“To be worthy of recognition, be humble.” – Debasish Mridha

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Last year while doing battle with a bout of spring cleaning I came across a folder full of awards that I racked up from Jr. High/Middle School ranging from basic citizenship awards to being on the honor roll to having a strong immune system and not missing a single day of school in 7th grade. As I stood there thumbing through them I sort of chuckled as I began to wonder if these awards truly held any merit other than making use of cursive lettering and being printed on a thick/embossed piece of paper.

Surprisingly my immune system has held up rather well as its been around four years since an absolutely vicious strain of the flu virus knocked me to my knees. In terms of the person I’ve matured into I’ve never felt the need for affirmation of any sort to serve as a constant reminder of who I’ve become. While it may be a tad bit cliched to say this I’ve always tried to put my best foot forward and let my actions define how the rest of the world, in general, sees me.

As I was gearing up for Schlocktoberfest 2K16 this past September it was brought to my attention that I had become a recipient of The Deadly VHS Award  which is given to outstanding cult, exploitation, and horror movie bloggers. Modesty is  without question the single most important trait which keeps the rest of my personality in constant check. My deepest gratitude goes out to Fringe Void/The Devil’s DVD Bin for this prestigious award and for your years of friendship, continuous feedback, and unwavering support! Your presence on this blog has given me both the drive and determination to keep pushing forward and to above all else to stare defiantly into the face of procrastination. Once more thank you for this distinct honor my friend, words can only express gratefulness to a certain extent and this award goes beyond them.

To accept The Deadly VHS Award recipients must follow these steps:

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Attach the award to your post.
3. Briefly explain your site.
4. List a few of the movies that shaped you and made you who you are today.
5. Select 3-5 other bloggers you want to give the award to.

  1. (Again) Thanks to Fringe Void/The Devils DVD Bin for acknowledging my little corner of the internet. This is modesty continuing to shine through as one will never see me refer to myself as a preeminent  horror movie virtuoso, I just do what I do and am beyond humbled to be given an award for an art form that brings some of the greatest passions in life. ***If you haven’t already please make sure to check out Fringe Void and The Devil’s DVD Bin as you won’t find a better set of websites to truly tap into the obscure/weirder side of horror.

2. *See Above*

3. The Direct 2 Video Dungeon began as an experiment sometime in 2011/2012. Quite honestly I didn’t know what to expect I just wanted to start blogging about some of my favorite direct to video features and before I knew it the blog started to take on a life of its own pulling down a substantial amount of web traffic. Mid-2013 is when other challenges in life began to rear their ugly head and it was becoming a chore to maintain the Direct To Video Dungeon so shortly thereafter I made the gut wrenching decision to shut things down. Thankfully this wasn’t a permanent vacation as D2VD 2.0 rebooted in time for Halloween 2014 with Schlocktoberfest a full 31 days devoted to exploring both mainstream and low budget horror. In the next two years the formula would be tweaked a little bit but October has proven to be my favorite time of the year where I can let variety off the leash and let it run uninhibited. As for what is coming next I can say with the utmost confidence that this blog will never fade into obscurity. The content featured will always remain and my general plan of attack going forward is to update whenever free time permits.

4. This next part is going to be the most difficult of this post – naming a few movies that shaped me and made me the person I am today. I could most likely write an entire book on this subject however I promise to keep it relatively short. Anyone who has become a longtime visitor of the Direct 2 Video Dungeon knows I share a deep affinity for the King of the Monsters – Godzilla. As for favorite interpretations the original 1954 Gojira goes beyond a masterpiece but other favorites include 1964’s Mothra vs. Godzilla, 1965’s Invasion of the Astro Monster aka Monster X, 1975’s Terror of Mechagodzilla, 1984’s Godzilla/The Return of Godzilla, 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, 1995’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and while it has had its fair share of critics 2014’s Hollywood blockbuster attempt on the property brought a sense of awe I haven’t felt since first discovering the king on TNT’s MonsterVision in the mid-1990s.

Outside of monster movies I grew up a child of the eighties it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise the influence the original Star Wars trilogy as well as the Indiana Jones and Back To The Future trilogies left on me. I am definitely what you’d consider a genre fan mainly focusing my attention on science fiction but every now and then will go through phases where weekends will be dedicated to Spaghetti Western or Film-Noir marathons. I’m also someone that when I come across a Jimmy Stewart film on TCM will immediately stop what I’m doing to sit and watch no matter what it is. My philosophy has always been that Jimmy Stewart never made a bad movie.

In terms of horror I’m a bit of a late bloomer not truly embracing the genre until my mid-20s. I come from the John Carpenter school of film making. While I won’t deny Carpenter made his name with Halloween my favorites of his are 1982’s The Thing which in my opinion is the greatest special effects picture ever made and 1980’s The Fog. Its with these two seminal works where I truly found my love for slow burns, tension building, and pure atmosphere.

5. My  Nominees for The Deadly VHS Award:

  • Direct To Video Connoisseur (Unfortunately the domain for DTVC has lapsed and wasn’t renewed. Matt where have you gone? I hope you’re doing well in life and planning your return soon.)
  • The B-Movie Shelf (One of my key influences I’ve always been impressed with the vast array of selections covered by the B-Movie Shelf.)
  • GoodBadFlicks (Okay technically Cecil over at GoodBadFlicks falls into the YouTuber category he still maintains a blog with his latest reviews/musings. He’s quickly become one of my favorite online personalities offering witty reviews and opinions as well as a web series where he gathers trivia about the making of a highlighted film presenting it in a professional/informative/never boring manner. Chances are  he probably won’t see this  but you never know who’s watching/reading – Keep up the stellar work Cecil!)
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story looks to be the prequel fans deserve

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When George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney back in 2012 many breathed a sigh of relief.  Even though Lucas was the creator of the immensely popular space opera the reaction his prequel trilogy received was mixed to say the least. A majority of criticism stemmed from the over reliance on green screen and digital effects rather focusing on the grand story telling aspect that made the original films a beloved sci-fi series. Plus the wooden acting and clunky dialogue certainly didn’t help either.

George ultimately decided to give Star Wars back to the fans and let the next generation of young film makers reignite that spark of excitement in all of us who enjoy time and time again traveling to that galaxy far, far away. While Episode VII: The Force Awakens went back to many of the techniques the classic trilogy employed I felt like it stepped into the same foot prints of A New Hope without taking the risk of deviating from a set path and didn’t challenge itself to be different. The other reason I didn’t get behind The Force Awakens as others is we’ve had six movies devoted to the Skywalker lineage the time is right to go explore other avenues of the force.

What gets me excited now that Disney owns the property is the decision that in between the main saga films fans are going to get spin offs that will focus on side characters or various other elements in a limitless universe. The first stand alone, Rogue One, is set to be released in theaters in less then a month and will tell the story of how the rebels were able to get their hands on the Death Star plans. My initial thoughts were for the most part skeptical towards the idea until it was announced that Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) had signed on to direct. While a select few were lukewarm to Edwards’ interpretation of the king of the monsters there is no denying that the man has a keen eye for delivering breathtaking visuals as well as a grand sense of scale.  You couldn’t ask for a better choice to direct a stand alone film as every trailer for Rogue One captures the style of the original trilogy in stunning perfection. Having that sheer scope mixed with classic Stormtroopers is enough for me to buy a ticket opening night but if there was any other reason to get on board its the big screen return of the iconic Dark Lord of the Sith himself, Darth Vader.

Nowadays one can’t simply be a Star Wars fan without checking out the official tie-in novel. Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel serves as a prequel to the prequel (if that makes any sense) and from the 14 chapters I’ve made my way through thus far its a fascinating/involving read well worth looking into before heading out to the theater on December 16th. I might delve into the novel a bit more on here once I’ve finished it and we’ve all had time to dissect Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as the new year approaches. You can pick up your copy of Catalyst by clicking on the book artwork below.

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