“VHS Forever? Psychotronic People” (2014)- Movie Review

By Andrew Buckner

Rating: ***** out of *****.

VHS Forever? Psychtronic People (2014) from writers and directors, Darren J. Perry and Mark Williams, is a remarkably fascinating, endlessly enjoyable, and compulsively watchable love letter to low-budget horror films, videos, video stores, and the myriad individuals who understood their endearing appeal. It is also a study in the ridiculous lengths the government, the Motion Picture Association of America, and related personages would go to conceal these daring types of art. The 110-minute documentary is filled with intriguing and intimate true life narratives that revel in the former and rightfully vilify the latter. Yet, it is just as much a riveting glimpse into what goes into the production of the title technology. It also operates just as well as a fantastic glimpse into some of the daily fears video buyers and store owners had during the days of the ‘Video Nasties’. A term coined in the United Kingdom in 1982, this refers to a list of often misunderstood terror and exploitation films, like Meir Zarchi’s I Spit on Your Grave (1978) and Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead (1981), that were banned for their graphic nature. These previously stated brilliant and bold masterpieces are frequently discussed in the picture. This docket of controversial cinema, and the attraction the record had to collectors, is a subject the bulk of the feature unveils with tremendous depth and insight.

These bits give the project a magnificent symmetry and variety. This is as it expounds upon its core theme of the interest derived from VHS. Particularly, the “dangerous” cinematic wonders that may be held within each one. Yet, what functions just as well in Perry and Williams’ endeavor are the lively and charismatic interviews from the creative minds, many of whom are fellow writers and/or moviemakers, who discourse so passionately on the topic at hand. Their stories are infectiously relatable and always engaging. This is most noteworthy in the segments involving Troma Studios co-founder, Lloyd Kaufman. His consistently amusing conversations on the various releases, promotional methods, and censorship troubles of The Toxic Avenger (1984) are a constant highlight. Another section I vastly relished occurs around the fifteen-minute mark. It is an anecdote involving a VHS copy of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s essential and unforgettable swan song, Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975).

What also heightens my affection, as well as the sheer fun, radiating from the development is that there are even a few successful running gags throughout the venture. Among them is the wind being deemed “Psychotronic interference”. Moreover, the overall aesthetic of the exercise works perfectly in a similar regard. It calls to mind the look of early VHS. This is a dazzling touch. It is one which reiterates the distinct charm found in the cassettes so ardently touched upon in Perry and Williams’ undertaking.

In turn, VHS Forever? Psychotronic People is a must-see for anyone remotely concerned about film, its early home distribution forms, and its history. The labor has obvious esteem for its topic. Regardless, it does not shy away from stating some of the less desirable qualities of VHS with an underlying air of eager reverence. These hints make for an even more open, honest, and varied experience. This refreshing frankness helps make this gem worth seeking out with all the enthusiasm and merriment a collector would search for that one rare, elusive, uncut ‘Video Nasty’ on VHS. Perry and Williams’ feature is pure nostalgic joy.

You can purchase the Blu-ray and DVD of VHS Forever? at http://www.vipcoltd.com!

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival- Film #13: “Root of All Evil” (2016)

By Andrew Buckner

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival concludes with its thirteenth short project: “Root of All Evil” (2016). Smartly written and stylishly directed by Alex DiVincenzo, the seven-minute and thirty-four second work is inventive, entertaining and well-acted. The effort also wonderfully personifies the fun and ominous spirit of the Halloween season, when the narrative takes place, in both atmosphere and in the general chain of events which craft the exercise. Winner of Best Film, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Costumes, Best Use of Prop, Best Special Effects and Most Lifelike Severed Part at the 48 Hour Film Project, the masterful exercise is a perfect cinematic treat for fellow horror aficionados.


After disrespecting an ancient tradition, a Halloween gala featuring a group of friends takes a terrifying and fatal turn.




* All films shown in this festival are used with the kind permission of the filmmakers themselves.


Andrew Buckner Wins Best Dramatic 180 at Avalonia Festival V With “The Man Who Fears the Rain (2020)”

By Andrew Buckner

AWordofDreams.com owner and sole writer, Andrew Buckner, has received his first laurel for moviemaking yesterday. He won Best Dramatic 180 at Avalonia Festival V for a his short film “The Man Who Fears the Rain” (2020). The two-minute and fourteen-second project concerns a man who attempts to find the deeper meaning in the apprehension stated in the title of the project. Filmed completely for free and almost entirely in his home and backyard, the introspective work was both cathartic and emotionally satisfying for the Ohio resident to create.

This is the second film festival in which Buckner’s work has been showcased. The initial gala occurred last Saturday, October 24th, 2020 when his fake B-movie trailer entitled “Mower Vengeance: From Grass to Flesh (2020)” was a part of the B-block of the Weird Local Virtual Film Festival #3.

You can find out more about Avalonia Festival V, where the project will be screening, and view the award-winning short “The Man Who Fears the Rain” in full at the link below.

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival – Film #12: “The Actor” (2013)

By Andrew Buckner

The twelfth film in The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival is an emotionally gripping, beautifully acted and constructed glimpse into personal fears. It is a 14-minute and 38-second drama starring David Graziano in the title role of “The Actor” (2013). Masterfully directed by Skip Shea and Mike Messier, the project immerses the audience in its thoughtfulness, central love story and its magnificent black and white cinematography.

Short Film: The Actor (2014) |


“The Actor” is a story about love lost, love regained, and the regret that comes with decisions made. This is The Actor’s story, one of a struggle to come to terms with himself and the woman he loves, The Muse.  The plot is based on David Graziano, The Actor, and Christine Perla, The Muse relationship. How they met, fell in love and why David left only to begin a downward spiral. This journey comes to light in an acting lesson with The Coach, played by Diana Porter.


Christine Perla – Executive Producer

Mike Messier – Producer

Skip Shea – Producer

Skip Shea & Mike Messier – Director

Skip Shea -Editor

William Smyth – Cinematographer

Steven Lanning-Cafaro—Original Score

Roland Khorshidianzadeh – PA

Chris Hunter – Audio Supervisor

Christine Perla – Script Supervisor


Loraine Craig Resniak and Tony Demings

Filmed at Courthouse Center for the Arts–West Kingston, Rhode Island



*All the films shown in this festival are used with the kind permission of the filmmakers themselves.

“Gay as the Sun” (2020) – (Short Film Review)

By Andrew Buckner

Rating: ***** out of *****.

“Gay as the Sun” (2020), a thirty-one-minute short film from director Richard Griffin, is a thoughtful and endlessly hilarious meditation on body shaming and acceptance. Cleverly utilizing the basis of a circa 1960’s-70’s educational documentary, the masterfully done exercise also humorously addresses themes such as women’s wage inequality, hidden knowledge, religion (wonderfully exhibited throughout the work under the guise of a randomly appearing U.F.O.) and the mania of current Republican politics. What the piece also does just as successfully through this aforesaid structure is operate as a deeply personal story. It is one regarding two different men at separate periods in history, the beginning of and modern times, who grow to feel uncertain of their forms. In turn, this makes them feel unsure of themselves. This is a topic that many audience members will immediately relate to and find cathartic as it is showcased on-screen. Such a factor heightens the immense and varied appeal of the narrative. The eye-popping visual aesthetic of the effort, immediately showcased in the opening shot of a group of large sunflowers in a field, only improves the easy joy of the endeavor. This is courtesy of the magnificent and undeniably beautiful cinematography from Griffin.

The exercise is divided into two chapters. The first of which, “In the Beginning”, is a gentle and wonderfully diverting twist on the Adam (Ricky Irizarry) and Eve (Sarah Reed) tale. It is a brisk six minutes in length. What follows this is “The Story of Billy”. Implementing the remaining runtime of the venture, the chronicle concerns the title individual (delightfully played by Graham Stokes) who, following the actions of his parents, feels as if he cannot wear enough clothes. This is out of a personal disgrace for his undressed state. Upon being sent to an all-male nudist camp, he gradually learns to embrace and find himself through the loss of this once overwhelming concern.

The constantly charming and uproarious commentary by the wittily named “Psychologist/ Notary Public” Fritz Lang, M.D. (in a standout performance by Bruce Church) is a continuous source of amusement during this concluding account. What is also just as engaging is Griffin’s deft editing and guidance of the cinematic affair. Furthermore, the smartly paced (there is not a filler scene in the entirety of the picture) and arranged screenplay by Robyn Guilford is brilliant. It is filled with sharp, occasionally tongue-in-cheek dialogue, sly and subtle references to past and present issues and people, and wall-to-wall entertaining situations. Likewise, the enactments are all incredible. For example, Alexander Willis is dazzling as Gardner. The depiction by Samantha Acampora of Beatrice, Nolan Burke as Steve and Sissy O’ Hara as Ivy are all terrific. Terry Shea is just as good as The Narrator. Irizarry and Reed are illuminating in their previously stated turns. Ninny Nothin as Snake, Jay Walker as Poet, Robert Kersey as “Gay Dracula”, and Ronald Martin as The Shirt Bandit are all memorable in their brief roles.

Ultimately, “Gay as the Sun” stands alongside “Yesteryear” (2020) by Chris Esper as the single best non-feature film I have seen this year. It is emotionally rousing in a credible and quiet way. The design is also goofy, upbeat fun for the entirety of the arrangement. Well-fashioned and likable central figures are also frequently incorporated into the latest from Griffin. There is also just the right touch of romance peppered into the proceedings. Such an element greatly augments the variety of the development. With the assistance of these highly effective ingredients, Griffin has crafted a bold, unique, and ardent comedy as only he can conceive. It is a quirky, kind, blissful and illuminating masterpiece.

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival – Films 10 and 11: “Re:jected by Reality” (2003) and “Pat and Matrice (2014)”

By Andrew Buckner

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival continues with two excellent works that feature the talents of director Mike Messier. First off, we have “Re:jected by Reality” (2003). It is a twenty-four-minute documentary, directed by Messier, that is as thoughtful as it is purely entertaining. This is especially true when considering how it portrays Messier’s attempts to  conquer the frightening world of reality television. The last entry in this Messier double-bill is “Pat and Matrice” (2014 ). It is a tense and dramatic character study,  strengthened by two fantastic lead performances, that also operates as an eight-minute, seventh episode of the web series In the Bedroom (2014). The project was directed by Audrey Noone.

Film #10: “Re:jected by Reality” (2003)


HBO. Jerry Springer. WWE. MTV. A young and angry Mike Messier takes on the world of reality television and goes toe to toe with the decision makers and power brokers of the Pop Culture World , including a trip to Las Angeles, not because of family ties to a rich uncle or a Hollywood legacy, but because of his own damn talent and perseverance.




A woman dealing with crisis needs the support of her close girlfriend to get her through the chaos.




*All films shown in this festival are used with the kind permission of the filmmakers.

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Film Festival – Films #5,6,7,8 and 9: “Faux Drive-In Trailers: ‘Poolasaurus!’/’Wrath of the Seagulls!’ (2020)”, “A Drop of Blood With a Comedic Twist (2020)”, “In Conversation With Myself By Andrew Buckner (2020)”, “Eye (2020)” and “Eyes and Bones: A Found Footage/ Audio Short Film (2020)”

By Andrew Buckner

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Film Festival continues with a block of shorts directed by Buckner himself. These terrifying and often intentionally tongue-in-cheek works are: “Faux Drive-In Trailers: ‘Poolasaurus!’/ ‘Wrath of the Seagulls!’ (2020)”, ” A Drop of Blood With a Comedic Twist” (2020)”, “In Conversation with Myself By Andrew Buckner (2020)”, “Eye” (2020) and “Eyes and Bones: A Found Footage/ Audio Short Film (2020)”.



A pair of fake drive-in movie trailers created by director Andrew Buckner, “Faux Drive-In Trailers: ‘Poolasaurus!/ ‘Wrath of the Seagulls’ ” is a one-minute and thirty-four second project that plays like an old-fashioned ad for a double bill of imaginary black and white films. The fun, campy and funny work proclaims that both features will be released in drive-ins during “Summer, 1957”.




A serious three-minute and thirty-eight second horror short with a humorous post-credits bit, “A Drop of Blood With a Comedic Twist” (2020) concerns a man who attempts to document what happens when the sky blackens during midday and conflicting reports of both a dragon and a UFO take over the news.

After finding a drop of blood on the concrete outside, he finds himself being stalked by the malevolent creature in question.




“In Conversation With Myself By Andrew Buckner” (2020) is a black and white, faux documentary that runs 3 minutes and 45 seconds.

Staged as the first episode of an audio program, it showcases writer-director Buckner finding out his theory of publicly discussed ideas taking on a life of their own is true in terrifying fashion.


FILM #8: “EYE (2020)”


“Eye” (2020) is a three-minute short film by Andrew Buckner. It is about an “energy” creature that brings the dead back to life and feasts on eyes. It is also told by entirely showing the eye of the protagonist.




“Eyes and Bones” is a found footage/audio short horror film by Andrew Buckner. The fictional work chronicles an unnamed individual who tries documenting his strange encounters the morning after he sees a light streak through the sky. From herein, the beings behind the light start to relentlessly pursue him.


*All films shown in this festival were used with the kind permission of the filmmakers themselves.

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival – Film #4: “A Tricky Treat” (2015)

By Andrew Buckner

Film #4: “A Tricky Treat” (2015)

The winner of multiple awards from film festivals across the United States, director and editor Patricia Chica’s “A Tricky Treat” is a brilliant, seamless blend of genuinely effective horror and magnificently macabre dark comedy. The quite graphic effects and makeup work is an impressive highlight throughout the three-minute and 11-second project. Moreover, the performances, script and perfectly constructed tone help make this wonderfully warped narrative a true gem for the Halloween season. It’s endlessly intriguing and efficient; wall-to-wall entertaining and delightfully bizarre.


A man is kidnapped by an unusual family. Things get even worse when he realizes that two children are in control of his fate. It is, as the YouTube description for the work states, “A shocking tale of the unexpected with a twist.”

26-Second Trailer for the Film:

YouTube Link For the Film in Full:

* All films shown in this festival are used with the kind permission of the filmmakers themselves.

“Exeter at Midnight (2020)”- Short Film Review

By Andrew Buckner

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****.

“Exeter at Midnight” (2020), a twelve-minute and thirty-one second short film from director Christopher Di Nunzio and screenwriter Kris Salvi, is a superb dialogue and character-driven gangster tale. It is also a fantastic performance piece for its two leads, David Graziano (as Anthony Fechetti) and Salvi (as the “Recently Made” Vincent). Much of the sheer effective force of the undertaking lies in the banter and highly credible turns of Graziano and Salvi. On this front, the pair certainly deliver.

The project concerns Anthony being approached by Vincent in his home. Vincent offers Anthony a chance to come out retirement for one more job as a hitman. Regardless, Anthony is haunted by the violence he has seen. This element is derived particularly from one masterfully done sequence. It launches the exercise with high-intrigue and emotional intensity. The act of brutality in question occurred in Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1978. This segment provides an engaging commencement to Anthony’s uncertainty towards the proposal from Vincent. The bulk of the plot and the way audiences get to know Anthony revolves around this internal struggle.

From this angle, the chronicle is consistently meditative. It readily allows viewers to slip into the ever-deteriorating mind-state of Graziano’s character. This also adds to the intimacy of all that transpires on-screen. Such an aspect is especially noticeable in the commencing moments of the endeavor. This is where Graziano seems to be talking to himself as well as the viewers. Such is a wonderful and wise touch. It is one that makes the attempt evermore open, insightful and, for some, relatable.

The venture is all-around beautiful in its construction. Di Nunzio offers taut, atmospheric direction that oozes organic underlying power and tough guy attitude. His cinematography is also striking. It perfectly reflects said tone. The editing by Amanda Faughn, sound work and score heard only in the sharp end credits are all equally good. Moreover, Audrey Noone is excellent in her brief turn as Maria. Teddy Pryor as Young Anthony and Di Nunzio as Petey fare just as well. Additionally, the script from Salvi is smartly paced. It is also filled with sharp and realistic banter and convincing central figures.

In turn, “Exeter at Midnight” is a marvelous reflection on crimes of the past and future. It has a lot to say about how such acts eternally afflict the spirit and weigh down the mind. Di Nunzio’s narrative is profound in an organic, earthy way. This is in a manner that many cinematic showcases attempt but often fail. The story has often been told, but rarely with such inherent poignancy. It is also effortlessly entertaining too boot. Simply stated, “Exeter at Midnight” is a knockout.

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival – Film #3: “Next/Door” (2015)

By Andrew Buckner

FILM 3#: “NEXT/ DOOR” (2015)

The Andrew Buckner/ AWordofDreams Fall 2020 Short Film Festival continues with the third of thirteen films in the series, “Next/Door” (2015). Deftly written by Brian Pickard and directed Nathan Suher, the 17-minute and 21-second work is a masterfully acted, Hitchockian thriller filled with sharply honed suspense.




Average schlub, Otto Wells, lives in an apartment adjacent to the woman of his dreams, Patty, who is in a relationship with her abusive boyfriend. One night Otto hears through the thin walls something that ignites his obsession to terrifying heights.



*All films used in this festival are shown with the kind permission of the filmmakers themselves.