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The Queen of Spades (1949) – Episode 9 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“This is a very rare book. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. … Who knows what you may learn from it. You might end up by gaining a fortune or losing your precious soul.” So said a wizened, antique bookseller (Ivor Barnard) to Captain Herman Suvorin (Anton Walbrook) as he sold him a tome of supernatural secrets. Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as they journey back to 1949 and take a gamble on The Queen of Spades.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 7 – The Queen of Spades (1949)

Is The Queen of Spades the best horror film of 1949? It is according to Bloody Disgusting and Rotten Tomatoes. The film was thought to be lost until 2009 and when Jeff noticed it was now available for streaming, he excitedly added the film to the schedule as his next pick. The Queen of Spades tells the story of a young countess who strikes a Faustian bargain with the devil and exchanges her soul for the ability to gamble and win at Faro. Years later, a lower class, army officer, who resents the aristocracy and is obsessed with gaining comparable status in society, stalks Lizaveta Ivanova (Yvonne Mitchell), the ward of the now elderly Countess, to gain access to the secret of the cards. In the process, he causes the death of the Countess and finds himself haunted by the woman’s spirit.

After viewing The Queen of Spades, your intrepid Classic Era Grue Crew couldn’t agree on whether it was a horror movie or not. Erin, Joseph, and Chad questioned its horror bonafides while Jeff stuck with the hand he dealt himself and played his “deal with the devil” and “evil haunting” cards. After all, it was the best horror film of 1949, right? However, Joseph is quick to point out the competition in 1949 was as thin as a playing card, causing us all to question the value of it being referred to as the “year’s best.”

If you have not heard of the 1834 Alexander Pushkin story on which the film is based, you will find yourself in the same boat as we did when we were surprised to learn there had been over twenty adaptations of the story over the years. It’s also likely you have not heard of the film’s director, Thorold Dickinson. You will be shocked to learn what Martin Scorsese has to say about Dickinson in general and The Queen of Spades specifically. Even Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel) has something interesting to say about this film.

We also discuss the answers to these burning questions. Does the performance of Dame Edith Evans, as the elderly Countess Ranevskaya, live up to her reputation as the greatest actress on the English stage in the 20th century? Why did Anton Walbrook flee Germany? Where have I seen Ronald Howard, who plays Suvorin’s aristocratic friend Andrei, before? Which of these actors played Sherlock Holmes in the 1950s? What does Mary Poppins have to do with The Queen of Spades? Which of the film’s actors also appeared in a Hammer film? What was used for the snow to depict the Russian winter?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll also hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • “I am down with the young people!”
  • “There are many old bitty horror films … you know, that’s a subgenre, I’m not being mean.”
  • “The higher the hair, the closer to God.”
  • “At first I thought it was film grain, but I think there were actual bees flying in and out of that thing.”
  • “Because I’m anal.”

If you’d like to listen to the “The Queen of Spades” radio episode of Mystery in the Air, starring Peter Lorre and first aired in 1947, you can check it out here.

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Last Man on Earth (1964), Village of the Damned (1960), Viy (1967), and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

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Twin Peaks Retrospective (1990-1992) – Episode 15 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“Through the darkness of futures past. The magician longs to see. One chants out between two worlds. ‘Fire walk with me.'” The world of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks was one of the more inventive examples of television in the early 90s. The titular Washington town had rich characters, surreal horrors and some damn fine coffee. However, in the 25 years since Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) first visited that sleepy town, has Twin Peaks stood the test of time? Or has it disappeared into The Black Lodge?

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 15 – Twin Peaks Retrospective

Twin Peaks was the surprise hit of the spring 1990 TV season. With a cast chock full of quirky characters and the major mystery of the death of Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) at the heart of it’s premise, it helped revolutionize what serialized television could be. Part over the top soap opera, part crime procedural, part surrealist horror. Twin Peaks wasn’t like anything seen on television. Unfortunately, creators David Lynch and Mark Frost were forced by ABC to reveal their mystery early into the second season. Thus, we got a directionless tangent of episodes and an eventual cancellation on a cliffhanger. Lynch would return to the town of Twin Peaks with the feature film prequel Fire Walk With Me in 1992, which was met with diresion from critics and fans alike.

In celebration of Twin Peaks getting a mini-series revival for Showtime, Thomas Mariani and guest Christopher G. Moore are taking a look back at the influential series. Christopher describes his early love of the show during its heyday while Thomas came to the series much later. The two share mutual adoration for the balance of season one. And a mutual frustration over the wacky meandering of season two. Yet, there are plenty of clashing opinions, mainly over the resolve of Laura Palmer’s murder and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Journey with them into The Black Lodge to discuss the gum that will come back in style over some damn fine coffee, won’t you?

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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 1990s podcast hosts at tho

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The Creeping Flesh (1973) – Episode 51– Decades of Horror 1970s

“Unfortunately, in the state of society, as it exists today, we are not permitted to experiment on human beings. Normal human beings.” – Christopher Lee’s line in The Creeping Flesh (1973) sets up the odd tone of the film. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor and the host of Decades of Horror The Classic Era Jeff Mohr. Rounding out the co-hosts this episode is Chad Hunt, Jeff’s frequent co-conspirator on the Classic Era, joining the usual crew to discuss another awesome collaboration between horror icons Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 51 – The Creeping Flesh (1973)

Anytime we get to cover a Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee film, Doc is happy as a clam. The Creeping Flesh, despite its many flaws, lands in the win column for the good doctor. Jeff is equally delighted with the film, as is Chad regardless of his reservations. The Black Saint, however, is not thrilled with The Creeping Flesh one bit. He often challenges the group to back up their love for this oddball film. It isn’t easy. The film has wonky pacing, illogical character decisions, bizarre side storylines that distract from the main tale, and not nearly enough of the title character. The Grew-Crew fear that many horror fans will side with The Black Saint on this one unless they are a Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee completist.

From time to time The Creeping Flesh scores with great acting from the two horror icons and typical high standards with costuming and set design. The creature’s skeleton is quite marvelous as well, large and fascinating. The creeping flesh element of the film – however brief – is a highlight. And while actress Lorna Heilbron scores with Jeff Mohr her character’s motivations for the final act come under question from the Grue-Crew. And, as often stated, whenever Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee share the screen, the film becomes immediately more entertaining. And, for those who love their Hammer Films, The Creeping Flesh comes complete with a brief, but welcomed, appearance from the one-and-only Michael Ripper. There’s always that!

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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Freaks (1932) – Episode 8 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“Gooba gobble, gooba gobble, one of us, one of us. We accept her, we accept her, one of us, one of us…” Easy for them to say! Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue Crew – Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we make a trip to the circus and take in Tod Browning’s legendary film, Freaks (1932).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 7 – Freaks (1932)

Loosely based on “Spurs,” a short story by Clarence Aaron ‘Tod’ Robbins, Freaks is the embodiment of the adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” all the way from its advertising taglines to the appearance of the film’s actors. Throughout the filming, Browning leans heavily on his experiences working in a carnival and exhibits a genuine affection for the title characters of Freaks.

The blatantly exploitative taglines – “The Love Story of a SIREN, a GIANT, and a DWARF!” and “Can a full grown woman truly love a MIDGET?” –  are so misleading as to constitute outright lies. Yet another tagline – “‘We’ll Make Her One of Us!’ from the gibbering mouths of these weird creatures came this frenzied cry… no wonder she cringed in horror… this beautiful woman who dared toy with the love of one of them!” – has nearly nothing to do with the film and only works to entice the audience with the supposed luridness of a freak show using phrases like “gibbering mouths,” “weird creatures,” “frenzied cry,” and “cringed in horror.”

Despite their abnormal bodies, the title characters of Freaks are the beautiful ones, exuding love and caring for one another in this traveling community. On the other hand, Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova), the beautiful siren; and Hercules (Henry Victor), the handsome strongman; turn out to be ugly beyond redemption, as they conspire to destroy Hans’ (Harry Earles) relationship with Frieda (Daisy Earles) and murder him in order to steal his inheritance. Throughout Freaks, these two villains pepper the sideshow community with derisive and disparaging insults, treating them as if they are less than human.

Hans and Frieda are supported throughout Freaks by their loving, understanding, and loyal friends in this big-hearted family – the half woman-half man (Josephine Joseph), the Siamese Twins (Violet and Daisy Hilton), the Armless Girl (Frances O’Connor), the Human Skeleton (Peter Robinson), the Living Torso (Prince Randian), the half-boy (Johnny Eck), Angeleno (Angelo Rossitto), Schlitze and too many others to list. Two normal-bodied members of their freakshow family are Phroso the Clown, played by consummate character actor Wallace Ford, and Venus, played by Leila Hyams.

Freaks is about that age old love-versus-greed conflict and in this case, love triumphs while the characters motivated by greed suffer hideous consequences. It’s unfortunate that the powers that be chose to pitch Freaks as the beautiful Cleopatra and handsome Hercules falling victims to a gibbering gang of weird creatures.

There’s some question as to whether or not Freaks is a horror film, but without a doubt, there are some horrifying scenes, especially in the last ten minutes. However, the horror is not in the appearance of the title characters as implied by the advertising taglines, but in what they do to Cleopatra and Hercules in return for the horrifying treatment the couple inflicts on them, especially Hans..

If you’re paying attention, you’ll hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • “… you can just kind of picture us bouncing in our seats right now.”
  • ‘“From the gibbering mouths of these weird creatures came this frenzied cry!” … Actually our gibbering mouths were probably worse at the beginning of this episode.’
  • “I cry like every five minutes in this movie.”
  • “Tell me what you can do with your eyebrow.”
  • “I would’ve smiled and then just spiked Cleopatra’s drink with as many laxatives as I could get my hands on.”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Queen of Spades (1949), The Last Man on Earth (1964), Village of the Damned (1960) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920).

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!” from each of us!

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Alien 3 (1992) – Episode 14 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“In an insane world, a sane man must appear insane.” Gorlic (Paul McGann) babbles true words to Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and Clemens (Charles Dance) just before”The Dragon” attacks. Alien 3 was to many a rather insane proposition. After the incredibly beloved AliensAlien 3 decides to throw out many of the beloved characters introduced there and leave its audience wallowing in a nihilistic pit. Where the main journey of Ripley is centered around a desire to die. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t too popular 25 years ago. However, does that impeded it from finding a modern audience now?

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 14 – Alien 3

Alien 3 – or as it’s often stylized Alien3 – is often considered the black sheep of the Xenomorph ladened franchise. Not as beloved as Alien or Aliens, yet not quite as controversial as Alien vs Predator or Prometheus. While often dismissed by many – including its own director David Fincher – Alien 3 offers a unique perspective that sets itself apart from others in the franchise. Abandoning crowd pleasing nature of Aliens and doubling down on the thriller angles of AlienAlien 3 seeks no light at the end of the tunnel. The prison planet of Fiorina 161 is a desolate pit covered in lice and bald angry prisoners. The only hope for Ripley, Dillon or any of the few remaining people on the planet is merely killing the Xenomorph as it’s killing them. It’s bleak, unrelenting and oppressive… meaning it really wouldn’t be for everyone.

To examine this, Thomas Mariani not only welcomes back Adam Thomas from last week, but also recruits his Horror News Radio co-host Santos “The Black Saint” Ellin Jr. The Black Saint has been a heavy defender of Alien 3 since it was originally released, hailing it as his favorite film of the franchise. He praises the nihilism, the bleak outlook of the characters and Fincher’s grimy atmosphere. Adam praises much of the same, though still considers Alien his favorite. Thomas has a few more issues, but respects the consistent dark tone and risky choices. Together, these three discuss the differences between the Alien 3 theatrical and Assembly Cut, the troubled production David Fincher went through and the controversy over killing off Newt, Hicks and Bishop. It’s a spirited discussion that shows Alien 3 has far more depth than people give it credit for.

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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 1990s 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.

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Twin Peaks: The Series and Fire Walk With Me

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The Omen (1976) – Episode 50 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Good morning. You are one day closer to the end of the world. You have been warned.” – the tag line for The Omen (1976) goes a long way in frightening audiences, then and now. Following cinema’s fascination with possession and satanism since Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist changed the face of horror, Director Richard Donner brings the threat of Revelations to the forefront without resorting to full-on supernatural, grounding the terror in reality as much as possible. This results in one of the biggest hits of the year. Let the fun begin! The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew is Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 50 – The Omen (1976)

The Black Saint, Doc, and Jeff reflect on The Omen, remarking on how well the Richard Donner approached and manipulated the script. They examine a number of keys scenes pointing out how well they work in the genre, from the decapitation of David Warner’s character to Lee Remick’s character tumbling from the banister to the iconic scene where Patrick Troughton’s priest is skewered by a severed lightning rod. Above all that is the incredible music provided by Jerry Goldsmith for which he won an Academy Award that year. The presence of esteemed actor Gregory Peck goes a long way in grounding the film and its terrifying themes. And actress Billie Whitelaw is absolutely frightening in the role of Mrs. Baylock.

For the fiftieth episode of Decades of Horror 1970s, we decided to tackle one of the big releases of the decade, also one featuring subject matter that is particularly unsettling for host The Black Saint. He has vowed to never watch The Exorcist again. Yes, for this show, he sets aside his reservations to view the film once again, share his thoughts and appreciation for the film, and comment on seeing the film back when it was first released. Jeff too saw the film in the theaters at that time and both he and the Black Saint remember the marketing that supported the film and the generally terrified reaction the audience gave during those screenings. C’mon Donner was dead set on scaring his audience, the editing and varied angels of Jenning’s death scene alone illustrate how The Omen scared audiences then…and should still now.

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 theblacksaint@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

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The Thing From Another World (1951) – Episode 7 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“What if he can read our minds?” “He’ll be real mad when he gets to me.” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we go vegan and digest some tasty, carrot-like, side dishes cooked up from The Thing From Another World (1951).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 7 – The Thing From Another World (1951)

More than 30 years before John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) came The Thing From Another World. In fact, John Carpenter’s The Thing is often asked, “Who’s your daddy?” to which the answer is always, “The Thing From Another World.” Do they share some sort of prequel/sequel relationship? Absolutely not. The two films are more like fraternal twins, coming from the same source material, but ending up with a little different DNA. Being both daddy/offspring and fraternal twins does bring up questions of metaphorical incest, but we digress.

Our feature film for Episode 7, the original The Thing From Another World, was produced by Howard Hawks’ Winchester Enterprises, directed by Christian Nyby, and written by Charles Lederer from John W. Campbell Jr.’s award-winning short story, “Who Goes There?” The Thing From Another World tells the story of an alien found frozen near a polar outpost and then thawed when mistakenly covered by an electric blanket that’s cranked up to 11. Well, maybe not actually to 11, but it was definitely off-the-scale stupid! The title creature (see what I did there, Crew?), played by the James Arness, proceeds to make short work of two scientists and the sled dogs while escaping.

Lead scientist Dr. Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite) is all for preserving the Thing at all costs, even losing human lives, in the interest of knowledge. The Air Force personnel at the outpost, along with some of the scientists, are all about their own survival. The titular leader of our intrepid good guys is Capt. Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey) but Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) has his number and is the functional/spiritual leader of the team, providing most solutions in an offhand, oh-by-the-way manner. Topping off the mix, Crew Chief Bob (Dewey Martin) provides ongoing moral support while Scotty (Douglas Spencer) contributes comic relief grounded in common sense and reality. We also encounter some other recognizable faces (or voices), including John Dierkes, William Self, George Fenneman, and Paul Frees.
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During the podcast we try to answer some nagging questions about The Thing From Another World. Exactly who directed this film? Who contributed to the screenplay? What is the best way to kill James Arness? No one figured it out on Gunsmoke. Why would anyone put an electric blanket over a block of ice encapsulating an alien with creepy eyes? What did Jame Arness think about what turned out to be an iconic role? What execution was Scotty talking about when he was cut off by the Thing? What’s behind that sly smile on Nikki’s face and what does she have on Captain Hendry? And why does everyone talk so darn fast?

If you’re paying attention, you’ll hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • You’re ugly, but hey, I’m not going to cover you up just because you’re ugly.
  • You’re in danger, girl!
  • We all kind of become plant food in the end.
  • How about a rabbit with shiny things?

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes Freaks (1932), The Queen of Spades (1949), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1924), and The Last Man on Earth (1964). Sorry folks, but Waxworks (1924) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) have been rescheduled due to circumstances beyond our control. That and we changed our minds. Don’t worry, though. We will most assuredly cover them in the future.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nut jobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “Thank you for listening!” from each of us!

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Freaked (1993) – Episode 13 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“What’s the matter? Afraid of the rough stuff? Welcome to showbusiness, morons!” The snarky spirit of Alex Winter’s Freaked continues to entertain nearly a quarter of a century after its release. Jabs at everything from the entertainment industry to corporate overreach to… milkmen? Well, they had it coming especially. It’s a zany manic ride that may just be thee most 90s thing the show has yet to cover. The question is, does this Liquid Television-era MTV inspired film still get many laughs all these years later? Also, is it a horror movie? Was this the role Randy Quaid was born to play? Or, perhaps most importantly… is someone could to wipe Worm’s ass?

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 13 – Freaked

Freaked is probably the least horror related production to be covered on this show, but it was especially chosen by our listeners in a poll. Freaked beat out heavy hitters like Interview with a Vampire and Tales from the Hood to get here. How in the hell did that happen? After all, when it was first released in 1993, no one really payed attention to it. The satiric comedy follows sleazy actor Ricky Coogan (Alex Winter) and his buddies being mutated into hideous freaks by a crazed carnival broker/freak show proprietor (Quaid) and a key part in the resistance of freaks he’s imprisoned. Freaked eventually found a following on home video, but then again one can’t be certain that it would have been all that successful even if it had a wide release. With its edgy 90s satire and extensive disturbing creature design, Freaked couldn’t really be made at any other time, before or since.

To join Thomas Mariani is Gruesome Magazine’s own Adam Thomas. Adam considers himself a child of the 90s and Freaked to be right up his alley. The two talk about the insanely eclectic cast, which includes Keanu Reeves as a dog man, William Sadler as the head of the Everything Except Shoes corporation and Academy Award Nominee John Hawkes as a half man/half cow creature. There’s also much talk about the amazing practical effects work throughout, designed by Screaming Mad George, Steve Johnson and The Chiodo Brothers amongst others. It’s probably the most horror driven aspect of Freaked, but that doesn’t stop Thomas and Adam from talking about it. Or, occasionally talking in between fits of laughter.

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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 1990s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy.

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Alien3

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IT! (1967) – Episode 6 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“There are certain unseen things that are more real than those which you can see and touch. I know that.” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we go for IT! … NO, NOT THE STEPHEN KING It. Give us a break! After all, we are The Classic Era Grue-Crew. We’re talking about the exclamation-point-ended, 1967-released, Roddy McDowall starred-in, pseudo-Hammer produced, tree-golem monstered IT!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 6 – IT! aka Curse of the Golem (1967)

Written and directed by Herbert J. Leder, whose other accomplishments include Fiend Without a Face (1958) and The Frozen Dead (1966), It! builds on the Jewish folklore of the golem. What if a nervous nebbish of an assistant museum curator named Arthur Pimm (Roddy McDowall) discovered the long lost Golem of Prague? What’s more, what if he discovered the power to control the golem? What would this nervous, nebbishy, assistant museum curator do with such power? Well, it’s definitely not what we would do.

When the omnipotent golem runs amok, as all indestructible creatures are want to do, how would you stop IT!? Even though IT! might sound like Superman, Kryptonite won’t do the trick. I mean come on, IT!’s made of clay. Can IT! be drowned? Can IT! be burned? Can IT! be destroyed by any man-made means?

By the way, what the heck is Mr. Pimm doing with his mother? I guess he does look a bit like a shorter Norman Bates, but Pimm’s mother has much nicer jewelry than Mrs Bates. And what integral part does Pimm’s mother fetish play in the plot of IT!? Or does IT!?! 

Find out why Erin talks so much about The Legend of Hell House when we’re discussing IT! Speaking of Erin, how does Pimm’s infatuation with Ellen Groves (Jill Haworth) lead Erin to bond with her in sisterhood. Erin also philosophizes on whether she is a pickle or a hamburger. It’s not what you think! Hear about Chad’s bro-mance with the square-jawed American (Paul Maxwell) that comes to Ellen’s rescue! And what possible connection can there be between IT! and Lucio Fulci?

Of course as usual, if you’re paying attention, you’ll hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • I’m picturing Pimm threatening to punch the golem to the moon!
  • Too much cheese before the podcast.
  • Oh, he dug up his mother and took her coffin with him and they’re off with that silly statue to do whatever.
  • I AM YOUR MASTER!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Thing from Another World (1951), Freaks (1932), The Queen of Spades (1949), and Waxworks (1924)

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!” from each of us!

 

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Perfect Blue (1998) – Episode 12 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“Nobody cares for you anymore. You’re tarnished! Filthy!” Mima Kirigoe (Junko Iwao) grapples with her nightmarish double and her grip on reality. Stuck between her old life as a pop idol, her newfound acting career and her own inner self, Mima must try to find herself within a turmoil of madness, celebrity obsession and murder. Can she connect the mysterious murders that happen around her? Is there a link that bridges the gap between the madness? Can she decipher what the hell a “homepage” on the “Internet” is in the late 90s? All the answers lie within her own Perfect Blue.

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 12 – Perfect Blue

The first film from acclaimed and unfortunately late director Satoshi Kon, Perfect Blue is the kind of head trip that must be seen to be believed. Originally conceived as a live action endeavor, Kon and his team of animators translated the maddening psychological horror into an anime art style that has to be seen to be believed.  Inspired by the surreal talents of Terry Gilliam, Perfect Blue weaves a dark elusive web of a mystery that enraptures the audience. Mima must try to weed through the madness to find some form of sense, but her nature as an unreliable narrator makes us dubious. Even as we see the world around her turn against her, we’re unsure if it’s all just a vision in her warped mind. We’re not even sure if she can tell her reflection from herself, let alone guarantee she didn’t murder anyone. It’s terrifying, gorgeous and a bit of a thinker. In other words, this ain’t no Pokemon.

To clarify this, Thomas brings on anime fan Yonathan Habtemichael. While defining a few anime terms for the average joe, Yonathan also helps to give a rather wide cinematic scale. He and Thomas go into the thematically relevant provocative imagery that parades Perfect Blue. Particularly with emphasis on the horror. Despite the anime style, Thomas and Yonathan are genuinely terrified by the graphic gore depicted. Yet, there’s also more under the surface. The true horror of Perfect Blue is more personal to Mima, but universal to all of us. One that is extremely prescient to modern tech stalking that’s everywhere today. Even on clunky old computers and with dated home pages, Perfect Blue has a type of disturbed obsession at its core the blurs the lines of reality and makes the horror all the more vibrant and human despite being animated in two dimensions.

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The Listener’s Choice Approved… Freaked (1993)