Posts by Nick Spacek

CINEPOCALYPSE 2019: MOPE is ‘Utterly Sticky Nihilism’

Do not, under any circumstances, think that Lucas Heyne’s Mope is going to be a comedy. The title card, reading “this actually happened,” might give the impression — a la Fargo’s famous epigraph — that this is a fictional tale masquerading as a tragicomic reality. In truth, Heyne’s story of Steve Driver (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett), Tom Dong (Kelly Sry) and their sad experiences and dire end as part of the low-budget fetish porn world of Eric (Brian Huskey) and his company, Ultima DVD, is real. You can read all about it at various “holy shit” clickbait websites, but the tagline sums
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ANALOG ADVENTURES: Long Time Coming

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. It’s been a minute since I did one of these, because I only had a few things, and then, suddenly, I had a ton, so here we are. First up is album which was supposed to be the start of a March installment of this
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CINEPOCALYPSE 2019 is Coming! (You Should Go)

Every time something like this year’s Cinepocalypse gets announced, I consider quitting my job and really trying to figure out a way to make money writing about things like this. I wish everything made me so excited. Going through the list of films, I started looking for themes, and while it’s pretty obvious that the festival is highlighting women in horror since it’s right there in the press release —  “CINEPOCALYPSE SPOTLIGHTS THE BADASS WOMEN OF HORROR” — there are some other themes making their way into the festival programming this year. To wit: there are three movies about Satan/demons,
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BOOKSHELF: Exploring Lesser Known Cinematic Stories With FORBIDDEN HOLLYWOOD and HOLLYWOOD BLACK

Running Press have recently released two very excellent books through their collaboration with Turner Classic Movies. Mark A. Vieira’s Forbidden Hollywood: The Pre-Code Era (1930-1934) and Donald Bogle’s Hollywood Black: The Stars, the Films, the Filmmakers are both richly illustrated, oversized hardbacks that come in just under coffee table size. That size thing is kind of important; both books need to be big enough to reproduce the amazing photos included within their pages, especially those in Forbidden Hollywood, which fairly leap off the page with luminescence. However, given that they’re not “coffee table books” in the usual sense (in that
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’90s Ska Doc PICK IT UP! Is For All the Checkerboard-Clad Kids Out There

I feel like it’s safe to assume that most folks reading Cinepunx have some sort of musical subculture in their background. Liam and Josh obviously have their love and history with hardcore, and all of us who write here have some sort of punk influence in their past. However, I am here today to say that my name is Nick, and *deep sigh* I used to be a ska kid. Hi, Nick! Despite having the coordination of someone with a twisted ankle and the musical ability of a cat walking across a piano, I’ve always been into ska, thanks to
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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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