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The internet sure is a different place than it was when I started the first Gonzoriffic review site back in 1998. Come to mention it, so was the landscape of low-budget film making. Back then, there was no YouTube. Computers were slower, and not everyone could make a website, let alone a movie. For a time, I was one of the only places on the web writing about these films, and in just a few short years, I had an archive of hundreds of movie reviews. It may not have been the nicest-looking site around, but it was mine, and there were many films and film makers within those pages that you couldn't read about anywhere else.
When I began making my own movies, it was around the time when things were in flux. Blogs were popping up all over the place. We started hearing about "viral videos". Next thing I knew, I looked back and there really was no need for a site like mine anymore. Still, whenever I saw a great little film I thought deserved some cyber ink, I hit the keys. Though I maxed out the allowable space at the archive, I carried on with this blog and wrote whenever I felt the urge. Was it pointless? I don't think so. My recent review of Steve Balderson's "Stuck!" not only was picked up by a major genre site by request, but it got me personally invited to the film's premiere.
Back in October, when Yahoo announced that its long-standing GeoCities sites would all go away, I dedicated myself to transferring all the reviews I could over to Netflix. It was a sad couple of evenings for many reasons, not just the fact that I was going to lose the pages I'd worked so tirelessly on for so many years. What bothered me most was that Netflix only allowed a certain number of words for each review, and there were MANY reviews on my site for films that never received any sort of professional distribution. The hand-made VHS tapes and DVDs that came from the directors and producers themselves directly to me. Seeing those go was hard to take.
It is my hope that the Gonzoriffic archive will one day be accessible via the "Way Back Machine" at http://www.archive.org/ in some form or another (the 1999 website for one of my old bands is there), even without the artwork that accompanied all the reviews. It would be a shame for films like Zeb Haradon's "Elevator Movie" not to show up in a Google search.
Until that time, this blog and Gonzoriffic's Netflix reviews are the best of what's left. I wish I could've published a book or something. Perhaps one day, someone will write the definitive volume about this stuff, and maybe they'll interview me for it :-)