Eclectic Film Discussion and Babble
Eclectic Film Discussion and Babble
#97 - TERROR IS A MAN (1959)
I welcome artist Mark Maddox back to the show and we take a trip to Blood Island to survey the territory. TERROR IS A MAN (1959) is the first of what would become a series of Philippine produced horror films featuring monsters and bloody (for the times) violence. While the later films were colorful sleaze-fests this movie was shot in stark black and white with its horrors being moodier rather than grotesque. Not that the film skimps on horror thrills but, while it is pushing the outer edge of what was permissible in the 1950’s, it is still a more restrained tale than would come later.
#96 - William Castle Westerns Part 3
After too long a delay I welcome back podcaster extraordinaire Derek Koch! Yes, the host and proprietor of Monster Kid Radio returns to the Pit to resume his discussion of the 1950’s westerns of William Castle. This time out we tackle THE BATTLE OF ROGUE RIVER (1954) and THE GUN THE WON THE WEST (1955). These were made during Castle’s long period of honing his craft under producer Sam Katzman at Columbia studio where keeping the budget under control was the most important thing. These B programmers run about seventy minutes each and make for a colorful double bill of action and adventure.
Derek and I give each film it’s time in the sun, digging into the cast and crew with special attention paid to the various science fiction and monster films they were involved with during their careers. We make note of the actor’s most famous roles and speak with envy about the lucky marital situations of a few key players. Since Richard Denning is a lead actor in both films, we spend a good deal of time looking at his characters and his long career. I had completely forgotten he was a regular on Hawaii 5-0! There is a discussion of both film’s modeling of masculinity for the younger audience members and the question of how these westerns often reflected the times they were made in rather than the times they depict. We muse on the ways in which we might have wished the stories had gone as well as the possible individual scenes that may have been shot but discarded to meet that short running time. We have a pretty good time examining these rarely talked about movies and we think you’ll enjoy the show. I even throw in a Roy Orbison song when our conversation rambles too far off-track.
If you have any comments about William Castle or westerns in general email@example.com is the email address. I can also be reached on the Bloody Pit FaceBook page and Derek can be found over on Monster Kid Radio every week. That man is so consistent it puts me to shame! Thanks for listening.
#95 - TO ALL A GOODNIGHT (1980)
It’s time for our annual Holiday Horrors episode!
This year John Hudson chose our Killer Santa viewing experience, taking Troy and I back to 1980 for a little-seen slasher called TO ALL A GOODNIGHT. Long dismissed as nearly unwatchable on previous video editions the much-improved image of the Blu-Ray release resolves many unanswered questions. It is now possible to clearly see what people are doing and where they actually are when onscreen. But, is that a good or a bad thing for this Christmas holiday set stalk ‘n’ kill revenge tale? That is where this discussion begins and ends.
The trio of Holiday Hooligans dive quickly into the conversation about this one. In fact, we start talking about the film before we even properly let the audience know what we’re doing! Of course, this is the film that was directed by David Hess of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) fame which leads to many references to that film and his nasty character Krug. We also talk a bit about his impressive music career and lament his passing. The screenwriter comes in for a lengthy discussion touching on his other films and a rather surprising role in a better-known horror effort. We talk about this film’s very familiar plot template with our surprise at how many times we’ve seen the same story over the years. We note the movie’s strange pacing, terrible editing and variable performances. We use this film’s murder set pieces to make light of the slasher genre’s often silly kill scenes even as we still get a kick out of them.
We hope you enjoy the Santa shenanigans and if you wish to comment the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or we can be reached on the podcast’s FaceBook page. Thanks for listening and have a happy holiday season!
#94 - HOLD THAT GHOST (1941)
After a brief conversation about THE LIGHTHOUSE (2019) and director Robert Eggers previous horror film we dig into the topic at hand. We discuss our favorite moments from the film and track its bizarre production history. Exactly how many movies can you be making at the same time? The cast is a point of interest with future science fiction star Richard Carlson as an amusing scientist clueless about the fairer sex. Universal horror star Evelyn Ankers makes her first appearance in a Universal scare film and manages to makes the most of her limited screen time. But it is Joan Davis who runs off with several scenes with her great comic timing and sharp comedy instincts. That she didn’t make more appearances in A & C films over the years is a damned shame. The famous comedy team is able to insert a couple of the well-honed bits from their stage days into the story making for a nice glimpse at their burlesque days. And if you’ve never seen the fall-down funny Blue Danube dance scene you have a got a treat in store! Plus – The Andrews Sisters!
#93 - NIGHTMARE BEACH (1989)
Also released as WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK this Italian production is now primarily known as NIGHTMARE BEACH (1989). Like a number of these genre films this was shot in the United States to take advantage of the financial deals being offered by certain cities at the time. This explains why the majority of the cast is American or Canadian making this look as much as possible like a movie made with Hollywood money. This was standard at the time to make sales of the film around the world more lucrative and, along with the use of pseudonyms in the credits, makes the product seem fully North American. But the oddity of retaining many elements of the giallo genre over the standards of the slasher makes this film feel very much a continuation of that very Italian genre. And, once the script throws in tropes from popular Spring Break comedies and enough distracting characters to keep your mind off the central mystery, this becomes a pretty entertaining ride.
#92 - INSEMINOID (1981)
Once again Adrian Smith returns to the show! This time out we’re discussing (at length) one of Norman J. Warren’s films – INSEMINOID (1981). Probably the most notorious of the director’s horror efforts, it’s very poster art was controversial. The movie brings the idea of an alien creature injecting its offspring into a human host for gestation further into the open than even Ridley Scott’s classic ALIEN (1979) managed. Coupled with that hideous imagery the film also sports the usual Warren level of blood and gore making this a nasty little viewing experience even by today’s standards. Newcomers to the film might be surprised to see some well-known actresses plunging elbow deep into the violent sci-fi exploitation pits. You might also be impressed with how much the cast and crew accomplish on such a small budget.
Adrian is the perfect person to talk about this film as he is responsible for the book about the director included in Indicator’s new five film Blu-Ray set ‘Bloody Terror: The Shocking Cinema of Norman J. Warren 1976-1981’. In this informative work he lays out the details of Warren’s horror output giving insight into the troubles British productions run into regularly. Often it seems a minor miracle that any of these lower budgeted movies ever got completed. We mostly restrict our comments to INSEMINOID with a fair amount of detailed conversation about the script’s problems and the ingenious ways the filmmakers found to overcome unforeseen hazards. We also delve into the bizarre additions and changes made to the story in the film’s novelization. Certainly, the choice to shoot mostly on location was a decision that enhanced the look of the film but it was quite hard on the cast. Be aware that we spoil the entire movie as we proceed so, if that’s important to you, please go watch it before listening to us debate its relative merits. Adrian and I have very different views on this one so I think you’ll find it an interesting show. Oh! And we end things with a new version of the classic song Monster Mash and an extra solo bit of Adrian as he amuses himself while I’m away from the mic.
If you have any comments or questions email@example.com is the email address. We’d love to hear from you. Posts can also be made on the show’s FaceBook page. Thank you for downloading and listening.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Love for classic films
Love hearing people talk about older films. They seem to be getting less love as the years go by, but Rod does a great job of keeping them afloat. Great to hear Derek K. as a guest as well! Those two episodes about the Castle westerns were awesome!
Great Show But......
I love the show, I love the topics, I love hearing how Rod gets so excited when he talks about the movies - But, for the love of GOD please mute the co-hosts mic when Rod is speaking. Again, great show but you tend to say "uh" or "uh ha" after EVERY sentance Rod speaks. Once you hear it, you cant listen to anything else.....
Excellent companion to the NaschyCast!
From the folks who bring us the terrific "NaschyCast" comes "The Bloody Pit" -- a more wide-ranging examination of groovy genre cinema. Guaranteed fun for cult movie fans!