Thursday, December 13, 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018
We discuss the film's production with a sleigh full of details straight from the Blu-Ray's three commentary tracks. The film's achievements and failings come under the microscope with each of us noting the moments that we love and the points we felt could have been better presented. We remark on the amazing cast of
New York acting talent onscreen
as well as a surprising connection to a certain musical legend as well. The
film's beautiful, glowing cinematography is discussed and the movie's
fundamental similarity to another, much more famous New Jersey set drama of the 1970's is noted. Anytime
a way can be found to compare Travis Bickle to the Grinch you know you've hit
on a supremely odd confluence of ideas! New York
So, join us for an accordion spiced Christmas episode with a few comedic surprises along the way. We rattle on a quite a while but we hope this year end show will put a smile on the faces of even the most curmudgeonly of the Christmas naysayers out there. The show can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or over on Facebook where the Bloody Pit's page resides. Thanks for listening and have a Happy Holiday, whatever you might be celebrating.
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Sunday, December 09, 2018
Friday, December 07, 2018
But I digress. How was SUSPIRIA (2018)?
Surprisingly brilliant. As a friend said after the credits rolled, "Now that's how to remake a film!" Indeed. The filmmakers have taken the story of a young American woman traveling to
to attend a dance school that is secretly run by witches and crafted something new and fresh. Smartly avoiding the incredibly colorful visual style of the original,
this film strives to look as grim and bleak as Winter in 1970's Germany actually probably looked. The
colors are muted, the sky overcast and the population is constantly reminded of
the dark realities of life by steady news reports of the ongoing Red Army Faction terrorist activity in the country. These visuals change the feel of the story
immediately from a place of bright beauty with shadows creeping into view from
the corners to a dark, pitiless place with harsh details seeping into life from
all over. Here, the dance studio could be seen as a retreat from the
unpredictable world of sudden violence and ugly reality. This sets the tone for
the story brilliantly. We are already worried about the real life horrors that
occasionally intrude onto the soundtrack adding an uncertainty to events that
would be ordinary in other circumstances. Berlin
Also, in this remake, the dance academy actually comes alive. In Argento's film it was just a place to gather a group of young women of a certain age to provide victims for the witches. In this film dancing is an integral part of the witches' lives. Dance is used as part of the casting of spells and as a way of testing the latent powers of the students. This addition to the tale builds a depth into things that allows the final act to become more clearly part of the whole story. Along with the machinations of the witches/teachers as they choose their coven's new leader it paints a complex picture of these women as layered characters with completing visions for their art - both witchcraft and dance. It is fascinating!
The addition that I worried most about was the expansion of the realistic element from the first version. In the original movie we have a couple of 'experts' on the human mind who are replaced here with an elderly Jewish psychiatrist pulled into investigating the academy by the disappearance of one of his clients. This character seemed an odd one to enlarge in the story even as he becomes a stand-in for the audience, exploring the background of the school and it's founders. But by the final act it is clear why he, with his tragic history, is perfectly suited to demonstrate the change in the coven by the end of things.
This new film is fantastic and, while it won't replace the original for me, it is an incredible achievement. I wish that more remakes were given this level of thought and effort by their creative teams. 2018's SUSPIRIA is a great film that stands proudly next to 1977's film as a cleverly conceived variation on it's themes. Well done!
Wednesday, December 05, 2018
Monday, December 03, 2018
This sums up my feeling of being drowned in content. Not just from NetFlix but from everywhere! I'm thrilled to have so many choices but this comedic view of the 'eternal scroll' is right on the money. Madness!
Saturday, December 01, 2018
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
I just finished watching this Canadian thriller and I have to say I was very impressed! I bought the Blu-Ray because the film was recommended by a fellow podcaster and I am glad I did. This is a smart, well written and clever variation on the old idea of a suburban kid suspecting a neighbor of dire crimes. The cast is great, the period detail nearly perfect and the script avoids the plot problems such tales often fall into. And what a chilling ending. Wow. I'll not spoil anything and simply encourage you to seek this one out. Great film!
Monday, November 26, 2018
With THE INVISIBLE WOMAN
and I finally complete the first year of
the decade in our look at the Universal Horrors of the 1940's. Released two
days after Christmas in 1940 it signifies the first time since DRACULA'S DAUGHTER that a female character top lined one of these movies. It also
represents the first time the producers sharply shifted the series' genre from
the established norm set by the previous two films. Yes, this is a comedy! And
a broadly silly one at that. As with all comedic films, your mileage will vary
with your enjoyment of the frantic antics being the only guide through this mad
tale of working girl revenge, slapstick gangsters and dotty old scientists. It's
a real mixed bag, folks. Troy
We start the show with a brief discussion of the newly released remake of SUSPIRIA and a few comments on the new HALLOWEEN film as well. Then we jump into a breakdown of what we liked and disliked about the third in the Invisible Man series from Universal. Since this film is such a departure from the first two we speculate on the possible reasons for changing the serious tone of the earlier entries. Then we delve into the farcical plot details and the high level of talent in the impressive cast. Our frustration with the story padding becomes evident right about the time we start talking about the faux Three Stooges running around as gangster minions. One of them is even played by Shemp Howard! And I am happy to report that both of us are able to refrain from pointing out that the film's eventual romantic couple are named Kitty and Dick! I suspect the scriptwriters had to find their amusements someplace.
We end the show with a fun, lengthy email from a listener and you can send your missives to us at email@example.com as well. This letter even included a beer review! We can reached over on The Bloody Pit Facebook page as well and we'll be glad to hear from you. The song at the end of the episode is from
band The Exotic Ones and is appropriate for this film. Thanks for downloading and
Saturday, November 24, 2018
With this trailer commentary Brian Trenchard-Smith reminded me of this excellent Argentinian anthology film. It's comprised of six revenge tales and manages to be funny, scary and (eventually) touching. The movie's vicious humor is as sharp as a well-honed blade digging into class differences, fidelity and societal expectations. I need to seek out more from director Damián Szifrón.
Thursday, November 22, 2018
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
This year I finally began reading the first few issues of this classic Warren horror anthology. I have to admit I was surprised it WAS an anthology! I expected it to only feature tales of the title character instead of one story about her per issue. Still, it's a solid group of chillers so far.