The Critic’s Word has been an idea that’s been in the minds of our awesome writers for quite some time now. Long before we were a full-fledged site we had our humble beginning as a no-named blog called TCWReviews, a blog built up of talented individuals who shared a simple and common love for the cinema. From there the site and all its members gained a reputation for themselves for maintaining a none-biased policy, being brutally honest and never faltering or caving to adversity.
But evolving from a simple blog into a full-fledged website is no easy task. It took lots of planning, guts and in the end, balls the size of Texas… yeah, that big! So without further ado, I present to you writing staff of The Critic’s Word:
Clifford S. Kiyabu – Clifford K
Title: Editor in Chief/Administrator/Film Critic/Columnist
Bio: For as long as he could remember, Clifford Kiyabu was an avid movie fan, having watched films spanning through all genres which also included Horror, thriller and suspense. Clifford was very knowledgeable in all things film related at a very young age. Though he never had a desire in putting word to paper like most who shared his passion, Clifford was known as a “movie guru” by many who conversed with him.
In 2004 at the age of 17, Clifford Kiyabu started a MySpace account under a persona he created for himself known as; “The Comic Whore” aka TCW. This character was a deliberate cliché representation of the common perversions of your average everyday teenage male, after his crazed antics gained him notoriety among the social networking site’s then top bloggers; he began his own blog with the intended goal of having his own ideas and sometimes humorous antics streamed across to people far and wide.
Though he’s always been passionate about film, Clifford hadn’t considered writing film reviews prior to seeing the 2005 academy award winning film “Crash” for the very first time on DVD. This film would strike a chord in him, moving him to write his personal feelings towards the film’s discriminatory themes in blog post. By 2006 Clifford began traveling in the same circles as many talented individuals of the blogging community which included Dear friend and fellow Criticsword™ colleague Kelsey Zukowski, and Freddie Young etc., etc.
As a top blogger between the fall of 2006 and 2007 he began creating his own original blogging ideas such as “Music Video of The Week” which allowed his readers to vote on what bands or artists they wanted to see appear on the top five lists. And “Battle of The Hotties” contest that had various female celebrities facing off against each other in a battle of hotness which was decided upon by the readers themselves. But In the fall of 2007 after noticing a decline in attendance among the usual blogging community, Clifford began looking elsewhere for a new place to post his blog.
In January of 2008 Clifford started TCWReviews.com on the popular blogging site Blogger.com, not forgetting those who supported his vision from its humbled beginnings; Clifford did not waste a single moment before bringing his friends along with him to the new location. TCWReviews took off as a success, proving to gain new heights than ever before. But it wasn’t until the spring of 2008 when Clifford would get a big break with his first ever one on one with Actor/Director and Horror film critic, John Fallon (The Arrow in The Head) in an exclusive interview. This would prove to be a major boost for the site’s reputation which would later set the stage for the many great success further down the road. In January of 2012 Clifford and The Critic’s Word team bided TCWReviews a final farewell as they welcomed in the next big step; criticsword.com
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clifford-Kiyabu/261604157206352
[Editor’s Note: More than 4 years have passed since establishing himself as a credible critic, Clifford is still astonished by how lucky and blessed he is by having been able to and still continue to work side by side with some pretty remarkable people over the years]
Kelsey Zukowski – The Scream Queen
Title:Former Senior Editor/Film Critic/Columnist
Bio: Kelsey Zukowski grew up in Eastlake, OH, a suburb located outside of Cleveland. She realized her love of acting around the age of 10 through a school theater production. From there she became involved with Community Theater. In high school, she began writing and acting with minority teens in inner-city Cleveland through a program to enrich the community.
After that Kelsey stepped away from acting and concentrated her efforts on writing and her passion for film. John Carpenter’s Halloween sparked Kelsey’s fascination with the horror genre at a young age. A Nightmare on Elm Street and Wes Craven’s work highly inspired her as a screenwriter just as Roger Ebert inspired her style and understanding as a film reviewer. During her senior year of high school, Kelsey’s movie reviews were published in the independent newspaper based in California, The Valley Voice. From there, she started writing for several movie and genre websites including, HorrorYearbook.com, HorrorMovieFans.com, Criticsword.com, FilmArcade.net, and 2Snaps.tv.
Kelsey graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelors of Arts in Digital Cinema and a concentration in Screenwriting. Not long before graduating, crime writer/director, Kevin Jamison, had approached her about acting in one of his films, which urged her to get back in to acting. Among her first roles were in Lewis from the Psycho Street anthology, The Autumn Offering’s “Born Dead” music video, and the feature film, The Melon Heads, which was shot near her hometown. From there Kelsey bridged in to modeling, dealing heavily with glamour, beauty, and alternative modeling.
More recently, Kelsey wrote and starred in the dark drama, What They Say, alongside close friend and constant co-star, Heather Dorff. The film was nominated for Best Short at The Chicago Horror Film Festival, where the film premiered along with Headline News, Conscience, and Afraid of Sunrise, which Kelsey also appeared in.
Kelsey frequently works with Jonathan Moody of Sick Flick Productions. Their collaborations include Scream Queen Campfire, Echo Lake, and Scary Story Slumber Party. Kelsey will be making her directorial debut with the psychological slasher feature film, The Hazed, which was her first collaboration with Moody. She is very involved in the project as she also wrote the script, stars in it, and is producing it. This spring, production begins on Words Like Knives, another twisted horror film she wrote and stars in that deals with one girl’s dwindling sanity as rumor and reality blur and real life horrors are forced to be examined.
Model Mayhem: http://www.modelmayhem.com/KelseyZukowski
[Editor’s Note: Aside from being a talented writer, actress, and director. Kelsey is also one of the original founding members of The Critic’s Word]
C.S. Kiyabu – The Cynic
Title: Editor/Film Critic/Columnist
Bio: Common sense would tell me to write a unique bio depicting why I am a fan of movies, and why I love to share my thoughts and opinions with others. But logic suggests that I speak the truth and just explain that I write what I write when I feel like writing it. Whether or not it be the art of cinema, the political realm, the rising price of oil or the on-going mindfuck of a war that we’re in, if I feel like sharing my opinions on the matter, I will do so regardless of what others might think of me or my opinions. That being said, when it comes down to the art of cinema, I speak boldly and without hesitation, for cinema to me, is a most unique form of art through imagery.
Cinema: Classic Cinema. When it all comes down to it, nothing captures the true beauty and art of film more than classic cinema. Back to the roots of film; where it all began. Long before modern special effects; long before high tech computer generated images. Back to when the visual effects actually meant something. Back to when the story it’s self was more important than flashy battle scenes and crazy car chases. Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music, Yojimbo, Seven Samurai, etc…
Don’t get me wrong, there are many worthy films out there today from a more modern generation. But with endless remakes of once great films, and un-necessary sequals which are worst and worst as they go on, one must look to the past for reassurance that the greatness of cinema once existed. So whether or not you agree with my opinion of a film we’ve both seen, you can rest assure that I will only speak the truth to what I have bared witness to and give my honest opinion about the film I have reviewed.
[Editor’s Note: To put it as clear and straight forward as possible without sugarcoating it, C.S. is blunt, to the point and brutally honest!]
Nicole Raines – The Bookworm
Title: Book Critic/Film Critic/Columnist
Bio: I find it rather ironic that I’ve been offered a role on this site considering that I’ve never thought of myself as a critic. I am extremely honored to be here and I hope that I can offer something of substance in my reviews. Even though I’m a lover of television and movies, I’ve been dubbed The Bookworm for my passion of reading and love for books. I’m a big believer in reading and I think literacy is the single most important skill a person can have in life. Reading opens up so many worlds of imagination and provides a great escape from reality. My goal here is to hopefully introduce people to new worlds that exist within the pages. However, like I stated earlier, I do not consider myself worthy of the title critic. I am a fan and I will share my opinions from a fans standpoint. At the end of the day, what makes a great book is its ability to make a person connect with the characters and story. I like to approach television the exact same way, but I’m far more lenient when it comes to movies. Although I do love movies with depth, sometimes I just like to be entertained!
[Editor’s Note: Having started out as a loyal reader and fan, Nicole has earned her place among our writing staff and is now a valuable asset to the team as our resident book critic]
Freddie Young – The Wolf
Title: Film Critic/Columnist
Bio: I’m Fred, but many call me by The Wolf. I’m a New Yorker who is majoring in Film and aspires to be a screenwriter. I’ve been reviewing films since late 2006 as a way to express my thoughts about films and create discussions that I’ve never really had while growing up. I love films because it’s an escape from reality. I love watching the lives of characters on film and relating to them, seeing myself in them. The less I can relate to a film, the more I’m gonna be totally negative of it. In my reviews, I post a list of things I’ve learned from watching the film. They’re totally sarcastic in nature and not to be taken seriously at all. The world needs more humor and I like to think I provide it every time I review a film, both good and bad. My favorite films are “Halloween” (1978) [the film that changed my life forever],” A Clockwork Orange,” “Sin City,” “Spider-Man 2,” “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” “Airplane!,” and guilty pleasures like “Mommie Dearest” and “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.” I’m more of a horror genre guy, but I’ll watch and review anything. I also write for Full Moon Reviews, Fatally-Yours.com, Wikpik.com, FilmArcade.net, and BargainBinReview.com and Criticsword.com
[Editor’s Note: Like a lone wolf, Friddie is a blood thirsty hunter when it comes to critiquing; he seeks out his pray and attacks without mercy!]