Continuing Education

Fred Hopkins

Fred Hopkins

I started my bad movie career in 1971, when I co-founded The Vintage American Cinema Society. Instead of showing the usual pop-oriented movies like "M.A.S.H." or "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid," we showed Fred Astaire in "Let's Dance" (with a live performance by a gaggle of tap dancing tots) and "The Ghost of Frankenstein," starring Bela Lugosi (with a live intro by "The Count," local TV horror host and legend, Joe Towey). To my discombobulated amazement, we drew huge crowds (and this was 9 years before the general public discovered Ed Wood!).

In the early '80s, local film historian, John Black, and I formed "The Backtrack Cinema Society" and showed "Plan 9 From Outer Space" at the now torn down Seattle Concert Theater and "Glen or Glenda" at Clifford's On Broadway. We continued showing almost 100 films at venues all over Seattle.

I was also appearing on The Dave Ross Show on KIRO Radio every few weeks doing "so-bad-they're-good!" movie reviews as "Captain Cassette" and "The Legend of Lost Films." During this same decade, I had a nationally syndicated column devoted to Grade Z films, called "Mondo Video" and additionally contributed film articles and interviews to national newspapers in N.Y., Florida, New Orleans, and Texas.

I also had almost weekly programs airing on Public Access TV, as well as co-starring in a local film called "The Rock'n'Roll Mobster Girls," (1988) which also starred Jim Rose. In the early '90s, I started appearing on The Pat Cashman Show on the radio every Friday morning doing "Fred Hopkins' Turgid Constipated Erotic Movie Reviews," again spotlighting the worst, most awful, and most fun movies of all time. I did this for about 10 years on KIRO FM; KOMO AM; and KJR FM.

This is my seventh year of teaching Schlock Cinema 101 and I have never had so much fun. Being with other discombooberated fans of Totally Awful Cinema and sharing the joy of watching these films and discussing them is a rare treat! I am not worthy!