Here’s Me

My name is Charlie, and I’ve been for the past 15 or so years bitten by the exploitation movie bug.  Like many, I first found these movies via Mystery Science Theater 3000, but I soon found myself wanting the commentary to end so I could see the movies as they were meant to be seen–don’t get me wrong, I love MST3K, but love these movies even more. With a little exploration, I found myself liking the films MST3K could never show the best

Here's Me.

Your friendly proprietor

I love these films in all their sleazy glory, be it outlaw bikers, blaxploitation, cannibals, sexploitation, women-in-prison, nazisploitation, giallo, mondo, rape/revenge, monster movies, slasher, splatter, spaghetti westerns, old sex and drug hygiene films, nudie-cuties . . . you get the idea.  No squalid stone unturned.  I love the fact that these sorts of movies existed in parallel to mainstream legit Hollywood that most people are more familiar with, and in some symbiosis–and crossover with–with even more sordid or more obscure genres such as hardcore porn or ultra-low budget faire.

I also love Twitter, and post trailers, full movies when I can find ’em, and milestones from exploitation movie history.  But one can only do so much in 140 characters, and I think I’ve more to say anyway.  But I’m not enamored of the single film review format that many blogs use, no matter how snappy the writing is.  I’m much more interested in finding out how these films came to be and why, and at least as much as what was happening off camera as with the films.  Don’t expect too many movie reviews, as such, here.

This is my second iteration of blogging on exploitation cinema.  In my 1.0 phase I was getting the hang of blogging and seeing what I wanted to do.  I moved here to WordPress to get more flexibility.

This Blog’s Schtick

Having been at this blog for several months now–writing this in November 2013, six months after moving to WordPress and a year after starting my 1.0 blog–I think I’ve found a coherent vision for what I want to do here.  Namely, researching the sort of films I mention above for the purpose of describing how they came to be made in the way they did, and to say something about their legacy for the various film genres and cinema in general.  Being pretty decent in a research library, I am able to do more research from the perspective of newspapers from back in the day, and some academic work in specialized academic journals on film studies, biographies of actors, directors, etc.  These sources of information are not always represented well on the web, so hopefully this blog can be a way to ferret out this sort of information to bring something new to the horror/exploitation/B-movie blogosphere.  I find this sort of treatment of these films–mini-essays on the off-camera happenings around these films–to be much more interesting, and far less tedious, to put together than doing movie reviews, which seems to be what 90%+ of the cinema blogs do.

A couple other things that motivate me on this blog: keeping discussions/awareness of older films alive.  To this end, I’ve elected to focus my writing here on films of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.  Films of the 1980s has a huge discussion base, but I frankly enjoy the older stuff more.  I’m also interested in “community building” among online film commentators of these sorts of films, so expect a lot of links going back that 90%+ of the film blogosphere that do the hard slog of review after review.  As tedious as I find the writing of reviews, I do enjoy reading them, and mainly use my tweeps’ reviews and podcasts I listen to, to suggest what movies I should be adding to my “to watch” lists (such as this, this, and this) to consider as potential essay fodder.

2 thoughts on “Here’s Me

  1. Hey Charlie,

    Thanks for the like and following my Blog. Unfortunately, you will find only single movie format reviews on my Site. However, I am planning more features, similar to your Blog’s theme.

    I’ve had very few exposure to exploitation films. Only one even close would be the movie directed by Mario Van Peebles, which was a tribute to his father’s blaxploitation films I think.

    Looking forward to an education with your posts. Welcome to WordPress!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Shah.

    I haven’t seen Mario’s film yet, but I did just buy Melvin’s memoir of the film, “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song: A Guerrilla Filmmaking Manifesto” (originally published 1971) which has an intro by Mario. I’ll probably say something about it down the line at some point.

    I’m not hard against the single movie review format per se, but making that the main format for most cinema blogs I read may not be the most interesting way to talk about film. My point here is to experiment with other kinds of formats and see what seems to work and what can sustain the blog in the long run.

    Hope you have as much fun read posts here as I have writing them!

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