Chicago area fans of cult and exploitation cinema might want to make sure they don’t have plans next weekend. Of course, I’ll be out of town at Cinevent so I won’t be able to make it, which really pisses me off. But if you’re in the Chicago area, then you need to head over the Music Box Theatre when they celebrate the Grindhouse genre!
During the show, a guy came up and was browsing through the books and pulled out a copy of the Incredibly Strange Film book published by the Re/Search Publications in 1986. This is a great little book, filled with interviews and articles on some of the kings and queens of exploitation cinema, like Ted V. Mikels, H.G. Lewis, Doris Wishman, Dave Friedman, and many more. As I started to tell him more about the book, he told me that he had recently picked up a copy from ebay, that had over 20 signatures in it from the people involved, like Wishman, and only paid $100. Now, a few of the people covered in that book have since passed away, like Ray Dennis Steckler and Wishman. But just when I was telling how freaking amazing of a deal he had there, he said that he had been ripping the pages from the book and selling them on ebay.
It was at this point where I stopped talking and tightly closed my jaw. I was afraid that if I was to open it, something would come out that could be considered either offending and/or threatening. I just stood there shocked, unable to move or say anything. Now, let me clarify that I understand that some things might not be as important as it is to others. I get that. But the fact that he had an incredible book, filled with signatures from some of the people responsible for making exploitation cinema what it is today, and was literally tearing apart the book to sell the individual pages, really hurt something deep inside of me. I mean, first off…he’s tearing apart a book!!! And secondly, he is destroying a one-of-a-kind piece of history.
To each their own, as they say, but it just kills me knowing that someone had gone through the trouble of collecting those signatures in that book, which was then ripped apart. Needless to say, a very sad and disturbing moment at the show. Lucky for me, the rest of the show was not like that.