Archive for August, 1999

Message from M.A.C. – August 8, 1999

Sunday, August 8th, 1999

My apologies for the long delay in posting an update — both Nate (my son Nate, that is — not Nate Heller) and I  — have been incredibly busy these last few months.   We’re going to try to keep the site more current.

Sad news — a few months ago, we lost our friend Del Close — who provided such a memorable cameo as the warden in MOMMY 2: MOMMY’S DAY.   Del held court in his hospital room — the likes of Bill Murray and Harold Ramis came calling — and word is his before-the-fact wake was recorded for Comedy Central!   A unique individual, Del, and so very influential — he thought up the idea of SCTV, for example, and was the comedy guru to Mike Meyers, among many others.  It’s a bittersweet honor that Del — who was a hardcore Nate Heller fan — made his last screen appearance in our film.

london.gif Happier news — Barb and I just returned from London, where my documentary, MIKE HAMMER’S MICKEY SPILLANE, was the centerpiece of a Mickey Spillane film retrospective at the National Film Theatre on the South Bank of the Thames!   Mickey and his wife Jane came along, and Mickey and I were interviewed before a capacity crowd by Adrian Wooton, the  distinguished but very amiable head of the London Film Festival.  The documentary was extremely well-received, and we saw pristine 35mm prints of THE GIRL HUNTERS (in Cinemascope!) and, for the first time since 1953, I, THE JURY in 3-D!!!MIKE HAMMER’S MICKEY SPILLANE was earlier honored (last December) at Noir in Festival in Courmayeur, Italy — which is where Adrian saw the documentary, and invited us to show it in London.  The American premiere was at the University of Iowa Library, another nice honor, and Mickey and Jane came for that, as well.  In addition, the documentary won the Award of Excellence for Best Entertainment Programming at the 1999 Iowa Motion Picture Awards in May.

We do not have a sale yet, but we have just — at this writing — gone out to market with the 48-minute production.  Cary Roan — whose Roan Group has shifted from laser disc to DVD — is interested in putting the documentary out on DVD.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of the Roan Group and DVD, just last month I supervised the authoring of both MOMMY and MOMMY 2: MOMMY’S DAY for their Roan Group DVD release.  These will be the ultimate homevideo presentation of the two features, jampacked with extras: on camera interviews with Patty McCormack, commentary track, preview trailers — and will retail for only $19.95 each (that means they will probably be available many places at around $14.95 each).  The quality far exceeds the laser discs, and completely blows away any VHS tape.  I am really thrilled with this presentation.  Look for them soon — probably in September ’99!

I also supervised the authoring of a box set of the 1940s DICK TRACY features for the Roan Group.  (The authoring is being done in Iowa City by Conwood Enterprises — several MOMMY family crew members work there!)  I provided commentary tracks that include the inside skinny on my experiences as the writer of DICK TRACY, including consulting on the Warren Beatty movie.  This will be another jampacked package, the ultimate version of these fun ’40s movies.  They should be out in September, also.

So far this year, I’ve written two novels — THE HINDENBURG MURDERS, a follow-up (not sequel!) to THE TITANIC MURDERS, for Berkley Prime Crime; and U-571, a movie tie for Avon and MCA.  I don’t have pub dates on either of these yet.  HINDENBURG features the creator of the Saint, Leslie Charteris, as its amateur sleuth and, unlike TITANIC, the murder mystery is tied directly to the disaster itself.  U-571 is a World War II submarine tale, a tense thriller that should make a good movie (and I know it made a good book!).
Available right now is an instant collector’s item — THE MYSTERY SCENE MOVIE GUIDE, which gathers all of my movie columns (and more material on film) into one, alphabetized “guide.”  This was announced several years and just emerged from Borgo Press in a very weird way: it was the last title Borgo published before closing their doors, and they did a short, trial print run of only 100 copies!   I have acquired the remaining 60 copies.  This trade paperback (signed) costs $21.50 postpaid from M.A.C. Productions, 301 Fairview Avenue, Muscatine, Iowa 52761.   This is destined to be my rarest book!  Only 100 copies exist!  You have been warned.

Barb and I will be out touring to support the new Nate Heller, MAJIC MAN, and our first book together, REGENERATION, in October.  We’re at the moment still putting together our schedule (it’s limited to the midwest this time around).  But it will be posted.

MAJIC MAN is a hardcover from Dutton — the “Roswell” Heller.  REGENERATION is a psychological suspense paperback from Leisure Books, who did the two MOMMY novels.  Barb and I are working on our second novel together, BOMBSHELL, for St. Martin’s Press.

In October, I will be Guest of Honor at Bouchercon (SEE LINK) and my band CRUSIN’ will be playing!  By that time we should have a limited edition CD out, a “best of” spanning over 30 years of garage band rock from M.A.C.!  The CD will include the CRUSIN’ songs from the MOMMY movies.  CRUSIN’ has been fairly active lately, with a new member — the incredibly gifted Andy Landers — so look for another all-new material CD within a year or so.  And SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT — with my pals Bill Mumy, Miguel Ferrer, Chris Christensen and Steve Leialoha — are appearing in August at the San Diego Comic Con!  First time since 1994….

Be sure to look for MAJIC MAN and REGENERATION!

Till next time —


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