Big Men

vic fortezza
3 min readOct 21, 2020

Last night Movies!, channel 5–2 on over the air antennas in NYC, ran a fun triple feature beginning at eight PM: Island of Terror (1966), Brit horror not produced by Hammer, starring Peter Cushing; The Cyclops (1957), directed by B movie maven Bert I. Gordon, starring Lon Chaney and Gloria Talbott, running time 66 minutes; and Gargoyles (1972), starring Cornel Wilde, Jennifer Salt and Scott Glenn. I don’t know that there has ever been a better commercial station. I must have seen 50 films for the first time the past few months. Yes, there are ads, but remote control makes them almost irrelevant. The folks that run the show are obviously cinephiles. Here is Gordon with his creation. According to IMDb, he is credited with the Special Effects as well:

Bertram Ira Gordon, affectionately known as Mr. BIG, was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1922 and is still with us today. He began making home movies at nine. There are 25 titles under his name at IMDb in the category of Director, 20 as Writer. I was mesmerized as a kid by The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), which I saw at a Saturday matinee at the Benson Theater long before it became a chain drugstore, I forget which. I loved The Boy and the Pirates (1960), which I saw on a double bill with The Magnificent Seven at the Loew’s Oriental, seated beside my first love Elvira Morosco. I’m not sure I’ve seen any of his other works except The Cyclops. He wrote and directed each of the titles I’ve mention. Oddly, he returned after a 15-year hiatus to do what is probably his swan song — Secrets of a Psychopath (2015). Kudos to this American original.

While Biden is off the campaign trail avoiding questions, Trump is doing several rallies a night — 74 years old and relentless despite a recent bout with Corona. Colossal.

My thanks to Wolf, who bought two translations in Russian of Sandra Brown mysteries and one of Nora Roberts; and to the woman who purchased a hardcover in that language; and to the one who selected thrillers by Stephen King and Tom Clancy; and to the gentleman who chose a John LeCarre spy fest and an X-Files novel. Not surprisingly, authors capitalized on the popularity of the TV series, writing books for the Juvenile, Young Adult and Grown Ups markets. I counted a total of 35 titles listed on the Wiki page dedicated to the show’s literature. Scully! Here’s the one that sold today at the floating book shop:

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.