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[Podcast] The Devil’s Backbone (2001) – Episode 31 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“A ghost is me.” Dr. Casares (Federico Luppi) finally comes to terms with what he has become. As we all must do when facing The Devil’s Backbone. Following the infamous production problems of Mimic, writer/director Guillermo Del Toro left Hollywood for a moment to collect himself. The film spawned from this – The Devil’s Backbone – is a fascinating look at isolation, loss, and destitution as a group of orphans try to fight for their lives. All while a mysterious spectre lurks in the basement. Thomas and his co-hosts are here to taste test that weird fetus juice as they dive into Del Toro in honor of his upcoming film The Shape of Water.

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 31 – The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

While considered an older sibling to Guillermo Del Toro’s big Oscar nomination heavy splash Pan’s LabyrinthThe Devil’s Backbone often feels left alone in the dust. Much like young Carlos (Fernando Tielve) is at the orphanage of Dr. Casares and his wife Carmen (Marisa Paredes). Carlos often gets picked on by the other orphans, particularly as Jaimie (Inigo Garces) picks on him. He eventually starts seeing some mysterious shapes and shadows, only to find out that this orphanage is haunted by the ghost of a young boy named Santi (Junio Valverde). Is this ghost out to kill or to protect the children?

Well, Thomas and his guests Caitlin Turner, Adam Thomas and Christopher G. Moore are here to answer such a crucial question. The Devil’s Backbone is discussed at length by these four. All of them wonder why it isn’t as well appreciated as other Del Toro films. Christopher G. Moore dishes out some intriguing trivia. Caitlin appreciates the more female gaze perspective. Adam is still frozen with tension at that door scene. Thomas just wants to know why the hell that one lady trying putting out a gas fire with a blanket. All this and more is revealed as they dive directly into The Devil’s Backbone.

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The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

Next Episode

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

 

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The Uninvited (1944) – Episode 18 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of Devonshire and Cornwall and Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here… and sea fog… and eerie stories…’’ Oooo, that’s some pretty scary stuff! (Channeling a little Second City TV) Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era crew – Erin Miskell, Chad Hunt, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as we journey to the haunted shores and brave the classic ghost story, The Uninvited (1944).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 18 – The Uninvited (1944)

The Uninvited is based on Uneasy Freehold, a novel by Dorothy Macardle, and adapted for the screen by Frank Partos and Dodie Smith. It is considered to be the first real ghost story that isn’t predominantly a comedy and includes genuine supernatural elements.

The story follows Pamela Fitzgerald (Ruth Hussey) and her brother Roderick (Ray Milland) as they fall in love with and purchase a house on the haunted shore. It doesn’t take long for strange sounds and manifestations to spook the siblings. They try getting answers from the house’s previous owner Commander Beech (Donald Crisp) and his granddaughter Stella Meredith (Gail Russell) but to no avail.They are then introduced to the enigmatic Miss Holloway (Cornelia Otis Skinner) who only creates more questions without providing any answers. They soon band with the local doctor (Alan Napier) and the three strive to solve the mystery of the house’s haunting. The main cast receives marvelous support from Barbara Everest as Lizzie Flynn, the domestic help; and Dorothy Stickney as Miss Bird, an eccentric resident of an insane asylum.

The film benefits from not only a stellar cast and source material but an equally stellar crew. Director Lewis Allen’s first feature, The Uninvited sports a crew that includes Oscar and other award winners such as Charles Lang (cinematographer), Victor Young (music), Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté (art directors), Edith Head (costume designer), and Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings (visual effects).

If you’re paying attention, you’ll find out which of this episode’s Grue Crew mad each of these statements:

  • “(She) was the kind of dame that didn’t like film noir.”
  • “It’s like the old Ed Sullivan Show with the plate spinner …”
  • “She’s got the big neon sign.”
  • “Viva la Lucha Libre!”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (1969-70), hosted by Joseph Perry.

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 films 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, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

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