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Terror Train (1980) – Episode 127 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Did you say ‘all aboard’? That’s ridiculous! They can’t be bored. I haven’t even started.” Ed (Howard Busgang) does his best Groucho impression to annoy the train staff… and everyone else. Ed is just one of many slasher archetypes that populate the Terror Train on New Year’s Eve. Every college kid is wearing a different costume. The perfect claustrophobic area for a killer to hide. Can our heroine Alana (Jamie Lee Curtis) survive the night and get to the next stop? Take a listen to find out!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 127 – Terror Train (1980)

Terror Train was one of the early examples of the post-Halloween slasher boom of the 80s. Everyone was trying to take their crack at a contained low budget slasher. So, Canada figured “Why not have one take place on a train, eh?” Terror Train also manages to subvert a few things that others in the genre would stick to, mainly by not restricting the slasher to one costume. Our villain jumps from one outfit to the next in order to avoid detection. It’s a real case of misdirection with our killer…one that mirrors the magic on display throughout.

Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore, and Thomas Mariani are here to dissect all the magic of Terror Train. Or perhaps, lack thereof. There are a few moments of surprise here. Mainly with how many familiar faces of the 80s pop up. Keep your eyes peeled for The Wild Bunch‘s Ben Johnson, model Vanity, and Ellis from Die Hard himself Hart Bochner. And of course, magician David Copperfield. Then again, Terror Train stops dead many times to give him a spotlight, so he’s hard to miss. The trio also discusses the direction, the kills and of course its place in the decade. Some are fans, others aren’t. You’ll just have to listen to find out who is who. The answers may shock you.

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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!

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Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

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The Blob (1988) – Episode 126 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“I’ll be good I swear… I’ll never see a movie ever again.” Eddie Beckner (Douglas Emerson) tries to wrap his young mind around the horror that is The Blob. Thirty years after the iconic Steve McQueen vehicle became one of the definitive 1950s drive-in classics of the sci-fi/horror genre, director/writer Chuck Russell – along with his Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors co-writer Frank Darabont – took a stab at remaking it. While not a revered at the time, the remake of The Blob has gained some minor recognition as one of the better horror remakes out there. But does this digest well with the Decades of Horror 1980s crew or are they going to put that reputation on ice? Find out as they walk through a winter wonderland free of snow.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 126 – The Blob (1988)

The Blob decided to up the ante on one major aspect of the original film. 30 years after taboos on violence were a bit more lenient, Chuck Russell decided to show off as much gore and horror as possible with the concept. Right from when Paul (Donovan Leitch Jr) is consumed, The Blob shows that it is not afraid to kill at any moment. And brutally so. Perhaps this is why it failed as much as it did upon initial release.

Yet, there’s plenty to appreciate now as each of the hosts – Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore, and Thomas Mariani – take their own look back. Thomas marvels at the evolution of the look of the titular Blob from a jelly mold in the original to cancerous tumor here. Doc Rotten is surprised by just how many popular character actors show up. Christopher G. Moore notices all the nuances of set-up and pay-off written in by Frank Darabont. To hear even more details, take a listen! Plus, you’ll find out what a “bubblegum tongue” is. Or not. We’re still not sure, to be honest.

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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!

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Terror Train (1980)

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The Shining (1980) – Episode 125 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Great party, isn’t it?” The ghosts are all calling this party a big success. Congrats to Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) for pulling it off. Especially with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) constantly nagging him about “please don’t kill us.” Pfft. Family, am I right? The Shining is a pretty big example of Stephen King adaptations, one commonly derided for not being too close to the book. Did Stanley Kubrick’s lack of faithfulness stop it from being covered on the show? You’re damn right it didn’t!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 125 – The Shining (1980)

Based on the massive bestseller by Stephen King, The Shining isn’t too faithful to its source material. While the book heavily relies on knowing the madness behind Jack Torrance, Stanley Kubrick’s film is more external. It shows the madness for what it is. Presenting the irrational haunts in a rational fashion. This dichotomy is what creates the conflicts of the Torrance family as they fall apart. The Shining isn’t subtle, but the scares are just as big as Nicholson’s wails of “DANNY!” Plus, Kubrick helped revolutionized the Steadicam, creating smooth movements that revolutionized what cinema could be.

To celebrate all of this, Thomas, Doc Rotten, and Christopher G. Moore attend the Overlook Hotel’s July 4th Ball in the middle of winter. Now, some people on this crew admit they weren’t huge fans of Kubrick’s vision initially. Yet, it seems like there are a few converts to The Shining here. There’s praise all around for Kubrick’s direction, Nicholson’s performance, and the terrifying ghosts. However, there are also some crucial questions being asked. Could Chevy Chase have made a good Jack Torrance? Does Jack have “The Shine” like Danny? Wasn’t Scatman Crothers also Hong Kong Phooey? All these and more are answered, folks!

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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 Blob (1988)

 

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Q: The Winged Serpent (1982) – Episode 124 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Who the hell is going to believe a ritual sacrificial murder in 1982?!” Sgt Powell (Richard Roundtree) asking the question on everyone’s mind. Yet – in a film with a flying lizard creature, cop drama and an interpersonal struggle of an ex-junkie – a ritual sacrifice is the bottom barrel in the list of weird crap in Q The Winged Serpent. Our Patreon picked episode! Do we owe our friends a skyscraper roof sunbathing session? Or are we hoping they get covered in poop? Listen to find out!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 124 – Q The Winged Serpent (1982)

Q The Winged Serpent is a hodgepodge of so many film tropes. There’s the giant flying monster eating people, which is one we’re all more than familiar with. Leading to a buddy cop drama where Sgt. Powell and his partner Detective Sheppard (David Carradine) investigate the string of ritual sacrificial murders in the wake of this creature. Meanwhile, an ex-junkie turned thief (Michael Moriarty) becomes seduced by the power of the titular bird and holds leverage over the city while arguing with his girlfriend (Candy Clark). Needless to say, it’s all over the place.

To decipher all the plots, Christopher G. Moore, Thomas Mariani and Doc Rotten sit down to discuss Q The Winged Serpent in detail. Christopher is baffled by Michael Moriarty’s crazed performance. Thomas praises the barrage of influences that crafted a pretty unique package. Doc really wants to know what happened to all the poop. Regardless, they’re all very happy that the folks at Patreon gave them an interesting film to discuss. After all, how many monster flicks have improvised jazz piano? Exactly!

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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 Shining (1980)

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The Beyond (1981) – Episode 123 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You ungodly warlock! Because of you this hotel and this town will be cursed forever!” An angry mob storms the hotel of Schweick (Antoine Saint-John), a warlock trying to keep the 7th doorway to hell at bay. Or whatever the hell is happening in this opening as he’s covered in queso. The Beyond – like many a Lucio Fulci film – takes liberties with logic and forward momentum in story. There’s a lot more emphasis on the horror of the images rather than a traditional narrative structure. It’s an acquired taste. But who amongst the Decades of Horror 1980s crew acquired this taste? Listen to find out!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 123 – The Beyond (1981)

The Beyond is the middle chapter in Fulci’s Gates of Hell trilogy, following Gates of Hell (or City of the Living Dead) and just before The House By The Cemetery. While a loose trilogy, each has a Giallo sensibility that combines bright gore with nonsensical narratives. Outside of the basic premise of a young lady Liza (Catriona MacColl) inheriting a hotel that has a gateway to Hell, The Beyond is mainly an excuse for the madness to unfold. Tarantulas bite a guy’s face. A woman’s face melts after being covered in acid in front of her daughter. Zombies attack for no real discernable reason.

So, does this sit well with the Decades of Horror crew? Well, Doc Rotten is a tried and true Fulci fan, though he admits that the Italian legend frustrated him initially. Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani admit they aren’t as up on their Italian horror. Christopher has some trouble with the dream logic and lack of consistency in the characters. Thomas can see that, but revels in the unintentional hilarity at play. It’s a brazen frank discussion about auteur theory, gore and the grammatical errors of “Do Not Entry.” Make sure to go Beyond the extra mile and listen to it all!

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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!

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Our Patreon Poll Winner: Q The Winged Serpent (1982)

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The Fog (1980) – Episode 122 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You are weird. Thank God you’re weird. The last one was so normal, it was disgusting.” Elizabeth Solley (Jamie Lee Curtis) loves herself some weirdos. Including the weirdest man of all: Tom Atkins without a mustache! Halloween is getting pretty foggy for Decades of Horror 1980s as they one of the first horror films of the decade: John Carpenter’s The Fog. Hopefully, our intrepid hosts can avoid being sucked in the misty moors of Antonio Bay in time for the 100th-anniversary celebration. Or, the very least, with enough time to catch Stevie Wayne’s (Adrienne Barbeau) late-night broadcast. Join us as the Halloween Haunts season ends!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 122 – The Fog (1980)

The Fog is pretty interesting on a career path level for Carpenter. Post the major success of Halloween, but before he would rule the 1980s with a varying amount of genre work. The Fog sticks out a bit more. A ghost story without much gore, inst of ad using atmosphere to build up the tension rather than excessive violence that would color the slasher craze later that very year. It’s an ethereal spooky example of how to build up the environment of Antonio Bay, allowing for silhouettes of the monsters to play horrific tricks on our eyes and creep us out just when it’s too late.

To discuss everything The Fog, Christopher G. Moore, Doc Rotten and Thomas Mariani discuss everything in the misty moors that remain unseen. They debate the effectiveness of some of these characters, how much this is a Carpenter movie and ask where the ghost of Atkins’ moustache really is. Plus, they wonder just how American Christopher Lee could possibly be. It’s a spooky Halloween edition you won’t want to miss! Stay in and tune the radio from Stevie Wayne’s channel to hear it all!

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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!

Also, don’t forget our Patreon Poll where people who contribute as low as $1 a month can pick the second episode of Decades of Horror 1980s! Voting ends November 5th.

Next Episode

The Beyond (1981)

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Stranger Things Season 1 Part 2 – Episode 121 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Science is neat, but I’m afraid it’s not very forgiving.” Mr. Clarke (Randall P. Havens) explains how harsh a mistress science can be to our young heroes. Luckily, our young boys can take on pretty much everything, including a horrific nightmare creature from a parallel dimension. All of it is up for grabs as we conclude our look at Stranger Things Season 1. Time to grab your Eggo waffles and settle in for a dark and stormy October night!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 121 – Stranger Things Season 1 Part 2 (2016)

When we last left our young heroes, Stranger Things were really starting to build. Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Cale McLaughlin) try to find the gate where their friend Will (Noah Schnapp) was taken into. Yet, their friendship is already being strained by the presence of Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), both for her supernatural powers and her closeness to Mike. Meanwhile, Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Will’s brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) are on the hunt for the Demogorgon. Parallel to this, Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Sheriff Hopper (David Harbour) are on investigating the Hawkins National Laboratory and their shady operation. It’ll all come to ahead as the reasoning behind these Stranger Things collide.

To discuss these Stranger Things, Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani are traveling into The Upside Down. There’s a bit of descent as to whether or not this is as strong as the first half of the season. Yet, there’s unanimous agreement about many things. The kids are all still enjoyable and endearing. Our look into The Upside Down is still creepy and atmospheric. Matthew Modine goes out like a punk. There’s also the question of what the upcoming new season will hold and where we could go from here. All this and more are going to stuff your earholes to the point where you may get a nosebleed. Get this cotton balls ready!

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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 Fog (1980)… Next Week!

 

 

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Videodrome (1983) – Episode 120 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Long Live The New Flesh!” Max Renn (James Woods) makes his declaration of rebellion against Videodrome, the very thing he’s become so attached to. But is he really rebelling against the system or merely another cog in the machine? It’s a question people often ask themselves every day with no easy answers. Luckily, those answers can come from the most unlikely of places. One such place is Decades of Horror 1980s! Hop into your connected device and hear just how depressing the world we live in really is. Hooray!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 120 – Videodrome (1983)

Videodrome didn’t make much of a blip for Canadian writer/director David Cronenberg’s career. Fresh off the heals of the cult success of The Brood and Scanners yet just before the mainstream explosion of The Dead Zone and The FlyVideodrome quietly came in and out of theaters in 1983. The heavy horror sci-fi concept of a TV smut peddler hallucinating technology nightmares didn’t seem to attract audiences at the time. Yet with time, this audacious subversion of narrative, time and culture became a cult hit that resonates even more in the ages long since Betamax was a viable platform.

Well, at least for some. This episode features a pretty clear divide for who can stand Cronenberg’s Videodrome. But who could be the dissenter in the crowd? Did Doc Rotten appreciate the cynical bitter pills which needed swallowing? Can Christopher G. Moore tolerate the gross-out body horror on display? Will Thomas Mariani have issues with Debbie Harry not being her iconic Blondie self? Listen and find out for yourselves!

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

Stranger Things Season 1 Part 2 (2016)… Next Week!

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Stranger Things Season 1 Part 1 – Episode 119 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Mornings are for coffee and contemplation.” Jim Hopper (David Harbour) sets the record straight on what cops do in Hawkins Indiana. After all, Hawkins is a quiet small town where not much happens. Kids ride their bikes. Adults do their jobs. Nothing tends to happen. Well, at least until we see that Stranger Things are afoot. Much like they are on this podcast. Yup, we’re not covering a film. Or even something from the 80s. What type of upside down world is this?! The October haunts season surprises us all!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 119 – Stranger Things Season 1 Part 1 (2016)

Rules were meant to be broken as Decades of Horror 1980s covers the first four episodes of the first season of Stranger Things in prep for season 2 in a few short weeks! While from our modern era, Stranger Things is definitely steeped in 80s culture. We follow around a bunch of suburban boys who ride their bikes and find mysterious supernatural scenarios in their small town. Influences from talents like Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King are all throughout this Netflix hit. It’s a must-see for anyone who would listen. So, why not give these first four episodes a true spotlight on a show dedicated to the era it loves so?

To talk all of these Stranger Things are Doc, Christopher, and Thomas. The three discuss the cultural phenomenon of the show and how it is more than just the popular kid in class with slicked-back hair. Stranger Things has the right mix of genre thrills, tropes subversions and emotional gravity to make it worthy of the fascination. Our trio looks at all the characters, major early events, and references that made Stranger Things such a hit. Look forward to a follow up on the last four episodes of the season in two weeks!

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

Videodrome (1983)… Next Week!

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Hellraiser (1987) – Episode 118 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Jesus wept.” Frank/Larry Cotton (Andrew Robinson) lets his face stretch out in ecstasy as the cenobites finally take him. The lines between lust and death are thin in Hellraiser, but Decades of Horror 1980s has much to say on the subject. Tune in as we try to solve the Lament Configuration to get these S&M demons out of here. Or is that a Rubix cube? We can’t even tell the difference! Let the weekly October haunts season of the show begin!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 118 – Hellraiser (1987)

Hellraiser is a unique beast in the genre for the 80s. A rare unflinching example of raw madness and beauty from the author behind the source material. Clive Barker may have been inexperienced, but boy did he know who to work with. With some kinky visuals and massive world building on a small budget, Hellraiser managed to create a universe worth exploring. It’s a shame they explored it in the way they did in the sequels. Still, the first film is a true masterwork. Gorgeous effects, engaging character perspectives and one of the iconic horror villains of all time in Pin… er, I mean “Lead Cenobite.”

To discuss all of this, Thomas Mariani and Christopher G. Moore welcome back Doc Rotten into the regular recording sphere to start off the weekly October haunts for 2017! 30 years after it premiered, Hellraiser still dazzles. The three discuss the unique antagonist perspective, the use of the Cenobites and the sexaul lines between pain and pleasure. It’s a doozy of a discussion that’ll have you spinning from the chains on the ceiling. You may not even want to get down from there!

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

Stranger Things Season 1 Part 1… Next Week!