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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!
The Hang Up (1969)
On the money crimesploitation winner
Two-fisted, but disillusioned vice cop Lt. Walsh (ably played to the gruff hard-nosed hilt by Tony Vorno) has his already disorderly life further turned upside down after he decides to help teenage runaway Angel (a sympathetic portrayal by the fetching Sharon Matt) get away from the vile clutches of nefarious pimp Pirano (a nicely slimy performance by Peter Balakoff), who blackmails the rugged flatfoot when Walsh succumbs to the lovely underage lass's charms.
Writer/director John Hayes keeps the absorbing story moving along at a steady pace, does an ace job of crafting a gritty, sordid, and bitterly cynical tone, offers a flavorsome evocation of a fascinatingly seamy criminal underworld rife with corruption and forbidden temptation, and delivers a satisfying serving of sizzling soft-core sex and tasty female nudity. Erik Stern contributes sturdy support as Walsh's no-nonsense partner Richards while buxom brunette Bambi Allen pops up (and out) as nightclub performer Suzette. The uncompromising downbeat ending packs a devastating punch. Paul Hipp's competent cinematography and Mario Toscano's moody lounge score are both up to par. Recommended viewing for fans of grim'n'grimy exploitation fare.
Sweet Trash (1970)
Nice slice of vintage crimesploitation sleaze
Down on his luck alcoholic longshoreman Michael Joseph Donovan (an excellent, engaging, and energetic performance by Duncan McLeod; Porter in "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls") finds himself in deep trouble after he racks up a huge debt to some vicious local mobsters. Donovan decides to go on the run, which only compounds the severity of his already dire situation. While on the lam Donovan has surreal encounters with various lusty ladies and colorful eccentrics from the slummy neighborhood he resides in.
Writer/director John Hayes keeps the sordidly engrossing story moving along at a steady pace, makes fine use of grimy New York City locations, maintains an appropriately gritty and seamy tone throughout, delivers some quality blood squib work in the exciting action-packed last reel, works in a funky futuristic hi-tech computer angle, and provides a satisfyingly sizable serving of tasty bare distaff skin and sizzling soft-core sex. Buxom redhead Mary McGhee contributes a sturdy turn as Donovan's loyal and worried gal pal Helen. The gangsters are a pretty nasty and entertaining bunch of no-count hoodlums, with Ted Roter as slimy mob capo Rizzo and William Guhl as ruthless hit-man Dan rating as the definite stand-outs. Paul Hipp's slick cinematography comes through with several strikingly well lit and shot scenes. Mario Toscano's sprightly Irish jig-flavored score does the tuneful trick. Worth a watch.
American Buffalo (1996)
Talking the talk
Struggling junk store owner Don (superbly played by Dennis Franz) suspects that a customer purchased a rare nickel from him for a minute sum when it was actually worth ten times in value. In order to rectify this wrong, Don plots with weaselly lowlife would-be thief Teach (a bravura performance by Dustin Hoffman) to break into the customer's house so Don can get his coin back.
Michael Corrente's no-frills direction wisely eschews flashy cinematic pyrotechnics in order to place a key emphasis on the well drawn and astutely observed main characters. David Mamet's compact and incisive script, adapted from his play, not only offers a fascinating and provocative dissertation on ethics, friendship, loyalty, and betrayal, but also paints a bleakly compelling portrait of two hopeless small-time losers who are fatally undermined by their own pathetic intrinsic fallibility. Franz and Hoffman act off each other exceptionally well while Sean Nelson more than holds his own as Don's eager young protégé Bobby, who isn't nearly as naive as he seems to be. Richard Crudo's sharp cinematography wrings plenty of claustrophobic tension from the cramped primary location. Kudos are also in order for Thomas Newman's spare bluesy score. Granted, there's virtually nothing in the way of action, but the poetically profane rat-a-tat-tat dialogue and spot-on stinging insights on the cruel manner too much talk can betray people by revealing their shortcomings more than compensates for this.
Den of Dominance (1980)
Acceptable S&M roughie porn outing
A man (pasty zhlub Martin Patton) discovers that a seedy Times Square bar is actually a front for an S&M sex club. Yep, that's about it for the wafer thin premise, but fortunately director Phil Prince keeps the plentiful sex scenes pretty strenuous and arousing. Moreover, the gals are reasonably hot and attractive, with tasty brunette Nicole Bernard rating as the best looking of the bunch. Alas, the S&M action on display proves to be really tame stuff: It consists mostly of verbal abuse, mild manhandling, and slight use of restraints. In addition, scrawny Dan Stephens fails to convince as a foul-mouthed dom. The plain cinematography and ragged editing give the film's seamy atmosphere a certain raw authenticity while the occasional use of a heartbeat on the soundtrack, clumsily dubbed in moaning and groaning, and cheesy monotonous synthesizer music all provide a distinctly tacky early 80's period charm. Nothing special, but at a mercifully brief 37 minutes long it makes for a moderately enjoyable diversion just the same.
Tales from the Darkside: The Moth (1987)
Nifty oddball episode
Dying witch Sybil (a fine and convincing portrayal by Deborah Harry of Blondie fame) persuades her disapproving mother (a lively performance by Jane Manning) to help her reincarnate her spirit in the form of a moth. Director Jeffrey Wolf, working from an offbeat and interesting script by Michael McDowell, relates the intriguing story at a steady pace, does a sound job of crafting a pungent downhome country atmosphere, and manages to pull off a genuinely spooky conclusion that culminates in a dandy twist ending. The battle of wits between these two radically contrasting women provides some strong dramatic fireworks, with Harry and Manning playing off each other well throughout. Steven Ross's sharp cinematography and Chris Stein's moody score are both up to speed. A worthy show.
Floundering in the water with a big deadly fish
Six high school friends take a trip to the remote area of Black Lake to celebrate their last big time together before going their separate ways following graduation. Things go nightmarishly awry after the teens find themselves stranded on a lake in a rowboat with a giant man-eating fish that intends to devour all of them.
While the bleak script by Tony Daniel and Brian D. Smith makes a valid and provocative point about how easily the fragile bonds of friendship and loyalty are shattered when it comes to survival, this potentially powerful theme alas losses its substantial emotional resonance and most of its necessary tension due to the fact that the characters are universally dumb, hateful, and unappealing: One quite simply doesn't care if any of these grating bozos manages to emerge from this harrowing ordeal alive and intact, which in turn makes it impossible to be remotely concerned about their well being throughout. Worse yet, the acting from the young folks is mediocre at best, with only veteran character actor Mark Margolis managing to keep his dignity as crusty old cuss Mr. Parks. Although director Larry Fessenden deserves some praise for using funky old school practical f/x over cheesy CGI, delivers a few nice bits of gore, maintains a pull-no-punches grim tone to the literal bitter end, and even generates a modicum of suspense at times, he unfortunately can't surmount the fundamental problem that these despicable adolescents all basically deserve to be fish food.
The Hunt (2012)
Sturdy and nasty variant on The Most Dangerous Game
Films about humans hunting humans are really nothing new, but fortunately director/co-writer Thomas Szczopanski makes this entry in the genre stand out a bit from the pack thanks to his mean'n'lean grasp of narrative economy (this movie runs a tight 74 minutes long), an appropriately harsh and uncompromising take-no-prisoners tone that stays grimly true to itself to the literal bitter end, several startling moments of savage sadistic violence (the participants in the hunt have their tongues cut out and their bodies are chopped up before being fed to carnivorous pigs), and effective use of the sprawling remote sylvan setting. Moreover, Szczopanski manages to generate a considerable amount of tension when tabloid reporter protagonist Alex (a solid and likable performance by Zuriel De Pouslouan) finds himself in way over his head after he infiltrates a secret society of decadent rich freaks who get their twisted jollies from hunting down their fellow man. Anna Naigeon's crisp widescreen cinematography and Fabio Poujouly's rattling score are both up to par. Worth a watch for fans of this sort of thing.
Wesley Willis (2003)
Unique and illuminating portrait of a truly unusual artist
Refreshingly eschewing the standard talking heads documentary format, director Daniel Britton instead presents several days in the life of the one and only Wesley Willis, who despite suffering from chronic paranoid schizophrenia managed to achieve substantial cult status in the alternative rock music world with his fabulously idiosyncratic songs that were basically crazed atonal rants sent to monotonous Casio synthesizer arrangements. By simply showing Willis as a brash and loud, yet still sweet and vibrant fellow who confronted his demons head on through his art and creativity sans any comment or judgment, one gets a remarkable chance to see the humor, humanity, and above all exceptionally resilience of this extraordinary man. Moreover, it's a hoot to see Willis riding the bus, visiting the zoo, giving his friends head butts, and gong to a Kinko's so he can work on the lyrics of his latest songs. More importantly, there are some poignant insights into Willis's troubled past and various issues with his obesity due to the medication he takes for his schizophrenic condition that his closet friends are genuinely concerned about. Naturally, we also get to see Willis in the recording studio as well as live in concert. Loaded with snippets of Willis's wacky songs, it's recommended viewing for fans of Willis and his offbeat music.
Slippery When Wet (1958)
A bit rough around the edges, bur overall still enjoyable
Five surfers embark on a dream trip to Hawaii, where they ride all kinds of waves and live on the North Shore of Oahu on only a hundred dollars a day. Bruce Brown's first surf documentary not only vividly captures the utterly engaging easy'n'breezy carefree nature of surfing in the pre-competitive innocent days of the 1950's, but also boasts plenty of gorgeous Hawaiian scenery and lots of nifty surfing footage. Moreover, this doc presents an evenly balanced depiction of surfing, with surfers either riding the waves to glory or wiping out something fierce. The succinct 72 minute running ensures that this likable affair never gets dull or overstays its welcome. Bud Shank's jaunty jazz score hits the right-on groovy spot. Brown's vibrant color cinematography looks quite sumptuous through. Although Brown's rather awkward narration does possess a certain endearingly cornball charm, his often forced attempts at humor nonetheless leave quite a bit to be desired. Lightweight fun.
In the joint with Jess Franco
Sweet young Maria de Guerra (a personable portrayal by super cutie Lina Romay) gets sent to a harsh women's penitentiary after she's found guilty of killing her father. While serving her life sentence Maria must deal with an assortment of cruel and depraved ordeals that include everything from electro-shock torture to unhinged and/or predatory fellow inmates to, naturally, brutality and degradation as meted out on a regular basis by the corrupt prison staff.
Notorious Spanish sleazemeister Jess Franco really indulges his passion for leering close-ups of unshaved vaginas and sizzling semi-pornographic explicit female masturbation including a literally hot number with a freshly smoked cigarette (!) while also maintaining a steady pace and an appropriately grim sordid tone that comes complete with a socko surprise bummer ending. The colorful array of choice nasty villains adds tremendously to the overall deliciously trashy entertainment value: Monica Swinn attacks her juicy roll of the wicked warden who wears a monocle and hot pants with lip-smacking relish, Paul Muller snivels it up to the despicable hilt as whiny coward doctor Carlos Costa, and Eric Falk lets it all hang out as jolly sadistic guard Nestor. Buxom blonde dish Martine Stedil brings a winning naive charm to her character of wide-eyed virginal innocent Bertha Contrini. Better still, the fetching female felons are all clad solely in skimpy smocks but don't bother with wearing any underwear. Franco appears as Maria's pervy incestuous pop in a hysterical flashback sequence that's done in hilariously unconvincing faked slow motion. Franco's competent cinematography makes cool frequent use of zippy zoom-ins. The swinging jazz score by Daniel White and Walter Baumgartner hits the right-on groovy spot. A solid scuzzfest.