Tyrannosaurus Death!: A Conversation with Adam Volerich

This interview is a part of Issue #2: Breath. You can get your own physical copy of the zine through our store or Patreon.

Though we featured some of Adam Volerich’s still photography in our previous issue, he’s primarily a filmmaker. We’ve been big supporters of his work, through Magnalux Pictures or otherwise, at Secret Cave. His catalogue shines with ingenuity, off-beat humour and a deep respect for the power of location. With the release of his latest short-film, Tyrannosaurus Death!, we jumped at the opportunity to interview Adam about its production.

Below is a cropped sample page from our zine.…   [continue reading]

Issue #2: Breath: General Updates and News #3

You can pre-order a physical copy of Issue #2: Breath here!

The next three weeks represent our final push before we publish Issue #2: Breath. Benjamin and I have been doing all we can in the background to make this zine special. We’ve worked hard to give our excellent submissions the formats they deserve, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

However, we originally planned for a 2nd of April release date. Due to a number of circumstances, there will likely be a fortnight’s delay. The issue will still print in April, but we need the extra days in order to perfect the product. …   [continue reading]

Reefer Madness (1936-1939) [COMMENTARY]

Reefer Madness
DIRECTOR: Louis J. Gasnier
STARRING: Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles

Originally known as Tell Your Children, Reefer Madness has become infamous. Better known today as an archetypal “stoner” movie, it was first released in 1936 as church group propaganda.  As such, it’s full of nonsense.  Later re-cut in 1938 by Dwain Esper into an even more tawdry film, I honestly have no idea which version I have here.  Many consider it one of the best “bad movies”. For me, the current “bad movie” champion remains The Amazing Mr. X.  With a myriad of public domain movies still to come, there’s plenty of time for it to be dethroned….…   [continue reading]

Natural Signing Stone

One of the reasons I’ve lost interest in mainstream film is its utter unreality.  All too often, what I see portrayed on the screen holds almost no relation to the world.  However, i’m not saying I want every movie to be gritty and realistic.  It would simply be nice to relate on some level to the characters, setting or even pacing of a movie.  Rick Alverson, and directors like him, seem to be reacting to that with a tense fascination for the awkward.  That holds my interest much more, and i’m glad to see it increasingly seeping into popular culture.…   [continue reading]

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962) [COMMENTARY]

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
DIRECTOR: Joseph Green
STARRING: Jason (Herb) Evers, Virginia Leith, Leslie Daniel

Completed in 1959, but not released until 1962, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die has one of the best titles I’ve ever come across. Produced in the same year as Attack of the Giant Leeches, it does a much better job of being coherent, likeable and gripping. Unfortunately, it devolves into a sexist and meandering plot. Its opening is strong enough to make it memorable, however. Overall an enjoyable hour with some genuinely disturbing moments!

From Wikipedia:

The main plot focuses upon a mad doctor who develops a means to keep human body parts alive.

…   [continue reading]

Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) [COMMENTARY]

Attack of the Giant Leeches
DIRECTOR: Bernard L. Kowalski
STARRING: Ken Clark, Yvette Vickers, Jan Shepherd

This mess, known alternatively as The Giant Leeches, should be ashamed of itself for being created in 1959. This is because Attack of the Giant Leeches is a truly terrible piece of work with, as far as I can tell, no redeeming features whatsoever. It’s hard to believe that this laughably awful dross has anything to do with the legendary Roger Corman, but it does.  However, it does make The Amazing Mr. X look like a work of genius.

From Wikipedia:

In the Florida Everglades, a pair of larger-than-human, intelligent leeches live in an underwater cave.

…   [continue reading]

The Amazing Mr. X (1948) [COMMENTARY]

The Amazing Mr. X
DIRECTOR: Bernard Vorhaus
STARRING: Turhan Bey, Lynn Bari, Cathy O’Donnell

First released in 1948, The Amazing Mr. X is a public domain film notable for being considered a bit ridiculous even in its time. This makes it a perfect first choice for a new long-running series, where i’ll be providing a contemporary commentary on top. As a side note, this film is also known as The Spiritualist.

From Wikipedia:

Two years after her husband’s death, Christine Faber (Lynn Bari) thinks she hears her late husband (Donald Curtis) calling out of the surf on the beach one night.

…   [continue reading]

Entertainment (2015)

When Entertainment premiered at 2015’s Sundance Film Festival, the response it garnered was somewhat predictable.  Numerous walkouts peppered its first showing, indicative of its uncomfortable confrontation.  Certainly a test of patience, it’s a work that demands significant effort on the part of the audience.  However, this is a recurring feature of the creatives involved: director and writer Rick Alverson, star and writer Gregg Turkington and writer Tim Heidecker.  It’s easy to take against their approach, labelling it as pretentious and lazy.  The sad truth is, that would be all too often accurate of others.  In their hands, Entertainment is a prime example of the finest of its kind.…   [continue reading]

The Best and Worst of Trailers [2016]

At first I was going to make this piece an overview of trailers in their entirety, using two from this year as examples.  Instead, it occurred to me that i’d simply be stealing an upcoming subject from fellow writer, Ben Mulholland.  As such, I thought it more befitting of me to look in depth at the two examples.  One staggeringly bad, another breathtakingly good, there are a lot of meaty tangents to go off on from both.

Trailers, on the whole, are mere promotional tools to rally the populous.  While they can be sometimes woefully inaccurate, it wouldn’t be unfair to judge a film or game by them.  …   [continue reading]

Alien

Ridley Scott’s Alien is one of the most obvious science fiction classics ever committed to film.  Every single aspect of this masterpiece is tightly woven and meticulously constructed.  It’s probably that, along with its great tale, keeping it so richly alive over the years since its release.  Now drowning in accolade, it seems the critics most definitely do get things right from time to time.  It’s still the best film in the series that followed it too, itself a notable collection of flicks (even if it does devolve across its course).  Standing tall as a perpetual influence on the genre, Alien is far more than a lauded product of its time.…   [continue reading]