THERE ARE NO “B” FILMS ANYMORE. Interview with JOSH HADLEY
A cultural journalist with work experience in film industry and TV. The creator of Internet radio shows for geeks. A walking pop culture encyclopedia… The list goes on. Meet Josh Hadley, with whom we talked about B movies, their definition, state and making process, the mentality of American viewers – and more.
Michal Puczynski, film.org.pl: Let’s start with your impressive background. You’re a writer published in Hustler, you were in sound department and worked as a production assistant on a couple of movies, you worked at a TV station, you had your late night B-movie show, you have your internet radio shows What The Fuck?!, Radiodrome and Lost in the Static, a weekly column Sanity is Razor Thin… Am I missing something?
Josh Hadley: I have been printed in Hustler but also in magazines such as Cashers du Cinemart, Grindhouse Purgatory, Paracinema and Shadowland. I also have a monthly column in Scene magazine (“The Shadows Of Pop Culture”).
I have worked on a few movies, only two of which were released; Feed The Fish where I was simply a production assistant and Project: Solitude(released as “Project Solitude: Buried Alive” which kind of spoils the ending of the film) and I was in the sound dept on that. I worked for a decade in TV news at various places and I ran the assignment desk for 2 of those years. I had my own late night “horror host” show called It Came From Beyond Midnight which was really awful but people seemed to like it so what do I know…
I host and produce the internet radio shows Lost In The Static, RadioDrome, What The Fuck!!?? and Hart Attack plus a few others for 1201 Beyond that I simply produced for others and do not appear on. Sanity Is Razor Thin has been suspended for a short time due to various issues but I am attempting to get them collected into a book (with extras).
And with all of that… I make no money whatsoever… I truly have chosen the perfect profession (sigh).
Generally speaking, you’re a walking popculture encyclopedia.
You seem to have a special place in your heart for the kind of movies that “normal” viewers wouldn’t even look at. Not too ambitious or well made movies. B-movies… or, well, even „worse”.
The mainstream is, by definition, MAINSTREAM and therefore it is conformity, and frankly banal conformity at that, hence why I was always drawn to the odd side of film. I also disagree on them not being ambitious or well made, sure, some are slapdash garbage but many filmmakers made the best film they could with the resources they had available. To me, it means more when a film is not good and they had limited everything to make it contrast that with a big budget movie flowing with unlimited funds, access to everything that one could need to make a film and crap is still the result. Low budget films, I believe, have MORE ambition than studio time fillers because lets face it, not having what you need forces you to be creative whereas being able to do anything and everything ends up being lazy.
I also have an issue with the term “B Movie”… not counting Grindhouse there are no “B” films anymore, there have not been any since the 70’s and it is a label that carries with it a stigma both undeserved and unearned.