Thursday, December 29, 2011
201, PG-13, 112 minutes
Despite his conviction that demonic possession is just so much supersitious mumbo jumbo, Catholic priest-in-training Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) journeys to Rome to attend a special exorcism school being taught at the Vatican. Before long, true-believer Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) introduces the young cleric to the devil's power firsthand. Director Mikael Håfström helms this graphic supernatural thriller inspired by a true story.
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'The Rite' trailer...
'American Horror Story' season finale promo...
At times infectious diseases in horror films seem to be the cause of such horrible things as zombie outbreaks or alien plagues that spread throughout the planet and kill everyone and anything. 28 Days Later, Stephen King’s The Stand, The Crazies, and Stake Land are just a few examples of this. The disease itself is just the spark for a theme that takes different paths than the story of the plague itself. Yet both film and fiction have actually used diseases as the main theme behind their plot where together sickness and paranoia spread and each become the antagonist of the premise.
With the home release of director Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion infectious diseases once more are the forefront of table talk. Antibacterial gel, sexually transmitted disease, terrorist threats, swine flu, contaminated food … society has become not only more aware of such threats but also more fearful. Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain, Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever, and Masayuki Ochiai’s Infection are just some of the takes in art on how an infectious disease may extend through a group or population.
Dark Discussions discusses the impact of how such real world threats have brought about some films and novels of significance to the fan of techno-thrillers and horror cinema. Unlike zombie plagues, a disease itself can be based in the possibility of fact as much as a movie about war or natural disaster. With that in mind, this type of cinema or fiction can be more frightful than anything supernatural. Co-hosts Mike and Philip take a look into these nightmares. Before we begin let’s all press once more on our antibacterial gel hand pump.
Friday, December 23, 2011
Splice (2009) R:
Ignoring instructions from the pharmaceutical company that funds their research, groundbreaking genetic scientists Elsa (Sarah Polley) and Clive (Adrien Brody) continue with an unorthodox experiment to create a human-animal hybrid, a new life form they dub "Dren" (Delphine Chanéac). When they see their fantastical creation, Clive warns that it should be destroyed, but Elsa refuses -- a decision she'll regret when Dren makes deadly plans of her own.
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What does it say to the viewer when the director, on a DVD edition, has an introduction to a film where he apologizes for what you are about to see? French director Pascal Laugier writes and directs the co-produced French and Quebec, Canadian feature film Martyrs starring the beautiful actresses Mylène Jampanoï and Morjana Alaoui. Part of the new variety of extreme French horror films, Martyrs may be the most literary and nihilistic of the bunch, yet arguably the most important.
As Lucy and Anna, two young foster girls, come face to face with a simple middle class family that may have some relationship to the early childhood kidnapping and abuse of one of them, shocking violence ensues. Was the family responsible for the unexplained cruelty and exploitation which Lucy had to ordeal as a child or was it a case of mistaken identity that goes awry? What appears to be a revenge film filled with wrongful deaths may only be the scratching of the surface of a story that could include demons, cults, torture, and the very existence of God, Satan, and the afterlife.
Having a lead cast that is all female and focusing on such horrible real life nightmares as child abuse, sociopathology, extreme religious conviction, mans inhumanity against man, fanatical sects both scientific and spiritual, and the unfulfilling act of vengeance, Martyrs takes an extreme approach to topics that main stream films only try to brush over. While leading the viewer to its ambiguous ending, the film changes focus at a minimum of five times and presents the audience with a new theme during each new direction. From the very opening seconds until the rolling of the final credits, the audience has no time to breathe or let sink in what they see during the film’s 94 minutes. Though just over an hour and a half, Martyrs packs a punch that most screenwriter’s only wish for.
Afterwards, Mike Neel, the director of the films Drive In Horror Show and Infinite Santa, is interviewed about his work and also his upcoming projects.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
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By an author which has many anthologies, short stories, novels, comic books, and young adult books all coming out at what seems to be at the same time, Jonathan Maberry's latest novel with a title that sounds as if it is that of an old black and white film noir was released just in time for Halloween on October 25th, 2011. Dead of Night, a thrilling and compelling zombie plague story, is much more than the generic sounding title that it is called.
When a serial killer is executed at a Pennsylvania maximum security prison, unbeknownst to some, the body is claimed by an unknown relative from a rural south eastern county of the commonwealth. Reporter Billy Trout starts an investigation on what could be a significant story that eventually turns into much more than he ever expected. As his findings turn into shock, police officers JT Hammond and Desdemona Fox are called to what appears to be a routine break in at the local mortuary and funeral parlor. When what they discover is actually a major crime scene, they are forced into a life and death scenario that suddenly turns into something way over their pay grade.
Co-hosts Chris and Philip discuss the next novel that should be on your reading agenda. Zombie fans will be delighted while those who are all zombied out will be encouraged by a new spin on a subgenre that needs a fresh take. Afterwards, we have a number of interviews. Eric S. Brown, author of many zombie, werewolf, and sasquatch books, is interviewed about his works and his December 2011 release A Pack of Wolves. An author from North Carolina, Eric has dabbled within the science fiction and horror genres with such titles as the Bigfoot Wars. Next up is comic book writer and creator Everett Soares of the graphic novel series Sky Pirates of Valendor. Lastly we have director Mike Neel who discusses his movies Drive In Horror Show and Infinite Santa.
Monday, December 12, 2011
A film based on one of the worst pandemics in the history of mankind can’t be a good and enjoyable watch, can it? When the Black Plague (also known as the Black Death) swept across Europe in the 1300’s, anywhere between 30 to 60% of the population of the continent died. No matter your age, no matter your gender, no matter your heritage or nation, if you were exposed to the disease and contracted it, you were already dead. Approximately 23% of the entire world’s population died during this time or 1 in every 5 people.
The disease which was actually the bubonic plague was spread by fleas from rats who would then find a new host upon people. And the disease would spread as quick as if we were talking a zombie outbreak. Since folks had no idea how a tiny common flea was behind the spread, it was determined by the superstitious that Satan or God and His wrath had come to punish humanity. Director Christopher Smith takes a screenplay about the disease and brings us a story on how faith can be followed inaccurately. And yet, his movie entitled Black Death is so much more. It’s a story of human corruption where brilliant folks whether religious, pagan, or atheistic work the fears of the common person into a power base for their own nefarious wickedness.
Dark Discussions wraps up their Christopher Smith film focus with 2010’s Black Death, a tale that tricks its viewers into thinking it to be just another anti-religious film when in fact it is a story of the demagoguery of the individual, the faith of the uninformed, the dissocial personality disorder of the sociopath, and the insanity of vengeance which one would see in a Korean revenge film. Don’t expect a happy ending to a story filled with nihilism, but do expect a fantastic film that will make one think deeply for days after the viewer has watched the credits.
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You can find Cash and Horror 101 Podcast over at Horror101.Ca
Philip from Dark Discussions can be found at DarkDiscussions.com
Movies recommended are:
Jeff: The Tourist Trap can be found cheap here: Ebay Oddbanana Store, and Amazon.
Jason: Sunshine can be found here: TextbooksRus, or find a Big Lots near you here.
Astron-6 can be found here: Amazon, and ImportCd’s.com.
Brandon: The Revenant is available on Region 4 Pal dvd here at DvdOrchard.com
Cash Wampum: Black Christmas over at Amazon.
Philip: Exhibit A can be found here at IndiePix Films to buy on dvd, download or streaming is only $3.99. Also at Buy.com.
Dragonhead can be found here at PrincessStormeDvd’s Ebay store and SecondSpin.com
Rich: Impulse can be found here at Amazon. Also here at GoHastings.
Don’t Torture A Duckling can be found cheap at ImportCd’s or Amazon. Stream it on netflix here.
Harpoon Whale Watching Massacre available at ImportCd’s or Amazon. Stream it on netflix here.
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November 30th the Mavens had a blast with 2 PLAYTHINGS: The Black Bed Sheet Author SUE DENT and the Cover Model for her book, ELECTRIC ANGEL, Master Ron Fitzgerald. A good time was had by all. The ladies covered publishing, Sue’s love for Amazon, the amazing world of Master Ron, ORGIES, Syn’s appetite for Men’s souls, Siren brought her favorite toy and oh yeah, there was a guessing game where Ron had a “device” that listeners can guess by sending their answer to mavensofhorror@gmailcom . The correct answer wins an AUTOGRAPHED copy of ELECTRIC ANGEL. If no one guesses correctly, their name will go in for a drawing, for the book. It’s a win-win. So pay attention and enter the contest! Splatter Flick Chick was top Maven and worked that mic like a PRO. Sit back, prop up your feet and listen. IF you are at work…now would be a good time to close your office door or break out your headphones…
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Welcome to episode 99! This week we discuss the Irish film 'Wake Wood'. Our opinions differed this week.. and so did the ratings we gave the movie. We also go back and discuss more about last week's movie 'Let the Right One In'... ***spoiler alert!!*** Other movies we watched this week include 'Thor', 'The Book of Eli', and 'Gulliver's Travels' (which we forgot to talk about.. oops! Listen for it next week).
Wake Wood (2010) R:
After losing their only child, Alice, in a vicious dog attack, two grieving parents relocate to a small town where -- to their horror and fascination -- they discover a pagan ritual that will grant them three more days with their deceased daughter. Hoping to allay their sorrow, at least temporarily, the couple decides to go through with the rite, but the larger question remains, what happens after the three days have passed?
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'Wake Wood' trailer...
'Book of Eli' trailer...
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Please forgive me for not being able to drown out the background voices of the people talking LOUDLY behind us at the INN ON BOURBON.
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At first, what appears to be just a typical late winter film release actually turns out to be a high point in genre cinema. In the year 2000, David Twohy, the screenwriter for such action films as The Fugitive, Waterworld, and G.I. Jane, cowrites and directs a science fiction and horror thriller that would go on to define not only his career but the careers of two of its lead actors, establish one of cinema’s greatest antiheroes since John Carpenter’s Snake Plissken, and build a cult following that rivals such films as Night of the Living Dead.
Pitch Black, a science fiction horror film that falls into no specific niche, has been compared to such movies as Alien, Predator, Ghost of Mars, and countless other science fiction films of years gone by. When a meteor storm forces the crash landing of a transport spacecraft on what appears to be an uninhabited desert planet, the group of survivors, including a sociopathic convict, endure the best they can with what little supplies they have. When they discover a deserted mining district, the mystery of what happened to a once thriving community turns into a nightmare.
Radha Mitchell and Vin Diesel star among a wonderful supporting cast in career defining roles. Radha Mitchell would go on to become a leading lady and one of the top scream queens of the past decade starring in such films as Surrogates, Silent Hill, and The Crazies. Vin Diesel’s performance as the antihero Riddick made him an instant superstar and one of Hollywood’s top draws at the box office. Your hosts, Mike and Philip, discuss the intricacies of the movie and how each character’s failings become observations of the ambiguity of human nature. With viewpoints of utilitarianism, pragmatism, and suspicion coming into direct conflict with morality, altruism, and self-sacrifice, Pitch Black is much more profound than the monster movie that makes it one of horror fans' favorite films.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Let the Right One In (Låt den Rätte Komma In) (2008) R:
Twelve-year-old Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), the constant target of bullies, spends his time plotting revenge and collecting news items about the grisly murders plaguing his town. But things change when he meets a new girl named Eli (Lina Leandersson), a misfit vampire who steals his heart. As a serial killer continues to prey on teen boys in their small Swedish village, Eli helps Oskar find the courage to stand up to his tormenters.
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'Let the Right One In' trailer...
'Captain America' Trailer...
'Star Trek' trailer...
'Dinner For Schmuks' trailer...
'Shrek: Forever After' trailer...