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Episode 313 - Super Dark Times (2017)

Teenage angst. Living in ennui. It’s the typical story heard from anyone that went through those years of life feeling nothing but a dead end lay ahead. The new film, Super Dark Times, shows this type of outlook to the extreme. Having played the festival circuit earlier in the year, the film (directed by Kevin Phillips and with a screenplay written by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski) appeared on VOD on October 3rd with reviews of 92% from Rottentomatoes.

Zack and Josh live a typical teenage life. Bored and using their free time playing video games and going through yearbooks, one day the two meet up with Daryl and Charlie at the local convenience store. When a horrible accident occurs, the boys try to cover up their mistake. Unfortunately the mental makeup of their young minds aren’t able to cope with the guilt that weighs upon them. Soon more reactionary acts of cause further chaos in their lives.

Dark Discussions takes a look at this very dark drama that some have classified as horror and thriller alike. But no matter what it is, the film is very dispiriting and makes one feel awful. Is that bad? No! That’s what a dark film is supposed to do to you. Your co-hosts give their opinions on the movie and where it fits into genre film.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 312 - Mindhunter Season 1

Another new Netflix series called Mindhunter was released on October 13, 2017. Based on the early years of the criminal psychology and criminal profiling department in the FBI, the show is a dramatization of real events that took place in the 1970’s. Having just come out of one of the many dark times in the history of this government organization, new ways to solve crimes were being developed by some intellectuals within the bureau.

Younger agent, Holden Ford, is having little success with his work. As a trainer of other agents, he seems to be stuck in a dead end within the FBI. But soon he is paired up with Agent Bill Tench, a grizzly veteran, who goes around the country training local police officers how to catch criminals. The two eventually begin interviewing prominent serial killers and the beginning of a new department and a new way of apprehending the unlawful is created.

The show also stars Anna Torv as Wendy Carr, a psychologist, from the private sector who joins the department. But the most amazing performance may be unknown, Cameron Britton, who plays serial killer Edmund Kemper, in what appears to be a breakout role. Dark Discussions takes a look at this interesting series that has already been re-upped for another season.

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Episode 311 - The Babysitter (2017)

Netflix continues to drop television shows and movies onto their station without much notice. The new film, The Babysitter, is another one that happened to appear out of the blue. The movie was directed by McG, known mostly for his Charlie Angels films, and written by little known Brian Duffield.

Twelve year old Cole Johnson is a bit awkward with not many friends. He does have one thing most don’t, however, and that’s the hot babysitter. Bee is every young boy’s dream. Tall, blonde, beautiful, and as hip as you can imagine. She knows as much about the geek world as she knows about the cool world. When Cole’s parents head out for an overnight getaway, Bee and Cole play eclectic games and discuss pop culture. When night comes, and he goes to bed, Bee’s lazy night of television actually turns out to be something much more peculiar.

This new horror comedy stars Australian Samara Weaving, the niece of actor Hugo Weaving, in a breakout role as Bee. With its coming of age subplot and its wacky but shocking imagery, the movie has immediately become a cult classic and continues to bring back the midnight movies that were so prominent in the 1970’s. Dark Discussions takes a look at this hidden gem and gives their thoughts on the movie.

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Episode 310 - Creep 2 (2017)

A lot of genre fans, especially those fond of found footage films, were surprised when the 2014 movie Creep appeared. To little fanfare, this movie directed by Patrick Brice and starring Mark Duplass was a huge cult hit on the VOD circuit. Picked up by Blumhouse Productions, the movie became another one of their little gems that made a lot of horror fans happy with its fantastic acting, great scares, and rejuvenation of the found footage format.

Now in 2017, Creep 2, the sequel is here. Starring Mark Duplass and directed by Patrick Brice again, we pick up sometime later where our unnamed serial killer continues his search for people through online advertisement for a videographer. But there is a difference, he is right up front with Sara (played by Desiree Akhavan) and tells her his killing ways have become tedious. Sara, unsure that he is for real, decides to stay on as his videographer not knowing whether or not she is actually in danger.

Already announced that a Creep 3 is being produced, this new film in the franchise has been receiving fantastic reviews just as its predecessor. Dark Discussions take a look at this very unique movie, compares it with the original, and examines one of cinemas most memorable antagonists.

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Episode 309 - The Evil Within (2017)

A talented yet troubled film maker named Andrew Getty put together one of the most visually interesting horror films in years. His untimely death didn’t allow him to see its final release, but 2017’s The Evil Within made it to VOD after many years in production; over 15 years to be more precise. Oddly with little notice. After years as part of the rumor mill, the movie one day appeared on VOD with little fanfare. Why?

Dennis, a special-needs man, lives with John, his older brother, in their upper middle class home. John’s girlfriend Lydia wishes to get married but John seems to feel guilty to leave his younger brother. Soon Dennis begins to question his own reality when a demon starts haunting him in his dreams. Is it there to possess him or nothing more than his imagination?

Frederick Koehler plays Dennis in what some have said is a remarkable performance of a troubled young man. The cast includes Sean Patrick Flanery and Dina Meyer in strong supporting rows. Dark Discussions takes a look at this once very elusive film and considers whether or not it is as good as the original hype lead us all to believe.

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Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews Volume 007

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 I review four films and one television show. The movies include the 1987 slasher Slaughterhouse, the 2011 faux-grindhouse film The Disco Exorcist, the 1998 psychological thriller Jaded (starring Carla Gugino), the 2015 Japanese science fiction anime series Valkyrie Drive Mermaid, and the 1979 science fiction slasher film The Dark.

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Episode 267 - 2016 Year in Review

Another year passes and Dark Discussions podcast looks back at genre films of 2016. Five co-hosts, five individual lists, and one master definitive list of the best horror films of the year. We go through over 70 films and choose what we each thought were the best horror films released and then put together one final list removing any outliers. Obvious higher profile films like The Conjuring 2 or Blair Witch were considered but also critical darlings such as The Wailing and The Witch.

Also discussed were the best various subgenres of pulp films. We put together another definitive list of the best "other" genre films – those being science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and the rest. Again obvious titles like Star Wars Rogue One and The Arrival are discussed but also The Girl on the Train and Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla are considered too.

Lastly we have our choices of the highlights (and lows) of the year including best performances, breakout stars, and goats of the year. And we include lists from some of our listeners. Where do they stand compared to the movies that Dark Discussions think were essential to genre viewing for 2016?

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Episode 266 - 2017 Genre Preview

With January 2017 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 Kong: Skull Island, War of the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Alien Covenant, the latest Thor film, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. For straight horror, A Cure For Wellness is probably one of the more high profile flicks coming.

Some lower profile flicks talked about include Arbor Demon, The Dark Tapes, Personal Shopper, Dangerous People, Space Babes From Outer Space, Sky Sharks, and Safe Neighborhood. 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 259 - Patient Seven (The Critique)

Last week Dark Discussions interviewed director Danny Draven and actor Dan Lench of the movie Patient Seven. We learned a bit about the horror anthology and how the various shorts were award winning movies from the convention circuit. After being scooped up by the producers, a wraparound story was built around these films creating a cohesive movie.

A highly renowned doctor comes to a sanitarium to interview seven patients for a new book he is planning. Each patient is a very unique behavioral health case. As the psychiatrist's unconventional techniques become known, the orderlies become concerned and the patients become more enraged. Yet there may be a truth behind each patient's tale that not even a sanitarium can keep hidden.

Patient Seven encompasses seven award winning shorts with an eighth wraparound story that ties it all together. Zombies, vampires, serial killers, ghosts, demons, and murder fill out the almost two hour runtime. With its great score, its dark tone, and each tales unique twists, the movie has been getting rave reviews and has been considered one of the best horror anthologies to come along in some time. Dark Discussions does their critique and review of this new film.

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Episode 258 - Patient Seven (The Interviews)

Horror anthologies seem to be films that horror fans either love or hate. Many can be disjointed, have too many tonal shifts, or simply aren't any good. But there has been a huge resurgence of them recently led by such films as The ABC's of Death and V/H/S. A new film entitled Patient Seven suddenly appeared on VOD services and quickly became one of the top horror movies rented and viewed on such places as iTunes.

With seven individual stories with an eighth story as the wraparound tale, the film is quite lengthy and yet flows pretty smoothly. The cast includes some fairly well known folks including Alfie Allen (of Game of Thrones), actress Amy Smart, and genre favorite Michael Ironsides.

Additionally, the movie has actor Dan Lench, a star of last year's science fiction film, Circle, playing a pivotal role that is completely different than anything he's played before. Along with Dan Lench, Dark Discussions interviews one of the directors, Danny Draven, who also edited and put together the upcoming disc release. Get ready for part one of our two part episode of Patient Seven. This episode focuses on the people that worked on the film.