From my 6th year I started to watch scary cinema. Dutch television had 2 channels and only broadcasted kidprograms on Wednesday afternoon while German television broadcasted daily so it was an easy choice for me to watch some fantastic television like Pan Tau and Die Sendung mit der Maus. Every now and then they screened Hammer movies in the late evening of which the Dracula ones with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were a definite favorite. All of those programs were in German. Foreign programs and movies were synchronized and in this way I learned the language on a very young age. I never forget my first time on a camping in Norway in the 70’s where I met a German kid and I could understand and communicate with him. All thanx to television!
Because of those Hammer films, I started to read horror books and devoured everything from H.P. Lovecraft to Edgar Allan Poe. My best friend his parents were good friends with the owners of a local cinema. One of their sons (and brother of my friend) played for the professional ice hockey team GIJS who played the Dutch Eredivisie, the highest level division of the Netherlands. They traded tickets every week. Since his parents owned a toyshop, they often gave the tickets to my friend and we went to the cinema for free almost every week and saw loads of movies in the later 70’s. In this way I also got to see films with a 12+ rating.
I was travelling with Interrail in 1984 and visited a good penfriend in Jyväskylä, Finland in August. He had another visitor, Mäkinen of the band Kuolema, who showed me my very first “modern” horrormovies like Evil Dead, House By The Cemetery and The Beyond. On my way back to the Netherlands I stopped by the Razor Blades gang in Odense, Denmark and we watched Friday the 13th with the whole family. Both occassions were quite unforgettable experiences.
Peter Zirschky from the band Funeral Oration started to write extensively about horrormovies in punkfanzine Nieuwe Koekrand early 1985. When I get to know Mike Lebbing in late 1985, we started to watch alot of videos because my parents own a VCR. We rent about every horrormovie there is and start to write about it in our own fanzines Thrash Attack and Bacteria.
Almost every weekend, I went to the weekly outside-town fleamarkets. My grandfather drove me or I did the 22 km (sometimes 47 km if I went to another fleamarket) on bike. Every time it was a surprise what to find because apart from the usual sellers (they also rent), there were alot of outside people who sold their tapes (also often from bankrupt videostores). After a while a couple of German friends who came with us went totally crazy seeing what was sold on those markets. A true goldmine.
I started trading those Dutch videotapes with foreigners. I trade for zines and other videos which are impossible to get in the Netherlands. Because I practised Japanese martial arts, I was very interested in swordplay (chambara) movies. I also traded with an American who made their own subtitles on very hard-to-get japanese movies. After I saw a 3rd generation copy of The Killer by John Woo in 1989, I also got hooked by Hong Kong heroic bloodshed cinema.
Mike and me started doing the filmfanzine Camera Obscura in 1992. We treat it like punk and just do whatever we like. Because I get very busy with my band Catweazle I write not too much in later issues. Also we do something called Cover Me Bad in the zine which is publishing the often absurd stories written on the back of VHS tapes. When the zine stopped after 13 issues, I went on to tour and play with bands while Mike keeps writing for zines, newspapers, magazines and doing interviews for DVD and other media. Today Camera Obscura is considered quite unique because we were the only ones in the Netherlands to write about the stuff we like (European trash cinema and Asian bloodshed). All issues can now be checked because I have put them online.
Top 10 Alltime Favelist
01. Kwaidan aka Kaidan – Masaki Kobayashi 1964
02. The Seven Samurai aka Shichinin No Samurai – Akira Kurosawa 1954
03. Zatoichi film series – Kenji Misumi, Mori Issei, Tokuzo Tanaka and more 1962-1973
04. Baby Cart film series – Kenji Misumi, Buichi Sato, Yoshiyuki Kuroda 1972-1974
05. Life of Pi – Ang Lee 2012
06. The Thing – John Carpenter 1982
07. Dawn of the Dead – George A. Romero 1978 (the Argento cut)
08. Memento – Christopher Nolan 2000
09. Destiny’s Son aka Kiru – Kenji Misumi 1962
10. El Espinazo Del Diablo aka The Devil’s Backbone – Guillermo Del Toro 2001