From 1953 to 1969, Don Glut (best known today for writing the best-selling novelization of the movie The Empire Strikes Back) made amateur movies, most of them in the horror and science fiction genres. Shot on 16mm, these ... more »films, thanks to coverage in such magazines as Famous Monsters of Filmland, became "legendary" throughout the world. I Was a Teenage Movie Maker is a feature-length DVD about the making of those films, including interviews with Forrest J Ackerman, Randal Kleiser, Bob Burns, Jim Harmon, Scott Shaw!, Paul Davids, Bill Warren and others. Also, as a "gigantic extra" (and for the first time ever), all 41 of Glut?s movies ? plus hours of bonus film footage ? can be enjoyed on this Special 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD.« less
"First, the interviews with Mr. Glut and those involved with the making of his films. Never boring, held my interest from start to finish as Dinosaur Don related about how and why he made those films in the first place, including SFX secrets (which I won't divulge here). Second, the films themselves. Some are straightforward, some are ambitious, and all are entertaining (which is what they're supposed to be in the first place). My only gripe is the background music; some of it sounds like it was cued from a porn film, or sounds too modern for vintage material such as this. If it weren't for this I'd give it full five stars. If you're a amateur filmmaker and you want to see how it was done old school, look no further 'cause this is it in all its low budget glory!"
A NOSTALGIC MASTERPIECE!
Tim Janson | Michigan | 09/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those kids who have grown up in the video age will never be able to truly experience the art of making a home movie. Video...just isn't film. When you can rewind and re-shoot scenes at will it just doesn't hone your skills. Plus, there's no comparing the look of film to video. As I watched Don Glut's I Was A Teenage Movie Maker I was transported back to the days of my filmmaking days when my friends and I got out the 8MM camera and made our own classics. The difference between Don Glut and us is that Don never grew out of it. He's now been making professional films for a number of years but he harkens back to the beginning with the remarkable two disc set that includes all 41 of Don's amateur movies made between 1953 to 1969, the golden age for young baby boomers.
There is one other thing that separates Don from so many of the rest of us who made our own home movies, and that's an obvious degree of creative talent. Talk about working on a shoestring budget, Don was not only ahead of his time compared to other kids, but you can argue that Don was advancing into techniques that paralleled Hollywood filmmakers of the day.
I could not help but star the DVD by first watching the actual documentary I Was A Teenage Movie Maker. This full-length documentary features a running commentary by Don beginning with his very first films and going right through his last amateur project. Besides Don, there are also comments from Forrest Ackerman, Bob Burns, and numerous childhood friends of Don's who reflect on their "acting careers" and working with Don.
What really comes across as you watch the documentary is Don's passion for movies. Like I said, he didn't grow out of it and still owns many of the props and costumes he used forty to fifty years ago. That alone is remarkable! Like most kids of that era who grew up watching the Shock Theater package of films, Don loved monsters, specifically the Universal Studios monsters. Many of Don's early efforts were his own takes on Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, and The Invisible Man, including many of those "jams' that featured all of the monsters. From there, Don graduated into the teen monster films of the 50's. Don's techniques of turning his actor into the Wolfman are incredible considering his age and what he had to work with.
Don would then move on to Superhero and action star films featuring the likes of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America and others, mixing in sound and music with his later efforts. The true thrill in watching these 41 films is seeing the progression of a moviemaker take place right before your eyes. There is so much on these two DVD that it will literally take you hours to get through. The total running time clocks in at a whopping 480 minutes! Besides the documentary and 41 films, you also get behind the scenes looks, commentary tracks, A Count Gore DeVol featurette, bonus films, and photo galleries. Rarely have I had this much fun watching a DVD! A true masterpiece!
REVIEWED BY TIM JANSON"
Excelent Product, Glad to finally see these films.
A. C. Cronvich | Planet Zeist | 02/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, Im glad to finally see these films by Don Glut. I grew up seeing pics of them in Famous monsters of Filmland magazine. Some of them are pretty good, Some of them are awful. And on most of them, you will be glad for the commentary track by Glut, because thats the only way you will have any idea what the hell is going on (See The Fire MOnsters" for example). But SON OF TOR, the real reason to buy this disc, and likely the reason you did, does not dissapoint. Its prettty well done. TOR, KING OF BEASTS comes close. I liked the plot of TOR, KOB better. Its a twist on KING KONG with the explorer slanding on the island in a rocket ship. But SOT was easier to follow."
I WAS A TEENAGE MOVIE MAKER REVIEW
Blake Clark | 02/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"WHAT A FASINATING DVD. I LOVE DON GLUT'S WORK AND BOOKS. HE IS A FAN LIKE ME WHO LOVES AND APPRECIATES RAY HARRYHAUSEN AND THE CLASSIC MONSTERS. IT IS VERY INTERESTING TO LOOK INTO SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILDHOOD AND SEE THEM DOING THE THINGS YOU LIKED TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A KID. WARM MEMORIES. I STRONGLY RECCOMMEND THIS DVD TO ANYONE WHO WAS A MONSTER KID BACK THEN AND NOW. IT IS A ABSOLUTE TREASURE."
Must See DVD
William J. Schafer | CasadeSchafer, CA USA | 02/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is as Must See DVD for any Monster Kid or film buff who had childhood ambitions to make "movies". Don Glut did more than just dream about it, he made home movies --- hours of them. And this DVD has them all. From the simple first attempts to the very good later films."