Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Miscellaneous: Multimedia Grab Bag

I’m keeping strange hours and watching bad television. Like VH1’s latest dive to the bottom of the reality TV barrel, The Celebrity Paranormal Project. Have there been any ads for this show, or was it slipped onto the air under cover of darkness? Assorted C-listers prowl haunted houses in search of ... OK, that part eludes me. It’s Scooby Doo meets The Love Boat! As if the restless spirits of children who died of tuberculosis at the turn of the previous century want to commune with the sixth runner-up on America’s Next Top Model. I’m pretty sure ghosts are afraid of Gary Busey and not the other way around.

Sometimes it pays off to monitor the tube in the wee hours. Tonight the Sci-Fi Channel plugged a hole in its schedule with two episodes of Tales From The Darkside. One of them was ‘Distant Signals,’ which I wrote about when actor Darren McGavin passed away earlier this year. I haven’t seen it in ages, and now it’s parked safely on the DVR.

A new edition of the 1999 Mel Gibson thriller Payback will apparently be coming to DVD next year. The movie - based on The Hunter, the Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake) novel previously filmed as Point Blank - had a troubled history; it was taken away from writer/director Brian Helgeland and extensively reworked. I hated it myself. But I wouldn’t mind checking out Helgeland’s original version, which by all accounts is closer to Stark’s lean-and-mean style.