I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx


by Thomas Michalski
Sept. 29, 2017
As much as we identify certain sounds with certain places, one of the most beautiful things about music is that it travels well; that a styled forged from a unique local culture can still speak to someone on the other side of the world, who can in turn add their particular dialect to the conversation. In the internet age, regional strains become global trends almost overnight, making it difficult to discern where an artist might be from just by listening to them. Take up-and-coming duo Ninos Du Brasil, who, between their name and predilection toward the irrepressible rhythms of carnival, you might reasonably assume to be based in, or perhaps émigrés from, Brazil, when in fact they hail from somewhere far less colorful and exciting...
Thomas Michalski is a writer and radio host from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can keep up with his comings and goings over at http://www.voodooinspector.com/

by Lindsay Long
Sept. 27, 2017
The perilous streets of Mexico have long been notorious for brutal street gangs, and the Intrépidos Punks prove to be only one more example of such a sinister society. With police brutality, rape, and vandalism this Mexploitation hell ride wastes no time cutting to the chase. Before the spray-painted intro credits even have a chance to dry, sexy nuns wielding guns stage a bank heist. Fleeing the scene, they are met with a group of leather clad, fro-hawked bikers and take off to the sound of a sick Sweet Emotion-esque theme song. Punk isn’t just a costume it’s a way of life for these savage cretins who kill time and brain cells partying hard or terrorizing the streets on their customized cycles...
Currently holdin’ it down in the dirty south city of Atlanta, Network Awesome contributor Lindsay can be found frequenting house parties, punk rock shows, seedy thrift stores, or glued to her computer screen unearthing the endless gems today's internet offers. A self-proclaimed fan of all things vintage, including the nudie mags of yesteryear, she possesses an insatiable appetite for anything visually mind-blowing or just totally tasteless. Notorious B.I.G. sums her up best with a line from ‘Gimme the Loot': ”Dangerous. Crazier than a bag of f*@#$%g angel dust.”

by Tom Keiser
Sept. 26, 2017

William Girdler was one of the kings of 1970’s exploitation films. His films varied widely, from natural disaster films, such asThe Day of the Animals and Grizzly, to paranormal movies, such as The Manitou, and even blaxploitation films such as the Pam Grier vehicle Sheba, Baby. Girdler died in a helicopter crash in 1978 at the age of thirty, cutting short a career that included several hits and more than a few near-misses.

Perhaps the biggest of Girdler’s near-misses was 1974’s Abby, starring Carol Speed, William Marshall, Austin Stoker, and Academy Award nominee Juanita Moore. Riding the coattails of William Friedkin’s 1973 blockbuster The ExorcistAbby details the possession of the title character and her exorcism...

Tom Keiser has written for Network Awesome Magazine, The Awl, and the United Football League website.  He lives in New Jersey, and has a Twitter and a Tumblr.

by Thomas Michalski
Sept. 24, 2017
To say Jacqueline Susann’s 1966 sensational novel Valley of the Dolls was a bestseller is something of an understatement. By the time of the author’s death from breast cancer in 1974, the Guinness Book of World Records had certified it the best seller, as in “of all time”. The success of the novel, which chronicles the sordid private lives of a trio of pill-popping young starlets, long rumored to be based on real life actresses, was almost instantaneous, and it followed that Hollywood, always looking to cash in, came calling soon after. With a sizable built in audience of bored housewives and other vicarious trashy thrill-seekers awaiting the adaptation, Mark Robson’s 1967 film of the same name was almost guaranteed to do brisk business at the box office, but unsurprisingly, the critics, including Roger Ebert, who later co-wrote the 1970 sequel/parody Beyond the Valley of the Dolls with the breast-obsessed director Russ Meyers, panned it, just like their peers had done the book. They did however, have reason to, the film is a confused, clunky experience, but that didn’t stop a small but devoted audience, especially among the LGBT community, from repeating its endlessly quotable dialogue and keeping the faith at screenings. Put short, it’s a cult classic, but not an unlikely one; in fact, there’s no way this movie couldn’t have become one...
Thomas Michalski is a writer and radio host from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can keep up with his comings and goings over at http://www.voodooinspector.com/

by Gabriella Arrigoni
Sept. 22, 2017
For a generation of British Star Wars-addicted kids, Star Fleet was probably the first introduction to manga and Japanese culture at the beginning of the Eighties. Created by legendary Go Nagai (also the author of Getter Robo and Mazinger Z), the series didn’t prove very popular in Japan, where the public had already indulged in a decade of mecha and giant robot-based shows and didn’t find the plot and its imaginary very original. Also, its main distinguishing feature, the presence of puppets, compelled the protagonists to adopt an awkward motionlessness which wasn’t very appealing for a mature animation audience. As a result, X Bomber (this is the original title) was cancelled after just 12 of its 26 episodes. The redubbed UK version (on air every Saturday morning from October 30, 1982), howeve, was such a hit that Queen guitarist Brian May released a mini album of music inspired by the show. Moreover, British funding for the production of a second season was ready to be sent to the Japanese studio, only to find out that a fire had destroyed all models and sets, making the project impossible...
Gabriella Arrigoni is an independent curator and writer; former editor
in chief of undo.net, she now contributes to a number of contemporary
art magazine. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne (UK) where she also
works as translator. She is part of the collective Nopasswd
in[ter]dependent contemporary culture.