January 11

Labyrinth, 1986

We here at Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers were extremely saddened to hear about the passing of icon David Bowie, after losing his eighteen month-long battle with cancer.

Originally our plan was to open up 2016 with a podcast dedicated to our female listeners, covering a movie near and dear to the hearts of so many women who’d grown up watching and loving a 1986 film directed by Jim Henson, which if you haven’t already guessed, is Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Connelly and Mr. Bowie.

Labyrinth

It is also the 30th anniversary of the film and along with the 69th birthday of Mr. Bowie on January 8th, we thought the Henson film would be the perfect way to open the year. So J. Blake and Dion Baia recorded this podcast in the early morning hours of Sunday the 10th, and it was not until the late evening of the same day that we along with the rest of the world heard the devastating news of his passing. We immediately decided to forego our usual format and release this podcast as we recorded it, as almost a dedication to Mr. Bowie. Certainly it is a seminal body of work for both he and Mr. Henson, which has now become a cult classic that has amassed a huge fan base worldwide. We hope you enjoy this edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, and we’d like to extend our sincere condolences to Mr. Bowie’s family, friends and fans. RIP Mr. David Jones.

EXTRAS:

Here is the music video to David Bowie‘s song Lazarus, released January the 7th, one day before his latest album Blackstar premiered on his 69th birthday, and just two days before his passing.

Take a look at this great 1986 documentary Inside the Labyrinth, showing the making of the film. (Keep a close eye out for choreographer Cheryl McFadden, later known to Star Trek NG fans as Gates McFadden!)

Please check out this highly recommended and fascinating episode from the 1989 show The Jim Henson Hour entitled Inside the Muppets, hosted by Henson himself, where he takes the audience on a rare behind the scenes trip through the Muppet shows and films.

Have a look at the original theatrical trailer!

 

 

December 23

Gremlins, 1984

Welcome to another episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion and J. Blake are taking on another holiday classic for their Christmas viewing this season, and have decided on an iconic genre mash-up. It’s a film that really goes to show you the 1980’s was a time when you could practically market anything you wanted to children, even a dressed up Horror film parading as a cute, Christmas/Comedy that subtlety pokes fun at American and Western culture in general. Of course we’re talking about Joe Dante‘s classic, Gremlins, from 1984.

Gremlins

The trifecta of Chris Columbus writing, Steven Spielberg executive producing, and Dante directing, gave us one of the most interesting and fun films of the 1980s. Blake and Dion try to flesh out the back story of this love letter to Frank Capra, B-Horror films of the 1950’s, and Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes cartoons, among a slew of others, while trying to wrap their heads around some terrifying concepts layered within. How much darker was this film originally supposed to be? Does this movie really convey themes like anti-technology, as well as lament about the ignorance of Western society as a whole? Have some critics read into the film and actually injected elements of supposed racism which surprisingly, doesn’t even have to do with the culture that is presented within the story? How has the movie held up after 30+ years, as both a genre mash-up and holiday film? And is this a movie that could even be attempted in 2015 without severely changing the story itself and its primary antagonists? Well the boys are wearing their Santa hats and have their sleigh bells ringing in this all new, Christmas installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(We’d like to give a shout out to Jason Derenick for recommending Gremlins, and we’d like to apologize for not remembering his name during the podcast. Thank you!)

(When speaking about New Line Cinema, Blake mistakenly said Friday the 13th, when he was actually referring to Nightmare on Elm Street.)

Extras:

Jason’s name isn’t the only thing we forgot this time around; we’d like to share straight out of the SNMS Archive, a clay Gremlin bust sculpted by Rick Baker‘s SFX team for Gremlins 2: The New Batch, something we completely forgot to bring up, and something we will touch on at the beginning of the next Podcast. Check out this bad-boy here, here, here, here, and here.

Check out the original theatrical trailer!

Take a look at the 1943 Merrie Melodies Bug Bunny short Falling Hare, which is credited by director Joe Dante as an influence on his 1984 film Gremlins.

Also mentioned in the podcast, please watch the HIGHLY RECOMMENDED documentary on the artist, animator and auteur Chuck Jones, entitled Extremes and In Betweens: A Life in Animation.

Go read the HUGELY RECOMMENDED book Outrageous Conduct, which examines the events surrounding the infamous filming of the John Landis short for Twilight Zone The Movie, where veteran actor Vic Morrow and two children were killed.

Here’s the cartoon adaptation of the book Monster’s Ring, mentioned by Blake in the Podcast.

Have a look at this absolutely hilarious parody of Gremlins mashed-up with Taken, courtesy of How it Should of Ended.

October 16

The Black Hole, 1979

The boys are back for week 3 in their epic October Halloween month of Horror! This time around J. Blake and Dion Baia tackle what some might call an unorthodox choice for a scary movie pick, but it certainly is Disney‘s darkest entry in film and also their most frightening (heck, [spoiler alert!] they go to Hell at the end)! Of course we’re talking Disney’s breath-taking and highly ambitious venture into cosmic Sci-Fi, The Black Hole, from 1979.

The Black Hole, 1979

The boys get into all the minute details of a movie that was so shocking, it quite possibly might have scarred an entire generation of children while at the same time, begot a merchandising campaign so vast, it even gave us a Little Golden Book Edition for those too young to follow along with the terror onscreen. Dion and Blake attempt to dissect the film in the context of the space-mania in the late 1970’s, and Hollywood’s race to the stars on the big and small screen. They talk in detail about the pioneering and breathtaking visuals that sadly, at times were to the detriment of the movie’s story. Was this film actually in development years before Star Wars, as a disaster film no less? Were its groundbreaking Special Effects actually more involved than Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, combined? What’s really going on onboard the U.S.S. Cygnus between Hans Reinhardt and his evil companion, the hovering robot Maximilian? And learn about the roots of Dion’s fascination with Ernest Borgnine and the yearly event that he attends in the actor’s honor, all on another, terrifying and brand new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

EXTRAS:

Take look at some EXCLUSIVE PICTURES of some rarely seen items on display in the Frank G. Wells Building located on the Disney Studios Burbank Lot, from when Dion and Blake were given a tour by Uncle Walt and Mickey (okay, Walt and Mickey didn’t give the tour but the lads like to remember it that way!). Here is one of the Palomino models used in the film; along with one of the scale models of V.I.N.CENTAND here‘s one of the laser pistols used in the filmALSO, here is the plaque outside of Studio A, the recording Soundstage designed to record Disney’s live orchestra music since 1939, and where The Black Hole‘s score was the first to be digitally recorded.

Here’s a GREAT Behind the Scenes picture of Peter Ellenshaw overseeing the photography of the U.S.S. Cygnus model, courtesy of AintitCool.com

Check out this awesome rarely seen commercial for a toy robot version of V.I.N.CENT!

While you’re at it, here’s a vintage commercial for its action figures!

Courtesy of BugEyedMonster.com, along with the regular toys, check out some UTRA-RARE Black Hole toy prototypes that NEVER made it to market.

Have a look and listen to the Black Hole Read Along and Aloud record, most notably with different actors voicing the characters, with the exception of Roddy McDowell.

Here’s the LP versionStory of the Black Hole“, this time with the actor’s from the film. And he’s Part 2, Side B!

For more on the Manhattan West Side Mexican Restaurant Tortilla Flats click here, and for more on Borgnine Night, click here for a CBS News Profile on the event (where SNMS’ own Dion Baia can be seen at the 2:25 mark!)

Take a listen to the sister-site Podwits.com Podcast where Dion, Brian Zino and J. Marcus recorded live from the 2012 Borgnine Night!

 

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October 2

The Blob, 1988

Here we go! Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers is working double time in October, delivering one horror film a week in celebration of Halloween! To start this insane marathon off the boys have picked a fan request, a remake of a classic property that scared SNMS‘s own Dion Baia so bad when he first saw it in the cinema that it scarred him for life. So along with his partner-in-crime J. Blake, they’re gonna have a massive therapy session to exorcise all those 35mm demons forever. The boys are all in this week as they examine Chuck Russell‘s film The Blob, from 1988.

The Blob 1988

They compare and contrast this from the 1958 original, analysing the updated themes (and SFX for that matter), seeing if this scary mass of crimson ooze is scarier and even craftier than it’s predecessor. Does this 1980’s film hold up to the more cynical and critical standards of today? How does this stack up against the other 1980’s creature-features that dealt with the same kind of ideas, i.e. foreign invaders wreaking havoc on helpless, isolated victims? Will doing 1 podcast a week for the month of October to celebrate Halloween burn Blake and Dion out? What other surprises lay ahead within a month of terrifying, unbridled horror? Hell, will they instead over stay their welcome? Well come check out another exciting, hilarious and informative episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers to find out!

EXTRAS:

Check out the surprising graphic trailer for the 1988 film!

Here’s the 1988 Cinefantastique article on The Blob, a retrospective of it and the original cult classic film.

Take a listen to the complete Soundtrack!

Have a look at the little known, an even lesser seen trailer for the 1972 sequel to the original 1958 film, entired The Blob 2: Son of the Blob aka Beware! The Blob!, directed by none other than Dallas‘ own Larry Hagman!!

 

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September 11

The Last Starfighter, 1984

To close out the long and hot summer, J. Blake and Dion Baia have embarked on a journey that will take them out of the trailer park canyons of California and up into the galaxy to help defend the cosmos against horrifying alien evildoers who are hell-bent on, well… doing whatever they plan to do- and the key to this adventure is provided to us by one cleverly disguised, humble arcade game console. Yes, we are talking about the highly-underated 1984 film The Last Starfighter, directed by Nick Castle.

The Last Starfighter

Yes Joystick Jockeys, this cult classic is hailed as the first film to showcase CGI Imagery to replace the tradition Stop-Motion and Practically Special Effects, and is sometimes forgotten for that milestone. But how does a space film in a post-Star Wars world stand out without ultimately being compared to the property that set the bar? The boys reminisce about the era of the late 1970’s and 80’s when one actually had to go out of their house and travel to a local arcade or restaurant if they wanted to socialize while gaming, and/or see the latest and greatest in video game technology vis-à-vis the big console units. Has time and the public been fair to this ground-breaking film? Can this movie actually be considered as influential as Star Wars in certain circles? And what’s this film’s 3-way connection to John Carpenter? And does Blake‘s Lance Guest story really involve a late-night encounter in the adult section of a 24-hour New York City store? Well we’re not pulling any punches on this all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Inter-stellar!!

(Check out the site for the Kenner Star Wars toys documentary discussed in this podcast entitled, Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys.)

(Here’s the link to Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America, the great book that discusses the history of game consoles; the success of Mario starting from the failed arcade console Radar Scope which was then converted into the legendary Donkey Kongleading to the rise of Nintendo and the legacy we are all familiar with today.)

(Have a look at composer Craig Safan conduct a performance of The Last Starfighter Suite, live!)

(The name of the Cleveland Restaurant that had VHS tapes to watch behind the bar was The Greenhouse Tavern)

(And on a COMPLETELY unrelated note, here is Dion meeting to man, the myth, the legend- Mr. Ron Jeremy)

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August 28

The Warriors, 1979

Get Ready! Dion Baia and J. Blake have picked a whopper of a movie for this week, which could be their BIGGEST podcast yet! Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers is putting on their jean jackets, leather vests, face paint, bandanas, and grabbing some subway tokens, because they’re screening the cult classic gang film, Walter Hill’s The Warriors, from 1979.

The Warriors

The boys attempt to find a logical order to their excitement while trying to dissect this classic. Having read the 1965 Sol Yurick novel of the same name, Blake and Dion compare the differences from book to film (like for example the gang not even actually being called The Warriors, but instead the Coney Island Dominators!). They try to give a historical context as well, speaking about the real gangs of the era, that in some cases were even more frightening than those in the film. And speaking of contexts, what about the historical Greek story Anabasis by Xenophon from 401 BC, and how it influenced both the author Yurick and subsequentially the director. And what of Walter Hill’s 2005 Director’s Cut (which seems to be the only version available to view this film nowadays); how does the Lucas-esque changes made compare to the original theatrical cut? Well, Dion and Blake try to fit as much as they can into this brand new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! So spread the word! Cause we’ll be ‘boppin’ our way right through this podcast! Now… can you dig it?!

(Check out the New York City locations that were used to film, from then and now, in this GREAT site found Here1, Here2 and Here3!)

(Here’s some more locations to have a look at.)

(Look at the deleted scenes from the film and see if you agree with their exclusion from the final product!)

(Take a gander at the UK site devoted to The Warriors, which is indispensable to any hardcore fan!)

(Have a look at the trailer to the brand new documentary entitled Rubble Kings, about the real gangs in NYC in the 1970’s, and how close they actually resembled the fictional ones in The Warriors, and how a real truce and organization almost came to be by the real life Cyrus!)

Here’s a link to the HUGE Reunion at Coney Island of The Warriors planned to happen Saturday, September 13th, 2015!

 

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July 31

The Fantastic Four, 1994

Well truly believers, with the upcoming release of the latest Fantastic Four reboot, Dion and Blake thought they’d go back and revisit a classic. A film so notorious in the annals of history for maybe all the wrong reasons, being that it never even got released and was instead shelved! We of course are talking about the Roger Corman classic, the original Fantastic Four film, from 1994.

Fantastic-four-movie-poster

The boys set the scene and discuss the context of the early ’90’s and what the FF was up against, as well as other movies that never got nearly as far in production, but met the same fate. Dion and Blake also debate probably the largest question everyone has: why the heck was this film never released, even after it was allowed to be completed? Could the powers-at-be have found another way to repurpose this film in some way, and not have written it off as a total failure? Did Roger Corman‘s company that got FF finished on such a shoe-string budget, actually hinder it’s release? Is it fair to compare this to something that Troma Studios would put out? And on the subject of Troma and Lloyd Kaufman, J. Blake regales us with story of how he actually worked at Troma which only lasted a week… This week’s edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers is a must listen, dissecting a film that may go down as one of the most sought after bootlegs in cinema history. Come download it today!

(The Gunfighter starred Gregory Peck, not Burt Lancaster.)

(Please check out The Fantastic Four in its entirety, courtesy of YouTube!)

(Check out the website for the documentary Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four)

(Here’s an ultra rare teaser trailer for The Fantastic Four!)

(In this episode Dion mentioned the great comic book artist John Byrne, whose work on FF in the 1980’s was the specific inspiration for The Thing‘s make up design. Here we have an Epic imaginary cover of an Epic imaginary crossover, commissioned by the SNMS team from Mr. Byrne himself!)

(As an added bonus, we have an ultra-rare, original pencil sketch of The Thing by legendary artist Joe Sinnott, who was the primary inker for the FF from 1965-1981!)

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May 8

Hard Target, 1993

Welcome to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia delve way into the video racks and bring out a long-forgotten classic from the early 1990’s back when long, wet mullets were in style, and we didn’t question when villains were able to acquire scores of loyal and nameless henchmen with automatic weapons. Of course we’re talking the 1993 Jean-Claude Van Damme film Hard Target, which also debuted badass Action director John Woo to the Western Hemisphere.

Hard Target, 1993

The “Muscles From Brussels” puts in a Grade A performance in this entry into the sub-subgenre of hunting-men-for-sport films. The boys get into the career of JCVD, and talk about his highs and lows (the controversy of his off-screen beefs with other actors and the debate about his actual martial art ability, and the fascination he has for having twins in many of his films), and the age-old burning question of everyone’s minds: it is a slyly disguised mullet or just slicked-back long hair here? Hmmm…   And how awesome are Lance Henriksen and Wilfred Brimley in this movie? And what’s a Zanenabe? We got a lot going on in another exciting and highly informative episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Here is the original source material for what has begot practically an entire subgenre of film, the short story The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell (which Dion mistakenly referred to as ‘The Deadliest Game” in the cast).

Check out pre-fame JCVD (in the black tank-top and short, tight biker shorts) as he busts-a-move in the 1984 film Breakin’.

Have a look at this behind the scenes making of Hard Target.

Take a gander at a link to some deleted scenes from the film.

 

April 10

The Monster Squad, 1987

This time around for an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, Dion Baia and J. Blake are going back to the basics. They’re covering a film which is a forgotten cult-classic and true Saturday Night Sleepover material if their ever was one because for their age group, they were the targeted demographic upon the movie’s release. This week the boys tackle Fred Dekker‘s 1987 film The Monster Squad.

monster squad

Why did this movie very quietly (and very quickly) fall through the cracks and be all but forgotten? Has it finally received the immortal status it rightly deserves? Would today’s children and (for that matter) today’s adults, enjoy the film as it was intended in 1987 or is it too –politically incorrect? Is this Fred Dekker, debut screenwriter Shane Black, and Stan Winston‘s love letter to the Universal Monsters, Abbott & Costello‘s hilarious monster-teamup series and to the 1950’s monster-era on a whole? Will Fred Dekker ever get the due he undoubtably deserves? Well grab your junk food, your sugary beverages, take-out food and curl up on the sofa for another brilliant, hilarious, and informative edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(Check out the Monster Squad Reunion at the 2007 Comic Con!)

(Have a look at the The Monster Squad Panel Discussion at the Monsterpalooza Horror Convention in Burbank on April 14th 2013)

(Here’s a great little Monsterama interview with SFX legend Stan Winston)

February 27

John Carpenter’s The Thing, 1982

The lads have their hands full in this brand-spanking new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepover, and desperately try to fit it all into the confines of a humble podcast. This week, Dion Baia and J. Blake take on the 1982 horror classic, John Carpenter’s The Thing.

the-thing-poster

The boy’s knowledge and expertise are put to task, disseminating all the elements that were brought together in remaking an already established cult classic. How the heck did this movie flop upon its intital release and be completely panned by critics and the film community alike? How do the SFX hold up to the CGI we are so familiar with today? How did the 2011 prequel/remake and 2002 PS2 video game hold up verse Carpenter’s 1982 vision? Have the boys actually solved the ending? And… what the heck were the guys thinking trying to do their own 3D experience in these cold winter months with their latest screening?

Well strap yourselves onto your couch (quite literally) for this thrilling and exciting installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(Go have a gander at this neat wikia page so you can completely go in-depth and geek out on John Carpenter’s The Thing!)

(Have a look at this great topical claymation mash-up that was done, mixing The Thing and Disney’s Frozen.)

(Here are some deleted scenes from the film, and click here for stills for some of the lost scenes.)

(Take a peek at this vintage behind-the-scenes featurette.)

(Last but certainly far from least, as a greatEXCLUSIVE treat for our fans, check out some original concept art drawn by comic artist Mike Ploog of the kennel scene, from J. Blake‘s personal collection: here, here, here and here.)
February 13

The Terminator, 1984

In this brand-spanking new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, Dion Baia and J. Blake take on the monumental opus, something that not only influenced these two boys in their formative years, but also was a huge influence on cinema, sci-fi, action (and maybe even horror) as well as technology- we are of course talking about James Camerson’s breakout masterpiece, The Terminator, from 1984.

The-Terminator-1984

The boys lay out the history behind the film and the lead up to its inception, and tackle a lot of the nuisanced subplots. Who were the other actors that were being pegged to play the lead role? What character did Arnold originally read for? Does this film still hold up and more importantly, did director James Cameron as the auteur really change the face of cinema with his 1984 (proper) feature film debut? Well come on down and listen to another informative, exciting and fun-for-all installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(Here’s a great vintage, rare behind the scenes making-of featurette done for the film.)

(Check out the rare, deleted scenes from the film and see if you agree with their omission from the finished movie.)

 

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January 16

Transformers the Movie, 1986

Dion and J. Blake usher in 2015 with an absolute cult-classic from their childhood, the 1986 feature film Transformers the Movie.

transformers the movie 1987

This fact-filled podcast sizes up the 1986 adaptation of a beloved daily TV show’s journey from the small to the silver screen, taking on the HUGE elephant in the room- the ramifications on the toy industry, children’s psyches, and future cartoon properties regarding the hugely controversial death of Optimus Prime. What the heck were the Execs thinking? Also the boys attempt to fill in some plot holes and see if the film still holds up; finally dispel some of the myths that had been linked to the film like the Orson Welles controversy, this being his last theatrical performance; and compare it on a whole to the recent Michael Bay franchise reboot. Well, if you were a fan of Transformers or cartoons like G.I.Joe in your childhood or you still geek out on the timeless Cybertonions galactic battles, you’ll love the 2015 Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers debut.

(Have a read of a great recent interview with the scriptwriter Ron Friedman)

(Check out another great interview with writer and story editor Flint Dille)

(Here are the legendary and hilarious outtakes of Orson Welles ripping producers, writers, and engineers alike in a VoiceOver session for a British Frozen Peas Commercial)

(Finally, check out the late great actor Chris Latta [aka Chris Collin in this clip] who voiced Starscream, Gung-Ho and Cobra Commander among others, doing his passion, stand up comedy.)

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November 14

Mindwarp,” 1992

The boys really searched through the proverbial video store racks for this week’s pick, the little known and probably even less-seldom seen sci-fi treat, Mindwrap from 1992, starring Bruce Campbell and Phantasm‘s Angus Scrimm.

mindwrap poster

This underrated, low-budget post-apocalyptic/technological/CHUD-style tale explores themes probed 7 years later in the highly popular 1999 film The Matrix (though the viewpoints of the filmmakers couldn’t be more carbon opposite), and Mindwrap seems to be an amalgam of some of the best sci-fi films out there, e.g. The Time MachineTotal Recall, Blade Runner and THX 1138.  So please have a listen and enjoy us waxing over a true forgotten sci-fi and Bruce Campbell classic!

(There in fact is an out of print, region free remastered Blu Ray edition put out by Twilight Time Studios, which can be found on Amazon.)  

(Dion misspoke in the cast when he referred to Philip K. Dick‘s iconic short story We Can Remember it For You Wholesale being linked to Blade Runner, when he actually meant Total Recall. He does tend to get a tad over-zealous at times.)