Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 10/30/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 10/30/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

>The Phantom of the Movies


WITH HALLOWEEN ON THE HORIZON, our thoughts turn to scary movies. This is what sets us apart from Joe Kane, 47, who covers the B-movie beat for the New York Daily News (under the byline Phantom of the Movies) and also publishes VideoScope, a magazine for low-budget-movie fans. Kane is always immersed in creepy films, watching "at least 10 minutes of 20 movies a week," ones with titles like Frankenhooker and Deeply Disturbed.

Is this a healthy time for sick movies?

The B-movie horror genre is very healthy. Some 150 new titles are produced each year, many for as little as $4,000. This doesn't mean they're bad. Producers can't afford special effects so they have to be more inventive. Clean, Shaven is absolutely terrifying.

What are the hot trends in horror flicks?

Having someone's brains sucked out is always popular, along with piercing by sharp objects. Weapons are tending toward mundane household objects. In Shallow Grave they use knives, kitchen lamps, whatever's lying around.

Who is the villain of the '90s?

The serial killer. In both B-movies and big-budget films like The Silence of the Lambs and Seven, the killers are often smarter than the authority figures. This really disturbs people.

What would you rent for Halloween?

Psycho and The Exorcist are classics. My all-time favorite is Carnival of Souls. It was made in 1962. It's cheap but very scary.

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