Sunday, August 29, 2021


Excited to announce that my recent interview with the legendary Toni Basil has now been published in the new issue of SHOCK CINEMA. Looks like another excellent issue, much thanks again to Toni for giving me so much of her time for the interview. Toni is an actor/singer/dancer/choreographer who has had an incredibly interesting and eclectic career dating back to the early-sixties, appearing in beach party movies, dancing with Davy Jones in HEAD, tangling with giant teens (and ducks) in VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS, hooking up with Peter Fonda in EASY RIDER, hitching a ride with Jack Nicholson in FIVE EASY PIECES and so much more. She also starred in a couple of rock horror movies in the late-80s/early-90s: SLAUGHTERHOUSE ROCK and ROCKULA. Amongst her most recent work was choreographing the dance sequences in ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD. And of course, she scored a huge pop hit in 1982 with "Mickey", along with its memorable video, which was considered quite creative and ground-breaking in its day.

SHOCK CINEMA #60 is a print-only publication, and is now available from the magazine's website, while issues should start popping up in book and specialist stores and newsstands from next week.

Monday, August 23, 2021


Recent true crime watch. Given the over-saturation that the subject has received, and the fact that Manson himself is now dead, I didn't think there would be much new to say about it. That said, this six-part documentary series from 2020 would have to rate as one of the most thorough and involving on the subject that I have ever seen. While there may not be much in the way of new information, especially for anyone who has studied or read extensively about the case, the six-hour running time gives HELTER SKELTER: AN AMERICAN MYTH the time it needs to cover aspects of the case in a more in-depth way, facets which are usually dismissed within a few seconds in other docos, if they are even mentioned at all. And there is a lot of incredible archival footage which I don't recall ever seeing before, including original television and radio broadcasts, which really unnerve and help give a palpable sense of just how shocking the whole event was at the time, and the fear which gripped the area in its wake, changing LA irrevocably in so many ways. Pity they couldn't pick a more original name for the documentary, to try and differentiate itself from all the other HELTER SKELTER movies and docos out there, but I guess it is the phrase most recognizable to the mainstream.


Received my contributor's copy of Pete Chiarella's GRINDHOUSE PURGATORY #19, which includes my article on FANTASM (1976) and FANTASM COMES AGAIN (1977), the two notorious Australian sexploitation features from producer Tony Ginnane, which were primarily shot in Hollywood using some of the most popular and notorious XXX stars of the time, including John Holmes, Rene Bond, Uschi Digard, Serena, and more.

Looks like lots of great grindhouse and exploitation-related reading in this latest issue, which (as the title may suggest), is GRINDHOUSE PURGATORY's bread and butter. Available from Amazon.


I may not look overly thrilled, but this was my first time ever handling live snakes! A throwback to my days behind the counter at the infamous Polyester Books in Fitzroy (circa mid-2000s). On this day, author Raymond Hoser did an in-store to promote his books on Victorian police corruption. Hoser is also a snake and reptile handler, so he decided to bring some of his pets in with him. It was a fun day, we had a bowl of snake lollies on the counter to give out to customers, and we also bought some toy rubber snakes and hid them inside magazines and behind books, to try and scare browsers into thinking one of the real snakes had gotten away!

This photo was taken moments after Hoser suddenly dumped a whole bundle of the snakes on me. After the initial shock, I actually found them to be quite a pleasant sensation, some of them crawled inside my shirt and wrapped around my torso, and another curled around my neck and stuck his head in my shirt pocket to take a little nap! Very cute. It definitely helped increase my appreciation for the beauty and personality of snakes, though I don't agree with the surgical removal of their venom glands, which Hoser had done to many of these.

Saturday, August 14, 2021


My review of the new Australian Blu-ray box set HAMMER HORROR: FOUR GOTHIC HORROR FILM (1971-1972), released on the Imprint label from Via Vision, is now posted over at the FILMINK website. Follow the link below to read.



Saturday night movie, via the new local Blu-ray release from Imprint. Despite some slow passages, THE BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN (1971) is quite an effective, low-budget tale of the occult in a small Californian town, where a coven of elderly Satanists recruit the local children as receptacles for their souls, and to do Beelzebub's bidding. There's some genuine creativity at work here, director Bernard McEveety achieves an interesting and quite unique atmosphere, surreal and dreamy, and the Blu-ray really highlights the film's excellent, nicely framed and composed, photography (it was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico). I still have the old RCA VHS release of this movie, as well as an unopened pack of "Satan's Soul" seeds, which were given out to promote the movie during it's original release (obtained through Andrew Leavold and his Trash Video Archives, who MAY have some more available). The seeds are a great reminder of the unique old novelty promotional items often produced for exploitation cinema like this. I'm sure I've still got the original paperback tie-in novelization tucked away somewhere, a pretty thin volume that was authored by actor L. Q. Jones, who not only starred in the movie but co-produced it and co-wrote the original story. The novelization was likely just an expanded and tidied-up version of Jones' original story.