The Bad Movie Report

Evidence of a Decaying Mind

The Wholly Unexpected 3rd Anniversary Column

I've been doing this for three years?

Yes, I'm surprised. Astounded even. That's not an observation on the comings and goings of Web sites in general - there are others as old as, if not older, than mine - but rather a rumination on myself. In my younger days, I began project after project, only to leave them behind, unfinished, as I got bored and went on to the next thing. Sometimes, late at night, when I'm feeling especially self-critical, I look over my metaphysical shoulder and see my traveled path strewn with the incomplete skeletons of previous ventures.

There are exceptions, of course. Forever Evil for one, and ooh, what a crowning achievement for a life that is. Both director Roger Evans and myself have nightmares that our thumbnail obituaries will read "writer/director of Forever Evil". True to form with my earlier, Edward Scissorhands-like creations ("Not finished!"), I have been promising the last chapter of Making A Bad Movie for some time now, and rest assured, it will appear sometime before the next century. (Damn, that used to buy me a lot more time...)

But a lot can happen in three years, and I'm not just talking about the rapid growth of both quality B-Movie review sites or the B-Masters Cabal. I'm talking about an even larger part of my life, and that's parenthood.

When I started the BMR, I was childless and unemployed, and fortunately both were remedied within a few months (Whereas I started this year once again unemployed, I still have a son). Despite warnings that my entire schedule was going to be thrown into a shredder, I didn't find this the case; I had already withdrawn from the land of theater and I found my schedule pretty much matched his. Holding his little pink form in a massive sling, I found I could still type with only a little difficulty while Mom slept in the master bedroom.

You know what? They get bigger. Funny how that happens, isn't it? Now he's two and a half, hardly an infant; he doesn't like to be held anymore, and needs far more than the occasional bottle of milk or a changed diaper. He's no longer a baby, he's a little boy. He needs attention. He needs guidance. Though he is enrolled in an excellent toddler program at the same school where my wife teaches, I have a duty, a responsibility, and yes, a need, to be there and be helpful, loving and unwaveringly firm when necessary, when he is at home. Which is the evenings and the weekends.

Which is when I used to write my articles for the BMR.

I think you realize that you are an honest-to-goodness father when you suddenly understand that you have to be better than you actually are - that you have be smarter, cleaner, and more responsible than ever, because you're a role model. I'm still working on this. Some men never get it right, and some never even try. It's my job to get it right, and help him be the best person he can.

So something has to give.

Oh, it won't be the BMR. It's going to be my schedule. As people have been braying for years (most effectively in the Dilbert comic strip, he said archly), I'm going to have to work smarter, not harder. For the past few months, I have struggled mightily with my self-imposed deadline of publishing every Sunday night, and frequently did not make it; that was symptomatic of something, but I kept doggedly plugging away. The first step to recovery was when I stopped posting a "Next Update" target on the front page - I had done that from the very beginning, to force myself to keep writing on a consistent basis.

Well, I've proven to myself that I can do that. So here's how it works: I don't know yet. Certain things have been set in stone over the last three years, and it's going to take awhile to smash those icons, clear away the rubble, and establish new practices. I will be updating during the week, this is certain; at what point is currently uncertain. This will probably take awhile to hash itself out, but it's my hope that by doing so, I'll not only be able to continue writing the BMR, but will actually be able to do so with a fair level of quality.

I'll still engage in my usual mean tricks, like taking major holidays off for family time. But, given good health for myself, my family, and my computer, I should still be entertaining - and possibly infuriating you - for another year. See you here again in 365.