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Mad About the Movies: Reel I

Mad About the Movies: Reel I

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Hey, gang!

Jim Hill again. Some of you may recall Rick Gutierrez from that amusing article he wrote last month about the infamous "Star Wars Holiday Special." Well, Rick would like to join JHM's regular rotation of columnists. Which is why we've been actively searching for an entertainment-related niche for this guy to write about.

Anywho ... Taking his inspiration from Jackson "Pop Culture" King's "Cartoon Crazy" and Monique Pryor's "Comic Book Crazy," Rick's decided that he'd like to be "Mad About the Movies." So the following is his prototype column for a possible weekly feature here at JimHillMedia.com.

So please read Gutierrez's try-out piece. And - if you like what you see - drop me a line and/or post a note on JHM's discussion boards. Depending on how you respond to Rick's article here ... Well, we'll take it from there.

Enjoy!


 

STOP THE BOAT I WANT TO GET OFF!
Steven Spielberg has been reported to say on various occasions that he is deathly afraid of heights. So it is no surprise that when he went on the "Jurassic Park River Adventure" at Universal Studios he had the boat stop long enough for him to get off at the top BEFORE the final plunge. His family then rode the rest of the way down.

IT'S NOT CALLED HALLOWEEN 2: THE WRATH OF KAHN
Michael Myers' mask is actually a Captain Kirk Mask painted white.

THEY CALL IT THE "PSYCHO PATH" FOR A REASON
A story that is fondly told by Universal employees, is the time that -- during a tour, as the tram passed the PSYCHO house -- someone in a dress and a wig jumped out of the house with a plastic knife and terrorized the occupants in the tram. Then the figure ran off never to be seen again. Turns out the person in the dress and wig was Jim Carrey. Who was on a break from filming "Man on the Moon," just having a little fun

IT'S GOOD TO BE THE KING
Robin Williams played the King of the Moon in "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." But the credits listed the Oscar winning actor as "Ray Ditutto." Why for? Well, "Ray Dituto" is the English transliteration of the Italian phrase "Rei di Tutto," which means "King of Everything," which was how the King of the Moon introduces himself to the Baron.

ARMY OF GEEKS?
The magic words Ash (Bruce Campbell) must use to claim the Book of the Dead are "Klaatu, Barada, Nikto", the same words Michael Rennie used to command the robot Gort in the 1951 sci-fi classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still."

NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT...
When James Cromwell was handed the screenplay for "Babe," he thumbed through it to see how many lines he had. He saw that he didn't have that many, he decided that he would do it as a nice easy film. What he didn't realize was that he would have more screen time in this film than any of his previous films. Good thing too. The movie got him an Academy Award nomination.

A GREAT INSIDE JOKE
In "Back to the Future," Farmer Peabody's (the guy whose barn Michael J. Fox crashed his time-traveling Delorean into) son is named Sherman. Sherman was the name of the little boy time traveler in one segment of Jay Ward's cartoon show, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show." The dog who owned the Wayback Machine was named -- of course -- Mr. Peabody.

SPRINGTIME FOR...MONGO???
In Mel Brook's classic film "Blazing Saddles," in the shot where the showbill for "Lili von Schtupp, The Teutonic Titwillow" appears, the tune that's being played on the piano in the background is "Springtime for Hitler" from "The Producers" (1968), the infamous film that was also directed by Brooks.

DUDE...WHERE'S MY FURY?
In the film based on Stephen King's classic novel, "Christine," was a 1958 Plymouth Fury. In 1958, Plymouth made only a small number of those Furys. As a result, these cars have since become real collector's items. There were 13 or 16 (my sources are unclear) '58 Furys smashed in the making of the movie. Which - I'm told -- made quite a few Plymouth enthusiasts very unhappy.

PLEASE SIR, I'D LIKE SOME MORE
The fake blood used in "Conan the Barbarian" came in the form of a concentrate which had to be mixed with water prior to use. Due to the cold weather, it was mixed with vodka (as an anti-freeze) instead. In the scenes in which the actors were supposed to spit the blood, they would swallow it instead, then go back to the special effects man for more.

BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
The Mattel Toy Company started to make some Conan action figures, but after viewing the film, the executives realized that they couldn't afford to beassociated with a film with such graphic sex and violence. They gave theirdoll blonde hair, called him "He-man", and thus created the ultra popular "Masters of the Universe" toy line.

COULDN'T HANDLE IT???
Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) wanted high-school friend Bruce Campbell to play the lead role in "Darkman," but the producers didn't think that Campbell could handle it. Campbell played Ash in cult flicks "The Evil Dead" (1983) and "Evil Dead II" (1987), both also directed by Raimi. So who got cast instead? None other than then virtually unknown actor Liam Neeson. Campbell ended up in the movie though, as Darkman's final disguise.

THAT'S ONE WAY TO GO ABOUT IT...
"El Mariachi" initially cost $7000 to make. Director Robert Rodriguez describes in his book "Rebel Without a Crew" that he raised $3,000 of the $7,000 by volunteering to be a human laboratory rat. He was used to test a cholesterol reducing drug. Paid $100 a day for 30 days, he wrote most of the script while locked in the lab.

SAGE ADVICE
There were frequent good-natured "battle of the wits" exchanges betweenRobin Williams and Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Hook." In one incident, Hoffman was not happy with his performance and asked the scene to be re-shot. Williams' quipped "Try acting": a reference to an infamous put down Sir Laurence Oliviers made at Hoffman's expense on the set of "Marathon Man" (1976).

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS FILM?
The original version of "King Kong" was released four times between 1933 and 1952, and each release saw the cutting of additional scenes. Though many of the outtakes - including the censored sequence in which Kong peels off Fay Wray's clothes - were restored in 1971, one cut scene has never been found. It is the clip in which Kong shakes four sailors off a log bridge, causing them to fall into a ravine where they are eaten alive by giant spiders. When the movie - with spider sequence intact - was previewed in San Bernardino, Calif., in late January, 1933, members of the audience screamed and either left the theatre or talked about the grisly sequence throughout the remainder of the film. Said the film's producer, Merian C. Cooper, "It stopped the picture cold, so the next day back at the studio, I took it out myself".

IT'S BETTER THIS WAY
The original opening to "The Lion King" was supposed to have been a quiet dialogue-heavy sequence. When composer Hans Zimmer prepared his interpretation of "Circle of Life," he made a extended version so he would have some flexibility as to what to cut for the film. The animators were so impressed with the work that they decided to change the beginning into the currently seen sequence so they could use the entire work that Zimmer prepared

THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE
Sharon Stone was so insistent that Leonard DiCaprio appear in "The Quick and the Dead" that she paid his salary personally.

That's it for this week, movie fans. I hope you liked my Tuesday Try-out column. If so, let Jim know, okay? There's lots more movie trivia where this column came from.

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