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Salem’s Lot (1979) – Episode 69 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“Open the window, Mark. Please! Let me in! It’s OK, Mark, I’m your friend. He commands it!” If a floating Glick boy ever says this to you, no matter what, don’t open the window!  Doc Rotten is off on assignment for this episode, but regular hosts Jeff Mohr, Bill Mulligan, and Chad Hunt are joined by Joey Fittos, the Thug with a Mug, as they travel to the not-so-quaint and disturbing New England village of Salem’s Lot to discuss the equally disturbing 1979 miniseries, Salem’s Lot.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 69 – Salem’s Lot (1979)

The literary juggernaut known as Stephen King had already made the book-to-movie transition with Brian De Palma’s Carrie (1976) when Warner Brothers Television decided to adapt ‘Salem’s Lot, King’s second novel, to the TV miniseries format. Horror icon Tobe Hooper was enlisted to direct as was Paul Monash to provide the screenplay adaptation of King’s novel for an all star cast that includes James Mason, David Soul, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Reggie Nalder, Geoffrey Lewis, George Dzundza, Julie Cobb, Elisha Cook Jr., Marie Windsor, Fred Willard, Ed Flanders, Kenneth McMillan, and more. The result was Salem’s Lot, a now legendary, 2-part miniseries first broadcast November 1979 on CBS.

Each of this episode’s Grue Crew viewed Salem’s Lot during its premiere broadcast. Joey proclaims Salem’s Lot as one of his all time favorite horror films. Bill also loved it, but was a little put out by specific scenes present in King’s novel that are not included in the miniseries. David Soul (Starsky and Hutch, 1975-79) as the star gave Jeff some misgivings prior to seeing the film and he was annoyed at first by the changes made in the transformation of his beloved ‘Salem’s Lot (the book) into Salem’s Lot (the movie). It didn’t take long, however, for him to be won over by what was, in truth, an excellent horror film. Chad, along with Joey and Bill, in hindsight, saw definite similarities between Salem’s Lot and Fright Night (1985).

The film’s over 3-hour runtime is surprisingly even-paced and despite the length, the viewer is never caught wondering how much time is left. Scenes that have been frozen in your grue Crew’s nightmares are discussed, including, but not limited to, the floating Glick boys and Geoffrey Lewis in a rocking chair. The story is so well told, there are several unscary scenes that are memorable for their dialogue or visual impact alone. Salem’s Lot gets an enthusiastic thumbs-up from the whole Crew.

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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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.