Video Store Nightmares
Episode 27: Phantasm (1979)

Episode 27: Phantasm (1979)

October 17, 2021

This week, join us for one of our favorite movies to watch during the Halloween season, 1979's Phantasm! We watched this movie together as teenagers and spend this episode comparing notes after 20-odd years. The movie holds up as a 70s time capsule and a teenage nightmare; plus, it spawned a decades-long franchise that's still going strong with writer-director Don Coscarelli. If you haven't seen Phantasm, you're truly missing out! On this episode: a very tall man (made taller by platform shoes and too-small suits), a cool-kid-hero, an homage to (or plagiarism of) Dune, killer dwarves, front porch sing-a-longs, a heroic ice cream man, an angry red planet, flying driller-killer spheres and one of the greatest horror movie scores of all time!

Episode 26: The Being (1981)

Episode 26: The Being (1981)

October 7, 2021

This week, join us as we discuss Jackie Kong's first foray into horror and film - the Being. This is pro-environment, anti-toxic waste amateur hour featuring Kong's husband as possibly the most bored protagonist in movie history. Luckily, he's facing off against a very fast, very slimey, very phallic one-eyed monster that's ravaging the nation's spud capitol. On this week's episode: creepy film intros, a headless chicken, three Oscar-winners, harmless radiation, missing children, big-money potatoes, racist cops, drive-in pranks, slime puddles, Mr. Kong's stunt penis, an elongated climax and the titular Being!

Episode 25: Death Laid An Egg AKA Plucked (1968)

Episode 25: Death Laid An Egg AKA Plucked (1968)

September 30, 2021

This week, join us as we mix things up and Leland hosts for a change! We covered the 1968 pseudo-giallo - Death Laid an Egg (released in America as Plucked). On this episode: an amazing avant-contemporary musical score, the use of anthropomorphized chickens in advertising for...chicken, bloody prostitute killings, mistaking maternalism for incest, mutant chickens, graphic animal killings, melodramatic meltdowns, slaughterhouse bossa-nova tunes, and the benefits of English dubbing in Italian film.

Episode 24: Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983)

Episode 24: Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983)

September 20, 2021

This week, join us as we discuss our bad motel experiences and the film that surpasses them: Mountaintop Motel Massacre. This atypical slasher features a cast of authentic, mostly unlikeable, visitors to Evelyn's roadside cabins. Please do not disturb Evelyn. She already is! On this week's episode: a guinea pig murder, pseudo-occultism, motel horror stories, a drunk reverend, two future country music stars, a (suspect) Columbia Records owner, a conveniently-equipped carpenter, frugal newlyweds, tiny furniture, a killer "rattle" snake, rats, roaches and a system of underground tunnels perfectly sized for a maniacal geriatric mother.

Episode 23: Whose Child Am I? (1976)

Episode 23: Whose Child Am I? (1976)

September 10, 2021

This week, join us as we discuss the obscure 1976 social-nightmare-sex-melodrama - Whose Child Am I? If you ever wanted to see an after school special without the characteristic moral messaging but with softcore sex and incest, look no further! (Or, look forever, as this one is hard to find.) On this episode: the horror of barren marriages, invitro versus "natural" insemination, vaginal temperature checking, 50 cent wine, the radical feminist agenda, the right of motherhood, gendered roles in gay relationships, African sperm, father-daughter incest, courtroom drama, and...a happy ending for all!

Episode 22: The Burning Moon (1992)

Episode 22: The Burning Moon (1992)

August 27, 2021

This week, join us as we discuss German underground film-maker Olaf Ittenbach's masterpiece: the Burning Moon. This shot-on-video classic features two stories spun by a nihilistic, heroin-addict teenager. In one, a girl's family is threatened by an escaped asylum patient. The other features a descent into hell unlike any other we've seen! On this episode: possibly the worst-ever job interview performance, the perils of blind dating, a road rage decapitation, butter fingers, forced eyeball eating, blood sacrifices, Satanism, the humor and horror of excess, drill to the teeth, corkscrew to the guts, machete to the face, shotgun to the chest, fire to the eyes, and - of course - a burning moon!

Episode 21: Deviation (1971)

Episode 21: Deviation (1971)

August 20, 2021

This week, join us as we discuss one of cult Spanish film-maker Jose Ramon Larraz's early works: 1971's Deviation. This follows the now-familiar story of a bickering couple who breaks down on a lonely road and takes shelter in a nearby mansion. If you're familiar with Spanish horror, you probably have some idea of where it goes from there. On this episode: cultural perceptions of romantic age gaps, another creepy taxidermist, another borderline incestuous sibling set, drug-fueled orgy "sessions", another spin on the highway diversion trope, a lascivious pharmacist, bewildering time gaps, a mumbling cat lady, mysterious occult practices and a wonderful psychedelic score by Stelvio Cipriani.

Episode 20: The Video Dead (1987)

Episode 20: The Video Dead (1987)

August 12, 2021

This week, join us as we discuss the beloved straight-to-video low-budgeter from 1987: The Video Dead. Whether you remember this from the video store, late night cable, or an over-priced eBay auction, odds are you remember it fondly. If you haven't seen it, watch it now! Then, check out this episode which features: the debut of that greasy strangler - Michael St. Michaels, a haunted TV, aerobics majors, a drowned David Bowie lookalike, a pissed off bride, zombies with senses of humor, a diminutive chainsaw, Texas stereotypes, teenage seduction, a virtual garbage man and lots and lots of mirrors. Plus, you get a bonus conversation about 80s versus post-Scream horror.

Episode 19: The Witch Who Came From The Sea (1976)

Episode 19: The Witch Who Came From The Sea (1976)

August 5, 2021

This week, join us as we take a disturbing trip into childhood trauma and its aftermath in The Witch Who Came From The Sea. This one plays like a true nightmare and succeeded in disturbing us with its realistic suggestions of child abuse and the series of castration-killings that our grown-up protagonist commits. On this episode: beach-side bodybuilding, idealized father figures, a scary tattoo parlor, casual bondage and mutilation, missing time, addiction to painkillers, the reality of television and the Little Mermaid.

Episode 18: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Episode 18: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

July 31, 2021

This week, join us as we dive into the world of Russ Meyer, certainly a requisite for any cult cinema show. Meyer released Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (an all-time great movie title) on his independent VHS label - Bosomania - and it lives up to the title, with three buxom go-go dancers giving into their violent fantasies. On this episode: the violence in women (and men), Russ Meyer's cinematic influence, politically incorrect descriptive names, siderodromophobia (fear of trains), 60s aesthetics, shifting tenets of feminism, and the Meyer trio: big breasts, fast cars and sudden death!

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