Many apologies for the length of time between episodes but allow me to grace your presence with a brand, spanking new episode of THE MANDATE. However, I return to you with a bit of a special episode. Last Monday, I had the pleasure of attending the only Philadelphia screening of the cosmic horror film, STARFISH, which was presented and curated by our friends over at Horror Business, Justin Lore and Liam O’Donnell. Accompanying the film was an in-person Q&A with director Al White. So without going any further, I want to thank Justin, Liam, and even Mr. White for putting on a very unique and intimate experience. I absolutely love seeing films in this type of setting.

Virginia Gardner in Starfish

Now to dive into the episode. For this special screening, I brought along a previous guest in Matt Vietri in the hopes of giving him something more thought provoking than NIGHT SCHOOL. The intro to the episode is rather short as neither of us knew fully what we were getting ourselves into and I kind of like it that way. It makes for a better digestion after the screening. My information was reduced to knowing that it was Justin’s favorite horror film of 2018 and I honestly skipped over the part of the HB episode when he talks about it to keep it spoiler free for me. So other than that and a clip that lead me to believe that this was another BIRDBOX or A QUIET PLACE, I really didn’t know anything.

So due to this screening including a live Q&A with the director, some of the questions I had were answered before I could think them out loud on the post screening portion. So due to the uniqueness of the screening, the thoughts presented within are a little more informed than they would normally on THE MANDATE. With that said, we still didn’t know much of what we were talking about. The subject and the presentation of STARFISH is rather complex and very personal so the takeaway can be a number of things. Liam actually said to me before I saw the film that he still has no idea what he watched. And maybe that is the beauty of a film like this, that there are multiple ways to interpret the film, even if that wasn’t the intention of the filmmakers.  So needless to say, the post-screening review is a bit of a scattershot of ideas as Matt and I bounce theories around and discuss what we liked and didn’t like about the film. Naturally, when it comes to the mandate on whether not people should see this, we’re a little confused on who to actually state that should come see this film. While it might sound like we hated it, that is far from the truth, it’s just such a dense film.

I’m not exactly sure when or where this current roadshow is headed but if, after listening to the episode, you think this film is for you, I would absolutely see it with the director present. His input during the Q&A really adds depth to the film, whether you end up liking it or not. I also believe that the film is expected to be released digitally in the very near future, so be sure to keep your eye out for that.


Thanks for waiting up for me guys. I appreciate each and every listen this podcast gets. Without you, there is no The Mandate. Keep checking in on the rest of the Cinepunx crew as there is a ton of new content and new podcasts available since my last posting. I promise that I will be making a quick turnaround with the next episode, so keep your eyes and ears pealed. ‘Til then, I’ll see you when I see you.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.