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Obsessive Movie Minds

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When Matt Hurt offers his thoughts on scary movies for this Friday’s Shocktober in Irvington, listen up. He knows his fright-night flicks. And if his longtime friend Anthony “Tiny” Ramion makes a cinematic suggestion, he too speaks wisdom -- over-the-top, excessive movie-watching wisdom.

The Siskel and Ebert of downloadable reviews and discussions, Hurt and Ramion are the main personalities and opinions behind The Obsessive Viewer television and movie blog and weekly podcast based in Indianapolis. They will once again emcee the second annual Shocktober in Irvington, a benefit for the Irvington Historical Society.

The grassroots fund-raiser  and fright fest featuring the works of local filmmakers, Shocktober in Irvington will be held at The Irving Theater Friday night. - COURTESY OF MATT HURT
  • Courtesy of Matt Hurt
  • The grassroots fund-raiser and fright fest featuring the works of local filmmakers, Shocktober in Irvington will be held at The Irving Theater Friday night.

The cash-only event costs $8 and will begin at 8 p.m. Oct. 16th at The Irving Theater, 5505 E. Washington St. Hurt and Ramion will present the night’s films, and between each one they will conduct brief Q&A sessions with local film directors, writers and cast members who will be on hand. The event will include contests and raffles for prizes such as a signed copy of The Walking Dead DVD, Season 3, gift cards to Irvington businesses and an Amazon Fire TV Stick.

“Shocktober in Irvington is a passion project between me, my podcast cohost “Tiny” and our friend Greg Lenz,” says Hurt. “It’s a completely grassroots effort that came from long conversations at bars that predated Obsessive Viewer. We donate all the proceeds to the Irvington Historical Society, because they work to preserve the area’s history and educate people on it as well."

The Obsessive Viewer is equally a labor of love, according to Hurt. Working in securities by day, he researches shows, writes the blogs and coproduces ObsessiveViewer.com podcasts on his own time and his own dime. They all do.

Hurt began writing the OV blogs in February 2013, and then a few months later Ramion joined him to record their weekly podcasts to capture and broadcast their TV and movie reviews. To date, they’ve released more than 130 episodes worth of content and made appearances at Indy PopCon and Starbase Indy.

Hurt’s background lies in journalism, but his head is in the movies. And admittedly so is his heart.

“I’m a sucker for a well-done romantic comedy, and that's not a guilty pleasure, because I’m not ashamed to admit it,” he says laughing.

Although the 29-year-old's favorite movie genre elicits more screams than LOLs. “I’m a huge fan of horror flicks,” he says.

Anthony Ramion, Matt Hurt (holding the famous Turbo-Roo) and Mike White are putting together this year's Shocktober in Irvington.  - COURTESY OF MATT HURT
  • Courtesy of Matt Hurt
  • Anthony Ramion, Matt Hurt (holding the famous Turbo-Roo) and Mike White are putting together this year's Shocktober in Irvington.

Hurt and his cohost watch untold hours of just about anything they’re researching for the designated episodes, but he draws the line when it comes to the subgenre “body horror.” He describes it as movies that depict grotesque transformations of the human form, as was done in the latest remake of The Fly.

OV’s podcasts include movie reviews that are based on their gut reactions and feelings about the films. They intentionally don’t want theirs to be critical analyses of the flicks. “Ours are personal opinions that more focus on our own emotional responses to what we watch.”

A parent’s nightmare, Hurt watches an average of 200 movies a year. Worse than that (or better if you’re cohosting a TV/Movie review podcast) Tiny set a personal goal to watch 365 movies in 2014. He exceeded it by ultimately indulging in 366 flicks.

Their work drew them into the Indy Film Fest this summer, and the men are already prepping for a movie-watching marathon with the Heartland Film Festival flicks starting this weekend.

To see some of the handiwork of their favorite local filmmakers, check out the first flick they'll open with at the Shocktober event. It will be the horror/comedy short What’s Eating Dad, from the multi-award-winning film pros Michael Goldburg and David Chan. And the event includes J.P. Leck's The Lantern along with others, and it will close with the screening of local director Dan T. Hall’s documentary Central State: Asylum for the Insane. It chronicles the history and hauntings of what used to be the state's mental institution.

For more details, visit http://ShocktoberinIrvington.com or http://ObsessiveViewer.com.

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