Monday, May 27, 2024

Naschycast - 2024 Mail Bag!


The Naschycast opens the podcast mailbag, dusts off the cobwebs and answers a few questions. Like, why have we waited so long to respond to emails! We could plead a combination of busyness and laziness but that is not an excuse worthy of our fine listeners so we simply apologize and get on with the show.

We work our way through nearly a year of messages with only a few brief trips down barely connected side roads. We discuss the golden age of bootleggers and the discoveries made during that glorious time. Troy announces an upcoming release from his Celtic band The Secret Commonwealth and Rod goes through a listing of the commentary tracks the two of us have contributed to various Blu-Ray releases. And all of this culminates in a feline squabble in the background that signals that things have gone on long enough. We wrap up the show with a tune from another of Troy’s bands, The Exotic Ones. Enjoy!

Remember, naschycast@gmail.com is the place to send us your thoughts and I swear we will eventually read them out – unless you don’t want us to! Thanks for listening. 


Saturday, May 25, 2024

Trailer From Hell - TALES OF TERROR (1962)



In this Trailer From Hell Roger Corman takes us behind the scenes of his fourth Edgar Allan Poe adaptation, a three-story omnibus written by the great Richard Matheson. The film has a great cast and it swings from funny to creepy with deft skill. Somehow this film is often forgotten when discussions of anthology horror films come up and it shouldn’t be. It isn’t my favorite of Corman’s Poe series but it is fantastic.


Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Bloody Pit #195 - STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER (1989)


Mark Maddox and I continue our journey through the first six Star Trek movies and now reach THE FINAL FRONTIER (1989). We have been both dreading and looking forward to revisiting this film. Thirty-five years later is it still as bad as we remember? Are there hidden moments of quality buried in this bad idea given cinematic form? Join us as we pull this thing apart and inspect it’s sad remains.

We use Shatner’s own story of the production from his Movie Memories book to supplement the usual sources. It adds a lot to know the genesis of the film’s basic story and emphasizes just how easily a poor central concept can cripple a project. Also, aspiring writers can take note of this film as a solid example of bad scriptwriting on nearly every level. Neither of us find much to admire in STAR TREK V but there are a few good moments. Sadly, those few quality elements have to rest side by side with insults to nearly every regular character and simply awful dialog. The film’s humor mostly revolves around laughing ‘at’ the characters and never ‘with’ them. It undermines so many years of goodwill built up by the franchise for the sake of bad jokes, dumb ideas and idiotic coincidences that we can only be grateful it wasn’t the last film to feature the original cast. Row, row, row your boat indeed.

Comments about this film, the podcast or Star Trek in general can be sent to thebloodypit@gmail.com and we’ll be happy to hear from you. Thank you for listening and we’ll be back soon.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Star Trek V Teaser Poster


New episode of the podcast on the way. You have been warned!


 

Friday, May 17, 2024

What I Watched in April 2024


I stumbled out of a screening of Alex Garland’s CIVIL WAR (2024) awash in a mixture of emotions. The film was much different from what I had expected. I think I assumed that it was going to be an outsider’s view of a possible future in the United States and that fueled my desire to see it. It was going to be someone from Europe looking at our benighted land of the free and examining why we're willing to tear ourselves apart because of the things that we are told to focus on instead of the things that we actually should be focusing on. In other words, I thought I was going to get a political film and was disappointed that it wasn’t what I wanted or expected. But as days went by, I began to understand what Garland had done. He has made a political film and he is commenting on the madness of our sad times but he is pointing to the underlying problem that has allowed all the others to fester and grow – a lack of journalistic ethics. And Garland does everything but wave it in our faces by his choice of main characters.
 
The film follows three generations of journalists on a cross country trip from NYC to Washington, D.C. for the final push of a military force into the capitol. The representative of the eldest generation has started to sense that something is wrong with their profession and that what they're doing is probably bad but he hasn’t pinpointed exactly what or why. None of them can understand that by pretending that these events they are recording are all just something they're observing that they don't have any effect on it. The importance of the Fourth Estate seems to have been completely forgotten. That well has been so poisoned that these ‘reporters’ are acting almost out of instinct instead of from conscious thought. The only conversations they have about what they are doing revolve around impressing others with their achievements. Their own aggrandizement is of most importance and to hell with what it all means. 

The side of the conflict that the reporters follow during the film’s third act is a combination of several different states including Texas and California banded together. This odd grouping points out that this is not a film that is going to draw a dark line between the two warring factions. The reasons for the war are never discussed except in indirect ways. We don't get any sense of good guys or bad guys, just soldiers. There is no way to decide which side you would defend or oppose as it's not even possible to discern what the ‘fight’ is about. Garland isn’t pointing fingers at the left or the right but at the industry that pits red ants and black ants against each other for clicks, likes, views and advertising dollars. This is about the commodification of hatred and fear and what it means to exist in that world – our world. 

CIVIL WAR is about the lack of journalistic ethics at the core of where we find ourselves in 2024 in the United States and how we are on the precipice of discarding democracy to embrace fascism. This wasn’t a collective decision made after thoughtful deliberation among intelligent people thinking about the best path forward for the good of a nation. This choice was made for money. When TV news divisions became something that had to turn a profit, we were finished but it was going to take decades for the corpse to stop twitching, and every twitch is marketable. The need to find new and interesting ways to keep eyeballs glued to their websites, televisions or phones takes precedent and if that means destroying democracy – oh well. Some of the ‘journalists’ don't care; some of them don't think they're actually doing that terrible thing; and some of them think it's a good idea, so this will continue. This film is about the end of the destruction of a nation but it shows us how it got there in this indirect way. Our national mirror became a distorted vision of the world created to hide the real reasons for actions because there was a buck to be made by shaking up the ant jar.
 
I suspect Garland wants you to think about how we got to this point and maybe he thought coming at the problem from an unexpected angle would be more resonant. I don’t know. But at a time when we are balanced on a knife’s edge it is good to see a brilliant creative mind point at the root cause hoping we catch his line of reasoning before his fiction becomes reality. 

The List 

OMAR KHAYYAM (1956) - 7

IMMACULATE (2024) – 7 (well done) 

LEGEND OF DINOSAURS AND MONSTER BIRDS (1977) – 6 (just – whoa!)

THE DEVESTATOR (1984) – 4 (pretty bad but fast moving Cirio Santiago action epic)

GHOSTBUSTERS: FROZEN EMPIRE (2024) – 7 

LOS LEPERSOS Y EL SEXO (1970) – 6 (soft-core sexy version of SANTO VS THE RIDERS OF TERROR) 

SITTING PRETTY (1948) – 8 (the first of the Mr. Belvedere comedies is great) 

THE FIRST OMEN (2024) – 7 (interesting prequel/reset) 

GHOST CATCHERS (1944) – 5 (Olsen & Johnson scare up very few laughs) 

MONKEY MAN (2024) – 7  

THE BATMAN (2022) – 9 (rewatch) 

DANGEROUS TO KNOW (1938) – 7 (adaptation of an Edgar Wallace play with a strong cast)

GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE (2024) – 8  

SCALPS (1987) – 6 (Mattei makes a western that feels very 1970’s – but with very sloppy editing) 

CIVIL WAR (2024) - 8 

ARGOMAN (1967) – 6 (rewatch)

TROPIC OF CANCER (1970) – 5 (sort of a giallo set in Haiti) 

ZAMBO, KING OF THE JUNGLE (1972) – 4 (Brad Harris as a kind of modern Tarzan) 

WATCH ME WHEN I KILL (1977) – 5 (fairly dull giallo) 

THE MINISTRY OF UNGENTLEMANLY WARFARE (2024) – 8

LATE NIGHT WITH THE DEVIL (2024) – 7 

PASSION (2012) – 6 (later, lesser De Palma) 

STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER (1989) – 4 (rewatch)

WHEN A STRANGER CALLS BACK (1993) – 7 (surprisingly good sequel) 

UNDER THE SILVER LAKE (2019) – 7 (fascinating neo-noir with a twist)

HARPER (1966) – 8 (Newman as a private eye)

PORTRAIT OF JENNIE (1948) – 7 (romantic fantasy) 

A*P*E (1976) – 3 (hilariously bad giant ape film) 


 

Thursday, May 16, 2024

DANZA MACABRA VOL. THREE: THE SPANISH GOTHIC COLLECTION


I'm very excited about this set! And not just because I'm on it. CROSS OF THE DEVIL is an amazing film and I've wanted to be able to introduce people to it for years. 

4 RESTORED CLASSICS.

8+ HOURS OF SPECIAL FEATURES.

LO MEJOR DEL HORROR GÓTICO ESPAÑOL.

 

Spain’s tradition of Gothic Horror – particularly during the Franco dictatorship – was characterized by daring concepts, lush visuals, extreme sexuality and a startling aesthetic all its own. These four classic shockers from the 1970s represent the genre at its most audacious: In NECROPHAGOUS, the debut feature by writer/director Miguel Madrid, a fractured family in a crumbling castle conceals a grisly graveyard secret. The anthology film CAKE OF BLOOD – never previously available outside of Spain – presents a quartet of supernatural tales by four young filmmakers. Hammer Films director John Gilling brings his inimitable style to the occult thriller in CROSS OF THE DEVIL. And a terminally ill woman is enticed by eternal life in León Klimovsky’s vampire masterwork, THE NIGHT OF THE WALKING DEAD. Each film in this collection has been scanned from its original negative – with over 8 hours of Special Features – for the first time ever in America.

 

Disc 1: NECROPHAGOUS (1971)

 

The most misunderstood Spanish gothic shocker of the early ‘70s can now be reassessed like never before: A young nobleman (Bill Curran) returns to his crumbling family castle, only to learn that his wife has died giving birth to their stillborn child. But why is her coffin empty? What follows is a uniquely told shocker of grief, lust, dark secrets and the hungers of the grave. Frank Braña (PIECES), Victor Israel (THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED) and Beatriz Elorrieta (BLOOD HUNT) co-star in this debut feature by writer/director Miguel Madrid (THE KILLER OF DOLLS) – also known as THE BUTCHER OF BINBROOK and released in America by Independent-International as GRAVEYARD OF HORROR – now scanned in 4K from the recently discovered negative for the first time ever.

 

Disc Specs:

 

Runtime: 87 mins

English Mono, Spanish Mono / Closed Captions

Region Free

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

 

Special Features:

 

Audio Commentary With Andy Marshall-Roberts, Host Of The Nasty Pasty Podcast

Something You've Never Seen – Appreciation By Ángel Sala, Head Of Programming At The Sitges Film Festival

The First Horror Film Festival In The World – Remembrance By Maria Pilar Rafáles, Daughter Of Sitges Film Festival Founder Antonio Rafáles

Trailers

Disc 2: CAKE OF BLOOD (1971)

 

With Spanish cinema still under the oppressive Franco regime, four filmmakers banded together to create a horror anthology that examined classic themes through transgressive perceptions: Directed by José María Vallés, TAROT stars Julián Ugarte (ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK) in a grim tale of fanaticism set in the Middle Ages. Eusebio Poncela (THE CANNIBAL MAN) and Marisa Paredes (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER) star in VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN, a unique take on Mary Shelley’s classic directed by Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BED). TERROR AMONG CHRISTIANS, directed by Francesc Bellmunt, is a jolting vampire allegory set during Roman times. Jaime Chávarri – co-writer of VAMPYROS LESBOS and future icon of New Spanish Cinema – directs the twisted ghost story THE DANCE OR EMOTIONAL SURVIVALS starring Luis Ciges (THE CREATURE). Never available outside of Spain, CAKE OF BLOOD is now scanned in 4K from the original negative for the first time ever.

 

Disc Specs:

 

Runtime: 90 mins

Spanish Mono / English Subtitles

Region Free

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

 

Special Features:

 

Audio Commentary With Rod Barnett Of NaschyCast And The Bloody Pit, And Dr. Adrian Smith, Co-Author Of Norman J. Warren: Gentleman of Terror

My Generation – Interview With Actress Marisa Paredes

I Just Wanted To Have Fun – Interview With Co-Director Jaime Chávarri

To Whoever Wants To Watch – Interview With Actor José Lifante

An Arthouse UFO – Appreciation By Ángel Sala, Head Of Programming At The Sitges Film Festival

Disc 3: CROSS OF THE DEVIL (1974)

 

In the early ‘70s, Spanish horror icon Jacinto Molina (aka Paul Naschy) wrote a screenplay for a Knights Templar film to compete with the popular BLIND DEAD series. Meanwhile, Hammer Films director John Gilling – whose hits for the UK studio included THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES and THE REPTILE – had retired to Spain. Molina shared his script with Gilling, who took over the project without Molina. The rarely seen result is a sumptuous tale of supernatural horror in which a writer (Ramiro Oliveros of THE PYJAMA GIRL CASE) plagued by violent nightmares investigates the murder of his sister by an ancient occult order. Carmen Sevilla (NO ONE HEARD THE SCREAM), Emma Cohen (THE CANNIBAL MAN) and Eduardo Fajardo (THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN) co-star in Gilling’s final film as director, now scanned in 4K from the negative with English subtitles for the first time ever.

 

Disc Specs:

 

Runtime: 97 mins

Spanish Mono / English Subtitles

Region Free

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

 

Special Features:

 

Audio Commentary With Kim Newman, Author Of Anno Dracula, And Barry Forshaw, Author Of Brit Noir

Fascinated By Bécquer – Interview With Screenwriter Juan José Porto

The Real Templar Knights Movie – Appreciation By Ángel Sala, Head Of Programming At The Sitges Film Festival

Fantasy And Imagination: The Legacy Of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer – Video Essay By Xavier Aldana Reyes, Author Of Spanish Gothic: National Identity, Collaboration And Cultural Adaptation

Disc 4: THE NIGHT OF THE WALKING DEAD (1975)

 

Though best known for his collaborations with Spanish horror star Jacinto Molina/Paul Naschy, Argentinian director León Klimovsky also crafted several of Spain’s finest vampire films of the ‘70s, especially this “magnificent” (Taliesin Meets The Vampires) 1975 gothic classic: In a 19th century village ruled by superstition, a vulnerable young woman (Emma Cohen of HORROR RISES FROM THE TOMB) is seduced into an aristocratic family of the sensuous undead. Carlos Ballesteros (José Ramón Larraz’ THE VOYEUR) and Barta Barri (THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK) co-star in this sexy/stylish/violent shocker – also known as STRANGE LOVE OF THE VAMPIRES and ripe for rediscovery after decades of edited prints and bad transfers – now scanned in 2K from the negative for the first time ever.

 

Disc Specs:

 

Runtime: 88 mins

English Stereo, Spanish Stereo / Closed Captions, English Subtitles

Region Free

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

 

Special Features:

 

Audio Commentary With Kat Ellinger, Author Of Daughters Of Darkness

A Deadly Invitation To Another Dimension – Appreciation By Ángel Sala, Head Of Programming At The Sitges Film Festival

Leo's Signature – Interview With Writer Juan José Porto

Dead Man Walking – Interview With Actor José Lifante

Spain's Cinematic Vampires – Video Essay By Xavier Aldana Reyes, Author Of Spanish Gothic: National Identity, Collaboration And Cultural Adaptation

Alternate Spanish Credit Sequence


 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Wild, Wild Podcast S7: E4 - THE THREE FANTASTIC SUPERMEN (1967)


What's better than one Superman? That's right, it's three Supermen! And if you add Adrian and Rod, that makes five. Strap on your suction cups, grab your mini-capes and join them in them in this super-exciting, very silly adventure film that combines elements of the Peplum and the Eurospy with Batman and The Green Hornet. The Three Fantastic Supermen is nothing if not ambitious. But we never do figure out where the movie takes place.

We would love to hear from you if you have any favorite Italian comic or masked hero/ villain-based films, or if your children were ever replicated by an evil genius intent on world domination. You can contact us on Twitter and Instagram or by email at wildwildpodcast@gmail.com. You can also find our YouTube channel here