23:59 – (Not) Radio Film Review

Soldiers-in-training discover that guns are useless against vengeful spirits in 23:59
Soldiers-in-training discover that guns are useless against vengeful spirits in 23:59

There has, sadly, been a tragic loss to the WBAI radio family. Long-time anchorman and host Robert Knight passed away over the weekend, and so HOUR OF THE WOLF is being pre-empted this week for a special tribute to the man. This kind of thing will happen — not always for unfortunate circumstances; there are always pledge drives and the like to account for — and since in this case I want to hold my TRANSCENDENCE review for when the show comes back next week, I figured this would be a good time to experiment with doing stand-alone review segments featuring films that maybe didn’t get the attention they deserved upon release, or that fall into genres that HotWolf host Jim Freund doesn’t want to feature on his show, such as horror.
Or, in this case, both, since we’ll be talking about 23:59, an unusual and evocative horror film out of, of all places, Singapore, that got a home video release in the U.S. last year, and is still available in DVD and streaming form on Amazon (so it’s a perfect time to use the CFQ link to get a look). Click on the player to hear the show.


Planes, Percy & More: Ultra-Lounge Podcast 4:32.2

Planes-Percy composite copy
Some weeks, there are just too many horror, fantasy, and science fiction films to crowd onto one launchpad – or one podcast, as the case may be. Thus, we end up with this week’s situation, in which the Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast 3:42 covered both ELYSIUM and EUROPA REPORT, leaving two new nationwide releases for inclusion in this Ultra-Lounge Podcast: PLANES and PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS. The former is a Disney knock-off of Pixar’s CARS films; the later is a sequel to PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTENING THIEF, based on the popular series of adult novels. As if that were not enough, CFQ podcast crew also offer reviews of recent Video on Demand titles: COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES and JUGFACE.
But, wait – there’s more! Lawrence French recounts his radioactive encounter with GOJIRA (1954), the original uncut Japanese version of the film known as GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS (1956) in the U.S. Dan Persons exorcises the ghosts of Singapore horror film 23:59. And Steve Biodrowski notes that WORLD WAR Z beat the odds, surviving last-minute rewrites and post-production re-shooting to become producer-star Brad Pitt’s biggest worldwide box office hit – an achievement that, ironically, involved toning down the third act, in contravention of Hollywood’s conventional wisdom that bigger equal better equals more ticket sales.
The podcast begins with a brief obituary for actress Karen Black, who passed away on August 8, 2013. Though her career was long and varied, she will always be fondly remembered by horror fans for her performance in the “Prey” episode of TRILOGY OF TERROR, the Dan Curtis tele-film based on stories by Richard Matheson.