LET'S KILL CANCER (HORROR CHARITY) AUCTION : all monies donated go to Charity

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My interview with Rue-Morgue Writer/contributor (John Bowen)

 Let's chat with the king of cheese cinema shall we :)    Mr. John Bowen.  

Chris:John, Please tell my readers where you are from?

John: I was born in Dallas but raised in Kingston, Ontario, a mid-sized town about halfway between Toronto and Montreal. I moved to Toronto in 1990 but for the past few years I've been dividing my time between there and Kingston.

Chris: Who inspired you to become a writer?

John: I can't think of any specific writer who set me on this course, even though there are plenty I like. If I were to credit anyone, it would probably be several psychologists and therapists who helped me through a learning disability I had as a kid. Without them, I probably wouldn't be doing this at all.

Chris: How did you get the job at the prestigious Rue Morgue Magazine?

John: The mag had been in existence for about a year and a half when I first picked up a copy and noticed it was based in Toronto. I basically just cold-called Rodrigo Gudino, who was running it with just a few other people back then. He asked me to send in a sample review, so I did one on Phantasm: OblIVion which was still relatively new at the time. He liked it and I went to meet with him and we hit it off immediately. Among other things, we discovered that my favourite AC/DC song - What's Next to the Moon - was also his, so maybe that's what clinched it. Anyway, that was spring of 1999 and I've been in every issue since.

Chris: You took over the column Chris Alexander used to do, how did it feel filling his shoes?

John: That all happened so suddenly that I really didn't have time to think about it in those terms until after it was underway. He was certainly very popular with readers, but the initial response to my column was generally positive, so I wouldn't say I was intimidated by the prospect. What really amazed me was the number of people who thought it was the result of a serious rivalry between us, because of all the swipes we used to take at each other in print. The truth is, we did that strictly for fun and the editors urged us not only to keep it up but actually get steadily more vicious, which is why it went from arguments over Jess Franco to speculations about penis size. Truth is, we were friends and also fans of each other's work. Still are, I guess, although I haven't seen him in ages.

Chris: You aim to review not only obscure films but sometimes out right terrible ones, is cheese cinema in your blood?

John: Horror cinema in general is in my blood, which is why I love indisputable classics like The Exorcist, slightly flawed gems like Phantasm, well-executed trash like Humanoids From the Deep and really entertainingly bad stuff like Invasion of the Blood Farmers. Of course, it's generally that last category that winds up in my column a lot of the time, because so many cheesy anti-classics are still largely undiscovered. But mainly I'm just interested in covering things I think are overlooked, no matter what the reason is.

Chris:What was the worst film your eyes ever barred witness to?

John: I guess that's down to what you mean by "worst." There's a slasher film called Axe 'Em that Last Chance Lance reviewed in his column a few years ago which manages to fall into the netherworld between entertainingly bad and downright unwatchable because it's so fucking incompetent. The Swarm is still probably the most entertainingly awful big-budget film I've ever seen - definitely one of a kind.

Chris:On your Facebook profile it states you're a musician care to elaborate A little?

John: I've been playing guitar in bands quite a bit longer than I've been writing, which is why I'm so stinkin' rich. For the last 19 years I've been with the Pariahs, Toronto's loudest, dumbest band. Three full-length albums and an EP. We mainly just play locally and occasionally elsewhere in southern Ontario, although we've also toured the UK a couple of times. Over the years we've gigged with the Ramones, the Deftones (a few years before anyone heard of them), Therapy?, the Headstones, the Guess Who and loads more.

Chris:What are your thoughts on the current 3D craze?

John: It has it's place but only when done properly. It's already on its way out, and I'll be glad when it's over.

Chris: Does John Bowen survive the zombie Apocalypse?

John: HAH! Only if I have the good fortune to pass out in a safe place. Otherwise I probably wouldn't even wake up until I was half eaten.

Chris: Do you have any plugs you'd like to make?

John: Independent video stores everywhere - God bless 'em.

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