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lissa_townsend_rogers_600Lissa Townsend Rodgers. Photographed by Ginger Bruner

Kung Fu, Zombies & Explosions: a profile of Lissa Townsend Rodgers

By Cassandra Taloma

THERE are two categories for bad movies, according to one film critic.

For Lissa Townsend Rodgers, a movie is either good awful or truly, obscenely bad.

A writer, a teacher and a film critic, the 43-year-old New York native has seen enough movies to build her own palette of the good, bad and ugly movies.

But Rodgers believes one thing, “All movies I watch are comedies.”

Whether or not the movie intends to be a comedy, she finds elements that make the movie comedic.

“I watch movies for witty dialogue, high drama, cinematography, kung fu, explosions and zombies,” as quoted on her blog, It’s Craptacular! It’s an archive of movie reviews that goes fittingly with the blog’s name.

Rodgers lists the “Queen of Outer Space”  and “Never too Young to Die”  as unintentional comedies.

“But a bad movie that you have to see is ‘Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf,” Rodgers says.

Aside from reviewing what she deems as awful movies on her blog, Rodgers has her favorites. Although it’s hard for her to name any, she listed “Some Like it Hot,” “Shakes the Clown,” “Blue Velvet ” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” as notable favorites.

She likes to watch car chases and explosions, but what she really enjoys are kung fu movies.

“’Enter the Dragon’ is a classic,” she says about the martial arts movie starring Jim Kelly and Bruce Lee, “Jim Kelly doesn’t get enough credit.”

She also recommends “Master of the Flying Guillotine” and says for purists, it’s all fight scenes.

Her admiration for film started at a young age as she remembers Sundays watching old movies with her mother. It’s just one of the things her mother influenced her to love.

Rodgers started out as a theater major at New York University. After a few years, she decided to go a different route and switched her major to journalism.

“I still remember my mom teaching me how to write my name on a yellow pad in the kitchen while cooking dinner,” she recalls.

Rodgers always knew she wanted to become a writer. Even when she thought of pursuing other things, there was always some kind of writing attached to it.

She wrote for a number of publications while in New York, including The Village Voice and working at For Him Magazine as a fact-checker.

In 2004, Rodgers decided to go yet another route in her career as she said goodbye to the cold, 24-hour city of New York and moved to the hot desert known as Las Vegas.

“I felt like I needed a change,” Rodgers said about her move that she felt was rightly timed. “I knew I wanted to be productive and help people.”

She attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she received her master’s in education. Upon graduating, Rodgers became a teacher to first-grade boys at Manuel J. Cortez Elementary School.

She is writing a book on the people who have changed Las Vegas. The book will contain biographies on Virginia Hill, Elvis Presley, Marlene Dietrich and many more who had a pivotal moment in Las Vegas that ultimately, changed their lives as well.

Rodgers continues to teach first grade, write her book and review bad movies on her blog.

Cassandra Taloma is a journalism student at the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV.  She is from San Pedro, California, but grew up in Las Vegas.  In her free time she likes to read, write, bake, and spend time with her family.

rev. February 17, 2014 | 16:25 PST

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