How I Became A Movie Zombie…

Daffystardust – Live-Evil

I’m not sure that all of our readers know this, but Daffy Stardust is a true Renaissance man.  His many talents are not just limited to blogging, touring theme parks and building puzzles.  He’s also an accomplished thespian.  Four years ago, Sir Stardust shared his experience as a zombie in the low budget horror movie, Live Evil.  You will be happy to know that just in time for the Halloween season, the movie which is billed as “Ghostbusters meets Dawn of the Dead as written by Rod Serling and Mel Brooks’ adopted child” is available for rental or purchase on Amazon.  Before you rush to check it out, be sure to read Daffy’s behind-the-scenes story of how he became a movie zombie.

Source: How I Became A Movie Zombie…


Why’s it Forgotten? The Twilight Series

Remember when the Twilight movies were major events?  Neither does Kevthewriter.

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October 21: Happy Birthday Aaron Tveit and Andrew Scott


Aaron Tveit is celebrating his 34th today.  He was studying musical theater at Ithaca College when he had the opportunity to join the national tour of the musical Rent; he was cast in the small role of Steve while understudying both of the male lead roles, Roger and Mark.  He has gone on to a notable musical theater career, making his Broadway debut as Link Larkin in Hairspray.  He has subsequently appeared on Broadway as Fiyero in Wicked, as Gabe in the original cast of Next to Normal (receiving several acting awards), and as Frank Abagnale in Catch Me if You Can.  He has also done a fair amount of off-Broadway and regional theater work, and starred in a Hollywood Bowl production of Rent as Roger Davies.

Tveit’s first major television role was the recurring character of Trip van der Bilt on Gossip Girl.  He has been a regular on USA Network’s Graceland, and last year on the CBS summer series BrainDead.  He made his feature film debut in 2008 in a small role in Ghost Town, and has had prominent roles in Big Sky and Undrafted.  And he has brought his musical talents to the small and big screen.  He starred as Danny Zuko on Fox’s Grease Live, and played Enjolras in the feature film adaptation of Les Misérables.

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Daffy Stardust takes on Haunted Mansion theories

Wrapping up a week of grim grinning ghosts, we’re revisiting Daffy’s examination of some fan theories about Disney’s Haunted Mansion.  Part of what makes the Mansion such an enduring ride is that it creates a specific setting filled with memorable characters.  Lacking a defined narrative, guests are free to connect the dots in any way they see fit.  And for decades, fans of the attraction have done exactly that.  Daffy tackles burning questions like “Who is the Ghost Host?” and “Do riders survive their tour of the mansion?”

Source: Daffy Stardust takes on Haunted Mansion theories

David Caruso: The Red Menace

David Caruso was one of the great cautionary tales of television.  If you leave a hit show too soon, you might end up like Caruso.  Three years after leaving NYPD Blue, Caruso’s hoped-for movie career was washed up before it ever really started.  When the actor was interviewed for the October 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, his reportedly out-of-control ego had been popped like a bubble.  At the time, Caruso was hoping that a new TV show would help him get a foothold in show business.  It didn’t, but five years later he would bounce back with CSI: Miami.

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October 20: Happy Birthday Jerry Orbach and Tom Petty


Jerry Orbach (1935-2004) graduated from high school at sixteen, and studied at Northwestern, dropping out to study acting with Lee Strasberg, and to join the off-Broadway cast of The Threepenny Opera.  Over the next 25 years or so Orbach had a terrific career in musical theater.  He won a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical as Chuck Baxter in Promises, Promises (adapted from the movie The Apartment), and received three additional Tony nominations.  Some of his better-known roles included El Gallo in The Fantasticks, Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, Jigger Craigin in Carousel, Billy Flynn in Chicago, and Julian Marsh in 42nd Street.

Orbach had begun a screen career as early as the fifties, but didn’t switch his focus to film and television work until the early eighties.  He had prominent roles in films like Prince of the City, F/X, and Dirty Dancing, and in 1991 provided the singing and speaking voices of Lumière in Beauty and the Beast.  A year later, he was cast in the role of Det. Lennie Briscoe on Law & Order.  He received the third of his three Emmy nominations for the role, which he continued in until shortly before his death from cancer in 2004.

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Under-rated Orlando: E.T. Adventure

Among the many great rides and attractions in Orlando, E.T. Adventure is not well-regarded.  Rumor has it that the only thing preventing E.T. from being replaced is the direct intervention of Steven Spielberg himself.  The movie the ride is based on was very personal to him and he has been involved in the development and evolution of the E.T. Adventure.  Putting that aside, Spielberg is right to protect this attraction because contrary to popular opinion it’s actually an important part of Universal’s line-up.

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Halloween Treat Smackdown: Candy Apples Vs. Caramel Apples

We started this debate two years ago and still it rages on.  Which is the superior apple on a stick; candy or caramel?

Source: Halloween Treat Smackdown: Candy Apples Vs. Caramel Apples

October 19: Happy Birthday John Lithgow and John le Carré


Six-time Emmy winner John Lithgow is celebrating his 72nd birthday.  He graduated from Harvard and then received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.  He made his Broadway debut in 1973 in David Storey’s The Changing Room, and won the Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Play.  He has received five additional Tony nominations, winning a second time as J. J. Hunsecker in the 2002 Broadway musical adaptation of Sweet Smell of Success.  His other notable stage roles have include Harlan McClintock in Requiem for a Heavyweight, Walter Burns in The Front Page, Rene Gallimard in M. Butterfly, and Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

Lithgow began his screen career in the early 1970s as well.  He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in consecutive years in the early 1980s, for The World According to Garp and Terms of Endearment.  He has also had major roles in films such as Footloose, Cliffhanger, Kinsey, and many more.  He received his first Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Actor for Amazing Stories in 1986, and won in that category a second time for an appearance on Season 4 of Dexter.  His most recent Emmy was for playing Winston Churchill on Netflix’s The Crown.  And the other three were for starring as Dick Solomon on 3rd Rock from the Sun.

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Stephen Frears: An Englishman Abroad

Following back-to-back hits Dangerous Liaisons and The Grifters, director Stephen Frears was riding high in the early nineties.  His career trajectory was about to hit a speed bump.  His next movie, Hero, was a critical and commercial disappointment.  He would follow that movie up with the disastrous Mary Reilly.  But Frears weathered the storm and bounced back with movies like High Fidelity, Philomena and Florence Foster Jenkins.  At the time of this interview from the October 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Freers was putting the finishing touches on Hero and recovering from a failed effort to make Donnie Brasco.

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Why’d it Bomb? The Haunted Mansion (2003)

Kevthewriter wants to know why Disney’s The Haunted Mansion couldn’t duplicate the success of Pirates of the Caribbean.

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October 18: Happy Birthday Zac Efron and Freida Pinto


Zac Efron turns 30 today.  He began acting while he was still in high school; one of his early roles was a guest appearance on Firefly playing a young Simon Tam.  He then was cast as Cameron Bale on The WB’s Summerland; a recurring character at first, he was promoted to regular status for the show’s second and final season.  His breakthrough role came in 2006, when he was cast as Troy Bolton in what became a three film series, a Disney Channel movie with the appropriate title High School Musical.

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Stars Gone Broke

Fame and fortune don’t last forever.  Even the biggest movie stars aren’t immune.  But some celebrities fare worse than others especially where finances are concerned.  This article from the October 2002 issue of Movieline magazine – dubbed “the Money Issue” – examined a few case studies of movie stars who lost their fortunes.

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