My friend Ray and I both fall into some undefined category between "geeks" and regular guys. By that I mean that we have too much of an interest in genre films, science fiction, comics, superheros etc. to be thought of as normal folk, yet we're not obese or unhygienic enough to be thought of as hard-core geeks. With this in-between status comes an ability to "pass" in either geek or normal society.
So anyway Ray's always sending me these links to behind-the-scenes gossip from the set of the Fantastic Four movie or whatever. In fact, he sends me this kind of stuff so often I've started calling them "Ray's Geek News Updates" like they're some ongoing feature on a website. I've been thinking that I should take the best bits and blog about them, because I think the idea of there being a separate subcategory of "geek news" is a good meme to get going. Also, because I'd like to do something with all the various links to Harry Knowles and company clogging my inbox. So, this - I hope - will be the first installment in an ongoing feature - the Geek News Update.
Deadly Girl Gets a Manicure
This first comes from me, not Ray. My girlfriend works part-time at an ultra-fancy spa in Downtown Manhattan. Who should happen to show up there for a pedicure a couple of times over the last few weeks but Judy Greer! Because we live in a fallen world I provided a link to her IMDB page, but really she is so beautiful and talented that she should be a household name. Mainstream movie fans may remember her from her roles in 13 Going on 30, The Village, and The Wedding Planner. Those of geekier, more warped sensibilities should remember her above all for two things: her unforgettable work as "Deadly Girl" in The Specials and her co-starring role opposite the great Goldberg in The Hebrew Hammer. (Yes, I realize that The Hebrew Hammer was in almost every way a disappointment, even to us hardcore Goldbergophiles, and by that I mean people like me who've seen Scotch and Milk more than five times. I also realize that Judy Greer was too shiksa-looking for the lead role. But dammit the concept was funny. It wasn't her fault that the script was bad.)
The Specials is a super-obscure film with a cult-following. It had a tiny theatrical run in LA and New York but was in essence direct to video. It did the superheros-as-regular-people thing way before The Incredibles and in my opinion better, though not in a remotely family-friendly fashion. Judy Greer played a hilarious character called "Deadly Girl" whose power was mostly acting like a really bitchy goth chick. Pure genius. The film also features a great comic lead performance by Thomas Haden Church back when people still only thought of him as "that Lloyd dude from Wings." Well worth adding to the old Netflix queue.
So anyway Judy Greer came in on two occasions and got a manicure. My girlfriend says she's "nice". How's that for hard-hitting celebrity gossip? This Judy Greer sighting happens right as she seems to be getting a lot of good press, both in the mainstream and geek worlds.
Zombie Extra Tells All
That was Ray's subject line when he e-mailed me this most excellent USA Today piece. The reporter - a fan of George Romero's work since the original Night of the Living Dead - gets to live out her dream of being a zombie extra in a Romero film, the forthcoming Land of the Dead. It turns out that more than a few of the zombies are hardcore Romero geeks, doing it out of love.