Let’s be honest. Science by itself is mostly useless. It takes someone with a plan to make science into technology and then it takes people to embrace the technology. Being embraced by the right people often overcomes superior product development. Betamax was better in every way than VHS but the porn industry, and therefore porn customers, liked VHS. Exit Betamax.
Likewise, while I totally heart science, I recognize that the practical application of it is much more important than the research. Silicon was discovered by Jöns Jacob Berzelius in 1824, for example, but it wasn’t until some of its atoms got polymerized and made into silicone breast implants that anyone in science cared much about it. Oh yeah, and I guess that computer nonsense has something to do with silicon too.
Scientists respect anyone who can take science and make cool things out of it but, at the top of the application pyramid, are old school movie industry special effects guys.
We respect them because it’s easier to do things today. I know it takes a lot of practice and effort and time to make effects digitally but it takes a special kind of magic to wave a microphone in front of a speaker and know that will be the sound that makes a whole generation of kids fight light saber battles.
While still living in Pittsburgh, I happened one time to be sitting next to Tom Savini at a charity event. Tom is something of a legend in the horror movie business, working first with George Romero ( Dawn of the Dead ) and then on movies like Friday the 13th. We watched as they auctioned off a bit part in a low-budget horror movie. The winning bidder was going to be the pizza guy ( or whatever ) that gets attacked by buxom vampire/zombie/werewolf/alien/whatever girls and basically ripped to gratuitous shreds.
Tom was there because he was going to do the special effects for the poor schlub who won the auction. I was there because of the buxom vampire/zombie/werewolf/alien/whatever girl who was also going to be in the movie.
We watched the bidding and Tom leaned over to me and said, “Cash, I don’t think they understand how this is supposed to work. Don’t they know you’re supposed to get money to be in movies?”
I’ve never actually seen a Tom Savini movie but he didn’t care because he was happy I wasn’t a fanboy and I wanted to talk to him about science.
How to shoot someone in the face, movie style:
Here, paraphrased from memory, is what Savini told me while we ridiculed people on stage.
- 1 gullible actor
- 1 metal plate
- 1 squib
- 1 9V battery
- 1 pistol without real ammo(!)
- enough latex foam to cover the actor’s forehead
(1) Take a condom( “practice safe FX!”), fill it with colored corn syrup.
(2) Tape it over the squib, whose wiring is going to run somewhere out of sight to a switch and the 9V battery.
(3) Cover it with the latex.
(4) Fire the blank-loaded pistol to create the noise while you close the circuit.
(5) Hilarity ensues.
There wouldn’t be an article without a girl. The girl, in this case, was Glori-Anne Gilbert. Glori-Anne is a b-movie scream queen though, more importantly, she was a body model for cool art. Based on my experiences, you will now know everything you need to know about these magical, mysterious creatures.
If you don’t know what a b-movie is, you can watch a clip, if the title Vamps 2: Blood Sisters doesn’t tell you what you need to know.
There are a couple of things you should know before your date with a scream queen. The first is, of course, do not open The Book Of The Dead if you are with her in the basement of a remote mountain cabin but less well known, yet still important, is you’d better have a secure manhood.
You see, unlike recognizable actresses who have seen the downside of fame, B-movie scream queens aren’t famous yet but they are desperate to be so. They became actresses because they want attention.
So here is the only thing you need to know – scream queens, by their nature, scream for attention as much as anything else. You need to be pretty self-confident because men will talk to her, sometimes like you aren’t even there. It doesn’t matter how big you are or how tough you are. It’s going to happen mostly because she looks at all of them hoping they recognize her. If you can’t deal with that, the screaming will be at you.
Could things have ever worked out with me and Glori-Anne? No, I think not. There’s only room for one attention whore in my relationships – and it’s me.