Listen: Scott Von Doviak on Pop Culture Tonight

Scott Von Doviak, author of the Stephen King Films FAQ met up with Patrick Phillips on Pop Culture Tonight to talk about his book and the King of Horror!


Stephen King Films FAQOver the past four decades, the Stephen King movie has become a genre unto itself. The prolific writer’s works have spawned well over 100 adaptations for both the big and small screen, ranging from modern classics of horror (CarrieThe Shining) to Oscar-nominated fare (The Shawshank RedemptionThe Green Mile) to unapologetic, B-movie schlock (the King-directed Maximum Overdrive). The filmmakers to put their stamp on King’s material include acclaimed auteurs Stanley Kubrick, David Cronenberg, and Brian De Palma; masters of horror Tobe Hooper, John Carpenter, and George Romero; and popular mainstream directors Rob Reiner, Frank Darabont, and Lawrence Kasdan. Stephen King Films FAQ is the most comprehensive overview of this body of work to date, encompassing well-known hits as well as forgotten obscurities, critical darlings and reviled flops, films that influenced King as well as those that have followed in his footsteps, upcoming and unmade projects, and selected works in other media (including comic books, radio dramas, and the infamous Carrie musical). Author Scott Von Doviak provides background information, analysis, and trivia regarding the various films and television productions, including “Bloodlines” sections on related works and “Deep Cuts” sections collecting additional odd facts and ephemera. All you ever wanted to know about the king of horror onscreen can be found here.

The Zombie Film excerpt

Here is an excerpt from The Zombie Film by Alain SIlver and James Ursini!  Take A Closer Look here!

The Top Ten Reasons Why I Hate Zombies (and the Movies About Them)

by Linda Brookover

10. They’re ugly. Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body notwith- standing (was Jennifer really a zombie, after all), taken as a horde or as individuals with their swollen tongues, yellow eyes, skin that suggests much too long a stay in a tanning bed/grave, and sunken (or missing) cheekbones…I’ll grant that “R” in Warm Bodies has a certain je ne sais quoi; but he gets de-zombified. Before that was someone actually considering sex with a zombie. Deadgirl may turn on some desperate jocks but, seriously, guys, could you really imagine getting it on with the lovely pictured below? These hideous creatures give the Frankenstein’s monster and just about any ghoul that ever haunted the screen a shuffle for their money.

Screen shot 2014-04-01 at 1.22.13 PM


9. Speaking of that: They can’t dance. Yes, yes, I’ve seen the “Thriller” video and that is the exception that proves the observation. Sure boyfriends may have come back from the cemetery to attend the prom, but they were still geeks with no sense of rhythm.

8. They’re undead and uncouth. They have no sense of personal space and constantly seek to violate that of whomever they encounter without compunction, such as bashing their heads through car windows. As for table manners, well, if you have seen just one of these movies, enough said.

7. They’re not very romantic—in the literal rather than the literary sense, but actually not in that sense either. Even in the misbegotten comedies that involve teen couples, they are simply never huggable. Can you imagine a zombie date, a zombie valentine, or, perish the thought, zombie sex? Even the most hardcore necrophile would have to be repulsed.

6. Despite no sex, they breed faster than rabbits. Sure you could argue that it is not actual breeding, but what else would you call it? It starts with just one zombie moving into the neighborhood, and before you know it the kids next door are inviting themselves to lunch…off your flesh.

5. They have no fashion sense. They look like they slept in their clothes. Even if they never spent time in a coffin but went right from ordinary life to zombiefied after being bitten, their previously unremarkable wardrobe is suddenly very shabby and somehow still looks like it was worn inside a freshly dug grave: it’s dirty, shredded, and bloodstained. If vampires rep- resent the height of movie monster fashion, zombies without question are the nadir.

4. They look like they smell bad. One can only presume that from the reactions and occasional com- ments of those who encounter them, so thank heaven Smell- O-Vision no longer exists. I mean Scent of a Mystery was one thing, can you really imagine Scent of a Zombie. Eew!

3. They’re pathetic. Okay, there may be the occasional zombie for whom the word “hope- less” has some emotional heft, who is capable of experiencing some angst, as in Warm Bodies or Zombie Honeymoon or Deadheads; but 99% could never strike a tragic pose or express anything other than a ravenous hunger. Except for a coup de grâce, nothing can be done to help them as they overrun the environment. Perhaps the real reason people like to watch them on screen is to feel better about themselves.

2. They tried to kill Brad Pitt, probably the only person that could get me to pay hard- earned money to see a zombie movie. It’s one thing to threaten the unknown (at the time, and probably still) low-budget performers in Night of the Living Dead and hey, would you really have cared if they managed to devour Jesse Eisenberg (his attitude was a tad conde- scending) in Zombieland; but hands off Brad.

And the Number 1 reason to hate movie zombies:

You can show me all the Zombie Strippers you want, like the one above and I’m sorry but They’re boring. Conversation is limited to the occasional grunt or perhaps a rattle in their throat like a reverse hiccup, often accompanied by the clacking sound of their deformed teeth biting together in anticipation of finding your neck. If the “dissedents” in Juan of the Dead really had a political agenda, it might be something more than a biting satire about biting people. Tragically some of these post-persons were probably lively conversational- ists when still were still breathing, but now.

Happy Birthday, Bob Elliot!

Today is Bob Elliot’s 91st Birthday! Along with his partner, Ray Goulding, Bob was an huge game-changer in the entertainment industry. His humor and personality has impacted TV and radio broadcasting (as well as the big screen and Broadway itself) to a legendary degree. Thanks for entertaining us all, Bob!

View some images of Bob from Bob and Ray: Keener Than Most Persons HERE

And read more about Bob Elliot in:

Bob and Ray: Keener Than Most Persons
David Pollock
ISBN: 9781557838308
6″ x  9″
320 pages



Star Trek FAQTomorrow, William Shatner will turn 83, and to celebrate, we’d like to dip into Mark Clark’s indispensable guide to all matters pertaining to the first voyages of the Starship Enterprise, Star Trek FAQ (Unofficial and Authorized).  In this excerpt, Clark writes about the circuitous route Gene Roddenberry took to settling on Shatner as his captain.

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While Roddenberry struggled to develop a teleplay that would meet NBC’s demands, Star Trek was dealt another serious blow: Jeffrey Hunter wanted out. Hunter, who had starred in the [the first pilot] “The Cage” as Captain Christopher Pike, was under contract to appear in the series if the original pilot sold but not to appear in the unforeseen second pilot. The actor was unhappy with “The Cage” and ambivalent about moving out of feature films and into a full-time job on television. The show’s leadership had no recourse than to let him go, leaving Star Trek without a star. Selecting Hunter had been a long and arduous process. Among the forty names submitted for the role by one casting consultant were Hunter, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, George Segal, Jack Lord, and William Shatner. The list was eventually whittled down to a group of five that included James Coburn in addition to Hunter. NBC asked Roddenberry to consider Patrick McGoohan and Mel Ferrer, but neither were serious candidates. Now, with Hunter out of the picture, Roddenberry, Desilu production chief Herb Solow, and casting director Joe D’Agosta went back to the forty-name original list and reconsidered their options.

            The team settled on Jack Lord as their top choice. Lord (the stage name of John Joseph Patrick Ryan) had appeared in more than a dozen films and guest starred on scores of television series but, in 1965, was best recognized for his turn as CIA agent Felix Leiter in the first James Bond Film, Dr. No (1962). Roddenberry offered the captaincy of the Starship Enterprise to Lord but balked when the actor asked to produce as well as star and demanded an astronomical 50 percent profit participation in the program. Roddenberry moved on, and so did Lord. In 1968, the actor agreed to star in Hawaii Five-O, which ran for 12 seasons and 279 episodes (200 more than Trek). For appearing as Detective Steve McGarrett—whose signature catchphrase “Book ’em, Danno” quickly entered the popular vernacular—Lord received one-third profit participation. When series creator Leonard Freeman died in 1974, Lord took over as executive producer and gained complete creative control over the series.

            After scratching Lord’s name off his list, Roddenberry turned to a Canadian actor with a resume not dissimilar to Lord’s—William Shatner. Shatner was stinging from the mid-season cancellation of his first television series, the courtroom drama For the People. Despite the failure of that program, Shatner remained recognizable to TV viewers as a frequent guest star on other shows—by 1965, he had racked up appearances on 45 television series, some on multiple occasions, not counting appearances on stage and in feature films. Casting director D’Agosta told Roddenberry biographer David Alexander that in 1965 Shatner “had the same thrust going for him that Clint Eastwood and Steve McQueen did.” Clearly, Shatner would be the show’s star (or so he thought), and his agent negotiated a star’s contract. Shatner received $5,000 per week plus 20 percent of that salary for the first five reruns of each episode, as well as 20 percent profit participation. He was an inspired choice to play Trek’s new starship captain. His zesty, upbeat approach to the role helped supply the energy boost NBC felt the program needed.



Love, Peace and SoulEricka Blount Danois visited The Marc Steiner Show on WEAA in Baltimore to talk about “Soul Train” and her book Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes at America’s Favorite Dance Show.


Love, Peace, and Soul tells the story of the television phenomenon known as Soul Train, a show created in the land of bell bottoms, afros, and soul power; a show that became the touchstone of the Baby Boomer generation. Don Cornelius, host and owner of the show, was one of the coolest cats on television. With his platform shoes, wide neckties, and mellifluous voice, he showed the world just how corny American Bandstand was in comparison. In 2012, fans were shocked to hear one of the most powerful men in the music and television business took his own life.

Love, Peace, and Soul is a celebratory, behind-the-scenes collection of anecdotes, stories, and reflections, from the people who were there, about the host, the show, and the power of black music and dance on television.

Stephen King Films FAQ

Stephen King Films FAQScott Von Doviak’s Stephen King Films FAQ, the latest in the series from Applause Books is now available, with all that’s left to know about the king of horror on flim.  While his book looks back the four decades during which Stephen King has made his mark at the movies, Von Doviak is also looking forward.  Here are his thoughts on what this year may hold for Stephen King film fans.

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Two things we know to be true: Stephen King is one of America’s most prolific authors, and Hollywood is always hungry for material. So it’s not surprising that the Stephen King movie has become a genre unto itself, spanning nearly four decades since the 1976 release of Brian De Palma’s Carrie. This year is shaping up to be one of the most King-heavy in some time, so here’s a brief look at what 2014 has in store.

– Mercy is based on the 1984 short story “Gramma,” which was previously adapted by Harlan Ellison for an episode of The New Twilight Zone in 1986. This feature-length version is directed by Peter Cornwell (The Haunting in Connecticut) and stars The Walking Dead’s Chandler Riggs and Super 8’s Joel Courtney as two boys who discover their ailing grandmother is not what she seems.

– On a similar note, A Good Marriage is a novella from the 2010 collection Full Dark, No Stars about a woman who discovers her longtime husband is a serial killer. The adaptation directed by Peter Askin (Company Man) stars Joan Allen and Anthony LaPaglia and boasts a screenplay by King himself.

Cell is now shooting and may make it into theaters by year’s end. The big-screen version of King’s tale about a cell phone virus that turns people into zombies stars John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, who previously co-starred in the King-based thriller 1408. Tod Williams (Paranormal Activity 2) directs.

– The first season of Under the Dome on CBS was so successful from a ratings standpoint that what was once intended as a limited series has been extended indefinitely. What began as a promising series quickly deteriorated, however, and the first-season finale was a nonsensical mess. There’s reason to hope the show will get back on track, as King is aboard to write the first episode of the second season, due this summer.

In addition to the above, there are always King projects in various states of pre-production, notably Tom Holland’s The 10 O’Clock People, which may finally go before the cameras this year. One film fans shouldn’t hold their breath for is the long-awaited big-screen version of The Stand, which has churned through a number of potential directors over the years. The latest word is that Josh Boone, writer/director of Stuck in Love (a movie in which Stephen King made a cameo appearance) is on board, but the actual end of the world may come before this post-apocalyptic vision reaches theaters.

Listen: Dale Sherman on Pop Culture Tonight

Dale Sherman, author of Armageddon Films FAQ, joined Patrick Phillips on “Pop Culture Tonight” recently to talk about zombies, contagions, aliens, and the end of the world as we know it!


00333849smallerMankind has been predicting its own demise through various methods, from fables and religious scriptures to hard-core scientific studies since the dawn of time. And if there is one thing Hollywood knows how to exploit, it is the fears of Things to Come. Movies about the end of the world have been around since the early days of cinema, and Armageddon Film FAQ is a look into the various methods we have destroyed ourselves over the years: zombies, mad computers, uptight aliens, plunging objects from space, crazed animals, Satan, God, Contagions, the ever-popular atomic bomb, sometimes even a combination of these in the same movie!

Armageddon Films FAQ goes from the silent days of filmmaking to the most recent (literally) earth-shattering epics, from cinema to television and even the novels, from comedies to dramas, from supernatural to scientific. It also explores other aspects of the genre, such as iconic but unfilmable apocalyptic novels, postnuclear car-racing flicks, domestic dramas disguised as end-of-the-world actioners, and more – from the most depressing to the happiest Armageddons ever!

Oscar Night: The Day After

ImageNow that all the statuettes have been handed out, and the 2014 Oscar telecast has concluded, Applause Books would like to pay tribute to George Kennedy, winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1967 for his portrayal of Dragline in “Cool Hand Luke.”

Kennedy writes about that role and the rest of his remarkable life and career in Trust Me, published in 2011 by Applause Books.

Follow this link, to see the book trailer and hear an extended interview with Kennedy on “Off the Meter” with Jimmy Failla.

Listen: Tom DeMichael on Pop Culture Tonight

Tom DeMichael, author of James Bond FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Everyone’s Favorite Superspy, was a guest on Pop Culture Tonight with Patrick Phillips.


00314951A favorite of film followers for more than  50 years, James Bond is the hero loved by everyone: Men want to be just like him, women just want to be with him. Moviegoers around the world have spent more than $5 billion to watch his adventures across the last five decades. What’s not to enjoy about such a glorious multitude of gadgets, gals, grand locations, and grandiose schemes hatched by master villains and megalomaniacs?

Now, James Bond FAQ is a book that takes on the iconic cinema franchise that’s lasted for so many years. Sometimes serious as SPECTRE, sometimes quirkier than Q, but always informative, this FAQ takes the reader behind-the-scenes, as well as in front of the silver screen. Everyone’s included: Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig; little-known facts about TV’s first shot at 007, the same Bond story that was made into two different films; whatever happened to those wonderful cars and gizmos that thrilled everyone; plus much more. It’s a book for the casual, as well as hardcore, James Bond fan.

The Beatles’ 50th Anniversary

On February 9th, 1964, The Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show and changed the landscape of the music world in America forever. In keeping with the spirit of things, here are some funny moments from  A Hard Day’s Night, the immensely influential 1964 black-and-white comedy film starring (who else) The Beatles. The script of A Hard Day’s Night is included in Film Scripts Fourpart of the Applause Books Film Scripts Series.


Film Scripts Four

The Film Scripts Series is a new printing of some of the greatest screenplays ever written. Each of the four volumes in the series – edited by George P. Garrett, O. B. Hardison, Jr., and Jane R. Gelfman – contains three classic shooting scripts written by some of the finest writers to ever work in Hollywood. Every volume also features a highly informative introduction, a glossary of technical terms, an extensive bibliography, and the credits for each film. These enduring screenplays will be of great interest to the general film buff, the aspiring screenwriter, and the professional filmmaker. Of particular value to the screenwriter and filmmaker is the fact that all scripts are printed in standard screenplay format.

Film Scripts Four features:

A Hard Day’s Night (1964, United Artists): Script by Alun Owen; Directed by Richard Lester; Starring the Beatles; Academy Award nominations for best screenplay and best score (George Martin).

The Best Man (1964, United Artists): Script by Gore Vidal; Directed by Franklin Schaffner; Starring Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Lee Tracy, Edie Adams, Shelley Berman, Ann Sothern, Gene Raymond, and Mahalia Jackson; Academy Award nomination for Lee Tracy.

Darling (1965, Embassy): Script by Frederic Raphael; Directed by John Schlesinger; Starring Julie Christie, Dirk Bogarde, and Laurence Harvey; Academy Awards for Julie Christie and best screenplay; Academy Award nominations for best picture and best director.