Tuesday, February 14, 2012

CritCon's FRED ADELMAN dies (updated!)


EDIT (September 22, 2012)
I'm not really sure what to say - but I guess I'll have to say SOMETHING.

Uhh, it seems FRED ADELMAN... isn't dead after all.

I've known about it for quite some time but didn't know what the fuck to say about it all. It's thee most bizarre situation ever. A couple of years back, Fred sent me a PM on facebook, or rather I wrote to him first and asked how he was. He had made a comment in a FB thread about how he didn't need his huge VHS collection "where he was going". I wrote and asked him about it and he said he was ill and didn't have all that much time left. So when he disappeared from FB for a couple of months at the end of last year (2011) I expected the worst.

And then someone logged into Fred's profile and introduced himself as an old childhood friend of Fred. And he said Fred had passed away. Given Fred's illness I wasn't surprised. Saddened, but not surprised. I wrote the obituary and posted it here and on my other blog. A few months passed and then... someone over on DVDMANIACS film message board (where Fred used to hang out in the old days) posted something that was quite a shock to everyone: Someone was posting on Fred's film site, CRITICAL CONDITION, and ... apparently, it was Fred!! You can read Fred's story about what happened on page 3 of the Letters' page section (I can't link directly to it so you'll just have to find it. Search "Facebook" on the page).

Apparently, that person who posted about Fred's passing was a hacker. I'm not at all sure what he wanted. To mess up Fred's life because he had a grudge against him? Or maybe to get money out of it? Or another reason maybe? But in any case, Fred is "again" among the living and hurrah for that. He's no longer on FB or anywhere else in Cyberspace except on his website. I must admit I was quite confused by it all when it went on. There was a long thread about it all on DVDMANIACS and a lot of crappy stuff was said (by others). Again, I admit I expressed bewilderment over the whole situation but I never spoke badly of Fred nor would I want to. I'm happy he's still among the living and happy that he's well enough to write again. Check his updates in the BIASED MUSINGS OF ANYTHING ON MY MIND section (direct link). Fred is usually an interesting read when he writes about films and stuff (he also talks about the recent situation in that section). I wish him well and all the best.

Hmmm, and I'm not quite sure if I ought to remove the obituary or not - but I think I'll leave it - otherwise this new edit would seem rather strange for new readers. Argh!


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[the original obituary from 14 Febuary 2012]

A number of the reviews I've used on my other site "When the Vietnam War raged... in the Philippines" were written by FRED ADELMAN. Originally Fred wrote them for his long-running on-line zine/review site CRITICAL CONDITION but Fred always said I could pick and choose whatever reviews I wanted from his site and use them there. Fred said that the more people who discovered these films the better. And I couldn't agree more.

Unfortunately, there won't be any new reviews. Yesterday, I learnt that Fred passed away last month. I knew Fred was ill, in fact almost two years ago he told me he suffered from a terminal illness. And yet you still don't expect these things to happen. People you know aren't supposed to die. This is sad beyond belief.

Fred watched many action and horror moves but in contradiction to so many other genre film fans Fred also seeked out his thrills in "unusual" territories. He had discovered the Filipino films long before I did. I mean a loooong time before I did! On his site he made a special section dedicated to Cirio H. Santiago film. Fred's reviews have always been thoroughly written and full of detailed info.

Yes, this site is all about violent movies but it still doesn't prepare you for the harsh realities. Before he got ill Fred was in law enforcement; he was a crime scene investigator and a few years ago I asked him about his thoughts on these violent Filipino war movies; He said there was no connection. These films aren't real, he said. I remember he said that if the smell of blood would be something you could actually smell when you watch a gory film then most people would stop watching them because it's simply a disgusting smell. But, anyhow, that was then. This is now, and now Fred isn't here any more.

I never met Fred in person as I live across a big ocean from where he was but I knew him for a long time thru Dvdmaniacs film forum and later via Facebook. Anybody who got into a verbal fight with Fred soon discovered he was a hard-ass. He took no prisoners. But if you were his buddy he was the nicest guy around. One time he sent me a pile of rare Filipino and Indo films on DVD-R and asked nothing in return. Fred's zine Critical Condition (CritCon for short) ran from the early 80s and all the way until he passed away (originally as a real print zine and later as an on-line review site). It's highly recommended. But, of course, looking at it now is sad. It's all Fred. And Fred isn't here anymore.

Rest in piece, my friend.


Also check Andy Copp's good post about Fred here.

8 comments:

  1. Very moving obit, Jack. You have done very well by your friend with this piece. My condolences. I never really knew Fred, I don't think I ever really interacted with him at the Maniacs. But I was very aware of his website and consulted it often when I first started getting seriously into exploito cinema 7 or 8 years ago. It's always a bummer when we lose one of our own. Climb the tree, Fred.

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  2. Great tribute, Jack. I never communicated with Fred, but read his reviews often, and have several issues of his great zine.

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  3. Thanks, both of you. Unfortunately, I never got hold of any copies of Fred's zine. I asked him about it a few years ago and he said he'd send me some but I guess we both forgot about it.

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  4. I loved Fred (from a distance) and I'm extremely sad to read this. He was a great guy and he will be missed.

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  5. I wonder if he's Jesus. Quite impressive to resurrect in that way! ;)

    But very tragic story. The guy is obviously ill in the head, and not in the body.

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  6. I don't know what he is. I joined dvdmanicas 5 years ago and in that time he was the most down to earth no-bullshit guy on the forum. I always said he was working as a crime scene investigator. He ran a film magazine from the early 80s and it's still running (now online). It's just so surreal to suddenly think of him being behind this shit.

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  7. Very strange! I didn't know him, but if I knew him I would be fucking pissed!

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  8. lol, it really is the stuff of pulp novels...

    J

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