Wednesday, January 06, 2010

As Facebook has clearly continues to illustrate to me, life is full of connections. If you live long enough those circles in the pond get wider and wider.

An example of this is the documentary my friend Marty lent me titled Blood, Boobs & Beast.” “ It’s the story of the late Baltimore-based filmmaker and publisher Don Dohler.

I was eager to see it as Dohler was part of the fanzine circle that meant so much to me when I was in high school and college.

I’m not sure modern day fanboys – and girls – understand what it was like in those pre-Internet days of long ago when you could be the only person you knew who was interested in science fiction or horror or comics or movies in general. There was certainly isolation to being a fan in Granby, Massachusetts in 1972 when I graduated from high school.

Nobody among my peers really understood just why I was interested in that stuff and I was lucky to have a girlfriend who tolerated it. I often wondered what it would have been like living in a larger community where the chances were greater there were people of similar interests.

The fanzine I produced – “Inertron” – was one of group of amateur magazines that were distributed to readers through the mail and marketed through one another. I regularly read “Gore Creatures” – now know as “Midnight Marquee” – and “Photon,” which included a glossy 8” by 10 “ movie still as a premium.

There were many more and I bought as many as I could as well as contribute to them as a writer.

Dohler was part of this fanzine network as he first published a proto-underground comic called “Wild” and then produced his do-it-yourself movie making ‘zine “Cinemagic.”

He advertised in “Inertron” – bless him – and we exchanged several letters.

Dohler later started making science fiction and horror movies, which I read about but never had the opportunity to see. Although they endured some harsh criticism, they also made him enough money and received enough release for Dohler to become an inspiration to other aspiring filmmakers.

The documentary was nostalgic to me in a disconnected way. I never knew him, but I certainly felt a connection as I watched the film. It’s quite well done and is the type of film anyone thinking of producing his or her own feature should watch.

The DVD package also includes Dohler’s science fiction gore movie “Nightbeast.” It is a remarkably bad movie in many respects, not the least of which is the inclusion of completely unnecessary sex and nudity, – and not good unnecessary sex and nudity – some really silly plot points and some really bad performances.

Yet I enjoyed it for what it really was: a fanboy living his dream.

© 2009 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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