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This Week's Podcast:    

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Episode 251 - The Wailing (2016)

Demon possession, witches, ghosts, or what could be a biological infection that turns people into mindless zombies. That's what you may ... or may not get from the new South Korean horror film, The Wailing. The movie was written and directed by the genre favorite Hong-jin Na, who's serial killer film, The Chaser, received rave reviews and attracted an international audience. However, The Wailing seems to even top that where it has received a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from English language reviewers.

In the small, rural, mountain community of Goksung, a wandering foreigner of Japanese decent arrives and sets up home out in the woods. Soon villagers begin to go insane, come down with a grotesque rash, and begin to murder people including their own family members. Local constable, officer Jong-goo, probes the deaths and soon his investigation leads back to a woman dressed in white. What appears to be random crimes, soon begins to follow a bizarre pattern.

The Wailing could be called an art house horror film. With its long running time (almost three hours), its slow pace, and its peculiar mystery, the film would not seem to be for the typical horror fan. Yet being well made and delivering chills at the right moment, the movie has won over many folks besides the critics. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new Korean horror film and gives their opinion.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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Episode 250 - Alfred Hitchcock Focus: 1960's Psycho

A definition of a phenomena. Well, Psycho, the 1960 film by Alfred Hitchcock would qualify. Based on the novel by H.P. Lovecraft's friend, Robert Bloch, the book was brought to the attention of the famous director. Eventually Joseph Stefano, known soon as a producer/writer for the Outer Limits, was hired to write the film adaption. Soon stars such as Anthony Perkins and Janet Leigh were cast. And unlike Hitchcock's recent films of the time, Psycho was a low budget affair, using a television crew for filming.

The story is about a young woman named Marion Crane who is in a passionate affair with a small business owner. Unable to pay his bills, she steals $40,000 from her employer and is off and running to bring him the money. When a rainstorm causes her to spend the night at a small motel, the proprietor of the establishment, Norman Bates, has small talk with her which gives her the strength to correct her mistakes to head back to her home and return the money. While staying the night at the motel, things change unexpectedly which results in one of the most iconic scenes in cinema history.

Dark Discussions has hit another milestone. Their 250th episode! As has happened in the past, we have critiqued a great genre classic every 50th episode, deciding upon the amazing spectacle known as Psycho this time. With its mystique as the first slasher film, and most certainly one of the best films in movie history (no matter the genre), Alfred Hitchcock's amazing piece of celluloid gives your co-hosts a fine topic for such an important highlight.

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Episode 249 - Don't Breathe (2016)

With the financial success of the Evil Dead remake, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert's Ghost House Pictures brought on that film's director, Fede Alvarez, to do another film. Along with screenwriter Rodo Sayagues, the two wrote an original story this time around entitled Don't Breathe, a new home invasion tale with a couple of new twists.

Three twenty-somethings are robbers in the greater Detroit area. Alex's father owns a security company so he's able to access the customer's home alarms. When the three are told about a blind veteran who happened to recently win a huge settlement in the wrongful death of his daughter, Alex discovers the man is one of his father's customers. With alarms disabled, the three head over to rob what appears to be an easy score.

Receiving fantastic reviews on its festival run, the film immediately struck gold at the box office and grossed more money its first two weeks during its theater run than any other feature. Dark Discussions heads to the theater and gives their take on Fede Alvarez's new flick.

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Episode 248 - Killer Fish Fest - Piranha 3D (2010) and Piranha (1978)

The 1950's was arguably the golden age of science fiction. Movies, books, comics, and cover art seemed to be part of the era's zeitgiest. James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff opened up American International Pictures which became one of the leaders in science fiction cinema. They were also the folks that discovered such talents as Roger Corman. In 1955, the film, The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues, was the second feature on a dual bill with Roger Corman's Day the World Ended.

When the bodies of fishermen and beachgoers begin to wash ashore, a motley group of folks take notice. A college professor, a scientist, a government agent, and a foreign spy all coalesce upon this small tourist village. What they discover is uranium ore has breached the ocean's floor causing havoc to the townsfolk. Yet, as everyone digs further into the matter, they soon discover that a more ominous presence may be living within the depths of the ocean.

With the threat of the Cold War, nuclear annihilation, and dangers from foreign shores, many science fiction films of the era played into these fears. The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues was no exception. One of the lesser known films of the era, yet having a small but strong cult following, the film has recently been rediscovered with its blu-ray release. Part 4 of 5 episodes of our Killer Fish Fest month, Dark Discussions takes a look at this film from our grandparents' generation.

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Episode 247 - Killer Fish Fest - 1955's The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues

The 1950's was arguably the golden age of science fiction. Movies, books, comics, and cover art seemed to be part of the era's zeitgiest. James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff opened up American International Pictures which became one of the leaders in science fiction cinema. They were also the folks that discovered such talents as Roger Corman. In 1955, the film, The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues, was the second feature on a dual bill with Roger Corman's Day the World Ended.

When the bodies of fishermen and beachgoers begin to wash ashore, a motley group of folks take notice. A college professor, a scientist, a government agent, and a foreign spy all coalesce upon this small tourist village. What they discover is uranium ore has breached the ocean's floor causing havoc to the townsfolk. Yet, as everyone digs further into the matter, they soon discover that a more ominous presence may be living within the depths of the ocean.

With the threat of the Cold War, nuclear annihilation, and dangers from foreign shores, many science fiction films of the era played into these fears. The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues was no exception. One of the lesser known films of the era, yet having a small but strong cult following, the film has recently been rediscovered with its blu-ray release. Part 4 of 5 episodes of our Killer Fish Fest month, Dark Discussions takes a look at this film from our grandparents' generation.

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Episode 246 - Killer Fish Fest - 2012's El Monstro Del Mar!

B-films have turned out to be pretty influential throughout the years. Most were made on shoe string budgets or were about topics that many folks considered nothing more than pulp. However over the years, a lot have been re-evaluated or even become classics. Very recently new filmmakers have paid tribute to the monster movies or roughies of yesteryear. In 2012, an Australian film entitled El Monstro Del Mar did just that and attracted notice from such media as Fangoria magazine.

When three femme fatales come roaring into a small ocean village, they bring with them a big city attitude that a small town would consider alien. Hannah, a local girl, becomes intrigued by their free spirited mind-set. However, her grandfather begins to worry that the strangers' flamboyant ways could awaken the town's past. A past that was filled with bloodshed brought on by a supernatural being.

With its three lead characters quite like those from the Russ Meyer classic, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, and having a sea monster reminiscent of the beasts from 1950's science fiction horror films, El Monstro Del Mar is a mash up of two much loved genres. Director and writer, Stuart Simpson, leads a group of new, young filmmakers coming from Australia. Part of Dark Discussions Killer Fish Fest for the month of August, we review and critique and give our opinions.

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Episode 221 - Dan Lench Focus: 2015's Circle (Redux)

Back in November of 2015, co-host Philip discovered a new video-on-demand science fiction film entitled Circle had been released. After recommending it to co-host Eric, the two convinced the crew to do an episode on this little film that had to say a lot.  It talks about society, social structure, and the human psyche in, if not an original way, a very unique way. A group of strangers find themselves locked away in a dark room with each standing on a orange-red circle upon the floor. Get off, you die. But more horrific, every two minutes you have to vote a person to die; if you don't, someone randomly dies a horrifying death. The film asks, what would you do?

With episode 209 of Dark Discussions released, actor Dan Lench, playing the oddly titled character Rich Man, heard the episode and not only gave feedback but twittered the link to the show to his followers. Soon, his agent, Lisa Berman, did the same. Dark Discussions reached out to Dan and asked him to appear on the show so we could not only learn about him, but for him to give us his comments about the film as well as give us more details on its production.

Things learned include behind-the-scenes facts such as how the soundstage was made, its location was in the same building as a Chinese laundry, an actor on the final day (having been on the Broadway stage production of the Lion King) sang a magical song, how parts were cast, and how Dan himself almost lost his role to the biggest star of the film! Get ready for a unique episode of the podcast and meet the great, funny, and talented Mr. Dan Lench.

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Episode 214 - 2016 Genre Review

Okay, a new year has arrived and now being mid-January, the first genre films have reached theaters and VOD. Films like Body, The Forest, and The Boy have had their January release. Yet going forward, more films are already on their way including some big budget flicks, independent cinema, as well as festival films that are now making it to wide release.

Do you like super heroes? Well some humongous films (both DC and Marvel) are coming. Zack Snyder's Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil Wars, Doctor Strange, Deadpool, and Suicide Squad are only a handful. Sequels and reboots? How about Star Wars: Rogue One, The Conjuring 2, Independence Day: Resurgence, Godzilla: Resurgence, and Annabelle 2 to name a few. New festival circuit horror? Films like Vvitch, February, and the Devil's Candy are coming. And intense thrillers? They include Triple 9, The Green Room, and Jack Reacher 2.

As co-host Mike has said, many of the best films to come we may not even know yet. Independent flicks, low budget horror, and foreign films just appear on VOD or theaters and overwhelm everyone. What is the next Ex Machina, These Final Hours, or It Follows? Dark Discussions tries to figure out all this while giving their thoughts on what we know. Get a pen and paper ready and start writing down the titles we go through.

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Episode 213 - 2015 Year in Review

2015 is over and depending on your viewpoint with horror and genre films, it was a great year or a good year. It certainly wasn't a bad year. Films, with their variety, seemed to have something for everyone. We got disaster movies like San Andreas, post-apocalyptic films too, many being low budget like Z for Zachariah and These Final Hours, to big budget ones like Mad Max: Fury Road. Strong as always, the non-horror genre flicks such as science fiction, fantasy, and so forth were dominated by Hollywood while horror, as in recent years, has been more small budget and independent flicks, even with M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit.

Dark Discussions co-hosts saw numerous films with co-host Mike probably able to see the most. With seeing so many flicks, your co-hosts were able to compile their top 24 horror films of 2016 and their top 11 2016 other genre flicks (sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, mystery, exploitation, action). No matter what list we discuss, there were some obvious choices that appeared such as Star Wars, Mad Max, Jurassic World, It Follows, and The Martian. Some surprises too made the top of the lists including low profile flicks like Bone Tomahawk, Creep, Zombeavers, and Predestination. But some of the littlest of films roared to the top too, like Ex Machina or The Gift.

Other things discussed include a whole group of listener opinions, their top films, and what they thought of 2016. And your co-hosts also discuss some of the most prominent and successful scenes, characters, and stars from both the best and worst. What a year it was and with so many films to consider, listen up and see what the podcast has to say.

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