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.

Cosmic Horror in a Glass: Enjoy a Cthulhu Cocktail with “H.P. Lovecraft’s The Deep Ones”

Though H.P. Lovecraft never touched a drop of alcohol, one imagines that the Recluse of Providence might be amused by the idea of a cocktail inspired by the Big Daddy of his sprawling and influential Cthulhu Mythos (actually, he wouldn’t … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Past in Present

“Giants and Toys” (1958, Arrow Video) Desperate candy manufacturing exec Hiroshi Kawagachi hitches his company’s tumbling fortunes on spokesmodel Hitomi Nozoe, an enthusiastic young girl with dreadful teeth who becomes a national sensation that quickly eclipses his control. Sharp-witted and … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Everyday People

“Ladybug Ladybug” (1964, Kino Lorber) Students and teachers at a small rural school react to a seemingly real warning about an imminent nuclear attack with anything but the orderly, civil response detailed in government training films, and fall prey to … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Skull-Busters’ Union (International Chapter)

“Graveyards of Honor” (1975/2002, Arrow Video) Two takes on crime, ego, and self-destruction in Japan, courtesy of cult directors Kinji Fukusaku and Takashi Miike. Both features are based on the life of gangster Rikio Ishikawa, whose almost supernatural anger (and … Continue reading

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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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