GREETINGS FROM THE TEXAS FRIGHTMARE WEEKEND
Regular readers will be aware that in the Kid Shirt Mythverse, actors n actresses like Marilyn Chambers, Fred Williamson, John Saxon, Sid Haig, Pam Grier, Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens, Bruce Li/Bruce le/Dragon Lee, etc, etc, etc [fill in yr own b-movie heroes] are accorded far more cultural weight than the hollowed-out spin-assisted back-projected nobodies that mostly pass for Hollywood mega-stars these days. And for this I make no apology lol.
So, when Texan film-maker Jayson Densman told me he was working at the Texas Frightmare Weekend and kindly asked if there was anyone's autograph I'd like him to get for me, I mentioned it would be really cool if he could snag a paw-print from the amazing Caroline Williams...and, well, Dick Miller is another long-time hero of mine - a legendary character-actor who's been in, well everything - Mr. Miller is a guy who, if even if you can't quite place the name, you'll def. know his face from a zillion+ films...Linda Blair fascinates me too - not for "The Exorcist", oh no - but for all the great exploito-stuff she did in its wake ("Chained Heat", "Roller Boogie", "Savage Streets", etc)...Karen Black's got a really fascinating CV too, one that ranges from cool 70's alt.hollywood to arthouse to semi-grind straight-to-dvd, but at this point I thought enough's enough... it was really great for Jayson to ask, but he's a busy guy and he's got his own shit to do, etc...he ain't gonna have time to track down all these folks. But, hey, it was nice of him to ask...
What I didn't realise was that things kinda, erm, escalated - as they often do when Jayson's at the wheel lol - so, instead of settling for autographs he upped the ante and put together a short film sequence which he sent over to me this morning.
Anyway, check this out; it's awesome - my jaw hit the ground and shattered when I hit the bits where Karen Black and Caroline Williams gave me a shout-out (Caroline Williams!!! - jeez: life doesn't get much better than that!)...but this isn't just for me; it's for anyone in the UK who has an interest in these folks and others like them, and who's never had a chance to step up and say "hi" to some of their own 'underground'heroes. Whether yr into Horror or weird B-movies or whatever, then this is for all of you too:
A big thanks to Jayson for taking the time to do this - it really is very much appreciated. He says to pass this clip on and post it on yr own sites, specially if you live in the UK. You can grab some embedded code here. Spread the work: these folks are cool. And the Fest. looks like a total blast!
Of course, there's also a semi-serious side to this...there's a whole raft of uber-cool under-used (and often under-appreciated) old school actors and actresses out there, some of whom have fallen thru the cracks - it's easy to forget that many of them are still active, jobbing actors still trying to eeeek! out a living. For every one that gets a cameo or a career-lift in a Tarantino or Rob Zombie flick there are dozens that don't. Luckily, there are a whole bunch of true-believers, fans and afficiandos around who love their work and like to shout heir names from the rooftops...as well as mags like Psychotronic and so forth that keep the flame alive.
So, all I was gonna say was if there's any independent film-makers out there in the UK (or anywhere) reading this, then do the right thing - who wouldn't want Caroline Williams in their movie lol...ditto: anyone out there running the UK Horror fests - next time yr thinking about what guests to invite...well, it would be terrific if some of these great folks were to make it over to this side of the pond.
Thanks to Jayson for making my year. I've been boiling up a big post on his own film-making exploits for some time now and that should see the light of day sometime v. soon.