LETTERS  PCR #210      (March 29--April 4, 2004)

 Bobby Friss (The Bobby Friss Band) makes contact!
 Chris Woods on "Oddservations"
 William Moriaty on Matt's Rail
 Andy Lalino on Mike's Rant (And Mike's reply)

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.


We're still doing around 120 shows a year from Wisconsin to Key West. Lots of Harley Davidson events and outside festivals. We released 2 new CD's last year, a live one recorded at Bike Week in Daytona and an accoustic one with songs about Northern Michigan life. All our dates and CD info are available on our website, www.bobbyfriss.com.

Hope to see you out at a show soon,

Bobby Friss

Bobby!!! What an honor to hear from you! My God, what's it been, like, 15 years since the old North Tampa club days?

I am delighted to see you're still performing. The grunge revolution of the early '90s, mixed with the simultaneous Tampa night club scene collapse wiped out most of the rest of us as far as performing, at least locally. That started improving only about 5 years ago.

Johnny G. Lyon, Savatage, and a very few others from the old days are still out there like yourself. Keep up the good fight bro', we're proud of you down here. ---Nolan


Hey Andy,
I liked your column last week. I totally agree with the horror genre not being what it use to be like it was in the '70s and '80s. Especially with all the great directors they had back then and all the great horror flicks coming from here and in Europe. Also the pop culture of that time goes with the films, just like you said. The new horror movies now don't compare to the ones back in the day.

Looking forward to reading your new column for this week.

Chris [Woods]


Your article on the Bush Administration's attempts to turn the country into a police state and a theocracy was excellent.

Here's some pretty frightening examples to link to that reinforce this shift beyond sensible or "compassionate" conservativism:

COLOR CODING OF AIRLINE PASSENGERS: (This is a wonderful way to further kill the airline industry in the United States as well as restrict peoples freedom to travel freely in this great Nation):

THE ADMINISTRATION'S CONTINUED SUPPORT AND ADVANCEMENT OF THEOCRATIC THINKING: (If this gets carried away, which it's beginning to, you can rest assured our Nation will be facing an internal civil war): http://www.weeklyplanet.com/cover.html

HOMOSEXUALS NOT ALLOWED IN RHEA COUNTY, TENNESSEE: (Ah yes, from the land that gave us the Scopes Trial, this is the latest in an attempt to bar people of their civil liberties): http://www.wkrn.com/Global/story.asp?S=1718183&nav=1ugFLb9D

And incidentally, I say these things not as Liberal Democrat with a secular humanist bent. I say these things as a Moderate Indepedent Fundamentalist Christian who roundly supported and voted for Ronald R. Reagan and is extremely concerned where this present Administration and those who support it are leading us.

Outstanding work, Matt!

Will Moriaty


Like you, I'm generally a 'nice guy'-type and diplomatic, but when I get behind my PC and start writing in relation to genre films, I get somewhat defensive and militant (justifiably so, IMO). I simply can't tolerate a few things: dishonesty, off-course pop culture, and traffic (okay; here I'm focusing on dishonesty and pop culture...).

I'm sorry, but I can't agree with you that the '90s were "weren't all bad". (Re: Mike's Rant, PCR 209 --N) They were. Sure; I'll be the first to admit there are exceptions to most every point of view. In my case, the '90s played host to several great genre pictures, among them: "The Blair Witch Project" **ducks tomatoes**, "Independence Day" (if you mentally attempt to blot-out 'Will Smith'), "The Sixth Sense", Stephen King's "The Stand", etc. But by and large it was a decade where the big studios completely took over, pushing out smaller distributors who once were able to exhibit films like "Demons", "Pieces", "City of the Walking Dead", and "7 Doors of Death" on the big screen. Nowadays, having those films play would take a bloody miracle. To me, that is De-Evolution (with complements to Devo).

Ironically enough, most people perceive the '80s as being the big money/"me first" generation. The '90s and '00s exemplify that more than the '80s ever did. Just look at my example above when the big studios had a monopoly over the distribution of movies, pushing the smaller guys out. Most indie theaters (Tampa Theater, for example) are not horror friendly, preferring to showcase docs on the plight of the Chilean migrant farm workers, so I wouldn't exactly call them horror allies.

Just for fun, I wanted to comment on some of the films you listed as the '90s best horror. These are only my opinions, and I approved this message:

"Silence of the Lambs" - Awesome, awesome movie. A true classic. Still not convinced it's a horror film; I consider it more a crime drama. It does make horror fans feel good that it's a horror film, so I guess I'll call it that. Plus, it won major Academy Awards, which is good for a horror fan to brag about (not since "The Exorcist" has a horror film been so recognized at the Academy Awards).
"Candyman" - Didn't see. Not too interested in the urban thingie.
"Se7en" - Like SOTL, a classic, but is it horror?
"Interview with a Vampire" - Didn't see all the way through. Typical '90s tactic: stuff it with superstars.
"Bram Stoker's Dracula" - Not a fave of mine. So trendy it was distracting. Keanu Reeves makes Connie Mason look like Anthony Hopkins. Stick a fork in Coppola. He's done.

- Andy Lalino


In response to your comments, Andy, I agree with you on many of his remarks. I've worked full time in the movie theatre biz since 1984. If you count my time as an usher and running theatres while in the service, I've been at it since 1976. Yes, I know, I'm old. The one trend I've noticed is that whatever makes money is the next trend to hit the screen. If not for the success of 'Star Wars," would we have had "Alien," the "Star Trek" series or even "Laserblast?" (Incidentally, I just learned that Kim Milford, who originated the role of Rocky in the Broadway production of "The Rocky Horror Show" and was the star of "Laserblast" recently passed away.) If not for "Airplane," would we have been bombarded with so many "parody" type films? Hell, 25 years later, we are going to be introduced to "Soul Plane," the black version of "Airplane."

I read somewhere that there are only 10 original film ideas and that everything is a variation of something else. In listing the films I did, I shouldn't have classified them as horror films. They were suspenseful and that is what I was trying to point out. Unfortunately, I don't think the majority of today's moviegoers are ready to accept a good old fashioned horror film. During the recent reissue of "The Exorcist," I was appalled to hear the audience chuckling during many of the film's more suspenseful parts. Today's teenagers are so used to seeing heads chopped off and buckets of blood that the absence of these elements must make a film seem tame to them.

Some of my fondest memories showing movies took place in the old, gigantic movie houses of downtown Baltimore, where many a weekend I would gladly work the all night horror shows, where many of the films you mentioned played. Something about the words "banned in 30 countries" in the newspaper advertising would bring 700 or more people to the theatre to scream amongst themselves. One of my goals at retirement is to buy a theatre in a small town somewhere and run the movies I want. Rest assured, I'll be doing plenty of all night horror shows and you are more then welcome to attend.

Michael [Smith]

To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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