post

The Mummy (1999) – Episode 17 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“You dream about dead guys?” Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) questions the enthusiasm of librarian Evie Carnahan (Rachel Weisz). Of course, they’ll be having plenty of nightmares about dead guys once they encounter… The Mummy! Nearly 20 years before Universal had Tom Cruise fight against a bandaged undead Egyptian, they managed to give the runt of their canon a kick ass action reboot. While not quite as horror driven as some would want, The Mummy from 1999 is a rousing action adventure ride that continues the mantle of Indiana Jones better than most imitators. Or even Dr. Jones himself, with Crystal Skull. Yet, there’s still plenty of horror imagery to go around as our heroes run away from an army of the undead!

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 17 – The Mummy (1999)

The year is 1999. The world hadn’t had an Indiana Jones adventure in ten years. There hadn’t been a popular film with a mummy since the final days of Hammer. A young Brendan Fraser was stealing America’s hearts in Encino Man and George of the Jungle. All three were just begging to be combined into one glorious package. That vessel was The Mummy, a fun action adventure story with a few pieces of horror imagery thrown in. Before director Stephen Summer disappointed horror purists with Van Helsing, he made them begrudgingly smile at Brendan Fraser shooting a mummy a running in terror. It’s a classic example of a breezy summer ride before those got incredibly over convoluted and gray.

Now, with the recent release of Universal’s newest bandaged monster movie, Thomas Mariani invites Adam Thomas and Bill Mulligan on to talk about this beloved hit. They praise the mixture of practical and computer visual effects, particularly the early use of motion capture. There’s much praise for Brendan Fraser’s charms and Rachel Weisz’s infectious inquisitive nature. Even a bit of appreciation for playful dabblings in the mythology of The Mummy mythology. Plus, there’s some pondering about the prospects of a Dark Universe and why “everyone wants to be Marvel.” You can hear all of it by plugging this one into your earholes!

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 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

Blade (1998)

 

post

Ed Wood (1994) – Episode 16 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“Oh what do you know. Haven’t you heard of suspension of disbelief?” Edward D. Wood Jr. (Johnny Depp) thinks he knows what the true craft of movie making is. Released in 1994, Tim Burton’s Ed Wood tells the story of a true underdog. A young man looking to carve out his place as a Hollywood filmmaker. Trouble is… he’s terrible at it. His scripts are incoherent. The sets are made of cardboard. And he can’t construct a shot to save his life. But he’s got one thing that all the other cheap guys don’t have: heart. And doesn’t that makeup for a complete lack of talent?

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 16 – Ed Wood (1994)

Despite winning two Oscars, Ed Wood didn’t set the world on fire in 1994. Coming after Tim Burton’s controversial Batman ReturnsEd Wood felt like a major departure for the director. After making big splashes with genre-driven films like Edward Scissorhands or Batman, a dramedy biopic about the man responsible for Plan 9 from Outer Space seemed like a sudden turn. Yet, there’s a lot of Burton’s usual subject matter here. Ed Wood is a very much the misunderstood loner protagonist Burton relates to, finding solace in a weird group of friends. There’s socialite actor Bunny Breckinridge (Bill Murray), TV psychic showman Criswell (Jeffrey Jones) and barely intelligible wrestler Tor Johnson (George “The Animal” Steele). However, the strongest connection is with washed up monster icon Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau). Lugosi becomes a mentor of sorts for Ed, as Ed helps him cope with addiction and depression. A beautiful friendship that resulted in gloriously bad cinema.

To delve into all of this, Thomas Mariani enlists the help of Kaycee Jarrard. A fellow podcaster and writer, Kaycee shares a love for the old school Universal Monsters with Thomas. Naturally, Ed Wood became the must-cover topic. Sure, it isn’t a horror film, but it’s tied to centrally to both horror history and the nature of horror fandom. The group of misfits Ed Wood buddies up with are reminiscent of the type of lovable oddballs you find in the horror fan community. Kaycee and Thomas also discuss the lack of need for factual basis in a biopic, how much they miss Johnny Depp trying and how true this is to Tim Burton’s directorial spirit. Well, at least more than a live action Dumbo probably will.

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 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

The Mummy (1999)

post

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.

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 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.

Next Episode

Twin Peaks: The Series and Fire Walk With Me

post

Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Episode 11 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.” Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) says the iconic line that launched a thousand parodies. 25 year – nearly to the day – after sweeping the Academy Awards, Silence of the Lambs has become a cultural touchstone that people still recognize to this day. The interplay between Dr. Lecter and Agent Claire Starling (Jodie Foster) live on in the annals of horror history. Then again, is this groundbreaking piece of cinema a horror film? A thriller? A romantic comedy? It’ll take a reunion of some experts from the Hannibal Fan Podcast to make that kind of call.

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 11 – Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Silence of the Lambs is only the third and so far last film to sweep the five big Oscar categories: Best Actor, Actress, Screenplay, Director & Picture. An amazing feat, but one that still remains earned. Following a young FBI agent at the end of her training, Clarice Starling is out to find the shadowy serial killer known as Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). While on the hunt, she visits the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane to interview psychiatrist/disturbed cannibal Dr. Hannibal Lecter as to Bill’s actions. The back and forth between the two quickly becomes a mind game, one that’s brilliantly written by Ted Tally (based on Thomas Harris’ novel) and directed with delicate control by Jonathan Demme. One intelligent study of the insane vs. the sane that spawned multiple sequels and copycats alike.

To suss out all of this, Thomas gets the band back together from the Hannibal Fan Podcast for a reunion! Doc Rotten speaks to the intimate close ups Demme uses to get us into the characters. Dave Dreher denotes the lingering horror of the tension filled finale. Christopher G. Moore gushes about every frame of his second favorite film of all time. While denoting some datedness, Thomas can’t help but marvel at the cohesively constructed Silence of the Lambs. This band of Hannibal fans discuss the iconic performances, legendary characters and masterful horror on display. Plus, there’s a bit of fan casting for Bryan Fuller if he ever returns to the world of Thomas Harris. Bryan: call 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 podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy.

Call to Action: Vote For Episode 13!

Decades of Horror the 1990s needs your help! We need to find a topic for episode #13 and we’re asking YOU to vote on it! In the below link, vote for how excited you’d be for each individual option from Golden (super excited) to Dead (not excited at all). The one with the greatest average will be chosen. Deadline to vote is April 1st! You can vote here.

Next Episode

Perfect Blue (1998)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Blu-ray Screenshot

post

Night of the Living Dead (1990) w/ Tom Savini – Episode 09 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“They’re us. We’re them and they’re us.” Barbara (Patricia Tallman) tries to make sense of the madness in Night of the Living Dead, a 90s remake of an icon entry in the horror genre. It’s a tough task to remake a film that changed the face of horror cinema. Who could be up to that task? Only the man who helped to evolve the zombie concept following the original. Yes, Mr. Tom Savini was the man behind recontextualizing for a new generation and he’s here to talk all about it!

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 09 – Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Taking the basic plot of the original, Night of the Living Dead constantly subverts expectations. Just when you think something from the original band is gonna happen, WHAM! A surprising zombie or character moment pops in to mix things up. The most noteworthy examples is definitely the new version of Barabara. Formerly a weak willed scream queen, this newer version develops from a scared girl into a defiant woman that carries along her fellow characters. Helped along by Ben (an early role for Tony Todd) and constantly pulled back by Harry Cooper (Tom Towles), this group feels more authentic. The shouting matches against each other are often just as brutal as the zombie kills themselves. It’s an underappreciated gem of a remake in a decade where many classics were horribly mutilated beyond recognition by far lesser filmmakers.

Along the ride with Thomas Mariani are Horror News Radio correspondent Dave Dreher, Decades of Horror: The Classic Era co-host Chad Hunt and goremaster special effects maestro himself Tom Savini! Despite some technical difficulties, Savini lays out many of the behind the scene turmoils that plagued him during production on Night of the Living Dead. A nasty divorce, production setbacks and backstabbing crew members all gave Tom Savini a massive headache on his first stab as a feature film director. He describes some of the massive sequences he storyboarded that couldn’t get shot, the lingering friendships he’s made with the cast and his eventual appreciation for the film so many years later. It’s an out-of-formula episode that’s not to be missed! You can find out more about Tom Savini’s upcoming projects and special effects school on his official website.

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.

post

Exorcist III (1990) – Episode 6 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“It is NOT in the file. It is not!” Lt. William Kinderman (George C. Scott) isn’t having any of this as he investigates the bizarre murders that note the return of The Gemini Killer. But these killings aren’t the only returning evil in Exorcist III. Kinderman must contend with the ghosts of his past as the come to haunt and destroy the friends and family he holds dear. The irrational reigns supreme over the rational as the line between man and meat puppet blurs. Hopefully, Thomas Mariani can make these murky waters far clearer as he talks Exorcist III.

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 06 – Exorcist III (1990)

After the multi Academy award winning The Exorcist and the infamously disastrous Exorcist II: The HereticExorcist III ended up sort of being lost in the shuffle. In a decade full of sequels to classic horror films that stood out for better or worse, Exorcist III merely existed in a vacuum that resulted in just enough profits to cover its budget. 27 years later, Exorcist III has gained a cult status for its out of the box conventions. William Peter Blatty – author of the original Exorcist novel and the Academy Award winning screenwriter for the film adaptation – stepped into the writer/director role for this outing, creating a horror film that took the uncinematic and made it cinematic. This story chooses to focus on some of the side characters from the original, as Lt. Kinderman investigates a series of murders that lead him straight to the rebirth of a serial killer with demonic connotations. Exorcist III has a phenomenally eerie vibe, thanks to some building tension of its mystery and powerful theatrical performances from George C. Scott and Brad Dourif.

Joining Thomas for this episode is returning co-host Doc Rotten. The two discuss the troubled production of Exorcist III, with particular emphasis on the recently released Director’s Cut made available on the recent Scream Factory blu ray release. Whether or not the studio’s decision to reshoot many of Brad Dourif’s scenes with The Exorcist star Jason Miller is heavily debated, particularly with the rather elaborate exorcism climax that literally drops a character in out of thin air. There’s also plenty of talk about the moody lighting, grounded dialogue and one of the most effective jump scares in horror history. It’s a lively discussion that makes the two question their faith in podcasting. They also question why the hell Fabio and Patrick Ewing are in this movie, as would anyone.

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.

post

Scream (1996) – Episode 5 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“My Mom and Dad are gonna be so mad at me!” The squeals of Stuart (Matthew Lillard) sounded the sirens of satire and scares inherent in Wes Craven’s Scream. Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this month, this tale of teenagers who are aware of horror film tropes changed the dwindling landscape of mainstream horror at the time of release. It also signaled more than a few flimsy copycats that tried and failed to bring that same spirit of satiric anarchy to the world of the slasher. Was Scream a good or bad thing for horror? Thomas Mariani and his special guest have a lot to say on that matter.

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 05 – Scream (1996)

Featuring a solid roster of young talent for the time and an awareness of the tropes everyone became all too familiar with in the post-80s boom of the slasher genre, Scream spoke to the Blockbuster generation that became too aware to be scared. Now, with a killer who was just as ahead of the game as those he was trying to kill, all bets were off. Right from the moment Drew Barrymore gets slashed in the prologue, no one was safe. Everyone’s a suspect. Everyone’s a potential victim. All of this is unveiled in a story that features the young and capable Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), lovable oaf of a police officer Dewey (David Arquette) and the opportunistic Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) at the center. Throw in a few familiar faces to the decade and the longest party scene in cinematic history and you’ve got yourself a recipe for mayhem and references to classic horror.

Joining Thomas on this post-modern journey is his Decades of Horror 1980s co-host and award winning filmmaker Christopher G. Moore. Together, this pair discuss the unique stamp Scream brought to a genre that seemed to be dying with the final traditional breaths of the 80s slashers. There’s talk of how negative the impact Scream had on the genre, what the line is between a reference & smugness and just how many of these cast members peaked here. What? Everyone knows Jamie Kennedy didn’t peak until Son of the Mask, right? It’s a tantalizing discussion that can’t be missed!

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.

post

The Frighteners (1996) – Episode 3 – Decades of Horror 1990s

“When a man’s jawbone drops off it’s time to reassess the situation,” a declaration from Judge (John Astin) that says it all. No, you’re not the only one seeing ghosts and haunted houses in your small town. So is Thomas Mariani as he brings you another trip into the horror filled decade that is the 1990s.

Decades of Horror 1990s
Episode 03 – The Frighteners (1996)

Right at the crossroads between his low budget splatstick films and his massive budgets epics, director Peter Jackson gave us the perfect crossover of aesthetics with The Frighteners. While not a hit at the time, the film gave Peter Jackson his chance to adapt The Lord of the Rings. Sure, this couldn’t be more different from the story of Hobbits trying to stop evil, but The Frighteners showed off the technical gumption that would be necessary for tackling Middle Earth. The story of Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox), a private investigator who can communicate with ghosts, trying to stop a mysterious string of murders that might be supernatural is one filled with equal parts horror and comedy. Bannister and his ghost pals – including former gangster Cyrus (Chi McBride) and Judge (John Astin) – try to con people into paranormal investigation jobs, but can they truly fight against mortal enemies like Milton Dammers (Jeffrey Combs) or the ghostly Reaper?

Joining Thomas to discuss all the laughs and frights is another new voice outside of The Grue Crew for everyone to hear. His name is Jordan Worth Cobb, a filmmaker and writer who loves Jackson’s odd take on the supernatural. Together, they talk about the still impressive effects work, the gorgeous horror atmosphere and the underrated acting chops of Michael J. Fox. If you’re curious to hear more from Jordan, you can check out his twitter @JoWoCo and his writing on Don’t Hate The Geek for all his pop culture thoughts.

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.

frighteners002 frighteners003 frighteners-evil frighteners-evil2 frighteners-fox2 frighteners-mcbride

post

Decades of Horror: The 1970s

Beginning in 2014, Santos Ellin Jr (The Black Saint) and Doc Rotten travel back in time to the 1970s to revisit, recap and review all their favorite classics – and not-so-classic – films of the decade. Films like Blacula, The Brood, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, The Car and The Incredible Melting Man are among the list that also include better known films such as The Omen, Halloween, The Exorcist and Jaws. All the greats, the crap, the exploitation and the grindhouse masterpieces are set to get scrutinized and adorned by Doc and the Black Saint – and some of their closest and newest friends.