Happy anniversary to us

Outlawvern.com administrator Chris Rowley has reminded me that today is the tenth anniversary of the first time I ever posted on this here domain. He’d actually bought it for me the summer before as an act of kindness (or pity?) to get me off the free Geocities sight I’d used since 1999. I turn him down because I thought it was funny and subversive to pour such effort into such a crappy looking websight. When Geocities stopped working (it turned out they were closing up shop) he luckily hadn’t taken offense to my initial rejection and helped me getting things running right away.

I want to thank everyone who has read or commented or supported in any way. But I’m especially thankful to Chris, who has put so much time and money into keeping this place running through technical difficulties and multiple re-designs, who has set up comments, forums, spam blockers and features of his own invention. He’s also working on some new ideas that will be a surprise even to me. His generosity has made my life better, and maybe yours too, so please give him your thanks.

Happy anniversary everybody. Here’s that first post:

R.I.P. www.geocities.com/outawvern

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2019 at 6:58 pm 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.

43 Responses to “Happy anniversary to us”

  1. Damn, only 10 years? It couldn’t have been much later than 2009 I picked up Seagalogy, Yippee ki-yay Moviegoer and found the site.

    Thank you, Chris and Vern.

  2. I stumbled upon your website (websight) when I was in high school via a random link from James Berardinelli. I was an avid reader of both him and Roger Ebert as a blossoming cinephile. More than a decade later, you still remain a refreshing and surprising source of perspective and insight on both films I love and would have otherwise overlooked. I hope you keep doing what you do. You have a truly singular voice.

  3. Adam Villani from the old Cinemasters list pointed me to your stuff long ago and I remain grateful I clicked on that link that day.

  4. Congratulations, Vern! Many, many more years to come I hope.

  5. Matthew Andrysiak

    April 11th, 2019 at 9:39 pm

    Happy Anniversary to this marvelous sight, Vern and Chris! Or, I should say, Happy AnniversariES, as that would mean the former Geocities location turns 20 at some point this year…and presumably your regular writing career with it. Any thoughts? Plans? An official or semi-official date on which I should bake and eat a Nakatomi Plaza-shaped cake?

  6. 2009? Are we at the endgame now?

    Happy Anniversary.

  7. Sheesh, time flies and this is definitely the only place on the internet that I still visit regularly after more than one decade. Mostly because the content didn’t decline in quality and it’s still active and running.

    So thank you Vern and Chris.

  8. Happy Anniversary! I can honestly say I don’t remember how long I’ve been coming here, but it has given me great joy over the years and I will keep on coming to the day I die (which shouldn’t be long according to Shoot).

  9. happy 10th day 2 u, Vern and Chris.

    i used to lurk around in those lawless geocities days and still remember the transition to the official .com sight well.

    this has remained the only place i regularly visit, the only place i regularly read the comments sections and the only place i throw my own worthless opinions into the comments pile every now and then.

    thank you for the amazing content, the awesome community, and for making me awkwardly laugh out loud on public transport for ten solid years.

  10. Congratulations Vern! Thanks for the great reviews and thoughts.

    Here’s to many years more.

  11. The Undefeated Gaul

    April 12th, 2019 at 3:22 am

    Congrats! I too don’t know when exactly I became a regular here. It all started on aintitcool and eventually made the switch to reading your stuff on here. There’s not many days that go by when I don’t come on here and see if there’s anything new. Thanks Vern for all the great steady content and Chris for keeping the place running!

  12. thank you Chris!

  13. Quality lasts and Vern is still here. Congrats (and thank you, Chris).

  14. Feels like only yesterday I was working in a film bookshop in Dublin and whiling away the hours on that Geocities site… time doesn’t just fly, it does so at frightening speed.

  15. I always liked the geocities “joke”, but admit this site works better. Happy 10th, and thank you Chris!

  16. This is a good website and thanks to all of you who make it fun to read, Vern, Chris, and all the comment section jabronis.

  17. Looks like we may be late to the party on the GeoCities launch unless the earliest review actually came from USENET. I did my best when converting GeoCities and AICN articles in terms of using actually available dates and inferred dates when multiple reviews were grouped into a single entry. Here’s the oldest based on that:


    It’s dated March 31, 1999. At the moment you can jump to the last archive page here:


    Though that number will increase as more posts are added. Sorry I forgot to be on the lookout as I assumed later in 1999. I’d have to dig through the multiple snapshots of GeoCities I grabbed to say that’s the definitive date but I’m pretty confident given how meticulous I was when porting everything over to WordPress.

  18. Chris –

    After looking into it I have determined that since you didn’t know the date of the 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU so-called review you used the theatrical release date of the movie. In the review I refer to seeing it on video, proving it had to have been written much later. Also, I swear this was my first Usenet post:


    That’s why in the original Geocities bio I believe it said “ever since I got out in August of ’99.” We also have the evidence of this first Vern Tell’s It Like It Is column:


    …which is correctly dated 10/11/99, because I refer to it in the text. I can’t remember if the column was the first thing posted. Maybe I first collected the “reviews” from the newsgroups? But the counter on the earliest webcrawl of the page started on October 10th. So that’s still my best guess for the anniversary date.

  19. Happy tin anniversary, everybody. I can’t say that I love you all just as much as the day we met, or that none of the spark has gone out of our relationship, or that I don’t flat out resent you sometimes, but the fact of the matter is, while my eye occasionally wanders and I sometimes wonder if maybe I’d be better off on my own, there’s no other online community for me. For better or worse, I guess we’re stuck together.

  20. I’ve been married for almost 30 years, and I can safely say that it’s common interests that’s the key to a long relationship. That and the sex.

  21. That makes sense Vern, and I just checked the Van Damme review and it specifically mentions the newsgroup. I do think you put up some reviews before My First Column but hey, I wasn’t there lol

    I didn’t get any results on the Wayback Machine but that might require an actual page rather than simply http://www.geocities.com/outlawvern so I may do some more digging. I woulda thought you’d have announced opening on GeoCities on Usenet but I can’t seem to find a post in my news host’s archives.

  22. Thank you, Vern, for willing this community into being and to everyone who is a part of it.

  23. Yeah, the searchability of those old newsgroups seems to have changed, I can’t search it by email anymore. But the original url was http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Veranda/3556, if that helps.

  24. Wow, only 10 years? I swear I’ve been part of this ragtag gang of film-lovers since like, 2003. Happy Anniversary to Vern, Chris, and everyone else who makes this the only website that I check regularly and doesn’t make me hate the internet.

  25. Times fly. When was you first Aint It Cool review? I feel I have read you since the early 2000, but it’s kinda hard to pin point exactly when that was. Thank you for all the reviews. I’m pretty sure you are the reason why I got Blood and Bone on blu-ray, and why I had to find Undisputed 2. I remember always enjoying your DTV reviews of all Steven Seagal films, even got the book when it came out.

  26. Searching through AICN I found this euology about Curtis Mayfield when he died in late 1999:

    Sooooo Long, Curtis!

    Father Geek here, a true genius is gone, too soon, CURTIS MAYFIELD has died. The man who penned one of my favorite soundtracks and in so doing influenced an entire genre of film music is no longer with us. I was just about to sit down and...

    This might have been your first or one of the first. Other than that there was the review of The Ring PArt 1 and 2 in 2000 (the originals).

  27. Thanks to Chris, too!

  28. As someone who was around from the start, yeah, Vern’s first public appearance was that flurry of Usenet posts about DIE HARD, THE GREEN MILE (pre-release), Jean-Claude Van Damme, prison gangs, etc. The Geocities sight wasn’t there till a little later, or at least he wasn’t publicising it. I think “Poems Don’t Got to Be Soft” was there when it first went live? That’s what made me bookmark it, anyhow. I’ve stuck around ever since.

    Thanks for all your effort, Chris. Long live outlawvern.com.

  29. Ghost – Yes, I remember the Curtis Mayfield one being the first. I forgot about the RINGU reviews – I watched those on VCD!

  30. Happy anniversary! Can’t believe how time flies. First started reading you on AICN in ‘99 or 2000. Visited the geocities and then here almost daily. I honestly don’t think there’s any other site I have regularly visited throughout that entire run. I also where my Argyle and Viva Val Verde shirts proudly and cherish my signed copies of Seagalogy, Nike Town and the Good, the Tough and the Deadly. Thank you for all of the insightful and often hilarious reads!

  31. *wear not where.

  32. Congrats, Vern! And thank you for your archives. They’ve gotten me thru many, MANY slow work days. (Last sentence to be read as George Gaines’ immortal Commandant Lassard, of course.)

  33. grimgrinningchris

    April 13th, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I have been through the death of both of my folks, a half dozen of my closest friends, 6 months in jail, pill and then heroin addiction and then getting clean from it all, meeting/booking everyone from Bone Thugs to Blackalicious… just in the time since you went .com and opened up comments.

    And your sight has always been a sanctuary and place of comfort, thought, ACTUAL fandom and love for movies that has helped me through some of the hardest times…

  34. Ten years! Congrats! Here’s to ten more, at least!

  35. Not the slightest exaggeration to say Vern has amassed one of the most important bodies of work in the genre of film criticism.

    Keep up the good work, captain my captain.

  36. Holy shit, I somehow forgot that the geocities sight existed. And also never realized that I’ve been reading this sight for HALF MY LIFETIME.

    I can’t thank you enough, Vern. You’ve literally helped to shape me as a human being.

  37. That Castlevania show on Netflix has a line near the beginning, “It’s not dying people are afraid of — it’s living without ever having done their best.” When I think of it now it reminds me of Vern for reasons that I assume are obvious. And Chris, I salute your decade of efforts in giving us a place to be weird online. My hat is off to both of you, here’s to many more years of excellence and the striving therefore.

  38. I first came across Vern’s writing back in the Ain’t It Cool days, probably around 2005 or so. I’m not sure when I first realized he had his own websight, but Outlawvern is one of the very few places on the internet I regularly visit. It’s really refreshing to read film criticism that comes from a place of hope and encouragement. Vern’s always looking for the good in a movie, even if it has somehow gone awry, which is a nice antidote to kneejerk cynicism that seems to be the default position online. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next ten years.

  39. Thanks guys for everything! I’ve been following Vern since the news groups so I still think of this as the new site. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. Time is monstrous.

    I can’t wait til the retrospective on the Zoo review and subsequent talkback…

  40. Crushinator Jones

    April 15th, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve definitely had some contentious discussions over the years – and I’m sure we’ll keep having them – but congratulations to Vern and the rest of the commentators. Much like the enemies in a good action movie, you may be my bitter opponents but I respect your individual styles.

  41. I reckon this means that Outlawvern.com opened the same week as FAST AND FURIOUS, which used the tagline “New model. Original parts.” With hindsight that’d’ve been a great tagline here too.

    Thanks and congratulations to Vern and Chris, and indeed to the only commenters on the web worth reading.

  42. Totally late to the party on this one, but congratulations Vern & Chris! Happy anniversary to this amazing sight, and cheers for the next 20!

    Seriously thank you for all you do, for putting ypur heart and soul out there, and for fostering a terrific oasis for film lovers off the beaten path that doesnt devolve into needless name calling and trolling.

  43. I’m sure I’ve been reading Vern since 2007, though he first distinctly was on my radar as a writer to specifically watch in 2008 and I’ve been here for the wordpress blog since the beginning.

    I’m sorry the current climate has driven a bit of a wedge between us, but I want everyone to know that since the CAPTAIN MARVEL discussion I’ve been doing some serious soul searching and revaluation of my beliefs, the discussions we have here have real value and I hope we can continue to have them on into the future.

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