Monday, June 26, 2006

B5: Four And One Half

Babylon 5 is almost over. Yes. Sad to say, I have watched four and one half seasons of the show through my Netflix queue and now, I find myself at a loss for words. It is such a large and complex show that spans so many different themes and storylines that I could never hope to summarize it in a short blog post.

I originally started watching Season One with great trepidation. I knew nothing about the show except that it was a science fiction show with a continuing 5-year story arc. (5-years? Where have I heard that before?) I had overheard things from friends, once in a while, but never enough to make me indulge.

A weekly commitment was valuable time when the show originally aired and I am embarrassed to say that I preferred the lacquered planks of my favorite bar and a pint or two of and ale or lager to the television set. Well, OK, I’m not embarrassed to say that but you get the point, I didn’t have the time. Suddenly, I’m home with infants and toddlers and I have nowhere to go but to the tube for some late night temptation.

After the first season, I was slightly impressed, but not overwhelmed. After the second season, I was hooked, big time. Not just hooked a little. I was hooked like never before. This is probably one of the greatest space shows ever to come to television. Better than anything I have ever seen on the small screen in terms of science fiction. One thing that had always bothered me (and just about everyone else) was the reset factor in most sci-fi, much less all other non-soap opera drama. Star Trek: TNG had a certain quality of the evolving story line but it was limited to sporadic appearances and mini arcs. Though the Borg showed up in the first season with Q and made a reappearance in one of the greatest story arcs of the Star Trek universe, that still didn’t scratch the surface.

B5 was brave, groundbreaking, complicated and emotional. I found that the issues J. Michael Straczynski tackled mirror some of the same ones we are dealing with today, in the real world. He had a telescope placed firmly on the new millennium. That is what was great about this show. Even ten years later it does not seem at all dated. Sure there were some special effects that looked fake and the design was, like, reminiscent of, like, what a person in the, like, Eighties thought the future would be, like, like but it totally, like, evolved over the years. In the beginning of the first season the sets were decorated with neon and the outfits were installed with shoulder pads. By the fifth season they had Neil Gaiman writing episodes about death and the sets were neon-less and grungy, befitting the Nineties style.

One thing that impressed me as a writer was the way Straczynski held the tension and drama, season after season. Even when plotlines were resolved they resonated in the next year’s story.

I have to admit that this show could not have been produced except through the vision of one man. Hollywood too often makes decisions by committee and that has proved disastrous and unfortunate for us. J. Michael Straczynski made one of the greatest epic space operas of all time.

One that I hope will be continued for generations to come.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Erosion on Podiobooks.com

Check out my new podiobook for Erosion.

See below for press release:

Release Source: Lon S. Cohen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lon S. Cohen's newest novel titled Erosion released.

Available on podiobooks.com.

And Print from Lulu.com.

Long Island, NY June, 2006.

"Canyon Park is bowed down under a relentless torrent of rain. The fields are flooded, the bridges crumble and the increasingly isolated town is host to a serial killer with a grudge against the wealthy Lollo family. Slipping between a small cast of characters; the killer, the tortured policeman hiding a dark secret, the returning son, the inquisitive librarian, the boy caught between cultures.... each of these marred, struggling humans a part of the threadbare fabric of the town. Throughout the story, secrets and motivations are slowly
revealed, people continue to die, and it continues to rain." – Emily from POD People

The story is about a Native American, driven to madness by his experience growing up in the small upstate New York town of Canyon Park being discriminated, molested and ostracized. In his mind, various characters of his tribe's mythology and American popular culture vie for his soul. He terrorizes the residents of Canyon Park, murdering those he judges guilty, to punish them for their crimes against him and his ancestors. Since the killing spree began, there has been a deluge of constant rain adding to the dismal mood and hampering efforts to stop him. Under these conditions, various characters gather from places as close as the local library, to as far away as New York City, to absolve their sins and stop their beloved town from being eroded away.

All the characters are eventually stripped bare in this trying time and face their naked souls, their dark inner parts that they are afraid to see and their true selves. America's national guilt over the destruction of the Native American culture is weaved through the
motivation of the characters as they struggle with the consequences of acts they committed in the past or the acts of their kin.

The Indian Boarding Schools and the Mythology of Iroquois Creation Myth were thoroughly researched and are based on fact though the setting and characters are all fictional.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Lon S. Cohen is a writer living and working on Long Island.

Cover image: Original mixed media pieces called Wire Face. Pastel
drawing on corrugated cardboard with metal wire. By Lon S. Cohen

This book is available for representation.

Product Details:
Printed: 181 pages, 6.00" x 9.00", perfect binding, 60# cream interior
paper, black and white interior ink , 100# exterior paper, full-color
exterior ink
ISBN: 978-1-4116-8492-8
License: Standard Copyright License
Copyright: 2006 by Lon S. Cohen
Language: English
Link to Publication*
Link to Podiobook.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

"I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence."” - Bobby Henderson (pasta be upon him)

“I have seen the light. I am converted. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is my one true creator.” - Lon S. Cohen, from Cohenside.blogspot.com

“Flying what?” - Xen, from SciFryGuys.com



If you haven’t heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster then you’ve probably got better things to do than follow the great debate between those people who believe the universe was created 5,000 years ago because a book tells them so and those who use facts and observations to decipher the mysteries of the universe. In the I.D. verses Evolution debate there arose a third and much more whimsical and logical alternative: the great Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Below I have listed a few highlights of this religion directly from the FSM page at Uncyclopedia.

Pastafarian Quotes of Wisdom

"It is easier for lasagna to pass through the holes of a colander than it is for a rich person to enter Paradise." - Ishmali Canuwundra.

His Names

Although the Flying Spaghetti Monster does in fact have a name, it is so beautiful and so difficult to pronouce by humans that it not only kills whoever attempts to utter it, but also everyone within a 3.7614 mile (6.0534 kilometer) radius - this radius is doubled when one attempts to write or type His name. This was done purposely by the Flying Spaghetti Monster to amuse Him.

WWFSMD

Flying Spaghetti Monsterism operates on several core principles, most of which can be summed up by the ever-present abbreviation, WWFSMD? (What Would Flying Spaghetti Monster Do?)

This conduct code centers around the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its parts.

Meatitude

Represents power and strength. In order to please the Flying Spaghetti Monster, men must spread their meaty good-ness about the land.

Sauceredness

Represents richness, both in color and wit. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is pleased by highly oxygenated blood. This not only allows His followers to be of sharp mind, but also of sharp hue.

Noodlyness

Represents flexibility and energy. In order to please the Flying Spaghetti Monster, members must be quick-witted and enthusiastic about spreading the word about Him, often to the point of contortionism to convert non-believers.

Piracy & Smuggling

Represents ARRRRRRRRRRRR. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is pleased by displays of piracy and smuggling. Dressing appropriately shows respect and loyalty.
His Monsterness also encourages scurvy, to a small degree, amongst his followers. If a follower is capable of such control and sacrifice (not to be confused with saucrifice) demonstrated by maintaining a c-free lifestyle, it really shows dedication to His Noodleness.

Dress. The Flying Spaghetti Monsterism community is divided into two parts by this issue: the Piratians, and the Ninjaists.

Piratian

Blackbeard, an inspiration for all Pastafarians, and somewhat idolised by Piratians. In the 18th century, pirates were in large numbers, and climate change was under control.

“Alas! How I wish I were a pirate! To be at sea, to wear regalia, to have a cutlass, to reduce global warming. Oh what a wonderful life!”
~ Oscar Wilde on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

Generally, Piratians are traditionalist worshippers, most notably the First Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

While the Flying Spaghetti Monster is somewhat tolerant of most dress, He shows a distinct preference to full pirate regalia. Hooks are definitely a plus. Being touched by His noodly, but small, appendage is guaranteed with a parrot on ones shoulder.

Within the Orthodox Monsterist Church one must at all times have on-hand at least one of the sacred garments of the Pirate, although members need not wear said garb, they must have it ready should the Flying Spaghetti Monster call upon them to fulfill His divine will.

When passing on the lore of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it is imperative to abide by this dress code, lest he unleash the terrors of George Bush upon this Earth. To appease him, a saucrifice must be performed by saucrificing a virgin tomato.

Ninjaists

“The Ninjas be a ghostly lot.”
~ Oscar Wilde on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

The Reformed Church of Alfredo, alongside several other rebel sects wisely believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster favours sleek black Ninja clothes over the more widely-accepted Piratian view. Representing a medium, members of congregation Ninja-Pirate Assembly of God are comfortable in floppy pirate boots, tricorn hat, black ninja gi with 2 swords on the back, and a nighthawk on the shoulder; a look, Oscar Wilde says, is "Yummy !"

Moominists

“Hear ye, hear ye! Fractions are a sign of greatness. Well, parts of greatness”
~ Oscar Wilde on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism

The Moominist Church of His Spaghettiness has brought up the controversial idea that the Flying Spaghetti Monster actually favours moomins to pirates. More striking, however, is that the Moominist Church denies 7/9ths of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, choosing to only worship the noodles of His Noodliness. Protesters at Moominist gatherings hold up signs that read Where's the other 7/9ths of God? and It's 9/9ths or God Owes Us a Refund!.

Arch Deacon Pony: "Moominists are quick to point out that in fact nowhere in 'FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER' does it mention sauce, or meat and that others have been duped into worshipping a false Flying Spaghetti BOLOGNESE Monster."

To find out more please visit the FSM homepage.

If you want to find out the origination of the FSM religion check Wikipedia.

L.S.C.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls



Summer is here. Let’s go to Camp. Hollywood style, baby.

This classic film begins with a cacophony of clips, blips and snips of classic Sixties lingo, a visual tornado in the Mod, hippie style. Go-Go Boots and short skits abound. Then there’s the ultimate tease, a naked woman in bed with a gun stuck in her mouth. This one’s not for the kiddies. For freaks, only.

Did I mention the breasts? We’ll get back to that later.

You see, man, like four girls in a ultra girl band, all young and hot and ready for decadence travel to California to grab a little cash from Kelly McNamara’s Aunt Susan. Dragging behind them is the blue-eyed beau Harris who gets drop kicked almost as soon as they roll into town getting their first contact high. Not that they need any kind of illegal substance for that, the sexual energy of the place is enough to infect any small town virgin. It’s in the air, on the streets and behind every day-glo corner.

Right after getting the commitment from Auntie that she’ll split the Million Dollars with Kelly, they are traipsed off by said Aunt to the seedy underground of Trippiness. Ronnie 'Z-Man' Barzell is a direct ancestor of Dr. Frankenweenie, sufficiently sexed up, ambiguously gay and spouting intellectual Shakespearean dialogue and opening the gates of Holly-Hell for the young girls. Auntie Susan seems innocent compared to this wild scene but don’t worry she finds love again. Stuck in the middle of it all for juxtaposition is Mr. Porter Hall just so we don’t forget there are still squares in their world. He provides a nice contrast, like a proper Englishman scouting the African Bush for wild animals, he’s there for the sights but he wears his straight suit like a mosquito net and has the same effect.

Before the first party is over the girls have rocked out with the Strawberry Alarm Clock and a video montage later, they’re the next big thing, baby! The beau gets the boot and lands in the bed of man-eater, Ashley St. Ives, Porno Queen. After various romps and trips, the girls all find themselves too deep into it. However, sanity, of a sort, prevails.

Sex and nakedness is draped around the scenes, accessorizing the hippie dream with creamy goodness. Don’t worry we have all the flavors. If you like sex, drugs and rock and roll, sixties style then this is the movie for you.

Now to the breasts.

I have never seen a movie with such tremendous and beautiful breasts as this one. Every gorgeous figure in Hollywood must have tried out for these roles and only the curviest and most voluptuous made it. If a movie must be judged by the amount of cleavage and flesh, then this is a five-star flick. Of course, the sex isn’t all that free. The movie doesn’t forget the consequences. And that’s good because that is what keeps this movie from becoming full-blown (pun intended) porno. Apparently, this is what Russ Meyers is best known for, an acute radar sense of where to find the biggest and most beautiful breasts in Hollywood. A superpower worthy of the Halls of Justice

I have to admit that going into this trip, I was a little down on the scene but after taking in the sights, man, I have changed my mind. This is no serious dissertation on the counter culture movement like The Electric Kool-Aide Acid test, but why should it be? Do we always have to be down on it? This is a lurid tale, where all the candy flavored characters glide through this rock fantasy on paisley magic carpets, singing and dancing and getting high, all while their world falls apart around them. Is there a message? Yes. Does it take itself too seriously? No way. (Except at the end.)

If I didn’t at least like this movie then I’d be neglecting the past for the present. Some of my most favorite films are steeped in influence by this campy film and its predecessor. Pulp Fiction, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Austin Powers all drew on the look, feel and decadence. The images, dialogue and plot, are all brilliantly campy. Enough that you almost get a sense that the filmmakers were winking at us through the whole thing, that this film with all it’s snappy dialogue and flickering images, were purposely kept from become too high art. The films whole purpose was not to overreach its goal. This movie knows its limitations and sticks to them in the finest fashion.

This is not so much a sequel as a parody of the original. So that not only makes it campy-sweet and cult classic, it also makes it a sort of Dadaist art, one that is self referential and knowingly ironic. Roger Ebert wrote a film that only a movie-lover can make or appreciate.

The DVD disk is packed with an extras disk and two separate commentary tracks. The visual is clear, crisp and perfect while the sounds knocks you out. Much care was obviously devoted to this release and I’m glad I picked it up. I was converted. I was saved. I went on this trip and came out the other side a freakier freak for it.

I now must pick up “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” Meyer’s other cult classic.

L.S.C.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Crisis in the DC Comics Universe

In 1961 the Silver Age, Flash whose secret identity was Barry Allen met his Golden Age counterpart, Jay Garrick in Flash #123. Talk about a can of worms? To explain this paradox the writers came up with a very inventive concept, Earth-2. Earth-2 was the earth in the multiverse (are you listening Brian Greene?) where all the Golden Age characters in DC comics’ history lived. The stories and adventures of those heroes were recounted in alternate comics and annually the Justice League of America crossed over to Earth-2 to team up with the Justice Society of America. I remember reading these tales and I looked forward to them every year.

This would confuse a lesser comics reader. A meek geek would be frightened. Not I. I kept notes. See, Earth-2 was where the heroes of the 1940s lived and their children were the superheroes of modern (circa 1980s) times. It was cool. I actually read about the Earth-2 heroes with more passion than Earth-1 (except Teen Titans, but that’s for another post!) The All-Star Squadron was the team of heroes on Earth-2 who came together to fight the Axis powers in the 1940s on their earth. The JSA was an organization of heroes within that larger group.

On Earth-1 you’d follow the stories of the “real” Superman and Wonder Woman and Batman. They were part of the JLA. It could be considered that these characters were the ones you were familiar with and the JSA characters were the ones your grandfather read about. (Your Dad being too cool to ever have read comics.)

Again, to me, keeping all these Earth straight wasn’t a problem. I had the charts right there up on my bedroom wall.

DC Comics didn’t stop there. They had absorbed all the popular heroes through the years as smaller comics died out. To be honest there is really only room for one “super” character on each world. Shazam, the World’s Mightiest Mortal, originally published by Fawcett Comics, AKA, Captain Marvel, resided on Earth S. (How convenient!) On Earth X the Nazis had won World War Two and the Freedom Fighter struggled to fight their oppression. On Earth-3 the Superheroes were villains and the villains we are used to seeing on Earth-1 were Superheroes. Actually, Lex Luthor was the only Superhero, fighting against the Crime Syndicate that included Ultra Man (Superman’s counterpart), Owl Man (Batman’s counterpart) and Johnny Quick (Flash counterpart). On Earth-4 the character like the Blue Beetle and Captain Atom from the former Charlton Comics lived. On Earth-6, whose only appearance was for the convenience of the storyline in Crisis, Lady Quark was the only survivor when the Anti-Monitor begins destroying all the parallel Earths. Wikipedia has a great chart showing some examples of heroes from each alternate earth. (Much like the one on my wall. Where is that chart anyway?)

I hear ya’. Only a great big geek would know this much about each alternate earth in the DC Comic Multiverse. (Still with me Mr. Greene.) It would take Quantum Physics to figure this out. Nope, just the ingenuity of Marv Wolfman and George Perez.

OK, time to tangent. (Insert Tango music here.) Marv Wolfman and George Perez are my favorite all time comics duo because they understand me. At least that’s what I thought when I read the angst ridden stories of The New Teen Titans. They captured teenage superheroes like no other writer and artist team has ever been able to do. Marv Wolfman was able to spin a tale of a group of misfits who lived, fought, laughed, loved and cried together all while wearing tights. And he made it believable. Not only that but George Perez rendered Starfire almost too well. I read those comics thinking how it would be great to get a glimpse of what Robin, turned Nightwing, saw when he had a few moments alone with Starfire sans metal bikini in his dorm room at Titan Towers. She was voluptuous, she had great hair and she was na├»ve. Did I mention she was orange? Everything a young superhero fan would want in a female super idol! Ok, enough of that.

After they made The New Teen Titans an event of comics in the eighties, DC trusted them to do the ultimate comic series. This comic would reign in all those multiverses (Brian Greene has now left the building!) and bring continuity to the DC Universe. A tall order indeed.

Did they succeed? Well, like anything in life, it has its good side and its bad side. The story was biblical in proportion, the arc lasted for 12 issues and affected every single character in the DC Comics stable. Every single one. (I want an animated series dammit!)

The good side was that the story was well told and well illustrated. Marv had quite a job corralling all those heroes into one story without seeming contrived. Also, it was supposed to be big, Big, BIG! That meant some people had to bite the big one.

And…
SPOILER ALERT!!!
…they did.

The Barry Allen-Flash died. Supergirl died and Wonder Woman died. Many other villains and heroes died or disappeared into the purgatory of continuity. Most of all, the Mutiverse died. (Brian Greene? You still there? No? Good. Come on in Einstein.) It’s all relative because what’s dying when, in essence, you never existed in the first place, according to the newly rebooted one true universe. (Dr. Freud’s here too great.)

Editorially, this comic series achieved its goal: To make the DC Universe (DCU) more accessible to new readers. (Although at one time I was a new reader and I got it! What’s wrong with you people!) It also revived the DC line. There were some readers who felt that the DCU was confusing, archaic and ridiculous. Marvel was gaining ground over DC for years and it was time that something was done about it. Enter Marv Wolfman with his dream project. Marv pitched the idea to DC Execs and they bit.

From a marketing angle, this was a phenomenal victory. It excited existing and new readers alike and delivered on its promise of changing everything. Readers came back to DC and revitalized the line of comics. Everything that they wanted to accomplish with this series they had accomplished. The future was open to reinvent on the new singular timeline. New readers need not even know there was a Crisis event to enjoy the DCU. No charts necessary.

The series was not just a linear storyline. It started before Issue #1 and in some ways is still ongoing. Hints and little appearances of the story crossed over into all the DC books. Then after the series ended, DC spent years restarting their character lines and lives. Both Zero Hour, published in 1994, and Infinite Crisis, published 2005-2006, are attempts at fixing certain continuity errors and again rebooting the DCU.

The failures are few but important. One major failure is that DC Comics did not seem to have an exit strategy. Some heroes were left to linger for as many as ten years before addressing their new identities, like Hawkman. Also, the future Legion of Superheroes had to deal with their roots meeting Superboy, who never existed.

My personal gripe is that although confusing, they could have melded the alternate histories better. DC had a fifty-year history and they wrote out most of it with Crisis.

Then there’s Supergirl. She was supposedly killed defending the heroes but in the new continuity she never existed. Her heroics went unremembered. Some people feel that because of this it lessened her sacrifice. Not to me. I read the comics and just because the characters don’t acknowledge the act her sacrifice while unremembered did make a difference. It was one step in a long chain that created a new world.

Here is a list of heroes who died in the comic series (I got this straight from Wikipedia):

Alexei "Lex" Luthor of Earth-Two
Angle Man
Anti-Monitor
Aquagirl I
Barry Allen
Bug-Eyed Bandit
Clayface II
The Crime Syndicate of America
Dove I
Farmer Boy of Sgt. Rock's Easy Company
Green Arrow of Earth-Two
Huntress of Earth-Two
Icicle I
Immortal Man
The Justice Alliance of Earth-D (in Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths, released in 1999)
Kid Psycho
Kole
Lex Luthor of Earth-Three and wife Lois Lane-Luthor
Lori Lemaris
Lord Volt of Earth-Six
The Losers (Johnny Cloud, Gunner, Sarge, Captain Storm)
Maaldor the Dark Lord
Mirror Master I
Monitor
Nighthawk
Prince Ra-Man
Princess Fern of Earth-Six
Robin of Earth-Two
Shaggy Man II
Starman IV (Prince Gavyn)
Sunburst
Supergirl of Earth-One
The Ten-Eyed Man
Wonder Woman of Earth-One

The Crisis series of comics was a major feat of comics publishing. George Perez did a fantastic job of illustrating the multitude of heroes involved in the tale and Marv Wolfman developed a great plot that handled the unwieldy event with style and drama.

It is now available as a Graphic Novel and a large $100 version with extra features. Like a Special Edition! No matter what you think, this series changed the DCU forever and its effects are still being dealt with over 20 years later.

L.S.C.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cohenside and the Valley Of The Dolls



The camp classic film from the sixties and its sequel are coming to DVD and Fox wants me to help promote it. No kidding. Seriously. Me. I know, I know. Jokes on them right? Seriously, though, Ahem…

For the upcoming release, I have agreed to post a little flashing banner on my page and review the films when they send them to me. I had to do some research because besides knowing they were films of the sixties and the original was Sharon Tate’s last film, that’s about all I knew about the movies.

Valley of the Dolls was a book originally published in 1966 to commercial success, based on novelist Jacqueline Susann's experience in Hollywood in the 1940s. It followed the exploits of three women who succumb to the “dolls” of Hollywood, drugs, of course. This classic film is classified as “Cult Favorite.” I can only imagine that that means it’s a movie that’s so bad it’s good! Can’t wait for my copies to arrive. Because when good girls go “bad”, that’s when the fun begins on my Saturday night.

Let’s start at the beginning and make some direct connections here. This film was scored by the now famous John Williams. You might remember this guys from such musical scores like “Da Da Da Daaaa Daa Du Du Du Daaa Daa. Da Da Du Daaaa Daa Du Du Du Dummmm.” Or my favorite, “Bum Ba Dum Dum Dum Da Dum, Bum Ba Dum Dumm, Dum Da Dum Dum Dum, Dum Da Dum Dummmmm, Ba Da Dummm, Da Da Da Daaaa Dumm Da Da Da Daaa Dumm.” Or my other favorite soon to be revived in a film by Bryan Singer, “Brummm Ba Da Da Dumm Da Da Dumm, Ba Da Da Dumm Da Da Da Da Dumm Dat Dumm Dumm.” Yes. The guy who scored Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Superman did Valley of the Dolls as well. I say sweet!

Of course, then there’s the little thing about the person who helped adapt this thing to the screen. This guy known by the quality of his thumbs, Roger Ebert. Before he and Siskel killed ‘em with their witty banter and their opposable digits, he wrote the adaptation to this film AND it’s sequel. I guess that was enough for old Roger and decided it was safer on the other side of the silver screen, eating popcorn and throwing tomatoes instead of getting hit by them.

The actresses who almost starred in this film are like a walk down the cavalcade of starlettes of the day: Candace Bergen, Marlo Thomas, Judy Garland, Petula Clark, Raquel Welch, Ann Margret, Tammy Grimes, Bette Davis, and Jill Ireland were all considered for parts. My god, what this film could have been for those actresses. Instead, the film was cast with Susan Hayward, Sharon Tate, Patty Duke and Barbara Parkins.

The campy look and feel of this film is personally responsible for inspiring Michael Myers to model his Austin Powers movies after them. The cultists who admire this film are mostly film buffs and gay men. A group whom I can only say I belong to one half, the other wouldn’t have me!

I should receive the disks in a few days and I will be reviewing them right here. Look for them, coming soon.

See below for the press release by Fox:

DOCTORS PRESCRIBE POPPIN’ TWO DOLLS FOR YOUR CAMPY ENTERTAINMENT FIX

CENTURY CITY, Calif. – Get twelve steps closer to superstardom as Fox Home Entertainment exposes Hollywood’s most shaming secrets when Valley Of The Dolls and Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls debut on DVD June 13, 2006. These two legends of camp – from the twisted minds of scandal-making sixties icon Jacqueline Susann, (actress, author, screenwriter and thinly veiled subject of Valley Of The Dolls), and midnight movie kingpin Russ Meyer (Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!) respectively – horrified critics and enthralled audiences when they opened in theaters and have both remained cult classics ever since. Valley Of The Dolls stars Oscar® winner Patty Duke* (The Miracle Worker), Barbara Parkins (“Peyton Place”) and Sharon Tate (“The Beverly Hillbillies”) as three aspiring starlets who let Hollywood go to their heads. The Valley Of The Dolls DVD arrives loaded with pulpy bonus programming, including the famously sloppy screen test by Judy Garland, as well as original featurettes, “Pill Pop-Up Karaoke,” and much more. Penned by now-famous film critic Roger Ebert, the outrageously over-the-top Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls earned an X-rating on its quest to out-do the scandalous original with the story of a girl-band, The Carrie Nations, who arrive in Hollywood to find only sex, drugs and sleaze. Featuring doll-induced performances by non-actors from the rock and adult film communities, Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls is a shameless classic that proves “all are available for a price.” Both DVDs are available for $26.98 U.S./$46.98 Canada. Pre-book is May 17.

DVD Features:
The Valley Of The Dolls (1967):
Straight from the best-selling pages of Jacqueline Susann’s audacious novel comes the unforgettable tale of three glamorous women who will stop at nothing to get to the top. Oscar®-winners Patty Duke, Lee Grant and Susan Hayward team with Sharon Tate and Barbara Parkins for this “absorbing, sensational” (Los Angeles Times) account of “sex, drugs and show business!” (Detour) When a small-town beauty (Parkins) arrives in New York, she becomes instant friends with a struggling singer, Neely (Duke) and actress, Jennifer (Tate). Together the head-strong, career-driven gals embark on a roller-coaster ride of fast-talking men, endless nights of partying, booze…and pills that they call “dolls.” But as they careen down the path to superstardom, their hedonism takes an explosive turn into self-destruction that none of them are prepared for…and one won’t survive!

Bonus materials include:
• Audio Commentary By Actress Barbara Parkins and E!’s Ted Casablanca
• “Gotta Get Off This Merry Go-Round: Sex Dolls And Showtunes” Documentary
• “The Divine Ms. Susann” Featurette
• “Hollywood Backstories: Valley Of The Dolls” Featurette
• Valley Of The Dolls – A World Premiere Voyage Documentary Featuring Rare Footage
• Jacqueline Susann And Valley Of The Dolls Documentary Featuring Rare Footage
• “Pill Pop-Up Karaoke” – Follow The Bouncing Doll On Three Songs!
• Screen Tests Of The Stars

Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970):
Step into a delirious kaleidoscope of the psychedelic ’60s in this “hilarious” (L.A. Herald-Examiner) and “lusty” (Playboy) parody of the 1967 hit film The Valley of the Dolls. Directed by auteur filmmaker Russ Meyer (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) and written by fledgling film critic Roger Ebert, this wildly sexy cult classic “spoofs, celebrates and derides the swinging culture all at once” (Village Voice)! Fun-loving bombshells Kelly, Casey and Pet have a rock band, and they’re headed to Hollywood to make it big! Thanks to Kelly’s well-connected aunt, they soon find themselves at a hedonistic love-in thrown by eccentric music promoter Ronnie “Z-Man” Barzell. He takes them under his wing, and a new world of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll unfolds. Superstardom is within reach, if only their newfound distractions don’t get in the way!

Bonus materials include:
• Audio Commentary By Roger Ebert, Film Critic And Screenwriter Of Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls
• Audio Commentary By Cast Members Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Harrison Page, John LaZar And Erica Gavin
• “Above Beneath and Beyond The Valley: The Making Of A Musical-Horror-Sex-Comedy”
• “Look On Up At The Bottom: The Music Of The Dolls”
• “The Best Of Beyond” Featurette
• “Sex, Drugs, Music & Murder: Signs Of The Time, Baby!” Featurette
• “Casey & Roxanne: The Love Scene” Featurette
• Screen Tests Of The Stars
• 6 Photo Galleries With More Than 300 Photos