Panel Borders and other podcasts

Panel Borders and other podcasts

Podcasts, radio shows, writing and more by Alex Fitch

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I’m ready for my close-up: A lifetime of Cult films by Joe Dante

May 1, 2010

I’m ready for my close-up:
ready for my close-up logo
A lifetime of Cult films by Joe Dante

Director Joe Dante and his most famous creation

Director Joe Dante and his most famous creation

Coinciding with veteran genre film maker Joe Dante receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Cine-Excess Cult film festival in London, Alex Fitch talks to the director about his career so far, concentrating on his new / old film The Movie Orgy (1968) which premièred last night at the festival. The Movie Orgy was initially a 5 hour film made of found footage spliced together by the director in the 1960s as a calling card for editing work in the industry. It succeeded in this aim, leading to a job under Roger Corman and Dante has just finished a new 90 min cut of the film for 21st Century audiences. Alex and Joe also talk about his shift from ‘adult’ horror films such as The Howling and Piranha (screening May 1st at Cine-Excess) in the 1970s to subversive family fare such as Gremlins in the 80s and the possibility of that film receiving a belated second sequel.

To download / stream this radio interview in a variety of formats, please visit

Links: Cine Excess website
More info about the cult film archive and MA course at Brunel University
Wikipedia and IMDb pages on Joe Dante

Recommended events:

Sci-Fi London 9 – Life in 2050

Starting tonight at the Apollo Piccadilly on Lower Regent Street is Sci-Fi London, the twice yearly festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic film and there are a number of comics related events I’ve organised:

60 Years of Dan Dare

A panel on 60 years of the lantern jawed space pilot -Alex Fitch will be talking to:
Garry Leach, who drew Dan’s return to print in 2000AD, ten years after the end of the original Eagle, in the late 1970s and more recently covers for Virgin comics’ revival of the ‘Pilot of the future’ in 2008.
Rian Hughes who drew the Eagle inspired comic The Science Service in 1989 and then the Mekon’s final revenge in the Thatcherite satire Dare in the adult comics Revolver and Crisis a year later.
Gary Erskine who drew Dan Dare’s most recent official comic book adventures in the Virgin Comics periodical of the same name.
John Freeman, a comics historian and writer. He previous wrote The Science Service and now writes the strip Ex Astris in the 00s Dan Dare magazine Spaceship Away and
Rod Barzilay the editor and one of the writers of Spaceship Away,

10.30am Saturday 1st May

30 years of MARVEL UK

Alex Fitch hosts a panel on the British arm of the American Superhero publisher, featuring:
Dez Skinn, a pioneering Marvel UK editor who launched titles such as Hulk Comic and Doctor Who Magazine which featured early licensed work by Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons.
Dan Abnett, who gave Captain Britain a new, darker spin in the 1990s by adding him to an Arthurian team of heroes with
Gary Erskine, co-creator of the Knights of Pendragon
John Freeman, who designed many of Marvel UK’s early 90s titles such as Death’s Head II, Warheads, Killpower and Motormouth, contributing strips to several issues as well.
Simon Furman, primary writer for Marvel’s Transformers, and a dozen issues of Doctor Who magazine. He created some of Marvel UK’s most memorable SF titles including Dragon Claws and Death’s Head.

11.45 am, Saturday 1st May

Future Publishing?

A panel chaired by Tom Hunter, organiser of the Arthur C. Clarke Awards for SF literaure on the future of (SF) publishing:
featuring, Paul Rainey a cartoonist, illustrator and creator of diary-comic-strip-in-list-form Book of Lists. He is currently serialising his graphic novel, or ‘thick comic book’, There’s No Time Like The Present.
Gary Gibson; Nova War is his fourth novel and his second Dakota Merrick book, following 2007’s Stealing Light. The third in the series, Empire of Light, is to be published in July.
Dave Bradley, the editor of SFX magazine…

1.00 pm, Saturday 1st May

Live genre film redub

As part of the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 ‘allnighter’, some of London’s finest improv comedians, with guest star Dean Haglund (The X-Files) will be providing a new live soundtrack to a Rutger Hauer B movie. This is often considered the highlight of the Sci-Fi London Festival, so get a ticket while you can!

11.59 pm, Saturday 1st May

The Birth of the Modern Doctor Who

A special 2 hour event hosted by Alex Fitch, featuring a panel on directing Doctor Who, with Andrew Morgan who directed Sylvester McCoy’s first serial and returned to helm the 7th Doctor’s finest hour – Remembrance of the Daleks – which finally saw them conquer a flight of stairs.
Charles Palmer who directed four episodes of Doctor Who, including the first appearance of Martha Jones in the series and the two part story Human Nature / The Family of Blood.
Richard Martin who directed 22 episodes of Doctor Who in the 1960s, including most of the first three Dalek serials. Contrasting with the experiences of the more recent Who directors, Richard will give a valuable insight into the early years of the show and how much / how little aspects of filming have changed.

also: a panel on Doctor Who off screen; during periods when the programme was off-air, his adventures continued in books and audio plays. We are very excited to bring together some of the finest writers of these spin-off stories. This group were crucial in shaping the 21st Century Doctor.
Simon Guerrier is a writer of Doctor Who short stories, novels, comic strips and audio plays. He has also written and produced several installments of the audio adventures of the Doctor’s former companion Professor Bernice Summerfield.
Neil Gardner is a producer of several recent Doctor Who audio titles. Neil edited Tom Baker’s long-awaited return to the role after nearly 30 years. He has also directed many of the recent Tenth Doctor talking books.
Alan Stevens is the producer of Kaldor City, a sequel to both Doctor Who: The Robots of Death and Blake’s 7: Weapon.

The session will be followed by a live reading of a short Bernice Summerfield play “Closure” by Paul Cornell, performed by the original cast: Lisa Bowerman and Sarah Mowatt…

1.00 pm Sunday 1st May

Coffee with Gary Erskine

The Popular comics penciller and inker will be holding a signing and sketching session at Sci-Fi London, so if you don’t fancy the Doctor Who event, come along early to get in line!

1.00 pm Sunday 1st May

All the events take place at the Apollo Piccadilly Cinema, 19 Lower Regent Street, London, SW1Y 4LR
More info at


Cine-Excess IV at Odeon Covent Garden

On now at the Odeon Cinema 135-149 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8AH is Cine-Excess IV, the fourth International conference on Cult film run by Brunel University.

The programme of events includes Q & As, panel discussions and screenings, with this year’s guest of honour being Joe Dante, accepting a lifetime achievement award for his work on Gremlins, Inner Space, The ‘Burbs, The Howling and many more classic genre films from the last 40 years.

Screenings include the premières of a new 90 min cut of Dante’s first film “The Movie Orgy” (1968), a mash-up of found film footage that earned him his first editing work in cinema – screening at 8.30pm on Thursday 29th April – “The Party’s Over” (1963), a cult British classic by Bond director Guy Hamilton – screening at 11pm on Friday 30th April – and a new print of Lamberto Bava’s Italian horror classic “Demons” (1986) – screening at 11pm on Thursday 29th April.

Full details at

For more info on Brunel University’s Cult Cinema Archive and MA course, please visit their website at

Paper Science II launch

As part of ‘Free comics day’ on Saturday 1st May, We are Words + Pictures will be launching their new, free newspaper format comic “Paper Science II” at Orbital Comics, 8 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JA near Leicester Square Tube…

The second issue includes work by Philippa Rice, Francesca Cassavetti, Daniel Locke, Matthew Sheret, Tom Humberstone, Adam Cadwell, Liz Lunney, Douglas Noble, Anna Saunders, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Sean Azzopardi, Edward Ros and Marc Ellerby.

They’ll also be running a Drop In + Draw day there, featuring Tom Humberstone and Mark Oliver as well as the Mobile Library.

More info at

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3 notes

  1. Today’s show – Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper: Masters of Horror « “Panel Borders” & “Reality Check” reblogged this and added:

    […] to Alex’s previous interview with Joe Dante about his debut film The Movie Orgy / read a partial transcript of the interview, focussing on Splatter at […]

  2. Electric Sheep podcast – Joe Dante and Tobe Hooper: Masters of Horror « “Panel Borders” & “Reality Check” reblogged this and added:

    […] to Alex’s previous interview with Joe Dante about his debut film The Movie Orgy / read a partial transcript of the interview, focussing on Splatter at […]

  3. Electric Sheep podcast: Masters of Horror reblogged this and added:

    […] to Alex’s previous interview with Joe Dante about his debut film The Movie Orgy / read a partial transcript of the interview, focussing on Splatter at […]

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