Titanic Update

October 15th, 2013 by Max Allan Collins

This week’s update will largely be devoted to another round of Bouchercon photos (courtesy of our Kensington editor Michaela Hamilton’s friend Eugene George) and some very nice links to reviews and articles.

Cinematic Titanic Farewell Tour

I’ll just briefly say that Barb and I spent a great weekend in St. Louis with Nate and Abby, taking in Cinematic Titanic whose live show was part of its “Bon Voyage” tour. The cast “riffed” a wonderfully terrible ‘70s movie called INVISIBLE STRANGLER in which such pros as Stephanie Powers and Elke Sommer are crushed by terrible direction and miserable dialogue, blissfully unaware of the outlandishly bad special effects with which they would share the screen. We are all huge fans of the two spin-off groups from MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (the other being, of course, Riff Trax). Titanic, after half a dozen years, numerous live shows and a dozen DVD releases, is going on “indefinite hiatus.” There was a definite valedictory feel to the evening, with Joel Hodgson sharing a slide show that revealed new information about the influences and beginnings of MST3000 (3000 is not a year, for example, but a model number). We briefly met Joel, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Trace Beaulieu and Dave “Gruber” Allen, who was filling in for an ailing J. Elvis Weinstein. (Gruber played Counselor Rosso on FREAKS & GEEKS! Trace and Joel appeared on the show, and the absent Weinstein was a writer/producer on that great series.) Like the Riff Trax boys, the Cinematic Titanic cast is gracious, warm and witty when dealing with their many fans.

Bouchercon 2013
Max Allan Collins on panel

Bouchercon 2013
Matthew Clemens and Barbara Collins signing

Bouchercon 2013
Barbara and Max signing

Bouchercon 2013
Barbara on panel

* * *

I’m thrilled to share with you this stunning rave review from Bookgasm of ASK NOT.

Here’s an article on crime comics that gives MS. TREE her due.

And this ranking of Tom Hanks’ best six movies includes a familiar title.

Here’s a nice if brief review of the TRUE DETECTIVE audio.

I was gratified by this terrific look at ONE LONELY NIGHT from a reviewer who initially disliked Spillane and Mike Hammer (based on upon reading I, THE JURY) but tried LADY, GO DIE! at my urging and got turned around. Then ONE LONELY NIGHT sealed the deal. Read the comments below, too.

Finally, the DARK ANGEL trilogy, written by Matt Clemens and me, gets a very nice appraisal here (scroll down till you see Jessica Alba).


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4 Responses to “Titanic Update”

  1. mike doran says:

    Just a note to let you know that Mr.Websense has struck again.

    This time, the Dreaded cyberWertham is blocking the crime comics article that mentions MS. TREE.
    Reason: “Potentially Damaging Content”.
    I sometimes tell myself that one day I’ll get a look at some of these “Potentially Dmamging” pieces, and then maybe figure out exactly what “Damage” they would do to my innocent 63-year-old psyche.

    Ah well (or oh hell) …

    Counting down to Nov 10 at C&S (assuming that’s still on – I’d hate to drag around that big bag of books for no reason).
    Given all the stuff you’ve got pending, I almost feel guilty dragging you away from the workstation just to accomodate my againg fanboy self (underline ‘almost’).
    So I’ll just wish you and Barb a nice long Rex Stout-ish life together.

    “Grow old along with us –
    – the best is yet to bust.”
    (Or something like that.)

  2. mike doran says:

    Quick follow-up from this AM:

    On a hunch, I scrolled back a couple of months worth to another link that Mr. Websense had barred from my view for “Potentially Damaging Content”.
    This was the COMPLEX 90 review by the British feminist.
    Well, I hit the link and lo and behold – there was the COMPLEX 90 review in all its “Potentially Damaging” glory.
    I’ve read it over two or three times now, and I’m Dang-nabbed if I can figure out what the “Potential Damage” is supposed to be.
    (Have you ever been nabbed by a Dang? not at all pleasant …)

    I guess this means that the crime comics article will miraculously become “non-damaging” in a couple of months, give or take; I’ll check back then.

    Isn’t cyber wonderful?
    (Yes, it isn’t.)

  3. BNPeeler says:

    Is anyone else getting a Hollywood Squares vibe off that last picture of Mrs. Collins?

    “Barbara Collins to block.”

  4. Mike, never having used a work computer (well, this is my computer, but…) I’ve never run into these kinds of problems. But I do hear from others who have.

    As for Barb being fit for Hollywood Squares, I think she’s fit for Hollywood, period.