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.
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
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.
Hey there Screamers (stolen from Patrick’s fantastic podcast Scream Queenz) we’re back for another Halloween Scavenger Hunt. Being in the horror podcasting game for way too long you make a lot of friends with your listeners. Then those listeners go off to make their own podcasts and you hardly ever hear from them again. Patrick went from being a listener to starting his own podcast but never stopped being an awesome friend. He’s proof you can always elevate the genre if you find your audience. He has and it’s been great watching him surpass all of old horror podcasters.
MURDER PARTY – On Halloween Night, a bumbling oaf finds a random invitation to a “murder” blowing in the wind. Having nothing better to do, he accepts and finds himself captive of a gang on deranged artists who plan on using his death to fuel their next big project.
This week at the drive in we’re talking some Lovecraft by way of Stuart Gordon. We talk about Castle Freak and Dagon. After that we talk some Blade Runner 2049, Kingsman, Amityville: The Awakening, and Noah’s love for the Toxic Avenger.
Another list from a good friend of mine. I met Jay a few years ago at an IndieHorror.TV event. We rented some cabins up at a campsite in Wisconsin. As I made the rounds introducing myself to people I hadn’t met yet Jay informed me that she made the trip from Africa. My response was “Whaaaaaattttttt????” Turns out she is a Foreign Service Officer working abroad. But it still was shocking. She’s one of the biggest horror fans I know. Hope you find something fun here.
1. Joshua (2007) – Not enough humans have seen this film, even though it features Sam Rockwell, Vera Farmiga, and Michael McKean (in a serious role with one devastatingly hilarious line of dialogue). The movie combines one of my favorite tropes (evil kid) with one of my least favorite tropes (crazy mom), and still makes me oh so very happy. It’s about a brilliant, sociopathic child who ruthlessly bends his environment to his will. It’s also about post-partum depression (I guess?) and mixed marriages involving religiously devout grandparents who mess shit up for their kids. It’s not as gory and violent as many wonderful horror movies, but it will make your soul creep.
2. Kidnapped (2010, Spain) – If you’re a fan of Funny Games (2008), or, even better, Funny Games (1997), you might be one of those twisted people who need to see this movie. You won’t enjoy it, probably, but it will earn your respect. It’s a nasty Spanish-language portrayal of a home invasion, and the unflinching depiction of realistic violence can be hard to watch. I’m a gorehound, and I find this film unsettling. The New York Times called this film nihilistic and “gruesome tit-for-tat torture porn” – well, yeah, that’s why it’s good. Have fun, kids.
3. Seconds (1966) – Technically science fiction, but that ending! The plot is your basic Faustian deal with the devil, with Rock Hudson portraying the doomed rich man who believes that he’s entitled to anything money can buy, including eternal youth and a new hot body that used to belong to someone else. It’s like a mean-spirited Twilight Zone episode, and the surgery scene isn’t all special effects – some of it’s from footage of a real plastic surgery procedure. The gross-out factor is very high. If you appreciate B&W films and a whole lot of irony, you’ll enjoy this one.
4. Them! (2006, France/Romania) – First, let me be clear: This movie is not very good. It’s about a French couple living in Romania (the wife’s a French teacher there) who are terrorized by home invaders. But what it’s really about is how fricking scared France is of Eastern Europeans. “Romanian street children will target and kill you; also, they’re all Gypsies, and Gypsies are the last minority on the planet that it’s cool to stereotype like crazy on film, because no one actually knows any Gypsies in person so we can all safely believe that Gypsies are subhuman monsters… it’s us against them, and GYPSIES ARE ‘THEM’!” No, seriously, this is literally what the movie is about. That said, it’s quick, tight, tense, well-acted, and often terrifying. I used to live in Romania, and I found the film both fascinating and infuriating. I’m listing it here because I’m curious to hear what others think of it.
5. A Distant Thunder (1978) – As a result of some childhood trauma, I have a secret fondness for the niche genre of evangelism porn. A Distant Thunder is a Christian propaganda movie shot on a budget of $60,000 for the sole purpose of scaring little kids so badly at Vacation Bible School that they’ll be willing to make a public declaration of faith and ask Jesus into their hearts. It is the single most frightening movie I’ve ever seen, mostly because I was nine or ten when I was duped into watching it. It’s also terrible. I strongly recommend that you watch it with a bunch of friends who survived deeply religious upbringings, and with a lot of alcohol.
Jay Sorensen is a Foreign Service Officer currently serving in Liberia. A horror movie fan since childhood, she is proud of her complete collection of Fangoria magazines, which she carts around the world with her even though she’s 47 now. She’s an avid supporter of indie films and first became a producer in 2011. She encourages you to check out Adrian Tofei’s upcoming film We Put the World to Sleep, which is currently seeking investors; the Slasher Studios website, for great reviews and fun horror dvds; and Reel Splatter’s upcoming masterpiece, I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday (2017).
Coming out on Oct. 19th is the new Michael Fassbender serial killer film The Snowman. They have offered for one lucky Geek Nerdery fan to win a Snowman Prize Pack. Here are the details:
You Could Have Saved Her I Gave You All The Clues
The Snowman, a terrifying thriller based on the novel by Jo Nesbø is being released on Oct 19th. A sociopath who calls himself “The Snowman Killer” has targeted the one person for whom he wants to showoff his methodical, unthinkable skills: the lead investigator of an elite crime squad. With cunningly simplistic baits, he begs to have a worthy opponent to play his sick game.
The Snowman pack has:
1 – Limited Edition Snowman Plush Doll: This limited edition Snowman plush is only available via this promotion and has a run of 200 pieces worldwide. It is a replica of the killer’s Snowman and features a detachable head and the Snowman logo on the bottom.
1 – The Snowman Official Promo Shirt – An official promo T-Shirt featuring The Snowman logo on the front and the signature design on the back.
1 – Replica Snowman Killer Letter – A replica of the Snowman killer’s note, sealed.
So how do you win this awesome Snowman swag? Easy. Below in the comments section comment with what you think your serial killer name would be. That’s it. Comment and you’re entered. We’ll be picking one random comment on Oct. 27th!
Also take this quiz to see if you know your serial killers. How well would you do in the search for a serial killer?
King fans were super excited to finally get an actual trailer for the upcoming Castle Rock show on Hulu. Do we have any idea what it’s going to be about? No. Are we any less excited? No. It’s full of King references we’re excited to see pay off in a weekly series and I personally and wishing the year would hurry up so we can get into 2018 and get closer to the premiere.
While we wait I have constructed a list below that makes it so we can sort of create our own Castle Rock universe with movies that are already available. You’ve probably seen them all but may not have noticed that they are all actually connected accidentally just by adapting the source material that is connected. So here is your list in viewing order. And spoiler alert I’ll be giving a quick synopsis of the movies and also how it’s connected to the rest in the list and possibly the books they are based on. Just be warned.
Stand By Me (1986)
One of the more sentimental Stephen King movies. A group of boys go to find a dead body of one of their classmates and along the way each comes to terms with their place in the world.
This movie sort of sets the stage. It’s summer in 1959 so we get to see a more quaint version of Castle Rock. The town is only really our starting point and stopping point but all of our characters live there. There’s not much crossover here for our movie universe other than this happened in our main setting for this viewing session. In the book Kiefer Sutherland’s character Ace Merrill actually plays a big part in the book NEEDFUL THINGS as he gets out of jail and returns to Castle Rock just as things are starting to break down in Castle Rock. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
The Dead Zone (1983)
One of my favorites on the list. After getting into a car crash and being in a coma for 5 years Johnny Smith finds out he has a gift. If he touches you he can see your future. Good or bad. Once he shakes the hand of Greg Stillson he sees a future filled with death. What can he do to stop it?
Here we start to see the dark side of Castle Rock. For part of the first half of the movie we see that a serial killer is stalking the streets attacking women. Sheriff Bannerman (played awesomely by Tom Skerritt) is at the end of his rope trying to find the killer so he turns to Johnny to see what he can find. They find their killer and from there Johnny moves on to stop nuclear armageddon. This section of the film though will feature heavily in our next movie.
Cujo (1983) –
Simple concept. A woman and her son are trapped in their car at a lonesome farm by a rabid Saint Bernard.
Again we’re present in Castle Rock. Here we find a pretty simple story. Woman in the car with the dog right? Well here’s where our connections come in. In the beginning of the movie Tad is afraid of the monster in his closet. In the book that monster he’s afraid of is the boogeyman that the serial killer from The Dead Zone had become around town. People whispered about it and Frank Dodd has become sort of an urban legend around town. So Tad is afraid of the killer from The Dead Zone. And later in the book it’s sort of just thrown around (not seriously but Tad sort of thinks about it while trapped) that the evil that possessed Frank Dodd has now gone into Cujo.
The other big connection we have is that the sheriff that ends up out at the farm is none other than our friend Sheriff Bannerman (not awesomely played by Tom Skerritt).
The Dark Half (1993)
Thad Beaumont is a successful writer who’s pen name has just been outed. He decides to publicly kill off his alter ego rather than paying a blackmailer. Bad news is his alter ego doesn’t want to be dead.
In this George Romero directed movie Michael Rooker plays the sheriff Alan Pangborn (who is supposed to be a main character in the new Castle Rock series). He’s Bannerman’s replacement. He’s now in charge of the strange things that happen around Castle Rock. Also we meet his deputy briefly Norris Ridgewick.
Needful Things (1993)
A new shop opens up in Castle Rock. It claims to be able to give you whatever you desire . . . for a price.
Max Von Sydow plays the devil and has shown up to reek havoc in Castle Rock. This time out our main character is Sheriff Alan Pangborn (this time played by Ed Harris). He tries to keep Castle Rock from destroying itself but it’s a hard task. Helping him is his trusty deputy Norris Ridgewick. In the book we actually visit a lot of the famous locations from these previous movies/stories. Some old characters come back. Ace Merrill plays a big part.
So there you have it. That’s your cinematic journey through Castle Rock. I will say you could also do The Shawshank Redemption but it doesn’t feature in our journey here. It does seem that it will play a part in the new Hulu series.
We’re back with another list of horror films we should add to our watch list this Halloween season. This time we’re looking at a list by Rory Abel. Rory has been a friend of mine for a long time and I’ve been happy to see him grow as a filmmaker and am excited to see how people take to his list.
1. Stir Of Echoes – Lost amid the hype over Sixth Sense this ghost story gem is often overlooked. It does have some similar elements as Sixth Sense, namely ghosts and a kind of creepy little kid that can see them, but they don’t dominate the film. Instead, Kevin Bacon stars as a man unsure if he’s seeing spirits or loosing his mind after undergoing hypnotism at a party. As the lead Bacon is the film’s secret weapon, bringing a working class Average Joe sensibility to the character, which grounds the film amid its more supernatural moments.
2. Dagon – There aren’t many good H.P. Lovecraft adaptions and what there are tend to be directed by Stuart Gordon. This holds true with his 2001 adaptation of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, ignore the Dagon title there are barely any similarities with that particular short story. The film follows closely to the beats of the original story but imbues them with a slightly more action movie perspective. Moving the location from New England to Spain is an inspired touch, giving the location a greater sense of isolation and alienation. Combined with some decent practical effects and some less than stellar CGI Gordon manages to still being Innsmouth and its fishy inhabitance to life. The opening scene is one of the best examples of Lovecraft’s cosmic horror in film (other than in movie directed by John Carptenter).
3. Slashers – An early entry in the Found Footage genre before its elements had been codified this fun flick tries something a little different from the norm. Rather than people filming themselves in a supernatural scenario it’s set in a Japanese Game Show with a professional camera crew filming everything. The conceit is simple, contestants must make their way through an obstacle course in order to win a cash prize. If that seems too simple, there are also Slasher characters hunting them and who will literally kill them given the chance. A word of caution, this is an exceedingly low budget entry with some amateurish acting. However, if you can get passed that be prepare to have a hell of a fun time watching it.
4. The Crazies – I am not a fan of the original Crazies. I always felt it was an unfocused retread of ideas Romero handled better elsewhere. So I was more than happy to give this film a fair shake and if you are too you’ll find much to enjoy in it. It’s brutal and scary but more so Timothy Olyphant brings a believable exasperation and frustration to his lead character, which you don’t often see in a films hero. How often does a main character snap at their wife while trying to escape from the bad guy? Almost never, but it’s something that feels real and authentic and as such really grounds the film no matter how crazy it gets. (That was not an intentional pun, I swear.)
5. Gut – This slow burn thriller is by turns unsettling and disgusting. Fair warning, for a certain find of horror fan it will be Kryptonite but for those who like their horror gradual and mixed in with the mundane of everyday life this is a gem waiting to be uncovered. It combines marital dissatisfaction, crumbling friendships with obsession and gut churning snuff films. (Jesus, I don’t know where these puns are coming from.)
Rory Abel has worked on a variety of projects from internet videos and independent films to public and cable television. He’s worked for companies such as iVillage, Lifetime Television, NBC Universal and A&E Networks. He’s currently employed by Us Weekly as a Senior Editor for their digital videos.
His feature horror film “Phobia” is available on DVD and streaming services from RLJ/Image Entertainment. His short horror films “Love Story” and “Apathy Breeds Contempt” have screened across the United States in numerous festivals. “Apathy Breeds Contempt” can currently be seen on the digital cable channel American Horrors. His most recent short horror film is currently still doing the festival circuit and was debuted by Ain’t It Cool New:
We break away from our usual content to talk about 2 cult superhero movies from the 90s. First up is the 1993 film Meteor Man starring Richard Townsend and a bunch of people you know. Then after that it’s 1994s Blankman with a bunch of other people that you know. One thing binds these movies together and it’s probably not what you think. After that we talk Cult Of Chucky, Gerald’s Game, and Rick & Morty. Wubba lubba dub dub!
We’re back with another fun list of horror films to seek out this Halloween season with Retro Girl! Jeannie has been a friend for a long time and I’m glad to be able to share some of her tastes around here.
For Halloween this year I decided to put together a sort of fun scavenger hunt for all of you. I’ve asked some friends to put together a list of 5 films that they felt were unknown, under appreciated, or just deserved another look. My hope is that during the month of October maybe we’ll seek out some horror films outside of our usual Halloween viewing. First up is from the ever awesome Sean Keller. Sean is a screenwriter out in LA and in his bio he was too modest to point out that he wrote the Sci Fi Channel (pre SyFy) classic Mammoth. Here’s his list. Enjoy.
1. WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL (2013) – There are a lot of films out there trying to mimic the 80s aesthetic with varying degrees of authenticity and effectiveness, but this film is nostalgia perfected. The conceit of WNUF is that it’s a “videoptaped live broadcast” of a local independent station’s Halloween Special from Halloween night 1987 in which a tv personality hosts a séance from inside a supposedly haunted house. The story is thin, but it’s the attention to detail, specifically the low-budget local ads interspersed throughout the broadcast that ring true and make this piece really sing. Watching this for the first time last year was a revelation and I will be watching it on the night before Halloween for the rest of my life.
2. HAXAN (1922) – This “documentary” is a history of beliefs about witches and has the most witchy scenes ever committed to film (pair it with THE WITCH and LORDS OF SALEM for a perfect triple-bill of witchiness) Yes it it black & white, yes it’s a silent film, but there is a very cool shortened version of the film (and 1960’s re-release) narrated by the inimitable William S Burroughs that makes a great film somehow even greater and helps if you aren’t a silent movie fan.
3. TERROR IN THE AISLES (1984) – While not terribly “Halloweeny”, Terror on the Aisles is a very personal film for me. It played in heavy rotation on HBO in the mid 80s and was a real gateway film for me. It is essentially a clip-show of horror films (and inexplicably a ton of shots from the Stallone/Rutger Hauer crime thriller NIGHTHAWKS) set in a movie theater and hosted a deliciously over-the- top Donald Pleasance and Nancy Allen. The clips are spoiler-heavy and made me want to see every film they show. It’s a great bit of fun and a perfect film to leave on in the background during your Halloween party.
4. THE AMERICAN SCREAM (2012) – Another documentary? Fuck yeah, what about it? If you love the Halloween season (and if you don’t, why are you reading this?) you MUST watch The American Scream. This film is a sweet depiction of three families in the same small Massachusetts suburb who are all home haunters, meaning, they build ornate haunted house displays on their property every year for Halloween. This film hits me in my heart. I cry every time I watch it. If you ever feel like you’re becoming burnt out on the season, this flick is the perfect cure. The three families involved are so uncynically devoted to the glorification of the holiday that you cannot help but be infected with their enthusiasm. I highly recommend this one as an early October viewing to get you into the Halloween mood.
5. CANDYMAN (1992) – This is the most well-known title on my list, but I cannot give it enough love. If there was ever a film that begged to be included into the pantheon of Universal monsters, it’s this one. Tragic, terrifying, sexy, heroic, mythic and the most gothic urban horror ever made, Candyman climbs in my estimation with every viewing. Helen (Virginia Madsen) is doomed from the start and her descent into hell via folklore eventually fuses her soul into the
myth she is researching . Every shot is amazing and the score elevates the already wonderful film into true greatness.
Sean Keller is a horror screenwriter best known for his work with Dario Argento (GIALLO) and John Carpenter (THE WARD) and most recently wrote the book, lyrics, music and starred in the hit Slasher comedy musical SLASHED! The Musical.
This week we take a look at what we didn’t realize was two Roger Corman related movies that deal with fishmen. First up is the Island Of The Fishmen and then followed by Vic Morrow in Humanoids From The Deep. Then we talk about a trip to the drive in by Bryan and Noah. All this and more!
Just about everyone that knows me knows how obsessed with Stephen King I am. It’s not just that I enjoy his work but I obsess over it. It probably came from the 4th Dark Tower book where we find out that everything he’s ever written is connected some how.
My mom was a big King fan back in the day. She had a bookcase full of King books. I’d pull them out and look at the covers. I knew I’d always be too scared to read them, but they sat there and I’d stare at them.
It finally happened when I was 10. The IT miniseries was on TV and even though it looked scary I still watched it. I’m sure my parents regret that. I couldn’t sleep without nightmares for awhile. Then suddenly the urge came over me. I had to read IT. I needed to know more about this evil clown. How I convinced anyone to let me buy a copy of IT I’ll never know but they let me.
I read it within 6 months. I know but it’s over a thousand pages and I was 11. Give me some slack. From that point on I pretty much devoured every King book I could get my hands on. My mom seemed encouraged by my interest and even let me borrow books from her collection. Now the very books I used to get scared just looking at just the covers I was reading one after the other.
I give King credit for a lot of things with me. I feel there is a point in every person’s life where they make the decision “do I keep reading for fun or do I just read because I have to for school and I move on to other things for fun?” He kept me reading. I would keep up to date on his current books. Getting them for Christmas and Birthday presents from family members. I read other authors as well but nothing could bring me to a screaming halt like King.
Then I discovered within this collection of books The Dark Tower. I had avoided it because I’m not really into fantasy novels. But decided to give the first one a shot. I enjoyed it enough I wanted to see where it would go so I got the second book. Then the third. After that the 4th book would change everything.
I was used to seeing references to other King works in his books. Castle Rock of course was a big nexus point but things like The Stand and some of his other short stories like The Mist (yes more a novella), The Jaunt, The Long Walk, etc. took place in worlds that there was no way could be in the same reality as Castle Rock.
In the 4th Dark Tower book a character whom I thought was a stand alone character told another character that he was trying to win over to his side “I once had a man that would pledge ‘My Life For You!'” Everything changed. Suddenly this quest for the Dark Tower now had resonance across every word King had every put to paper. It all mattered.
I continued on the journey to the tower and was sad to say goodbye to the friends I had made in that world but never stopped making friends with his new characters. Some books are better than others as that is with any story. I never quit. King has kept me reading and dreaming. Most importantly King has kept me writing.
I had dreams of being a big novelist. I also had dreams of being a big filmmakers. Age has let me look at the realities of this world and I let myself be content to just write and make movies because I want to with no goal of hitting it big. I’d actually like to avoid that if possible. I just want to enjoy doing it.
This Friday I finally close a circle as I’ll be heading up to the Chicago area to see King and his son Owen talk about their new book Sleeping Beauties. I’ve been holding out going to one of these because I always hoped there would be a chance to meet him at a signing so I could extend my hand and say “Thank you for everything you’ve given me.” It doesn’t look like he does many straight up signings anymore so this may be the only chance I’ll have to at least be in an event with him. I’m going to take it and enjoy every minute I can of him and his son sitting on stage telling stories and talking about weaving stories together. There are worse ways to spend a Friday.
We delve into some dystopian futures this week as we look at 1986’s Charles Band produced film Robot Holocaust and then take a trip to The Bronx to find a lawless society that is fighting against a fascist corporate regime in 1990: The Bronx Warriors. Seems a little too real now a days. We delve into other stuff we’ve been watching which includes a review of IT, Noah’s trips to the cinema using Moviepass, and Bryan’s horror filled weekend.
The highlight for me for Daredevil Season 2 was the new vision of The Punisher. We had up till then 3 big screen versions of the deranged vigilante but none seemed to really connect with audiences. Many claimed they had softened up the character too much to reach a broad audience. For me when I heard him utter “You hit them they get back up. I hit them and they stay down.” I knew they had found the right tone for the character. It was no surprise Frank Castle would end up with his own Netflix series. We’ve seen a few teaser trailers but today the full length trailer hit the internet. It’s exactly what I wanted from a Punisher show. The Metallica music gets the tone perfect. What do you think?
Drive right in and take your spot in front of the screen. Grab a speaker off the pole and sit down to enjoy the first episode of Midnight Drive-In. For our first episode we decided to dive into a topic that is weirdly back on people’s minds. Nazis. We check out Ilsa, She Wolf Of The SS and Surf Nazis Must Die! Then we go into some other stuff we’ve been watching. If you want to contact the show email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up on twitter @MNDriveInPod. And of course there is always the Facebook group. See you all at the concession stand.
When IT was first announced as being up on the remake slot (or re-adaptation if you want to approach it that way) I was not really that thrilled with the idea. I once met the director of the 1990 TV miniseries version of IT. I straight up told him that I blamed him for the reason I didn’t like clowns. Anyone in my age range will tell you that Tim Curry pretty much ruined the ever enjoying a clown again. For me there was no way anyone could ever do Pennywise justice. Tim Curry had terrified a whole generation with some grease paint and a wicked smile.
The longer it went on I hoped more and more that IT would be put in the old development hell section of Hollywood where things like Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash or such gems as a sequel to Bubba Ho-Tep seemed to live. I wouldn’t get my wish. I began my crusade of denying this movie. Hell no we won’t go . . . . to the cinema to see a new IT! The chant was awkward so I dropped it but I kept saying there was no way a new IT would be good. Then the first trailer hit. Suddenly a slight crack in my facade began to show. I was still adamant that Pennywise wouldn’t be nearly as good as Tim Curry’s but damn did the footage look pretty good.
Trailer 2 hit. The cracks were really showing now. IT actually looked scary. As much as I love the 1990 TV movie version because it scared my 10 year old self senseless it has lost some of the scary luster it once held and now I just appreciate it for how it USED to scare me. These trailers had made it look actually scary again. Yeah but still he was no Tim Curry. What I learned this weekend is that he didn’t need to be.
I’d been waiting to hate on this movie since it was first announced and now here I sit opening weekend telling you I can’t. Don’t get me wrong, it still has some quibbles with me, but I actually can say I really enjoyed it. They took a story I’ve loved all my life and gave it a loving tribute to it’s source material. The time frame is updated to 1989. Making the kids pretty much the same age I was when I saw IT for the first time. Suddenly I’m caught in a nostalgia loop. I’m reliving my childhood through these characters and they were also about to get the piss scared out of them by a killer clown.
The casting is about spot on perfect for me. I have no complaints what so ever. Bill is great as an awkward leader consumed by his brother’s disappearance. Eddie is one sneeze away from being put into an iron lung by his over bearing mother. Richie is the foul mouthed class clown we all wished we could have been. And there’s Bev. Poor poor Bevie. I worry about her a lot.
These kids feel like friends. It’s no stretch of the imagination to see these kids hanging out. The chemistry on screen is near perfect. Henry Bowers has traded in his duck tail hair cut and leather jacket for a mullet and sleeveless t-shirts fitting right into the 1989 setting. Pennywise. Oh let me tell you about this Dancing Clown. Bill Skarsgard brings a new twist onto King’s terrifying shape shifter. He doesn’t try to do what Tim Curry did. He didn’t do an impression. He creates something new. Which is exactly what you need in a remake like this. Something new. This evil clown doesn’t lure you in with his innocent clown tricks. No. This clown lures you in with his smile and then keeps right on smiling as he rips your guts out. If Tim Curry gave 10 year old me nightmares then Skarsgard is going to give the almost 40 year old me some sleepless nights for the next few days.
I am pleading with you if you have been on the fence to give the new IT a try. And this is from a fan who denounced it from the start. Give it a chance. You might just get a few night terrors of your own.
I actually have seen IT twice this weekend. First with a few friends I had made plans with a few months ago and then just today I got a chance to go see IT with an invitation for free passes to try the 4DX version. A new 4DX theater had opened in Illinois and I was curious to check it out so I gladly accepted. With 4DX you get an immersive experience. Your seat will move and vibrate along with the movie. You’ll get fans blowing when the characters are riding their bikes so you can feel the wind rushing past your head. New smells will enter the theater during every scene. There was strobe lights to help accentuate the lightning. Mist and air from the seats in front of you to bring you into the wet and surprising scenes. Seems like a great idea . . .
. . .unless you’re trying to watch an atmospheric horror film. Sadly it didn’t help with this movie. The audience also didn’t help. Lots of talking and people checking phones. Part of me thinks the 4DX didn’t help with this. When you have air blasting in your face and your friends are laughing it seemed to open up the idea that you could just talk about it at full volume. Many times during the film my seat was shaking and moving all over the place and making it hard to pay attention to what was going on on screen. I looked over at my friend Scott who came with me to see him almost a foot higher than me because our seats were moving at such a weird pace.
Also I didn’t smell anything. Nothing seemed to change during the movie. I felt bad as this was Scott’s first time seeing the film and what was supposed to be an immersive experience seemed to be distracting him from actually enjoying the movie. I don’t think it’s a bad idea overall. If I saw Jurassic World in this theater I probably would have enjoyed every second of it but for a movie like this it seemed to make it harder to enjoy the film. I say YES to 4DX but not for something like this.
Outside of that GO SEE IT! From the box office it would seem like a lot of you did which means we will probably see more R rated horror films and more Stephen King in the theater. Both of which can be good things.
On the way home from the theater me and Scott decided to break out the recorder and talk about our experience. There was a lot of road noise so I did best I could to get rid of it but you may hear some bleeps and bloops. Sorry.
Music provided by The Fantastic Plastics.
This week we’re down two co-hosts so Amanda and Bryan venture forth alone to tell the tales of this week’s Challenge XXX: Dirty Thirty. We talk about some drunken shenanigans, if Tony is actually a good player, and state multiple times that Nelson is a punk.