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Army of Darkness (1993) – Episode 38 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my BOOMSTICK!” One of many unforgettable one liners that Ash (Bruce Campbell) spouts in Army of Darkness. The third in writer/director Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy is the cult favorite. For many, it’s the first film in the franchise they saw. It gave us the most recurring pop culture variation on Ash as a character. The strapping hero with a quippy zinger and a chainsaw hand at the ready. Now, with Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 in full swing, it’s only natural to take a look back at the film that makes many a fan scream “Hail to the King, Baby.”

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 38 – Army of Darkness (1993)

After the first Evil Dead was made for peanuts and Evil Dead II raised the production up to a modest low budget, Army of Darkness is a true studio blockbuster. Which is pretty odd considering the meager cult status of the first two. Yet, Universal and Dino De Laurentiis allowed Sam Raimi to go hog wild. And hog wild he did go. Pit demons, man eating books and an army of evil skeletons. All while having B movie sharp chin Campbell at the center. Between the surreal imagery and cartoonish slapstick, Army of Darkness is either your favorite of the trilogy or the one where it goes too far.

To debate this very topic, Thomas Mariani counts on the steel of Chad Hunt, Christopher G. Moore and Sam Brutuxan to break it down. Sam initially started with Army of Darkness and fell in love with the over the top comedy of the series. Christopher appreciated the darker roots of the original two and felt Army of Darkness went off the rails. Chad and Thomas just appreciate the weird Sam Raimi fly by the seat of your pants with the whole trilogy. The four ask the important questions about Army of Darkness. How did Ash get so buff within the span of a week in which the trilogy takes place? Does Ash vs Evil Dead carry on the legacy of the franchise well? Do skeletons have sex drives? All the answers are a click away!

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

In The Mouth of Madness (1995)

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Night of the Creeps (1986) – Episode 131 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“What is this? A homicide, or a bad B-movie?” Detective Ray Cameron (Tom Atkins) asks a trick question with an obvious answer. It’s both. Then again, Night of the Creeps isn’t really bad by any stretch. A sci-fi horror comedy for the ages, Night of the Creeps tells a simple story. One of college love, space slugs, and zombies from the grave. Haven’t we gotten enough of those, guys? Well, writer/director Fred Dekker at least manages to inject some B-movie fan charm in the proceedings in ways that anyone can get behind. The good news is Night of the Creeps is here on Decades of Horror 1980s. The bad news is… nothing, actually. Hooray!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 131 – Night of the Creeps (1986)

Night of the Creeps is the story of two college freshman who – in order to impress a fraternity – awaken a long frozen zombie and unleash chaos on a sleepy college town. Only depressed drunken Detective Cameron (Tom Atkins) can save the day while facing against demons of his past. While Night of the Creeps didn’t make a big splash in theaters back in the summer of 1986, it managed to become a cult favorite on video. Not a surprise, given it’s a mash of sci-fi aliens, ax-murdering killers and Tom Atkins dishing out one-liners. A rollicking good time that goes from space to 50s Americana to the nightmarish world of mid-80s college sex romp. It’s got everything and the kitchen sink… Dick Miller! There’s plenty of terror, romance and “thrill me”s to go around.

To dissect all the remaining gory bits of mayhem, Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani are here and hopefully, the space slugs won’t get them first! Marvel as Christopher admits the influence Night of the Creeps had on one of his short films. Shudder as Doc realizes he hasn’t seen the Director’s Cut ending that crept up on him upon this watch. Ponder with Thomas at the possibility of a Tom Atkins detective story comeback movie. Plus, plenty of discussions about Fred Dekker’s love of the genre, distinguishing between Kevin Pollack & David Paymer and making a drinking game out of all the director name tributes. Of course, we don’t condone irresponsible drinking. You’ll be dead within the first 20 minutes. Or at least screaming like banshees! Heh heh… “screaming like banshees.”

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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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

Beetlejuice (1988)

 

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Get Out (2017) – Episode 37 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“I want your eye, man. I want those things you see through.” Jim Hudson (Stephen Root) reveals the true purpose of injecting himself into Chris Washington’s (Daniel Kaluuya) brain. Get Out was the movie of 2017. Released nearly a year ago, it managed to capture the paranoia, oppressively bleak and gradually bizarre facets the 10 months that would follow. It lasted so long in the popular consciousness that it earned writer/director Jordan Peele multiple Academy Award™ nominations. Yet, why exactly has Get Out maintained just a hold over the cultural zeitgeist? To examine this, Thomas enlists the help of a few friends who may just relate to the struggles Chris has. Luckily, they haven’t gone through the Coagula transplant… or have they?!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 37 – Get Out (2017)

Get Out is a story of simmering racial tension. Jordan Peele decided to go with not an overtly racist family of white folks as the antagonist. No, instead Chris must go up against the seemingly well-meaning if an unintentionally cringy family of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). While the seemingly harmless Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) are very inviting, something sinister lies beneath their smiles. Especially with the unusually chipper house staff of Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson) who make Chris raise a few eyebrows. Hopefully, he can raise his legs quick enough to Get Out before things get too crazy.

Even though Thomas just discussed Get Out on a Horror News Radio episode a little under a year ago, he just had to get a new one out. Not just because of the Oscar nominations or February being Black History Month. No, the big reason was simply this; there weren’t any black people on a Gruesome Magazine podcast discussing the film yet. So, Thomas enlists familiar voices Yonathan Habtemichael and Shakyl Lambert as well as newcomer Torrey Depina to discuss Get Out as a film that represents the Black experience. Yes, even a horror film like Get Out speaks to race relations, cultural fetishization, and systemic oppression. But don’t worry. There’s plenty of silly talk about Denzel Washington, wrestling and horror cliches to lighten the mood.

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

Army Of Darkness (1993)

 

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The Evil Dead (1981) – Episode 130 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You bastards. Why are you torturing me like this? WHY?!” Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) ponders this aloud to the Deadites torturing them. Or maybe this question is more directed toward writer/director Sam Raimi hauling abuse at Bruce. Either way, The Evil Dead is definitely a punishing film, both toward its cast and the audience. Every time someone gets stabbed in the ankle or thrown into a bookshelf, both the actor and the audience feels it. Raimi started his illustrious career with this independent horror flick and it sure did shape where he’d go from here. There’s gore, mayhem and low budget craziness abound. Might as well… JOIN US for it!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 130– The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead is sort of a black sheep in the franchise from a modern perspective. While Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness resemble more of what fans love about the franchise, The Evil Dead is a straight-up horror film with little comedy to be found. Basically, the foundation from which the surreal comedy would spring forth.  That doesn’t mean it’s without merit. By no means. Sam Raimi even this early has so many dynamic camera moves that would later revolutionize blockbusters with Spider-Man. Helps that Bruce Campbell gets the crap beat out of him.

To talk all things The Evil Dead, Christopher G. Moore, Doc Rotten and Thomas Mariani are joined by Adam Thomas. Thomas discusses the evolution of the franchise. Christopher elaborates on how big an influence Sam Raimi had on his young filmmaker mind. Doc talks about how much it created the cabin in the woods genre. Adam winces while describing how brutal Campbell’s painful moments are. Listen to find out all the details!

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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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

Night of the Creeps (1986)

 

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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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From Beyond (1986) – Episode 129 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It ate him… bit off his head… like a gingerbread man!” Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) is mystified by the powers of creatures coming from The Resonator in From Beyond. The second HP Lovecraft adaptation from writer/director Stuart Gordon didn’t blow up cult audiences nearly as much as Re-Animator upon its initial release. Yet, this feature adaptation is far closer to Lovecraft than most other versions of his stories out there. It’s a bizarre, disorienting and – above all – goopy take on the legendary sci-fi/horror author. One that’s clamoring for a dissection right here on Decades of Horror 1980s!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 129 – From Beyond (1986)

From Beyond did not ignite much attention when originally released. Shocker that a sci-fi horror story of BDSM, goopy mutation and body unraveling wasn’t a mainstream hit. Yet, one can’t help but be charmed now by Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) trying to find out about this gap between humanity & alternative dimension aliens. Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel) comes into our realm to show her. Thought the good doctor may not want the type of experimentation Dr. Pretorious is showing off. Hopefully, the pineal glands stay inside foreheads this time.

Here to describe all the bizarre horror of From Beyond is Doc Rotten, Thomas Mariani, and Christopher G. Moore. Thomas starts off by giving the apt adjective of “goopy.” Doc has so much appreciation for the way Jeffrey Combs runs downstairs. Christopher takes a pause to mention how Lovecraftian this film is in comparison to Re-Animator and several other adaptations that followed. Unfortunately, Cthulhu doesn’t show up to emphasize all this horror. Instead, there’s plenty of goop to talk about! Just… make sure it doesn’t get on your shoes.

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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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

The Evil Dead (1981)

 

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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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Ninja III: The Domination (1984) – Episode 128 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You fool! You can not stop me! I am the ninja! No one, nothing can stop me!” Christie (Lucinda Dickey) is possessed by a killer ninja spirit and is out for blood. But how will this affect her career as a telephone poll worker and part-time aerobics instructor? Ugh, it makes you just wanna doing jumping jacks with weights, amirite? As one can clearly see, Ninja III: The Domination is a pretty silly movie. A blend of Flashdance, The Exorcist and every ninja movie out there. Then again, what else would you expect from Cannon?

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 128 – Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

After an elaborate fight sequence at a golf course, Ninja III: The Domination continues the train of insanity tenfold by having the killing machine Black Ninja (David Chung) die after a police shootout and struggle with Christie. Christie is haunted by bizarre dreams and swords on strings, which hurts her budding relationship with cop/creepy hairy stalker Billy (Jordan Bennet). Now under the possessive influence of the Black Ninja’s spirit, Christie proceeds to murder each of the officers who participated in the shootout, baffling the cop who is literally sleeping with her on a nightly basis. The only person with any kind of effectiveness is the mysterious Yamada (Sho Kosugi), who arrives from Japan to get his vengeance on The Black Ninja who killed his master and left him with one eye. Ninjitsu and 80s hair ensue from here.

To break down all the insanity of Ninja III: The Domination, Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani look into this genre mashup to find a method to the madness. There’s much love for the silly manic energy that made Cannon such a unique film production company. All the bad ADR, excessive use of explosions and physics-defying martial arts are dissected here. Doc Rotten is delighted that genre favorite James Hong has a cameo. Christopher makes a strong argument for this being the most 80s film ever covered on the show. Thomas brings to light the serious struggle Ninja III: The Domination highlights of PTSF (Post Traumatic Stock Footage) Syndrome. All of this and more can be shoved into your eardrums like a shuriken to the face.

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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

From Beyond (1986)