20 Years of TarsTarkas.NET

20th anniversary cake

Twenty years and still the #1 enemy of Bratz everywhere

Twenty freaking years? Has it been so long? (Yes, a Willow quote, enjoy) When I first started TarsTarkas.NET back in the days of yore, little did I think that it would still be up 20 years on. I definitely don’t remember agreeing that I should get older as time passes, what a load of bunk! Someone really needs to arrest this Father Time character. It’s almost impossible for something to last 20 years on the internet, but here we are. Standing atop a mountain of website corpses. Beating the odds with weird stuff for cool people. And if you are reading this, you are one of those cool people.

Since its inception, TarsTarkas.NET has delivered reviews of global cult and pop cinema, as well as a host of additional reviews, articles, news, podcasts, and plenty of abortive attempts at new projects and features. As much as I could, I tried to get as much and as accurate information as possible in the reviews, turning many of them into long essays with historical information and context. I also strived to be fair to the films, judging them in context with what they are supposed to be and what they represent. As much fun as ripping into awful trash is, it gets repetitive after a while. I mostly just want to talk about the films I love. If I didn’t love these films, I wouldn’t have spent twenty years talking about them. I hope I introduced many people to a whole host of cinematic delights they had never heard of and will spend years chasing down. Heck, I haven’t written a review in far too long, but I’m still hunting down rare and ridiculous movies. If anything, the queue to be written about has just grown exponentially, along with my to-be-watched list.

We’ve evolved from hand-coded html to Mambo/Joomla to WordPress, including a variety of themes and looks. We’ve switched hosting providers as the site grew and shrank. There was a lot of behind the scenes stuff I was doing off and on the past two years. Getting the website updated after too long of neglect. That included all sorts or troubleshooting, plug-in swapping, server program installing, manual reading, furious googling, swearing, theme switching (I’ll probably get a new premium theme eventually), wigit error checking, new graphics, solving why some tables look strange on mobile (only 300-ish articles I’ll have to fix that on lol), and more minutia that I continue to swat aside like the flies they are. I’ve become an expert in hosting and web management, hacking together custom plugins, dealing with several lawsuit threats (all garbage but entertaining garbage), updating web services, and getting things mostly fixed.

The world of cinema has changed as well we’ve gone through multiple cycles of video store/direct to dvd booms, busts, Netflix, RedBox, the entire MCU, mergers, IP buy-ups, the rise of streaming services, and now those streaming services collapsing under their own costs and mismanagement. Through it all, there has been a lot of cinema gems, a lot of cinema sludge, and a heaping host of boring gray in between.

We’ve made lots of friends along the way, and lost a few close ones. RIP Todd Stadtman, you will never be forgotten. A dream is to one day do more things with collaborators, but first I need to find time to do anything at all first!

The biggest thing is always time. I had hoped I would have gotten more free time to keep writing, but life just doesn’t want things to be that way at the moment. There are brief periods here and there, but it’s not like before when I could just hang out at a bookstore for a few hours and have two or three reviews written. There’s a toddler running around now that gets the attention first. But he does have school and he does go to sleep.

The old old reviews are a little…rough. My writing has improved over the decades and hopefully hasn’t degraded too much during my hiatus. I have done some writing, mostly fiction. Some may be available someday, and if I get free time, you can occasionally find me in the SomethingAwful forums’s Thunderdome writing contests (usually getting near last place, but not always!) I’m also prepping some new reviews, which I think I have promised before, but I really am. There’s been multiple Godzilla films that came out since we hit the pause button! Heck, 2024 had TWO Godzilla films!! There are multiple streaming and web shows! It’s a new golden age. Plenty of weird new films have come out that deserve bigger audiences. Not only that, several films that were basically lost films have shown up in the past few years. All sorts of cool and weird stuff. As we head into the unknown future, might as well learn about some cool films!

Sure, the web dying and a grass-roots effort to try to bring back interesting sites helps motivate me to keep going. But I’d be doing it even if that groundswell wasn’t happening. I just like doing it. And I want to keep doing it. Twenty years is just the beginning!

2 thoughts on “20 Years of TarsTarkas.NET

  1. Happy anniversary! Really glad to hear you’re not giving up on the whole writing thing on here. And aren’t turning the blog into a newsletter like the comics people like to do.
    It’s incredible how the years of doing something can just…accrue while you’re not looking.

    • Thanks, Denis! Glad you are still putting out a bunch of reviews too! Once the writing bug hits it rarely goes away, even if life conspires to eat up all my free time. I look forward to your 20th anniversary post in a few years!

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