Frequently Asked Questions
What does the word "psychotronic" mean and where does it come from?
In the early 1980s, cult film aficionado Michael J. Weldon began self-publishing a hand-written, photocopied fanzine called Psychotronic TV, eventually relaunching it as a quarterly under its more commonly known name, Psychotronic Video, in 1989.
Weldon coined the term "psychotronic" after being inspired by the 1980 low budget, sci-fi obscurity The Psychotronic Man, and his magazines covered what he'd dubbed "Psychotronic Movies," which he defined as "the ones traditionally ignored or ridiculed by mainstream critics at the time of their release: horror, exploitation, action, science fiction, and movies that used to play in drive-ins or inner city grind houses."
Weldon also published two books under the Psychotronic brand: 1983's The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film and 1996's The Psychotronic Video Guide, which contained mini-reviews of thousands of cult films, and expanded upon his original definition of the word "psychotronic" by including reviews of mainstream genre fare such as Beetlejuice, and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
Where do you guys fit in?
Our goal is to keep the spirit of Weldon's publications alive, but in a modern format: the podcast. On our show, we discuss not only the films that the original Psychotronic publications covered but also films that share D.N.A. with those films. In today's film landscape, the biggest blockbusters in the world are genre films! The cult film has, ironically, become mainstream, and we aim to celebrate every corner of the cult film universe, from oddball obscurities to modern blockbusters and everything in-between. While some of the movies we discuss couldn't reasonably be considered "cult" films, they still owe their existence to the pioneering weirdo filmmakers who came before them and paved the way. After all, without Ray Harryhausen's 10,000 Years B.C., there'd be no Jurassic Park. It's our goal to map out the history cult films, celebrating their connections, one movie at a time.
Also in keeping with the spirit of Michael Weldon — who's always enjoyed peppering his reviews with fun behind-the-scenes tidbits — we often take a deep dive into the making of each film before discussing their deeper themes and, when appropriate, social relevancy. And we do it all with a sense of fun and irreverence that, we hope, will make Mr. Weldon proud.
What is the Psychotronic Hall of Fame?
One of our main ways to expand upon the Psychotronic-universe is with the creation of the Psychotronic Hall of Fame. The Psychotronic Hall of Fame is a growing collection of the greatest genre films of all time, as decided by our listeners.
Each week on the show, we have an in-depth discussion about a single film and nominate it for the Hall of Fame. We then open up a poll to allow our listeners — the true members of the Psychotronic Film Society! — the chance to vote on whether or not the film makes it into those hallowed halls. You can find a list of every film that's been voted in so far here.