Monthly Archives August 2020

FANTASIA 2020: Class Action Park is a Fitting Monument to the Most Dubious Amusement Park of All Time

While I am a New Jersey native, I moved at a young age and spent most of my childhood in Pennsylvania. My parents still had a lot of friends and family back in Jersey so we’d go back regularly, and this being the early ‘90s I have vague memories from these visits of kids in the area wearing t-shirts for some theme park called Action Park, along with some pretty wild television commercials featuring mini-bungee jump platforms and leaping off cliffs into pools of water.   Having never gone myself, I didn’t hear about just how insane this place was until
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THIS JUSTIN: The Horror And The Humanity Of Dean Koontz

Welcome to THIS JUSTIN, a column dedicated to my love of all things weird and spooky. Each week I’ll be taking you on a deep dive into something creepy and/or crawly and talking your ear off about why I love it so much. Spoilers ahead for Watchers, Phantoms, Strangers, and Lightning, all by Dean Koontz of course. In 1999, Stephen King was struck by a van while out on a walk and was injured quite gravely. He wrote of being in the worst pain of his entire life, how the entire right side of his body felt like it had been
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ANALOG ADVENTURES: Jackpot Records’ Record Store Day Releases

I get a lot of random records, tapes, and books in the mail, because publicists forget that outlets for which I used to work aren’t around anymore, or someone finds the address hidden on my website, or… whatever. This is a way to keep them from piling up uselessly in the corner of the office. For those unaware, Record Store Day was pushed back from April, then again to June, and now it’s a series of “drops” taking place at the end of August, September, and October. This allows for greater social distancing for those who want to join in
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ANALOG ADVENTURES: ORG Music’s Record Store Day Releases

I get a lot of random records, tapes, and books in the mail, because publicists forget that outlets for which I used to work aren’t around anymore, or someone finds the address hidden on my website, or… whatever. This is a way to keep them from piling up uselessly in the corner of the office. For thems what isn’t aware, Record Store Day was pushed back from April, then again to June, and now it’s a series of “drops” taking place at the end of August, September, and October. This allows for greater social distancing for those who want to
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CINEPUNX Episode 117: The Bird With The Crystal Plumage and All The Colors of The Dark, Getting Josh into Giallo

http://media.blubrry.com/cinepunx/p/www.cinepunx.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Cinepunx_ep117.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSHELLO AND WELCOME TO OUR NIGHTMARRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Oh wait, no, it is just the latest and amazing episode of CINEPUNX! On this fantastic episode Josh takes a leap into one of Liam’s favorite genres of film, the Giallo! I will not bore you here with a complicated and technical description of these films, I saved that for the podcast! We are of course novices in this historic tradition, and so please be patient with any misconceptions we bring to our discussion. However, we also LOVE FEEDBACK, so hit us
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Fantasia 2020: The Oak Room Tells, Rather Than Shows, and That’s a Good Thing

The Oak Room, director Cody Calahan’s film from a script by Peter Genoway, is a very small movie with big results. The Canadian blue-collar noir features only five actors with any major dialogue, yet feels grander than the two bars in which it takes place. “On a snowy night in a small Canadian town, Paul (Peter Outerbridge) has just closed up his bar when a young man named Steve (RJ Mitte) walks in the door — carrying a lot of baggage. The shared history between the two results in significant tension before Steve says he’s got a hell of a
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FANTASIA 2020: Fried Barry is Freaky Science Fiction by way of Grindhouse

From the moment I read the synopsis for Fried Barry and caught the phrase “acidic, piss-soaked cinematography with lo-fi visual effects,” I knew I was going to have to check it out. The older I get, the more I seem to appreciate weird shit, and Ryan Kruger’s debut film based on his 2016 short. Think the premise of Starman, but replace Jeff Bridges on a cross-country trip through the U.S. with a grizzled heroin addict in the dark alleys of Cape Town. Said heroin addict is the titular Barry (Gary Green), whose affinity for shooting up has left him indifferent
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Director Steve Rudzinski on his Low-Budget Gem, CarousHELL, Now on Tubi

My favorite recommendation for lists of underseen genre movies is always director Steve Rudzinski’s 2016 slasher, CarousHELL. The absolutely nutso film is about Duke, a carousel horse who’s fed up being sat on, and decides to escape and seek vengeance on people of his town. It’s hilarious, weird, violent, and clever, but up until recently, you couldn’t track it down without picking up a copy directly from Rudzinski’s website. Thankfully, it’s now out of DVD from Wild Eye Releasing, and is streaming on free-with-ads service Tubi, so I took the opportunity to reach out to Rudzinski to talk all things
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Fantasia 2020: Shinichiro Ueda’s Special Actors Is Fun, Joyous Entertainment

Special Actors, director Shinichiro Ueda’s follow-up to the surprise smash hit, One Cut of the Dead, channels that film’s energy and spirit of joie de vivre while being something else entirely. Those expecting a repeat of One Cut‘s halfway flip might be disappointed, but thankfully, Ueda’s not interested in turning himself into an M. Night Shyamalan, reliant on recreating his early successes through increasingly-convoluted surprises. Hopefully. I’ll explain why in a minute. “Kazuto is not a typical actor…actually, he’s not an actor at all! He’s just a timid young guy who regularly faints from stress, hopelessly impressed with the psychic
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THIS JUSTIN: The Overlooked Darkness of JAWS: THE REVENGE

Welcome to THIS JUSTIN, a column dedicated to my love of all things weird and spooky. Each week I’ll be taking you on a deep dive into something creepy and/or crawly and talking your ear off about why I love it so much. No sequel, or installment in a franchise, or whatever, is further from the original film acclaim-wise and quality-wise than 1987’s Jaws: The Revenge. Whereas the original is seen not just as one of the greatest horror films of all time but one of the greatest films in any genre (not to mention the origin of the summer
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