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This Week's Podcast:    

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Episode 405 - The Thing From Another World (1951)

John W. Campbell’s novella, WHO GOES THERE?, published in 1938 in considered one of the greatest science fiction horror stories of all time. It isn’t surprising that it has been made into, though loosely, into at least adaptations. That doesn’t include the influence it had on other stories such as THE BODY SNATCHERS by Jack Finney. In 1951, producer Howard Hawks THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, the first adaptation, received roaring reviews and is considered a classic.

An air force base in Anchorage receives a call from scientist Arthur Carrington near the North Pole that an unusual aircraft has crashed. Captain Ned Scott and crew are sent up north to help investigate. When the scientists and the air force soldiers arrive at the crash site, they found a remarkable discovery. Taking back their findings to the outpost, they unexpectedly unleash a horror that none of them ever had seen before.

The film starred a group of well known character actors and was directed by Howard Hawks prodigy, Christian Nyby. The films box office beat such other classic science fiction films as THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951) and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951). Dark Discussions takes a look at this film which fell right in the middle of the Cold War and said a lot about a world that recently fought a world war.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 404 - We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

When violence from mass shootings happens because of their respective spree killers, words and phrases such as psychopath, mental illness, gun control, background checks, laws, and nature versus nurture are always bandied about. In 2011, the film WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN came out. Oddly the film still plays today. It also has more to say than just school shootings.

Eva (Tilda Swinton) is a successful travel book author and her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly) is as successful as an insurance investigator. When Kevin (Ezra Miller) is born, he is a colloquy baby and appears to torment his mother. She begins to regret her life as a mother, but one wonders whether she has a right to do so. Kevin becomes a miserable teenager and soon a tragedy occurs that ruins his mother’s life.

The film, directed by Lynne Ramsay and co-written with Rory Stewart Kinnear, is based off the best selling novel written by Lionel Shriver. Discussing more than nature, nurture, or spree killings, the narrative leaves open questions about many things including being a parent, giving up ones dreams and wondering whether one is at fault of a sociopath child. Dark Discussions discusses this interesting tale and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 403 - It Chapter Two (2019)

In 2017, after many rumors of production issues, the film, IT CHAPTER ONE, premiered its trailer and began to get positive buzz. When it was released in September, it received excellent reviews and became one of the top grossing horror films of all time. Immediately IT CHAPTER TWO was announced to great hope and finally appeared at theaters in late summer 2019.

Now adults, the “loser’s club” is called back to Derry, Maine by Mike, the only member to remain in town, when he discovers Pennywise, the evil clown, has returned. Soon more people go missing or are found dead, and the group is forced to return to their childhood haunts to find a way to kill a creature that seems impossible to kill.

The film is once again helmed by Andy Muschietti. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman is back to personally write the script. Starring award winning actors James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain, and including a cast of up-and-comers, the movie was a hugh success even though its reviews (though good) were not as positive as the first. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new horror film based off Stephen King’s novel, IT (1985).

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Episode 402 - Ready or Not (2019)

The movie making quartet called Radio Silence (Chad Villella, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Justin Martinez) are well known by genre fans for their participation in horror anthology films such as V/H/S (2012) and SOUTHBOUND (2015). In 2019, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett came together to co-direct the new horror film READY OR NOT (2019) starring up-and-coming starlet, the Australian, Samara Weaving

Grace, a young woman, comes back to her fiancé Alex’s family estate for her wedding day. The Le Domas family made a fortune as game developers, and Alex, after a long estrangement, uses his wedding day to end the rift. Unfortunately a mysterious family tradition may sour the event. At midnight, Grace must randomly pick a game to play to fully enter the family. Unfortunately for all involved, it may not be as innocuous as all were hoping.

Already having a starring role in the horror film THE BABYSITTER (2017), Samara Weaving gets to shine as the heroine of her latest release. The movie has received mass critical appeal and had a small but very successful box office run. Dark Discussions takes a look at this latest theatrical horror film release and gives their opinion.

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Episode 401 - 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)

After the success of Johannes Roberts film, 47 METERS DOWN (2017), the production company Entertainment Studios authorized a follow up film. Though titled 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED (2019), the new film had no relation with the first. However Johannes Roberts was brought back to direct and also co-write it with original screenwriter Ernest Riera. The film was released to theaters on August 16, 2019.

Stepsisters Mia (Sophi Nélisse) and Sasha (Corinne Foxx) have followed their respective parents to Mexico for an underwater archeological dig. Their ex-pat school friends, Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone), get the two to ditch a tour boat to instead go check out the dig. After an unfortunate accident occurs, the four have to swim out the main entrance only to discover an unexpected danger waiting for them.

The cast includes up-and-coming actresses, including Jamie Foxx’s daughter Corinne and Sylvester Stallone’s daughter and Instagram favorite Sistine Stallone. With its fairly decent reviews, the movie oddly underperformed but still made almost three times its budget. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new when-animals-attack film and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 400 - Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Dark Discussions has reached their 400th episode and once again we let the listeners choose our topic; at least choose which film out of sixteen cult classics. The movie to come out on top is the 1987 cult classic, EVIL DEAD 2. This is the film that basically made the careers of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Robert Tapert, Kassie Wesley, Ted Raimi, Peter Deming, ,Joseph LoDuca among others. The true definition of cult and midnight movie.

Ash Williams and his girlfriend, Linda, head out to a quaint cabin in the woods. Surprisingly the location appears to have been recently inhabited by an archeologist and his wife. But both now seem to be missing. While playing back a dictation machine, the voice of the professor reads out various quotes from a mystical book, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, also known as the Book of the Dead. Soon out in the woods, spirits and demons begin to break through dimensional doors resulting in what will be Ash’s worst nightmare.

Released to theaters unrated, the film was actually a modest success at the box office. Yet, once it went to video, it became an immediate cult classic and arguably one of the greatest horror films of all time. Dark Discussions, to celebrate their milestone, give their thoughts to this unforgettable masterpiece.

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Episode 399 - Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (2019)

The three set book series, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, written by Alan Schwartz is probably most famous for its artwork by Stephen Gammell. Fairly scary and some say not appropriate for young children, the books and their art were one of the most controversial books for children. Now in 2019, director André Øvredal, famous for such modern classics as TROLLHUNTER (2010) and THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE (2016), is back with an adaptation of the Schwartz books.

Teenagers Stella, Auggie, and Chuck meet up with an out-of-town eighteen year old named Ramón. When fleeing bullies on Halloween, they land up at the old Bellow house, an abandoned mansion with dark secrets. While investigating the rooms, they find an old book that may bring evil upon the town.

Starring relatively unknowns, the movie however received good reviews. Oddly just like the books, the film may be a bit more scary than its suggested viewership. With its successful box office run, the movie is another in a list of 2019 horror films bringing success to theaters. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new film and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 398 - Melancholia (2011)

Danish director Lars von Trier has been a polarizing figure for years. Many if not all of his films have caused divisiveness. And some have pushed the boundaries of mainstream and what some would call graphic sexual pornography. Either way, the film that the majority call his most mainstream film, MELANCOLIA (2011), became a critical darling and won many awards.

It’s the wedding day of Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård). Justine’s brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland) and sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) are hosting the wedding at their magnificent mansion. As secrets of family and friends become exposed, a news report of a giant planetoid, Melancholia, hurdling towards a fly by of Earth is broadcast.

The film stars Kirsten Dunst in an award winning performance where she received the award for Best Actress at Cannes (which many proclaim as the greatest award of them all for a lead actress). With its splendid imagery, the film was once again shot by long time collaborator cinematographer Manuel Alberto Claro. Dark Discussions takes a look at this unique and acclaimed film.

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Episode 397 - Witchboard (1986)

Kevin Tenney may not be as famous as some of his peers from the 1980’s, but he’s had a few horror movies that have become October staples. His most famous film, NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988), is probably one of the most famous horror films that take place on Halloween night. However, his feature film debut two years prior, WITCHBOARD (1986), is probably almost famous.

Linda Brewster and her boyfriend Jim have a weekend cocktail party. Unfortunately her ex-boyfriend Brandon seems to not get along well with her latest beau. During a “game” using Brandon’s Ouija board, something goes wrong. Brandon claims that the bad energy between he and Jim have caused Daniel, the spirit of a dead boy, has become angry. The next day, Linda tries her own summons only to find out that an evil may in the house that’s more fearsome than the ghost of a young boy.

The film got notoriety because Tawny Kitaen starred in it. Being a very popular television personality and model, she brought some cred to what was otherwise a B-movie. However, this ghost tale went against the trend of 1980’s slasher films and stood out as a fan favorite. Dark Discussions takes a look at this good hearted and fun throwback horror film.

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Episode 396 - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)

It is his 9th feature length movie. And it is what he has said is the penultimate film of his career. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019), the latest feature length film by Quentin Tarantino, is a lengthy epic written and directed by him. Some say it is a love letter to Hollywood back in the day. Others say it is his commentary of various topics as cultural shifts in society. Yet, no matter, the movie, just like all of his films, gained much press.

The film follows actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo Dicaprio) and his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). When Dalton gets the call to play another villain-of-the-week on a prominent western show, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) and husband move next door on Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills. As tumultuous change occurs with hippies and other nonconformists moving into the city, Cliff and Rick try to navigate the turmoil of what’s to become.

Bringing in the most money on its debut than any other film by Quentin Tarantino, the word of mouth and critical response has made the movie a winner. In career defining performances by Pitt and Dicaprio, and a strong supporting cast, the movies episode nature leaves most riveted. Dark Discussions takes a look at this interesting and engrossing film.

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Episode 369 - 2018 Review

We are already a month into 2019 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 2018. More than 75 different films were worthy enough to be considered as a top 20 movie in genre cinema.

Each of your five co-hosts put together a list of movies that were worthy of their own personal top films of the year. This included both a list of horror movies 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 2018. Some obvious films like A Quiet Place and Hereditary appear but also little known films like Housewife, Mon Mon Mon Monsters, and Terrified 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 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 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.