Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 051: Arthouse Vampires

Arthouse Vampires

Welcome to Episode 051 of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST, where we review the hell out of horror movies… In this themed episode, we get our film snob on with Wolfman Josh’s sophisticated topic, ARTHOUSE VAMPIRES. To help us explore this theme, we bring you in-depth reviews of Let the Right One In (2008) and Thirst (2009) and Only Lovers Left Alive (2014) and a brand-new (and unique) Iranian horror film called A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2015). So, don’t be afraid to scream while you’re reading subtitles and challenge all of your preconceived definitions of horror because tonight we’re talking Arthouse Vampires!

Horror Movie Podcast is now a weekly show that’s released every 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!


I. Introduction
— BillChete’s Horror On The Go Internet Audio Broadcast

[ 0:05:00 ] II. Theme Discussion: Arthouse Vampires

[ 0:42:48 ] III. Feature Review: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008)
Jay of the Dead = 9 ( Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 10 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 10 ( Buy it! )

Let the Right One Insert

[ 1:13:55 ] IV. Feature Review: THIRST (2009)
Jay of the Dead = 8.5 ( Must-see / Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 9 ( Must-see / Buy it! )

Thirst Insert

[ 2:03:20 ] V. Feature Review: ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE (2014)
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Rental )

Only Lovers Insert

[ 2:36:35 ] VI. Feature Review: A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (2015)
Jay of the Dead = 5.5 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Strong Rental )

Girl Insert

VII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US NEXT WEEK ON HMP: Episode 052: Listener Picks!

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 BillChete:
Hear BillChete’s show FREELY ON THE INTERNET HERE: Horror On The Go.com
On Twitter: @BillChete

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’s links:
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.

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


156 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 051: Arthouse Vampires

  1. You guys really need commending for these super timely releases of late. Jay, we should never have doubted your power to pull off weekly episodes in a punctual and efficient manner!

    Also, despite being someone who is slightly wary of overtly “art house” cinema (or at least the aloofness and self-importance that such a term can sometimes connote) and also not one of the world’s biggest vampire film fans, I’ve actually really been looking forward to this episode. I think everyone’s favourite Hallowiener has a talent for honing in on topics that will inspire great discussions and debate in these themed episodes.

    I’m only half an hour in so far but I’m very much enjoying myself. Sipping a good strong black coffee and listening to you guys define “art house”. This is the life!

      • Jay, despite my seemingly ever rising tendency to admonish and reprimand you for your wacky ideas, I can safely say that I am never even close to being less than pleased with the quality of work you do. HMP weekly is such a treat!

        • There needs to be an special episode of “Jay vs The People”. Maybe this could be recorded during the HMP meetup 😉

          To keep things balanced, and to thank Jay for all of his hard work and show him how much we appreciate him, there should also be a “Jay’s Appreciation Day” episode. The twist there, is that it’ll actually be a roast and the title will read as I wrote it above, but with the letter A crossed out by some spray paint and the words “de” written above it hahha just kidding, Jay.

    • @David – I’m similar in not being a huge lover of arthouse cinema or vampire flicks, in general. I also agree that, despite these facts, this episode was a good one.

      Definitely loving the weekly episodes, JOTD. Just hope that the work on your end is playing out how you planned, and you’re not actually suffering over this. (more so than usual, at least)

  2. At around the 01:19:10 mark Jay blew my mind with the following query:
    “Why can’t we have horror films that are horror or very genre influenced of course but also have the good performances, have the artistic creation, the good cinematography, all that?”

    We already do have movies like that, Jay. Two great examples being “The Sixth Sense” and “The Silence of the Lambs”. It’s just that when these kind of movies do show up certain people have a tendency to dismiss them as “thrillers”!

    Also I was blown away by the “Let the Right One In” discussion. You three guys were firing on all cylinders! Great stuff.

        • Well I’m loving the classic green tinted Frankenstein’s monster motif. Every time I see it I’m reminded of the image of Frankenstein that seemed so iconic to me as a kid. You can’t go wrong with that distinctive character design and the lurid green colouring.

          • Yes, spoiler-alert: I didn’t actually CREATE any of the art that I’ve done on the entire site. It’s all from the movie posters of the movies we are discussing. I thought that was clear, but I apologize if I seemed to be taking credit for Mr. Moss’ work, Juan.

          • Oh no no, I didn’t see it like that, Josh. I just wanted to share his work with all of you in case you weren’t familiar with it. It’s out of this world, at least in my humble opinion. Your cropping skills are nothing short of fantastic, though. Kudos! 😉

          • Haha. Better than whatever Jay was cropping before, I’ll say that!

            Come on, Juan. I painted some stuff out, changed the colors and selected a free font. Credit where credit is due, man! Actually, this is precisely why I never feature the “cool” art and stick with the original poster art whenever possible. Break my rule once and Juan goes on a witch hunt.

            No, I’ve actually liked Moss’ fan art for awhile, ever since I saw his Star Wars stuff. Those images were EVERYWHERE and rightly so. The Evil Dead as well. I’m glad he’s getting work on real movie releases now. The Final Member poster is way better than the movie, though. Does he do stuff for Mondo? Drafthouse released that film, so I’m just assuming. And I had’t realized he’d done actual art for Sightseers as well. That’s way better than the DVD art I have.

          • Yeah, the guy just blew up and he’s all over the place. He’s currently concentrating on a videogame which looks fantastic of course. The concept is quite intriguing too. It’s about a fire lookout and it takes place during the Yellowstone fires of 1988. It has this really creepy isolation vibe because it’s pretty much just the main character and another lookout that you only communicate to through the radio. It’s all about the scenery and the atmosphere. I can’t wait to play that.

            Anyway, I agree with you about The Final Member, but that was still a fairly entertaining watch don’t you think? I mean, for what it was.

            He does stuff for Mondo, but not as much anymore since he’s been busy with that game. He’s just dreamy. I have a man-crush on him. Ahem you know, talent-wise.

            Josh, your art is just fine. Keep it up. I agree that it’s been consistently getting better and better. My favorite thing so far are the little icons to the right of the page. They added a much needed splash of color to the site. My favorite one is “When Science Goes Too Far”. Something about that green… maybe Jay was onto something after all…

          • Haha I didn’t want to say anything about those buttons, but they bother me so much! Jay, please let the man work. It’s for a good cause.

      • @Wolfman Josh – David beat me to the punch, and Allyson beat me on the seconds. Awesome work on the crop job!

        Seriously, though, your contributions to the site are definitely classing up the joint, and this episode’s artwork is certainly one of the best thus far. Hopefully JOTD gives in on those social media icons… and maybe the banner, too.

      • That actually looks pretty good. I’m a little excited to see new work from him even if it turns out to be another crazy story full of twists and shenanigans.

    • Hahaha Josh even stopped halfway through my name and said Jua..Dino hahaha oh man, this is great stuff guys. I love how we’re creating our own references that we are starting to call out quite often. It’s a shame that our shenanigans aren’t part of pop culture…yet.

  3. Josh I have to ask if you’ve seen the japanese film “Kuroneko” from 1968?

    It’s not quite a vampire movie, rather is deals with the bakeneko, an often vengeful yōkai in the shape of a cat that can change into a human form. The monster is more ghost-like than anything but could also be viewed as a Japanese vampire analogue. The film itself is beautifully shot and very atmospheric (one scene in particular of a white spectre somersaulting through the air over the head of a samurai on a bridge in the pitch black of night literally took my breath away it was so beautifully composed). It’s a period piece with a somewhat dark and disturbing subject matter but is incredibly artful and creepy in its execution. I only just saw it for the first time a few nights ago and I would highly recommend it. 9/10.

      • Haha, I knew that remark would come back to bite me but really I should have clarified.

        I love films that are made with love, care, intelligence and little regard for mainstream appeal/box-office profits. That’s pure film as it should be to me. I’m just wary when I get the impression that something is made with the specific intent to smugly appeal to the high-brow art-house crowd. If someone makes the film they want to make and it ends up being especially challenging, abstract or cerebral then I can’t say a bad word about it but then you get stuff like “The Doom Generation” which is just cynically crammed with hollow symbolism-for-symbolisms sake, thoroughly pretentious characters and sophomoric nihilism. That sort of stuff leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when it comes to my personal tastes a good art-house film might be an example of the medium at its very best but a bad art-house film can be even more offensive than the very worst trashy b-movie or grindhouse exploitation flick.

        That said I don’t know that I’d class “Kuroneko” as an art-house film. I think this period of Japanese cinema just exuded an essential beauty that came not from high-minded aspirations but more from a unique cultural approach to aesthetics and narrative. Sure movies by folks like Kurosawa might be the bread and butter of art-house cinemas these days but to me his films are simply historical epics/action films from another time and place (which isn’t to deny their beauty and astonishing craftsmanship). By the same logic “Kuroneko” as well as films like “Kwaidan” and “The Ghost of Yotsuya” are just classic horror films from another culture to me.

        Please consider while reading this rambling comment that I recently drank an american craft beer called “Backwoods Bastard” with an ABV of 10.2% so I might actually be talking utter tipsy gibberish.

        • Wow, bro. You’re jaded.

          I just think it’s rare that you actually get a film that was made to “smugly appeal to the high-brow arthouse crowd.” I’m sure it happens, but movies cost A LOT of money to make and the vast majority of art films aren’t profitable, so I’d be surprised if someone ever made an arthouse film just to be an asshole.

          These are most-likely genuine artistic expressions. Some genuine artistic expressions just suck. Like Mr. Nobody. I haven’t seen Doom Generation, but I do like Gregg Araki, so I’d be curious to see it now, based on your description, to see if I agree.

          Anyway, even if these pompous arthouse movies really do exist in this day and age, it’s clear that there are far more movies which are cynically made for the lowest-common-denominator in order to smugly take the money of people the Producers think are their mental inferiors. They’ve trained us well, those Pavlovian Producers of cinematic horseshit.

          Just know that if Kuroneko ever screened in theaters in the U.S. at any time, past or present, it would only be at an independent/arthouse theater. The megaplexes are too jam-packed with Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Furious 7 and Penguins of Madagascar.

          • Speaking of Japanese films, well it’s an American film, but it’s about a Japanese girl. Have any of you seen Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter? I think it’s my favorite movie of the year so far and I predict it to be in my top five and somewhere in Josh’s top ten. Bold prediction, I know, but it’s that good.

            10/10 baby!

          • Weird, I’ve totally seen that poster before, but I have no idea what the movie is. It must have been at Sundance last year as well. Can’t wait to see it! Love these bold predictions.

          • You know Josh, I honestly can’t disagree with any of the points you make here and I have no doubt in my mind that I am somewhat of a jaded contrarian. Cut me some slack though; I’m far more of an outsider to film than your good self, so I have far less in the way of informed wisdom and accumulated knowledge to wield in defense of my opinions!

            I guess I would struggle to come up with too many more examples of such “cynical” art-house offerings as I initially railed against and thinking about it for a little longer I’m urged to suggest that maybe it’s more the terminology that I’m uncomfortable with. I understand that it comes from a different place but it’s kind of similar to the “art-rock” sub-genre of music. I love most of the bands that fall under that category but I just feel like there’s something of a conceited implication that regular “rock” isn’t worthy of the “art” tag (And I’m fully aware that few bands and few filmmakers get to label themselves in such ways). I guess maybe I have a slightly imagined view of what “art-house” films really are. I mean there’s no doubt that I’d rather see films made by artists than by moronic accountants and focus-groups. Maybe for me the term “art-house” just comes saddled with a little baggage from personal experience. As cliché as it might sound I’ve known people in the past who were want to laugh derisively at mention of anything that isn’t Fellini or Truffaut. That kind of attitude is something that grates on me like nails on a chalkboard and I guess it may have coloured my associative reactions to the subjective terminology.

            In truth I’m probably just one massive hypocrite though.

          • @David – I wonder if it’s just the thought of “having to watch” an arthouse film. For me, it feels like a chore. I know going in that the film is going to be cerebral, that it’s going to make me work to appreciate it. In truth, more often than not, I end up enjoying these movies, too. But the thought of having to watch them is less than appealing.

    • I haven’t read the comic yet (or seen the film) but I have seen glimpses of the panels and I have to say I love that extremely high contrast style with the excessive use of pitch black areas. That approach is super effective for horror comics.

      Have you read anything by Charles Burns or Thomas Ott, Josh?

      • Charles Burns, yes. Just Black Hole, but I loved it.

        I’m not a big comics guy. Very casual fan. But, I like to go in comic shops whenever I’m in a new town and pick-up whatever catches my eye. Or I’ll order stuff online, like A Girl Who Walks Home Alone At Night or Black Hole, that is kind of higher-profile or I’ve heard about for some reason.

        Thomas Ott … I don’t think so. I’d say not.

        Recommendations for either of these guys?

        • “Black Hole” is probably Charles Burns best but I also have a soft spot for his “Big Baby” collection. The stories are far more fragmentary and surreal than “Black Hole” but it’s incredibly fun and spooky. In a way a love letter to the darker quirks of childhood; shadowy creatures lurking in the yard glimpsed fleetingly through the bedroom window, the horrific truths behind summer camp ghost stories etc. It’s great.

          Thomas Ott is a far less accessible artist. His narratives tend to be short, wordless and unremittingly dark yet beautifully rendered. “R.I.P” is a good collection of his.

          Also, not strictly a comic, but an art-book (the irony!) that I’ve been enjoying recently is “Ghosts and Ruins” by Ben Catmull. It has a similar style of very stark, eerie black and white art but rather than panelled narratives it depicts imagined images of really creepy buildings/locations alongside very short descriptions detailing what manner of spirits or horrible events call each place home. It’s almost like a children’s picture book; you could easily read all of the text in the space of about 2 minutes but the combination of the prose and the beautifully grotesque imagery really gets my imagination going.

          • There’s an animated horror anthology called Fear(s) of the Dark that I think both of you might like. I recommend it to David a while back, but since my name doesn’t rhyme with osh, he prob dismissed it as the rantings of an illiterate ESLer haha just kidding, David. Charles Burns directed one of the segments, thoug. I don’t recall which one. Anyway, I don’t remember liking the film a whole lot, but my taste has drastically changed since it came out. Either way, at the very least you’ll have a visual feast.

          • I will check those out, David. Sounds interesting.

            I just bought the first 5 issues if Dead Boy Detectives, a Vertigo comic. I have no idea what it is, but the title sounds right up my alley. Anybody read it? I will return and report.

          • Juan, that movie is on my list but when you last mentioned it to me you pointed out that you didn’t recall it being that great so I’ve kind of neglected giving it a chance. I will though because I love Charles Burns.

          • And Wolfman, I’ve not read “Dead Boy Detectives” but I’m sure a few months ago I remember seeing an issue of it in the comic shop I visit whenever I’m in York. It must have struck me as cool looking because it left a lasting impression and I remember deliberating whether to pick up an issue or not. In the end I didn’t but I’d be extremely interested to hear what your take on it is.

    • I got this comic at New York Comic Con last year. I’m not even into comics, but I just had to buy it because the title and the artwork was so cool! The artist was there and signed it for me, too!

      • I didn’t even know there was a graphic novel/comic attached to the movie. Was the movie an adaptation, or is the graphic novel an adaptation of the movie?

        • The comic came first, and it’s short…not a lot of dialogue. There is a cat and a skateboard…but the love story is missing, which is my favorite part :)

          • I also received a ‘prequel’ to the comic when I purchased it last year, and it kind of tells the story of why The Girl comes to Bad City. She says she doesn’t belong in places like Moscow, Paris, Prague (places she’s been). She says, “Death belongs in a graveyard not a metropolis full of beating hearts,” and that she, “needs a place that reeks of death and loneliness,” and that she “needs something different.” That is how she ends up in Bad City.
            Josh and Jay wonder how she could have gone unnoticed in a town so small, but the prequel implies that she’s just come to town…even though her apartment seems like she’s been there for awhile with lots of posters and a ‘lived in’ feel. I don’t think she’s been there long…

            • “She says, ‘Death belongs in a graveyard not a metropolis full of beating hearts,’ and that she, ‘needs a place that reeks of death and loneliness,’ and that she ‘needs something different.'”

              Oh, this is awesome. It makes so much sense, and the film does a great job of conveying the “reeks of death and loneliness” part. Very cool, thanks for pulling this.

          • Wow, great details, Michelle. I will have to look out for the sequel. I hope we’ll see more movies and comics set in Bad City. I love when storytellers create their own little universe.

  4. How about all the versions I am Legend…minus the new Will Smith one and.Let’s Scare Jessica To Death…I’m with Josh…I am “totally” an eighties child…The greatest decade ever in all entertainment….movies…music…everything….everything was new…original…unique…and we will never get that back….

  5. Dear Jay, Josh, and Doc,

    How likely is a HMP meet up? I know the idea has been thrown around not only by you, but by various listeners. Last time this was mentioned on the podcast, the year 2016 was mentioned. I was wondering if this is still very much a plan or if it’s still up in the air. I have grown so fond of all of you that it would seriously make me happy beyond belief to get to meet you all. Please make this happen soon.

    • I would be totally down, but there are no solid plans. Jay used to talk about doing a zombie 5k, which could be fun. Personally, I’d love to go to the Monroeville Mall or the F13th Summer Camp or Kenny Caperton’s Meyers house in NC.

          • Wherever we go, I’d like Jay to bring his charts with him. That’ll give me an excuse to purchase a laser pointer, which oddly enough, I’ve never owned one. I always wanted to know what it felt like to point it to someone’s forehead when they explain their charts haha. Sorry Jay, that was a bit harsh, but it’s all in good fun. Of course I wouldn’t do that to you, but really, do bring your charts :)

  6. John Adjvide Lindqvist is a gigantic Smiths fan. The follow up to Let the Right One In is a series of short stories called Let the Old Dreams Die, and the Smiths are referenced throughout his novels. Most notably, two of the “monsters” in Harbour have a chapter dedicated to their background in which they listen to a ton of the Smiths and become miserable teens, ostracizing themselves from their peers which eventually leads to their first deaths.
    I can’t stand Morrisey though. Nothing against the rest of the Smiths.

  7. I’m really glad that Dr. Shock mentioned INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE early on. The ensuing discussion about vampires coming to terms with having to kill in order to survive was excellent.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of vampires, but there definitely is great depth to them as monsters.

    • A lot of people here saying they don’t like vampires. Vampires to me are objectively the absolute best monster and have given us so many incredible movies. What exactly is it you guys like about vampires? Us it just the proliferation of crap like Twilight these days? From Nosferatu to Near Dark, from Lost Boys to Stakeland, I just think vampires are both scary and totally badass.

      • Vampires are ok, but they are too subtle. A couple little holes in the neck can’t compete with the smoke, noise and blood slinging gore of a chainsaw. In literature vampires are much more effective but visually they don’t stack up. And yeah Twilight sort of made them a joke.

      • In all seriousness, though, I can’t really put my finger on it. You’re absolutely right in that they’re great monsters. I came to the realization while listening to this episode that they’re wonderfully tortured characters, which is something I love. There are some great vampire flicks, too, and they run the gamut from subtle, humanistic vampires (GIRL, INTERVIEW, etc) to brutal, animalistic vampires (STAKE LAND, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, etc).

        So, I’m rethinking my position on vampires. They’re still not my favorite, but they’re definitely great monsters.

      • I’m similar to Dino in that I have difficultly putting my finger on what it is about Vampires that doesn’t particularly appeal to me. There are a lot of Vampire movies that I do enjoy but I feel like most of the time my appreciation for such films comes less from the Vampire elements and more from the fact that they have cool, eerie settings and imagery or are just very well made movies.

        Aside from the tendency for the sub-genre to be hijacked by lame attempts at action and romance (Blade: Trinity, Underworld, Twilight etc) I think there are a few things about the bound-by-rules nature of the vampire that bug me. Of course a lot of the fun of a good vampire flick is seeing how those rules might be twisted and manipulated by a creative mind, but more-often than not this element ends up being a problem for me because when I know I’m going into this kind of film I can pretty much predict the sort of stuff I’ll be seeing: fangs, bats, neck-bitting, pallid Robert Smith-clones, stakes, crucifixes, coffins, or if it’s particularly bad: leather trenchcoats, strobe-lit nightclubs, scantily clad girls showering in blood, I-pods etc. Sure, you could say the same for a Zombie movie but that’s always much more about the human characters anyway.

        I think the common look of vampires is something that puts me off too. So many lazy Vampire movies just make them look like a bunch of Goths. About 99% of all the Goths I’ve ever met have been the nicest people in the world, so pale faces, pitch black hair and old fashioned garb/black leather just isn’t a scary look to me at all. I guess really suave looking rich guys actually do scare me in real life but on screen that style of vampire doesn’t seem too horrific either.

        I am fully aware however that these criticisms probably come off as close-minded and unfair and that they simply don’t apply to some of the better films in the sub-genre. So ultimately I’m thinking that the biggest problem is just over-saturation. I guess most of the time I want my horror movie monsters to be something completely new or at least extremely obscure, something I haven’t seen a bunch of times before. I like variety in my beastly freaks and horror antagonists*.

        *Ghosts being my exception to this predilection. The psychological scariness of a good ghost story never gets old to me.

  8. I’m a little surprised JOTD came in so low on A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT. I know he mentioned not liking where the movie went in the end, but I’m still somewhat unclear as to what his issue was with the film. I seemed to be pretty on par with Wolfman Josh’s reading and appreciation of GIRL; I gave it an 8.5/10, and my biggest gripe was that I wanted it to be scarier.

    Has anyone else watched GIRL yet? I’m interested to hear some more thoughts on it.

    • I haven’t listened to their review yet…I wanted to watch the movie first, so I don’t know what Jay and Josh had to say about it.
      I just finished the movie, and I have to say I really enjoyed it! It was so beautifully shot! My favorite scene was when they first meet, and he goes to her apartment and she puts on the record…it’s just a shot of her in one corner of the frame and he slowly comes into frame behind her…oh, I loved that scene! I would give the movie an 8.5, too!

      • @Michelle – Yes! That Dracula scene is one of the best in the movie, and I’d go so far as to say one of the best scenes in modern horror. I know most might say it’s not particularly scary, but I would argue it’s incredibly tense. At this point, we don’t know exactly which direction the movie will go or what the Girl’s motivations are, specifically in regards to Arash. It’s a very tense moment. Underlying themes aside, the scene itself is shot so beautifully, especially in conjunction with the music. It’s very dreamlike. So good.

      • Josh, I back you up on the Twilight movies (I assume those are the movies that you were referring to). Personally, I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them either. They were aimed at a certain audience and they just so happened to contain horror elements, which is fine. I don’t see why the horror crowd would hate those movies. They weren’t meant for them, so all they have to do is avoid them and their little horror badges will remain intact. But really, they’re not all that bad. I’ve seen two and even I can admit that there are things that I found to be rather cool. Anyway, I wouldn’t be opposed to that episode happening, but please, for the love of everything that you hold sacred, give us at least these themed episodes and then you can go Twilight on everyone:

        Nightmare on Elm Street series review
        Post-modern horror
        Underwater horror
        Space horror

        • “I don’t see why the horror crowd would hate those movies. They weren’t meant for them, so all they have to do is avoid them and their little horror badges will remain intact.”
          Juan–thank you! I’ve been wanting to say that forever! It makes me so mad when people say they hate these movies because they are awful, but they watched them knowing that a teenage love story starring over the top cool, beautiful, shiny vampires sounds stupid…why even bother watching it then? It wasn’t made for them.
          I would love to hear a Twilight episode. But not if it is going to be 3+ hours of taking about how stupid the movie is…Jay would have to sit that one out :)

        • I’ve only seen a bit of one of those “Twilight” movies (no idea which one it was) but it seemed pretty awful to me. The CGI was atrocious and the characters vapid, unrelatable and (particularly in Kristen Stewarts case) ridiculously solipsistic.

          Ultimately though, I’m just obviously not the audience for this stuff. I’m no longer the fourteen yearold girl I once was.

          I’m curious to know if Josh has actually seen any (even just a half hour or so) of the movies already because if he had I doubt he’d be willing to subject himself to the whole series in spite of the fact that he’s proved himself quite the dedicated masochist with his brilliant segment.

          • I reluctantly saw the first movie and hated it. Somehow, someway, I still ended-up seeing the 2nd movie on DVD right before the 3rd one came out, I believe. I found that one interesting enough to watch the 3rd one in theaters. At that point, I’d had my fill.

            I have NOT seen the last two movies, but I’d be willing to do it for the sake of the show. Absolutely.

            I would definitely not call myself a fan, but there is plenty there to discuss and there are a few instances where I totally give the author props for monster-mythology and world-building.

            There are things to appreciate. Ideally, if we were going to do this show, I’d like to have someone in Jay’s position who hates the films, someone like Channy Dreadful who likes and defends the films, and someone like myself who can empathize with both sides.

            Doc hasn’t seen any of these (to my knowledge) and while I’d be happy to let him sit this episode out so as to not have to be put through it, there’s another BIG part of me that would love to hear Dave’s take on these movies. I’m laughing just thinking about it.

            • The movie series is a terrible slog but the last one really is pretty decent. It felt like they finally decided to have some fun with it and a whole bunch of new characters are introduced who are far more interesting than the main 3 of the series. Honestly, I really hated all the others but kind of enjoyed ‘Breaking Dawn part 2’.
              Of course by that point the series was so dreadfully dull to me that any sign of life was a welcome relief. For once it was more than just Michael Sheen who realized how bad this was and decided just to ham it up and have some fun.

          • I guess with such polarising subject matter it would make for an extremely entertaining and dynamic episode.

            And I concur that hearing Doc review these movies would no doubt make for some very amusing listening indeed. I love when he hates a movie so much that he gets all animated and really starts doling out the deadpan put-downs. He’s put off watching these films for so long that it would almost be like his own version of a “Wolfman’s Got Nards” segment.

            • Confession time: I don’t hate the Twilight movies. I don’t love them, but I don’t hate them either. They’re almost like guilty pleasure for me. They said, I’ve only seen the first three. I sort of lost motivation by the time the two BREAKING DAWNS came out…


  9. I completely disagree with the “grooming” notion that dominated your discussion of Let the Right One In.

    First, it is never established that Hakan’s relationship with Eli began when he was a boy or a young man. There are very few, if any, indications of affection between them, and Hakan’s unnatural reaction to a touch on the cheek bespeaks something strange in his character, which the novel explores in much greater detail. For obvious reasons, it was not included in the film.

    Second, I think that if you review the film with a neutral eye, the grooming theory doesn’t really hold water.

    When Eli meets Oskar, the first words out of her mouth are, “we can’t be friends.” Sincere? Or the first groundwork for a trap? At this point, Hakan hasn’t screwed up yet. What’s the motive for duplicity?

    At the second meeting with Oskar, Eli is very hungry. She takes an interest in the Rubik’s Cube. He offers it to her. She initially refuses. Another act of duplicity? Did she know in advance that Oskar would ask again, offering it to her for just a day or so?

    At the third encounter, Eli has solved the cube and taken a bath. Oskar offers her the Cube again when he finds out she doesn’t have a birthday. She refuses, stating, “It’s yours.” But when he asks her to show him how to solve it, she starts to show him. Another act of duplicity? Or just a lonely person who has a talent that someone else has demonstrated an interest in? It seems to me we are seeing friendship, not manipulation.

    At the fourth encounter about the Morse code, Eli tells him to fight back against the bullies. Is this not good advice? And she doesn’t just say it, and then walk away … she offers to help if he needs it. Again, I say this is friendship, and it’s deepening. Oskar wants to communicate with her, and she wants to communicate with him.

    Fifth encounter: the kiosk and the candy. Now if you are going to say that she tried the candy just to manipulate Oskar into feeling sorry for her, you are making her out to be pretty devious. Isn’t it equally plausible that she just doesn’t want to disappoint him, and hurt his feelings by refusing his offer of something to share? Now look at the expression on her face when Oskar hugs her. Tell me that’s evil. He can’t see her face, so why not a malicious smile? She’s hit a home run, right? Instead, she’s as stiff as a board, and confused. She can’t understand what it means to get a real hug. That’s how bad things are for her.

    Sixth encounter–the bedroom scene. Where is the manipulation? If Eli were trying to recruit Oskar, why would she hesitate when he asks her to go steady? Wouldn’t she just readily agree? Why did she hesitate? I believe she’s worried about what Oskar means by “going steady.” Could he be looking for sex, just like Hakan? Eli is looking for love, not sex . . . as is Oskar. Eli is not sure that all Oskar really wants is a committed relationship. Once Oskar clarifies that “going steady” just means that you don’t do anything “special” and that things are just the same, she agrees. Again, you really have to paint her as totally evil to be construing this as one more point in a grand scheme of manipulation. Again, I think we are being shown a very lonely person who hates what she is, and has found someone who seems to accept her without a lot of questions. Eli wants to be physically close to this person. Eli is falling in love with Oskar. Doesn’t the music convey this? The hand-holding? But she knows she will have to leave soon; hence the note.

    So Oskar unexpectedly slices his hand open and now Eli is forced to reveal herself to him. She probably figured after that episode that she’d never see him again. But when Oskar comes back to her apartment, what’s she do? Shuts him out; puts a door between them. Why? She’s scared. Let the right one in.

    “Are you a vampire?” The big question. The biggest question.

    “I live off blood–yes.” Now he knows. But Oskar still doesn’t run away, just keeps asking questions. “Are you dead?” “No–can’t you tell?” Didn’t that exchange make you smile?

    “Are you old?”

    “I’m 12–but I’ve been 12 for a long time.” So, what we’re dealing with is someone who’s perpetually twelve. Eli is NOT a grown-up person in a child’s body. Eli is a frozen child.

    I just do not see manipulation of Oskar in this part at all. Oskar clearly has the upper hand; he has the moral authority. She tries to offer him money so he’ll stay, but he accuses her of stealing it. Check out the imperious look he gives her right before she lets him leave. She’s not fooling anyone.

    Ninth encounter–Eli comes to Oskar’s apartment. She obviously wants to make amends. But instead, Oskar acts like a jerk and refuses to give her a clear invitation to come in. So she walks in anyway and begins to bleed. Unless he clarifies the invitation, she presumably will bleed to death. She’s literally put her life in his hands. Did she plan this? Did she know in advance that Oskar would act this way? Was it one more stepping stone in making Oskar her slave? Or was it Eli showing Oskar how much she trusts him?

    “Be me a little.” The scene is hard to interpret because we don’t know exactly what passed between them after Eli said this. (In the novel, Eli reveals his memory of being neutered and bitten by the vampire nobleman.) I think what motivated Eli to do this was a desire for understanding. Oskar is finally keyed into what Eli is (he said “who are you?” at the beginning of the conversation), and his attitude initially is, “you kill people–ugh.” Eli tells Oskar that she doesn’t kill people because she wants to, but because she has to, in order to live. This is entirely consistent with the remorse displayed after she kills Jocke at the beginning of the film.

    When Eli tells Oskar “you want to live, just like me” she is pointing out to Oskar that he suffers from the same curse. Oskar is filled with hate and violence because the bullies have not allowed Oskar “to live.” They are killing his soul, just like Eli’s being a vampire is killing her soul. Oskar is becoming a monster, just like Eli and his desire to kill is much less morally justifiable than Eli’s.

    The manipulation theory really breaks down after Lacke is killed. Oskar demonstrates clearly that he is not really a killer; all Lacke has to do is turn and look at him, and Oskar backs down. Then after Eli does her business, he drops his knife. When real violence rears its ugly head, he wants no part of it. Now if you are Eli and you are hoping to recruit Oskar, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to ask him if he’d go with you? He’s a witness to a murder; he’s scared. There’s the opening. Instead, Eli tells him that she has to go away. And she does; we see the taxi and her empty apartment.

    The pool scene. According to the “grooming” theory, saving your best friend’s life now becomes the crowning act of manipulation. Okay, well I’ll tell you what: the next time you see someone drowning me in a pool, feel free to be manipulative. I’d rather live and be manipulated, then die because I have a friend who doesn’t follow through on her promise. And don’t tell me that the look they exchange at the end isn’t anything but the purest expression of love ever committed to film. No way is there bad faith in that.

    John Ajvide Lindqvist said this his script was “about being lifted out of the darkness by love. About going under and suddenly being rescued by a helping hand.” “Above all it’s a love story. Of how Eli’s love releases Oskar, how she makes him look upon himself in a different light. Not as the scared one, not as the victim.”

    Tomas Alfredson, the director, said “The story of love. . . . I cut the novel to only one track: the love story. What makes it unusual is that it is a love story with no sex, with a castrated boy. This is pure love. It’s very rare, but I have seen it. Also, when a child, I had dreams about such a love, what it looks like it. It is pre-sexual love, total love, a devoted love.”

    You guys missed the mark by a mile.

  10. Hey all! Vampires isn’t my favorite sub-genre of horror, but as always I love listening to the conversation on HMP. The topic could be “old men golf” and I’d still tune it to listen to these guys chat!
    Jay and Josh made a great point in noting that they like the “discomfort” that they sometimes experience in viewing horror films. I totally agree with that! While I don’t get scared (thinking there’s vampire shadows in the room, ha!) these days, I definitely get my kicks our of the discomfort thing. Some people really get bent out of shape by the twisted violence and cruelty in some horror films, but that’s what makes it engaging to me: knowing that it is not real, but could be and the potential horror and pain I would feel if it were me. It is morbidly fascinating to me. Sometimes it feels good to be mentally uncomfortable…glad you guys made that point!
    Also, “El Topo” is an amazing work of art! I’d like to see more love for that awesome mind trip of a movie. Chaotic, surreal, and incredibly strange – Jodorowsky at his best! Although Josh…the trailer of “El Topo” explicitly states “EL TOPO IS NOT A WESTERN!” Haha it’s funny how the film insists upon that, but yeah it is a western, just on a whole lot of acid!

    • I watched a big section of it, but couldn’t finish it. I have never liked “trippy” stuff. I’m probably my more mature in my viewing now. And I could force myself to have an open-minded watch. Curious to see her El Topo influenced cannibal movie now that I’ve seen this movie. I so hope it takes place in Bad Coty. I think she’s a filmmaker to watch.

      • Josh, I think you’re as closed minded as Jay when it comes to certain styles of movies. Think about it this way, he probably loathes “slow” movies as much as you loathe action movies, or in this case, Jodorowsky movies. What’s wrong with trippy? Ken Russell is trippy and you like him. Your assumption of trippy being immature is a little surprising to be honest. I would’ve thought that you’d be more receptive to that kind of art. And it is art! It’s most definitely not for everyone, but then again, neither is Rob Zombie, who by the way, is obviously influenced by Jodorowsky amongst other equally polarizing figures. So why do you approve of Zombie, but not Jodorowsky? Now that I know how you feel, I probably shouldn’t have recommended Alucarda. While I wouldn’t call it trippy, its imagery is very Jodorowsky-like. As a matter of fact Juan Lopez Moctezuma, Alucarda’s director, was close friends with Jodorowsky and they even borrowed techniques from each other. Benicio del Toro is a big fan of both of them and even cited Moctezuma as one of his biggest influences growing up. Anyway, I’d be curious to hear a review of El Topo and see why you really hate it so much that you couldn’t even finish it.

        • And I very respectfully say close minded, because I know you’re not a closed minded person. But you do tend to very coldly dismiss certain movies and that breaks my heart a little.

          • It is true that I typically do not like action movies. Mostly, because I don’t think modern actioners are done very well. Good action directors, like an early John Woo, are good at communicating geography and story through the action. I like big modern spectacle as well. Nobody on earth shoots crashing cars as well as Michael Bay, but that can only sustain my interest for so long without a good script. His movies are usually way too long and filled with vapid characters speaking awful dialog. I’d love to see Michael Bay direct an action script written by David Mamet and cast by Quentin Tarantino. But, I’ve still seen more than half of Bay’s films. I’ve given him my money. I’m not a Platinum Dunes hater. I used to be a huge fan of his movie The Rock and I was super-excited to go out and see Pearl Harbor and Transformers at first. Then, I saw them. He’s gotten worse and worse over the years and he’s the pinnacle if modern action. It’s like these Fast/Furious movies. Filled with mono-syllabic mets heads I wouldn’t want to know in real life. Why am I going to watch them drive cars around for two hours as they fake their way through a shadow of a plot they’ve rehashed 7 times and grunt out stupid one-liners to each other. This is the crap I’m dismissive of. Add heavy CGI and I will double my distaste. But give me a Die Hard, an Aliens, a T2, any early Jackie Chan movie, most war movies, most sports movies, Keanu Reeves on a damn bus, and you’ll see that I like action just fine.

            There really aren’t other genres I’m outright dismissive of. I didn’t intend to call “trippy” films immature above, so you either misread or I communicated badly. And I don’t dislike Jodorosky. I think he’s fascinating. If I’ve called psychedelic movies immature in the past, it is due to 3 personal biases I will reveal to you now that I admit are unfair.

            1. I had some moron druggie friends in high school and I associate their drug-induced movie tastes with their other drug-induced idiocy. It took me years to appreciate films I now absolutely love like The Big Lebowski, Jackie Brown, and Lost Highway, because of my association with them. That’s all on me, but I do continue to challenge myself. You’ve got to know that.

            2. I dislike the feeling of being drugged. I don’t like the dizziness and lack, slurred speech, blurry vision, lack of control … I just personally hate the way that feels, even if it’s just a trip to the dentist office. To me it feels the way I feel when I’ve been awake for three days working and I’m nodding-out, fighting sleep. Hate, hate it. Well, sitting through anything even slightly psychedelic then induces a strong physical and emotional reaction in me. I just don’t like that feeling. Again, though, I fight it. I have come to love guys like David Lynch and David Cronenberg (and other David’s as well), so I don’t discount these kinds if films, but I am weary of going into them.

            3. I don’t like things that are “weird for weird’s sake” or just trying to be weird. That’s a criticism art house films get a lot and as a hardcore fan of good indie-arthousr cinema, I cringe when I see the stuff that is just faking it, trying to be cool. This ties into my back and forth with David above.

  11. The most memorable arthouse type vampire movie I’ve seen was 1995’s The Addiction. Super creepy despite the fact that Christopher Walken plays the elder vampire. It helps that he performs no dance numbers.

      • I’ve almost finished this episode and I wondered how “The Addiction” was not included in the discussion.Now I know. Abel Ferrara is hit or miss, so I’d be curious to hear a HMP review of it.

        • Yeah, I loved it. You get a healthy dose of brooding vampire, you get a creepy Walken and you get to see Fredro Starr from Onyx get sucked on by a vampire. What’s not to love?

    • Well done for pointing this out Tammy. When Josh was talking about Nun Vampires I had this weird feeling that I had read/seen something out there in that vein before and this is it! It’s been a few years since I read it but I remember it being a great little tale. It’s a part of the mythology of his “Dark Tower” series and was the initial factor that made me interested in reading those books (which is something I still need to do).

        • Thanks, man. Jay has made me paranoid about the judgment of these mythical “dead serious” horror fans, but I’m starting to think he just means himself. We’re all horror fans here and I should trust the audience I know, a collection of diverse, intelligent movie-lovers.

          • We all love this show, which is why we listen. And, for me, part of what makes the show so great is that the three of you come at the genre from a somewhat different perspective* – JOTD from the more visceral, Dr. Shock from the classical, and you from the more cerebral and artistic. These perspectives, along with your natural interaction and collective knowledge of the topic, create such a great dynamic that’s unique to horror podcasting.

            Don’t doubt your contribution to the show in this regard.

            * Note: This does not mean each of you are exempted from the other perspectives, as I know all three of you have an appreciation of each. Also, this is how I see it, so may not reflect yours or other’s thoughts.

          • “Jay has made me paranoid about the judgment of these mythical “dead serious” horror fans, but I’m starting to think he just means himself”

            I laughed out loud when I read this!

            Jay’s a great guy, an awesome friend, and an incredible podcaster. That said, I think the above is spot-on.

          • Absolutely, Dave. I don’t mean to trash Jay in any way. I used to regularly listen to 50+ movie podcasts (sadly, don’t have time for that anymore) and Jay is one of the top 3-5 hosts in movie podcasting in my opinion.

            To be fair, Jay has always been supportive of this idea since the moment I brought it up. I just don’t like the idea of limiting ourselves based on an unidentified audience. I’d rather just do what we do and attract an audience who appreciates us. I suppose the debate will go on.

  12. I’m extremely curious which of these films (especially the four featured) everyone has or has not seen.

    Has everyone here really already seen Thirst and Let the Right One In or is there anybody out there who may have been frightened away by the subtitles or art house style who might check them out now?

    Also, any way that anyone here will take a chance on something like Only Lovers Left Alive, or too far outside the genre?

    Please weigh in here about which of these movies you’ve seen and liked!

    • I’ve seen all of the films discussed with the exception of A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Nosferatu. I would score them as follows and I can comment on them, but a little later today. I would say that you guys sounded pretty harsh on Let Me In. I honestly didn’t think it was nearly as bad as you made it sound. It seemed quite great to me, but I’ll get into that later. I would also add that Oldboy is way better than Thirst, but alas, no time to get into it. Anyway…

      Let the Right One In – 10
      Let Me In – 9
      Thirst – 8
      Oldboy – 10
      Only Lovers Left Alive – 9
      Cronos – 8.5
      Shadow of the Vampire – 7

      • I just prefer vampire movies to gangster movies, but Oldboy is great. I think we all like Let Me In as well, but the original is just so much more complex and it’s already perfect without need of remake. Kind if how I felt about the Oldboy remake, actually. Good movie, just not the original. I’m most shocked about your Shadow of the Vampire score. Seeing Nosferatu would have to boost that rating. So, can you help me sell Only Lovers? I think I blew it.

    • Of the four featured films, I’ve seen GIRL and LET THE RIGHT ONE IN. I liked both about the same, which is to say I liked them both a lot. It’s been about five years since I last saw RIGHT ONE, so hesitate to rate it here. I recently shared my thoughts on GIRL here >> https://horrormoviepodcast.com/horror-movie-podcast-ep-049-spring-2015-and-psychomania-1973-and-dr-shocks-top-5-lionel-atwill-movies/#comment-14982

      I was close to see ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE a few months ago, but it ended up not happening (I think my wife and I decided to watch THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL that night, instead). I’m definitely interested, it’s just not high up on my list.

      THIRST is high up on my list, though. This one just wasn’t on my radar since I’m not a huge fan of vampires, but between your reviews and what I’ve read it seems so interesting.

      • Thanks, Dino. Interesting to hear where everyone is at with these films.

        Grand Budapest is probably the right mood to be in when you eventually watch Lovers.

        Loved your review of Girl, Dino. Everyone should read it.

        Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Thirst and Lovers once you see them.

    • Josh, I know you were fretting about this theme a little but I don’t know why. It was another HMP classic and a great counterpoint to the feral vamps episode. Great stuff.

      I’ve said it before but I don’t really prescribe to this “hardcore horror” thing. I tend to think this “average horror fan” so often mentioned is a bit of a myth. I’m glad you went ahead with this topic and I’d love to see more in this vein that help to illuminate how broad a scope the genre has. I’ve always maintained that given the choice between hearing about a great movie that contains even the smallest number of horror elements or a terrible movie that’s 100% unadulterated horror, I’d pick the former every time.

      And as for which of these movies I’ve seen, I’m ashamed to say that “Let the Right One In” is the only one and even that was years ago when a buddy put it on after a very long night at the pub. It’s desperately in need of a revisit.

      “Thirst” is one that I’d heard of a while ago from a friend but dismissed because, as previously mentioned, I’m not a huge Vampire fan. I have been loving the Korean movies I’ve seen recently though and your review has convinced me to give it a shot.

      I’ve not had a chance to check out “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” yet but I love the stylish look of it.

      “Only Lovers Left Alive” is definitely the least appealing of these films to me. I have a real problem when we’re given characters who are supposed to be totally cool and hipper than thou. I think those types of personalities are incredibly difficult to pull off without them seeming condescending, contrived or extremely cliché. They can seem like someone just went through a check-list of hip characteristics rather than actually writing a character. That’s the only thing putting me off though. I have nothing against Jim Jarmusch (except how creepily young he looks for a 60 year old) and if, as you mentioned, the film is somewhat self-aware of this kind of foible then I’m sure I can get past it.

  13. Just watched the George Romero documentary Document Of The Dead from 1985…It focuses mostly on Dawn Of The Dead but has some interesting stuff about Martin…Looking forward to your review Josh.. Martin is very unique…Always thought Vampire’s Kiss stole this concept…A fun observation…I’ve never seen so many cigarettes in a documentary before…

  14. Jay,
    Great reference with Toad the Wet Sprocket! They actually played at a fancy mall near me a couple years ago with ALL original members. They were awesome in concert.

  15. At the risk of Jay hating me even more (I am assuming he will hate Murder Party) I vote for both a comedy/horror and one for that which will not be mentioned. I saw all of them because I was dating someone who loved them and I really resented her for it until the last 30 minutes of the very last one which I have to admit was an awesome final scene. I do think they are very influential on the genre though (mostly for bad) and would be interested in hearing an informed defense of them.
    Anyway, as for this episodes theme I am actually not a huge Vampire fan in general but there are several I like a whole lot and most of them fall into this category. I have seen all reviewed here except ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone’ which I will be seeing (possibly tomorrow) as soon as I get a chance.
    Let the Right One In- 9
    Let Me In- 7 (probably higher if I hadn’t seen original)
    Thirst- 8
    Only Lovers- 8.5
    Nosferatu (Herzog)- 8.5
    Martin- 8
    Cronos- 9

    I am huge fan of Herzog and Jarmusch, they always hit the right tone for me. Cronos is fantastic and is Del Toro’s most underrated film. When you view it as a love story (not in THAT way) between a grandfather and granddaughter it is a beautiful film. Martin has flaws but I think that it also has perhaps the most interesting character in Romero’s history.
    As always a great job guys. And I think I am getting concerned for Wolfman Josh because I am agreeing with him an awful lot these days. I have always said that if anyone agrees with me all the time they are either a liar or insane, and I have no reason to believe Josh is lying so…

  16. Here’s the thing… I get that Jay doesn’t like Horror Comedies, and yet he gave Tremors a high rating and I seem to recall him praising Scream and a couple of other horror comedies… so my question is: What defines “Horror Comedy”? To be more specific…. Is it Splatstick that Jay doesn’t like? Is it parody horror? Satirical Horror? For me it often depends on the film and what the mix is attempting to accomplish- I think Leslie Vernon, Severence, and Shaun of the Dead are a great examples of satirical horror done well. While Idle Hands, Scary Movie, et al, aren’t.

    Regarding Art House Vampires: no mention of The Fearless Vampire Killers? For shame… and The Vampires Kiss is a definite must-see. Not a great film, but a standard all the same. The nineties were saturated with artsy vampire movies.

    • I tend to think of The Fearless Vampire Killers as a comedy, funnily enough. I had planned to bring it up on a future “Vampire Slayers” themed episode, but with all of the listeners here saying that they don’t like vamps as much as me, I may be putting that off for quite awhile.

    • Great questions about Jay’s definitions of horror comedy. Now, I think we’ll have to do this episode just so we can discuss it! In fact, your comment shows how much there is to discuss on an episode like this.

      • Very true. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of horror comedies (although I do like quite a few of them, like EVIL DEAD 2, FRIGHT NIGHT, ZOMBIELAND, and SHAUN OF THE DEAD, to name a few), but the topic of “what is a horror comedy” has come up a lot around the show. TUSK, for example, is a movie that could very easily be considered a horror comedy, but I wouldn’t consider it as such. redcapjack mentioned SCREAM as a horror comedy, which I absolutely would disagree with – I consider it to be a post-modern slasher with comedic/ironic moments that happen organically within the story.

        Point is, there is a lot of subjectivity involved in determining what qualifies as a horror comedy, and I think it would be an interesting topic to discuss.

        • There’s a lot of subjectivity when it comes to the emotional strings that are played in both the horror and comedy genres. I normally hate most comedy films that come out, yet when a film like the “Evil Dead” remake comes out I am laughing my rear end off in the theater because I have a very dark sense of humor. There are obviously moments where comedy is used for various effects in a horror film- tension breaker, luring the viewer into a false sense of security, discomfort, absurdity, etc. etc.. I’d love to see what movies would be chosen for such a “theme” episode. I’d love to see something along the lines of the Art House vampire where at least a few examples show where maybe the sub-sub-sub-genre doesn’t really work and examples where some of you guys thought it really does work.

          Wolfman, I also like vampire films. I actually look forward to the “vampire slayers” episode you’ve now teased because that’s probably going to be the one that I identify the most with. I love the Vampire Slayer story- even John Carpenter’s Vampires is one that holds a place in my heart. Not the best example, but definitely up there. On the other hand, I hated the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie (series was “okay” in my book, not great) and I love Fright Night. (The original, the remake was kinda’ “bleh” for me.) Another good subject to think about.

          • Excellent points about Horror Comedies Redcapjack!

            Josh, Juan and myself discussed this sub genre quite extensively in the comments to Movie Stream Cast Episode 47 (itself an episode covering the horror comedy “Tucker & Dale Vs Evil”).

            We concluded that a HMP episode with a horror comedy theme is pretty much essential. Even though I tend to be wary of horror comedies I think my reticence is due to some preconceived idea that any levity might undercut the tension/tone of a horror film. But when I think about it this view fails to acknowledge that such a juxtaposition might in fact cast the horror elements in such contrast as to emphasise the tension/tone.

            In the aforementioned MSC comments discussion I also considered what some other reason might be for the out-right reject of the sub-genre that we often see in the horror community: ‘“I don’t like comedy lightening the tone of my violence!” is a rather a strange viewpoint. But maybe it’s more the case that making light of violent acts could be perceived as irresponsible on the part of filmmaker and that they should ideally be portraying violence as a stark and disturbing feature of existence.’

            We also ended up listing some of our personal favourite movies that we considered horror comedies. Here’s my top 5:

            1. Return of the Living Dead
            2.The ‘Burbs
            3.Basket Case
            4. Tremors
            5. Slither

            I think the mere fact that Jay might be so reluctant to cover these types of movies on this podcast is alone enough impetus to warrant such an episode. Why is it such a divisive mix?

          • The Movie Stream Cast discussion David is referencing was a good one. If anyone is interested in checking it out, you can find it here >> http://www.moviestreamcast.com/movie-stream-cast-47-tucker-dale-vs-evil-2011/#comment-1006

            I actually think the comments for that show are a good read overall. The horror comedy discussion transitions to post-modern horror, which gets into film and art as a reflection of the current time and culture. Cool stuff.

            Following David’s lead (and for kicks), here is my “top horror comedies” list that I posted over there:

            1. ZOMBIELAND (2009)
            2. THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985)
            3. TREMORS (1990)
            4. GREMLINS (1984)
            5. FRIGHT NIGHT (1985 & 2011)
            6. GHOSTBUSTERS (1984)
            7. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)
            8. EVIL DEAD 2 (1987)
            9. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981)
            10. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (2012)

            I should probably note that I don’t consider SCREAM to be horror/comedy, which is why it doesn’t appear on this list. Also, if I were to make one change, it would be to slide GREMLINS down to 9th after “WEREWOLF.”

  17. Gentlemen ~ Great episode. One of favorite in awhile. Nice topic selection Wolfman Josh! We gave you guys a shout out on our podcast, because I liked the episode so much.

    Slasher Matt

  18. Another great episode guys. Some of the elements discussed in the episode made me think of the John Landis film “Innocent Blood”. Certainly not Art House, not particularly good, and I’m sure Jay would hate it as it’s played for laughs. But I’d be curious to hear what Josh thinks about it – particularly in terms of a follow-up to the great “An American Werewolf in London”. The image of Don Rickles as vampire is particularly memorable.

  19. still listenin to this episode, (just got home a bit behind) and I have one comment so far . NO TWILIGHT! that is all 😀

  20. I gotta say regarding horror comedies, I do like a lot. Tremors, Slither, and if we’re talkin vampires then we can’t leave out Dracula Dead and Loving It. I’m just a film fanatic and love a good comedy or action as much as some horror films. That being said I can understand where Jays coming from. I likevampire movies but only LOVE them when they stick to the vampire rules and do it well. When they change the rules (sparkling in sun….) for the sake of saying something different about vampires is just kind of… Meh. That’s why I love Fright Night so sooooo much is because it has all the rules and does it wonderfully. I don’t know if I’m explaining my position well, but what I’m trying to say is after every other movie tries to say “well that’s the legend but the truth is…” Just leaves me wishing to see the crucifix fearing, easily sun burning, pure evil that a vampire is. Maybe it’s my love of Lugosis Dracula and even Gary Oldmans Dracula. As far as Twilight I’ll just skip that one personally if yall choose to cover it. I heard enough about those movies when they were still coming out. Kind of like this, I love Disney and would like to see Frozen, but that’s all I’ve heard about to the point that I don’t even want to hear the title anymore. I agree please at least do A Nightmare On Elm Street loooong before even considering Twilight. How bout an episode covering more child friendly horror? Would love to hear about The Monster Squad, and of course Monster House.

    • I hope I’m not speaking out of turn, but we are planning on covering nightmare on Elm Street at Halloween. Might be fun to do a kids horror episode around that time as well. Like your suggestion. Also have a Fright Night “versus” episode coming up. I really am pushing for the sparkling vamps, though. Sorry. It will be fun, I promise.

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