Welcome to my site

This is my online place of residence.

I’ve been working on a book about cult film ROBOT MONSTER for the past decade in my non-existent spare time, which is now available.

I am also working on a number of other writing projects that are coming to light soon . . .

Thanks for stopping by!

10 thoughts on “Welcome to my site

  1. Matthew Muhl

    Hi, Anders,

    Let me begin by thanking you personally for your decade-long work on “I Cannot Yet I Must”. Ever since I first watched “Robot Monster” two decades ago (and get this: my first time was also the 3-D Rhino video version, haha), I have longed to get inside the head of Phil Tucker, and your book finally scratched that itch of mine:)

    Also, I was wondering if you have considered an adaptation of your book to the silver screen?

    Thank you so much again, and I look forward to your future work:)

    V/r,

    Matthew Muhl

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    1. Hi Matthew,

      You are welcome, and thank you for your kind thoughts–I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the book!

      I’m afraid that my blogging has been very sporadic thus far, but I’ve got plans brewing for doing more with the site before the year is out. I will have much more content on the way in 2017, but hopefully my first novel will be out before the year is over. Truth be told, I probably won’t be doing much more non-fiction . . . I have many fiction ideas and am going to be pursuing them full stop. I hope that at least some readers of I CANNOT, YET I MUST will be interested in checking out my upcoming work.

      A movie about Phil Tucker would be very cool, but I know that I’m not the person to pursue that. Pardon the awful pun, I’m tuckered out on ROBOT MONSTER stuff at this point and have let it rest. Maybe someone in the industry will get interested in that idea at some point, who knows.

      Thanks again for the kind words, and stay tuned for more Runestad-Writes stuff in the future.

      Anders

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      1. Hello again, Anders!

        First of all, thank you for your response, and hope you had a nice T-Giving!

        Right after I read your book two months ago, I read Kevin Scott Collier’s book and have been in correspondence with him as well as you about a possible adaptation.

        Two months later, I am now halfway through drafting a screenplay which chronicles the making of “Robot Monster”, and just today I asked Kevin a few follow-up questions, which he answered to the best of his knowledge.

        One such question was about whether he could identify each and every one of the cast & crew in that group photo taken at Bronson cave, and he suggested that I ask you as you might have a better handle on that subject more than he does.

        Are you able to identify the 20+ persons in that cast/crew group photo?

        Thanks again, Anders, and whatever becomes of the screenplay, I have every intention of crediting the both of you for your exhaustive research:)

        V/r,

        Matthew Muhl
        cloudyeden@gmail.com

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  2. Hi again Matthew,

    It was a great Thanksgiving for me and I hope that yours was just as good.

    Regarding the group photo, I wish I could give you some helpful information, but unfortunately most of those in that shot are a mystery to me too. On the left side of course is the cast (with Barrows in his suit minus any helmet or mask). Phil Tucker is behind the cast on the far left, next to John Mylong, and that is the source of the blowup photo of Tucker on page 15 (print version). Al Zimbalist is the guy with the mustache just to the right of Tucker, and that one is blown up on page 84.

    Other than that I can only speculate. I’m guessing the shirtless guys are doing more grunt-type work and are probably not Jack Greenhalgh or Gordon Avil, the cameramen. One odd detail I’ve wondered about is that Tucker and Mylong appear to be staring off to the right while most everyone else is facing the camera. It makes me think of Tucker’s mysterious wife “Francine” who was reportedly on the set . . . were they looking at her? Or was she the one snapping the picture? I wish I had more to offer.

    Best of luck on the screenplay, and keep me posted.

    Anders

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  3. Matthew Muhl

    Hello, Anders, and Happy 2017 to you!

    So my palindromic-titled “MAN OR RO-MAN” screenplay is nearly complete, and I will have it registered and copyright-protected by or before February 1st! Additionally, Wade Williams himself has approved the conditions of my screenplay as per a non-exclusive license that he generously offered to me for a whopping 10 dollars! (He’s a swell guy, and we’ve talked on the phone for hours lol)

    Moving forward, I have set forth a plan to (A) shop around my screenplay to every independent studio throughout all of 2017, and if that produces no results, I will (B) make the damn movie myself, which would be shot entirely on-location at the Bronson Cave area in the month of MARCH 2018!

    Whichever the scenario, I hope that you (as well as Kevin Scott Collier) will be the film’s credited historical consultants, as the both of you are more knowledgeable than anyone else on the subject!

    Speaking of which, I had a couple more follow-ups questions:

    1) Do you have any legal information and/or theories as to how exactly Al Zimbalist screwed Phil Tucker out of his promised quarter-percentage of RM’s profits? I’ve made note about Tucker’s general naïvete in regards to attorneys, etc, and have also made note that Zimbalist had screwed other filmmakers in much the same way, but do you have any of the specific how/what/why/whens concerning the terms of their contractual agreement for RM and how it all went south?

    2) When Barrows was in full garb on the set as Ro-Man, do you know whether or not he ever spoke through his costume during the filming, and whether or not he was audibly intelligible to the crew?

    3) Lastly, do you have any additional information about Sam Leacock and how he and Tucker originally got involved as business partners? Seeing as how he was a co-conspirator to Tucker’s projects before and after RM, I was wondering if you knew how he and Tucker first became acquainted? Did they meet through Zimbalist, or at one of Leacock’s nightclubs in Alaska? Leacock seems like a total mystery lol

    Thanks again, Anders, and I will continue to keep you and Kevin informed about the progress being made to adapt y’alls research! This is a story that must be told:)

    V/r,

    Matthew

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  4. Hi Matthew,

    Belatedly getting back to you . . . I hope your 2017 is going well, and I’m impressed at your work ethic on your ROBOT MONSTER project. Very cool title, by the way! I’ll be happy to be credited as a historical consultant.

    Very good questions you’ve got there, and I can offer some speculation at least.

    1) I don’t have any information about what legal methods Zimbalist may have used to finagle money owed away from Phil Tucker. I remember quoting Tucker, Wyott Ordung, and Bert I. Gordon on this point, and references I found in Don Siegel’s autobiography and a book about Paul Blaisdell. In all of that, there was not much detail.

    Speculating here, I wonder if Zimbalist was good at putting on a charming nice guy act, which allowed him to get the other person’s labor without any contracts being signed? If his deals were made verbally with people who were eager to get a break (like Tucker, Orgung, and Gordon), then there would be no proof that he owed them anything.

    Also, he may have used his imaginary script writer Guy Reed Ritchie as a way of doing funny stuff with writing credits on ROBOT MONSTER—be sure to look at the last few pages of Chapter 10 on that.

    2) I don’t know if Barrows was speaking his dialogue on the set or not. But I don’t think there’s any reason he would have been inaudible.

    I wonder if it would have been awkward if Barrows hadn’t spoken the dialogue while filming . . . then again, most of his dialogue is through the viewscreen and he has little direct interaction with the other characters. There’s a LOT of repeated footage in the finished movie. I suppose they could have just directed him to go through motions and make gestures, other than the parts where he was doing specific things like grabbing Alice.

    But the really intriguing thing here is that Ro-Man was only scripted as one character and that they clearly invented the Guidance Ro-Man in post-production. They may have always intended to dub him, but the fact that they added a second Ro-Man makes me wonder if they originally would have been happy to just leave it with Barrows’ voice. After all, a voice actor meant more money being paid out of a “low low low” budget. I could also find no references to John Brown in the pre-production press and he wasn’t listed in the cast while it was being filmed.

    3) Sam Leacock is a mystery to me too, and I think someone who was inclined could really dig up some stuff on him and SPACE JOCKEY. There are probably people in Fairbanks who remember the whole thing, or at least their parents or relatives were involved.

    I doubt that Zimbalist was connected to him, or that Zimbalist had much connection to Alaska. The whole make-a-movie-in-Alaska thing seems like it would have been Tucker’s thing only, as Zimbalist had been in the Hollywood film industry for decades and Tucker was looking for any angle that would get him into filmmaking. Leacock could have been a California guy who stayed in Fairbanks, or maybe Tucker met him up there. I wish I knew more too.

    Anyway, continuing best wishes on your project.

    –Anders

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  5. Matthew Muhl

    Hey Anders!

    Thanks for keeping in touch, and also for answering my questions to the best of your knowledge!

    It’s been a crazy busy month, but my screenplay is on its last leg, and, if your offer as a consultant still stands, I can email you (as well as Kevin) a copy once I put the finishing touches on it next week!

    Thanks so much again, Anders!

    V/r,

    Matthew:)

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