Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 041: When Science Goes Too Far

HMP Sidebar ScienceEpisode 041 is another horror-themed episode of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re dead serious about horror movies… This week we’re exploring Dr. Shock’s theme which is WHEN SCIENCE GOES TOO FAR! (Thunder clapping sounds here)

Even though this episode only has two in-depth Feature Reviews, namely Altered States (1980) and The Fly (1986), we still have other discussions relating to our theme that we think you’ll enjoy. And of course, we reference many films during the course of the episode.

And as excited as we are about this theme, we are even more excited to have the honor to introduce writer, musician and science fiction / horror aficionado Matt Daniels (aka “Mattroid” aka “Gary the Unicorn”), who is a Masterful guest!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voice mails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction
— Welcome special guest Mattroid


II. Theme: When Science Goes Too Far
— Dr. Shock introduces our theme
— The Atomic Age
— The Technological Age
— Science vs. Religion
— Mad Scientists vs. Religious Cult Leaders

Frankenstein Science


[ 0:35:57 ] III. Feature Review: ALTERED STATES (1980)
Jay of the Dead = 6 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Rental )
Dr. Shock = 9 ( Buy it! )
Mattroid = 8 ( Rental )

HMP Altered States Banner


IV. The Nuclear Age and Godzilla

HMP Gojira Godzilla 1954


[ 1:16:45 ] V. Feature Review: THE FLY (1986)
Jay of the Dead = 9 ( Buy it! – Must-see )
Wolfman Josh = 10 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 9.5 ( Buy it! – “Cronenberg’s masterpiece” )
Mattroid = 9 ( Buy it! – Must-own )

HMP The Fly Banner


[ 1:55:11 ] VI. Wolfman’s Got Nards: Splice (2009)
Wolfman Josh = 6.5 ( Rental )

HMP Splice Still


VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending
Stay tuned for more info on the Sci-Fi Podcast from Mattroid and listen to Mattroid and Jay of the Dead as guests with Wolfman Josh on Movie Stream Cast.


JOIN US NEXT WEEK ON HMP: Episode 042: Friday the 13th Franchise Review — a five-part series starting next week on Friday, February 13th.


NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, there are 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar on the right.

Leave a comment or e-mail us here: HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com

LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE:

Karl Huddleston appears in Mattroid’s Gary the Unicorn comedy skits

Gary the Unicorn’s 31 Days of Halloween for the Daily Herald newspaper

Wolfman Josh and Jay of the Dead review Silent House on Movie Stream Cast

Jay of the Dead is on the road for Horror Movie Podcast Episode 040: The I-80 Tapes

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Wolfman Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Wolfman Josh covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
Wolfman covers movies streaming online on: Movie Stream Cast

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dr. Shock’s daily movie review Web site: DVD Infatuation.com
Dr. Shock on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Dr. Shock’s other horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter: @HorrorMovieCast
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on: Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Dr. Walking Dead on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead
Dr. Walking Dead’s books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for Horror Movie Podcast.

If you like Horror Movie Podcast, please subscribe and leave us a review in iTunes. If you want to support the show, we have PayPal buttons on our sister site, Movie Podcast Weekly.com, in the right-hand sidebar where you can make a one-time donation or you can become a recurring donor for just $2 per month. (Every little bit helps!)

Thanks for listening, and join us again Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

Jay of the Dead


160 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 041: When Science Goes Too Far

  1. I always love the themed episodes and this one is no exception. Thank you for making working on a Saturday more enjoyable. I am a little ashamed to say that I haven’t seen Altered States or Cronenberg’s version of The Fly. I am familiar with some of Ken Russell’s other films and Altered States had kind of been on my radar for a while, but after hearing your coverage of it I will definitely see it. I am a big fan of Jacob’s Ladder and the comparison intrigues me. The Fly has been one I’ve been squeamish about, but perhaps I will nard up and give it a watch.
    As for the topic of when science goes to far, I have to say the original Godzilla is in a special place in my heart. I got to see it remastered and on the big screen last year (around the time the remake was coming out) and I wasn’t quite prepared for the movie to be as dark in tone as I found it to be. I was really impressed, and hadn’t taken the movie or its characters as seriously before.

    • Great commentary on GODZILLA, Allyson. Very interesting.

      There are plenty of reasons to be squeamish about THE FLY, it is truly disgusting and mortifying to look at. But it’s a great film, nonetheless. A classic. ALTERED STATES is another difficult one to recommend to most people, but if you like JACOB’S LADDER so much, you’ll probably be able to appreciate this.

      Thanks for the kind words about the themed episodes. They’re my favorite to record and revisit. I wish we had time to put one out every week.

      And congrats on getting your Gravatar up. It’s always nice to put a face with a name. Also, very beautiful faerie art you’re making. I enjoy finding out that we have so many talented, creative people amongst our listeners. My daughter would love all of your work, but she’ll have to grow up and get a job before I show her your site. Or, maybe I’ll have to revisit your shop come Christmastime.

      • Thanks, that is kind of you to say about my work. I have a couple of good friends who like to tease me about watching 80’s slasher movies while I make faerie wings.

          • It’s true. Also the folklore of the past is often pretty horrific. I remember as a kid reading more than a few faerie tales with cannibalism and dismemberment in them.

          • I have a little collection of books on folklore and some of it is really creepy. Like the Irish faeries that steal human babies and replace them with changeling’s. That’s a disturbing concept.

            Not to mention how much of an influence all that stuff has had on horror literature. Stories like “Ancient Lights” by Blackwood and all sorts of elements in the work of writers like M.R James and H.P. Lovecraft draw heavily on folkloric elements.

            I guess some of those old folk tales are what people used to use to give each other the creeps and warn away from dangerous places and I think that modern horror movies play a similar role.

  2. Hey guys, thanks for another great installment! Now that I am all caught up on my episodes, I eagerly anticipate these podcasts on Saturdays. I literally sat here today with the website loaded on my laptop hitting refresh every 20 minutes or so, just waiting for the new content to pop up. It’s been like Christmas morning the last few weekends, with Jay my personal Santa, and Wolfman and Dr. Shock pulling the sled.(Though I see you all as equals!) Needless to say I was not disappointed today. I am actually surprised to hear you guys unanimously praise “The Fly.” Don’t know if I’ve yet to hear all of you guys rave about one movie like this. I don’t ever recall you guys mentioning this on any of your lists, yet it seems to be favorite. I admit it’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but man, you guys were off the charts in championing this film and Mr. Goldblum! I now feel like I missed out.
    Anyway, great insight on the “science gone bad” theme. I kept trying to think of other movies that fit the theme. I saw a bunch of comments from last week with some great additions to this themed list. One I think everyone forgot about: “Event Horizon” (1997). Definitely the mad scientist (Sam Neil) pushing the boundaries of interstellar travel and facing the brutal consequences. I felt like that one needed mentioning.
    Also, I really enjoyed newcomer Matt’s thoughts; hopefully we hear more from him in future episodes.
    Now on to the Voorhees-a-thon!!!!!! Been waiting for this since I began listening. Expect voluminous commentary here by yours truly as these next few episodes are aired. The “Friday the 13th” franchise was and is a key component of my existence, and sadly I don’t really have anyone in my circles who would discuss these movies in depth like this.
    Keep up the great work, guys – you continue to make film study interesting!

    -The Grey Imp

    • I’m looking forward to the F13th discussion as much as you, Grey Imp! Some really fun movies to discuss in this franchise. I hope you don’t get too mad at me, though. I come at some of these flicks pretty hard. Especially in the first episode. Looking forward to your feedback. In fact, you should email us an audio clip or leave a voicemail on the films so we can hear your thoughts on the show. Maybe in the franchise overview episode.

      THE FLY is a classic film and a landmark for make-up FX. I think I hadn’t considered it for previous lists because I tend to think of it as more of a sci-fi movie. I’m kind of the same way about the Alien franchise. But, it was absolutely perfect for this episode.

      You’re in luck re: Mattroid. He’s starting up a new sister podcast for us called The Sci-Fi Podcast. It will release every other week, on the off week for Horror Movie Podcast, so you can switch off between great sci-fi and horror podcasts every Friday (or Saturday, as the case may be). Also, don’t forget to listen to Matt discuss Cronenberg’s kid’s movie ANTIVIRAL on Movie Stream Cast in the coming week and listen to me and Jay talk SILENT HOUSE while you’re there, as well.

      Dollars to donuts Mattroid will cover EVENT HORIZON on The Sci-Fi Podcast. Thanks for bringing it up here. It was a definite oversight (like so many others that were mentioned on the other post), but that’s why we appreciate you guys leaving your comments here.

      The conversation continues!

      • @Wolfman Josh – The Sci-Fi Podcast sounds awesome. Thanks for breaking the great news. Now, if we can get you back on MPW, all will be right in the world.

        • Hopefully, you can expect a little guest segment from me on MPW this coming week (and you can always visit us on MSC). This summer I’ll have a lot of down time from work when I’m living in Colombia, so hopefully, if there is a solid internet connection available, I can hop on several months worth of MPW episodes between treks into the jungle.

          • I don’t know what’s more awesome; the news of a Sci-Fi podcast, a forthcoming Josh guest-spot on MPW, or the sentence; “I can hop on several months worth of MPW episodes between treks into the jungle.”

          • @Wolfman Josh – I definitely have to get back on the MSC train. I hopped off when the new episodes stopped coming, but it’s time to get back on (especially since Serial is now over).

          • @Wolfman Josh – Just started back up with MSC. I love the brief, focused nature of the show…. very easily digestible and a nice change of pace from the majority of shows I listen to. Glad you started it back up.

    • “and Wolfman and Dr. Shock pulling the sled”

      Haha, couldn’t they at least be elves or something?

      But seriously great suggestion for this theme with “Event Horizon” Grey Imp. I always feel like that movie is kind of underrated and it definitely features science going about as “too far” as can be gone.

  3. I was pretty busy last night so only got to listen to this episode intermittently and in the background but from what I could gather there were some amazing discussions going on. I’m going for a re-listen today and then I’ll no doubt be back with rambling and pretentious comments!

      • I’m not entirely sure what “rocking the suburbs” means but embarrassingly this is the only picture of me I currently have on my computer.

        • Haha. Oh, it’s from a Ben Folds Five song. Not meant as a put down or anything (although the song actually is). Just something I picked-up in my daily speech when referring to live music. I like the pic. I think it’s perfect that Juan is drinking a beer and you’re playing music.

          • Ah, Ben Folds. He’s someone I never really got into but that does take me back to my youthful years working in the graphics department of a signage factory. The guy in charge of graphics was a big Ben Folds fan and he’d blast it out while we were working. Good times.

            And In reality it would be more perfect and far more apt if Juan was drinking a beer and I was drinking a beer.

          • Can we get one with you guys recommending beers to one another?

            I’m not a legitimate Ben Folds fan, but I have a huge amount of respect for him. If you go back and listen to that first Ben Folds Five album contextually with what was popular at the time, all rap and R&B in the mainstream, all punk in the underground, all grunge in the middleground. Playing the kind of music he was playing in America at that time was totally unheard of in indie underground music (where he came from)–and eventually mainstream pop music (where he landed). It’s kind of shocking that he became as popular as he did, despite being a talented songwriter. He’s an interesting dude.

            If there was one album I’d say I’m a fan of, though, it would be the Five album “The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner.”

          • “Can we get one with you guys recommending beers to one another?”

            I don’t think that’s such a good idea Josh. When Juan and I are recommending beers to one another I’m not normally wearing any clothes.

          • Ha…those are good too. Truth be told I’ll drink just about anythingput in front of me.

          • Dino, absolutely I do know about David’s nudity. If you’re serious about beer, you’ll know that it’s the only way to really taste it and discern all of its complexities. The way your pores breathe when you’re devoid of clothing, it not only enhances the taste itself, but it releases you of any inhibitions impeding you from reaching beerlightenment. I do it all the time… I’m doing it right now…

            Hahaha in all seriousness, just because I like good beer doesn’t make me a snob. When I can control what beer enters my body, I do so with a smile on my face. But if you offer me a Budlight or a Dos Equis, I will never turn it down and I’ll drink it with a smile on my face. People that have turned to the craft side know that once you go craft, you never go back. The reason is simple. Craft beer is tasty and there is so much variety that sometimes picking a beer at a specialty store is as hard as picking a movie on Netflix. I can walk the beer isles looking at the beer labels and reading about the history of the beer or the brewery. See the parallels? Now, I completely agree that there are tons of beer snobs out there that ruin it for the rest of us, but it’s the same way with everything. Anyway, I’m guilty of a few of the things on that list and I’m not ashamed to admit it haha.

            Cheers David and Dino, my beer compadres!

          • @Juan – I know all too well about the struggle in selecting the next 4 or 6 pack to bring home. Luckily, my wife tolerates this little foible, and has come to expect my quick trips to the store to not always be so quick.

          • You know, I’m going to start referring to David and Dino as the Double DDs! Or if you’re into wrestling, the Dudley Boys! Dino, get the table!

          • Dino, I’m more of a bomber kind of guy. I like trying new beers and more often than not, the large majority of beer is only available in bombers. I try to get the single 12oz. bottles whenever possible, especially when trying out styles that are new to me or that I’m not very fond of like IPAs for instance.

          • Same here, although I will sometimes blind buy a 4 or 6 pack of a new brew. I’m a big bomber, sampler box, or build your own 6-pack kind of guy, though. There’s too much out there to not try it out.

          • “Except David doesn’t like 3D, so…”

            I like watching 3D movies from the 80’s without 3D glasses. I love the parts of “Friday the 13th part III” where yo-yos and joints and pitchforks and eyeballs are coming at the camera and I’m just watching it in 2D like “man, they were really subtle about this weren’t they?”

            Also, I’m definitely more of a single bottle beer guy too. It’s not too often I get to go through to York and browse the really great beer specialist so if I see anything new on the shelves here I’m likely to go for it. The only problem with this is that I often forget which one’s I’ve had and what they were like! I seriously need to start taking notes on them. I had the most amazing, super sour flemish style beer just after Christmas and I wanted to recommend it to Juan but I couldn’t remember for the life of me which one it was!

            But I certainly won’t turn my nose up at a domestic beer if I’m just chilling out watching movies or something. And there’s the standard stuff that’s always on the supermarket shelves that I’m partial to like Innis and Gunn, the BrewDog stuff and the more common Belgian beers. I do resent paying almost £5.00 for a manky pint of fosters in some trendy inner-city bar though.

          • My “David doesn’t like 3D” comment was actually a (failed) reference to Juan’s mention of The Dudley Boyz. But, this conversation sort of took off in its own direction, so I just let it go.

          • Haha yes! You got it Dino! David, do yourself a favor and watch a short clip of the Dudley Boyz’ finishing move. I get it, wrestling’s silly and whatever, but it has provided me with some of the greatest entertainment ever. I don’t follow it anymore, but I can’t deny that there’s a lot more to it than people give it credit for. And hey, if Andy Kaufman found wrestling fascinating who am I to argue?

          • It’s been a good 10+ years since I watched professional wrestling. I fell off the wagon after my first year of undergrad (just after The Dudley Boyz came around), but it was a fun ride while it lasted.

  4. So I’m only 30 minutes in to giving this episode my full attention but already my initial impressions have been proved correct. This has got to be one of the most fascinating discussions that you guys have yet recorded.

    And this Mattroid chap is a great guest who really brings a lot to the conversation. I love that he brought up the early human discovery of fire in the discussion about technology. That perfectly plays into the Promethean themes of that most notable of “Science Gone too Far” narratives; “Frankenstein”.

    I love how meditative you guys all are in this episode. I think it’s going to be one of my favourites!

    • I’ll echo David’s thoughts. The discussion in this episode is top-shelf, and among the best on the podcast so far.

      I’m up to the feature review of THE FLY, which I’m really looking forward to. In fact, when Juan mentioned doing director-themed episodes, the second person who came to mind after Carpenter was Cronenberg. I think a Cronenberg body-horror themed episode would be very interesting.

      • I agree, but I don’t think Jason considers much of Cronenberg’s work “true, Jay of the Dead” horror. You might have to wait awhile for that “Body Horror” episode.

        I hope you guys liked those Cronenberg audio clips I pulled. They weren’t identified as I pulled them after the recording and Jay kind of slapped them in there in interesting places, but what an insanely intelligent guy he is, right?

        Personally, I love his work, as squeamish as it makes me. In fact, one of his films that I’ve been avoiding re-visiting is on the list of nards. So, look forward to that. Also, come join us on MSC where Mattroid and I are discussing Cronenberg’s son’s body horror flick this coming week.

          • Yeah, I’ve always liked Cronenberg, you can tell he’s really aware of the communicative potential of film. He’s not just making these movies to shock or make a quick buck, rather he’s using them as a way to meditate on certain elements of the human condition. I think that really comes through in “The Fly” and is a big part of what makes it such a transcendental horror movie. There’s an almost Kafkaesque level of depth and emotion to it. It’s not just horrifying because there’s a monster that might get us but because we ourselves are the one’s who could become the monsters.

          • >David on February 8, 2015 at 6:22 pm said:
            “Yeah, I’ve always liked Cronenberg, you can tell he’s really aware of the communicative potential of film. He’s not just making these movies to shock or make a quick buck, rather he’s using them as a way to meditate on certain elements of the human condition. I think that really comes through in “The Fly” and is a big part of what makes it such a transcendental horror movie. There’s an almost Kafkaesque level of depth and emotion to it. It’s not just horrifying because there’s a monster that might get us but because we ourselves are the one’s who could become the monsters.”

            Yes.

        • @Wolfman Josh – I feel like Cronenberg is one of the more polarizing figures in horror. Much of his body of work definitely skirts the line of “true horror.”

          As for the Cronenberg film that’s on your list of nards, I’ll guess THE BROOD because… well… ewww.

          • Has anyone seen his more recent films? I’ve been curious about Cosmopolis and I think Maps to the Stars looks pretty interesting.

            I’m a big fan of his non-body horror films like Eastern Promises and A History of Violence, but it seems people don’t like them because they’re not “Cronenberg” enough.

  5. I’ve been battling bronchitis this last week and now that I’m getting better thanks to…err.. since… it’s very fitting that the themed episode is about, well, science! It’s also quite fitting that one of the main reviews was about Cronenberg’s The Fly being that it’s one of my favorite movies of all time, horror or otherwise.

    The Fly holds a very special place in my heart. As a child, the film fascinated my little brain in ways that I didn’t yet understand. As an adult, the themes are much clearer to me yet the film still has the same effect it had on me as a child. Whenever I watch The Fly or whenever I see its poster, the same feelings of wonder, curiosity, and fear overwhelm me and render me as helpless as a child. The poster itself is very powerful. To this day, its imagery is still some of the most iconic and effective in any poster that I’ve ever seen. I’m not sure who’s behind its design, but could it be the same person who designed the Alien poster? The similarities are striking and they both have the same effect on me. They show me enough to be afraid, but also enough to make me want to get over that fear and see what’s inside the egg (in the case of Alien) and what’s inside the telepod (in the case of The Fly). The color schemes are also very similar. What is it about green that provokes fear? Picture the posters with any other color and they wouldn’t be half as effective.

    To be continued…

    • It sucks to hear that you’ve been ill Juan, but I’m glad to hear you’re getting better. Stay strong my friend.

      And I really appreciate the point you brought up about the posters for “The Fly” and “Alien” and the similarities between the two. That’s something I’d genuinely never noticed before but both images certainly conjure a similar atmosphere and sense of apprehensive curiosity.

      Also, very good question about what it is that makes the colour green so scary. That’s something else I’ve never thought about before. Could it have something to do with it representing nature and the wilderness? Or a return to nature from our current state of civilised conurbations? Or maybe it’s because of it’s associations with the abject? It’s the colour of decay and pus and illness. Anyone out there who suffers from chlorophobia want to help us out?

    • @Juan – Great point about the posters. I think David hit it on the nose about the color green’s association with the abject. At least for me, it’s always conveyed the notion of sickness, both physical illness and sickness of the mind (envy, greed, etc).

      p.s. Get better, buddy.

        • Similarly, I thought it was interesting that the two feature reviews in this episode – ALTERED STATES and THE FLY – touched on both the mind/psychological and the body of when science goes too far. I’m sure that was not by mistake.

    • Yeah, I have to agree with Dino. Keen eye on the poster similarities, Juan. And I loved David’s comment about the abject, pussy (yes ,this is the proper spelling, David) green. Smart guys.

      Get well soon, Juan.

  6. The dream/nightmare sequence in The Fly is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of that film. Truly disturbing and gross.
    Could Jason X be used as an example for when science goes to far? Especially with the “Nanites” and Jason’s transformation into Iron man. Also it’s a good bridge to bring episode 41 to 42. Or the ultimate example of when science goes to fall…RE-ANIMATOR!

    • Tim I definitely think an argument could be made for “Jason X” being in the “when science goes too far” category. Not only the “nanites” but I also seem to remember the initial reason that they pick up Jason’s body being for the sake of some kind of research? Could be wrong there though, it’s been a long time.

      Also in the comments to the last episode before this one was released a few of us were trying to guess what movies might be covered. Here’s some that we came up with that we thought were thematically relevant:

      Them!
      Empire of the Ants
      Ants!
      The Hills Have Eyes
      Re-animator
      From Beyond
      Tarantula
      The Return of the Living Dead series
      The Invisible Man (or Hollow Man)
      Forbidden World
      Island of Lost Souls (or any other Dr. Moreau adaptation)
      The Mist
      Frankenstein
      Scanners
      The Blob
      Splice

      And The Grey Imp also suggested “Event Horizon” further up in these comments which is an excellent pick!

      • All great picks David. I just picked up Island of Lost Souls (Criterion Blu-Ray). It is an incredible set of one of my all time favourite movies.

        • Well I can’t take much credit for this list as many of the suggestions came from Juan and Dino, but thanks anyway Dude.

          And I was really glad that Doc brought up “Island of Lost Souls” in this episode. Definitely a great example of science going too far!

      • I would also add 1958’s Fiend Without A Face to the list of science gone wrong movies. It is a perfect blend of horror, science fiction and gore…all wrapped up in one beautiful B movie package.
        Highly recommended.

      • Oh man I forgot about The Blob! Especially the 1988 remake. If I recall that was a result of an experiment of see how bacteria reacts in space. Classic

      • Hold on, David, I think we should get credit for THEM!, TARANTULA, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS/DR. MOREAU, THE MIST, FRANKENSTEIN, and SPLICE, as they all made the discussion.

        I take full blame for there not being more discussion of FRANKENSTEIN. I asked Doc if we could save the feature review for a Universal Monsters episode. We had to save RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD for an upcoming zombie episode as well. THE FLY won out over SCANNERS. And, of course, JASON X is indeed coming up within the month in our FRIDAY THE 13th coverage.

        THE INVISIBLE MAN was an oversight, but I actually think DR. JEKYL and MR. HYDE is the quintessential example from that era for me and I’m so happy that Doc brought it up, because I hadn’t thought of it. I loved that book as a kid. Scared the crap out of me.

        RE-ANIMATOR, THE BLOB, and EVENT HORIZON were other major oversights, but I’m still happy with how this episode came out. We will find a place for those in the future. Excellent lists, guys. Thanks for thinking of them.

        Everybody, please send in your audio comments for the FRIDAY THE 13TH series. You can record them yourself and email them or call Jay with a voicemail. Keep your comments under a minute with decent audio quality and they’ll have a better chance of making the show. Might not make it in time for the first episode, unless you send them right away, because we are almost done recording it, but send comments ahead of time for the upcoming F13th episodes and be on the show!

        • Just sent a voicemail in regards to Friday the 13th part 2…I’m hoping to do one for each movie. I’m attempting to prove part 2 is slightly different type of film than what the rest of the franchise offers…Maybe you agree? Looks like I missed out for part 1!…Oh well the sequels are more fun anyway!
          The Grey Imp

    • A lot of people dismiss Jason X as a quick cash cow (and it probably was), but its self awareness and willingness to make fun of itself make it so much fun to watch. It’s definitely one of my favorites in the franchise and I prefer it over the Friday the 13th remake which is good, but far too serious for not being that scary.

      • I like “Jason X” waaaaay more than the remake. It’s dumb and goofy but lots of fun. I don’t remember liking the remake much at all.

        • David
          Totally agree…At least Jason X stuck with the formula. It was really where the series was going at that point, which is to complete absurdity. I’m not ashamed to admit I paid to see Jason X in the theater. I was excited, because it was the first film of the franchise I was actually old enough to see on my own. (I was still only 11 when Jason Goes to Hell came out). BTW, that was a rough 8-year hiatus for Jason movies between Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X, way too long!
          The remake had its moments, but I just don’t like how remakes work in general. I think the hard-core fans of these original movies have the story so deeply carved in our brains, that to just disregard the past and place Jason in some alternate universe is somehow nonsensical to me…yes more nonsensical than freezing Jason and putting him on a spaceship! (Ha, the irony in my analysis!).

          • I think a part of the problem with a lot of these slasher remakes is that they’re taking a product that was originally creepy but kind of fun and just draining all the latter element away, replacing it with grim cynicism and more extreme gore. The Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm St and Halloween remakes are all much darker and more vicious than their source material but without the balance offered by lighter moments and likeable characters they just seem lifeless and depressing to me. Even the Texas Chainsaw remake seemed to miss the point of the original, replacing gritty atmosphere that really got under your skin with the obvious buckets of gore modern viewers are so accustomed too. The original had such a tangible and sickening tone while leaving a lot to the imagination but I remember the remake just feeling generic and seemingly being tailored to an audience bereft of an imagination.

            I’m probably being too harsh here though and I admittedly haven’t seen any of these remakes in a while but nothing about them sticks out in my mind.

          • I feel like I’m a little more receptive to remakes than most of the active HMP community. I definitely agree with what you’re both saying – the remakes largely turn a blind eye to certain elements of the original story, and are generally darker and more brutal than the source material. I also see why that could immediately sour so many fans of the originals from the start.

            However, I often appreciate the modern take and, in many cases, the added technological polish the remakes bring to the table. When I watch these remakes, I do my best to completely remove the original from memory and view them on their own merit. I’m also not always wed to the source material, so when the original does creep into my sub-conscious and the remake deviates I don’t automatically dismiss it. Sometimes I think these deviations work and sometimes they don’t. In either case, though, I normally appreciate the different take or the expansion on the original lore.

            Point is, I think the modern remakes have value and I certainly get excited (or, at least, am hopeful) whenever I see that a new one is in production. (I’m still hoping for a HELLRAISER remake)

            That said, I can’t think of a recent remake (i.e since the turn of the century) that I prefer to the original (maybe THE HILLS HAVE EYES and/or EVIL DEAD), but I have enjoyed most of them.

            Of course, I could just be shooting my horror street cred in the foot again, like I did last year when I said I don’t go gaga over John Carpenter’s THE THING or, more recently, POLTERGEIST.

          • Just thought of a remake I definitely prefer to the original – MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D.

            And, yes, I like 3D, too.

            – Dino the Contrarian

  7. Hey guys
    EXCELLENT episode! Top notch!
    And I’m super-excited about you picking Altered States for one of the main movies… It’s one of the more overlooked and “forgotten” ones… at least for the mainstream audiences, I think! And it being forgotten is why it’s on my future review list as well; I might need to bump it further up in the pile. It’s been a long time since I last watched it, but it’s a great movie and one I’m looking forward to re-visiting!
    Oh, and I’m not knocking any of the other titles you mention and talk about in the episode, ’cause you picked some good ones, it’s just that you don’t often hear people discuss Altered States…

    Again, great episode guys… you sure know how to brighten a day… or night, for that matter! 😉

  8. Not to get off topic, but Jay mentioned in episode 39 “horror in 2015” that a new version of Poltergeist is coming out in July. Upon hearing this I let out a loud “UGH!”. However I watched the trailer yesterday and it looked pretty good. As an added treat I noticed that Sam Rockwell, and Rosemary Dewitt are starring in it. Plus Sam Raimi is one of the producers. Not gonna get my hopes up, I’m cautiously optimistic.

    • The trailer got me so excited that I’m past cautiously optimistic. I know I’m setting myself up for a possible (not probable) disappointment, but if the remakes of Maniac and Evil Dead taught me something, it’s that remakes can work and they can stand on their own without one or the other having to be the “definitive” version. Crossing my fingers though.

      • >Juan on February 9, 2015 at 7:58 pm said:
        “The trailer got me so excited that I’m past cautiously optimistic. I know I’m setting myself up for a possible (not probable) disappointment, but if the remakes of Maniac and Evil Dead taught me something, it’s that remakes can work and they can stand on their own without one or the other having to be the ‘definitive’ version. Crossing my fingers though.”

        Well said, Juan.

  9. I’m a bit ashamed to admit I have not seen THE FLY. I honestly don’t even know why. I have no excuse. It’s always been on my “list,” just never checked off. I would even consider myself a Cronenberg fan, so I don’t get it.

    It’s moving up to the top of my list.

    • Dino, that’s something that needs to be corrected right away, man! Trust me, you’re missing out. Please make sure that when you see it, that you post your thoughts on it.

      And speaking of movies that haven’t been seen, I don’t think I’ve seen Altered States. I was almost certain that I had seen it, but when I watched the trailer, it all looked very new to me. I think I pulled a Josh here!

      • @Wolfman Josh – Ha! The last two or three emails I’ve sent to JOTD have seemingly disappeared in the ether of the Internet. We’re talking long, heartfelt prose… un-responded. I’m done with feeling dejected by unrequited love!

      • @Wolfman Josh – Unrequited love aside, I’m sure JOTD wouldn’t want any non-F13 related discussion to sully the next 5 episodes (nor would I want it to). So, any email/voicemail comments probably wouldn’t make the show until the end of March (if it all), well past their sell by date.

        I dropped my thoughts on THE FLY down below in these comments, as well as a bonus unsolicited mini-review. I would actually be very interested in your take on that film, THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE, given your affection of documentaries.

        • “The last two or three emails I’ve sent to JOTD have seemingly disappeared in the ether of the Internet. We’re talking long, heartfelt prose… un-responded. I’m done with feeling dejected by unrequited love!”

          I’d imagine with starting a new job Jay has probably fallen behind a bit with his email correspondence. He’s probably putting all the free time he has into getting the podcasts edited. I do hope he gets to your emails though Dino because I’m sure they contain some stuff that might be relevant to bring up on the podcast and would no doubt make for some fascinating discussions.

          • @David – Oh, I’m sure that’s the case. I hope he realizes my comment was purely tongue-in-cheek.

    • You’ve got to see it Dino! I think I agree with what Matt said in the show about it being the best Cronenberg movie (at least of the one’s I’ve seen).

      • I also think it’s Cronenberg’s best, but I haven’t seen every single movie he’s made, so I maybe shooting in the dark here. I noticed that Josh didn’t agree with Matt’s statement, which makes me ponder, what’s Josh’s favorite Cronenberg movie?

        • VIDEODROME. Far and away. I love THE FLY from any other filmmaker, but because it is a remake, we’re not getting pure, unadulterated Cronenberg. Same with his recent stuff. I like to let the Cronenerberginess pour all over me.

          • Wow… so, last night I told my wife I wanted to watch THE FLY soon, to which she replied with something to the effect of “ewww, that’s a creepy film.” I asked her if she’s seen it, and she has. Multiple times. Then she said, “wait, you haven’t?!”

            I am ashamed.

  10. Vincenzo Natali (director of SPLICE) also directed episode 1 of the horror anthology series DARKNET. In case you’re not familiar with the series, each episode is an easily digestible 25-30 minutes long and features multiple interlocking (and disturbing) storylines. I’m only 2 episodes in (6 episodes in total), but it’s quite good. The stories are interesting and macabre, and shot very cinematically. Based on the first two episodes, I would give it a 7.5/10.

    The series is currently streaming on Netflix in the US, and I believe is pretty widely available for free online. Given its wide availability and low buy-in (25-30 mins in length per episode), I would definitely recommend checking it out.

    • Nice! I love anthologies! I’ve been meaning to check it out. It’s now going to the top of my queue… after all the Friday the 13th movies.

    • Dino, thanks for recommending this, I’m really liking it. I think the first episode is super strong and the other three that I’ve seen are good, but never reach the level of suspense and horror that the first episode delivered. Overall (and only four episodes in) I’d give it a 7. The first episode is a 9 though. Good stuff.

      • Glad you’re liking it so far. I’ve still only seen the first two episodes, so you’re ahead of me now. I agree that the first episode is the best so far (at least, for me, compared to the second episode), and the suspense created from the very beginning of that one was great. I think the second episode wasn’t quite up there in quality compared to the first, but still did a good job of building suspense.

        For me, DARKNET is like MSC – easily accessible because of its short run-time, but no less fun than a feature length film. I always look forward to watching the next episode.

      • @Juan – I watched the third episode of DARKNET last night, and thought it was a severe drop-off in quality and entertainment to the first two installments. So far, I’m roughly at…

        Episode 1 – 8.5/10
        Episode 2 – 7/10
        Episode 3 – 5/10

        • Yeah episode 3 and 4 were much weaker. I’ve still yet to see the final two. Hopefully they’ll be better. I have to say though, that even the weak episodes have some really cool ideas.

          • @Juan – I finished up DARKNET the other night. This is how I rate each episode:

            Episode 1 – 8.5/10
            Episode 2 – 7/10
            Episode 3 – 5/10
            Episode 4 – 5.5/10
            Episode 5 – 7.5/10
            Episode 6 – 7/10

            I was pretty happy with the series and would rate it a 7/10 overall.

            Let me know what you think of the last two episodes once you get around to them.

  11. So guys, I’ve listened to this episode a couple of times now and I have to say it really is excellent. It’s without a doubt up there in my top 5 favourite episodes of HMP. This series of podcasts was top notch from the very beginning but I can’t help feeling that it’s just constantly getting better and your own really thoughtful and analytical style has emerged and solidified into something truly brilliant and unique.

    Doc certainly deserves a round of applause for originating this theme but all four hosts on this episode should be incredibly proud of their contributions. So many fascinating points raised and interesting avenues explored!

    And I just want to say how gratified I felt to hear this review of “The Fly”. I am so glad that you guys gave it the discussion and respect that this film deserves. I think the last time I heard “The Fly” reviewed on a horror podcast was when I checked out the Planet Macabre episodes after Jason kept recommending them. Now don’t get me wrong, because I really like that podcast and I admire Billchete, but man did that review make me mad. It’s been a while since I listened to it but I remember Bill (and maybe Greg?) being pretty dismissive of this movie and really nitpicking the science fiction elements (because a resurrected and indestructible mongoloid drowning victim with super human strength is so grounded in reality right Bill?). Anyway, it hurt my heart to hear because I love this movie and think it’s one of the rare instances where a perfect balance is struck between incredibly impressive but totally gross gore, emotionally impactful human drama and intelligent psychological horror. Simply put; it’s a masterpiece. It just taps into so many of the neurotic facets of the human condition; our trouble dealing with mortality, our obsessions with vanity and subsequent fear of rejection based on our physical appearance, the fear of a loved one becoming someone we no longer recognise as the person we once cared about etc. And that audio clip of Cronenberg discussing this kind of stuff where he talks about people giving themselves their own death sentences in front of their bathroom mirrors is just a brilliant summation of the way the body-horror in this film works.

    Also, have any of you guys read “The Metamorphosis” (also sometimes titled “The Transformation”) by Franz Kafka? It’s not strictly a horror story as Kafka sort of operates more in an abstract psychological realm but if you enjoy the themes of “The Fly” then I’d definitely recommend it. In fact I’ve always seen Cronenberg’s movie as a sort of modern realist extension of that novella and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in some way influenced by it. It’s basically just the tale of a normal guy who awakes one day to find that he’s transformed into a hideous giant insect. It follows him as he and his family try to come to terms with this strange metamorphosis. It’s interesting but very depressing stuff.

    Anyway, that’s enough of my babbling for now. I eagerly anticipate the “Friday the 13th” episodes because (despite my parenthetical Billchete baiting comment above) it’s my favourite of the “Big Three” franchises.

  12. Also a big thumbs up for Mattroid not only for his excellent role as guest host but also for his “Gary the Unicorn” sketches which I really do enjoy. I especially love the “Alien Abduction” episode with Karl (who also deserves props because his acting here is genuinely note perfect). I know Matt’s going to be hosting this new sci-fi podcast which we’re being teased with (and that I’m incredibly excited about as I’m about as much of a sci-fi fan as I am a horror fan) but has he done any other podcast work in the past or any other comedy/film work for that matter? He seems like a very intelligent fellow.

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for the kind words; you and everyone else. It was a blast being on the show with three great people, one of whom I’m fortunate enough to call one of my very best friends – Josh.

      I’ve done other podcasts, but nothing related and nothing for years. I’ve been writing, both articles for papers/online sites and working on lots of other ventures, some musical, some fiction writing and some raising of the children.

      The Sci Fi podcast will be fantastic, though. Josh is producing, will be an official co-host with me and Kill Bill, Kill! as well as a co-host that is new to podcasting, but most certainly not new to sci-fi or general awesomeness. She’s the best there is, and I ought to know because I married her.

      Stay tuned for it in the next week or so. Again, thanks for all the kind words. If you like the Gary the Unicorn stuff, feel free to read some of the articles (which are either terrible or terrible, depending on how one views them) which can be found here: http://www.heraldextra.com/entertainment

      And for what it’s worth, the best example of Science Gone Too Far, to me, is Twilight. Thanks to technology, man was able to convert those horrible books to film. TERRIFYING.

    • He’ll be glad to hear that, David.

      Matt’s mostly a musician. We played together for years. He was also in the band that eventually became “The Used” but he quit that band right before they got big to play with my band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OIAiVIN8Ck Haha. Sucker.

      His most recent band was “I Hear Sirens” a few years ago with his wife, who is one of the Sci-Fi podcasters. They aren’t in the band anymore, but they both played on this album (she’s on keyboards, he’s on bass): http://ihearsirens.bandcamp.com/album/i-hear-sirens-ep His main instrument is the guitar, but he plays piano and drums (and bass) and he still writes and records (he does the “Gary the Unicorn” theme music and will do The Sci-Fi Podcast music).

      He writes a lot and has written a ton of unpublished novellas. He self-published a horror novella that I’m going to give away on the show, following the F13th coverage, called “Milo Hart.”

      Matt was the first person I ever heard of podcasting, but that was before iTunes was even carrying them, I think, and I’m pretty sure all of those episodes are lost. He still writes weekly for the local newspaper under “Gary.” The Sci-Fi podcast is the biggest thing he has coming out. It records the first episode this week with William Rowan Jr. Coming very soon!

      • Awesome, another super talented musician to make me seem comparatively even more awful than I actually am!

        But I’m seriously digging this I Hear Sirens stuff. I do enjoy a bit of atmospheric post-rock from time to time!

        And of course The Used were pretty immense back in the day. I remember listening to that album while hanging out with my friends one hazy summer of yore.

        Also this “Milo Hart” book has me intrigued.

        And Josh, I realise I should also give you props for the Gary the Unicorn sketches, I almost forgot that you were involved with them somehow. I can’t wait for you guys to collaborate on more of that kind of stuff in the future!

        • No props necessary for me. The good stuff is all Mattroid. Inside Matt’s brain is the most prolific writer and musician to ever live but harnessing that power for good is the struggle. He was in top form on HMP in terms of laser focused self-control, but I can tell you from experience that brain goes at a million miles per second. For me, I was just trying to help him get some of those ideas down on tape. I wish the production values were higher (these were essentially no budget productions), because he is very funny and his work deserves the best treatment possible. And it pains me when things aren’t perfect. But, you know, “ees for fun” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob2r-TqcyDA

  13. The Dude’s Scream Gems (er…or in this case, just a review)

    Nekromantic (1987)
    Director: Jorg Buttgereit
    Starring: Bernd Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski
    Run Time: 75 Minutes
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093608/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    Basic Plot:
    Nekromantic opens with a couple travelling down a country road at night. As the couple struggles to find their way in the dark, they are involved in a car accident that kills both of them. From here we are quickly introduced to our main character, Robert who works for the JSA company (Joe’s Streetcleaning Agency). The JSA company remove the bodies and clean up accident scenes. Rob is clearly an outsider within this group and as he is working, he takes pieces of the bodies and brings them home at the end of the day. Rob is welcomed home by his girlfriend Betty who simply adores Rob and his collection of body parts. Sometime later Rob attends a crime scene where a completely intact, yet decomposed body (think of the ‘sloth’ victim from David Fincher’s Seven with more slime and slightly more decomposition) is recovered. Rob brings this body home to Betty who is instantly turned on. The two make love and incorporate the corpse in a rather disturbing yet unique way. The lovers keep the corpse and continue their necrophilia ways. Before long Betty becomes disillusioned with Rob and leaves him and takes the corpse with her. The remainder of the film focuses on Rob’s descent into depression, sexual impotence, murder and self discovery.

    The Dude’s Thoughts:
    This was a first time view of this film for me. I must admit that I have had this movie for a long time; however I just couldn’t quite bring myself to view it. Although I am a fan of extreme cinema I have never enjoyed sex and violence combined together.

    Nekromantic gives the viewer exactly what it advertises. There are no surprises here. The movie is about a couple who experiment sexually with a corpse. Although this is the central theme, there are only 2 scenes of necrophilia, one with a very much decomposed body and one with a newly deceased body. The first scene involving a body found in a local swamp is difficult to watch. Not only is it filmed in a strange, dreamlike state, it also involved a lead pipe, a condom and the sucking and licking of a rather moist corpse.

    The video and audio quality of this film is poor. With a subject matter of this nature it is no surprise that this film had a limited budget and was independently put together by director Jorg Buttgereit and actor Bernd Lorenz. Overall it is not a well made movie. I hazard that if it were not for the extreme and controversial content, this film would long ago have fallen into obscurity.

    To be frank, I was unable to find any redeeming qualities about this film. I can appreciate that necrophilia exists in our society. I have no idea of it’s prevalence and I can only assume that necrophilia as this movie portrays it would be an extreme and very uncommon. Although Nekromantic does give some insight into the mental state of Rob and Betty, it doesn’t go nearly far enough to make the film worthwhile.

    The subject matter or Nekromantic is twisted and morbid. I cannot say that I would be quick to recommend this movie to average film goers. For those curious hardcore cinephiles this films is likely worth seeking out, but others should avoid it. For me, this is a film that once seen, I wouldn’t pursue a second viewing.

    Double Feature Recommendation:
    I am hard pressed to recommend viewing this film, let alone pairing it with another film. For those that are really interested in this subject, perhaps view it with the 1991 sequel, Nekromantic 2. I for one will pass on this sequel.

    • Awesome review as always Dude.

      I have kind of a weird obsession with the trailer for this movie. It’s something to do with the juxtaposition of such gross visuals with that really beautiful piano music. It’s just so screwed up and odd and makes it seem like it might be as much an art-film as it is horror.

      That said I don’t think I have the stomach to watch the whole thing (sex + rotting bodies is just a hair too far for me) so I’m glad you summarised and reviewed it so effectively here. I feel a bit better about giving it a miss now that I know it’s somewhat lacking in redeeming features.

      I wonder if Josh would ever consider this for his WGN segment?

    • @The Dude – Great review. Thanks for performing the public service of watching NEKROMANTIK for us so we don’t necessarily have to. That said, I’m morbidly curious…

      • Thanks Dino. I would say that if you are morbidly curious, give it a shot if you can get a copy cheap (free would be better). With a run time of only 74 minutes its not a large time sink.
        I would never deter someone from watching a movie if they really wanted to see it and I hope that my opinions wouldn’t steer people away under the same circumstances.

        D

        • Great review, Dude. I love your pic by the way. Dino and David need to get on board haha.

          I’ve never seen Nekromantik and I’m usually not the kind of guy that goes for the ultra sick. Having said that, I am the kind of guy that loves a challenge and this seems like a challenge to me. I did a bit of research on the movie and it seems that there’s people out there who find value in it and even consider it to be an arthouse film. I find that very interesting and it only feeds my curiosity.

  14. I just had a chance to watch The Call of Cthulhu (2005). This movie was recommend back on episode 32 by Doc (thanks for this awesome recommendation) as part of his 31 days of October.

    I also highly recommend this flick. Without a doubt it is the most honest and accurate reflection of H.P. Lovecraft’s work that I have seen. That is not to say that it is the best offering from his storied catalog, but it is the closest to the original source material (his story of the same name).

    This film comes in at 46 minutes long and it was done in the film style of 1925 when the story takes place (that being that it is B&W and silent with title cards). The story follows “The Man” who shares his investigation into his Great Uncle’s obsession with Cthulhu and the cult sworn to bring this evil deity back to earth.

    I’m not certain if there are any Lovecraft fans out there, but pairing this short film with the original short story is well worth the time. Take a look at it if you have even a passive interest in Lovecraft and his works.

    Thanks for the suggestion Doc!

  15. Guys, Matt should come back sometime. He was a great fit for the show!

    Jay, I have seen Altered States and it’s been almost 20 years since the last viewing. I do feel the need to watch it again because I believe that now, I will understand more than I did when I was a teenager.

    The first time I saw the movie was when I was 7 years old. My parents were watching it at my grandmother’s house and the scene that caught me was when William Hurt is standing in the shower and the camera reveals that his foot has changed and is now apelike and hairy.

    I was locked in and terrified. The sick jolt I felt when I saw through his eyes has never left me. I was SEVEN and man! That made me feel horror.

    Watching his rampage as a beast man is still in my head and that feeling of sickness and dread is still here.

    Movies are amazing.

    • Matt will probably be back anytime we cover a franchise that is somewhat sci-fi related, like ALIENS, for example.

      He’ll be pretty busy hosting The Sci-Fi Podcast, though. We just did the first episode this week and it will be a major undertaking.

      • @Wolfman Josh – Is there a website up and running for The Sci-Fi Podcast, or will there be an announcement made here or over on MPW and/or MSC when the first episode drops? I just want to make sure I’m there at the ground floor.

        • I’m working on the website, Dino. It will eventually be at TheSciFiPodcast.com, but I’m traveling for work this week (and it was a last minute trip) so it may go up later than sooner, unfortunately. We will definitely be announcing it on HMP and probably MSC and MPW as well. Also, for Mattroid fans, he’s coming on to cover JASON X with us in two weeks. Should be fun.

  16. JOTD/Wolfman Josh/Dr. Shock –

    Can we get a heads up on how you plan to break up the F13 episodes across the five upcoming episodes?

    • It was supposed to be:

      PART 1
      Friday the 13th 1, 2, 3

      But, the first film took so long, it ended-up getting its own episode, as you know. So now, the plan is:

      PART 1
      Friday the 13th

      PART 2
      II, III, IV

      PART 3
      V, VI, VII, VIII

      PART 4
      Jason Goes to Hell, Jason X, Freddy vs Jason

      PART 5
      Remake, Documentary, Franchise Overview, Contest Winners

  17. I finally got to see Cronenberg’s THE FLY, so I think it’s time for another unsolicited mini-review (although, this one was somewhat solicited):

    THE FLY (1986) – 9/10
    This film is highly effective and unsettling, yet subtle despite the hugely grotesque visuals. I appreciated the deliberate, Cronenbergian way the film showed the scientific process, so that the science behind it all actually seemed plausible. The movie is not overt in its horror, but is definitely disturbing and incredibly creepy. The mannerisms Seth Brundle exhibit that reveal his gradual transformation into an insect (mansect?) are quick and muted early on, but are there just enough to key the viewer into the fact that something is not right. And, the tragedy felt in the relationship between Seth and Veronica is surprisingly tangible given the brevity of their romance.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s just so much in the underlying layers of this film, and very few (if any) missteps. My only detraction with the movie is the nature of its horror. As effective and terrifying as the horror elements are, it leans more towards the disturbing and unsettling side of the ledger. And, while I certainly appreciate “this kind” of horror, my preferences lie more toward the scary and suspenseful. Otherwise, this would have been a contender for my top 15 favorite horror films of all-time (possibly top 10).

    p.s. Yes, I realize the application/interpretation of the terms “scary” and “suspenseful” to film are highly subjective, and THE FLY could easily be seen as trending in that direction. This was just my reading of the film.

    ***

    And, here’s a bonus unsolicited mini-review:

    THE ATTICUS INSTITUTE (2015) – 7/10
    This is an unconventional horror film in its presentation. For those who are unfamiliar with the premise, it is essentially a supernatural film about a psychology lab in the 1970s shot as a mockumentary (hopefully that’s about as non-spoilery a premise as possible). I’ve seen several mockumentary style horror films in the past, but this one is different. Where most are a fair mix of documentary and found footage throughout, this one plays very much like a straight-up, talking head documentary with documentary footage throughout and only a sliver of what I would call “found footage.” This style of presentation was rather effective in creating suspense, but was also slow and methodical in the build-up.

    The production value of the film is solid, and the documentary footage has a nice grittiness to it appropriate to the time from which it supposedly came. The performances by the two main characters, William Mapother and Rya Kihlstedt, are highly unsettling, and the payoff, while somewhat predictable, is no less effective. This movie thoroughly creeped me out and I recommend giving it a look, especially if you’re into mockumentary/found footage or supernatural films.

    • Great review, Dino! I’m so happy that you liked the movie that much and I totally agree with all of your statements. I’m glad that you brought up the romance in the movie. I know the guys touched on that a little during their review of The Fly, but to me it’s one of the bigger aspects of the film and the reason why this movie is also a very sad love story. Yes to the grotesque, yes to the horror, yes to the transformation and the many ways it can be interpreted, but it’s all grounded because of the love story underneath it all. The way the relationship endures through it all until the very end without feeling sappy is great. What an awesome movie. It’s in my top five for sure and it gets a 10.

      The Atticus Institute sounds cool. I’ll give it a try although I need to get through some more Friday the 13th movies, so it might be a while until I get the chance to watch it.

    • One additional note on ATTICUS that might not have been entirely apparent in my comments above – I suspect it will probably fall more in the 5 to 6 range on the scale for most people. The deliberate nature in which the story is told is somewhat slow to develop, and a lot of the talking head portions are a bit hokey. That said, the themes touched on and style of the film are of particular interest to me, which certainly helped to give it a little boost in my eyes.

    • Dino, I’m really glad you watched and appreciated “The Fly”.

      I think I know what you mean when you say the movie is more disturbing and unsettling than scary and suspenseful but I’m not entirely sure. Do you think it’s because the films monster is also in effect the main character? We spend most of the movie with this guy so I think there’s less of a sense of mystery and the creepiness that’s inherent with a more unknown villain. Because our monster is so humanised here we feel more a sense of tragedy and sad disgust than fright or tension. Is that kind of what you mean? Either way none of the points I’m making are negative aspects of the film. It’s simply different from the way most horror movies work.

      • @David – I’m glad I enjoyed it, too. The letdown would have been horrible after having had the film built-up so much, not just recently but over time. I will admit, though, that the contrarian in me was kind of hoping I’d see flaws in the film or wouldn’t like it just so I could be different.

        As for my disturbing/unsettling vs. scary/suspenseful read on the film, it’s difficult for me to convey exactly what I mean and why because it’s such a subjective point. It’s not because the monster is the main character or is humanized. There are several movies with this similar theme that have scared the pants off me, such as THE EXORCIST. Of course, you can argue that’s a different situation since it’s not necessarily the main character who is the monster, rather the monster is “inside” the main character. But, when I’m watching that movie, it’s difficult for me to separate the monster from the physical embodiment of the monster inside Regan, so my mind interprets it as the monster being the main character. And her story is no less tragic.

        To me, Seth Brundle never really surfaces as a serious threat. Yes, in the end he does things that hurts (and could potentially hurt) others, but it comes more from a place of self-preservation than a desire to inflict pain and suffering on someone else. He turns out to be a more tragic and sad monster than a threatening one, which I think was an interesting choice made by Cronenberg since it was established earlier in the film that he gained superhuman strength and abilities as a side effect of his transformation.

        What it comes down to for me, though, is that the horror in THE FLY is more inward than outward. I think that’s what I was trying to convey with my use of the word “subtle” to describe the movie in my review above. I’m attaching the words scary/suspenseful to a more id-centric film, whereas THE FLY is more an attack on the ego. The movies that spill over into both areas are the ones that are most effective to me – THE SHINING is a good example of a movie that assaults both my id and ego. If the movie is more of a singular threat (i.e. an assault on the id OR the ego), then I prefer satisfying my id’s base need to be scared on a more physical level.

        Just like JOTD, I like to place myself in the film and imagine what I would do in the character’s situation. It’s hard for me to fully put myself in Seth Brundle’s shoes because I never would have placed myself in the telepod to begin with, and Brundlefly never becomes abundantly threatening to me. The horror in THE FLY is much more cerebral, borne in the tragic ramifications of Seth’s ego-driven desire to do “something that’ll change the world as we know it.” That, while done effectively here, is not where my horror preferences reside.

        Hopefully I’m not painting a picture of myself as a dumb, unimaginative movie-watcher, but I prefer my horror to be a little more tangible and imminently threatening.

        • “Hopefully I’m not painting a picture of myself as a dumb, unimaginative movie-watcher”

          Quite the contrary Dino, this comment was articulated wonderfully and I definitely see where you’re coming from. “The Fly” is more “disturbing” in the way the story of someone who contracts a horrible disease might be than it is scary due to some kind of malevolent depiction of evil. The conflict here is mostly internal, which may make it far more distressing on an emotional level, but doesn’t instigate quite the same primal adrenaline surge that a movie about being hunted through the woods by an axe brandishing madman might.

          • >David on February 13, 2015 at 3:49 pm said:
            “…The conflict here is mostly internal, which may make it far more distressing on an emotional level, but doesn’t instigate quite the same primal adrenaline surge that a movie about being hunted through the woods by an axe brandishing madman might.”

            Precisely, which is exactly why THE FLY is a 9/10 for me instead of a 9.5 or 10, and falls just outside my “top” list.

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