Hot on the heels of the release of VHS ATE MY BRAIN next month will be DIARY OF A GENRE ADDICT VOLUME TWO, which completes the project and will be the final output from the DOAGA site for the foreseeable future. It includes all of the remaining reviews and diary entries plus additional diary entries and an original essay on the cult film lifestyle.
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Saturday, 14 September 2013
I've been reading Troma mainman Lloyd Kaufman's books MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN MOVIE and EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FILMMAKING I LEARNED FROM THE TOXIC AVENGER, both of which are hilariously entertaining and well worth a purchase.
The latter charts the inception and subsequent rise (well, they did rise a bit) of the world's longest running independent movie company and is told in Lloyd's inimitable style, i.e. endless jokes about masturbation, boobs, farting, urinating and countless other bodily functions. They're great books, and made me want to revisit the film that started them on the road to semi-stardom. THE TOXIC AVENGER.
This film wasn't the first from Kaufman and co (Look up Squeeze Play, The First Turn on and others. Just avoid Big Gus, What's the Fuss?), but it was the first to feature their signature character, the lovable mutated maniac, Toxie. THE TOXIC AVENGER follows the misfortunes of Melvin, a much-harangued geek who ends up jumping out of a window to avoid being bullied any more.
He lands in a vat of toxic waste and is soon transformed into THE TOXIC AVENGER, a huge, deformed and muscular hero who brutally murders bad guys and can sense evil lurking nearby. He sets about righting wrongs, with gory, ridiculous and hilariously cheesy results. The film showcased the anarchic spirit that Troma became known for, as well as their cheap special effects and (some may say obsessive) fondness for the female form. It's that spirit, that gung-ho attitude, which helps suspend disbelief throughout this beautifully demented film.
The production values are about as low as it gets, but that didn't stop Kaufman and his merry gang of assorted lunatics from delivering a film which is in a class (and indeed genre) all of its own. Mix horror, comedy, a bit of sci-fi, a lot of slapstick and plenty of dirty jokes, then pour it directly into the brain of someone having a surreal fever dream, and you'll be close to what the film is like. Toxie is lovable, even when he's squashing skulls or tearing people to pieces. He's very clearly the good guy, but his methods would sometimes suggest otherwise.
The film is a hell of a lot of fun, as are the sequels, but none of them match the lunacy and feel of this first one. At times inept, it is nevertheless a testament to the genius of Kaufman and Troma that this cheap and tacky genre comedy still remains much loved – and much watched – today.
Sunday, 4 August 2013
Diary of a Genre Addict has been my dream project, my solace, my place to indulge since I began the site in 2009. In that time I have been able to write about some truly weird films and stuff, and have loved it very much. But all good things must come to an end, and as such, Diary of a Genre Addict will soon be complete. A few more important reviews will be published, and then the climactic final post will come.
The second volume of the collected Diary of a Genre Addict pieces will thus be the final release from this incarnation of the site.
I am not ruling out a return someday once the project has ended, but for the time being there are other things which I must devote my energies to, including life as a father and husband and a slate of projects which are becoming too major to turn away from. I would like to thank you all for visiting and reading my little corner of geekdom, and I hope you'll stick around for the grand finale of reviews and the final diary entry.
The end may be nigh, but the addiction lives on.
And who knows what the future will bring?
Monday, 22 July 2013
This was always one of those films I told myself I'd get around to watching someday. I'm sure we've all got extensive lists of those, and this was fairly high on mine. I love the premise, namely a hippy theatre troupe dig up a corpse, have a high old time screwing around with it, perform some satanic rituals and then the undead rise to take revenge upon them. End credits. Simple enough.
Actually there's more going on there but to be honest if I hadn't been flicking through my copy of the BOOK OF THE DEAD history of zombie cinema I would have completely missed the whole thing about the film being an attack on the hypocrisy and rotten core of the hippy culture at the end of the 1960s and start of the 1970s.
I just thought it was a cheap zombie movie with some comedy elements. However, upon watching it following on from reading about it, I appreciated it much more than I would have done otherwise. It's a lot of fun, if slow starting, but once the festivities kick in with an army of corpses attacking the vile main characters, the film all falls into place.
As soon as the gang digs up the aforementioned cadaver, things take a macabre turn and the tone of the film starts to shift from comedy to something more uneasy, before the final act turns it into a full-on horror movie. The zombie effects are cheap but pretty effective, but it's the exemplary score which adds a demented quality to the film – cold, jarring synths and effects warring for supremacy as hippies are massacred.
The film feels a little padded out, even at its brief 82 minutes (about ten minutes of which are just credits), but the idea works well and there's enough going on to hold the interest until the rather sudden ending (an ending which Lucio Fulci would inadvertently echo with ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS). CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is a nice little Grindhouse flick, cheap, atmospheric and often straddling the lines between good and bad as well as comedy and horror.
Saturday, 20 July 2013
Aka THE BOGEY MAN here in the UK. The film is nowhere near as great as the trailer makes it out to be. Definitely worth seeing, but the trailer is tons better. And no, it's nothing to do with those 'Boogeyman' flicks from a few years ago. This is Video Nasties era stuff ;)