October 21

SNMS Presents: The Side-CastHorror Recommendations

SNMS Side CastA brand new addition to Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers  rotation is the Podcast that started it all, Dion and Blake‘s Side-Cast. Originally airing on the sister site Podwits.com, the Side-Cast was the series that became the catalyst for what became SNMS. To showcase where it all began we are reissuing this series, highlighting the anthology podcast that covered a variety of topics, so that they can breath a second life, and because eventually it will be a new off-shoot of the regular SNMS Podcast, where brand new podcast content will be generated for SNMS website as well.

(For the inaugural release of the Side-Cast here at SNMS, we present a Halloween-themed podcast originally published on October the 14th of 2014, to help get the word out on the then newly launch Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers Podcast and Website. We hope you enjoy!)

To help get the word out about their new Podcast Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, Dion and J. Blake sit down to recommend 10 horror films for the Halloween season that they feel may be overlooked or forgotten in today’s times. The boys attempt to compile a list of amazing fright films that may not be considered first choice picks, but are a necessity for ANY horror fan. Along with their podcast, the lads have also co-wrote a companion posting over at Saturday Sleepovers, giving another 10 (5 each) that they couldn’t fit into the podcast but felt remise if they didn’t include as well. So please go have a listen and then go over to Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers to see the written list. We hope you enjoy!

(Please check out J. Blake‘s new Blues album When You Coming Home? and check out his interview with Alan Jones, the premiere aficionado on everything Dario Argento.)

(Check out the written companion piece to this podcast, the 5 Rentals for $5 List of Horror Recommendations!)

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 9

Mad Love, 1935

The boys are back for week 2 in their October month of horror! This time around J. Blake and Dion Baia are going back to the basics, doing a true B-side from the Golden Age of Horror that stars one of their favorite actors of the day, the great Peter LorreSaturday Night Movie Sleepovers gets into their DeLorean to have a hand (pun intended) at the cult classic film Mad Love, from 1935.

Mad Love, 1935

Certainly the oldest film covered to date, Dion and Blake chat about the ground-breaking wave of American Horror in the 1930’s from studio’s like Universal or in this case MGM and discuss how it set the bar, its influence still even seen today. They set the stage by going through the mindset of Post-WWI Europe, a time when German Expressionism was first seen, a movement that played a huge role in Horror cinema and explain the context of the mass exodus from 1930’s Western Europe; the artists of which eventually landing in Tinseltown, and how their unique visions of the world gave Horror the foundation that it was built upon, which still continues to thrive over 85+ years on. They go into the history of Peter Lorre and this underrated and little-known film (his inaugural to American audiences) which contains a scene that might possibly be one of the most horrific and frightening images from the era(!). How the heck could this film actually help usher in a complete ban of the Horror genre in the United Kingdom, culminating eventually in Hollywood actually abandoning the genre entirely almost until after the Second World War? How many of the actors in this film alone met a sad demise due to alcohol and substance abuse, echoing the sad times of the day within Hollywood? And how the heck is this film connected to the 3 Stooges? And while you’re at it, learn about the faux-James Bond film that was never shot Blake and Dion devised, involving Cary Grant, James Mason, Peter Lorre, Jimmy Stewart and Vincent Price, directed by Alfred Hitchcock! It’s an all new fun, fact-filled, old school, Halloween edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

EXTRAS

Here’s the boxset Hollywood Legend’s of Horror Collection that contains Mad Love.

Straight out of the SNMS Archive and mentioned in the cast, have a look at an original autographed 8×10 of the legendary Conrad Veidt!

Another treasure in the SNMS Archive, is an original newspaper ad for (Dion’s recommendation this week) The Beast with Five Fingers, as well as an original cardboard printing plate used by newspapers to print the same ad.

Take a look at the picture that saved the life of Peter Lorre‘s daughter from the Hillside Stranglers!

Check out Peter Lorre lounging around, smoking and hanging out with a huge dog before introing the trailer for Mad Love! Boy, those were the days!

For more on the beloved Peter Lorre, have a look at this documentary on the iconic actor.

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July 17

The Towering Inferno, 1974

The summer is here and with it comes the big-mega blockbusters! And as a tribute to First Responders and to Firefighters specifically (and fittingly to the NYFD who turn 150 this year), Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking on a classic ’70’s epic, back when Special Effects weren’t just Computer Generated Images with actors in front of green screens, but when practical effects were the norm. Oh yes, once upon a time stunt men did it all for real, detailed miniatures and matte paintings expanded our world. No one did it better than legendary producer Irwin AllenSaturday Night Movie Sleepovers takes on arguably his quintessential film in his hugely successful series of disaster flicks… We’re of course talking about The Towering Inferno, from 1974.

The Towering Inferno

Blake and Dion analyse the film within the context of the mid-70’s, in a pre-Star Wars era, where the hottest thing going at the time were disaster movies and various procedural shows on television which spawned toys, action sets and board games. The boys also consider the film in the context of a post-911 world… is the romanticism of these movies forever lost? And is there actually a longer cut of the film made for television? Is composer John Williams‘ most sought after piece of music actually in this film? How do those practical effects hold up today verse modern CGI? And did Steve McQueen actually have a lisp when pronouncing “S’s”?! Well all these questions and many more will be answered in this brand new, epic edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

 

(Dion misspoke when referencing to the source material and said the The Glass Tower, when in fact he meant The Glass Inferno.)

 

(Check out the an entire site dedicated to this film, called The Towering Inferno Archive!)

(Have a look at the 1982 Atari 2600 Game Edition of The Towering Inferno!)

(Here’s Irwin Allen‘s NATO Film Presentation for The Towering Inferno)

(Take a look at this vintage interview with screenwriter Stirling Silliphant speaking about writing for disaster films, and specifically The Towering Inferno)

 

June 19

Maniac, 1980

Well boys and girls, this week Dion Baia and J. Blake have a real treat lined up, a personal favorite of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, the 1980 cult classic Maniac, directed by William Lustig and starring the late, great, Joe Spinell.

maniac1980

The guys attempt to fit as much as they can into a humble little podcast about this movie, while not trying to go too overboard and show their true colors as absolute fanatics for this film. They discuss the amazing actor that was Joe Spinell, and how he hoped that this pet project of his would do for him what Rocky did for his close friend Sylvester Stallone. Dion and Blake also go on about how it all came together and who Spinell was able to get on board, like SFX legend Tom Savini and iconic director Bill Lustig, to name a few. And the love the boys have for this movie brings up very interesting topics: Is there really an homage to Spielberg‘s Jaws in the film? What were student reactions when J. Blake screened it for his college horror class? Does this movie maybe contain the best head explosion ever? How does the 2012 remake starring Elijah Wood compare? And why do the lads keep butchering actress Catherine Munro‘s name? Well all these questions and a few more get answered in this very exciting and quite informative all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

 

(Well here we go again- in lamenting his love for X-rated star Sharon Mitchell who cameos in the film, Dion mistakenly referred to her as “Shannon Mitchell”. Please except his apologies)

(Here’s Mr. Spinell being interviewed on The Joe Franklin Show about his new film, Maniac)

(PLEASE check out this great documentary by David Gregory calledThe Joe Spinell Story“, which is a MUST watch for any fan.)

(Check out the promo film to the unmade Maniac 2, aka Mister Robbie, starring Joe Spinell)

(Have a look at Tom Savini and others talk about his memories of Joe Spinell)

(Here’s Elijah Wood discussing Joe Spinell’s characterization of Frank Zito, verses is own.)

(Take a look at the International trailer for 1980’s Maniac)

(Please have a gander at Dion‘s exclusive interview with Randy Jurgensen where they discuss his iconic career as an NYPD Detective and then his legendary film career, Joe Spinell (among many others), and his book Circle of Six: The True Story of New York’s Most Notorious Cop Killer and the Cop Who Risked Everything to Catch Him)

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.

 

March 27

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 1971

The boys are back, kicking in the door with a beloved classic for this week’s all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, and it is a trip to a world of Pure Imagination, with 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

wonka poster

Dion and Blake dig deep into the dark side and undertones of this film which, to be fair, has some pretty surprising things going on in a 1971 child’s film. Based on renowned author Roald Dahl‘s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what evidently led to Dahl practically disowning the movie, even though he was signed on to write the screenplay? How important was the casting of Mr. Wonka in this film, and more to the point, how awesome is Gene Wilder? What about the 2005 Tim Burton remake? How does that fair to this version, and what does Wilder himself thing of the ’05 version? Dion and Blake also reminisce about their own experiences in meeting the cast of this classic film.  So come on down for an all-across-the-board audience favorite, in this all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(Don’t believe us? Check out this 2013 interview with the legend Gene Wilder, as he talks about his film career, and the 2005 reboot.)

(Here’s a complete video courtesy of LuckPennyShop, demoing the 1971 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Candy Maker Kit!)

(Do you think this 2014 50th Anniversary edition cover for Roald Dahl‘s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory warranted the controversy?)

(Have a look at the 2013 musical production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… and decide for yourself…)

(Take a gander at Dion‘s once-in-a-lifetime chance of meeting Mr. Wilder in 2008!)

 

March 13

Dirty Harry, 1971

This time around Dion and Blake are talking about potentially their most controversial film for Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers to date, Don Siegel‘s classic, the original Dirty Harry, from 1971, starring Clint Eastwooddirty-harry-poster
This groundbreaking film literally paved the way for the onslaught of police genre stories on the big and small screen in the 1970’s,  and refined and set the standard for the Vigilante/Anti-Hero genre that blossomed for the next 20 years, and also spawned 4 sequels. So why the heck was this film so contentious for 1971? How did the raw violence and its graphic depiction sit with audiences at the time? How does it hold up today? Is this actually a Western in disguise? Is the film’s composer Lalo Schrifrin as underrated as it seems? Did this film quite possibly give us the action film genre as we knew it with Arnold, Sly, and Willis in the 1980’s- Wha-? Hmm… Well come on down and give us a spin on another brand-new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

*Dion erroneously referred to Frank Sinatra‘s 1967 film Tony Rome, when he actually met his 1968 film The Detective.

(Check out the 1971 San Francisco premiere of Dirty Harry!)

(Have a look at this CANCELLED 2007 Dirty Harry game for X360/Ps3, that would have taken place between the first and second film, and looked sweet as all hell! And   –Here’s the story behind it!)

(Here’s a ultra-rare promotional ad done for the film while Frank Sinatra was still being talked about for the role.)

(Check out the back cover of the novelization at the really cool early concept for Scorpio‘s ransom note!)

(Watch the trailer to see how they promoted the film)

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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