I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Kristen Bialik
July 28, 2014
Trust me. You haven’t seen low budget until you’ve seen Sin of the Fleshapoids. Released in 1965, Fleshapoids is one of many bargain basement films made by twin brother teami Mike and George Kuchar, the one that helped pioneer that gaudy, over-the-top aesthetic known as camp. Kuchar films, though, often forgotten for the lack of fame and scandal that contemporaries Anger and Warhol provided, were major players in the 1960s American Underground scene and had a major influence on directors like John Waters and David Lynch. Waters has even listed Sins of the Fleshapoids as one of his favorite DVDs. When discussing the Kuchar allure, Waters explains, “They started making 8mm crackpot melodramas in their mother's Bronx apartment with kind of stolen thrift-shop costumes and soundtracks lifted from Hollywood movies and they're really great.... Sins of the Fleshapoids really shows what an underground movie was.... There is a close-up of an unflushed toilet with ridiculous soundtrack music. They were the first to do vulgarity in an almost opera style.ii"

Kristen Bialik works in public relations in Milwaukee, WI. When she’s not doing that, she’s trying to learn Korean, trying to write short stories, or trying to scheme up ways she can work for Conan O’Brien in Burbank. They’re works in progress.

by Chris Martin
July 27, 2014
Some titles are inescapable. The Day the Earth Stood Still, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and Don’t Look Now all carry that spark of burning curiosity that is the basic draw of all genre films. They give you an effect or a demand without revealing the subject of the action. We don’t know why the Earth stood still, or what Alfredo Garcia did, nor do we know what we can’t look at now and why not, but in all these cases the less known about the subject makes the film that much more appetizing. Surf Nazis Must Die may reveal too many of its cards at the forefront, despite the fact that its commanding, declarative tone does raise, arguably unneeded, questions. Its absurd power is too great to hide behind such things as nuance and subtlety. Swastikas on wetsuits and switchblades on surfboards cannot, and should not, be hidden behind a curtain of restraint. Life is too short to keep flamboyantly dressed surfing fascists out of the limelight..
Christopher Martin recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in English and a specialization in Film Studies. Shockingly, he is currently underemployed. In his free time Chris likes to read old science fiction novels, enjoy what little nightlife Western Massachusetts has to offer, and watch as many films as possible. He also spends too much time on Tumblr.

by Casey Dewey
July 26, 2014
In 1959, the United States of America inducted it’s 50th state in the nation, Hawaii. Polynesian mania hit America’s mainland middle class like a tidal wave. Backyard luaus were an excuse to show off your new tiki hut. Tiki Lounges were erected from coast to coast, letting patrons have a chance to sip cold, exotic drinks like The Scorpion and the The Blue Hawaii, while tropical birds shrieked and squawked in a glass cages behind the bar. Lounge lizards Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Les Baxter provided the soundtrack to America’s latest trend: inviting you to close your eyes, hear the waves, and maybe feel the grass skirts of the Hula Girls softly tickle you while you drank your lunch. America’s restless youth latched on to something else Hawaii’s inclusion brought: surf culture. And every youth culture has to have it’s own soundtrack...
Casey Dewey resides in Tucson, Arizona. He's a film writer for the Tucson Weekly and host of "Deep Red Radio" , a radio show dedicated to film soundtracks on 91.3 KXCI FM. He enjoys tacos, cervezas and garlic in everything. He wakes up every morning to a fresh pot of black coffee and at least two hours of Dragnet on TV.

by Timothy Misir
July 25, 2014
The highlight of David Elfick’s 1973 biography about surfer and photographer George Greenough has to be Pink Floyd’s epic 23-minute-long song “Echoes” that closes the film, itself a film within a film, set to ground-breaking surf cinematography shot by Greenough himself...

Timothy Misir is a Russia-based Singaporean writer and researcher in urban planning and architecture. He is currently working at The Moscow Times where he is a copy editor and writes for the arts section. He can be contacted at tim.misir@gmail.com.

by Daniel Creahan
July 24, 2014

In the phenomenal “Krusty Gets Canceled” episode of The Simpsons (one of my personal favorites, even if you only consider Bette Midler’s superhuman strength), Krusty, having lost Itchy and Scratchy to a competitor, is forced to resort to Eastern Block animation, namely a strange communist derivative called  Worker and Parsite.  Needless to say, the kids don’t stick around­.­­

The short is a pretty bold-faced homage to the Russian powerhouse of animation, Soyuzmultfilm, and its many imitators.  Formed by Stalin as a reaction to the budding cultural phenomenon of Mickey Mouse, the state-run studio employed an approach eerily similar to a 5-year plan to build Soviet animation into a global power.  And power it was.  Even today, Soyuzmultfilm is the second largest animation studio in the world.  All told, the studio has produced over 1,500 works in its 77 year history...

Daniel Creahan currently spends his days in Brooklyn, NY, dividing time between music, writing, and questionable photoshop collaging.  He prefers any and all of these while slamming 3-5 cups of coffee and wearing a warm pair of slippers.  You can read him complaining about Rihanna on his Twitter (@SupposedGhosts), or check out some music at his label (prisonartcatalog.com).