Thursday, 3 January 2019

RIP Mean Gene Okerlund

It was just the other night that I was watching a DVD of Survivor Series, in this DVD Hulk Hogan lost the belt to the UnderTaker. Awile after this Mean Gene Okerlund went down in to the catacombs to interview thr new Champion the UnderTaker. Throught the whole DVD I was pretty much sat going to my daughter oh this is The Mountie, this is the Beserker and going on to give her mini histories of each individual including things such as how long there careers went on, what there highlights were. Then like the very next day I was reading through stuff on the internet and I was very sad to learn that good old  'Mean' Gene Okerlund had passed away.

WWE posted the news of Okerlund's death on their official website but no cause of death has been given as yet, Mean Gene was 76. The man had a career within the wrestling industry which spanned over five decades, I dont think I would be wrong in saying that within the wrestling industry Mean Gene was one of the finest ever interviewers and presenters. Yes the wrestlers have always done a great job in providing entertainment but people like Mene Gene were always there to add a layer of polish and professionalism to procedings, if it wasnt for Mene Gene then the WWF/WWE would not have been as enjoyable as it was for kids like me, if it hadnt been for the work of those around the ring in none wrestling roles such as Mene Gene, Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby the Brain and various others then we all proberbly would have been a lot quicker to realise that what we were essentially watching was a bunch of oily men performing pantomime slap fighting. Mean Gene made not only mine but so many other peoples childhoods just that little bit more magical.

Mean Gene was Born Eugene Arthur Okerlund on the 19th of December in 1942 in Sisseton, South Dakota. Originally he started out as a radio broadcast journalist before becoming an interviewer forthe AWA (American Wrestling Association). When Vince McMahon began purchsaing the territories in the mid-'80s, he ended up being Okerlunds new employer. As an announcer Mean Gene  would turn out to be one of McMahon's most valuable employees. Mean Gene would stay with the WWF for nine years as their top interviewer, and was also the host of various WWF shows. In a world full of cartoon wrestlers Okerlund was the perfect touch of class brought to procedings, and his presence would be much appreciated on shows such as Prime Time Wrestling and he would appear in some capacity at pretty much every major PPV, he even sang the national anthem at the first WrestleMania. Stupidly WCW failed to offer Okerlund a new contract and so he was snapped up by the WCW in 1993, something which I think really helped lend the WCW as a company a real sense of legitimacy.

Okerlund would return to WWE at WrestleMania X-Seven for the 'Gimmick Battle Royal' following the WWE's purchase of WCW, he was given a contract from there on and would sparodically appear, in 2006, he was very rightly inducted into the WWE's Hall of Fame.

Rest in Peace Mr Okerlund you will be very much missed

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

My Review of The Evil Dead and how I first experianced it

So yesterday I posted a link to my YouTube video on the film White Zombie, so I am back today talking once again about Zombies but a diffrent kind of Zombie and a diffrent kind of film. Anyways back when I was a kid in the United Kingdom there were quiet a few films that were banned. These were called the Video nasties and were films which were criticised for their violent content by the press, social commentators and various religious organisations.

Following a moral campaign led by Mary Whitehouse and the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association films began to be prosecuted under the Obscene Publications Act of 1959. A list of 72 films was released films that the police would cease from video rental shops and which it would essentially be illegal to sell or rent. The Evil Dead didnt stay on the list long but when it was released it had content cut out of it, infact you couldnt get the whole film complete free of cuts until the year 2000. The DPP72 is something I have talked about many times before in the past on both this blog and on my previous blog before the site which hosted it closed down, I guess this is because censorship is something that I have always been quiet passionate about but it wasnt until now that I decided that I wanted to make a YouTube Video on one of the DPP72 films. The reason I wanted to make a video about The Evil Dead is because I felt like I had something slightly novel to say about the film and about my experiance originally watching it, you know that with the internet and YouTube there are so many users that pretty much every single film, song and book in existance must have been talked about a million diffrent times, by a whole bunch of diffrent people and because of this sometimes you feel like why should I talk about it? What do I have to offer on the subject that no one else does, and this is why I often feel happier talking about what a game or film means to me, about how I came upon it and how it affected my life instead of just reviewing it because after all anyone can review an item but not everyone will have experianced it in the same way.

Ok so if you have watched my YouTube video then you will have noticed that the footage I am talking over in it is all over the place, for a start the picture is of an incredably low quality but beyond that it jumps from color to black and white, the picture suddenly brakes into moments of static , there are foreign sub titles on the screen at points, well there is a reason for this and that is because the first time I saw the Evil Dead it was on a VHS cassette which had all of these issues a poor quality picture , foreign subtitles the whole shebang so I figured that I would mess with this footage to try and recreate for you the sort of feeling I had while originally wathing this film. Sure it wont be exactly what I watched as a youngster but I have tried to recreate the experiance at least in a short form to try and give people an idea of what watching this film back in that point of time would have been like for me.

The film was brought to my house one night by a childhood friend of mine who had borrowed it from his Sister.. It was a pirate VHS tape with the name of the film written on it in pen and it felt sort of both special and naughty to be wathing it , hey I was only like 14 at the time and the shoddy quality gave the film a sort of even more scary vibe it felt like this little bit of ghoulish horror which had been dug up from somewere and passed from hand to hand, it was scratchy and rough around the edges and somehow this actually added to the whole experience. You would think all of the issues put me off but no actually they kind of drew me into the film and made watching it feel like an event.

At the time I appreciated the film on one level but on watching it again and again I have noticed more things about it for one I think the film is full of fantastic camera work, the evil in the film is given this amazing sense of presence via the movement of the camera. I could talk about this film all day but I would rather people watch my Video after all I put a lot of work into it, so consider this me saying pretty please.... Oh and by the way have a happy New Year.