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Episode 424 - Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020)

When a miscellaneous character was added to the DC animated series, BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, in September 1992, no one knew that anti-hero/villain Harley Quinn would take off and become one of their most popular characters. Since then, the character has starred in numerous comic books, spin offs, and was featured in the film SUICIDE SQUAD (2016) and its upcoming sequel. However, a spin off movie now titled HARLEY QUINN: BIRDS OF PREY (2020) was released to excellent reviews.

After Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) is dumped by her longtime boyfriend, the Joker, she is now off on her own. After blowing up a chemical plant as revenge for becoming a woman scorned, all of her enemies are now out to get her. When she discovers that a highly regarded diamond has more value than she original thought, her goal is to give it to Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) so his henchmen will leave her alone.

Originally thought to have high box office potential, the movie surprisingly underperformed quite a lot. Some think it was the R rating while others felt it was the original name not highlighting the main character. Other issues may have been its very odd marketing. Either way co-hosts Mike and Phil along with guests Kevin and Barrett give their thoughts.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 423 - 2019 Year in Review

We are already 1/6th into 2020 and some good films have come out. Yet did last year start out with bang or a whimper? Dark Discussions puts together their review of all that was good and bad in 2019. Included is the consideration of 84 different films that were worthy enough to be considered as a top 10 film for genre and horror films.

Each of your co-hosts put together a list of movies they thought were good enough to be seen by audiences. This included both a list of horror films 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 2019. Some obvious films like Midsommar and Us appear but also little known films like The Dead Center, The Furies, and Satanic Panic 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 422 - Haunt (2019)

After A QUIET PLACE (2018), Scott Beck and Bryan Woods were in demand. The wrote that movie and it became a smash hit and listed as one of the top horror films of the year, if not decade. One of their earlier scripts they were able to get funding to co-direct. Produced by the likes of Eli Roth (CABIN FEVER) and Todd Garner (ZOOKEEPER), their latest film, HAUNT (2019), was grabbed by Shudder as an exclusive.

When a group of college students meet up for a Halloween gathering, they all decide to head out to funhouse like most people do during October. Once inside, the group split up and soon find out that what should have been a fun experience may be something else all together.

HAUNT has received quite strong reviews from such aggregate sites as Rotten Tomatoes. With the success of they’ve now had, Beck and Woods may suddenly become a desirable duo for future projects. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new film and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 421 - 2020 Preview

With January 2020 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, genre films seemed to be lacking in quality. There were many gems but not the large amount seen in prior years. This year however there seems to be a lot of great fils coming. Plus also new seasons of some quality TV series.

Dark Discussions once again takes a look at all that’s on the calendar. Some of the more high profile flicks spoken of include GODZILLA VS. KONG, WONDER WOMAN 1984, A QUIET PLACE 2, as well as the sequel to the South Korean movie TRAIN TO BUSAN.

Some other flicks talked about include VFW, THE LODGE, SWALLOW and television series such as SNOWPIERCER and DEVS. And then at the very end we list off what is remaining as well as discuss some of the latest news about movies and genre cinema.

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Episode 420 - Underwater (2020)

After the 20th Century Fox sale to Disney, there were a number of films that landed up in limbo. Disney had to go through various films and see what they could do with them. One of them was UNDERWATER (2020), a movie that had been sitting on the shelf since 2017. Starring a fairly strong cast, but with no marketable names, the movie remained unreleased for over two years. However, with its fairly expensive budget, Disney decided January of the new year could salvage a film they felt had no real market.

In the year 2050, Tian Industries has built large drilling stations seven miles below the surface. When an unexpected event causes mass casualties at station Kepler 822 leaving only a handful of survivors, the group has to figure a way to survive. Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel) says that they should suit up and walk across the ocean floor one mile to Roebuck Station 641. With little chance of survival, an unexpected development adds to their dire circumstances.

UNDERWATER was directed by William Eubank in his first major studio film. The cast includes Kristen Stewart (TWILIGHT) back in mainstream films and French superstar Vincent Cassel (IRREVERSIBLE). With its breathtaking cinematography by Bojan Bazelli (A CURE FOR WELLNESS), the film has much to like. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new sci-fi horror film and gives their thoughts.

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Cinema A La Carte - Episode 001 - Hostiles (2017)

Director Scott Cooper is well known for his award nominated films such as CRAZY HEART (2009), OUT OF THE FURNACE (2013), and BLACK MASS (2015). His movies have had their detractors, but generally have been received positively. His last film, 2017’s HOSTILES, was no different. Showing his fluidity, this movie was a Western.

Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale) is assigned to escort the pardoned Cheyenne Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family back to Montana, his homeland. When he and his crew come upon Rosalee Quaid (Rosamund Pike), a survivor from a Comanche massacre, she joins their group. As the two former enemies begin to see the others humanity, Blocker has a change of heart about his mission and becomes friends with Yellow Hawk.

The film was released late December 2017 hoping for Oscar buzz, but unfortunately both its box office and Academy Award hopes floundered. Now Cinema A La Carte, in its debut episode, takes a look at this overlooked movie and gives their thoughts on a modern Western in this new social age.

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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.