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“They’re all going to laugh at you! They’re all going to laugh at you!” – Margaret White’s desperate pleading rings in her daughter’s mind as she is consumed with rage after she is bathed in pig’s blood at her senior prom in Brian De Palma’s horror classic CARRIE (1976). It’s the moment horror fans in the 1970s will never forget, when Carrie White wipes out most of the student body during the conclusion of the adaptation of Stephen King’s first novel. The Black Saint and Doc Rotten tackle another groovy horror film from the 1970s. Joining the grue-crew for Carrie are award winning director Christopher G. Moore and Gruesome Magazine contributor Jeff Mohr.
Decades of Horror 1970s
Episode 42 — Carrie (1976)
Watching CARRIE now 40 years after it debuted on theater screens across the US, the film continues to astonish, frighten, and impress with its terrific cast, its terrifying story and its fantastic direction and score. The film hits home with teen anguish of being accepted in high school, fears of the unknown, and the lasting effects of guilt and rage. Carrie stars two fantastic actresses as Carrie White and her mother Margaret, both of whom were nominated for Oscars for their roles in the film. Sissy Specek leads the film as Carrie while Piper Laurie returns from a 15 year hiatus to star as her mother. Betty Buckley stars as Carrie’s gym teacher, sensitive to Carrie’s plight. Amy Irving, Nancy Allan, and P.J. Soles are cast as her school mates who tease and torment her. William Katt is Tommy Ross who catches Carrie’s eye. And John Travolta is…well…Vinnie Barbarino. Dwerp. Brian De Palma brings every trick he knows to the film from split screens during the prom scene to Split Diopter during many important glimpses of Carrie’s position in the story to a number of camera tricks lifted directly out of Alfred Hitchcock’s cinematic arsenal. Along with the fantastic score from Pino Donaggio, Carrie is a classic that stands today just as well as it did back in 1976.
Guest host Christopher G. Moore is a self professed De Palma fan, despite his unfavorable opinion of Phantom of the Paradise, proclaiming Carrie as one of his very favorite films, horror or otherwise. Jeff Mohr chimes in with fond memories of the film, including the finale that gets the grue-crew remembering the impact and reactions of Carrie’s final moments. Together with Doc and Santos, they even wager that Carrie is the best Stephen King adaptation even though it was the very first one. But it is the performances of Sissy Specek and Piper Laurie that truly anchor the film. Carrie’s tragic character arc and Margaret’s ill-fated antagonist make the film resonate to this day. The film is iconic, frightening and relevant – a must see, a genuine horror classic.
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