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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 thebloodypit@gmail.com and we'll get right back to you. Thank you for downloading and listening to the show!

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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 thebloodypit@gmail.com 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!

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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 thebloodypit@gmail.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 and listening. 

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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. Since Troy falls into that category you can bet he has some kind words but what about that other guy?

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 thebloodypit@gmail.com and we'll be happy to hear from you. 

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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 isthebloodypit@gmail.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! 

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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 titular Ark. 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 I.

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 thebloodypit@gmail.com 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! 

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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 painting.

You can reach the podcast at thebloodypit@gmail.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! 

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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 thebloodypit@gmail.com if you have any comments or suggestions. 

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These days SOYLENT GREEN is a film better known for it's spoiler level final act revelation than for it's more impressive qualities. It presents a dystopian vision of the world if then current trends in overpopulation and pollution continued unabated with a depth of meaning and intelligence of the best science fiction. Fortunately, the talent involved were able to craft this harsh story into something smart and  entertaining. The film boasts a brilliant cast, strong direction and a dark future shock style scenario that feels realistic but alien and fascinating at the same time. The vision of a hopelessly overcrowded New York City in 2022, choked with clouds of yellowish smog and bathed in a constant heat wave is a window into to a tomorrow that no one would want for their children but seems more likely with each passing year. Perhaps, if we are lucky, this film's fate is to be less prophecy than heeded warning for the generations that fear that one day we might be feeding on ourselves just to survive. 

I am joined once again by my fellow 1970's science fiction fanatic Randy Fox to discuss SOYLENT GREEN and we find that our opinions differ just a bit. Before we begin Randy let's in on his recent, exciting project bringing independent radio back to the city of Nashville! He is one of the main movers & shakers behind the scenes of WXNA 101.5 FM which can also be streamed online at their website if you are not privileged enough to live in Nashville. It's a DJ programmed radio station with a slew of specialty shows and the attitude that they will play what corporate radio won't touch. Check it out!

As you might expect, this look at SOYLENT GREEN covers a lot of ground. We talk  a bit about the cast and crew, delve into the darker elements of the story, marvel at the glory of Edward G. Robinson, bitch about the madness of silenced revolvers and Randy introduces us to the Charlton Heston 'Grimace' Scale. Near the end we talk a little about the source novel by Harry Harrison and we even have a piece of feedback email relating to our LOGAN'S RUN show. Very cool! If you want to let us know what you think the email address is thebloodypit@gmail.com where we will be thrilled to hear from you. 
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Toho Studio's Monster universe takes another turn for the weird in this science fiction epic! This movie introduces the soon to be reused idea of alien invaders taking control of the giant monsters and creating large scale destruction in the hopes of worldwide conquest. No one should have trusted those Emo looking freaks anyway. Just look at those evil glasses! As this is the immediate follow up to GHIDORAH it is very strange that the American release avoided that name entirely and went with MONSTER ZERO. I guess that Ghidorah just doesn't have the same box office appeal as Godzilla which still doesn't explain why they didn't title it Godzilla Goes to Planet X. Which would lead to my favorite possible crossover ever - Buckaroo Banzai Meets Godzilla! (Does anyone get that reference?)

 

We take a look at this one with the switch being that this time out I am not the one synopsizing the movie's events. Troy leads this dance through two worlds, three giant monsters, two affable astronauts, dozens of evil aliens and a host of Kumi Mizuno clones. Yeah- this one has plenty of things to talk about! We discuss the American actor Nick Adams as he rages against the alien horde and chases after a lovely lady. We dig into the ideas and plot threads that are brought up and left dangling as the movie speeds toward its conclusion along with the ways this film points to how the future Toho SF movies would shift in tone. Troy comes armed with some interesting information on the amount of screen time the monsters get in this picture making for some interesting questions about what audiences want verses what they actually get. I get to express my love for trap doors and also muse on the possibility of alien monsters made of funnel cake. I might have gotten carried away with that last one.

 

Of course, this being a conversation between Troy and I we can't stop ourselves from beginning the show with a couple of completely of irrelevant topics. OK. To be honest, it was just me talking about 1970's Marvel comic books and Edgar Rice Burroughs adventure novels but Troy could have stopped me at any time with a bat or a bucket of water! And the tangent we take near the end of the show is all on him! If you want to comment on our lack of professionalism and inability to stay on a single topic please write us at thebloodypit@gmail.com and we'll get back to you with our defense. Thanks for downloading an listening. If you listen through iTunes please rate and review us over there as it really helps get more eyes on us. 

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