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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.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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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 308 - Dave Made a Maze (2017)

Sometimes you never know what type of film will appear at festivals. Now the new movie, Dave Made a Maze, recently released everywhere on VOD, is just such a motion picture. Oddly it is listed by Wikipedia and IMDB as an adventure horror comedy. This may be more hyperbole than truth as its eclectic and eccentric style seems to place it more as magical realism or some sort of fantasy (or maybe even a parable).

When Annie comes home from a trip, she finds a cardboard fort in the center of her living room. To her chagrin, her boyfriend Dave is inside refusing to come out. He says he built a labyrinth and it is the only thing that he has ever been able to complete. With a group of Dave’s friends, she heads into the opening to discover an immense maze inside that is stalked by a vicious Minotaur.

This is the directorial debut of character actor Bill Watterson based on a script written by Steven Sears. The film has received generally positive reviews from critics. Some say the film could possibly turn into a fairly popular cult movie due to his ambitious set design and unusual script. Dark Discussions takes a look at this film and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 307 - Tobe Hooper's Salem's Lot

The derivative vampire novel in the modern era (assuming the modern era is the last 50 years) is none other than Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot. The novel was the second by the author, released in 1975, and became an instant best seller with its tale of an evil rooted in a small town that turns out to be more corporeal rather than figurative.

Struggling author Ben Mears returns to the town of his childhood to begin research on a new novel based off the Marsten House which sits upon a hill above the town. During his return, an antiques shop opens by two men named Barlow and Straker. When there is a disappearance of a young boy, the three new comers are looked upon as possible suspects by the local constable. Soon a group of residents ban together when certain pieces to the puzzle lead to an underlying evil.

In 1979, Tobe Hooper’s adaption of the novel, was made into the “movie-of-the-week” mini-series on television. The screenplay was written by Paul Monash, who’s work on Peyton Place and small town New England, seemed to be a brilliant choice. Dark Discussions takes a look at this beloved movie and the book and gives their thoughts.

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Episode 306 - Happy Death Day (2017)

Is this the year for theatrical released horror or what? The new film, Happy Death Day, not only follows in the footsteps of Annabelle Creation, It, Split, and Get Out with great reviews, but it topped the box office its first week as well. Costing only $5M USD, it already has grossed over $36M USD. And again like its predecessors, it is loved by both critic and audiences alike.

Theresa Gelbman wakes up in the dorm room of Carter Davis, someone she would not ever be caught dead with. After escaping that circumstance, her day goes as normal until she is murdered while walking down a dark sidewalk heading to a frat party. But she wakes up and finds herself once more in Carter Davis’s dorm room. Now besides the fact that she had been murdered, she now is stuck in a time loop. Ultimately, she decides to try to find out who her murderer is hoping to break out of the loop.

Directed by prolific screenwriter Christopher Landon, this follow up to his films, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, has turned out to be a breakout not only for him but actress newcomer Jessica Rothe. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new film and determines whether it lives up to the hype.

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Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews Volume 006

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 2002 French erotic thriller Secret Things directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau; the 1983 slasher film Double Exposure (released by Vinegar Syndrome); Tinto Brass’s 1991 classic erotic comedy, Paprika (released by Cult Epics); and the new Blue Underground release of the 1972 horror film Deathline (also known as Raw Meat). Lastly, the 12 episode Funimation blu-ray release of the recent anime Prison School is reviewed.

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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.