When I was a kid, I had a subscription to Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. It helped to scratch the itch that was my nascent nerd impulses. I could blame my mother, who was feeding those urges long before I was getting a monthly delivery of stories and pictures of classic creatures from movies made long before I was born. She let me stay up late to watch King Kong. She let me know when my good friends Frankenstein or Dracula were going to be on. And she would listen to me when I wanted to talk about what I had seen. This was especially generous when it came to the Planet of the Apes series. Science fiction movies with apes at the center. Delicious. So much so that my brothers and I felt compelled to come to my mother, one at a time, and recount the specific details of what happened Beneath, above around and between the five installments of that particular vision of the future.
When I read in those pages about some kid who made a movie about an abominable snowman with his friend to win the Famous Monsters of Filmland home movie contest, I became a fan of John Landis and Rick Baker. It was only a matter of time before that pair created their first feature, "Schlock." A big ape, or something like it. I never saw it in a theater, but I knew all about it because I read about it via the in depth reporting found in my mailbox once a month. I talked to my mom about that one a lot, too.
Years later, I sat in a theater and watched these two guys team up again for American Werewolf in London. I watched it a dozen times, and read even more about it in the slightly older, sometimes more gratutious big brother publication to FM, Fangoira. I read about all the Star Wars movies before they came out in Starlog. I kept up with all the sci-fi flix and creature features. And I shared this with my mom.
Fast forward to this past week, when my subscriptions to all these magazines had lapsed, and Al Gore's Internet allowed everyone to participate in this vision of Nerdvana. In the space of two days, a trailer appeared on the web for The Force Awakens, followed almost immediately by a "leak" of the Batman vs Superman teaser. Suddenly, I found myself two weeks away from the opening of the Avengers sequel, with the next year mapped out, with another Planet of the Apes reboot sequel on its way in 2017. No word on just exactly when they're going to remake King Kong again. Maybe I should call my mom. She would probably know.