Just added! SHOCK N ROLL ISSUE 4 is a FRIGHT exclusive interview with PUMPKINHEAD writer GARY GERANI! Check out Tim Sullivan’s introduction below, and click the frame or image below to read the extensive interview in it’s entirety!
Chances are, you’ve crossed paths with Gary Gerani and never knew it. You’ve watched his movies. Owned his books. Read his magazine articles. Collected his bubble gum cards. If you consider yourself a Monster Kid and came of age in the 70’s and 80’s, then Wacky Packages, Garbage Pail Kids, Dinosaurs Attack, The Monster Times, Fantastic Television and Starlog are all familiar friends that elicit warm, nostalgic memories. Gary had a hand in writing them all. And did I mention PUMPKINHEAD? That iconic 80’s creature feature that even the new monster kids on the block know and love? Gary wrote that one, too.
He’s been called the Card King as well as the King of Pop Culture. A guy whose unyielding love of the realms of fantasy has found him both preserving legacies as well as creating them. As a ten year old I read the advice column he wrote in The Monster Times under the moniker Big G- both G for Gerani and G for Godzilla, the giant lizard supposedly penning those helpful hints (Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone it was actually Gary!). As a teen I stuck Gerani designed Wacky Paks all over my High School gym locker (my fave being Slaytex Living Gloves), then in college studied his articles in Starlog with religious zeal.
The real treat came in 1988 with the release of PUMPKINHEAD, a welcome return to old school monster movies in a genre oversaturated with unimaginative slasher sequels. PUMPKINHEAD never made it to my local theater thanks to poor distribution, but he became an eternal presence on my VCR where I discovered him like buried treasure, and 20 years later, he himself sits on my bathroom window in plastic Todd McFarlane effigy.
More importantly, the man behind these rites of passage has become my cherished mentor and deeply adored friend.
My personal path with Gary crossed back in 1996 when I was working at new Line Cinema analyzing scripts for Mike DeLuca. A script he had written called VAMPIRELLA made its way onto my desk, and I was blown away by its merits. I wrote up these merits in a very gushing “reader report”, a love letter that, alas, was not good enough to result in the script being bought by New Line, but did result in Gary Gerani contacting me to say Thanks.
Thus began the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as they say, a friendship forged by two guys whose love of the movies, particularly monster movies, has provided the fodder for endless dinners at Jerry’s Deli in Sherman Oaks, California; dinners where Gary and I can be found once or twice a month engaged in animated conversations all things genre. I love yielding myself to his reveries on the days of monsterdom a bit before my time, and it’s often hard for me to believe that my awesome buddy is the same guy who created all those wonderful benchmarks of my own youth. This industry we work and play in can both be very rewarding and demeaning. Failure does walk hand in hand with success on Hollywood Boulevard. But as long as I have my “Geek Out” sessions with Gary Gerani to look forward to, I know I’m not alone.
I usually get the Roast Beef on rye with a side of Russian dressing. For Gary, it’s the turkey dinner with double mashed. Feel free to join us. Order whatever you want. The geeking’s about to begin….. -Tim Sullivan (11/12/08)
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