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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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The Sentinel (1977) – Episode 7 Decades of Horror 1970s

“She Is Young, She Is Beautiful, She is Next…She’s Living in the Gateway to Hell” The tag line for The Sentinel (1977) gives away the darkest secret of the big budgeted, big release horror film from Michael Winner based on the hit novel from Jeffrey Konvitz. The cast is insane and the effects are from the legendary Dick Smith.  The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 7 – The Sentinel (1977)

For The Sentinel, Doc Rotten and The Black Saint are joined by North Carolina writer/directory/fxartist Bill (400 Ways to Kill a Vampire, A Few Brains More) Mulligan to discuss the overlooked classic from 1977. If nothing else, the cast itself in impressive: Chris Sarandon, Cristina Raines, Ava Gardner & Burgess Meredith, with Martin Balsam, John Carradine, Jose Ferrer, Arthur Kennedy, Sylvia Miles, Deborah Raffin, Eli Wallach, Christopher Walken, Jerry Orbach, Beverly D’Angelo, Jeff Goldblum, Tom Berenger, William Hickey. A who’s who of Hollywood then and now. The film is also notorious for the controversy surrounding the use of real “freaks” for the finale that spawned protests and discouraging reviews upon its release. Still the film has a horrific and genuinely frightening scene that places it at number 46 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004).

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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