If you have to ask, then you’ll never understand how big and important Nickelodeon was, once upon a time. For many, “The Orange Years” from Scott Barber and Adam Sweeney might feel like yet another bit of 90’s nostalgia for Millennials, but the documentary is a look at television, its history and how Nickelodeon blazed a trail for a massive industry, and set a precedent that many studios would aspire to topple.
Sadly we were not able to have the Puerto Rican Day Parade this year for the first time in so many years, but November is Puerto Rican Heritage Month. While the origins of the month are tied to (ugh) Christopher Columbus, the sentiment behind the month is fantastic, as November marks the celebration of the Puerto Rican culture, and all of its contributions to society, science, education, technology and pop culture. This year, be sure to stay home and celebrate with these five great films that are perfect for Puerto Rican Heritage Month.
Easily my most anticipated film of Fantasia Fest 2020, “Class Action Park” is not just a visit to nostalgia, but an exploration of a criminal who was able to do whatever he pleased at the cost of children and families looking for a good time. Once upon a time there was a place called “Action Park,” a large water and adventure park set in the middle of New Jersey. While it was the place of memories for many kids, it was also a hellscape filled with death, corruption, negligence, and a founder who would stop at literally nothing to protect his own interests.
Steve Villeneuve’s “Hail to the Deadites” is a documentary about “Evil Dead” that touts itself as not featuring any kind of footage from the original films at any point. You’d think that would hinder the experience, but that only benefits the feature in the end. “Hail to the Deadites” is an unabashed love letter to the fans and the fans only. It explores the various facets of “Evil Dead” fandom, how all three movies have affected their lives, and how Bruce Campbell has become a source of inspiration to many.
Critically maligned when it was first unleashed on the world and was bashed for years by fans, “Freddy’s Revenge” is a movie that caught the fan base by surprise. With the advent of the internet, fans have been able to appreciate the sequel to one of the most influential horror movies as a classic in its own right. It’s a sentiment that’s managed to spread along the entire horror community as more queer horror fans have found “Freddy’s Revenge,” allowing Freddy Krueger to reach a part of society that reached beyond dreams and in to the sub-conscious in to ideas about self acceptance and repressed sexuality.
Danny Wolf’s documentary series is something of a contradiction in that it’s a series about cult movies that were or continue to be unappreciated. And yet, every movie that’s covered all has rabid fan bases. Some of them even have conventions and social gatherings celebrating them. While the “Time Warp” movie series doesn’t re-invent the wheel, if you’re in the mood to celebrate some fun cult films and just lose yourself in mainly American cult classics, then Volume 3 is right up your alley.
When I was a kid growing up in the Bronx, everyone knew who Walter Mercado was. When he was on Telemundo we would all remain in complete awe and silence as he dominated the screen with an almost supernatural presence. Filled with charisma, theatrical enthusiasm, and flamboyance, Mercado gave the latinx community astrological readings that were almost always steeped in hope, optimism, and spirit. Along the way he broke barriers becoming a worldwide sensation as a guru who defied gender, sexual, and style barriers everywhere he went.
Long before America accepted the Luchadore as a part of modern wrestling, Lucha Libre has been an immense force of the wrestling world. It’s broken so many barriers and allowed the culture to seep through, even integrating what’s known as the “Exótico.” Cassandro is a kind of luchadore who mixes the art form of drag along with the art form of professional wrestling. Often times Cassandro is no different than Gorgeous George or Ric Flair, but he’s different in the way he embraces his homosexuality so openly and absolutely without apology.