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Another look behind the pages of DESTROY ALL MOVIES!

As we prepare for Friday's DESTROY ALL MOVIES book signing, here's another perspective on its creation by DAM contributor and former Scarecrow employee Andrew Toms. Before Zack Carlson took his insightful and inciting film influence to Austin, he cornered me in the narrow, stocking aisles of Scarecrow Video about the possibility of being involved with a secret and initially perplexing project he was trying to get together. I believe the code name was 'P-Book'. Having previously witnessed Zack and Bryan's brilliant showmanship and mind blowing programming at several All Freakin' Night events, I knew that this book could really be something special. Let me start off by saying that it's not a requirement to have a fondness or even familiarity with punk or new wave music to really appreciate this book. While DESTROY ALL MOVIES is rooted in being the ultimate (and only) record of punk appearances in film, this hilarious premise is more a testament to the decade and its influence on the films that were born from it. The 80's, along with the few years that bled into and out of it, were responsible for an incredible cache of brash, wildly subversive and ridiculous films as well as spawning the video rental culture that places like Scarecrow still embody. A huge part of my own affinity for this period stems from memories of browsing video aisles and being captivated by the often dramatic, sometimes crude, and always imaginative cover art and layouts that many of these films projected from the shelves. With these amazing pieces of oversized packaging art being so rare nowadays, seeing their inclusion in DAM was a treat - in my opinion, the one-sheets, promotional stills and VHS box art showcased, are alone worth the price of the book. Yes, there are also over 1100 reviews and a load of interviews with influential people not normally associated with film, all overseen by two of the greatest showman and obsessive video personalities I've ever met. As mentioned in a previous post, more than a few of the reviews in DAM are from films that originally had little to no online or printed record of existing and through this book will get another shot at being appreciated. Stumbling upon undiscovered and forgotten videos feels much more fulfilling when holding the tangible, worn box in your hand, and for me personally, pouring over a physical book also is much more exciting than scouring IMDB. Hopefully DAM will also inspire its readers to sift through dusty shelves and video bins in an attempt to find more of these lost (punk or non-punk) video gems, just like many of us did. While my personal contributions were meager compared to the punk pummeling Scarecrow's Spenser underwent (Read Spencer's perspective here) and the outstanding 7 year haul of editors Zack and Bryan, I still feel honored to have been a part of a project as unique and totally impossible as the existence of this book. Be sure to come to Scarecrow and the Grand Illusion Cinema this Friday night to get your copy of DESTROY ALL MOVIES and see Zack and Bryan in person. I'm sure they'll have something completely ludicrous and equally special planned. We'll see you here Friday, November 12th at 5pm. We'll have the book on sale for $29.95. Zack and Bryan will follow the signing with a quadruple punk feature at Grand Illusion Cinema with VALLEY GIRL, GET CRAZY, CLASS OF 1984 and URGH!: A MUSIC WAR. Visit the GI's site for details.

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