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Episode 318 - 2017 Review

We are already four percent into 2018 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 2017. Included is the consideration of 75 different films that were worthy enough to be considered as a top 20 film for genre and horror films.

Each of your five 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 2017. Some obvious films like Wonder Woman and Get Out appear but also little known films like The Evil Within, Radius, and Berlin Syndrome 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.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 317 - The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The directing and writing team of Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou have been a pretty well known arthouse combo for the last eight years. With films like Dogtooth and The Lobster, they have put together some very quirky and unique films. The Lobster was generally a “hit” for fans of genre films. Recently, their latest movie, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, was released by A24, the distribution company, who have begun to pick up some very well received arthouse horror films such as It Comes At Night. Starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, The Killing for a Sacred Deer has received great reviews and had a strong run in limited release.

Surgeon Steven Murphy has an odd mentor relationship with teenager Martin. They meet for lunch, gives him gifts, and shows kindness to this otherwise awkward boy. Yet the friendship may be based on guilt since Dr. Murphy was operating on Martin’s father when the man passed away. Soon Martin is invited to dinner at the Murphy family. When Steven’s wife Anna begins to become curious at this unique bond between an ex-patient’s son and her husband, both her own children suddenly become ill. Steven soon learns that there may nefarious causes to the illness behind Anna and his children. As a result, Steven may have to make the hardest decision of his life.

The film has a solid 79% rating on Rottentomatoes. No matter, its odd dialogue reading and unexplained mystery has given general audiences mixed reviews. Yet the acting and cinematography have been praised all around. Dark Discussions takes a look at this somewhat contentious film and gives their critique.

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Episode 316 - 2018 Preview

With January 2018 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 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Annihilation, the two X-Men films, Slender Man, The Nun, and Game Night.

Some other flicks talked about include Fashionista, The Bad Man, the critically praised Norwegian film, Thelma, and a few sequels to Dead Snow and Halloween. 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 S01 - Interviews (2017)

Dark Discussions is back with a special episode. Boutique disc labels are pumping out lost cult films. With the recent rediscovery of these 1970’s and drive-in films, a number of faux flicks have appeared. On December 12, 2017, the new film, Dangerous People, was released. Having done the festival circuit, the movie has gotten rave reviews and won awards. Co-host Mike and Phil were able to see the film at the convention Scare-A-Con during the summer of 2017. As luck would have it, the screenwriter and director, Garo Nigoghossian, was kind enough to give us some of his time and discuss the film, the process behind it, the plot, and the stars of the movie, including scream queen Angelina Leigh.

In November 2017, co-host Phil was able to interview authors L.L. Soares and Peter N. Dudar about their novels and careers. Both are Stoker nominated authors, with L.L. Soares having won the award for best debut novel. Each discusses their latest works but also all their novels and novellas that span their careers.

This special interview episode lets listeners know about some fantastic authors and a new film that is destined to become a cult classic. Listen up and send us your feedback.

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Episode 315 - New Year's Resolution Bucket List

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 second 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 The Bride of Frankenstein, Freaks, Princess Mononoke, and Night of the Hunter. 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 2018 to all our listeners, both new and old, and hope to hear from you some of the films you folks have never seen and plan to in this new year

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Episode 314 - Better Watch Out (2017)

Christmas horror films have been a reliable subgenre of the terror film. With such cult classics as Silent Night Deadly Night and Gremlins, December 25th has turned out to be a pretty good day to get some terrifying frights. An Australian-American produced movie entitled Safe Neighborhood played the festivals in 2016. Not only did it get great reviews but when it was re-titled Better Watch Out and released wide in 2017, Rottentomatoes gave it an outstanding 88% good reviews.

Twelve year old, Luke, is still considered too young to be home alone, so his parents, off to a Christmas party, hire Ashley, his long time babysitter to watch over him. Luke is a bit silly. He thinks that the seventeen year old Ashley would be interested in dating him. This isn’t anything harmful. It’s just a crush on the hot babysitter. While watching, ironically, a Christmas horror movie, something strange happens and their lives may be at risk.

The film was considered one of the most highly anticipated festival films to come in 2017. Also co-starring Virginia Madsen and Patrick Warburton, the film is directed by newcomer Chris Peckover in what some say is a breakout for the man behind the camera. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new movie and gives their critique.

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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.

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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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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 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.

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