February 22

Cliffhanger, 1993

Welcome to an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie SleepoversKung Fu February! (this year though, just minus the Kung Fu) Well the secret is out–the boys have been planning a mountain climbing double-feature for the month. So after hitting last week’s The Eiger Sanction from 1975, in which Clint Eastwood both starred and directed, J. Blake and Dion Baia thought what better way to follow that up then with the ultimate mountain/action/thriller foray, Sylvester Stallone‘s blockbuster Cliffhanger, from 1993!

Dion and Blake take on this epic classic, discussing its placement in Sly‘s career, the backstory of getting it made, and the other scrapped projects Stallone was connected to before leading up to Cliffhangerand what went into filming this odyssey in the Italian mountains–which doubled for the Colorado Rockies. They also discuss the casting, and opine about the poor choices the villains make in this story, while trying to pull over an air heist that leads to perhaps the ultimate action movie scavenger hunt ever. This week, it’s a party celebrating a classic action film, in an all new and exhilarating edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

Check out this behind the scenes featurette for Cliffhanger!

Take a look at this great segment from the 1990’s Discovery Channel show Movie Magic!, that highlighted the climatic helicopter crash minature SFX work within the film!

And if you liked that, check out this second episode of Movie Magic!, where that show the behind the scenes SFX work that went into the plane crash.

February 8

The Eiger Sanction, 1975

Welcome to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This time around, J. Blake and Dion Baia are kicking in an all new installment of Kung Fu February (minus the Kung Fu this year), and this week the boys are mountain climbing, and chatting the Clint Eastwood, Cold War/spy/espionage thriller, The Eiger Sanction, from 1975!

The fellas jump right in, discussing the original 1972 novel by the famed author Trevanian and the differences between the movie and source material. They chat about all the practical stunts Eastwood and his crew performed on the legendary Eiger mountain, back before CGI when you just had to go out and do the stunts yourself… and the many “un-P.C.” aspects to the film that don’t age so well. So grab your climbing gear, some meal bars, and your courage, because Blake and Dion are headed up the Eiger Death Bivouac in this all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

Here’s a great BBC documentary on the truly horrifying history of the North Face of Eiger, called The North Face of Eiger: Wall of Death.

Check out The Eiger Sanction Soundtrack, by John Williams!

As discussed in the podcast, check out this fabulous and insane 1979 TV movie, Disaster of a Coastliner, that stars the phone book and was part of inspiration for the 1980 spoof, Airplane!

January 11

Willow, 1988

Welcome to an all new 2019 edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are kicking off the season with a fantasy classic, a movie which has collected a huge cult following over the years. The boys are chatting the George Lucas and Ron Howard epic, Willow, from 1988!

Dion and J. Blake reminiscence about this movie gem, discussing their history with it and the other fantasy films of the era that populated the genre. They talk about George Lucas and his influence in creating the story and working hand and hand with Ron Howard, to see this project to fruition, and the giant leap in CGI Effects, courtesy of ILM and SFX legend Dennis Muren; revolutionizing the “morphing” effects which played significant roles in many blockbusters of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. So come on and take a seat, as the fellas kick off a fun, informative and hilarious brand new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

Take a look at this vintage trailer for Willow!

Check out this behind the scenes 1988 featurette discussing Willow!

Here’s a great 2013 interview with Warwick Davis and Val Kilmer!

December 21

Emmet Otter’s Jug~Band Christmas , 1977

Welcome to another Holiday Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! To close out 2018 J. Blake and Dion Baia are showcasing a cult Christmas classic that is getting some much-deserved love in recent years. They’re tackling the Jim Henson holiday classic, Emmet Otter’s Jug~Band Christmas, from 1977!

The boys lovingly unpack this once lost holiday gem that is celebrating its 40th anniversary in ‘the states’ this year. Dion and Blake utilize the original 1971 source book by Russell and Lillian Hoban for reference, and can’t hold back their utter amazement at the technical prose of the Jim Henson team and the unbridled magic they are able to create. Mixed with the genius that is Paul Williams and his music, they layout a Christmas Special that may have more film cuts than Blade Runner. So come pull up a chair and a have a listen as the boys grab their Mom’s washtub and head down to Waterville and Frogtown Hollow, on an all new holiday installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers

Extras!

Please go listen to J. Blake‘s 2014 Blues album, When You Coming Home?, as discussed in this week’s episode. 

Here’s Dion with Paul Williams when they met at an Emmet Otter event in Queens, in December 2018.

Check out these hilarious outtakes from the 1977-78 Christmas Special!

Have a listen to this amazing soundtrack, which has been released for the first time this year, showcasing the genius that is Paul Williams.

Here’s an unused song from the special, written for the meek Music Store Owner, titled Born in a Trunk!

Lastly, take a look at this stirring rendition of the song “When the River Meets the Sea“, song by Jerry Nelson and Louise Gold at Jim Henson’s Memorial Service.

December 7

Die Hard, 1988

‘Tis the Season! J. Blake and Dion Baia are kicking off the Christmas season with a spectacular edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! For this holiday installment the boys are covering a genre-pioneering action-adventure epic–that’s also celebrating it’s 30th birthday this year. It’s the Bruce Willis classic, Die Hard, from 1988!

Die HardIt’s been a long night (and long year) for the SNMS crew and the lads have started hitting the old holiday ‘nog a little early this sleepover night. Dion and Blake layout the history of this holiday essential, unpacking the history of how it was originally a sequel to a Frank Sinatra property, and it’s journey to becoming one of the most influential action movie’s of the 80’s.  Blake also reminisces about seeing a screening of this film introduced by the late great Alan Rickman, and what he had to say when a film asked him a very specific script logic question regarding the storyline. So grab your sleigh bells, your yule tide cheer, your Berettas and most importantly your shoes, cause the guys are taking a trip to Nakatomi Plaza in this 2018 holiday edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

And thank you to this week’s sponsor, Robinhood!

 

Extras!

Out this week, please go pick up a copy of Dion Baia‘s debut novel, Blood in the Streets, available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com, Target.com, Simon & Schuster, or at your favorite bookstore in paperback, ebook & audiobook!

Check out the original theatrical trailer for Die Hard, with lines no included in the final version!

Have a look at this great collection of Die Hard bloopers!

November 21

Grumpy Old Men, 1993

An all new Thanksgiving edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers is coming at ya! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are covering a 25 year old essential that reunited a legendary duo and became a breakout hit! The boys tackle the Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau classic, Grumpy Old Men, from 1993!

Blake and Dion jump right in and discuss the careers of Lemmon, Matthau, and Burgess Meredith, and how it led to this surprise hit that spawned a direct sequel and a series of other films teaming up the hilarious duo. The boys discuss Matthau and Lemmon‘s amazing chemistry and their catalog of films together. The winter is setting in on this hilarious and exciting all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Go have a listen today!

And thank you to this week’s sponsor, Robinhood!

Extras!

Check out the original theatrical trailer with jokes that are not in the 1993 movie!

Do yourself a favor and watch the outtakes to Grumpy Old Men!

Get into the holiday spirit and watch Burgess Meredith in Kenny G‘s 1994 music video for his Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

And have a listen to Burgess Meredith in the Chieftains Christmas song, Don Oiche Ud I mBeithil!

November 9

Coming to America, 1988

Hey there! Today on this week’s all new episode of Saturday Night Movie SleepoversDion Baia and J. Blake are ringing in another anniversary, celebrating an iconic comedy classic that is turning 30, which set the bar. The fellas are talking Eddie Murphy‘s creation Coming to America, directed by John Landis, from 1988.

Coming to America

Blake and Dion unpack this quintessential cult classic, discussing the collaboration between Eddie Murphy and John Landis, and history of both men leading up to this epic and the confrontation that occured between the two on set. The boys also analyze the dirty comedy and R-rated moments within the story, and question how today’s audiences might react to some of the racy situations. Well, come and pull up a chair as the fellas follow proper royalty as they travel from their native Zamunda, Africa, all the way to Queens, New York circa 1988 in search for love, in an all new and exciting installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Also a big thank you to this week’s sponsor, Green Chef!

 

Extras!

Check out the original trailer, which includes scenes not in the theatrical cut.

Have a look at this rare interviews of Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall in 1989 while doing press for Coming to America.

Take a look at Eddie Murphy talking about Coming to America with Arsenio Hall on the show BIO, on Biography.

And as promised, here’s That’s My Mama!

And of course, the infamous Coming to America TV pilot, starring Tommy Davidson.

 

October 19

Dawn of the Dead, 1978

Welcome back to the 3rd installment of 2018‘s October Halloween Horror Movie Extravagnza! This go-round Dion Baia and J. Blake are hitting another movie that has an anniversary! Turning 40 this year, it is the quintessential sequel that literally helped kick-start an entire subgenre, domestically and overseas in Italy, the George A. Romero cult classic, Dawn of the Dead from 1978.
Dawn of the Dead

The boys are on a timetable this week as they break down this massive topic, decimating the various cuts of the film, and the Dario Argento influence–like with the cult Italian band Goblin. Blake and Dion discuss the impact the Romero “dead films” had on the industry. They both reminisce about their personal histories with Dawn, as well as the other movies in Romero‘s catalog. So grab your batteries, extra ammo, gasoline and door keys, because we’re all taking a road trip to take shelter in the Monroeville Mall, in this all October Halloween Horror Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! And a special thank you to our sponsors this week, TiVo and Simple Contacts!

Extras!

Please go check out J. Blake’s book, Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror’s Greatest Composers and also its companion, Scored to Death: The Podcast, to further explore the interviews Blake did with many of the men involved with Dawn of the Dead, among many others.

Check out the official website of the (Night of the) Living Dead Museum!

Have a look at the Tom Savini book talked about in the podcast, titled Grande Illusions: A Learn-By-Example Guide to the Art and Technique of Special Make-Up Effects From the Films of Tom Savini.

Take a look at the classic 1985 documentary that breaks down the making of both Dawn of the Dead, called Document of the Dead, courtesy of YouTube

October 12

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, 1994

Welcome back to week two of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ October Halloween Horror Movie ExtravaganzaJ. Blake and Dion Baia are celebrating the 200th anniversary of a book that set a standard and changed history forever. That’s right, the boys are talking Mary Shelley’s legendary debut novel Frankenstein, and tackling the Kenneth Branagh epic, his Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, from 1994!

Mary Shelleys Frankenstein

Dion and Blake discuss Ms. Shelley‘s background and circumstances surrounding her penning the 1818 classic, and the decisions Branagh made in the director’s chair as to include (for the first time) portions from the novel that had been previously omitted from other film adaptations. They analyze the 1994 movie, covering some of the aspects that made his version so polarizing for some. So be prepared as the boys bring you back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and the 1990’s gothic revival, in an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ October Horror Movie Extravaganza!

Extras:

Have a read of the original masterpiece that started it all, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein!

Take a look at the Robert DeNiro Frankenstein vinyl model that was produced in 1994!

Take a listen to Part 1 of a 1955 Suspense! radio play of Frankenstein!

And of course, take a listen to Part 2!

October 5

Halloween, 1978


Welcome to the first episode of the 2018 Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers Halloween Horror October Extravaganza! This week the boys are bringing their Chicago brethren, the Mighty Mighty Mike Vanderbilt back to sleep over and discuss a classic that turns 40 this year and a film franchise that has a new installment releasing into theaters this month. That’s right, J. Blake and Dion Baia are taking on the trend-setting cult horror classic by the master… John Carpenter‘s Halloween, from 1978!

 

Halloween 1978 Poster

The three caballeros get right into it, dissecting Carpenter‘s style and proposing many questions they hope to answer. Being as Vanderbilt and Blake both have interviewed the legendary auteur -among many others connected to the series- the fellas try to lend their expertise and lay out why this film became an absolute classic, as well as a trailblazer for the entire slasher film subgenre. So grab your buckets of pizza, your mega-jolt colas (or as in Dion‘s case, something with a little extra ‘kick’), cause the boys are pulling out all the stops on the first installment of the 2018 Saturday Night Movie Sleepover Halloween Horror October Extravaganza!

Extras!

Here’s the original trailer to the 1978 film!

Check out this actual 1979 audience reaction to the climatic scene of Halloween!

Take a look at these extra scenes shot during the production of Halloween II, to be specifically inserted into the television version of the original 1978 film.

Have a look at the new documentary For the Love of the Boogeyman, which features our very own, J. Blake!

September 21

The Shadow, 1994

Welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are celebrating their 4th anniversary of the SNMS Podcast! Keeping with the past anniversary episode themes, the boys have decided to cover the Alec Baldwin-helmed big screen production of The Shadow, from 1994!

The Shadow

Dion and Blake attempt to dissect this long-established property by going back to its roots in the Walter B. Gibson-penned pulp novels, trying to coherently lay out the different timelines of The Shadow from the radio, in print, and on both the large and small screens. They unpack the elaborate history of the man in black, drawing links to what was actually going on in the world during the early 20th century, and how the character went on to influence one of the most famous superheroes ever created.  It’s another educational, hilarious and exciting anniversary-installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras:

Check out this amazing book that Blake referenced in the cast, called The Shadow Scrapbook, published in 1979!

Take a look at some of this incredible artwork right out of Blake’s stash in the SNMS Archives, of The Shadow!

As Dion and Blake have proudly endorsed in the past, to begin your journey exploring the labyrinth of Old Time Radio, click here.

And to check out the The Shadow Radio Program directly, click here!

September 7

Bullitt, 1968

Welcome again to an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are exploring a film that turns 50 this year, a classic and a pioneer in the genre, the Steve McQueen police-thriller, Bullitt, from 1968!

Bullitt

Blake and Dion go way down the alley- dissecting the history of this ground-breaking movie and take a deep-dive into the man, the myth, the legend, Steve McQueen. They lay out his upbringing to give context to the legendary career and short life he led. The boys then utilize the original 1963 source novel, Mute Witness, to flesh out the background of the film. They unpack all the elements like the car chase, McQueen’s style, Peter Yates’ direction, and the Lalo Schrifrin score – all of which turned this movie into the classic it became. And the fellas reveal Dion’s surprise as well! So, grab your Ford Mustang Fastbacks, cause the boys are heading back to San Francisco on an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras:

For more about Dion’s new book, Blood in the Streets, have a look here!

Check out this behind-the-scenes, making of featurette for Bullitt, narrated by Steve McQueen.

Please check out this great site on the many styles worn in cinema, at BAMF Style: Iconic Style from Movies and TV.

Take a look at this GREAT Janaury 2018 commercial for the new Ford Bullitt Mustang, featuring Steve McQueen‘s granddaughter, Molly McQueen, in a great nod to the 1968 film.

Have a look at this 2005 Ford commercial for the new Bullitt Mustang, featuring Steve McQueen in a Field of Dreams kind of situation.

Here’s an article on the amazing story of the lost Ford Bullitt Mustang found in 2017 in a Mexican junkyard (the car that did a lot of the jumping, stunts, and took most of the abuse) thought to be lost forever!

Check out this article on the other lost Ford Bullitt Mustang used in the film (the one for close-ups and the car McQueen tried to buy back), and it’s story of where it’s been over the past 50 years!

Bullitt is going back into the theaters for it’s 50th birthday!

August 10

The Blues Brothers, 1980

Welcome to a very special episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are covering a classic Chicago-centric film and to ground them and give it some historical city context and for this gigantic sleepover, they brought in the Windy City’s very own, Mighty-Mighty Mike Vanderbilt to lend a hand. We’re all ‘on a mission from God’ this go-around when we take on the musical phenomenon The Blues Brothers, from 1980!The Blues BrothersHaving Mike Vanderbilt over is very exciting for Dion and Blake, and after a quick catch up, they all jump right in. Mike and Blake bring an added layer to the conversation as they are gigging rock and blues musicians themselves with their own bands, and they talk shop about fronting various groups and their gear preferences when performing live at various venues (Dion tries to add his input as he played the alto saxophone in 4th grade, and the drums for 4 years in elementary and middle school). The fellas then focus in on the significance of this film and the history of The Blues Brothers and Jake & Elwood, discussing their roots on Saturday Night Live, and the direction of John Landis on the 1980 film. Mike brings his unique Chicago input, giving some great context to the various locations that highlight the Windy City, making it almost a third star of the film. So, make sure you’ve got your converted 1974 Mount Prospect Dodge Monaco gassed up, your cheese whiz, and your Night Train Wine, ’cause the boys have a long ride back, as they examine another classic, on an all new fantastic Chicago-edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

EXTRAS!

Please check out J. Blake’s musical endeavors here, as he keeps the blues arrive in New York City!

Please check out Chicago‘s very own, Mike Vanderbilt on TWITTER, on FACEBOOK,  at The A.V. Club where he is a writer and contributor, at The Daily Grindhouse where he is an editor, and tending bar at the Rock Island Public House!

Take a look at this fabulous documentary on the making of The Blues Brothers.

Here’s a playlist of the deleted scenes from the iconic film!

Have a look at The Blues BrothersFull Concert at the Winterland, on December the 31st, 1978!

July 27

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978


Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J Blake are taking on one of their top 10 favorite films of all time. A movie they’ve frequently spoken about doing since the inception of the podcast. Well, that day has finally arrived. This go around, the boys are covering the 40th anniversary of the Sci-Fi/Horror Philip Kaufman classic, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, from 1978.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Blake and Dion knew from the outset this episode would be a long one. After their big announcement about partnering with the CLNS Media Network, they jump right in utilizing the original Jack Finney 1955 novel The Body Snatchers, and the original 1956 classic film by legend Don Siegel. They analyze the relationships between the 1978 movie’s stellar cast and all the elements–from sound design to the guerrilla-style cinematography–that contributed to making every second and inch of this film to be intentional and help further the plot; setting the tone of this incredibly horrifying narrative. They dissect the themes and motifs within and discuss why this story works brilliantly in any decade it’s set within. So, keep a close eye on your friends and family, make sure those around you are not suddenly becoming ‘strangers’, and whatever you do, don’t fall asleep, because they get you when you sleep–as the boys prove on an all new exciting and informative installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

As discussed in the podcast, to purchase the newly released the 3rd edition of The Twilight Zone Companion: Revised and Expanded, click here!

Check out the original trailer to this classic!

Take a look at this great featurette about the Special Effects in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, called Practical Magic!

Have a look to Sigourney Weaver discussing the terror of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers!

Also brought up in the podcast, the boys wholeheartedly recommend checking out the Suspense radio show classic adapted from a short story by Ray Bradbury, called Zero Hour!

July 13

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, 1991

Welcome back to another exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week Dion Baia and J. Blake are exploring one of their favorite franchises -talking all things Star Trek– and taking a deep-dive into the 1991 film, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country !

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Blake and Dion jump right in, unpacking this huge topic- from the original series, to the feature films, and all the other elements that led to this movie, Star Trek VI , as well as utilize the fantastic novelization. They also lay out all the social and geopolitical events that were unfolding around the world at the time that played into this film (which the boys consider one of the best of the series). So watch your Romulan Ale intake, and monitor any enormous neutron radiation fields, because the lads are dissecting one of their absolute favorites in this all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(During the episode Dion and Blake excitedly referred to the great character actor Ward Bond as Wade Bond and his fabulous show Wagon Train as Wagon Trail  yes they can get overzealous at times.)

(Brock Peters was not the voice of the Kingpin on the 1994 Spiderman animated seriesbut instead it was Roscoe Lee Browne.)

Extras!

Check out the original trailer for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country!

Here’s a great featurette from 1991 on the making of Star Trek VI!

Have a look at this great interview with composer Cliff Eidelman about the film.

Take a listen to the amazing spine-tingling episode of Suspense, entitled The Flesh Peddler, starring the great DeForest Kelley.

As referenced in the podcast, here’s a young Dion HERE and HERE blissfully playing with his CHiPs tricycle, before the now notorious ‘incident’.