Thursday, February 19, 2015


Let me invoke the catch phrase of Futurama’s Professor Farnsworth and say, good news, friends!
In a development unforeseen by me until a few weeks ago, it seems Yours Truly will be branching out and taking up some pretty exciting company. If you know this blog, you undoubtedly know about the two-and-a-half minute film school known as Trailers from Hell, the brainchild of one of my favorite filmmakers, Joe Dante. Well, starting today, Yours Truly will have his own little corner of that prestigiously pulpy site! The good folks at TFH have offered me a weekly column (every Thursday), a soap box from which to pontificate upon all matters regarding the movies—reviews, appreciations, general musings and whatever else strikes my twisted fancy. So naturally, I said, naaaah…
Not really.
The column is called Fear of the Velvet Curtain, and here’s a little clue as to why, taken from my inaugural post:
"As every show started, the projectionist always fired up the machine before the screen was fully revealed, and the first flickers, usually the logo for the movie studio releasing it, or perhaps the opening images of the pre-show cartoon, always ended up splayed upon the surface of the curtain, warped and misshapen by the natural folds of the material and its movement as it slowly pulled open. There was something lurking there, and that something was coming out, couldn’t be stopped. It didn’t matter whether or not the movie was innocuous family fare, like Blackbeard’s Ghost or The Sound of Music, or horrors like Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed or The House That Screamed. The creepy ritual itself, those images projected onto the slowly retracting curtain, quite honestly terrified me, filled me with so much fear, excitement and anticipation that I often had to look away. And of course once the curtain came to rest at the edges of the screen and the movie commenced, looking away was the last thing I could do."

While life at SLIFR will continue on (a new quiz is a-brewin’ as I type), for me today begins an association with one of my favorite sites that I hope will be a long and exciting one. My most sincere thanks goes to Joe Dante, of course, and also to TFH’s art director, the eye-bogglingly talented Charlie Largent for this wonderful opportunity. You need only click here to see that inaugural post, plus my first extended column, all about (what else?) the Oscars, now playing at Trailers from Hell. Coming soon? Nope! It’s here!

(Also, check out critic Michael Sragow’s great new interview with Joe Dante conducted for Film Comment—click here for parts one and two.)


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