Jan 12th, 2017 by rodbarnett68
We return to the films of Antonio Margheriti and the decade of the 1970's to see what an Italian made Disney film would look like. You might remember the kind of film we're talking about if you are of a certain age -THAT DARN CAT, GUS, THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG, THE COMPUTER WORE TENNIS SHOES and certainly THE LOVE BUG which turned a cheap German made car into a fun loving childhood hero. Somehow. And when European producers wish to capitalize on the big budget hits of Hollywood they do the easiest thing possible to create a movie that the public will mistake for American fodder - they hire an American star! In this case, Dean Jones, lead actor in several Disney kiddie features was lured to Italy to make a film just as cute and stupid as the pabulum being force-fed to the little bastards by Uncle Walt's fantasy machine. How well it succeeds will be a test of your own nostalgia or, perhaps, your lack of patience with resolutely silly stories.
John Hudson joins me to dig into this ridiculous science fiction comedy and as difficult a watch as it was for grown men, there are joys amide the pain. Not a lot of joys, but enough to keep us from losing our minds. We talk about the good cast, the odd choice of aspect ratio, the fantastic music, the Italian Peter Lorre, pointless animal testing and bizarre tropes that get trotted put in this genre of Saturday afternoon kiddie matinee.
Of course, we also spend a sad amount of time lamenting the extremely short time the mythical Invisible Chimp is a part of the story. Clearly he was a highly paid ape and they could only afford him for a couple of days! As a bonus (?), I also take a minute to complain loudly about one of the dumbest turns of phrase/jokes/sad bits of non-humor from the past that is present in this film in the very first seconds. Sometimes I just have to get things off my chest even if it might make me sound like an old man screaming at clouds. Sorry.
Thank you for downloading and listening to the show. Mr. Hudson and I plan to step up production of these Margheriti episodes this year and we even go so far as to announce the next two films we'll cover. We love going through these films and it is a blast see that there are others out there interested enough in his work to listen to us praise him. Join us over on The Bloody Pit Facebook page (which I forgot to mention in this show) or write us a review in iTunes or wherever you find our show. See you next time!
Dec 16th, 2016 by rodbarnett68
For our second annual Holiday Horrors episode we take a look at the highly controversial 1984 killer Santa slasher SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT. Deemed, at the time, to be an affront to all that is good and sacred about the idea of a fat stranger breaking into your home in the dead of night to eat cookies and leave crap under a tree it has since become a much beloved December viewing ritual for millions of fans. OK! So, maybe it was tempting fate to have the advertising for the film play off the fact that a man in a Santa suit runs around axing people on Christmas Eve, but the effort put into stomping this film into the mud was a bit excessive. Luckily, all three co-hosts were alive in 1984 (we are OLD) and have memories of those strange days. We never had a chance. Shame on us all, indeed!
Settle in with the beverage of your choice to listen to Troy, John Hudson and Rod go through this twisted Christmas classic pointing out favorite moments and puzzling over dangling story threads. We discuss jerk co-workers, well stocked toy stores, dangerous gifts of our youth, odd places for copulation, traumatic Christmas images, good and bad child actors as well as the dark ideas behind putting angry nuns in charge of defenseless orphans. We also touch on the protests that got this film yanked from theaters after two weeks and the reasons behind that move by Trimark. For more detailed information about that please read the excellent article over at The Hysteria Lives by the always reliable Jason Kerswell. It's well worth your time, as is the entire site.
If you have any comments or suggestions please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by the Bloody Pit Facebook page and give us a 'like'. We still have no idea which Holiday Horror we'll do next year so, if you have one you'd like us to consider, let us know. Thank you for downloading and listening!
Nov 30th, 2016 by rodbarnett68
Here's a film to darken the days and blight the soul.
The cannibal sub-genre of exploitation films grew out of the Mondo movie genre. The Italian Mondo films were documentary in nature with a focus on taboo subjects that had often been considered too controversial for traditional narrative tales. By using the documentary format, exploitation filmmakers could show sexual acts, nudity, violence and even sprinkle in some racist content all while pretending to be educating it's audience. These movies were usually tasteless exercises in cruelty and caricatures of foreign cultures coupled with occasional sequences that were faked or staged for the camera. Of course, they were highly profitable but the genre waned quickly and by the mid-1970's Italian producers were on to other things.
Enter Ruggero Deodato. Having worked his way up through the Italian filmmaking system he had finally gotten into the director's chair and was hunting for a new project. In 1977 he had made one of the better jungle adventure films that had grown out of the success of Umberto Lenzi's MAN FROM DEEP RIVER (1972). Deodato's JUNGLE HOLOCAUST had upped the intensity of the earlier film and he decided to ratchet things up again for his new movie. He hit upon the idea of taking the cannibal tribe idea further than before and, inspired by terrorist activity in his home country, proceeded to make an unforgettably nasty piece of work that would, in turn, go on to inspire the found footage genre in the late 1990's. He's got a lot to answer for, huh?
When Adrian Smith asked me if I'd be interested in covering CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST for the podcast I immediately said yes. And then I started to have doubts! I was familiar with the film from having seen it almost twenty years before but I knew it as a difficult watch. Even though I owned a copy I had only ever rewatched the movie one time since my original viewing in the 1990's and had been disturbed enough by it on my second watch to consider getting rid of my disc. Was I really eager to see this harsh, mean-spirited film again? Would it still be able to worm it's way under my skin and bother me on the deep level it had so long ago? I guess I was going to find out!
Listen in as Adrian and I fight technology, discuss Deodato, praise Riz Ortolani, process this film's animal cruelty and generally try to keep a good attitude as we follow several stupid Americans into the Amazonian jungle. If you have any comments or questions about CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST or anything else we touch on, please contact us at email@example.com and we'll get right back to you. Thank you for downloading and listening to the show!
Nov 10th, 2016 by rodbarnett68
Twenty years ago Hollywood gave us two similar but very different alien invasion movies. One was serious and the other comedic; one was a huge hit and the other barely made back it's budget; one was basely manipulative and the other cruelly sarcastic. And, in fact, one was completely terrible and the other brilliantly funny. It doesn't take much thought to know in which direction this podcast will go but with a little luck we can make it entertaining. We're going to try!
I am joined once again by artist extraordinaire Mark Maddox to discuss the two dystopian alien invasion stories MARS ATTACKS and INDEPENDENCE DAY. Both of us saw these films on initial release and, in a shocking turn of events, we had identical reactions. This means that we spend the majority of this show in agreement instead of at each other's throats! I hope this doesn't disappoint fans of our previous James Bond episode but I promise that Mark and I will be back to insulting and harassing each other soon enough. (All it will take is picking another topic and we'll be screaming abuse back and forth like children denied their favorite toy.)
Of course, the discussion does meander a fair amount as each co-host follows several connecting threads to bizarre and unexpected places. With such large and eclectic casts packed with so many amazing actors there is almost no way we could have stopped ourselves from talking about some of the more interesting performances. So, expect to hear a few dozen movies get mentioned that have nothing to do with the subjects at hand. Sorry.
If you have any comments or questions please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be glad to hear from you. Mark Maddox's work can be seen at his website and I recommend going over there to check it out. Thanks for downloading and listening!
Oct 26th, 2016 by rodbarnett68
Larry Underwood and I have known each other for nearly
thirty years. We spent our younger days getting into various types of trouble
together but don't get to hang out as much as we'd like anymore. So when Larry
suggested covering the blaxploitation horror film DR. BLACK MR. HYDE (1976) I
realized that it just might be a good time to reconnect over some great 1970's
cinema! Good call, Larry!
In recent years Mr. Underwood has become best known in Nashville as TV horror
host Dr. Gangrene, a role he has played on and off for more than 16 years. As
cool as that might be I'm an even bigger fan of his ongoing YouTube series The
Fantastic Films of Vincent Price in which he is covering every single film with
an appearance by the great actor. I highly recommend these fun examinations of Price's
career and look forward to the 1970's era. Cool stuff!
In this episode the two of us settle in to look at DR. BLACK
MR. HYDE and take the time to discuss the surprisingly small sub-genre of which
is a part. I really thought there were a LOT
more films of this type! Regardless, this film is a good representative example
of the genre with some great performances and a complicated main character at
it's center. The movie has a few variations on the classic Robert Louise
Stevenson story playing with expectations about motivations in some neat ways. Bernie
Casey and Rosalind Cash are the big name stars but it's Alabama born actor Ji-Tu Cumbuka as a police
officer investigating Hyde's crimes that steals every scene he is given. I
would have been happy to see a sequel film just about him and his cop partner.
If you have any comments or questions about the film or the
podcast the email address is email@example.com. Let us know what your
favorite Blaxploitation Horror film is or your favorite Blaxpolitation film of
any sub-genre. Any other TRUCK TUNRER fans out there? Thanks for downloading
Oct 11th, 2016 by rodbarnett68
The 1970's were a rough period for the cinematic stars of Toho's
stable of giant monsters - budgets were being cut, plots were being recycled,
wardrobe was becoming shabby and craft services was even cutting back on the
amount of gin in the drinks! What's a crew of oversized reptiles, dragons and
other assorted creatures to do? Bear down and just run with that crazy script,
that's what. I feel the Big G held out hope for years that Kurasawa would
eventually return his calls, but it was not to be.
So, 1972 saw the Japanese release of GODZILLA VS GIGAN but
the film didn't appear in the US
until five years later under the title of GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND. If this
is an indicator of the film's quality or just that the series was no longer
seen as a sure money maker it certainly shows that interest in the giant monster
stomps was on the wane. Your intrepid hosts dive into this one trying to
determine whether the film holds real allure for any but the diehard fans.
falls into that category you can bet he has some kind words but what about that
As with most kaiju films many joys can found and this one does
have its share. We talk about the movie's genesis as a reaction to the dark
tone of the previous film in the series and the multiple scripts that were
merged together to build the final story. Much complaining about certain acting
choices are chewed over and Troy
drops an odd theory or two about the film. The 'phallic food' discussion may be
a make or break moment for our podcasting future! The film's recycled 'Aliens
Attempting To Take Over the World' plotline lurches and stumbles into view to
much eye rolling from both hosts but there is interest in the various stages of
the mad scheme to destroy and replace the various monsters. It all has
something to do with very difficult math but eventually becomes a case of
Bumbling Heroes vs. Ineffectual Villains. And that's before the new monster
Gigan shows up with his buddy Ghidorah to kick the crap out of Tokyo, so there are some
good things here!
We end the show with a lengthy email from a listener just
like you! This email does its level best to goad Troy and myself into a rage fueled fanboy
rant but we just don't have it in us. But, when is a rant NOT a rant? That os
the question! If you'd like to let us know what you think about this film or
anything else in the world write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be
happy to hear from you.
Sep 23rd, 2016 by rodbarnett68
Luigi Cozzi's science fiction epic STARCRASH is one of the wildest cinematic experiences of all time. The movie's script is a hot mess that feels like it was assembled in the dark from ideas jotted randomly on post-it notes. There is no logical progression from scene to scene or from idea to idea. When an explanation or solution was needed Cozzi just seems to have inserted a line of ridiculous dialog, had the characters smile at each other and kept moving. It is this almost total disregard for logic, sense or sanity that transforms this budget challenged Italian production to reach mad heights of near genius.
When the idea of covering STARCRASH for the podcast suggested itself I found myself with an odd problem - everyone wanted to be part of this show! Randy Fox, Jeff Nelson and John Hudson all wanted the chance to talk about the film and relate their own love for it. Troy Guinn also wanted to participate but scheduling kept him away from our recording session but he found a way to be a part of the episode anyway! So, we gathered around a table one Friday night to go through this crazed movie marveling at it's odd twists and turns while trying to come to terms with our outsized affection for it. We touch on many of the plot elements that amuse us - there is no way to touch on them all in just two hours - while digging into the cool things that the film plays homage to and/or steals from classic genre movies. Since this show consists of a group of friends that have known each other for years you can expect a number of odd references (Peter Frampton 8-tracks?) and strange connections(Where's Waldo!) that will only make sense if you listen to our stream of conscious blather. If it gets out of hand, we apologize! We had a good time and we hope you do as well.
I read out a couple of email messages at the beginning of the episode and if you would like to comment on the show the email address email@example.com. Drop us a line with any suggestions for future podcasts or to put us in our places if we've gone wrong. Thank you very much for downloading and listening!
Sep 8th, 2016 by rodbarnett68
Co-host John Hudson and I take great pleasure in returning
to our occasional series of episodes on the films of Antonio Margheriti. This
time out we tackle one of his 1980's action films, but this isn't a Rambo-esque
bungle in the jungle. No, no! This is a film 'inspired' by (the huge world wide
box office success of) RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. From 1982 to 1985 Margheriti
made three different Indiana Jones rip-offs and what separates this film from
the other two is that it is not a period piece even though it deals with Nazi
history and Germany's
pre-war hunt for religious relics. Of course, this Ark
hunt was done for a fraction of the budget of it's better known Hollywood counterpart, but for the right audience that is
part of the allure.
THE ARK OF THE SUN GOD stars frequent Margheriti
collaborators David Warbeck and John Steiner along with several familiar faces
from Italian and Spanish genre movies. Warbeck is best known to horror fans for
his roles in Fulci's THE BEYOND and THE BLACK CAT. Steiner starred in Mario
Bava's final film, worked with Fulci in his WHITE FANG movies and appeared in
Argento's fine giallo TENEBRA. The great character actor Luciano Pigozzi plays
a guy named Beetle who is instrumental in finding the hiding place of the
Even though his face is covered in this movie with a big busy beard it's still
easy to see why he was called Italy's
Peter Lorre as the resemblance is remarkable. Sadly, this seems to be the one
and only film for female costar Susie Sudlow and this fact upsets both John and
Thank you for downloading and listening to us tromp into the
Turkish desert in search of the tomb of Gilgamesh. If you have any comments or
questions please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be glad to
hear from you. And before anyone asks the son at the end of the show is by Tame
Impala with an additional tag from Warbeck and Steiner. Enjoy!
Aug 16th, 2016 by rodbarnett68
I had such a simple idea for this podcast. I would get
together with artist Mark Maddox and we would talk about James Bond films for a
while. I'd intercut clips from the relevant films, spice things up with some
cool Bond theme songs and boom - cool podcast. That is not what happened.
I had spoken to Mark about trying to focus in on a couple of
specific Bond movies that were of significance to him but I expected our
conversation to range all over the fifty plus year history of the series. What
I did not expect was that we would go so far off topic for so long that the
editing process became pure Hell! By the time we were done I knew we were going
to have at least two separate shows if I wanted either of them to have any
focus. So, after much cutting and pasting I have left only the discussion of
various Bond movies with a few slight tangents into related movies that touch
on the subject at hand. Mostly.
We start off talking about THUNDERBALL (1965) and YOU ONLY
LIVE TWICE (1967) because the former was Mark's first Bond film and the latter
is one that I, until recently, disliked. We delve into the age when we were
first exposed to the James Bond character and what that might mean for how we
see them as adults. I think Mark's tale of trying to figure out who the hero of
THUNDERBALL actually was is hysterical and his young boy view of the character
is eye opening. We talk about our favorites and least favorites of the series
and this leads to much yelling and threats of bodily harm. Rest assured that no
matter how terrible it sounds no one was physically abused during the recording
of this podcast. I did mentally abuse Mark but he's used to that by now and all
those scars are internal so he should just suck it up and deal!
Of course, we had a great time doing this and I think you'll
be able to hear how much fun we're having. Mark is an amazing guy and I always
love talking with him. He and I really have to do this kind of thing more
often. And if you haven't seen his artwork do yourself a favor and visit his website.
He's a very talented man and his stuff continues to stun me with each new
You can reach the podcast at email@example.com and
we'll be glad to hear from you. Send us any comments or suggestions about the
James Bond movies or anything else we ramble on about. If you listen to the
show through iTunes rating and reviewing the show would help out a lot- that's
how a lot of folks learn about podcasts. Thanks for downloading and listening!
Jul 23rd, 2016 by rodbarnett68
We return to the land of the giant monsters for a surprising and impressive entry in Toho's Godzilla series. This was the ninth outing for the Big G and his crowd of monster cohorts. It was also the last time that the core group of creators responsible for bringing the original 1954 classic GOJIRA to the screen were to work together on a kaiju film. The studio increased the budget for this outing (for reasons we'll discuss in the show)and the extra money shows in many ways both big and small. The use of pretty much every giant monster character that Toho had created up to this point meant that the special effects technicians were working overtime to build and shoot the numerous battles and scenes of city destruction. Oh, man- the monster fights in this film are so great!
Adding to the general excellence of this movie are the wonderful directorial touches of the great Ishirô Honda. Always a man with a keen eye for framing he also gets a chance in this film to give us several unexpected visually gorgeous images that verge on the surreal. Rarely has wet sand, high heeled shoes, a low sun and the sound of crashing surf been combined to such charged effect in a G rated film.
Since Troy just returned from his annual visit to Chicago's G-Fest I question him about the highlights of the convention. He has a little info on the new Japanese Godzilla film but we still await news of North American distribution. He relates tales of meeting numerous celebrities over the weekend and even has photographic evidence to back up his claims of glory.I really have to attend G-Fest one of the days! As the episode swings into gear we talk about the film's colorful set design, it's familiar and talented cast,the two different English dubs available and a host of other details we can't stop ourselves from gabbing about. I even spend a while complaining about the tease of seeing certain creatures who are given only seconds of screen time. I love you, Varan!
Thank you for downloading and listening to the show. We canbe contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or suggestions.