An Exclusive Interview
by Pamela Torres

Brad Jones

“WHY WON’T YOU DIE?!?!?”– Brad Jones in reaction to 1986’s

“Video Violence”

Just recently I got to conduct a one-of-a-kind interview with the Internet’s Number 1 celluloid nerd: Brad Jones, AKA The Cinema Snob! For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, grab a bucket of popcorn and a box of Junior Mints for this scoop. Brad is an average Joe from Springfield, Illinois whose brain is an encyclopedia of both good and lousy movie making. Showing off his reputation as the ultimate fan of cult cinema (particularly of hard-to-find videos collecting dust on the horror, martial arts, sexploitation, and sci-fi shelves), he became The Cinema Snob by providing his own sarcastic, R-rated color commentary on possibly the worst pieces of frame-by-frame crap ever to be found on Netflix. I’m talking about a rat-infested cheese-fest of Z-grade movies so poorly written and badly shot that they could make Mike and the talking robots on “Mystery Science Theater 3000” run for their lives and scream bloody murder! I KID YOU NOT! Both comedic and unapologetic, Brad’s jokes about “Slugs,” “Tales from the Quadead Zone,” “Video Violence,” “Ninja Untouchables,” and “Alucarda” give only a small flavoring to
the 60-something web episodes a depressed and geeky outsider can look forward to.

And now without further ado: LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
PAM: Okay, Brad let’s cut to the chase. Where did you grow up?
Brad: Born and raised in Springfield IL, in fact still live there. For a brief period I lived out in Long Beach, CA, and I did enjoy living there, it was nice not having humidity. But all of my friends are here, and it was just damn near impossible trying to do out there what I do here. I've done 4 full-length movies here in Springfield and there's no way in hell I could have gotten away with that in Long Beach. It would have cost $1 million dollars for the permits alone. It's much more fun being a guerilla filmmaker in the Midwest.
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?
Brad: Wow, that's a good question. It's easy for me to say VHS since time stopped for me somewhere around 1994. I think as a form of media, VHS is the better choice. They're strong, durable, and will pretty much stay with you your whole life time. Whereas if you drop a feather on a DVD, it's pretty much ruined. To me, DVD is the 8 track of video media. It's cool, but it's as fragile as the leg lamp from "A Christmas Story." If you're going to watch a classic slasher film or some great 80s action movies, watch it on VHS. To me, the grain of the film just adds to it. Like "The Evil Dead" for instance, it's much more frightening with the grain. I've seen copies of that film with the image all cleared up and nice looking, and to me that just takes away from the intensity. Also, is it just me, or does the box art for DVD's really fucking blow? They look more airbrushed than a stack of Playboys. Look at the art for the VHS of "The Burning" and then look at it on DVD? VHS had such beautiful artwork, I don't know why they felt they ever had to change it for DVD. Plus, to me, collecting Big Box VHS is one of the greatest collections anyone could have. I have Big Boxes of "7 Door of Death," "Jigsaw," "Exposed," "He Knows You're Alone," "Alien," and quite few others. But, here's where DVD has some bonus points. If you're going to watch something epic like "Star Wars" or "Wrath of Kahn" or "Pulp Fiction" even, watch it on DVD. That way you can see them in widescreen. That's the plus side of DVD, is widescreen. If VHS's came in widescreen, they would be the most perfect form of video media ever. Also, as another plus in DVD's corner, for freaks of Italian horror like myself, there is so much more that's available on DVD that would never have been available on VHS, and uncut as well. So, they both have very, very strong merits.
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?
Brad: Well, the easiest answer is that they give their honest opinion of the movie, where as I'm just playing a character. I actually take a lot of cues from Siskel & Ebert, I grew up watching that show. No matter if you agreed with them or not, they were very funny, and if they hated something, they would get so angry about the movie that it would be downright hysterical. Roger Ebert's review of "Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter" on Siskel & Ebert was downright the inspiration for The Cinema Snob. I love Roger Ebert to death, but he reviewed "The Final Chapter" as a pretentious film snob, in a soap boxy speech saying that the film is some kind of apocalyptic reckoning for the future of filmmaking, and he brought up these points that never should have been brought up in a movie that is just a simple slasher film. I think at one point he talked about how "the movie teaches us that there's nothing to life, don't have any hopes or dreams or ambition, because you're just going to die." That's ridiculous. It's a slasher film. Either it's a good slasher film, or it's a bad one. It's not trying to teach us how to live our lives, it's trying to entertain. That review was very funny to me, and it made me think of how odd it is in general to see film snobs try to review horror or exploitation films. So that's how I came up with the character. I'm reviewing these movies the same way a pretentious cinema snob would and I'm trying to give some laughs at the expense of the movies to people like me who really do love exploitation films. There are movies on The Cinema Snob that I do genuinely hate, because that makes it easier to write a negative review, so those episodes could be considered my own honest opinion. But there's also a lot on there that I personally love, like the Bruno Mattei movies or "Impulse" or the Pierre Kirby movies. So that's where I feel that The Cinema Snob is different from Siskel & Ebert. Sometimes you can tell which movies that I personally do hate. If I'm significantly angrier in the video than in other videos, odds are I hate the movie I'm talking about.
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?
Brad: Gah. Fucking YouTube. This actually happened once before, about a year ago. They shut me down because of copyright issues involving one of the videos. So, I issued a counter claim invoking the Fair Use Act and they turned it back on. And now it's happened again, this time because of someone involved with "Nail Gun Massacre." I submitted the same exact counter claim, and so far nothing has happened. Honestly, I don't really care, because at this point I'm just sick of YouTube's shit. YouTube is not about its members, it never has been about it's members. YouTube is all about them covering their own asses, and that's what they do best. They will ruin hours of work put into videos by removing the sound from them, and they will shut off entire accounts at the drop of a hat if they feel they will catch any heat from anything under the sun. They're a site that somewhere in their earliest days they lost their passion and just became another totalitarian website. The fact that they're still the #1 website is beyond me. That would make as much sense as Napster still being a #1 sharing site. So, I took a cue from my friend Noah Antwiler of, and started my own website, which is at Honestly, YouTube, in their own corrupt way, did me a favor. I receive more hits on the new site than I ever did on YouTube.
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?
Brad: Well, like I said earlier, there are some movies I do on the show that I actually like. "Black Devil Doll from Hell" and "Eerie Midnight" are not in that category. "BDDFH" was painful. It was like trying to push out a kidney stone the size of the shitty VHS camcorder is was shot on. And "Eerie Midnight" was just awful, aside from the Gabriele Tinti scenes, which should have been put in a much better movie. With that said though, I really do love watching bad films. It can be pretty painful if you're watching them by yourself, like I unfortunately did with "Savage Vengeance" and "The Stewardesses 3-D," but if you've got some friends over and some drinks, it can be a pretty good time watching something like "Nail Gun Massacre," the worst slasher film ever made.
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 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 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.

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