The name is Derek Steed, and I will be joining the Bottom Shelf as a second reviewer. Garv asked me to complete the following survey to introduce myself and give you an idea of my film sensibilities. So, here goes…
Favorite film: Ooooo, this is a tough one. I don’t know if I have a favorite movie per-se, but there are movies that I will watch again, and again, and again, and again. They come from a variety of genres, and most would be considered “classics” or “cult.” Some of these films include Big Trouble in Little China, Flash Gordon, Quatermass and the Pit, Masters of the Universe, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Planet of the Vampires, Ladyhawke, Hard Boiled, Full Contact, Seven Samurai, the Lone Wolf and Cub films, anything involving Kaiju (Godzilla, Gamera, King Kong, etc.), Monster Squad, Night of the Creeps, Legend of the Drunken Master, The Music Man, Oliver, and Watership Down. There are simply too many.
Favorite filmmaker: Again, this is a tough one. I like so many — George A. Romero, John Woo, Terry Gilliam, Akira Kurosawa, Kinji Fukusaku, Ishiro Honda, Jean Pierre-Jeunet, Guillermo Del Toro, John Carpenter, Dario Argento, David Cronenberg, Wes Craven, Fritz Lang, Sam Peckinpah, John Frankenheimer, Sergio Leone, Lucio Fulci, Mario Bava, Brian DePalma, Tobe Hooper, Sidney Lumet. Again, there are too many.
Favorite film comedian: Wow, this is the one genre that I am not that familiar with. It’s not that I don’t have a sense of humor. Far from it. I think that I have a good one, though it does tend to go to the “dark side.” If I have a favorite though, I have to go to England and give my love to one Mr. Rowan Atkinson; more of a small screen comedian, but he still has had some memorable performances in film. He always makes me laugh out loud.
Favorite horror star: There is a holy triumvirate that all true fans of Horror need to worship: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Vincent Price. Like Garv, my esteemed colleague here at Bottom Shelf, Vincent Price reigns supreme.
Sexiest movie star: The perpetual 14-year-old boy in me will always LOVE Caroline Munro. From Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me to the bikini clad Stella Star in Star Crash (the Italian “homage” to Star Wars, which I will definitely review), she is the definition of sexy.
Favorite film genre: I like all kinds of movies, but I will always have a soft spot for horror — from the Universal classics to the blood soaked splat-gore spectacles of Lucio Fulci. These were always my favorite films as a kid, and my father told me that if I ever woke him up because of a nightmare it would be the last time I ever watched a horror movie. There were many sleepless nights in my youth, but it was so worth it. Other “favorites” include dystopian future epics, and Kung-Fu films, especially ones with Jackie Chan and his partners in crime, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao.
Favorite score/soundtrack: A soundtrack is definitely another “character” in a film and can either add to or really detract from it. I have a very large collection of movie soundtracks, and I’ll often listen to them when I am in the car. I love the minimalist works of John Carpenter, to the absolute bombast of James Horner and John Williams; but if I have a favorite soundtrack it would be Cutthroat Island by John Debny. I continually find myself humming or whistling the themes from this soundtrack, and when I hear it I still get goose pimples. Great stuff!
First film you remember seeing in a theater: This is the first “easy” question. The first movie that I can remember seeing in the theater is Star Wars. I was 4 years old, and I don’t think that I slept for a week after seeing it, because I was so jazzed from seeing the movie.
Greatest movie theater experience: I have always been a huge fan of Jackie Chan films, and he never caught a break when he tried to break into the American market in the 70s and 80s. The best experience, hands down, was seeing Rumble in the Bronx in a packed theater. The audience was completely into the movie from beginning to end, and the audience went absolutely crazy during climactic fight between Jackie Chan and the biker gang that had been giving him hell the whole film. During the credits, when Jackie turns to the camera and gives the audience a “thumbs up,” the movie received a standing ovation from the entire crowd. Movie magic!
Favorite video that was a “blind buy”: The Raid: Redemption, the martial arts extravaganza from writer/director Gareth Evans is an over-the-top, “smash you in the face” brawl on celluloid that introduced the world to Iko Uwais and his incredible martial arts skill. Run out and buy this and its sequel, The Raid 2, pop some popcorn, and sit back and watch two movies with some of the most mind blowing fight scenes… ever.
I’d watch just about any film that starred: Michael Caine. He is so versatile and has been in so many different movies in different genres. He totally rocks it each and every time he takes a role.
Why do you love movies so much: Movies — You can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone in a movie; and no dream is too big or too weird.