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Episode 134 - Hard Candy (2006)

A parent's worst nightmare. Online predators. Some recent examples of horror films that discuss such a heated topic include 2012's Megan is Missing. However, back in 2005 at Sundance, a low budget film entitled Hard Candy was played as a midnight showing. When the film's word of mouth hit the streets, the stars of the movie immediately landed on the radar of Hollywood studios. Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson suddenly became leads in films only years later. But the interesting thing that made Hard Candy memorable besides the talent of its two costars was that the film was a tight little thriller.

Jeff, a fairly well known photographer, meets up with Hayley, a young fourteen year old girl, on an internet chat room. Soon the two meet and head back to Jeff's home where they partake in alcoholic beverages and what appears to be an impromptu photo spread. However, something unexpected occurs that turns this inappropriate scenario into a nightmare.

David Slade, a former music video director, helms the film which led him to big budget movies such as 30 Days of Night and Twilight Eclipse. His television work has included episodes of Breaking Bad and Hannibal. Screenwriter Brian Nelson went on to co-write 30 Days of Night and Devil. But this film, Hard Candy, itself was the film that made the careers of all involved. Your co-hosts discuss this oddly forgotten gem and why it should not be missed.

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Episode 133 - Game of Thrones Season 3 Recap

It's now one of the most highly anticipated shows on television. HBO's series, Game of Thrones, based off the book series, The Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin, has become a smash hit. Its an odd take of a fantasy world where magic, monsters, and myth are nothing more than a backdrop to various families fighting for power to become the ruler of the seven kingdoms. With a large budget and fantastic acting from mostly a group of unknowns and character actors, the series is now about to enter its fourth season starting in April, 2014.

Season 3 follows the ensemble cast on their many different and divergent journeys. King Stannis has returned to Dragonstone after his defeat at Blackwater. Can he regroup in time to hold onto power? Daenerys has headed to the slave islands looking for an army that she can use to head back to Westeros. Theon Greyjoy was last seen being taken away as a prisoner. The Lannisters and Tyrells have an unsteady alliance. The "King of the North", Rob Stark, tries to regroup after his own army dwindles. Other characters like Samwell Tarly come to the forefront and begin to play an important role in the series.

Dark Discussions talks about all these things. Ponderings include the army of the unsullied, the brotherhood without banners, the red wedding, obsidian and the white walkers, Melisandre and the red god, the revolt of the black watch, the political intrigue of the Tyrells, and John Snow's allegiance. Though this is volume 2 of our Game of Throne's retrospective, the talk focuses mostly on Season 3.

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Episode 132 - Big Bad Wolves (2014)

Back in 2010, a little known foreign film appeared entitled in its native language Kalevet brought some notoriety to the director/writer combo Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado. At first it was thought that maybe some of the interest was that it was the first "horror" film from Israel. But the film known as Rabies in English and released wide to the world in 2012 actually was a quirky and well made neo-grindhouse horror film that had a lot to say (see our own discussion on the film in episode 116 of Dark Discussions).

In 2013, when their follow up Big Bad Wolves hit the festival circuits, director/screenwriter Quentin Tarantino stated he thought it was the best film of the year. Whether that's an overstatement, or whether it was the fact some say it was a homage to his own films, Big Bad Wolves most certainly is a dark and some ways comic thriller that immediately landed on everyone's radar. When a school teacher is suspected to be a serial murderer of children, a group of individuals including a police man as well as the father of a murder victim, decide to take justice in their own hands.

The film seems to be both a standard thriller and even a disciple of the Tarantino films, yet in all honesty it has some interesting topics to say about people and policy that the creators of the film are not too shy to present. Dark Discussions discusses the film, some of the topics it brings up, as well as some quirky and less obvious things the movie has to say including mobile phone ring tones and little dog people. Get ready for a discussion that leaves co-host Eric a bit frazzled as controversy over substance makes him flabbergasted.

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Episode 131 - Hannibal TV Series

Hannibal Lecter. He has become one of the most iconic horror "monsters" in film history. Whether he is in the same vain as Dracula and Frankenstein or Freddy and Jason, he is consistently listed in the top ten scariest monsters or villains of all time. Thomas Harris, though a non-prolific author, has placed himself as one of the greats for the creation of both Hannibal and his supporting cast in the novels. After Academy Awards and critical and audience acclaim, Hannibal reappears once more on television in the series simply entitled Hannibal.

At first, people were not quite sure what to think. Was it a cash in on the character and the works of Thomas Harris and the movies based off his books? To be truthful, yes, the show has a very recognizable villain and a fanbase already built in. But Bryan Fuller, the showrunner for such quirky series as Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, has hit a home run with this new project. Though low in audience numbers, the series has received positive reviews and been slowly gaining a cult following.

Your co-hosts discuss the first season of the show now that Season Two has just begun to air. Abe and Mike lead the way. Abe discusses the source material while Mike dissects the show and some of the interesting "second viewing" plot lines and Easter eggs. Joining the guys is author M.J. Preston as the layman for the episode. Concluding, Hannibal is definitely one show that everyone who loves genre television should see. Co-host Phil even goes as far to say it is the best genre show only behind Game of Thrones.

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Episode 130 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

We recorded this episode in November of 2013 but decided to release it when The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released for home viewing and therefore to everybody. That occurred in the USA on March 7, 2014 and March 17th in the UK. One of the top grossing films last year and also one of the most successful franchises ever, The Hunger Games movies are now hand in hand with the books as iconic for their generation. Catching Fire, the second film in the series, not only received critical acclaim but in many circles was more highly regarded than the first film.

The story is somewhat about a dystopian future where yearly a contest is given in which a male and a female from each district of the nation are picked by lottery and sent off to battle against the other representatives from the twelve districts. While the first book and film focused on this brutal and unjust competition, the second focuses on an unseen Machiavellian plot to strengthen the government's control against its slowly decaying power.

Your co-hosts discuss the film, some of the high-minded themes, and its comparison to the prior film and the book series it is based on. Also discussed is the tragic passing of Paul Walker back in November and a discussion on some genre films and television shows that have recently been in the news.