I want to introduce the readers of Electronic Cottage to David “Rock” Nelson. Or if you already know about this extremely enthusiastic, hyperactive filmmaker, I want to remind you of him. Often referred to as “The Ed Wood of the 21st century”, he is a former US Marine, was an extra in the 1993 Hollywood movie “Groundhog Day”, as well as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman and a boxer. But his true passion is no-budget homemade monster movies, with amazing and somewhat crazy titles like Frankenstein vs Sodom Insane, Conrad Brooks vs The Werewolf, The Giant Horny Toad Monster, The Devil Ant, and Nosferatu Bites
Shot on regular video8 tapes, with a camera he inherited from his late brother, using cheap-looking almost Halloween-like costumes, and titled with a VHS titling and editing machine for home videos, they have a very unique look to them. These movies are mostly one man efforts, but besides having himself in many of the roles, it also has the acting talent (or lack of it, if you want to be technical) of his family and friends. David’s films don’t conform to continuity or even to having an actual script. He puts on a Halloween mask and goes to a cemetery in his local area of Illinois, or just out in his own yard, and sees where the mood takes him. Lets the movie make itself. Then he dubs VHS copies of it to sell and send to his fans in the mail. These are very valuable movies. Not because they will ever make billions, or because of the quality, or indeed the quantity of them. (There are MANY gems in the David Rock Nelson Vault). But because of the passion he puts into it. My impression is he doesn't choose to make movies. He has to. Unfortunately I am in PAL territory over here in Denmark, so actually getting to see more than short clips of these American NTSC movies is a challenge. What I have had the chance to see have been hilarious and stupid and somewhat brilliant. Rock said it himself: “People say my movies are stupid. Of course they are, the movies I like are all stupid”.
Have a look at The Rock’s Java-fueled YouTube videos on his channel
Mostly the movies are not available on YouTube, but there are some other interesting things, from his “Basement of Bloody Horror”.
For example there is this video, in which he shows us some of his VHS tape collection, and some xeroxed flyers for his movies, as well as telling us about when he met Conrad Brooks (RIP)
Also this is a great short documentary on him made by VICE.
Editor's note: while it's true that Nelson's movies mostly aren't on YouTube, he does have hundreds of videos!