June 21, 2012

In defence of Jim Wynorski

As much as I don't really want to get involved with the childish argument which is still raging on possibly my least favourite horror blog, the whole situation brought the works of Jim Wynorski back to my attention more than his latest movie, "Piranhaconda" (2011), was ever likely to.

I don't have cable or the SyFy channel, so, basically, I'm never likely to see this movie until it hits the DVD shelves in Wal-mart anyway and then it will depend on the price that it is being sold for.

It also almost goes without saying that I may never actually buy a copy of "Piranhaconda" or any of Jim Wynorski's other amusingly titled straight-to-video releases from this century unless they are in a bumper multi-pack of some kind. That's how I like to buy my movies nowadays irrespective of their quality.

Jim Wynorski's movies are, of course, B movies. Some might say that they are C, D or even Z movies but I'd very much disagree with them. While they may not have the biggest budget in the world, there aren't any Jim Wynorski movies which I know of which look as if he just bought a handycam that morning and decided to film his drunken friends. There are some good production values here and there, but never the greatest scripts or actors, mind you. As for special effects, you get what you pay for, or, rather, what the production company was prepared to pay for.

Back in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, things were a little bit different. I doubt that there was anyone of my generation who didn't watch "Chopping Mall" when it came out in 1986. I also enjoyed "Deathstalker II" (1987), and was at least entertained by "Sorority House Massacre II" (1990).

Things started going downhill with some of the more dubious sequels such as "Ghoulies IV" (1994) which, even as a fan of the series, I couldn't actually praise due to there hardly being any Ghoulies in it, In fairness, "The Haunting of Morella" (1990) wasn't at all what I expected either so it obviously had more to do with the type of project Jim Wynorski was being paid to direct rather than his ability to do the job.

In the 21st century, however, Jim Wynorski finally found his niche by directing movies which delivered exactly what their titles promised. If you were to rent "The Bare Wench Project", "The Witches of Breastwick", "House on Hooter Hill" or (my favourites) the "Busty Cops" series, you could be sure that a good time was there to be had by all. Let's be honest here, this stuff was never designed to be nominated for an Academy Award.

So, here's the thing, now that he's making ridiculous B movie horrors again with big breasted women in them, why is everybody turning heel on the guy? He's not doing anything all that different to what he's done for the last 30 years and nobody complained before.

Okay, some of us complained from time to time, but now it seems like Jim Wynorski is being hated on by keyboard warriors from around the globe just because certain members of a website which I have no respect for anyway have chosen him as their target of the month.

Of course, they are going to say that Jim Wynorski started the trouble by posting some Facebook comments about their review of "Piranhaconda", but doesn't he have the right to do precisely that since it's his film?

Directors and actors have commented on my blog before now and I value their feedback. Unlike some reviewers though, I don't set out to be mean and try to be as objective as possible. I subjectively want to like every horror film otherwise I wouldn't keep on buying them! I just can't like everything. Even in the best films with the biggest budgets and resources, there are still flaws.

If I wrote something nasty about one of Jim Wynorski's movies (and I have done, believe me) then I would accept his criticism of my criticism in the spirit in which it was intended. I wouldn't then pick further fights and start calling the man names just because I was expecting something to happen in a movie and it didn't.

I've fallen foul of that creepy little clique of forum-lurking backstabbers before now too so I am very much on Jim Wynorski's side in this case. It's not that he needs my support though as he's a grown man and can obviously fight his own battles.

I just felt like saying something since, as a movie reviewer, I too am just another leech who provides second-hand entertainment on the back of the work of filmmakers. I've never made a film and I never intend to. I've never baked a cake in my life either, but I know the principles behind it and when a cake tastes good to me.

In the case of Jim Wynorski's movies, some of them have entertained me, some of them didn't. I knew what I was getting into as soon as I saw his name on the VHS box or DVD sleeve so I have nobody else to blame but myself for choosing to watch them. I'm certainly not going to blame Jim Wynorski for making them in the first place.

If anything good comes out of this, it should be that movie reviewers need to concentrate on the objective qualities and quantities of what they watch. Insulting somebody just to make the movie review wittier, having vendettas against certain directors, actors, actresses, or other members of the crew, is just rather petty and doesn't do anyone any good, least of all the reviewer.

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