Tribute to Vince Rotolo

Posted in Old School, RIP with tags , on April 28, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

 I was saddened today to learn of the passing of b-movie archivist, podcaster, retroist and genuinely nice guy Vince Rotolo. Sometime before I ever knew what a blog or podcast was, I took to the internet searching the phrase “B Movie” and stumbled upon a curious site that opened up my world to film genre like Giallo and Sword & Sandal. I had always been a fan of fantasy films but through Vince’s podcast world I learned so much more. I picked up the phone and called him and pitched the idea of a podcast topic on Mad Scientists, focusing on Slavic inventor Nikola Tesla, who served as a prototype for many celluloid heroes and villains. Vince immediately accepted. To this day, I think it is the only stand alone “B-Movie Cast” that focuses on a topic rather than a film. 

Vince was willing to try new things. A few times I poked him —joking, that a featured film like Blade Runner or perhaps Forbidden Planet wasn’t a B-Movie. Vince those were top tier A pictures with large budgets. Another time, for show #300 I bitched about some “crappy Robin Williams film” and he laughed and the bullets would bounce off him and he would quip: I don’t care it’s my podcast and I’ll do what I want. And that he did. Vince ran a wonderful show and kept the community engaged. 

One time a clueless iTunes reviewer commented that Vince’s delivery was comparable to watching paint dry. Vince laughed it off in a dry deprecating humor Bob Newhart would admire. The reviewer missed the point of Vince and his world. He wasn’t supposed to be a professional and boy could he hack Stanley Kubrick’s name. Here was a former HAM radio operator who had found a new medium and man did he improve upon it with a fanatical obsession of technical prowess fortified with millions of miles of electrical wires and duct tape.  

I finally met Vince and Mary at Ron’s Monster Bash. I thought here is a guy so cool, with a vintage LP collection, Klypsch La Scala speakers, and an encyclopedic memory of old films, he was like an older brother I never had. We struck up a friendship and he expanded my world. I am a blogger entirely because of Vince’s passion for old (and new) films.

From my vantage, Vince leaves a legacy of 374 unique insights into genre film and a time-capsule of early 21st pop culture. He helped define the podcast movement and changed the world one freak at a time. As far as I am concerned those podcasts belong in the Smithsonian.

Heartfelt condolences to Mary, the Rotolo family, Nic, Juan and the extended b-movie cast family.

Barry

Siberian Bear Hunting Armor

Posted in Miscellania on April 26, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

  
LINK

“Death Star” Celestron 127

Posted in Miscellania, Sky with tags on April 16, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

  

William Grefe

Posted in Bad Films I Love, Old School with tags on April 13, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

Good shot of director and jack of all trades William Grefe at Cinema Wasteland, April 2016. Bill dropped by our table and shared stories about rattlesnakes, sharks, giant jellyfish monsters, bikers, and shooting gorilla-style in Florida. Good show Bill!

 
IMDb Bio

Rey’s Doll

Posted in Star Wars with tags , on April 7, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

This doll on a shelf in Rey’s pad (an AT-AT) has got to be clue as to who she is. The doll appears to have a mustache. Any guesses?

  

Linda Miller at Cinema Wasteland

Posted in Kaiju with tags , , on April 4, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

  
Nice meeting Linda Miller in person at the Cinema Wasteland show. My earliest film memory was watching King Kong Escapes on a double bill with Yog at a drive-in in northwest Indiana. The Q&A session was fascinating and you could tell Linda was touched by all the attention. 

I had her sign Gorosaurus!

    

Richmond Times-Dispatch Article on Linda Miller

Thoughts on BM v SM: DoJ

Posted in DC with tags on March 30, 2016 by MONSTERMINIONS

Batman-V-Superman-Official-Trailer-Logo

SPOILERS

At two and a half hours, Zack Snyder’s film is essentially a director’s cut with all the crappy stuff that should have been chopped, intact.  I think somewhere in that mess is an entertaining film, but the script was just riddled with lost opportunities, dead ends, exposition and incomprehensible dialogue mostly spewing from Lex Luther’s (Jesse Eisenberg) mouth. Some of the dream sequences seem more coherent now, after I revisited Miller and Janson’s epic graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns (1986) —these include flashback sequences manifested as a bat-demon haunting, yet another depiction of Wayne’s parents murder (down to a broken pearl necklace), Bruce falling into a pit of bats, and other sequences borrowed from the novel. The desert sequence made no sense to me, and I suspect it was also adopted from a comic storyline.

Affleck was ok, but I don’t think he nailed it. I rank him better than Clooney, Kilmer and Bale (who I never liked in that role) and at least on par with Keaton. To be honest, I have never liked any of the casting choices for Batman, including Robert Lowery (1913-1971) in the 1949 serial Batman and Robin! I won’t mention Adam West as that is different (campy) representation of the Batman character.

In some ways I wish the producers and Snyder would have just tried to adapt The Dark Knight Returns (which is also asking for trouble), which has Superman as a lesser character. Dawn of Justice seemed more about Batman. Man, Cavill’s delivery was just thud and after every dull speech he takes off with a sonic boom that punctuates the dullness.  I’ve never seen Superman so uninteresting.

On a positive note, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) seems like a good casting decision. I also liked Jeremy Irons as Alfred, but his talents were not fully used. Hopefully we’ll see more of him as the Justice League moves forward.

Rating. 5 out of 10. Not as bad as some critics are saying. It’s better than Green Lantern, which isn’t saying much. DC continues to disappoint.

Oh, and check out this deleted scene. Maybe we will see more of this in a 3 hrs version Director’s Special Edition Director’s Cut….

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