You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers.
It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey, great column. What’s a movie obsession that your friends just don’t understand? I keep trying to explain how utterly awesome and magnificent Buckaroo Banzai is, but they don’t get it, and it makes me feel dumb for loving it so much. – Alex H.
As to specific idiosyncrasies, take your pick! Italian post-apocalyptic films, Japanese Nikatsu, lesser known 80s slasher flicks, 90s “super” hero movies, blaxploitation, etc. If you’re friends are skeptics, make it your charge to share the films you love with them on a regular basis and eventually, if nothing else, your passion will most likely win them over.
Growing up, my family had only a single black-and-white television. It was 19-inches diagonally, and my dad kept it in the basement because he didn’t like television. And we didn’t have cable, so it was just four stations. Television choices were slim in my household, so when there was something I found that I liked, I watched the hell out of it.
One of my favorite shows as a kid was The Twilight Zone. I know the stories are all cliches and silly genre “what if” tales, but they were tons of fun for me. The love for this sort of story has carried over into my adult life, and I love a good “what if” Twilight Zone-ish story.
It’s not that friends and family think I’m nuts, but rather my colleagues in the film reviewer community. While everyone was guffawing at the trailer for Devil last year, I was secretly excited to see it. I love Shyamalan’s Twilight Zone flavor of filmmaking. It’s schlock done really well. Yeah, the acting is shit, and the man has an ego the size of a missile the size of the Chrysler Building, but I love watching his movies, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it.
I’d like to take everyone back to a balmy day in the Summer (or Fall or Winter) of 2009, when I took a trip over to Brian Salisbury and Luke Mullen’s humble abode to watch a few (49) movies. With Neil Miller and John Gholson also name-dropped and in the room, I proceeded to place gently into the DVD player, a freshly mailed-by-Netflix copy of Forbidden Zone.
It was vetoed within minutes.
I’ve never put myself on the couch to figure out why I love that movie so much, but I do. It’s such raw, unfiltered, trashy absurdity wrapped up with a topless blonde girl clucking like a chicken through Hell while Danny Elfman sings old jazz standards. It’s the kind of thing that film school students make when they have more than an ounce of creativity inside them.
And Susan Tyrrell! She’s a genius here. Absolutely brilliant as the queenly wife of the midget from Pleasure Island. Plus, even though the movie came out in 1982, the art design appeals perfectly to the Ren and Stimpy sensibilities of the 90s crowd that grew up with Ed Roth and Ratfink.
There’s so much to love, but I can’t seem to find many friends who agree (or will even attempt to watch it). To that I say: if you haven’t seen Danny Elfman play Satan, you haven’t lived.