Friday, January 23, 2009

Dardo Arigato

My homes Richard Harland Smith, one of the Movie Morlocks of Turner Classic Movies, has graciously awarded me a Premio Dardo Award for, as he put it, "excellence in blogging and offered in recognition of cultural, ethical, literary and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing."  I won't claim to deserve the honor, but I humbly accept and with much pleasure pass it along to five other deserving bloggers. I looked at the large number of film-related blogs I read every day and chose just five to honor here. Believe me, I wish I could have picked more than five. Let me also say that I purposely did not choose a blog that has already been bestowed with a Premio Dardo, out of a sense of spreading the wealth and hopefully opening your daily Web surfing to new stops.

All recipients of this peer-driven award are required to first acknowledge those who bestowed the honor upon them, and, in turn, name five other writers to whom they would like to pass the prize.  Congratulations to all. In no particular order…

Hal Horn's The Horn Section
Hal doesn't blog very often, but when he does, I always have to stop and read his often lengthy posts in their entirety. Besides his admirable devotion to F TROOP, Hal's usual subjects are his long-running "Why The Hell Isn't This On DVD Yet?" series—which has included, and rightfully so, films as far-ranging in quality and availability as Hal Ashby's black comedy THE LANDLORD, a 1950 Republic B-western called CALIFORNIA PASSAGE, and his latest, the made-for-TV women-in-prison movie NIGHTMARE IN BADHAM COUNTY—and the 1970s crime drama QUINCY, M.E., for which Hal breaks down the show's most unintentionally hilarious episodes (can't wait for the snake episode, Hal).

Greg Conley's Your Video Store Shelf
Greg is one of the very few film bloggers who heavily covers the sadly neglected realm of direct-to-video movies, which is a genre that deserves more coverage than it receives from the mainstream media—which is, basically, none, outside of an occasional paragraph in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. It makes no sense that major publications and radio and TV outlets regularly dedicate precious page space or airtime to reviewing the junkiest theatrical fare, and ignore direct-to-video fare, even the extremely good films, 100%. Greg is not the only blogger interested in filmmakers like Philip Roth and Jim Wynorski, but he's the only one in my Google Reader subscriptions. In addition to reviewing DTV obscurities, such as output from PM Entertainment, Phoenician, and The Asylum, Greg also has compiled an archive of podcasts with schlock-film makers.

Neil Sarver's The Bleeding Tree
Neil is a writer, a filmmaker, and a Facebook friend whose blog tackles a wide variety of subjects, most of which I also find interesting. Among them: crappy movies, crappy paperbacks, rock music, and female nudity. I hope I'm somewhat to blame for his latest excursion into reading junky Don Pendleton novels, and he may have been the only blogger to punctuate his obituary of Ricardo Montalban with a still from CONQUEST FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES.

Larry Aydlette'sWelcome to L.A.
Larry can be kinda difficult to track down. I have been following his various blogs for a long time now, which hasn't been easy, as he used to switch from blog to blog at the spur of a moment, leaving neither notice nor archives in his wake. If you wanted to read him, you had to do it right away, because you never knew how long he'd be around. Thankfully, Welcome To L.A., which celebrates Hollywood young and old, seems to be sticking.

Stacie Ponder's Final Girl
Like Neil and Larry, Stacie is a Facebook friend and a girl after my own heart—a girl who loves trashy horror movies. Her snarky, playful writing style is always a joy to experience, particularly when she's hilariously explaining her unusual infatuations with junk like GRIZZLY, which was part of her Animals Run Amok series. Did I mention she's also a comic book artist and consistently creates awesome Facebook status updates?


Adam Ross' DVD Panache
Idaho native Adam likely would have made the top five, if not for a sad technicality (that I guess I created, since RHS didn't pass along any rules). Adam recently took a break from DVD Panache to pursue a career opportunity. Hopefully, it's a great career move that will allow him to both prosper and return to regular blogging, because his voice needs to be heard. And I'm not just saying that because he chose me to be one of his Friday Screen Test candidates.

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