Friday, March 02, 2007

Chiller; Mike Ripley; Bob Randisi; James Reasoner

Glenn Hauman from ComicMix

Chiller debuts
With an unexpected nod to The Simpsons
Chiller, a new cable TV channel from NBC Universal, launched today. It offers horror and thriller programming like Twin Peaks, Tales From the Crypt, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Night Gallery, American Gothic, Friday the 13th: The Series and other shows that never really fit on the Sci-Fi Channel. It also, as you would expect, be running movies in the same, uh, vein -- Psycho, The Haunting, Showgirls, the usual.

But here's the fun part. Earlier today, here's what their website said tonight's schedule was:

The Shinning? Och! The wee lad who's been coding the website's seen the Treehouse of Horror one taa many times! (Sadly, it's been fixed now. Very hard to be chilling when people are laughing, I guess.)

Chiller is airing on Direct TV, channel 257; otherwise, complain to Dish TV or your local cable provider.

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Ed here: Now here's channel I'd really watch a lot. But isspelling the Shining isn't the biggest laugh in the release. Hitchcock, Night Gallery, Psycho and..Showgirls? I knew it was horrorifically bad but...Showgirls on a suspense-horror channel? I actually enjoyed it as a pretty cool Bad Movie. But...

Let's see...the Brit Mike Ripley is a masterful writer of fiction, a widely praised critic and a columnist whose work for Shots magazine is superior to just about everything in internet mysterdom. When I say column what I'm really saying is a piece of work that is a magzine unto itself. Be sure to check this out.

Not again! Poor Bob Randisi collaborated with poker player and actor Vince Van Pattern on an enjoyable novel ABOUT poker called The Picasso Flop (St. Martin's). I've lost count of how many times Van Patten has been scheduled to appear on Fox TV but he keeps getting bumped by news events. Here's the latest from Bob:

Don't know if I'll this even maters anymore but we got bumped by Anna Nicole again. Now they PROMISE Vince will be on March 8th. I'll post the time when we get closer. Thanks everyone. RJR.

I've taken to keeping about ten copies of fifties and sixties mystery and science fiction magazines for bedtime reading. For when the novel I've been reading starts to go dull. Lately I've been reading through some Michael Shaynes and last night I found a particularly good story by James Reasoner called The Man in The Moon. A private eye tale about the murky relatonship between two physically battered little children and the less than ideal mom who got custody thanks to the power of her locally important father. What makes this different and powerful is the sociology of it--a lot of it takes place in a run down trailer park and the father is important because he owns a very minor trucking company. It's all to scale--in this hardscrabble county even a moderately successful small businessman can be king because nobody else has anything. The sheriff is a study in ego and politics. And nobody seems to give much of a damn about the kids. The mystery here hinges on the missing father who kidnapped the two kids who escaped from him. He's now on the run. The father wants to kill him, didn't want his daughter to marry him in the first place. But the private eye begins to have doubts about everybody involved and decides to stay around until the case is resolved--much to the displeasure of everybody else. This is a raw realistic story portraying pain and hypocrisy to an almost uncomfortable degree. A real winner.


James Reasoner said...

Thanks for the kind words, Ed. I hadn't thought about that story in a long time, but I have good memories of it.

Anonymous said...

And well you should, James. It's a masterpiece of reportage as well as a masterpiece of fiction. You really nailed a a piece of Americana there. --Ed

Anonymous said...

Ed -

Can you post the issue/year of this magazine. I'd be most interested in reading this piece someday and will keep an eye out for it. Cheers.


Quite Contrary said...

Here's the info (which I wanted, too!):

Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine [v44 # 4, April 1980] ed. Charles E. Fritch (Renown Publications, Inc.; Reseda, CA, $1.50, 164pp, digest)

Mary Cannon