Posts by Dustin LaValley


From the Pulps to Modern Blockbusters: A Brief History of Noir & Neo-Noir

Max Allan Collins, Christa Faust and Gary Phillips discuss the beginnings of noir and recent developments in neo-noir. Neo-noir (from the Greek neo, which means new; and the French noir, meaning black) is a contemporary dark fiction subgenre with long roots in publishing and film history. It can be found in many different genres, including drama, fantasy, sci-fi and horror. In recent years, we’ve seen it in feature films (Blade Runner 2049, Road to Perdition), TV        …read more

best albums, top albums

Flashback: 15 Top Albums Celebrating Milestone Anniversaries

A look at 15 top albums celebrating 20+ years in 2017. Some of the best albums from the late ’80s and the full memorable decade of the ’90s are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. Whether hip-hop or heavy metal, here are 15 nostalgia-inducing top albums worth revisiting. 1. Rage Against the Machine, Self-Titled (25th anniversary) Release date: November 3, 1992 With this 1992 self-titled debut album, Rage Against the Machine pushed through the charts thanks to        …read more


Bigfoot Sightings, Encounters and Evidence

A beast commonly known as Bigfoot has called Whitehall, New York, home since before settlers arrived in the Adirondack Mountains. A cryptid is a mythical or legendary animal, monster or creature yet to be accepted by mainstream science. Most beasts of folklore go by several names in several locations, and Bigfoot is no different. In southeastern Canada, northwestern U.S. and the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, he’s called Sasquatch. In the Himalayas, he’s the        …read more

prison tattoos

The Hustle and the Hierarchy of Prison Tattoos

In a walled, self-contained city, the artist creating prison tattoos is highly respected. The cost of housing an inmate is a matter of debate in our corrections system, but while locked up, the inmate must also pay for their stay with their own ingenuity. With money and/or manpower, every inmate has to hustle to survive prison. Just as in the military, law enforcement and all cultures and subgroups, in prison there is an order and        …read more

foster care system

Happy Father’s Day to a Hero of the Foster Care System

How a corrections officer ran a home within the foster care system, and how his boys beat the odds. When I hit middle school, I was less than unpopular. But with the help of my foster brothers, I found my niche: stealing cigarettes and Swisher Sweets from the gas station and selling them out of my locker. Not only was I making money to buy my own BMX gear, but I was learning how the        …read more

Mystery Science Theater

Riffing with Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Trace Beaulieu

Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Dr. Forrester / Crow T. Robot gives an inside look at the earliest days of the cult classic. Trace Beaulieu is best known as Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Dr. Forrester and Crow T. Robot. His riffing tradition with Frank Conniff, AKA TV’s Frank, continues live onstage with The Mads Are Back. I sat down with Beaulieu to talk about the cult show and their current U.S. tour. What sort of movies did you        …read more

UFO sightings

Top 10 Unexplained UFO Sightings

Have you heard of these 10 mysterious UFO sightings? Whether from the sky or the sea, these 10 UFO sightings are some of the most mystifying that have ever been encountered. 1. Battle of Los Angeles The skies above Los Angeles were showered with antiaircraft artillery shells during the early morning hours of February 25, 1942, when searchlights lit up an unidentified object. This UFO sighting was alarming, as it took place during a citywide        …read more

Jerry Stahl

Pushcart Prize–Winning Author Jerry Stahl on Living It and Writing It

A conversation with Jerry Stahl on writing, the connection between stand-up comedy and memoir, and half-miracles in Hollywood. Jerry Stahl is a Pushcart Prize–winning author whose recent works include Bad Sex on Speed, I, Fatty and Happy Baby Mutant Pills. His 1995 memoir Permanent Midnight, chronicling his recovery from heroin addiction, was adapted to a film starring Ben Stiller. Stahl’s recent screenwriting credits include The Bleeder (2016) and episodes of Maron and CSI. Here Stahl        …read more

Dito Montiel

Exclusive: Director Dito Montiel Opens up about ‘Man Down’ and Shia LaBeouf

Dito Montiel shares his personal motivations for directing the dramatic military thriller ‘Man Down’ starring Shia LaBeouf. I caught up with Dito Montiel between advance screenings of his latest movie, Man Down, a dramatic military thriller starring Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman, Jai Courtney and Kate Mara. We touched on everything from the December 2 film release to his early artistic career in music, which led him to prose and filmmaking. Can we lead with a        …read more

Protect Yourself: Why Everyone Should Try Martial Arts

I’ve seen martial arts training help a middle schooler overcome homophobic bullying, two women with Down syndrome gain self-confidence, and a middle-aged mom take down a workplace serial groper. Here’s why I think everyone should try martial arts. I grew up in a foster home run by a corrections officer, who at one time was the Hapkido champion of Plattsburgh AFB. Our garage workout sessions sparked my love for martial arts that followed me into        …read more

An Open Letter to Chuck Palahniuk

Your books got me through a health crisis and inspired me to follow a dream. Hi, Chuck, When I was 18, I missed an appearance of yours at Spokane’s Auntie’s Bookstore by one day. I had to leave for home for medical reasons. In 2014, I missed your reading at Skidmore. I had plans through Northshire Bookstore to see you in Saratoga, but chemotherapy had drained me of what little energy Crohn’s and the Big        …read more