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The Grey Area...
Readers' letters of comment, feedback messages, and selected correspondence

December 2006
In Steve Anderson�s review on The Bunker, he makes an error when he says:
"I want to know where these guys got the rifle that looks very much like a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle. What, is this some kind of experimental MG-43 from the fabled 'last days of the war'..."
The movie was amazingly accurate in its weaponry. The rifle Anderson speaks of is the Sturmgewehr 44, a revolutionary design which was arguably the first assault rifle, one which even our current military weapons are based. It was adopted by the German Wehrmacht near the end of the war, in numbers too few to make a difference, but still as a production, standard issue rifle and not an experimental weapon.
It was the first widely used military rifle in history to have the selective fire option (semi and automatic fire capability via a selector switch) a pistol grip, a detachable large capacity magazine and chambered to fire a rifle cartridge. Many believe the AK-47 was copied from the StG 44, although Kalashnikov denies this. Regardless, the rifle was historically accurate as portrayed in the film, as were all the other weapons, despite Steve�s disbelief.
This is why the big budget Hollywood films often don't take the time to make their films historically accurate, the public at large often does not know the difference, or does not care. But I say give credit where credit is due.
- Davis Rowden

I enjoyed the article about Philip José Farmer... a good introduction to an interesting writer. I've got the Tarzan and Doc Savage books knocking around somewhere, and they're quite fun but I always thought that they didn't really have the plot. The crucial diffference between it and The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen is that the latter is about the characters' adventures after their known stories. The Farmer books are a kind of behind-the-scenes of the existing stories and therefore have a little savour.
- Patrick Hudson

November 2006
That was a great (and hilarious) review, I'm glad you enjoyed Criticized. 11 out of 10! Now that would certainly put a smile on Arthur Lements' face, as it did on mine. I've wondered how critics might react to this film... I suppose if they didn't like it, they might avoid writing a review altogether - just in case. Fact is, the film is in no way autobiographical. Well, I suppose it is since I am a filmmaker - but I've never used paperclips on anything other than sheets of paper...
I plan to make a feature-length version of Criticized in early 2007, and am working on the screenplay now... I've been reading some of the articles on your site... great stuff!
- Richard Gale (writer and director)

Thanks very much for reviewing my short (Eddie Loves You, screened at Horror Fest)... I was there too and I have to agree with your assessment... I go to these festivals hopeful that I'll see something great like Wolf Creek but end up feeling a little disappointed that a lot are rehashes of 1980s' ideas and are a bit generic... (as was mine... LOL).
Anyway, I can't thank you enough for your comments. Given your very honest reviews of the other films, it makes me much happier that you seemed to be very kind to mine... More will follow I promise!
- Karl Holt (writer and director)

Thank you for the review (of Horror Fest). The venue did prove a problem for such a long period and we will be learning from our mistakes. We have already begun organising Horror Fest 2 - The Sequel. This will be more of a film festival in the sense of the thing, providing workshops, filmmaker networking during the day and the films taking place over 4 hours each evening/ night.
A little point of note for Fallen Angels, is that the prison location is the same as used in The Shawshank Redemption.
A special thank you for the review on The Museum. This still needs a little work in editing after seeing it on the big screen, but we aim to use this as an example for filmmakers to just get out there and make films.
- Joe Jenkins

October 2006
I just read the review on your web site of The Bunker, where your reviewer Steve Anderson comments about the German troops using what look like AK-47 assault rifles. He might not be aware that the Germans were actually using MP44 assault rifles, which were designed in 1943. The reason they look so similar to the AK-47 is that the Soviets (or more specifically one Mikhael Kalashnikov) copied the design from captured MP44s, and made some changes (mainly to make them easier to produce) and ended up with the AK-47. So there... Also, I believe the film was shot in England, not New Zealand. I can't see the sense of a cast and crew of Brits going all the way out to New Zealand to make a film set in a forest, when there are lots of perfectly good forests in England.
- Steve Pearson

August 2006
Just want to say how much i enjoyed this piece on Michael J. Murphy... I live in Portsmouth, and have been active over the years in local film projects and student work. The university has a thriving media and film department, and we have a popular independant cinema. But no-one, and I mean no-one, I have ever spoken to from Portsmouth has ever heard of Michael J. Murphy. I feel this is a real shame. I have watched Murphy's film Bloodstream many many times. And I have learnt more from it's shortcomings and quirks than from my film education.
- Will Egleton

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