January 15, 2009

The Good Stuff Appreciators (Enter The Mondo Boss)

"We can't feel feelings anymore!"

Let’s get this straight - I’m a genre fan. My preferred type of film has giant monsters, plenty of urban renewal, and is made in Japan. Extending from this, I love a good horror film. Before I started kindergarten, I was raised on TBS’s “Super Scary Saturday” and movies like “Jaws,” “Piranha,” and “Orca” (I suppose I had an affinity for all things aquatic). I was a film enthusiast in the making, and my mother always stressed that I should “branch out” from the usual fair and appreciate other genres. She had to drag me to “Forrest Gump” when I was ten years old, but I ended up enjoying it.

I have branched out, though I still generally prefer movies with city-smashing in them. I am now able to enjoy dumb action movies and serious dramas equally on their own merits, and I am thankful for that.

Most of my friends appreciate the mainstream or lowbrow stuff, however. One of the last movies I got together with friends to watch was “Meet the Spartans.” Definitely wouldn’t make mother proud. The Scary Movie/Epic Movie/etc. spoofs can hardly be considered films by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately, movies for the “mainstream” don’t aspire to much, and the loyal moviegoers seem to have become desensitized to the trash. I tried to get a good friend of mine to watch “Shaun of the Dead,” but two minutes into it, she had to stop. She didn’t get it.

“I thought this was a spoof of “Dawn of the Dead,” she said.

“It’s not a spoof, more of a tribute,” I explained. “It stands on its own merits; you don’t have to see any of the “Dead” movies to enjoy it.”

That is true. My mom loved “Shaun of the Dead,” and she is barely familiar or enthusiastic about George Romero’s other films. My poor friend was expecting “Shaun” to be just like “Scary Movie,” and that’s a shame. Like I said, I’m glad I have that appreciation of the “good stuff.”

Luckily I’ve made friends with other Goof Stuff Appreciators, a fraction of which also share the appreciation of Godzilla and his destructive friends. More often than not, we’ll have a “Wholesale Urban Renewal Festival” of giant Japanese monster films. Lately we’ve been branching out ourselves, and have been watching some damn good movies (not to say that the monster movies aren’t good. In fact, the films from the 1960’s, especially those by director Ishiro Honda, are awesome movies that stand up to the “good stuff”).

Just recently, five of us got together for a double-feature of two great films, a perfect subject for my first review: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” and Terence Young’s “Wait Until Dark.” Not exactly the usual selection that a group of young people would choose to sit down and watch, but we’re the “Good Stuff Appreciators.”

Up next: Peeping Toms and Blind Women

No comments: