Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Showdown At The Incredible Hulk: Chris Lugs A Machine Gun To The Party


Episode 23

Nick Corea

Everybody warned us about Nick Corea. Nick likes to get into your face, they said. Knock you back on your heels to see how you react. But if you survive the introduction, you might - just might - land a gig on The Incredible Hulk.

Chris bristled. "What do you mean, get in our face? I’ll double gobble turkey stomp the son of a bitch if he fucks with me and my partner."

Nick Corea, as I said before, was the number two man at The Incredible Hulk and its driving force.

"He’s not a bad guy, Chris," Jeff (the EatAnter) Freilich hastened to assure us.

This all happened before the Galactica '80 fiasco, but after Jeff’s sojourn as story exec at the (thankfully) short-lived Mrs. Columbo series. He’d parted company with Chris Trumbo and won himself a spot as a producer on the Hulk.

"He’s an ex-Marine," he added, as if this explained everything. "Very creative. And smart. Really, you’ll like him."

"Can’t be that smart if he was a Jarhead," Chris said. "Only thing they know how to do is fix bayonets and charge."

As I mentioned before, Chris had been a LURP in Vietnam, sneaking around the Cambodian border and other places the U.S. wasn’t supposed to be. He admired the Marines but was too much of an Army man to admit it in public.

"What kind of things does he do?" I asked Jeff. "To get in your face, I mean."

"Well, I know your agent sent him a sample of your writing because I saw it myself," Jeff replied. "It was pretty good, too."

"Of course it was fucking good," Chris growled. "We wrote it, didn’t we?" He hated being condescended to, a habit Jeff had formed after donning a producer's hat.

The spec script in question was "Crosses," a movie about a bunch of thieves in Berlin at war’s end. They are trying for one last big score to finance their escape before the Russians burst into the city with blood in their eyes. We’d never sold the movie, but had optioned it many times and considered it one of our finest scripts. (If you are curious, check the script out by clicking here.)

"Sure, sure," Jeff said. "And Nick will have read it, and liked it too, or he wouldn’t have had you guys come in."

"Okay, so what's our script have to do with it then?" I wanted to know.

"Well, maybe nothing," Jeff said. "But sometimes - I’ve been told - sometimes he holds up the script, and says, 'I’ve read your script, and here’s what I think of it.' And he drops the script into the waste basket."

"Asshole," my partner hissed. Such a threatened act was an affront to his artistic dignity.

"Now, Chris," Jeff soothed. "He only does it sometimes. Probably he won’t do it at all to you guys. I’m just warning you, so you’ll know not to get pissed and just laugh it off."

"I’ll tell you fucking what," Chris said. "If Corea pulls shit like that you tell him that I will immediately drop to the floor and I’ll run through the entire drill of setting up and locking and loading a fucking M60 machine gun. And then I'll open up on his ass."

"What’s that mean?" Jeff puzzled. "Is it bad?"

"Tell him," Chris said. "If he really was a Jarhead, he’ll know."

"He might cancel the meeting," Jeff warned.

"Then he’s chicken shit," Chris said. "Tell him that too.

Jeff never did tell Corea. He sort of passed along the word to the rest of the staff. By the time the buzz reached Corea, the story was so blown out of proportion that some people thought Chris was going to bring a machine gun into the meeting.

Corea was not a guy to be intimidated. It only made the meeting more certain than ever.

Come the showdown:

When we entered Nick’s office the meeting was packed with producers, (Karen Harris and Jill Sherman among them) story guys, assistants to the assistants of The Main Assistant. Everybody was here for the showdown. They were crowded on either side of the room, making an aisle. At the far end, Corea sat at his desk. Short beard on a hawk’s face, rugged build. Clad in a voluminous Hawaiian shirt over cammie trousers.

As we entered, he leaned back in his chair, hands behind his head, lips twisted in a wry grin. He nodded at me, then looked at Chris. An unsmiling Chris stared back.

I could almost hear Fistful Of Sergio Leone music shrilling in my ears.

Nick suddenly dropped his hands and came forward. He picked up a thick sheaf of paper in one hand. Held it over the wastebasket by his desk.

"I read your script," he said. Then waited.

Without a second's hesitation, Chris dropped flat to the floor - legs outspread. Then he quickly and smoothly went through the complicated By The Military Manual motions of setting up an M60 machine gun on its tripod, then locking it and loading.

He swung the imaginary barrel around and aimed it directly at Nick. "Fire when you’re ready, partner," Chris drawled.

Nick barked a short burst of laughter. "Shit," he said. "You didn’t leave out a single beat. All twenty steps."

"Twenty-one," Chris corrected him as he rose to his feet.

Nick dropped the script back on his desk. "Crosses, he said."It was a good read."

"We know," Chris said.

Nick waved and we took the only two empty seats in the room - directly in front of his desk. I could hear the others breathing sighs of relief and whispering to one another.

Incredible Hulk Pilot
"Okay, guys," Nick said. "What do you want to do?"

"A motorcycle gang story," Chris said. "You get to see a Hulkout on a motorcycle." He made motions of a head exploding through a helmet by way of illustration.

Nick nodded. "Heard you once had a PR contract with Hell’s Angels," he said.

"It’s still in effect," Chris said. "I took over from Hunter Thompson after they kicked shit out of him." Chris grinned. "I told him, 'Hunter, you've got to learn to get along with people.'"

Another short bark of laughter from Nick. Then he said, "Okay, guys. Tell me the story."

So we did.





Can't wait to read the blog each week to find out what happens next? No problem. Click the following link and buy the book. 

Tales Sometimes Tall, but always true, of Allan Cole's years in Hollywood with his late partner, Chris Bunch. How a naked lady almost became our first agent. How we survived La-La Land with only the loss of half our brain cells. How Bunch & Cole became the ultimate Fix-It Boys. How an alleged Mafia Don was very, very good to us. The guy who cornered the market on movie rocks. Andy Warhol's Fire Extinguisher. The Real Stars Of Hollywood. Why they don't make million dollar movies. See The Seven Pi$$ing Dwarfs. Learn: how to kill a "difficult" actor… And much, much more.

Here's where you can buy it worldwide in both paperback and Kindle editions:

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Hear voice artist Colin Hussey's 
Bring all the stories and people 
To life in the audiobook version
Of My Hollywood MisAdventures.



Ever since my British publisher put all eight novels in the Sten series in three omnibus editions, American readers have been clamoring for equal treatment. 

Well, my American publisher – Wildside Books – was listening and is issuing all three omnibus volumes on this side of the Atlantic. The first two volumes were issues at the end of 2016. Stay tuned for the publication date of the third and final volume

THE TIMURA TRILOGY: When The Gods Slept, Wolves Of The Gods and The Gods Awaken. This best selling fantasy series now available as trade paperbacks, e-books (in all varieties) and as audiobooks. Visit The Timura Trilogy page for links to all the editions. 

NEWLY REVISED KINDLE EDITIONS OF THE TIMURA TRILOGY NOW AVAILABLE. (1) When The Gods Slept;(2) Wolves Of The Gods; (3) The Gods Awaken.


A NATION AT WAR WITH ITSELF: In Book Three Of The Shannon Trilogy, young Patrick Shannon is the heir-apparent to the Shannon fortune, but murder and betrayal at a family gathering send him fleeing into the American frontier, with only the last words of a wise old woman to arm him against what would come. And when the outbreak of the Civil War comes he finds himself fighting on the opposite side of those he loves the most. In The Wars Of The Shannons we see the conflict, both on the battlefield and the homefront, through the eyes of Patrick and the members of his extended Irish-American family as they struggle to survive the conflict that ripped the new nation apart, and yet, offered a dim beacon of hope.



A True Story About A Boy,
A Teacher, And Earthquake,
Some Terrorists And The CIA

LUCKY IN CYPRUS is a coming-of-age story set in the Middle East during the height of the Cold War. An American teenager – son of a CIA operative – is inspired by grand events and a Greek Cypriot teacher. 

He witnesses earthquakes and riots and terrorist attacks, but in the end it is his teacher’s gentle lessons that keep him whole.

Here's where to get the paperback & Kindle editions worldwide: 

Here's what readers say about Lucky In Cyprus:
  • "Bravo, Allan! When I finished Lucky In Cyprus I wept." - Julie Mitchell, Hot Springs, Texas
  • "Lucky In Cyprus brought back many memories... A wonderful book. So many shadows blown away!" - Freddy & Maureen Smart, Episkopi,Cyprus. 
  • "... (Reading) Lucky In Cyprus has been a humbling, haunting, sobering and enlightening experience..." - J.A. Locke,



What if the Cold War never ended -- but continued for a thousand years? Best-selling authors Allan Cole (an American) and Nick Perumov (a Russian) spin a mesmerizing "what if?" tale set a thousand years in the future, as an American and a Russian super-soldier -- together with a beautiful American detective working for the United Worlds Police -- must combine forces to defeat a secret cabal ... and prevent a galactic disaster! This is the first - and only - collaboration between American and Russian novelists. Narrated by John Hough. Click the title links below for the trade paperback and kindle editions. (Also available at iTunes.)


A novel by Allan and his daughter, Susan

After laboring as a Doctors Without Borders physician in the teaming refugee camps and minefields of South Asia, Dr. Ann Donovan thought she'd seen Hell as close up as you can get. And as a fifth generation CIA brat, she thought she knew all there was to know about corruption and betrayal. But then her father - a legendary spymaster - shows up, with a ten-year-old boy in tow. A brother she never knew existed. Then in a few violent hours, her whole world is shattered, her father killed and she and her kid brother are one the run with hell hounds on their heels. They finally corner her in a clinic in Hawaii and then all the lies and treachery are revealed on one terrible, bloody storm- ravaged night.

BASED ON THE CLASSIC STEN SERIES by Allan Cole & Chris Bunch: Fresh from their mission to pacify the Wolf Worlds, Sten and his Mantis Team encounter a mysterious ship that has been lost among the stars for thousands of years. At first, everyone aboard appears to be long dead. Then a strange Being beckons, pleading for help. More disturbing: the presence of AM2, a strategically vital fuel tightly controlled by their boss - The Eternal Emperor. They are ordered to retrieve the remaining AM2 "at all costs." But once Sten and his heavy worlder sidekick, Alex Kilgour, board the ship they must dare an out of control defense system that attacks without warning as they move through dark warrens filled with unimaginable horrors. When they reach their goal they find that in the midst of all that death are the "seeds" of a lost civilization. 



Venice Boardwalk Circa 1969
In the depths of the Sixties and The Days Of Rage, a young newsman, accompanied by his pregnant wife and orphaned teenage brother, creates a Paradise of sorts in a sprawling Venice Beach community of apartments, populated by students, artists, budding scientists and engineers lifeguards, poets, bikers with  a few junkies thrown in for good measure. The inhabitants come to call the place “Pepperland,” after the Beatles movie, “Yellow Submarine.” Threatening this paradise is  "The Blue Meanie,"  a crazy giant of a man so frightening that he eventually even scares himself.

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