Friday, March 6, 2015

Watch This Space :: It Begins Here: The Cult Movie Project. One Year, 200 Films.

After finishing up Patton Oswalt's truly remarkable cinematic memoir, Silver Screen Fiend, I now have a film quest for 2015 and beyond. And that is to finally see all the films in all three indispensable volumes of Danny Peary's Cult Movie books. 200 films in total: from Aguire: The Wrath of God to Zardoz and all flicks in-between. "The classics, the sleepers, the weird and the wonderful."

Since I was a kid I have loved movies and the movie watching experience. I especially loved the weird ones, the forbidden ones, the ones, at the time, you had no chance in hell of seeing in my neck of the woods. And I loved reading about them in countless monster mags and more reasonable film compendiums. But it wasn't until I stumbled upon a copy of Cult Movies: Volume 3 at the Prairie Books and Gifts (no exact date but it was junior high, so mid-1980s-ish) that I became truly fascinated by the carnal knowledge of movies and movie-making: behind the scenes scuttlebutt, gonzo directors, idiosyncratic stars with hidden agendas, or messages you might not see in films that make the production almost as interesting as the film itself. And after devouring that edition and tracking down and feasting on the other two volumes, I honestly cannot judge the true impact of Peary's style and presentation on my own keyboard-knuckle-dragging fanboy-filmdom efforts. A nuts and bolts approach that I desperately try to mimic. Sometimes I succeed, most often I don't. But I will keep on trying.

Thus and so, I broke out my old battered and worn copies, the spines barely holding together on two of them, to guide me through this quest. (And Patton, I love you, but you are a fool for giving yours away. Sorry.) Some I have already seen (127 and counting) and will watch again for this retrospective, others I have not -- some gaps more embarrassing than others. (And hopefully, I'll be able to find all of them. Here's my progress thus far.) Hoping to do most of these via the double-feature route. Mixing and matching themes, which has been a ton of fun, with write-ups to follow, posted here, beginning next week. 

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