Cinema just lost one of its great champions.
Words by Eric Hillis (@hilliseric)
It came as a great shock today when I came out of a screening, boarded a train and logged onto facebook to learn of the passing of Vince Rotolo. Many of you won't know that name, but to a hardcore of fans of cult cinema, Vince held a special place in our hearts as the founder and host of the weekly Bmoviecast podcast.
I discovered Vince's podcast when he was around 30 episodes in, and I began to eagerly work my way through them. As Vince was the first to admit, those early episodes were rough and amateurish - one notorious episode was recorded while Vince was jogging - and he had yet to enlist his co-host Nic Brown. Yet there was something about Vince's unbridled enthusiasm for the cinematic equivalent of redheaded step-children that made it a compelling listen.
Those early episodes got me through some rough times. I was stuck in a job I hated, with seemingly no way out, and the highlight of my day for a while was listening to Vince's dulcet tones on my commute. Later, Vince would enlist an excellent co-host in the form of Nic Brown, and would invest in recording equipment to produce one of the most professional podcasts out there. Of course, the show would later add a third host in the shape of Vince's devoted wife Mary, who often provided a nice counterpoint to Vince's unbridled enthusiasm for movies of varying quality. All our thoughts are with Mary now.
Vince was a movie lover in the best sense of the phrase. Most of us who write or talk about movies on the web can be pretty cynical when it comes to the medium we love, but not Vince. He seemed to genuinely find something good in every movie he watched, a quality I envied. Listening to him discuss a movie he had watched for the first time only a few days before recording its episode was like watching a kid tear the wrapping off their Christmas presents - pure and innocent unbridled joy.
As the show grew, so did Vince's reputation, and he came to boast a fanbase that ranged from casual viewers to veteran filmmakers. How many of us were jealous when, on a trip to London, Vince got to meet Ray Harryhausen? Or should I say, Ray got to meet Vince?
I had the privilege of guesting on the Bmoviecast three times. As I'm Irish, I became a regular St Patrick's Day feature, discussing genre flicks with a celtic connection - Rawhead Rex, Darby O'Gill and the Little People and The Iguana With the Tongue of Fire - and enjoying listening to Vince butcher the names of Irish actors. Pronunciation was never Vince's strong point. He referred to me as 'Eric Hills'. It would have been churlish to correct him.
Podcasts have come and gone over the years, but Vince leaves behind a legacy of no less than 374 (!) episodes of the Bmoviecast. You can find them on iTunes or at bmoviecast.com. I strongly suggest you do.
Back in the early days of TMW I interviewed Vince. You can read it here.
The Bmoviecast has a popular facebook group. Yesterday, just hours before his passing, Vince posted the below image.
Maybe Vince wasn't quite THAT cool (who is?) but he was pretty damn close.
Viddy well little brother. Viddy well.