November’s Guest Curator: Donnie Goodman
by Chance Shirley • November 4, 2022
Many thanks to author Donnie Goodman for being Subspace’s guest curator for November! Donnie wrote the short horror story collection The Razorblades in My Head, and his first novella, Wednesday Is Waiting, just came out on November 1! On top of all that writing, Donnie also designs book covers for himself and other writers. And he co-edited the Strange Weeds charity anthology of short stories.
Donnie’s Picks and Comments
- Akira — I celebrate every time the live adaptation of this cyberpunk masterpiece is cancelled. Akira is a perfect film.
- Creature — William Malone’s Alien clone, Creature, deserves its praise, too.
- Cube — Hollywood stays rebooting and remaking films and Cube is just sitting there, waiting. I adore Cube.
- Deep Rising — An incredibly fun, underrated gem from the late ’90s, Deep Rising is peak Famke Janssen.
- Escape From New York — I don’t know what that says about me, but this is a true comfort film for me.
- The Host — Before he wowed the world with Parasite, Bong Joon-Ho made an awesome creature flick. The Host rules.
- Innerspace — Joe Dante’s Innerspace is a masterpiece. Everyone in this film brings their “A” game. Dennis Quaid. Meg Ryan. Martin Short. Just a true classic.
- Pod — It is insanely low-budget, but Mickey Keating stretches every penny into what I think is a genuinely effective alien invasion film about addiction and paranoia.
- Possessor — Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor was my favorite film of 2020. Incredibly violent, incredibly stylish, incredibly memorable.
- Resolution — Check out the film that launched the careers of Benson and Moorhead and then immediately watch The Endless, too.
October’s Guest Curator: Kelly Gredner
by Chance Shirley • October 6, 2022
Subspace is a sci-fi site, of course. But I love horror movies and TV shows, too. And horror is especially fun in October when it complements all of the Halloween vibes. So I was extra excited that horror expert Kelly Gredner was kind enough to be our guest curator for October.
Kelly is half of the duo Spinsters of Horror (@horrorspinsters on Twitter, @spinstersofhorror on Instagram, “The Spinsters of Horror Coven” FB group) that produces the semi-academic horror podcast I Spit on Your Podcast. Kelly is also half of the gorecast Our Bloody Obsession (@ourbloodypod on Twitter, @bloodyobsessionpod on Instagram), a podcast for the extreme that dissects the most disturbing movies ever made. Both of Kelly’s podcasts are available on all podcasting apps.
And if two podcasts isn’t enough Kelly Gredner horror content for you, you can also follow Kelly’s personal accounts on Twitter (where she is @KGredner) and Instagram (where her handle is @venal_anatomica).
Without further ado, here are Kelly’s streaming horror/sci-fi picks for October.
Kelly’s Picks and Comments
- Killer Klowns From Outer Space — The name says it all! You have killer klowns from outer space that have their own weapons and theme song! It’s spooky and kooky.
- Event Horizon — Space horror at its finest! This is a must watch for Sam Neill’s iconic, unhinged performance and the atmosphere of impending doom.
- Tetsuo: The Iron Man — This is a weird one, I won’t lie, but definitely worth your time. It’s mechanical psychosexual mayhem.
- Night of the Creeps — “The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is... they’re dead.” I really wish Fred Dekker would come back to horror because his ’80s horror comedy releases were super fun and turned into true cult classics! Come for the aliens, stay for Tom Atkins’ mustache.
- Uninvited — This one is set up like a basic eighties slasher movie or pornography. Cat rat attack?! This one is a blast.
- Psycho Goreman — This is some home grown horror for me as a Canadian. It’s a retro creature feature where kids band together to fight evil. It’s a story about friendship and hunky boys. It was an instant cult classic and a comfort film for me.
- Threads — Once you watch this disturbing nuclear holocaust movie, you will be surprised to hear that this was a made for TV BBC film. If you’re due for an existential crisis, watch this one now.
- Inhumanwich! — Micro-budget horror filmmaking at its finest. It’s a throwback to ’50s sci-fi horror, and it is hilarious. Grab a group of your best friends and watch this one immediately!
- Godzilla — This is a stone-cold classic and one of the most important horror movies of the 1950s. It’s scary and devastating. It also contains one of my favorite theme songs of all time!
- Stake Land — This is a severely underrated post-apocalyptic vampire flick. It’s bleak and violent and deserves your time. Period.
September’s Guest Curator: Carol Ray Hartsell
by Chance Shirley • September 6, 2022
Many thanks to Carol Ray Hartsell for being our guest curator for September! Carol is a friend of mine who has worked in TV for years, including gigs on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, and The Kids Tonight Show. She recently made the move to film, directing her first movie, the romantic comedy Love... Reconsidered, which I’m very excited to see! And we should all be able to see it soon as Carol and the crew are wrapping up post-production on the film as I write this.
Carol sent me 22 (!) picks, which I’m pretty sure is a new record for Subspace guest curators (I just ask for ten, but I am always happy to include more). For the latest about Love... Reconsidered and all of Carol’s other cool goings-on, give her a follow on Twitter — her handle is @carolrhartsell.
- The Cell
- Deja Vu
- Earth Girls Are Easy
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- Marjorie Prime
- Never Surrender
- Quantum Leap
- Reign of Fire
- The Signal
- The Stuff
- Superman 3
- Swamp Thing
- Train to Busan
- Twilight Zone: The Movie
August’s Guest Curator: James Brown
by Chance Shirley • August 5, 2022
Many thanks to James Brown (legendary Alabamian, not to be confused with the legendary soul singer) for being our guest curator for August! James is a good friend and the director of Lunch, one of my all-time favorite short films (you can watch it on Vimeo!). But I’m extra excited to have James as guest curator this month because August in our neck of the woods (Birmingham, Alabama) brings with it the Sidewalk Film Festival. Sidewalk is an amazing fest, and it’s celebrating its 24th anniversary this year. James is one of the many amazing volunteers who make the Sidewalk fest happen. And James has been involved in the fest since year one, so he’s at least in the running for all-time Sidewalk fest VIV (very important volunteer).
If you’re in the neighborhood, check out the fest from August 22 - 28. And if you can’t make it out to the fest, check out James’ movie picks at a free streaming site near you. And be sure to give James a follow on Twitter where he is @liquifried.
James’ Picks and Comments
When Chance asked me to come up with a list of sci-fi recommendations for August, my mind immediately leapt to tying a pick to one of our most obvious connections — August’s (and the 24th!) Sidewalk Film Festival.
- Interplanetary — A Crewless production that, due to my unique position with the Sidewalk festival, happens to also be one of the last films I’ve seen in its entirety during fest weekend. Office comedy in space with monsters and blood. Great Alabama cast.
- Inception — Highbrow, mind-bending Nolan that even after numerous viewings I’m still not sure how it all works.
- Species — A “B” movie gem with a stellar cast, including a tiny Michelle Williams!
- The Girl With All the Gifts — Another female-led film that’s about as gritty as they get on this list. Ties nicely with...
- Train to Busan — A fantastic Korean zombie film that I’m gonna say qualifies as sci-fi. I hope. Speaking of trains...
- Snowpiercer — They made a series out of the concept, but the films is pretty fantastic. And the series doesn’t have Tilda Swinton.
- The “Prince of Space” episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 — Everyone has their favorites from this great series, but to me, this is a comedy masterpiece. And I’m laughing as I think about it.
- Swamp Thing — Ten-year-old me didn’t know who Wes Craven was, but I dug the hell out of this movie.
- Battle Beyond the Stars was a crazy, Star Wars (or was it Empire?) piggyback that I saw a bunch of times in the theater. The ships look like animals or bugs, some wild actors are involved, and the effects look like they’re straight out of a Roger Corman film. Because they are.
- Left Behind — Starring Kirk Cameron, about people who get left behind in the rapture. Watch this movie or the Devil will get you. Just kidding — it’s terrible.
- Holy Motors — I’m pretty sure I liked this surreal movie a lot. Your mileage may vary.
- Firefly — You got covid, or just need an excuse to binge watch an unfortunately short little series? If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already seen it, but go ahead and watch it again. Then the movie Serenity. Then send me an email so you can borrow the comics and novelizations that expand the exploits of Mal and his merry band of gun-slinging space misfits. I love this crew so much.
July’s Guest Curator: Nat Cassidy
by Chance Shirley • July 9, 2022
Many thanks to Nat Cassidy for being our guest curator for July! Like last month’s guest curator Tarik Davis, Nat is something of a Renaissance man — he's a an actor, playwright, and musician. He is also a big-time novelist, and his new book Mary: An Awakening of Terror is coming out this month from publisher Tor Nightfire.
You can follow Nat on Twitter for the latest news about Mary and whatever other cool stuff he gets up to.
Aside from picking out several cool movies for us, Nat was kind enough to write a little bit about each of his picks. So check out his picks and comments below, and check out Mary: An Awakening of Terror when it hits bookstores on July 19.
Nat’s Picks and Comments
- Audrey Rose — OK, so, first things first, I have a new horror novel coming out in two weeks titled Mary: An Awakening of Terror (July 19th, wherever books are sold, plug plug plug), and it’s in part about reincarnation. I’m fascinated by that subject and there have been shockingly few horror novels written about it. This movie, however, is based on a ’70s bestseller that very much is. It’s a fascinating story — maybe a little dry at times, and definitely not keep-you-up-at-night, capital-S Scary. But it poses some really intriguing questions and features a Magic-era Anthony Hopkins, so it’s definitely worth a watch.
- Stir of Echoes — This is another metaphysical horror movie, this time based on a Richard (I Am Legend, Duel, Twilight Zone, What Dreams May Come, etc.) Matheson. It’s about ghosts and hypnosis and features some fantastic performances. It came out the same time as Sixth Sense and so was dismissed as “just another psychic kid” movie, but it’s soooo not that. For my money it’s one of the best horror/thrillers of its era, and having recently rewatched it, I can definitely say it holds up.
- The Omen and The Omen II — The first three Omen movies make for a great little trilogy. The second and third chapters aren’t as good as the first, but they’re nowhere near as bad as, say...
- Exorcist II: The Heretic — One of the most batshit sequels ever made. But come on, you get to see James Earl Jones dressed up as a locust. It’s bananas and very much not unentertaining.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) — Along with Carpenter’s The Thing and Cronenberg’s The Fly, this stands as one of the greatest remakes ever made and far outshines the original Body Snatchers (which itself is a great flick). Fun fact: Kevin McCarthy, who played the protagonist of the original film, has a brief cameo in this one, arguably picking up where his character left off in 1956. Smart, scary, full of chunky ’70s sweaters. A perfect movie.
- Miracle Mile — Speaking of perfect movies, this is the kind of movie that, once you see it, you prosthelytize it to others. You’ve never really seen a movie quite like this one. I had to pay good money for a physical copy of it years ago because it wasn’t streaming anywhere at the time and I just had to watch it again. See it now while you can!
- John Dies at the End — Who doesn’t enjoy a fun Don Coscarelli horror flick on a summer’s evening? Does it maybe try too hard to be a “cult movie?” Perhaps. But it’s also got a monster made out of meat, so why fight it? Snarky, surreal, and full of a special kinda spectral soy sauce.
- Invaders from Mars remake — This is nowhere in the same league as Body Snatchers, but this Tobe Hooper flick is a ton of fun and features some great creature FX.
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy — Speaking of great creature FX, I’ll always have a soft spot for this movie. No, it’s not as definitive a Hitchhiker’s Guide adaptation as fans of the book or radio series might want, but it’s also nowhere near as disappointing as its reputation made it out to be.
- Rabid — OK, we’ve had some fun, comedic, family-friendly movies on this list. How about an early Cronenberg zombie-ish gorefest starring Marilyn Chambers that’ll make your stomach do somersaults?
- Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey — Bringing it back to the metaphysical, this is sincerely one of my favorite movies about embracing the mysteries of death and going with the flow. Also, an A+ cover of “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” by non-makeup-era Kiss that, essentially, ushers in world peace. God gave rock and roll to everyone, indeed.
- Starship Troopers — Hands down one of the best satires ever made. It’s so good, in fact, that the movie works on a superficial level, as well. You can appreciate how it skewers nationalism, fascism, military propaganda, and more... or you can just have a great time watching pretty, vapid people blowing up spacebugs.
- Quarantine — Bringing it back to remakes, I would say this falls under the “nonessential” category. It’s a remake of the outstanding Spanish horror movie [REC], which is pound for pound one of the greatest found-footage and zombie-adjacent movies ever made. That being said, if Quarantine were a movie that existed on its own, without the far superior source material to compare it to, it would be a competent, claustrophobic thriller-chiller with some neat twists and entertaining scares.
- Innerspace — Look, I’ll be honest, I probably can’t look at this movie critically because I was a kid in the ’80s and I loved this movie then and will love it til I die. But it’s the only Joe Dante movie to win an Oscar (for Best Visual Effects), so come on! Go inside Martin Short’s body and have some fun, why don’t you?
- Psycho Goreman — Speaking of fun, I adore this weird-ass sci-fi horror comedy. It’s probably not to everyone’s tastes, and is unapologetically, aggressively quirky, but if you’re in the right mood for laughs, gore, fun creature FX, and sass talking children with waaaay too much attitude, you might just adore this movie, too.
- Return of the Living Dead — I think everyone can agree on this horror-comedy classic, though. I mean, it’s so universally beloved it singlehandedly changed zombies from undiscerning flesheaters to creatures specifically focused on braaaaiiiinnnnns.
- The Descent — You may have noticed my tastes skew more towards horror than sci-fi. I’m a horror writer, what can I say? And this is one of the greatest horror movies ever made. Spend some time this summer watching a movie that will make you want to stay inside, in your nice, safe home, for the rest of your life.
- Melancholia — Finally, here’s just a beautiful, heartbreaking, deeply existential film with some cinematography that’ll leave you breathless. Because all things, sooner or later, must end. And that includes summers. And that also includes lists curated by me of free movies to watch during said summers. Thanks for reading!