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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, 2 inches, very tall
Weight: 183 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!
Tales from the Darkside: The Swap (1987)
Old and ugly rich guy Bubba (well played with lip-smacking gusto by Charles Ludham) uses voodoo in order to turn the tables on his attractive, but adulterous wife Anna Belle (a pleasingly tart portrayal by the fetching Maria Manuche) and her hunky handyman lover Claude (a solid performance by the handsome James Wlcek) after he finds out that they are planning to kill him for his money. Director John Drury, working from a tangy script by Richard Benner, relates the enjoyable story at a snappy pace and does a sturdy job of evoking a flavorsome downhome Southern atmosphere. The fairly edgy subject matter provides an extra racy kick while the ending serves up a highly satisfying piece of poetic justice on the two-timing Anna Belle. All three leads do sound and commendable work in their roles, with deliciously oily support from Timothy Jenkins as the smarmy Judge Jean Baptiste. A fun show.
Her Last Fling (1976)
70's porn that certainly delivers on the promise of its premise
Lovely, but uptight young lass Sandy (woodenly played by slim and fetching blonde Sandy Pinney) sheds her inhibitions and happily participates in orgies in both San Francisco and Las Vegas after her doctor informs her that she only has a few weeks left to live. Director Carlos Tabolina and writer Edgard Warren don't bother with exploring the more touching and tragic aspects of the poignant story; instead they just get right down to steamy basics with wall to wall group copulation set pieces involving a bunch of attractive folks that include such familiar Golden Age porn faces (and bodies) as Desiree West, the super foxy and sexy Carol Tong, Paul Thomas, Candida Royalle, Annette Haven, and even the legendary John Holmes and his monstrously massive mutant moose member. While the plot is slight and Pinney's stiff acting leaves something to be desired (fortunately she still looks mighty tantalizing sans clothes), this hardcore outing nonetheless proves to be quite enjoyable because of its tight 74 minute running time, a fun eclectic soundtrack that incorporates everything from sweeping orchestral mush to groovy-grinding funk, handsome soft-focus cinematography by Fernando Fortes, and a refreshing lack of pretense.
Sugar Cookies (1973)
A smart and subversive sleeper that's anything but your standard 70's skin flick
Adult film actress Alta (lovely Lynn Lowry) gets killed by sleazy sex movie producer Max Pavell (well played to the slimy hilt by George Shannon) while participating in a deadly psychological head game with the scuzzball. Alta's casting agent lesbian lover Camilla (a superbly chilly and calculating portrayal by Mary Woronov) befriends sweet and naive innocent Julie (also Lowry), an aspiring actress who's a dead ringer for the deceased Alta. Camilla cunningly plots to use Julie as a means to exact revenge on Max.
Director Theodore Gershuny, who also co-wrote the daring and crafty script with Loyd Kaufman, boldly explores the dark and disturbing themes of deception, manipulation, and the dangerous power games arrogant and amoral adults play with each other simply because they can. Better still, Gershuny takes fine advantage of the New York City locations, neatly captures the lethally seductive seaminess of the 70's Big Apple porn underground milieu, and further tarts things up with a sly sense of spot-on stinging humor that pokes wickedly witty fun at pretentious smut peddlers with high-falutin' delusions of artistic grandeur (the audition sequence in which Camilla interviews a gaggle of pathetic no-talent wannabes in particular is a total riot). The ace acting from a bang-up cast helps a lot: Lowry really flexes her thespic muscles in a juicy dual role, Monique van Vooren vamps it up with venomous gusto as Max's bitchy ex-wife Helene, Ondine contributes a funny turn as catty homosexual Roderick, Daniel Sadur supplies amusing comic relief as tubby cross-dressing loser Gus, and Golden Age adult cinema favorite Jennifer Welles has a nice minor part as Max's kinky secretary. Hasse Wallin's pretty cinematography provides a sumptuous lush look. Kudos are also in order for Gershon Kingsley's eclectic, yet melodic score and the inspired use of the 60's girl group classic "Sally Go 'Round the Roses." As a tasty extra plus, both Lowry and Woronov bare their beautiful bodies with pleasing frequency. A superior soft-core erotic thriller.
La comtesse perverse (1974)
Jess Franco's racy variant on The Most Dangerous Game
Countess Ivanna Zaroff (ably played with lip-smacking evil and predatory aplomb by ravishing redhead Alice Arno) and her husband Count Rabor Zaroff (Franco regular Howard Vernon in wonderfully suave and wicked form) are a couple of decadent wealthy aristocrats who hunt folks for sport on their remote island paradise. The meat of their victims is cooked and fed to unsuspecting guests who in turn are forced to participate in this most warped and dangerous game.
Writer/director Jess Franco relates the engrossingly twisted story at his usual trademark hypnotically deliberate pace, makes excellent use of the breathtaking scenic locations, does an ace job of crafting a strong dark atmosphere of stark amorality, offers a nice sense of casual sadism and debauchery, and concludes the grim plot on a perfectly nasty and downbeat note. Naturally, Franco also delivers oodles of tasty bare distaff skin and several steamy semi-pornographic sex scenes. The sound acting by a sturdy cast holds the picture together: Robert Woods as reluctant flunky Bob, Tania Busselier as Bob's sympathetic wife Moira, the ever-luscious Lina Romay as naive and sweet innocent Silvia, and Kali Hansa as the frightened Kali. Gerard Brisseau's sharp cinematography provides a lovely picturesque look. The funky-throbbing score by Oliver Bernard and Jean-Bernard Raiteux hits the groovy-grinding spot. One of Franco's better movies.
Night Train to Terror (1985)
A gloriously ghastly mess
This is what you get when three unrelated movies are crudely patched together to form an outrageously tacky'n'trashy horror anthology with one wonderfully awful and idiotic wrap-around section based aboard a speeding train populated by singing and dancing young folks bouncing all over the place while God (smoothly played by Ferdy Mayne sporting a snowy white beard and hair) and Satan (a nicely oily portrayal by Tony Giorgio) debate about the fates of three souls in an adjacent compartment. The messy individual stories deal with a sinister clinic that traffics in human body parts, a young man who falls for a lovely lass who's involved with a creepy death-obsessed club that participates in inventive variants on Russian roulette, and a female doctor and a feisty Jewish holocaust survivor (a jittery Marc Lawrence) who are both terrorized by the son of the Devil. Man, does this uproariously atrocious abomination cover all the essential pleasingly lousy'n'lurid Grade Z cinema bases: Tacky (far from) special effects (the cruddy stop-motion claymation monsters in the last vignette in particular are a sidesplitting sight to behold), wonky continuity, faded names Cameron Mitchell and John Phillip Law desperately trolling for a paycheck, plentiful tasty gratuitous distaff nudity, a seriously loopy and nonsensical script by Philip Yordan, more spastic break dancing than a dozen 1980's rap music videos, cheesy gore, a hapless narrator working serious overtime to give the disjointed tales a slight semblance of coherence, some clumsily staged martial arts, and an insidiously catchy'n'gnarly theme song that once heard is downright impossible to forget. As an added plus, Richard Moll appears in two segments with a full head of hair. A hilariously horrendous hoot and a half!
Neat and informative documentary
This 36-minute documentary offers a nice overview on the troubled production of the cult slasher item "Curtains." Among the people interviewed are actresses Lesleh Donaldson and Lynne Griffin, director Richard Ciupka, editor Michael MacLaverty, make-up artist Greg Cannom, and composer Paul Zaza. Ciupka talks about how he was approached by producer Peter Simpson to helm the film and how Simpson ultimately was dissatisfied with Ciupka's "artsy" approach to making the picture. Griffin reveals that she relished playing a survivor for once -- she's usually cast in victim parts -- and that she wrote her own stand-up comedy routine which she performed in front of a live audience at the club Yuk Yuk's. Donaldson trained for her skating routine, but still wound up falling down on the bumpy ice on the pond and cut her chin (a double was used for the long shots of Donaldson skating). We also find out that actress Celine Lomez was fired early in the production, the original cut was only half a movie, all about the reshoots that Simpson demanded to salvage the film, Michael Wincott's character initially had a totally different death scene, the original ending with Griffin doing a monologue on stage with the corpses of her victims, and how everybody involved with this picture are amazed that it went on to achieve cult classic status (Zaza confesses that he was hoping that he would get fired from the movie!). Worth a watch for fans of the film.
Carnal Haven (1975)
Nice upbeat 70's porn
Several couples from different walks of life are having trouble with their sex lives. All of these couples seek treatment from two therapists at a special sex clinic. Well, that's about it for the admittedly skimpy plot, but fortunately writer/director Carlos Tobalina maintains a steady pace and an engaging earnest tone throughout. Moreover, Tobalina presents the various couples' sexual issues with admirable candor while sex itself is handled with a winning positive attitude as a healthy, natural, and above all essential part of life. The group therapy sessions are quite sensuous and arousing. Moreover, this movie further benefits from a bevy of beautiful women: Luscious Lesllie Bovee, stunning slender fox Bonnie Holiday, lovely Desiree West, yummy Candida Royalle, and tantalizing Sharon Thorpe. The always delectable Annette Haven alas has a regrettably minor role; luckily her steamy lesbian threesome with Sharpe and Bovee rates as a definite scorching highlight. Tobalina's bright cinematography provides an attractive sunny look. Carl Esser's groovy jazz score projects a pleasing mellow vibe. Worthwhile viewing for fans of Golden Age adult fare.
Restless young apprentice Rob (an excellent and engaging performance by Robert Romanus of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" fame) works for feisty old shoemaker Anthony (ably played with delightful zest by Albert Hague). Rob discovers that the shoes Anthony makes have the magical ability to make whoever wears them live the lives of their owners.
Director Armand Mastroianni keeps the nifty fantasy premise moving along at a steady clip and maintains an amiable whimsical tone throughout. The smart and thoughtful script by Ellen Sandhaus makes valid points about the virtue of hard work, the potential dangers of wanting too much out of life, and how one should earn whatever success they achieve in life. Hague and Romanus do fine work in the leads, with sturdy support from Talia Balsam as Rob's sweet fiancé Gail and Leslie Chain as famous, yet humble actress Laura Grant. The grim surprise ending packs a startling punch. A worthwhile show.
The Dark Side to Love (1984)
An odd and interesting obscurity
Straight-laced pre-med student Glen Marshall (a solid and likable performance by Rick Barnes) gets in way over his head after he meets and falls for the kooky and uninhibited Greta (a delightfully brash and beguiling portrayal by fetching brunette Merideth Haze), a porn actress who also plays piano at a seedy nightclub. Glen finds himself drawn into a dangerous netherworld involving blue movies, multiple personalities, and a strange group of rich jaded folks who regularly engage in inventive variants on Russian roulette for sick kicks.
Director John Carr relates the compellingly bizarre story at a steady pace, presents a fascinating exploration of a freaky and seamy subculture, and tops everything off with amusing bits of quirky humor (the running gag about the voyeuristic elderly couple is a total hoot!). Philip Yordan's offbeat and original script makes a poignant point on the great lengths and risks one is willing to make to save someone that you love. This movie further benefits from a neat array of colorful idiosyncratic characters: J. Martin Sellers as decadent millionaire George Youngmeyer, Toni Covington as the wicked Contessa Pacelli, William Charles as the suavely sinister Federico Libuse, and Norm Keefer as fey homosexual Mary Contrary. Moreover, this picture's very strangeness gives it a singularly haunting and hypnotic quality. The sharp cinematography and Jaime Mendoza-Nava's melodic score are both up to snuff. Worth a watch for fans of outré fringe cinema fare.
Outstanding documentary on a uniquely Italian genre
This remarkably entertaining and illuminating documentary on the explosion of Italian cop and mobster movies that proliferated throughout the 1970's manages to cover a lot of ground in a highly dynamic and engrossing way. Among the people interviewed are actors John Saxon, Franco Nero, Fred Williamson, Chris Mitchum, an especially vibrant and funny Henry Silva, Richard Harrison, Michael Forrest (who carved a nice niche for himself as an American dubber working in Italy), Antonio Sabato, Luc Merenda, Leonard Mann, and Joe Dallesandro, directors Claudio Caiano and Enzo Castellari, writer Claudio Fragasso, actress Nicoletta Machiavelli, and stuntman Ottaviano Dell'Acqua.
Writer/director Mike Malloy scrupulously addresses an assortment of relevant and interesting topics that include the origins of the genre, how crime was rampant in Italy at the time these pictures were being produced in mass volume (the terrorist group the Red Brigade was all over the news while Naples was a veritable hotbed of organized criminal activity), staple genre ingredients like outrageous and often dangerous stunts, over-the-top action set pieces, extreme violence, and the frequently misogynistic treatment of women (Malloy warrants extra praise for not idly glossing over this rather distasteful aspect of these films), the spotty distribution and harsh critical reception of these movies in the United States, the difficulty American actors had in adjusting to these movies being made without direct sound, the recent revival of this genre in the last few years, and even an amusing segment on the blatant inclusion of J&B Whiskey as product placement in these films. Better still, Malloy primarily interviews folks who were actual active participants in the genre; there thankfully isn't a single gushy fanboy geek to be found in the entire documentary. In addition, Malloy's artful use of such invigorating cinematic techniques as split screen, cool stylized animation, and snappily edited montages transcends the usual flat talking head format that tends to bog these type of retrospective features down. Jam-packed with oodles of choice clips and further galvanized by a funky-throbbing score, this one rates as absolutely essential viewing for fans of this rough'n'ready genre.