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Episode 281 - Peelers (2017)

Canada seems to be putting out a lot of films nowadays, including genre flicks, and that’s not including the American productions filmed in Canada due to tax breaks. No, Canada is becoming a solid and consistent nation of movies and horror films like Girlhouse, Bio Slime, The Editor, American Mary, and Altitude are just a few. Peelers, a new take on zombies, joins the ranks.

As a local mining conglomerate begins to buy out local businesses of a small town, the local stripclub, that used to bring in the locals, is on hard times. Blue Jean, the owner, decides to sell out and move on. But on closing night, a group of miners come in to celebrate one of their birthdays only to also bring with them an infection that may turn an already somber night into hell.

This new VOD horror film was directed by Sevé Schelenze and written by Lisa DeVita, both fairly new to genre fans. Starring a small cast including newcomer Wren Walker as Blue Jean in a very solid performance, the film in ways refreshes the “infected person” movie with its interesting take on the cause. Dark Discussions takes a look at the new feature and gives their opinion.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 280 - Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Ghost in the Shell has made a huge impression on pop culture. First arriving as a manga and then the anime film all nearly 30 years ago, this cyberpunk franchise has if not a huge international following, most certainly a huge cult following. After a few years in pre-production, Hollywood was able to release the big budget spectacle Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson, one of today’s biggest starlets.

In the not too distant future, a group called Section 9, part of an international government, works to stop crime. A newer agent, simply called The Major, is a cybernetic creation, mostly robot, who is on a mission with the organization to stop a terrorist who seems to be after the company that created The Major. As Section 9 gets closer to finding the perpetrator, The Major begins to unravel a truth that is much bigger than the acts of a terrorist. It may include even herself and her very origins.

Directed by Rupert Sanders, the film also stars genre favorite actors Takeshi Kitano, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbaek, and Juliette Binoche. One of the screenwriters even wrote the adaption of another English language version of a Japanese film (The Ring). Dark Discussions takes a look at the film, the source material, the controversy of the casting, and also a bit about cyberpunk in film and literature.

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Episode 279 - Life (2017)

It’s not often you see two of the hottest actors together. But the new film, Life, does that. With the star power of Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gylenhaal, the film seems carries that matinee idol headliner that many producers are looking for. Also starring genre favorites Rebecca Ferguson and Hiroyuki Sanada, Life was destined to attract both regular audiences as well as horror and science fiction fans.

When an international space station orbiting earth retrieves a returning probe from Mars, they discover life. A one cell dormant creature is brought on board and experimented on. Back on Earth, the news is groundbreaking. Soon the crew is able to revive the little creature and begin to watch it split into further cells. When a malfunction on the station seems to kill the alien, one of the scientists decides to follow normal procedure to save the entity, but something soon goes wrong.

Not since Gravity has a fairly large budget science fiction thriller come to the big screen. With its incredible special effects and fantastic cast, the film received buzz for months prior to its release. Though not a huge success, the film has pulled in generally decent reviews and earned its budget back. Dark Discussion takes a look at the latest science fiction horror film to hit cinemas and gives their opinion.

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Episode 278 - The Belko Experiment

Last year Greg McLean, the man behind Wolf Creek, directed a supernatural horror film The Darkness that received lukewarm reviews. Some wondered what happened. But when he met with James Gunn, the man behind Guardians of the Galaxy and Slither, to direct one of his scripts entitled The Belko Experiment, the film was green-lit and was released in early 2017 to fairly positive reviews.

An American company opens an office up outside of Bogota, Columbia. The high rise is out in the middle of nowhere but happens to be a state of the art building. One day while at work, soldiers begin to check folks at the perimeter of the premise. Soon local employees are sent home without any reason. And then a mysterious message is broadcast on the intercom that begins a day that everyone wishes never happened.

Two giants of genre cinema come together and brink a kinetic and in some ways violent psychological thriller that brings to mind as many diverse movies as Battle Royale, Circle, and 13 Sins. With its bloody set pieces, the film was in many ways going to draw only hardcore horror fans. But is the film any good? Would thriller fans be okay with it? And should it be a film seen on the big screen. Dark Discussions takes a look.

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Episode 277 - Kong: Skull Island

Over 85 years ago, director Merian C. Cooper with one of the biggest authors of all time, Edgar Wallace, came up with the idea of King Kong, a giant ape like monster on an island isolated from time entitled Skull Island. That movie, 1933’s King Kong, with its fantastic special effects, became a sensation and one of the greatest movies of all time. As it goes, Hollywood and even Japanese cinema, took the monster and made remakes and spinoffs about this giant ape creature. With the reboot of Godzilla, Legendary Pictures have continued the trend with the new movie, Kong: Skull Island.

Government agent, Bill Randa, forms a party of military men, trackers, a photographer, and scientists to head an expedition to the remote and uncharted island, Skull Island, under the ruse to map its land. However, while there, they get attacked by the giant ape, King Kong, and are forced to survive the wilds of the monster-filled land. The catch is, they only have a few days before their naval vessel leaves. Coincidence?

The film was directed by unknown Jordan Vogt-Roberts from a screenplay headed by director/writer Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler). Not leaving any stones unturned, the production includes an all-star cast including Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly. Can the incredible special effects and splendid cast make this film better than the fairly uninspired Godzilla reboot? Dark Discussions gives their opinion.

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Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews Volume 003

Welcome to the newest edition of Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews – a podcast that reviews and critiques films released by boutique labels that have taken old and sometimes forgotten midnight movies and re-releases them in special editions where the quality of the picture is fully remastered, usually from onetime lost or privately owned negatives or prints.

A wide variety of cult films are reviewed in this edition of the podcast including films that try to follow in the footsteps of more widely known movies like Last House on the Left and The Exorcist. Also, an interesting Blaxploitation film from a director more known for his horror thrillers. Another is by a one time director that has lived a very interesting life. And another that is so surreal, the film can be consider “weird cinema” even more so than arthouse.

This edition co-host Philip of the Dark Discussions Podcast critiques five films: Arrow’s newly released Mexican horror film, We Are the Flesh; Code Red’s remastering of director Lee Frost’s Black Gestapo; Blue Underground’s blu-ray release of the 1975 Italian horror film, Night Train Murders; Severin’s release of the Italian possession film, Malabimba the Malicious Whore; and both versions of Don’t Answer the Phone (released early 2017 by Vinegar Syndrome and prior by Scorpion Releasing).

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Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews Volume 002

Presented by Dark Discussions Podcast is the new monthly Halloween Boutique: A Psychotronic Review podcast where co-host Phil reviews his various special edition blu-rays and DVD's from boutique companies such as Mondo Macabro, Severin Films, Synapse Films, Redemption Video, Code Red, Arrow Video, and all the rest.

What's the purpose? Well, co-host Phil figured that if he purchased a special edition of a cult or horror film home release with extras and remastering of the motion picture, why not give his 15 minute opinion of each film right after he watches them. Similar to the Dark Discussions Terror Tantrum segment by Patrick Lacey or the Bloody Bits podcast by Jason Lloyd of Horrorphilia, Halloween Boutique takes some of the recent releases and obscure titles and goes into the background of the movie, how is the film itself, what the presentation and remastering is, and discussion on the extras upon each disc.

This second edition of the podcast includes reviews of Russ Meyer's 1965 film Motorpsycho, Mondo Macabro's release of the 1984 slasher Don't Open Til Christmas, Vinegar Syndrome's disc of the mashup 1982 film Raw Force, the 1969 Radley Metzger epic Camille 2000 (released by Cult Epics), Redemption's definitive release of Jess Franco's 1973 The Demons, and the Blue Underground disc of the Italian giallo Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye.

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Episode 267 - 2016 Year in Review

Another year passes and Dark Discussions podcast looks back at genre films of 2016. Five co-hosts, five individual lists, and one master definitive list of the best horror films of the year. We go through over 70 films and choose what we each thought were the best horror films released and then put together one final list removing any outliers. Obvious higher profile films like The Conjuring 2 or Blair Witch were considered but also critical darlings such as The Wailing and The Witch.

Also discussed were the best various subgenres of pulp films. We put together another definitive list of the best "other" genre films – those being science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and the rest. Again obvious titles like Star Wars Rogue One and The Arrival are discussed but also The Girl on the Train and Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla are considered too.

Lastly we have our choices of the highlights (and lows) of the year including best performances, breakout stars, and goats of the year. And we include lists from some of our listeners. Where do they stand compared to the movies that Dark Discussions think were essential to genre viewing for 2016?

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Episode 266 - 2017 Genre Preview

With January 2017 underway, it is time to visit what is coming this year to cinemas, video-on-demand platforms, as well as those genre films that are going straight to disc. Last year, horror seemed to dominate genre and there were a lot of great flicks. This year once again there seems to be a lot of great ones coming. Plus also more superhero flicks. Reboots and remakes and sequels are also arriving too.

Dark Discussions once again is back with their look forward to the new year and which films seem to interest them most. Some of the more high profile flicks spoken of include Kong: Skull Island, War of the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Alien Covenant, the latest Thor film, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. For straight horror, A Cure For Wellness is probably one of the more high profile flicks coming.

Some lower profile flicks talked about include Arbor Demon, The Dark Tapes, Personal Shopper, Dangerous People, Space Babes From Outer Space, Sky Sharks, and Safe Neighborhood. And then at the very end we list off other films and talk about some of the latest news about movies and genre cinema.

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Volume 001 - Halloween Boutique Psychotronic Reviews

Presented by Dark Discussions Podcast is the new monthly Halloween Boutique: A Psychotronic Review podcast where co-host Phil reviews his various special edition blu-rays and DVD's from boutique companies such as Mondo Macabro, Severin Films, Synapse Films, Redemption Video, Code Red, Arrow Video, and all the rest.

What's the purpose? Well, co-host Phil figured that if he purchased a special edition of a cult or horror film home release with extras and remastering of the motion picture, why not give his 15 minute opinion of each film right after he watches them. Similar to the Dark Discussions Terror Tantrum segment by Patrick Lacey or the Bloody Bits podcast by Jason Lloyd of Horrorphilia, Halloween Boutique takes some of the recent releases and obscure titles and goes into the background of the movie, how is the film itself, what the presentation and remastering is, and discussion on the extras upon each disc.

This first edition of the podcast includes reviews of Redemption's 1978 English slasher, Killer's Moon, the Indonesian cult classic Lady Terminator, Mondo Macabro's definitive edition of director Jess Franco's Sinner: Diary of a Nymphomaniac, Severin Film's special edition of director Jess Franco's She Killed in Ecstasy, and Arrow Video's release of director Walerian Borowczyk's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne. Included is Patrick Lacey in a new Terror Tantrum discussing the Vinegar Syndrome release of the monster flick Hobgoblins.

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Episode 259 - Patient Seven (The Critique)

Last week Dark Discussions interviewed director Danny Draven and actor Dan Lench of the movie Patient Seven. We learned a bit about the horror anthology and how the various shorts were award winning movies from the convention circuit. After being scooped up by the producers, a wraparound story was built around these films creating a cohesive movie.

A highly renowned doctor comes to a sanitarium to interview seven patients for a new book he is planning. Each patient is a very unique behavioral health case. As the psychiatrist's unconventional techniques become known, the orderlies become concerned and the patients become more enraged. Yet there may be a truth behind each patient's tale that not even a sanitarium can keep hidden.

Patient Seven encompasses seven award winning shorts with an eighth wraparound story that ties it all together. Zombies, vampires, serial killers, ghosts, demons, and murder fill out the almost two hour runtime. With its great score, its dark tone, and each tales unique twists, the movie has been getting rave reviews and has been considered one of the best horror anthologies to come along in some time. Dark Discussions does their critique and review of this new film.

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Episode 258 - Patient Seven (The Interviews)

Horror anthologies seem to be films that horror fans either love or hate. Many can be disjointed, have too many tonal shifts, or simply aren't any good. But there has been a huge resurgence of them recently led by such films as The ABC's of Death and V/H/S. A new film entitled Patient Seven suddenly appeared on VOD services and quickly became one of the top horror movies rented and viewed on such places as iTunes.

With seven individual stories with an eighth story as the wraparound tale, the film is quite lengthy and yet flows pretty smoothly. The cast includes some fairly well known folks including Alfie Allen (of Game of Thrones), actress Amy Smart, and genre favorite Michael Ironsides.

Additionally, the movie has actor Dan Lench, a star of last year's science fiction film, Circle, playing a pivotal role that is completely different than anything he's played before. Along with Dan Lench, Dark Discussions interviews one of the directors, Danny Draven, who also edited and put together the upcoming disc release. Get ready for part one of our two part episode of Patient Seven. This episode focuses on the people that worked on the film.

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