Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Human/Vampire Buddy Movie, Family Guy-Style

Family Guy producer and writer David A Goodman will adapt the story of a group of vampires defending the last humans on earth from zombie infestation, based on the graphic novel Last Blood. The comic follows the last few humans left alive on the planet, and their vampire bodyguards. In exchange for their protection from the undead hordes plaguing the Earth, the humans give their vamp protectors their blood. Click through for more details on Last Blood — and the Y The Last Man Movie, which production company Benderspink is also working on.

Shia LeBeouf is still rumored to be attached to the Y The Last Man movie adaption that Benderspink is producing — or at least there's a dialog about him being attached to it in some big wig Hollywood office. Who else could be in Y? The producer, JC Spink, told UGO that he was interested in either Zoe Saldana or Alicia Keys for the role of Yorick's bodyguard, Agent 355. But for Dr. Mann, he doesn't want Lucy Liu, he wants an unknown.

I don't know what I'm more excited for over at Benderspink: Vampire Zombies, Zombies Of Mass Destruction or Y: The Last Man. Well, okay, maybe Y.

Original here

Most Shocking Rock and Roll Deaths

By Rachel and Douglas

Let us start by saying that by “most shocking” deaths, we’re not referring to the typical rock star drug overdose or alcohol induced death (Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Layne Staley, Shannon Hoon, Bradley Nowell, Tim Buckley, Tim Hardin, Hank Williams, etc.). This list is strictly based on shocking, unexpected deaths that took the entire world by surprise.


Sam Cooke (33 yrs old)

Sam Cooke
Cooke died on December 11, 1964, in Los Angeles, California. He was shot to death by Bertha Franklin, manager of the Hacienda Motel in South Los Angeles, who claimed that he had threatened her, and that she killed him in self-defense. The shooting was ultimately ruled to be a justifiable homicide.

John Lennon (40 yrs old)

John Lennon
On the evening of December 8, 1980, Lennon was shot 4 times in the back outside his apartment building, the Dakota, in New York City by Mark Chapman, for whom Lennon had signed an autograph earlier that evening. Chapman was charged with 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. To this day, after 28 years, he is still behind bars.

Marvin Gaye (44 yrs old)

Marvin Gaye
On April 1, 1984, the day before his 45th birthday, Gaye’s father shot and killed him after an argument that had started after his parents argued over misplaced business documents. His father pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received 6 years of probation. Charges of first degree murder were dropped after the discovery of Marvin Sr’s brain tumor.

Selena (23 yrs old)

At the Days Inn hotel in Corpus Christi on the morning of March 31, 1995, the “queen of Tejano music” was shot in the back by her fan club president, Yolanda Saldívar, after learning that Saldivar had been embezzling money from the Latina star’s boutiques. The movie, “Selena,” starring Jennifer Lopez was made based on the story about Selena’s life and murder.

Tupac Shakur (25 yrs old)

On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. The murder remains unsolved. Some speculate that because of the “feud” between Tupac and Biggie, that maybe Biggie collaborated in the murder. He, as well as his family, relatives, and associates, have vehemently denied the accusation.

Notorious B.I.G. (24 yrs old)

Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie was gunned down in Los Angeles in March 9, 1997. He was in California to promote his upcoming album, “Life After Death.” The murder remains unsolved although there are numerous theories about who was responsible, including ones that implicate the Southside Compton Crips and Marion “Suge” Knight, co-founder of Death Row Records.

Jam-Master Jay of Run DMC (37 yrs old)

On October 30, 2002, Jam-Master Jay (real name, Jason Mizell) was shot and killed in a Queens, New York, recording studio. A 2003 affidavit says: “Law enforcement agents are investigating the possibility that [Jason] Mizell was murdered for defying the blacklist of 50 Cent.”

Dimebag Darell Abbott of Pantera & Damageplan (37 yrs old)

On December 8, 2004, while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Abbott was shot onstage by a paranoid schizophrenic former US Marine named Nathan Gale. Abbott was shot three times in the head, killing him instantly. Three others were killed in the shooting. Damageplan’s drum technician, John “Kat” Brooks, and tour manager, Chris Paluska, were injured in the attack.


Buddy Holly (22 years old), Richie Valens (17 years old) & the Big Bopper (28 years old)

Buddy Holly
After a show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on February 2, 1959, Buddy Holly chartered a Beechcraft Bonanza to take him and backing band the Crickets to Fargo, North Dakota, for the next gig. The Big Bopper asked Cricket, Waylon Jennings, for his spot on the four-seat plane, as he was recovering from the flu. Ritchie Valens was still signing autographs at the concert site when Allsup walked in and told him it was time to go. Allsup pulled a 50 cent coin out of his pocket and the two men flipped for the seat. Allsup lost. The plane took off in light snow and gusty winds at around 12:55 A.M., but crashed after only a few minutes. All aboard, including the pilot were killed. Don McLean famously referred to this tragedy as the “day the music died” in his hit single, “American Pie.”

Jim Croce (30 yrs old)

Jim Croce
Croce died in a small commercial plane crash on September 20, 1973, one day before his third ABC album, “I Got a Name” was to be released.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant (29 yrs old), Steve & Cassie Gaines (28 & 29 yrs old)

Lynyrd Skynyrd
On Thursday, October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of “Street Survivors,” Lynyrd Skynyrd’s chartered Convair 240 ran out of fuel and crashed in a forest near McComb, Mississippi. Singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, and the pilot and co-pilot were all killed on impact. Other band members were injured, some seriously.

Randy Rhoads of Ozzy Osbourne’s band (25 yrs old)

Ozzy Osbourne
On March 19, 1982, Ozzy’s tour bus driver, Andrew Aycock, took Rhoads and hairdresser Rachel Youngblood on a flight in a Beechcraft Bonanza he had taken without permission. Apparently, during the flight, an attempt was made to “buzz” the tour bus where the other band members were sleeping. They succeeded two times but the third attempt went wrong. The right wing clipped the left side of the tour bus by accident, leading to the crash of the plane into Calhoun’s nearby mansion. Nobody in the mansion was hurt. Rhoads, age 25, was killed instantly,

Stevie Ray Vaughan (35 yrs old)

Stevie Ray Vaughan
On August 26, 1990, after a concert with Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, just outside of East Troy, Wisconsin, Stevie Ray Vaughan boarded a helicopter with members of Clapton’s crew for a flight to Chicago. Moments after takeoff the helicopter crashed into a ski slope and all five on board were killed.

Bill Graham (60 yrs old)

Grateful Dead
The legendary concert promoter (who ran the famous venues the Fillmore West and Winterland, both in San Francisco, and the Fillmore East, in New York City, was killed in a helicopter crash near Vallejo, California in 1991, while returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert at the Concord Pavilion.

John Denver (53 yrs old)

John Denver
On October 12, 1997, Denver was killed when the Long-EZ aircraft he was piloting crashed just off the coast of California at Pacific Grove, shortly after taking off from the Monterey Peninsula Airport. The Long-EZ is a two-seat experimental aircraft, designed in the 1970s by Burt Rutan.

Aaliyah (22 yrs old)

On August 25, 2001, after filming the music video for her hit single “Rock the Boat,” Aaliyah and her record label staff boarded a twin engine Cessna 402B in the Bahamas to head back to Miami. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff, leaving no survivors. The accident was believed to have been caused by excess weight.


Nick Drake (26 yrs old)

Nick Drake
In the early hours of 25 November, 1974, Nick Drake died at home in Far Leys from an overdose of amitriptyline, a type of antidepressant. Officially ruled a suicide (as Drake had long suffered from sometimes debilitating depression), family members have argued that it was an accidental overdose. No suicide note was ever found.

Ian Curtis of Joy Division (23 yrs old)

Joy Division
On May 18, 1980, Curtis hanged himself in his kitchen after having viewed Werner Herzog’s film “Stroszek” and listening to Iggy Pop’s “The Idiot.” Curtis’s suicide took place just before Joy Division were to embark on their first U.S. tour.

Kurt Cobain (27 yrs old)

Shortly after his marriage to Hole vocalist Courtney Love and the birth of their daughter Frances Bean, Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home on April 8, 1994 from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. Traces of heroin and valium were found in his body and a suicide note was left, stating that he hadn’t felt the excitement of creating and writing music for the past few years. Cobain is now often remembered as one of the most iconic musicians in the history of rock.

Michael Hutchence of INXS (37 yrs old)

On the morning of November 22, 1997, Hutchence, aged 37, was found dead in his room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sydney. A belt found at the scene suggested that he had died by hanging. The coroner determined that Hutchence’s death was the result of suicide but some suggest that the cause of death may have resulted from autoerotic asphyxiation (strangling himself during a sex act).

Elliot Smith (34 yrs old)

Elliott Smith
There’s a lot of controversy surrounding this one. Elliott Smith died on October 21, 2003 from two stab wounds to the chest. According to girlfriend Jennifer Chiba, with whom he was living at the time, the two were arguing, and she locked herself in the bathroom. Chiba heard him scream, and upon opening the door, saw Smith standing with a kitchen knife in his chest. She pulled the knife out, after which he collapsed and she called 911. Smith died soon after in the hospital. While Smith’s death was originally reported as a suicide, the official autopsy report released in December 2003 left open the question of possible homicide. A possible suicide note, written on a Post-it, read, “I’m so sorry—love, Elliott. God forgive me.”


Duane Allman & Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers Band (both 24 yrs old)

Allman Brothers
Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia just after the release of “At Fillmore East.” In a bizarre coincidence, bassist Berry Oakley would die less than 13 months later in a similar motorcycle crash with a city bus, just three blocks away from the site of Allman’s fatal accident.

Marc Bolan of T. Rex (29 yrs old)

Bolan died on September 16, 1977. He was a passenger in a purple Mini 1275GT driven by Gloria Jones as they headed home from a London pub. Jones lost control of the speeding car and it struck a tree, killing Bolan instantly.

Harry Chapin (38 yrs old)

Harry Chapin
Chapin was killed on his way to a gig on July 16, 1981, when a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of his 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit, rupturing the gas tank and causing it to burst into flames.

Cliff Burton of Metallica (24 yrs old)

On September 27, 1986, in rural southern Sweden during a European tour in support of “Master of Puppets,” Metallica’s tour bus ran over a patch of black ice, skidded off of the road, and flipped over. Burton was thrown through the window of the bus, which fell on top of him and killed him.

Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of TLC (30 yrs old)

Lopes had just begun working on TLC’s 4th album when she was killed in a car crash in Honduras on April 25, 2002.


Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones (27 yrs old)

The Rolling Stones
At around midnight on 3 July 1969, Jones was discovered motionless at the bottom of his swimming pool at his home in Hartfield, Sussex, England. The coroner’s report stated “Death by misadventure.” Some felt it was suicide. Others claimed he was murdered by a builder who had been renovating the house.

Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys (39 yrs old)

Dennis Wilson
Wilson died in an alcohol-related drowning at Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, on December 28, 1983. On the day of his death, Wilson was quoted as saying “I’m lonesome. I’m lonesome all the time.” Ironic that a Beach Boy should drown.

Jeff Buckley (30 years old)

Jeff Buckley
On June 4th, 1997, Buckley accidentally drowned while taking a leisurely swim in the Mississippi River. The autopsy confirmed that Buckley had taken no drugs before his fateful swim, and a drug overdose was ruled out as the cause of death.


Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention (31 yrs old)

Sandy Denny
Sandy Denny died of a traumatic mid-brain hemorrhage on April 21, 1978, due to complications arising from a fall down a flight of stairs during a holiday with her parents. A month after the fall she collapsed at a friend’s home and died four days later. It has been suggested that Denny’s hemorrhage was caused by a brain tumor.

Sonny Bono (62 yrs old)

Sonny and Cher
On January 5, 1998, Bono died of injuries after striking a tree while skiing in in Nevada.

Spinal Tap drummers (various ages)

Spinal Tap
Spinal Tap has had a succession of drummers, all of whom they claim have died under odd circumstances: one in a “bizarre gardening accident”; another “choked on vomit,” (although it was never determined whose vomit it was, as “you can’t really dust for vomit”), and a third from apparent spontaneous human combustion onstage, leaving only a small green “globule” on his drum throne.

Original here

Talking Teminator Salvation With McG

By Kellvin Chavez

Granted he directed the Charlie's Angels movies but after watching the footage of Terminator: Salvation over at this years Comic Con I am willing to forget that McG (real name: Joseph McGinty Nichol) did those movies. McG presented an action-packed clip during the panel and offered some details including a hint that Arnold Schwarzenegger might be back. “The T-800 model indeed is part of the mythology of Terminator”

After the panel we were fortunate enough to sit in a small press conference room and speak to McG about the film, which is set in post-apocalyptic 2018. He talks about how the new "Terminator" may be R-rated, despite rumors of a PG-13 and more.

McG: I'm so glad to hear you liked the footage because like I said we're halfway through photography. You know Sam has got a six AM call on Saturday. He's got to get the hell out of here and go back to it and there's no visual effects. There's nothing there yet, but to have that sort of excitement come out of just a practical, halfway through principle photography experience felt pretty good. I'm really glad you guys liked it. Thank you for that. What do you want to talk about?

McG, can I ask about style? The first film you were able to completely do whatever you wanted. Obviously "Terminator" is an existing film franchise so we're are you able to add elements to make it your own?

McG: Well, truthfully I think any filmmaker tries to go on a film by film basis and do what's right for what's in front of them. You know I'm very pleased with the "Charlie's Angels" pictures and what I was trying to do with those movies is just break down the glass ceiling, you know say you can make a successful female action picture. But that was a long time ago. And I'm a different filmmaker now. And I made a movie after that about a plane crash. I've been afraid of flying for a long time. I needed to sort of face that catharsis that Joseph Campbell moment of facing what you're most afraid of and that was the impetus for making "We Are Marshall" and now I wanted to make a movie that was about posing ethical questions to the audience and suggesting that the film won't be easy. It's going to be a little elliptical in a way you ride along the picture. So as far as the look and what we want to do with this, I wanted to create a new film language. We talked to Kodak about creating a new stock that had never been photographed before. I told you about how we're adding three times as much silver to a color stock that had ever been added and that gives it an ethereal sort of quality that suggests something's off. Something is wrong with the world that we're living in. And I just wanted to create a very, very gritty language. I'm tremendously influenced by "Children of Men," hats off to that picture. I think it's fantastic and I hope more people get a chance to see it. But by the same token, this isn't designed to be an art picture. This is designed to be a picture shared the world over, so you got to find that balance between that artistic take and that artistic look and what's right for a film designed to be seen by a great many people around the world. And I must say we're very, very pleased with the way the film looks and feels and you guys be the judge. You just saw it. I'm hoping it has that grit that I speak of.

McG, I was wondering if you could talk about the involvement of Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight) in the script and also could you tell us if the film ends on a cliffhanger?

McG: The film does indeed end on a cliffhanger. Jonah Nolan is an extraordinarily cerebral guy. So when you got Jonah Nolan on your left and Christian Bale on your right and Sam Worthington kicking you in the head right in front of you, it'll definitely keep you on your toes. But Jonah was involved with the -- Jonah is, I would have to characterize Jonah as the lead writer of the film. I don't know how the WGA rules work. I'm looking at Sam from Sony. You probably know better. But honest to goodness, we did the heaviest lifting with Jonah and that's where we all got together and talked about what we were up to. And he's just a very, very cerebral guy, you know. And he and Chris behind "Memento" and "The Prestige" and certainly the Batman pictures. They are deep, deep thinkers.

McG, could you talk about your meetings with James Cameron?

McG: Well I was a double dip. I was going to town to see Sam down at the Marina Del Ray space there by LAX and you know it was a complete motion cap environment and Sam's in his data suit and everybody's running around with little balls hanging off their leotards and I got to play with the cameras and talk to Jim at length. And we've had several phone calls and he knows that I respect him a great deal. And like I said, I did not want to move forward on this picture if Jim Cameron were like fuck you. You know what are you doing? You know you have no business moving forward on this. Very simply I would have acquiesced and said you're right. You're the creator of what it is and I respect that. And he was very encouraging and we talked at length about the story. We talked about Sam and most particularly we talked about his experience on "Aliens" and the idea of you can't live in fear. You've got to move forward. I mean you know I remember when I was on "Superman" and people were kicking the shit out of me and saying what kind of guy calls himself McG? And it's the privilege of the public to just do that, not know that McG is short for McGinty and I've been called that since the day I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. There's nothing Hollywood about it. There's nothing any, it's the function of being poor and having three Joes in one household so they didn't call me Joe, they called me McG, short for McGinty, my mother's maiden name. But of course as I say we live in a shorthand society, people do what they got to do, but you know I've talked extensively to Bryce about you got to be on "Happy Days" before you can become the great Ron Howard. Maybe you got to be Spicoli before you can be Sean Penn. Maybe you got to do some time on "21 Jump Street" before you can grow into the boots of Johnny Depp. And there's nothing wrong with paying your dues and I'm certainly willing to pay mine.

McG, can you talk about working with Christian Bale in the last few weeks? Any reports you want to clarify or dismiss?

McG: I'm delighted to speak about Christian because I think everybody up here can talk about it. He's the most professional, passionate actor you're ever going to find. I mean it's just that simple. You're looking at some professional actors sitting here now and Bale is just all about the work. He loves his wife, he loves his child, he loves being an actor. He's not interested in materialist things. He wants to come to work prepared. And he, you, I can't go, okay, Christian, you go out camera left. Christian's going to talk to me for, back me up, you know what went into the decision to go off camera left, which is wonderful. It's the elegant opposition want. You don't want people just going yeah, whatever. You know tell me what to do, I'll do it. Everybody up here challenges all the time. She got shot in the leg. She wanted to know the degree to which her limp should take place. She plays a doctor in the films. We've got doctors all over the place trying to tell us you know how to perform properly so it's credible to the medical community. Look at Common, the gun training these guys had to go through so you know these guys that work for, what is it, Blackwater and all these secret spots come in and tell us how to you know take down a house and carry a gun properly and when you swing through your own people, you break the access of the rifle. Just such focused acting to honor the story we're telling and make it look credible. And Christian sets an excellent example in that way. And just for the record he's a big hearted good guy and I've worked with a lot of people and that's just simply who he is.

Can you talk about the rating? I know you've been shooting stuff that isn't necessarily PG-13.

McG: Yeah, I mean like I said Robinoff is here today. Jeff Robinoff runs Warner Brothers, he just walked out of the room. A guy named Jeff Blake's here today, he just went over to Judd Apatow's panel. He and Amy Pascal actually run Sony. Both of them were perfectly comfortable with a rated R picture. We don't aim, I mean Sam and Anton, Moon, Bryce, Common, we shoot the picture. We never work, I mean Sam's still got blood on his hands and makeup from you know what we went through yesterday, all the physical needs of that scene. And we just shoot, shoot, shoot. And that's not to say, and therefore it's going to be NC-17. You know what I mean? You and I discussed this that just I have no problem with a PG-13 picture. I just saw the "Dark Knight" and I thought it was a work of art, I thought it was immaculate and I thought it was made comprise free. I don't think Chris had to go, damn it, if I could just do what I want to do and get that R that I want the picture would be better. So I am saying I'm not afraid of a PG-13 rating at all. We're not rooting for anything. And I'm not going to let the fan base down trying to target a rating and the only people that would give us a hard time about that would indeed be the studios, which you have to respect because they put a lot of money behind the making of the film. And like I said, Jeff Blake, I'll literally grab him and Robinoff who was sitting in the front row, they don't care. So if they say deliver a rated R picture, I mean that's really freeing. It allows us to do what we want to do with the film. So the film will rule the day. We'll all be looking at rough cuts together and we'll make those decisions. And if it just comes down to oops, there's too much blood on the head of the Marcus character and that's what pops you into an R, I don't think that makes the film infinitely more valuable so I could back to a PG-13. If they want to get rid of, oh, you can't have T-600s carrying mini-guns, well then no, it's an R because there are certain things that are part of the iconographic nature of the film and you know we talked about all this when we were on the set together. And you know like I said we just, we're really making the film in a vacuum so we're just doing what we think is right creatively day in and day out.

McG, the continuity in the "Terminator" films is always a little flexible and no one really minds because they're such wonderful stories, but if you think about "T-2" is ten years later and John looks like he's 13. What's your take on the timeline when this starts?

McG: Well, there's no doubt that you know the beginning of "T-3" for example begins with a bit of a punt as to what happened at the end of "T-2" and there's some re-juggling of the time lines. You know we're largely treating it as though the bombs have gone off, I'm not going to share with you what the date is when the bombs go off. We come into the picture in 2018 and we've done the best we can to honor the timelines that have been put into place. And I think it ultimately feels very satisfying and if we've done our job properly then this will be regarded as the statement of the time and the place and the where, and the when, and the why and the how. And it comes from a place of doing a lot of research with you know futurists, with scientists who talk about how long it would take the atmosphere to clear itself out so you could actually go back outside and do your thing. And you know we're trying to just sort of amalgamate the three pictures and amalgamate the intention and then answer that to the best of our ability. Again there are certain things that are in stone. The T-800 comes in 2029, you know. We're building towards that place, therefore if hardware should show up in 2018 it was supposed to be routed 2029, that's a problem for John Connor.

What did you think when you saw the first "Terminator"?

McG: I've always regarded the first picture as a horror picture, as a chase picture. It's "Halloween." What's the difference between Schwarzenegger in the first picture and Michael Myers in "Halloween"? Which is wonderful. I'm complimenting the picture. And then the second picture I thought brought a level of complexity that you can't hope to achieve on a sequel. Sequels are tough. I made an inadequate sequel. I made it with this woman back here, Kim Green. We made a good first picture, the second picture was a lesser picture. And for the [LAUGHS] and for Cameron -- I blame you. You did the makeup. [LAUGHS] You know to make a sequel that elevates to the degree, how many sequels are better than -- oops, I just broke someone's iPhone. How many sequels are better than the original? Arguably the second "Godfather," arguably. Arguably Jim's "Aliens."

"Dark Knight."

McG: "Dark Knight." Arguably. "Empire." But it's a short list, we all agree. You know what I mean far more often than not you go to the sequel, you go what? You know? And we all feel very -- which one?


McG: "Meatballs Two" is shit. [LAUGHS]

What is this like for you in continuing on?

McG: Well the easy thing for us is we happened after the bombs, just put most simply. Every other picture has been present day. This is after it happened so therefore it's a totally new beginning. It's a totally new beginning. Are the lights on?


McG: Let me see this thing. And just you know that's so graphic and so wonderful. It's just this is where it all happens. And then inside this, the CPU that will represent the rise of the machines to a place of complete dominance. And we're heading towards that place very rapidly day in and day out. I'm looking at all the open laptops. I'm looking at the digital cameras. All these things are brand new and just getting faster and more intelligent and more intuitive all the time. So.

Could you talk about how the TV series runs through this if at all?

McG: I'm a buddy with Josh Friedman who runs the show. We had a meeting early on and we want to honor that at all times, but we can't, I know about episodic television with the "O.C." and "Chuck" and "Supernatural" and what it takes to generate stories hour in, hour out every week. And we just put most fairly in Josh was the first to jump on and say so, we can't chase their story threads, you know. We honor it, we're all using the same language, but this is this and that is that. And you know I say that as a huge fan of the series. Where's Jean? I mean Jean and I talk about it all the time. She watches every minute of it and comes back and we you know report on it and do the whole thing. But at some point you've got to create some freedom and tell the story that you regard as most compelling.

You mentioned how technology is advancing so fast. Is that a scary thing to you or do you embrace it?

McG: I think it's a scary thing and it needs to be -- who here would suggest that humanity is in great shape? [LAUGHS] Well I mean you know it's just think about it, we're melting the oceans, we have a true population problem, I always talk about it if I type A and N in my BlackBerry it types the D. That's artificial intelligence. It's no longer George Orwell. It's here. You know I meant what I said about you know don't work on getting happy, just manipulate the chemicals of your brain. You know how far can we go with that and where does humanity begin and the machine world end? We can deconstruct the human genome so if your dad had high blood pressure, your kid doesn't have to. It's kind of scary and amazing. And therefore that whole idea of Pandora's Box and you know this is just an illustration of here we go and it's likely to happen. Think about how much more quickly a computer can make a decision than our human mind can. And should that computer become aware, who knows.

Can you talk about that as a filmmaker? I know you've gone very practical on this as far as CGI.

McG: Well here's the thing, all the machines you see in this film are physics based. It'd be no different than if you and I went out to Skunk Works and said what do you guys got on the Cad systems? You know that's you know wings articulating and engines doing what they do and G-suits that create you know blood flow back to the head so you don't pass out and creating impossible turns. I mean what you're going to see is not built that I'm aware of, but based in physical reality. It's not just like hovercraft and simple dopey things. I mean all day long we're out there with ospreys out in New Mexico. Ospreys are those aircraft that takeoff vertically like helicopters, then mid-flight rotate and move to fly like a fixed wing aircraft. And you just watch that, that's influencing us all day every day. And it just here we go. What are the limits? Who knows? Imagine how you felt the first time you saw a stealth fighter. Honest to goodness, I remember seeing that son of a bitch and I could not believe that was real. I could not believe that was real. And here's the funny thing, those came -- how long ago did we roll out those stealth bombers and the stealth fighters? 10 years ago? 10? 15 years ago, even? '89? Yeah, okay. Well, a long time. So think about when that was on the books. '75? Imagine what some whiz kid at MIT or in the black ops operation of Langley or what, I mean think about what they're up to. You know and that's the stuff that just sort of says enough is enough and it's a question Rutger Hauer posed it, you know, "I, Robot" got into it. It's everything Asimov, it's everything Philip K. Dick and you know does the android dream of electric sheep?

Original here

Police say Joker look-alike attempted to rob movie theater

A | A | A

Police say a 20-year-old Three Rivers man dressed up as the Joker and attempted to steal movie memorabilia and posters related to the newest Batman movie.

Three Rivers Police received a disturbance call at the Three Rivers Cinema 6 Theater just after midnight Sunday morning.

Police say when they arrived on scene the movie theater staff was restraining a man dressed in full costume as the Joker from the box office hit “The Dark Knight.”

The man was identified as 20-year-old Spencer Taylor of Three Rivers.

Taylor was arrested and booked on felony larceny and malicious destruction of property.

Original here

How War Games Director John Badham Avoided WWIII in 1983

By Troy Rogers

There's no doubt that anyone who grew up in the 1980s felt the impact of director John Badham's work. In fact, all computer geeks and gamers who were born post-1983 can thank Badham for helping to usher in two completely life-changing eras. Not only did Badham helm such '80s favorites as Blue Thunder, Short Circuit, and Stakeout, he was the director who kick-started both the computer and video game revolutions simultaneously with the groundbreaking film War Games. Oh yeah... In case you didn't know, on top of his long list of credits, John Badham also directed Saturday Night Fever, one the most musically significant movies of all time.

After 25 years, the sequel to War Games finally makes its way to DVD (July 29) in the form of War Games: The Dead Code, starring Matt Lanter and Amanda Walsh, about a computer geek who engages a government super-computer during an online terrorist simulation only to become a government target. To celebrate the release of the sequel, The Deadbolt employed the latest state-of-the-art technology to track down John Badham to talk about the original War Games, how he worked with the government and visited NORAD, how President Ronald Reagan used the film as a visual aid for his Star Wars defense plan, why it took so long for a sequel, and what type of computer he had in 1983.

THE DEADBOLT: So how does it feel to be the big screen father of geek?

JOHN BADHAM: [laughs] You know, it’s so funny, because when I started this movie I didn’t even know how to boot-up a computer. I thought boot-up was when you got kicked out or something, and I was scrambling to learn. I’d been around computers, but I never really messed with them. Now I know too much, more than I ought to be knowing - waste more time, spend more time.

THE DEADBOLT: It seems crazy that anyone at the studio would understand the concept in order to get behind it.

BADHAM: I understand what you’re saying. But there were kids' movies and kids didn’t account for very much of the audience. And you’ll know this is if you look into the history of E.T., that Steven [Spielberg] had it turned down at Columbia, I believe, and they said, "No, we don’t want to do this." And he took it over to his old pals at Universal and they said, "Well, okay, if we can do it for ten million dollars." And he said, "Okay, I’ll do my best." It was because they said it was a children’s movie. And War Games was seen by the very same studio smart enough to do E.T. and was dumb enough to say about War Games, "Oh, it’s a kid’s movie. Kids play with computers, adults don’t." At that time, the use of the computer was in the accounting departments and with geeks, as you say.

But there wasn’t any use for it. There were these things called word processors that were like huge copy machines and you just went, "What? What is all of that about?" So nobody really understood. And yet what appealed to me about the story was - here’s this young guy, 15-16, that gets into something over his head that he doesn’t understand, that’s bigger than all of us, and he’s scared bananas and is trying to wrestle with it. I just thought that was so much fun and delightful that I couldn’t wait to work on it.

THE DEADBOLT: Since hackers, modems, and super-computers weren’t mainstream back in 1983, how did you ensure the accuracy of the science and technology?

BADHAM: Well, I gotta tell you, the research guys on this were kind of state-of-the-art themselves. They knew all of this stuff that was a subculture, kind of underground. The writers, Walter Parkes and Larry Lasker, were kind of secret hackers themselves, and Larry Lasker’s parents were friends with the Reagans. Now what that meant was, Walter and Larry were able to get access to NORAD as VIPs and they got taken down in there and had it all explained to them and everything - how it works, because you can go down there as a VIP. In fact, we put that scene in the movie.

The funny thing is that the real NORAD room isn’t very big at all. It’s kind of like: take about fifteen computers, line them up side by side, and you got it. You know some of those rooms you see when the space shuttle goes off? Those are big compared to this. And then there would be a big plate glass window sitting behind all of those technicians, and inside was a big boardtable where a bunch of generals could sit, I guess, and look through the plate glass. When I finally got to go there after the movie, the general running NORAD was saying, "Oh, my gosh. We only wish we had a place like you had in the movie. That was so cool," he said.

THE DEADBOLT: What did you think when you heard that Ronald Reagan screened it with members of Congress?

BADHAM: I thought it was just the funniest thing ever, because he was talking about the Star Wars Initiative. And they’re trying to explain to him why it was so hard to make it work. And of course they were right. He said, "Well, I just saw this movie the other... Mommy [Nancy], I saw this movie...."

THE DEADBOLT: Basically, he was using it as a visual guide.

BADHAM: Yeah, absolutely, that's what was going on.

THE DEADBOLT: Looking back now, what was the one thing you were most naive about with regard to how any of it would play out in the future?

BADHAM: Well, the little bit of the Arpanet that you could see at that time if you got online. You know, Arpanet we now call the Internet was just like being on a DOS screen. Black screen, a few tiny letters, and you had to type in what looked like gibberish to fight your way to stuff. And if you got to a site, it was more gibberish. The idea that people would sell things and buy thing was, honest-to-God, beyond anybody’s imagination. One friend of mine who worked at Apple at the time was telling me, "Yeah, this internet thing is great. But nobody knows how to make any money from it." So it was something beyond our comprehension because the technology wasn’t there to get the visuals.

THE DEADBOLT: Well, before there were images or thumbnails.

BADHAM: Yeah, and you’re not going to buy stuff off of just text, unless you really knew it and could depend on it. Even then you’d have to be kind of nerdy to trust it that much.

THE DEADBOLT: What type of computer did you have back then?

BADHAM: The first one I got was an Apple, a 256k, the first Mac, and we got that for Short Circuit. So I didn’t even have a computer when we did War Games. Well, War Games is pre-Mac, which was 1984, and so the only kinds of computers were just really taunting.

THE DEADBOLT: I don’t think ATMs or bank machines were around back then either.

BADHAM: Oh god, no. Bank machine? What’s that? That was just like a miracle. You know, people say the greatest thing since sliced bread - "My God, we can go any hour of the day or night and get money." So '86 would’ve been my first computer and at 256k. I went down to get it upgraded, because they had a program called Hypercard and you needed one megabyte of memory to run it. I had to go to a "specials" shop and I said, "What’s the most memory you can put on these computers?" And they said, "Oh, we've got new ones that’ll put eight megabytes of memory on." And you’re going, "Whoa!"

THE DEADBOLT: My cell phone could run circles around that.

BADHAM: My first laptop was given to me by John Scully, who ran Apple at the time, and the hard drive on it was forty megabytes. [laughs] And my friend Daniel Ball at Apple said, "Yeah, we know. It’s not enough. It’s already crowded." And I said, "Oh yeah, right. I could figure that out."

THE DEADBOLT: So after 25 years, why did it take so long for a second War Games movie to get made?

BADHAM: I worked on it, I’d say ten years ago. I worked on a story and after several months and talking to many writers we came to the conclusion that the heart of War Games, the soul of it, was an idea whose time had passed. The idea of the primitiveness of the internet and so on. And we kept trying to get beyond that into whatever would be the new thing that would have that kind of appeal. You now, innocence against big technology. And we never solved it. We commissioned a couple of scripts and they didn’t really lick it. We just finally had to give up, and MGM gave up. So I’m glad that they’ve come back in and I’m looking forward to seeing it.

THE DEADBOLT: Technology is so hard to keep on top of these days, it changes so fast.

BADHAM: Everything, and yet we were light years ahead of everything. And to have an impact, you kind of have to be that way. You have to be way ahead. You know there have been plenty of computer hacker movies since then, but they just kind of build on what we already had and were just kind of fanciful things of guys sitting there pounding on keyboards. And, you know, that’s pretty dull unless you’re the guy pounding on the keyboard trying to break something.

-- Troy Rogers
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'Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince' Trailer, Shot By Shot: A Young Voldemort And Some Familiar Faces

Hero Fiennes-Tiffin as Tom Riddle at age 11 in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

The first trailer for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" hit the Net, and with it comes our first real look at how director David Yates is tackling the series' sixth big-screen installment.

And boy, is it ... different.

(Discuss the trailer and check out images from the film over at the MTV Movies Blog.)

We can't magic you to the film's November release date, so in the meantime check out our exhaustive shot-by-shot analysis of the trailer to discover what we can expect to see when "HBP" hits wide this fall. Timecodes count up from the beginning of the trailer, which you can watch here on

0:07: An overhead shot of the Hogwarts Express, winding its way through the Northern English landscape. As for Harry himself, the appearance of the train signals to viewers that we're in familiar territory. Welcome back.

0:10: Snow falls over Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

0:12: Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith) leads a group of students down a corridor at Hogwarts. The temptation is to say that the scene takes place at the end of term, prior to Dumbledore's funeral, but there are too many smiling faces in the crowd. Its placement in the trailer is nonetheless a shrewd one, however — another brief glimpse at familiarity and routine, signaling to viewers that another year of school has begun for young British witches and wizards.

0:14: A cabinet containing storied memories spins as Dumbledore is heard in voice-over: "What you are looking at are memories." What I am looking at is a vial in the upper-right frame labeled differently than all the others, with a symbol rather than the name "Thomas Marvolo Riddle." The sign of the Deathly Hallows? Close, but no cigar. The simple triangle is not bisected by a line nor surrounded by a circle. Still, one wonders what it does signal.

0:18: "In this case," Dumbledore continues, as we get a close-up of actor Michael Gambon, Harry in the background, "pertaining to one individual." Voldemort, of course.

0:21: Dumbledore's hand comes into frame, holding one memory. "This is perhaps the most important memory I have collected," he says to Harry. "I'd like you to see it."

0:27: We zoom through the Warner Bros. logo.

0:33: Harry dips his head into the Pensieve, and is transported through memory to ...

0:35: "A bustling, old-fashioned London street" as it says in the book (Page 263). Under heavy rain, Dumbledore makes his way toward Wool's Orphanage to inform young Tom Riddle that he is a wizard.

0:36: A zoom in on the orphanage, a cold, industrial building guarded by high brick fences and wrought-iron gates. A foreboding place from which there is no escape.

0:40: A title card reads "To Know the Future" as Ms. Cole, the headmistress of the orphanage, is heard in voice-over. "In all the years Tom's been here, he's never once had a visitor," she says as the image onscreen shifts to Ms. Cole leading Dumbledore up a winding staircase. Notice how the frame is slightly tilted, how the composition makes the staircases resemble something out of an Escher drawing. It's an subconscious clue that things aren't as they should be here, that we will quickly leave what we might metaphorically call "solid ground." There is an evil that lurks in these halls.

0:43: Our first glimpse at young Tom Riddle, the boy wizard who would grow up to be Voldemort. Surprisingly, I'm more interested here in Dumbledore, who is costumed differently than in the novel, where he was described as wearing "flamboyantly plum velvet."

0:46: A second title card completes the earlier sentence: "Return to the Past." Riddle is heard in voice-over: "You're a doctor, aren't you?" he asks. "Who are you?" One of the best scenes in the book gets featured front and center here, as Yates follows Rowling's lead in showcasing the Dumbledore/Voldemort battle of wills. As much as "Half-Blood Prince" is the story of Harry vs. He Who Shall Not Be Named, it's equally the story of Dumbledore vs. Riddle. Even as the older, wiser wizard, Dumbledore is drawn here into defending himself by the precocious monster.

0:58: "I'm different," Dumbledore says. "Prove it," responds Riddle. Instantly, his cabinet is set aflame. In the novel, of course, we learn that he was keeping stolen objects in there, a harbinger of his need to collect trophies.

1:00: Riddle begins his full confession to Dumbledore as Harry sprints through a field, desperately trying to outrun a presumed attacker. This is almost certainly during an added scene at the Burrow, previously discussed at length in our Movies Blog.

1:02: Our first glimpse of Fenrir Greyback, the feral werewolf who needs to feed even when not fully transformed.

1:04: Ginny Weasley in the field, wearing her pajamas.

1:06: "I can make bad things happen," Riddle continues as Ron Weasley lies stiff on the floor of Professor Slughorn's office, seemingly dead. It's not Riddle, of course, who poisons Ron with tainted wine, but Draco Malfoy (which comes to the same, really). It will take Harry's quick thinking and a handy bezoar to save him.

1:07: Dumbledore puts on the Gaunt's ring, an artifact simultaneously a Horcrux and a Hallow (the symbol of the Hallows is, in fact, visible on the emerald surface of the stone). This scene is not glimpsed in the novels until "Deathly Hallows." Dumbledore quickly recoils as a flash of old Voldemort is seen.

1:08: On an island in the middle of an underground lake, Dumbledore casts a fire spell, surrounding Harry and himself in a ring of flame and driving off the Inferi (animated corpses controlled by a Dark Wizard). This is immediately after drinking from Voldemort's Horcrux potion, which has made him relive his very worst memory ever.

1:12: "I can speak to snakes too," Riddle finishes. Oddly, it is this pronouncement that seems to stop Dumbledore dead in his tracks. Parseltongue has long been associated with the dark arts, though, of course, there are those who have the power among the great and the good too. It's yet another departure from the novel.

1:18: Several more shots of Voldemort.

1:22: "Hedwig's Theme," yet another familiar cue, this time musical, closes the trailer as the title of the film comes onscreen. A final snippet of conversation between Dumbledore and Harry, taken straight from the book, is heard.

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Darren Aronofsky’s Robocop to be Rated R, Not 3D

MTV has finally confirmed that Darren Aronofsky’s Robocop film will most likely be Rated R. All I can say is Thank God. I can only imagine that Aronofsky’s Robocop won’t be a smooth chrome cyborg, and would likely be grittier than the original. I imagine that all the movie studios, including MGM, will attempt to take a cue from The Dark Knight and allow for a darker and less than traditional take. It would have been a huge mistake to make Aronofsky conform to a PG-13 rating, especially considering the original film was so over the top gory (earning an X rating during its first MPAA submission).

Producer Mike Medavoy also denied reports that the film might be filmed and released in 3D, a rumor that has persisted since MGM’s first mention of the project at Cannes. It has also been confirmed that the film is a “re-imagining” in the same vein as Batman Begins, and “definitely not a sequel”. No story details have been revealed, other than that the movie will deal with the theme of the merger or technology and humanity. Variety says that it will take the sci-fi vigilante classic in more of a noir direction. Robocop i expected to hit theaters in 2010. Head on over to MTV to read the full interview with Medavoy.

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Mistakes That Were Found In The Dark Knight…See If You Can Spot Them!

We all know we want to go see The Dark Knight a million times at least. So while you watch it your million and first time look at this list I found of mistakes in the film…(I will not read one of them…I haven’t even seen it once yet!!!)(And for those people reading this on your phone…keep this list handy as a check list at the theatre…everyone will love you for it!)

FInd out all the mistakes people found…after the jump….

Continuity: When Harvey Dent loses his face and is lying in the hospital bed, when he’s turned with the damaged side against the pillow, we can see the inside of the side of his mouth which should be damaged, but it’s fully intact. Then when he turns it’s suddenly burned away.
Continuity: On the prisoner’s ferry, supposedly just before midnight, the prisoner stands up to take the detonator from the guard. As he stands up, the clock shows it’s roughly 11:30/11:35. Then his body covers the clock and he moves forward. When you see the clock again, it shows it’s just before midnight.
Revealing: During the end of the car chase, when the Joker is out of his truck and Batman is on the Batpod coming towards him, you can see a store sign that reads “Chicago Supply”.
Continuity: When Bruce Wayne is talking to Alfred while having his arm stitched, in shots from the side he’s looking downwards, but in other shots he’s looking up towards Alfred.
Other: In the scene where Joker is goading the one guard until the guard can no longer control himself: each time the Joker is shown goading him, there is a large piece of glass on the window ledge behind the Joker. It is really obvious, and makes it easy to guess what is about to happen. This piece of glass is much thicker than any of the other shattered pieces of glass on the ledge.
Continuity: In the scene where Alfred is stitching up Bruce, Bruce says “I was meant to inspire people” and as he says “people” the shot changes and his lips aren’t moving but the audio track continues.
Factual error: After the tunnel ambush when they get air support again they show the view from the helicopter of a SWAT member with an M16 and an EOTech sight attached. If you look closely the red dot scope is mounted backwards on the weapon.
Continuity: In the car chase, as they exit onto lower 5th, the convoy has, in order, a police cruiser, 2 swat vans, then 2 cruisers. When the garbage truck pulls up next to the convoy, he takes out the second to last cruiser first (there is a car visible behind). It then spins out another cruiser in front of it before reaching the van with Dent in it, but there should have been no other cruiser between that one and the van
Continuity: Joker and Two-face are in the hospital; Harvey is about to flip the coin to decide if the Joker lives or dies. The camera angle switches back and forth between the Joker and Harvey. From one angle Harvey is wearing the monitor clamp on his middle finger with the grey wire, from the other angle it is gone. It disappears and re-appears every time the camera angle changes.
Continuity: When Two-Face has hold of Gordon’s kid and is flipping the coin to “decide” who gets to live, he flips and catches it in his left hand. Between flips, there’s a close-up of the kid’s face, and Two-Face is stroking the kid’s hair - with his left hand. No coin in sight.
Continuity: In the scene where the Joker is robbing the mob bank (in the first 3 minutes of the film), a Clown Thug is seen knocking down the security guard in the background. A few shots later, the same security guard is knocked down in the same manner before the Clown Thug is shot.
Continuity: When pointing the gun at himself, the Joker’s finger is on the hammer in one scene, and in the next, his finger is pointing straight up.
Continuity: The Joker’s hair length changes dramatically throughout the film. It is noticeably shorter in the police interrogation scene than in the rest of the film.
Continuity: In the scene where Batman is interrogating the Joker, Batman hits his right hand, but in the next shot the Joker is examining his left hand.
Continuity: During the Batman/Joker interrogation scene, the amount of make up on Joker’s face changes between shots. This is particularly noticeable on his chin and forehead, and is not consistent with reasonable rub off from the altercation.
Continuity: In the scene where Batman is interrogating the Joker at the police station, Batman pins the Joker up against the wall with his arm at the Joker’s neck effectively holding him in place. There are two different camera angles used back and forth - in camera angle one the joker is clenching Batman’s arm from underneath, while in the other shot the Joker’s arm is draped over the top of Batman’s arm.
Continuity: When Bruce first walks off onto his balcony during the party, he completely empties his glass over the edge. When Rachel comes out to speak with him, his glass still has a small amount of champagne left in it.
Continuity: When Batman is about to glide into Lau’s building they show him standing on the ledge about two meters from the corner, ready to make his jump. Cut camera angle to an overhead shot and he is standing on the corner of the building when he makes his jump.
Continuity: In the scene in the warehouse where Harvey Dent was held hostage, when Batman gets him outside and the building explodes, Dent’s face and some of his left side catches on fire. You can see him bring his hands to his face to try and put out the fire while he’s lying on the ground. Yet in the hospital scene a bit later, his hand(s) are completely wound free.
Other: Once inside Lau’s building, Lau’s bodyguards fire several shots at Batman while he is fighting. The bullets shatter the glass partitions inside the office but the exterior windows of the building, directly in the line of fire and only a few feet further than the partitions, are all entirely undamaged.
Factual error: The way Two-Face’s face moves is impossible given the extent of his injuries. His lips, cheeks, and eyes all move in such a way that would require muscles which are missing.

Original here

Their feud up in smoke, Cheech and Chong are high on reunion comedy tour plans

|Associated Press Writer

Cheech Marin, left, and Tommy Chong (AP/Matt Sayles)

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Their feud finally having gone up in smoke, Cheech and Chong say they're eager to get back on the road for their first comedy tour in more than 25 years.

"We had such a legacy, such a history. We couldn't escape it, even if we tried," Tommy Chong told reporters at a news conference Wednesday at the Troubadour, the Los Angeles nightclub where the pair were discovered more than 35 years ago.

The duo said their "Light Up America" tour will kick off Sept. 12 in Philadelphia.

"It's going to be very theatrical," said Cheech Marin.
If Wednesday's news conference was an indication, it won't spare the pothead humor, either.

"We're definitely still smoking," Chong said when asked.

"I get transfusions now," quipped Marin.

"I like the taste," Chong said. "I'm old fashioned."

Marin told AP Radio earlier this month that he and the 70-year-old Chong had recently decided that if ever they were to reunite the time was now because, "You're not getting any younger and neither am I."

They tossed around some ideas and figured a comedy tour would be "the most fun" and "the least hassle," the 62-year-old Marin said.

Marin and Chong, who broke up amid creative differences, have tried to reunite before, but have always fought too much.

"It takes about three minutes for that to happen, Marin said. "There's this veiled hatred." But he added: "We've kind of resolved that."

During their original run, Marin and Chong released nine comedy albums between 1972 and 1985, were nominated for four Grammy Awards and won one. They also starred in eight feature films, almost always portraying a pair of comical stoners.

"We've gotten to the age where we don't feel like fighting anymore," Marin said, "because the end is a lot closer than the beginning."

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Kaufman's alter ego Tony Clifton is all trick and no treat

Tony Clifton may well be the rudest, crudest, most musically talentless lounge lizard ever to stalk a stage. But for those of a certain age and/or sensibility, he is an entertainer nonpareil.

As part of a national tour, his performing prowess will be showcased starting Thursday at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Accompanied by the Katrina Kiss My Ass Orchestra, the bellicose balladeer will croon from a vast repertoire of Sinatra, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even Led Zeppelin to raise funds for Gulf Coast artists who were hit by the hurricane.

"This is an amazing, amazing showman," says Clifton's longtime pal Dennis Hof, who owns the Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel in Carson City, Nev., where Clifton is said to be a frequent guest and winter boarder. "And he's the last of his kind."

Hof met Clifton a few decades back, when the late hooker-loving comedian Andy Kaufman would swing by the cathouse (which then bore a different name) with his Chicago-born friend Bob Zmuda, who now runs the charity Comic Relief.

In those "crazy" times, Hof says, Andy wasn't always himself.

"I remember one time, Andy partied with 18 girls in two days," he remembers. "And sometimes it was Tony."

Then as now, the man beneath Clifton's garish garb and facial prosthetics never revealed his true identity, even when the toupee-topped lout got famously and forcibly booted from the set of "Taxi," Kaufman's hit sitcom. Aside from their predilection for prostitutes, Clifton and his original portrayer had distinct personalities, disparate world views and seemingly separate lives.

"Andy was very straight. Andy didn't drink. Andy was very gentlemanly," Hof says. "And Tony is very rough and nasty and talks dirty and smokes and drinks and is real stupid."

Devolved though he has into a parody of his former self, Clifton remains as odious as ever -- if suspiciously shorter. Less vertically endowed than his partner in put-ons, Zmuda began playing Clifton as part of Kaufman's act. When Kaufman died of cancer in 1984, Zmuda inherited the poorly tailored mantle for keeps and occasionally trotted Tony out in public.

Until the current tour, those outings were rare. During a recent interview at Chicago's famed Pump Room, Clifton revealed why he hasn't been seen in the States for a while.

"I am an international singing sensation," he proclaimed with comical hubris between swigs of icy Jack Daniel's. "This is true. This is true."

The swaggering superstar spoke in a gruff, nasally tone that approximated barking, was flanked by two babelicious dancers from his show and wore the ever eyesore-ish Clifton uniform: hideous peach-colored tux jacket, expansive dark sunglasses, cheesy rug, cheesier mustache and light blue ruffled tux shirt with bejeweled cuff links that he flashed proudly.

"I have sold more albums than the Beatles and Elvis combined," Clifton continued, amping up the bogus braggadocio. "That is a fact. I just came back from Peru. I was selling out soccer stadiums in Peru. And then I had to leave 'cause I had a little problem one night."

The problem, as Clifton described it, involved a "Mickey Finn," a drunken stupor, a terrified old lady and deportation by local authorities.

Hence his triumphant return stateside -- just in time to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Kaufman's death with a booze-soaked, adult-themed, multicity romp. A BYOB affair at the Chopin, it will feature top-notch New Orleans musicians and Big Easy-plucked beauties.

At the Pump Room, Clifton frequently pawed his dolled-up arm candy (Rocky and Keely), moaned pleasurably in their presence and made unprintable remarks about their private parts while holding forth in a semisecluded antechamber near the bar. Eminently game, the lasses just smiled and giggled and reveled in his playfully perverse attentions.

The restaurant was nearly empty, but a woman dining within earshot glanced over when Clifton's lewdness grew louder.

"Look at these legs!" he ordered, referring to Keely, a lithe and lively blond. "Lift that up! Show him that leg! That's my thoroughbred. F---in' amazing. Show him. Let him touch it. Show him how tight it is."

The hourlong monologue that followed covered an array of unrelated topics ranging from Irv Kupcinet's old TV show and Frank Sinatra's funeral to Hollywood big shot Danny DeVito, who produced the 1999 Kaufman biopic "Man on the Moon."

"DeVito. Now that's a little f---in' midget," Clifton snapped. He went on for several more seconds, then stopped midspew to scold Rocky for interrupting him with her thoughtless yapping.

"I'm telling a f---in' story about f---in' Danny DeVito is a f---in' midget in eight states," he said, exasperated. "Do people know that?"

Clifton also denied being Zmuda ("I ain't f---in' Za-pooda!") or, especially, Kaufman, who some zealots believe faked his death in the ultimate act of practical jokemanship.

"You know what I tell people when they yell out 'Kaufman?' " Clifton said. "You know what I say? 'If you came to see Andy Kaufman, get yourself a flashlight and a shovel -- heh-heh-heh -- 'cause that motherf----- is dead! He's a bunch of bones sittin' in some graveyard."

As for this particular blustering, blistering sliver of Kaufman's impish artistic spirit, it's still very much alive -- kind of like Frankenstein's monster, only less genteel.

"Do you know I got a mongoloid son? Yeah, I got a mongoloid monstrosity named Toby.

"This is true."

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