Posts by Nick Spacek

Films from the Void: Head of the Family (with bonus Jacqueline Lovell interview)

Full Moon Features (formerly Empire) typically have two ways of going about films: either grim, kind of dark horror flicks (like The Pit and the Pendulum or Puppet Master). or goofy comedies with a slight gross-out factor (like Bad Channels or Killer Bong). 1996’s Head of the Family plays into both of these camps, offering an equal dose of horror as it does comedy. Head of the Family recently got saved from its place within the bargain bin compilation DVDs, with a Blu-ray treatment for its 20th anniversary, and revisiting the movie is one hell of a trip. It’s always been a fun thing to
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Films From the Void: The Flesh Eaters

Jack Curtis’ 1964 sci-fi horror film, The Flesh Eaters, is one of those singular films that makes one wish there had been more. Directed, edited, and shot by Curtis, it was the only film he would make. Much like Herk Harvey with Carnival of Souls or Harold P. Warren and Manos: The Hands of Fate, Curtis made just one film, but it’s so definitively his, that it’s almost like the writer-director expended everything he had on the project. Curtis worked primarily as a voice actor — from radio shows in the ’40s to his best-known work on Speed Racer (as
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‘Salad Days’ director Scott Crawford on the forthcoming companion book, ‘Spoke’

Scott Crawford’s 2014 film, Salad Days, is an in-depth look at a decade of the Washington, D.C. hardcore scene, covering many of the bands and stories which made history. Be it luminaries like Ian Mackaye and Henry Rollins, or simply scenesters, zinesters, and hangers-on, the documentary covers the D.C. scene’s historical heyday. However, there were so many more stories Crawford wanted to tell, which is the reason for his upcoming book from Akashic, Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, DC Punk Scene. The book features images and stories from many of the people in Salad Days, but divided
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Punching Nazis Is a Cinematic Tradition

Like many folks, I woke up Friday morning feeling afraid and uncomfortable, uncertain as to what was going to happen to the United States. I knew of the many marches planned for that night and the next day, but by the time noon rolled around and the president-elect replace Barack Obama, I was fairly well sick with worry. So, as is my wont, I went to the bar near my house to watch Jeopardy and zone out. Jeopardy was pre-empted by the parade, so I got to watch a limp work its way down Pennsylvania Avenue while I drank cheap
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From the Stereo to Your Screen: Rachel Sweet & Hairspray

“Hairspray,” by Rachel Sweet, from Hairspray Despite its many iterations — musical, movie musical, live televised musical — John Waters’ original version of Hairspray, released in 1988, remains the best. Now, I’m a fan of musicals, and I’ll admit the Tony-winning Broadway version is pretty damned solid, with opening number, “Good Morning Baltimore,” being the best of the bunch. I’ll even cut some slack to “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” despite it being almost insipidly cloying. That said, Waters’ film is just so perfectly bizarre and fun and joyous, with a perfect selection of Cameo Parkway R&B sides soundtracking everything.
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From the Stereo to Your Screen: The Clash at Demonhead & Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

“Black Sheep,” by The Clash at Demonhead, from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Despite the fact that I’d rabidly followed the Bryan Lee O’Malley graphic novel series on which it was based, I didn’t get to see Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World film when it was in theaters. Firstly, I think it ran for maybe two weeks in my town, and it was dead-smack in the middle of back-to-school season.   Given that at the time, I was raising two kids, finances and time were at a premium, and they never became available simultaneously. So, I waited four months
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From the Stereo to Your Screen: John Williams and The Phantom Menace

“Duel of the Fates” by John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra from Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace The Phantom Menace was released the day I finished my sophomore year of college. Thanks to some amazing friends who sat in line for weeks, I was able to snag a ticket to the midnight screening in the biggest theater in Kansas City. I moved all of my stuff out of the dorms, drove it home, took it into my parents’ house, and then drove to sit in line for seven hours, in order to secure a seat. It’s
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Films From the Void: Mosquito (CINE-WEEN)

For the record: I feel really uncomfortable referring to something as “from the void” if it was released when I was in high school, but here we are. Accept the fact that you’re aging, Spacek. It’s an inevitability, and rejecting it will only make you sad and pathetic. Embrace the wisdom which comes with experience. Anyhow … Mosquito is one of those films which I missed as a kid, and finding this in a video store closeout sale was me taking a bit of a chance, and man, did it ever pay off. This flick is fun as hell —
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The Well-Read Ghoul: 10 Essential Books for the Horror Fan (CINE-WEEN)

Horror movies are so much more than splatter and jump scares, if you want them to be. While repeated viewings can sometimes yield surprises, there’s nothing quite like an informed opinion from a different perspective to offer further insight into longtime favorites. While the pendulum horror film criticism seems to frequently swing from fannish enthusiasm to academic dryness with little in between, there’s a slew of interesting reading to be had. What follows is a list of the most-readable and interesting books any self-respecting horror fan should have on their shelf. Danse Macabre Stephen King Gallery Books So what if
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Barbara Crampton on the VHS throwback ‘Beyond the Gates’; At The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 10/15

The term ‘throwback horror’ gets tossed around a lot these days in reference to horror films making the festival circuit. While many may aim for that nostalgic vibe, few manage to hit it on the head as solidly and satisfyingly as Jackson Stewart’s Beyond the Gates. Making effective use of an economical cast and plot, the film walks the line between tightly-wound supernatural horror and cleverly-amusing throwback. While humorous, the concept is never played for wink-and-nudge laughs in Beyond the Gates, and the film unfurls like the kids in The Gate grew up. We spoke via e-mail with one of the film’s
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