Movies have been a HUGE part of my life for decades. I've worked in theatres and video stores for over 30 years. Here's what I like and why I like it.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Let Those Bricks Fly! My Hall of Shame

Gang, it is time for me to enter the confessional and spill out all of my deepest and darkest sins.  I've called myself a movie fanatic, a movie nerd, and a film freak over and over, but it's time to face facts:

I suck as a movie goer.

As I watch conversations go on between you all, and people I know, and people I don't know but I eavesdrop on anyways, I'm starting to put a puzzle together slowly but surely-- there are movies that I have never watched that EVERYONE else seems to have by this point in time.

We aren't talking blind spots either.   We're not mentioning the "I never really got into Italian romance films" phases or the "I really should be watching more martial arts films" situations.   We are talking about big-time, either commercial or cult classics that for one reason or another I've just neglected to watch.   I'll also limit it to films that I would've watched during the time they originally came out.  Although there are many classics from the 30's, 40's and 50's I haven't seen, I won't punish myself for not having the time to go so far back to catch them.  This list will be egregious errors I made in real time. 

You'll recognize most of the films on the list, if not all.   You'll realize that you've watched most of the films on the list, if not all.  And you'll realize that there is really no productive, ethical, or legal reason that I've never watched a single minute of ANY of these films.

You'll also realize that I suck.  Get your rotten vegetables and bricks ready.   I'll stand silently as you pelt me.

I'll group these into categories, then I'll try to make a brief defense as to why I haven't watched them, and I'll give a score of 1 to 10 on the possibility that I ever WILL watch them (10 being "yep, real soon!" to 1 being "hell and freezing over and shit like that."  Even though I can admit my mistakes, it doesn't mean I won't be stubborn and ignore my past indiscretions.)


(Yes, technically MALCOLM X didn't win any Oscars, but it's included in here for the same reasoning.)

Too long.  Too damn long.  This is college me, circa 1987-1992ish (okay a little long on the time frame but still the same mindset).   Any movie over two hours will not be placed in this VCR, not even if it shall be watched over two or three nights.  My attention span was for shit back then, and I just wasn't about to spend an entire evening with a long historical drama about ANYTHING.   I think I broke that spell in 1994 with GETTYSBURG, but I've never been good at going back to catch long movies (I still have the 4 hour version of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA on my shelf, ready to have the shrink wrap torn off -- and yes, I did see that one back in the mid-80's).  I was working full-time, going to school full-time, and movies just needed to be a quick, fun release for me at that point in my life.  I apologize for nothing.

Chance of being watched in the future:

I think EMPEROR and WOLVES have lost some of their luster in the decades after their Best Picture triumphs, the 1990 winner especially.    MALCOLM X seems to hold up better in revisionist lists and has a more interesting topic for me, personally.



Spielberg, obviously, is one of our national treasures.   I've not only seen most of his films, but have loved and adored many.   HOWEVER.... there is always room for me to suck.  Not counting a few of the more recent family-oriented films, I do believe these are the only three of Spielberg's output that I have not watched.

Two of them (EMPIRE and SCHINDLER'S) honestly fall into my explanation for category number one.  Just too long for me at that point in my movie going.   Universally acclaimed, yes, but.... can't we get it done in 115 minutes, guys?   Just to show where my priorities were back then, here are some films that I DID manage to watch in 1993 (the year that SCHINDLER'S LIST won Best Picture): HEXED, EXCESSIVE FORCE, WHO'S THE MAN?

No accounting for taste in a young man's formative years.

As for HOOK, didn't have an interest in seeing it then, and may have less of an interest in seeing it now.   Those be the breaks, gang.

Chances of being watched in the future:


3.  80's FUN FLICKS

As a movie fan who found his fandom right smack dab in the 1980's, I must've seen every PG and PG13 rated crowd pleaser, big and small.... right?  Well, actually, I've seen more than my share.  It is amazing between 1981 and 1984 just how many theatrical releases I've seen (it has to be between 90 and 95% of the entire list, seriously.... don't test me).

However, I definitely had my skips.  I didn't see THE GOONIES until I was in my thirties, and it was only because a co-worker won a bet with me.   Musicals weren't my forte, so I didn't check out films like XANADU till much later, and even though I own it now, I actually never saw THE LAST DRAGON until the mid-2000's.

Although I've covered most bases, there are still a few noticeable "misses" in the 80's catalog.   BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS was strangely a tough film for me to find during the 80's (my local video stores never had it-- what?) so it has kind of fallen through the cracks.   GIRLS JUST WANT TO HAVE FUN was for.... well, girls... so I never ventured out to look for it.    EXPLORERS, despite being directed by Joe Fuckin' Dante, was, along with THE GOONIES another 80's film I missed simply because I was a senior in high school and just too damn cool to be watching films about little kids.

As for THE KARATE KID 2, the story was a bit different.  I was more of an R-rated "ninja film" guy than a PG-rated family martial arts guy when both part one and two came out, in 1984 and 1986, respectively.  At a high school party thrown by one of my friends over graduation in '86, I made a drunken vow that I'd NEVER watch either of the KARATE KID films... EVER.   That vow lasted until the spring of 1988, when I got the hugest crush on Elisabeth Shue in ADVENTURES OF BABYSITTING on video and decided I simply MUST watch the original KARATE KID as soon as possible (I probably returned BABYSITTING to the video store and rented KARATE KID in the same trip).  But part two?    Still never has been seen by these eyes.  And I sang along with the damn "Glory of Love" song by Peter Cetera three and a half million times in the summer of '86.  So there.

Chances of being watched in the future:


4. 80's DRAMAS

Again, my viewing habits for the early and mid-1980's are pretty damn solid.  I've seen almost all of the films between 1981 and 1984, and a ton of '85, '86 and '87, too.  It was just how I was back then.  Need a recommendation about EXPOSED, HEART LIKE A WHEEL, OR BEYOND THE REEF?  I'm your guy.  But there were a few acclaimed films that did slip past my radar for one reason or another.

CUTTER'S WAY was just damned impossible to find for the longest time, and the name switching (is it CUTTER'S WAY?  is it CUTTER AND BONE?) always made me think it may even be two different movies back in the day.   Then it completely vanished for a while, and for some reason, when MGM issued the DVD in the early 2000's, and my video store carried it, I never made the effort.   Strong positive mentions by the 80's All Over Podcast and the Pure Cinema Podcast have made me certain to right this wrong, as soon as I possibly can.  This might even be a blu-ray blind buy.

SOMEWHERE IN TIME looked wayyyyy too girly for me in the 1980's, and in some ways, it still does.  I just don't know if this is the kind of plot that does it for me, even coming from Richard Matheson.    MY DINNER WITH ANDRE looked as appealing to teenaged me as I'm sure it did to every other teenaged filmgoer when it came out, meaning absolutely not at all.  I'm nearing fifty, and I'm still not 100% I'm ready for this one, no matter how many people speak so wonderfully of it.

Chance of watching in the future:



Yep, start getting mad at me now.   I haven't watched a single minute of any one of the eight films in the series.   I haven't even been in the room while someone else was watching them.    Say what you will.  If you enjoy them, and I know that most of you do, that's more than fine.  I salute you.  To me, a wizard is Merlin in EXCALIBUR.  Knowing that I'd have to go through eight films of children learning potions and spells was never going to be my cup of tea, no matter how beloved the films were/are.

Chance of watching in the future: 

Any film in the series: 2 (if I end up having a small child down the road that wants to watch them)


Okay, this is the point where these entries start to sting.   It took me a long while to actually come up with THREE for this subheading, which I think is a testament to my horror fandom.    I was scrolling through Shudder today realizing that I've seen most of the American made scare titles they carry from the 70's, 80's and 90's.   But there are a few that I have not visited and I am in strong need of catching all of them.

I just saw the 4K restoration of SUSPIRIA in a theatre two weeks back, and I loved it.  Driving home, I realized that, although I've seen that Argento classic four times and had even seen MOTHER OF TEARS (a not good but still gory and over the top sequel) twice, I had never taken the time to watch the middle film in the series, INFERNO.  Italian films to younger me were just the super gory Fulci and Umberto Lenzi horror titles.   It was easy for me, at the time, to pass over a bunch of the Argento and Bava titles.   After just watching SUSPIRIA again, the time is right to make INFERNO my destination.

JUST BEFORE DAWN may be the only early 80's slasher film that never played on the cable channels I had back when I was younger.  I saw PRANKS (DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD).  I saw DEADLY GAMES.   I saw FATAL GAMES, for cryin' out loud.   If JUST BEFORE DAWN had been on at any point of any day in any month in any year while I was in high school or college, I would have seen it.  For the longest time, not my fault.

Nowadays, it IS my fault.  

Up until recently, I don't think I had EVER seen a good clean copy of BUTCHER, BAKER, NIGHTMARE MAKER (or NIGHT WARNING) available to watch.   Crappy dark VHS copies, shitty pirated YouTube versions, etc... with everyone (including Stephen King) raving about how good this one was, I wasn't going to blow it on a subpar version.

Code Red Bill might be getting some of my money very soon on a blind buy.

Chances of watching in the future:



Cronenberg, Hooper, DePalma, Carpenter... the rock stars of my youth.   These four directors were must sees for me every time they released a film during my formative years.  And yet.... AND YET... I've still missed at least one contribution from each.

We played DEAD RINGERS opening weekend in 1988 at my theatre.  I was excited to see it, especially since it was Cronenberg's follow-up to THE FLY.  I came in early on a Saturday morning, before we opened, and ran the film for myself. 

I fell asleep twelve minutes in.  Not sure if I got there too early, or if I truly wasn't made to enjoy the film, but once I woke up, I left the theatre and let the film finish playing to a non-existent audience.  I've never went back to it.  Shame on me.  Might not like it still to this day, but why have I never tried it again?

EATEN ALIVE was an availability issue for me when I was younger, and it then became a "there's no good clean copy to watch" when I got older and snobbier.   There ARE good copies out there nowadays, so do I really have an excuse?

I saw a couple of short clips of DARK STAR when I was younger and the look of it always turned me off.  I wouldn't allow myself to understand that it was a college project of Carpenter's and that it was made on the super cheap.    I did watch DePalma's HOME MOVIES, though.... twice.   So I've got that going for me...which is nice.

There's a good possibility I'll catch more shit from you guys and gals about not seeing PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE than any other film I list here.  I never recognized the true love for it until I started hanging around on Film Twitter, to be honest.  Before that, it just reminded me of ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW... which I used to enjoy... when I was drunk as hell and with a group.   Once I saw ROCKY sober, I hated it, and I figured I'd feel the same about PHANTOM.  Guess I may be wrong about that.

Chances of watching in the future:



Number 7 probably got you the most riled up; this trio is the one that makes me maddest at me.   I go on and on and on all the time about my love for Cannon films and everything that Golan and Globus stand for.  I must've seen everything then, right?


And yet these three damned films escaped me for one reason or another.  I have a valid excuse for one; I have nothing but utter shame for the other two.

I was a 3-D fanatic when Hollywood (and non-Hollywood, I'm looking at you, Gene Anthony!) studios started putting films out again with the dual lenses and the blue and red or tinted or whatever colored cardboard glasses.   I saw every single 3-D film that came out in theatres near me during this time period (and I own almost every one that has been put out on blu-ray, too!).   Every one, that is, besides TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS. 

This film played for one single solitary week in my area theatres... and I was sick all week.  I missed days of school, and I honestly sat at home thinking of only one thing-- I was going to miss TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS in 3-D!  And I did.

I refuse to ever watch this in any 2-D version.  It's not made for it (same with if you ever tried to watch COMIN' AT YA without the extra dimension-- worthless).  I missed a screening this summer at Exhumed Films in Philadelphia because I was out of town, so until this hits a retro-screening again, or comes out on 3-D blu-ray (Scream Factory???), this film stays unwatched.

ROCKULA didn't get theatrical release in my area (didn't get much of one at all), and being a musical, didn't hold much sway for me during college and my twenties and thirties, to be honest.  Now, however, as a Cannon true believer, I WILL make this Dean Cameron/Toni Basil film strike my eye sockets and ear holes.


I will put up no excuse or reason.  This is borderline felonious.  I give myself 30 days to watch it or I'm turning myself in.   Shame on me for all eternity if I let this evade my grasp for one month longer.  Hold me to the promise, people.

Chances of watching in the future:

TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS: 10 in 3-D; -30 in 2-D

Well, there are my dark, dirty secrets?  I'm feeling appropriately ashamed for that list, and I'm not even sure if I feel better for coming clean.

What are your biggest, most noticeable misses?   Post them in the comments below, or share them with me on Twitter here.  Can't wait to hear what you all have messed up on!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Let Your (Movie) Freak Flag Fly!

Hello!  Yes, hello to you!  99.999999998 percent chance that if you have gotten this far and have ended up on this page, you are, indeed, a movie freak.  Or a movie nerd.  Or a movie fanatic, if the first two bother you.   But let's face it, you got here because you follow me on Twitter, or you saw a Twitter re-tweet or "like" from someone who follows me on Twitter.  Once you saw that, you realized that I was writing about a topic that is very VERY close to your heart.... MOVIES!   You find yourself doing this a lot, and by no means are you simply monogamous with me.   Nope, this is one of a dozen, or two dozen, or a hundred, movie blogs that you visit during the course of your regular week.   You like old movies and new movies and in-depth articles about what's upcoming and deep features that take on a very scholarly tone and make you understand hidden meanings in films and you like articles that are silly and sarcastic and parody movies and give you top 10 or top 25 or top 100 lists and the only reason you have read this one very long and very unwieldy run-on horrible sentence is simple.

You're a damn film freak.

It's okay.   You're good.   If you didn't know it before now, you were going to find out eventually.  All of us do at some point.   I have been obsessed with movies since 1981, but it took me until this year to "find my voice" and start seeking out others who shared my affliction, or gift.   I joined Twitter and found one account after another that had the same passion as me (or more!), and it was very fun to engage these new acquaintances and discuss the movies that we loved and didn't love so much.  I found myself spending hours on end talking about the best films of 1981 and what's wrong with the newest ALIEN film (a lot!) and putting up hypothetical scenarios for films that will never exist.  It was fun, it was fresh, and I found that I was finding my voice.

And it wasn't enough.

Scroll through "Film Twitter," and you learn something quickly.  Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, has either a film-based podcast, a film-based blog, or they may even have both.  The quality is wildly varying.   Some blogs put out long, well-researched posts about single films, or a series of films, or a director, and you find yourself standing and applauding when you finish reading.  Others exist only for clickbait and do whatever they can to make you jump through hoops to move through "lists" that are generated over 50 different screens.  You'll want to throw your laptop through the window after those (one such site... unnamed... used to be one of my favorite but has gone SOOOOOO far to the listicle/clickbaity stuff that the site is utterly unreadable now.)    Some blogs don't contain the best and most-prepared and edited pieces of work, but they come from such a point of love and enthusiasm for their topics that you can't help to smile while reading and eagerly await their next post.

Everyone has a website.   Obviously, so do I.

I love being on Film Twitter, but 140 characters is never enough for some topics.   I want to get into solid debates on some subjects and I want to go on and on and on about films that I'm nostalgic about from my youth that still hold a special place in my heart-hole today.   Even when you make a properly designed "thread" on Twitter, it just doesn't help you give a full expression of how you feel about movies.

So, here we are.

I started in April, and when I did, I tried to write long detailed articles about films I liked.  I found several things.   Not being as good as other writers (which I wasn't) gave me a very defeatist attitude; also, I hated writing plot synopsis and character descriptions, which quickly made my "reviews" utterly worthless to people who hadn't seen the films I was talking about in any particular post.

I stopped posting very quickly and let the blog die a slow, quiet death.  However, I got a brainstorm at the end of August.   I still wanted to write, but I found it easier if I wrote quickly about things and films that were on my mind rather than trying to prepare longer, more detailed articles.   I'd write fast and simple, and I'd post anytime the feeling hit me rather than trying to hit a weekly/monthly goal.   Since I "rebooted" on the 23rd of August, I've posted ten articles (about 2.5 a week) and I have plenty more ideas in mind.  Sometimes I post write after watching a film (like I did with 1981's "True Confessions" or 1985's "The Last Dragon") and sometimes the feeling just seems right, as it was for my tribute to Bernie Casey.   If I want to write that day, I write.  Sho' 'nuff.

So, my question is, as you've gotten THIS far into my post, are YOU writing or podcasting about film?  And if the answer is "no," then why the hell not???

It's time to let your freak flag fly.

Again, if you're reading this, you've probably interacted with me on Twitter.  And if you've interacted with me on Twitter, I've done it because I trust, value and appreciate your opinions and your thoughts on film.   I don't care who you are-- you should be sharing your opinions and thoughts.   I don't care if you think your writing is shoddy and that it doesn't compare to everyone else you read.   If you've read all my posts, you probably realize that I only know about 64 words total.  At best.  And yet here I am.   

Let your freak flag fly.

Post in comments sections of the stuff you read.   If you agree with the author, tell them.  If you disagree, be civilized and make a good counter-argument.  If they have a list of films they love, try and add to the list or recommend something they may not have seen.   Engage.

Let your freak flag fly.

if someone is looking for people to submit content and the subject matter appeals to you, do it.  Who gives a greasy shit if you don't get published?   You got to write about what you love and it only makes you better for the next time.

Let your freak flag fly.

Set up a blog.  Yep, do it.   Go to a blog-format site (like I did-- ask me for info if you like how mine looks) and create a simple blog.   Can't post three times a week?  Fine.  Can only get there once a month?  Cool.   Start writing and you'll find yourself slowly getting hooked.

Let your freak flag fly.

At the very least, ENGAGE on Twitter when you see people talking about a topic that interests you.  Don't worry about jumping in if you do it in a fun, polite way.   If someone talks about RAWHEAD REX or Cannon Films or the 1980's and I see the tweets, I usually jump in.   If they don't want you there, they'll ignore you.  Most of the time, if you jump in politely, you will be more than welcome.  And join live tweets!  Nothing brings you into the fold quicker than being a part of a small group of people all watching and talking about a fun movie at the exact same time.

Let your damned freak flag fly.

Still feeling shy?  Well, let me give you a little boost.   Not ready to start a blog but you want to try and write?   I'll host you here.    Want to try an article one time and see if you like doing it before you go further?   I'll host you here.  As long as your post isn't inflammatory, mean-spirited, divisive or anything else that would truly offend, I will be more than happy to post your stuff here and give you 150% credit.  No time limit, no word limit  (give me two paragraphs about a movie or performer, or give me 5000 words), and if you need me to find all of the artwork, I can.   I want every single damned one of you to get as creative as all get out, and if I can help, so be it.

(But if you steal it from someone else, I'm gonna make sure everyone knows.... so make sure you bring the hot original shit.)

I've got AT LEAST a dozen people that I talk to on Twitter that I'd LOVE to see speak in a longer, more detailed setting.   Your commentary in your tweets is great, and you should be doing more.  I understand jobs and family and obligations, but everyone can find a few minutes here and there to scratch out a few paragraphs.

Direct message me on Twitter if you are interested in putting something here (also, I'm not paying, although I will pat you on the head and say "good boy/girl" after you submit, so that's something.)   Same with if you want to start your own blog but have absolutely ZERO idea on how to do it.

Let. Your. Freak. Flag. Fly, people.

I'm gonna wrap up today with some of my bestest buddies on Twitter who have blogs of their own.  I've enjoyed all of their writings and I know you will as well.  They aren't huge sites but the content is fun and well-constructed and hopefully will give you a good framework on what good writing is like.

1. Schizocinema ( which is run by Chris Chaka (

2. VHS Revival ( ) - their Twitter is

3. Cult Credentials ( ) - Twitter can be found at

4. HorrorMovieBBQ ( ) - Check out their Twitter as well at

5. The Video Vacuum ( ) - run by Mitch Lovell who can be found on Twitter here:

6. Oh The Horror!  ( ) - run by Brett Gallman who has a Twitter handle of

7. The Farsighted Blog  ( ) - you can find reviews there by Rachel, who you can find on Twitter at: 

8. Jason Wells ( ) looks like he might be firing up his blog again soon.  Keep an eye on:

9. The Mike ( ) is a turkey but he's my favorite turkey of all.   Check out his stuff at:

That is really far from a fully inclusive list, but you will find a bunch of distinct voices trying to do different things when it comes to movie writing.   There's also so many wonderful writers at places like Daily Grindhouse, F This Movie, Daily Dead, Talk Film Society, Bloody Disgusting, The Horror Honeys and more.   (alsoI'llkindamentionRupertPupkinSpeaksbutdon'tsayittooloudbecausethatBobFreelanderguygetsabighead...shhh!)(Luv ya, BS!)

So now, if I didn't mention your site or your blog and it's because you don't have one and you're afraid to write something..... well--


(I, for one, can't wait to see what you have in that beautiful brain of yours.)

Friday, September 22, 2017

R.I.P. Bernie Casey and Having "My Actors" Lists

Whether you are a film nerd, a music afficioanado, or a sports fanatic, it is simply inevitable that, as celebrated names in those professions pass away, you will be overcome to varying degrees of emotion and sorrow over their passing.   Even if you don't get teary eyed over the death of someone you've respected but never met, it is still a natural occurrence to feel at least a small ounce of sadness when a death is announced to the public.  And obviously it goes without saying that some announcements sting more than others.   Your mind wouldn't be functioning properly if you took every loss equally.

I've never been the type to get too worked up over celebrity deaths, because, in reality, we HAVEN'T met them and gotten to know them for the most part (and yes, I know that some of you have and that makes it completely acceptable for you to feel more emotion than others might. For example, you've been to a convention or ten and met George A. Romero several times and gotten to talk with him, I totally understand the higher level of personal sorrow.)  But for me, I can't find myself truly getting too worked up over any singular celebrity's passing over another.    I have bonded with their characters, or their songs, or their great games, more than I have with the man or woman themselves.

That doesn't mean that some don't sting more than others from time to time.

When I started really getting into movies, as I've stated previously, I wasn't your normal pre-teen that only was interested in movies that pre-teens would be.   I was as much into Scorsese and Lumet as I was ROCKY movies, HALLOWEEN films, and STAR WARS sequels.  I also found myself getting more attached to actors that weren't big stars, performers that others around me never seemed to notice.   To me, they were "MY actors," guys who never got discussed in normal movie conversation because they weren't the stars.

R.G. Armstrong was my actor.  Bert Remsen was my actor.  Albert Popwell was my actor (he was in ALL of the first four DIRTY HARRY movies, for cryin' out loud-- in different parts even!!!)

Bernie Casey was definitely one of MY guys.  Hell, he may have even ended up being THE guy on the list.

Bernie Casey started out as an All-American athlete in track and field.  He almost made the U.S. Olympic Team in 1960.   He was then drafted in the first round by the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL in 1961 and played for eight years.  I wasn't born yet, but if I had, Casey would have probably been one of MY guys, even if he never went into acting.

But he did, and thank goodness for that.

After making his debut in 1969's GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, Casey made a long and productive career for himself in Hollywood, crossing over into many genres and back over and over again.   I'm not going to go over all of the films, but I do want to single out some of my favorite Casey films and performances.  (I do not have HIT MAN and DR. BLACK, MR. HYDE listed here, which mean that 1) I'm an idiot because I haven't seen them, and 2) Since I'm digging deeper and deeper into Blaxploitation at the moment, they have both shot up to the top of my "need to see" films list.   Seriously, shame on me, but keep reading anyways.)

MAURIE (or BIG MO) (1973)

Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.   This is a BRIAN'S SONG knock off, made by a small independent company two years after that groundbreaking "male tearjerker" film came out for television.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to themselves.   And yet, I saw MAURIE first, by more than a few years.  It played in a Friday night network movie slot probably in 1977 or 1978, and back then, I loved sports probably a hundred times more than I loved movies.  I'd sit up and listen to a baseball game with teams I didn't like most nights before I'd watch a movie.  But a sports movie?  Sign me up!

Casey plays real-life basketball player Maurice Stokes, who suffered a brain injury and later became paralyzed as a result of hitting his head on the floor during a game.  Bo Svenson plays Jack Twyman, his teammate and best friend, who never gave up on Stokes and cared and supported him right up until his eventual death.

As a movie, I even remember all these years later that it isn't the best-made picture.  But as a sports movie with a sad ending (at a time when 9 or 10 year old me didn't really know about sad endings yet), it worked.  I didn't cry because "men" aren't supposed to cry, but if I watched it again.... who knows?  I give it 85/15 that the room gets dusty.


If for nothing else, I write about Bernie Casey because of Arch.  Casey's vice squad detective is big, tough, loyal, and has several WONDERFUL scenes, including two with Burt Reynolds (about 45 mins in and about 5 minutes before the ending) which seem like they were written specifically to be showcases for the character AND the actor.

You can certainly find the "became a ghost/ceased to exist" scenes on YouTube, but if you haven't seen the movie, you're doing yourself a HUGE disservice.  (I also mentioned on Twitter that I hope that Casey is doing the "Cease to Exist" trick in real life and will be back in a few days to add to our lives again.  I know, I know... but a man can hope).  SHARKY'S is profane, bloody, heart-on-your-sleeve romantic, and brutally funny.   Please please PLEASE find the film and watch it in its' entirety.   It's even worth a blind buy.


Not a ton to say here (this is still one of the Bond films I have a tough time fully embracing.  It's more than competent but strangely not compelling, and it DOES feel weird having Connery back during the Roger Moore era).   But Casey's presence as an actor is important enough for the producers to give him the key role of Felix Leiter.   Always nice to have a Bond film on your resume-- unless it's WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH.  (So sorry... low blow.)


Tolerance and acceptance is the message of this great 80's comedy, but it takes a while to come for the poor misunderstood nerds of our title.  When it does come, it comes in the form of U.N. Jefferson, the fraternity president of Lambda Lambda Lambda, an all-black fraternity.   In all honesty, it takes a some charter technicalities and a little bit of (or a lotta bit?) of weed to make the Lambdas accept their new pledges, but when they do, U.N. Jefferson accepts them in with open arms, and when things look the bleakest in the last act, Casey's powerful leader comes to save the day.  There's a reason why the most powerful part of the "We are the Champions" cover plays over his name in the end credits.


Man, were the 80's good to Bernie!   I still adore this film and enjoy it from start to finish, but I can fully admit that the funniest stretch of the film is the short montage of training scenes as our two leads (Chevy Chase and Dan Akyroyd) are put through the motions by a no-nonsense Colonel Rhombus to get them ready to become field agents.  Casey is monotone and deadpan hysterical in his short bit as the colonel.

Again, probably something you can find in a short scene on YouTube.  And again, a film you absolutely need to seek out and watch in its entirety if you never have.   I'm not a huge Chevy guy, but this ranks wayyyyy up the list for me of his films.


Casey was in two action films in 1987; he reteamed with Burt Reynolds in RENT-A-COP, and he made STEELE JUSTICE with the immortal Martin Kove.   In full honesty, despite being the cheesier and lower budgeted of the two, STEELE JUSTICE is by far the more entertaining of the two (RENT-A-COP is at best misguided and at worst an unholy mess of a film).   Casey even plays an undercover cop whose very close in nature to SHARKY'S MACHINE's Arch (although without the ceasing to exist capability).  It's not a huge showcase for Casey, but he's fine in it, and it's a really fun B-actioner to seek out.


This is probably THE one for a lot of people, and if not for Arch, it might be for me, too.   The film is a wonderful bawdy parody of the Blaxploitation flicks of the early 70's, and it features many of the stars from that era as well.  You get Jim Brown.  You get Isaac Hayes.  You get Antonio Fargas.  And you get Bernie Casey as John Slade, who plays the big hero from the past who comes back to help a younger do-gooder (Keenan Ivory Wayans) clean up the streets and get rid of drug kingpin Mr. Big (John Vernon).   Filled with AIRPLANE-like sight gags by the second, an amazing cast of recognizable faces that never quits, and an energy that never stops (and that Wayans possibly never matched again in films), right in the middle stands John Slade, the biggest, baddest, and most righteous dude who ever lived.

He even has a theme song to prove it (They go with him everywhere).


Man, how many big films was Bernie Casey in during the 1980's?   Again, a small role but a key one.  He plays Mr. Ryan, the high school history teacher who gets Bill and Ted on their way to learning.   His assignment (and a telephone booth time machine) are the key components for getting our two wild and crazy goofballs to finally understand all of the main points of world history.  God Bless Mr. Ryan.

There are many, many other roles in a career that stretched over close to forty years and over seventy-five movies and television projects.   But these to me are my essential Bernie Casey, and these are what made him one of "my guys."