post

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)

post

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.

post

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.

post

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.

post

Beware! The Blob (1972) – Episode 63 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Maybe you two kids are on a trip or something. I don’t know and I don’t care.” Sheriff Jones (Richard Webb) has little patience for Bobby Hartford (Robert Walker Jr) and Lisa Clark (Gwynne Gilford) as they describe being attacked by a monstrous man-eating blob in Beware! The Blob (1972). Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Bill Mulligan are ready to pounce on Doc Rotten for suggesting this disastrous “treat” of a goofy horror film from director Larry Hagman – yeah, J.R. Ewing from the Dallas TV show (and Major Anthony Nelson from I Dream of Jeanie decades earlier). Oh, boy, this is going to get ripe.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 63 – Beware! the Blob (1972)

On a minuscule $150,000 budget shot almost entirely using friends and neighbors, Larry Hagman and Anthony Harris would craft a horror comedy sequel to Jack Harris’ 50’s monster movie classic The Blob (1958). Sadly, Beware! The Blob comes nowhere near as iconic or thrilling (or professional) as the film that inspired it. The supporting cast would include a who’s who of TV actors of the Sixties and Seventies: Godfrey Cambridge, Richard Stahl, Carol Lynley, Marlene Clark, Gerrit Graham, Dick Van Patten, Del Close, Cindy Williams, Tiger Joe Marsh, and Burgess Meredith. While most everything about the film is subpar, on a curiosity level, the film is mildly entertaining. Beware this movie!

“It’s loose again eating everyone!” – the poster tagline promises far more than the film delivers.

Being good spirits, the Grue-crew desperately try to find good things about the film. Mostly, they get distracted by all the cameos. The dialog, rumored to be mostly improvised, has the crew plugging their ears instead of covering their eyes. Still, there are some silly moments that give the film some gas but the effects are shotty and the direction is…worse. It is not difficult to see that this is Larry Hagman’s sole cinematic directorial effort. Bill Mulligan wins the trivia award of the week for pointing out that Del Close, who has a cameo in this picture, is featured prominently in the 1988 remake from Chuck Russell. Go, team!

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.

post

Zombie (1979) – Episode 62 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“What is all this about the dead coming back to life again and… having to be killed a second time? I mean, what the hell’s going on here?” Peter West (Ian McCulloch) tries to make sense of the dead rising from their graves to eat the living in Zombie (1979). Doc Rotten returns and he brings Lucio Fulci to the 1970s podcast for the very first time. Jeff Mohr, Chad Hunt, and Bill Mulligan are on hand to discuss the highlights, the effects, the living dead, Italian horror, and Fulci’s dreamlike plot structure. Oh, yeah, and a zombie versus a shark! What else do you need?

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 62 – Zombie (1979)

When George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978) was released overseas, it was often known as Zombi. In Italy, Fulci’s zombie epic was titled Zombi 2 without his knowledge or consent. His film is not a direct sequel to Dawn or any other living dead film. In fact, given the story, it would be more a prequel to the 1978 classic. When the film did cross the seas to play in the States, it kept the general idea of its moniker and became Zombie (1979). The film begins and ends in New York City but takes place mostly on a remote island with its lead characters looking for lost relatives, encountering the living dead and fighting for the lives.

“We are going to eat you!” – the poster tagline grabs its audience from the very get-go.

The Grue-crew explore the film, tackling Fulci’s filming techniques, the acting, the dubbing, the gore, and so much more. The film is iconic with its scenes of zombie horror. If not the underwater zombie-vs-shark scene, then the Spanish Conquistadors rising from the grave to attack our heroes, including the famous zombie with the worms swarming out if its eye socket. Fulci also seems to have a fetish for eyes as the scene with the splinter is intense even today. The gore is plentiful and the final battle in the church turned hospital is non-stop white-knuckle intense. Bill Mulligan even starts off the podcast by suggesting that Fulci’s Zombie is a favorite even over Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. What’s interesting about these zombies is that they are a mix of pre-70s voodoo zombies and modern Romero-ghoul zombies. The cast features Tisa FarrowIan McCullochRichard Johnson (…remember him from The Haunting 1963?).

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.

post

Dracula (1974) – Episode 61 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“You are now in my domain gentlemen, and you shall not leave.” Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issue of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions, but Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr are back, along with guest-host Joey Fittos, to take that familiar journey from Transylvania to England, this time as told by producer/director Dan Curtis in 1974’s Dracula.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 61 – Dracula (1974)

Originally released as Bram Stoker’s Dracula until the rights to that name were acquired for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version, the film is now sometimes referred to as Dan Curtis’ Dracula. This TV movie was scheduled to premiere in October 1973 but was preempted by news coverage of an unfolding historical event and rescheduled for February 1974.

This episode’s Grue Crew discuss Emmy winner Curtis’ start as the creator and executive producer of the daytime, horror/soap opera Dark Shadows (1966-71). He then went on to direct and produce a number of horror-related movies in the 1970s: The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973), several TV-movie adaptations of well-known horror novels, and the theatrically released Burnt Offerings (1976).

Though your hosts find the script lacking in places, they do give props to frequent Curtis collaborator and horror icon Richard Matheson, who penned the screenplay for this version of Dracula. Despite this script’s faults, Curtis and Matheson do use a plot device lifted from Dark Shadows that doesn’t appear in Bram Stoker’s novel or any previous film versions but is used again by Coppola in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Academy award winner Jack Palance tackles the title role. Curtis and he had worked together before on another TV movie, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968). Chad, Bill, and especially Jeff, appreciate the feral quality of Palance’s performance, but Joey says, “He’s not my Dracula.” The rest of the cast – Nigel Davenport (Van Helsing), Murray Brown (Jonathan Harker), Fiona Lewis (Lucy), Penelope Horner (Mina), and Simon Ward (Arthur) – don’t have much to work with, possibly leading to their seemingly lackluster performances. The crew also point out that many of our listeners may recognize Sarah Douglas, one of Dracula’s brides, who later played Ursa in Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980).

When all’s said and done, Mr. Fittos gives Dracula (1974) thumbs down. Though Chad and Jeff admit it doesn’t hold up to impressions from their first viewings, the other hosts think it is worth the watch for Palance’s performance.

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.

post

Deathdream (1974) – Episode 60 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Something unspeakable has come home.” Not only is it unspeakable, but it has already died once. Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. In the interim, your regular host, Jeff Mohr, is joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they follow the members of a family wracked by the effects of the Vietnam War in Deathdream.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 60 – Deathdream (1974)

The second of director Bob Clark’s three horror films, Deathdream (aka Dead of Night) is sandwiched neatly between Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (Decades of Horror 1970s – Episode 12) and Black Christmas (Decades of Horror 1970s – Episode 34). Written by Alan Ormsby, the film tells the story of Andy (Richard Backus), a Vietnam War veteran who is killed-in-action and yet returns home the same day his family gets the news of his death. Though the death notice is not a mistake,  Andy’s parents (John Marley and Lynn Carlin) and sister (Anya Ormsby) assume it is, and celebrate his homecoming. As his physical condition deteriorates and his behavior gets more and more bizarre, Andy’s father brings the local doctor (Henderson Forsythe) home to take a look at his son. As the film progresses, Andy’s decay increases and the body count rises.

The foundation of Deathdream’s story is planted firmly in W. W. Jacobs’ 1902 short story, “The Monkey’s Paw.” In other words, be careful what you wish for! The story might also be seen as an allegory delving into the additional trauma experienced by returning Vietnam War veterans, stigmatized by society and struggling with PTSD, and the effect that trauma has on their family and friends.

Tom Savini partners with Alan Ormsby to provide the film’s effective, low budget makeup effects. Andy’s progressive decay is successfully depicted as he moves from seemingly normal to a rapidly decaying corpse. Deathdream is not a fun watch.This episode’s Grue Crew give the film a unanimous thumbs up with the following caveat: The filmmakers successfully tell a very depressing story. Deathdream is not a fun watch.

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.

 

post

Night of the Lepus (1972) – Episode 59 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Rabbits aren’t your bag, Roy.” It’s pretty safe to say rabbits aren’t anyone’s bag in Night of the Lepus, especially the pseudo-savage, overgrown, mutant versions in this film. The Black Saint was unable to join us for this episode and Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. Sometimes, you just can’t do everything you want to do, can you, guys? In the interim, your regular host, Jeff Mohr, is joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they weave their way through the killer rabbits of Night of the Lepus.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 59 – Night of the Lepus (1972)

Night of the Lepus is director William F. Claxton’s only entry in the horror film. Most of his experience is in the western genre, so it’s no surprise that most of the cast are frequent performers in westerns. Highly recognizable leads and supporting cast are played by Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, Stuart Whitman, DeForest Kelley, and Paul Fix, who all give it the old college try, but they don’t have much with which to work.

The screenplay is written by Don Holliday and Gene R. Kearney and is based on The Year of the Angry Rabbit (1964), an Australian, comic/horror/science fiction novel by Russell Braddon. Though the plot is outrageous, the novel is appreciated for its comic shadings. In Night of the Lepus, however, the filmmakers forsake any attempt at humor and go straight for outright horror, a fatal mistake. Unfortunately, no matter how ominous the script or intense the acting, the special effects are not up to the task of inciting horror from domestic rabbits performing on miniature sets.

Despite its flaws, Night of the Lepus still holds a special place in the hearts of the members of your faithful Grue Crew. Jeff Mohr has on an ongoing bromance with Rory Calhoun. Though he agrees it is a terrible film, Bill Mulligan professes a love for many of the images in Night of the Lepus and uses them in his party videos. Now there’s a party we’d love to attend! Chad Hunt, well, Chad Hunt can’t figure out why, but when he’s channel surfing and runs across Night of the Lepus, he can’t keep from pausing to watch the proverbial trainwreck.

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.

post

Suspiria (1977) – Episode 58 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Suzy, do you know anything about … witches?” Suzy Bannion doesn’t know much, but she’s about to find out a lot more, … the hard way! As of the recording of this podcast, it’s just 12 days past the 40th anniversary of the U.S. release of Dario Argento’s Suspiria, a Giallo masterpiece. Doc Rotten is still on hiatus, diligently working on the next issues of the Gruesome Magazine quarterly print and electronic editions. (Issue #2 is now available. Don’t miss out!) In the interim, your regular hosts, The Black Saint and Jeff Mohr, are joined by the capable and knowledgeable Bill Mulligan, film director, and Chad Hunt, comic book artist/writer and co-host of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast. Join them as they are completely entranced by the magic of Argento’s audio and visual feast.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 58 – Suspiria (1977)

Suspiria is the story of an elite dance school in Germany that is a front for some supernatural shenanigans. The school is run by Madame Blanc (Joan Bennett), and its head instructor is the disciplinary Miss Tanner (Alida Valli). Suzy (Jessica Harper) is a young American who has recently arrived at the school. Life at the school is a dreamlike, nightmarish experience. Suzy’s life there is soon rocked by the brutal murders of two fellow students, Pat (Eva Axén) and Sara (Stefania Casini), and the school’s blind piano player, Daniel (Flavio Bucci).

Co-written (with Daria Nicolodi) and directed by Dario Argento, the film’s plot is a train wreck. Luciano Tovoli’s cinematography and the Goblin’s score, however, are so masterful, no one seems to care that exactly what happens or why it happens is never made clear.

The Black Saint and Bill Mulligan extol the effect the trailer had on them when they first saw it. Think involuntary bodily evacuation. The crew all think Suspiria is Jessica Harper’s film more than any other member of the cast. When they learn she got the part after Argento saw her performance in Brian de Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise, they throw some smack toward award-winning director and fellow Decades of Horror co-host, Christopher G. Moore (See Decades of Horror 1970s – Episode 40 – Phantom of the Paradise (1974)). Suspiria is filled with effective and memorable scenes that our fearless Grue Crew discuss in detail, especially the sequences that detailing the first murder, the razor wire girl, and the return of razor wire girl (more bodily evacuation). They also remark on the film’s omnipresent vivid and often inappropriate-to-life colors.

Find out that what Disney film The Black Saint has never seen. (What?!) Or hear The Black Saint’s story about meeting Dario Argento. Or find out why much of the time, the dancers’ behaviors seem juvenile.

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.