Welcome to a classic From The Hip format show, its been a hectic few weeks with a lot to get caught up on. We begin with Tony sharing an update on the progress of his latest film project and explanation of our comings and goings which has caused the delay in getting a new episode up. Our wandering watch list conversation began with thoughts on Iron Man 3. A spectacle following in the massive wake of The Avengers really deserves some attention (and Ted tries hard to keep the nitpicks in check).
Spoiler talk for IM3 from 11:42 to 14:25
Things progress with Maniac (2013) which was a pleasant surprise that rose above a filmmaking technique that could have been rejected as gimmick. We get pretty grim talking about some truly disturbing real life horror and its fictionalized account – Philosophy of a Knife (2008) which recreates the atrocities committed by Unit 731 over its 4 hour (!) running time. To try conveying the nature of this real life nightmare from the darkest corners of world war 2, we discuss the documentary Unit 731 – Nightmare in Manchuria. A difficult subject but must be seen.
We bounce around a couple of small indie releases as well including It’s In The Blood (2012), an odd creature feature (minus the creatures) starring Lance Henriksen, and Mulberry Street (2006) which takes the core premise of a 28 Days Later style infection horror but delivers blood-thirsty rat-people instead of zombies… oh yes, rat-people. All this and a re-watch of Signs (2002) too.
Going Down? We dug way down into the subgenre of horror aboard an elevator. This little niche corner of storytelling is a great match for horror because of the tension and stakes at play in a confined space with potential antagonists and claustrophobia in the mix, however… this was not an entirely successful experiment. We pulled a selection of titles at random in the hopes of discovering a hidden goldmine of a theme. The results are here for you to make of them what you will:
Devil (2010) – 5 people stuck in an elevator, 1 of them is the Devil
Elevator (2011) – social commentary, corporate greed, and a bomb
Blackout (2008) – which of the 3 trapped characters is a killer?
The Shaft (2001) – bio-technology results in a sentient, killer elevator
A mixed bag to be sure, but between the reminiscing of highlight scenes from movies featuring the elevator, to fun facts on the social dynamic at play in that magic box, to a look at the real-life horror story of a man trapped for 41 hours, we think there is fun to be had.
Things wrap up with a discussion on Elijah Wood’s stab at remaking Maniac, as well as a brief rundown of Tom Cruise’s mind bending sci-fi action flick Oblivion.
Welcome to our second listener-specific feedback episode. This time out we are blessed with luck of the Irish, our very own John in Ireland who has been a regular contributor to the voicemail line and forum. Always insightful, John called in to discuss a collection of topics in recent months which we have compiled together with Anthony and Ted’s responses to deliver a guest hosted episode of the podcast.
Subjects include: commentary on the state of the Hellraiser franchise with a recommendation for the audio reading of Hellbound Heart by Barker himself, thoughts on the recent second attempt at Dredd on the big screen and how it captured the essence of what the character is meant to be, a full review of a 2012 Irish horror film Stitches, a discussion of the state of found footage as a genre and the inherent flaws it creates in storytelling, thoughts on The Shining and its related documentary Room 237, and a cutting summary of the state of The Walking Dead and the apparent lack of care by AMC to shape the narrative of its story.
We hope you enjoy the great collection of subjects and interesting insights from a favourite member of the horroretc community, and feel free to get your contributions in to have your voice heard and be a part of the show. In honour of John’s homeland we close with a Gaelic greeting: “Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat” (loosely translated – “may the cat eat you, and may the cat be eaten by the devil”… hmmm maybe our Gaelic needs some work).
Once again we devote this week’s episode to catching up. Anthony is back from the Shock Stock horror convention and fills us in on the guest roster, listener interactions and everything else from a fun weekend on the show floor. In true from the hip fashion we chat about all sorts of random topics beginning with the proliferation of genre series in various television forms (network, netflix and amazon original programming), and get a peek at Dexter season 8.
We discuss some interesting trailers and get into a lengthy watch list of truly varied material: Children of Men (2006), The Mummy and The Mummy Returns (yikes), Dark Skies (2013), Taken 2 (yes, Ted bit the bullet), Jurassic Park 3D (why call it Imax when it’s not Imax?), and the mind-bending indie time travel film Primer (2004).
So we may be a bit light on horror content this week but heavy on the conversational banter, so feel free to join in. We have a few topics brewing up and another milestone around the corner, stay tuned and tell a friend to help spread the word.
It’s been a long and winding road to finally reach a Jack Ketchum spotlight episode but here we are. The history of the podcast has tracked our exposure to Ketchum’s adaptations with varying reactions and the question is do we recommend his work? Well, the answer is a qualified yes in that one must be psychologically prepared for the journey he takes the reader / viewer on. Whether you are a fan of Ketchum or not, it can’t be denied he is capable of generating a response from even the most hardened genre fan.
As we have previously discussed several of his film adaptations in the past already, our approach was to discuss the remaining films Red (2008) and Offspring (2009), additional novels including Off Season and Cover, and provide the segments from our prior episodes where we discussed The Girl next Door, The Lost and The Woman. Clips sound like a bad thing but they amount to only a quarter of the episode and provide a glimpse into the past (going all the way back to episode #24). For those who wish to skip around:
The Girl Next Door 58:28 to 1:17:23
The Lost 1:17:23 to 1:27:23
The Woman 1:27:23 to 1:36:05
Our last segment features a few more comments on Evil Dead 2013 and The Walking Dead, as well as a pair of recent UK horror comedy outings: Inbred (2011), where the title pretty much sums things up, and Sightseers (2012), Ben Wheatley’s quirky but wicked follow up to Kill List. The Ketchum experience may have been a bumpy ride but he is a genre voice which puts us to the test with smartly developed and real characters often reduced to humanity’s most primitive and deplorable self.
Well it finally happened. A new Evil Dead film. After years of rumour and much speculation it has arrived and we were first in line to check it out. Before setting out for the theatre we sat down to have a casual chat about our expectations and what we have been watching.
The very random topics include the long awaited Dracula 3D from Dario Argento where we test the boundaries of Anthony’s forgiving nature, a short wrap up of The Walking Dead finale, some Dr Who talk, a UK follow up to the supernatural drama miniseries Marchlands – Lightfields, a truly hidden gem that blends The Thing with Intruder – Alien Raiders (2008), another supernatural tale The Pact (2012), a new installment in Scandanavian horror with Norway’s Thale (2012) – an interesting exploration of regional folklore, this time with the Huldra instead of Trolls. Heard of this crazy action pic from Liam Neeson a few years ago, Taken? Ted finally caught up wih it and loved the neck punching. This chat led to a thematic follow up, another revenge fueled flick from South Korea: The Man From Nowhere (2010).
With all that out of the way its time to get to the main event. Spoiler free Evil Dead reactions from 1:10:38 to 1:26:24. In short, we were impressed. William Shatner in a rematch with the Gorn and Siskel and Ebert`s opinion of The Evil Dead (1981) round out the show.
Horror in stop-motion. It is a age old method of presenting fantastical images on screen born of necessity from a time before the technology of CGI, and has enjoyed a resurgent popularity in recent years. The horror genre is a fitting one to offer the unique look and feel of stop motion imagery as it so often creates a sense of unease.
As it is a subgenre which appeals to young and old alike, a previous guest host returns to the show to present a unique perspective on the success of stop motion horror. We picked a cross section of modern films offered up by the industry beginning with The Nightmare Before Christmas and moving on to Corpse Bride, Coraline, Paranorman and Frankenweenie. Aside from the artistry to appreciate in bringing inanimate objects to life, 2012 gave us a pair of films that revelled in their homage to the genre and many classics that we all know and love. We hope you allow your inner child to come out this week and enjoy a lighter discussion on a fun subject.
In closing, we find out how well certain genre favourites play for a younger generation including the Indiana Jones series, X-Men and Batman, the Back to the Future series, Avatar and Lord of the Rings. Stay tuned for our return to proper horror talk next week.
Time to catch up on some of the films we have not had a chance to discuss recently as we chat about what we’ve been watching. It’s a pretty wide spectrum of topics and titles this week including but not limited to:
Sushi Girl (2012) – featuring a cool array of genre names, led by the one and only Tony Todd
Blood and Lace (1971) – classic 70′s exploitation set in an (evil) orphanage
Second Skin (2008) – documentary on the subject of MMORPG and the people addicted to them
Monster Camp (2007) – documentary featuring LARPing… oh my
Clean Flicks (2009) – documentary on the concept of a self-editing industry
The Book of Eli (2010) – overlooked post-apocalyptic flick featuring a roll call of Hollywood A-listers
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) – because, well… Raimi
House of Cards (2013) – interesting Netflix original programming experiment
Killer Joe (2011) – superb evil insanity with a Mathew McConaghy tour de force turn
Todd and the Book of Evil – outlandish anthology series
and… The Walking Dead. It’s been awhile and we throw out some season 3.5 reactions and predictions for the finale.
Along the way we ventured into some tangents but the end result was a relaxed session of catching up on some odds and ends, and sharing some recommendations along the way. As mentioned in the show, please consider dropping us an iTunes review if you feel so inclined and remember our Amazon link if you are planning some online shopping. Many thanks for the support, for listening to the podcast, and for spreading the word about the show.
Grab your fedora hat, bullwhip and leather jacket to join us on a globe-trotting adventure. This week we take a look back at the Indiana Jones trilogy (oh, and the fourth one too). It was an impromptu and very casual session of reminiscing about films that were such an important part of our childhood and have become so ingrained in cinema history.
The Indy films of the 80′s captured a pure spirit of fun and adventure, blending action with humour, and reaffirmed Speilberg’s mastery of the medium. Our commentary is entirely positive when discussing the original trilogy so apologies up front for the gushing. Things get a little less glowing when Harrison Ford donned the hat again 19 years later however with CGI monkeys, ants and gophers battling with a nuclear fridge shelter for the greatest affront.
We hope you enjoy taking a look back with us at Indy and his legacy as we debate the likelihood of surviving the various encounters faced, the appropriate rating to apply to heart ripping and child enslavery, the merits of immortality, and much more.
One small disclaimer: this recording took place 1 day before the Lucasfilm / Disney announcement. Our discussion over the possibility of getting more Star Wars films proved to be an interesting time capsule that became immediately proven wrong.
Welcome to the Overlook Hotel, we hope you enjoy your stay. This week we take an in-depth look at all things The Shining from the original novel to Kubrick’s classic (and confounding) adaptation to the 1997 television miniseries to Room 237 and the plethora of theories and analysis that have been applied to the 1980 film. What began as a look back at a particular film that we have been remiss in addressing evolved into one of the best discussions we have had in quite some time (including our own opinions of the fake moon landing film footage conspiracy).
Focusing on Stanley Kubrick and the seminal horror masterpiece The Shining, we considered the themes of the story and what Kubrick’s intentions may have been in the divergences taken in his translation. At its core, the story examines the central theme of the breakdown of a family but the question remains of the extent to which supernatural forces play a hand. One of the most obsessive directors cinema has known, its fair to assume that every element on screen is specific with artistic intent – the question remains as to what those meanings and messages really are. We hope you enjoy taking a ride with us through the twisting (albeit symmetrical) hallways of isolated nightmare.
We offer up some thoughts on a couple of big screen CGI mega-movies, Raimi’s Oz and Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer. As well, we discuss a very intimate documentary Collapse (2009) which carries on the theme of conspiracy theories, discussing peak oil and the cataclysm that lies ahead. We invite you all to share your own creative endeavours with us as we wish to share the projects that have come from the collective efforts of the Horroretc community.