To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast Transcript Episode 5

Oops! It would appear I forgot to post the transcript for this episode!

The To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast Episode 5

Good evening, horror lovers, this is Justin McNamara and is like to welcome you to my 5th episode of The To Watch Pile After Dark, where I’ll be looking at my 47th favourite horror movie of all time.

They say that New York Pizzas are the best in the world, and what better way to celebrate the Italian influence in New York then with this film…

(Trailer)

The New York Ripper, known in Italian, and you’ll have to excuse my horrendous attempt at the language, as Lo squartatore di New York tells of grizzled New York policed officer Lieutenant Fred Williams (Jack Hedley) who is in the midst of investigating two murders, one involving the hand of a prostitute found in a park and the other of the murder of a cyclist on a ferry. These murders have two things in common: the victims were beautiful women and witnesses claim the murderer sounded like a duck.

Williams talks to the pathologist, Barry Jones (Giodarno Falzoni) and discovers that there was a murder with similar circumstances the previous month, which leads him to one conclusion: there is a serial killer in New York!

At a press conference he announces his idea but is warned by the police commissioner (Lucio Fulci) that to avoid a city-wide panic, he should avoid further press announcements. He is told that whilst he was at the press conference, a man with ‘a voice like a duck’ had called him.

The man with a voice like a duck continues his campaign of murder, but also terrorises Williams with a series of phone calls and even murders his frequently visited prostitute, Kitty (Daniela Doria) meanwhile, we, the viewers, are subjected to several red herrings and examples of just how sleazy 80s New York was,..

The New York Ripper was directed by Italian horror legend Lucio Fulci, who, after several zombie films, decided to take on a human killer in a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock. Whilst it’s probably not very Hitchcock, it does make an attempt at a New York styled hard-boiled detective story… even emulating the sexism of those pulp stories, though THIS story might seem excessively anti-women, in actual fact, Dardano Sarchetti, co-writer of this film, claimed that all the violence towards women in the tale came from Fulci, himself.

Antonella Fulci, Lucia’s daughter, has claimed that this to be untrue, siting that the killer in this film doesn’t hate women, he hates beauty and his madness has led him to murder only those that are beautiful.

As I researched this film, using everything from Wikipedia to my many horror film related books, I discovered that a film that is so repeatedly described as ‘nasty’, ‘misogynistic’ and ‘excessively violent towards women’ wasn’t one of Britain’s so-called ‘Video Nasties’. Upon further investigation, legend says that it was rejected by the BBFC and director James Fermann demanded it be immediately exported back to the rights-holder in Italy so neither the distributor or the BBFC themselves could be charged with having banned material. Honestly I reckon that sounds like one of those stories that makes the film sound bad and that’s used to expand its notoriety so it becomes the sweetest of forbidden fruit.

As a teen I worked in a video shop on Sunday afternoons, and Fulci’s heavily edited films were always on the cards as a watch. Honestly I don’t think I watched much else other than Fulci zombie films and Dawn of the Dead, and because of this I became a Fulci-phile, but I didn’t get to see this film until I managed to get my hands on an Australian release DVD copy from Stomp in about 2005, and I loved the sleazy griminess if it immediately. I then bought the Shameless Screen Entertainment DVD and was pretty upset to find it was cut, but I then bought it again when they rereleased it in a less cut version, and then a third time from them on Bluray.

I appreciate it’s not for everyone and the first time I watched it I was stunned by how raw it is. It’s like a Giallo, which is probably my favourite type of film, but rubbed in the dirt. The story is well below average, and the concept of a killer who ‘sounds like a duck’… well, I’m sorry, but ducks don’t speak, and I guess it was too difficult to get permission to have the characters say ‘talks like Donald Duck’.

The litigation fingers of the House of Mouse are looooooooong.

Apparently Fulci once told his daughter that the reason he chose the voice of Donald Duck is that Mickey Mouse was too law-abiding.

So why is this film particularly in my top 50? It is a combination of a love for Fulci… even his worst films are better than a lot of so-called A movies, well, they are certainly far more interesting… a love of Giallo, no matter how bad and a love of American slashers, which I feel this lends itself a lot to.

Thank you for joining me for this episode of the To-Watch Pile After Dark. Please, subscribe and give me a five star rating, and also check out my movie review blog at www.towatchpile.com and listen my my other podcast, The Nerds of Oz.

Until next episode…

The To Watch Pile After Dark Episode 6 Transcript

The To Watch Pile After Dark Episode 6 Transcript

https://anchor.fm/towatchpile/episodes/Episode-6—Horror-Film-Countdown-46-e5jftp

Good evening, My black-hearted friends, to the latest episode of The To Watch Pile After Dark, my name is Justin McNamara and this is number 46 on the list of my top 50 favourite horror films.

In the early 2000s, a young man appeared in the horror landscape who was one of us, which of course means genre fans hated him… but not me. I immediately became a fan of Eli Roth the second I watched this film…

(Play trailer)

Cabin Fever was released in 2002 and tells the story of 5 friends, Paul (Rider Strong), Karen (Jordan Ladd), Marcy (Cerina Vincent), Jeff (Joey Kern) and Bert (James DeBello) who decide to have a week away before they go to college. They pick a remote cabin in the woods so they can have absolutely no disturbances. March and Joey intend on spending the week screwing, Paul intends on finally sealing the deal with Karen, which he has been trying for years, and Burt… well Burt just wants to get drunk and shoot animals with his rifle.

Unfortunately, those plans fall apart when the local hermit (Arie Verveen) turns up with what appears to be some kind of disease, and terrorises the friends, mainly due to the fact that Burt accidentally shot him earlier that day and didn’t tell the others.

In defending themselves they accidentally set him on fire and he dies, but not before infecting the water supply. Slowly but surely, one by one, the infection spreads, and panic sets in amongst the friends. The infection is horrific too, insomuch that it is a flesh eating virus that starts by melting your insides, resulting in a bloody cough, and ends in a full body meltdown.

Which of the friends will survive this horrific virus, especially in a town full of racism, mistrust and suspicion… will ANY of them survive.

I have to start by pointing out the real clever thing about this movie: even though the killer is a horrific, Necrotising Fasciitis, no one, and this is a massive spoiler so stop the podcast now I’d you haven’t seen it…no one actually DIES by the virus. Even one who carks it in this film, dies by the hand of someone who is panicking!

This film appeals to two of the film fans that live within me, just as it did the first time I saw it when I reviewed it for the now defunct Australian cult movie website Digital Retribution.

The first is the one that likes the facile teen comedies of the 80s and the other who digs the so-called ‘body horror’ films. The cast of this film actually fit the first fandom perfectly, as the cast are from such TV shows and films as Boy Meets World, Not Another Teen Movie, American Pie and Never Been Kissed, and the second love, well the special effects team took care of that love perfectly, probably due to the fact that Eli Roth’s script was based an experience he had where he apparently contracted a skin infection whilst working on a horse farm in Iceland from rotting hay.

There is also a legend that the sound mixer on the film John Neff was an actual victim of the real virus, and was hospitalised for 13 days with it, and he claimed the make up effects were quite accurate to what he had witnessed.

I first learnt about this film from an issue 33 of Rue Morgue magazine which interested me from the get-go. I was very excited when this film hit the Australian shores and I was a champion of both it, and of Eli Roth even though a large percentage of the genre populace weren’t fans, which I found preposterous as he seemingly was being accused of being a poseur when all I could see was a guy who, like me, loved horror, loved the 80s and wanted to make movies.

Unfortunately, to date I have only made one short film, and it was just for fun. If the opportunity arose again I’d probably jump right on it!

Roth very much wears his influences, both from a writing and a directorial aspect on his sleeve. His script emulates the 80s movies that he clearly loves, with not just horrorific elements, but also with a wry sense of humour and so many scenes are clearly riffing on scenes from Dawn of the Dead, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Night of the Living Dead and others, occasionally to somewhat comic effect. I’ve liked other films of Roth’s as well: Hostel amps up the teen comedy at the beginning and descends into a far more violent second and third act, and is the poster boy for the so-called ‘torture porn’, and Green Inferno, which is a far more complete film (even though it does have one ridiculous element that is out of place) which is a love-letter to the 7os and 80s cannibal flicks.

The funny thing I have found about doing this podcast is that it’s forcing me to rewatch films that I haven’t watched for a long time, and it’s probably been ten years since I saw this, so the revisit was one I completely enjoyed. I spend a lot of time on my website the To Watch Pile watching movies I’ve never seen before that occasionally I forget to rewatch epic stuff from the past.

I’d like to add a warning: I am talking only about the 2002 movie. There was a remake done in 2016, produced by Roth but directed by Travis Z aka Travis Zariwny with a script adapted from Roth’s by Rudy Pearlstein, and I can’t stress enough how much you must avoid that film. It is terrible.

Thanks you for listening to this episode of the To Watch Pile After Dark. Don’t forget you can see the transcript of this episode, and my movie reviews at my blog www.towatchpile.com. Also, listen to my other podcast, The Nerds of Oz, available wherever good podcasts can be heard. Please like and subscribe to the To Watch Pile After Dark, and throw me a review if you have the opportunity.

See you next time.

Podcast Transcript – Episode 4

Greetings, gore hounds, to this, episode 4, of the To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast, where we are counting down my 50 favourite horror films! This episode sees us at film 48 out of 50, and it’s the first full length feature film from Christopher Smith…

(Trailer)

Unfortunately that trailer doesn’t tell you much, especially the title of my 48th film, which is 2004’s Creep.

Creep tells of strong-willed professional Kate (Franke Potente), who is leaving a work function early with an intention to sneak into an A-lister party where she is setting her sites on George Clooney, who is supposed to be there.

Unfortunately the friend who she was supposed to leave with goes without her and she’s left to catch a train to the destination, but she is a little drunk, and tired and dozes off on the train station, awaking to find the last train, HER train, has left and the entire station is abandoned.

Another train turns up regardless and she jumps up on it, only to have it stop deep in the tunnels and for her to find out that she’s not alone. One of her workmates, Guy (Jeremy Sheffield), a man she rejected the advances of at the party, has followed her to the train and high on drugs, attempts to rape her, but the rape is stopped when he is dragged off the train by something in the tunnels.

Very quickly, Kate discovers that there is a monster in the tunnels, a misshapen creature who murders those stuck in his tunnels at night. The victims pile up as Kate seeks assistance in her plight, but everyone she asks for help from ends up and the wrong end of the creatures wrath, A creature we discover to be named Craig (Sean Harris) who lives in the abandoned rooms, offices and doctors surgeries that were built in case the aristocracy ever had to retreat underground during a war, but he knows about the human race only through the things he has observed by what happened in the rooms and he copies them…

The attraction for me with this film initially was the appearance of Potante, who I had really liked in the films Anatomie, Blow, Run Lola Run and two of the Bourne films. She’s atypical of the regular types that end up in these roles insomuch as she a actor of great skill, her characters always have a great tenacity and she doesn’t disguise her accent.

But this wasn’t all that attracted me to this film, it was the location, which I must expand upon.

My first ‘proper’ job was in the city of Sydney, and from my humble house in the suburbs, I had a fairly decent trip into work. I read hundreds and hundreds of horror novels in my time going back and forth, and like most people of those tender young ages, I dreamed myself to be a great horror novelist… it must be easy, right?

Anyway, when the trip got to the city, the train would go into the subway or underground or whatever you want to call it, and I’d stop reading and look out the window into the darkness. The idea of these dark caves under the technological wonders of modern society always were alluring, and my ideas for novels merged my experiences, with those of fantastical characters made out of hive-minded slugs and weird, sex-obsessed mutants (influenced by Shaun Hutson and H. P Lovecraft, no doubt).

When I first saw this film over ten years ago, when I reviewed it for the now-defunct Digital Retribution website, it reminded me of those days, both the experience of the tunnels, and the monsters living within them. I felt like Smith had reached into my skull and pulled out my idea and then thrown an actress that I really liked into it.

Sure, it’s is reminiscent of the 1972 Gary Sherman film Deathline, but only so much in its location. Smith claims that he had never heard of that film, and the differences are enough that I have no reason to not believe him saying that… especially when you consider it’s not necessarily a well known example of early 70s UK horror.

As I do these To Watch Pile After Dark Podcasts I am rewatching the films and honestly I wish I had have placed this higher as I hadn’t watched it for a while. The story is gripping, the gore is plentiful and the antagonist is disturbing, though like all good horror movies, there is that one scene that will make almost everyone wince just a little bit… and the rest cross their legs in terror!

It should be pointed out too, that Craig is played by Sean Harris, who played Ian Curtis of Joy Division in the docudrama 24 Hour Party People, Solomon Lane in a couple of Mission Impossible flicks, and Fifield in the surprising Alien prequel, Prometheus. This role could have been disappointing in the hands of a lesser actor, but Harris’ physicality brings something to the role.

If I am to point out anything that isn’t great about this film is the make up Harris has to wear. It’s a very generic ‘mutant’ make up that at time, under some light, just looks like a thickened cake mixture has been stuck to the poor actors face.

Smith went of to direct other interesting films as well, the follow up to this being 2006’s Severances, 2009’s Triangle and 2010’s Black Death, all films also worth checking out.

So that’s is, we’ve Creeped around all we can and this episode must come to a close. Thank you for listening to the To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast, and please, check out my other podcast, The Nerds of Oz, and my horror movie reviews at www.towatchpile.com. I’d really appreciate it too if you like the podcast, give me a 5 star rating and leave a comment.

Until next time,,.

Podcast Transcript – Episode 3

Welcome back, terrorphiles, to The To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast. My name is Justin McNamara and we are counting down my top 50 favourite horror movies.

You’ll find in this list that there is a lot of 70s and 80s films, and that’s because my opinion is that the best films came out in this period, and certainly the ‘horror franchise’, a pop culture trend that I love, was at its height towards the end of the 80s. This film WAS a one off, but the 2010 remake, and its sequels, were so successful that they eventually spawned a sequel to the original in 2019, which feels like Déjà Vu…

(Play trailer)

I Spit on your Grave aka The Day of the Woman tells the story of writer Jennifer Hills (Camille Keaton) who retreats to the countryside of Connecticut from New York to work on her latest novel. At a service station near her house she meets a bunch of ne’er do wells who act in a lecherous manner towards her, and her casual way is taken by them as flirting.

She goes to her country house and has some groceries delivered, which is done by mildly mentally disabled man Matthew (Richard Pace), goes tells his friends, the same ones at the service station, included ringleader Johnny (Erin Tabor) that she had been VERY nice to him and shown him her boobs, which they take an an invitation.

They descend upon her house and tell Matthew that he should rape her and that they are helping him to lose his virginity, but we he declines, the other men repeatedly violate her, beating and raping her, until Matthew, under the influence of alcohol decides to join in. This torture lasts for hours and they finally leave her for dead…

… but she’s not dead…

She carefully creates plans to exact her revenge on the men, and does so one-by-one, taking no prisoners, and doing so in grisly, violent ways.

This film was written and directed by Mier Zarchi after he and a friends found a naked woman who had been beaten and raped, and took her to the police. Zarchi claims the police officer was extraordinarily cavalier in his behaviour towards the woman, even insisting that she answer questions even though her jaw was obviously broken. Zarchi was offered a reward by the woman’s father, which he declined, but the experience stayed with him and he eventually wrote the film whilst on his commute to work.

As a writer and director, Zarchi isn’t really know for many other films, other than 2019’s sequel, I Spit On Your Grave: Deja Vu and the terrible ‘Don’t Mess With My Sister’ whose title offers some sense of dread, but never actually gets to the levels of this film.

This film, depending on the version you get your hands on as it’s received many cuts over the years, and was even one of the UK’s ‘Video Nasties’, goes for between 93 and 101 minutes, which is a standard movie length of its era, but what is unusual is the length of the gruelling rape scene which sits at around the 25 minute mark in the full uncut version, and Keaton spends all that time totally naked, a brave, potentially career killing choice in that day and age.

Rumour has it that the rape scene was so emotionally difficult to film that two crew members quit, one being a make up artist who was struggling with her own demons after experiencing a gang rape.

Zarchi skills as a director aren’t great and this shows in the average performances and dialogue delivery of his male cast, but his ability to direct an assault scene is amazing, and the scenes of Jennifer’s rape are gruelling, so gruelling in fact that by the time you get to the ‘revenge’ part of this ‘rape revenge’ film, you feel the men are actually let off lightly in comparison. The remake shows the Jennifer character, this time played by Sarah Butler, offer the men far more ‘torture porn’ styled punishments, which is to be expected in a post-Saw version of the film.

I Spit on your Grave was originally released as The Day of the Woman in 1978 and wasn’t received very well, but Jerry Gross renamed it I Spit On Your Grave and redistributed it in 1978 to a bit more of a response, though film critics Siskel and Ebert hated not just it, but the audiences response to it. In the UK it was labelled a Video Nasty and feminist Julie Bindel protested against its release, though she later claimed it was actually a feminist film.

I think many people protested this film initially without taking into account, described best in the 1986 book The Encylcopedia of Horror by Tom Milne and Paul Willeman, that ‘the men are so grossly unattractive and the rapes so harrowing, long drawn-out and starkly presented that it’s hard to imagine most male spectators identifying with the perpetrators’. I don’t think this quote means the men are physically unattractive, but instead psychologically unattractive with their attitudes which manifests initially as leering lust before escalating into so much worst.

Keaton’s performance in the ‘revenge’ part of the film has been criticised as well as being flat and almost catatonic, but I think that the assault causes her to be stripped back to an almost avenging angel figure, and that perhaps she has actually lost some of who SHE was.

The reason this film is in my top 50 is it is a film that effects me. As a married man with a daughter and mostly female friends, I find the film difficult to watch, and isn’t that what horror is supposed to be? It effects you in a way that I haven’t seen in many films, and this is all due to Keaton’s performance: her fear of her solitude being invaded, the response to every part of the rape, the dead-eyed horror of being stripped back to nothing more than a thing to be abused by bad men, and rebirth as an angel of vengeance with a cold heart.

I have to admit to being a latecomer to this film, and was surprised by how violent it was for the era it was from, and I have wrote at length about it, even to the point that the current release on DVD and Bluray in Australia has a quote from my review from my days as a film reviewer for now-defunct website Digital Retribution.

Thank you all for listening! At my website The To Watch Pile, (www.towatchpile.com) you can find movie reviews and a transcript of this episode of the To Watch Pile After Dark, and please, give a 5 star review on your listening program, hit the subscribe and even drop a few works of support: it heaps a great deal if you do.

You can also find me on Twitter at @thetowatchpile or on Instagram, seeing as I am part of the Nerds of Oz network, @thenerdsofoz. Also please check out our comic and nerd-related podcast Nerds of Oz, available where all good podcasts can be found.

See you on the next episode…

To Watch Pile Podcast Episode 2 Transcript

Here we go, readers and listeners, the second episode of the To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast, and the first episode counting down my top 50 favourite horror movies. Attached is a link to the Anchor FM version of the podcast, but the podcast is also available at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and wherever good podcasts can be heard. Here also, we have a transcript of the podcast as well.

The To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast Episode 2

Hello there, horror fans, and welcome to the To Watch Pile After Dark Podcast. I’m your host, Justin McNamara and whilst this isn’t the first episode, it is certainly the first episode where I’ll be counting down my top 50 favourite films.

In other words, this is number 50 in the top 50 countdown.

(Play Blob Trailer)

The Blob tells of the quiet town of Arborville, California, a town whose normal winter season has been delayed and still the town prepares for it as it appears the town may come alive in the snow.

In the hills behind the town, a vagrant witnesses a meteorite fall to earth, and upon investigation, a weird, seemingly intelligent blob type object attaches itself to his hand. He panics and runs into local ne’er-do-well Brian Flagg (Kevin Dillon) and a young couple on their first date, Meg Penny (Shawnee Smith) and Paul Taylor (Donovan Leitch Jr) who upon seeing the ‘thing’ on his hand, take him immediately to the local medical centre where whatever it was on his hands consumes both him, and Paul.

Of course, Meg is disbelieved when she tells of Paul demise, and Brian is suspected in the disappearance of him but very quickly, with the appearance of a scientific team arriving in the town, everyone believes them when they say something is not right.

The Blob continues to abSorb every living creature in its path, and it’s revealed that it’s not some weird creature from another world, but a horrifying weapons experiment gone horribly wrong.

Will Meg and Brian survive, or even more importantly, will the town survive.

Chuck Russell, directed an co-wrote this film with Frank Darabont, with whom he had previously worked on A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 with, and has a soundtrack by Michael Hoenig and J. Peter Robinson. The special effects, which for 1988 are pretty kick arse, are done by Tony Gardiner.

My earliest memory of this remake of The Blob is the VHS packaging; bright pink and it stood out on the video shop shelves covered in black video cases. I have faint recollection of the cover of Fangoria that had this story in it, but I’m not sure I got that issue on release, and that I may have missed it and had to catch up by buying it from a second hand retailer on George St in Sydney.

Russell and Darabont’s script has a few hokey attempts at being cool with a few wisecracks, but the story is solid and thrilling. For the most part, the cast are great, with the highlights being Shawnee Smith from the first Saw films, who makes for a delightfully scrappy and resourceful hero, and Meg’s father, played by Art LaFleur, whose ‘ribbed’ line cracks me up every time.

It’s funny, you can also tell that Frank Darabont has something to do with this story as the ‘town under siege’ tale was one he perfected with his adaptation of Stephen Kings ‘The Mist’.

Honestly, Gardiner’s special effects have a lot to do with my affection of the film. Yea\s, there’s a clunker or two, but Paul’s demise and a few others are sights to behold, and worthy of a little of the admiration bestowed upon the great special effects that John Carpenter’s The Thing special effects crew gets.

As far as being a remake goes, and if my withered brain serves me well, letters to every movie magazine of the time shouted down this remake as being somewhat creatively corrupt, but it’s not an issue to which I subscribe. I like remakes. I like to see what different creative teams offer the same story. I find the same appeal with comics even though comics are a more character driven commodity, I do like to see direct artistic takes on an origin, or an aesthetic. A creatively corrupt remake is one that either echoes the original absolutely like Gus Van Santa’s redundant Psycho remake, or when it goes so far off script that it doesn’t reflect the original at all, like the 2005 House of Wax remake that was more a Tourist Trap remake that did itself a disservice by taglining/ advertising itself with the line ‘see Paris Die’ in reference to seeing the heiress, who had decided to be an actor this week, get butchered by the killer who owned the titular premises.

The Blob sat that fine line that, and I shall use John Carpenter’s The Thing again as a point of reference, it used the original as a kick off point and then both modernised and deliberately subverted it to make it something different, and it really works all the way though.

The unfortunate thing for this film is that it was unsuccessful. With a $19 million budget, it required far more than its $8.2 box office to be deemed a success. Lenard Maltin gave The film a mere 2/4 stars and described it as an unnecessary remake, and it wasn well received by others either. Thankfully, it has reached somewhat of a cult status as the years have gone by, not just for its violent special effects, but also for some of the minor characters who are as quirky as quirky can get.

Box office and critical reviews be damned, though, I really like this film, and I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. In Australia at the moment, the current release is a two pack from Umbrella Entertainment which has the original film and this remake, but you’ll only put the original in for one spin and this will be revisited several times.

Thank you for listening to this second episode of the To Watch Pile After Dark, see you next episode…