Good day Grindhousians!

Grindhousers?  Filth fanatics?  Psuckers for psychotronia?  Give me a break, I’m new at this.

We’re going to be a little bit on the quieter side here for the next couple of days, what with our spending time with our families at the holidays and all, but I felt this would be a good time to introduce myself as the new Editor-in-Chief of Daily Grindhouse.  G has moved on to greener pastures of fun and frolic (we’ll be keeping up with his exploits as we can – and believe me, you’ll want to hear about ‘em) and made the dubious decision of putting the site in the hands of myself and Jon Abrams, who will be serving as Managing Editor.

Between the two of us, we hope to continue the tradition of loyalty to noteworthy writing about the world of genre film (and television, and music video, and toys and games and whatever happens to strike our fancy) that G and Mac Bell started a few years ago.  We hope to provide the site with a healthy combination of up-to-date (or at least as fast as possible, the internet is a fickle critter when it comes to celerity) news and in-depth writing about the remarkable history of psychotronic media culture.

In the coming weeks, you’ll see some of the things we have in store.  The Daily Grindhouse podcast will continue, albeit with a slightly different roster.  The Psychotronic Netflix column, which brought me to Daily Grindhouse in the first place thanks to an invitation by G to write a piece for them that turned into a commitment that’s lasted nearly two years at this point, will continue as well on Fridays, if only so I can continue to shove the word “psychotronic” down everyone’s throats.  No-Budget Nightmares will stay strong as well, and you’ll still see plenty of Trailer Trash.  Our regular features from the likes of Mia Mayo, Tristin Risk and The Creeper will certainly continue as well, as long as they’re content to write for our humble establishment.

We’ve also got a few new tricks up our sleeve for 2014.  We’ll have at least 2 new features, possibly more.  We’ve got interviews with some great noteworthy cult celebrities.  We’ll be doing a couple of theme weeks, because, er, people like theme weeks, like?  Where things are kind of intertwined?

Like I said, new at this.

In any case, we hope you’ll stick with us.  We’ve got a genuine love for esoteric film, and want to do our best to spread the good word.  And you can help us – if you’d be interested in writing for DG, shoot me an e-mail at paul@dailygrindhouse.com or via Twitter at @dekkoparsnip2.  Send some links to some of your writing and pitch me an idea.  I’d love to hear from you.

My personal philosophy with regards to writing about movies is that we’re not here to judge whether or not a movie is “good” or “bad” – that philosophy always seems too simplistic and often compares apples and oranges, creating a world of numeric ratings in which a film like MIAMI CONNECTION, which is hugely entertaining, garners the same “score” as, say, Bergman’s HOUR OF THE WOLF, even though actually making comparisons between the two is something you’d never do.  (No-Budget Nightmares’ numeric ratings system works because the films are rated against comparable films, a tactic that, say, the Leonard Maltin Movie Guide could use.)

I’ve always felt our job with regards to doing any sort of review is to figure out what a film is trying to do, and then determine whether or not it achieves it and what can be taken from the film even if you’re not the original target audience.  I believe in writing with the film’s best audience in mind rather than just the film’s intended audience, because in the case of most of the older films we write about at DG, the film’s original intended audience of horny drive-in going teenagers and late-night cable insomniacs no longer exists.

It’s not a particularly revelatory philosophy, but I think it’s one that often gets lost in cult media writing, as there is often a tendency to mock the original material.  And it’s easy to do, as there’s often a lot to be mocked!  But I believe it’s possible to relish the perceived shortcomings in a particularly oddly-made piece of film in a way that’s more of a gentle ribbing with a respectful eye towards what they were trying to do rather than pointing and laughing like a drunken hipster at a midnight screening of THE VISITOR.

(Unless you’re watching a post-1985 Ulli Lommel film.  Really, you can’t justify any of that.)

(Did that make any sense?  Again, new guy.)

We’ve had a great year in 2013.  We put together a Top 50 List of Cult Movie Books.  We got Elvira, Mistress of the Dark to write about THE HOUSE OF USHER.  We conducted interviews with THE ROOM’s Philip Haldiman, THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN’s Radley Metzger and author Dwayne Epstein, among othersNIGHT OF THE CREEPS director Fred Dekker took us to film school.  Jon did some amazing work taking us through 31 Flavors or Horror for Halloween.  We even talked about gender-benders.

And in 2014, we’ll do even more.  Once we figure this all out.

@Paul Freitag-Fey

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