Posts by Nick Spacek

ANALOG ADVENTURES: Loud Quiet Loud

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. As Robert H. Cataliotii’s liners for Jorge Ben’s Africa Brasil make a point of noting, “The funky groove crafted by Brown, Sly, Mayfield, Wonder, Hayes, The Meters, and Fela, along with this new black consciousness, are deeply interwoven into Ben’s samba on Africa Brasil.” The
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FILMS FROM THE VOID: The Nearly-Lost SOV Madness of METAL NOIR

FILMS FROM THE VOID is a journey through junk bins, late night revivals, under seen recesses and reject piles as we try to find forgotten gems and lesser known classics. Join us as we lose our minds sorting through the strange, the sleazy, the sincere and the slop from the past and try to make sense of it all. Back In July, I made the trip into North Kansas City to hit up Screenland Armour’s monthly screening series, Analog Sundays. Presented by the folks at Magnetic Magic Rentals, the free event features a VHS tape swap, a mixtape before the
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BOOKSHELF: SUBURBAN GRINDHOUSE is More Than Just Another Review Compendium

There are few publishers out there who regularly and reliably dig into the weird world of cinema with such successful results as the UK-based Headpress. Be it the made-for-TV movies compendium, Are You in the House Alone?, Fascination‘s analysis of Jean Rollin’s oeuvre, the obsessiveness of Spinegrinder, or Bleeding Skull‘s trash-horror odyssey, among many others, the company has made a name for itself delving into the often-overlooked and ignored corners of cult film. The same can be said for writer Nick Cato, whose Suburban Grindhouse Memories column ran for nearly a decade on the website Cinema Knife Fight. As the
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ANALOG ADVENTURES: Les pioneers du rock

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. The self-released album Spells + Rituals from Charming Disaster is exactly what that candle-lit spell circle on the cover insinuates: neo-noir folk goth stuff. You’d expect to hear this after the Handsome Family track from True Detective‘s first season on a playlist, basically. The tempo’s
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FROM THE STEREO TO YOUR SCREEN: The Smithereens and TIMECOP

The Smithereens’ “Time Won’t Let Me” from Timecop Is it wrong to consider Timecop the last really enjoyable Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? Aside from JCVD, I mean. That opening scene, with the Civil War soldiers and the dude with two machine guns, is arguably one of the greater cold opens in action films, but I digress. Timecop was the end of a string of movies which positioned the Muscles from Brussels as the action hero of the early ’90s. Starting with 1988’s Bloodsport, then on through Cyborg, Kickboxer, Lionheart, Death Warrant, Double Impact, teaming up with Dolph Lundgren in Universal
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CINEPOCALYPSE 2019: VILLAINS Might Not Stick the Landing, But the Run-Up is Perfection

“Mickey and Jules are lovers on the run, headed southbound for a fresh start in the Sunshine State. When their car dies after a gas station robbery, they break into a nearby house looking for a new set of wheels. What they find instead is a dark secret, and a sweet-as-pie pair of homeowners who will do anything to keep it from getting out.” While it might not stick the landing, the rest of the picture leading up to the ending of Dan Berk and Robert Olsen’s Villains is a delightful run. The duo co-wrote and co-directed this film and
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CINEPOCALYPSE 2019: DEADCON is D.O.A.

As a nearly 40 year-old man, I’m likely not the target audience for Deadcon. That said, I’m really not sure who is. It doesn’t really lean too strongly into the social media influencer aspect of the story, which is ostensibly the whole selling point of Scotty Landes’ script: “Deadcon tackles isolation in the age of social media and follows real-life YouTubers Lauren Elizabeth and Claudia Sulewski as they face vengeful ghosts even more horrifying than their devoted fans.” Director Caryn Waechter’s film ends up being a found footage movie mixed with a haunted house movie set in a hotel. The trappings
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CINEPOCALYPSE 2019: MOPE is ‘Utterly Sticky Nihilism’

Do not, under any circumstances, think that Lucas Heyne’s Mope is going to be a comedy. The title card, reading “this actually happened,” might give the impression — a la Fargo’s famous epigraph — that this is a fictional tale masquerading as a tragicomic reality. In truth, Heyne’s story of Steve Driver (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), Tom Dong (Kelly Sry) and their sad experiences and dire end as part of the low-budget fetish porn world of Eric (Brian Huskey) and his company, Ultima DVD, is real. You can read all about it at various “holy shit” clickbait websites, but the tagline sums
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ANALOG ADVENTURES: Long Time Coming

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. It’s been a minute since I did one of these, because I only had a few things, and then, suddenly, I had a ton, so here we are. First up is album which was supposed to be the start of a March installment of this
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CINEPOCALYPSE 2019 is Coming! (You Should Go)

Every time something like this year’s Cinepocalypse gets announced, I consider quitting my job and really trying to figure out a way to make money writing about things like this. I wish everything made me so excited. Going through the list of films, I started looking for themes, and while it’s pretty obvious that the festival is highlighting women in horror since it’s right there in the press release —  “CINEPOCALYPSE SPOTLIGHTS THE BADASS WOMEN OF HORROR” — there are some other themes making their way into the festival programming this year. To wit: there are three movies about Satan/demons,
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