The PopCulteer
April 12, 2013

Appalachian Film Festival

If you watched Radio Free Charleston 183 (and if not, why haven’t you?) you saw two trailers for films that will be screened tonight at the Historic Keith-Albee Theater in Huntington during the 2013 Appalachian Film Festival.

Ladybeard” is an Apartment 2B Production, directed by David Smith. This film will be seen April 12 at 9 PM at the Appalachian Film Festival. It’s a great little unconventional romantic comedy with a terrific cast that features several members of The Wayward Girls School of Burlesque, along with a cameo by your PopCulteer.

Seth Martin and Friends and Ian Nolte have created a stirring motion picture, sort of “A Star Is Born” with country music…and puppets. You can catch “Trace Around Your Heart” tonight at 7:45 PM as part of the Appalachian Film Festival, and then on Saturday, at 7:30 PM, the stars of the movie, Trace Cherokee and Sasha Colette will take the stage for a special live performance. From what I hear, both evenings will be loaded with great local films.

You can see RFC 183, with the two trailers right here…

Buckwild Blue Yonder

This week MTV pulled the plug on “Buckwild.” I wrote about the furor over “Buckwild” back in January in  “The Butt Hurt Chronicles” here in PopCult. I was not a fan of the show, but didn’t hate it. I never watched it. It was just not my cup of tea.

It’s not a shock that MTV dropped the show. It was never really a major hit, despite the careful parsing of the ratings by folks wishing it to be. While “Buckwild” premiered to slightly higher ratings than the premiere of the show it replaced, “Jersey Shore,” it actually underperformed the final season of “Jersey Shore,” which MTV dropped due to low ratings.

With the closest thing to a breakout star on the show dead, and two others facing embarrassing legal trouble, MTV was looking at a show that was more trouble to produce than it was worth. At least when the kids on “Jersey Shore” got arrested, it happened on camera, nobody died and it translated into ratings.

It’s a shame that Shain Gandee died. It’s always tragic when a young life is senselessly snuffed out. It’s even worse when it’s so senseless that it belongs in The Darwin Awards. It’s clear that Gandee’s death was the tipping point where “Buckwild” became a case of diminishing returns.

You can’t really blame MTV for the troubles of the cast. It’s likely that, even without being on the show, there would have been a DUI, an arrest for drug-dealing and a death by misadventure. When MTV casts a show stocked with young dumbass people, it shouldn’t be a surprise when some of them do young dumbass people things.

Likewise, you can’t blame MTV for cutting their losses and running away screaming before something even worse happened to the cast of “Buckwild.” Had the show continued, gunplay and crystal meth would have been inevitable.

I’m trying to be sensitive. A young man died a stupid, stupid death, and his family has to deal with that. Plus many WVSU film school grads finally got a chance to use their degrees in their home state, and it’s sad that their jobs are ending.

Yet, it’s also hard to feel bad that “Buckwild” is gone from the television. I don’t feel that it was so much a smear against our state, because, if you’re honest with yourself, you know that our beautiful state has more than its fair share of natural wonders and more than its share of foolish young folks. The show was called “Buckwild,” not “House of MENSA.”

I can’t get too upset over the end of yet another cookie-cutter, moronic so-called “reality” show.

A Chilling Book Signing

As is also seen in the above reposted episode of Radio Free Charleston, Danny Boyd is back with a new volume of his “Chillers” graphic novel, and there will be a book signing next Wednesday at Lost Legion Games and Comics on D Street in South Charleston. Let’s go to the press release!

“First conceived as a full-length feature film by WVSU media studies assistant professor Daniel Boyd in 1988, “Chillers” was re-introduced to a new generation last year with the publication of a horror anthology graphic novel.
April 17, “Chillers Book Two” will introduce 14 new spine-tingling tales of terror to a national audience. Many of the stories were written by Boyd, or one of his students at WVSU.

“I have always used the formula of learn by doing, mixing students with industry professionals on our real-world projects for them to learn their craft,” said Boyd, who has produced more than 30 films through the years. “They have had the opportunity to learn a great deal while at the same time gaining practical experience.”

Boyd made his first feature length film, “Chillers,” with the aid of WVSU students, so when it came time to re-invent the franchise as a graphic novel he made sure to include those around him in Institute.

“We have a lot of amazingly talented students,” Boyd said. “And this gives them a chance to showcase that on a national stage.”

In all, three students, Frank Larnerd, Katarina Dedicova and Betsy Allen contributed stories to “Chillers Book Two,” and two WVSU students, Balsa Gobovic and Leslie Bragg contributed artwork.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to be a part of ‘Chillers,’” said Larnerd, a WVSU senior studying professional writing. “I grew up watching the movie and now to be a part of it is really a dream come true. Horror fans are going to love this.”

“Chillers Book Two” is being published by Transfuzion Publishing in conjunction with Troma Entertainment Inc. and Big Pictures Inc.
The graphic novel will retail for $12.99 and will be available at comic book stores, as well as some local bookstores, including Charleston’s Taylor Books.
It can also be ordered from Transfuzion Publising (, and other national outlets. Regional bookstores can order through West Virginia Book Company (888-982-7472).

A local party to celebrate the national release of “Chillers Book Two” will take place at Lost Legion Comics in South Charleston on April 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Boyd, his students, and others who contributed to the new graphic novel will be in attendance.

For more information, contact Boyd at (304) 205-4038 or”

Stuff To Do


Ron Sowell’s Open Mic happens at 7:30 PM at Unity of Kanawha Valley on Myrtle Road. Admission is $5, $2 for performers, seniors, or children. Starting at 9 PM, Rick Perdue will be at Sam’s Uptown Cafe with a cover charge of $4. The Roils with James Arthur will be at Boulevard Tavern at 10 PM, with a $5 cover charge.

Meuwlfest 2013 at the Glass features DJ Charlie Blac, Zerostar, Illogic, Teddy Faley and The Yetti Burps paying tribute to the late Meuwl. The show kicks off at 11 PM and the cover is seven bucks, five if you get there before 11.


Saturday night, Taylor Books presents John Lilly in a free show from 7:30 PM to 9:30. At 10 PM, the Half Blues Band takes the stage at the Boulevard Tavern with a $5 cover charge. InFormation and Spurgie Hankins Band will be appearing at Sam’s Uptown Cafe at 9 PM, with a $4 cover. At The Blue Parrot, Tom Crouse Appreciation Night stars Dead Face Down and Dead Serious starting at 10 PM with a $5 cover. The Red Lights take the stage at The Empty Glass at 11 PM with the usual Empty Glass sliding $5/$7 cover.

That’s it for this week in PopCult. Next week, all our regular features return, including a restocked PopCult Bookshelf and the ArtWalk photo essay in The PopCulteer.

Nostalgic Note: This week marks four years of The PopCulteer. Go back and relive my righteous indignation and the piggyness of our State Legislature that kicked off this weekly feature in PopCult. I still haven’t eaten Tudor’s Biscuits since.