Monday, 17 January 2022

 

I'm just getting word this morning that Carol Speed has passed away. I'm certainly very sorry to hear it, though I'd also add that in many ways I'm shocked she lived as long as she did. To understand my relationship with Carol, we have to go back all the way to 2000, when Cinefear Video went cyber and I hooked up with the late Patty Mahlon. Patty, who passed away in December of 2019, was the webmistress of www.williamgirdler.com . She was one of the first, and most certainly the best of fan websites. I had released Abby (1974) on video tape. I had and still have a 16mm print of the film that I had acquired in 1990. Patty promoted the tape on her website. She had also interviewed Carol Speed, and she used to tell me that "Carol is way out there, but in a good way". Early on, I wondered what that had meant. By the time I found it out, the "good way" part had been removed, not so much by me but by Patty herself.
Here's what did it. Carol was alcoholic, the deeper you became involved with her, the more the problem showed itself. Conversations with her quickly became irrational. Huge bursts of paranoia followed crazed conspiracy theories and by the end of the conversation you often became the culprit. They had a William Girdler convention in Kentucky. Patty asked me to come down, hawk the video tapes and be a part of it all. My paranoia is heightened awareness. For some reason, I smelt disaster. I declined but I told Patty I'd send her a bunch of Abby cassettes to sell. I told her we'd split it with Carol and all would be cool. Patty was to hook up with Go Tread, Larry Treadway and the Brains on Film guys. Anyhow, thank God for my heightened awareness. Everyone has their view on what happened, but all agreed it was a nightmare. Carol got smashed. Tread said her hotel room looked like it had housed a frat party with a foot ball team, but the truth was that Carol was the only one in the room. Patty was selling the tapes and other paraphernalia. When all was said and done, Carol took all the cash and split. Patty was mortified. She personally paid me back out of her own money, and she was working freelance at the time, so that hurt.
Anyhow, I had already bargained a deal to feature Carol Speed in the latest issue of the Exploitation Journal. Patty deeply advised me to not do it. Too late. The interview is beyond comprehension, in fact, the guy who laid the issue out was Mark Bailey, and he couldn't believe his eyes at the interview. I had added a note to the article that stated "Mark, here comes the madness" and Mark accidentally transcribed it into the interview, making the whole affair far more insane than it should have been. And Carol wouldn't stop calling. There were days were she was somewhat subdued, and there were times she'd carry on for hours telling me crazy stories of Richard Prior, smoking the ashes of cremated people and then suddenly raging at me that I had made tons of money on Abby and I "owed her $150,000 dollars"....madness, pure madness....last time I spoke to her I think I told her "The check was in mail" and I blocked her number. Folks, as funny as this all sounds, after a while it's not funny. I come from a family of social workers and therapists, they were getting paid to do what they did, I wasn't. But let me tell you this, I've developed a third eye and I can see right fucking through you...Hence why I'm done with all this...I have no regrets, I met great people who I developed fine relationships with. Richard Gordon, Donn Davison, Norman J. Warren, Joseph Green, Al Adamson. Then there's the Joel M. Reeds, Carol Speeds, etc...I love 'em all, but sometimes you need to leave the playing field. Gods speed to Carol, I really mean that. And Gods speed to Patty Mahlon, who also learned the hard-way that fandom comes with a huge price tag...
PS- This issue is still available on the Exploitatrion Journal page of my website www.cinefear.com . Read it at your own risk...
 
The second to last issue of the Exploitation Journal to ever see the light of day. Features an insane interview with Carol Speed. Still available at the Cinefear website on the Exploitation Journal page. Gods speed Carol Speed!

 

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

23 Years of Presenting Programs of Terror for the Public!

 




Since 1994 I've been settin' up and knockin' 'em down. My first 35mm horror show at the Malverne Theater in October 1994. Presented of course by the Exploitation Journal. We did two more at Melverne in '95 and '96. The Newsday piece was from the '96 show. And the last picture is from me keeping up the tradition to this day, only doing the shows in libraries as opposed to the theaters. Still swingin' in 2021!

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

 

Was cleaning out my folder for my film-making class that I teach for Nassau Community adult education. I found this lovely note written by one of my former students. Kindness like this just delights me, it really does make you feel like you've accomplished something. Not sure what came of this student but one only wishes the best for her.

Monday, 3 May 2021

Joe Marzano - A Filmmakers Odyssey That Lead Nowhere is coming to the Cinefear blog spot early Summer. If you are a fan of books like The Ghastly One, then you are going to love my essay on working with old Joe. Get ready and hold on to your seats, I'm going to blow you away with this one. Get yer Marzano on!
Wow, look who's dancing her little heart into your laps. Freaks in the Theater. Coming late Summer to Deep Red Magazine. Get yer Freak on!
Don't tell me I don't give you anything. This is from my film scrapbook. Back in the late 70's, I had read The Amityville Horror. Great read at the time. One of the stupidest pieces of bullshit by today's standards. Regardless, I believe my copy of the book had a "join the fan club for the upcoming film". I only received this one letter, giving details about the film, etc... AIP did go out of business shortly there after, despite the success of this film. Anyhow, I saved the letter and the envelope it came in on. Not sure how rare this is, but I have yet to have someone share there's with me. I have this great scrapbook I compiled during the early 1980's. My then girlfriend persuaded me to start one. I'm glad I did. Now I have to see if I can get my librarian wife to help me fix it up as it is coming apart. Michelle Alexander got to go through my scrapbook in person when she visited some years back. If she was here I'd have her fixing it up. I like the first Amityville Horror film, but it is stupid beyond belief. The fact that people believed that sociopath Lutz blows my mind. In my opinion, the second film, detailing the event that lead up to the first film is far better. I live about 15 minutes from Amityville today. My wife lived in Massapequa, about five minutes away from that house of horrors. Anyhow, enjoy!