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The Toho Kaiju films are a joy on so many levels and I'm thrilled that we are starting a new series covering a set of them for 2016. The focus this year will be on the various movies that feature that golden skinned villain Ghidorah and we begin with his (her?) first appearance in 1964's GHIDORAH, THE THREE HEADED MONSTER. Released in the U.S. in 1965 it became a favorite of monster kids and it's screenings on domestic television pushed this fifth Godzilla film to new heights of popularity. That this is much more a Godzilla or Mothra film than a Ghidorah tale which points to it being a direct sequel to the monster film released earlier that same year MOTHRA VS GODZILLA. Throw in the second appearance by Rodan and this becomes a sequel to his solo movie from 1956! That's right -this s a four monster film making it a Toho Monster Rally! Pop the corn, lay in a supply of dried squid and get ready to watch the fireworks!

As always with these giant monster movies Troy is the fanatic with years of reading and watching informing his thoughts and I am the neophyte trying to line these movies up in my horror loving head. We talk a bit about the differences between the Japanese version and the shorter English language cut while admitting freely that we simply cannot settle on a set pronunciation of the title monster's name. We both were impressed by the excellent commentary track on this film's Classic Media DVD by author David Kalat and we speak to some of his opinions as we go along. I have to say that he makes some good points even if I disagree with his take on some specific ideas. Troy gives me some backup when I question the film's U.N. meeting of giant monsters and the credulity stretching table tennis sequence, but has some love for the concept of a kiaju group hug. Also, neither of us can understand why one of this film's alternate titles isn't GODZILLA VS something something..... anything! The Big G is the star here, title aside.

 

Thanks for downloading and listening. Any questions or comments can be sent to thebloodypit@gmail.com where we'll be glad to hear from you. Remember that you can send MP3's or WAV files of your comments as well and we'll blend them into the feedback section next time out. 

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John Hudson returns to the Bloody Pit to help me discuss this amazing cannibal gore film from director Antonio Margheriti. Shot in Atlanta, Georgia during the cooler months of the year lends some fascinating texture to the film and gives the plot about deranged Vietnam Vets a little gravity. And when your story revolves around a virus that somehow transfers cannibalism between people like the flu you need all the seriousness you can muster! Luckily this is one of the very few Margheriti films that has been released to DVD in the US with extras! Among those extras is a very nice 54 minute long documentary about CANNIBAL APOCALYPSE that includes interviews with the director as well as actors John Saxon and Giovanni Lambardo Radice a.k.a. John Morghen. This gives us a little more insight into the film than we usually have and allows for some examination of the ideas presented, which I like!

Before we dive into the film Hudson and I catch up a bit with discussion of our upcoming Alice Cooper encounter; John's history with Tarantino theatrical screenings; his rewatch of The Sopranos; my journey through the Hannibal TV series and a general concern for the winter weather. Once we attack our main topic I start with some information on the legendary Italian screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti who is responsible for so many of the classic Euro-Cult films of the 1970's and 80's that entire books should be written about him! As the podcast continues we complain about the often inappropriate score along with an audio example of the sound of blood dripping from meat - high strangeness. There is some talk about flamethrowers and exploding dogs as well as the real animal cruelty in the sewer scenes. We touch on the use of wood as a metaphor (I'm not kidding) and end up wondering what words rhyme with Saxon. Yeah, we're all over the place in this one.

Thank you for downloading and listening to the show. We can be contacted at thebloodypit@gmail.com for any comments or complaints. At the end of this episode we lay out the plans for future Bloody Pit shows about Antonio Margheriti as well as the other movies that will be covered in the next few months. We hope you enjoy what we're doing and please stay safe and warm. 

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For the first of our annual podcasts focused on Holiday Horrors we tackle 1980's NEW YEAR'S EVIL. A much maligned and neglected slasher film, NYE boasts a number of high points that its terrible reputation would have you think could never exist. While it is true that this film is a muddled oddity, it has more than a few moments of brilliance. No one will ever call it a masterpiece movie but it is never boring and it is highly entertaining - sometimes for the wrong reasons. Plus- how many movies can manage to get you to root for a homicidal maniac murdering innocent victims on a strict time schedule? No matter what, that is a major cinematic accomplishment!

I am joined this time out by my longtime podcasting partner from the NaschyCast, Troy Guinn as well as frequent Bloody Pit collaborator John Hudson. We pick apart NEW YEAR'S EVIL calling out it's bizarre structure and strange characters. Strangely, we find much to love in the movie as we spot more than a few successes among the number of glaring flaws. We relate our takes on the film as we discuss the story, comment on the unseal presentation of the Punk music scene, question the casting of certain roles, complain about the film's implausible timeline and posit some simple improvements that could have taken NYE from near-forgotten oddity to slasher classic.

We prattle on for a quite a while with John fitting in several wrestling metaphors but only one porn reference. Must have been an off day. We discuss the short career of Roz Kelly and note her late 1990's brush with the law. It is sad to see what become of Pinky Tuscadero. As the show proceeds you'll hear me become stunned as I'm reminded of the existence of Leather Tuscadero, a character I had mercifully blocked from my childhood reminiscences. I guess you only remember the good things from your formative years, huh?

We can be reached at the email address of thebloodypit@gmail.com where your comments would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for downloading and listening to the episode. 

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WESTWORLD is a fantastic science fiction tale from the early 1970's that deserves more notoriety on several levels. The first feature film written and directed by best selling author Michael Crichton, it has all of the strengths of a screenplay penned by a novelist but very few of the usual weaknesses that often come along with being too close to the page. It's a lean, mean 90 minute thrill ride that builds its characters and its suspense very well and seems to have been a major influence on later big screen projects. The movie was a big hit for MGM in 1973 spawning a sequel film and an attempted TV series in 1980 with HBO now set to remake the story as well. I guess the concept is simply too juicy to leave in the past! WESTWORLD stars James Brolin, Richard Benjamin and the legendary Yul Brynner along with a cast of very recognizable faces from Hollywood.

I'm joined this episode by writer Randy Fox to discuss the film, our history with it and what it means to us as children of the 1970's. This was a film neither of us got to see in the theater but its TV screenings burned images into our memories for a lifetime. Of course, we circle the main subject for awhile, reminiscing about the state of science fiction cinema in the 70's before STAR WARS came long and forever altered the landscape. Our mutual love of the films of that decade shines through and eventually leads us to decide on another movies we should cover here on the podcast in the near future.

Along with our personal takes on the film we also have a fair amount of production information on the film including the battles with the studio over budget, the short shooting schedule, smart editing decisions, the injuries sustained by the cast, the height difference between director and star as well as a lesson from Brynner on how to not blink onscreen! Additional we touch on the many cinematic descendants of WESTWORLD, some of which may be surprising. So, join us for a trip to Delos where it seems certain that they have a vacation for you. And if you have any comments of questions please write us at thebloodypit@gmail.com where we'll be glad to hear from you. Thanks for downloading and listening. 

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For a Halloween treat I present an episode that focuses on Guy de Maupassant's classic short story The Horla and its various adaptations. The most prominent of these is the Vincent Price movie DIARY OF A MADMAN but the story is much twisted out of shape by the film's script The film adds a tragic family history, romantic entanglements, a conniving femme fatal, a cuckolded husband and murderous dark deeds done with knives to a tale that was much more of a treatise on fear and the horrors of the mind. Still, the film is worth seeing and Price is a joy but while I discuss the story and its cinema incarnation I also include in the show two of the three known radio adaptations of it as well. I think you'll get a kick out them - listen with the lights out!

If you have any comments you can reach me or the various co-hosts of past episodes at thebloodypit@gmail.com and I'll be glad to include your feedback in a future show. Thank you for downloading and listening! Happy Halloween! 

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It's October again! Time to enjoy all the things we love about the Autumn season and the fantastic month leading to the most scary day of the year - Halloween! In the spirit of all the festive creepiness we all know and love I present this year's music mix for your listening pleasure. It's a rollicking hour and twenty minutes of creepy, often funny songs sprinkled with trailers of classic (and not so classic) movies. I hope you get a kick out of it. 

Track List

1. Intro

2. Jackie Morningstar - Rockin' in the Graveyard

3. Trailer - House on Haunted Hill

4. Deep Purple - Vincent Price

5. Trailer- Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman

6. Round Robin - I'm a Wolfman

7. Bert Convy - Monster's Hop

8. Phantom Five- Graveyard

9. Trailer -Berzerk

10. Reverend Horton Heat - The Halloween Dance

11. Sweet - Hellraiser  

12. Trailers- Terror & Friday the 13th

13. The Moontrekkers - Night of the Vampires

14. Trailer - The Leech Woman

15. Dave Gardner - Mad Witch

16. The Swingin' Neckbreakers - No Costume, No Candy

17. Trailer - The Chosen

18. Popcorn!

19. Tony's Monstrosities - Igor's Party

20. Teddy Durant - The Beast of Sunset Strip

21. Trailer - Atom Age Vampire

22. The Idols - The Prowler

23. Trailer - Tales From the Crypt

24. Ronnie Self- Go Go Cannibal

25. Southern Culture on the Skids & Zacherly - Sinister Purpose

26. Trailer -Frankenstein

27. Bobby Please  - The Monster

28. Chance Halliday - Bury Me Deep

29. Trailer - Humanoids From the Deep

30. The Dead Elvi - The Creature Stole My Surfboard

31. Jack and Jim - Midnight Monsters Hop

32. GMRX

33. Trailer- Plan Nine From Outer Space

34. The Bomboras -A Fistful of Terror

35. Trailer - Tales of Terror

36. Alice Cooper - Last Man on Earth

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A rock 'n' roll Godzilla movie? Yeah, that seems to be what we have with GODZILLA: FINAL WARS (2004). Director Ryûhei Kitamura was tasked with bringing his kinetic style to the Millennium series which may (or may not) have been a mistake. His love of the crazier Big G films of the 1970's certainly shines through in this entry giving the proceedings a strange throwback quality that previous movies in the series had steered clear of. The fan reaction to GFW was very split and as this was to be the last Godzilla movie - possibly ever- and also the film released in celebration of Gojira's 50th anniversary it is easy to understand how nearly nothing could have pleased everyone. Sadly, the Matrix/X-Men elements have not aged nearly as well as the bad-ass monster battles - of which there are many. I think any film that causes me to utter the phrase 'unnecessary plot clutter' clearly has its problems.

 

As you might expect on a film this divisive there is some disagreement between Troy and I on the qualities Kitamura brought to the table. If the standard split of opinion on this one is 'fan boy vs. fan' then our discussion will mirror that divide pretty closely. Of course, before we get to GFW we talk a bit about my inevitable viewing of another Eli Roth disaster and Troy's recent trip into the Lon Chaney scented Inner Sanctum. Don't ever say we aren't diverse in the horror movie topics that get randomly discussed when we start babbling! So get off your ass and come down here. Rock 'n' Roll ain't no riddle, man. To me it makes good, good sense.

 

We have a very full mailbag at the end of the show this time out. Several listeners sent their thoughts and corrections to us about both our kiaju episodes and the epic CONTAMINATION show as well. It's nice to know there are folks out there that are enjoying what we do and, rest assured, we intend to keep it up. We have some great shows on the way in the next few months. If you have any comments about the show - or corrections - you can write us at thebloodypit@gmail.com where we'll be thrilled to hear what you have to say. Remember that you can send MP3's or WAV files of your comments as well and we'll blend them into the feedback section next time out. Thank you for downloading and listening! 

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Our series of spoiler filled shows focused on the films of Antonio Margheriti continues with one of the director's westerns. Of course, the name in the credits is his standard pseudonym Anthony M. Dawson but we all know who made this excellent combination of Spaghetti Western and Blaxploitation genres. TAKE A HARD RIDE was financed by 20th Century Fox after having great success with Margheriti's previous western for the studio THE STRANGER AND THE GUNFIGHTER (1974). Teamed again with that film's star Lee Van Cleef Margheriti is able to show his skill again by directing one of best of the very few examples of a western with a mostly black lead cast. Further, this movie has the distinction of reuniting the three male leads of THREE THE HARD WAY (1974) for the last time until Fred Williamson would take it upon himself to cast them all in his 1982 film ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO. A team this good shouldn't have had to wait seven years for another big screen adventure but that's Hollywood I guess.

 

Co-host John Hudson and I take a run through this fun film discussing not just the director and stars but also the location shooting; the script's detailed characterizations; the bad guy's deep bench; a possible snake death; the horror of swinging bridges and the many joys of watching Jim Brown and Fred Williamson spar onscreen. It will be clear that we hold this film in high esteem and it will also be clear that John's cat Snowbell has some things to say as well. She makes her presence known throughout the show, so those meows you hear from time to time are not a ghost feline stalking you as you listen tom the podcast.

 

Be warned that we start the show with a few minutes of talk about what we've been reading and watching since we last podcasted together. This time out John came prepared to list off some interesting recent viewings. I take the opportunity to relate that I've been reading an excellent crime novel by the author of 'Money Shot' but I repeatedly refer to the writer by the wrong name. The author of 'Choke Hold' and its predecessor is Christa Faust NOT Christina Faust as I call her in the first part of the show. I apologize to her and to anyone out there that might go in search of her great books and wonder why they can't find them! Sorry!

 

If you have any comments or suggestions you can reach us at thebloodypit@gmail.com and we'll be glad to include your email in future episodes. 

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It was a year ago that Troy, Jeff and I sat down and podcasted together and the film under discussion that time was the mad Umberto Lenzi zombie epic NIGHTMARE CITY. Proving that we only seem to want to talk on the record about completely insane Euro-Cult horror movies we now sit down to hash out our feelings about Luigi Cozzi's incredible (in every sense of that word) CONTAMINATION. If you have never seen this slice of 1980's cinema madness allow our conversation to push you toward a viewing first because we spoil the holy living crap out of the film from begging to end. If you have any love for bizarre movies you will find much to love - and much to make you scratch your head in wonder. After all, when you are watching a film that is trying to copy Ridley Scott's ALIEN but on a very low budget there are going to be some interesting compromises along the way. Due to budgetary constraints writer/director Cozzi had to set the film on Earth but kept the idea of the alien eggs and a large monstrous creature from the Scott film and even titled his script 'Alien Arrives on Earth' so you know it has to be great. God, I miss the days of cheap Italian rip-off cinema! So much fun!

Please join the three of us under "Absolute Maximum Security" as we travel from New York City's sewers to the coffee fields of Columbia to the planet Mars (!) in our quest to understand and share this amazing film. Listen as Troy re-titles the movie FOOTBALLS: THE RIPENING and wonders why it wasn't called CONTAMI-GASM while I express my belief that the movie is "Nonsensical to the point of genius." Jeff has done a deep dive and brings some fascinating details from the graphic novel adaptation of the script that Cozzi has produced and that is available as an extra on the new Arrow Films Blu-Ray release. Will wonders never cease?

If you have any comments or suggestions you can send them to thebloodypit@gmail.com and we'll respond in our next Italian Horror episode. Thank you very much for downloading and listening! 

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After a short delay John Hudson and I finally sit down to discuss two of director Antonio Margheriti's scary films. This time out we delve into his Gothic Horror output with the Barbara Steele featuring CASTLE OF BLOOD (1964) and Margheriti's remake of that film WEB OF THE SPIDER (1971). Yes, you read that correctly - much like about a dozen other filmmakers Margheriti remade his own film and in this case seems to have used the same script. And the same score too! But since the score is by Riz Ortolani that might have been a mark of brilliance instead of a cost cutting move. To add to the differences, the first film was made  in glorious, shadow-filled black & white while the remake was filmed in color. Does this end up making or breaking the story?

As you might expect when discussing two separate but very similar films we speak about the points of departure the later film makes from the first incarnation while trying to determine which is a better version of this ghostly tale. There is much to discuss when comparing the legendary Barbara Steele to the lady that took on her role seven years later. It turns out that French actress Michèle Mercier had quite an interesting career and serving as a replacement for a horror icon might have been a step down for her.

If you have any comments of suggestions for future podcasts you can drop us an email at thebloodypit@gmail.com and we'll take your thoughts under advisement. Mr. Hudson and I will be continuing our trip through Margheriti-ville soon by dipping into his westerns so we hope you'll come back for that. Thank you so much for downloading and listening. 

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