Category Archives: Movies & TV

Art House Day Spotlight – After Midnite Series Shines at the Coolidge Corner Theatre


Mark Anastasio is the Program Manager at The Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Mass. Anastasio has managed to always keep this program eccentric and unique due to the abounding passion he has for his work. On March 10, 2016, Anastasio celebrated 10 years of working at The Coolidge and has continued to create new and interesting events year after year.

“I like playing movies for people the most. I think I have the most fun at a film event that I planned,” he said. “I like promoting the events here at the theatre. I really love hosting them. That’s when I’m enjoying the job the most. When I’m able to see audiences get excited at one of our events. That’s like the best, refreshing part of the gig.”

At The Coolidge, Anastasio is currently working on their weekly After Midnite Series which features weekend screenings of horrifying, weird, camp, avant garde, tripped out, and cult films, often from 35 mm prints.

“It’s primarily a genre film series. We mostly run horror and science fiction and all that type of fun stuff,” he said. “Currently, we have a program happening in September that’s a multitude of class midnight films. Because we see such a turnover in the city in September, I wanted to really open people’s eyes to the spirit of this film series in general, so that gave me the idea to run some of the more classic midnight films like the real midnight movies.”

The Coolidge After Midnite weekend films series often screens horrifying, weird, camp, avant garde, tripped-out, and cult films, on 35 mm or even 16-mm.
The Coolidge After Midnite weekend films series often screens horrifying, weird, camp, avant garde, tripped-out, and cult films, from 35 mm or even 16-mm prints. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

Anastasio talked about the importance and exclusive purity of watching a film in the theatre.

“Even though we’re playing events every weekend of the year, there are some films that some people agree can be, and only should be, seen with an audience, in a theater, at midnight,” he said. “You have Pink Flamingos that we ran last week (Sept. 2, 2016) which is one of them. This weekend (Sept. 9, 2016) we’re playing, what many people consider to be the first midnight movie, which is El Topo by Alejandro Jodorowsky and we follow up that up on Saturday night with a film from the same director, The Holy Mountain.”

While Anastasio finds watching movies in theatres to be a one-of-a kind experience, he talked about the positive and negative impact that Video on Demand (VOD), Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and other viewing platforms have had on The Coolidge. Although there seems to be a pretty direct connection, Anastasio explained that he tends to pick movies that are not available on those websites to avoid conflict and competition. By doing this, The Coolidge can successfully work alongside these websites since both are displaying different products.

Surprisingly, these websites such as Netflix, have managed to make a positive impact on The Coolidge in some ways.

“Netflix has helped us to build interest in some types of movies,” said Anastasio. “I remember when Twin Peaks first became available on Netflix. It was all that was showing up on people’s newsfeeds was like how every one of your friends was watching Twin Peaks. Then, we programmed the film prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me as a Midnite title, and it brought out like 350 people. It was an insanely popular show and I could only attribute that to people newly discovering the television series on Netflix.”

Anastasio does admit, though, that these other platforms, which are designed primarily for a younger generation, make it harder for him to gain a younger demographic. Anastasio has a passion and great skill set for his job, yet he is faced with some other challenges too. The biggest challenge with programing The After Midnite Series is, “Film availability. With this film series in particular, we like to play as much as we can, on 35-mm. If we can’t find a film on 35-mm, sometimes we’ll source at 16-mm.”

Anastasio gave one example, “a few years ago when we wanted to play Predator, the Arnold Schwarzenegger film, we heard back from Fox that they didn’t have a 35-mm print.” He was surprised that the film hadn’t been preserved on 35-mm in 1987.

Anastasio also talked about the difficulty filling seats. While The Coolidge does have some dedicated fans, with new technology nowadays, it’s hard to get people to come off their couches. Anastasio did end on a positive note saying, “We’re fortunate that we’re in Boston. This is a pretty great town for film. We see our audience grow each year that we’ve run this series, especially with the increased frequency in which we’re running midnight films.”

The above movie posters are just some of the old and newer films that have screened during the Coolidge After Midnight weekend series. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)
The above movie posters are just some of the old and newer films that have screened during the Coolidge After Midnight weekend series in the past. (PHOTO BY J. KENNEY)

In July, The Coolidge launched the “Summer of Psychosis” series where they screened ten different films on 35-mm. They decided to screen two different films back to back, instead of one over two nights.

“I wanted to try something new,” said Anastasio. “The series, for the ten years that I’ve been involved, there was always one film screened on both Friday and Saturday nights.”

With the “Summer of Psychosis” series, Anastasio wanted to play ten instead of five movies in order to, “give examples of what we were talking about with that film series; the different forms of psychosis that can manifest within people, and we just needed more to exemplify that.”

Anastasio took a risk, got approval from the Executive Director of The Coolidge, and the “Summer of Psychosis” series ended up being widely successful.

“We had close to sell out audiences for Taxi Driver. We actually did sell out the house for The Shining. So each weekend, we were leading with one of those larger titles, and then the accompanying title which would play the next night, was kind of a B-side,” he said.

This setup gave some lesser known films, such as Santa Sangre, exposure because they were partnered with a big name film.

Anastasio reminisced about one especially memorable experience he had during a movie that screened at The Coolidge. Although the film was very gory, he said that the audience had a great time due to the ironic structure of the movie plot.

“It was kind of an epiphany experience I had during one of our Halloween marathons, where the third film of the night was a film called Demons by Lamberto Bava,” he said. “It was produced by Dario Argento. The movie is about people going to a movie theater and the movie that they’re watching is about the spread of this demonic plague that everyone turns into demons and then everyone in the theatre becomes demons and begins tearing everyone apart. It becomes a survival horror film within a movie theatre.”

On Friday, October 21, The Coolidge is once again partnering with the Trustee of the Reservations to present “Cabin of Horror” at Rocky Woods Reservation in Medfield, Mass., where they’re screening the original The Evil Dead and The Cabin in the Woods.

Anastasio talked about the success he had presenting some of the Friday the 13th films last year at Rocky Woods Reservation. For a while, Anastasio had been looking for a place to host such an event, and was thrilled when The Trustee of the Reservation agreed to his pitch that many people had turned down. Anastasio joked about this struggle saying, “When you’re pitching horror films, you’re like, ‘hey, we run this midnight movie series and we want to bring our audience to your location to watch slasher films, like at your camp,’ like the answer to that was almost always, ‘no’.”

Anastasio received a phone call from the Program Manager of The Trustee of the Reservation. He asked if Anastasio had any use for their campsite.

“I had to like mute the phone and do a bunch of fist pumping, then pick up the phone and be like, ‘yes, yes, we would be interested. I think we can make this work’.”

Anastasio decided to pick November 13th, 2015, to play the original Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives at Rocky Woods. The setting was perfect and the screening attracted many fans. Due to the success of the screening, The Coolidge decided to put the same show on again six months later on May 13th by screening Friday the 13th Part III and Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter, selling over 300 tickets.

“On May 13th, it was pouring rain the entire day. We planned for it and were able to set up additional tents, but the audience themselves, everyone who arrived, brought their tailgating tent. It turned into this weird little camp ground and, throughout the entire evening, through two movies, it was pouring rain, we were grilling in the rain and it was a great time. There wasn’t a single complaint. Nobody even brought up the idea of ‘may I have a refund’,” Anastasio said.

Anastasio was surprised by the fans dedication and easy going love for film. He hopes to have the same type of success on October 21st at the “Cabin of Horror” event at Rocky Woods. (Purchase tickets HERE).

Anastasio anticipates doing more screenings with themes at Rocky Woods Reservation in the future and is looking to expand The Coolidge’s resume.

“They have a new program coordinator at this point, but they seem just as game to put on these types of events,” he said. “I’d like to branch out. Even though these horror events are great, it would be great to start doing different types of films and many utilize some of [The Trustee of the Reservation’s] other locations. We’ve only briefly started to talk about that subject but they’re a wonderful organization. They have so many great properties around Massachusetts that I’m sure we can find different ways to activate their other spaces with film.”

This October, The Coolidge After Midnite schedule is full of horror related films for the Halloween season. Among the films being screened are The Omen on Sept. 30th, To The Devil A Daughter (Oct. 1st), The Amityville Horror (Oct. 7th), The Exorcist (Oct. 8th), The Pit (Oct. 14th, 15th & 22nd), An American Werewolf in London (Oct. 14th), Curse of the Werewolf (Oct. 15th), Poltergeist (Oct. 21st & 22nd), and The Fly (Oct. 28th).

The Coolidge will also be hosting their 16th annual Halloween Horror Marathon on Oct. 29th. (Purchase tickets HERE). Anastasio explained that the film selection is a joint effort within the Coolidge staff. Anastasio also added that he always makes sure to consult the projection staff because, “they’re the guys who have to stay up all night running these movies. They definitely have a say in what’s shown.”

Anastasio’s passion for film has led to The Coolidge’s success, but he is sure to include the opinions of the people he works with and always has his ears open for new ideas that his co-workers present.

Anastasio explained the format of the annual horror movie marathon.

“The first two movies of the night are the ones we use to sell the event and then the additional four or five titles remain a secret throughout the night,” he said.

For this year’s marathon, Anastasio has chosen Scream and Scream 2 as the announced double feature. He also gave a hint about what the other movies may be.

“I can tell you that in programing the remainder of this year’s marathon, all of the programing ideas came from watching Scream and Scream 2,” he said.

You have to attend the show to find out which movies Anastasio selected that, “are either directly or indirectly referenced by the first two Scream movies.”

The Coolidge Corner Theatre is located at 290 Harvard Street in Brookline. Visit their website by clicking HERE.


A NOTE FROM OUR PUBLISHER – Today (Sept. 24, 2016) is the first ever Art House Day, which celebrates the legacy of independent theaters as advocates for cinema arts. In an age where media has become more digital than tangible, more solitary than social, art house theaters remain the physical spaces where film lovers congregate and connect with intrepid, creative filmmaking. They are the beating heart for new and exciting cinema that is shaping the future of the medium. Although we interviewed Mark Anastasio nearly two weeks ago, we held this story for Art House Day because the Coolidge Corner Theatre is one of our all time favorite theaters in the country and you can often find us there on weekends at midnight.  We applaud Mark on his 10 years of service at the theater and the entire Coolidge staff for bringing great entertainment and passion for film to the Greater Boston Area!!!  ~ Jay

Short Film Festival calling for entries

The Narrows Center for the Arts, in collaboration with JKB Entertainment Group, of Dartmouth, Mass., is hosting the first Not Your Average Short Film Festival on Saturday, September 3, 2016, at 7 p.m. The Festival is now accepting films of all genres and lengths between 30 seconds and 18 minutes from current and former residents of New England.

The Not Your Average Short Film Festival is sure to excite all kinds of movie enthusiasts. This event promises to engage and entertain the audience, while helping short filmmakers to take their creative vision to new heights.

As a juried competition festival, all short films will be handpicked by a committee. The chosen films will be submitted to a three-member panel of established filmmakers and industry professionals who will judge the shorts and select a Jury Prize for “Most Outstanding Short Film.” Those in attendance will also be able to vote for the one film they think is best. These awards will be presented at the conclusion of the event.

For those wishing to submit a short film, here are the guidelines and details. Click HERE for a copy of the entry form.


• Films must have a completion date of January 1, 2015, or later.
• Running time for all shorts must be less than 18 minutes, including credits.
• All non-English language films must have legible English language subtitles.
• A separate entry form and additional entry fee must be submitted for each film.


• We accept online screeners through a private Vimeo or YouTube link. Please send it to
• Entries received late or incomplete will be disqualified.
• Entrants are responsible for obtaining any necessary licenses, royalties, release forms, clearances, and permits necessary to present their work.
• Every precaution will be taken to safeguard all materials sent to the Festival, but the Festival is not responsible for damage to submitted materials incurred by shipping to or from the Festival.


• Short films are selected by a Selection Committee, a volunteer group of filmmakers, film enthusiasts and critics.
• If a film is accepted for screening, the Festival office will contact the entrant by the e-mail provided on the entry form on or before August 1, 2016. The Competition is not liable for e-mails delayed by spam filters, server rejections or outdated e-mail addresses.


• Accepted short films will be submitted to a volunteer, three-member, judging panel of established filmmakers and industry professionals. The judges will be announced on June 1, 2016.
• The following awards will be presented at the Festival:

Judge’s Award for Outstanding Short Film
All short films will be judged on script/story, direction, cinematography, and editing in creativity and originality.

Audience Award for Favorite Short Film
This will be voted on by audience members at the event.


  • If accepted, the short film must be submitted as a high resolution AVI or MP4 video file using Dropbox, Google Drive or We Transfer. In select circumstances, we may consider acceptance via mail on a USB flash drive. The flash drive can be picked up at the Narrows Center after the Festival.
  • Films with incomplete materials by the deadline will forfeit their ability to screen in the Festival.


• All selected films may be excerpted for publicity purposes. The Festival reserves the right to promote any film or script through print, broadcast or internet media.


• Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate entry fee and form.  Click HERE for a copy of the entry form.
• Entry fees are non-refundable.
• Fees cover registration, notification that your entry has been received, and production costs associated with the event.
• Fees may be paid by check or money order, made payable to Narrows Center for the Arts, or by PayPal (using the e-mail address Please be sure to include your name and film in the memo of the check or in the PayPal payment memo.

E-mail entry form to:

Mail entry fee and form to:
Not Your Average Film Festival
c/o JKB Entertainment Group
P.O. Box 79263
Dartmouth, MA 02747


• Early Deadline by Friday, May 13, 2016. $15 entry fee.
• Regular Deadline by Friday, June 17, 2016. $20 entry fee.
• Final Deadline by Friday, July 15, 2016. $25 entry fee.

The Narrows Center is located at 16 Anawan Street in Fall River, Mass. Tickets to the Festival are only $15 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. For those wanting to purchase tickets in person, box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m., and during show times.

It Follows: Disasterpeace creates a masterpiece soundtrack

Photo - It Follows Soundtrack


The independent horror movie It Follows, directed by David Robert Mitchell, has been getting rave reviews by critics and fans alike, with it currently certified a stellar 96% fresh on the Rotten Tomatoes website. The breakout hit is about a teenage girl who finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her. While we won’t say anymore about the film because it needs to be seen in a theater to be best appreciated, the soundtrack by video game composer Disasterpeace (also known as Rich Vreeland) has been equally praised by anyone who has seen the film. The synth-heavy score is very much in the vein of legendary filmmaker and composer John Carpenter’s work on Halloween and The Fog, but has its own originality, especially with conveying a sense of dread. Quite frankly, it’s one of the best horror film soundtracks in years and is definitely worth listening to or purchasing. While Vreeland is currently in New Zealand designing new music for a game about subway systems, he graciously took the time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer our questions by e-mail about the soundtrack and what the future holds for Disasterpeace.

LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE (LM): When you composed the score for It Follows, it was the first time you created music for a feature length film. How did you get involved with this project?
RICH VREELAND: I scored a game called FEZ a few years ago. David loved the music and reached out to me via e-mail. Our initial discussions were straight-forward. We talked logistics and expressed our interest in working together. David touched base right before he started filming and then we fell out of touch for a year. When he came back to me, prepared to start scoring, I had a lot of work underway and did not have much time. I turned him down at first, but he could tell that I wanted to work on the film. After much discussion, I gave in to his persistence. I’m glad I did! We at first talked about exploring an aesthetic with guitars and other acoustic instruments. Over time, we realized that synths had the versatility we needed.

LM: I’ve read that you initially had six months to develop the score, but when the film was accepted into Cannes, your timeline was condensed to only three weeks. How did you end up creating such a haunting masterpiece in so little time?
RICH VREELAND: My familiarity with synths and the strength of the temp score allowed us to make it happen. When you are comfortable with your tools, the feedback loop is more immediate. Getting good results doesn’t take as long.

LM: I also read that writer-director David Robert Mitchell created a temp score to go with the film when the timeline was condensed. Did you have to work within the parameters of the temp score when you created yours and how much give and take went into the process?
RICH VREELAND: I wanted to work within those parameters. I thought the temp score was solid, and it was a great help given the scenario. As someone with limited familiarity of the horror genre, it was nice to have a guide. I tried to boil down each reference piece to a general feeling. Then I’d build that feeling back up into something fresh.

LM: Upon listening to the soundtrack to It Follows, it’s very much in the vein of legendary filmmaker and composer John Carpenter’s synth heavy scores for Halloween and The Fog. Were you already familiar with Carpenter’s work when you created the score for It Follows?
RICH VREELAND: I had heard some of his stuff in passing, but wouldn’t call myself well-versed. We did reference some Carpenter pieces for the score, though.

LM: I saw the movie in New York City on March 15th when it was playing on only four screens across the country. Since then it has expanded to over 1,200 locations and is going to expand to 1,655 screens this weekend. Did you ever expect the movie to take off the way it did and become one of the most talked about horror films in years?
RICH VREELAND: I knew the potential was there based on the feedback we were getting. But it still came as a surprise!

LM: Has the movie’s success had any impact on your career so far or plans for the future?
RICH VREELAND: I’ve had a lot of folks ask me to work on film projects. I think David and I will work together in the future too.

LM: Prior to your work on It Follows, you created music for video games, most notably the eight-bit soundtrack for the game FEZ. How much of a difference is it to compose a soundtrack for a video game compared to that of a film?
RICH VREELAND: Scoring film is in some ways a nice reprieve from working on games. I’m working on music for a game right now that allows you to be a subway designer. I’m coding, playtesting, and doing lots of logistical problem-solving. I’m trying to make each interaction between the game and the sound symbiotic. It is intense and often a rewarding process. Scoring linear media for me tends to be more zen than problem-solving. I’m also working on an episode of Adventure Time right now. My creative process for that is a lot like flinging paint on a canvas. The structure of a film is more of a known quantity, and I can just get on with it. The linearity of scoring film makes it easier for me to perceive the outer limits.

LM: Now that you have one feature film under your belt, would you like to compose another one?
RICH VREELAND: Sure! I care less about the medium than the experience and the value.

LM: How did you get involved with music and who are some of your biggest musical influences?
RICH VREELAND: I grew up in a musical household. My step-father was the music director of our church. He would hold band practice in our basement, and I would go down there to play the drums. My mom sings and plays the piano and my sister has been singing since she could speak. I fooled around for a while but took up guitar in high school. I was big into bands like Tool and Rage Against the Machine. In the last few years my influences have been all over the map. I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz and impressionism.

LM: What are your plans for Disasterpeace for the rest of 2015?
RICH VREELAND: I’m finishing music for a guest episode of Adventure Time. I’m in New Zealand right now designing a music system for a game about subway systems. Later this year I’ll be scoring a game inspired by the book Flatland.

Photo - Rich Vreeland
Rich Vreeland

Our top 10 movies of 2014

2014 was another great year for quality films. In fact, I’d say this list easily outshines last year’s top 10. With the exception of only one movie, my top 10 didn’t include any big budget films released by major studios. Quite honestly, their films are getting stale and boring. They may make money, but they often lack originality and substance. So, my list contains several independent and foreign films that were only given limited releases in the United States. Thanks to local art houses like the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline, Mass., and the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Mass., as well as a two week long trip to Los Angeles, I was able to see many of these films in an actual movie theater. Rather than go into detail about each film, I’m only going to list them. You can discover these movies for yourself. (Disclaimer: This list is based on films I’ve seen as of Dec. 31, 2014. It could be adjusted in the future as I view other films from 2014).

#1 – The Babadook

The Babadook

#2 – Tusk


#3 – Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin

#4 – Snowpiercer


#5 – Afflicted


#6 – The Sacrament

The Sacrament

#7 – Me & You (a.k.a. “Io e te” in France)

Me & You

#8 – Annabelle


#9 – Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes

#10 – VHS: Viral

vhs viral

‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’ returns to the big screen



Horror magazine Fangoria is partnering with Screenvision to bring 1984‘s controversial movie, SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT back to the big screen beginning today, Dec. 4th,  and running through the 17th. The film will be fully uncut and re-mastered using a high definition transfer.

The film tells the tale of Billy Chapmen, orphaned at age five after witnessing the murder of his parents at the hands of a Santa suit-clad madman on Christmas Eve. Now 18 and out of the brutal grip of orphanage nuns, Billy is forced to confront his greatest fear, sending him on a rampage, leaving a crimson trail in the snow behind

When SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT was originally released, angered parents picketed theaters where it was being screened, and asked oncoming patrons to sign petitions to have the film removed from theaters. Two weeks later, the film had been withdrawn. Now, it’s getting its most widespread release in nearly three decades.

We recently caught up with writer Michael Hickey, editor/second unit director Michael Spence, and producer Scott Schneid for an exclusive interview with Limelight Magazine.

ADAM P. CRAY: Scott-SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT is getting re-released in theatres in a stunning new HD transfer. Did you ever expect the film to get such a widespread re-release?

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: Ummmm…no. (laughs). I had had hopes a few years ago that perhaps. Michael Spence and I were talking about this on the phone a few days ago. We saw the picture at a revival theatre in Los Angeles back in 2006 or 2007. 400 people lined up around the block! It was kind of like being at a ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW screening and we just had a blast! It was like a revival meeting. Hooting and hollering and laughing just having a great time. At that point I was thinking “Wow, maybe there’s a market for SNDN as kind of almost like a ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW item you could show at post-Thanksgiving up until New Years. Maybe on weekends in college towns for young people at revival theatres.” So that’s kind of where I was thinking.


SCOTT J. SCHNEID:  I did not expect distribution entities like Fangoria were going to come forward and actually get it out there on this many screens. No, I did not, and I am thrilled.

ADAM P. CRAY: Yeah, me too! Michael Hickey, question for you: how did the story first come about (the original screenplay)? And did the script evolve much from early drafts to the final shooting script?

MICHAEL HICKEY: The story had its original genesis in a script that was given to Scott by somebody whose name shall go unmentioned. Scott found the script useless except for the central idea of a slasher movie about Santa Claus. He never used any part of that script. I’ve never read it. Nobody’s ever described it to me, but he ran with the concept. Scott and his producing partner Dennis Whitehead brought me on board based on a spec script that I had written. We worked out the basic beats of the brand new story together then I went off and wrote a 30-page treatment fleshing out the plot and the structure and characters and some of the dialogue. On the basis of that treatment they got some money together to buy a screenplay and fortunately they bought it from me. I went off for I guess a couple of months and wrote the screenplay based on my treatment which was based on the story we’d worked out together. Of course with each step in that process the story became more elaborate and more completely fleshed and detailed. Once I handed in my screenplay, I would say that the movie changed virtually not at all on its way to the screen. So, the movie that you see this week is identical to about 99 percent of the screenplay that I turned in. All of the dialogue except a couple lines is word for word. Mr. (Charles) Sellier, the director, was very faithful to the written script when he made the film.

ADAM P. CRAY: And that leads into my next question for Michael Spence: so everything in the script was filmed and included in the final cut? Is there any of SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT that we did not see? Any scenes or shots end up on the cutting room floor?

MICHAEL SPENCE: Nothing that I remember, nothing significant. This was a very low budget picture with a fairly short shooting schedule. You don’t really have the opportunity a lot of times to overshoot stuff. As far as my memory is that virtually everything that was in the script ended up in the movie.

ADAM P. CRAY: Beautiful!

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: I just want to chime in for one second. Michael Hickey you might remember this as well. There were two short scenes in Michael Hickey’s original screenplay which did not make it into the movie. Michael-remember when the family first arrived at the mental hospital? There was a scene where they were walking down the corridor and some crazy old lady grabs Billy and says “He’s the dopey one, Doctor. Lock him in the room!” or something like that. Is that a scene we originally had in our script?

MICHAEL HICKEY: I don’t remember…There’s a extended edition out on video which has some footage in it that was not in the theatrical release. But having looked that version over on Youtube you can tell the new footage because it’s “work print” or something. Quality goes bad when the added footage comes up. It seems to me (and it’s been a few years since I wrote that) there were no complete scenes. There were trims and ends. It was just some stuff that was tightened for pace.

ADAM P. CRAY: And Scott: as producer, what was the biggest challenge during pre-production and then into production?

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: I wish I could answer that question because Dennis Whitehead and I had co-executive producer credits on the movie. We developed the script with Michael from inception. However, we brought the script to a gentleman who had a deal at Tri Star Pictures in 1984 named Ira Barmak who had a deal at Tri Star to make some low budget films. What ended up happening unfortunately for Dennis and I was that once we made a deal with Barmak, he got the picture funded by Tri Star. We were just young guys 26 or 27 years old and this was our first Hollywood experience and we were kind of frozen out of the production. So, Dennis Whitehead and I developed “the baby”. Michael was the writer. Dennis and I also raised approximately $40,000 at that time for seed money to hire Michael, to pay Michael. Part of that was Michael and we did a lot of the hard work and unfortunately did not get to see our “baby birth”. We were basically locked out of the situation which was sad for us. So, Dennis and I had developed it, raised a huge amount of money, came up with the concept. Michael did all the writing then we did not get to see it come to life. A lot of first time Hollywood people have that kind of experience. It does happen.

ADAM P. CRAY: Oh yeah. I’ve heard stories. (laughs) Scott-what was your reaction to the public’s reaction during the film’s initial release? Did you ever expect parents picketing theatres?

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: No, I did not. I don’t think Michael Hickey or I or Dennis were [when] developing the script. We were just psyched that we were in the middle of this maelstrom of genre movies getting made. Our horror movie/slasher movie seemed a little bit better than your then-typical formulaic slasher movie with a back story told in two minutes somewhere about halfway through the movie. You know the killer is anonymous and the back story is told in two minutes. We decided as we developed the treatment and the script that the back story was actually a really fascinating part of the story. We wanted to get to know this character and see what happened to him from when he was a child. How he was traumatized. So we were just excited about developing this cool script. We knew we were developing an R-rated movie for the teen audience at the time. I can’t speak for Michael but I never thought for one second that there was going to be that kind of backlash.

MICHAEL HICKEY: We’re often asked if we ever expected any of that and since it happened in such a big way there’s a feeling that it must have been inevitable, that you must have seen it coming. But, in reality, to my knowledge, nothing like that ever happened before. It was completely unpredictable. Completely unexpected by Scott and me and Dennis. I’m sure that Tri Star didn’t expect this because their hair caught fire when it happened. It was a total surprise. And who could’ve imagined that the CBS Evening News would cover the opening of a movie like this. What they were covering of course was the controversy. But it just took hold and the fire spread and it got completely out of control…which I thought was hilarious and wonderful. I think Scott did too. Up until Tri Star pulled it. But the movie’s still alive. It was the #3 top grossing movie the weekend that it opened.

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: The picture was made for $1,065,000 I believe it was a negative pickup and in ten days it grossed almost $4,000,000 or a little more at the box office and that was only really on about one-third of the screens in the country. Tri Star was going to release the picture wide to the rest of the country two weeks later but because of the controversy…It was my understanding that Coca Cola (which was a part owner of Tri Star at that time along with CBS and HBO) said “we want this picture out of theaters”.

MICHAEL HICKEY: I guess we showed them didn’t we! (laughs)

ADAM P. CRAY: For sure! Question for Michael Hickey: as you were writing the script, had you thought, or any of you, thought of a future franchise? With sequels being so prevalent today, you can plan for two or three films if the first is successful. Were you guys thinking ahead like this as you were producing the original?

MICHAEL HICKEY: As you can tell if you watch the last minute of SNDN, a sequel was very much on our mind. Basically our movie hands the sequel concept off to whoever would take it up. By setting up the character of Ricky, that last moment in which he looks at the axe on the floor and he has this demonic look on his face and he says “Naughty”. That moment is the reason that there is a younger brother Ricky in the movie at all. That’s the reason the infant is present in the car at the beginning (although his screaming in the night was effective). Yes, we had it in mind although I think that just the implication that there was something more to follow probably is an idea that fulfills itself just by making the suggestion. It could’ve stopped there without a sequel. I think that would’ve been just fine

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: When we were developing the material with Michael Hickey, Dennis Whitehead and I always felt this premise, the script developed and the treatment were something that yes, absolutely was franchiseable. It was going to lend itself to multiple sequels hopefully and we knew that we were pretty certain of that. Unfortunately, as I was telling earlier in the conversation, Dennis and I ended up getting frozen out not only in the production of the film but of any future involvement of any sequels. Had we had future involvement, we would’ve gone back to Michael (Hickey) to write SNDN2 and God knows how many other SNDN’s. (laughs)

MICHAEL HICKEY: Whoever it was that made the sequel clearly had no interest in a new script, a new thought, a new idea. 80 percent of the package is footage that they recycled from the original.

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: 3, 4 and 5 which were all made by LIVE Home Video had nothing to do with our movie. They just used the title: SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. I don’t even think there was a Santa Claus character. They were just capitalizing on the title and the video boom of the mid-to-late 80’s and they were using the title just knocking out these crappy made for video sequels that have nothing to do with the original. For me it was a sad day in a way. Michael certainly would’ve loved to have a hand in steering the ship in the future for SILENT NIGHT’s “children” and he didn’t get a chance to do that.

MICHAEL HICKEY: I definitely would’ve. I don’t think we have anything more to do with the concept once SNDN is over. What can you do that’s not just a repetition?

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: Collect your royalties, Michael! (laughs)

MICHAEL HICKEY: Yeah, that’s true.

ADAM P. CRAY: I think Part 3 actually had the Ricky character, but didn’t have any other resemblance to the first film. That was about it.

MICHAEL HICKEY: I never saw any of them so I suppose I shouldn’t comment on their quality (which I think was atrocious).

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: I’m probably one of the few people in the world that saw Part 2 theatrically. It was released at the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. in the back theatre. You know, the Egyptian has the main theatre, then two small theatre bunkers in the back and I was there with three people I think and I could not believe what I was watching. Half, if not more of the movie, was footage from our movie. And I heard that they did it for like $250,000 and just shot the new footage and wrapped the footage from our movie around the new footage.

MICHAEL HICKEY: Let’s talk about ours some more.

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: Yeah, I was amazed.

ADAM P. CRAY: (laughs) I heard that with that second film, they were just going to recut the first film and not even have new footage so that could’ve been much worse. (laughs)

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: (laughs)

ADAM P. CRAY: Why do you guys think the original film has become such a cult classic among horror fans? What do you think sets it apart?

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: Now that all that craziness from the mid-1980s is long gone (all the mothers and the madness and publicity) people can watch it now and appreciate what Michael said before. There’s a real edge of black humor to the movie and satire. A black humor edge to the movie that really comes across when you remove it from all that craziness that was going on in the maelstrom of publicity and craziness that was going on when it came out. And now all these years later you look at it and wow there’s actually a story there that’s a cut above (excuse the bad pun) the typical boring formulaic slasher movie from that era. And on top of it, it’s got that fantastic edge of black humor that Michael brought to the project. I think that’s the big reason it’s lived on.

ADAM P. CRAY: I remember watching it as a young kid and even thinking that the scenes are logical. Everything in the film is logical. How he becomes the killer. It’s organic and I appreciated that even back then. Not just being a cut ‘em up from the beginning. I really like the backstory and what you all did.

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: Thank you.

MICHAEL HICKEY: Thank you. That was really the challenge. That the film presented to us: how do you end up in a Santa suit with an axe in your hand? (laughs)

ADAM P. CRAY: Right!

MICHAEL HICKEY: And so we backed out of that. I’m glad to hear you say that it struck you as logical because that was really a big part of the effort: to sort of line up the dominoes in a way that is sequential. It’s not just the first one but then it’s always fun to watch them fall. You know they’re gonna fall. You know how it’s gonna end up. I always assumed the audience for this movie knew where it was going from the beginning. So watching it get there, watching what happens to Billy and how his descent into Santa Claus-clad madness is pretty ordained. It’s inevitable. He can’t extricate himself from his fate. And so we’re watching fate play itself out on him and I actually think it’s funny. It all is a little bit over the top, tongue in cheek and the audience seems to respond to it which is what I was going for.

SCOTT J. SCHNEID: It’s funny that you say that Michael because when we were trying to set the film up, with Dennis Whitehead, my partner, and get money prior to Tri Star coming into it, I had a meeting with a Canadian producer that had read the script. He said “It was kind of boring in the first half. I really like the second half when Santa goes on his rampage. Why do you have to have all that backstory in the beginning and all that?” I said, “That’s what’s different about it. That’s what’s interesting about it. So you almost sympathize with the character and you understand what that character went through. How the character became and why he became what he became.” I was just getting Formula Slasher 101 back from this money person. That’s not what Michael, Dennis, and I wanted.

ADAM P. CRAY: I remember watching it for the first time paired with HALLOWEEN I & II. At the end of SNDN when Billy dies, I felt terrible. Because of that back story, you understand him. You understand where he was coming from. Maybe over the top, but still very effective.

For a complete listings of screenings in New England, visit

Adam P. Cray is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and entertainment correspondent. His work includes and and he has worked at various capacities for MGM and 20th Century Fox studios. His film work can be seen at and

Scenes from the Second Annual Buzzard’s Bay Film Festival

All Photos by LEAH ASTORE

The audience at the sold out event.
The audience at the sold out event which was held at Gallery X in New Bedford, Mass.
The audience at the sold out event.
The audience at the sold out event which was held at Gallery X in New Bedford, Mass.
Buzzard's Bay Film Festival Director Tom Gidwitz.
Buzzard’s Bay Film Festival Director Tom Gidwitz.
From left, Ben Gilbarg, the director of “American Dreams,” Elise Hugus, producer of “Saving Paradise,” and Mark Rasmussen, president of the Buzzards Bay Coalition.
From left, Mark Rasmussen, President of the Buzzards Bay Coalition, Elise Hugus, Producer of “Saving Paradise,” and Ben Gilbarg, Director of “American Dreams.”
Roger Masson, Grand Prize Winner for “Cuttyhunk,” accepts his award.
Roger Masson, Grand Prize Winner for his film “Cuttyhunk,” accepts his award.
Roger Masson, Grand Prize Winner for “Cuttyhunk.”
Roger Masson was the Grand Prize winner for his film “Cuttyhunk.”
Mike Dunn, winner of the JKB Management & Booking Jury Prize for “Dune Day at Horseneck Beach.”
Mike Dunn was the Jury Prize winner  for his film “Dune Day at Horseneck Beach.” This award came with a pair of tickets to every show booked by JKB Management & Booking in 2014.
Jury Prize winner Mike Dunn and Rachel Astore.
From left, Jury Prize winner Mike Dunn and Rachel Astore.

Audrey Landers returns to “Dallas” tonight



 The multi-talented Audrey Landers, 56, secured the role as singer Afton Cooper on “Dallas” when she was 24-years-old, appearing in 84 episodes and a television movie. Now, she just released a new album and is reprising the part, with fans eagerly awaiting her comeback to the popular prime time drama tonight (March 25).

“It actually feels like going home,” she said of returning to the show, which first debuted on CBS in 1978 and went off the air in 1991. A revamped version premiered on TNT last year and is still going strong during its second season. “It’s almost as if no time has gone by. It was great reconnecting with cast members, and I love the way my character has developed.”

According to Landers, Afton, a nightclub singer, was a “19-year-old gold digger” who did the “dirty work” for J.R. Ewing, and then had an on-again, off-again romance with Cliff Barnes. The lovers share a child, Pamela Rebecca Barnes, now an adult played by actress Julie Gonzalo.

It’s no secret Afton’s relationship with her daughter hasn’t been perfect, but these days, said Landers, Afton is a strong and devoted mother, as Monday’s episode finds her rushing to a pregnant Pamela Rebecca’s bedside after an accident jeopardizes her unborn twins.

Aside from the drama, Afton is still singing, yet the extent of her career isn’t clear at this point.

“It’s evident in the new series that she’s self-confident and I like that about her,” Landers said. “She seems to have made a good life for herself. She’s no longer struggling and she married well. But you don’t know how much Afton is involved in all this. It’s going to be exciting to find out where Afton stands with all the business deals that are going on.”

One thing is for sure: the episode won’t include a reunion for Afton and Cliff.  It’s a bit of a bummer for Landers, as she was hoping to reunite with Ken Kercheval, who starred as Cliff in the original series. Still, she’s optimistic that writers and producers will include him in the script down the road.

“I hope that they don’t disappoint the audience in the future,” Landers said. “I think the audience is really asking for that reunion and I do believe the writers and producers respond to the fans, which is wonderful.”

Landers is referencing the fact that there was recently a Facebook movement to “Bring Audrey Landers Back to Dallas,” which she believes helped influence her return. She said she will be forever grateful for the support.

“I’m so touched by it,” she said. “The fact that they created the page is just so heartwarming and flattering. I appreciate it so much and I think it made a difference because they brought the character back. The producers look at that and they respect it. It’s very nice.”

Speaking of fans, many of them often ask her to release songs she performed – and wrote – on the original series. While her music never made much of a splash in America during the 1980s, Landers exploded as a singer and composer in Europe, earning 10 gold singles, four gold albums and two platinum albums. She’s taking another stab at it in the U.S. with “Dallas Feels Like Home,” her latest release, which debuted on iTunes Saturday, March 23rd.

“It has some of the country-style songs I sang on ‘Dallas,’ such as ‘Steal Me Away,’ and some of the other contemporary productions,” said Landers.  “And the liner notes have photos and the original sheet music I hand wrote in 1981.”

Additionally, she’s set to perform at a benefit concert with Shirley Jones, former star of the hit show “The Partridge Family,” April 26 at the International Ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Proceeds will be donated to the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, as well as the Women’s Center of Tarrant County-Rape Crisis/Victims Services. Landers will open the show as a tribute to the late Larry Hagman, who starred as the man everyone loved to hate, J.R. Ewing, on “Dallas.”

Landers fondly remembers working with Hagman in the original series, and said she’ll never forget her first day on set, during which she was filming an intimate scene with Hagman.

“I was a total newcomer – completely nervous and intimidated – and he was always a prankster,” she said. “We got under the covers, and as soon as they called action, Larry took a handful of ice then put his hands on me. I was trying to keep it together and show my professionalism, but finally the director called cut because the whole cast and crew was in on it. I think I disappointed them because I didn’t jump up and scream.”

As much fun as it is to reminisce, she also is pleased to work with the newer cast members, describing them as “terrific” actors. She spoke highly of the writers and producers , too, saying that she is thrilled that they are able to recreate the show in such a way that keeps the interest of the original fans, but is modern enough and relevant to “younger” viewers.

“We don’t have a lot like it for this generation, so for the new fans it’s sort of a new genre,” said Landers. “The writing is great and everything is fast-paced. I think everybody is ready for a show like this.”

She’s also ready to continue her stay with the show. If it gets renewed for a third season, she’s hoping to be back.

“There’s been talk about it,” Landers said. “That would be really fantastic. I love the character. She’s been a part of my life for decades.”

If that doesn’t happen, Landers has plenty to keep her busy. Aside from her own music career, she serves as manager for her singer-songwriter son, Daniel, 19, who is studying under the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program at the University of Miami, and working on an album of his own.

“He’s a phenomenal songwriter and his musical range as a singer is amazing,” she said. “Guys don’t usually have three and a half or four octaves; he has an amazing pop-rock voice.”

Her son isn’t the only family member she’s working with: she recently co-created a fashion business, the Landers STAR Collection, with her mother Ruth. But the business partnership is nothing new, as Ruth once managed her daughter’s career.

“Every time I had to do a live performance, she was very much involved, especially with wardrobe,” Landers said of her mother. “So many people would often ask, ‘where did you get that dress?’ or ‘where can I get one like it?’ so we decided to create a line of affordable, glamorous clothes for women. Every woman is a star and she deserves to shine, so our fashions have a little glitz and bling here and there just to make you feel special.”

Landers likes making her fans feel special, and that’s one reason why she attends conventions, such as Chiller Theatre in New Jersey and The Hollywood Show in Los Angeles, to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. She enjoys meeting fans in person, as well as interacting with them on social media outlets.

“It’s an awesome way to be able to have a personal connection to your fans,” she said. “You can connect with everybody from around the world, and I love being able to answer people when I can. Back in the day, we didn’t have Twitter and Facebook; we didn’t have that immediate response when the show was on air.”

She’s sure fans will take to Twitter to express their feelings about the upcoming episode and the fate of Pamela Rebecca’s twins by the end of the episode, as Landers will be live tweeting during the show under the tag name @AudreyLanders.

Until then, learn more about Landers and her projects at the following links:;;;;;;;

Carnrike is a ‘super’ star on stage and on film

          Jeremy Carnrike as Lex Luthor


Not all actors are willing to change their physical appearance to land a role, but for Jeremy Carnrike, 32, shaving his head full of red hair to star as Lex Luthor in the non-profit fan film, Superman: The Golden Child, was a no-brainer.

“That was the thing that got me the role in the end,” said Carnrike, who in addition to being an actor is also the guitarist for the East Coast Runaways, a rock band based in Worcester, Mass. “The director called me and we did a phone interview and it came down to, ‘let’s just cut to the chase. Are you willing to shave your head?’ And I was like, ‘Absolutely.’”

As the film’s genre explicitly suggests, a fan film is a movie or video inspired by a film, television program or comic book, which is made by fans, as opposed to the source’s copyright holders.

Considering that, it should be no surprise that Carnrike, along with everyone involved in the film, is a huge Superman fan. Starring as Luthor is something he’s wanted to do for a long time, however, he used to fantasize about playing The Man of Steel.

“As little boys watching Superman, we threw the towel around our neck as a cape,” he said. “I grew up with that, but I’m a little guy and I’m a redhead, so if I can’t be Superman, I wanted to play Lex Luthor. It’s a lot of that built up, redhead anger,” he joked. “It almost let me be myself, only a little more moodier.”

Carnrike, who said this was his first big movie role, learned about the available part about a year and a half ago on, one of the world’s largest Superman fan sites. He saw a posting about the movie, but ignored it at first.

“I thought, ‘I’m just some little Massachusetts guy with big dreams,’” he said. “But then a few months later I saw it posted again, so finally I sent in an email.”

A week later, Andrew List of AList Productions, the film’s writer, director and producer, interviewed Carnrike via phone. By the end of the following week, Carnrike emailed List again inquiring about the role.

“Within five minutes he got back to me and said, ‘the role’s yours,’” Carnrike said.

Made on an $850 budget, most of the funds for the 22-minute film came out of List’s pocket. Originally written as a full-length film, List decided to shorten the script as time went on. It was shot from July to October of last year in San Angleo, Texas, with a Panasonic DVX100 and a Canon Rebel T3.  There were never more than two crewmembers working on any given scene, one of them always List.

“He pretty much did everything on his own,” said Carnrike, who served as an executive producer with List and List’s wife, Taylor Moehnke. Moehnke also did the photography stills for promotions.

The film made its online debut in December. According to Carnrike, it stays true to the classic Superman plot, as it highlights the intense power struggle between Superman and Luthor.

It is comprised of two main actors: Carnrike, along with Texas native Joshua Boultinghouse, who starred as Superman/Clark Kent. Boultinghouse is the official Superman at the “Superman Celebration”, an annual Superman festival that takes place in Metropolis, Illinois during the late spring or early summer. List is trying to secure a screening of the film at this year’s event.

“He’s the closest thing to the real Superman; his persona fits it perfectly,” Carnrike said of Boultinghouse. “He’s easily two or three times my size and he’s all natural muscle. He has the height, the chest build – there’s not extra padding. It’s real bodybuilding. And it’s not just his physique; just talking to him – there’s never a bad thing that comes out of his mouth. He works really hard and it’s been his life dream to play Superman.”

So far, the film has received lots of positive feedback from fans. Carnrike said people have commented about it on Superman

“The people who go to those pages are hardcore fans and they love it,” he said. “They love seeing new fan stuff because it’s more accurate to the original story line.”

Carnrike, who studied music business and education at Berklee College of Music, was happy that the East Coast Runaways contributed to Superman: The Golden Child, as they wrote and recorded a song of the name for the film. In other band news, he said they have been working on a two CD project for the last year called, “Nosebleeds and Maybelline.”  The album has already been recorded, with each CD comprised of seven songs. They are in the midst of mixing and mastering it and plan to release it soon.

“It’s a concept album, so the songs flow with each other,” said Carnrike. “We’re trying to reach back to the Pink Floyd days where they put real albums together where it was more of a story.”

In addition to the upcoming album, Carnrike has been working on a Superman script of his own. He started it about eight years ago and it’s based on the Doomsday storyline that came out in the 1990s. He’s also trying to bulk up for a short fan film based on Superboy, which is Superman as a young man in his late teens or early 20s.

“It hurts a lot,” he said. “All my muscles are aching.”

But Carnrike understands that sometimes there is no gain without pain and he’s willing to tough it out to follow his dreams. After all, starring as Luthor in “Superman: The Golden Child” was a dream come true.

“It was a great experience all the way around,” he said.

As for List, he’s focused on creating another Superman fan film based on the “Kingdom Come” storyline.

“The reception to this is even bigger than the Golden Child,” said Carnrike.

Watch Superman: The Golden Child at and click the “support” link to help fund future projects. Learn more about the East Coast Runaways at

Whose Line stars coming to New Bedford for night of ‘goofy fun’

Colin & Brad
Colin & Brad


 “We like to say it’s like a live version of Whose Line without the tall guy, black guy, and rich guy,” said comedian Colin Mochrie, formerly of the Emmy-nominated improvisational show Whose Line is it Anyway? 

Mochrie is explaining the side-splitting show he’s doing with Brad Sherwood, another Whose Line star, as the funny boys have teamed up for the “Colin & Brad: Two Man Group” tour. The comedians will be visiting the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center in New Bedford on Feb. 23. The fun begins at 8 p.m.

The dynamic duo have been doing shows as a pair for nine years, performing anywhere from 50 to 100 shows each year. With more than 20 years as comedians apiece, that’s a whole lot of laughs.

“It’s actually more interactive than the television show was,” Mochrie said. “Every scene starts with a suggestion from the audience and we have audience members on stage with us for about 80 percent of the show. It’s just a wacky free-for-all.”

Sherwood agreed.

“We basically hand the car keys to the audience and they drive us wherever they want us to go,” he said. “We have no idea what the people are going to do when we bring them on stage or what their suggestions will be. I have no idea what Colin’s going to say during the entire show and he has no idea what I’m going to say. Everything is going wrong and that’s what makes the show right.”

And that’s the way they like it. Mochrie recalls a time when an intoxicated woman in the crowd began walking down the isle and shouting at them to do a song about menopause.

“Brad immediately went into a rap song about menopause, so it worked out,” he said. “Those little hiccups make the show interesting.”

But picking topics for sketches, as well as participants from the crowd, can be tricky, said Mochrie. While they don’t want someone who is going to try to take over the scene and use it as their audition, they also don’t want someone to be nervous and too quiet.

“It’s always a crapshoot,” he said. “There are times you pick someone who’s drunk, which makes it difficult explaining the games to them, but I can’t think of any time we’ve been destroyed by audience members. We take very good care of the audience that comes up because they are there to help us. We try to make it as fun as we can. Usually the scenes where we can get ourselves into the most trouble are the ones we have the most fun.”

As noted, Mochrie and Sherwood agree that not having anything planned is the beauty of the show. Typically, they fly in the day of the show, get together for sound check and create a list of games they’re going to play. That’s pretty much it for preparation.

“But once we’re out there it somehow always works,” Mochrie said. “I’m not sure how, but it does. It keeps you on edge and makes you work a little harder. It’s the closest to death defying as I’ll get.”

Sherwood added, “It always plays out pretty darn well because we’re always in a state of, ‘Oh, my God. What’s going to happen?’ It’s always exciting.”

Mochrie and Sherwood first became acquainted in the early 1990s while appearing on the British version of Whose Line is it Anyway? They continued being co-workers and friends through the show’s eight-year run on ABC, a stint that earned the show an Emmy nomination.

“It was the best gig in the world,” Mochrie said. “Getting the chance to work with world-class improvisers, British and American, was just fun. This wasn’t a career when I was a kid and I’m still shocked that I get to do it and am getting paid for it. Whose Line made that possible.”

Sherwood, who earned a degree in acting from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, got the idea to do a two-man show with Mochrie shortly after Whose Line stopped filming in 2004. He had been performing as a two-man group with a friend before approaching Mochrie, also a professionally trained actor, as he graduated from Studio 58, a theatre training school located in Vancouver.

“We decided to give it a try,” Sherwood said. “We did a two week tour and it worked so well that we never stopped doing it.”

Their DVD, Two Man Group: Live and Dangerous Comedy, hit stores in 2011.

The same year, the “Whose Line?” cast was reunited in Vegas for Drew Carey’s Improv-a-Ganza, a series that aired for one season on the Game Show Network.

“It’s always nice to get together with everybody,” Morchrie said. “It’s really a good group. Everybody gets along so well.”

In addition to Whose Line, Mochrie and Sherwood have worked on other projects: Mochrie has been heavily involved in independent and small movies. He is an affiliate of The Movie Co-op, a Canadian venture to help produce great Canadian movies funded and run by the artists themselves.

Of course, he has appeared in commercials as the Nabisco Snack Fairy. He plans to release a book later this year.

For Sherwood, who in the last fifteen years has guest starred on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno more than 100 times, and made several appearances on VH-1’s I Love The 80’s’ & 90’s, and Talk Soup, recently served as a guest announcer on the Price is Right.

“I did it for a month and it was really cool because I grew up watching the show,” Sherwood said. “Saying, ‘come on down’ or ‘a new car,’ was just crazy. It was like being a part of TV history.”

When he’s not onstage, Sherwood is playing guitar. He said while he likes hard rock and country, he enjoys writing folk music in his spare time. He also likes to sample Mochrie’s food, as Mochrie loves to cook.

“My wife hasn’t cooked since 1990,” Mochrie said. “I find it really relaxing. I wake up and the first thing I think of is, ‘Ok. What are we having for dinner?’ I plan what I’m going out to buy. I’m always learning new stuff and experimenting with cooking.”

But for the most part, they just want to make people laugh.

“Come see the show,” Mochrie said. “It’s just goofy fun.”

Tickets, which range in price from $45.50 to $47.50, can be purchased at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center Box Office, located at 684 Purchase Street in New Bedford, Mass., by phone at 508-994-2900, or online at

Film festival creates quite a buzz


The first annual Buzzards Bay Film Festival, set to debut Nov. 9th and run through Nov. 11th in Falmouth and New Bedford, Mass., is a tribute to the Bay itself, its watershed, as well as the 360,000 people who live in surrounding cities and towns. The Bay is a 233-square mile estuary in Southeastern Mass. between the mainland shore, western Cape Cod, and the Elizabeth Islands.

“It’s going to be really fun and unique,” said Festival Director Tom Gidwitz. “It’s hard to bring all these different communities together, so this is a way to become more of a unit. We share the same stories in many ways.”

The event is part of the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s 25th Anniversary celebration and offers viewers science fiction, documentaries, animation, and the long-anticipated local premiere of the feature film Fairhaven. One-hundred percent of the proceeds will be dedicated to the Coalition, a membership-supported, non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, sustainable use and enjoyment of the Bay and its watershed.

The Festival will kick off Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, which is located at 68 Main Street in Falmouth, and continue at New Bedford’s Gallery X at169 William Street at 8 PM, Saturday, Nov. 10th.

“They show edgier stuff there and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Gidwitz said of Gallery X.

The Zeiterion Performing Arts Center at 684 Purchase Street in New Bedford will host a day of films Sunday, Nov. 11th beginning at 11 a.m. with the 1968 science fiction classic, The Green Slime, and continue with an afternoon of other works. The day will wrap up with Fairhaven at 8 p.m.

“The Zeiterion is a big, beautiful theater and it’s a great place to show features,” Gidwitz said.

According to a press release, Fairhaven tells the story of three thirty-something friends who reunite in their hometown, a homecoming that forces them to reassess their friendship, as well as themselves. It stars Chris Messina of Vicky Christina Barcelona and Six Feet Under; Rich Sommer of Mad Men; Sarah Paulson of Mud and Deadwood; as well as the film’s writer and director Tom O’Brien, who grew up in Medford, but spent much of his time in Fairhaven, as his mother lived there for nearly a decade.

“That’s what inspired the screenplay,” O’Brien said in an e-mail interview. “I feel really great about bringing the film back to what inspired it. It completes the circle of the entire process for us.”
O’Brien plays Jon, a former high school football star and one-time college athlete, who feels dissatisfied with life and ends up back in Fairhaven, where he reunites with two old friends. It isn’t long before “old dreams and simmering resentments” come to the surface.

The film also stars a number of area residents.

“The production was made possible by the people of Fairhaven and the surrounding towns opening their homes and businesses to shoot in and volunteering to do everything from make lunch to be extras in the movie,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien went on to say that it felt much like a “grass roots community project” and that he is pleased that people have responded “warmly” to the film.  He noted that many of the locals told him they feel as if the film does justice to the area.

“There’s that saying that if you can touch one person in the audience you’ve done your job and I’ve had so many people reach out to say nice things,” O’Brien said. “A local Fairhaven guy came up to me after the world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and said that his father had helped build the hurricane barrier and, as soon as he saw it in the opening shot, it brought tears to his eyes. I loved the entire process of directing the film, but knowing that it affected people emotionally is all I could ever ask for as a filmmaker.”

Aside from Fairhaven, the Festival will feature The Green Slime, a 1968 sci-fi classic, screened as a tribute to Robert Dunham, an American Korean War veteran who starred in Japanese monster movies and returned to the United States in 1975, residing in Cape Cod.

While his part in the film is small, he can be seen battling invading space aliens, which Gidwitz said, “look remarkably like the rusty tide algae that has been clouding Buzzards Bay waters for several summers.”

“We call it rusty tide,” said Gidwitz. “The Green Slime is fun because it’s over the top. It has all these special effects, [plus] it’s very campy and hilarious. The monsters are these green things with tentacles that they wave about.”

Further, the release notes that other films include Into the Gyre, an award-winning look at Falmouth Sea Education Association scientists as they study plastic pollution in the North Atlantic; Patrimony, an intense drama about family and loss, starring television star Robert Vaughan; and a selection of cell phone videos submitted to the Festival in a weekly contest held throughout the summer.

“That was fantastic,” Gidwitz said. “We’ve got sailboats, powerboats – a guy riding his bicycle off a diving board into the water, people doing back flips off the dock in Fairhaven – just peoples’ impressions of the summer. It’s was nice to see how much energy people put into them.”

Tickets for all screenings are available online at Tickets for Sunday’s films, including Fairhaven and The Green Slime, are also available at the Zeiterion Box Office, in person or by phone at 508-994-2900, or online at