Posts by Nick Spacek

ANALOG ADVENTURES: Jackpot Records’ Record Store Day Releases

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. For those unaware, Record Store Day was pushed back from April, then again to June, and now it’s a series of “drops” taking place at the end of August, September, and October. This allows for greater social distancing for those who want to join in
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ANALOG ADVENTURES: ORG Music’s Record Store Day Releases

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. For thems what isn’t aware, Record Store Day was pushed back from April, then again to June, and now it’s a series of “drops” taking place at the end of August, September, and October. This allows for greater social distancing for those who want to
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Fantasia 2020: The Oak Room Tells, Rather Than Shows, and That’s a Good Thing

The Oak Room, director Cody Calahan’s film from a script by Peter Genoway, is a very small movie with big results. The Canadian blue-collar noir features only five actors with any major dialogue, yet feels grander than the two bars in which it takes place. “On a snowy night in a small Canadian town, Paul (Peter Outerbridge) has just closed up his bar when a young man named Steve (RJ Mitte) walks in the door — carrying a lot of baggage. The shared history between the two results in significant tension before Steve says he’s got a hell of a
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Director Steve Rudzinski on his Low-Budget Gem, CarousHELL, Now on Tubi

My favorite recommendation for lists of underseen genre movies is always director Steve Rudzinski’s 2016 slasher, CarousHELL. The absolutely nutso film is about Duke, a carousel horse who’s fed up being sat on, and decides to escape and seek vengeance on people of his town. It’s hilarious, weird, violent, and clever, but up until recently, you couldn’t track it down without picking up a copy directly from Rudzinski’s website. Thankfully, it’s now out of DVD from Wild Eye Releasing, and is streaming on free-with-ads service Tubi, so I took the opportunity to reach out to Rudzinski to talk all things
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Fantasia 2020: Shinichiro Ueda’s Special Actors Is Fun, Joyous Entertainment

Special Actors, director Shinichiro Ueda’s follow-up to the surprise smash hit, One Cut of the Dead, channels that film’s energy and spirit of joie de vivre while being something else entirely. Those expecting a repeat of One Cut‘s halfway flip might be disappointed, but thankfully, Ueda’s not interested in turning himself into an M. Night Shyamalan, reliant on recreating his early successes through increasingly-convoluted surprises. Hopefully. I’ll explain why in a minute. “Kazuto is not a typical actor…actually, he’s not an actor at all! He’s just a timid young guy who regularly faints from stress, hopelessly impressed with the psychic
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Fantasia 2020: Survival Skills Plays With All Sorts of Conventions

Writer/director Quinn Armstrong’s Survival Skills is exactly the sort of VHS worship which I can absolutely get behind. Taking the visual aesthetic of grainy, worn-out video, replete with tracking issues, and combining it with acting which contrasts overt enthusiasm with wooden roboticism, Survival Skills uses its opening scenes to set you up and flip you around. “Survival Skills is a lost police training video from 1988, which tells the story of Jim, a rookie cop who gets in over his head when he tries to resolve a domestic violence case outside the law.” Armstrong’s film is all about the set-up,
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Fantasia 2020: Clapboard Jungle Offers Insight Into a Different Aspect of Filmmaking

Director Justin McConnell’s documentary, Clapboard Jungle, tackles the side of filmmaking not frequently explored – the financial and business aspect of an industry most usually looked at from the creative angle. Thanks to McConnell’s many years in the indie horror trenches, along with the wide swathe of individuals with which he manages to speak, the end result is something that’s both personal and a series of lessons for the burgeoning filmmaker. “An emotional and introspective journey following five years in the life and career of an independent filmmaker, supported by dozens of interviews, posing one question: how does an indie
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FANTASIA 2020: A (very) Small Selection of Our Picks for This Year’s Festival

August 20 through September 2 marks the 24th annual Fantasia International Film Festival! Of course, due to the ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the programmers have decided to forego an in-person event this year. But not to worry! They’ve lined up an exciting virtual edition of the festival, with a wide array of funky genre films from all over the world, and Cinepunx is thrilled to come at you with some great festival coverage. Join me (Bryan Christopher) and Nick Spacek as we take our first foray into the realm of Fantasia. Nick, there’s a lot of interesting stuff
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New Bomb Turks release a ‘Diamond Edition’ of Nightmare Scenario to benefit Columbus orgs

Columbus, Ohio’s New Bomb Turks have been making pedal-to-the-metal, jet-fueled rock ‘n’ roll for 30 years now. While they don’t tour quite as much as they used to, the band is still kicking. Today, the band drops a 20th anniversary release of Nightmare Scenario on Bandcamp. The LP is New Bomb Turks’ fifth full-length album, and is presented in a “Diamond Edition,” featuring unheard mixes and a bonus track, all re-mastered by Jim Diamond. The reason behind all of this, says the band’s singer, Eric Davidson, ends up being a pretty simple one. “Crypt did a reissue of our very
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Engage in the visual ASMR that is doggo doc WELL GROOMED

Right now, it seems as though there’s nothing we need more than something to calm us down, chill us out, and bring our blood pressure to a manageable level. To that end, watching director Rebecca Stern’s documentary, Well Groomed (out this week on DVD and VOD), is a positive balm for the soul. “Accompanying a group of champion groomers and their gorgeous, vibrant dogs for one year on the technicolor competition circuit, WELL GROOMED effervescently and poignantly explores an America not often portrayed in cinema. From South Carolina to California, New York to Arkansas, the film follows the group from
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