Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 084: Witchy Women (or Men Behaving Badly)

Witchy Women

A hex on all of you and your group paranoia! Welcome to HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we’re Dead Serious About Witch Movies? — Which Movies?Horror Movies… This is Episode 084, and our theme is Witchy Women (or Men Behaving Badly) — and this episode is no different: For one thing, we test to see if Dr. Shock is a witch. And in this show we also bring you Feature Reviews of Witchfinder General (1968) (aka The Conqueror Worm) and Mark of the Devil (1970) (aka Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält) and adding Wolfman Josh’s take for a spoiler-filled review of The Witch (2016). (Jay of the Dead has previously released a non-spoiler podcast review of “The Witch,” as well as a full-length written movie review.) Pour some brew, and join us!

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 voicemails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!


I. Introduction
— Discussion of the theme: Witches
— Horror Metropolis audio podcast review of Haxan

[ 0:39:05 ] II. Feature Review: WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968) (aka The Conqueror Worm)
Wolfman Josh = 6.5 ( Rental )
Dr. Shock = 6.5 ( Rental )

[ 0:56:51 ] III. Feature Review: MARK OF THE DEVIL (1970) (aka Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält)
Wolfman Josh = 6.5 ( Rental )
Dr. Shock = 7.5 ( Rental )

[ 1:16:33 ] IV. Brief, non-spoiler prelude discussion of “The Witch”

[ 1:18:29 ] V. Feature Review: FULL SPOILERS: THE WITCH (2016)
Jay of the Dead = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 8.5 ( Theater / Buy it! )

VI. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US IN TWO WEEKS ON HMP: Episode 085: Dracula (1931) vs Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) with additional reviews of Angst (1983) and “The Invitation” (2016). Join us!

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

Conquerer Worm Lobby Card

Mark of the Devil Below the Fold


For “Blair Witch” fans, check out our HMP interview with Eduardo Sanchez, as well as The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 003, where we review “The Blair Witch Project.”

Horror Metropolis Ep. 003 where we review “Haxan.”

The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 006, where we review “Mother of Tears.”

The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 011, where we review “Don’t Go in the House.”

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

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming online movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Follow MSC on Twitter: @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on: Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave’s daily movie review website: DVD Infatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter: @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on: Facebook
Dr. Shock also appears on this horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Pre-order Kyle’s new book! How Zombies Conquered Popular Culture: The Multifarious Walking Dead in the 21st Century
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie Gothic and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @DrWalkingDead

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!

111 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 084: Witchy Women (or Men Behaving Badly)

  1. Can we talk a bit about Harry Potter? While listening to the open to this podcast, I was thinking a good deal about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Naturally, there’s a lot of witch talk in the series, but that second one is a different sort of take on the witch talk and plots that the HMP crew were discussing. It’s a bit of a combination of the two basic plots. In the movie, you have an innocent witch being transfixed by a diary into unknowingly opening up the chamber of secrets and possibly summoning back this great witch (Well…wizard) of evil. You even see the entire witch hunt with innocent witches/wizards being blamed for being the one responsible for all of the evildoing that’s going on. On top of all of that, you have the HP’s version of cult members playing a role in trying to bring back their leader, not unlike the typical coven of witches trying to summon the devil or whatever.

    So while Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a family film, I feel it fits the same theme that the other movies in this podcast contains.


    Josh mentioning the crow scene reminded me of the most memorable part of my theater experience. When the mother first came out of her delusion/dream and we see it’s actually the crow that she’s nursing and not a baby, it took everyone in my audience several moments for our brains to register what we were seeing. After a couple of moments, I heard several shouts of “Ahhhh” and the like for the disgust that was that scene. It added some fun to a severely disturbing scene.

    • Yeah, that scene drew a few grumbles in my theater, as well. I think there might have even been an “omigod” thrown out.

      It certainly was disturbing.

      • People are also just unduly put off by breast feeding these days, so that’s an interesting taboo of our contemporary culture to play with in this historical setting. The horror of the uncomfortable. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, how social akwardness–likein a show like the original British version of The Office–really makes some people squirm and how that discomfort could translate into adding a different kind of tension to a horror film.

        • If you can call that breast feeding. I mean, that’s not exactly how I’ve seen it done.

          I like what you’re saying about the horror of the uncomfortable, playing on social awkwardness. I think the effectiveness of that scene was threefold: first, you have the social awkwardness of breast feeding; second, the shock when the scene cuts from dream to reality and you see the crow; third, the body horror element of how violently the crow was pecking and pulling at her nipple.

          I mean, that bird was really going after it.

          • Yes, absolutely. The “going after it” and the SPOILERS dead baby hallucination / spell are the true horrors. I just think the breastfeeding is this additional means of making some audience members watch through their fingers.

          • It was certainly an offense to her motherhood. I mean, Satan was mocking her need to give of herself as a mother. Our theater gasped, of course. I cracked up.

            I mean, the filmmaker really put that image in front of us. Haven’t seen that before! Good work, Eggers.

            • >> The Unknown Murderer on March 21, 2016 at 12:58 pm said:

              “It was certainly an offense to her motherhood. I mean, Satan was mocking her need to give of herself as a mother.”

              Wow, YES! This is the perfect way to put it.

  3. I have to say, I really dug the movie choices tonight. It’s been a really long time since you guys covered a couple of movies that I haven’t seen nor was I really familiar with. As much as I love talking about movies I’ve seen a ton (Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street, ect) or already have the desire to see (Something currently in the theater), the podcast can be a bit more valuable when exposing lesser known movies.

    So yeah, hats off for the movie choices this week.

    I’m hoping to get around to watching both witch movies in the next few days. I haven’t seen nearly enough Vincent Price movies from his colored days.

  4. I have to say, I’m pretty bummed out by Josh’s lack of excitement over The Witch. His review and tone of voice seemed at odds with each other. I’m not sure if he was tired, in which case it’s totally understandable, but I’ve heard much more excitement from the man for far lesser movies. This movie is next level. It raised the bar so high, a bar that had been raised to great heights in the last two years by The Babadook and It Follows. But perhaps it’s all in my head. I was just expecting a far more favorable reception.

    A broken hearted fan

    • “Why do you hate the cinema, Josh?”

      I wonder if Josh would have been a bit more upbeat about the film had there not been a huge about of praise for it. Even the best movies can be a little disappointing if you hear too much praise before hand.

      His review did make me want to re-watch it even more though. I watched the movie in a strictly literal fashion, so the idea that dream sequences may change what really happened adds replay value to the film.

      • True, but that’s not the movie’s fault. I got swept in the hype too and that didn’t affect my viewing experience. It also sounds like Josh is faulting the movie for not fitting the interpretation that he chose to follow. There are multiple ways of seeing the movie and he chose one that’s perhaps not entirely supported by the film. Granted, it’s a really cool angle that in all honesty, I didn’t even think about. Anyway, I’m glad you want to give the movie another try. I’ve seen it twice at the theater and now I’m waiting for the blu-ray so I can put some closed captions on.

        • Agreed Juan, I wanted to see the “The Witch” in theaters even a 3rd time, but I just gotta see it with captions next. I want to all of the dialogue!

        • Hype is a tough thing. I know I’ve been guilty in the past of going into a movie with an extra critical eye due to not judging a movie by normal standards, but whether it’s a modern classic.

          I’m sure when December rolls around The Witch is going to be a hot topic with where everyone places it in their top ten. It seems like one of those movies where opinions are going to change and a great disparity over the quality of the film for it’s viewers.

          The reactions of everyone has been great though. There’s so much to talk about and it only increases with more theories and different interpretations being thrown out there in the world.

          • And I wouldn’t even say that I went in with a critical eye. It’s similar to how I felt about Crimson Peak. I wanted to be blown away and I wasn’t blown away. But I really enjoyed it.

            Also, a big part of this is just the way Jay framed this discussion. Basically “explain why you didn’t like this as much as I thought you would” which is not how I’d have approached the review, organically.

          • >> Wolfman Josh on March 12, 2016 at 10:19 pm said:

            “It’s similar to how I felt about Crimson Peak. I wanted to be blown away and I wasn’t blown away. But I really enjoyed it.”

            I think this sums up my initial reaction to The VVitch, as well. It did remind me of how I felt after seeing Crimson Peak. That said, I liked The VVitch significantly more than Crimson Peak, and have come to appreciate it even more after weeks of thought and discussion.

    • So, I thought my review was both very positive and very fair. I gave it the exact same rating and recommendation as Jason did and he was seen as loving the film.

      I really appreciated the movie. I can even see it making my Top 5 of 2016. I just wanted more.

      It Follows and The Final Girls knocked me on my ass. The Witch did not. It was an example of fine filmmaking and I don’t want to take that away from it. It just came up a little short, for me.

      • I can understand comparing it to It Follows, but there is absolutely no comparison between The Witch and Final Girls. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Final Girls but it’s nowhere near the level of The Witch. Plus, it’ll age really well because there’s no CGI or over the top practical effects.

        • Subjective, personal experience … those movies surprised me and were far better than I thought they were going to be. The Witch wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped. That’s it. I still liked it. My review is positive. You are being surprisingly sensitive about a movie I said to buy and see in theaters.

          • Aww thanks for fixing my italics, Josh. You’re a true friend. Look, I didn’t mean to sound agitated, and if that’s how I came across, I’m sorry. I’m aware you gave the movie a positive review. I guess I just wanted to hear the same amount of excitement in your voice that I heard during your Scream franchise review. But I get it. You didn’t like the movie as much as I did and that’s fine.

            Now, about that sensitive comment… Grrr.

      • As shucks. I can totally respect this. I adore The Final Girls, and for me It Follows isn’t my favorite, but I still think it’s pretty great. The Witch is the one that knocked me on my ass.

      • This is weird, because I had the opposite experience between the Witch and It Follows. I’ve seen It Follows twice now and expected to be blown away. I wasn’t, and respected it more the 2nd time around. I don’t ever need to see it again.

        The Witch, however…I loved what was done with it. Somehow, I didn’t let the RottenTomatoes rating effect me this time. My expectations were that it was going to be good, but emotionally, I really just wanted to see it because of that trailer and how good it looked.

        for It follows, all I heard was the hype talk but even apart from that, I don’t connect with it as much.

        I know part of that is the spiritual themes of The Witch resonate with me more where I see It Follows and think, “Yeah, it’s true. I fell bad for her. Ugh, more doing it? Man. That was well done, but my left arm for some SFX here.”

        • Yeah, that’s the whole subjective piece to the puzzle. I think the main point is that, those two movies specifically, are both excellent examples of horror. That extra inch of appreciation comes from how we respond to the film.

          For the record, I’m team It Follows, but that doesn’t take away from the achievement of The VVitch (i.e. Juan, don’t take that personally, brah!).

  5. I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to the episode yet but I love the title! Yesterday I came across an article about a guy who altered a playmobil playset to recreate scenes from The Witch, and in addition to some photos, he made a video of kids playing with it. It made me laugh pretty hard, so I thought I would share it.

  6. I just started Mark of the Devil and the similarities between it’s opening theme and the opening to Cannibal Holocaust could not be any more noticeable. Wolfman Josh had mentioned the similarity, but I wouldn’t have expected such a similarity. I find it difficult to believe that Riz Ortolani (Composure of the latter’s theme) wasn’t at least in inspired by Michael Holm’s (Composure of Mark of the Devil).

    Speaking of the theme for Mark of the Devil, the opening theme would be used again in 2011’s Hobo with a Shotgun.

    Mark of the Devil’s opening theme:

    Cannibal Holocaust theme:

  7. Okay, so I finished up Mark of the Devil and…it’s not my kind of movie. It’s very much so an early version of a torture porn or even a very lite version of Salo. It’s light on story and there’s a heavy emphasis on the atrocities committed by man. There’s plenty of moments in the movie where it was depressing seeing how horrible these people in power were acting. There’s this ironic moment at the start of the film where the townsfolk are treating one of their peers horribly while running past a church.

    I did find the cinematography to be top notch though. Perhaps the scene that stood out the most to me was midway in the movie during a rape scene. It’s an awful scene, but the camera is just turning around and around, forcing the viewer to pay attention through it all. For me, the #1 reason to watch Mark of the Devil is for the camera work. Beyond that, there’s plenty of gore and unique torture devices. The opening theme by Michael Holm is good. I love the contrast between the sweet and mellow tune compared to the violence that is awaiting us. It’s a good thing I like the music too, we end up hearing it a lot.

    Since the movie was only about ninety minutes long, it’s short enough to still give it a try. Check it out if you’re a fan of films with torture, but you can skip it if those sort of movies aren’t your thing.

    Rating 5.0/10

    • I totally empathize with this review. I felt much the same.

      What about the historical value, Sal? Was that worth the viewing for you? These torture devices all being real, etc. For me, knowing that this actually happened (and especially having visited a torture chamber just like this) made this valuable in some additional way.

      I’m curious if there are many earlier examples of torture films. Not a favorite sub genre of mine, by any means, but I’m curious.

      Also curious to see The Last Witch Hunter. I imagine it is more in the Hansel & Gretel style rather than the Witchfinder General style, but I gotta know now that I’ve gone down the rabbit hole.

      • The historic value and realism did have me thinking throughout the movie. I don’t know if this is just a silly reaction to watching a movie like this, but it made me appreciate living in the time period that I do. I realize today the world can still be a cruel place filled with atrocities and certainly are still dangerous places to be, but I generally feel pretty safe where I’m living. I’ve never been concerned about the police or the church coming after me. Likewise, if the government ever did come after me, I’m not worried about expecting such deplorable treatment as the characters in this movie received. Of course, the way the government and the police treats it’s citizens is a topical issue today, which me being a white male might influence my sense of security with them.

        You frequently hear the fantasy questions of time travel or being born in a different era and after watching Mark of the Devil, I don’t want to be a part of an earlier age like that. If I was born in a previous era, my life expectancy would forever be lower than it is presently.

        The film is sickening to know that innocent people were tortured in those very ways and not by some crazed psychopath, but by their very own government. I don’t know how accurate this part is, but what stood out to me more was how the other townsfolk seemed to enjoy watching such scenes. Those are your neighbors, people you may have spent your entire life growing up with and now they’re laughing and having a jolly old time during the worst moment of your life. For a character like the priest at the start of the movie, what’s the point of living after enduring all of that?

        I don’t know if I can say I appreciated it in terms of being an early torture porn flick, but knowing that some aspects of the film was real, it did make me appreciate my American life in 2016 more.

  8. I don’t mean to hijack the witch talk, but can we discuss the awesomeness that is 10 Cloverfield Lane?

    Talk about a movie that caught me completely off-guard. I went into it as cold as possible (no trailers or info lookups; the extent of my “pre-knowledge” was whatever was mentioned on HMP); it turned out to be not at all what I expected, which disappointed me a little at first. But, man, it’s hard for me to think of the last time I saw a movie with as much genuine suspense and tension and mystery. For the first two of those three, my easy answer is It Follows, but the mystery element of 10 Cloverfield Lane really kept me in the dark for most of the film. And then that ending…

    We’re not even a quarter of the way through 2016, and we already have two absolutely stellar horror theater releases, a third really fun horror theater release, and a smattering of really solid horror VOD-releases. And some of my most anticipated 2016 horror releases have yet to release… 2016 is shaping up nicely for horror fans.

    p.s. If you haven’t already, go see 10 Cloverfield Lane in theaters. Be warned that there are some slow moments in the opening two-thirds of the film, but it’s all part of the tension buildup and worth it for the pay-off.

    • We talked about this very briefly, but let’s get into it a little more in-depth.


      I enjoyed the movie a lot. I thought the performances were great, particularly John Goodman, he really creeped me out and completely bought his character. The mystery thriller aspects of the film were handled very well, I thought. As a matter of fact, I much prefered that side of the movie than the last act. And it’s not that I disliked all the crazy sci-fi monster insanity that was thrown on us, it’s just that tonally, it was a complete 180. I felt that the John Goodman arc had the potential to go much darker and it was instead disposed of to make way for the sci-fi elements that followed it. Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character also felt very unbelieveable by the end of the movie. She went from a “victim” to a “victor” in a flash and I just didn’t buy it. There’s a scene where she’s inside a truck and she’s being lifted into the air by a mechanical creature/ship and she pulls a MacGyver, comes up with a molotov, kills the creature, and proceeds to leave like a total badass. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was lots of fun, but I kind of wanted it to stay with that serious and ominous tone that we got for the first two thirds of the movie.

      Having said that, I love that we finally get a “sequel” that’s not really a sequel and that’s not just a copycat of the original with more of everything. I love that this could become a trend for how sequels can be approached. Call it a dirty trick to get us to see a movie that carries some weight just because the name Cloverfield is in the title, but this is a genius idea that has been at play in other media with varying degrees of success, but that has a lot of potential. Any franchise could now have a side story, a what if (a la Marvel comics), a companion piece, a spin-off and it’s awesome because we get to see more the world that we loved and we get to explore all the possibilities, which are pretty much endless. With the first movie, we got to see a rather large scope of the attack. With this new one, we get a more intimate story, an isolated incident within a much larger event. It’s a horror story within a horror story. Everytime we get a movie with an event so massive that affects thousands of people, I always thought that the horror is much greater than what we’re being shown on-screen, because we never get to see everything. This is almost like a virtual reality movie where you control the event you want to focus on, where you can explore every inch of the world you’re being thrown in. Ok, not really, but I hope we get there one day.

      Anyway, the movie is an 8 for me and it’s definitely a highlight.


        Huh, I totally bought Michelle’s character arc at the end. She was shown to have some fight in her from the very beginning, and she’s the one who ultimately conceived and executed the plan of escape. Putting together the makeshift molotov cocktail isn’t exactly rocket science, and I’m willing to suspend disbelief enough for her to accurately make that throw (btw, I love how they paid off Howard’s subtle little side comment from earlier in the film about how he didn’t have enough time to grab her booze).

        In general, the ending was a total tonal shift, but I loved that about it because it took me completely by surprise. In that sense, it fits with the rest of the movie for me. The mystery elements in the bunker had me completely off kilter. Then, as she’s escaping the bunker, I’m expecting a handful of potential outcomes and, instead, end up getting sci-fi monster craziness.

        I actually caught myself with a big stupid grin on my face during the end sequence. I don’t know, it just worked for me.

          • I don’t know, man. There was even a line to go with that whole sequence where she says something like “Come on!” or “You’ve got to be kidding me” that was almost laughable. But like I said, I did enjoy it all a lot. I just wish it hadn’t gone that route.

            Now, about the movie being horror. I don’t mind it being labeled as such, but I personally wouldn’t. I think it’s more horror than No Escape and Bone Tomahawk, but less horror than Cloverfield. I’d say it’s thriller first, then sci-fi, then horror.

      • Hey, thought I’d stop by to write some of my thoughts about 10 Cloverfield Lane


        You know, I think I’m in a camp right between Dino and Juan. First of, this movie has great misdirection. The mystery elements are excellent. It functioned somewhat like a single location murder mystery type thing, which is something I love. The acting is all great. I think the strongest performance was by someone yet to be mentioned: John Gallagher Jr. He has a monologue in the first half of the film that is very heartfelt and it makes his death very poignant.

        To address the somewhat unbelievable elements that start happening in the final act, they really didn’t both me. That isn’t to say that I wasn’t aware of them. This is one of my biggest take aways from the film for me. If you have a movie where the director has handled everything expertly the entire time and they really hook you, then you are often willing to forgive the unbelievable things that happen later on. I mean, in your mind, you think, bull shit that couldn’t happen, but your emotions that have been building for the entire film sort of cancel it out in a way.

        I think for example of the ending of Jaws where we have the shark breach the boat and then it gets blown up by a scuba tank (btw not saying 10 Cloverfield is not as great as Jaws). That stuff obviously wouldn’t really happen in the fairly realistic world that has been setup by the preceding material, and as an intelligent audience member you think, ya whatever that couldn’t happen, but the point is that the director did such a great job with everything leading up to it that you’re not only permissive of the larger than life elements but you eventually find them to be a great addition because they are using cinema to transcend what might actually happen in reality.

        For me, I’d say it’s like an 8.5. I feel like the future of this “cloverfield” series is going to be interesting. I get the feeling that it isn’t really going to be a chronological thing, but something were we get stories about different characters that happen at the exact same time. I don’t know, and then maybe one day they all meet up to fight back in some Avengers style finale film.

        Lastly, for the “is it horror” argument. I’m going to take the Dr. Walking Dead approach and say that so rarely is anything not blending genre these days, and this does indeed include horror elements. Using Jay’s T&A, the majority of the film is more visceral or cerebral horror, and then at the end we have more of a traditional action horror. I think it would come 3rd in a category breakdown. I’d say mystery>drama>horror/thriller. Certainly worthy of being on this fine podcast.

        • Glad you mentioned John Gallagher Jr. Fact is that all three performances were excellent. But, speaking of John Gallagher Jr…

          ##### SPOILERS FOR 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE #####

          What a crazy moment when Howard shoots Emmett point blank. I mean, it was sort of telegraphed that something bad was going to happen, but that blew my mind (see what I did there?).

          I was at an 8.5 after my initial viewing, too, but part of what was “holding me back” was that the film was very different from what I was expecting. I went in as a virtual blank slate, and made the mistake of forming some preconceived expectations for the film on my own. Since, I’ve really come to appreciate the horror the situation, the mystery and misdirection throughout, and the completely unexpected ending. Never mind the fact that the film was very well done – even though it primarily takes place in one location, it’s never visually boring; the sound cues often contribute to the story misdirection; performances were excellent… I could go on and on.

          Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing this one again. I wonder how it’ll hold up on re-watch knowing what happens.


        Okay, I finally was able to rustle up a babysitter and go see 10 Cloverfield Lane. My reaction to the first Cloverfield was mixed: I’m not a fan of found footage, but I loved the concept (kaiju film starring people who are not the main characters of the film) and the lack of explanation (nobody bothers to tell the supporting characters what’s going on). Similarly, I loved that Abrams takes the same approach here. The hero is trapped in a bunker with an unhinged John Goodman while a whole other movie is taking place outside.

        John Goodman is typically cast in comic roles, so seeing him do so well as a homicidal lunatic is a treat. And he killed that role. It was creepy, sad, scary, funny, menacing, and intense. I’m reminded of Robin Williams playing the killer in Insomnia. Is there something about comic actors playing psychos?

        Unlike some of our friends here, I was not put off by the sci fi weirdness at the end. Knowing it was a Cloverfield sequel, I knew something Cloverfieldy had to happen. And I liked the hero’s “oh come on” reaction. She had fought her way out of the bunker and now has THIS to deal with.

        Anybody else get a “this is a metaphor for life with an abusive dad” vibe off the bunker part of this movie? Is that our “thing” lately? Babadook is about grieving a dead husband. The Witch is about a family torn apart by the loss of a child. Now this. So we’re getting horror movies in which the monster/killer represents “broken” family dynamics. It’s a good time to be a psychologist who likes horror movies.

        • Oh man, Professor Headbutt, you are going to love “Under the Shadow” when it comes out if you like the “broken” family style horror films.

  9. I regret that I had to skip the end of the podcast, as I have yet to see “The Witch”. Life does not allow trips to the movies so much these days.

    I have not seen any of the flicks you discussed. Before now, I had never heard of them. I jave put them on my (loooooooong) list of movies to watch.

    It’s actually amazing that I love “The Blair Witch Project” as much as I do, considering I had a horrific experience seeing it in the theater. I didn’t get much out of the film since I spent the entire time beating my date (if you can call him that) off of me. I saw very little of the film and did more pushing hands away than watching. Since this story includes both witchy women AND men behaving badly I thought it would apply. ?

    • Sorry to hear about your bad Blair Witch experience. At first I thought you were going to tell us about a motion-sickness issue like Doc was discussing. For a minute, I thought we were getting the tale of a young Allison’s cinematic escapade. Then, I was relieved to find that you you were “beating your date off OF YOU” (phrasing, Allison), and then I just felt sorry for you again. Apparently guys just turn into jerks when witches are anywhere in the vicinity.

      • Ha! I had to go back to read what I wrote. Perhaps I should rephrase-I spent the evening fighting off the advances of a forward young gentleman and was unable to keep my attention on the film. Not beating him off, as it would appear due to an ill-placed parenthesis.

        My friend did experience the motion sickness that Doc mentioned. I thought she was being dramatic, but it seems that was really a thing.

  10. Great episode guys and interesting discussion on Udo Kier’s eyes….

    I remember hearing on previous episodes over at Movie Podcast Weekly that Jay is a big fan of the Terrence Howard eyes.

    Need to pose the question, who would win in this eyes battle?

    I once heard a rumour that if you stare into Terrence Howard’s eyes for long enough, you eventually can see Christmas morning.

    Seems legit.

    • This reminds me of a conversation I was having the other day with a work colleague: who would win in a smile off between Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt?

      I’ve been told Pitt’s smile holds the key to finding Narnia, but the meaning of life can be found in Denzel’s.

      Tough call.

  11. I had a great time with this show guys!

    Jay, I’m actually kind of surprised “Hocus Pocus” didn’t scare your kids at least a little. I remember going over to my neighbors house when I was like 5 or something and they were watching it. When Bette Midler used her lightning powers it scared the hell out of me.

    Also, a note on the 1990 Angelica Houston film “The Witches”. If someone hasn’t already said, it’s based off a Roald Dahl children’s novel of the same name. And yes indeed, the transformation scene in that is scarring for young kids. I remember watching this in grade school after our class finished the book. As I recall, the film itself is actually quite good and worth checking out. Especially if you are looking for a good horror film junior option.

  12. Also in regards to “The Witch”, glad we got to hear Josh’s take on it. I feel partially to blame for some of the hype. I’m still a huge advocate for this film, as it is a model for the way I wish more horror were made. It’s just find it to be so damned effective. I can completely understand both Jay and Josh’s shortcomings, but for me it’s still a 10/10.

    Also, dat score. Holy DAMN!!! Listen to this in the dark, I dare you!

    • Kagan, thanks for the Soundcloud link! Also, I’m COMPLETELY with you that THE VVITCH is a model for the way more horror films ought to be made. Well said.

      • I wholeheartedly agree with you, Kagan. I’m glad you enjoyed the movie as much as I did. It can be dangerous to like a movie this much because it makes you want to make everyone like it as much, but alas, the movie is most definitely not for everyone. That soundtrack though.

  13. Witchfinder General

    Maybe it’s because I had watched Mark of the Devil a couple of days prior and found it to be not my sort of movie, but I had a total blast with Witchfinder General. While it’s still a movie about people at their very worst, there’s a greater emphasis on story as compared to Mark of the Devil. I’d compare it some to Last House on the Left where the ending leaves you so satisfied. You can’t say it’s a “Happy ending” since clearly everyone is going to be mentally messed up in the aftermath of all of this, but the good guys won over the bad and we had a killer piece of bloody revenge. These sort of movies are the easiest to get a reaction out of me.

    Vincent Price is a beautiful scumbag with the highlight being his treatment of Sara after he learns of something that happened to her while he was away. It’s a total douchebag move that’s so entertaining because the only thing the viewer can do is shake their heads while muttering “What a scumbag…”

    The biggest compliment I can give the movie is that while Mark of the Devil could be a film I’d be fine with never watching again, I’d be all for watching Witchfinder General anytime.

    Rating: 8.0/10

    • I haven’t seen any of the older witch movies reviewed on this episode, but funnily enough, there’s a band called Witchfinder General that I’ve listened to and they got their name from the movie. Their covers contain nudity so I can’t post them on here, but they depict women being accused of witchcraft in a very staged kind of way. Think Manowar’s Into Glory Ride. Serious topic, hilarious portrayal.

          • I think they mentioned on the podcast that The Conqueror Worm is a poem by Edgar Allen Poe and they likely just used the name to try and make a few extra bucks off the back of the popularity of Corman’s Poe adaptations.

            The actual Conqueror Worm itself is representative of death and how the humble worm inevitably conquerors us all.

    • You know what… I’ve been thinking about this podcast and their coverage of The Witchfinder General and the truth of the matter is that it sort of made me a little sad. It’s nice that they “liked” the film, but there was this big hesitation to call the film a “horror” film… it sort of started to frustrate me and brought me back to Jay’s recent “classification” system and all the stuff surrounding it. And I’m going to bring up a couple of films here- The Witchfinder General, The Wicker Man, The Fall of the House of Usher, and so many other films have long been considered horror films. Not only that, but they explored themes of Horror before the genre became rote and subject to stifling classifications.

      And there- I’ve said it. I find the constant niche-picking to be a little stifling to the art of Horror in general. Horror is designed to explore dark themes and subject matters; monsters both alien and human. Psychosis. Delusion. Metaphysical. Supernatural. Terror. Disgust. Unease. Confusion. The way “horror” is in this day and age we are stuck with rote-like jump scares, gore, and screaming. We’re lucky if we get atmosphere and dread- but what’s more, we haven’t seen films like “Witchfinder General” or the others because they don’t come in an easily identifiable label.

      Witchfinder General is about a good man losing his humanity to the horrors of an evil man. This is “Last House on the Left” or “I spit on your Grave” level of inhumanity, but we don’t want to label it “horror”? Forget the idea of a “slow burn”- this film is about paranoia run rampant, it’s about opportunists cashing in, and it’s just one scene after another of people breaking beneath the strain of pain and inhumanity. If this film isn’t horror, than I honestly don’t know what is.

      • I appreciate and agree with what you are saying here. I sometimes get a little frustrated with genre nit-picking as well. I have seen the “Witchfinder General” and although it’s been a few years since I’ve watched it, I remember it Vincent Price’s character as being genuinely upsetting, and the subject matter horrific. The original “Wicker Man” is one of my all time favorite horror films.

  14. I have not yet seen WITCHFINDER GENERAL or MARK OF THE DEVIL, but it all got me thinking about a Javier Bardem film I saw years ago called GOYA’S GHOSTS. Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Child” is one of my all-time favorite paintings. Check it out here if you want:


    Anyway, in GOYA’S GHOSTS, it deals with the Spanish Inquisition, so I suppose there wasn’t anything “witchy” going on, but it details the torture methods they used to get people to confess to whatever they wanted them to confess to. There is a particularly beautiful scene when an antagonist in the film has this done on him. Not a horror flick, but not bad.

    As for THE VVITCH, this film was spectacular, and I loved your review of it, Wolfman. Jay and I had some good words about this movie in the comments section of his written review, and I’m still reeling from that conversation, honestly.

    A friend of mine who just saw THE VVITCH would really enjoy your review, Wolfman, especially your insistence that many of the supernatural elements could have been nightmares, dreams, fantasies, hallucinations, etc.. My friend believes that to be the case, too, and although I don’t think the film necessarily supports that reading (as you said)… and although I personally don’t like it when supernatural films turn out to be merely psychological in nature… I liked how YOU worded it. I, for one, didn’t get a negative vibe from your review. 8.5 is pretty high. Well done!

      • Thanks, Mr. Watson. Some people! Just kidding, Juan. I get it.

        I love that Goya painting too. Maybe “love” is the wrong word. It messed me up. I saw it in person in Spain. I mentioned that briefly in our Cannibalism episode, I think. Truly terrifying.

        Tell your friend about the podcast!!! Everybody tell a friend!!! I’ll check out your conversation with Jay.

        At first I was a little bummed that people hadn’t seen these films (other than stalwarts like Sal) because I didn’t think we’d get much discussion, but it is actually fun to be able to introduce everyone to some films for a change, even if they aren’t spectacular.

        • Wolfman, I absolutely told my friend about this podcast! He subscribes on iTunes and loves you fellas. I’m always telling him to get on over here to the site proper. I’ma have to get on him again, I think.

          And Josh… I do NOT remember you mentioning having seen that Goya painting even though I do remember that episode. That is amazing! The story of Goya’s Black Paintings are so incredibly fascinating to me that I can’t even describe it here. I went to Europe a few years back and was never able to make it to Spain. :( How did the painting mess you up, by the way? I ask because I think it might have done the same to me. Would you believe I’m going to be putting a print of that in my bedroom?

          Yeah, man, I love these episodes where I haven’t heard of the films. Even if they’re not spectacular films, as you said.

          One question… a bit of an unrelated one that I may have posed before… and you’d know, Josh, since you know Doc Shock a little better than I. Here goes: Does Dave “Doctor Shock” Becker’s voice sound like he used to sport one MEAN mullet? I just get that impression, and I don’t know why. Oh well.

          Much love, HMP!

    • “Saturn Devouring His Son” has been burned into my mind ever since high school, when our Spanish class did a unit on Spanish painters. I grew up being fascinated by a print of Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” that hung in my aunt’s house, and I enjoy a certain degree of bizarre darkness, but Goya’s piece is deeply disturbing. I was able to see “Saturn” at the Museo Del Prado in Madrid a couple of years after the Spanish class (as well as the Bosch painting). I considered hanging a print of it up during the month of October for our annual Halloween party, but I wasn’t sure I wanted it on our walls for very long. I think I will have to check out the movie “Goya’s Ghosts” now.

      • Allyson, that’s AWESOME! I’m jealous. I’ve never been to Spain, but I’d love to go one day, and I’d certainly want to see “Saturn” if it’s still at the Museo Del Prado. I went to Paris a few years back and am itching to go back to Europe. My Spanish is horrible, though, which sucks because I sometimes DJ at a Mexican bar, so… yeah.

        And you should totally hang the Goya print up… at least in October. M’lady and I have a horror theme for our bedroom, so a “Saturn” print is a must for sure.

  15. I actually interpreted the hare to be the witch herself. From certain myths and legends I’ve heard, they can be shape-shifters. So I think that the old witch, young attractive witch, and the hare were all the same person.

    On another note, I really enjoyed the dialogue. We most often hear 16th/17th Century vocabulary when it’s associated with Shakespeare. So we’re used to hearing it spoken in a theatrical and overdramatic fashion. It was really refreshing to hear that type of language, but spoken in a casual and conversational tone. Robert Eggars certainly did his research and it shows.

  16. I saw Blair Witch and got very motion sick… I didn’t vomit, but I was dizzy for the rest of the evening. I did, however, wind up marrying the girl I went to see the movie with and it was our first date. Despite that, it just wasn’t a great experience as a horror film fan.

    • Allison and Redcapjack’s stories have convinced me that there’s only two outcomes when seeing The Blair Witch Project in the theater. The options are:

      – A) Keep your hands to yourself. Pro: You end up marrying your date. Con: You feel sick during the movie.

      – B) Be very handsy. Pro: You don’t feel sick while (Not) watching the movie. Con: You’re not getting a second date.

  17. Excellent episode!! I really enjoyed it.

    I have to side with Dr. Shock, however, on the Suspiria and Mother of Tears debate. The former being a near masterpiece and the latter just awful IMO.

    Argento’s early works like Suspiria, Opera, and Deep Red to name a few are all visually stunning, if not awful to listen to (poor sound mixing, bad dubbing/looping, etc).

    That said I’ve been really skeezed out on Argento in recent years with all of the nude scenes and sex scenes he directs his own daughter in with lingering camera shots. I know European folk roll differently than we do on such things, but it’s too much for me.

  18. I’m looking for a name of a title, fellow fans. It’s driving me crazy trying to figure out what it is. I believe it may only be available only in the UK. The cover has a large cross over it, with a hand grasping it from behind. It came out, maybe at most, 2 to 3 years ago. I thought it may have “You” or “From” in the title.

    The major plot point I remember is a group late teenage/early twenties “kids” (cause I’m 38) go back to a cabin & we figure out later, they were all invited there for a reason.

    Sorry to cut into any ongoing conversation. If anyone can give it a thought, I’d appreciate it.

    Hopefully, thanks…..

    Great podcast this week, gentlemen.

    • This probably isn’t it, but I was digging around and the movie that has most of your details is one called “Truth or Die”.

      It’s 2012, from the UK, and has “kids” invited to a cabin for a reason.

      What does NOT at all match your description is the poster, which is a giant blue face.

  19. Sorry for the double “only” sentence in the first paragraph.

    Watching A Blade in the Dark AND really into it. Still, no excuse.

    BTW….Mother of Tears is a film I own digitally because I need to complete my Argento collection. Heck, I own Dracula (2/10). Mother of Tears is downright a disease on the eyes. Suspiria is a masterpiece. Although, I prefer Inferno.

    • The struggle is real. I buy every 8 Films to Die For movie, even the absolutely awful ones, because I can’t not have a set of something (it’s a sickness).

      I can definitely get behind some Inferno appreciation!

  20. Witch films are kinda like werewolf films in the sub-genre of horror, very prolific in quantity but low in quality.

    I can’t name many of them of which I enjoyed, Blair Witch being the lone example that proves the rule. And let’s be fair, that movie didn’t even have a witch.

    The Craft might be another one, but I think that’s mainly nostalgia. 10 year old me would have watched 90’s Neve Campbell do anything.

    • That’s an apt parallel between witch films and werewolf films. Off the top of my head, I would give the slight edge to the witches, between The VVitch, The Blair Witch Project and Suspiria.

      And Neve Campbell is good, but 10-year old me was always more of a Lacey Chabert person.

  21. Sad news out of Belgium today with the terrorist attacks on Brussels. I’m sure there are plenty of HMP listeners from Belgium, but I’m specifically thinking of fellow commenter Rob from Belgium. I hope you are doing well, considering the circumstances.

  22. I do have a theory about why movies with witches have steadily become less scary over the years. It all has to do with the equal rights movement. Witches have been a characterization for women with power. In the olden days, woman who would show strength or self sufficience would be suspected because they wouldn’t let themselves be dominated by men. Men would assume that they were one of two things: prostitutes or witches. Because how else could they not let themselves be ruled by men.
    As equal rights have progressed and women have gained more power you see witches in movies and tv portrayed differently (The Craft, Buffy, Witches of Eastwick). Wicca has gained popularity among women because they can worship deities that do not subjugate them like Catholicism.
    This mirrors vampire films and homosexuality. The more homosexuality is accepted as the norm, the more you will see non threatening vampire movies like Twilight.

    • There could be something to that theory. Women in horror do have a very different role from back in the day in which seemingly their only role was to scream, pass out, and be carried away by the monster.

      At the same time, fads play a big role in this too. Prior to The Witch, when was the last time we had a big witch movie? It’s not without trying though. A few years back, The CW tried to further cash in on the YA Supernatural fad by creating a witch TV series called The Secret Circle.

  23. I feel like this may have been discussed recently on one of the boards, but does anyone have any recommendations for horror fiction podcasts?

    As of late, I’ve been listening to Nosleep Podcast (Thanks to Allison for mentioning them on Twitter) and the podcast tends to be hit or miss. It seems as if half the stories struggle with knowing when to wrap up. Either they take too long or they end it before the story feels complete.

    The other day, I listened to the first few episodes of Welcome to Night Vale. It’s not scary though, instead it’s a fun Twin Peaks style podcast (Which is totally cool, but it doesn’t fill my horror need).

    • What about HMP? There’s no way any of the stories Jay tells are true. Martial arts, colon pictures, ties to the mob, liquefied cookies? ?

      • HMP (And it’s sister sites) are more of a go to place for real life horror tales. Off of the top of my head, we’ve heard tales such as:

        – The killer caterpillar (?) that Josh’s daughter inadvertently ran her hand across while in Colombia.

        – William Solo’s family tale about bears.

        – Josh’s story about the handyman and the older neighbor that he “Visited”.

        – Station!’s brain running down her spine.

        – Josh holding pieces of a moose (?) while in a bear infested Alaskan woods.

        – The creepy church next to Jay’s old home in West Virginia.

        – Any time Jay talks about his colon.

        – The noises outside of Dr. Shock’s wintery home.

        Who needs HMP fiction when you have all of those terrifying non-fiction stories?

    • I’m a full-blown Welcome to Night Vale fan. Some of the episodes can veer into a bit of horror (If you keep listening, wait until you get to the StrexCorp story arc). But yeah, most of it is more like a humorous take on life as a character in a Lovecraftian/X-Files “weird fiction” universe. The “Beyond Belief” episodes of The Thrilling Adventure Hour are horror comedy, heavy on the comedy. I’ve tried a few “dramatic readings of horror stories” podcasts, but I haven’t found any solid ones yet.

      All hail the Glow Cloud.

    • Sal,

      I listen to a variety of horror podcasts. When I’m not watching horror cinema, reading horror novels, or listening to dark themed music… horror podcasts are a MUST. Here are a few I dig, and I’m telling you, these podcasts provide me with hours and hours of great horror entertainment. Some are better than others, of course, but give these a go! I’ll provide descriptions and links for ya. So get ready to read. And enjoy!


      1. Wormwood: A Serialized Mystery

      I LOVE this podcast! It’s like enjoying a high quality horror show but without the picture. Top notch in all areas.

      “Doctor Xander Crowe was a formidable psychologist until a terrible tragedy sent him spiraling down the dark pathways of the occult. Now, a strange vision leads Doctor Crowe to the hidden town of Wormwood, where shadows lurk in every corner and evil stains the souls of the inhabitants. Welcome to Wormwood.”


      2. Harry Strange

      My son and I listen to this. It’s a highly entertaining horror/noir. Think Joe Friday meets Supernatural. You’ve got this hard-boiled detective who deals with supernatural threats. There are one-off episodes and an over-arcing storyline. A lot of fun.


      3. The Black Tapes Podcast

      This one is quite special. And popular, too. It is essentially a self-aware podcast about a podcast where the host/journalist is following supernatural leads. It almost seems real at times. It’s like if NPR had a horror podcast. It’s pretty classy and sophisticated. Great audio!


      4. Darker Projects: Night Terrors

      I’m new to this one, but it seems cool so far. It’s a horror anthology audio drama series. Darker Projects has other projects as well. The “Night Terrors” series is the one I listen to, though.


      5. We’re Alive: A Story of Survival

      We’re Alive follows an Army Reserve solider and a full cast of characters trying to make their way through the zombie apocalypse. I’m not far into this one, but it’s super fun and entertaining.


      6. Chilling Tales For Dark Nights

      I have not yet heard the podcast that I’m going to link to you here, but I follow Chilling Tales on Youtube. The podcast is more audio drama oriented, I believe, whereas the episodes they put up on Youtube are straight up audio fiction tales. What I’ve heard is great. Here are links to their Youtube channel and the podcast.


      7. The NoSleep Podcast

      You’re already familiar with this one, I take it, but if you’re only in season one, keep with this show, Sal. NoSleep finds itself and hits its stride in the second season and delivers some good horror. I buy the season passes to support the show.



      1. Tales To Terrify

      This one is like a literary version of The NoSleep Podcast but without the background music and the multiple voice actors. I say “literary” because while NoSleep gets its stories from the NoSleep Reddit page, Tales To Terrify reads tales from the likes of Stephen King, Joe Lansdale, H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, and so so many others. Aside from the fiction, there are other segments on the show including a once a month horror film review duo who are awesome. Check this podcast out, Sal!


      2. Knifepoint Horror

      This is a no frills, no gimmicks horror fiction podcast from the mind of a writer named Soren Narnia. Each episode is a new story. Do check it out. Good stuff.


      3. Midnight Circle

      I don’t have a link for this one because it seems their site is down. Find this one on iTunes. I haven’t listened to any of it yet, but I’ve just downloaded several episodes and plan to get started tomorrow. It’s basically a horror anthology series. Seems legit. I’ll let you know more.

      4. The Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson

      I’m new to this one, but it’s shaping up to be a solid horror anthology series. I like what I’ve heard. Can’t find a link, so just track it down on iTunes, homie.


      1. Dark Discussions Podcast

      This podcast is similar to HMP in that you’ve got intelligent and cool hosts who know the horror genre like crazy. Their reviews DO contain spoilers, so be careful. Aside from films, they do novels as well, so that’s awesome. I really enjoy this podcast. My only complaint is the audio in the first few episodes is screwed, but they fix that. Check this one out, Sal, when you run out of HMP.


      2. The New Flesh

      The two hosts of this podcast are fun and engaging but come off a bit negative to me sometimes. Still, it’s pretty accessible and even though I don’t agree with a lot of their opinions, I still enjoy this podcast.


      3. Horrorphilia

      This is actually a network of many horror podcasts. Browse the site to find a podcast that might do it for ya. This seems like an excellent starting point to find great podcasts.



      1. Lore

      Lore is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. It seems to go into the history behind certain horrific subjects. Good stuff!


      • Big thanks for all of these suggestions.

        By this point, I believe I’m somewhere in season 4 of Nosleep Podcast (Free episodes only). My feelings haven’t changed. Sometimes the stories are good, other times they leave something to be desired. I’m torn on how I feel about David Cummings as a voice actor. There’s times when he can be a little hokey and too over the top. I do really like Corinne Sanders though. She tends to handle the emotional moments well and I can’t stop picturing Aubrey Plaza any time she talks. I swear Sanders is just an alias for Plaza. Ha

        Over the course of the weekend, I ended up listening to the full first season of the Black Tapes Podcast. I loved it. Alex Reagen’s voice makes for an easy listen. If I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure Percy Black was voiced by a certain “Hokey and too over the top” voice actor.” Unlike with the NoSleep Podcast, I paid close attention to each episode. I even ended up going back and re-listening to the season 1 finale due to falling asleep a little when I first listened to it last night. I get a kick out of the running gag of the Black Tapes team struggling to explain what a podcast is to their guests. Ha

        The downside to Black Tapes Podcast is that I’d rather not begin season 2 when they’re on hiatus after episode 4.

        I’ll probably try one of your other horror audio dramas next as Tanis Podcast didn’t grasp me much after the first episode.

        Thanks again.

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