HMAD is dead, long live HMAD!

APRIL 1, 2013

GENRE: ADIOS!
SOURCE: ME!!!

I tried to refrain from putting too many "final thoughts" type things in the Return to Horror High post, because I'm still convinced some folks just like the IDEA of the site and verify that there's a review each day before moving on with their web browsing, so I knew I had to make a "goodbye" post to avoid any "Hey, why hasn't the site been updated all week?" type comments, but also not repeat myself too much. Because, of the many reasons I'm wrapping it up, one is that I really, REALLY hate repeating myself. I don't know if it's a disorder or if I'm merely an impatient asshole, but I get frustrated when I have to repeat an order at the drive-thru - so writing the same things about the same bad killer scarecrow or found footage movies is certainly not appealing to me.

And after 2500 movies (well, 2500 reviews - there were actually more since a few of them are "And all the rest" posts from festivals), I've pretty much run out of things to say about movies that I don't have much to say about in the first place. If you know your HMAD history, there was no site when it began - it was just something I was doing on my own, watching a horror movie every day sort of as an experiment - writing an accompanying review each day came later. If someone were to tell me in 2007 that not only would the site run daily for over 6 years but that I would write 2500 reviews about those films, I'd have thought they were nuts. I'd also ask if Mandy Lane was ever coming out, since they knew the future (and yes! It finally is later this year! One of the earliest movies I reviewed, via screener!).

Because, and this will come as the polar opposite of a shock to most of you - I'm not a writer. I've taken precisely one writing course in my life, and that was for screenplays (as part of my overall film track, where I was focused on editing), hence why I've probably broken every grammatical rule in the book and made up some new ones to boot. I read the news articles some pals of mine can turn out 3-4 times a day (Evan Saathoff, aka Sam Strange, can make even the least interesting casting announcement into a must-read post) and marvel at their ability to keep everything fresh (and hilarious), and frankly I just don't have that in me. And the movies themselves are no help, to be fair to, well, me - how many things CAN one say about 7 or 8 "different" found footage movies about some jerks investigating a hospital for their ghost hunting show? So add that to the other reasons, and you can see why I'd feel it was time to move on.

But also there's a personal life excuse. When I first started the site, I was able to do so because my work day was pretty relaxing; we spend a lot of time waiting on others and thus have to find something to do with our time (when I applied for the job, my now-boss told me "I hope you have a lot of DVDs and books!"). So I could do the writing and watch any bonus features (and sometimes the movies themselves) at my desk, keep up with my work, and still have free time to boot - I used to watch Colbert/Daily Show every day too. And then when I was home I could do whatever the hell I wanted - I played through major games like Mass Effect and GTA4 back in 2007/08, and kept up with the shows I watched. However, over the years we've had some layoffs, and while I've been safe (cross fingers), I've absorbed some/most of the duties of three people, with the last one being in January of 2012 - not too coincidentally announcing the end of the site shortly thereafter. With each one came less free time at work, which meant more and more of the site was being done at home, cutting into my relaxation time and making me fall behind on everything else. I look back and wonder how it was possible I even STARTED a game like Skyrim, let alone made some decent headway into it, when now even a game ridiculed for being too short like Walking Dead: Survival Instinct took me over a week to finish, and I only did so out of necessity since I was sent it for review (in fact, the last game I finished just for my own fun was Lego Harry Potter, and that took me almost a year). And my DVR is constantly hovering in the 80-90% full range, which is a bummer for a spoilerphobe like me.

Now I know that's all First World Problems to the extreme, but the point is - there's other stuff I want to do with my life, and frankly it's just gotten to the point where I have to choose between watching/reviewing horror movies every day, or using the knowledge (and infamy!) I've gained from doing it to try other things (or option C, win the lottery and retire from a day job. That one's pending). Folks always ask about a book - now that's a possibility (two of them in fact!). I'm also going to expand the sort of thing I do for BadassDigest, because I truly (no bias) think it's one of the best sites on the web, populated with several incredible writers, and I want to earn my place among them with more than just new reviews of stuff I've watched and written about here. And I'm either going to finish Skyrim or die trying, goddammit!

However, I get the sense from tweets and comments that folks think the site is actually going away, and I want to assure you that it's not the case. Not only will it still be up for as long as Blogspot is, but I'll still be updating as well! Badass has Devin, Evan, Meredith, and Jordan to review new movies, so when I see a major horror film (like... Evil Dead, just a few days from now?) I'll "come home" to review it, and since I've gotten on the mailing lists for a few distributors I'll still be getting new DVDs all the time. And it's not like I'm going to stop watching horror cold turkey - if I see something I dig and have something to say about, then HMAD will provide a fresh new review for you. So the site isn't dying or stopping; it's just being scaled down, rendering its name a bit misleading. It's now (in spirit, I ain't actually changing shit) Horror Movie Some Days, essentially. SO RELAX, TWITTER FOLK. :)

But obviously it won't be the same, and I admit I actually got a bit choked up and jittery writing my final "HMAD Today is..." tweet (especially since Twitter was so instrumental in not only expanding the site's readership, but also cutting down the people asking me if I was really watching one every day). And the outpouring of support has been amazing; endless tweets and Facebook wall posts from folks sad to see it go, THIS hilarious video from my friend Mike Breiburg... hell I even got to appear on Dan Harmon's (!) Harmontown podcast talking about it! However the big event was last night; my long-suffering wife conspired with Elric from the Jumpcut Cafe and my buddy Mike Williamson to gather a ton of friends for a surprise "wake" for the site, complete with custom shirts (designed by my besties JiB Sapienza and Jeff O'Brien), a delicious cake, a blanket made out of horror shirts (thanks to Tammy Sutton, Jace Anderson, and Amy Lavigne) and a tribute video shot/edited by Jason Miller. I was truly stunned; even after walking in and seeing like 50 of my friends I still had no idea what the hell was going on, as I didn't think "retiring" was a big deal to anyone but me.

So sincerely, from friends I know in the flesh to ones I only get to interact with online; to HMAD's first ever commenter (Chris) and to the always surprising and seemingly schizophrenic Anonymous and every one in between, to Phil Blankenship and Michael Torgan at the New Beverly who helped me expand the HMAD "brand" to screenings (which will continue!), to Codeblack Entertainment who "legitimized" the site by being the first distributor to send me a DVD for review (Somebody Help Me, which I have kept to this day) and to Anchor Bay/Image/Shout Factory for sending me just about everything they have, to the Blockbuster Video at Fulton/Riverside for being the unsung source of what seems like half of the movies from the first couple years, to Jackie Greed for constantly supplying screeners, to Quint from AintItCool for proving HMAD was a good idea/acronym (heh), to my lifelong hero Jim Steinman for reading the site once and thus making me realize I should probably improve my writing, to all the Twitter followers who talk about the movies with me and share the links, to anyone who has ever donated or bought stuff from Amazon, and especially to my poor wife who's watched at least half of this crap with me, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! HMAD would literally be nothing without you.

Oh, and I am aware of the date and also my history of tricking you guys (like when I said the site was actually five people - can't believe how many people thought that was true!), but I assure you this is NOT an April Fool's gag. After last year's was such a bust (did ANYONE actually watch the movie?) I decided not to do jokes anymore if the site was still going on April 1st. In fact, I actually added a bonus review somewhere in the past month so that the last movie WOULDN'T be today which would probably arouse suspicion and give false hope to those who actually DO read it daily, because those folks are heroes. I wouldn't fuck with them. But I won't fully abandon them either!!!

See you soon!

P.S. Since someone will ask: Best - INSIDE. Worst - BENEATH THE MISSISSIPPI. Best/worst - of course, CATHY'S CURSE.


47 comments:

  1. Amazing job, brother. Kudos. Seriously... standing fucking ovation.

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  2. Congrats & Cheers! Enjoy your free time & I for one look forward to seeing what you do in the future. Thank you for all of the no B.S. non-pandering reviews. You and I have a decent amount of mutual friends & I'm glad one of them recommended I check out your blog. See you around L.A.
    ~BEST

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  3. He-Man Reference at you as well my friend.

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  4. 2,500 movies is amazing. Thanks for inspiring so many horror fans and bloggers, myself included. Enjoy the free time!

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  5. Thank you for inspiring all the horror fans for all those years. Enjoy your free time!

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  6. Congrats on an incredible run. I am in awe of what you did with this blog. 2500.jesus christ. We'll done all around dude. It's been fun reading for the last few years.

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  7. Sad yet totally understandable and good to know that this is still not the end, just a change of pace :)

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  8. Yay hun way to go! I have no doubt you will continue to achieve amazing accomplishments in the future!! ---- long suffering wife :)

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  9. I've enjoyed this and I watched a couple of films based on this site (ok, it was just Grave Encounters, but I don't have Netflix, so it is hard seeing new horror films). It was neat to see you do this and I am going to miss checking what the film of the day is.
    Funny thing is, that even if I could watch a horror film a day, I couldn't keep up with the blog, so congrats on 6 years.

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  10. Brian, there will be a HMAD shaped hole in my browsing!

    I've really enjoyed reading your opinions; always well judged and entertaining. So many horror films that I would have overlooked or not even heard of were it not for you old bean.

    Thanks again mate. I like you.

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  11. You inspired me to create my own horror blog! Thanks for being awesome and my horror movie reviewer hero! Cheers to you! :)

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  12. Remember when Ebert mentioned this bolg in his review of The Last House on the Left remake? That's how I found this site and eventually Badass. Thanks Ebert!

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  13. Great job, mate! HMAD will forever be a reference point for awesome reviews!

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  14. NO!! BC COME BACK!

    Gratz man, been a real pleasure having this little "horror sanctuary" from work.

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  15. This has been the kind of blog that shows how uniquely fun and rewarding the medium can be. Thanks for doing it!

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  16. 6 years, 2500+ reviews, countless words and yet you still haven't been able to explain the popularity of OPEN WATER 2 or AMBER ALERT. Thanks, Brian.

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  17. Dude, I've been coming here pretty much every day for the last four years and I just want to thank you for all the information, and fun it's provided me. You're a rock star and you will be missed. Good luck at work and may great things come your way.

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  18. Thanks BC. This site is what got me in to horror movies.

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  19. *Tips Hat*

    Thank you!

    Took my wife to the Halloween II screening and we both had a blast. Here's hoping that there will be many more in the future.

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  20. Well done, man. It's been a blast dropping by here and watching you do this. Thanks for all the movies you've brought to light, including, yes, Cathy's Curse.

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  21. Every night before bed I have read your blog. I looked forward to it every day. Thanks for all the great memories and I will look forward to following your career elsewhere (and sometimes here).

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  22. I would just like to say that perhaps I am slightly mad, but not schizophrenic.

    Thanks for all the years, now enjoy some free time!

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  23. I have been a reader of HMAD from very early on, and have thoroughly enjoyed the site. Thanks to your legwork, I've discovered several gems (and gloriously fun stinkers) that I never would have seen had you not waded through all the murk to find and review them.

    I may have mentioned this you before but a couple of my friends who also love horror movies and I would all read HMAD (after I turned them on to it) find a movie all three of us hadn't seen and then watch it. So your goal of getting people discussing the movies came to fruition there at least.

    I suggested a couple of movies for review. One (Santa's Slay) you, disappointingly, didn't enjoy. The other (Outpost) you liked a lot so I guess it all balanced out.I am bummed that it looks like our debate over whether Predator is suitable for review on HMAD (it is) will never be resolved (although you didn't review it so I guess that's resolution). Anyway, thanks for all your work. I'm appreciative.

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  24. Even though I knew that this day was coming it's still sad to say adios to HMAD on a daily basis but it's good to know that you'll still be around for the occasional review/update. I've enjoyed reading your reviews over the years because of the humor that came through in your writing, regardless of the quality of the films you chose to endure! Thanks for all the time, commitment and yes, memories, that you gave to the site as well to all of us. Good luck to you sir, and hope to hear from you soon!

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  25. I've never commented before, but I've been reading HMAD for a few years and I've loved every bit of it. Luckily, I never delved deeply into the archives so I've still got TONS of HMAD posts to read :)

    Thank you for being so entertaining!!!

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  26. I, another Anonymous (I have a name, I swear!), would also like to state for the record that I'm not schizo (of course, neither was the main character in "Schizo" but whatevs).

    I've come to the site every day for years (and, I've mentioned it before, but I've always been disappointed that, except for one or two, you never reviewed any of the hundreds of films I've recommended to you. Maybe at another point). The days I come here and don't find a new review will be disappointing. I look forward to the days where there are. I certainly do believe you deserve a break.

    I used to watch films every day (mostly horror). My first year of college, I would sometimes watch up to 8 horror films a day (I rarely actually wrote reviews). Over the years, I've had less and less time to where I've gotten to the point that it might be weeks between viewings.

    I was co-creator of a movie review site for a while but I got so backed up that, by the end, I'd maybe only written 1/5 of my reviews (each film had 2 reviews, 1 from me and 1 from my friend).

    As a number of people do, this past October, I did the horror-movie-a-day thing. Except for I couldn't choose only 31 movies and, instead, I watched 2-5 movies each day and wrote a review for each one. Well, I'd sometimes miss a day or two or three, and then have to make it up the next day. It was rather arduous slogging through the entire month (and I added a bonus day on November 1, watching "The Day After Halloween" and maybe one other film, I forget). It definitely made me appreciate what you do even more than I had before. I attempted to do it again in December. I was going to watch 25 Christmas-themed horror films from December 1st to December 25th. I did a review on the 1st, and then I was super-busy the rest of the week and never got a chance to get back on track.

    So, yeah, basically what I'm saying is you're awesome and I suck. Enjoy your rest, my friend.

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  27. Congratulations!

    I happen to be one of your daily readers. As I have said before you have become a staple of my internet activities. I would have loved to check out one of your screeners, but being up in Canada sort of puts a damper on that.
    I am glad to hear the site will still be around and that I'll still get to hear about movies from you.
    Thank you for all your time and effort, it did not go unnoticed.

    Sleepyweasel

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  28. Great work, Fright... er, BC. I love this site and will instinctively visit it daily, new reviews or not. And while I know you'll be posting reviews for the big releases like Evil Dead and The Conjuring, I can only hope you'll find it in you to review Killjoy Goes to Hell at some point down the road. I kind of love the first three, and if it weren't for this site, I would have never seen those delightful pieces of shit (which I now proudly own in a 12-pack with the first nine Puppet Master movies). Cheers, my friend!

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  29. I feel like I have grown and shared so much with you yet have never had any contact with you. This site is one of the first sites I have visited every day for the past several years. Call me stalker-ish sure, but knowing that someone out there is watching all the same crap I watch and is getting so angry with it, is comforting. I want to genuinly thank you so much for all the work and dedication you have put into this site, as it will be greatly missed. You will be a treasure on BAD and i look forward to reading more of your stuff over there

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  30. As I mentioned elsewhere, I'm gonna miss coming here on my lunchbreak everyday to read a new review, but am glad you'll still be here in some capacity. This is one of the rare daily web destinations for me, and I learned about some great movies, a lot of good ones, a whole ton of bad ones and then the few you thought were good and I couldn't stand. But such is life. Thanks, BC!

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  31. Like others, I'm going to miss this as part of my lunchtime browsing. Now whenever there's a new review, it'll be all the more special. Thanks for suffering through this for so long and entertaining us, as well as exposing tons of people to movies they might have never heard of before! Can't wait to see you write more articles for BAD.

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  32. I've enjoyed the hell out of this site since I found it in 2011 or so. I can't say I was a daily visitor, but I doubt a week ever passed without me visiting. I'm really glad it'll be continuing in some form.
    Definitely owe you thanks for the literally thousands of hours of work over the years. Amazing job and thank you!

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  33. Congrats Brian and thank you for spending so much time sharing your passion with us. I've just recently discovered your site and I'm sad to see its format go. I'll be looking forward to your future horror reviews though.

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  34. So, hang on, this ISN'T a sick April Fool's joke, after all? The site isn't going to continue??

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  35. Roger Ebert and HMAD both semi-retiring in the same week is a staggering blow to my movie review intake.

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  36. dymrip aka Kevin JarrellApril 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    BC, I just want to say thank you for everything here at HMAD. I got on board late in the game, approximately 2 years ago, but have been a die-hard fan ever since. This is really the only blog I follow, and I do so almost religiously.

    In fact, I spend a lot of time browsing and reading your past reviews, and I have many still to sort through. I'll miss the new reviews every day, but I'm thrilled to hear you will be back here now and again.

    And a HUGE thank you for first (unknowingly) introducing me to one of my favorite movie brands of all time...HATCHET! I'm stoked for the third one, and am eternally grateful for Hatchet and all the other great (and not so great) movies I would have never known existed if it weren't for you.

    Godspeed, BC!

    Off the top of my head, here are a few other gems you introduced me to or that I had heard of but never would have watched were it not for HMAD:

    Satan's Little Helper
    The Decent
    The Decent Part 2
    Bereavement
    Malevolence
    Jeepers Creepers

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  37. BC, thanks for the years of great entertainment and insight,as well as introduction to some amazing films (my favorites being The Host, A Tale of Two Sisters, and Rec).

    But most of all I've truly admired and appreciated is the passion and great attitude that you always have towards the films (finding something good in the worst films, or showing how much you care about it when there isn't something to be found).

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  38. thanks for your reviews and thanks for sitting through some bad movies so that we don't have to

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  39. Ah Christ, remember this?

    http://horror-movie-a-day.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/resident-evil-retribution.html

    Classic BC. Clever and funny and right.

    This blog was special.

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  40. Man, I'm going to miss my daily dose of HMAD! This site was the inspiration for me to watch/mock slasher flicks in my own blog. I'll definitely still be looking for updates, though... HMAD is like crack.

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  41. awwww man. so many of the good bloggers leaving the scene to increasingly centralized internet presences :-( thanks for everything little doodle, i'll miss you.

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  42. Amazing blog. Thanks man, you've pointed out many treasures to me. But that stepson's girlfriend blowing the werewolf for dna test scene does not a good movie make ;)

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  43. Damn!
    All these years and I missed it!
    Best of luck to you.
    Phil

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