Low-Budget movies…or B-Flicks as they are often called; many movie-watchers associate those words to bad movies. Are B-Movies really that bad? Well, if there is one reviewer whose opinion I respect it is Karen known to the Lunch.com crowd as QUEENBFLIX. I remember her telling me before that “…B-Movies does have their charm” and she taught me to appreciate them as such. But hey, Karen here isn’t as one-dimensional on B-Movies as her screen name may give you the impression; Karen also Loves KUNG-FU Movies and Bollywood! I actually met her in amazon.com when she asked me a question about the Director’s Cut of Jet Li’s “FEARLESS” because I am the Asian cinema movie buff. After that, we both began to follow each other’s reviews.
In Karen’s words, she doesn’t have any deep intentions in reviewing. She just wants to SHARE the movies that she loves. Many of the low-budget movies and classic often get overlooked by the movie fans and most Americans do respond to advertising; something that B-movies can barely afford. I guess it goes without saying that Karen champions the lesser known, little guy in cinema much like me who champions Asian cinema. On this we agree; Hollywood and Big-budget movies have all the money in the world simply don’t TRY most of the time. They rely on big-name stars, dazzling special EFX, (to hide the lackluster plot) with all the time and resources to come up with a great movie; Big-budget movies shouldn’t even fail, yet, if you look at the box-office receipts, they do because of the lack of originality, creativity and passion. Hollywood doesn’t want to think outside the box. I remember a few months before when the trailers of “2012” (I don’t think Karen read my review yet) were hitting TV signals and on youtube, Karen and I predicted how the movie’s plot would play out and when I went to see the flick, we are dead on the money. Don’t get her wrong, she would indulge in the usual Hollywood fare and she would give credit when deserved; but give her a mediocre product and she will be brutally honest with the movie. Oh, yes, Karen knows her stuff, she knows film and may exceed my own knowledge in areas of Horror.
So how did this pretty lady get into reviewing? I guess for Karen, it all started out with a fanzine which she and some friends called FANGRAPHIC in the 70’s. Her friend Wanda gave it the Fangraphic name but when she took over the thing completely, she called it THE JADE SCREEN which she felt was more appropriate for a zine dealing with Martial Arts flicks. Her friend covered a lot of the Chuck Norris stuff and she covered mostly the Asian kung fu flicks (oh, yes, Karen is similar to me). Karen and her friends suspended publishing for awhile when they took part of MARTIAL ARTS MOVIES which was a professional zine published by Curtis Wong. Her contributions were minimal but she did some trivia, quizzes and even published an article called “SEX in Martial Arts Films or let‘s get some popcorn when nothing good is going on“ and reviewed Billy Chong‘s “Sun Dragon“. She was given the title of “Contributing EDITOR“, though for giving the outfit all her writers, her next stop was amazon.com many decades later.
I asked Karen which of her reviews were her favorites and she said; they all suck (I laughed when she told me this). I guess for her she doesn’t have any favorites and would rather have the movies get all the attention and for her something that goes on a shoe-string budget, financed with the use of a credit card of the crew, even made in someone’s backyard reflects true passion in filmmaking since they have nothing else to do but be creative, original and passionate. In Karen’s words: “…it may just be a movie about a guy who was bitten by a transvestite so every time the moon is full he turns into a queerwolf, but more energy and effort and creative spark can be found in this bit of silliness than in Roland Emmerich's bloated 10,000B.C. AND GODZILLA combined. Mark Pirro really Tried to make his movie an entertaining, funny homage to Universal's werewolf flick. If Emmerich tried to do anything, it was to make money.” It is true, Hollywood sees filmmaking as an industry and NOT as an art form.
Karen grew to love Martial Arts films when a trusted film critic named J. Oliver Prescott (in the St. Petersburg Times) compared Bruce Lee’s FISTS OF FURY (The Big Boss, HK Title) to WEST SIDE STORY (what?!) and since she was a fan of that film, Karen just couldn’t pass it up and she fell in love. Karen discovered BOLLYWOOD out of curiosity and found it very addicting…”How could I not love a movie where a sword kills a little birdie foreshadowing historical events--and later peasants burst into song and dance for no special reason? It's star Shah Rukh Khan remains my favorite Bollywood actor. “ In these words, Karen is always in the hunt for something different and looks for something fresh all the time.
As a person, Karen is very opinionated and direct. In her own words she says:
“I am the poster child for inertia. Where ever I am is where I plan to stay FOREVER. So much so in fact that it took me decades to understand the punchline about why the chicken wanted to cross the road.” Pay a visit to her profile if you’d like to know more. Karen is a feline lover and loves Secretariat, the race horse. Oh, she hates the smell of vanilla…LOL! (ask her why I dare you!)
Karen hates the smell of vanilla?!
Karen’s Messages to readers? Eat your vegetables, stay away from those big budget flix--they're bad for you, and check out the following flix; NIGHT FEEDERS, LUNATICS A LOVE STORY (Ted Raimi),END OF THE LINE, MINDWARP, DAY OF THE BEAST, and CLEAN SHAVEN. And if you want to give Bollywood a try I'd recommend ASOKA, OM SHANTI OM, or JODHA AKBAR, the last one is for the REAL ROMANTICS.
She is currently educating me with the ways of Bollywood movies. (as much as I know about Asian cinema, I know nothing about Bollywood)
I am Woopak…I don’t give an easy FIVE stars to anything, but Karen earns it for her passion, love for the art of filmmaking; all the while maintaining a sense of individuality. She also has one of the most charming profile pics in the site...Karen is so purty.