Tribute to Vince Rotolo
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 and we cut Episode #48. 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.