In Which The Author Lays Some Groundwork
It was 1980.
At the ripe old age of 23, I was ready to take the world of entertainment
by storm. A writing,
acting double threat (at the time, I sneered at actors who "really
want to direct". Guess what I do now?), I had settled in the
Houston, Texas area, ready to rack up experience and credits in preparation
for that all-important Move To Somewhere Else.
in Houston, and at the wizened age of 40 am finally starting a family.
But that has nothing to do with (ominous music) My Personal Nightmare.
1980 also saw the release of two movies which would exert a subtle
influence over the next decade of my life: Screams
of a Winter Night and Friday the 13th.
probably heard of one, but not the other. In fact, if you have heard
of Screams outside the original Psychotronic
guide (where it was mislabelled Screams of the Winter
Night), I am impressed. One day, I'll review Screams, so
I won't say too much about it here, except that it commits the cardinal
sin of Bad Movies: it gets boring and stupid. Stupid we can handle,
and is in fact, pretty essential to the Bad Movie experience. Boring,
on the other hand....
limited as it was, Screams got a theatrical release. When the
movie began, there were perhaps a couple dozen people in the theatre.
By the end, it was down to me and some guy who had fallen asleep.
need to know about Screams is this: I knew one of the actresses.
Went to college with her. Robin Bradley was her name at the time,
and she has since gotten married and moved to LA, where I lost touch
with her. I was fairly smitten with Ms. Bradley, and though I've not
seen nor heard from her in years, still think of her and hope that
she's thriving. And I also thought she needed a better vehicle for
there is Friday the 13th. I realize that a lot of people like
this movie. I realize it spawned one
of the more lucrative franchises of that decade. But, if you want
my opinion (and if you don't. boy are you at the wrong web
site)Friday the 13th and it's progeny are utter crap. I think
it was Entertainment Weekly that attributed it's success to
the many "creative" deaths... past the axe in the face and
the excellent arrowhead-up- through-Kevin-Bacon's- throat scene, all
I can recall is slashed throats. And though I can applaud the WAY
against-type casting of Betsy Palmer as the killer, she is a character
you did not know existed until the last ten minutes of the movie...
one of the worst cheats possible in a mystery/suspense setting.
And I paid
money to see this. And it was not even enlightened by benefit of knowing
someone in it.
home after this bleak experience, I realized something, a moment of
epiphany that has arced through the brain of so many before me like
smoky lightning: Christ, I can do better than that.
And so my
Writing the Bad Movie