Posts by Nick Spacek

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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In the Valley Below’s Angela Gail Invites You to Drink Champagne in THE PINK CHATEAU

Angela Gail, along with her partner, Jeffrey Jacob, forms the electronic music duo In the Valley Below. Their music is equally suited to dark nightclubs and sunlit beaches, and the press release for their latest album, The Pink Chateau, describes it perfectly as “sexy, urbane, tropical pop music.” Rather than simply release the album or put out a music video, Gail directed a film which forms a visual interpretation of In the Valley Below’s new album. When we spoke about it the other day, it was really a fascinating glimpse into how both a new filmmaker (this was her directorial
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Grady Hendrix on the PAPERBACKS FROM HELL Reissues and Christopher Pike Novels

It’s no secret we’re fans of author Grady Hendrix here at Cinepunx. We’ve done an interview, a podcast episode, another interview, and a book review over the last two years. He’s a nice guy to talk to, and the things he does — from books like Horrorstör and We Sold Our Souls, to the Hong Kong-A-Thon, to co-writing the film Mohawk with Ted Geoghegan — seem like he’s pitching ideas straight from the depths of fevered genre imaginations. Thus, when it became apparent that some of the books featured in his overview of horror paperbacks through the decades, Paperbacks from
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Big Eyes’ Kait Eldridge On the Band’s Ever-Evolving Sound and Their New LP, STREETS OF THE LOST

When I first heard Big Eyes‘ debut single in early 2011, I wrote that the band “does the seemingly impossible task of reconciling arena rock with classic punk.” It’s still true, even as Big Eyes gets ready to release their fourth full-length, Streets of the Lost, via Greenway Records. Each album from the now-quartet has seen frontwoman Kaitlin Eldridge expand the band’s sonic palette, and their latest is no different. Streets of the Lost takes full advantage of Paul Ridenour on guitar, allowing Eldridge’s already robust riffs to double, and the rhythm section of Ridenour’s brother Jeff on bass and
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Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo On His Score For the Hypnotically Repulsive RELAXER

Writer/director Joel Potrykus’ new film, Relaxer, is simultaneously hypnotic and repulsive. It all takes place in one room — on one couch, really — where Abbie (Joshua Burge) is attempting to beat 256 levels of Pac-Man, because he’s not allowed to get up until he does so. If this movie had a smell, it would be sweat on a vinyl couch, with a faint whiff of sour milk somewhere in the background. Y2K’s on the horizon, and a sense of mild panic is palpable. If The Greasy Strangler left you uncomfortable, Relaxer will have you cringing. And, yet, the film
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FROM THE STEREO TO YOUR SCREEN: Guns N’ Roses and TERMINATOR 2

Guns N’ Roses’ “You Could Be Mine” from Terminator 2: Judgment Day When Terminator 2: Judgment Day came out in the summer of 1991, I did not see it in the theater. My mom dropped my brother and I off at the theater some afternoon, and while my brother saw T2, I went to see The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, and then killed time at the comic shop down the street during the remaining hour between when my movie let out and his did. This is really strange, because I’d buy the novelization and try to collect all
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BOOKSHELF: Qiana Whitted’s Brilliant Analysis of EC Comics “Preachies”

Qiana Whitted’s new book for Rutgers University Press, EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest, perfectly demonstrates why I love the ’50s publisher of titles like Tales from the Crypt, Shock SuspenStories, and Weird Science. In the course of her analysis, Whitted — a professor of English and African American studies at the University of South Carolina — breaks down a series of stories from the course of the company’s history, demonstrating that the “Entertaining Comics” could be more than just lurid and violent twist endings. Specifically, Whitted looks at the preachies, “socially conscious stories that boldly challenged the conservatism
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BOOKSHELF: Bill Schelly’s James Warren Biography is a Horror Nerd’s Dream

Fantagraphics’ upcoming biography of publisher James Warren, by Bill Schelly, titled James Warren: Empire of Monsters – The Man Behind Creepy, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters is a horror nerd’s dream. Replete with the history of multiple iconic publications, it’s not only the tale of Warren’s life, but that of magazines like Famous Monsters of Filmland, Help!, Creepy, and Eerie. Were Warren to have only published Famous Monsters of Filmland, his contribution to fandom would’ve been lauded for generations. However, given that the likes of Creepy and Eerie brought the work of EC-era artists to a whole other group of kids, he
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ANALOG ADVENTURES: Must Love Dio, Priest, and Maiden

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. In terms of timeliness, I am ridiculously behind on this column, because I’m pretty sure I intended this to be done in time for Aneurysm’s debut full-length on Tor Johnson Records, Awareness, to have been out less than a week. It’s now coming up on
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WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH: Talking With Diane Franklin About Her Return to Amityville

Actress Diane Franklin is well-known to genre fans for her work in such films as TerrorVision, Amityville II: The Possession, and, to the die-hards, an appearance in an episode of Freddy’s Nightmares —- A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Series. However, she’s known the world over to fans of ’80s films as Monique Junet from Savage Steve Holland’s 1985 classic, Better Off Dead, to say nothing of being one of the princesses in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Karen in The Last American Virgin. While her output slowed after the early ’90s, Franklin has recently returned to film, and it’s
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