With the world on lockdown, what are we all watching? I posed that question to film historian David Del Valle, recently seen in the Severin Films documentary “Tales of the Uncanny.” He is a regular contributor of DVD commentaries for Vincent Price films, “The Lineup” (1958) as part of a film noir box set from Indicator, and “Seven Sinners” (1940), starring Marlene Dietrich. Del Valle was also one of the first people to read Anne Rice’s “Interview With the Vampire.” Here, he talks about what he’s watching in quarantine.
Ithaca Times: What a pleasure to talk to you. Your voice is all over my Blu-Ray collection.
David Del Valle: [Laughs] Well, I’ll tell you, I’ve done a few of ‘em at this point.
IT: So your interest in film really cuts across all genres.
DD: I’ve done every genre: Westerns, Charles Bronson movies. I owe a lot to Nick Redman at Twilight Time, the late Nick Redman, because he offered me a chance to do commentaries on movies. For me, the ideal thing doing audio commentary is to do the movies that you really feel passionate about, and that you know something about. There are so many bullet points they’re trying to put on these to compete. You know, the boutique market of DVDs is primarily about supplementals.
IT: So what are you watching in quarantine?
DD: You know, I just got Netflix, [Bela Lugosi accent] and I drained it like a vampire!
DD: I’m watching f**king Polish detective things, you know? [Laughs] I kind of realized that Netflix is this vast dumping ground for a lot of crap as opposed to a lot of good stuff, too. Because whenever you tell it to click on “Horror Movies” or “Action Thrillers,” you get around 20 movies and then all of a sudden you’re looking at films from Turkey. I don’t dislike foreign movies, but you know what I’m saying. You’re gonna see a lot of dubbed stuff that’s generic, blah blah. It’s impossible to see everything. I caught up on a lot of movies that I’ve been avoiding. But I’ve been really enjoying the cable. I enjoyed “The Queen’s Gambit,” I think it’s really well done. It was written by Walter Tevis, who wrote “The Hustler” and “The Man Who Fell To Earth.” I thought the first two seasons of “True Detective” are possibly some of the best acting and writing I’ve seen ever. I love “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” and the movie they made to connect the two, “El Camino,” was very good.