The Bad Movie Report

The State of My Union,
April 2001

o, you may be asking, whatever happened with that poll you had a couple of months ago?

unny thing about that.

ell, funny in a Hannibal Lector teasing you over the phone sort of way. The question, as you may recall, was What would you like to see in the BMR? and the kickoff choice was Get back on your weekly schedule, fool! Exactly why I elected to shoot myself in the foot like that could probably fuel a psyche thesis or two. I refer, or course, to the three-week gap between The Arena and The Miracle Fighters.

ere's a secret, of sorts. There was another gap late last year, that can only partly be blamed on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. The cause was two dreadful words: writer's block. The Block of 2000 was caused by one movie - well, actually, by one concept. In the month of October, I decided to celebrate Halloween by reviewing the Big Four Universal Horror Classics from the 30s (and one from the 40s). I had recently gotten Frankenstein from Netflix and hunkered down to the task. I even had the banner prepared:

Classics

And immediately ran into trouble. Frankenstein is not, after all, a Bad Movie. It is a classic, and as a classic, it has been examined and critiqued many, many times. I had nothing new to say about the movie, and I went into a funk.

hat was bad, that was very bad. The BMR was what had been keeping me sane for a long time, and it had suddenly become an onerous task. Far easier to lose myself in the holiday round. Eventually I roused myself and updated, but the damage was done - I found out I could live without pontificating on movies, and the reviews I did write were done almost grudgingly.

am still going to break that damned movie - I've just changed my approach. It has become part of a much larger project, and if you - and especially I - am lucky, that project will someday see the light of morning.

he last gap is a little stranger: the cause was the somewhat minor Peter Cushing vehicle Island of Terror. I love this movie... and perhaps that was the problem. Starting the review was a struggle, and one which I frequently lost. It certainly didn't help that my copy was obviously taken from a 16mm master, and though otherwise fine, the Eastmancolor had done its usual job of deteriorating toward the red end of the spectrum, giving you the horrifying impression that your eyeballs had started bleeding. I was not looking forward to color-correcting those framegrabs.

hat part of the excuse is now long-gone, since American Movie Classics showed it last week, and I now have a non-bleeding copy. I would, incidentally, like to send kudos and thanks in the direction of AMC for showing movies like this and Comedy of Terrors, and for their late-night Friday FX movies. Now, if they would just start programming kung fu flicks on Saturday afternoons, my life would be back to normal.

o the review of Island of Terror stuck in my craw for a couple of weeks, a mere five paragraphs written, and those dearly bought. Some day I will revisit those five paragraphs, and then we'll settle this. Yes, we will. And only one of us will be walking away.

n the meantime - in a week that began with a wedding and ended with a funeral (there is rough poetry there, but I will leave that to the rough poets), I knew I had to write something, anything - and the DVD for The Miracle Fighters fell into my lap. I was enthusiastic enough about the movie to break out of the slump, and here we are.

o that, sort of, is why there have not been weekly updates.

he letters page is back, but it's for general letters, like those praising me for my godlike sensibilities. Letters specifically about individual movies are posted to Reader Comment pages, another swell idea I had that equals a crapload more work for me. Moron. An index to the RC pages is here; they can be accessed from the individual review pages by clicking on the "We've Got Comments" graphic, down near the

s for a message board: You're probably all aware of the New Message Board over at Bad Movie Planet, run and moderated by Stomp Tokyo and myself. Unlike the old ST board, you don't have to register to simply read the posts. Head on over, if you haven't already. It's lively and entertaining. Good people to meet, fun topics.

nd as for the last choice of the poll: More curmudgeonly columns where you threaten to hit people with your cane. Well, here we are. Bear with me and my foibles, or I'll have to whack you with my cane.

atisfied?

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