Sharksploitation, and Upcoming Podcasts & Sundry

July 5, 2021 | By

If you asked me where the last 3 months went, I honestly have no effing idea. March was mid-Third Wave of the pandemic in Toronto, and still a chunk away from the gradual winding down of what I’ll state for the last time was the longest lockdown in North America.

I did get vaccinated in early April (with the second jab done this weekend without any extreme effects), but quite frankly I’ve no idea how weeks just blurred into a mush of near-nothingness. Ideas were scripted on paper and computer, reviews drafted and written, but the endless ‘languishing’ during the lockdown did a real number on internal verve.

I’ve had to retrain the brain from drowning in white noise to getting back into some routine, which sounds ridiculous, as well as remembering why it’s good to have a proper meal now & then instead of salty crunchy carbs; and restore the work zone from the disarray that globbed together, as though an invisible magnet of crap & clutter worked hard after hours to add to the physical confusion that developed each morning.

Bake in furniture-dragging from foot monsters each morning that fueled a corrupted sleep cycle akin to a med student, and it’s no wonder March, April, and May were utter crap.


“I think I know what that is, but I just can’t remember if it’s fish, fowl, or a very useless soup bone.”


To the other end, I’ve reviews of killer creature films on the go, of which Joe D’Amato’s almost bloodless Deep Blood / Sangue negli abissi (1990) is the first to emerge (via Severin Blu), with William Girdler’s shockingly fun Day of the Animals (1976) coming next (also Severin), and something insect-ish that’s tied to a new podcast series that’ll debut in about 2 weeks.

I stepped away from soundtrack reviews & podcasts for a bit – part burnout, part a needed shift in focus – and the limited series is a fusion of filmmusic, films, and nostalgia with minimal treacle. Limited, even though I’ve drafted about 30 viable topics which theoretically should cover 30 months.

Also coming this week is an interview with artist Donna Wise, whom I interviewed back in 2017 at the Urban Gallery, which itself closed during the pandemic but has plans to re-emerge.

The new, roughly half-hour Q&A for my occasional ArtsScope TO podcast will focus on her work and the repercussions of the lockdown on artists who found themselves without a venue to exhibit, no person-to-person dealings, and the effects of being stuck at home (or having to plan a relocation as developers bought low-rise properties during Toronto’s still screwed-up housing market, or unscrupulous landlords used the pandemic to oust low-paying tenants for a high-paying corporate banalities. But I digress).

And a little arthouse smut, because filmmaking doesn’t always have to be deeply serious and socially progressive.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor


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