Archive for February, 2018

Palaver Podcasts

Cover1968’s Night of the Living Dead was one of those rare films that seemed to have come out of nowhere, but had the effect of changing cinema as we know it. Not only did it inspire an army of independent and guerilla filmmakers to go out and bring their own cinematic visions to life with or without the help of a studio system, but Romero, Russo, and crew did something that few others in modern cinema history can claim to have done. They invented an entirely new genre (or subgenre) of filmmaking by giving cinematic birth to the creature we now know as the modern zombie. 

As such, it’s not surprising that the film would eventually get the Criterion Collection treatment. Although, some may wonder why it took so long. A lot of work and a lot of care went into bringing us a fantastic package, and the Night of…

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A lot of people treat the word “remake” attached to a project as an automatic sign of a bad product. Some people- often people not realizing that some of their favorite movies are remakes –will also greet the news of remakes with declarations about how remakes are automatically inferior to the originals or are automatically devoid of any level genius or originality. One of my favorite remakes, 1986’s The Fly, is a film that puts a lie to both of these statements.

Admittedly, many remakes can be horrible. Typically, bad remakes come about because someone somewhere in a studio in Hollywood wants to remake or reboot a popular film or TV franchise just to try to jump back onto a money train. There’s often seemingly very little love or passion for the original versions, and some great deal less thought seems to be put into executing a new version thanks to the laziness of thinking everyone will just know what they’re supposed to know once the movie starts. There’s also an issue created when the original property is a hugely popular film or franchise with generations of fans. Of course, one way to get around that last bit is to let people who love the less than well-loved films get a shot at doing some remakes or reboots based on those. 

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This weekend will see the release of Marvel’s much anticipated Black Panther film, and then hot on its heels will be Avengers: Infinity War. For Marvel’s cinematic universe, this is literally a year that’s been ten years in the making for them. It’s been an occasionally bumpy ride. They’ve had some truly great films come out as they’ve built towards the ultimate showdown with Thanos, but they’ve also had a few four finger stinkers hit the big screen as well. 20th Century Fox has been chugging along for a longer time now with the X-Men franchise in much the same way, although their films actually featuring the X-Men as a team have been unfortunately getting a little more reliably meh as time has worn on. I’m largely not even going to discuss what they did with Fantastic Four; especially as the Disney/Fox deal means we likely won’t see a misfire of that level with the team again. I’d mention Sony and Spider-Man, but that’s basically just part of the MCU right now.

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Demon

“Please don’t treat me like a mental patient who has to be humored. I also majored in psychology.”  

As a horror fan, how many times have you said those very same words? It gets old, doesn’t it? Erin Miskell is still on sabbatical binging on pizza with pineapple, but you can join guest host Jerry Chandler and the rest of your regular Grue Crew – Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, and Jeff Mohr – as they attempt to hide behind a facade of sanity while, a little too gleefully, discussing one of Jacques Tourneur’s masterpieces, Night of the Demon (1957). Or is it Curse of the Demon? It’s hard to remember while faking sanity. We owe this selection to our faithful Patreon listeners who chose this film from a poll of six classic era titles.

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Palaver Podcasts

KtNSThis week the crew looks at Jerry’s pick, the original television movie that introduced the world to Carl Kolchak, 1972’s Kolchak: The Night Stalker. It’s a solid favorite of the entire older school crew, but what will Richard think of it? 

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Days of the Dead (Atlanta)

Posted: February 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

Palaver Podcasts

NLA little Thursday bonus post again brought to you by Richard’s other podcast. If you love horror and you like hitting the occasional convention, you’ll want to listen in as Richard and show guest Dave West discuss the Days of the Dead convention in Atlanta, Georgia as well as a few other horror related things. 

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Technology was always going to make our lives better and make our sometimes-limited leisure time more enjoyable. At least that was always the point- when dealing with this specific form of technology -of so many of the little throwaway scenes in so much science fiction over the decades. The machines around us were in their way going to grow smarter, and thus they would be able to serve us in ways people could only imagine experiencing until recent years. One of the ways they would do this was by analyzing the things we regularly liked to hear or see or do and find similar things to that to expose us to when we asked for something to hear or see or do. 

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Horror Of The 90’s

Posted: February 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

Check it out at The Assignment: Horror page.

Palaver Podcasts

Hot90sOn The Assignment: Horror Podcast, Richard plays the part of almost the horror newbie. But that’s only true when it comes to the older and really, really older stuff that’s being thrown at him for that show. The truth is, Richard is a fan of horror and often a quite knowledgeable one. His overall relationship with horror is just largely of a more recent vintage than that of his Assignment: Horror cohorts. 

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I’m a fan of horror movies. That’s the understated way of saying it. I’m also, of course, a fan of other genres. But, yeah, I tend to really enjoy horror, science fiction, and fantasy. You could also throw superhero into that list, but I’ve always considered that just fantasy with a sometimes small twist of science fiction mixed in and given a new coat of paint. After all, as has been pointed out by others, some modern superhero storytelling is essentially just the modern evolution of the tradition of the telling of ancient myth stories.

I’m also the type of geek who has always loved to learn about the ‘why’ of the things I enjoyed. When it comes to these genres. I would never compare myself to an academic or a historian when it comes to the level of knowledge I have about the ins and outs of the history of the genres across the various mediums or how the genres can be used to tell very meaningful human stories in disguise. However, I do try to learn as much as I can about these things. As such, I think I’m in a good position to be able to say that stories have been told and still can be told in these genres that rise above the level of disposable entertainment. Indeed, all of those genres have been used to tell stories that have touched on important social commentary, made huge political statements, addressed the human condition, and even ventured into the realm of the deeply philosophical. They’ve also all been able to and still can produce absolute classics of storytelling.

Apparently, having the opinion that some of these genres are capable of this kind of thing has me not only on the other side of a debate with many in the mainstream of American pop culture these days, but also with some in fandom who somehow or another claim they love some of these same genres I do. 

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