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Real name: Joe Wawrzyniak
Hair: Rapidly receding, but what's still left is dirty blonde & often uncombed
Eyes: Piercing blue. Not exactly Meg Fosterish, but leaning in that striking direction
Favorite hat: Fedora, a man's hat
Favorite shirt: loud Hawaiian shirts, the uglier the better
Favorite pants: Khaki, usually rumpled
Date of birth: June 1st, 1972
Homestate: New Jersey, where both myself and the drive-in were born
Height: 6 feet, 4 inches, very tall
Weight: 215 pounds, really thin
Nicknames: The Woodman, The Woodster,
The Woodmeister, Awesome Anders
Mr. Wood, Woody A, Good Ol' WA, Woods,
Woody Baby (ladies only, please)
Persona: Film nerd and damn proud of it
Voice: Deep, oily, soothing pus ooze late night disc jockey tenor
Favorite song: "Una Paloma Blanca" 2005 remix by George Baker
Motto: "If you wanna be the s**t, you gotta know your s**t. Otherwise, you ain't s**t."
Religion: Godless heathen atheist and proud of it, too
I'm especially fond of horror and exploitation movies. I think the 70's was the best-ever decade for film. Watch a lot of cult movies and drive-in films; the sleazier and/or weirder they are, the more I dig 'em. Enjoy out of the mainstream independent films, rock pics, sci-fi end-of-the-world items and made-for-TV movies as well.
Just to stop my life from being too dull I have a little sideline hobby singing downhome Southern-fried country and western music. I'm the lead singer/songwriter in a funky band called Hillbilly Joe and the Jersey Bumpkins. We're a bunch of s**t-kickin', fiddle-pickin', banjo-pluckin' rowdy rednecks who love to spit, chew, screw and drink Mountain Dew (and I ain't talkin' 'bout the soda). We perform at truckstops, greasy spoons, swap meets, flea markets, seedy honkytonk dives, trailer parks, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and especially church social gatherings every Sunday afternoon. Songs we perform include such good, clean, wholesome family numbers as "Thank God I'm A Country *beep* "On the Floor Again," "I *beep* Your Sister and She's A Lousy Lay," and "The Wife Beating Song." The latter charming ditty I wrote in fifteen minutes at the tail end of a severe weekend whiskey bender. The lyrics are as follows:
I punch the dawg
I kick the cat
I beat the wife
With a bat
She called the cops
I'm in jail
Spendin' the night
Can't pay bail
While I'm here
I really hope
My hairy cellmate Bubba
Don't drop the soap
Now, isn't that a truly special song just ripe to bursting with wit, warmth, tasteful humor and a teeming surplus of poignant heartfelt humanity? Your darn totin' it sure is. Keep watching "American Idol" because I'm gonna be on it any day now.
I also act in hard-core porno films under the alias IGiveYouMyWood. Among the hard-core movies I've starred in are "Layin' the Ladies," "Stickin' It to Your Sister," "Lovin' My Cousin" (a Hillbilly Joe favorite), and the sentimental yuletide classic "Santa's Special Sausage." All these films and many more can be ordered from the following website: www.getmywood.com.
Moreover, I'm a shameless hack writer who does numerous film reviews and articles for such underground publications as "Vex," "Cult Movies" (my article on Bigfoot films was nominated for a Rondo Award in 2003, but alas I didn't win), "The Exploitation Journal," "Screem," and "Shock Cinema." I also write album reviews for a local Garden State rock zine called "Jersey Beat."
I average at one film comment a day on the IMDb and even write snappy little bios on such lesser known actors and actresses as Vic Diaz, Victor Israel, Joy Bang, Michael Ironside, Michelle Stacy, James Whitworth, Frances Raines, Roberta Collins, Rick Dean, Candice Rialson, Monica Gayle, Harley Cross, Bill Thurman, Michael Sopkiw, Nicholas Worth, Jennifer Ashley, Sondra Currie, Bruno VeSota, Sharon Kelly, Tim Thomerson, Tony Musante, Lina Romay, Pamela Franklin, Kelli Maroney, Jewel Shepard, Starr Andreeff, and Patty Shepard. I've also written bios for such directors as Richard Compton (R.I.P.), my good friend Keith Crocker, William Lustig, Jeff Lieberman, Jeff Burr, Fred Dekker, Kevin S. Tenney, Lewis Teague, Jack Arnold, Lee Frost, Don Edmonds, and Gary Sherman. In a pitiful attempt at displaying range and versatility, I've whipped up bios for longtime favorite singer/songwriters Kim Carnes, Carol Connors, Jackie DeShannon, John Prine, Joe South and Tony Joe White, country singers Dave Dudley and Eddie Rabbitt, blues singer/guitarist T-Model Ford, rock'n'roll guitarists Davie Allan and Link Wray, and crime novelist Charles Willeford. In fact, I have over 1,000 mini-bios posted all over the IMDb and am currently listed as #3 in the IMDb statistics top twenty list of writers on mini-bios. Plus I add pieces of trivia and quotes for folks all over the IMDb (one of the folks I've added several quotes for is none other than Fred Astaire!). Hell, I even add magazine interviews, pictorials and cover photos, too. And TV commercials, too. I'm not a prolific writer; I'm just a guy who writes a lot.
I would love to hear from film fans the world over. I hope you enjoy my writing and comments.
I own more DVDs than I care to list and have seen more movies than I would care to admit to. I average three or fours DVDs a week, so my collection gets bigger and bigger all the time. Before you ask, I store my DVDs in a very large basement. I also store the bodies of stray drifters I pick on the way home from work in my basement as well. Wait a minute; forget that last sentence. I actually eat as much of the bodies as I can (thus saving money on food so I can buy more DVDs) and burn what I can't eat in my incinerator (thus saving money on heating as well). When in Jersey be sure to stop by my house. I'd be glad to have you over for diner. However, you wouldn't be a guest in my house; you would be the main course instead. Cheers!
Searching for one's identity in the past
College graduate Andrew Morrison (a solid performance by Andrew Hulse) discovers that he was adopted after returning home to the deep south. Andrew uncovers more that he bargained for when he decides to find out the truth about his biological parents.
Writer/director Adrian Kays relates the engrossing story at a hypnotically deliberate pace, grounds the sordidly compelling premise in a believable everyday reality, offers a flavorsome evocation of the downhome country region, and makes a pertinent and provocative central point about how sometimes it's better to leave the past in the past. The sturdy acting by the capable no-name cast keeps this movie on track, with especially praiseworthy work from Melanie du Puy as sweet social worker Susan Becker, Jeff Evans as the pesky Detective Lofton, Dan Ewen as fed-up business partner Palmer, Matthew Hoffman as sleazy private eye James Weber, Speedy Arnold as cynical bar owner Stan Parker, and Bill Akin as the hostile Roman Gaines. Lyn Moncrief's stunning cinematography boasts plenty of striking visuals. Walter Werzowa's brooding score further adds to the arresting gloomy mood. An interesting movie.
Nice interview with several inspirational men
Larry King interviews quadriplegic athletes Keith Cavill, Andy Cohn, Scott Hogsett, Bob Lujano, and Mark Zupan, who all compete in a fierce form of rugby known as Murderball. Each guy talks about how he became disabled and candidly open up about the initial difficulty in being handicapped as well as admit that playing murderball has changed their lives for the better by showing quadriplegics as aggressive people instead of pathetic helpless cripples. Moreover, these guys not only talk to some degree about their sex lives, but also point out that they aren't self-pitying whiners and hence have kept their dignity by living independent lives (Zupan notes that getting a driver's license was a huge step in regaining his independence). By far the most touching moment occurs when Zupan's loyal, but guilt-ridden friend Christopher Igoe calls in to bravely discuss the automobile accident he was involved in that resulted in Zupan's spinal injury and reveals that it took him a long time to forgive himself. Available as an extra on the DVD for the terrific documentary "Murderball," it's well worth a watch.
Quadriplegic athletes compete in a fierce form of rugby known as Murderball. Two rival teams from America and Canada respectively go head to head in Athens, Greece for the gold medal in a major championship match.
Directors Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro vividly capture the amazing strength, humor, and humanity of a remarkable bunch of men who include the fearsome and aggressive Mark Zupan, the recently disabled, but determined Keith Cavill, the soulful Bob Lujano, easygoing blonde hunk Andy Cohn, likable Scott Higsett, and bitter Canadian team coach Joe Soares, who becomes a better and more caring father and person after suffering a heart attack. Moreover, Rubin and Shapiro show an obdurate and admirable refusal to sentimentalize their subjects: These tough, scrappy, and resourceful fellows elicit and deserve respect instead of pity for the courage and resilience they show in the face of adversity and offer proof positive that a disability can be effectively surmounted through sheer force of will alone. Better still, this film covers everything from the grueling training sessions to the brutal and harrowing games to the reality of these men's sex lives with refreshing candor and straightforwardness. An extraordinary testament to the triumph of the human spirit.
Shark Night 3D (2011)
Just when you thought it was safe to watch another shark movie
This one could have been a good deal of schlocky fun, but alas the filmmakers decided to take the inane premise of a handful of vacationing young folks being terrorized by sharks in a Louisiana lake resort community seriously instead of treating it in a more tongue-in-cheek manner. Director David B. Ellis maintains a snappy enough pace and offers lots of flashy stylistic flourishes throughout, but crucially fails to generate any essential tension. Worse yet, the heavy-handed script by Will Hayes and Jesse Studenberg not only relates a silly story that becomes more increasingly ludicrous as it unfolds, but also gets bogged down in tiresome melodrama and presents an array of cardboard characters who are impossible for the viewer to care about. The fact that the CGI sharks look hopelessly cartoonish and unconvincing adds further abject insult to already appalling injury. The blaring rock soundtrack proves to be headache-inducing while the PG-13 rating puts the kibosh on any explicit nudity or graphic gore. On the plus side, Donal Logue manages to rise above the muck with his amusing portrayal of a good ol' boy sheriff and the attractive female cast members look pretty smokin' in their bikinis. But overall this clunker sizes up as the cinematic equivalent of a gallon of rotten chum.
An excellent and informative retrospective documentary
Although only a half hour long, this extremely entertaining and illuminating retrospective documentary nonetheless covers a lot of interesting ground on the beloved Universal monster character of the Wolf Man. Film historian Jon-Christopher Horak talks about the underlying Nazi theme in the classic 1941 original that stemmed from the fact that screenwriter Curt Siodmak had to flee Europe in order to avoid possible capture by the Nazis. Composers John W. Morgan and William T. Stromberg discuss the inspired scores that were done for the Wolf Man movies. However, it's acclaimed make-up f/x expert Rick Baker who has the most fascinating stuff to say as he goes into remarkably thorough detail about the intricate make-up techniques Jack Pierce used to bring the Wolf Man to life. Moreover, it's also noted that Siodmak came up with the mythology about the werewolf and devised the story as a Greek tragedy, an earlier version of "The Wolf Man" was planned by director Robert Florey as a potential vehicle for Boris Karloff in the early 1930's, Pierce was eventually fired by Universal by failing to change with the times and was replaced by Bud Westmore, and the four sequels are addressed to a decent degree. John Landis handles his host duties with engaging aplomb. Loaded with choice clips, it's essential viewing for fans of vintage Universal fright film fare.
Pushing Tin (1999)
A nice attempt at something different that almost hits the bull's eye
Cocky hotshot workaholic air traffic controller Nick Falzone (an excellent performance by John Cusack) reigns supreme as the top dog at the airport he works at. However, Nick's heretofore sturdy hold on things gets knocked out of whack with the arrival of laid-back, but virile and imposing new transfer Russell Bell (Billy Bob Thornton in peak rugged form). Pretty soon Nick's personal and professional lives take a downward turn for the worse.
Director Mike Newell astutely captures the fierce high pressure nature of a highly unusual and intense workplace, keeps the enjoyable and engrossing story moving along at a steady pace, and maintains a quirky tone that balances precariously between flaky comedy and thoughtful drama. The offbeat and original script by Glen and Les Charles offers some stinging insights on the intrinsic destructive futility of macho competitive male one-upmanship and the continual struggle for control in one's life, but falters a bit at the end by trying to wrap things up too neatly in a bow.
Fortunately, the uniformly fine acting by the bang-up cast holds this movie together: Cusack and Thornton both do sterling work in their meaty roles, Cate Blanchett delivers a touching turn as Nick's fed-up and neglected wife Connie, and Angelina Jolie brings a scorching vampy allure to her juicy part as Russell's luscious young babe wife Mary, plus there are sound supporting contributions from Jake Weber as easygoing smartaleck Barry Plotkin, Kurt Fuller as the weary Ed Clabes, Vicki Lewis as tough bodybuilding buff Tina Leary, Matt Ross as the high strung Ron Hewitt, and Jerry Grayson as gruff superior Leo Morton. Gale Tattersall's crisp widescreen cinematography provides a pleasing polished look. Anne Dudley's harmonic score does the tuneful trick. Not a complete success, but still worth a watch for those seeking something out of the ordinary.
Private Property (1960)
Excellent 60's psychological thriller
Charismatic creep Duke (a strong and mesmerizing performance by Corey Allen) and his dim-witted virginal partner Boots (ably played by the always terrific Warren Oates in his first substantial film role) are a couple of young thugs on a rampage in California. Duke sets up neglected housewife Ann Carlyle (a fine and touching portrayal by fetching blonde Kate Manx) as a potential conquest for Boots to have his way with.
Writer/director Leslie Stevens relates the gripping story at a quick pace, offers a pungent critique of the stifling and superficial nature of upper middle-class American existence, adroitly crafts a brooding mood rife with pent-up rage and simmering sexual tension, and pulls out the stirring stops at the exciting conclusion. Moreover, the homoerotic relationship between Duke and Boots further enhances the overall edgy and unsettling atmosphere. Robert Wark acquits himself well as Ann's preoccupied career-obsessed husband Roger while Jerome Cowan has a memorable bit as a luckless motorist Duke and Boots terrorize at the start of the movie. Ted D. McCord's sharp black and white cinematography and Pete Rugolo's spirited score are both up to speed. A real sleeper.
Larry Talbot (a solid performance by Lon Chaney Jr.) gets awoken from his eternal slumber after grave robbers desecrate his final resting place. Talbott tries to find Dr. Frankenstein so he can have his werewolf course cured, but accidentally resurrects and unleashes Frankenstein's monster (clumsily played by Bela Lugosi) instead.
Director Roy William Neil keeps the entertaining story moving along at a quick pace, maintains an engaging earnest tone throughout, creates a pleasing spooky atmosphere, and stage the exciting climactic fight with flair. The fine acting by the sturdy cast keeps this movie humming: Patrick Knowles as the compassionate Dr. Mannering, Lionel Atwill as the affable mayor, Ilona Massey as the elegant Baroness Elsa Frankenstein, Maria Ouspenskaya as wise and helpful old gypsy woman Maleva, Dennis Hoey as the hard-nosed Inspector Owen, and Rex Evans as angry troublemaker Vazec. Kudos are also in order for Hans J. Salter's robust score and George Robinson's crisp black and white cinematography. While Chaney once again makes Talbot a sympathetic tormented protagonist, Lugosi alas proves to be a fumbling embarrassment as the monster: The facial make-up doesn't go well with his sharp features and his stocky build and laughable lumbering gait make the creature come across as more awkward than menacing. A fun fright film.
The Wolf Man (1941)
Sturdy 40's horror outing
Happy go lucky Lyle Talbott (a fine and likable performance by Lon Chaney Jr.) returns to his ancestral home in Wales. Things go awry for Larry after he gets bitten by a werewolf and hence becomes doomed to turn into a werewolf himself.
Director George Waggner treats the fantastic premise with commendable sincerity, keeps the enjoyable and engrossing story moving along at a steady pace, and ably crafts a spooky Gothic atmosphere, with especially excellent use of the fog-shrouded forest sets. Curt Siodmark's smart script nicely sets up a coherent and compelling mythology for the wolf man. The fine acting by the capable cast holds this movie together: Claude Rains as Larry's proud and protective father John, Evelyn Ankers as the sweet Gwen Conliffe, Warren William as the practical Dr. Lloyd, Ralph Bellamy as the no-nonsense Colonel Montford, Patrick Knowles as the haughty Frank Andrews, and, in a truly bravura turn, Maria Ouspenskaya as wise old gypsy woman Maleva. Bela Lugosi has a neat cameo as sinister gypsy fortune teller Bela. Most importantly, Chaney's deeply sympathetic portrayal of the tormented protagonist gives this picture a substantial element of wrenching pathos and tragedy. Joseph A. Valentine's handsome black and white cinematography further enhances the overall eerie mood. Worthy of its classic status.
The Getaway (1972)
Crackerjack crime thriller
Pragmatic and resolute career criminal Doc McCoy (the always cool Steve McQueen in fine steely form) gets released from prison only to be forced by corrupt big wig Jack Benyon (a splendidly sleazy portrayal by Ben Johnson) to rob a bank. After the heist goes awry, Doc and his dutiful wife Carol (a solid and affecting performance by the lovely Ali MacGraw) go on the run.
Director Sam Peckinpah, working from a hard-hitting script by Walter Hill, tells the gripping story with remarkably meticulous detail and precision (the fumbled robbery and a harrowing set piece that takes place inside of a garbage truck in particular rate as total pips), vividly evokes a harsh world in which both loyalty and morality are completely up for grabs, generates plenty of nerve-rattling tension, and stages the rousing action set pieces with breathtaking skill. Moreover, the strained romantic relationship between Doc and Carol gives this film a surprising amount of genuinely touching heart. The top-rate supporting cast helps a lot: Al Lettieri as scurvy double-crossing brute Rudy Butler, Sally Struthers as ditsy slut Fran Clinton, Jack Dodson as Fran's meek husband Harold, Bo Hopkins as sleazy hotel owner Laughlin, Richard Bright as a weaselly small-time thief, Bo Hopkins as the easygoing Frank Jackson, and Slim Pickens as a helpful good ol' boy pick-up truck driver. The get-down funky score by Quincy Jones hits the right-on groovy spot. Lucien Ballard's crisp widescreen cinematography offers a wealth of stunning visuals. But it's the impressive way that Peckinpah grounds everything in a sordidly plausible everyday reality that in turn makes this movie quite resonant and powerful. A real corker.