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In the Mouth of Madness (1995) – Episode 39 – Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond

“Do you read Sutter Cane?” It’s the question on everyone’s lips. Well, everyone except John Trent (Sam Neill), an insurance investigator out to find the truth. Always has the upper hand on any situation, including the disappearance of mmega-successfulhorror author Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow). Of course, the world of Cane has so much more to reveal to Trent. Sights that may just make his head explode into a million pieces… or just wander in an endless existence. Whatever is the will of the Elder Gods behind it all. Join us as we sink further In the Mouth of Madness for Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 39 – In the Mouth of Madness (1995)

In the Mouth of Madness was quite the departure for John Carpenter. Coming of the heels of the disastrous turn to comedy that was Memoirs of the Invisible Man, this Lovecraftian dip into unimaginable horror wasn’t quite what usually fit the image of Carpenter’s filmography. Then again, maybe it did? The mysterious terror of Halloween‘s “The Shape”, the cosmic unknown realms of Prince of Darkness and the underground society of those controlling us in They Live have Lovecraftian themes. In the Mouth of Madness just made it all the more literal with direct references to the works of HP Lovecraft and some demonic Eldrich Gods added into the mix.

To comment on all of this madness, Thomas Mariani inlists Caitlin Turner, Adam Thomas and Paul Cardullo to talk In the Mouth of Madness. It’s a Lovecraftian Lovefest as the four all praise this as one of Carpenter’s more underrated works. Paul praises the lack of what we see from the monsters. Adam considers Sam Neill’s performance to be only second to Jurassic Park. Caitlin praises the ability to adapt Lovecraft without being a direct adaptation. Thomas is just staring deep into Sutter Cane’s blue dueling pupils. Visit Caitlin’s book blog mentioned in the show here and about The Hateful Life and Spiteful Death of The Man who Was Vigo the Carpathian here.

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

The Others (2001)

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Beetlejuice (1988) – Episode 132 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It’s Showtime!” Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) gets his show on the road. So why not listen as The Grue Crew does the same?! Celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, Beetlejuice was the film that launched Tim Burton’s career. A horror comedy covered in spirals, normalcy satire and gothic pondering that made Burton the most mainstream recognized auteur of the modern era. However, does Beetlejuice make us Shake Senora or does it deserved to be gobbled up by a sandworm? Tune in and find out!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 132 – Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice is an odd choice for a titular character, given he’s only in about 17 minutes of the final film. Then again, Keaton’s a pop culture creep with a disgusting charm who makes a huge impression for the limited time. Yet, our protagonists are the newly deceased couple of Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Martha Maitland (Geena Davis) who are stuck in their home and can’t stop it from being sold to new owners. Those new owners are The Deetzes, including the goth daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) who can see them.. The Maitlands need to get these folks out of their eternal resting place, so they utilize the world of the dead’s rules to their advantage and get the titular ghoul to help out. Betrayal, stop motion and Harry Belafonte ensue from there.

Thomas, Doc Rotten, and Christopher G. Moore crack open their copies of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased to decipher Beetlejuice. Doc admits having fallen back in love with this after some Tim Burton overexposure. Christopher G. Moore revels in his love for all things striped and goth. Thomas just loves how the character and world building meld so well. There’s appreciation for everything from the production design to the diverse musical soundtrack to Dick Cavett’s underrated acting ability. Plus they all agree that “…IT KEEPS GETTIN’ FUNNIER, EVERY TIME THEY SEE IT!”

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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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

The Gate (1987), Our Patreon Poll Winner!

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Army of Darkness (1993) – Episode 38 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This… is my BOOMSTICK!” One of many unforgettable one liners that Ash (Bruce Campbell) spouts in Army of Darkness. The third in writer/director Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy is the cult favorite. For many, it’s the first film in the franchise they saw. It gave us the most recurring pop culture variation on Ash as a character. The strapping hero with a quippy zinger and a chainsaw hand at the ready. Now, with Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 in full swing, it’s only natural to take a look back at the film that makes many a fan scream “Hail to the King, Baby.”

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 38 – Army of Darkness (1993)

After the first Evil Dead was made for peanuts and Evil Dead II raised the production up to a modest low budget, Army of Darkness is a true studio blockbuster. Which is pretty odd considering the meager cult status of the first two. Yet, Universal and Dino De Laurentiis allowed Sam Raimi to go hog wild. And hog wild he did go. Pit demons, man eating books and an army of evil skeletons. All while having B movie sharp chin Campbell at the center. Between the surreal imagery and cartoonish slapstick, Army of Darkness is either your favorite of the trilogy or the one where it goes too far.

To debate this very topic, Thomas Mariani counts on the steel of Chad Hunt, Christopher G. Moore and Sam Brutuxan to break it down. Sam initially started with Army of Darkness and fell in love with the over the top comedy of the series. Christopher appreciated the darker roots of the original two and felt Army of Darkness went off the rails. Chad and Thomas just appreciate the weird Sam Raimi fly by the seat of your pants with the whole trilogy. The four ask the important questions about Army of Darkness. How did Ash get so buff within the span of a week in which the trilogy takes place? Does Ash vs Evil Dead carry on the legacy of the franchise well? Do skeletons have sex drives? All the answers are a click away!

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

In The Mouth of Madness (1995)

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Night of the Creeps (1986) – Episode 131 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“What is this? A homicide, or a bad B-movie?” Detective Ray Cameron (Tom Atkins) asks a trick question with an obvious answer. It’s both. Then again, Night of the Creeps isn’t really bad by any stretch. A sci-fi horror comedy for the ages, Night of the Creeps tells a simple story. One of college love, space slugs, and zombies from the grave. Haven’t we gotten enough of those, guys? Well, writer/director Fred Dekker at least manages to inject some B-movie fan charm in the proceedings in ways that anyone can get behind. The good news is Night of the Creeps is here on Decades of Horror 1980s. The bad news is… nothing, actually. Hooray!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 131 – Night of the Creeps (1986)

Night of the Creeps is the story of two college freshman who – in order to impress a fraternity – awaken a long frozen zombie and unleash chaos on a sleepy college town. Only depressed drunken Detective Cameron (Tom Atkins) can save the day while facing against demons of his past. While Night of the Creeps didn’t make a big splash in theaters back in the summer of 1986, it managed to become a cult favorite on video. Not a surprise, given it’s a mash of sci-fi aliens, ax-murdering killers and Tom Atkins dishing out one-liners. A rollicking good time that goes from space to 50s Americana to the nightmarish world of mid-80s college sex romp. It’s got everything and the kitchen sink… Dick Miller! There’s plenty of terror, romance and “thrill me”s to go around.

To dissect all the remaining gory bits of mayhem, Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani are here and hopefully, the space slugs won’t get them first! Marvel as Christopher admits the influence Night of the Creeps had on one of his short films. Shudder as Doc realizes he hasn’t seen the Director’s Cut ending that crept up on him upon this watch. Ponder with Thomas at the possibility of a Tom Atkins detective story comeback movie. Plus, plenty of discussions about Fred Dekker’s love of the genre, distinguishing between Kevin Pollack & David Paymer and making a drinking game out of all the director name tributes. Of course, we don’t condone irresponsible drinking. You’ll be dead within the first 20 minutes. Or at least screaming like banshees! Heh heh… “screaming like banshees.”

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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

Beetlejuice (1988)

 

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Get Out (2017) – Episode 37 – Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond

“I want your eye, man. I want those things you see through.” Jim Hudson (Stephen Root) reveals the true purpose of injecting himself into Chris Washington’s (Daniel Kaluuya) brain. Get Out was the movie of 2017. Released nearly a year ago, it managed to capture the paranoia, oppressively bleak and gradually bizarre facets the 10 months that would follow. It lasted so long in the popular consciousness that it earned writer/director Jordan Peele multiple Academy Award™ nominations. Yet, why exactly has Get Out maintained just a hold over the cultural zeitgeist? To examine this, Thomas enlists the help of a few friends who may just relate to the struggles Chris has. Luckily, they haven’t gone through the Coagula transplant… or have they?!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 37 – Get Out (2017)

Get Out is a story of simmering racial tension. Jordan Peele decided to go with not an overtly racist family of white folks as the antagonist. No, instead Chris must go up against the seemingly well-meaning if an unintentionally cringy family of his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams). While the seemingly harmless Dean (Bradley Whitford) and Missy Armitage (Catherine Keener) are very inviting, something sinister lies beneath their smiles. Especially with the unusually chipper house staff of Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson) who make Chris raise a few eyebrows. Hopefully, he can raise his legs quick enough to Get Out before things get too crazy.

Even though Thomas just discussed Get Out on a Horror News Radio episode a little under a year ago, he just had to get a new one out. Not just because of the Oscar nominations or February being Black History Month. No, the big reason was simply this; there weren’t any black people on a Gruesome Magazine podcast discussing the film yet. So, Thomas enlists familiar voices Yonathan Habtemichael and Shakyl Lambert as well as newcomer Torrey Depina to discuss Get Out as a film that represents the Black experience. Yes, even a horror film like Get Out speaks to race relations, cultural fetishization, and systemic oppression. But don’t worry. There’s plenty of silly talk about Denzel Washington, wrestling and horror cliches to lighten the mood.

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

Army Of Darkness (1993)

 

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The Evil Dead (1981) – Episode 130 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You bastards. Why are you torturing me like this? WHY?!” Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) ponders this aloud to the Deadites torturing them. Or maybe this question is more directed toward writer/director Sam Raimi hauling abuse at Bruce. Either way, The Evil Dead is definitely a punishing film, both toward its cast and the audience. Every time someone gets stabbed in the ankle or thrown into a bookshelf, both the actor and the audience feels it. Raimi started his illustrious career with this independent horror flick and it sure did shape where he’d go from here. There’s gore, mayhem and low budget craziness abound. Might as well… JOIN US for it!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 130– The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead is sort of a black sheep in the franchise from a modern perspective. While Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness resemble more of what fans love about the franchise, The Evil Dead is a straight-up horror film with little comedy to be found. Basically, the foundation from which the surreal comedy would spring forth.  That doesn’t mean it’s without merit. By no means. Sam Raimi even this early has so many dynamic camera moves that would later revolutionize blockbusters with Spider-Man. Helps that Bruce Campbell gets the crap beat out of him.

To talk all things The Evil Dead, Christopher G. Moore, Doc Rotten and Thomas Mariani are joined by Adam Thomas. Thomas discusses the evolution of the franchise. Christopher elaborates on how big an influence Sam Raimi had on his young filmmaker mind. Doc talks about how much it created the cabin in the woods genre. Adam winces while describing how brutal Campbell’s painful moments are. Listen to find out all the details!

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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

Night of the Creeps (1986)

 

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Misery (1990) – Episode 36 – Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond

“He didn’t get out of the cock-a-doodie car!” Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) won’t be taking any guff from her favorite author Paul Sheldon (James Caan) about cliffhangers. Which isn’t ideal for Paul. At the mercy of his number one fan who’s abusive and pretty much off her rocker. Paul’s in pain and needs to get out real quick. One could say his situation leaves him in… Misery. Based on the acclaimed novel from Stephen King, Misery helped legitimize the horror genre in the 90s with an Academy Award-winning performance. However, how does it hold up to this day? The answers are contained in Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 36 – Misery (1990)

Misery was based on a novel that writer Stephen King said was a metaphor for his substance abuse. Yet, the film adaptation feels more like a meditation on fandom. Kathy Bates’ Oscar-winning turn as Annie Wilkes feels like a meditation on the type of fans we see on a daily basis on the internet. After saving Paul from a blizzard, she forces him to essentially write her fan fiction. All in order to bring back Paul’s titular character from the dead. It’s a brutal case of holding a twist on the captive audience. Rather, it’s the captive writer providing a story for is captor.

To break down all of this, Thomas Mariani enlists Dave Dreher, Scott Johnson, and Kaycee Jarrard. Resident Stephen King expert Dave describes how well the novel embodied everything he imagined while reading the novel. Kaycee notes how James Caan’s performance really is one that needed to be played by a supporting actor. Scott notes just how scarily accurate this ends up being to modern fan culture. Thomas notes how this is part of the damn impressive first decade of Rob Reiner’s career. Truly, they know that Misery loves company.

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

Get Out (2017)

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The Mutations (1974) – Episode 68 – Decades of Horror 1970s

“It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature…… it can be HORRIFYING!” the overzealous tagline for The Mutations (1974), aka The Freakmaker, promises a monster film for the ages. To be fair, some stills from the film of the main “Venus-fly-trap” monster may back up that claim. However, most of the Grue Crew may beg to differ. And, then, there’s Bill. Doc Rotten and Jeff Mohr are joined by Chad Hunt and Bill Mulligan to discuss this nearly forgotten British gem. Special guest host Adam Thomas settles in to help put Donald Pleasence in his place.

Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 68 – The Mutations (1974)

Learning that Vincent Price was the first actor cast as Professor Nolter in JackCardiff’s The Mutations puts a lot of that role into perspective. With Donald Pleasence (Halloween) settling into the part in Price’s place leaves all the necessary scene chewing off the cuff. But, hey, we still love as much Donald Pleasence as we can get. The fan-favorite fourth Doctor, Tom Baker (The Vault of Horror, Doctor Who) plays Lynch, Nolter’s “henchmen” who continually gathers the mad scientist victims for his evil experiments…all in hopes that the good doctor will cure him of his deformities. In a subplot. Lynch is also the leader of a troop of “freaks” (as they are called in the film) who entertain patrons at a local amusement sideshow. Enter in a group of Nolter’s students who get in the way of the madman’s plot, including Julie Ege (The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires) as Hedi. Before you know it, Hedi’s friend Tony (Scott Anthony) is kidnapped by Lynch and turned into a horrific monster by Nolter. Chaos ensues. Hurray!

Both Doc and Bill fondly remember reading about The Mutations in Famous Monsters in the Seventies but were unable to catch the film until much later. Bill a decade or so ago, but Doc only this week for this show. Both were eager to watch the film to discuss here on Decades of Horror along with Chad and guest host Adam Thomas. However, while the finale is fun with the monster finally set loose and on the rampage, the plot meanders through each of its loosely connected subplots. Bill still champions the film while Adam curses Doc’s name. Oh, dear. There’s plenty to discuss, speculate, demonize, and enjoy with The Mutations and the Grue Crew cover it all.

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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From Beyond (1986) – Episode 129 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It ate him… bit off his head… like a gingerbread man!” Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) is mystified by the powers of creatures coming from The Resonator in From Beyond. The second HP Lovecraft adaptation from writer/director Stuart Gordon didn’t blow up cult audiences nearly as much as Re-Animator upon its initial release. Yet, this feature adaptation is far closer to Lovecraft than most other versions of his stories out there. It’s a bizarre, disorienting and – above all – goopy take on the legendary sci-fi/horror author. One that’s clamoring for a dissection right here on Decades of Horror 1980s!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 129 – From Beyond (1986)

From Beyond did not ignite much attention when originally released. Shocker that a sci-fi horror story of BDSM, goopy mutation and body unraveling wasn’t a mainstream hit. Yet, one can’t help but be charmed now by Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) trying to find out about this gap between humanity & alternative dimension aliens. Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel) comes into our realm to show her. Thought the good doctor may not want the type of experimentation Dr. Pretorious is showing off. Hopefully, the pineal glands stay inside foreheads this time.

Here to describe all the bizarre horror of From Beyond is Doc Rotten, Thomas Mariani, and Christopher G. Moore. Thomas starts off by giving the apt adjective of “goopy.” Doc has so much appreciation for the way Jeffrey Combs runs downstairs. Christopher takes a pause to mention how Lovecraftian this film is in comparison to Re-Animator and several other adaptations that followed. Unfortunately, Cthulhu doesn’t show up to emphasize all this horror. Instead, there’s plenty of goop to talk about! Just… make sure it doesn’t get on your shoes.

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 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

The Evil Dead (1981)

 

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Man Bites Dog (1993) – Episode 35 – Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond

“Cinema! CINEMA!” Ben (Benoit Poelvoorde) celebrates his place in cinematic history to the empty buildings outside. Of course, it’s merely an echo chamber for his own inflated ego. An ego he’s bound to feed with continuous bouts of homicide. And it’s all captured in Man Bites Dog, the French/Belgian mockumentary that’s been crucial to the found footage and horror genres in general in the quarter of a century since its release. Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond goes classy with a film about human ugliness, urban decay and the line between filmmaker & subject. Still, there’s plenty of gore to be had. Ça semble excitant!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 35 – Man Bites Dog (1993)

Man Bites Dog is a challenging experience. We follow serial killer Ben as documentarians Remy and Andre (played by Poelvoorde’s co-writers/directors Remy Belavaux and Andre Bonzel) film his exploits. Right from the start, Ben is killing innocent men and women without much remorse. It’s how he makes ends meet. Kill a postman. Dump a body over a bridge. Invade an old person’s house to find their stashed away money. As any professional murderer would do. Yet, he’s not a discrete assassin without humanity. He’s got a girlfriend and family he loves as well as a personable charisma that engages the audience. Which makes the horror all the more disturbing and the actions of Remy and Andre being seduced sadly relatable.

To talk about the complex aspects of Man Bites Dog, Thomas brings on two new voices to the show. One is the founder of FoundFootageCritic.com Michael Steinberg. The other is video essayist Shannon Strucci of StrucciMovies. Michael educates the group about the history of found footage and why Man Bites Dog is a crucial early example. Shannon admits her complete adoration for the confrontational daring on display. Thomas rangles all this together by keeping the influences made and the homages that came later. This is more of a thinking man’s episode as we dissect the Criterion Collection entry for all the disturbing truths in unveils about humanity in glorious black and white.

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

Misery (1990)