Geof over at his blog, Enter the Man Cave, had some extremely kind words to say about my writing, and I am very much flattered and humbled by his compliments. His blog is a tremendous amount of fun to read, and his taste is high above reproach: I submit as evidence his love for Dexter and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and rest my case. He was also kind enough to award me the "Kreativ Blogger" award which I proudly accept. Here are the rules upon receipt of the award:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.
Here are the seven blogs which I am passing this award onto:
1. To Mob at his blog, Dear Bastards.... Mob writes daily entries, like a diary, and once a week or so, he'll post a collection of trailers. He also writes really precise and insightful reviews at Big Suck Loser. He's been a really good friend to my blog, and I have to admit I really enjoy reading about Mob and the wife and the MIL.
2. To Ben at his blog, Breakfast in the Ruins. Ben shares my love for paperbacks with sordid covers and sensational stories and has terrific taste in cinema. Ben wrote the best piece that I've ever read about Nigel Kneale's The Stone Tape, and it's really representative of how fine of a writer he is.
3. To Neil Fulwood at his blog, The Agitation of the Mind. Although I've awarded Neil before for his excellent writing about cinema in general, his recent December posts dedicated to Sam Peckinpah deserve special mention and acclaim. I highly recommend frequently visiting his blog and reading his often insightful reviews.
4. To Scandy at his blog, The Scandy Factory. Scandy loves the VHS format and has an eye for the lovely ladies. Dedicating a blog to these two passions alone is very much worthy of my praise; however, I admire Scandy's blog, because he's creative, playful, and blogs about what he wants to...everything I admire in an artist.
5. Although I've been recently informed this morning that he's deleted his previous entries of his past work, I'm not going to let his work go by unnoticed. To Aaron at his blog, The Death Rattle. Aaron loves cult and exploitation cinema and writes about it with a fan's passion and a critic's objectivity. His reviews are in his signature style, and he has a voice all of his own. I know his future work, whatever he chooses to do, will be killer.
6. To Jenn at her blog, Cavalcade of Perversions. Jenn likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain. She also love cats, the Misfits, and writes the best reviews about some of the sleaziest cinema. And she calls us pervs. Jenn's blog is a personal favorite.
7. Finally, to Paul Cooke aka Buckaroobanzai at his blog, Ballistic Blood Bullets. Paul co-authored Tough to Kill: Volume 1, Italian Action Explosion and I absolutely love it. Paul continues to write killer reviews about exploitation and action cinema. Another personal favorite.
Since I'm giving the award, I'm taking the liberty of amending its rules. No recipient above is required to post anything about him or herself, if he/she does not want to. I respect people's privacy. As for seven things about myself that people might find interesting, I thought I would relate seven cinema-related anecdotes:
1. The first film I saw in the theatre was George Lucas's Star Wars during its original run. I remember it quite fondly, despite being a tiny lad of two or three years, not solely because of its visuals or story but because I had these super-dope Amazing Spiderman bed slippers that I wore everywhere instead of shoes. The slippers weren't flip-flops; rather they fit snugly like shoes. They were made of imitation leather, and the soles had no grips, so I pretty much slipped and fell everywhere. They were Spiderman's original colors, blue was the dominant color while red filled the flourishes, and Spiderman pointed proudly towards the world on top of my foot, shooting his signature web. I remember slipping and sliding at the theatre and squirming in my slippers during Lucas' seminal film.
2. The first R-rated film that I saw in the theatre was Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. I was seven, and my older sister was eight. My parents were still young enough to have energy to go out at night on dates, so they went and saw it before taking us. (They also previewed Raiders of the Lost Ark before taking us, as well). I loved the visuals of the film and I was familiar with its leading man, Harrison Ford (I got called Hans Solo, a lot, because of this man). Its themes and story was way too adult for little me, but I've grown quite fond of it today. The biggest epiphany, however, of my adult life in regards to this film is the realization that my mother is utterly and completely in love with Harrison Ford (I always wondered how my old man talked her into seeing a science-fiction, neo-noir film). I dearly love the woman with all my heart; however, I believe that if Harrison Ford walked into her home right now and carried her away, then she would proudly forget all of us and live her life in bliss.
3. In 1987, when I was twelve and an avid reader of both Fangoria and Gorezone magazine, I saw a full page ad for the Magnum video release of Dario Argento's Suspiria. Ten years after its initial release in America, where it was successful in its theatrical run, Suspiria was making its home video debut. This ad was my first exposure to foreign cinema. The older writers, like Chas. Balun (R.I.P), for example, were championing this film as it were a true triumph. Indeed. It was the first Argento film to my recollection to receive a American video release in its uncut form. It was also the first time that I had ever seen a film released on VHS in four editions: the uncut, letterboxed edition; the uncut, pan-and-scan edition; the R-rated, letterboxed edition; and the R-rated, pan-and-scan edition. After reading about the release in multiple issues, my interest was piqued. I asked my parents to purchase a copy for me on VHS for Christmas. Despite the $90 price tag, my parents said okay. I got the uncut, pan-and-scan edition (I don't think my parents knew what "letterboxed" meant and neither did I. I stressed also to them that I wanted the "uncut" version.) and watched it Christmas morning. It was a viewing experience that I'll never forget and is probably the single film which has shaped my film tastes to this day.
4. My first trip outside of the United States was to England, and this trip, like every subsequent one that I've taken outside of the country, I went to a movie theatre. I was a teenager in the eighth grade on a school trip with about ten others. The U.K.'s rating system was alien to me; some films were rated "15," when they were R-rated here in the States; while they had an "18" rating for adults only. At the time, us yanks only had the "R" rating, which still allowed minors with "adult guardian supervision." However, like in the States, seeing an "18" film for us wasn't difficult. I went to see Russell Mulcahy's Ricochet (Ice-T was the biggest O.G. at the time), Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho (which has to been one of the most beautiful films that I've ever seen on the big screen), and Peter Jackson's Meet the Feebles (which I was fortunate to see: it had an extremely limited run, I believe, in one theatre in London).
5. When I was in grad school in Los Angeles, there was a really beautiful girl in one of my poetry classes. We flirted a lot, but I never asked her out. During one of the final classes of the semester, she dropped a pen in my lap, and it fell between my legs. Sitting next to me, she coolly reached in and removed her pen. Needless to say I was motivated to finally ask her out. After class, I asked her if she wanted to have dinner, and she said yes. We went to a quiet restaurant in Marina del Rey. Andrew Fleming's The Craft had just made its video debut, and I had purchased at Tower Records its laserdisc release perhaps a couple of days before. At the time, a laserdisc machine was a good investment for a geeky film nerd, like myself: laserdiscs of recent films were of better quality and sometimes more affordable than VHS; the Criterion Collection put out stuff worth saving up for; and a single-laser machine could also play compact discs. There were machines with dual lasers, which were more expensive and overcame the biggest annoyance of laserdiscs--having to flip the disc at the middle of the film. I had a single-laser machine, and in this case, the flip of the laserdisc became a blessing. As dinner concluded, I asked her over to my apartment to watch The Craft. We snuggled under a blanket on my couch and watched. When I got up to flip the disc, she pulled me back onto the couch and we didn't finish the film until the morning.
6. The first film that I saw with the woman who was to be my wife was the remake of House on Haunted Hill. This film is a big piece of shit, and we both remarked to each other that fact when we had left the theatre. We had just started dating and were really into each other. Despite the film's poor quality, I had a great time just being with her. The second film that we saw together was Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, which we both loved. We started dating in November and by Christmas holidays, when we both had days off, she came over one evening and ended up spending the next three or four days with me. We spent that time almost exclusively in bed and we did a lot of what you think we did. We also watched a lot of movies. We watched the original House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price at least twice from what I can remember. I remember also being really sad when she eventually had to leave. Despite the fact that we're no longer married today, the best time in my life was that time when we were dating, falling head over heels in love, totally and completely into each other, and thinking of no one else.
7. Finally, just this last Christmas a few weeks ago, I got some of the best news that I've heard in a long time--my older sister, who lives in Italy, is getting married. I got the opportunity to spend the holidays with her and the rest of the family. In addition, she gave me the some of the best Christmas presents that I've ever received. She went to an open-air market on a weekend trip in Italy and bought me some real gems: I got two original Profondo Rosso fotobustas (there are pics of them here (not my actual ones, though. I received the one in the middle of the top row and the one in the middle of the middle row.) and the original Italian locandina poster for Michele Soavi's The Church (there's a pic of it up on eBay currently here). It thrills me to no end to know that these posters were upon walls in theatres in the heart of Italy during these films' original runs, real pieces of cinema history.