"I take orders from the Octoboss."

“unbekümmerter Don’t-give-a-fuck-ness”

tn_germanmechanicThere’s a new interview with me up on a websight called Hard Sensations. As far as I know it is not a pornographical type of websight, but it’s hard to know. See, the whole thing is in German, so I don’t know what the fuck I was talking about. Possibly THE LONE RANGER, judging by the pictures. Whatever it was, hopefully it’s nothing I could be blackmailed with by German blackmailers (erpressers).

So let me know what you think CJ and the rest of you learn German and then read it and then let me know what you think. Dank Kumpel.

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 5th, 2014 at 12:30 am and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

29 Responses to ““unbekümmerter Don’t-give-a-fuck-ness””

  1. (I don’t want to pre-empt CJ here, but obviously I took your advice and learnt German since you posted the link.)

    Solid interview, although I gotta say that the guy asking the questions is sometimes a little too formal in his translation of your voice. Also, in the intro, he praises the looseness of your writing, accentuating that it’s not stuck-up in a way most film-journalism often is, but the language he himself uses is saturated with pseudo-intellectual waffling. Still, it’s nice to see your work exposed to people who might otherwise never come across it.

  2. Well, he is from Düsseldorf, so of course he has to sound pseudo-intellectual. But I don’t wanna make fun of someone who is cool enough to know and interview you and translate you into German. (There is still no German version of SEAGALOGY!)

    It’s a good interview. Nothing new for the long time reader of you, but it touches some subjects, that aren’t really problems here yet, like the whole Netflix thing. Reading it actually reminded me how different movie criticism is over here. Or at least the subjects. I don’t think I have ever heard a German critic talk about post action. Actually most German movie criticism is either very dry, super snobistic or both. (Or they try to be the next Mr Plinkett, if they are YouTubers.)

    But congrats on going international, Vern!

    Now excuse me while I cut out letters from magazines. Not for blackmailing purposes. It’s an…art project. Yes, an art project.

  3. Netflix thing?

  4. The fact that VOD is inferior to outside world movie rental services for several reasons, yet it seems to become the new norm. VOD is still in its infancy here, so that’S why nobody talks about it yet.

  5. Well, Vern, you are now officially the David Hasselhoff of film critics. Huge in Germany! Congratulations!

  6. I love Germany. Great roads, great beer, beautiful ladies and thoroughly nice people.

  7. Yes, yes, yes and…maybe in some other part of the country.

  8. What part you in CJ? My experience with your countrymen in June was splendid. England had just gone home from Brazil though.

  9. Hey CJ, VOD and Netflix might not be such big problems here in Germany, but the larger problem which Vern is getting at, the death of homevideo-culture – never heard of “Videotheken-Sterben”? – is also pretty pertinent.

  10. And please explain to me, where you read pseudo-intellectualism, is it the use of words like “akribisch”?
    Also: I haven´t seen the answering mails of Vern, but I´m assuming that he doesn´t necessarily answer serious interview questions in the voice he has established in his reviews, so I´m not sure the translation is a “little too formal”.
    Oh, full disclosure: I know the interviewer a bit, so there, read with grain of salt`n´shit;)

  11. Being the guy who did the interview: Unfortunately, I’m not a professional translator, so yeah, I know I didn’t manage to capture Vern’s specific style and am kind of sorry about it. As for the “intellectual waffling”: I have an academic background, so that has to account for something. :)

  12. Ah, Oliver to the rescue;)

  13. Thanks for your intervention, tomdwayne!

  14. I don’t think it’s a big problem because I have the chance to watch a ton of different movies for a low fee. What’s the harm in that? I miss VHS covers but I don’t miss the whole in my wallet.

  15. I don’t speak a word of German except those few I learned while watching DIE HARD with a Deutschophone ladyfriend, but I’m sure you did a great job, Oliver. Much respect for spreading the message.

  16. HardSensations dot com has become one of my favorite websites. Here’s the edited, safe-for-[conservative American]-work visual evidence why:

    It’s important we preserve exactly the conditions of the exact moment Vern’s expertise went worldwide & multilingual.

  17. Here’s the English version of what I said about the state of home video, in response to a question about digital projection and film preservation:

    “Something I worry about even more that I think almost nobody recognizes is in home video, the impending death of physical media. In Seattle we have a video store with a collection of over 120,000 titles. As long as they have those discs they can rent them out, there is not some way for their rights to expire. I like having access to that, but the more people are willing to accept the small library of mainstream titles their computer can squirt at them the harder it is for places like that to continue to operate. Even if you cut that collection in half – can you imagine the money it would cost for Netflix or any corporation to have the rights to continually stream 60,000 different movies? It could never even come close to happening. For the sake of cheapness and convenience we’ve signed onto a system that will simply make it impossible to have the kind of library we used to take for granted. Now the best case scenario would be for some giant corporation to own the rights to every movie.

    It’s not that big of a problem for normal people who just want to see whatever new movie came out this week, but for a guy who loves to dig back through old ninja and slasher movies it’s like the apocalypse.”

  18. With streaming sites like Full Moon Video, I don’t think you have to worry. There will always be a movie streaming somewhere.

  19. Dirk: I’m in the deepest Ruhr Area (Dortmund, Gelsenkirchen, Castrop Rauxel).

    Tom: Yeah, of course there is the Videothekensterben, but honestly, I haven’t felt it that hard yet. Out of the 4 video stores in my near area, where I rent movies from since I went to school, only one closed (and only because its owner retired). Also of course we never had BLOCKBUSTER here. I think the closest thing is EMPIRE, but they seem to be alive and kicking. Movie theatres on the other hand… (From the 5 awesome cinemas of my youth, 0 are left and have been replaced by a so-so multiplex, that also almost went out of business a few years ago.)

    Oliver: Don’t worry about your language. You should hear me speak German. Despite growing up in the blackest Ruhrpott, I usually talk like my dialogue was written by Dr Erika Fuchs (who definitely had a huge part in shaping my childhood. :D ) But even I don’t use words like “Neologismen” or “Idiosynkrasien” in the same sentence. (Just kidding. You are a regular reader of this site, so I hope you know how we usually give each other shit on here, without really meaning it. *fistbump*)

  20. Mr. Majestyk, thanks for the kind words, much appreciated!

    CJ Holden: It’s all in good fun, I know. :) Just wondering that anyone using words that comprise of more than two syllables online almost automatically gets slandered with the word “pseudo-intellectuality”.

    The thing is this: I can’t write like Vern. And I don’t want to, cause it wouldn’t be me. It’s good that Vern writes like he does. It’s good that everyone writes like he does. So as a reader you have all those different writing styles that you can choose from and get a broad perspective on one and the same thong from different angles. When I say I like Vern’s style that does neither mean it’s the only style I like nor that it’s superior to the others. I just thought it’s important to tell the readers who don’t read him regularly that he’s not just fun to read but also has a lot to say.

  21. Don’t worry, man. Just write as you are. There are already too many online critics, who force some jokes into their reviews, just for the sake of being funny. And they they end up either not funny, super snarky or they totally forgot to actually review the movie. (Or all of it together.) As long as you know what you are writing about, the style doesn’t matter.

  22. No, I’ m not worrying, nor apologizing or regretting anything. Just explaining. :)

  23. The decline of the local video store in Australia since the early 2000’s hasn’t really bothered me that much. The Blockbusters and Video Ezy’s were mostly stocked with new releases and popular titles that provided turnover for the companies, and they weren’t so big on arthouse or foreign films. You’d have to go inner-city to find an independent film-haven like Dr What(stocks 36000+ dvd’s and vhs), but I live in the outer suburbs about an hour from the city, so it ain’t easy. I miss the convenience of having a few locals to choose from(there’s only one left now of about 7 in the last 10 years), and it’s a franchise store. Good for new releases, and if I’m lucky I’ll get a rare old one like Perdita Durango.

    But I miss the small independents from the 80’s because, since home video was new back then, the distributors released every movie ever made in to the market and I got to see five decades worth of great films in my early teens. The Godfather’s, The Mad Max’s, the Mad Max knock-offs like Battle Truck with Steve Railsback, the Troma’s, the Bruce Lee’s, the early Brando’s.

    And we had at least one mum and pop store in every suburb. My local had the unbeatable name WARLORDS Home Video with a huge fucking Viking Warrior on the sign, and the guy who owned it used to carry a .44 Magnum in his briefcase and I know this because he showed it to me and a mate one night when were in there. And no, it wasn’t cause we were trying to rob him. He just wanted to impress us I think. Bit of a dickhead actually. Cool video store though.

    I’ve never streamed or downloaded a movie even though there’s more and more companies providing it. Even some of the smaller distributors like Monster Video who specialize in new and old independent horror have made their entire catalogue available for streaming. But I still like owning the dvd or bluray, its just a personal preference. We got some great stores like JB HiFi who stock every title available on their shelf for sale. Sure, I’ve spent a ton over the last 15 years on dvd’s and blurays, but I’m pretty picky about what I want to keep. If it’s an older title and I haven’t seen it and I can’t rent it at a store, I might buy it if it’s under $7. If I don’t like it there’s a few 2nd hand stores around I can trade at. But I mostly keep everything I buy now. Have regretted trading some titles that I thought about years later and couldn’t buy again.

    I’ve also noticed some of the big studios like Universal, Paramount and 20th Century Fox are licensing their back-catalogue’s out to mass-distributors like Payless Entertainment, packaging them in Thailand and flooding the market here for a sale price of $5 or less. Sell-through at prices like this are kinda filling the void of the rental store for me, at least for now. I don’t need to stream just yet. Maybe down the track.

  24. Right now it can work for us but my point is if we get to where studios aren’t releasing everything on physical media and normal people don’t have dvd/blu-ray players then we’re gonna be giving up a huge amount of access to movies. Don’t believe for a second that Disney, for example, won’t choose to make some of their classics (and Star Wars) disappear for a few years to build their reputation for when they’re available again. Or that Omniflix or whoever won’t frequently get into a fight over the price of a huge library, causing those movies to just be gone until someone budges. With physical media we can still rent or buy used copies. In an all streaming world it just disappears.

    And do we really want to have to sign up for ten or fifteen different subscriptions just to be able to get everything we used to be able to get? What if I only want to watch DOLLMAN one time and don’t want monthly access to the Full Moon catalog?

  25. I like the Bing Translator version:

    “What I’m more worried, is the State of the home-video culture and the impending death of physical media. In Seattle, there is a library with a collection of over 120,000 titles. As long they are in possession of the DVDs, they can be awarded, since the rental rights do not expire. I like it, to have access to this archive, but the more people satisfied with the small selection of titles that your computer spits out, it is all the more difficult for such facilities to keep. Even if you halved this collection – do you have any idea of what it would cost Netflix or any other company, to make available permanently 60,000 titles via stream? It will never happen. For reasons of cost and convenience, alone we have arranged us with a system, with which this stock that was previously granted for us is impossible. The ideal case is absurdly in the moment, that covered the rights to every available movie in the hands of a single giant Corporation. For someone, it is enough to look at what this week always comes out, this is not a great problem, but it is the apocalypse for someone like me, who loves to work, through old Ninja and slasher.”

  26. Jareth Cutestory

    July 7th, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Vern [answering the phone]: Hello?
    CJ Holden: Is this the Cocksucker residence?
    Vern: God damn you! Stop calling here!
    CJ: Now let me check the zip code. Two-one-two-fuck-you?

    I probably should have checked if SERIAL MOM made it past the notorious German sensors before making that joke.

    But in all seriousness, I won’t live in a neighbourhood unless it has an independent video store, a music store, a scrappy little art gallery and a couple of cafes. I think it’s crucial to the fabric of the culture I want to live within. At the risk of sounding hopelessly bourgeois, it’s a quality of life issue for me.

  27. A win-win would be for physical media and streaming to co-exist peacefully together. But I have the same fear that digital streaming will take over more and more, limiting the range of titles released to DVD. This could lead to purists (and capitalists) pirating films to DVD, but that would just diminish the quality of the transfer as well as robbing us of the gift of good cover art.

    I spend a lot of time trawling 2nd hand stores these days, part passion, part stress-relief therapy, mostly joy. Just in the last few weeks I picked up titles that are either out of distribution or unavailable in region 4 – HIGHWAYMEN(out of dist.), POINT BLANK(not the Lee Marvin one, the Mickey Rourke one, also out of dist.) and CRYING FREEMAN(on region 2, never released to region 4). All for about $5 each.

    But funnily enough I found a copy of an 80’S Abel Ferrara I never heard of THE GLADIATORS with Ken Wahl for $2. I checked here for a review and unsurprisingly I found one. Here it is –


    At the end of that review you brought up the decline of physical media and the rise of On Demand. One of your commenters Harker, who ran a mum and pop store in Austin made a good point about how On Demand and Netflix had served to separate the “normal” film watchers from the “freaks”(paraphrased) like us, and his clientele was made up of passionate film lovers, and business was good. Now this thread was back in 2009, so I’d like to know how his business is going 5 years later, but I’m hoping there will be more operators who provide for this niche and can make it work.

    Of course, it also depends on the studios who provide the product. One way to keep it alive is by buying DVD’s and Bluray’s, and limiting streaming to necessity only. But tell that to the kid’s these days, who have an average of 3 digital devices in their pockets.

  28. What the hell is a Deutschophone? Some kind of device that translates the words that you speak in? Crazy stuff there.

  29. Deutschophone sounds like the best of compilation of a fake Kraftwerk-ish 1980s Technopop band.

    Jareth: SERIAL MOM is even rated 16 over here and is probably next to CRY BABY the Waters movie, that runs (or ran) the most often on TV over here.

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