Saturday, September 12, 2009

Welcome to Son of Celluloid!

     My name is Doctor Splatter, and I welcome you all to Son of Celluloid.  As you can see from my moniker (and I suppose the blog title) you can tell I'm a big fan of horror movies.  Well, I am, but this blog is going to be more than that; I happen to be a lover of cinema in general.  It is a passion for me.  Horror is a big part of that, but a part nonetheless.  Before I get to describing what this blog is going be, it would help to know a little bit about me first.

     I was born in May of 1977.  Yeah, that's right, the same month and year Star Wars came out.  1977 was more than just the beginning of Star Wars, though.  It was the year Elvis Presley died, and also the year punk exploded: The Ramones released their second and third albums; Blondie's third album, Parallel Lines, went mainstream; and The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Talking Heads, and Television all put out their debuts.  Sure, the Son of Sam was on a rampage in New York City, but that didn't keep people from dancing to disco.  Harvey Milk became the first openly-gay man to be elected to public office in a major U.S. city, while (anti-gay activist) Anita Bryant gets pied in the face.  1977 also introduced the Apple II computer, the Commodore PET, and the Atari 2600 to consumers.  In my opinion, 1977 is where the modern world truly began.

     I was born in Southern California, but I had the great misfortune of being raised in California's San Joaquin Valley.  It was quite possibly the most boring existence someone like me could have.  Conservative, quiet, no culture, you get the picture.  I'm not going to bore you with the usual whiny outcast stories, so I'll just say I didn't belong and leave it at that.  My only refuge became the movies, thanks in large part to cable and another innovation introduced to the States in '77: the VHS cassette.  Going to theaters to see pictures was a luxury, because we were a family of kids raising kids, which meant there was no money.  We did make the occasional trip to the drive-in, however.  The Coalinga Drive-In is where I first saw Star Wars, and that's where my life-long fascination with cinema was cemented.  Regardless, it was the home video boom of the late-70's and early 80's that fueled my greatest vehicle for escaping the doldrums of the Central Valley.  And there was plenty of fuel.  Since my parents were kids raising kids, that resulted in some pretty lax rules of what I could and couldn't watch.  I was watching R-rated fare from Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams to Conan the Barbarian at the age of five alongside whatever Disney tapes we would rent from the liquor store (this was long before video chains like Blockbuster were commonplace).  Throughout the 1980's I was exposed to a wide variety of films.  There were of course the usual mainstream Eighties staples: Indiana Jones, John Hughes movies, Eddie Murphy movies, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, The Princess Bride, The Dark Crystal, The Goonies, etc.  Anything with Clint, Sly, Ah-nold, or Chuck Norris my folks rented.  However, on top of all those, I also saw tons of little-known, cult, low-budget, or exploitation flicks as well.  I remember my dad watching old kung-fu movies on KSEE 24.  My first Japanese animated film was Miyazaki's Naussica of the Valley of the Wind (despite the fact it was the butchered US cut entitled Warriors of the Wind).  There was The Beastmaster, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, The Warriors, Heavy Metal, It Came From Hollywood, The Last American Virgin, The Exterminator, Space Raiders, Yor: The Hunter From the Future, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Rock 'n Rule, World Gone Wild, The Ice Pirates...this list can also go on.  So, it was a wide combo of blockbusters, independents, and crap.

     And let's not forget the horror!  Believe it or not, it was also Star Wars that kicked off my love for monsters.  The creatures that populated George Lucas' greatest creation led to the likes of Kong and Godzilla, to Frankenstein and Dracula, and then to Jason and Freddy.  Scary movies were a part of my childhood as much as Muppet movies.  Friday the 13th, The Shining, My Bloody Valentine and Creepshow were a few of my earliest fright flicks.  I remember being fascinated with The Elephant Man and not wanting to step back onto sandy shores after seeing Blood Beach.  My favorites from the Reagan era included A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, The Lost Boys, The Thing, and Fright Night.  I should have known this particular genre was going to one day be a main focus of study, because I also remember scouring libraries for books on older monster movies as a kid.  That's where I learned about Universal's Famous Monsters, and names like Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Fay Wray, the Lon Chaney's, and Vincent Price. With the success of 1996's Scream turning horror into a commodity, I not only drifted back to the old faves, but also I started discovering genre classics I missed out on, such as Dawn of the Dead, the Evil Dead trilogy, and Black Christmas.  From that point on, horror itself became a hobby within the hobby.

     In the 1990's came high school, and my cinematic interests expanded to include more indie flicks as well as more Golden Age classics, in addition to the hits of the day.  By the end of the decade, I realized I had such a vast knowledge of film, I decided to look at that seriously, and in turn examine movies and the movie biz a bit more seriously.  To this day though, I never yielded my life-long obsession with certain genres.  I can definitely love and appreciate the likes of The Godfather, The Graduate, and Casablanca (which is one of my favorite films period), but it has been horror, science fiction, adventure, action, fantasy, and movies based on comic books/graphic novels I seem to gravitate back to.  It is because I grew up in the middle of nowhere that I'm forever drawn to such entertainment.  With farmland and "family values" as far as the eye could see, it was the wild imaginations of Lucas, Carpenter, Burton, and many, many others that instilled in me a truth that, good or bad or ugly, there's a much bigger world out there to experience.

     To make a long story short, this blog is devoted to geek movies.  Sorry, but with so many sites devoted to these kind of pictures, I had to elaborate on how personal it is for me.  The purpose of this blog is for me to have an outlet to write about the kinds of movies I love to watch.  No more, no less.  I'll be posting my reviews of new and old genre flicks, passing along movie news, and writing essays of my own.  My goal is not only to share my thoughts on films a lot of people know, but to also introduce film-goers to movies they may not know.  I also hope to add my own perspectives on what's going on in horror, sci-fi, etc. today, in an attempt to get audiences (especially the younger ones) to look at what they're watching more closely to better  understand why they like or dislike a certain movie.  It is important to note that, rest assured, I'm not going to be one of those guys that just completely shits on everything.  Yes, there is a lot of crap out there right now.  I hate Twilight, too, but I will not resort to bullying its audience.  There's a difference between having an opinion and being an asshole.  I understand that film is subjective.  It's art, so different people are going to look at it differently.  Just because I or anybody else may not agree with what you say that doesn't makes us idiots, and vice versa.  If you want to have a discussion about something I posted with me or others, then have a discussion.  I will not tolerate: racist, sexist, homophobic remarks; bad-mouthing of any sort; bullying; or stalking aimed towards me or anyone who visits this blog.  Don't be an asshole, or you will be banned.  The douchebag love-it-or-leave-it attitude of the Bush years is extremely juvenile.  It's high time the internet community grew up a bit.  I don't mean to sound stern, but I have to lay the ground rules immediately.  I want everyone to enjoy themselves, because these kind of movies are meant to be fun.  This blog should be, too.

Forever the sickest,
Doctor Splatter

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