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Misery (1990) – Episode 36 – Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond

“He didn’t get out of the cock-a-doodie car!” Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) won’t be taking any guff from her favorite author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) about cliffhangers. Which isn’t ideal for Paul. At the mercy of his number one fan who’s abusive and pretty much off her rocker. Paul’s in pain and needs to get out real quick. One could say his situation leaves him in… Misery. Based on the acclaimed novel from Stephen King, Misery helped legitimize the horror genre in the 90s with an Academy Award-winning performance. However, how does it hold up to this day? The answers are contained in Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 36 – Misery (1990)

Misery was based on a novel that writer Stephen King said was a metaphor for his substance abuse. Yet, the film adaptation feels more like a meditation on fandom. Kathy Bates’ Oscar-winning turn as Annie Wilkes feels like a meditation on the type of fans we see on a daily basis on the internet. After saving Paul from a blizzard, she forces him to essentially write her fan fiction. All in order to bring back Paul’s titular character from the dead. It’s a brutal case of holding a twist on the captive audience. Rather, it’s the captive writer providing a story for is captor.

To break down all of this, Thomas Mariani enlists Dave Dreher, Scott Johnson, and Kaycee Jarrard. Resident Stephen King expert Dave describes how well the novel embodied everything he imagined while reading the novel. Kaycee notes how James Caan’s performance really is one that needed to be played by a supporting actor. Scott notes just how scarily accurate this ends up being to modern fan culture. Thomas notes how this is part of the damn impressive first decade of Rob Reiner’s career. Truly, they know that Misery loves company.

Contact Us

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via iTunes reviews and ratings. Helps us get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

Next Episode

Get Out (2017)

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The Mutations (1974) – Episode 68 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature…… it can be HORRIFYING!” the overzealous tagline for The Mutations (1974), aka The Freakmaker, promises a monster film for the ages. To be fair, some stills from the film of the main “Venus-fly-trap” monster may back up that claim. However, most of the Grue Crew may beg to differ. And, then, there’s Bill. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan to discuss this nearly forgotten British gem. Special guest host Adam Thomas settles in to help put Donald Pleasence in his place.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 68 – The Mutations (1974)

Learning that Vincent Price was the first actor cast as Professor Nolter in JackCardiff’s The Mutations puts a lot of that role into perspective. With Donald Pleasence (Halloween) settling into the part in Price’s place leaves all the necessary scene chewing off the cuff. But, hey, we still love as much Donald Pleasence as we can get. The fan-favorite fourth Doctor, Tom Baker (The Vault of Horror, Doctor Who) plays Lynch, Nolter’s “henchmen” who continually gathers the mad scientist victims for his evil experiments…all in hopes that the good doctor will cure him of his deformities. In a subplot. Lynch is also the leader of a troop of “freaks” (as they are called in the film) who entertain patrons at a local amusement sideshow. Enter in a group of Nolter’s students who get in the way of the madman’s plot, including Julie Ege (The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires) as Hedi. Before you know it, Hedi’s friend Tony (Scott Anthony) is kidnapped by Lynch and turned into a horrific monster by Nolter. Chaos ensues. Hurray!

Both Doc and Bill fondly remember reading about The Mutations in Famous Monsters in the Seventies but were unable to catch the film until much later. Bill a decade or so ago, but Doc only this week for this show. Both were eager to watch the film to discuss here on Decades of Horror along with Chad and guest host Adam Thomas. However, while the finale is fun with the monster finally set loose and on the rampage, the plot meanders through each of its loosely connected subplots. Bill still champions the film while Adam curses Doc’s name. Oh, dear. There’s plenty to discuss, speculate, demonize, and enjoy with The Mutations and the Grue Crew cover it all.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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Man Bites Dog (1993) – Episode 35 – Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond

“Cinema! CINEMA!” Ben (Benoit Poelvoorde) celebrates his place in cinematic history to the empty buildings outside. Of course, it’s merely an echo chamber for his own inflated ego. An ego he’s bound to feed with continuous bouts of homicide. And it’s all captured in Man Bites Dog, the French/Belgian mockumentary that’s been crucial to the found footage and horror genres in general in the quarter of a century since its release. Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond goes classy with a film about human ugliness, urban decay and the line between filmmaker & subject. Still, there’s plenty of gore to be had. Ça semble excitant!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 35 – Man Bites Dog (1993)

Man Bites Dog is a challenging experience. We follow serial killer Ben as documentarians Remy and Andre (played by Poelvoorde’s co-writers/directors Remy Belavaux and Andre Bonzel) film his exploits. Right from the start, Ben is killing innocent men and women without much remorse. It’s how he makes ends meet. Kill a postman. Dump a body over a bridge. Invade an old person’s house to find their stashed away money. As any professional murderer would do. Yet, he’s not a discrete assassin without humanity. He’s got a girlfriend and family he loves as well as a personable charisma that engages the audience. Which makes the horror all the more disturbing and the actions of Remy and Andre being seduced sadly relatable.

To talk about the complex aspects of Man Bites Dog, Thomas brings on two new voices to the show. One is the founder of FoundFootageCritic.com Michael Steinberg. The other is video essayist Shannon Strucci of StrucciMovies. Michael educates the group about the history of found footage and why Man Bites Dog is a crucial early example. Shannon admits her complete adoration for the confrontational daring on display. Thomas rangles all this together by keeping the influences made and the homages that came later. This is more of a thinking man’s episode as we dissect the Criterion Collection entry for all the disturbing truths in unveils about humanity in glorious black and white.

Contact Us

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via iTunes reviews and ratings. Helps us get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

Next Episode

Misery (1990)

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[Podcast] Frightmare (1974) – Episode 67 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“What terrifying craving made her kill… and kill… and kill…” the intriguing tagline for Frightmare (1974), aka Cover Up, provides just a hint of what Dorothy Yeates (Sheila Kieth) is up to when her husband Edmund (Rubert Davies) isn’t looking. And what does this mean for their children, Jackie (Deborah Fairfax) and Debbie (Kim Butcher), and their eating habits? Perhaps they’re chips off the old butcher block…? Eh? Eh? Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan to discuss this nearly forgotten British gem.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 67 – Frightmare (1974)

The film is from director Pete Walker who would give us similar intriguing genre movies House of the Whipcord, Schizo, and House of Long Shadows. The latter film features one of the last combinations of horror icons Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and John Carradine. Pete Walker’s muse, Sheila Keith, would appear in most of them. In Frightmare, she stars as the elderly Dorothy, recently released from a mental hospital who is up to her old tricks once again…cannibalism. Rupert Davies plays her husband, Edmund, in what would be his last role. The terrific character actor would appear in many British horror films such as Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, The Conqueror Worm, The Brides of Fu Manchu, and The Oblong Box. Together Keith and Davies are the reason to catch this underseen, underappreciated nugget from 1974. That and all the goofy bright red gore. Good stuff.

“Worse than your most shocking nightmare!” – the poster tagline promises a nightmare to shock us all.

As soon as we mentioned “Pete Walker,” Bill’s ear perked up and he lauded with excitement. On the podcast, he shares why he enjoys the filmmaker so. Also, he discovers this is the one film of his he had never seen. In fact, none of the hosts had caught Frightmare before assigning it to this episode. A rarity, indeed. The film is similar to classic low budget horror films from England at that time, such as Pscyhomania which we covered in episode 49. Everyone shares their newfound admiration for this film and their shared hatred for the “Debbie” character, especially Chad who confesses it takes a lot for someone to elicit such disgust. But, it is all in service of the film itself.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

 

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Cloverfield (2008) – Episode 34 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“I had a good day.” Beth (Odette Yustman) declares her day at the carnival with Mike (Michael Stahl-David) to be a success. Little does she know that in a few months, their lives will be forever affected by the events codenamed CloverfieldTen years later, Cloverfield remains one of the few higher budgeted found footage films out there. It’s ingenious viral marketing campaign and secrecy developed a huge amount of buzz out of so little. Just throw a mysterious trailer in front of the first Transformers movie with the date “01-18-08” and you’ll gain a profit. But how does the film hold up long after the hype? Tune in to find out!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 34 – Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield was wrapped in mystery at the time it came out. Promotional websites helped build the hype started by the cryptic trailer. So many theories going in. Some suspected this was a secret new Godzilla film. Others even suspected a secret Lovecraft adaptation or Voltron live action film. Yet, Cloverfield ended up being… a completely original property about a giant monster attacking New York. In found footage style, we follow a group of young folks are shown having a party that’s rudely interrupted by The Statue of Liberty’s head roaring down the street. Now, they’ve got to find some way out as the monster and the little parasite creatures that come off it attack the city.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Cloverfield, Thomas Mariani enlists Adam Thomas, Sam Brutuxan and Ryan Corderman to dissect the footage left behind. There’s much talk about the design of the monster, the underrated cast members and all the hype of the viral marketing. Plus, where does the monster codenamed Clover rank amongst other kaiju? Did Lily (Jessica Lucas) make it out at the end? Can the smooth vocals of Sean Kingston help us deal with the impending doom of New York? All those questions and more will be answered in this episode!

Contact Us

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via iTunes reviews and ratings. Helps us get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

Next Episode

Man Bites Dog (1993)

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The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) – Episode 66 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“The Fouke Monster always travels the creek…” the narrator of The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972) describes the nocturnal patterns of the Bigfoot-like creature spotted in Arkansas. The movie exploded onto the big screen and drive-in theaters nationwide in 1972 to the box office tune of $20 million big ones. And sparked a national fascination with the hairy cryptozoological monster. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan, along with HNR co-host Dave Dreher, to discuss what may be the most influential Bigfoot movie of the Seventies.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 66 – The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

The first film from director Charles B. Pierce, The Legend of Boggy Creek, is also one of the most successful b-movie Bigfoot movies of all time. The film is presented as a pseudo-documentary with non-actor recreating scenes where they encountered the beast from Fouke County, Arkansas. Pierce is also responsible for films such as The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976), The Evictors (1979), and the sequel Boggy Creek II: And the Legend Continues (1984). Full of local color and more passion than panache, the film inspired a decade of Bigfoot frenzy, “In Search Of” style copy-cats, and – quite possibly – films like The Blair Witch Project. Perhaps best appreciated now by those who experienced the film “back in the day.” the film is a slow build to a showdown between a family and the Fouke Monster pounding at their door. Hurray for a frightened childhood of Bigfoot nightmares!

“Half-man, half-beast … a mysterious creature has been stalking the woods and waterways near Fouke, Arkansas since the 1940s” – the poster tagline get straight to the point needing little embellishment.

Dave Dreher, self-professed Bigfoot aficionado, joins the regular Grue-Crew to revisit The Legend of Boggy Creek. Like, Doc, Chad, and Bill, Dave caught the film during its original run, remembering fondly the effect it had on his much-younger self; Jeff, however, only just this week finally saw the film for the first time. Time has not been a friend to Boggy Creek. Oh, well. The team shares their impressions of the film, their experiences with it in 1972, and the influence it had on their fascination with film and cryptozoology. Dave also chimes in with a rundown of director Pierce’s accomplishments.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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Dog Soldiers (2002) – Episode 33 – Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond

“I hope I give you the shits, you fucking wimp.” Spoon (Darren Morfitt) makes his last stand against the werewolves slaughtering his unit. All these soldiers have to contend with animalistic enemies of their own unit. They’re a group of Dog Soldiers as it were. Chosen by our Gruesome Magazine Patreon patrons, Dog Soldiers is one of the few highly recommended werewolf movies. Especially in recent memory. The standards of The Howling or An American Werewolf in London get a lot of love, but otherwise it’s a limited genre. Luckily, Dog Soldiers is still popular enough to get the word out there. But enough about the general public. What do the Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond crew have to say? Find out!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 33 – Dog Soldiers (2002)

Dog Soldiers follows a group of British soldiers stuck on assignment in the woods. They’re attempting a simple training mission in the woods and all seems fine. Well, until they stumble upon Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham) severely mauled in the woods. The team stumbles into a nearby cottage in order to find shelter from the mysterious creatures that are out in the woods. From there, it’s a siege film of werewolves vs. humans.

To take a look at this tale of man vs nature, Thomas Mariani enlists Adam Thomas, Shakyl Lambert and Christopher G. Moore. They’ve all got plenty to say about Dog Soldiers. There’s praise for director Neil Marshall’s debut, mainly in how it separates itself from traditional werewolf films. Not to mention his knack for action that would serve him quite well later. Plus, all the questions you’ve been waiting for. Do werewolves perform ballet? Should werewolves go on all fours or stand upright? Was that really a Matrix reference? Listen to find out all the answers!

Contact Us

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via iTunes reviews and ratings. Helps us get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

Next Episode

Cloverfield (2008)

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Young Frankenstein (1974) – Episode 65 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Destiny! Destiny! No escaping that for me! Destiny! Destiny! No escaping that for me!” Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) comedically exclaims his realization of his true path…in his sleep…in Mel Brook’s classic Young Frankenstein (1974). Brook’s follow up to Blazing Saddles lovingly parodies the Universal Monster classics with a brilliant cast — including Peter Boyle, Mary Feldman, Madeline Kahn, and Teri Garr — and a witty, satirical script from Wilder. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan, along with HNR co-host Thomas Mariani, to discuss what may be the best horror-comedy of all time.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 65 – Young Frankenstein (1974)

Toward the end of 1974, Mel Brooks moves from Rock Ridge to Transylvania to send up the B&W horror films he – and co-writer Gene Wilder – loved so much. From Frankenstein to Son of Frankenstein many of the elements of those original films find their way into the film: the blind hermit, Ygor, Inspector Krogh (in the form of Kenneth Mars’ Inspector Kemp) – and so much more. Yes, those are the original scientific lab equipment (by Kenneth Strickfaden) from the original Universal classics appearing once again. The cast, led by Wilder, is superb with Marty Feldman as Igor displaying untoppable comedic timing. Peter Boyle makes an impressive monster with Teri Garr and Madeline Kahn as Inga and Elizabeth, respectively. Cloris Leachman is comedy gold as Frau Blucher [cue neighing horses]. Young Frankenstein works on a number of levels due to the script and the cast…and the reverence and respect Brooks holds for the source material. Even with the film being parody and satire, filmed in black and white, it could easily be considered a followup to the Universal films released decades before.

“The Scariest Comedy of All Time!” – the poster tagline makes a bold promise upon which Young Frankenstein seemingly effortlessly delivers.

The Grue-Crew lovingly recall their first encounters with Young Frankenstein with Doc, Jeff, Chad, and Bill catching it in the theaters upon its first release while Thomas shares that the film serves as a gateway from comedy into horror. Everyone has their favorites lines from “where wolf?” to “what knockers” to “footsteps footsteps footsteps” – the film is full of them. “Put the candle…back!” It also contains an endless series of visual gags that delightfully tickle the funny bone, most of them at the expense of Marty Feldman. Jeff notices that the clock chimes 13 times as the film opens and shares how much in common Inspector Kemp has with his inspiration Inspector Krogh, right down to sticking the darts into his wooden arm – a scene played for dramatic effect in Son of Frankenstein. Bill admits being concerned when the musical number with Wilder and Boyle began; but, by the time the monster growls “Putting on the Ritz,” he was sold. The amount of love and respect for this film from the Grue-Crew is only matched by that from Brooks and Wilder for the Universal classics that remain beloved all these years later.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Episode 32 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“EUREKA! This year, Christmas will be OURS!” Jack Skellington (Chris Sarandon/Danny Elfman) makes his proclamation to the citizens of Halloweentown. The holiday he just discovered will be his to mold and reshape into something spooky. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a holiday classic for every horror fan. Director Tim Bur-er, I mean Henry Selick gives this stop-motion world a chance to breathe and live for the limited run time. It was a movie Disney didn’t believe in upon initial release, yet it’s become a massive merchandising bonanza. How? Well, Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond is gonna do the best it can to explain that.

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 32 – The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Nightmare Before Christmas – based on the poem written by Tim Burton during his days as a Disney animator – follows Jack, The Pumpkin King. Leader of Halloweentown and the symbol all others judge themselves against, Jack feels empty inside. The annual Halloween celebration has turned him into a depressed skeleton man who wanders into the alternate world of Christmas Town. Inspired by the unique holiday qualities, Jack decides to take Santa’s place for Christmas. All while the patchwork girl Sally (Catherine O’Hara) tries to stop him. It’s all done in a musical stop-motion animation style so gorgeous it got the film a Best Special Effects Oscar nomination.

All this is discussed 24 audio frames at a time by Thomas Mariani and his guests Christopher G. Moore, Caitlin Turner and Scott Johnson. All are here to discuss Nightmare Before Christmas as a highly influential watermark for animation in general. Henry Selick’s visuals would bring us the films of LAIKA. Pixar is credited for the computer effects. Tim Burton has ripped this off with Corpse Bride. There’s also plenty of big questions asked. Is this a Halloween or Christmas movie? What is the relationship between Sally and Dr. Finkelstein (William Hickey)? Would Hot Topic survive without Nightmare Before Christmas? Listen to find out!

Contact Us

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via iTunes reviews and ratings. Helps us get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

Next Episode

Dog Soldiers (2002)

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Asylum (1972) – Episode 64 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“You have nothing to lose but your mind.” One of the final Amicus anthology films is prepared to drive you insane as Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) interviews the patients of a mental asylum searching for the head doctor who recently lost his mind in Asylum (1972). Roy Ward Baker directs from a script by Robert Bloch featuring Peter Cushing, Britt Ekland, and Hebert Lom. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan along with special guest-host Eli Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 64 – Asylum (1972)

With titles like Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors, Tales from the Crypt, and Torture Garden, Amicus Films threatened to give Hammer Films a run for their money…but never quite reached that goal. By the time they caught up with the studio that gave us Horror of Dracula and Curse of Frankenstein, the horror genre was maturing into its modern era as films like Night of the Living Dead, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Exorcist captured the audience’s attention. Asylum is one of the final films in their series of portmanteau films – and quite possibly one of its forgotten best. The wrap around story is woven into the film’s fourth tale “Mannikins of Horror” featuring a murdering toy robot while Peter Cushing stars alongside Barry Morse in a tragic tale called “The Weird Tailor”. Britt Ekland guides Charlotte Rampling down a sordid path in “Lucy Comes to Stay” while Richard Todd faces his slain wife’s revenge in “Frozen Fear”. A terrific film that has the Grue-Crew enjoying every frame.

“See what the author of ‘Psycho’ is up to now!” – the poster tagline pimps the fact that the screenwriter, Robert Bloch, is the man responsible for Alfred Hitchcock’s beloved horror classic.

The Grue-Crew are thrilled to welcome Jeff’s grandson Eli onto the show to review Asylum. A new experience for the lad, Eli starts off things noticing how the music in the first segment, Frozen Short, uses unusual cues to signal the various terrors that threaten Richard Todd in his basement. The Crew agrees with him about the acting as well, as each of the cast – especially Peter Cushing – give the film their all, providing the film with a bit more class that may be expected. Chad shares his own terrifying tale of facing a mannequin in his grandmother’s attic when he was young, a fear that he would have to face in the “Mannikins of Horror” segment. Except for Eli, who recently caught the film for this podcast, the rest of the crew remember catching the film when it was originally released – or, in the case of Doc, re-released under the title House of Crazies.

We want to hear from you – the coolest, grooviest fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1970s podcast hosts at docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.