Friday, December 20, 2013

Bitches and Bullies

Our friends at the Wolf Pack podcast continue to delight and amaze with their insight and wit. They recently put out a pair of shows they titled "B**ches and Bullies" that boggles the mind.

On the first episode, Rebekah Herzberg calls in to try to explain to the host, Eric Morse, the differences between real friends and imaginary friends. He continues to rail about the Soska sisters in a rant that is nearly verbatim from his earlier shows. I'm beginning to sense a pattern here...

On the second show, "The Analysis," Morse gets a few phone calls, including one from his usual co-host, Derek Young. I was rather stunned when Young started complaining about how rude it is to talk over people. "Oh, snap!" I thought, "He's really giving it to Eric Morse for being such a rude asshole to Rebekah Herzberg!" It took me a few minutes to realize that I had gotten it reversed... Young was criticizing Herzberg and not Morse.

As The Wolf Pack likes to remove their podcasts, here are the episodes:

Part 1:

Part 2:

By the way... I know not everyone finds these guys as hilarious/appalling as I do. I hope to post some more interesting things going into 2014!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Strange Case of Char Hardin

I'm proud to have Kristy Jett lend her fingers to the Impossible Funky blog. Here's a little piece she wrote that she's calling...


I really had no idea who Char Hardin was before all of this. I mean I had heard of her, we had mutual friends, but I didn't know anything of her save for the fact that whenever her name was mentioned it was something drama related. A few weeks back my Facebook news feed was filled with statuses from friends about this harrowing event Char had allegedly been through. A few friends shared a status from Char's page. Immediately my bullshit senses starting tingling. I guess I should preface by saying that a couple years back I had a pathological liar as a roommate. He had a grandiose story for almost every event in his life however it turned out near everything he told me was a lie. Since then I'm extra weary when it comes to big stories, and I can tell you now I was right on target when it came to this Char thing.

Essentially the story that was shared was that Char had been attacked in the parking lot of a Best Buy at around 10am on a Saturday. The Saturday after Black Friday (11/30). She was attacked by eight people, beaten within an inch of her life and then left for dead in a dumpster behind the store. Somehow there were no witnesses and she wasn't found until a few hours later (around 3pm) by a Best Buy employee who was taking trash out.

Things get a bit hazy as the next part of her story explained that she woke up in a hospital and didn't know where she was so she hit the police officer who was stationed in her room. I don't mean to sound like a negative Nancy but the movies propagate that myth of police officers hovering by a victims bedside. It isn't really true to life. Then the story goes that she was airlifted to a private hospital, a mysterious benefactor keeping her location and welfare safe. It sounded like a pretty unlikely story unless you're one of those Harlequin romance novelists. Pure coincidence that Char is an aspiring novelist who has some fairly rudimentary excerpts from her work on her Facebook fan page.

After seeing a couple of updates on her personal Facebook page, allegedly written by her brother, I couldn't keep my suspicions to myself so I reached out to a few friends who also have no relationship with Char and I asked them if they thought I was crazy. I got a resounding chorus agreeing with what I was seeing. One friend suggested I call a tip into a local news station in New Orleans (where Char lives) and I realized that was the best way to get to the bottom of it. I had been Googling for attacks at Best Buy since I first read the story and nothing came up. If such a thing did happen on the busiest shopping weekend of the year it would have been headline news for at least 24 hours. You do not get attacked in broad daylight on Black Saturday and escape the limelight, even if authorities/news media didn't make her name public.

I sent a news tip email to one of the local news stations. I didn't hear anything at first, and then the mother-lode came in. Char/Char's brother/Char's mysterious benefactor posted an update on her blog explaining in great detail everything that happened to her.

On December 1st at 10 am Char left home to go shopping at Target and pick up her computer (fixed) at Best Buy. It was at 3pm an employee at Best Buy was dumping garbage when she discovered blood splatter on the dumpster and a smashed computer, smashed cell phone, and ripped sweater. She looked in the dumpster and saw a body. The body was transported to local hospital. Identified as Char. Her family are (sic) with her. She is being prepped to move to a new hospital location. The persons responsible for this act of violence are known and law enforcement are (sic) in process of seeking their whereabouts.

Char was able to write down who attacked her. She is disoriented at times and coherent at others. There are some complications but have been asked to withhold that information at this time. The family has posted on her facebook page. Family asked for no phone calls, her cell phone was destroyed. She cannot answer it or talk. Prayers and well wishes are welcome and appreciated. Her page will update as more information is released. Thank you for respecting family's wishes and they have been told of the prayers and well wishes posted on her page.

Friend of Char's

There were also two updates to this same post:

Updated 8pm Central

Char is being airlifted and transported to a new location. The Family are (sic) overwhelemed (sic) with phone calls. Please they appreciate the calls, but ask to keep phone lines open. Char's cell phone was destroyed. So if you have sent phone call or text, she cannot respond. Some people have her private number, it's not that the family doesn't care, just a lot going on right now. People have tweeted and facedbooked (sic) Char asking where they can send cards. You may send to her Char Hardin c/o 265 Hickory Street, Ponchatoula, LA.

At this time, the family wishes to thank you for all the live they see flooding her pages.

Justice is a work in progress. We have learned 1 of the 8 persons who was picked up beaten herself and missing two teeth and a lot of hair. Way to go Char.

My plane is taking off soon. So Rooster and Sarah will keep you all updated on facebook.


Updated 2:30 am Central

All 8 people involved in Char's attack are in custody. Friends of Char found where the final two were hiding and turned them into the authorities...after they had their heads shaved and their clothes taken. So two naked chicks are the final 2 to be picked up. Justice will take care of it from here on out, but some rednecks from Manchac dealt out some backwoods justice. ~ Rooster

I sent a follow up email to the news stations with the link. I got a response almost immediately from the newsroom reporter telling me that he was checking with the New Orleans Metro police as we typed, checking on the matter because he had heard nothing of this. Within ten minutes he wrote me telling me that neither the Metro New Orleans police nor the Sheriff's office had any such case. His exact words were, "Cops say it did not happen." I struck up a report with this reporter whose name was Ryan Naquin. He agreed with me that something sounded suspicious about this. He said aside from calling the local police he tried a number for Char and asked for comment but heard nothing. We emailed back and forth for a couple of hours and he kept coming back with little tidbits, most interestingly though was when he went to Twitter to reach out to Char. Another reporter from another news station has tweeted to her asking for info because she couldn't get any police station to confirm what Char claimed had happened.

Meanwhile Char had well-wishers all over her page and people boasting of her strength and courage. I was so shocked that people were falling for it. But I realized that people do inherently believe in the good in people. I mean, WHY would someone make up such a story anyways?

Ryan the reporter left a comment on Char's blog simply asking her to reach out to him to confirm her story. That's when all hell broke loose. That was Monday evening and within an hour of Ryan posting his comment there was a status on Char's Facebook page explaining that she is very angry because her Facebook page and blog were hacked and someone had written those stories in an attempt to harm her.

I have been hacked. And there are stories floating around that are not true. I have been loaned a laptop and I will broadcast from my show tonight and explain it all. I am sick, hurt and tired of speculations and the persons who hurt me had nothing to do with what has happened to my accounts. People pretending to be me and delving into my private emails and messages. Stop posting I am sickened by what has happened and I can't take any more. It's not that I don't appreciate what you all have said, I do, but I feel awful knowing what has happened and you don't so Please stop. Charlynn.

She went on to say that her brother and daughter would never update her page for her and that she was attacked but things are not as they were told to the public. A bit later she posted a status that she was going to tell her story on her podcast that night.

To recap, she had been beaten severely and was in a private hospital, but around 9pm she would tell her side of her story on her podcast, Charred Remains.

Yes, I tuned in. I had to know. I had to. I wanted to believe that this whole time I was a heartless bitch and that Ryan the reporter who probably went to journalism school was wrong and that the police were hiding something. I really did. The podcast really just proved us all right.

Char broadcasts on BlogTalk Radio. I've used it in the past and I know it's a simple as having a laptop. So, in theory, she could have been in the hospital. Then she says she has two friends there with her. Oh! Wow, her friends came to visit her in the hospital and stayed to help her through her podcast. No. They were phone call guests. She started her podcast making it clear that she had been through hell and had been contacted by every news station and reporter she could think of asking her to confirm what happened to her, but she chose to tell her adoring fans her story instead. She promptly said, "To the reporter who commented on my blog, you can go fuck yourself." Needless to say I emailed Ryan the reporter and told him he should listen in because he was just verbally slapped. Later he tweeted at Char asking why she wouldn't speak to him and why she told him to fuck off.

She retold the tale of everything that had been said on her Facebook page and blog, except that in this retelling everything had happened Sunday afternoon, just a little over 24 hours earlier. That was confounding since she had made such a stink saying that someone hacked her page and her blog telling a story that just wasn't true. Then a funny thing happened, Char said her daughter was knocking at her door. She queued up a Def Leppard song and left the show running while she attended to her daughter.

Char had been beaten within an inch of her life a little over 24 hours previous, had been airlifted to a private hospital where she was now holding podcast court after 9pm, and now her daughter was knocking at her door. Naturally, she went to answer it. Am I missing something?!

She went on to tell this elaborate tale of how a woman and eight friends attacked her in the Best Buy parking lot. Once again her story is a bit hazy as she explains these are people she knows, people whose kids used to call her Auntie and people she considered herself very close to at one time. She also mentioned something about being set up on a date, slapping some dude and that the woman who started this aggression with her had something to do it.

It was all sounding insane, even more insane than I could have imagined. Then she went on some tangent about how police had a few in custody, but then how some of her friends exacted some "swamp justice" or something and found the other three women involved and shaved their heads and gave them duct tape bikini waxes before turning them into police to answer for their charges. I wish I were making this all up, but it's all true. While this episode of her podcast has been mysteriously removed from her page (within two hours of its recording I might add), it lives on in a recording an astute listener made.

Char failed to answer some of the most burning and obvious questions: assuming that a hacker went into her blog, her Facebook, and her twitter accounts, why would they simply post that she had been attacked? What did that gain them? If the described attack was the ranting of a hacker -- though Char was actually attacked -- how did the blog post(s) differ from the actual events? Why the removal of the post, tweets, Facebook postings, and the "explanatory"

I couldn't help but notice that Char sounded quite happy, laughing through the last fifteen plus minutes of her podcast. She, or whoever was posting status updates for her, had said she has been choked very badly and could hardly talk. This Char, however, sounded quite relaxed and refreshed.

I will never make light of another woman's plight or say, "Oh well, if someone went through a hellish day they have to act like this or like that." We ALL handle stress and strife differently. I'm not one to judge but, something was just off about the whole thing. She had this army of supporters holding her hand and agreeing with everything she said, and completely throwing common sense out the window. How was a person who was airlifted to the hospital, unconscious and blood-spattered for several hours in a dumpster, and incoherent at times do a podcast the next day?

Over the next 24 hours I had about a dozen new friend requests. People commending me on waving a question flag more than once on public discussions about this story. They agreed wholeheartedly but thought they were alone. I even had a couple of friends express remorse for believing her after having doubts themselves.

The day after her podcast I took the liberty of calling every Best Buy within a 100 mile radius of New Orleans. I never said I was Columbo, but I've worked retail. I know for a fact if something as salacious as what she said happened and I asked I would find out which store it happened at. I asked to speak to the store manager at every single store. None of them had heard of such a thing. One even echoed what I had been saying all along, "If it had happened it'd be all over the news," she said. Exactly.

Char had also mentioned that she had obtained a lawyer quite soon after waking up from her "coma(?)". I wondered, if she was attacked why would SHE need a lawyer? Another friend mentioned that it sounded suspect; he had friends who had arrests for criminal activity. He surmised that perhaps she had broken the law in some way and was trying to cover it up with this story. It made sense. But I also felt like maybe she really had been in a fight and needed a story to excuse it. Once again, I would never, ever try to disparage a woman who had been attacked. I would however happily call out someone who made up such an elaborate story in an attempt to garner sympathy. Even though her reasoning behind making up such a story just didn't make sense. Why? Why make something like that up. I understand why people would have trouble believing she made it up, though I understand not believing such an outlandish story much more.

In the end I find it weird that Char responded with a stoic, "I no longer want to speak about it." One could say it's her business and it's no one's concern but her own. I have to counter that with saying that once she broadcast her story to the world, asking for people to send their well-wishes and prayers, she made an emotional debt that she deserves to answer to.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Pill Girls

My friend, Leon Chase, has crafted up a trailer for the movie The Pill Girls. Thing is, it won't be a full-fledged film unless the trailer gets enough votes.

It's free. It's easy. It's totally cool.

Here's the trailer:

Go on over to International Movie Trailer Festival and give him a vote.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spiderbaby Update

Maybe it's because it's Halloween or maybe just enough time has passed but this week a few new Lianne Spiderbaby-related items cropped up on the interwebs.

First, there's an interview with the anonymous source who tipped me off (indirectly) about the whole Spiderbaby plagiarism affair over at Dave Pace's An Ideal For Living blog.

Just two days later there was an episode of The Wolf Pack Podcast that utterly chilled my blood when I listened to it. Not only does host William Pattison AKA Eric Morse misidentify the "anonymous source" as Britney-Jade Colangelo, but he and his cronies tear into her and every other "woman in horror" (and women in general). There's one section where host Dr. Blood posits that women don't have it in them to direct horror films (I'm surprised he didn't equate it to menstrual trauma).

If you can make it past the bad audio and the egoist rants, you can hear all of the misinformation, offensive statements (and one of the hosts continuously yawning) yourself:

Here are some highlights:

EM: The Soskas are not horror directors: Horror directors know about tension, they know about character, they know how to use gore correctly, they know how to put in a scare. The Soskas do not scare. They don't have it in them."

DB: Well, they're women. That's the thing. Women don't know how to do it. I haven't seen a horror movie made by a woman apart from... uh, no. No, I was going to say, um, that Near Dark director, the one that did The Hurt Locker as well. I can't remember her soddin' name. [Kathryn Bigelow - MW]

EM: I can name one female director that I can honestly say made a very damn good horror film. That's Mary Lambert and Pet Semetary.

DB: I thought you were going to say that one. But then, to follow it up she did Pet Semetary 2, which wasn't very good.

EM: Yeah, that was a piece of crap.


DB: All these women directors, I think they've got one good film in them eventually, or somewhere in their careers. But, they're not consistent. And, if they do pull of something that's fucking scary, it's because they've been in the right place and the right time with a good fucking script behind them which was usually written by a man.


DB: Now, what will happen to Jen and Silvia [Soska] is they'll meet boyfriends, get knocked up, get married, probably not in that order, and disappear. They'll just disappear off the face of the earth. It's happened to so many women, you know. whether they're actresses or directors or cameramen or whatever you want to call it. Whatever roles they've had in the horror industry or the film industry. As soon as they get hitched, they settle down, they get a real normal job, they can't be bothered with this. I mean, look at Barbara Crampton. She disappeared for like 30 years and just decided to come back recently to get some convention money.

Audio Clips

Rather than making folks sit through the entire two hours, here are some clips of the show.

Eric breaking the story of who "the source" was:

Eric talking about his famous friends:

Eric discussing his fantasy of the Soska sisters' comeuppance:

This is amusing as well:

Update 11/10/13:

I was curious why, suddenly, the Wolf Pack podcast was giving me a 404 on this post so I did a little digging and found this over on one of "Author William Pattison (Author Eric Morse)"'s three* Facebook pages:

Ok, people, I just had to delete an episode of my podcast because a low life piece of shit named Mike White and a but of scumball troll and cyberbullys were attacking Dr Blood on the fact that we did a show about Chris Alexander using multiple profiles to troll reviewers who gave Fangoria produced films bad reviews. Also in that show we scooped who sold out Lianne Spiderbaby so she could get her job. The creepiest and most disurbing (sic) thing is that Mike White not only posted a link to the episode he transcribed portions of the show and did sound bits. Excuse me? A person has to be really lonely and pathetic to put in that much work on one little podcast. But here is the amusing thing, these jackasses attacked Dr Blood brutally but I haven't heard a thing except a couple of compliments on scooping the Spiderbaby thing. These cowardly bitches haven't said a single word to me. They are too afraid that I'll rip them apart publically (sic). So, here is what I got to say to Mike White. You are a creepy lower life scumball piece of shit. You go after the weaker guy because you are a coward. I've taken down Wil Keiper and Horror Yearbook. I've taken down Foo and Horror Movie Fans. I'm the person that Bloody-Disgusting remembers and hates because I showed them for the scumballs they are. I've showed two excuses for actresses as scumball users. I've taken of the two love children of the horror socials and Women of Horror and showed them to be egotistical, self-absorbed, shallow, bitches. I've taken down two conventions. And I've shown that the managing editor of Fangoria is a cyberbully and troll. So, you are a tiny maggot to me. So, go fuck off loser.

I find this to be incredibly strange. I "messed with the lion" and didn't get the claws. Instead, I got a lamb who would remove an episode of his show rather than defend it. Morse continues to miss the point that I was offended by his episode not because of any "Chris Alexander controversy" but because of the sloppy journalism and "creepy and disturbing" attitudes about women.

"[W]e scooped who sold out Lianne Spiderbaby so she could get her job" boasts Morse who apparently still doesn't realize -- or care -- that the person identified on his show was not the right one.

Morse also seems shocked that I would transcribe portions of his show and cut out some sound clips. This took me a matter of minutes to do. It's not like transcribing and audio editing are something foreign to me. So, really, he shouldn't flatter himself to think that it took much time or dedication to do such a thing.

I'm curious, too, why Morse would address me on a page I don't read. That's not really a good way to go about ripping me apart "pubically". Morse may claim to have "taken down" quite a few people and events but the only thing I can see that he's taken down is an episode of his podcast.

*Eric Morse / William Pattinson's three Facebook pages:
William Pattison
Eric Morse
Author Eric Morse

Again, remember how angry he was about Chris Alexander using a pen name.

Update 11/13/13:

In another odd move, the Wolf Pack posted a podcast which directly addresses me (by name, this time) where Derek "The Sleepy One" Young went on for nearly 45 minutes about this blog post. Again, there's been some concern about how long it took me to jot down a few lines and make a few sound clips. Let's just say that it was a lot less than 45 minutes (maybe ~5).

If it's not pulled, you can hear it here:

The podcast feels like a drunken voicemail left at 3AM.

I'm kind of honored that The Wolf Pack would take such time and make such an effort to dedicate an entire episode to a 1000 word blog post. I was going to list some highlights of the show but I don't want that to be misconstrued as me spending unwarranted time on this rather hilarious episode.

Update 11/14/2013

Just to be a completest, here's yet another of these Wolf Pack podcasts that seem to be addressing me directly. Obsess much?

Update 11/18/2013

Geesh. When is this going to end? The fellas at the Wolf Pack podcast pulled yet another episode. This was the one I was linking to via my 11/14/2013 update. It was called -- oddly enough -- "A Drunken 45 Minute Email." No, you read that right.

Fortunately, I saved the episode so you can hear it here:

And, as a favor to Derek Young, I did some editing to his rap song to add music back to the track:

Sure to be a hit!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Greydon Clark Releases Autobiography "On the Cheap: My Life in Low Budget Filmmaking"

Las Vegas, NV - During four decades Greydon Clark has worked in front of and behind the camera to bring some of the most memorable exploitation movies to life. “On the Cheap” is an in-depth, first person account of a lifetime spent in this fascinating Hollywood sub-culture.

From the sexy pep squad of “Satan's Cheerleaders” to the dirty dancing of “Lambada, The Forbidden Dance,” to “Joysticks,” “Without Warning,” “Black Shampoo” and dozens of others, Greydon breaks down each of his films into easily understood categories: screenplay, financing, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution, allowing the reader a true behind the scenes look at the ins and outs of the low budget world.

His movies boast Oscar winners - Martin Landau, George Kennedy, Jack Palance - and stars in the making just beginning their careers - Andrew Dice Clay, David Caruso, Julia Duffy, Laura Harring and many others.

"On the Cheap" is required reading for anyone interested in film or the art of low budget filmmaking. Greydon tells an amazing story of his days on the fringes of Hollywood, struggling to make films in the most cut-throat business there is. Reading his autobiography is like being taken on a personal tour of the gritty, remorseless but always thrilling ground floor of the film industry.

Greydon Clark's "On the Cheap: My Life in Low Budget Filmmaking" is available via Amazon and on

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

CineKink Announces Call for Entries for 2014 Festival Season

“Kinky Film Festival” Invites Filmmakers to Submit Sex-Positive, Kink-Friendly Entries for 11th Annual Event!

Rahway, NJ – October 2, 2013 – CineKink has announced a call for entries for its 2014 season. The “kinky film festival” is seeking films and videos, of any length and genre, that explore and celebrate a wide diversity of sexuality.

Dedicated to the recognition and encouragement of sex-positive and kink-friendly depictions in film and television, CineKink is looking to blur boundaries and will consider offerings drawn from both Hollywood and beyond, with works ranging from documentary to drama, camp comedy to artsy experimental, mildly spicy to quite explicit – and everything in between.

Cutting across orientations, topics covered at CineKink have included, but are by no means limited to, BDSM, leather and fetish, swinging, non-monogamy and polyamory, roleplay, gender bending, sex work and sex geekery.

Submission categories include:
  • * shorts (less than 40 minutes long; eligible for jury-determined awards)
  • * features (longer than 40 minutes; eligible for audience choice awards)
  • * adult cinema / porn excerpts (10-25 minute segments of longer works; eligible for 'Bring It!' showcase)

There is no restriction on production completion dates, as long as the work is completed at the time of submission. International submissions in most overseas formats are also accepted.

"Basically, as long as it involves consenting adults, just about anything that celebrates sex as a right of self expression is fair game," says Lisa Vandever, CineKink co-founder and director. "Far be it from us to define ‘kink’ – if you think your work might make sense in this context, please send it to us for consideration."

Scheduled for its 11th annual appearance in February 2014, the specially-curated CineKink NYC, the organization's flagship festival, will feature a short film competition, audience choice awards, an adult entertainment showcase/contest, a gala kick-off event, and a sexy closing-night party. A national tour will follow the New York festivities, drawing from its programming to showcase award-winners and audience favorites in cities across the country, adding visibility nationwide and year-round. The 2013 CineKink Festival Tour is currently underway, with screenings scheduled in such cities as Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Berlin, and more.

Discounted, early-bird entries must be postmarked by October 11th, while the regular deadline is November 15th. The final festival deadline is December 6th.

For more information and details on entry submissions, visit

About CineKink:
Now in its tenth season, CineKink is an annual film festival and national screening tour that celebrates and explores the wide diversity of sexuality. Presented by CineKink, an organization dedicated to the recognition and encouragement of sex-positive and kink-friendly depictions in film and television, works showcased by the festival range from documentary to drama, spicy to explicit – and everything in between!

For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BWFF Welcomes Multi-Award Winner To Accept the Golden Mitten

September 10, 2013 - Port Huron, Mich. - Academy Award-winning actress, Ellen Burstyn will appear at this year's Blue Water Film Festival as the event's recipient of the Golden Mitten Award. The award recognizes "an individual from Michigan that has made a significant mark in the arts and entertainment field," said BWFF executive director Jeremy Stemen. "We are thrilled and incredibly honored have Ms. Burstyn appear at the festival this year." The presentation will take place at McMorran Place Theatre at 9:30 p.m. during the Blue Water Film Awards ceremony on Saturday, September 27, 2013.Burstyn originally hails from Detroit and began her career in theatre during the late 1950s and over the next decade it included several films and television series.

Burstyn's performance in the acclaimed 1971 ensemble drama The Last Picture Show brought her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, after which she moved from supporting to leading film and stage roles. Burstyn received a second Academy Award nomination for her lead performance in The Exorcist (1973), and won the Academy Award for Best Actress the following year for her work in Martin Scorsese's, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

In 1975, she won the Tony Award for her lead performance in the Broadway production of Same Time, Next Year, and received a Golden Globe Award and a fourth Academy Award nomination for her performance in the 1978 film version of the play.

Burstyn has worked consistently in film, television and theatre since, receiving multiple awards and nominations along the way, including seven additional Golden Globe Award nominations, five Emmy Award nominations (one win), and two more Academy Award nominations for Best Actress for her performances in the films Resurrection (1980) and Requiem for a Dream (2000).

Ellen Burstyn was the first woman elected president of Actors Equity Association (1982-85), and served as the Artistic Director of the famed Actors Studio where she studied with the late Lee Strasberg.

Academically, Ms. Burstyn holds four honorary doctorates, one in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College, a doctorate from The New School for Social Research, and a doctorate from Pace University where she teaches in The Actors Studio M.F.A. program

Burstyn has been a significant presence on television, film and the stage for over 50 years. The Blue Water Film Festival is pleased to present its award of prestige, the Golden Mitten to such a worthy candidate.

Tickets to all Blue Water Film Festival events may be purchased at

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blue Water Film Festival announces Official Selections

Michigan and Ontario-based film festival reveals finalists up for monetary prize award competition.

Port Huron, MI, August 27, 2013 - The Blue Water Film Festival (BWFF) has announced the Official Selections of the 2013 festival.

Independent films are submitted to the festival each year from all over the State of Michigan and the Province of Ontario. Each fall they are screened in the City of Port Huron at McMorran Place Theatre over a full weekend of events; culminating in the Blue Water Film Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening.

The Blue Water Film Festival accepts short films, full-length features, documentaries and animated films to their annual festival.

The 2013 Official Selections of the Blue Water Film Festival (in alphabetical order)

Abed - Ryan Lieske (Bryon Center)
Bone Yard - Scott Galeski (Wyandotte)
Broadcasts from Voyager Prime - Matthew Winne (Ferndale)
Dayplanner of the Dead - John Wisniewski (Farmington)
Dog Tag - Mark Finnell (Ferndale)
Downriver - Tinisha Brugnone (Warren)
Fifty Lakes One Island - George Desort (Riverside, IL; filmed in Michigan)
Grammar Goombas - Allan I. Ross (Lansing)
Haunted Sweet Dreams Inn - Cruce Grammatico (Dryden)
Moo: A Documentary - Reid Petro (Kalamazoo)
Resistant - Mike Madigan (Troy), Matthew Peach (Livonia) and Chris Lepley (Royal Oak)
Static - Denn Pietro (Taylor)
The Date - Chris Raby (Los Angeles, CA; filmed in Michigan)
The Water Brothers: Carpageddon - Alex and Tyler Mifflin (Toronto, Canada)
The Whistle - Jonathan D'Ambrosio (Clarkston)
Torontopia - Sam Kay (Toronto, Canada)
Trail - Phillip Lupo (Garden City)
Vanishing Act - Joshua Courtade (Comstock Park)
Whiskey Tango - Scott Galeski (Wyandotte)
Who the *&@# is Uncle Joe? - Allen Maldonado (Plymouth)

Kelly Kennedy, Chairperson of Film Selection for the Blue Water Film Festival states, ?The 20 Official Selections featured at our fifth annual festival truly show the talent, ingenuity and passion the independent filmmaking industry in Michigan and the Province of Ontario continues to possess. Each year we are honored, thrilled and very proud to present a compelling program that provides these gifted filmmakers an opportunity to showcase their phenomenal work while at the same time exposing the Blue Water Area to a unique and diverse catalog of films?.

The Official Selections of the Blue Water Film Festival will screen on Saturday, September 28th, 2013.

Visit for more information.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Detroit Zombie Con Preliminary Schedule of Events

Mark your calendars, Detroit's Zombie Con is shambling your way on August 17 & 18 at the Motion Picture Institue in Troy, MI.

Get your tickets via Eventbrite and be sure to be there by 11:30 on Saturday to hear Rob St. Mary and I on the "Evolution of the Zombie Film" panel.

Here's the tenative schedule for everything Zombie Con:

Day 1: SATURDAY, AUG 17, 2013 - Doors Open at 10AM
MOVIE 1Carnival of Souls10AM-11:30AM
PANEL DISCUSSION 1The Evolution of the Zombie Film11:30AM-12:30PM
MOVIE 2Birth of the Living dead12:30PM-2PM
PANEL DISCUSSION 2Why Do We Love Zombies W/Psychologist Kim W.2PM-3PM
MOVIE 3Undertaker (Presented By Synapse Films)3PM-4:30PM
MOVIE 4Battle of the Damned7PM-9PM
EVENTAFTER PARTY9PM Until The Dawn Of The Dead...
Day 2: SUNDAY, AUG 18, 2013 - Doors Open at 10AM
MOVIE 1Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse (Short Film Precedes) 10AM-11:30AM
MOVIE 2Fangoria's Germ Z11:30AM-1PM
MOVIE 3Short Film - Ian Bensman's Mission Zero1PM-1:30PM
MOVIE 4Synapse's Reel Zombies1:30PM-3PM
MOVIE 5Short Film - Matt Cantu's The Zombie Factor3PM-4PM
MOVIE 6Portrait of a Zombie (From Ireland)4PM-5:30PM


Cashiers du Cinemart 18 Update

I don't know what it's been but I was being kind of blasé about the next issue of Cashiers du Cinemart, maybe because it was yet another item on my long "to do" list.

I've finally gotten my head out of my butt a bit and am getting back into "editor mode" when it comes to this upcoming issue.

I've extended the final deadline for articles to the end of August. If you've got something you want to write about, please send it my way via my impossiblefunky @ gmail address. No facebook messages, please. I'm trying to keep everything in the same inbox.

Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Spiderbaby's Book Shelved

In a very informal statement -- a tweet -- St. Martin's Press told several curious folks yesterday that "[Ms. MacDougall] has withdrawn [Grindhouse Girls]. Thanks for your patience."

I've been interviewed a few times about the whole situation. Here are a few links of interest:

Continue to keep up with the latest insanity via The Mortuary.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Grindhouse Girls: Cinema’s Hardest Working Women

All right, friends, thanks to some more intrepid sleuthing, the introduction to Lianne's book has been uncovered. There are a few surprising things here but it's not surprising to find that several sentences have lifted from other sources. Much of this intro is a memoir. Fortunately, that seems to be original. Yet, there seems to be some question of the legitimacy of Lianne's memories. She talks about a dungeon-like rental shop "full of VHS and BETAs" though the Beta format would have been phased out well before Lianne's youth. There are a few specialty shops that dealt in Beta long after the heyday of the format (I'm thinking of Thomas Video in Clawson) so it is possible, albeit not probable. There are also a few odd phrasings and malapropisms that seem to be her own.

Sources are listed below.

As a writer, I’m very attached to Grindhouse Girls. It’s my first book, and it showcases an era in cinematic history that I’ve been dedicated to, and passionate about for several years now: the 1970s, and early 1980s. Growing up, I was the only sister to three brothers; horror films were a regular weekend routine – required and vital. My father would take us to the suburban rental store to visit the creepiest in-shop horror house any of us could ever imagine. It looked like a dungeon, a terrifying little room in the middle of the rental shop, full of VHS and BETAs like Chopping Mall and The Prowler ready and waiting for our living room television screen. To be honest with you, I can’t remember whether I really loved the films at first, or if I just watched them so that my older brothers would think I was cool. Reflecting back now as an adult, I know it’s the former.

As a student enrolled in the prestigious cinema studies program at the University of Toronto, most of my fellow students were writing essays about German expressionism, Italian neo-realism, and French new wave. Alternatively, I was writing about the break down of family values in Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Nixon’s Watergate scandal in relation to Damiano’s Deep Throat. I continued to write about exploitation cinema and more prominently, the theatres where these films were shown - the grindhouses, which were low grade movie houses named after the burlesque theaters located on 42nd street in New York City, where 'bump n' grind' dancing was the main attraction.

After starting my own website, and reviewing films for several horror websites, I started writing for Fangoria, FearNet, Famous Monsters of Filmland and Video Watchdog. My first feature in Fangoria (issue #299) was an interview with Sage Stallone of Grindhouse Releasing, the undisputed leader in exploitation distribution. I also interviewed one of my favorite exploitation actresses, Lynn Lowry, and that is how Grindhouse Girls started. Lowry is one of cinema’s hardest working leading ladies, and while there are several books on actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, there are very few on exploitation actresses, who are the backbone of the films they starred in. Without these women, exploitation and horror cinema would not be the same. Grindhouse Girls profiles, celebrates, and tells the story of these actresses; women that took great risks to get ahead in their career, who stripped naked, or had their hair matted with stage blood, who took chances on directors that didn’t have much money or means to create their visions. These women are outstanding, beautiful, and outrageously bold.

Extreme images of blood, sex, and violence (coined as “torture porn”) were extremely popular within horror films in the 2000s – movies that depicted nudity, torture, mutilation, and sadism. For example, Eli Roth’s Hostel, James Wan’s Saw, Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek, etc. However, torture porn was not exactly a new idea. The exploitation actresses featured in this book have seen it all before, they were the catalysts of the original torture porn movement, which is essentially a subgenre of exploitation cinema. Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds) and Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin City) helped to make exploitation popular again by releasing a double feature that included nostalgic movie trailers entitled Grindhouse. Additionally, grindhouse regulars I Spit On Your Grave (1978), and The Last House On The Left (1972) have seen relatively successful remakes in the last few years. If low art is becoming high art in today’s society and in our movie theatres, then there is no better time to acknowledge the actresses that gave us everything that most Hollywood actresses could not: sex, drugs, violence, shock, rock, and rebellion. This book aims to celebrate the work of seventeen different exploitation actresses as well as the films they starred in. I believe that these actresses and their work can be viewed as feminist or have empowering feminist qualities. That being said, I am not necessarily arguing that the films they starred in are feminist as well. An empowering character or actress in a film is a much different than an entire film being rendered as feminist. In exploitation filmmaking one cannot forget that these films are deemed exploitation for a reason. However, for contemporary female (and male) spectators, our understanding of exploitation actresses and the characters they played in 1970s-80s exploitation cinema can be read as positive and progressive, thus rendering them as feminist both symbols and icons. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you – the Grindhouse Girls: Cinema’s Hardest Working Women.

Chapter One: Women And Exploitation Cinema: The Goddesses Of The Grindhouse

Exploitation films are consistently one of the most popular and, at the same time, the most disreputable of Hollywood genres. For years, critics and film theorists branded exploitation as simple trash unworthy of critical appraise, and many were swept under the rug completely, without a second glance. Exploitation films are hard to define, but generally the films involve exploiting what is often considered lurid subject matter: violence, sex, drugs, nudity, gore, and anything out of the ordinary. The films are sensationalist, and they lurk amongst the boundaries of acceptability in terms of visual style, political and cultural opinions, and sophistication. Exploitation cinema also preys on our worst nightmares and gives our biggest fears a plot line: rape, violence, excessive bloodshed, Nazism, and cannibalism, to name a few. Most exploitation films are of low production quality, in every sense. The sound is often dubbed over, you occasionally catch an extra cameraman on-screen, and although the story leaves very little to the imagination, many exploitation films focus on shock-shots rather than cohesive narratives and continuity. Despite everything that is “wrong” with exploitation cinema, these films have always found audiences, and continue to have a large fan base. Exploitation cinema embraces and appeals to the darker side of our psyches; the films never hold back, and they never deny us any pleasure, no matter the form. …. Recent work in film scholarship has made exploitation and sleaze cinema worthy of academic investigation. Film fans and cinephiles often champion obscure and low budget filmmaking as being closer to the “true” cinema. Film theorist Pauline Kael (Trash, Art, and the Movies, 1968) states that “after all the years of stale, stupid, acted out stories, with less and less for me in them, I am desperate to know something, desperate for facts, for information, for faces of non-actors and for knowledge of how people live – for revelations, not for the little bits of show-business detail worked up for us by show-business minds who got them from the same movies we’re tired of… Trash has given us an appetite for art.”1 Exploitation cinema is now enjoying a resurrection, with a new, unique, youthful, and film-loving audience demographic. It is impossible to talk about the golden age of exploitation films, and the effect these films had on spectators without referencing the theatres the films were screened in: the grindhouses. Grindhouse is a term given to theatres in North America that screened mainly exploitation features. The theatres were named after the burlesque “bump-ngrind” shows that took place on 42nd street in New York City. When motion pictures became prominent and popular than the old vaudeville stage performances, many of these entertainment houses changed over to feature movie double bills, and trailers for future releases. Thus, in the late 1960s, the bump-n-grind houses became the exploitation movie theatres that were referred to as the grindhouses.

Grindhouse exhibition allowed spectators to undergo in the theatre what they were subjected to on screen, creating an entirely different experience from that at major theatre and multiplexes today. Located within the esteemed Broadway theatre area in Times Square was America’s most notorious red-light district. Its main section was known as “The Deuce”, a tiny strip of grimy lights and theatres that spanned 42nd street during exploitation’s golden age. The Deuce had wall-to-wall grindhouses with large auditoriums, balconies, big screens, velvet curtains, and old opera style seating2. The Deuce grindhouses were showcases for the wildest and most extreme films in cinematic history, many of which will be further discussed in this book. There were several reasons to venture out to the grindhouses - to score drugs, engage in foolish one night sexual behavior, to be a part of a diverse crowd, or to view a double bill of the wildest films imaginable. However, the grindhouses had an attraction even more powerful and mesmerizing that could not been seen anywhere else: onscreen actresses who kicked ass, stripped naked, were often covered in stage blood, and weren’t afraid to get down and dirty for the sake of their acting careers - without these ladies, the films would not exist. … But what is it that makes these exploitation films so appealing to modern audiences? And what is it about exploitation films that are extraordinarily appealing to females? In the 1970s, both men and women were lined up around the block in New York City on 42nd street, vying to get into the premiere of Ginger (Don Schain, 1971) and even more exploitive and pornographic, Damiano’s Deep Throat (1972). The theme that will run through Grindhouse Girls has to do with whose fantasy is satisfied by the gender “trouble” of exploitation films and more specifically, the prominent actresses that starred in them. There is something about these strong and beautiful women in exploitation films that is very appealing to women; it is easily understood why beautiful, occasionally naked and sexual women are alluring to men, but what is it exactly about these exploitation actresses that women find so attractive?

The chapters of this book will discuss, profile, and celebrate exploitation actresses that were working and starring in films during exploitation’s golden age. Each chapter is dedicated to an actress, and many include interviews and quotes that I conducted myself between 2010-2011. These actresses are artists, and in many ways, should be more respected for going against the grain in their careers, and for making it against the odds. Many of these women are still enjoying acting careers, while others have chosen different career paths, but are quite proud of the work they did in exploitation filmmaking. Grindhouse Girls gives these actresses and their work extra meaning and love, since they were able to get past the low budgets and lurid subject matter in order to create films that are truly extraordinary. This is what makes them cinema’s hardest working women. For the love of acting and film, they were willing to do whatever it took, and whatever it took – they often did.

1 Kael, Pauline. “Trash, Art, and the Movies” Going Steady: Film Writings, 1968-1969. New York: Marion Boyars, 1994. Pg. 128-129.

2 Stevenson, Jack. Land of a Thousand Balconies: Discoveries and Confessions of a B-Movie Archeologist. Headpress, 2003. Pg. 22.

Sources: (More will be listed as found)
Lianne: Exploitation films are consistently one of the most popular and, at the same time, the most disreputable of Hollywood genres.

Robin Wood: The horror film has consistently been one of the most popular and at the same times most disreputable of Hollywood genres. (The American Nightmare, p.13)

Lianne: The films are sensationalist, and they lurk amongst the boundaries of acceptability in terms of visual style, political and cultural opinions, and sophistication.

Jeffrey Sconce: As a necessarily imprecise and subjective concept, sleaze in the cinema has always lurked at the ambiguous boundaries of acceptability in terms of taste, style, and politics. (Sleaze Artists, pg 5)

Lianne: The Deuce grindhouses were showcases for the wildest and most extreme films in cinematic history

Bill Landis & Michelle Clifford: The main venues were grindhouses, down-at-the heels creations left over from the Minsky's Burlesque days-and showcases for the wildest and most extreme films in cinematic history. (Sleazoid Express)

Lianne: Exploitation films are consistently one of the most popular and, at the same time, the most disreputable of Hollywood genres

Robin Wood: The horror film has consistently been one of the most popular and,at the same time, the most disreputable of Hollywood genres (Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan--and Beyond, pg 69)

Lianne: The theatres were named after the burlesque “bump-ngrind” shows that took place on 42nd street in New York City.

Wikipedia: It is named after the defunct burlesque theaters located on 42nd Street in New York City, where 'bump n' grind' dancing and striptease were featured. (

Thank you to Udar55 of the Latarnia Forums for helping find the majority of these lifts.

No word yet from St. Martin's Press if Grindhouse Girls will be going to print or going to pulp.

By the way, if you want a good laugh, check out "Kloee Addams" on Twitter. She's a hoot!

Friday, July 26, 2013

All Quiet on the Spiderbaby Front...

It's been two weeks now since the shitstorm of "Spidergate" swept through the Internets. Twitter, blogs, forums and facebook were abuzz for a few days and even a few mainstream periodicals picked up on the story: Gawker, The L.A. Times, The Toronto Star, The Guardian.

Intrepid investigators have scoured Lianne MacDougall's past works, going all the way back to her college papers, discovering a history of plagiarism that reaches far into her past.

Meanwhile, there's been no word from the MacDougall/Tarantino camp, from St. Martin's Press (where her book Grindhouse Girls is said to be coming out "late 2013"), or from any other media outlet.

I could be deluded (and usually am) but I feel that the Spiderbaby "scandal" extends past the boundaries of "genre journalism" and speaks to a larger problem of the value (or lack thereof) placed on the pixels that so many people have been pushing around the internet. By writing something for online consumption, is it's value inherently less than that of something on paper? And why should one writer get paid for using the exact same words that another writer has used rather than paying the original author? Is there more value in the "image" of the author than the actual output?

This ordeal has opened up a lot of great conversations that I would encourage people to check out including (but not limited to):

Did I miss anything? Let me know.

And, in the meantime, don't hold your breath for anyone else to pick up this story and run with it. It seems that things have run out of steam.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The United States' Royal Baby

Celebrating Fifty Years of JFK’s "Silly Bastard" Phone Call

One of the most popular US Presidential phone call recordings celebrates its 50th birthday on July 25, 2013. In the phone call, recorded on July 25, 1963, President John Kennedy berates an Air Force general in the Pentagon for wasteful expenditures, using some rather salty language. In various outlets on the web, such as YouTube, the recording has been heard close to half a million times..

On July 25, 1963, people in the United States were waiting with baited breath for the birth of their own version of the royal baby. The First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, was eight months pregnant and vacationing in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The closest military facility, Otis Air Force Base, immediately prepared a maternity suite for Mrs. Kennedy's use should she require it.

A story about the maternity suite preparations appeared in the July 25, 1963 edition of the Washington Post. In the article, it was reported that $5,000 ($38,000 in 2013 terms) had been spent on refurbishing the suite, including new furniture from noted Boston area department store Jordan Marsh. After reading the story, President Kennedy immediately began phoning aides in Washington, including Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Sylvester and Air Force Aide Gen. Godfrey McHugh. As with the presidents before and after, Kennedy made a habit of recording all his phone calls on dictatape. These phone calls are in the public domain and available at the JFK Presidential Library and other sites.

An obviously angry Kennedy peppers the call with expletives, including repeatedly calling an Air Force Captain standing for a press picture next to Mrs. Kennedy’s bed a 'silly bastard.' The call ends with Kennedy telling General McHugh that there has 'obviously been a f*** up.'

Mrs. Kennedy gave birth to a son, Patrick, on August 7, 1963. Patrick was diagnosed with a lung ailment shortly after his birth and died on August 9, 1963.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Neglected Projection Booth Podcast Episodes

It's time to go back into the archives and see which episodes people should listen to but haven't. How about downloading these shows? They're good shows. They just need people to believe in them.
  1. Static
  2. Chicken Park
  3. Love and Death
  4. Simon
  5. Pastoral: To Die in Country
  6. Score
  7. Traxx
  8. Flight to Fury
  9. Mimesis
  10. Darktown Strutters
  11. Superbman: The Other Movie
  12. The Ghastly Love of Johnny X
  13. Hickey & Boggs
  14. High & Low
  15. The Haunting of Julia
  16. Secret Honor
  17. Detroit 9000
  18. Punishment Park
  19. The American Astronaut
  20. Mean Guns
  21. Shoot the Piano Player

Plastic Movies Rewound

In our VHS Extravaganza episode, we talked to Mike Malloy about his "Rewardathon" for his next film, Plastic Movies Rewound. The Kickstarter campaign has begun. Pony up some bucks, won't you?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Who Does Your Girlfriend Think She's Fooling?

It's come to my attention that Lianne Spiderbaby (AKA Lianne MacDougall), a writer for online and offline publications like Fangoria, Famous Monsters of Filmland, Video Watchdog, FEARnet -- well, she used to be on FEARnet... Oddly enough, she's also the current squeeze of our old pal Quentin Tarantino has something more in common than just a love of film with her beau. She's also a big fan of Tarantino's "collage style" of art.

Lianna, host of the Rondo-award winning "horror multimedia" site Fright Bytes, has been taking whole swaths of other peoples' writing and passing it off as her own without any kind of acknowledgement. She's posted numerous articles on FEARnet as a column called "Spiderbaby's Terror Tapes," that have been largely based on other peoples' work.

First Example
The July 9, 2013 piece, "'Suspiria' with Barbara Magnolfi," pieced together sections of original writing along with chunks from,, and Here's a visual example of the introduction to Lianne's interview (which is not plagiarized):

Without a doubt, Suspiria is Dario Argento’s best film (some of you may not feel the same, but I stand behind my choice), and one of the most atmospheric and artistic films ever made in the horror genre. It is the first in Argento’s “The Three Mothers” trilogy, which also includes Inferno and The Mother Of Tears. Argento was at the top of his proverbial game when directing both Suspiria and Inferno as they defy everything you've come to expect from horror films. Not only are they brimming with suspense and incredibly stylized violence, they are absolutely beautifully filmed.

Suspiria defines the horror film as a work of visual art. Scenes are lit with bright reds, greens, and blues making them look more like moving paintings than film. It's a masterpiece of visual filmmaking. Suspiria also includes one of the most memorable soundtracks of all time. Goblin, who would score numerous other films for Argento, provide a haunting score and one that uses strange human vocals, the sounds of whispers and gasps to compliment the music. It's an artistic choice that lends itself well to the film. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Suspiria without Goblin’s soundtrack. The 1977 giallo classic is an experiment with lighting, mise-en-scène and sound.

Rightly considered the pièce de résistance of Dario Argento's filmmaking career, the movie is sparse and plain as it follows a young American dancer named Suzy (Jessica Harper) through the stressful demands of a prestigious ballet academy. Over the course of the film, Suzy slowly discovers that the ballet studio is run by a nasty coven of witches.

But it’s the beginning sequence that sets Suspiria apart from all the rest – it starts out late in the night during a raging storm. A young woman runs screaming from the exclusive Frieberg ballet school. We see her hurtling, screaming through the woods, illuminated by lightning. After she arrives at a friend's apartment she peers through a window into the tumult, only for an arm to smash through one window pane and, in a loving, extended shot, suffocate her against the other. While her friend drums hysterically against the locked door the gloved hand repeatedly stabs the girl. In the next shot the stabbing continues, this time in full close up as the fiend winds a rope around the shrieking victims legs. Then, we cut to the friend running into the lobby of the apartment building for help. As she looks up towards a stained glass ceiling, the victim's head crashes through it in a hail of glass shards followed by her body. We cut to the blood-drenched corpse, suspended by the rope dripping blood onto the floor. Finally Argento pans the camera to reveal his next horror: the falling glass has impaled the friend to the ground, crucifix-like, the largest sliver having split her face in half. This is horror beauty at it’s finest!

Yeah, that's pretty blatant.

Rather than 'fess up to what she'd been doing, it's my guess that Lianne is going to throw her intern, Raven Cousens, under the bus. Why do I say that? Lianne announced the arrival of her "new evil henchman" in a post on her website on June 17, 2013. Now, all mentions of Raven have been removed from Lianne's site. So, don't be surprised if Raven is set up as the fall girl.

There's a small problem with the idea of Raven being the culprit in this plagiarism. It's not that Raven would have been ghost-writing (or ghost copy/pasting) pieces that were credited to Lianne. Instead, it's that the chronology doesn't add up. I say that because Lianne was lifting passages from other peoples' works before the announcement of Raven's internship.

Second Example
On May 6, 2013, Lianne (or someone being credited as Lianne Spiderbaby) posted on FEARnet's "Spiderbaby's Terror Tapes" in the article "'Popcorn' with Jill Schoelen." This time, supplied the lion's share of the content for the piece, either directly or via some loose paraphrasing. I'll just highlight the direct stuff and readers can compare the rest.

Maggie (Jill Schoelen), a student at USC film school, is plagued by recurring dreams that feature a terrifying man evoking Satan and other cultish horrors. At school, the film department’s funding has just been cut, but the department head comes up with an idea: holding a festival of old gimmick horror films in a soon-to-be-demolished theatre to raise funds. A film memorabilia expert shows them a film called The Possessor, which features occult sacrifices being conducted by Lanyard Gates, the guru of a film cult in the 1960s. Maggie is startled when the film shows things that appear in her dreams. As the festival begins, a masked madman starts killing off Maggie’s classmates and those closest to her. It also appears as though the killer wants one thing – Maggie. The story is a tad contrived – it is set up to suggest that Lanyard Gates is the killer but it turns out that the killer is someone else who fits into the contorted Lanyard Gates schema.  The script does offer a few amusing lines. One student protests that there is more social relevance in one Police Academy film than in all of Ingmar Bergman’s!

The masterminds behind Popcorn were none other than Bob Clark and Alan Ormsby, who worked together on the frighteningly fabulous Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (1972), Black Christmas (1974) and Dead of Night (1974).  However, they both took their names off of Popcorn because of all the controversy surrounding the making of the film.  Ormsby wrote the script and used the name Tod Hackett. Although Bob Clark was on set everyday, he decided to be uncredited.  It isn’t known why their names were removed, or why Ormsby was fired.

Mark Herrier was the replacement director, and Popcorn was his first feature. Popcorn comes with a great affection for the lost pleasure of attending a movie at the theater, and it even screens old refreshment and snack ads. Popcorn may have been more successful if it were released today – with such heightened nostalgic aspects, the film would have proven to be popular amongst the sequel-loving horror fans today.   In particular, Popcorn has affection for the old gimmick films of the 1950s. Many of the gimmicks used in the film – the mosquito harnessed to fly across the theatre; insurance policies and warnings about dying of fright; electric buzzers on the seats; and odors pumped into the theatre are all gimmicks that William Castle used in the 1950s. Popcorn also challenged its audience with self-reflective postmodern sensibilities in away that wasn’t really experimented with until Wes Craven’s Scream.

I would advise St. Martin's Press, the publisher of Lianne's upcoming book, Grindhouse Girls (with an intro penned by Tarantino), to do their due diligence to make sure everything is properly vetted and footnoted.

Lianne Discusses Editing
Want a good dose of irony? Watch this video.

Full disclosure, a lot of the research for this piece was done by several other folks (and verified by me -- you can verify it yourself via cached versions of the pages). I'd hate to be accused of 1) plagiarizing someone else's work or 2) putting my name on an article that someone else wrote. Wouldn't that just be a terrible thing to do?

Stay tuned for updates in this story.

Update 7/13/2013 @16:26:
It's been an interesting morning to say the least. I've gotten a lot of feedback on this post and I appreciate everyone who's had something to say, good or bad. The comments to the post are very interesting and some of them are incredibly enlightening.

The video I posted above has been made private and the post about Raven Summers has been re-instated. Lianne's website went down for a little bit but it seems to be back. Likewise, some of her tweets have been up and then down later on. I thought I saw tweets about her individually apologizing to authors for the things she's cribbed but that seems to be down (and Twitter goes through a lot of hoops to try and disable caching of their stuff.

But, here are a couple of interesting tweets that I screen grabbed (despite being now blocked from following her):

Lianne reached out to me to ask me to take down this post but I told her I wouldn't. I figured that we've all had enough of disappearing posts and that doing so would merely fuel the (f)ire.

Update 7/14/2013 @09:29:

Update 7/16/2013 @15:58:
As noted in the comments below, Video Watchdog editor Tim Lucas has retracted his initial assessment of the situation and published a statement about the situation on his blog. This initial statement included assurances that the article Lianne penned for the next issue of VW was plagiarism-free. He has now updated that statement to say that it is not free of pilfered prose.

Unfortunately, new findings have forced me to retract a portion of yesterday's statement. John Charles has notified me that evidence of plagiarism has been found in Lianne Spiderbaby's coverage of EMANUELLE IN AMERICA. John is preparing a statement we will be posting later in the day.

I know of several writers who would do a much better job at writing and being honest in their craft that Tim may want to employ (or re-employ), including a few that Lianne ripped-off. Read more here.

Update 7/17/2013 @19:57:
Traces of Lianne's plagiarism keep disappearing from the web. Today all of the videos of her Rondo award-winning FrightBytes show went private, essentially removing all of the content from the YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, more writers are coming forward about being plagiarized. One of the latest is from Scared Stiff Reviews, another is from author Joe Wawrzyniak whose review of I Dismember Mama on IMDB found its way in part to FEARNet courtesy of Lianne. At some point I imagine that someone more ambitious than me will catalog all of these.

In the meantime, keep tabs on the latest events here or via the forums at Latarnia, Monster Kid Classic Horror Forum and The Mortuary.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Zombie fans make summer plans for Zombie Con Detroit


With AMC's hit series The Walking Dead on hiatus Zombie fans are making summer plans to attend DETROIT ZOMBIE CON at the Motion Picture Institute in Troy, MI. Zombie Con is a two-day event that brings together Zombie, and Horror Fans, Creators, Artists, Novelists, Film Makers at Michigan's premiere film school; MPI ( in Troy, MI. August 17 and 18, 2013.

Zombie Con is for Zombie lovers of all ages and places the emphasis on the creators and artisans working in the genre. There will be guest speakers, zombie themed art for sale, demonstrations, illustrators, novelists, film makers, make-up artists, inter-active events, and a Zombie beauty pageant! The convention includes a two-day film festival with rare and world premieres of zombie movies including the award winning documentary Birth of the Living Dead ahead of its worldwide release from First Run Features and Portrait of a Zombie from Ireland.

There will be panel discussions with Rue Morgue magazine's Editor-In-Chief Dave Alexander, film journalist Mike White (The Projection Booth podcast, ParaCinema magazine), author David Hayes (Cinema Head Cheese) and many others TBA. The Con will featured art work by renowned zombie artists Gary Pullin (Rue Morgue), Matt Busch (Star Wars) and more. Very soon we will be announcing our special guests. Guests are encouraged to come in zombie costume to participate in a fun zombie role playing events that will be recorded. Do not miss out on this one-of-a-kind event!

This is a convention with a fresh take on horror and entertainment emphasizing the creative process. Zombie Con is being sponsored by the Motion Picture Institute, Michigan's premiere film college and studio, co-producer of the Best Selling Anchor Bay / Starz hit motion picture Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead now available on DVD and VOD and coming to RedBox, F.Y.E (For Your Entertainment) and more. Tickets to Zombie Con are just $10 per day (plus a service fee and are available in advance via Event Brite at or $15 at the door. Visit the official website at

If you wish to participate as a vendor or exhibitor please contact: Zombie Con at 248.563.9404

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ghosts of the Past

Spoilers ahead.

The two first forays into the 2013 "summer" movie season, Iron Man III and Star Trek: Into Darkness may be the first of several films this year to feature villains who remind viewers that the sins of our past will always come back to haunt us.

In Iron Man III the film's major villain, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), was slighted twenty three years ago by the self-absorbed, rich whiz kid Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). Killian masks his revenge against Stark with The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley) and a series of apparent terrorist attacks. Behind all the theatricality lay a simple tale of a man who was humiliated and wants his just desserts. Stark works to unravel the mystery of The Mandarin and Killian while saving everyone around him, including the President of the United States. More than Stark, however, it's his friend James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) who frequently has to question his allegiance. As "The Iron Patriot" (formerly "War Machine" -- a very telling change) he's done up in a garish red, white and blue suit. Throughout the film there's a recurring question as to who is really in the suit and what their motives are.

Similarly, in Star Trek: Into Darkness there are two villains: Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) and Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). Like The Mandarin, Khan serves Marcus (and with about the same amount of loyalty) as a pawn in a larger end game. Unlike The Mandarin, the threat of Khan is far more than what is initially promised. He's not just some random terrorist who saves a little girl in order to destroy a secret weapons lab. He is everything that The Mandarin might have been.

Khan led a crew of 72 genetically-modified men and women in the Earth's past. They were convicted of war crimes and exiled from Earth. Marcus uses the discovery of their derelict ship to his advantage by taking Khan out of cryo-sleep and employ's Khan's superior intellect and ruthlessness to create newer, better weapons. That's the stated reason, anyway. The audience never sees these weapons and why someone 300+ years old can come up with more advanced weapons seems to be a ruse. What Marcus really wants is a walking powderkeg to ignite a war with the Klingon empire.

Into this rather elaborate set-up steps James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) who needs to learn a lesson in humility and teach a lesson of friendship to Spock (Zachary Quinto). Much of Star Trek: Into Darkness bounces Kirk between lies as he tries to discern the truth of his situation. He's sent to kill Khan (who's using the alias John Harrison) "with extreme prejudice." Kirk wants revenge for the death of his mentor, Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood) and Marcus arms him with weapons of mass destruction, 72 modified photon torpedoes. Marcus also provides Kirk with permission to go on a rogue mission to Kronos, the Klingon home world. There, Kirk is supposed to strike without warning in an attack that sounds a lot like a drone strike.

Both Iron Man III and Star Trek: Into Darkness attempt to explain terrorism and the hatred certain groups and people feel against the United States. Kirk and Stark share an arrogance that is dwarfed when compared to the overreaching dogmatism of what they represent: Kirk the Federation and Stark the United States.

The Federation is so cavalier that its offices are in high buildings with plenty of windows. No one would attack their headquarters. Not only does Khan attack it directly but he also attempts to lay the entire city of San Francisco to waste by crashing a starship into it. Of course, this is the moment where 9/11 metaphor should crystallize for every viewer.

Khan attacks three times on Earth. The third mirrors 9/11 while the first recalls the 2005 London bombings. It's the second that sets Kirk on his path of vengeance. It's his "now it's personal moment."

Kirk quotes Kautilya's "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" about Khan. This phrase was adopted too readily in U.S. foreign policy. Wars fought by the United States in the last two decades include former "friends" such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Like the American people, Kirk is duped into going into battle with an enemy while blinded by vengeance and sold a story by a madman. Just like past dirty dealings, the allegiance with Khan goes totally wrong.

Of course, everything is set seemingly correct by the end of each film though at what cost? Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) has been exposed to a terrible virus that threatens to consume her in Iron Man III while war with Klingon is still imminent in Star Trek: Into Darkness.

What will our next lesson about the past coming back to bite us in the ass be? It seems most natural that Man of Steel will fulfill this promise. General Zod embodies "the sins of the father" revisited upon the son.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cinema Detours Arrives!

Cinema Detours is a collection of two-hundred twenty movie reviews written over a period of six years and published in a miscellany of media, including: Detour Magazine, Detroit's Metro Times, Mondo Film & Video Guide, Wild Side Cinema, Daily Grindhouse, and more. These reviews have been collected to preserve them in an archival physical form to rescue them from the ephemeral nature of the net.

Films in this collection are mostly off the beaten path, representing genres all over the map: Cult, Horror, Sci-Fi, Film Festival Flicks, Action Films, Superhero Movies and even a Czechoslovakian Musical Western. Get in, strap in, shut up, and hold on as we take a breakneck tour of the lesser traveled reaches of the cinematic landscape. Tighten your seat belt and read carefully because everything happens fast. You've never had a trip like this before.

BindingPerfect-bound Paperback
Interior InkBlack & white
Weight1.49 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)5.5 wide x 8.5 tall
Cover artDylan Santurri
ProofreadingLori Hubbard & Christine Makepeace

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