October 14

The Mummy, 1959

Welcome back to week two of Saturday Night Movie Sleepover‘s October-Halloween month of Horror, where for the four weeks of the Autumn month, J. Blake and Dion Baia are giving you four podcasts to help fill you nightmares with nostalgic terror! This installment the boys are showcasing a classic, and also the first Hammer Studios production to be discussed on the podcast. This week they chat about the iconic 1959 movie The Mummy, starring the legendary Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

The Mummy, 1959

Dion and Blake chat again about their love for the classics and set the table and explain (within the cycle of the horror films) how the Hammer Studios helped revitalize the waning genre, and breathe new life into the catalog of monsters that Universal Pictures established some twenty years before. They go through the backstory of how a small British company like Hammer was able to successfully ‘borrow’ the classic monsters like Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, and this film’s central character, The Mummy and helped catapult them into the iconic status that we know them as today. The fellas also compare the template that we see these type of franchises cycle through, to the same template in films we see today like with the current trend of superhero movies, highlighting the similarities- e.g. first, the single-character ‘tent pole’ movies, then morphing into the multi-character team up installments. They also gush over their love for legendary actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, and how without these men who went on to endear themselves to over 8 decades of cinema lovers, there might never have been the monster revival that Hammer brought forth, and the lasting impact these amazing horror characters had on us, film fans, having been firmly cemented into our pop culture. But how was Hammer even able to swing using these monster icons and get around Universal’s copyrighting in the first place? How was this film revolutionary, not only within the monster sub-genre but in the overall horror genre in general? How does this film and story hold up today? And is this version of the Mummy actually the precursor to characters we see in decades to come like Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers? And what impact have these movies left upon cinema? Well come one down and listen to week two of the horror extravaganza in another all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

EXTRAS

Check out the original trailer for this 1959 classic!

Take a look at the TCM intro for 1959 The Mummy! AND here’s the Outro!

Here’s a great interview with Christopher Lee about Dracula and The Mummy!

Watch the Donald Fearney‘s documentary on Hammer‘s cycle of Mummy horror films!

Have a listen to the pilot of Suspense Radio show, of The Lodger, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, which is a radio series Dion and Blake absolutely flip over.

SNMS cannot recommend enough, for those interested to check out the classic radio shows (commonly referred to OTR, meaning Old Time Radio) on archive.org that are now public domain. On this .org site, enthusiasts compile the best surviving sources for each particular show and add new ones or discover better quality episodes everyday. Have a mozy and see if you can find a genre and/or show that you’d love today; and we guarantee that if you take the time, you will find a show you’d love. The rest is on you.

October 30

Halloween II, 1981

We are entering the home stretch of Saturday Night Sleepover‘s October month of Horror! For the fifth and final week Dion Baia and J. Blake are continuing with the tradition (granted it’s only the second year) of doing a film that not only is a horror (which is a given in a month of October) but a movie that also actually takes place on the holiday itself (and coincidentally has the name in the title). Along with all the parentheses, you might have guessed the boys are doing Halloween II, from 1981.

Halloween 2This film has an interesting backstory as that John Carpenter originally declined to direct instead opting to write the screenplay and produce, but then actually took the project away from director Rick Rosenthal, adding and directing additional scenes to make the film gorier than the original, so to compete with the other ‘slasher’ films of the time. This may have ended up confusing audiences because the film had a notorious ‘TV‘ or ‘ProducersCut, which not only changes the fate of some central characters, but also varied the degree of gore associated with each of Michael Myer’s victims. Was this really the first time a sequel picks up seconds after the original ended, since Bride of Frankenstein some 50 years earlier? Did Rosenthal actually get Orson Welles-ed by Carpenter? How does this compare to the original, a classic that practically jump started an entire subgenre?  What was the controversy some years back with the omission of legendary Producer Moustapha Akkad‘s credit on the 2011 Blu-ray rerelease that so enraged the loyal fans of the franchise? How awesome was Donald Pleasance‘s performance? Did Lance Guest‘s character actually die or not? And what the heck happened to Ben Tramer?! Plus, hear Blake talk about the afternoon he spent with Joe Bob Briggs in all places- a hotel room? All these questions and more will be answered in this exciting, Halloween Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

EXTRAS:

Check out the Original Trailer for Halloween II!

Here’s the Alternate Television Ending!

Here are the scenes Carpenter shot to insert into the original Halloween film to make it long enough to be shown on TV, while using the actors and crew to shoot the extra scenes for Part II!

Take a look at the TV show Hollywood Structured, this episode with Dick Warlock from 1991.  

Have a read of J. Blake‘s review on the 2012 2-disc Blu-ray Scream Factory Collector’s Edition, originally posted on Podwits.com.

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!)