From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 12 Nov 2000

Juri Nummelin wrote:

> Congratulations! Won't be able to drop by, but I was left wondering about one thing:
> is the Fred Olen Ray the same guy who makes all these straight-to-video films?
> Juri

Yes, Juri. He is the same Fred Olen Ray. (I don't think there are two guys with that name on the planet!) Fred and I have been friends since the early seventies. Back in the heady eighties we made a dozen or so movies together. Of course back then they actually played theaters before moving on to video. The financial complications of a theatrical release today makes it very difficult for low budget films to go to the theaters first. The producers have run the numbers and realized they greatly minimize their risk by making product strictly for cable and video. Occasionally one of Fred's flicks busts loose and hits a movie screen, but not as often as in the old days. Publicity costs are just too high.

Fred still makes four or five movies a year, usually with some sort of genre content. He just finished a picture called VENOM starring Treat Williams. An earthquake disturbs a super nest of badass rattlers and they go after a small town. For reasons too complicated to go into here, the government attempts a cover-up and mayhem ensues.

I directed one day of second unit on the picture. A big scene where Fred had tanks and jeeps and soldiers and helicopters tearing through the town as the government declares martial law. During one of the last takes the helicopter blew a 7 foot by 3 foot wooden sign off the top of a building and it crashed down and hit me on the head and shoulder. It was our own mini-TWILIGHT ZONE accident. After I got out of the ER I joked with Fred that I was glad he had a small budget. He didn't have enough money to actually kill me! I'm fine now (it's been three weeks), but there's still a bit of fog to clear out of my brain. The MRI is next week.

As for the party yesterday, it was a hardboiled blast! We even had a couple of Rare Bird sightings! One Bird flew all the way up from San Diego! I hope all Rara-Avians cruising through LA in the future will drop in and say hi. I'd like to put faces on all these posts.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 12 Nov 2000 EST