Greetings & Salutations! How The Devil Art Thou?
Most people with normal lives and normal jobs love to unwind and let their hair down by putting on their best clothes and hitting the town with the goal of having the best night of their lives.
Their mission statement is simple: Consume your own body weight in cheap alcohol, dance like a rabid cat that has just ingested a metric shit ton of acid and continue this wild display of absurdism until you either laugh, cry or fall into a deep state of unconsciousness.
However, I am not one of those people.
I like my alone time. My work means that I spend a lot of time by myself with only my imagination to keep me company. Yes, I break away from this sometimes to appear at conventions and join friends of mine from the industry for a podcast or live stream. But the majority of my time is spent on my own, and that’s the way I like it.
But what do I like to do when I’m not working?… Well, there’s reading, philosophising, spending time in nature or with animals, and of course…Watching movies.
You may think I’m mad, and you’re probably right. But there is nothing like staying up until the sunrises, watching hidden and forgotten gems from the history of cinema while sticking to a strict diet of duty-free Marlboro and cheap biscuits (or cookies as my American friends would say).
At first, you wonder why you torture yourself regularly by bombarding your retina’s with low-budget shlock intertwined with thought-provoking pieces of celluloid until your eyes become square. But once you hit 3am and you allow the sleep deprivation to do its job, everything is quite entertaining at that point.
What I’m saying is that I have a fond and long-standing relationship with movies. But I’m not like most movie buffs, who have seen every classic film ranging from 'Citizen Kane' to 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'.
I have nothing against those movies. I thoroughly enjoy them. However, I often find myself being drawn to the lesser-known exploits of filmmaking, and I don’t hold it against a movie if it isn’t a mainstream outing. It’s these lesser-known movies that show us just how creative some visual storytellers can be and how when the gloves are off, amazing things can happen. They’re the braver movies cause even though they don’t have the backing of a big studio, they still have big ideas, and they’re willing to take risks! This is why I love to give the lesser know, the rare, the hidden and long-forgotten gems of cinema a little more attention than their mainstream counterparts.
It might surprise you to know that not only am I not alone in this, but that hidden amongst the muck and the filth that lines the vaults that keep the lesser-known movies hidden from larger audiences, there are some absolute gems that deserve some attention…Some deserve to never be spoken about ever again, but it’s worth going through them to find the golden nugget. And it’s my fascination with these lesser-known movies that has inspired a new category for my blog.
Since starting this blog, I have taken time to share some personal insights into my life and career as a comic book writer/graphic novelist. I will keep doing that as we move forward, but now is the time to bring a new category into the fold. And that’s what this post is all about.
So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to ‘Macabre Matinee’.
WHY ‘MACABRE MATINEE’?
Imagine having a conversation and dropping the names 'Revenge Of The Radioactive Reporter' or 'Hell Comes To Frog Town.' The reaction you'll get is priceless—eyebrows raise, jaws drop, and some lovely chaps in white coats assure you that everything will be just fine as they gently guide you into a room lined with rubber wallpaper. Most people will think you made up these titles just to mess with their cinematic sanity!
While the internet is flooded with details about beloved movies and big-budget franchises, it's the lesser-known films that hide in the shadows, waiting to be discovered. These hidden gems are often looked at like the red-haired stepchildren of the family, the eccentric cousins who bring the spice to family gatherings.
In a world dominated by superheroes and talking animals, it's refreshing to stumble upon these forgotten oddities and share them with the unsuspecting masses. There's a certain delight in watching someone's bewildered expression as they question the very existence of the movies you unveil to them.
'Macabre Matinee' is the place where we dive into the depths of cinematic curiosities. From the lost relics to the cult classics, we'll embark on a laughter-filled quest to uncover these hidden treasures and shine a light on the strange brilliance that lies within. So grab your popcorn, make yourself comfortable, and join me on this adventure through the delightfully dark and absurd side of horror and exploitation cinema.
Oh, and a word of caution—prepare to witness sights that will make you question the sanity of filmmakers and ponder the meaning of 'What the hell did I just watch?' But fear not, for we'll navigate these twisted waters together, armed with laughter, a healthy dose of scepticism, and the knowledge that we are not alone in our suffering.
So buckle up, my fellow seekers of the peculiar, as we embark on this wild journey through the obscure, the wacky, and the gloriously unconventional. Welcome to 'Macabre Matinee,' where we celebrate the underdogs of horror and exploitation cinema and remind the world that there's more to the genre than meets the eye—or causes it to twitch uncontrollably before we black out from the pain.
BUT HOW WILL YOU SELECT THE MOVIES YOU REVIEW?
As much as I would like to make it sound like a complex, intricate, and somewhat elaborate method for selecting the movies to review, I can't. In fact, I want to take away as many limitations as possible. We're diving into the realm of the obscure and the underappreciated, after all.
One thing I'll keep in mind is whether the titles fall under the category of 'Horror' or 'Exploitation Cinema'. While the occasional sci-fi movie might find its way into the ranks, let's keep it mostly within the twisted boundaries of horror and exploitation. We want to explore the dark and deliciously bizarre corners of the cinematic universe.
My main focus will be on movies that are somewhat rare, forgotten, or mostly unheard of. These hidden gems are waiting to be rediscovered and appreciated. However, if a movie was made on a shoestring budget, it doesn't hurt its chances of making it onto my watchlist. Sometimes the lack of resources can lead to creative and innovative storytelling.
Oh, and here's a time limit—I'll only look at movies that were made before, and including the year 2005. Why? Simply because I feel that some of the greatest movies were released before that particular year. It allows us to travel back through the annals of cinematic history. In one review, we could be diving into a trashy eighties flick, while in the next, we could unearth a long-forgotten gem from the 1940s. Variety is the spice of 'Macabre Matinee,' and these self-imposed limitations won't hold us back from exploring the vast and wondrous world of lesser-known movies.
So, my fellow lovers of the bizarre, be prepared for a rollercoaster ride through time and genre as we dig up rare delights, unearth forgotten oddities, and celebrate the audacity of low-budget filmmaking. Our journey has just begun, and together, we'll discover the unexpected and revel in the macabre. Let's dive into the shadows and let the twisted tales unfold
WHEN WILL THIS MADNESS BEGIN?
Next week, my fellow thrill-seekers!
While I don't have a set schedule in place just yet, I couldn't wait to dive into the madness. And guess what? The beloved season of Samhein (or as some refer to it, Halloween) is just around the corner. It's the perfect time to inject this category of my blog with a month-long extravaganza of cinema showcases that will send shivers down your spine.
But fear not, this is just the beginning. Once the Halloween dust settles, I plan on bringing you at least one movie review every month. Now, I know what you're thinking—can't we have more? Well, if your appetite for my reckless reviews is insatiable and I can manage to tear myself away from shouting at parked cars (a lifelong hobby, I must confess), I might just squeeze in an extra review or two here and there.
So, buckle up, my friends, because the ride is about to begin. Prepare yourself for a month-long celebration of cinema followed by a tantalizing journey into the shadows with regular reviews to satisfy your craving for the strange, the bizarre, and the gloriously unconventional.
Don't say I didn't warn you. Madness awaits, and we're diving headfirst into the delightful abyss of 'Macabre Matinee'.