Supporting Characters

Host Bill Ackerman talks to writers, bloggers, podcasters, fanzine publishers, programmers, preservationists and more about their creative endeavors and today’s film culture.
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Supporting Characters






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Oct 3, 2016
Bill speaks with Tracks Of The Damned podcast host Patrick Ripoll.  In addition to talking about both his current show and his years co-hosting the Director’s Club podcast, they discuss Woody Allen, the forums, standup comedy, the “Loveline” radio call-in program, what makes Letterboxd less evil than other social media sites, Buster Keaton, midnight movies, building cinephile monasteries within oneself, preserving pan and scan VHS transfers for historical purposes, TERMS OF ENDEARMENT, video store culture in 2016, Nicolas Winding Refn and the value of studying improv as it pertains both to podcasting and dating.
Hear Tracks Of The Damned:
Watch Herk Harvey’s CARNIVAL OF SOULS with Tracks Of The Damned commentary:
Hear Patrick’s Music:
Hear Patrick on the Director’s Club podcast:
Read Patrick Ripoll on Letterboxd:
Read Patrick’s favorite Letterboxd writers:
Nathaxn Walker
Steve Carlson
Matt Lynch
Sep 19, 2016
This week Bill speaks with the film critic Violet Lucca, Digital Editor of Film Comment Magazine and host of The Film Comment Podcast, about her experiences in film culture. Some of the topics discussed include: hybrid documentaries, Vine filmmakers, Nate Parker, DCPs and New York repertory cinemas, identity politics in film criticism, Rotten Tomatoes, prestige television, Film Comment’s relationship to The Film Society Of Lincoln Center, torrents and the myth of availability, the difference between Marvel and DC comic book adaptations, David Lynch, Violet’s forays into filmmaking, protests against animal testing and the potential for violence at Yasujiro Ozu screenings.
Read Violet Lucca in Film Comment:
Read Violet Lucca in The Village Voice:
Watch Violet Lucca’s video essay on Walerian Borowczyk:
Read Violet Lucca’s Top 10 list for the 2012 Sight & Sound poll:
Hear Violet Lucca on the Film Comment Podcast:
Sep 5, 2016
Bill speaks with Danny Peary, the author of Cult Movies, Cult Movies 2, Cult Movies 3, Guide For The Film Fanatic, and Cult Movie Stars, among others. They talk about Peary’s long history with movies: childhood viewing that ranged from Abbott & Costello to Ingmar Bergman, discovering Andrew Sarris in high school and spending afternoons at theatres like The Thalia, starting a campus film society while immersed in the student protest culture of the late 1960s, making silent short-subject comedies, his years of freelance writing for underground publications, developing books like Close-Ups and Cult Movies that established his reputation. Other topics discussed include Peary’s encounters with Jean-Luc Godard and Martin Scorsese, post-Watergate themes in contemporary cinema, Russ Meyer, BLUE VELVET, John Waters, the Academy Awards, Val Lewton, adult films, PSYCHO and Brian Saur’s in-progress documentary about him.
Buy Danny Peary’s books:
Read Danny Peary’s blog:
Read the tribute site to Danny Peary’s book Guide For The Film Fanatic:
Follow the progress of Brian Saur’s documentary about Danny Peary:
Read Susan Wloszczyna’s interview with Danny Peary conducted for Roger
Share Your Love: Author Danny Peary on "Cult Movies" | Interviews | Roger Ebert
Aug 22, 2016
Bill speaks with Jeremy Richey, editor and co-creator of the quarterly print journal Art Decades. They talk about the origins of this publication and his litany of film-related blogs, among them Moon In The Gutter, Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience, Nostalgia Kinky and Harry Moseby Confidential. They also discuss plagiarism, influential books, Jean Rollin, feminism, Tim Lucas, Jeremy’s documentary appearances, Kimberly Kane, discouraging freelance writing experiences and details about his upcoming book focusing on the European film career of Sylvia Kristel.
Buy past issues of Art Decades:
Read Jeremy Richey’s long-running blog, Moon In The Gutter:
Read A Return To Utrecht, Jeremy Richey’s Sylvia Kristel blog:
Read Jeremy Richey’s Nastassja Kinski blog Nostalgia Kinky:
Read Jeremy Richey’s Jean Rollin blog Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience:
Fascination: The Jean Rollin Experience
Aug 7, 2016
Bill speaks with Black On Black Cinema host and TNP Studios founder Jay Jacksonrao. In addition to talking about the origins of his Nerdpocalypse and Black On Black Cinema shows, they discuss blockbuster spectacle cinema and the post-9/11 appeal of superhero movies, Baltimore film culture, FRUITVALE STATION and how the economy can inform the kinds of stories told in black films.

Visit the official site for Black On Black Cinema:

Visit the official site for The Nerdpocalypse.

Read Craig D. Lindsey’s interview with the hosts of Black On Black Cinema for

Jul 25, 2016
Bill speaks with Director’s Club host and Now Playing Network founder Jim Laczkowski. In addition to talking about podcasts, both his own and those of others, they discuss his early years directing short comedies to make his classmates laugh, his long history with WGN Radio film critic Nick Digilio, EVIL DEAD 2, near-death experiences, PUMP UP THE VOLUME, bandwagon mentality, the Chicago film critic community, drive-in theatres, MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, experiences touring as a solo musician, critic screenings and the enduring scent of Roger Ebert’s sandwich.

Hear Jim on the Director’s Club podcast:

Hear Jim on the V&V podcast:

Hear Jim guest on other podcasts:

Explore the other shows on the network Jim created:

Hear Jim’s music:

Read/follow Jim on Letterboxd:

Read Jim's writing on V&V:

Follow Jim on Instagram:


Jul 11, 2016
Bill speaks with Exhumed Films co-founder and Diabolik DVD co-owner Joseph A. Gervasi about how the DIY ethos of hardcore punk informed his endeavors in film culture. They discuss the origins of his various projects, from early ventures like The Cabbage Collective and Bizarre Videos to later efforts like The Valerie Project and the ongoing Loud! Fast! Philly! series. Other topics addressed include Phil Hardy’s Overlook Film Encyclopedia, entitled genre film collectors, CAFÉ FLESH, the subtle homage to Joseph’s father on the Criterion Collection edition of VALERIE AND HER WEEK OF WONDERS, and how declining nude modeling opportunities can negatively impact the distribution of one's fanzine.

Visit the official site for Exhumed Films:

Visit the official site for Diabolik DVD:

Visit the official site for Loud! Fast! Philly!

Read Joseph’s 2012 interview with recent Supporting Characters guest Kier-La Janisse:

See a documentary on Exhumed Films:

See a trailer for the LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Cinedelphia Film Festival event:

See/hear the music of The Valerie Project featured on television’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’:
Jun 27, 2016
Bill speaks to writer/film programmer Kier-La Janisse about her many contributions to film culture, from her Cannibal Culture fanzine and Cinemuerte film festival to co-founding venues like the Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre, schools like The Miskatonic Institute Of Horror Studies and her small-press publishing company with fellow writer Paul Corupe, Spectacular Optical Publications. We talk about the origins of her books A VIOLENT PROFESSIONAL - THE FILMS OF LUCIANO ROSSI and the acclaimed HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN, and her experiences in documentary film, whether as a co-producer, an interviewee or as the subject. Other topics covered include movie parties, bootleg collecting, the peculiar boasts of Rico Boido, programming for the Alamo Drafthouse, objectifying Richard Stanley (and subsequently apologizing for it), “elevated horror”, the Bloodshots 48-hour horror movie challenge, the economic realities of a life in film culture and details about some of her upcoming projects. It’s likely the only time you’ll hear the names Manny Farber, Jorg Buttgereit AND David Cassidy mentioned within the same conversation.

Buy the Kier-La Janisse books House Of Psychotic Women and A Violent Professional:
Visit the official site for Spectacular Optical:
Watch Bloody Breasts Presents: Women In Horror Panel, where Kier-La Janisse joins Jovanka Vuckovic (THE CAPTURED BIRD, former editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue magazine), Izabel Grondin (FANTASME), and Elza Kephart (GRAVEYARD ALIVE: A ZOMBIE NURSE IN LOVE) and Maude Michaud (HOLLYWOOD SKIN).
Buy CELLULOID HORROR, the documentary about Kier-La Janisse’s Cinemuerte Film Festival:
Read Kier-La Janisse’s SHINDIG article about the career of cult film actress Joy Bang:
See a slideshow of various Toronto Film Cult Film Locations taken by Kier-La Janisse and Bill Ackerman:
Visit the official site for the Monsterthon Film Festival:
Visit the official site of The Miskatonic Institute Of Horror Studies:
Hear Kier-La Janisse on The Projection Booth discussing THE HAUNTING OF JULIA (aka FULL CIRCLE):
Order the FAB Press re-issue of Satanic Panic:
Buy the first Spectacular Optical book Kid Power!
Read Samm Deighan’s 2012 interview with Kier-La Janisse:
Satanic Pandemonium: House of Psychotic Women: Interview with Kier-La Janisse
Jun 13, 2016
Bill speaks to writer/podcaster Mike White about his various projects and pursuits in the world of film culture, from WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE FOOLING? and Super Happy Fun to Cashiers du Cinemart and The Projection Booth. They also discuss film festivals, bootleg culture of the early 2000s, adult films, Bruce Campbell, underappreciated filmmakers, Mike’s documentary appearances, unhelpful publicists, Greydon Clark, film theory, pranking the IMDB and much more.
See the official site for The Projection Booth podcast:
The Projection Booth Podcast
Read Mike White's blog:
ImpossibleFunky Productions
See the official site for Cashiers du Cinemart:
Cashiers du Cinemart - Home Page
Watch Mike White's short film comparing Ringo Lam's CITY ON FIRE and Quentin Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU'RE FOOLING?
Official page of filmmaker Matthew Silver:
Official page of filmmaker Cory McAbee:
May 30, 2016

Bill talks to documentary filmmaker Daniel Griffith of Ballyhoo Motion Pictures. Griffith explains how his independently-made documentary on film producer K. Gordon Murray opened the door to an ongoing career producing DVD/Blu-Ray supplements (for companies like Synapse Films, VCI Entertainment and Shout Factory) and documentary features on subjects like John Carpenter’s DARK STAR, Florida filmmaker William Grefe, Charles Band’s Empire International Pictures, and teenagers making Super 8 genre movies in the 1970s.

See Daniel Griffith's official website: 


May 17, 2016
Bill talks to film programmer and PhilaMOCA curator Eric Bresler. They have a conversation about his wide variety of projects, including his Video Pirates found-footage comedy shorts, the documentary OTAKU UNITE!, the Cinedelphia Film Festival and his work at PhilaMOCA. Other topics discussed include Philadelphia film culture and exhibition, tape trading, Eric’s admiration for the band Sparks, TLA Video, Pia Zadora, Eraserhood Forever (including this year’s headliner), visits from both South Philly gangsters and David Lynch to PhilaMOCA, Brian Schmidt’s THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURE OF JOJO (AND HIS ANNOYING LITTLE SISTER), and the especially shady casting process for an independent film.
See Eric Bresler’s Video Pirates short film, HORRORS:
See the Eric Bresler-directed video for Psychic Teens’ “Everything”
See ERASERHEAD’s The Lady In The Radiator perform “In Heaven” at PhilaMOCA:
Buy Eric Bresler’s Video Pirates Philadelphia DVD:
Buy Eric Bresler’s documentary OTAKU UNITE!
Visit Eric Brelser’s webite:


May 2, 2016
Bill welcomes author J.A. Kerswell onto the show. Kerswell’s love for slasher movies inspired him to create the first website devoted to them (Hysteria Lives!), write a book (Teenage Wasteland, aka The Slasher Movie Book), co-host a podcast (The Hysteria Continues), and appear on the bonus features of numerous DVD/Blu-Ray releases for labels like Vinegar Syndrome, Arrow Films and 88 Films.  In addition to discussing these endeavors in detail, other topics include growing up in the era of Video Nasties, arthouse/horror hybrids, responding to criticisms, nostalgia among horror fans, and how to prevent one’s passion projects from devolving into drudgery.
Read J.A. Kerswell’s reviews:
Buy J.A. Kerswell’s book:
Hear J.A. Kerswell’s podcast:


Apr 21, 2016
Bill speaks to writer/film programmer Travis Crawford about his writing career, underground genre film and music publications, glossier magazines like Fangoria and Film Comment, books like 1001 Films To See Before You Die, and websites like The Calvert Journal. They also discuss Crawford’s popular Danger After Dark festival series, his work with Artsploitation Films, Danny Peary’s Cult Movies, Dario Argento, the depressing state of foreign film distribution, his ill-advised visit to Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum with an iconic horror film director, and more.
See Travis Crawford discuss Danger After Dark
Read Travis Crawford on Yury Bykov's THE FOOL:
Travis Crawford's interviews with Dario Argento, Lars Von Trier and William Friedkin

Buy Artsploitation DVDs here:
Apr 4, 2016

Bill speaks with Heather Drain about her path as a writer from childhood capsule reviews of B-movies in crayon to writing professionally for people like Video Watchdog and Dangerous Minds, the influence of Baxter Phillips' book Cut: The Unseen Cinema, the work of filmmaker Stephen Sayadian, her involvement with The Projection Booth podcast, David Schmoeller's CRAWLSPACE, peers she admires, early music videos, adult cinema, Lester Bangs, and details about a few of the upcoming projects she has in the works

Mar 22, 2016

Bill speaks with writer Samm Deighan about an adolescence informed by Eurocult bootleg tapes, Exhumed Films marathons, James O'Neill's Terror On Tape and THE LAST UNICORN. They discuss the extensive filmmaker/genre overviews of her Satanic Pandemonium site, the origins of her new Daughters Of Darkness podcast and upcoming book on World War II cult cinema, her René Cardona Jr.-inspired death wish, Arrow Films, fellow genre film writers that she admires, the state of horror film culture today and much more.

For links and more info:

Mar 11, 2016

Bill speaks with writer and film scholar Daniel Bird about Andrzej Zulawski, ‘Eyeball’ magazine, the influence of Pete Tombs, THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, HARD TO BE A GOD, and the future of film.

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