Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy 2007!!!

Well, the holidays are over, and it's back to the blogging here! Hope you all had a happy holiday season and didn't party too hard on New Year's Eve.

Anyway, if you woke up this morning and decided you'd like to make 2007 a very John Kenneth Muir year (and let's face it, who wouldn't?), lots of interesting stuff will be happening in the months ahead. Both on the blog, elsewhere on the Net, and in bookstores too...

First off, my Internet sci-fi series The House Between will be premiering soon, with clips showing up here - on the blog - first. The show's first season (and yes, there will be a second season...) consists of seven half-hour dramatic episodes. The pilot episode is "Arrived," and naturally, it will "arrive" on the Net first. You can read more on the topic, and see pics at The House Between web site.

If books are more to your liking, I have three new film books coming out in 2007.

First off, there's my 800+ page goliathon called Horror Films of the 1980s. This heavyweight creepozoid should be published any day now. I spent my holidays indexing the book and proofing the manuscript (which was over 1500 pages). Fun! Anyway, I'm hoping this is my film book masterpiece...but that's for critics and readers to decide.

Here's the description from McFarland
: "
John Kenneth Muir is back! His Horror Films of the 1970s was named an Outstanding Reference Book by the American Library Association, and likewise a Booklist Editors’ Choice. This time, Muir surveys over 300 films from the 1980s. From backwoods psychos (Just Before Dawn) and yuppie-baiting giant rats (Of Unknown Origin), to horror franchises like Friday the 13th and Hellraiser, as well as nearly forgotten obscurities such as The Children and The Boogens, Muir is our informative guide through 10 macabre years of silver screen terrors.

Muir introduces the scope of the decade’s horrors, and offers a history drawing parallels between current events and the nightmares unfolding on cinema screens. Each of the 300 films are discussed with detailed credits, a brief synopsis, a critical commentary, and where applicable, notes on the film’s legacy beyond the 80s. Also included is the author’s ranking of the 15 best horror films of the 80s.

Also included in the book are interviews with director Tom McLoughlin (One Dark Night, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives), Thom Eberhardt (Night of the Comet, Sole Survivor), James L. Conway (The Boogens), Kevin Connor (Motel Hell, The House Where Evil Dwells), Lewis Teague (Cujo, Cat's Eye, Alligator), Fright Night editor Kent Beyda, and "final girls" Ellie Cornell (Halloween IV, V), and Rebecca Balding (The Boogens, Silent Scream).

Next up, in May of 2007, from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, is The Rock & Roll Film Encyclopedia. Here's how Applause describes this one: "One great rock show can change the world” says Jack Black's character Dewey Finn in the 2003 Richard Linklater comedy The School of Rock. This exhaustive, highly-detailed, yet reader-friendly A-to-Z encyclopedia takes that lesson to heart by gazing at half-a-century of rock 'n' roll films, big screen epics both celebrated and obscure.From the 1950s and the age of “juvenile delinquents” in films such as Blackboard Jungle to more intimate, twenty-first century rock band portraits such as Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, this book by noted film authority John Kenneth Muir also features entries on rock documentaries such as Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz, movies starring rock stars including the Sting vehicle The Bride, and even films boasting extensive rock soundtracks, for example George Lucas's paean to the age of cruising, American Graffiti.

The Rock and Roll Film Encyclopedia
includes 230 film entries from 1956 through 2005, including cast list, creative personnel, M.P.A.A. rating, running time, and DVD availability. Entries on the familiar conventions of this unique cinematic form, such as the Vietnam War, the ubiquitous press conference (in which band members wax philosophical), the rampant destruction of property (hotel rooms, specifically) and even the Yoko factor (meddling girlfriends).

Biographical entries on players who made significant impact on the silver screen, from Elvis Presley and the Beatles to Alice Cooper and Prince. Interviews with rock movie directors Allan Arkush (Rock 'n' Roll High School), Martin Davidson (Eddie and the Cruisers) and Albert Magnoli (Purple Rain). Peter Smokler, the cinematographer who shot the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter, the Jimi Hendrix film Jimi at Berkeley, and This Is Spinal Tap is also interviewed.

In addition to pure rock 'n' roll, the films included cover all genres of popular music, ranging from Johnny Cash to Madonna, rock-influenced musical theatre (Jesus Christ Superstar), tejano (Selena), disco (Can't Stop the Music, Xanadu), and reggae. Whether your “one great rock show” is a beach movie starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, a misbegotten horror/rock fusion like The Horror of Party Beach, or a rib-tickling, heavy metal mockumentary like This Is Spinal Tap, you'll find all your favorites remembered in the pages of The Rock and Roll Film Encyclopedia.

Finally, come June 2007, the first installment of my brand new book franchise premieres, TV Year Volume 1, 2005-2006. TV Year also arrives under the auspices of Applause and Hal Leonard, and here's the skinny on it:

Here is the inaugural edition of TV Year, a new survey of the most recent complete season of over 200 drama, comedy, reality, and game shows, and more, from all the major networks. Readers will now be able to make up their own minds as to whether or not we've entered “the new golden age of television,” as Jon Cassar remarked upon accepting his 2006 Emmy Award for best director for a drama series for 24.

This book includes: Every significant prime time (8 to 11pm) broadcast series, both new and returning, that aired on television from August 2005 through July 2006; complete credits and detailed, opinionated summaries of each show with excerpts of reviews and behind the scenes gossip. Initial air date and closing date, cast changes, and notations about cancellation. Each entry also notes the DVD availability of each series.

TV Year includes the season's mini-series and TV movies and lists the nominees and winners of the Emmy Awards. Film and TV expert John Kenneth Muir also can't help but add a few non-prime time shows as well that have become cultural events in their own right, including “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.

Also, and I'm thrilled about this facet, TV Year features a foreword from Hollywood screenwriter and TV legend, my friend Larry Brody (Automan, Star Trek: The Animated Series, etc.).

So there you have it, Muir-a-thon '07, coming your way...

1 comment:

  1. joey_bishop_jr11:39 AM

    And I thought you had the auto reply on your email and hadn't updated here in a bit because you were busy or something, slacker...

    Happy new year, pally!