R.I.P. Paul Baack

Just a brief post in tribute to Paul Baack, a remarkable man that I never met but knew of through my movie reviews here. More than ten years ago I first heard from Paul through his best friend Tom Zielinski, together the creators of a James Bond webzine called Her Majesty’s Secret Servant. They got a kick out of my DIE HARD 2 review where I described John McClane as the American and superior version of James Bond, and they thought it would be funny to have me review some actual 007 movies for them. If I remember right they sent me a DVD of THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and a Blockbuster gift card to rent something better? They definitely sent me a large HMSS mug, because I use that to this day.

Paul – who was the namesake for a villain in the 1999 Bond continuation novel High Time to Kill – was left quadriplegic after a car hit him in 2003. He designed HMSS using voice-activated software, which amazes me. Occasionally over the years I would hear from Tom and Paul about a particular review, or thoughts on the latest Bond, and it always meant alot to me.

So here’s to Paul. I wish I could’ve met him and that he could’ve heard one of the times I sang “Thunderball” at karaoke. But at least I got to write him this review of THUNDERBALL and GOLDENEYE, which was a fun time for me.

My thoughts today are with Tom and the rest of Paul’s friends and family.

Here is a nice obituary from one of the regular HMSS contributors.

And from his family: http://www.countrysidefuneralhomes.com/obituary/paul-baack

This entry was posted on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at 12:03 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

8 Responses to “R.I.P. Paul Baack”

  1. Vern,

    This is an extraordinary piece to have put on your page. Thank you.

    Paul found your site circa 2000, and quickly came to appreciate your wit and wisdom on the films of cinema and writings in general. He in turn introduced me to your website and I have been a regular reader since. “VERN TELL’S IT LIKE IT IS #49 – Man Stuff” in particular is a brilliant piece and touched me personally and I have shared it many times and have had a copy saved on my computer since.

    That we have corresponded over the years and even traded film reviews is a huge kick, Vern. Paul loved it all, as do I.

    Paul was an exceedingly intelligent, witty, and talented guy. My best friend for 40 years. Best Man at my wedding. My kids called him Uncle. I am a better person for having had him in my life. I have been unbelievably fortunate to have known him. Paul will be deeply missed.

  2. Ah, crap. I accidentally pressed “Submit” before I was finished with my post.

    Lastly Vern, a huge thank you. I am going to share your post here on the Facebook on my page, Paul’s, and the FBAFJB page.

    Thanks again, bud.

    Tom Zielinski

  3. Side note, High Time to Kill kicks ass (the best of the post-Fleming novels I’ve read), and would make an amazing Bond film if they were willing to go a little off the beaten path.

    This is a very nice tribute, though, and now I need to check out the HMSS site.

  4. Sorry to hear that. My condolences.

    I wasn’t really often on that site, since I’m not really a Bond fan, but I checked it out a few times when people linked to it during Bond related discussions and it’s exactly the kind of fan site that I wish more people would do, in these days of Facebook fangroups and Wikias. That’s definitely a great legacy to leave behind.

  5. Thank you JJ, and thank you CJ Holden.

    HMSS is currently off-line. Though I may attempt to resurrect an archived HMSS site in the future, as a legacy to Paul. He did amazing work. We were both very proud of HMSS.

    And yes, High Time To Kill is a fine Raymond Benson Bond novel. If you were also to read his Facts of Death, you may recognize my name. ;)

    Thank you all sincerely.

    Tom Zielinski

  6. Until HMSS comes back, there’s always the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine:


  7. More from the Wayback Machine (like it says, “in case some motherfucker wants to still read them or whatever”):


  8. Also available on the new site, of course:


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>