Archive for August, 2008

When I was a kid, I used to love getting the mail. It was very rare that something was ever for me (excluding the days around my birthday and Christmas, of course), but it didn’t matter. The mailbox held a mystery every day (sans Sundays and holidays), and I never know if that mystery would be something for me.

As an adult, I still look forward to checking the mail. Granted, it’s now more bills and junk then anything cool, but there are still those days where I get pleasant surprised in my mailbox, be it review screeners for HorrorTalk, the latest Hard Case Crime book, things I’ve ordered online or, as in the case of yesterday, something I’ve been waiting forever for.

Now, in order to keep the suspense, I have to tell the back story.

About two months ago it was brought to my attention that DVD & Blu-ray Review (only the UK’s best selling DVD review mag) published reader reviews and, if I were interested, I should send in a two hundred word review on a movie of my choice, and, if selected, I’d get published.

Hmmmmmmmm. To sit on my ass and do nothing, or write something up and try to get into one of UK’s biggest entertainment mags.

Yeah, it’s pretty brainless on the choice I made.

Well, about a month ago, I was informed that I would be in the mag. I was instructed to send a picture of myself for the publication. Which I did.

About a week ago, I was informed that I would be getting a package in the mail shortly, containing a copy of the magazine, amongst other things.

Yesterday, it was in my mailbox.

Oh, what an absolute pleasure it was ripping open that package to get to the goodies inside. I felt like a kid at Christmas when he rip opens the present, flinging tissue paper everywhere just to get to the good stuff.

First I did a preliminary flip through the magazine first, to see if I could catch my review quickly (I had zero idea where it would be). That non-scientific experiment yielded nothing but a waste of precious seconds. I forced myself to calm down, and took the magazine page by page. Fortunately for me, and God bless you DVD & Blue-ray Review, I was right there on page seven. Bottom left hand side. Quarter page. With a stellar picture, if I don’t say so myself.

I haven’t read through the entire magazine yet (although I have read my own words about a gajillion times now), but I’ve been told to read over a particular article very closely. I’m not quite sure what that means, but I have a vague idea.

So, if you want to read a kick ass review (or just want to see my handsome mug in a magazine, like I know you do), pick up the latest issue of DVD & Blu-ray Review (it’s the one with The Wire on the cover, just look at the picture below). According to their site, it’s sold everywhere. Suckily enough, I can’t find it around my way, although I used to be able to. Looks like Madden will have to wait another couple weeks, because I’ll be dropping that coin on ordering a couple more issues of the magazine for framing purposes. Not that I’m complaining.

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My friend Carrie brought up in one of the comments the times we saw New Jack City. I haven’t thought of it in a while, and it brought back a lot of good memories we had seeing that movie. I’ve seen New Jack City more times than I can remember and many of those times were midnight showings at a dollar theater in the hood.

Back in the day, the first dollar theater that opened up around my way was in Andrew’s Manor. For those that are unfamiliar with Andrew’s Manor (which I suspect many of you aren’t), it wasn’t the popular place for surburban whitey. But it had a dollar theater. A dollar theater! I didn’t care where it was, the movie was a buck, and I was going.

Let me make something clear, when I say ‘hood’ I’m not talking Compton-like dangerous, but you definitely didn’t see much white bread in the area. Anyone who knows the Temple Hills area of Maryland knows what I’m talking about (at least in the late ’80s, I don’t know how much it may have changed now). Yet it never bothered me, nor my friend Carrie.We always had a blast at the theater.

The first few times we saw City, it was a slew of us. Me, Carrie, Dave, Melinda, Mike, Michelle, Joe. Jafo may have even gone (I’m not quite sure if he was running with us at that time). I was always the first in line to buy the tickets. The second or third time we went up to see City, the guy who ran the ticket booth, a huge black guy that no doubt doubled as security for the theater, gave us the once over.

“Weren’t you guys here last week?” He asked.

“Yeah.”

“And your back?”

“Well… yeah,” I said. I was worried he wasn’t going to let us in for some reason.

“Do you know where you are?” He asked, a smile forming on his lips.

“Yeah. The dollar theater.” I said.

“No, I mean don’t you know where you’re at?”

“Oh!” I got it, finally. “Yeah, yeah, I know.”

“And it doesn’t bother you?”

“Not me. It bothers this guy,” I pointed to my friend Joe, “but that’s because he’s a racist. Fuck him, though. The movie’s only a dollar. And it’s good.”

He laughed. One of those hearty, booming laughs you expect from a man from his size.

“Well,” he said, “you have any problems, any problems at all, you tell them you know Big T and Big T said you’re okay.”

“Just Big T?” I asked. It was comforting to know that I had a big security blanket named Big T.

“Yes, Big T is enough. They’ll know who you are talking about,” he replied, still chuckling.

As the weeks went on, most of the group dwindled for the New Jack City showings, and eventually the last few times we went it was just me and Carrie. I think she and I probably saw it at least 12 times at that theater, all midnight showings. And each time Big T chuckled and shook his head when he saw us. I later learned the T was short for Tyrone, but Big T was definitely more appropriate.

While every time we went we got strange looks (and even a dirty look a time or two), we were never harassed. I’m pretty sure word was out that we were under the protection of Big T. Towards the end of our trips (a dollar theater had opened in our area), I even thanked him for looking out for our cracker asses. His response was simply, “Hey, you are just up hear having a good time. No need for that to be ruined because of some nonsense.”

Right on.

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If you haven’t noticed, just to the right of the post titles are two little icons.

The first currently looks like “<>”. If you punch it, it will expand the post out (losing the columns on the side) and will turn to “><“. Punch it again and it will collapse to normal.

The second icon looks like “-“. If you click it, it will collapse the current post, bringing the next one up, and turn into a “+”. Hitting it again expands it back to normal.

Enjoy.

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This weekend was HorrorFind 10. There are probably plenty of posts regarding HorrorFind and my love for it on this blog, as its usually a great weekend of friends, fun and celebrities from the horror genre.

Like the past couple years, I helped run the Timewarp Films table along with my friends Zig, Mitch and Rob. Also there was Sarah, a model Joe — the head of Timewarp Films — had hired for the weekend to get more action to the table. Nothing gets dorky horror fans to a table faster than an attractive model in front of it, and as handsome as I am, I just wasn’t enough.

This year’s HorrorFind was somewhat lacking in the star department. The headliners were “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (They Live, Wrassler) and Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens). Those two are cool guests, no doubt, but I don’t think they are quite big enough to headline a horror con, especially HorrorFind, which has had guests like George Romero and Bruce Campbell. But, honestly, it doesn’t really matter. The main reason I go anymore, anyway, is just to hang out and buy dorky things from the vendors.

In addition to the one this weekend, I’ve been three conventions this year already (the March HorrorFind, HorrorHound and Texas Fearfest). Before going this weekend, I thought I was pretty con’d out, and there wouldn’t be anyone I’d really be excited to talk to, but I was wrong.

I had completely forgotten William Forsythe was going to be there, and damn if he wasn’t a helluva a nice guy. I can’t go into what was discussed, but Zig brought up a fascinating conversation with him. I can’t speak highly enough of Forsythe.

Also there was Greg Nicotero. I’ve seen Nicotero at a few shows, but I’ve never gone to his table (although I should have, to pay some respect). The man is a god in the field of makeup effects. If you watch movies, chances are you’ve seen his work. Just take a look at his IMDB page. He was also pretty damn cool.

The highlight of the weekend for me, though, was talking to Jack Ketchum. Ketchum wrote the amazing “The Girl Next Door”, and was pretty involved with the film incarnation of it. I was fortunate enough to get a screener copy of this flick for HorrorTalk and absolutely loved it. The love was reciprocated, because when it was released on DVD, I was quoted on the back of the box. So, of course I had to get Ketchum to sign my DVD, which he did with a laugh. If you haven’t, read The Girl Next Door. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, and if you like the shit kicked out of you, you will like this book, I promise. (No money back guarantee. I’m too cheap and some of you will lie just to get money from me.)

Ed Lee, another fantastic author, was sitting next to Ketchum and I finally got a chance to meet him, which was cool, and I picked up his latest chapbook (another entry in his “Infernal” series). I forgot to take my camera up with me when I talked to them, but like a true stalker, I managed to catch up with them both outside.

You have to love that creepy ass look Ed Lee (on the far left) is giving. 😆

The “Fuck You You Fucking Fuck” award for this convention goes to Michael Biehn. His table had a sign up that said “Michael Biehn Autograph: $25. Picture with Michael Biehn: $25.” Okay, $25 is $5 more than most of the other guests at any con, but as he’s more popular than a lot of guests, I can also see it. I don’t agree with it At All (especially since he’s still consistently working), but it’s no surprise, either. Charging for the picture, though, is a dick move. However, I can see that, too. I don’t agree with it, but I’m thinking the reasoning is so not everyone just comes and gets pictures taken, but not buy anything. But I figured if an autograph was purchased, the picture fee would be waved.

My buddy Eric couldn’t make it to this year’s show because he recently got married and was on his honeymoon, but he’s a big Aliens fan and wanted Biehn’s autograph. My plan was to pay for an autograph for Eric, and get the picture with Biehn for myself. So I walked up to the table, picked out a picture, handed Biehn’s handler the money and told Biehn who to make the autograph out to. I then asked if I could get a picture with him. I was told (by his handler), it would be $25 more. Normally, in this situation, I have no problems making my displeasure known, and I have on at least two occasions — once with Hellraiser star Ashley Lawrence and once with Anthony Michael Hall (his was indirect, but I was vocal enough for him to hear my displeasure, both Eric and Tom can attest to this 😆 ). Yet, I simply said, “Yeah, uh, no,” grabbed the autograph and walked away. See, in addition to be the head of Timewarp, my buddy Joe is also head of HorrorFind security and there’s no way in hell I’d do something that could possibly affect the reputation of a friend. So I ate it, and walked away.

However, since I have a keyboard and a blog, I have A Voice. 😆

That said, fuck you Michael Biehn. It’s a dick fucking move to charge your fans for a picture when they drop $25 for your signature.

Roddy Piper and Chris Sarandon had the exact same signs up, but since I did not get their signatures, I cannot say for sure if they were puling the same shit. If they were, fuck you both, too. It’s hard to pull a bigger asshole move on your fans than that little stunt.

Aside from some (potentially) bad apple celebrities shitting on their fans, though, it was a pretty fantastic weekend (to go along with a pretty fantastic couple of weeks I’ve been having). I’m already looking forward to next year.

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I wish I were more into music like Freak. I can’t go anywhere without my Zune, and I really love all kinds of music, but Freak is one of the few people I know that can really disect a song and find meaning to it. Me? I listen to the lyrics just enough to sing along. I’m more of a beat person (which could explain my love for trance and techno).

Yet with that said, I’ve been thinking awhile about if I were to ever make a playlist, the first one I would make would be one that reminds me of my friends. This thought popped into my head when I was down at my friend’s, Carrie’s, house for a shindig, and we got to talking about the songs we used to constantly listen to when we were teenagers.

So, without further adieu, here’s my playlist dedicated to my friends — songs, that no matter when I hear them, I think of them. After Carrie, there’s no particular order. But I start with her because she plugged the idea in my head.

Carrie:

  • It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – because we all know what it takes to make a cake taste right.
  • Jet Airliner by The Steve Miller Band – Pretty much any song from Steve Miller Band’s Greatest Hits album has me thinking of Carrie, Melinda, Dave, Michelle, Mike and Joe, but Jet Airliner is all Carrie’s. Bingo Jets always make me smile.
  • Cold Feelings by Social Distortion – Carrie introduced me to Social D in such a way that when I hear them, and I haven’t heard them in a while, I will sometimes laugh. That story is another blog.
  • Hotel California by The Eagles – I distinctly remember grabbing this CD from Carrie’s house and listening it on the way back to mine when my birthday had turned to shit one year. (Carrie, you may not remember that night, but it was the year I came down unexpectedly to your house at college because Mike had fucked me, and turned right around and went home. You came with because you’re a good friend like that. I don’t know if I ever thanked you. Thank you.)
  • Losing My Religion by R.E.M. – Doubting you know why on this one Carrie, but I shall give you the story one day. Not on this blog. 😆

Nicki:

  • I’d Die Without You by P.M. Dawn – I will never forgive Nicki for ruining that song for me. 😆
  • Sand in My Shoes by Dido – Nicki once recommended this song that was just what I needed to hear. I ended up loving the entire catalog.
  • The Stroke by Billy Squier – I hate Billy Squier, but damn if Nicki doesn’t love him enough for everyone.

Mykl:

  • Mr. Jones by Counting Crows – There’s a line in the song that goes Mr. Jones and me tell each other fairy tales. Stare at the beautiful women. “She’s looking at you. Ah, no, no, she’s looking at me. No other song I know vocalizes Mykl and I at the bar than that line.
  • Around the World by Daft Punk – The day Mykl moved to Cali, he’s going out the door and says, “I left something on your bed. Now go do your homework.” He had left me with Daft Punk’s Homework CD. It’s still a favorite band.

Jafo:

  • Self Esteem by The Offspring – One particular line. It wasn’t funny when he pointed it out (by “pointed it out” I meant screaming the line at me when it came on), but, man, once it became funny for me, it was funny.
  • What I Got by Sublime – See above.

Pops:

  • These Boots Were Made for Walkin’ by Patsy Cline – My dad installed a new radio in his truck and I was pre-setting stations for him. I came across this song and said, “Hey, it’s Patsy Cline, I bet you want this as your number one station.” I was sixteen, it was the first time I heard my father say “Fuck you” and it was directed at me. 😆

Mom:

  • Close to You by The Carpenters – My mom used to sing this to my dad all the time when I was little.
  • Mandy by Barry Manilow – Every weekend morning, my mom would blast Barry’s Greatest Hits to start the house cleaning. I used to wake to this song. Puke.

Joy:

  • Shout at the Devil by Motley Crue – Joy introduced me to the music that is Crue.
  • I Would Die for You by Prince – One day, I shall blog about the Prince concert my sister and I went to, and why this song in particular.

Now, if you aren’t on this list, no offense. It just means I haven’t known you for 20 years. Plus, it’s late and I have to go to bed. I know there are songs and people I wanted to add, but it will have to wait.

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