Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I Left

I’ve received some messages as of late that have opened up old wounds. The number of questions posed to me were many. Why did I disappear? Why would I let one bad review take me from the career that I loved?

As much muck as the tabloids tend to rake, I’m surprised the details of this incident never reached the newsstand. The night in question, a Friday, October 13, 1972, there was a special screening of one of my classic films at the Palace Theater. Helen Dean, a pretty young actress 15 years my junior, was one of my co-stars in my more recent films. Helen was just getting her career started, and the press was all over her that night. This was my starring role. Not hers. I was furious, at the time, about them making such a personal affront to me.

My reaction should come as no surprise, given my mood that night, when one of the press had the sheer audacity to, in the middle of the film, bring up the contents of a recent movie review to me. The critic had taken issue with, what he felt was, my being miscast as far too old to play a part. The level of disrespect shown to the screening, and to me, was simply too much for me to bear. That would be the last time I appeared publicly, and my last association with my home, Silver Crypt Studios.

The answer to why I let it affect me as it did is simple, there was a stinging truth to it all. They said I looked too old, and I was. I was past my prime. Once your vitality starts to dwindle, it fades quickly. Just imagine every imperfection of yourself magnified several times over on the silver screen, as mine were. It’s not an attractive prospect, is it?

While I may have taken a bit of time here to wallow in the past, I will not allow the shadows of history to obscure my efforts. There is no doubt that I will find a new road to take. Already, my online fans have brought new and fascinating avenues for me to explore. Throughout my life, I've become accustomed to getting what I want. This will be no exception.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Path Ahead

I am not entirely sure why I have neglected this space for so long. My research has been consuming, and perhaps I have found more solace and connection to pen and paper than to the cold white light of my computer screen. Nevertheless, I now have a presence on Twitter, and I am finding some new connections with fans of modern horror who have never heard of me or of my films.

These connections are a small but present motivation to continue my work. Much of the research that I have pursued has come slowly, but inexorably, to a close. The raging streams that I had once eagerly followed are dry now, and I am at a loss as to which path to follow next. Perhaps it will come to me as I scour my books and, increasingly, the internet. However the scant few answers that I have found seem to be too far in the future, and nothing from history has served me.

I have discovered in the past that these times are precisely when you must continue to forge ahead, with great strength and resolve of purpose. Tonight I will revisit, methodically, the path that brought me to where I stand today. Perhaps there was a clarity of purpose in these early years that will shed some light, now that I look at it with the filter of experience.