Philosophy of The Schlock Locker
and riffing in general
Nothing like the fresh smell of Bela Lugosi in the morning..or is that his stunt double? If Ed Wood isn't tossing pie pan "UFO's" into the air, the Sainted Bert I Gordon or the Venerable Roger Corman are treating us to a veritable gut-stuffing repast of schlock! These classic old B movies allow us to gorge ourselves on a cornucopia of over-acting, bad sets, pitiful dialogue, "iffy" science...and for desert we have whole rolls of stock footage to raise our blood sugar through the roof... or is that our blood pressure?
We like old movies.. particularly bad old movies. They hearken back to a simpler time. Commies were around every corner and atomic testing produced a myriad of giant, irradiated pests to harass the countryside. If Godzilla wasn't moon-walking his happy ass across Tokyo, then giant locusts were bugging Peter Graves. If Wasp Women weren't out to sting you, then tiny flies screaming “help me” were the buzz. Who knew that aliens who came to conquer the world were either invisible, wore ape-suits, or didn't have a basic knowledge of antibiotics and virology?
It was a time when any body part could either be transplanted (regardless of blood type or species) or could be removed so that it could come crawling back to terrorize you! Women were considered frail objects and were prone to faint at the slightest fright, scream at any old skeleton that popped out of a closet or body that floated to the top of the lake. Women could also not run more than three steps without tripping over their own two feet. Any basement could contain a laboratory, most scientists were mad, the house on the hill was always haunted, and science never ceased giving us wonders... all controlled by banks of machines made of cardboard, Christmas lights and unmarked switches.
Do what draws us to these masterpieces of cinematic low-balling? It is a love/hate relationship. In this era of huge, big-budget films and digital effects that “wow” you into submission, these crappy old flicks have a charm; a simplicity. What makes a “B” movie? Its a good question with no good answer. It varies from person to person but like good art, you know it when you see it.
But any movie, however bad, was someone's vision. It was their baby; a labor of love. I can appreciate that. Most of the time, even the worst of the worst will have some redeeming qualities. There are exceptions (I'm looking at you “Thankskilling”) and we can either lament.. or revel.. in their lack of quality. I choose the latter.
So, sit back and enjoy the ride. The biting sarcasm and sardonic commentary are meant to be humorous. These are my own ramblings and thoughts. You can either watch from the wings or you can enjoy a front row seat with me and let the riffing begin.
The popcorn is buttered, the soda is watered down, the snacks are over-priced, and the stage is set!
Let the credits roll....