Author Archives: Paul Gaita

About Paul Gaita

Paul Gaita lives in Sherman Oaks, California with his lovely wife and daughter. He has written for The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Variety and Merry Jane, among many other publications, and was a home video reviewer for Amazon.com from 1998 to 2014. He has also interviewed countless entertainment figures, but his favorites remain Elmore Leonard, Ray Bradbury, and George Newall, who created both "Schoolhouse Rock" and the Hai Karate aftershave commercials. He once shared a Thanksgiving dinner with celebrity astrologer Joyce Jillson and regrettably, still owes the late character actor Charles Napier a dollar.

Movies Till Dawn: May Queens

“The Reckoning” (2020, RLJE Films) After resisting the untoward advances of her squire landlord (Steven Waddington), 17th century London widow and mother Charlotte Kirk finds herself accused of witchcraft and facing unspeakable torture at the hands of steely witchfinder Sean … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Science Fiction and Fact

“Minor Premise” (2020, Utopia) Researcher Sathya Sridharan, crumbling under strain from multiple fronts (his late father’s scientific legacy, his shambolic life, alcohol), pours his energy into an experiment to control emotion, which literally shatters him into 10 distinct personalities, each … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: With/Without a Backwards Glance

“The Wild Life” (1984, Kino Lorber) Wasted days and wasted nights with three boys (Eric Stoltz, Chris Penn, and Ilan-Mitchell Smith) navigating the suburban jungles of Los Angeles. Minor retread of co-director-writer-producer Cameron Crowe and co-director Art Linson‘s “Fast Times … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Chills in Springtime

“The Bloodhound” (2020, Arrow Video) “The Fall of the House of Usher,” transposed to Middle America, where Liam Aiken accepts an invitation from oddball friend Joe Adler (the 2017 “Twin Peaks”) to visit his lonely midcentury modern home, where Adler’s … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Crime and Punishment, USA

“Positive I.D.” (1987, Kino Lorber) Emotionally pulverized and withdrawn from her family after a sexual assault, Stephanie Rascoe finds a mix of release and revenge in a loophole law that allows her to assume a different identity and pursue her … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: International House of Action

“Versus” (2000, Arrow Video) To their chagrin, escaped convict Tak Sakaguchi and his Yakuza confederates discover that the remote location chosen for their meet-up is called the Forest of Resurrection for a reason: it’s a portal of Hell that causes … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: More Biographies, Real and Imagined

“Jazz on a Summer’s Day” (1959, Kino Lorber) I wrote about this exceptional concert film of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival when Kino Lorber Repertory reissued it virtually to theaters in 2020 (which only feels like a million years ago); … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: The Saturday Morning Strange Has Risen from the Grave

“Southland Tales” (2006, Arrow Video) The fate of a post-apocalyptic United States – or its ultimate demise, as narrator Justin Timberlake occasionally and obliquely infers – rests in the hands of amnesic action star Dwayne Johnson, who has penned a … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Guilty Pleasures and Nostalgic Nonsense (2021 Edition)

“Hard to Hold” (1984, Kino Lorber) Pop-rocker Jamie Roberts (Rick Springfield) contends with writer’s block, his ex-wife (Patti Hansen), and the attention of adoring fans while also pursuing romance with icy Janet Eilber. Much-maligned vehicle for Springfield, intended to springboard … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: More Biographies, Real and Imagined (Cartoons and Music Edition)

“Happy Happy Joy Joy: The Ren and Stimpy Story” (2020, Kino Lorber) Detailed discussion and ultimately, deflation of the wildly popular animated television series “The Ren and Stimpy Show” and its once-vaunted, now-scandal-tainted creator, John Kricfalusi. His bizarro vision – … Continue reading

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