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Episode 371 - Straw Dogs (1971)

The year 1971 was a very important year for cinema. Directors and screenwriters began pushing boundaries never seen in film before. That year such films as A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, DIRTY HARRY, and THE FRENCH CONNECTION released along with Sam Peckinpah’s STRAW DOGS. The film starred Dustin Hoffman and Susan George along with a number of British character actors such as David Warner.

David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) and his young wife Amy (Susan George) move back to her Cornish home from mid-America so David can do work for a college grant that he was granted. What looks like a beautiful little town begins to haunt Amy as old acquaintances return to her life. Soon David’s own life is turned upside down when a group of handymen begin to upend his self-esteem. As time passes, his own relations with Amy turn sour only to be brought to a head when unforeseen circumstances upend their life.

One of the most controversial films of its day, the movie is now consider a classic in both cult and mainstream cinema. Peckinpah’s tale touches such topics as masculinity, small town versus big town, foreigners in a foreign land, classism, elitism, and colloquialism. Chosen by one of Dark Discussions patreon supporters, your co-hosts take a look at this very controversial movie.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 370 - Glass (2019)

In 2000, M. Night Shyamalan released UNBREAKABLE, a very brooding and slow film that at the time received mixed reviews. Yet, interest in the director and also the fairly strong story brought with it a cult following that gave the film a well deserved re-evaluation by many. Years later, in 2016, he made the sequel entitled SPLIT that was an instant success both critically and at the box office. Now, the third film, GLASS (2019), in what has now been dubbed the Eastrail 177 Trilogy, has been released.

With the disappearance of serial killer Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), David Dunn (Bruce Willis) as the mysterious “superhero” Overseer heads out to the warehouse district of Philadelphia in search of Crumb. But unexpectedly Dr. Ellie Staple (Sarah Paulson) captures both of them so to try to cure them of their “super powers.” Soon after Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) better known as the supervillian Mr. Glass is transferred to the same facility so he too can be cured. But unforeseen circumstances happen that may change the future of not just the three but also the entire world.

Receiving very mixed reviews, GLASS was still able to dominate the box office its first two weeks in release. Starring the same cast, in the same universe of the prior films, the highly anticipated movie has continued both Shyamalan and production company Blumhouse’s financial success. Dark Discussions takes a look at the third film in the Eastrail 177 Trilogy and gives their critique.

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Episode 369 - 2018 Review

We are already a month into 2019 and some good films have come out. But last year was a heck of a year too. Dark Discussions puts together their review of all that was good and bad in 2018. More than 75 different films were worthy enough to be considered as a top 20 movie in genre cinema.

Each of your five co-hosts put together a list of movies that were worthy of their own personal top films of the year. This included both a list of horror movies and a list of other speculative fiction films. Afterwards we then combined them and came up with Dark Discussions definitive lists of the best of 2018. Some obvious films like A Quiet Place and Hereditary appear but also little known films like Housewife, Mon Mon Mon Monsters, and Terrified were considered.

Also included are some of our listener choices and what they felt were the best of the year. And don’t forget our top and worst scenes, scream queens, breakout star, and anything else you can think of. Dark Discussions wraps up last year in a nice tight bow and gives their listeners a good many films to go out and search for.

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Episode 368 - Escape Room (2019)

There have been many films where people are stuck in some sort of game or scenario that leaves them in a life or death situation. Examples include THE BELKO EXPIRMENT, CUBE, 13 SINS, SAW, THE COLLECTOR, THE KILLING ROOM, and EXAM just to name a few. The very first mainstream release of 2019 is ESCAPE ROOM which itself follows the same concept.

Six individuals from different walks of life receive gifts to participate in an escape room; basically a form of LARP. The winner is guaranteed a ten thousand dollar prize if they can solve the puzzle. As the game begins, the participants find out that the game may not be a game at all, but a life or death trap. As people begin to die, each finds out their prior life events may actually be the reason they were picked in the first place.

The film is directed by Adam Robitel who had directed successful horror films THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN and INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY. And the movie brings together in starring roles genre favorites Deborah Ann Woll, Tyler Labine, and Logan Miller. With a fairly good critical rating and successful financially, some think it may be a new franchise. Dark Discussions takes a look at this latest film in the line of “game-themed” horror and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 367 - 2019 Preview

With January 2019 underway, it is time to visit what is coming this year to cinemas, video-on-demand platforms, as well as those genre films that are going straight to disc. Last year, horror seemed to dominate genre and there were a lot of great flicks. This year once again there seems to be a lot of great ones coming. Plus also more superhero flicks. Reboots and remakes and sequels are also arriving too.

Dark Discussions once again is back with their look forward to the new year and which films seem to interest them most. Some of the more high profile flicks spoken of include IT CHAPTER 2, PET SEMATARY, GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, as well as the new ANNABELLE film.

Some other flicks talked about include VELVET BUZZSAW, THE HOLE IN THE GROUND, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE and BRIGHTBURN. And then at the very end we list off other films and talk about some of the latest news about movies and genre cinema.

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Episode 366 - Errementari (2018)

ERREMENTARI (2018) is an unusual film. Translated from its Basque language, the word means blacksmith. Rather than a straight horror film, it is based upon an old folklore tale entitled The Smith and the Devil, a legend where a smith makes a deal with the devil by offering his soul, but later is able to renege upon the deal with trickery. The new film, released in the United States by Netflix, uses this as a backdrop for a more personal message of the Basque people.

When the orphan girl, Usue, has her doll thrown over a property fence surrounding the hermit-like blacksmith, she sneaks inside the perimeter. Curiosity gets the most of her where she enters the domain of the recluse. While inside she finds a boy imprisoned in a cage. Being the kind soul she is, she tries desperately to free him before the blacksmith discovers her presence.

Much like many films released on Netflix, ERREMENTARI had little to no prior hype surrounding it. But it has gained some notice as the channel and its algorithm advertised it on its main page or after similar films. Dark Discussions takes a look at this very odd yet interesting film and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 365 - New Year's Bucket List Special

New Year's resolutions are a big thing for folks. Some want to lose weight, find a spouse, get a new job, work towards completing something; others have goals that they strive for. Co-host Mike said that there are a lot of genre films he hasn't seen that he wants to get to, so as a New Year's resolution, why not ask all the co-hosts to see some film they always wanted to see and then discuss. The third year doing so, each co-host chose a genre movie that they had never seen and decided to watch it and give their opinions.

Films we discuss are EYES WITHOUT A FACE (1962), THEM! (1954), THE MUMMY (1932), and VANISHING POINT (1971). A wide variety of films they are but also some important ones too that one of your co-hosts finally got to see.

With all that, Dark Discussions would like to say happy 2019 to all our listeners and patreon supporters, both new and old, and hope to hear some of the films you folks have never seen and plan to in this new year. Email us and let us know.

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Episode 358 - Dan Lench Special

Since the inception of Dark Discussions Podcast, not only have your co-hosts become good friends, but they have met many of the listeners, sometimes in person, but also online on social media. With topics including smaller films and independent cinema, writers, actors, and directors have come aboard to the Dark Discussions Podcast community. One such person, Dan Lench, star of such films as CIRCLE and THE LURKING MAN, has become an important part of the “family.”

Having done splendid work in genre cinema including playing a scoundrel banker, an insane mental patient, and a demon from the underworld, Dan has proven not only to be one fantastic actor, but also a true fan of genre cinema and all its scares.

The man himself has been interviewed by your co-hosts a number of times to discuss his work and what’s next. While presently working on the stage in an adaption of Oscar Wilde’s THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY, Dark Discussions has asked him to appear once more to give his thoughts of some of his most favorite horror films.

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Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews Volume 008

Welcome to the latest edition of Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews – a podcast that reviews and critiques films released by boutique labels that have taken old and sometimes forgotten midnight movies and re-releases them in special editions where the quality of the picture is fully remastered, usually from onetime lost or privately owned negatives or prints.

This month is a bit different. This volume rather than doing an episode on midnight movies, I instead have focused on a subject. With June being LGBTQ Pride Month, I have searched about and found seven films specific to a lesbian theme. But unlike the typical exploitation films released by boutique companies, I’ve focused exclusively with arthouse films of the serious type.

The seven movies reviewed are of various quality, with a few being outstanding, and a handful being wonderful surprises. The films include alphabetically AWOL (2016), BARE (2015), BELOW HER MOUTH (2016), BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013), DUCK BUTTER (2018), ROOM IN ROME (2010), and SUMMERTIME (2015). Sorry for the long delay between episodes, but I am now back.

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Episode S02 - C.H.U.D. Lives! A Horror Anthology

April 27th, 2018 release of horror anthology C.H.U.D. Lives!: A Tribute Anthology. Dark Discussions interviews some of the authors of this new horror book including Ross Baxter, Chad Lutzke, and Philip Perron.

C.H.U.D. is a genre defying, cult classic film featuring monsters living in the sewers below New York. The stories in this anthology expand the world created by the film and add depth to the C.H.U.D. universe like never before. From stories of apocalyptic horror and all out monster action, to tales of underground parties interrupted by uninvited guests and evening strolls that end in death, this anthology will leave you both smiling and breathless.

Relive the fear as these original stories take you beyond the movie to events that occurred before, during, and after the scenes we remember so well.

Includes C.H.U.D. related stories by Jonathan Maberry, Tim Waggoner, JG Faherty, Mort Castle, Michael H. Hanson, Martin Powell, Ben Fisher, Jason White, Chad Lutzke, Ross Baxter, Philip C Perron, David Bernstein, Nick Cato, Alex Laybourne, Christopher Fulbright, Angeline Hawkes, David Robbins, Robert Waters, Greg Mitchell, Ryan C. Thomas, and Eugene Johnson.

With an introduction by David Drake. Compiled by Eric S. Brown.

C.H.U.D. Lives! also features in-depth interviews with Andrew Bonime (producer) and Parnell Hall (screenwriter), as well as never before seen behind-the-scenes photos from the classic 80s horror film.