Monday, May 5, 2008
Welcome to Plan 9 Crunch
At Plan 9 Crunch Web zine, we promise readers one truth -- IT'S ALL ABOUT CULT FILMS!
This blog is run by Steve Stones and Doug Gibson. Steve's an art professor at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Our zine logo, at the top of the page, is his. It's called Plan 9 Crunch. Most of the artwork on the blog will be Steve's. He also has what may be the best collection of cult films in Utah, or the United States. Want a copy of Bela Lugosi in the silent The Deerslayer? Or Jack Hill's Spider Baby? Or Dwain Esper's Maniac? Or George Zucco's Mad Monster? Or Ray Dennis Steckler's Body Fever? Or Pam Grier in Coffy? Or David Hewitt's Mighty Gorga? Ed Wood's Sinister Urge? Or Andy Milligan's Guru the Mad Monk? Or ... you get the picture? Steve has about every cult film an afficianado has heard of, and a lot you may not have heard of.
Steve has the perfect definition of a true cult film: A cult film to me has to be like an ugly lost puppy that you want to take home and nurse back to health, even though you know it may not survive.
Doug is the assistant editorial page editor at the Standard-Examiner, a 60,000-plus circ daily in northern Utah. Doug writes a column for the Standard as well, and helps on the copy and design desk. He also teaches a class on journalism at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Doug has been a huge fan of Bela Lugosi all his life. As a teen he saw Plan 9 From Outer Space on Channel 13 in LA after midnight and from that point on was hooked on Ed Wood.
But enough about us. What about Plan 9 Crunch? As mentioned, in this film zine, we deal with cult, the effortless iconic. The first rule of cult is simple: It can't try to be a cult film. That's why Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is NOT a cult film and Milligan's Torture Dungeon is. No film can debut as a "cult." It has to earn that status. It has to have a certain uniqueness, a certain trait from the writer, or director, or actors, or all combined, that leaves a lasting impression on a healthy percentage of viewers. This certain uniqueness ages well, gets better with time and repeat viewings.
Most importantly, the creators of a great cult film are never aware that they are creating an iconic film, a cult classic. When Dudley Manlove's Eros was screaming "You see, you see, you stupid fools!" while warning Ed Wood's earthlings about THE SOLARONITE in Plan 9 From Outer Space, we're sure no one on that tiny Quality Studios set thought they'd created a punchline for the next century. Heck, Wood was likely just hoping Manlove could get it all in one take, and save a few dollars. In the back of his mind he was probably wondering how he was gonna make a grand or two from this film when it was finished.
In Plan 9 Crunch zine, we will look at cult genres, cult directors, cult screenwriters, cult producers, cult actors and the films. We are confident that we can keep Plan 9 Crunch going for decades. Our resources are limitless. Here's a very small sample of names: Ed Wood, Andy Milligan, Ray Dennis Steckler, David Hewitt, Jean Yarbrough, Edgar Ulmer, Al Adamson, Jack Hill, Russ Meyer, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Mario Bava, K. Gordon Murray, Roger Corman, William Beaudine, James Whale, Tod Browning, and those are just directors. What about Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, John Carradine, George Zucco, Lon Chaney, Lon Chaney Jr., Dwight Frye, Vincent Price, Evelyn Ankers, J. Carroll Naish, Angelito Rossitto, Glen Strange, William Kerwin, Susan Cassidy ... and countless more actors. There's so many more: Dwayne Esper, David Friedman, Harry Novak, Doris Wishman ... Or genres: the silents, including Nosferatu, Cat and the Canary, The Unknown and Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Expect a series on the Monogram horror films of the 1940s, or how the Harry Potter novels compare with the films. Also, we promise more than just perfunctory reviews and biographies at Plan 9 Crunch. We will entertain our readers with lively, opinionated pieces on cult films and try hard to include information that readers can't find anywhere else.
This zine will be updated at least weekly. We will have a theme each month. We'll start with Ed Wood. All our entries will be archived, and there's a section for feedback. We hope we'll get a lot of feedback.