Late Saturday, I received sad word that our own Alfred Eaker had passed away. No further details were provided. I don’t even know his exact age; I believe he was in his early 60s.
Alfred’s contribution to this site, from almost the very beginning, was immeasurable. He was the first contributor here besides myself. Although he had scaled back his writing here to pursue other projects, he was still engaged with 366 Weird Movies; in fact, he had ambitions for a written series running through the entire video nasties list. He recorded this podcast episode with me (others were planned) a mere three weeks ago:
Alfred was the kind of guy who became famous (here) more for what he hated than for what he loved. But when he loved something—Ed Wood, or classic Westerns, or opera, or Chaplin, or Ken Russel, or Andrei Tarkovsky, or Mahler, or Picasso—his passions matched or exceeded his excoriations. Alfred’s loves were no more secrets than his hatreds. It’s just that his hatreds tended to draw more offended commenters.
For every reference to “Mango Mussolini” or such you read in Alfred’s essays, be sure I edited out at least one other. But although I didn’t always agree with whatever outrageously elaborate insult Alfred drifted into whenever he sensed the presence of Trumpists, evangelicals, or assorted “constipated critics,” I let him say it, because it came from the heart. Alfred annoyed a lot of readers, and admittedly he earned the site a hearty handful of hate-clicks, but whatever broadsides he launched were aimed at what he honestly viewed as cultural threats.
Over the weekend, I culled through hundreds of pages of Alfred’s writing to select a few of my favorite gems below. (If printed, Alfred’s contributions to the site would take up several volumes on a 366 bookshelf). This is, I think, the best tribute I could give him: to let him speak in his own words. Please enjoy.
“I rarely set out to push people’s buttons. I just don’t give a hoot or a holler if I do, and I believe it’s an artist’s ethical responsibility to have the balls to write without inhibition and to always take an attitude of saying to hell with the status quo (and everything has the potential to develop its own status quo, even weird movie aficionados).”–Alfred Eaker on a decade of writing for 366 Weird Movies
“… essentially a 21st century update of Animal House… a bodiless set of redneck testicles.”–Alfred on Avengers: Infinity War
“When I saw that 366 Weird Movies’ readers had topped themselves in sadism with this year’s summer blockbuster picks (a video game, a Disney, AND a comic book movie) you can understand why I, Continue reading R.I.P. ALFRED EAKER