Tag Archives: paracinema magazine

Four Old Articles

In 2010-11, I wrote a series of articles for the magazine Paracinema. They only ever appeared in the publication’s print edition, so now that several years have passed I’ve finally opted to publish them online. I’ve only made minor tweaks for the sake of formatting, which means that the versions below preserve my often questionable prose and ideas, but I wanted to have a digital record of these pieces available.

Tell Your Children:

Dwain Esper’s Sex Madness and the Aesthetics of Exploitation

sexmadness1

[Originally published in Paracinema #10, Oct. 2010]

Between the end of World War I and the late 1950s, Hollywood had a dark secret. A sordid industry thrived in its shadow, unaffiliated with any major studio, less respectable even than the hacks of Poverty Row. Working on the cheap, auteurs of sleaze would churn out ostensibly educational films and crisscross the nation giving roadshow presentations, often restricting their audiences to men over 18. They were the purveyors of exploitation films.

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The Gift That Keeps on Giving

By Andreas

If you’re like us, then Halloween is your Christmas. And under that analogy, Paracinema Magazine’s Issue #13 is the ultimate stocking stuffer. If you or someone you know loves weird, obscure, or scary movies, this is the film magazine to order. Not 100% convinced? Let me give you some reasons…

1)You get to read our articles. Well, OK, this one’s a little self-serving, but still: you get to reread the same things we’ve published on Pussy Goes Grrr, except more and better. Both Ashley and I took ideas we’d first voiced here (her in a terrific essay on Inside; me in my “Many Faces of Bela Lugosi” and “More Faces” posts), then refined both the ideas and the writing over a few long summer days. The end result? A pair of articles on “Maternal Madness in Horror Cinema” and “Bela Lugosi on Poverty Row” that we’re extremely proud of.

We’d like you to share in the pleasure we received from writing these articles. I.e., buy the magazine.

2) You might learn a thing or two. Paracinema’s articles are informative. Consider one of the issue’s best articles, “Allan Carr and the Making of Where the Boys Are ’84” by Paul Talbot. I never would’ve expected that topic to fascinate me, but fascinate it did! It’s the bizarre, layered tale of extravagant producer Carr and his battle to make a spring break sex comedy. It’s well-researched, well-written, and it’s all true.

Or how about “Censoring the Centipede: How the BBFC Are Sewing Our Eyes Shut” by Liam Underwood? He covers the history of British censorship from the 1980s dispute over “video nasties” to recent problems with A Serbian Film and The Human Centipede II. If you want writers who’ve done their homework, they’re in Paracinema. You can also read the histories of Turkish rip-offs, unmade spoofs, sword-and-sandal films, late-night horror hosts, and more.

3) The graphic design will blow your mind. Dylan knows what he’s doing. Paracinema’s a small-but-growing indie venture, yet it still looks better than most of the giant movie magazines out there. Leave a copy of Issue #13 lying open on your coffee table, and guests will know you’ve got taste.

Look: Issue #13 costs just $7, with free Shipping & Handling within the United States. Buy a copy, and you’ll be supporting a ragtag team of writers and editors who are doing this out of passion. You’ll be feeding our dreams, receiving a magazine that doubles as an objet d’art, and getting dozens of little-known movies to add to your “must-see” list.

This Halloween, you can’t afford not to buy a copy of Paracinema.

Have I convinced you yet?

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Juxtaposition Blogathon: Day 5

And with this, the blogathon comes to a spectacular end!

This has been an incredible week. It’s been amazing to see the kind of high-quality writing that our contributors have put together for this little digital soirée. And, no lie, it’s also been pretty emotional: we held a blogathon, and people wanted to participate! What better validation of our blogging endeavors could there be? (All in all, 22 authors submitted 37 posts.) To every single person who’s submitted, read, linked, or been involved with the blogathon in any capacity, we extend our sincerest “thank you.” You are part of the reason Pussy Goes Grrr exists.

And now, on to the final round of submissions! If the Juxtaposition Blogathon was a fireworks display, this would be the grand finale. Imagine these links as red, white, and blue explosions lighting up the sky.

  • First, we’ve got Christine from Paracinema with “The Birds versus Birdemic.” It’s always great/awful when an incompetent young director wants to pay homage to a classic—see, for example, Tommy Wiseau’s allusions to Citizen Kane and Rebel Without a Cause in The Room. Christine’s description of James Nguyen’s Birds-rehashing disaster movie Birdemic makes me wonder, “Why in tarnation haven’t I seen this yet?!”
    • Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Paracinema: 1) the greatest thanks of all go to Christine’s co-editor Dylan for designing our glorious Juxtaposition Blogathon banners and 2) buy a copy of Issue #13 if you haven’t already! Ashley’s article is on the cover, and I wrote about Bela Lugosi!
  • Next up: Thomas Duke from Cinema Gonzo took a fairly unusual approach by writing about the ’80s slashers The House on Sorority Row and The Prowler through the lens of Rush’s music. Alas, due to my minimal experience with Rush, I didn’t get the full effect of this post… but it’s still very entertaining and full of odd trivia.
  • Friend-of-PGG G. Smalley from 366 Weird Movies did a “Documentary Double Feature,” simultaneously reviewing Nightmares in Red, White and Blue (a history of American horror) and American Grindhouse (a more focused account of grindhouse/exploitation filmmaking). Both sound like fun, educational viewing.
  • Chris from Recently Viewed Movies juxtaposed two classics of German Expressionist cinema from director Robert Wiene, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Hands of Orlac. Most people (myself included) have never seen the latter, though you may be familiar with the remake Mad Love; as such, Chris’s write-up is a useful peek at another part of Wiene’s filmography (which, like Cabinet, stars Conrad Veidt).
  • Kevyn Knox from The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World went in a very cool direction with his post, “On the Portrayal of Movie Projectionists.” He traces the history of the profession through films like Sherlock Jr. Cinema Paradiso, Fight Club, Hellzapoppin’, and Inglourious Basterds, and his own personal experience as a projectionist.
  • Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. from Thrilling Days of Yesteryear wrote a pair of detailed reviews on The Fuller Brush Man and The Fuller Brush Girl, starring Red Skelton and Lucille Ball respectively. I’ve never seen either, so it’s handy to get Ivan’s perspective on both.
  • My friend Anna from The Semioptician set two trailers side by side in order to analyze the representations of gender and sexuality in the marketing materials for Pariah and Gun Hill Road. She really knows how to pick apart tiny textual/sexual details and the conventions of indie cinema, making her thoughts on the subject a joy to read.
  • And last but certainly not least, we have Joanna from Reel Feminist with “The Philadelphia Story vs. High Society.” Because sucky remakes are not confined to the 21st century! Joanna’s blog is fairly new, but she’s a damn fine writer and really knows her Philadelphia Story. So go read her stuff!

I guess that’s it. If you have any more blogathon posts, though, feel free to email us and they’ll still get linked to. We hope you’ve had fun! Thanks for reading!

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End of summer update

By Andreas

It’s Labor Day! Summer is giving way to autumn (at last). The weather is cooling down. Kids are going back to school. It’s the perfect time to do a little update/round-up, debriefing you on Pussy Goes Grrr’s past, present, and future. Let’s start with the past…

  • A lot has happened in the past few months: I graduated in June, saw The Tree of Life, spent the summer with Ashley, and in August, moved into a new apartment and started a new job.
  • Ashley, who recounted her summer here, is back in school now—and just got Internet in her apartment! (Another summer highlight: our friend RF dropped by to talk at length about Jim Carrey.)

As for the present…

  • Paracinema Magazine’s lucky issue #13 is available for pre-sale!! This is a big deal for us because, well, we’re both in it. I wrote a retrospective of Bela Lugosi performances from the 1940s, while Ashley wrote a magnificent essay about pregnancy and motherhood in horror. (Which explains the image from Inside on the cover!) If you’re not compelled to buy the issue yet, don’t worry—we’ll be plugging it a lot more over the coming weeks.
  • Today marked the start of the Nicholas Ray Blogathon over at Cinema Viewfinder. It’s already yielding a lot of valuable Ray-related writing; PGG’s contribution should pop up tomorrow afternoon.
  • And speaking of blogathons: we’ve already received several contributions to the Juxtaposition Blogathon! Thank you to everyone who’s been spreading the word. It starts in one week, so there’s still plenty of time to write for it!
  • If you don’t already, we welcome you to like Pussy Goes Grrr on Facebook.

Finally, the future…

  • For the time being, we’re sticking to a loose posting schedule: Mondays are for One Hour Mark; Wednesdays are for Ashley’s Harry Potter series; and Fridays are for Link Dump. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and weekends are for everything else.
  • Halloween is less than two months away! As we demonstrated last year, that’s our absolute favorite holiday, so stay tuned:  we’ve got some major, horror-tastic festivities planned for October. It’s gonna rock. In a scary way.
  • The past few weeks have seen a huge upswing in comments, and we’re very happy about this trend. Thanks to everyone who’s been commenting—you’re a crucial part of this blog, and we couldn’t do it without you!

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Extra, extra, read all about it!

OK, wow. Whew. This is pretty intense. And amazing. Let me catch my breath and collect myself. All right. Here it is: I’ve got three different pieces of exciting, awesome news that couldn’t wait any longer. They have to be shared now. In no particular order, here you go:

1) I’m now a guest contributor at The Film Experience! I’ve written two pieces for this most righteous of film blogs so far: one on a Ruffalotastic sex scene from The Kids Are All Right, the other on the poignant opening of Picnic at Hanging Rock (pictured above). Go, read, comment, s’il vous plaît!

2) The Dancing Image’s Blog 10 is up! It’s a self-selected collection of film bloggers’ best posts from the year 2010, including ones from Wonders in the Dark, Cinema Viewfinder, Acidemic Film, and countless other stellar film criticism purveyors. Also, I’m in there, with my two “Horror is everywhere” posts from October.

3) Paracinema #11 is available for pre-order! That’s right: a full issue of essays on genre film, entirely written by women! Can you think of anything cooler to spend $7 on? No? I didn’t think so. I’ve pre-ordered my copy. What about you? (Oh, and if you haven’t already, you should go vote for Paracinema [Best Magazine], Trailers from Hell [Best Website], and Final Girl [Best Blog] in the 9th annual Rondo Awards.)

OK, that’s all I have to say for now. Please follow these links to their destinations, and enjoy what you find there! (I.e., hopefully lots of high-quality writing.)

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Link Dump: #10

Let me just get this out there: I love the movie Cat People. I love it so much that I’d be OK with it if, every time I was aroused, I turned into the movie Cat People. Don’t question how that’d work. The point is that I really, really love that movie. I love its brevity, its odd visual poetry, its confusing but wonderful morals; I love Tom Conway’s sleaziness and, most of all, Simone Simon’s fractured innocence. Cat People is complex, poignant, perverse, and really sexy. I fucking love Cat People. Anyway, I just wanted to talk about that because I haven’t touched on that movie at all this month. Oh, and I have some links! Read them at your leisure.

  • Have you bought issue 10 of Paracinema magazine yet? If not, look at this. Now are you convinced?
  • Wow, even Fangoria hated the I Spit on Your Grave remake! Then you know it’s bad.
  • THIS is an incredible video and I love it. It’s just so in-your-face and totally refuses to bullshit. Fuck hate! Fuck yeah! (Share it with everyone you know who can take the word “fuck”!) [Via Four of Them]
  • Here’s another great video, this one being an ultra-NSFW song by MC Sex about period sex, accompanied by clips from dozens of gory horror movies. [Via Hold onto yr genre]
  • This is a really, really stupid NYT article that just wastes space. Oh no! We don’t have lines like “Stupid is as stupid does” in movies anymore! How can we endure?
  • Christopher Nolan is finally disclosing some Batman 3 – excuse me, “The Dark Knight Rises” – details. I’ve been back and forth about Nolan lately, but I have to admit a measure of excitement for this movie. And I, for one, thought it was obvious that he wasn’t going to use the Riddler, since 1) how would lime green fit into the Nolanverse color scheme, and 2) wouldn’t another joke-cracking villain be redundant??
  • Neil Gaiman on Arthur. This makes every fiber of my being happy; while watching it, I was literally giggling with joy.
  • And speaking of Gaiman, want to be one of his most iconic characters, Death from The Sandman, for Halloween? Well, The Powder Room’s Locus Ceruleus Media will tell you how with this awesome makeup tutorial.
  • Courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, here’s a listing of some great Japanese horror movies, including a few we’ve talked about on this blog. Any list that includes Jigoku is good enough for me!
  • A few sites have pointed out this video of a Texas NBC station asking the leading question, “Will acceptance of gays lead to the downfall of America?” Jesus. Fucking. Christ. It’s pretty abhorrent and unbearable, and it just gets worse toward the end. People like this make me fucking sick.
  • There comes a time in every boy’s life when he has to explain the Internet to a 19th century Cockney street urchin. This flowchart should help.
  • To tie it back to Paracinema, their blog has been doing a Halloween Countdown of their own! It’s got snuff films, Japanese wackiness, Vincent Price, and more. And on a related note, Stacie Ponder of Final Girl is rounding down her list-tastic Shocktober lists. Read both of these for some great movie suggestions as Halloween arrives! (Just two days.)

On the search terms front, we had some weird shit this past week. One searcher complained that “women never have sex with men”; another creepily wrote, “my daughter in law has good pussy.” I saw the perfectly unpleasant instruction (?) to “pull my pussy n hurt it grrr,” as well as the more reasonable injunction of “don’t piss off your plastic surgeon.” I’m sorry to say that I don’t know what “professor & the sexy girl japanese movie” refers to.

My mention of Ava Gardner’s performance as a real estate agent in The Sentinel earned us such anomalies as “real estate agent rape scene” and “simulated ava gardner naked fucking” (??!). Finally, my favorite two of the week: “licentiously yours,” which I think should replace “sincerely” or any similar sign-off in correspondence, and “recorded in bathroom, guitar, died, fall,” which is just… I don’t even know. What does that mean? I think it means “Happy Halloween.” So yes. Happy Halloween.

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Link Dump: #6

Halloween’s getting closer every day! Aren’t you excited?? Can’t you feel the tangible excitement in the air?! I know I can. But alas, we’ve still got a month and a half, so in the meantime, here’s some reading material with the PGG stamp of approval. Also, tune in next week as we bring you The Fifth Element, The White Ribbon, Julianne Moore, and more.

  • The one and only Paracinema Magazine is releasing their 10th issue, and it’s available to pre-order for the low, low price of $7. Added incentive: you can read my short piece on the exploitation film Sex Madness. What are you waiting for? Go, pre-order, and support high-quality film writing! Also, congratulations to the Paracinema crew on 10 great issues.
  • Elli Agg, a Greek fan of Amanda Palmer, posted this amazing song called “Dear AFP” on YouTube. She’s so cute, talented, and inspiring; you owe it to yourself to listen.
  • Via the Found Footage Festival, here’s a hilariously nightmarish PSA made by an insurance company. I have a strange affinity for bizarre PSAs, as I’ve demonstrated in the past, and this is a pretty great one, with its laughably over-the-top accidents.
  • Having followed it since December ’09, this week I won The Film Experience’s movie identification game “First and Last” twice in a row! My satisfaction in winning is only matched by the pettiness of my achievement.
  • This ad for “Great Old Spice” body wash is both professional-looking and full of lolz. Of course, I’m a sucker for all things Cthulhu, but seriously: they worked in so many Lovecraft references.
  • John Carpenter made another movie! The Ward, his first since 2001’s widely panned Ghosts of Mars, debuted at TIFF earlier this week, and MUBI has the scoop on its critical reception. Consensus so far is that it’s not Halloween great, but it’s solidly good.
  • Want more classic Carpenter? Radiator Heaven is hosting John Carpenter Week from October 3-9 in honor of the maestro’s revived career. I’ll probably be writing something for it too. (Like so much else, it will involve Lovecraft.)
  • Whether you love her or hate her, you can’t argue with the power and passion of Lady Gaga’s “Repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” crusade. Go her! Talk about having a positive impact on the nation.

And now that you’ve read our online recommendations, here are our weirdest, ickiest, WTFest search terms from the previous week, most of which contain the word “pussy”:

  • We’ve got some pussy abuse, like “why do women like doing dog food in puss” and “fire extinguisher in pussy.” Please, no. Dog food and fire extinguishers have their purposes, and they do not involve pussies.
  • Oddly enough, we had two searches for Yakov Smirnov jokes, those being “in soviet russia leg breaks you” and “in russia bread eats you.” Maybe they were looking for this?
  • FYI: “please rape me style clothing” is not a productive search. There is no such style of clothing.
  • I suspect that the person looking for “excited cock and wild pussy have cartoon” may have been after this very old, very NSFW cartoon
  • And finally, nothing could beat the raw strangeness of “agatha christie books + bottle in vagina.” Don’t explain it to me. I just don’t want to know.

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