Graveyard Duck Episode 17 – Mega Man X

Well, we decided that we’re not quite ready to be done talking about Mega Man, so this week (by listener request) we jumping to the 16-bit era and discussing Mega Man X.

Don’t forget to keep up with the show and relive all the nostalgia by following us on Twitter (@duckgraveyard) and Facebook. Send us your memories or show suggestions at graveyardduckpodcast@gmail.com. And be sure to check out all of the great content from this show and other nerdy favorites at geeknerdery.com.

Thor: Ragnarok is the Best ’80s Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie of 2017

As a child of the NES and Aqua Net generation, I cut my cinematic teeth on the movies from Cannon Films and Orion Pictures like Masters of the Universe and Robocop. It’s my firm belief that the best action movies truly came from the 1980s. Certainly, they aren’t high brow or even have intelligent or coherent plot logic in many cases, but they were fun. So why am I mentioning these film studios and this rad decade when talking about Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel’s latest cinematic universe release?

Continue reading Thor: Ragnarok is the Best ’80s Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie of 2017

The Midnight Drive-In: The Wizard & Little Monsters

You’re not going to believe this but we actually dive pretty deep into The Wizard and Little Monsters.  sure there is some nostalgia in there but we talk about the themes of loss, divorce, mental illness, and the love of siblings.  We weren’t expecting it either.  After that we chat about other stuff we watched like The Devil’s Candy, Summer Of Fear, The Babysitter, and 1922.

XXX: One in a Million

It’s been a long season, but we made it. Finally. Well, sorta. We’re not going to know who wins until next week, but that doesn’t stop us from speculating this time around. Also, meet us (and some Challenge people) in Yorkville, IL next month.

The Midnight Drive-In: Daddy’s Deadly Darling (aka PIGS) & Razorback

This week we’re talking about pork movies with Daddy’s Deadly Darling (aka PIGS) and Razorback! We weirdly start off the show talking about Kevin Spacey that then goes to Victor Silva and Corey Feldman.  After all that we actually have some listener mail, talk about such things as Happy Death Day (yes again), Stranger Things 2, and Jigsaw.

Graveyard Duck Episode 16 – Mega Man 2

Alright. I’ll be QUICK about this one. If I were you, I WOOD not miss this episode. Your hosts really HEAT up the AIR waves as we FLASH back to 1988 and talk about our favorite METAL hero in Mega Man 2. So CRASH on the couch and enjoy another classic episode from Graveyard Duck. (Oh, and Bubble Man.)

Don’t forget to keep up with the show and relive all the nostalgia by following us on Twitter (@duckgraveyard) and Facebook. Send us your memories or show suggestions at graveyardduckpodcast@gmail.com. And be sure to check out all of the great content from this show and other nerdy favorites at geeknerdery.com.

XXX: The Sinister Six

We finally get all the challengers eliminated down to the final 6.  Does #TeamHunny have a representative in the final?  Also we switch locations, an injury could take a finalist out of the race, and we place some sticks and stones.  Mainly just stones.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt – Rachel Shatto

Halloween is here tomorrow and this is our last Halloween Scavenger Hunt list.  I hope you’ve found something new and interesting to watch during your Halloween viewing because of these lists.  And doing this project has actually inspired a bigger project that is somewhat similar.  Keep your eyes peeled.  Now here is our list from Rachel Shatto!  She’s a podcast guru and a sometimes writer right here at Geek Nerdery.  Enjoy and Happy Halloween.

1. Absentia (2011) – This is the movie that made me a Mike Flanagan fan. Although he has since gone on to make a handful of consistently creepy films like Occulus, Hush, and most recently Gerald’s Game, it’s his first film, Absentia that really worked its way under my skin. The film follows two sisters, one who is finally ready to declare her missing husband dead in absentia and another who has attracted the interest of a creature lurking in a nearby tunnel. A pervading sense of dread, unique mythology, and unforgettable ending make this one to add to your October viewing list.

2. Love Object (2003) – I randomly stumbled onto Love Object while flipping through the channels late one night. It’s about a lonely man who is convinced his life-size sex doll is murdering people. With a description like that, how could I not watch it? I was expecting a low budget B-movie, but what I got was so much better. What could easily just be an absurd premise actually turns into alternately tragic, disturbing, and darkly funny psychological horror film, thanks to a chilling central performance by Desmond Harrington. I suggest pairing this with Pin for a double feature of… umm… anatomically correct killer doll movies.

3. Baby Blood (1990) – If you like your horror splattery and strange, find yourself an unrated copy of Baby Blood (aka The Evil Within). This movie is about a woman whose unborn baby has been taken over by a primordial creature that telepathically demands that she feed him blood so that he can be born, return to the sea, and take the world back from mankind. It’s all very Lovecraftian, but with loads more gore and nudity. It’s a French language film but I recommend the dubbed version so that you can enjoy the voice acting talents of Gary Oldman who inexplicably lends his voice to the killer fetus.

4. The Whisperer in Darkness (2011) – I adore Lovecraft and the universe he created (minus the racism, antisemitism, and xenophobia obviously). Unfortunately, most of the films based on his works are less thrilling. That’s not the case with The Whisperer in Darkness, which was produced by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society and, as result, you can feel the absolute love and passion for the source material in every frame. The film is based on the story by the same name and is a largely faithful retelling, but with an extended third act (because Lovecraft, despite all his talent for creating eldritch horrors of cyclopean proportions, often had trouble sticking the landing). Anyway… this film, which was shot in “mythoscope” to invoke the look and feel of a ’30 era film, is just so much fun for fans of Lovecraft, classic sci-fi, and horror. I can’t recommend it enough.

5. Resolution (2012) – I love horror that doesn’t sacrifice character development, I love mysteries, and I love films that I’m still mentally unpacking for days after the credits roll. Resolution ticks all those boxes and then some. It’s about two friends, one of whom has spiraled into drug addiction and psychosis and another who, in a last ditch attempt to help his friend get clean, comes up with the brilliant idea to just chain him to the wall for a week so he’ll detox. So, yeah, that’s a bad plan, but what he’s also not counting on is that the cabin they are holed up in is located right he middle of a metaphysical nightmare. This film wouldn’t work so well if the fraying friendship at its core didn’t feel so authentic or if the breadcrumb trail of clues left for them weren’t so intriguing.

Rachel Shatto is a culture and sex writer for Elite Daily, life-long horror fanatic, and co-host of several podcasts including The Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast, Cold Case Cinema, and The Cast of Ka.

23min of Halloween Ska

Hey GeekNerdery readers, it’s been a while since my last post throwing a bunch of ska music at you all. To be blunt I hatched a plan, a plan to give you something a little bit special. By that, I mean a special episode of the podcast. Not just any special episode, but a holiday special. But let’s not stop there, let’s have it be for the best holiday, let’s have it be a Halloween special!  The big boss man over here at GeekNerdery gave me the go-ahead and here we are! I hope you all enjoy this small treat for your Halloween listening enjoyment.

00:00 – MU330 – Please Don’t Run (Ska is Dead ’07)
01:51 – Skavoovee & the Epitones – Blood Red Sky (Ripe ’97)
05:09 – Big D & the Kids Table – Deadpan (Strictly Rude ’07)
07:40 – the Slackers – the Mummy (the Question ’98)
10:48 – Be Like Max – Party in Hell (Against All Odds ’15)
13:54 – King Kong Girio – Dead Surfer’s Lament (Now that I’m Gone ’13)
15:13 – the Talks – Don’t Look Behind You (Commoners, Peers, Drunks & Thieves ’14)
18:06 – the Bandulus – Evildoers (the Times We Had ’12)
20:04 – Buck-O-Nine – Don’t be Afraid (Punk Rock Halloween ’17)

Check out more episodes of the 23min of Ska podcast at 23ska.com with a new episode posted every Thursday, as well as home to over 250 past episodes!

The Midnight Drive-In – Dark Night Of the Scarecrow & Satan’s Little Helper

We go completely off the rails at the beginning of the show as Noah brings up a John Wayne Bobbat reference and Bryan tries to find a more current reference to take it’s place.  After that we talk some horror films that take place on Halloween Night with Dark Night Of The Scarecrow and Satan’s Little Helper.  After that we talk some Happy Death Day, Better Watch Out, and a double feature of Night Of The Creeps and Slither.

Dads, Dark Matter, and the Diggle Shakes: It’s this week’s Arrowverse Weekly Round-Up!

We know. We missed last week, making this not all that weekly of a round-up. You can thank illness of the face for that. But we’re back this week! So let’s break this one down before another week slips by us.  Worst to First, let’s do it! (A bit spoilery, but not too bad)

Supergirl

Bless her little Kryptonian heart, she’s trying. She really is. But what do you do with an all-powerful, god-like character? A question that’s plagued the Superfamily since forever.  At first, the showrunners decided to borrow some of the best of the MAN of Steel’s history the first season, then had him actually show up in National City  for what was arguably the best episode of season 2. Well, the answer this year seems to be ignore the question, because other characters not named in the title have a lot going on, and we’ll get to Kara. Promise.

This season has a lot happening to be sure. There’s Alex and Maggie’s wedding that is CLEARLY doomed to not happen as hinted at these first three episodes, Nathan Petrelli is doing his best at megolomaniacal industrialist (until his isn’t? Maybe next week?), Lena Luthor bought Catco because…um…reasons, and Odette Annable will at some point be “making it Reign”. (That’s her quote, not our quote. It’s punny as hell, but admittedly better than what we would have come up with.) Oh, and that one girl is sad about her boyfriend being maybe dead. What’s her na–OH! Kara! Right!

To be FAIR, Kara did some stuff this week. J’onn did most of it assisting M’gann and the white martian resistance though, but Supergirl helped. It was a decent bit of business with J’onn reuniting with his father he previously thought deceased.

A darker, distracted Supergirl was kind of fun. Not Snyder dark, but Kara with a chip on her shoulder that first episode would have made for an interesting sub-plot this season as she works through the idea that even with all the power in the world, she can’t save everyone she loves. It’s a good third season plot that could flesh out Kara and grow her as character. Because if she’s the role model for a generation of young girls, they need to see that even our heroes struggle and we all need to find it in ourselves to overcome.

…No? You’d rather wrap that up half-assedly after 2 eps? Alright, how about a wedding shower then? Yeah to hell with it.

Arrow

…What are we going to do with this show? The time slot change is  bad enough as it makes it a lot more difficult to get these reviews done in a timely manner–on top of all the other reasons– but the writers insist on recycling the same storylines the way Flash recycled Ollie’s apartment in last week’s episode. Yeah, we noticed. All of us noticed.

Anyway, Oliver is again this season spending more time as the mayor than as the Green Arrow like last year. Because when we go to watch superhero dramas, it’s important to us that we spend at least 10 minutes an episode worrying about new legislation.  

This week, Diggle takes over as Green Arrow as Oliver is under the watchful eye of FBI Agent Mrs. Plot Device, and wants to be a better father to William “Exasperated Sigh” Clayton. Digs got the shakes though as is having confidence issues thanks to his last season visit to Lian Yu. I don’t speak any languages beyond this sort of English and “I am a pineapple” in French, but I have to assume Lian Yu is Mandarin for “No Real Stakes Island”.  We’ll come back to that.

From there, the never-ending, white hot poker in the eye that will not be named came on screen. I  was suddenly overwhelmed by my own form of Diggle Shakes and slapped the video halfway across the room. I came to outside, standing over a burn barrel holding a box of matches as my tablet sat on top of the pile, reeking of gasoline. The tablet’s fine, but I can’t finish a review for you, because I’m on a kind of expensive laptop and I don’t want to risk another blackout.

Even with the imminent destruction of my tablet, Arrow still ranks ahead of Supergirl this week. This show is still trying to find it’s way back, and we feel like it still can, but it needs to bring back the high stakes that the first two seasons had.  Yeah, they killed Laurel, and for this, we will never forgive them, but this show has lost it’s nerve. If you’re going to have every character on an island, and you’re going to explode that island, then have every character survive, you’ve wasted a perfectly good island explosion. They had the chance to course correct, (same as with Flashpoint) and they didn’t take it.  They keep letting all the plucky sidekicks survive. They have so many, they could Game of Thrones the hell out of the show once every two weeks, and by season end, there’s still six characters left. My math’s off, but you get the idea. Trim the fat. You have two quirky scientists. Axe one of them. You have 2 gun-toting hard asses. Axe one. You have 2 Canaries. Break one’s neck after you’ve injected bleach into her veins and set her on fire, then reform Laurel, you canon-destroying-on-a-whim, Felicity-fellating jackasses.

I’m feeling woozy..let’s move on.

FLASH

The Flash, what do you say about it? It’s a consistently good show. This week and last week were no exceptions. The writer’s have loosened up on the overly dramatic reins for the time being and everyone is having fun. We didn’t get to cover this, so we’ll touch on it here, last week’s episode made it enjoyable to watch Barry and Iris together for the first time in a while. She wasn’t constantly harping on him all episode and he didn’t spend the tenth week in a row explaining how he’ll never let anything bad happen to her. For the first time in a while, there was natural chemistry between them, and it was good to see. 

As far as the fun goes, they introduced Hazard this week; a girl with the worst luck in the world, until she’s introduced to dark matter, thanks to Barry’s return from the Speed Force. She’s a petite blonde that’s  funny and fun to watch. In the end, she’s monster of the week, so they wrap her story quick, but she’s got a bigger part to play in Junior Brainiac’s no good, very bad scheme.

This week also saw the return of Tom Cavanaugh (It’s about time you got here! Welcome home!)  and Earth 2 Harry Wells. Always good to have him back so Cisco has someone to properly bicker with. The problem there is Harry seems a bit too…not scatterbrained, but less full of himself than when he was around previously and that felt like it lost something. Still good to have him back.

Oh, and poor Wally. This town’s not big enough for two speedsters apparently. Tough Luck, Bro.

Also, I spent the episode deciding that Cecil needs to back the hell up a step. But, that’s obviously not going to happen. Nice cut to black on that one.

Legends of Tomorrow

Understand that before we get too far into this that we know. We do. We know and we understand any trepidation you might be feeling with this being the second Round-Up in a row that Legends came out as top dog. If the illness hadn’t struck last week, Legends would have been number one then too. WE KNOW! It doesn’t make sense!  After the first two seasons, we get all of it. 

Listen up, though: Legends is the current champion of the CW’s Arrowverse. If you aren’t watching, you’re missing out. Allow us to explain.

Is it a perfect show? No. Some of the worst extra acting around. Sometimes the mains’ acting isn’t all that great either. But what is it about Legends that we find so damn convincing? We said it last time: They’ve found their voice. The writers and showrunners know what they are, and they’re making it work. Not everyone wants the light-hearted approach that Marvel takes with it’s properties muddling in with the super serious world of DC, but this is exactly what the show needs to be.

The Legends aren’t a stoic band of heroes that save the space time continuum while attempting to bone each other in the meanwhile. They’re an imperfect group of screw-ups and also-rans that are doing the best they can with what they’ve got. The showrunners finally cracked that code and allowed themselves and their characters to be fun.

The introduction of the Time Bureau, run by previous captain Rip Hunter, is the perfect adversary for the Legends as they skip through time striving to put right what once went wrong (thanks to their incompetence).

Thats not to say that there aren’t moments of them potentially falling back into old habits, but we’re still cautiously optimistic. The reintroduction of Amaya to the Waverider is a slippery slope. We’re waiting for the moment when they fall back into the well-trodden drama of a relationship between her and Nate, but so far they’ve avoided it. We can only hope that they continue to steer around it so as to not get bogged down with the heavy-handedness of their relationship.

It probably feels unnatural to you, but unless you’re staunchly opposed to humor in your Arrowverse, this is the show to watch. It’s been consistently entertaining for these first three weeks, and with Matt Ryan’s Constantine slated to come aboard, hopefully it can only get better.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt – Cati Glidewell

We’re back with another list of movies you SHOULD be watching this Halloween season.  For this one I hit up a relatively new friend Cati Glidewell who has been writing here on Geek Nerdery along with her own site The Blonde In Front.  Here are some cool choices for this weekend to check out. 

Dead of Night (1945) – An anthology tale of travelers stuck in the same country estate and how the supernatural has impacted their lives and how they seem to be reliving this tale over and over. Amazing production design, directing and acting that seems to have influenced films such as Groundhog Day and Magic, this film is at the top of my list and highly recommend seeing this on the big screen if you get a chance.

Eden Lake (2008) – A romantic getaway that goes horribly wrong, this film may influence both staycations and birth control. The ending leaves an impact and when traveling always remember, local law is something to beware. Michael Fassbender, in one of his first starring roles, along with my favorite performance by Kelly Reilly, this a film to watch before you take a road trip with your significant other.
Piranha (1978) – I remember the feeling watching this for the first time as a child on one of those late Friday fright night shows. After viewing this film once, I would no longer go in water that wasn’t clear. Even if you don’t see the full carnage, it is the blood and aftermath that will leave you realing. Released at a time films were depicting  unbelievable creatures wreaking havoc on unsuspecting communities, this is the one that has a scene that STILL has an impact and gives me nightmares.
The Loved Ones (2009) – When a classmate asks Brent to the prom, his rejection to her comes at a hefty price of sadistic, twisted pain that never seems to end. One might think this is a revenge film and that Brent deserves what he is given but NO ONE deserves the acts that are plagued upon this poor kid. A lesson in the monsters children become when they get everything they want.
The Hitcher (1986) – C. Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rutger Hauer, of COURSE this is on my list. If you were ever warned not to pick up hitchhikers, THIS is the visual aid to go along with that. Howell plays a guy earning money by driving a car cross country. When he picks up a hitchhiker, Hauer, to keep him awake and help a fellow traveler in need, you realize quickly why you should heed that warning about hitchhikers. Hauer is the key to this psychological, carnage filled cat and mouse game that keeps you on your toes. Believe me, watch this instead of the 2007 version because Sean Bean doesn’t hold a flame to Hauer’s charisma.
Cati Glidewell is a Chicago based film critic, actress and lifelong cinefile who has a voracious appetite for watching films and partaking in films. You can see her reviews and antics at The Blonde in Front and watch her film debut this year playing Helen in Irrational Fear.

George Romero Gets His Star

We have lost a lot of our beloved horror filmmakers over the course of the last few years, but none had more heart and soul in his work than our beloved zombie maestro George Romero.

Finally, after decades of work and gallons of blood, Hollywood has honored the man, the myth and the legend with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Check out a couple speakers below, and keep a tissue or two close by as we send off the King of the Undead himself.

 

XXX: A Million More Reasons

The big twist is finally revealed. We see a Redemption Challenge which is supposed to be the last, but c’mon, you can’t fool us. We get to see our first couple finalists, and we fall out of love with one of our favorite challengers while falling in love with some of the rookies.

I’m Dreaming Of A White Doomsday – A Lesson For Indie Horror Filmmakers

I believe it was the comedian Lewis Black that said something to the tune of “I remember a time in my life when Halloween was Halloween and Santa wasn’t poking his ass into it.” I do not like to have my Halloween invaded by the cheerful round elf, he will sure as shit get his turn, but I think I may make an exception for today’s offering.

I was lucky enough to see a review screener of a little film that could called I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday helmed  by a man named Mike Lombardo, a sadistic, soulless filmmaker who wants to ruin everything you find cheery.

On a slim budget of around 10 grand, Lombardo and his crew have managed to pull of a once in a lifetime feat by taking a tired trope, that of an apocalyptic Christmas, spinning it around, placing it firmly on its head and then proceeds to kick it in the balls.

I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday is basically a one set piece, set just before Christmas in the fallout shelter of a young family. After the father leaves to forage for supplies the mother is left alone to care for her young child while dealing with the realities of the end of the world.

If that sounds like a thin as you can be plot, that’s because it is and that is all that the movie needs. However, with the powerhouse performance of Hope Bikle as our mother with no rope to hang onto, you get dragged into this deceptively dark and depressing movie kicking and screaming and you will not be able to look away.

If the word Indie scares you at all, or has a certain perceived notion in your head, just forget it. This movie looks and feels like it was shot by a group of Hollywood hotshots out for a good time. There was never a minute that I had the thought of “Oh, well, I see what the filmmakers were going for, but they had very little to work with, bravo  to them.” No, This is the movie that 10 Cloverfield Lane wished it could be.

And to top it all off, when you finally think that you know where this movie is going, it just turns around, gives you the middle finger and politely asks you for your guts!

The gang over at Reel Splatter Productions (click the link to check out their web site, you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t) have put together a movie that cruises in at around an hour and 10 minutes but will never let you forget the time you spend with them. They are hitting the festival circuit now and if you have the chance, make sure you go check them out! These guys will be going far, and I for one welcome their fresh eye to the genre! Well played, boys… Well played….

 

Halloween Scavenger Hunt – John Borowski

Today’s list comes from the awesome filmmaker John Borowski!  John taps into something I’ve been obsessed with for years.  Serial Killers.  What makes them do it?  Why?  When?  John covers all this. He probably won’t remember but I met John the first time at a horror convention years ago.  I saw he made HH Holmes and Albert Fish movies.  I was big on the Albert Fish story at the time so I immediately bought them up.  Since then when I see him at a convention I try to at least stop by and say hi.  Everyone should check out his work and also check out the movies on his list this week.

The horror movies on my list are from the 70’s and 80’s, which is a time period of cinema that reached its crescendo of exceptionally made films which pushed the cinematic boundaries of the groundwork laid by their predecessors.

10 RILLINGTON PLACE (1971) – An exceptional movie based on the true story of the U.K. serial killer John Christie. Having made films on serial killers, I can appreciate a great serial killer movie and this is my favorite. The atmosphere of this movie really places you inside the building where Christie murdered his victims. I find this movie absolutely terrified especially because it was based on a true story. John Hurt gives a great performance as the victim who inadvertently caused the abolishment of the death penalty in the U.K.

SISTERS (1972) – An early Brian De Palma movie, Sisters is one of my favorites of his works. Taking nods from Freaks and Psycho, De Palma creates a terrifying masterpiece of suspense with shock with Sisters.

THE CHANGELING (1980) – The Changeling starring George C. Scott is my favorite ghost story movie ever.  Everything about this movie is compelling. Best of all, it is the best made ghost movie ever. It doesn’t resort to cheap thrills, but rather exceptional storytelling. The use of sound is fantastic. The story unravels slowly and effectively. Creepy as hell!

IN A GLASS CAGE (1986) – When I first watched In A Glass Cage, I was so shocked and horrified that I did not pause the movie or get up from the couch for the entire time. Frightening and shocking in a true-life way, this movie is one a viewer will never forget.

RAWHEAD REX (1986) – From the genius imagination of author Clive Barker, Rawhead Rex is one of my favorite monster movies. Brutal and terrifying, this movie also has great makeup effects.

John Borowski is an award winning independent filmmaker and author whose film works have garnered international acclaim and are distributed internationally on dvd, television, and streaming. Borowski’s “historical horror” trilogy of documentary films focus on late nineteenth and early twentieth century serial killers. His latest book, Dahmer’s Confession, is available for pre-order.

John Borowski, producer/filmmaker

 

Waterfront Productions

FILMMAKER WEBSITE

Film Sites:

H.H. HOLMES

ALBERT FISH

CARL PANZRAM

SERIAL KILLER CULTURE & TV

Books:

The Strange Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes

Albert Fish: In His Own Words

The Ed Gein File

Facebook

Youtube Channel

Vimeo Channel

The Midnight Drive-In: Deranged & Three On A Meathook

This week we’re talking about some movies that take their inspiration from real life serial killer Ed Gein.  First up is the 1974 film Deranged.  Up until the self titled film Ed Gein was released Deranged was lauded as being the closest telling of the Ed Gein story.  We then follow that up with the 1972 film Three On A Meathook.  This movie has lots of nudity and musical interludes.  What’s not to like?  Well, you’ll find out.

Then we get into other stuff we’ve been watching.  Discussed is Brain Damage, Happy Death Day, and Friday The 13th.  This then gets us into a discussion of why VS movies didn’t take off after 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason.  After we reveal what next episodes movies are we then get into a discussion about why made for TV movies aren’t a thing anymore.

Graveyard Duck Episode 15 – Clock Tower

Turn off the lights and turn up the volume as your hosts Scott and Wes prove that they are not only retro gaming nerds, but horror nerds as well. This week, we discuss the Super Famicom atmospheric thriller, Clock Tower, while also share our thoughts on horror games in general.

Don’t forget to keep up with the show and relive all the nostalgia by following us on Twitter (@duckgraveyard) and Facebook. Send us your memories or show suggestions at graveyardduckpodcast@gmail.com. And be sure to check out all of the great content from this show and other nerdy favorites at geeknerdery.com.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt: Lauren Gallo

We’re back with another Halloween Scavenger hunt list!  This time Lauren Gallo tells us some films we should be seeking out.  Lauren was (maybe still is?) a frequent contributor at Deadlantern.com when I was so our paths crossed many a time.  Then it turns out she is active in the anime and gaming convention circuit so we’ve almost run into each other literally through out the years but I’ve kept up the joke of trying to avoid her for years now so we’ve still never met in person.  Funny only to me I think.
1.  Opera – High opera. Murder. Heavy Metal. While Dario Argento tends to be more famously known for works like Suspiria, Profundo Rosso, and Bird with the Crystal Plumage, this lesser highlighted 1987 work of his feels a tad less giallo and more full-on slasher. A young opera ingenue becomes the obsessive focal point of a serial killer whose MO is to tied her up and tape sharp pins under her eyes so she must keep her eyes open while he murders victims in front of her, usually people she knows. Somehow, the killings have a connection to her late mother. My first exposure to this movie was through an amazing fan-created music video by the owner of the Twins of Evil horror movie blog, where clips of this movie were set to Portishead’s “We Carry On”. From that, I really wanted to watch it and basically I developed a weird love for this. It’s not as gorgeous looking and iconic as the crimson-stained Suspiria, but it’s also one of Argento’s more straight-forward narratives all centered around a brilliant concept of taking the frustration of movie-goers shutting their eyes during scary moments and making an allegoric response through the pins taped to the eyes. If there’s one critique I have of this, is that I don’t actually enjoy the heavy metal set to the murder scenes, to me it’s an odd tonal dissonance for a movie centered around an opera. But I digress, it’s still worth a viewing.
2. Black Sunday – Revenge. Dark magic. Beautiful Barbara Steele. A witch and her lover are captured and burned at the stake, a mask of Satan nailed to her face. The spite witch Princess Asa places a curse on her brother’s descendants before dying. Two centuries later, her lookalike descendant Princess Katia becomes embroiled in a dark plot to fully resurrect Asa when a professor and his assistant accidentally break the cross on Asa’s tomb and release her. This black and white film, shot by the incomparable Mario Bava, is a real testament to how incredibly well Bava could make a black and white film look in terms of shadow and light. The imagery is beautiful as much as the horror is palpable. This movie is an incredibly well done Italian horror film and would go on to be very influential to films like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.
3. The Devil Rides Out – Satanic cults. The English countryside. Christopher Lee. I love a good many Hammer Films, but The Devil Rides Out is my absolute favorite, and one where Christopher Lee gets to be the hero for once! Lee plays Nicholas, the Duc de Richleau, an English noble in the late 1920s who upon reunited with old friends is horrified to learn his young friend Simon has fallen in league with a Satanic cult. Nicholas, familiar with the mystical arts, tries to save Simon from a dark fate with the help of their more skeptical friend, Rex. In initially saving Simon they also save the young, pretty Tanith, who will be the unfortunate catalyst for potential tragedy. Christopher Lee has gone on record stating this as his favorite film he’s worked on and that he would have love to seen a remake with modern technology and him as an older Nicholas. This movie has great set pieces, great locations, and Lee is a fantastic, charismatic hero fighting against black magic to save his friend. It’s less on gore and goes more for the supernatural horror, though I feel it sits more comfortably as an action-thriller. It feels like the most polished of the 60s Hammer horror films, and a bit more sophisticated than ones like Vampire Circus and even Dracula. If there is only one thing I find lacking in this movie, it’s the lack of Peter Cushing also starring in it.
4. The Mummy (Hammer Films) – Ancient Egypt. Mummys. Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing Double Billing. Were there ever better classic horror BFFs like Lee and Cushing? I’m hard pressed to think there is. The two always starred on opposing forces in their joint ventures, and Hammer Films’ The Mummy is no exception. Cushing plays John Banning, an archeologist on an Egyptian exploration with his father and wife, Isobel. There they get mixed up in the accidentally bringing the mummified Kharis (Lee), High Priest to the Princess Ananka, back to life. Three years later, this occurrence comes back to haunt them. It doesn’t help matters that Isobel is an exact ringer for Princess Ananka. Fans of the 1999 The Mummy film will find this sounding pretty familiar. Taking a page from the Universal Studios Boris Karloff classic, Hammer’s Mummy seems to take a backseat to the 30s classic and the Brendan Fraser one, but I feel it’s a solid entry in the Mummy mythos with Cushing proving he’s a great horror hero. Sharp listeners will also notice this movie has a background music leitmotif at times that would later be mimicked by the 1999 version.
5. Dracula (1979) – Vampires. Bram Stroker’s classic put in a blender. OMG CANDLES. In the scheme of famous Draculas, you have Bela Lugosi as the forever iconic, Christopher Lee, but one of my faves is Frank Langella. This movie, sometimes affectionately (or not) known as “Disco Dracula”, is based on a broadway adaption of Stoker’s original novel, which also starred Langella. This version ups the romance more and puts it in an Edwardian setting, with Mina now becoming Van Helsing’s daughter and befalling the tragedy of Lucy in the original story, an Lucy is more of the Mina character, and also Dr. Seward’s daughter and Dracula’s love interest. I say this in the best way possible, this movie is an absolute romp and like watching the best, slightly crackish Dracula fanfiction onscreen. It’s super, super 70s right down to a floating, shadow puppet super technicolor love scene and Frank Langella’s epic bouffant. I feel like this movie had to have influenced Coppola’s Dracula, and it’s definitely worth checking out. Sadly, one of the newer cuts had the color slightly desaturated but regardless of this crime against coloring, this movie is a worthwhile viewing.
Lauren Gallo is a fledgling fiction writer and pop culture reviewer with a nerd streak as wide as the day is long. Her love affair with horror began through being exposed to slasher flicks as a child, like Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and was cemented by a 1993 viewing of a VHS rental of Army of Darkness, one of the greatest cinematic triumphs of all day. You can find her (sporadically) on Twitter (@lgallowrites). 

XXX: Pretty Little Backstabbers

It’s crybaby episode part two, but things are heating up and people are quickly heading to the Redemption House. The Challenge may have been lackluster, but the elimination was intense and crazy. We’re winding down this season and are excited to see how these alliances have shaken up.

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