Posts by Nick Spacek

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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BOOKSHELF: Exploring Lesser Known Cinematic Stories With FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD and HOLLYWOOD BLACK

Running Press have recently released two very excellent books through their collaboration with Turner Classic Movies. Mark A. Vieira’s Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era (1930-1934) and Donald Bogle’s Hollywood Black: The Stars, the Films, the Filmmakers are both richly illustrated, oversized hardbacks that come in just under coffee table size. That size thing is kind of important; both books need to be big enough to reproduce the amazing photos included within their pages, especially those in Forbidden Hollywood, which fairly leap off the page with luminescence. However, given that they’re not “coffee table books” in the usual sense (in that
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’90s Ska Doc PICK IT UP! Is For All the Checkerboard-Clad Kids Out There

I feel like it’s safe to assume that most folks reading Cinepunx have some sort of musical subculture in their background. Liam and Josh obviously have their love and history with hardcore, and all of us who write here have some sort of punk influence in their past. However, I am here today to say that my name is Nick, and *deep sigh* I used to be a ska kid. Hi, Nick! Despite having the coordination of someone with a twisted ankle and the musical ability of a cat walking across a piano, I’ve always been into ska, thanks to
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FILMS FROM THE VOID: Aliens Invade Tulsa in 1986’s MUTILATIONS

Over the last week or so, I’ve watched writer/director Larry Thomas’ 1986 movie, Mutilations, twice, as well as digging into every single extra on Massacre Video’s 2016 DVD release. It’s been an experience, certainly. I bought the DVD on a whim when the Lawrence location of the entertainment chain, Hastings, was going out of business. Everything was discounted, and I basically raided the horror section for anything that seemed even passably interesting. The Mutilations DVD sat on a shelf for a while until I wanted to watch something weird and, ideally, short. Sometimes, you just need a movie that’ll take
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