It’s the King of the Vampires, English-style this week on the Horror Etc Podcast!
In their second instalment looking back at the defining franchises of the Hammer era, Tony and Doug discuss the 8 (7.5?) Dracula films produced by the iconic studio between 1958 and 1974, titles which made international stars of Peter Cushing and the reluctant Christopher Lee. But all vampires are not made equal, and the Dracula series is perhaps hammer’s most uneven franchise. Continuity aside, this is loving look back at a celebrated cycle of films that remind why we all love horror films like we do.
(Oh, and they also discuss both Universal’s new offering “Dracula Untold”, and David Fincher’s latest masterwork “Gone Girl —- spoilerphobes beware!)
Welcome to our long overdue spotlight on the career of genre icon Christopher Lee. We have long praised the filmography of Lee spanning an amazing 68 years to date, so it was high time we sat down and talked about why. Although a very different persona from his much warner contemporary Peter Cushing, there is no denying he is a true talent and a scholar of his craft.
From the early (and iconic) Hammer roles where he presented Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula and Kharas the Mummy in successive years, through to the modern era of appearances in blockbuster films such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, Christopher Lee with his distinct voice and physical presence has always demanded our attention. Of course what spotlight on Lee would be complete without paying proper respects to his musical outings – namely his operatic metal albums.
We transition straight into a catch-up session where we explain what we have been up to, the status of the Horroretc calendar (thanks to all the talented contributors), recent watches including Annabelle and the home video documentary Rewind This, Anthony’s latest film project, and more. It’s nice to be back and hope you stay tuned for another new episode next week.
The NBC television series Hannibal, inspired by the writings and characters created by Thomas Harris and immortalized on the screen in the persona of Anthony Hopkins, is without a doubt the most boundary challenging and artistically gruesome show on network television. The show has achieved the impossible, creating a riveting new characterization of an iconic bogeyman, and a suspense-filled plot that leaves the viewer on the edge of their seats, even though we all know the eventual outcome of the series… It also makes cannibalism look tasty as hell
Join Tony and Doug on the program this week as they eat up the first two seasons of this delectable new incarnation of Hannibal Lecter (and his charges), and wet your whistle for what lies ahead…
Well we’re back. Following an extended absence which included a trip to Fan Expo 2014, we return to share our impressions of Canada’s largest convention for a 7th year. Whether there will be an eighth trip is still up in the air. Apologies up front for the delay in releasing the show as well as the general negative vibe that was in the air, but there is a highlight. The panel dedicated to low-budget independent filmaking “Blood on a Budget” featuring our very own Anthony Mann was a success and is included here in whole. Other than a few comments regarding One Hour Photo (2002) and the launching of a re-watch of Lost, this episode is simply a combination of inhale (pre-con) and exhale (post-con), and our honest comments on the state of Fan Expo.
The gull wing door is open and you are invited to climb into the DeLorean with us as we travel back in time to the 80’s once again – this time we’re stopping in 1985 to revisit the year’s horror films offerings. This is our third episode revisiting the distinctive output of the 1980’s: 1987, 1981 and now 1985, thanks to our random selection process.
We discovered a few things while working through the list of titles: first, 1985 was a year that offered us some truly iconic classics (Day of the Dead, Return of the Living Dead, Reanimator, Fright Night), represented a year in which many of the revered genre directors had offerings (George Romero, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, Dario Argento, Stuart Gordon), and included several films which we have either missed or our memories have been lost to the mists of time. Some personal, lesser-spoken favourites were here including Silver Bullet and Midnight Hour, and demonstrated the growth of genre film franchises with series installments of Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Howling, while launching new franchises with Reanimator and Return of the Living Dead.
We hope you enjoy our latest trip back to yesteryear and welcome your thoughts on where 1985 stands in context with the decade (if only we could adjust the time machine settings to sometime outside of the 1980’s). Before we close out, we have some brief thoughts on a new documentary Serial Killer Culture, update the horroretc calendar project and fan expo plans, and share an intriguing breakdown of the symbology and underlying meanings of Snowpiercer (thanks to Brett for the excellent synopsis).
Welcome back for another episode of off-the-cuff chicanery. We postponed our planned subject this week to acknowledge the death of Robin Williams and consider his contributions to darker cinema and beyond. While difficult, we managed to segue straight to James Brown!? In the wake of yet another biopic, we paused the proceedings to insert a schlock corner featuring a difficult interview with James Brown under the influence of… something.
Plenty of unexpected topics sprung up while discussing Expendables 3 including the industry’s reliance on markets outside North America to generate profits, the latest debate over the impact of piracy on the box office in the wake of its dismal opening weekend, and of course the ‘Polanski’ discussion – can we forgive Mel Gibson or does moral judgement have any place in selecting our entertainment choices.
Before everything was done, we chat about shark week fallout including a re-watch of Orca (1977), and a faux documentary on the extinct Megalodon (including our callout out for Meg to finally get filmed). All this and a zombie Osama Bin Laden in Ozombie… maybe its time to go back to the 80’s – next week.
One download of this episode and you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.
That’s right, we are setting sail for Amity Island to face off with nature’s purest predator, an over-sized Great White with a vendetta against those who hunt it. To celebrate shark week we recorded a feature length commentary track to the 1975 classic Jaws – a personal favourite of all three of your hosts. It is an annual rewatch and this time out we enjoyed the crisp new blu-ray release which highlighted several subtle visual cues.
A quick disclaimer before we begin: as there are multiple documentaries, books and other commentary tracks that delve into the fascinating behind the scenes process of producing the original blockbuster, we approached the film as we usually do when attempting a commentary – as fans who enjoy watching it with other fans. We stuck closer to the events occurring on screen than we intended to but that’s what happens when we get wrapped up in Jaws. One more word of warning: due to a error in the settings, the recording ended up sounding a little hollow. We hope you bear with the lower fidelity and grab your copy of Jaws to watch along with us.
Horroretc podcast… part of a complete breakfast.
On a holiday weekend, we got together for a pub brunch on an outdoor patio to discuss Guardians of the Galaxy (among other subjects). From Troma to GotG, James Gunn has presented a very impressive filmography which includes faves of ours Super and Slither.
Its another casual outing covering our reactions to Guardians and Marvel’s seemingly endless ambitions, discussion of Jeff the Killer and the power of the meme as a breeding ground for the modern urban legend, some recent watches including Here Comes the Devil, E.T. and Anthony’s reaction to Snowpiercer (coming off last week’s recommendation), excitement over the forthcoming Fury Road, and another big announcement from Anthony for an upcoming project.
The callout for artwork continues for our calendar project and we hope to hear from interested listeners who wish to participate. Stay tuned for some more shark talk coming next week…
After our recent hiatus, we felt the best way to get back into the swing was to spend some time casually catching up over some recent watches (and whatever other miscellaneous subjects may come up). Things kick off with some love for sharks after a recent close encounter (right down to recasting Jaws). The main event is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Following the groundwork laid down in Rise and with visual effects that appear, much like the ape culture, to have had 10 years of evolution since the last film, Dawn is a contender for most satisfying theatrical experience to date this year.
Additional titles discussed include Deliver Us From Evil (with an unusual, extended debate), Purge Anarchy, anticipation over Guardians of the Galaxy, another South Korean director making a North American debut in Snowpiercer, and the long awaited (at least for Ted), Willow Creek. All this plus a special announcement from Anthony (calling all Phantom of the Paradise fans), and our continued call out to artists in the horroretc community who want to participate in a new project.
It may be the ultimate cult series that you’ve never heard of: X-Files meets Dr. Who with a sprinkling of Dark Shadows to boot. Courtesy of our good friend and Irish correspondent, John, this week Horror Etc delves back into the case files of Sapphire & Steel – the ITV series which starred David McCallum and Bond girl / Ab Fab star Joanna Lumley as interdimensional operatives saving humanity from… time! Sound bizarre? Mix in adventures featuring ghouls and ghosts and other mysterious forces, and one gets the feeling that this forgotten gem might deserve to have a resurgence of interest (or in the very least a Horror Etc spotlight special).
Now of course the show is fondly remembered, especially in the UK where new audio productions are currently being produced by the fine folks at Big Finish. But Sapphire & Steel never enjoyed the same success as other Brit imports such as Blake’s 7 or Dr. Who outside of the UK… does time win after all? Tune in to this week’s episode and discover what may very well be your next favourite cult classic series!
We’re making up for some lost time with this first of two episodes this week. Huge thanks to John for the fantastic contributions.