Written by Fred Patten, and published on the LASFS Rex Rotary, January 26, 1966. Intended for Apa L, Sixty-Seventh Distribution, LASFS Meeting no. 1485, January 27, 1966. Address: 1825 Greenfield Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90025. Phone: GRanite 3-6321.
|San Diego in 1966!||Thomas Schlück for TAFF!||Salamander Press #150.|
Actually, not that much happened, except that the power went out Monday morning for about 35 minutes, which was just long enough for me to make sure it was a general power failure and not my own fuses, and to wonder if maybe I hadn't better use up most of the perishables in the refrigerator for breakfast. But it's too good an opportunity to let the above title slip by.
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Since I had various complaints about the series of Booby Hatch movies when they first started, it's only fair to compliment the thing when it gets going right. Better than right. Last week's showing was darn good; not the double bill I'd've chosen, maybe, but I sat through it of my own free will, and I certainly can't complain I didn't get enough for my money.
The Booby Hatch movies, for those who don't attend, are the series of movies being presented by Eric Hoffman on some Friday evenings at the Baker-Castora-Simpson slan shack, to a mixed crowd of LASFS members and Eric's movie-addict friends. The program started out overly ambitiously, but Eric has since learned to a.) not overload the circuit with a show every single Friday night, b.) stop making utterly fantastic promises that he can't deliver, and c.) cut out the running monolog on the technical history of each movie as he shows it, which only served to drown out the sound-track. As a result, those who attend can look forward to an enjoyable evening. And as a regular group of attendees begins growing, the take will increase each week, and we can afford to start renting still better films. I presume the $1 price has been stabilized, since the fiasco when they tried charging $2 to see "The Fountainhead". Well, last week we really had a full evening, with two episodes of "G-Men vs. the Black Dragon" (Rod Cameron for Governor! Yay!), "The Horror of Dracula", the last ten minutes of the current "She", episode umpty-ump of "The Spider's Web", and "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad".
So no one can deny that we're finally getting quantity for our money, and, assuming you like this line of films, we can claim the quality as well. Personally, I wish Eric weren't quite so hipped on horror-fantasy films, but we've got a Sherlock Holmes night coming up (two of the old Rathbone-Bruce classics), and there's apparently a hope for some straight swashbucklers in the future. So, assuming Eric can keep up to the level of last Friday's showing, the Booby Hatch movies may be on their way to solid success.
--BEING COMMENTS ON LAST WEEK'S DISTRIBUTION
Ted White -- If you think you were confused by documents from Dr. Destrukto, you should try getting cryptic letters through the mail addressed to your Coventranian identity (I gather the postman and my grandmother almost went crazy trying to figure out whether it was really meant for someone at my house or not), consisting of a sheet of code words written in Tengwar, with a warning to obey these orders implicitly or be prepared to suffer the consequences. ## It's been too long since I've read the Neill and Snow Oz books to compare them with any accuracy, though I don't recall reading the Neill books with any sense of indignation, saying "This isn't how things were in Baum's or Thompson's books!", which is what happened when I read The Magical Mimics of Oz. ## Good luck to Lin on selling his Oz book, though from what Dick Martin, the current Oz illustrator, said at last year's West Coast OzCon, the publishers are probably not in the market for any new Oz material at the present time, due to slow sales on their first new Oz book in over a decade. ## I thought the Ballantine comic-book adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula was very well done -- about as well done as this sort of thing can be, in the CLASSICS COMICS line. What CREEPY, etc., should be like. I liked the touch of making Count Dracula look like a Middle European landed nobleman, rather than a diplomat who's just returned from a full-dress ambassadorial ball.
John Trimble -- The word "camp" may have originated with the homosexuals; I dunno. But it now has a general meaning of something that's so bad it's worth keeping around for laughs, and you'll hear it used by a lot of people who don't mean to imply that the subject of their discussion has anything to do with homosexuality. When I used the term "camp" in connection with the "Batman" show, I had no intention of implying the producers are filling it with homosexuality. ## Not that they aren't, though; if you didn't see anything homosexual about the first episode, you must've missed the scene in which Robin's been kidnapped by the Riddler, and Batman is sobbing in helpless frustration, "Robin! They've taken my Robin from me!" BATMAN -- the original comic book -- never used to be homosexual; if Batman had a young boy as his partner instead of a sexy blonde, it was because the publishers were trying to establish reader identification with the 8- to 14-year-old boys who buy the comic, most of whom aren't yet interested in Girls. But ever since Dr. Wertham's Stunning Revelation about their True Relationship, everybody who tries to look at the characters from an "In" viewpoint just has to pay a sneering lip service to this Truth. Not to do so would be like Hollywood making a film biography of George Washington, without putting in the Cherry Tree, throwing the dollar across the Potomac, or standing up in the boat crossing the Delaware. So you can be sure that "Batman" has enough evidences of homosexuality for anyone who's consciously looking for them, as a lot of the "In" crowd is, as evidence that this is the "Real" Batman. ## And did you see the rumor, in TIME, that Frank Sinatra is furious because he was passed over for the part of the Joker? ## I hope you feel more interested in actively producing a zine again, soon. Apa L has become a new ingroup, in a way: anybody who wants to actively take part in LASFS affairs has to start turning out a regular Apa L zine, it seems. The result is that we do have a fair number of people who don't really have much to say. However, I still find enough of interest from the material of various old-timers such as Bruce, Bĵo, and Ted White, to make participation well worth while. And the others are developing. Stick around.
Bruce Pelz -- Yes; we don't want two competing anthologies of Best. ## I don't recall when I first got my idea for a Nazi Putsch in Disneyland, though the notion of making a grand appearance on the battlements of Sleeping Beauty's castle dates from the most recent trip there, when Tom, Len, and the rest of us found out how to get out onto the battlements. An alternate plan, for lagniappe; the Gauleiter has two men-at-arms (also in Nazi costume, naturally) who flank him in true political bodyguard manner; one of these is Len Bailes. At the end of the Gauleiter's speech (which should last as long as it can, until the park attendants are about to break through onto the battlements), a confederate in the crowd assembled below suddenly shouts out that he has proof that one of these Nazis (pointing dramatically at Len) is in reality a Jew! Len, mortified, then commits suicide as a stunning finale to the event, by diving head-first off the battlements into the moat. (Try to pick a shallow spot, Len.) Besides providing a spectacular climax to the performance, this will also hopefully prove to be a handy distraction, drawing all attention to Len's broken body while the rest of our group silently slips away. Anyhow, that's the best getaway idea I've come up with so far, and I'm sure Len won't mind sacrificing himself for the good of the show. Will you, Len?
Barry Gold -- By rights, you shouldn't've been able to collate yourself a complete Dist'n out of the surplus stock, since if there were the makings of another complete copy of the Dist'n around, they should've been put together at the Meeting and not ended up in the surplus stock at all. Our collating system is a mess, because half our collators are always gabbing at each other while they work and not paying attention to what they're doing. That's why copies are always coming out with too many copies of one page, or a page missing altogether, or a page stapled in backwards. But pleas to the collators to get on the ball are always ignored. Suggestions as to how to improve matters would be appreciated. ## But there'd be no point in appearing at Disneyland in a uniform so apolitical that nobody would dream that it hadn't been approved. That would have to be so apolitical that nobody would recognize that it was supposed to be a uniform, by the way; the Disneyland staff is well-trained to look out for any non-Disney bit of showmanship on the grounds that they haven't been notified about in advance. You just can't get away with much there.
Len Bailes -- Shucks, Len, I'm like Alfred Hitchcock -- the more of a party I sleep through, the more successful you know it is. Why wake me up and spoil things for everybody? I stayed awake at the baby shower for Dian & Katya, and it cost various people over $1.00 at brag. Besides, when I get Stoned Out Of My Mind, all I do is talk about Science Fiction.
Dwain Kaiser -- I don't think we've had five new covers for Apa L since the Anniversary Dist'n; practically all those that I'm running are old stencils that I've rescued out of the artists' wastebaskets. They're fine enough for our purposes, but they are reprints; it'd be nice to get some more original covers again. ## Yeah, my Xmas one-shot was first drafted, as is most of RR these days; the d.c.'s certainly. The articles may be second-drafted if I'm inspired enough to type up a first draft at work before stenciling RR at home, but usually I just crank a stencil into the typer and let fly. ## I never expected Disney to keep the name "Damn Cat" when he made the Gordons' mystery into a movie, but neither did I expect the Gordons to then rewrite their novel to Disney's specifications before releasing it as a paperback reprint. Novels that're reprinted as paperbacks to cash in on or promote a motion picture release are invariably the original text, no matter how Hollywood may've changed things around.
Fred Whitledge -- You might catch one or two episodes of "Batman" just to see what it's like, but I don't think you'd be interested in it on a full-time basis. I'm beginning to get tired of it already, myself. It's too much of an idiot plot series, being played down so far that even the 7- & 8-year-olds can guess the clues before the characters on the show do. Such lines as the Police Commissioner's stating that he guesses the Penguin must not have a secret hideout in the city after all because he can't find any listed in the City Directory, are just too much; denseness of this magnitude is too heavy to carry any humor for more than five minutes. More and more people that I talk to say they're only going to watch the Wednesday night show if they continue watching it at all, and that just to catch the new villains (who are the only ones to show any intelligence of initiative at all).
Jim Schumacher -- No, Superman's hidden sanctum is his Fortress of Solitude. Most costumed heroes seem to have 'em these days. I think the original (discounting Doc Savage's) was Batman's Batcave, which served a valid purpose in being primarily his crime lab, since he didn't have super-powers to analyze clues on the spot. Nowadays, they're all nothing but museums to display the glory of the hero's triumphs.