Pat Kilbane

Goodbye Dr. Larry Lewis

Dr Larry Lewis

Dr. Larry Lewis, our good friend and colleague, passed away at the end of January this year.  I first knew Dr. Lewis as my therapist as he helped me navigate the turmoil of television and film work in the early 2000s.  More recently, Melissa McQueen (my wife) and I shot the web series Hero Therapy with him.  Dr. Lewis had such a presence of humor, wisdom and understanding.  He’ll be sorely missed.

Aliens: The Sitcom

Hosts is  a  parody of the Alien franchise and a satire of showbusiness in general.  We originally did it as part of a pilot for, but they allowed us to air it on our YouTube channel Dorks of Yore.  It was a long, tough day of shooting, with us four actors contorted behind the walls with our heads sticking out above false bodies.  I’m putting together a behind-the-scenes video of it now.

We had a mini-viral event with its release in October, and got coverage from Huffington Post and The Hollywood Reporter, along with a number of respected science-fiction sites.  Here’s my favorite review.

1920s Breakdancing Pioneer

This was one of my favorite sketches from 2003’s The Pat Kilbane Show.  It’s a dry, English style of comedy in the form of faux documentary – silly, but in some ways believable.  I shot the dancing sequences in my living room while my house was being torn up for remodel.  In retrospect, I can see how this wasn’t right for the Comedy Central audience; it’s just too subtle.  I love it, though.

Richard Kiel: Giant-Sized Autograph

Richard Kiel in "To Serve Man"

Having grown up in the ’70s and ’80s, Roger Moore was always my 007, and Richard Kiel as “Jaws” was always my quintessential Bond villain.  Richard was signing autographs at Fangoria’s LA show back when I was doing promotion for Day of the Dead.  I was happy to get this picture from him featuring his character from “To Serve Man,” one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes.  He was a sweetheart of a guy – friendly and generous (especially for an oral-aggressive spy killer).  That’s one of the great things about those conventions – you can fulfull adolescent mini-dreams, interacting with screen stars who were larger than life during your younger years.  Thanks, Richard!

Zombie Survival: Bomb Shelter Living

Pre-Fabricated Fallout Shelter by Radius Engineering

A Pre-Fabricated Fallout Shelter by Radius Engineering

If you’re thinking about zombie survival this Halloween season, check out this post I did for the Kit Up! blog on last year:

Most discussions about surviving a zombie apocalypse center around gearing up wisely and staying on the move.  But what about the idea of buttoning up and hiding?  For those with the resources and foresight to have a well-stocked underground shelter, staying put for a while may be the most sensible thing to do.  Here are three reasons why… Read More

The Consequences of “Going Loud” on Zombies

Zombie Horde

You know that shooting an unsuppressed firearm is going to attract zombies to your location… but how many?  I tackled this issue in this post I did for

In “The Walking Dead” and other zombie fiction, survivors often stress the importance of weapons that kill quietly.  After all, when facing so many challenges in a broken civilization, why make your life tougher by firing a gun and announcing yourself to a mob of undead cannibals?  For me, this begs a more probing question: just how many zombies would your gunfire attract?  For your post-apocalyptic convenience, I have created a table that gives you a rough idea. Read More

The Aliens M41A Pulse Rifle

Aliens M41A Pulse Rifle

Photo by Art Andrews

Are you a fan of Aliens? The check out this post I did a while back for

Well thought out equipment is huge for me in the enjoyment of science-fiction fare, so I wanted to take a moment to praise this awesome piece of sci-fi gear.  Named for the electrical pulses that ignite the primers on its caseless cartridges, the M41A Pulse Rifle was the standard issue weapon of the U.S. Colonial Marines in the 1986 actioner Aliens.  And when you consider that James Cameron, the movie’s director, was both an avid shooter and a stickler for detail, it’s no surprise that the M41A seemed so plausible in a near-future setting. Read More…

A G.I. Joe Tribute to “The Thing”

The Thing Starring GI Joe Action Figures

When you’re a kid, playing with dolls and action figures is a great world-building exercise. The toys provide a nice jumping-off point, leaving it up to your imagination to create the characters, story, weather and terrain. Your living room becomes a massive green screen where amazing vistas can be mentally painted in.

When I see clever animations like this featuring toys from my childhood, it strikes something in my creative core. It realizes the fantasy I had that my toy figures would come to life and embark on extraordinary adventures.

A Good Skull for the Screen

Completed Human Skull Model

The human skull is an iconic symbol of horror and can be used to great effect if you’re building a macabre world. I made this distressed cranium on the cheap from a $35 plastic model kit. After assembling it, I filled the seams with Magic-Sculpt and sanded them, then stippled the skull’s surface with MMD Green Putty to give it a crusty texture. Finally, I painted it an orange-brown to simulate the protective coating used by archaeologists to preserve bone.

I like this particular kit (which is hard to find nowadays but appears to be available here) because the teeth are cast individually. There are a couple of human skull kits available from Lindberg that you can get at any local hobby store, but their teeth are lumped together in pieces like a dental bridge and don’t look as real.

I’m pretty happy with the final product; it’s a little small at eight inches in length, but it has a nice, lived-in look that movie props often lack.

The Genius of Robert Shields

As a boy I was amazed by the work of Robert Shields.  I remember his short-lived television series and think of him as a small, but important, influence on me as a physical comedian.  The man’s body control is incredible, and his movement when playing a robot is as preternatural as I have ever seen.

Mimes take quite a beating in the comedy community, but as Shields says in his video, not all mimes suck.  Take a look at this limber, athletic comedy genius at work in his physical prime (FF to 1:06 for the strongest stuff).