Tom Stockman

Tom Stockman

Tom Stockman is a St. Louis native who’s been obsessed with movies as long as he can recall. Tom is Creative Editor at We Are Movie Geeks (www.wearemoviegeeks.com), St. Louis’ premiere movie news and review site and also writes about movies for The St. Louis Globe Democrat nostalgia newspaper. Tom is the host and programmer of Super-8 Movie Madness the first Tuesday of every month at The Way Out Club which is, we’re pretty sure, this country’s only monthly festival of movies screened in condensed form in the super-8 sound film format, a long dead medium Tom is desperately trying to bring back to life. Tom hosts the Reel Late Midnight Movie series at the Tivoli where he asks movie trivia and hands out cool movie swag. In 2011 Tom was the Event Director of Vincentennial, the Vincent Price 100th Birthday Celebration, a Cinema St. Louis event featuring film fests, publications, lectures, stage productions, and exhibits all honoring the great horror actor and St. Louis native. For his efforts as the driving force behind Vincentennial, Tom was awarded the coveted Rondo Award for Monster Kid of the Year. But it’s Charles Bronson, not Vincent Price, who is Tom’s all-time favorite movie star and Tom is already in the early planning stages of Bronsontennial for 2021!

” Is this your wife? What a lovely throat!”

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There’s nothing better than silent films accompanied by live music and I’d go as far as saying there’s nothing better than silent films accompanied by the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra. And I’ll go even farther by saying that there’s nothing better than the 1922 silent spooker NOSFERATU accompanied by the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra which is an event that will be taking place Friday night, October 24th at The St. Louis Art Museum  (1 Fine Arts Dr, St Louis, MO 63110 – Forest Park) beginning at 8pm.

The most popular film actor in the world 100 years ago was a St. Louis native. Literally the first “movie star”, King Baggot was the first actor to have his name above the title and his stardom marked the first time that audiences went to see a movie because a certain actor was in that film. Born in St. Louis in 1879 and raised in a house on Union Boulevard, King Baggot attended CBC High School and at one time worked for the St. Louis Browns in ticket sales. Baggot was tall and handsome, a blue-eyed Irish boy with a distinctive white streak through his dark hair and the subject of much adoring fan mail. It’s hard to overestimate just how popular King Baggot was in his prime. He was heralded as “King of the Movies,” “The Most Photographed Man in the World” and “The Man Whose Face Is As Familiar As The Man In The Moon.” After his acting career faded, King Baggot became a successful director for Universal Studios. Most of his films are long lost and despite his one-time fame, he is now somewhat forgotten, even here in his home town. Cinema St. Louis will shine a spotlight on the star with The King Baggot Tribute, a celebration of his career. The event will be held on Friday, November 14th beginning at 7pm and is part of the St. Louis International Film Festival. The venue is Winifred Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University.

“Would you like people to make money off your misery?”

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I can’t believe I’m getting the opportunity to see Ruggero Deodato’s CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST on the big screen again for the third time in 10 years. I have a history with CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. It was made in 1980 but never played theatrically here in St. Louis. Notorious for its realistic and barbaric violence (and also for the on-screen killing of real animals) it was too rough for even Fangoria to cover and I only read about it in some of the fanzines that I subscribed to later in the decade. That’s where I first laid eyes on some mind-blowing images like the one of the woman impaled on a pole — through her vagina and out her mouth! (I’m still not sure how they faked that….if they faked that!).

“Ugh, I smell like a human!”

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PRINCESS MONONOKE plays this weekend (October 5th and 6th) at the Tivoli as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli Midnight series. The midnight show this weekend is sponsored by Star Clipper, (St. Louis’ premier pop culture shop), who will provide trivia and prizes.

“I Guess it wasn’t the dove!”

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Exciting news for movie lovers, gastronomes, and bubble-headed men from Mars! After a brief hiatus, Movies for Foodies, a regular film series put on by Chef Liz Schuster and the other talented chefs at Tenacious Eats, is back in a new location and a fresh slate of films to write menus around. Enjoy a five-course gourmet meal (and five unique cocktails from Eclipse Mixologist Seth Wahlman) while enjoying one of your favorite movies! That’s the Tenacious Eats way! The movie starts at 8pm. The doors open at 5:30 for the pre-show which includes an hour of Super-8 Movie Madness!

"You don't understand anything, man. Leave your *stupid* comments in your pocket!"

THE ROOM plays this weekend (September 26th and 27th) at the Tivoli as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli Midnight series.

There are different types of ‘Bad Movies’. It’s become sport to poke fun at bloated star vehicles such as ISHTAR, GLITTER, or GIGLI but those films are usually miserable experiences to actually sit through. There are films that are intentionally bad such as those from Troma studios (TOXIC AVENGER, POULTRYGEIST) but Troma knows its audience and anyone seeing a Troma film knows what they are getting into. Tommy Wiseau’s THE ROOM belongs with the group of movies that are so bad that they can transform their own awfulness into a “comedy of errors”. Unlike more mundane bad films, these films develop an ardent following of fans who love them because of their poor quality, because normally, the errors (technical or artistic) or wildly contrived plots are unlikely to be seen elsewhere and they become great entertainment in spite of themselves. PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is the most famous film in this category but its director, Ed Wood, made his films while cloaked in an alcoholic haze (and bra) while convinced he was making great art. I’m not sure what Tommy Wiseau’s excuse is.

 

Wisconson-based regional filmmaker Bill Rebane’s no-budget wonder THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION was a hilariously cheesy 1975 throwback to the giant-monster flicks of the 50s, a trend then enjoying a revival with films like EMPIRE OF THE ANTS and FOOD OF THE GODS. This outrageous mix of giant monster motifs and backwoods sleaze plays like a hybrid of TARANTULA and THE BLOB with its mixture of giant spiders and falling meteors.

I saw THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION at the long-shuttered Ellisville Cinema in West St. Louis County (on a double bill with the David Niven vampire comedy OLD DRACULA). I recall the poster in the lobby which featured a gargantuan spider bearing down on a group of terrified people. In the air above the mega-arachnid was three helicopters and lying crumpled at the spider’s legs were burning cars as spotlights filled the sky. One of the terrorized was a busty young blonde wearing only a negligee. I was jazzed, convinced I was about to experience the greatest cinematic thrill ride of my young life. Upon purchasing my ticket, I was handed a cool 4-page full-color comic book adaption of the film (yes, I still have it).

“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age!”

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DAZED AND CONFUSED plays this weekend (September 19th and 20th) at the Tivoli as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli Midnight series.

What’s the matter, Colonel Sandurz? CHICKEN?”

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Exciting news for both movie lovers and gastronomes! After a brief hiatus, Movies for Foodies, a regular film series put on by the talented chefs at Tenacious Eats, is back in a new location and a fresh slate of films to write menus around. Enjoy a five-course gourmet meal (and five unique cocktails from Eclipse Mixologist Seth Wahlman) while enjoying one of your favorite movies! That’s the Tenacious Eats way! The movie starts at 8pm. The doors open at 5:30 for the pre-show which includes live music and an hour of Super-8 Movie Madness!

King Baggot, the first ‘King of the Movies’ died July 11th, 1948 penniless and mostly forgotten at age 68. A St. Louis native, Baggot was at one time Hollywood’s most popular star; known is his heyday as "The Most Photographed Man in the World" and “More Famous Than the Man in the Moon”. Yet even in his hometown, Baggot had faded into obscurity. A look at the films that Baggot appeared in after the silent period ended may help explain how one can go from immense fame and then back to anonymity.