We have to be clear about this: There are bad movies; there are reprehensible movies; there are movies that make you consider taking out a contract on the entire DGA, just to be sure that never in the future of humankind will there be a chance that such an affront to common decency could again be committed. And then there are films that are a strangely exhilarating kind of awful, the kind that actually restore your faith in the perverse diversity of the human race, that re-instill your wonder in the awesome chaos of the universe, that, as the slogan for Temple of Bad has it, are truly a religious experience. Such a film is A TALKING CAT!?! A putative family comedy that isn’t funny (at least not in a deliberate way) and that would likely rupture any family unfortunate enough to be exposed to it, this film starts with the premise that people would listen to a cat that dispenses cryptic directives in the voice of Eric Roberts, and then throws such niceties as narrative coherence, plausible characterization, decent production values, and commonsense behavior out the window in its attempt to fill its scant eighty-five minutes with something that justifies its existence.
The Temple of Bad team of Andrea Lipinski, Orenthal V. Hawkins, Kevin Lauderdale and Dan Persons get together to try to puzzle out some method behind A TALKING CAT!?!’s madness (spoiler: they don’t succeed). Click on the player to hear the show.
In Dossier Fantastique, Volume 5, Number 32, Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski analyze SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. They also look at recent home video releases: THE WALKING DEAD, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE on Blu-ray; and the 1980s version of THE TWILIGHT ZONE on DVD. Finally, after the closing credits, they forget to turn off the recorder and eventually wander off into a discussion of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE.
Sometimes doing the job is reward in itself. That’s what it was like for me to talk with Greg Nicotero. From DAWN OF THE DEAD to BREAKING BAD, from ARMY OF DARKNESS to OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, from HOSTEL to SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR, his vivid and creative makeup effects work has brought the fantastic, the grotesque, and the sometimes-just-plain-realistic to a dazzling kaleidoscope of film and TV projects.
That includes THE WALKING DEAD, the blockbuster TV series which scooped up a couple of primetime Emmy awards for Nicotero’s work in bringing the flesh-hungry walkers to gruesome… uh, life? Death? Anyway, in honor of the release of the complete fourth season on DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday, we got some time with Greg to talk about the finer points of zombie nurturing and care. Click on the player to hear the show.
It’s time to expand your Sense of Wonder by opening Dossier Fantastique! Volume 5:31 reveals data points on current theatrical releases THE GIVER and LIFE AFTER BETH. Listen in as special guest Andrea Lipinski joins the Cinefantastique Podcasting team of Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski for an insight-filled discussion of the latest dystopian science fiction film – which may seem like a variation on THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT but which was actually based on a novel published before either of those franchises were a glimmer in their author’s eyes. Also available are details on this week’s home video releases.
Let the hate mail begin!
In the grand tradition of Cinefantastique (dating back at least to the magazine’s review of STAR WARS), Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski rake the blockbuster box office hit GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY over the coals in this week’s Dossier Fantastique Podcast. Sure, it’s far from the worst movie ever made, nor does it deserve the unqualified adulation heaped on it by fans and critics alike. But at least Rocket the Raccoon is cute – and funny!
Afterwards, the CFQ podcasters offer a 50th anniversary appreciation of the low-budget science fiction film THE EARTH DIES SCREAMING (1964), directed by Terence Fisher. And of course there’s the usual rundown of the week’s home video releases, including DIVERGENT, OCULUS, and 30th anniversary Blu-ray disc of Brian DePalma’s PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974).
Dossier Fantastique Volume 5, Number 28 opens to reveal data on this week’s horror, fantasy, and science fiction movies, television, and home video. Cinefantastique podcaster Lawrence French out-muscles HERCULES and explores the optics of I ORIGIN. Meanwhile, Steve Biodrowski attempts to apply 100% of his brain to LUCY, then visits HEMLOCK GROVE for its second season. After that, it’s a look at what’s new on DVD and Blu-ray, including NOAH – the best film of the year so far.
The Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast, Volume 5, Number 27 explores the dystopian horrors of THE PURGE: ANARCHY. This sequel takes the premise of THE PURGE (2013) and plays it out on a larger canvas, exploring territory that the original only suggested. Is that enough to satisfy those frustrated by THE PURGE’s home invasion scenario? Listen in to find out, as podcasters Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski debate the merits of debate the merits of vicariously purging your anti-social tendencies by watching this moviefrom Blumhouse Productions and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes.
It’s raining sharks, hallelujah! Or maybe whether you’re making that exclamation depends on how highly refined your appreciation of irony is. Yes, SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE is here, moving the mayhem to New York (to the producers’ credit, largely the real New York), larding the proceedings with copious cameos (hallloooo Andy Dick, Perez Hilton, Al Roker, etc, etc.), and wasting no time in throwing airborne maneaters at hapless victims (why are there sharknados? Who cares — look, SHARKS!).
One of the major players trying to avoid becoming shark bait is Dante Palminteri, son of Chazz and making his major(?) film debut with this role. In this exclusive interview, he takes us behind the scenes of this landmark cinematic event, certain to be the most monumental film of Summer 2014. Okay, my ironyometer just shorted out, sorry. I’m going to go watch HARLAN COUNTY, USA to recover.
A new dawn is rising on the Planet of the Apes franchise. Humanity is decimated but not quite extinct. Caeser the intelligent ape presides over his tribe near San Francisco. Can ape and man live in peaceful co-existence? Find out in the Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast, Volume 5, Number 26, as Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski discuss DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES.
Demons are trying to break on through into our world – and they enjoy The Doors! Listen in as Cinefantastique podcasters Lawrence French and Steve Biodrowski explore the horrors of DELIVER US FROM EVIL, an interesting amalgam of THE EXORCIST and SEVEN, from the team behind THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE. Eric Bana stars as a cop pursuing criminals whose evil deeds may be inspired by hellish forces, in a tale loosely inspired by the real-life account, Beware the Night, by former officer Ralph Sarchie.