Posts by Nick Spacek

Director Steve Mitchell on Bringing KING COHEN to the Screen

Listing all of the films made by director Larry Cohen would be pages long, and if you added in the number of TV show episodes, it’d be pages and pages past that. Even if you were to distill it down to the number of Blu-ray reissues over the last few years, it would be absurdly lengthy. Suffice it to say, in the last five years, the genre icon has seen Q: The Winged Serpent via Scream Factory, Maniac Cop 2 and Uncle Sam on Blue Underground, and The Stuff via Arrow Video, all of which come with amazing commentary from
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ZOMBI TIME EATERS: An Entire Day On the Couch With an Italian Franchise

On a Monday in early July, I took advantage of my day off to watch all five installments in the Italian Zombi pentalogy. Starting by watching Dario Argento’s cut of Dawn of the Dead, titled Zombi for its Italian release, all the way through 1988’s Zombi 5: Killing Birds, it was all gut-munching, all day. Inspired by Severin’s recent Blu-ray releases of Zombi 3 and Zombie 4: After Death, I figured I might as well see what all the fuss was about. It was an odd experience, since I was experiencing some of the films for the umpteenth time, while
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WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? Only One Person, Evidently

If you’ve never seen Narciso Ibáñez Serrador’s 1976 killer kid movie, Who Can Kill A Child? (aka Island of the Damned, aka Who Could Kill a Child?, aka Death is Child’s Play, aka The Hex Massacre, aka Trapped), be prepared to be slightly bored for about 80 minutes of its nearly two-hour runtime. It’s not due to the usual slower pace of ‘70s European horror films, but rather due to some legitimate issues with the flow of the film. Who Can Kill A Child? falls in the category of films which pad their running time with what feels like ages
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GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS provides social commentary & a mutated sheep

Oh, my flipping lord. The American Genre Film Archive has once again dove into the Something Weird vault to clean up and release another stylistic mashup to turn your mind inside out. In this case, it’s 1973’s Godmonster of Indian Flats, whose plot summary barely does it justice: “Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the petting zoo! From the singular mind of infamous artist Fredric C. Hobbs (ALABAMA’S GHOST, ROSELAND), this is the story of an eight-foot-tall toxic sheep monster that blows up gas stations, smashes crooked politicians, and terrorizes stoners. In the words of
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SWEET SWEETBACK’S BADASSSSS SONG Has Never Been Sung So Sweetly

If you go into Melvin Van Peebles’ 1971 film, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, expecting “blaxploitation” as we’ve come to know it, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. You’d think, given the film’s elevated status, more folks would understand the fact that this is a supremely political polemic against the system. But no, first time viewers expect something like Shaft or Superfly, and get all weirded out by the fact that this is 50% French New Wave and the rest is unapologetically pro-black and anti-establishment. “Director/writer/producer/editor/composer Melvin Van Peebles stars as a black orphan raised in a brothel and groomed to
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XTRO: Not All Aliens Are Friendly, or Cute, or Particularly Lucid

Second Sight’s Blu-ray restoration of the 1980 alien possession film, Xtro, is the best the British director Harry Bromley-Davenport’s movie has ever looked. Well, kind of. There are multiple versions of the film on the disc that’s out now, including a re-colored version by the director himself.Stick with the Second Sight restoration. Bromley-Davenport’s version looks pretty nice during daylit scenes, but if there’s any darkness, the contrast gets blown out so bad the white positively glares. It’s a visual nightmare that does more harm than good. Anyhow, the film, should you not be familiar with it from the Horror Business
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Bookshelf: INTO THE VALLEY & WE ARE THE CLASH Explore Less-Examined Punk Stories

Crowdfunding can bring us some amazing things. I certainly never anticipated that I’d be reading the autobiography of Richard Jobson, frontman for Scottish punk band The Skids, but here I am with a copy of Into the Valley — and in hardcover, no less, thanks to Wymer Publishing and a successful Pledgemusic campaign. For those who are familiar with the minutiae of late ‘70s and early ‘80s UK punk rock, The Skids are a fairly familiar band. Their first LP, Scared to Dance, brought the hit from which Jobson’s book draws its name, along with the title track and “The
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REKT: David France’s HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE

This is REKT, the column where each month one Cinepunx staffer recommends films to the rest of the fam. We may be stoked, or we may be wrecked. This month, it’s Adrianna Gober’s turn to do the damage. Here are Nick Spacek’s thoughts on How to Survive a Plague. I considered starting this with “I don’t want to get all political, but …”, but figured that no, I do, in fact want to get political when discussing David France’s 2012 documentary, How to Survive a Plague. Starting in 1987, France’s film documents the creation and rise of ACT UP (AIDS
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Graham Skipper’s Directorial Debut, SEQUENCE BREAK, is a Gooey Mess of Weird

I have no idea what the hell is going on in Sequence Break, Graham Skipper’s directorial debut. It’s spinning, nightmarish bit of psychedelic craziness that circles back onto itself multiple times, and the plot leaves so much to the viewer’s imagination that even the plot summary offers up little to clarify matters: A reclusive video arcade repairman (Chase Williamson) experiences bizarre biomechanical mutations and Cronenbergian hallucinations when a mysterious new arcade machine appears in his shop. Reality itself threatens to fracture as the young man works to solve its mystery – and overcome the new chaos that has entered his
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Bookshelf: BIOLOGY RUN AMOK! Teaches Science Facts With Schlock Films

In the introduction to his new book, Biology Run Amok!: The Life Science Lessons of Science Fiction Cinema, Mark C. Glassy makes the point that it’s “very important to realize that the art of storytelling may be at odds with scientific accuracy.” As he goes on to point out, “plot often trumps science, but science can also improve the storyline.” The 22 essays within the pages of Biology Run Amok! were originally published in Scary Monsters magazine between 2010-16, and four of them were nominated for “Best Article” in the Rondo Awards. Glassy, a cancer immunologist at the University of
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