FILMFAX, STEVE RUBIN, TWILIGHT ZONE, LEE MARVIN & ME

So, what do the Twilight Zone, Filmfax Magazine, author Steve Rubin, Lee Marvin and yours truly have in common? A simple phone call. Filmfax publisher/managing editor, Mike Stein, calls me up and asks if I’d be interested in doing an interview with Steve Rubin, author of The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia. It’s a trifecta in my mind since The Twilight Zone has always been one of my favorite shows, I’d get work in two issues in a row of the quarterly magazine and Steve Rubin is actually a friend of mine. How could I say no?

Filmfax #151 cover which includes my interview with author/friend Steve Rubin.

Turns out, Rubin is a wonderful person to interview as we are simpatico on several levels. He also has an impressive resume of other written work an is an independent producer of some quality films. Our talk drifted in many directions for that reason, but the core of the conversation, of course, was his wonderful new tome on The Twilight Zone. Do not let the term ‘encyclopedia’ leave you cold. It’s anything but a dry and uninteresting read like most encyclopedias. The format fits the word but the writing style certainly doesn’t. Its chock full of great, fun facts that is quite accessible and undeniably addictive.

The cover of Steve Rubin’s new book, THE TWILIGHT ZONE ENCYCLOPEDIA.

How does Lee Marvin play into this? Well, in Lee Marvin Point Blank I devoted an entire chapter to Marvin’s TV work, discovering some gems along the way. As most fans know, Marvin appeared on The Twilight Zone in two great episodes. I didn’t write much about them but Steve certainly did. One of Marvin’s best performances was in the Richard Matheson penned episode, “Steel,” and Rubin enviously interviewed co-star Chuck Hicks!

The Twilight Encyclopedia’s entry of “Steel.”

Part 2 of Rubin’s entry on “Steel.”

All told, both the interview and the book are worthy reads. Below is my introduction to the interview, but don’t simply take my word for it. Check out Filmfax #151 for yourself at your nearest bookstore or newsstand. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
-Dwayne Epstein

Steve Rubin Filmfax interview introduction.

Share

STARTING THE NEW YEAR OFF W/ A GIG: CLINT WALKER!

Happy new year faithful Lee Marvin Point Blank blog readers, and for yours truly, there’s no better way to start the new year than with a a new gig interviewing TV and movie legend Clint Walker! It proved to be another example of my Lee Marvin research turning into something more fortuitous.
The background story is rather interesting. I had interviewed the big fella back in the early days of my work on the book as he costarred with Marvin in The Dirty Dozen. Unfortunately, not all that great stories he related made the book, but hey, that’s where blogs come in handy.  I had then gotten back in touch with him fairly recently in hopes of getting his thoughts on working with Charles Bronson in The Dirty Dozen and then later in Bronson’s strange western/fantasy film, White Buffalo. As for the Bronson project, as Johnny Carson used to say, more to come.
Anyway, having done those two interviews with him, it occurred to me that the good folks who run Filmfax Magazine might be interested in a career-spanning interview with Walker. I contacted publisher Mike Stein about it and it was a go. I then contacted 90-year-old Clint Walker about it and he was slightly less enthusiastic about. He was retired in Northern California with his wife and really didn’t want to have anything to do with the business any more, aside from the occasional memorabilia show. On top of that he had recently suffered a fall and health-wise, he just wasn’t up to it. Well, it took no small amount of convincing by yours truly (as well as several schedule rearrangements!) and more than a little help from Facebook friend Deb Elsie, but eventually……

Filmfax cover for issue #150.

My interview with Clint Walker even made the cover. Seriously.
What’s that?
Don’t see it?
Well, look a little a closer in the top left corner there. Here, let me help…..

Top banner of FIlmfax, Dec.-Feb. 2018.

There, that’s better. Anyway, the interview indeed went well as Walker eventually opened up to talk about his many decades in the industry. I got him to tell great tales on such luminaries as Jack Warner, Cecil B. DeMille, Doris Day, The Bowery Boys, Kim Novak, Frank Sinatra, Arnold Schwarzenegger, even The Beatles! It’s the reason I love what I do.
I’m not going to post the article here, as it’s available in bookstores and newsstands everywhere. However, I can tease you a little to go out and buy a copy with this first page of the 8-page article….

Page 1 of my Filmfax interview with Clint Walker.

If  this teaser does want to make you go out and buy a copy of the magazine that publisher Mike Stein calls, “A five-ounce ton of intelligent fun,” then I humbly thank you.
By the way, if you like what you read, feel free to comment as the magazine really does print any and all letters to the editor. Honest! The contact info is:
FILMFAX MAGAZINE
Re: Edits 1320 Oakton St.
Evanston, IL 60202
Of course, if you didn’t care for the article, let’s just keep that to ourselves, shall we? I thank you and here’s to a happy and prosperous 2018!!
-Dwayne Epstein

Share

STAR WARS ARTIST GREG HILDEBRANDT: FILMFAX INTERVIEW

With the news Star Wars film saturating the media these days, I thought it a good time to post my own EXTREMELY slight connection to the franchise. In 2009 I was contacted by Filmfax magazine publisher Mike Stein about interviewing graphic artist, Greg Hildebrandt. Together with his identical twin brother, Tim, the two of them covered the landscape of iconic pop culture imagery.
I greatly appreciated the assignment but wondered to myself, ‘Why me?” My mainstay was film as I continued researching Lee Marvin: Point Blank in hopes of publication. I discovered that the fact that I had interviewed comic book artist and childhood hero Neal Adams for the magazine, proved to be the catalyst for Mike Stein’s decision. It didn’t change the fact that I knew close to nothing about the commercial art world, let alone the Brothers Hildebrandt. The closest I ever got to familiarity with that existence was having a best friend who graduated from the Califonia Institute of the Arts. Well, the gauntlet put before me, I grabbed at it with both hands and dove into researching the work and art of the men who gained fame in the 70s with their Lord of the Rings calendars, children’s book illustrations, pin-ups and, most famously of all, the original Star Wars poster — a story by the way that’s it the next issue, which is an amazing tale in its own right!
I met with Greg in Santa Monica’s now defunct gallery/store known as Every Picture Tells a Story, with co-owner Lee Cohen in attendance. I have no idea why it no longer exists but it’s a damn shame as it housed original artwork from everybody’s favorite childhood illustrators. Focusing on the interview was difficult at best surrounded by such visual splendor. Making it worse was the fact that in the midst of the interview, actor Elliot Gould ambled into the store. That’s right, quirky 70s film icon and the original Trapper John, himself! My professionalism was sorely tested as he is, was, and remains one of my personal favorite film stars. Lee  Cohen later told me that he comes in all the time looking for artwork for his grandson.
I gritted my teeth at a missed opportunity and proceeded to interview Mr. Hildebrandt. Glad I did, too, as it turned out to be a truly wonderful experience. He’s a good guy with a great story to tell. Read it for yourself and stay tuned for Part 2 when the Star Wars connection comes into full focus. In the mean time, have you ever wondered why the likeness to the Clash of the Titans poster and Star Wars poster is strong? Read below and find out why…

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1 cover

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1 cover.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 1.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 1.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 2

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 2.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 3.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 3.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 4.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 4.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 5.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 5.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 6.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 6.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 7.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 7.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 8.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 8.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 9.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 9.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 10.

Greg Hildebrandt Filmfax interview, part 1, page 10.

Share