The Psychotronic is a reflection of a time period where a small group of super fans began cataloging a huge assortment of “Z-grade” outsider films suddenly available for public consumption. You had Michael J. Weldon, the father of Psychotronic film, Danny Peary the cult film expert who not only explained the movies but also taught us how to analyze them, and Joe Bob Briggs as the rough and rowdy comedian who allowed us to laugh along with him as he displayed the movies for our mutual entertainment. There were, of course, many others, and each brought a special element to how we digested the likes of Faster Pussycat Kill, Kill, and Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes. It is also that we forget that this form of love for the bottom of the barrel of cinema did not die after many of these reviewers stopped.
Zack Carlson is one such new voice that I only recently discovered in my research for The Psychotronic, and Zack brings a specialty that is often missing from the making of “B-movies,” the human element. He not only gives us an inside look at what happened behind the scenes but also gives us the “auteur” who often, against the odds, makes his dream a reality. After watching several of his short subject documentaries on Vice about these individuals, it is already clear that he doesn’t only care about the movies these people made, but the emotional journeys they go through. One of the best examples of this is his examination of Laz Rojas, a filmmaker who took it upon himself to create a 4-hour promo reel that he not only directed and edited but played all 100 of the different characters in it. Rojas story is an inspiring one that also takes a turn into the harsh reality of poverty as Laz Rojas is homeless, sharing a hotel room with his elderly mother. I don’t want to give too much away as Zack Carlson’s lens creates a story of struggle and triumph that needs to be watched enjoyed on its own merits.
Zack Carlson has a great assortment of personalities for everyone to find inspiration in with his VICE series on Youtube. When these voices are often neglected or forgotten, it is nice to know that there are those like Zack who is carrying the mantle of Weldon, Peary, and Briggs.
In other news, The Psychotronic has only two days left on our Indiegogo campaign, and even though we have met our current goal, we still need your help to make the world’s first Z-grade documentary the best it can be! CLICK HERE!