN-edited version seen over the pond and not the aborted one shown here to Mega Ratings on the boob tube?

  6. You don't have netflix but you should watch Hemlock Grove. It kind of started slow but is well done with good actors. This is the kind of thing scyfy should be doing. This level of production.

    Rainforest Giant