Posts by Nick Spacek

The El Duce Tapes Are Terrifying, But Not How You Might Expect

The first words spoken by Eldon Hoke in director Rodney Ascher’s The El Duce Tapes are, “Shut up! Everyone that likes to rape women, say, ‘Sieg Heil!'” If you can make it past that, you should know that you’re likely able to be able to deal with what’s forthcoming. It’s not going to be an easy viewing, though. Available on Arrow’s streaming service in November, The El Duce Tapes is rife with tape hiss and crackling audio and tracking lines. All on-screen titles use the VCR OSD Mono font, making the documentary feel like it’s been pulled straight out of
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CINE-WEEN: Ruined Is A Podcast For Horror Movie Fans And Fraidy Cats Alike

The weekly podcast Ruined is hosted by comedians and best friends Alison Leiby (who is very scared of horror movies) and Halle Kiefer (who loves them). Each Ruined episode features Kiefer giving the play-by-play of a popular, classic and/or extremely trashy horror movie to Leiby, with the pair adding their own hilarious commentary, offering their personal insights and, at the end, weighing in on whether scaredy cats can actually watch the movie scream-free or if they are right to skip the scares and head right to the online synopsis. It’s an absolute blast to hear, and it’s just as much
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CINE-WEEN: Attack of the Demons is a splattery animated ode to Italian horror

Director Eric Power’s Attack of the Demons (out October 30 from Dark Star Pictures in virtual theaters and on DVD and VOD on November 3), will certainly draw comparisons to vintage South Park with its cut-paper animation, but the mix of demonic rites and splattery violence during a rock festival on Halloween night is vintage Italian horror. “The year is 1994 – For centuries, a demonic cult has been plotting the destruction of mankind. When a small Colorado town is overrun by a legion of mutating demons, three non-demon hunter friends must use every skill their minds can fathom to
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CINE-WEEN: Scare Package Is A Meta-Horror Joy

Created by Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns of Paper Street Pictures, and directed by Emily Hagins, Chris McInroy, Noah Segan, Courtney and Hillary Andujar, Anthony Cousins, Baron Vaughn, and Koontz (who all co-wrote the film with Frank Garcia-Hejl, Ben Fee, and John Karsko), the new anthology film Scare Package feels less like a collective effort, and more like a grand, cohesive vision. “In Scare Package, Chad Buckley is a lonely Horror aficionado, spending his days overseeing a struggling video store and arguing with his only customer, Sam. When an unsuspecting job applicant arrives, Chad sets out to teach him
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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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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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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: 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: BLOODY HELL Is Wickedly Brilliant In Its Execution

Of all the films I wanted to see at Nightstream, Bloody Hell was the one I knew the least about. The North American premiere of this film from Australian director Alister Grierson had a fairly short plot summary which seemed intriguing enough to check out, but I was not at all prepared for what I was going to get. “In this relentlessly energetic, pitch-black horror-comedy, an ex-bank robber fleeing the country after a video of him goes viral, heads to Helsinki only to find there’s something in store for him there that is much more difficult to escape.” If I
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CINE-WEEN 2020: Talking ’80s horror with director Richard Friedman

While his output has slowed in recent years, during the ’80s and ’90s, director Richard Friedman’s work was cult genre gold. In addition to feature films like Phantom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge and Doom Asylum, he tackled episodes of Friday the 13th: The Series and Tales from the Darkside, to say nothing of the spin-off series, Baywatch Nights. It’s a fascinating career, and I was lucky enough to speak with Friedman last year for an interesting conversation. I’m a huge fan of Friday the 13th: The Series and I found a site that does rankings of TV series. It
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