Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Tribute to Mike Vraney

I'm interrupting the Space Thing review to put up a special tribute to the man that made it possible for me to be snarky about the movie and and many other pieces of wonderful 60s shlock.


Mike Vraney
1957-2014

To many people, the films of, say, somebody like Doris Wishman mean little ... if they disappeared tomorrow few would care.  So many of the cult films of the 60s -- usually dealing with nudity or other subjects that were shocking at the time -- but now seems more silly than threatening -- would have been lost to the winds if not for the man you see above, and his business, Something Weird Video.

So much of what I review on this site comes from that single source.  Mike loved the material, Mike saved the material, and Mike carefully restored it.  From crumbling film stock to digital downloads, large sections of drive-in, grind house, and road show movies -- movies never meant to be seen after making a quick buck on these circuits through sex, drugs, violence, and rock n roll -- would never have survived.

My love for this quirky type of film -- a genre that is so intricately tied to a time in America -- came through a show called Reel Wild Cinema, hostess by Sandra Bernhard and produced by Mike, with films that he found and restored, or just saved.  A show that got in interviews with people like Maila "Vampira" Nurmi and Tura Satana deserved to be on longer than it was.

I wasn't sure if I should post this -- frankly, this blog is basically a snarky comedy blog.  But, it's necessary, because regardless of if it's a monster movie with boobs or a psychedelic biker flick, Mike's love and enthusiasm for the genre made a life long fan out of many people, including myself.  He will be missed.  Rest in peace.

1 comment:

Dave Rouleau said...

Nice post on Mike Vraney. Loved Reel Wild Cinema on the USA Network and bought several Something Weird tapes back in the day.