Citizen Kane and Titanic might have an artistic and popular monopoly on greatness, but when it comes to sitting down to a strictly enjoyable film, give me The North Avenue Irregulars any day.
What you hold in your hand now is a collection of behind the scenes essays dealing with the unheralded wonders of my youth. I am nobody, but I do have a publishing company, so please excuse the one vanity project you now read. However, I think you’re going to find some really good stuff here. If you, like me are a true fan of ignored classics like The Shaggy DA and The Good Fairy, then this is going to be a book you will treasure.
I tried to collect up a group of my favorite films that have not been covered much in print before, then asked a few good writers I knew if they would be interested in writing chapters on each, with a particular emphasis on how the films were made and interviews with any cast or crew they could catch, rather than just criticism. I am pleased with this book and hope you will be too.
- Ben Ohmart
"GET THAT CAT OUTA HERE: Behind the Scenes of My Favorite Films edited by Ben Ohmart (BearManor Media; bearmanormedia.com; $19.95). Disney's crime-comedy THE NORTH AVENUE IRREGULARS. The Tanya Roberts erotic-thriller INNER SANCTUM. William Wyler's 1935 melodrama THE GOOD FAIRY. Yes, it's certainly an odd assortment, but that's precisely what makes this 166-page book so entertaining, as editor Ben Ohmart and his expert writers delve into the creation of some of their favorite (but unjustly overlooked) motion pictures. Valerie Yaros details the troubled production of GOOD FAIRY, with Hollywood's new ridiculously-puritanical Production Code forcing scriptwriter Preston Sturges to cut any "objectionable" material. Nat Segaloff chronicles the Jerry Belson scripted black-comedy-turned-Burt-Reynolds-vehicle THE END; Mike Malloy talks to director Jonathan Mostow and Jake Noseworthy about the road-thriller BREAKDOWN; Matt Sanborn tackles 1988's THE BLOB, speaking to Kevin Dillon, Jeffrey DeMunn and director Chuck Russell; plus scriptwriter Mark Thomas McGee takes us on a behind-the-scenes journey into his 1991 direct-to-video hit INNER SANCTUM. Meanwhile, Mike White provides three terrific chapters: 1978's NORTH AVENUE IRREGULARS, with recollections from Edward Herrmann and director Bruce Bilson; Jim Wynorski provides amusing details about 976-EVIL II; plus screenwriter Ken Finkleman recalls being abruptly tossed into the director's chair of the chaotic AIRPLANE II: THE SEQUEL, along with a Robert Hays Q&A and lengthy list of deleted scenes. It's a lightweight read but filled with fun facts, even if you're unfamiliar with some of the films that are featured."
-- Shock Cinema