Big Stink—The locally made zombie flick The Stink of Flesh, written and directed by Scott Phillips, has finally been picked up for nationwide distribution. The film will be released by Tempe Entertainment on a special edition DVD, set to hit store shelves May 24. U.K. distribution will follow shortly thereafter, meaning Scott's Stink will now be seen (smelled?) around the world. If you caught the film last year at one of its sold-out screenings at the Guild Cinema, there are plenty of reasons to pick up this new version. The special edition DVD will feature tons of groovy extras, including the “making of” documentary, outtakes, a 5.1 SurroundSound mix, a bunch of cool shorts and two feature-length cast and crew commentaries (including yours truly, who appears in the film as the unseemly soldier Lt. Vega). For updates on this and other trashy horror flicks, log on to www.tempevideo.com.
Tragically, many Americans may end up ignoring Hotel Rwanda for the very same reason they ignored the war that inspired it: It simply sounds too depressing to contemplate. What this hard-hitting drama does so expertly, however, is hold up a mirror to all us complacent Westerners and ask what were we doing while all this was taking place.
The '70s were a grim and cynical time. I mean, not for me personally. I spent most of the decade concerned with Stretch Armstrong and Big Mouth bubble gum. Still, for America it was a grim and cynical decade. Much of that darkness was reflected in the films of the day: Pop Catch-22, Straw Dogs, The Last Detail, Marathon Man, Taxi Driver and Joe into your fancy new DVD player for a flashback of glorious depression.
Sometimes my inner nerd just shines through. I can't help it. I grew up on Star Wars and all the sci-fi action that proceeded it. Among my favorite childhood TV shows was “Battlestar Galactica.” I dug it not because of its execution (which was often cheapjack and repetitive), but because of its interesting setting and dramatic story line. Back in 1978, a lot of people dismissed the show as a rip off of Star Wars. Actually, it was a rip off of the old Western series “Wagon Train”--a fact that slipped under the radar of most viewers.
“The Apprentice 3” (KOB-4 7:30 p.m.) Well, the last “Apprentice” outing wasn't all that exciting. (Does anyone really care what P.R. flack Donald Trump slaps on the payroll?) At least this new season, pitting “street smarts” against “book smarts” follows close on the heels of the last one, giving fans little down time.
“Monk” (USA 8 p.m.) Tony Shalhoub is really only tolerable for a season, a season-and-a-half tops. Hence, I greet this year's season premiere of mystery-solving series “Monk” with some amount of trepidation.