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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.

Prior Podcast Episodes:    

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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 265 - New Year's Resolution Bucket List

New Year's resolutions are a big thing for folks. Some want to lose weight, find a spouse, get a new job, work towards completing something; others have goals that they strive for. Co-host Mike said that there are a lot of genre films he hasn't seen that he wants to get to, so as a New Year's resolution, why not ask all the co-hosts to see some film they always wanted to see and then discuss. So each co-host chose a genre movie that they had never seen and decided to watch it and give their opinions.

Films we discuss are The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), The Quatermass Xperiment, Nosferatu (1922), Kwaidan (1964), and Mario Bava's Black Sabbath. A listener of the show, Chris Genro, also gives his opinion on a film he had always wanted to see but never had, the 1970's backwoods horror film Rituals.

Also discussed is a top ten list by Patrick Lacey on some of the best films released to disc in 2016 as well as his review of the new Vinegar Syndrome release of the holiday horror flick, Jack Frost. Also, actor Aston Elliot is brought on to discuss his role in the genre flick Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla and other films he has done in the Australian movie scene. Welcome 2017 and Happy New Year to all.

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Episode 264 - All Through the House (2016)

There have been a lot of really good low budget or independent horror films over the last few years. The Dark Discussions Podcast seems to review many, most being arthouse or foreign. But for every arthouse horror film, there are a bunch of zombie, monster, or slasher films that appear on VOD as well. One of them, the Christmas themed slasher All Through the House, has rose to the surface with a very well made trailer and a fantastic marketing campaign. If you want to get the word out about a film, these folks know how.

Years ago, a quiet neighborhood is struck with the disappearance of Jamie Garrett, a five year old little girl. Fifteen years later, next door neighbor Rachel, comes home from college for the holidays, reconnecting with her friends, an ex-boyfriend, and the mother of the missing girl. As she and her two friends help bring down Christmas ornaments from Mrs. Garrett's attic, a masked killer dressed as Santa Claus begins to hunt down college coeds leaving a trail of dead bodies.

Released to festivals in 2015, All Through the House made its debut in quarter four of 2016, perfect timing for a Christmas horror themed movie. The film is written and directed by newcomer Todd Nunes and stars a bevy of bountiful beauties including lead actress Ashley Mary Nunes (sister to the director). Dark Discussions takes a look at this new slasher film and give their thoughts on whether it is a worthy throwback to the 1980's or not.

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Episode 263 - The Windmill (2016)

Back in 2013, the found footage horror film, Frankenstein's Army, received a lot of buzz. With its interesting setting during World War II and a Soviet taskforce taking a Nazi bunker in Eastern Europe, the film was a fresh take on an overused filming technique. Its wonderful special effects were praised by many. The producer of that film, Nick Jongerius, teams up with the screenwriter, Chris Mitchell, in his feature length debut as a director for the newly released The Windmill.

When a group of tourists visit the nation of the Netherlands, they all take a bus tour out to the rural section of the country to visit and tour the windmills most famous structure, windmills. Unfortunately the tour bus breaks down leaving them stranded. As the hours pass, they discover an abandoned windmill. Taking it upon themselves, they trek over to the structure hoping to find either a phone or a vehicle that could return them to Amsterdam.

During its festival run, the film was actually titled The Windmill Massacre. However, this English language yet foreign made film was retitled and given a proper VOD release near Halloween. Starring Noah Taylor and a group of unknowns, the film takes an interesting approach to the slasher movie. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new release.

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Episode 262 - Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla (2016)

The film had fantastic "daily's", or scenes shot for an unfinished film. Harvey Weinstein thought so too, so he bought the US film rights to the film Snowpiercer, by Korean director Joon-ho Bong. But when he saw the final product, he asked for some changes. His impression was that it was more an arthouse science fiction film than he had thought. Bong refused, so the film sat on the shelve for months before Weinstein dropped it on his smaller distributor for a quick release to salvage some of his money. Either way, the film received glorious reviews from critics.

When the world tries a scientific fix to global warming, everything goes to hell. The world turns into an ice planet and the remaining survivors live on a train that circles the globe. Unfortunately, a class system ensues and for the last 18 years, the poor that live at the back of the train have had enough. With horrible living conditions, they attempt a revolt where they plan to not only head through the train cars, but they also plan to take over the train itself from the elites.

Some have called the film quite a ride. With its bizarre story, strangely unique look scene to scene, and its international cast, the film may not quite gel for some, but it surely is something to behold. Dark Discussions takes a look at this interesting film and gives both their review and their opinion of what the film was trying to say.

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Episode 261 - Snowpiercer (2014)

The film had fantastic "daily's", or scenes shot for an unfinished film. Harvey Weinstein thought so too, so he bought the US film rights to the film Snowpiercer, by Korean director Joon-ho Bong. But when he saw the final product, he asked for some changes. His impression was that it was more an arthouse science fiction film than he had thought. Bong refused, so the film sat on the shelve for months before Weinstein dropped it on his smaller distributor for a quick release to salvage some of his money. Either way, the film received glorious reviews from critics.

When the world tries a scientific fix to global warming, everything goes to hell. The world turns into an ice planet and the remaining survivors live on a train that circles the globe. Unfortunately, a class system ensues and for the last 18 years, the poor that live at the back of the train have had enough. With horrible living conditions, they attempt a revolt where they plan to not only head through the train cars, but they also plan to take over the train itself from the elites.

Some have called the film quite a ride. With its bizarre story, strangely unique look scene to scene, and its international cast, the film may not quite gel for some, but it surely is something to behold. Dark Discussions takes a look at this interesting film and gives both their review and their opinion of what the film was trying to say.

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Episode 260 - Recovery (2016)

Social media has become the main communication method for many people, especially the younger folk known as the millenials. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among many other online tools have become online meeting grounds. Posts filled with pictures and updates about one's life can include mundane things as a day at the park all the way to a high school graduation bash. The new 2016 film, Recovery, uses as the subtext to its tale social media, cell phones, and this new way of connecting.

Jessie is graduating from high school. When she attends her boyfriend's graduation bash, she sees him making out with another girl. As she is about to confront him, another girl, Kim, tells her its not worth it since the same girl broke up her relationship too. Two girls scorned decide to head off to a downtown techno club. Unfortunately, Jessie loses her cell phone but her brother Miles has a recovery app that allows him to trace where her phone may be. Unfortunately for Jessie and her friends, where they head to find the mobile phone may be a place of nightmares.

Starring newcomer Kirby Bliss Blanton (who already has received rave reviews for her turn in the 2016 horror film Tell Me How I Die and Eli Roth's Green Inferno) and Rachel DiPillo (tv star of Chicago Med) lead a likeable cast who give depth to what could have been generic characters. Released to VOD on November 11th, 2016, Dark Discussions takes a look at this new horror movie.

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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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Episode 257 - The Howling (1981)

It's basically a running joke with vampires and zombies. Almost every other horror film or television show seems to have them in it. Yet werewolves, probably one of the most popular horror monsters of all time seems to be overlooked. Yet there are a few classic horror films starring them. The Universal monster films are some. American Werewolf in London is considered a classic. Even Emily Blunt starred in the remake Wolfman a few years back. But also, Joe Dante arguably may have made the best one of them all. The Howling, now thirty-five years old, is considered a horror classic.

News anchorwoman Karen White is covering a story about a serial killer known only as Eddie. When she is contacted by him to meet up in the red light district of Los Angeles, a police shootout occurs leaving Eddie dead and Karen in psychological turmoil. Dr. George Waggoner has Karen and her husband head to his retreat to recoup from her shock. Soon, however, things turn bizarre as their marriage becomes strained and the community around them begins to show signs of eccentricity.

Released in 1981, and based on the best selling novel by Gary Brandner, the film made Dee Wallace a top horror screamqueen and broke out Joe Dante as one of the era's top genre directors. With master Rick Baker as a consultant on the film and Rob Bottin doing the work, the movie is considered one of horror's groundbreaking films for special effects. Dark Discussions does a critique of the film and talks all things werewolves.

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Episode 256 - The Secrets of Emily Blair (2016)

Many folks of note have come through Roger Corman's various film companies. Some of the bigger names are Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, and Jonathan Demme. Other folks of note include Bill Paxton and Joe Dante. Joe Genier is another and this year his production company released a film directed by him called The Secrets of Emily Blair. Appearing on Netflix, the film immediately was pushed hard by the VOD service and soon a positive buzz followed making the film be considered by many a hidden gem.

Emily Blair (played by Ellen Hollman) is a well respected RN at a hospital who's life seems to be perfect. Over the weekend she became engaged to her boyfriend and everything seems like it can't get any better. However, during a strange encounter with an ER patient, things begin to unravel and soon those around her may begin to have to worry about their life.

With exorcism films being some of the most beloved subgenres of horror films, this new take adds a bit of originality to the topic while paying homage to some of the more popular movies. Ellen Hollman, known for her work on Spartacus, brings a remarkable performance to a woman that has become possessed. Dark Discussions takes a look at this new film and gives their opinion.

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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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