Monthly Archives October 2020

CINE-WEEN: A From The Stereo To Your Screen Triptych Of Terror

“Fright Night” by the J. Geils Band from Fright Night “Teenage Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) is a horror-film junkie, so it’s no surprise that, when a reclusive new neighbor named Jerry Dandridge (Chris Sarandon) moves next-door, Brewster becomes convinced he is a vampire. It’s also no surprise when nobody believes him. However, after strange events begin to occur, Charlie has no choice but to turn to the only person who could possibly help: washed-up television vampire killer Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall).” Superior to both “Centerfold” and “Freeze Frame,” and on-par with “Love Stinks,” the J. Geils Band’s theme song for
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NIGHTSTREAM: An Unquiet Grave Is A Harsh Look At Mourning Gone Wrong

Grief is, despite being one of the most painful emotions in the spectrum, a sign of something good. It means that you cared for something so deeply that its loss is painful to you, and ultimately, I think that to feel something like that is beautiful. In time, grief slowly gestates into something not quite as sharp, something that rather than feeling like razors laying us open instead feels like an old break in your arm on a rainy day; a dull ache, a reminder of a past pain, but a reminder of how far we’ve come. On occasion, however,
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NIGHTSTREAM: Boys From County Hell Is A No Frills Blast Of A Horror Film

Northwestern Europe and the United Kingdom has a rich tradition of folk horror films. We did an episode for Horror Business on the phenomenon of folk horror. Generally, the plot of a folk horror film involves something, be it a religion, a ritual, or an actual deity, from the pre-Christian past of the UK and Ireland re-emerging or being introduced into modern society to disastrous results. We chalk it up to English people being afraid of their own imperial and colonial sins coming back to haunt them, but if you want more of that, go listen to the episode. Chris
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BOOKSHELF: The Disturbing Pulp of Echoes of a Natural World

The new collection from First to Knock, Echoes of a Natural World: Tales of the Strange & Estranged, is edited by Michael P. Daley, who was one of the co-editor’s behind Boo-Hooray’s Jack Womack book, Flying Saucers Are Real! That alone was enough to get me interested, but upon seeing the book’s cover—resembling as it does nothing so much as a ‘60s-era private press weird science pulp paperback designed by Nick Ferreira and illustrated by Kevin Barry, I knew I had to take a look. It turns out that Echoes of a Natural World is even more retro than one
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I Love That You Love It: DEATH LINE (aka RAW MEAT)

Too often, the discourse surrounding horror films tends to become overly combative. Our strong feelings for a particular film, be they good or bad, can sometimes overcome our better nature and cause us to lose sight of the fact that although we may not always see eye to eye on a certain movie, we’re all bonded by our love of the genre.  It’s with this in mind that Liam O’Donnell and I have come up with I Love That You Love It.   This is a column devoted to the idea that when we disagree on a film, we can discuss
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NIGHSTREAM: The Queen of Black Magic Fails To Cast An Enthralling Spell

Indonesian horror film The Queen of Black Magic (originally Ratu Ilmu Hitam) from writer Joko Anwar and director Kimo Stamboel is an intriguing concept with so-so execution. It may also have the new record for the most number of red herrings and plot twists outside of the Giallo genre, and sadly ranks as the one disappointment I had during Nightstream. “Childhood friends Hanif, Jefri, and Anton take their families on a trip to the orphanage where they grew up to pay their final respects to the man who raised them. But they’ll soon discover that the secrets from their past
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NIGHTSTREAM: My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To Is A Brutal But Tender Look At The Weight Of Family

Being a caretaker for a sick loved one is a very mixed bag. On one hand, putting your life on pause for the well-being of someone else is a great inconvenience: you must always be on call in case they need something, and your time is not entirely your own. On the other hand, the dedication and patience that such a relationship reveals is a very beautiful thing and speaks of the bonds of family as something nearly unbreakable. And, on a strange third hand, sometimes this ethereal and powerful bond can indeed be a chain holding us back from
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NIGHTSTREAM: Trying On Some Shorts

While the big premieres might’ve been the draw for Nightstream this year, to say nothing of the amazing special events, there were scads and scads of short films to dig into – over 200, as a matter of fact. I sadly didn’t have the time to check out all of them, but did spend a solid afternoon digging into two of the blocks — and had some of the most enjoyable experiences of the entire festival. First up was the Animation Domination block, presented by Popcorn Frights Film Festival. The block featured 13 animated shorts from a variety of directors
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NIGHTSTREAM: It Cuts Deep Mostly Misses, But Still Hits Sometimes

The most dreaded moment in any relationship is when the question, “are things getting weird between us?” pops up in one of the partners minds. Because often, even worrying about things getting weird is the first step towards things actually getting weird, and the forced adherence to normality, the dogged persistence through this perceived weirdness, is often a source of emotional horror. It Cuts Deep dives deep into this hell that is the dissolution of a relationship, with the added tension of a possible suitor horning in on things. Director Nicholas Payne Santos paints an awkward and quietly upsetting picture
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CINE-WEEN 2020: Mandy and Transition Times

Spooky Season hits a little different in 2020. Even if we have cognitively reckoned with the overwhelming reality of the pandemic, the election, America’s history of racist violence, and climate change. Even if we have a strategy for how to manage this, the dread and uncertainty still seep in during quiet moments. Our bodies know. This year, the spectre of death isn’t a kitschy front-yard decoration — it’s real and omnipresent. After six straight months in my Brooklyn basement apartment with little reprieve, my wife and I headed upstate to a cabin in the woods for the month of October.
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