Susan Svehla, Midnight Marquee, A. Susan Svehla





Forgive me readers, for I've been remiss. It's been a year and a half since my last blog. Well, I've been busy.

It's taken me 4 days to update this darn website, but it's done (I hope). As I wrote on the home page, it's been a lousy year here at Midmar. Gary has been having back pain from three herniated discs, and after a terrible bout of cellulitis in my leg, I'm still recovering. The cellulitis is getting better, but it left a large open wound, which we have to bandage a couple times a day. I have to be so careful and can't go downstairs into the still torn up office nightmare or even into my garden. I have so many things I want to do that I can't and it's hard to relax with all that going through my mind.

I have now done 4 columns for Fangoria on women making horror films. I have had such a great time working on this and taking to all those great women has been inspiring. They don't whine about anyone holding them back, they just go out and make their movies. No money, no problem, they'll find a way.

Even though really suffered for my art, I still had a great time making our new movie, Stellar Quasar. We worked with many new and talented actors and I have hopes it will be a film that all sci-fi fans will love. But we have lots of work left to do on it.

stellar quasar

stellar quasar


I put together and painted six of the ships we are using, I also did a lot of the costumes and makeup. Not that I wanted to, but necessity is the mother of invention, not to mention major headaches! But I had lots of help and those angels will be thanked as soon as I'm back to normal, or what passes for normal for me. Gary has been my tower of strength. Thank heaven he had so many sick days from school, because he's had off since the first day I got sick (his second day back for the new year) so he can take care of me, I was on a liquid IV he had to hook up for me and change my bandages twice a day. And our doggy Buddy has been trying to help me get better by licking my leg. He has charmed the visiting nurse as he does everyone. I even put him in the movie as Astrobuddy, he's so cute, but doesn't take direction very well!

This is not movie related, but since I can't do much except rest, I've been thinking about the country and the economy and have devised a plan that will get this country out of debt. Seriously. As soon as I have more energy I'm going to start sending to it our congressmen and anyone else I can think of. I suggest everyone do the same, because it's time for America to grow up and face some hard truths and one of them is that big business and religions and anyone with a deep purse has no place telling our government what we can eat or drink or who to marry or how to live our lives. If you disagree with something, don't do it or watch it or read it, but don't try to stop everyone else from doing so. So here are my ideas.
It might be the infection talking but to me it makes a whole lot of sense.

American Citizens--stop being the fall guy for a Congress that is making laws for “The Good of the People” rather than actually caring about what the people actually think.  Our “lawmakers” sit high atop their little white Mt. Olympus in D.C. and waste our money, are wined and dined by lobbyists and actually work as little as possible.  They think their constituents are stupid and need laws to protect them.  Don’t tell us what to eat, what to watch, where to vacation.  You have no business in how we live.
The only policy these “lawmakers” follow is vote against whatever the other guy is for.  And let’s all stop this left and right nonsense.  It’s not left or right—it’s wrong or right. And most of the people are trapped in the middle, carrying the burden of the country while billions of dollars are tossed away on junk.

Our congress, both R & D, plan to cut Medicare and social security, programs the middle class has been paying into their entire life.  And these hardworking people are being made to look greedy for looking forward to seeing some of their hard-earned money returned to them in their old age.  Congress also plans to cut public services that help those who truly need it.  Despite what the media and politicians think, most American citizens are hard-working and their mindset lies somewhere in the middle, not all left or all right, but what is ethical, moral and just plain common sense. So here is what we need to do to get out of debt without making us pay more taxes or cutting social security and Medicare.

1. Legalize drugs: According to the National Drug Control Policy in 2010 the war on drugs cost 40 BILLION Dollars. Legalizing drugs will control illegal immigration by making drug cartels and drug dealers obsolete, thereby making Mexico and South American countries once again safe and their people won’t be in such a hurry to move to the U.S to find a better life because their lives will be better in their home country, it's just simple logic. And people that want to use drugs will use them no matter what, making them illegal only makes them more attractive to rebellious youth.

2. Tax churches and non-profits: According to Taxthechurches.org  in 1986 churches took in an income of 100 BILLION DOLLARS, NONE OF IT TAXED.  The Catholic Church is the richest organization in the world.  And many will say they use that money for charity, well charity is deductible but the real question is how much really goes to charity?  Non-profits that have an income should be taxed, no matter what they do.

3. Stop subsidies: While I could not find any amount of money this would save, but these are unethical and wrong. I’m sure the savings would be in the BILLIONS IF NOT TRILLIONS.

4. Stop Holding Congressional Hearings on topics that have nothing to do with the law of the land and taxpayers.  Was there ever a bigger waste of money than hearings such as steroids and Barry Bonds, etc.

5. Stop no child left behind.  Again, there is little data on what the country and states spend on this testing, but according to A Fractured Marketplace on Standardized Testing, taxpayers spend 20 BILLION A YEAR getting their children ready for tests.  While in 2006 the gvt. put 54.4 BILLION dollars into education and no child left behind (U.S. Dept. of Education press release 2006) . Meanwhile, our children are dumber than ever, schools are being forced to lie and cheat and good teachers are leaving the field because they are no longer creative and enthusiastic teachers, they are babysitters forcing bored students to learn how to take a test. Also make sure children can do math by themselves, not rely on machines. If something drastic happened and we had no electronics, could any students actually do math in their head? Also, go back to teaching home ec, woodshop and auto mechanics. Kids today are not learning these basic skills from their parents and when they get out into the real world cannot function. In addition to teaching math and science and English, let's also prepare them for life beyond high school.

6. Go into the Patent Office and Find Energy Ideas that will stop the dependency on oil.  There are known cases where people have invented engines that require no oil or gas but these people are so terrified of being murdered by big business (I personally know of one man who built such motor but really did live in fear of oil companies and automobile companies murdering him).

7. Investigate all Social Security Recipients to make sure they are legitimate claims and actually still alive.  Sure you’ll need more workers, but hey, let’s put people to work and while saving millions if not billions of dollars in illegal claims.

8. Create Jobs for the Jobless.  There are thousands of jobs that need doing, I’d rather the government pay people to work than pay healthy people to sit home and watch reality TV—You can pick up trash, put in trees and parks, work in after school programs to keep kids out of trouble, repair roads, install parks and playgrounds, there are thousands of jobs and there should be no free ride for people able to work.

9. No one deserves to receive a pension for life for a few years work. If an employee works 30 years he should receive his pension, but these government representatives who work 5 years and then receive a full pension for life are just abusing the system and us.

10. Outlaw lobbying.  Whoever thought bribery, errr Lobbying, was legal, ethical and morally right?  It isn’t.  If a business or group wants to explain their business or request for special treatment, they can make an appointment and present their claim in a set time in front of the Congress.

11.  Any big business that sends work overseas (such as customer service centers) and forces us to deal with people who don’t speak our language and have no real ability to help us should pay a hefty fee for taking all their US tax breaks but taking business out of the country.

12. Cut all special projects that help no one: The Washington Post in 2004 reported Pork Barrel projects cost 52.69 BILLION DOLLARS



You can find the addresses for Congress at www.contactingthecongress.org
or www.usa.gov/contact/elected.

And don’t forget the president (www.whitehouse.gov), the vice president, and the cabinet and

Ok, that's enough for now, I've worked too long today and will be paying the price tomorrow.
Thanks everyone for your kindness, thoughts and prayers and cards while I've been sick. Hugs to all, sue




Well, I guess one blog a year isn't too horrible... I don't understand how people post stuff every day! Who has that kind of time? We've been super busy working on new books including one of Forry Ackerman's house and collection and a reprint of Monsters, Mutants and Heavenly Creatures, this time in full color. We've also cleaned out the warehouse, and had a huge truck come and shred 7 years of old paperwork. That was amazing. But we're getting too old to life all those book boxes. One printer we used for the Top Dogs book and the first printing of Classic Cliffhangers didn't follow our instructions to box the books in a d ouble walled carton and only 25 pounds. They put 75 books in a flimsy carton and every time we picked one up, it broke and spilled books on my bad leg. We finally had to buy new boxes and repack every book. I wrote a letter to the president, but they didn't bother to reply. What ever happend to customer service? Businesses just don't care. I guess they have so much money, it doens't matter if they piss off customers. Besides, the government will bale them out. Unlike small businesses, we're barely keeping our heads above water. I love how the government gave banks money to lend to small businesses, but the banks refuse to lend the money, even though it is guaranteed by the government. And we know this from personal experience.

We're still trying to sell our new documentary 4-part series Mindight Madness on the history of horror films and FANEX. We were lucky and got releases from all the stars who appeared at FANEX except two who refused. Someday we'll tell you who.

I gave Gary a whole list of gripes, but now I can't remember any except one. Gary likes those entertainment news shows, like Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc. And they used to acutally be about entertainment. But these last couple of years all they are about are sex scandals and reality show people. I don't even know who these people are, but I do know I'm sick of them. How is it possible to become so famous for having a slew of kids or screwing around with a married celebrity? And don't you love how those skanks are now giving interviews as the wronged women. They really give women a bad name.And don't you love how these cheating husbands are forced to give a press conference apologizing. They don't owe me an apology, I don't really care what they do. Why does the media think all America is hanging on the edge of their seats wating for more information on Tiger Woods or Jesse James?And what's up withreality shows putting on all those crooked politicians on TV? Isn't that just saying breaking the law is ok as long as they ratings are good? And speaking of ratings... Entertainment Weekly (which used to be a decent little mag to while away a mindless hour, but is now mostly drivel and much smaller) does massive stories on shows like Dancing with the Stars and that bimbo housewives series but think about it... if 25 million people are watching American Idol, that means that 275 million people in the USA AREN'T watching. So why all the press? The last thing I'm saying on reality shows is this... I really how Simon Cowell punches Ryan Seacrest in the face before he leaves American Idol. How does someone with so little talent get so far?...well Seacrest and Larry King.

Do the powers that be really thing people are going to set in their living rooms wearing 3D glasses (that hurt my eyes) to watch hours of TV? I don't even watch movies with 3D.

We just watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hoping I would like it better the second time. I didn't, I still find that script so flawed and marvel at the screenwriter who has the knack of missing the heart of the book he's adapting.

If I sat through 7 years of Lost to find out it's just a Stephen King battle of good vs. evil, I'm going to be really pissed. Have a great summer, (or should that be year). Sue




Boy, I'm really bad at this blog thing.  We've been swamped with orders from the sale flyer.  Of course when you're selling some books for $5 and mags for $1, you're pretty much losing money, but we are clearing out some space, and I'm so sick of looking at those boxes of Midmars in the warehouse.  The FANEX Fest. we did at the Senator Theater was fun, but stressful since the owner (who is filing bankruptcy and the city is taking over) only gave us 8 days to pull it together.  He promised he would reimburse us for the newpaper ad and postcards, which were over $800, but we figured he'd rip us off, and we were right.  But it was something to see my movie, Terror in the Pharaoh's Tomb on that 40' screen, and it didn't suck, I'm kind of proud of that movie.  With books sales from the weekend, after losing the $800, we about broke even, which for us is pretty much standard for the course.  I think we're better artists than business people. 

The FANEX documentaries are moving along, Jeff Herberger, our editor is working on the final 3.  The Hammer DVD will be out in July. This is the tentative cover:

Hammer Films, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Ingrid Pitt, Veronica Carlson

Back to pulling books, we're hoping to finish our cheer up book in the next few weeks.  I have a great title:








all available on DVD from www.amazon.com or www.oldies.com


Excellent TV series with stunning locations.  Young Indy meets famous historical figures and the series manages to make history exciting.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade



Boris Karloff gives a quietly masterful performance as the mummy still searching for his long lost love.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones


John Agar, Hugh Beaumont, and Alan Napier
discover a lost civilization in this fun camp classic.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones


An evil queen, love-struck mummy, missing fiance, feisty heroines, and comedy sidekicks populate this loving tribute to 1930s and 1940s B movies and serials


Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones

H. Rider Haggard adaptations:


Merian C. Cooper produced this version starring Randolph Scott and Helen Gahagan as She.  Original music by Max Steiner

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


Hammer version of the Haggard novel features Ursula Andress as Ayesha (She who must be obeyed) and a delightfully randy Peter Cushing as British archaeologist Holly.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones

(1934 serial)

Bela Lugosi in one of his few heroic roles stars as Frank Chandler, aka Chandu, who must save his love, Nadji from an evil cult!

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones


Kathleen Turner stars as Joan Wilder, a dowdy (as if) writer of romance novels, whose only adventures take place in her books—until her sister is kidnapped in South America.  Joan's life is suddenly filled with evil villains, jungle intrigue and a handsome scoundrel who comes to her aid.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones


Cedric Hardwicke is Allan Quatermain, who, along with Umbopa (Paul Robeson) help the beautiful Kathy O'Brien find her father in Darkest Africa.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones


Stewart Granger as Allan Quatermain, who helps Elizabeth (Deborah Kerr) find her husband in Africa.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones

( 1986)

Richard Chamberlain takes on the legendary character Allan Quatermain in this version.  Quatermain is searching for his brother and a lost city.  Sharon Stone is also along for the adventure.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

(1937 serial)

Grant Withers is Jungle Jim in this serial directed by the prolific serial director Ford Beebe.  Jim is in Africa searching for a missing heiress.

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones




by Elizabeth Peters

The first book introduces us to Amelia Peabody, who, along with Radcliffe and Walter Emerson, must find out why a mysterious mummy is trying to kidnap the beautiful Evelyn.


Amelia and Emerson and their precocious son Ramses discover a lost city in this witty tribute to H. Rider Haggard. 




Pulp hero Doc Savage is no superhero, but his brilliant mind and experiences as a doctor, surgeon, scientist, explorer, researcher and inventor, along with his photographic memory, and mastery of martial arts and disguise enables him to "right wrongs and punish evildoers everywhere."  Immense fun and one wonders why this series was only attempted on film once (and not very successfully).

Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford, George Lucas

Other fun Indy-like films to check out:

Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)

Ace Drummond (1936 serial)

Carry on Behind (1975, popular British comedy film series)

The Champions (1968 TV series)

Cobra Woman (1944)

Curse of Faceless Man (1958)

Doc Savage: Man of Bronze (1975)

The Flying Serpent (1946)

Lara Croft Tomb Raider (2001)

The Lone Ranger and the
Lost City of Gold (1958)

Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)

National Treasure ( 2004)

Pharaoh's Curse (1956)

Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (1955 TV series)

Tarzan and the Amazons (1945)

Terry and the Pirates (serial)

Valley of the Gwangi (1969)

Vengeance of She (1968)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Harrison Ford, Ste ven Spielberg, George Lucas, Indy Jones, Henry Jones, Crystal Skulls, Raiders of the Lost Ark