Thursday, February 24, 2011


We have no idea who Grog Ziklore and RJ Wheatpenny are, but we owe them an apology. They sent the first two issues of their Journal of Interstitial Cinema to us over 4 months ago and we're only now getting around to writing word one about this exciting, informative, thought-provoking and often laugh-out-loud funny 'zine. That's right, a 'zine. Not a blog, not a website, but an honest-to-goodness "they got it printed, had the center page stapled twice and then paid postage to send it to us" fanzine like the ones that used to hit our mailbox on a daily basis during the Temple's salad days, circa 1988. What's great about JOIC is that, contentwise, it's like three or four of the best written film 'zines from back in the day all rolled into one: equal parts Exploitation Retrospect, Subhuman, Ecco and Jimmy McDonough-era Sleazoid Express. Plus, we have a sneaky suspicion that Grog and RJ actually planned for this package of wonderfulness to arrive at the Temple gate on October 16th, as we were sprinting out the door to catch THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER and TWEET'S LADIES OF PASADENA at the Anthology Film Archives and needed something to read on the train ride into New York. Rest assured that the mags weren't buried under piles of paperbacks, pressbooks and Players back issues for the past 4 months; we've actually been carrying them around with us the whole time, reading snippets of the text to everyone we know and anyone else who'll listen. We can't think of the last 'zine that arrived in the mail and got us this excited. Cool and Strange Music? Dirk Burhans' Greasy Spoon, née Burger Boy? Doesn't matter. Those were yesterday and JOIC is today and hopefully tomorrow.

Issue #1 (September 2009) -- Opens with a review of the TV movie FINAL EYE a.k.a. COMPUTERCIDE (1977/1982) and closes with a 3-page recollection of the now-defunct New Jersey video rental stores that Grog and RJ frequented as teenagers. In between are offbeat but smart pieces on DIAL 119 (1950), PAPER MAN (TV, 1971), STINGRAY (1978), GHOST DANCE (1980), COMPUTER BEACH PARTY (1987), CHILL (2007), PUNISHER: WAR ZONE (2008), and WALLED IN (2009). We especially enjoyed the very funny look at ETERNAL SOMETHING OF THE...SUNSHINE...(whatever it's called), "Methods for Dating Before the Age of Texting and Facebook: A Conversation with Colt Hawker from VISITING HOURS" (done as a Q&A, with frame grabs of Michael Ironside in action) and - best of all - an excellent 4-page look at ARLINGTON ROAD (1999).

Issue #2 (Summer 2010) -- This one hits the ground running with a terrific 4½ page article on the late '70s sex comedy INCOMING FRESHMEN, which we suffered through 25 years ago on MCA Home Video and wrote off on the spot as borderline unwatchable crap. Little did we know that the final product, released to the drive-in circuit by Cannon in 1979, was a far cry from its original incarnation as a crude but good-natured $25,000 quickie shot in 1976 by University of Tennessee graduates Eric Lewald and Glenn Morgan. Through interviews with both Lewald and Morgan and a viewing of their workprint, Wheatpenny constructs a fascinating, detailed look at what this indie low-budgeter once was and what it became after Cannon hired Francis A. Romero to shoot 3 days of cruddy new footage that now constitutes 50% of the film's running time.

Also in the second issue is a 5½ page interview with underground filmmaker Damon Packard, a book review of Tim Lucas' Studies in the Horror Film: VIDEODROME, a Beverly Elaine Aadland obituary, a comical report on an NYU film student whose public suicide went unnoticed by the other film and TV addicted tenants in his apartment building, and well written pieces on DEATH AT LOVE HOUSE (TV, 1976), THE HARD WAY (TV, 1979), ANATOMY OF A SEDUCTION (TV, 1979), HEARTBREAKERS (1984), POP SKULL (2007), BIRDEMIC: SHOCK AND TERROR (2008), and S. DARKO (2009). Other gems include "Nation of Cowards" and "Plans for a Feces Assault at a Movie Premiere."

According to the back cover of issue #2, The Journal of Interstitial Cinema is published "two or three times a year." An issue is $4.00. Please send four unmarked bills to Journal of IC, 387 Grand Street #902, New York, NY 10002. They do not offer subscriptions. They grudgingly have a website.

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