Happy Holidays, everyone! J. Blake and Dion Baia are back to end 2022 with a zinger. The boys get together and each make a list of 5 Christmas-themed films and television shows they both love that haven’t yet been covered on the show. The also look back at the prior holiday films they’ve examined, and at their favorite Christmas TV specials and holiday films– some of which are off the beaten track. So come on down and wrap the year up with some warm, holiday fun with Blake and Dion on another festival and exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
It’s that time of year again! J. Blake and Dion Baia are getting ready for the holidays at Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers and bringing down the decorations from the attic! They have on deck, an iconic film that has become an absolute cult classic, and one that turns 30 this year. So, this week the boys are taking on Chevy Chase‘s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, from 1989!
Dion and Blake jump right in, exploring the history of National Lampoon Magazine, and how it went to presenting movies, and how a short story by a young writer named John Hughes morphed into an epic and iconic franchise. So come listen to the fellas put the Christmas lights up outside on the house, in this all new exciting, informative, and hilarious edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(*In the cast Dion mentioned that Chevy Chase left SNL after the First Season– in fact, he did perform in a handful of episodes of Season 2 before he jumped ship.)
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!
Welcome back to another episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With the holiday season in full swing, J. Blake and Dion Baia have delved quite deep into the video store racks, and found a lost Christmas classic, the ABC made-for-TV movie, The Night They Saved Christmas, from 1984, directed by the great Jackie Cooper!
This lost gem starring Art Carney, Jaclyn Smith, Scott Grimes, Mason Adams, June Lockhart and Paul Williams has largely and sadly fallen through the cracks of history and subsequently been lost to time – but not forgotten by the SNMS boys! After Dion and Blake reminisce about some of the classic holiday specials they grew with, the boys jump right into this fabulous film, which the fellas jokingly argue might be the ‘lost’ or ‘unknown’ sequel to the last film they covered on their previous episode, William Friedkin‘s 1977 masterpiece, Sorcerer. They take a deep-dive into this 80’s TV-movie classic and marvel over all those mythical, usually unanswered question regarding the Santa legend, that this film tackles with ease. The guys are equally astonished by the SFX within the film, be it matte-paintings, stop-motion and/or miniatures. And Blake and Dion also offer up some of their unique musical suggestions for the holiday season, to help make the ultimate 2017 Christmas mix-tape. So which one of the boys actually has a huge affinity for Hallmark Christmas movies? Did the boys actually forget to mention that Jackie Cooper was a Little Rascal? Does this film achieve that “Christmas Spirit” that so many look for in a holiday movie? And who the heck is this unseen super-villain Gaylord we keep hearing about?! Well, all these dire questions will be answered in this fun, hilarious and warm, feel-good holiday edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
With Christmas just days away, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to seek out a film that actually was the first to attempt to lay out the backstory of old St. Nick; a movie that sadly came and went, and like any good holiday film, it’s a perfect time capsule for the era it was made within. We’ve got Santa pitted against the evil and greed of the 1980s, in Jeannot Szwarc‘s Santa Claus: The Movie, from 1985.
This forgotten gem starring the great Dudley Moore, David Huddleston and John Lithgow immediately have the boys thinking back to the Christmas’ of their childhood, and the memories that come along with those experiences, like the Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs and their toy sections, or shopping with Mom and watching her use coupons for everything and then get rainchecks for what was on sale but had been 86-ed. And because of the product placement and connected marketing campaign, it has Dion and Blake longing for a McDonald‘s meal circa 1985, and all it’s unhealthy heavenly glory. They discuss the superhero-esque origin story, and relish in the glorious pre-CGI practical effects, and the beauty that has been lost in those antiquated Special Effects. So playing the SNMS-patented “What-if ?” game, who were some of the other directors considered to helm this film? Was a legendary horror director actually topping the list to, at one point, oversee this project? Was this entire movie, including the parts in New York City, shot on a soundstage in another country entirely? And is it really unheard of to have that many wild reindeer pull a sleigh? Well, this week the boys hook up with the Vendequm and watch them fulfill their centuries-old prophecy, in an all new Holiday Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
This week, in part 2 of our Special Christmas Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, J. Blake and Dion Baia take on an Oldie-put-Goodie Christmas Classic, Jim Varney’s Ernest Saves Christmas, from 1988.
The boys lay out the history of Ernest P. Worrell, how the zany character even came about and explore the world he created in movies and on the small screen, which leads them into a digression of television shows of the 1970’s and ’80’s. They compare Ernest to another beloved character of the time, Pee-Wee Herman. But unlike Paul Reuben‘s iconic character, because of Jim Varney‘s untimely death in 2000, has the world forgotten the pure, lovable Ernest P. Worrell? Well come on down and listen to a dissection of another Christmas classic, on an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!