Thursday, December 1, 2011

On notoriously bad taste and Bruce Campbell:

I have always liked odd movies. Obscure and hard to find movies. Movies with bizarre dark humor.
Some childhood favorites, a few of which you’ve heard of:
- Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness. They are so awesome, they are like one big, long movie that should be watched all together. Bruce Campbell, ironically, was not a childhood crush of mine. The Brucey fangirling came later. I accidentally came upon Bruce years later, in Alien Apocalypse. Somehow that lead to me keying in on his career, which has lead to where I am now.

- A Nightmare on Elm Street. The original and Dream Warriors are the best of the franchise. Would love to shake Robert Englund’s hand. Bonus points for good soundtracks.
- Return of the Living Dead. Not to be confused with the ground-breaking films of George Romero, this film is an immensely watchable b-movie from beginning to end. As an aside: I wonder if the appearance of Clu Gulager in a film is a good guarantee of camp-factor?
- Black Roses. The effects in this were surprisingly good for the time period and likely low budget that this film was constrained by. Evil rock band: yes, it’s been done a million times, but not too many people have seen this one. This also gets props from me because it actually had a really good soundtrack. Which I purchased. On cassette. Hello, shades of 1990.
- Hard Rock Zombies. A movie that I suspect nobody loves but me. This time, inexplicably, given the name of the film, the musicians are the good guys. I loaned this DVD to a friend, who commented daily for a couple weeks that he had started watching it and couldn’t continue because it was so bad. He kept trying, though, if for no other reason than to be able to review it to the chagrin of everyone in his Facebook horror group. Will leave you going, “Huh???” many times throughout. The super-jealous girlfriend character is worth watching closely. I think the people who made this film were practicing for a career making music videos. I wish they had released the soundtrack for this puppy, I would have been all over it. Heck, I’d buy it even today, though it is a little buttrock, a little candypop.
- The Amityville Horror (with an honorable mention for Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes). The original was one of the first horror films that scared the living daylights out of me. I’ve always been a little more frightened by the subtle horror than the gratuitous gore films. To this day, people still argue about whether or not this film was based on a true story. As an adult, I realize that “based” on a true story can still be a far cry from what really happened, but as a 7 or 8 year old kid who was allowed to watch almost anything, I took it as canon truth.

My choices in literature are equally mainstream to odd…
- Dean Koontz. I think I’ve read everything he did from the beginning of his career until about 2003. I don’t have the luxury of much reading time anymore, and it seems like when I do, it’s non-fiction. I started reading at adult level when I was about 7. For that reason, my mom stopped censoring my entertainment choices. Life was good. If someone didn’t know what to get for me for a holiday or occasion, it would be the default Dean Koontz novel. Phantoms was the only novel of his made into a film which wasn’t totally raped by the studio. I’d still like to see Dragon Tears made into a film. With Bruce Campbell. Perfection. Or Dark Rivers of the Heart. That would be Bruce-worthy as well.
- Stephen King. I don’t think Stephen King can be avoided. While I consider his writing to be slightly more crass and unrefined than Koontz, I still love some of his work. And he has spawned such a lovely number of B-movies for me to enjoy. Here’s where my taste goes a little strange. Favorite King stories: Needful Things, Dreamcatcher, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and Insomnia. Looking at a list of his work, I could continue, but I’ll restrain myself.
- William W. Johnstone. This was one of my many author discoveries from the time in my youth where I would ride my bike to the used bookstore and choose reading material based on the cover art and brief description on the back of the cover. If it wasn’t for Johnstone and Too $hort, my mastery of curse words would be lacking. Severely. Johnstone’s works ranged from tales of satanic cults to a love story (What The Heart Knows) to stories of political dissent and societal collapse. Love them all. If I was looking for ideas for the next Sci-fi channel movie, I’d go with The Uninvited. Chemically-enhanced cockroaches who eat flesh. Awesome.


  1. It's true, Walter did try to watch it several times, finally we watched it all the way through, and boy, was it a doozy. I'm not the B movie fan the two of you are...I'm just not. By the way, we gotta meet up for coffee and exchange movies and I still have your pickle jars (mmm pickles!). I love that you're blogging also, it's great to see people expressing themselves with whole sentences, and paragraphs even :)

  2. So sorry you had to go through that. HRZ is a great movie if you're me... but that's why there's only one of me. :)

    Did you guys get through Black Roses?

    I'm enjoying the blog and it doesn't look like I'm going to run out of bizarre musings anytime soon.