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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.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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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 364 - Red Christmas (2017)

Holiday time! It’s the time to share gifts and celebrate, but it is also the time to watch holiday themed films. For the horror genre, there are many films including classics such as GREMLINS, BLACK CHRISTMAS, and SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT. Also cult movies with strong followings are necessary viewing including JACK FROST and DON’T OPEN ‘TILL CHRISTMAS. Recently a slew of independent Christmas themed horror films have been making the rounds. One higher profile movie was 2017’s RED CHRISTMAS produced and starring screamqueen Dee Wallace.

When Diane (Dee Wallace) celebrates Christmas at her homestead in Australia, her entire immediate family arrive. Festivities begin with appetizers and cocktails. Later that afternoon a disabled stranger arrives at her front door. Rather than shooing him away, Diane invites the visitor in with the spirit of Christmas in her heart. Conversation quickly turns into shock as a dark family secret soon shows its ugly head.

Directed by Craig Anderson (his first full length feature) and starring relatively unknowns, the movie has received fairly positive reviews by many critics. Dee Wallace’s name brought some attention to the movie but it seemed only to attract genre fans during its initial release. Dark Discussions takes a look at this Australian made film and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 363 - Fractured (2018)

Home invasion films and ghost house films are pretty derivative. That doesn’t mean they won’t be fantastically done and quite entertaining but usually something is done to spice them up a bit. The new horror film from the UK entitled FRACTURED may have done it quite right. Keeping you guessing if there is an intruder or a ghost or maybe something quite different keeps the movie moving in its eighty minute run time.

Rebecca (April Pearson) and Michael (Karl Davies), a young energetic couple, head for a getaway to a remote property. When they arrive, Rebecca begins to feel as if something isn’t quite right. Bizarre sounds, missing items, and small appliances seem to turn on by themselves. Michael seems unperturbed by the oddly strange happenings, but soon something or someone could be behind what may be more than innocuous ambience.

First time director Christian Hearn puts together a strong debut movie. Both Karl Davies and April Pearson have had high profile television roles prior to this film, with beauty April Pearson having a strong three years in genre cinema with this film as well as CAUGHT, DARK BEACON, and TANK 432. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new film and gives their thoughts.

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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.