An Exclusive Interview
by Pamela Torres
PAM: Okay, Brad let’s cut to the chase. Where did you grow up?
PAM: Can you recall what titles you remember seeing in you’re nearest mom & pop video store?
Brad: Definitely! While growing up, I lived in biking distance to the local video store. It was a great store too, Lakeshore Video on Toronto Road. A lot of times I would go there just to hang out with the employees and watch movies. My mom never restricted me on what movies I could or couldn't watch, so I was a horror junkie by the time I could walk. In junior high I'd ride my bike down to the video store and bring home stuff like Bill Lustig's "Maniac," "Driller Killer," "Madman," "Ms 45," and many others. They had a great selection. The first movie I ever bought was "Halloween," and I still have it in the old Media Home Entertainment box. The "Friday the 13ths" were my favorite, so I had all of those collected by the time 7th grade started.
Punk Globe: Just for the sake of asking, did you take any film appreciation classes or anything involving the theater?
Brad: I was in one play as a voice over guy in "The Outsiders," I took a video editing course in Chicago, and I took a film course in High School. It was a private school, so you can imagine how great the teacher was. She actually thought "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was rated PG. I never took any film appreciation classes; they just never interested me. They're all about "lets try to find the symbolism in Godzilla stomping on Bambi." Honestly, I just wanna watch the damn movie, and I can do that at home for free. Not everything is deeply symbolic.
Punk Globe: Which do you think is better? VHS or DVD?
Punk Globe: So far you have done 60 nail-biting film reviews and gained a selective cult following. What makes your commentary different from that of, let’s say, Siskel & Ebert’s?
Punk Globe: Out of all the 7-10-minute webisodes you hosted, quite a few focus on 1980’s low-budget foreign rip-offs of “Alien,” “Terminator,” and “The Exorcist.” How did you get your hands on those?
Brad: I used to collect them back when I had my DVD collection. All of the reviews up to "Elsa Fraulein SS" came from my own personal collection, and around that time, my collection got stolen, so I had to start over. After that, some of them came from people submitting movies for review and some came from cheap DVD box sets that I bought. Anymore though I get a lot of them from Torrent sites. "Helga, She Wolf of Spilberg," "Bruno Mattei's Terminator II," and "War of the Wizards" came from torrents.
Punk Globe: Your razor wits and unapologetic comments as the Cinema Snob seem to be greatly inspired by the talking robots on “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” What are your most favorite episodes?
Brad: Best show in the history of television. There will never be a TV show that's better or more timeless than "Mystery Science Theater 3000." I think one of the greatest things about that show is that you can pop in an episode that premiered in 1991 and swear that it was shot last week, and it's still just as hilarious. My favorite episode of all time is "Pod People." I love Juan Piquer Simon movies ("Pieces, ""Slugs") and this episode was just dead on. The jokes were perfect, namely the "Chief?...McLoud!" running gag, which will never get tiresome; and the Idiot Control Now musical number is a classic host moment of the entire series. I love this episode so much, that I actually have "Pod People" on a non MST3K DVD under its alternate title "Extra Terrestrial Visitors."
My other favorite episodes are "Danger Death Ray," "Red Zone Cuba," "Angel's Revenge," "Deathstalker III," "Eegah!," "Mitchell," and of course "Manos."
Punk Globe: You used to appear regularly on youtube, but a censorship campaign shut you down and you had to move to a separate website. What was up with that?
Punk Globe: I have to ask this one: HOW AND WHEN DID YOU BECOME OBSESSED WITH PIERRE KIRBY??
Brad: The great Pierre Kirby?!?!?!?!? I love Pierre Kirby, this guy is just the perfect symbol of the wrongly unsung unknown action heroes of the 1980s. I first saw him in "Ninja Untouchables," which I got on DVD in the Super Kung Fu box set. I watched this movie and thought, "Holy shit. This guy is really funny." And not only that, but dear god this guy knows how to fight.. His martial arts skills mixed in with some pretty fucking great choreography, not to mention his awesome screen presence and line delivery, makes for one hell of a cool action hero. So I sought out all the Pierre Kirby movies I could find, and now I have a pretty cool Pierre Kirby collection. Hopefully now after I did the Pierre Kirby retrospective on the show, more people will seek out his films and become fans just like I have.
Punk Globe: Why torture yourself through a 90-minute hell of watching awful celluloid works like “Black Devil Doll from Hell” or “The Eerie Midnight Horror Show?” Is it all about intestinal fortitude?
Punk Globe: Considering how mediocre movies like “The Refrigerator” and “Video Violence” are to most audiences, do you feel at all sorry for the actors and actresses participating in them and having to speak poorly written dialogue?
Brad: Sometimes I am, if the actor is under the impression that they're making some kind of high art, but a lot of these actors know that the best way to speak some of these lines is to take the line and make it so beautifully over acted and entertaining that the role still becomes their own, where as in the hands of someone not knowing what they're getting into, you might just go into "Troll 2" territory with the line delivery. One of my favorite actresses is Garetta Giancarlo who was Chocolate in "Rats" and Koster in "Bruno Mattei's Terminator II." This is a great example of someone who puts in 510% even if the scene calls for her to be dunked in flour and scream out "I'm as white as all of you!" It's great when you know they're having a lot of fun with the character.
Punk Globe: You and your significant other collected an enormous array of horror, sci-fi, martial arts & exploitation movies over the years. Can you tell us what you think are the best stores & websites one can use to hunt & purchase obscure, non-mainstream flicks?
Brad: If you torrent your movies, then you can't get any better than Cinemageddon.org. They're the greatest thing to happen to exploitation since chain whips. If you buy your movies regularly, then I find the best deals from independent sellers on Amazon.com. I never get anything directly from Amazon itself because they're so fucking expensive, but the independent sellers on there have some great deals. Also, lfvw and xploitedcinema have some great stuff on there that you can't find in the states.
Punk Globe: Have you considered asking your girlfriend to take part in a Cinema Snob episode as a co-host?
Brad: I actually have thought about giving her a cameo for an upcoming episode. She's not an Exploitation fan like I am, she's more of an Anime geek. We're kinda opposites in that regard. I love exploitation, she doesn't; she loves anime, and I don't. But since we've been together, I've shown her some Exploitation that she's liked. She really dug "Hell of the Living Dead" and "Jaws 5," plus she loves Troma. And on the other side, she's shown me two or three animes that I've liked. But it's always more fun to talk about the ones I don't like. Have you seen this show called "FLCL"? What the fuck? I'd rather stare at a strobe light for 2 hours. It doesn't bother me though that she's not an exploitation freak like me. Now, if she didn't like Jason Statham, then it would be over.
Punk Globe: Alright, just to close things off, what should the millions & millions of cinephile freaks & nerds expect from the Cinema Snob in the near future?
Brad: I'm going into Turkish and Brazilian territory for a couple of episodes (hint hint), and for my next episode I'm going to be doing the movie that Al Goldstein called "the worst film ever made." I've got some great stuff lined up. Don't wanna give too much away.
CUT AND PRINT! THAT’S A WRAP!