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March 20, 2010

FMWL's First Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony!

With this typing, From Midnight, With Love is now into its 100th post. As a celebration of this meaningless centennial entry, I'd like to take time to induct the very first entrants in From Midnight, With Love's just-now-founded Hall of Fame. The following inductees are recognized in their respective branches for significant contributions to the love The Mike has for Midnight & Cult cinema, and will be presented with...well, not really anything except my undying love and respect.
The Filmmaker's Branch
The first inductee into FMWL's Hall of Fame is none less than the man (kinda) silhouetted in the logo above - Alfred Hitchcock.Though it's difficult to call Mr. Hitchcock's films Cult fare, considering he's one of the most commercially successful and popular directors of all-time, to me it's a given that he belongs. Through works like Psycho, Rear Window, Vertigo, and The Birds he brought the macabre and terrifying to the masses like no one else has since. On a personal level, I can't think of a filmmaker who's had a bigger impact on me in regard to my hunt for treasures of the past.After Hitchcock, there was John Carpenter. His rogue tactics that led to a string of films from Assault on Precinct 13 in 1976 to They Live (to which I've paid tribute in the FMWL HOF Official Seal) in 1988 that each rank as a sci-fi or horror classic in my book. He invented the modern slasher film with Halloween, my favorite horror movie, and was the first "genre" filmmaker I really began to seek out.

The Actor's BranchThough each deserve their own accolades, it's impossible to not mention Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff in the same breath. In their own ways, each man established the horror genre for what it would become in Universal's golden age of terror, and each left a lasting impression that's still relevant nearly 80 years after their most famous films hit screens. Karloff's imposing presence and Lugosi's menacing stare will never go out of style, and both men are worthy of being the first actor inducted in our Hall of Fame.Bruce Campbell has definitely lent his talents to a few stinkers since the Evil Dead trilogy catapulted him to hero status, but when I think of cult icons of the past 30 years his face is always the first thing I see. From those three films to his tour-de-force performance in Bubba Ho-Tep and his consistently awesome TV roles (The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., you guys!) and countless other fun performances, Campbell is exactly the kind of actor From Midnight, With Love is designed to feature.While Lugosi gave Dracula his first iconic portrayal on-screen, Christopher Lee took the classic character over with style while working with Hammer Films. Lee has additionally starred in dozens of fascinating horrors, anchored by Robin Hardy's fantastic The Wicker Man and Hammer's The Devil Rides Out, and has maintained an active role in the horror genre when many actors would have retired.If there's an actor with a career that's been as interesting to me as Lee's, it's Max von Sydow. He's played no less than Jesus, Death, The Exorcist, and Ming the Merciless (my personal favorite role of his, because it allows me to exclaim "KLYTUS, I'M BORED!" like him), plus he's co-starred in countless sci-fi/horror/thriller flicks as he ages. Like Lee, he's been versatile and involved for over sixty years.When the term "scream queen" comes to mind, not enough people mention the classic Hollywood example of the term - Fay Wray. In films like Mystery of the Wax Museum, Doctor X (pictured above), and The Most Dangerous Game, Wray paved the way for women in horror for decades to come. And of course, her most famous film, King Kong, is pretty darn worthwhile too.

The Modern-Day BranchLarry Blamire is a filmmaker that most don't know about yet, but after The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and the goings on over at BantamStreet.com, I'm convinced that a large portion of my future midnight movie loves will come from the works of Blamire and company. With The Lost Skeleton Returns Again, Trail of the Screaming Forehead, and Dark and Stormy Night finally hitting DVD this year, Blamire's loving spoofs of b-movie cliches will hopefully catch a bigger audience. Until then, I'll just keep watching episodes of Tales from the Pub.

The 1980's Pop Star's BranchBecause nothing inspires The Mike like a good '80s pop tune, The 1980's Pop Stars Branch of the FMWL needs to exist. Since she co-starred in the David Cronenberg mind-trip, we'll make Blondie's Debbie Harry the first inductee in this totally tubular branch. One way or another, she deserves it.

The Monster's Branch
If you've read The Mike before, you knew this was coming. The Blob is a must for the FMWL Hall of Fame's initial class. Because it's The Blob.Though he may not fit in the same world as Universal's other classic monsters, I've always had a soft spot for The Creature from the Black Lagoon, one of the first horror monsters I ever saw on screen. Despite the slightly silly look of the Creature, I still get chills as he creeps up on the camera. And, he's very persistent when he sees a woman he wants - gotta respect that.

The Joe Bob Briggs Branch
The Joe Bob Briggs Branch of the FMWL Hall of Fame is dedicated to the people who've inspired me personally in my love of cult film and in maintaining this blog. The first inductee here, of course, is....Joe Bob Briggs. Starting with The Mike's viewings of TNT's still-missed MonsterVision program, and transferring into reading his reviews in print and online, Joe Bob Briggs embodies what the cult cinema fan loves about their genres. It's through Mr. Briggs' work that I began to realize there was a niche for gorehounds and fright fiends to find, and that there were lots of other people who shared my love of this stuff.

The last, but not at all least, inductees into the FMWL Hall of Fame are The Mike's Family.There's my parents, on the left, who were responsible for letting me watch whatever scary movie I claimed I was ready to watch as I grew up. There's my sister, who helped persuade said parents that we were ready for the terrors of Clownhouse and Pumpkinhead and The Shining, and her husband who broke the ice when we first met by bringing a copy of the killer sheep epic Black Sheep. And then there's that last guy....I'm not sure who he is, but I hear he writes a mean blog.

Congratulations and Thank You to the first class of inductees in From Midnight, With Love's Hall of Fame! And, for those who've read, thanks for helping to make From Midnight, With Love the rewarding experience it's been thus far. Let's keep rolling and look forward to an eventual second class of Hall of Fame inductees!

5 comments:

Emily said...

Congrats on your 100th post. I'm all for random milestones! About that wedding photo, did That Dude wear his luchador mask for the whole ceremony? If so, He is awesome but I'd have to say, the couple is far more so for allowing that to happen.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.D. Penning said...

Congrats Mike, and thanks alot for making me cry. I lost/someone stole my copy of Black Sheep. I waited so long to get that movie, and it is gone! Now I'm going to go cry myself to sleep!

The Mike said...

Emily- They didn't allow him to wear it for the ceremony, but they did very much enjoy when he used a distraction to slip it on for a picture or two. He also may carry this picture in his wallet to show others.

Russ- I may know a guy with a large DVD collection who could loan it your way.

I may be speaking of people I am, also.

Carl (ILHM) said...

Woo Hoo, 100 down and only 100,0010010,sa1129 to go! Great picks for the first inductions dude, any true Horror fan would have to have Lee in the roster but The Blob was an unexpected but welcomed pick as well!