Friday, February 11, 2022


Received my contributor’s copy of this magnificent new book from the UK, published by We Belong Dead and edited by Eric McNaughton and Darrell Buxton Over 400 glossy color pages, beautifully designed with many stunning and rare images, SPOTLIGHT ON SCIENCE-FICTION covers sci-fi cinema throughout the decades, from 1902 (A TRIP TO THE MOON) to 2018 (READY PLAYER ONE). I was thrilled to contribute three essays for this volume, looking at IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958), X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (1963), and BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (1970). Nice to see the mighty General Ursus from BENEATH taking the center spot on Paul Garner Monster Art's great cover illustration. Available from the We Belong Website in both soft and hardcover editions, link below. These books usually sell out pretty quick, so get in fast if you want one!



Nice catch-up with the Cinemaniacs crew at the Arts Centre last weekend, to discuss their line-up for this year. In terms of both film selection and guest speakers/panelists, it is probably their strongest year yet! I'm looking forward to being part of the SQUIRM panel in August, check out the Cinemaniacs page on the ACMI website at the following link:


A few of my viewings over the last couple of days, all releases from the AGFA/Something Weird collaboration, which has borne some incredible exploitation fruit so far. Bearing a similar feel and aesthetic as what John Waters would later achieve in his earlier films, SHE MOB (1968) is a jaw-dropping, B&W roughie shot in Waco, Texas, about a vicious lesbian girl gang out of prison and on the rampage. THE MONSTER OF CAMP SUNSHINE (1964) is another bizarre B&W oddity, this one shot in New York, where the gardener at a nudist camp drinks water contaminated by lab rat chemicals, turning him deranged and chasing after all the topless sunbathers! The print on this Blu-ray looks better than the film probably did on the day it first played theatres.

Lastly, SMUT WITHOUT SMUT: SATANIC HORROR NIGHT is a “mixtape”, compiling the non-sex highlights from half a dozen grimy, occult-themed XXX films from the early-to-mid seventies. Lots of fun, with some great lines of dialogue (“I’ll eat shit before I renounce Satan!”), and there are lots of old drive-in snack bar and local business commercials included to give it that extra vintage appeal. Beyond simple enjoyment, they are also intriguing artifacts from that particular era of guerrilla porn, and one of the films which they source for the compilation is THE DEVIL INSIDE HER from 1977, which features an occult Satanist character who wanders around the New England woods wearing make-up that is very reminiscent of (and clearly inspired by) Gene Simmons of KISS (in fact, this guy surpasses Gene in some areas, as anyone who has seen Gene's sex tape might understand)! The Blu-ray also contains the option to watch the full, uncut versions of some of the films which they used, including THE DEVIL INSIDER HER.