The boys are back for a delayed 2023 edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia hook up to discuss what they’ve been watching over the 2023 winter season, which as regular listeners will know, leads some pretty interesting and off-the-beaten-track tangents. And the guys got some pretty fun ones today. So grab a cold brew or cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy some fun conversations, Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers-style!
Welcome to week 4 of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ 2018 October Halloween Horror Movie Extravangza! Dion Baia and J. Blake are rounding out the month with some Italian cinema, featuring what has been called the quintessential film from the director some call the “Italian Hitchcock“… Dario Argento and his masterpiece, Suspiria, from 1977!
Blake and Dion unpack this vast topic, discussing Dario Argento‘s relationship with Daria Nicolodi and their collaboration that gave us Suspiria. The boys discuss the historical elements that influenced the story, like English essayist Thomas De Quincey’s poem that outlined “our lady’s of sorrow“, and Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner‘s principles that molded what became Argento‘s Three Mothers Trilogy. And they cover Goblin‘s massive score for this film and their partnership with the acclaimed director. It’s an intense, Italian-themed installment to close our 2018‘s epic October Halloween Horror Month Extravaganza, on an all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! We’d also like to thank you sponsors this week, TiVo (use PROMO CODE SAT20 to save 20% off your order) and Hello Fresh (use PROMO CODE SAT60 to save $60 off your order)!
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.
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!
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.
Welcome back to week 4 of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers‘ October Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza! To bring to a close SNMS‘ month of horror, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to take on a fan favorite, particularly a cult classic for the ladies. The fellas are getting on their brooms and heading to Salem, Massachusetts, as they cover Walt Disney‘s Hocus Pocus, from 1993.
The boys get right into it by setting up the backstory of the film, and how it was originally pitched as a Disney television movie, then languished in developmental hell for ten years until it was brought in front of Bette Midler. They debate the theory of how some seasonal-themed films become cult classics, holiday staples because of repeated viewings on television and cable. They analyze the elements within the film that showcase another example of Disney tip-toeing into somewhat dark, erotic material- cleverly disguised inside a light-hearted fairytale. Dion and Blake unpack the historical context of this story, briefly summarizing about how Wiccan and Pagan religious ideologies were deemed to be akin to being in league with the devil, and the horrible witch-hunts that swept through Salem, Massachusetts, at the end of the 15th Century. They also compare the tone of Hocus Pocus to other properties at the time, like Eerie, Indiana and Are You Afraid of the Dark?. So, what is the fan speculation behind this story: going to the How and the Why of the Sanderson Sisters becoming witches? Was Leonardo DiCarprio once considered to star in this movie? Playing their own What if Game, could this film have been envisioned as a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman vehicle at the time? And are the fans finally going to see a sequel to this film, and why would Disney actually not be interested in making a sequel/reboot to this beloved property? Well, you better make sure no virgins are trespassing and lighting any candles, hide your children, and actually listen to that black cat trying to talk to you… because the boys are back with the Halloween-specific episode of SNMS‘ October Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza!
Here is the 1973 book mentioned in the podcast that digs excessively into among other things, the history of Wiccan, Pagan and Witchcraft religions, entitled The Devil and all his Works, by Dennis Wheatley.
And lastly but far from least, for more info on the 1977 John Carpenter‘s Halloween Michael Myers House that is now a museum, click here.
George A. Romero
(February 4, 1940 – July 16, 2017)
On Sunday July 16th, 2017 it was announced that filmmaker George A. Romero passed away. His debut film, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968), is arguably one of the most influential films of all time and his work, on the whole, means a great deal to us here at SATURDAY NIGHT MOVIE SLEEPOVERS. So out of respect to a master that gave us so much, today on this special impromptu SIDE-CAST, Dion & Blake pay tribute to an artist and filmmaker who had set out to make a cheap horror film and in the process changed the world forever…as well as the lives of two movie-loving podcasters, with a penchant for sleepovers.
CLICK HERE to listen the episode of the WRONG REEL podcast, on which Blake discusses the work of George A. Romero.
CLICK HERE to watch the George A. Romero section of Showtime‘s fantastic Bruce Campbell-hosted documentary titled MASTERS OF HORROR from 2002.
CLICK HERE to watch the George A. Romero/Tom Savini episode of the 1989 British television documentary series SON OF THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILM SHOW.
CLICK HERE to watch the original cut of the legendary behind-the-scenes documentary, DOCUMENT OF THE DEAD.
Buongiorno! Today we welcome James Hancock, host of the WRONG REEL podcast, for part 2 of a very special 2-part podcast crossover extravaganza (***Don’t worry, it is totally okay if you listen to this part first)! In part 1, SNMS’ very own Blake traveled to the Wrong Reel studio in lower Manhattan to sit in on a fun and informative chat regarding Italian horror maestro Dario Argento‘s first three films; affectionally known as The Animal Trilogy. Now, for your listening enjoyment, James has packed his PJs and sleeping bag and ventured into Blake’s Mom’s basement for a late night sleepover and a passionate discussion about Argento’s stylish, strange, provocative, controversial and (mostly) beloved trilogy exploring the mythos of the dreaded Three Mothers—SUSPIRIA (1977), INFERNO (1980) & MOTHER OF TEARS (2007).
They express their personal passions for the films and Argento and dive deep into the trilogy’s history, inspirations, productions, music, casts and wildly imaginative lore and visual aesthetics.
So is this horror’s strongest trilogy? Which film is Blake’s favorite of the series and why does he love it so? Why do the women act so immature in SUSPIRIA? Who the hell is that hot chick with the cat in INFERNO and what legendary classical composer was Keith Emerson ordered to adapt for a cue in the film? What common threads run throughout the series? Does James understand what the heck is going on in any of these films? Which Argento actress once attended one of Blake’s concerts and which other Argento actress was he once email pen-pals with? All of these questions and so many more are answered in this exciting conclusion to the Giant-Sized Wrong Reel/SNMS crossover 2-parter, here on the latest edition SATURDAY NIGHT MOVIE SLEEPOVERS PRESENTS: THE SIDE-CAST!
To hear Wrong Reel’s half of this 2-parter, CLICK HERE!
Follow Wrong Reel on Twitter, @WrongReel!
To hear Dion & Blake’s SNMS episode about Dario Argento’s DEEP RED, CLICK HERE!
To watch the documentary DARIO ARGENTO: AN EYE FOR HORROR, CLICK HERE!
To watch a vintage TV performance of GOBLIN performing the theme to SUSPIRIA, CLICK HERE!
To watch the late Keith Emerson perform Mater Tenebrarum from INFERNO, CLICK HERE!
Follow Blake’s book SCORED TO DEATH on Twitter @ScoredtoDeath!
As a little added bonus to last week’s Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers‘ podcast on Dario Argento’s Deep Red (1975), this week we’d like to present a conversation that our very own J. Blake had, way back in October of 2013, with British film critic, journalist, author and Argento expert, Alan Jones.
Jones runs the Frightfest film festival in London, has contributed to many publications (Empire, Premiere, Fangoria and the iconic Cinefantastique to name only a few), can be heard on numerous noteworthy Blu-ray and DVD audio commentaries and is the author of The Rough Guide to Horror Movies and the definitive Dario Argento guide, Profondo Argento: The Man, the Myths & the Magic (with its latest edition being titled Dario Argento: The Man, The Myths & The Magic).
A few years ago, actually on the eve of an unforgettable sold out Goblin concert at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn NY, Mr. Jones was nice enough to take Blake’s call and chat about his passions for horror movies, Argento, disco and the Sex Pistols; an odd combination I know, but he is a complex and interesting guy.
So take a few moments, sit back with a glass of wine and read forth…if you dare!
(The interview is presented in an alternate font, to make it easier to read.)
Buon Giorno dear friends, and welcome back to another edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are taking a trip to picturesque Italy to visit a filmmaker near and dear to both their hearts, the maestro Dario Argento. The boys tackle a film they feel is a classic and a quintessential representation of a genre that was reinvigorated within the mediterranean country, by Argento, in the 1970’s. The fellas are going back to film school with this one, covering arguably the director’s most commerically successful and popular film, Profondo Fondo or Deep Red, from 1975.
As Argento the auteur is a huge favorite here at SNMS, especially for Blake, he and Dion waste no time getting into the topic of discussion, by setting the stage and first explaining the sub-genre known as ‘giallo‘ and what are the essential elements that classically make up a giallo film. They also lay out a crucial element: what it was like engaging in the Italian cinema experience of the time; how going to the movies back then and specifically that social aspect affected how Italian films of this elk were subsequently written, and even paced. The boys examine Argento’s career rise to a filmmaker and his Animal Trilogy of films, and review how Deep Red began his seque from ‘who-dun-it’-type stories, to eventually Supernatural and straight Horror vehicles. And how on a larger scale, he singlehandedly revitalized an entire genre within Italian cinema. Dion and Blake also cite American auteurs like John Carpenter and Brian De Palma, who vocally or even subconsciously have been influenced by the Italian maestro. They also discuss the legendary Italian progressive rock band Goblin in detail, as this was the first collaboration between band and filmmaker. So get ready as the boys take you on a trip filled with mystery, intrigue and horror, in another fabulous and informative installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
*Dion misspoke when he referenced Michael Mann‘s Manhunter, when he was actually referring to the director’s 1981 film Thief.
Take a gander at one of the original posters for Deep Red, aka Profondo Rosso, which interestingly bares a very close resemblance to Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1958 classic, Vertigo poster.
This week around Dion Baia and J. Blake delve deep into the video store racks and bring out an absolute cult classic and a very personal favorite of theirs; a film which practically reinvigorated an entire genre in Italy, and lured in legions of soon-to-be horror and zombie fans… we of course are speaking of the Lucio Fulci classic, Zombie, from 1979.
This film is known by many names: Zombie Fresh Eaters, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island, Zombie 2: The Dead Walk Among Us, Woodoo, and was officially released in Italy as Zombi 2.
The boys breakdown the state of horror cinema in the 1970’s, giving a quick summary of the zombie genre leading up to 1979 and a history of Italian horror up to this point. Why (and how) was this Fulci masterpiece actually released as a sequel to George A Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead? They discuss their love for Fulci, Italian horror cinema in general, and the fabulous Fabio Frizzi soundtrack. Dion and Blake also explain their shared journey of discovering this movie while in Film School. We’re dropping some knowledge in this week’s episode so come on down, grab a seat and take a listen to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! And remember, FULCI LIVES!
*And as an added bonus for our listeners this week, we’ve included our very first audio commentary for a film, so you can watch and follow right along with your friends, Blake and Dion. They may cover some of the same ground that they do in the podcast but this debut commentary lets the fellas stretch their legs, and go step by step and get into the nuts and bolts of the film, while having fun and spontaneously opining about their love of Fulci, horror films, and Italian babes- all in real-time with the movie. So let us know what you think and maybe we’ll do more down the road but remember, it’s our first attempt, so we’re still feeling it out. We hope you enjoy!
October is upon us and along with Autumn arriving, ’tis the season for scary movies! As a companion-piece to J. Blake & Dion‘s latest Side Cast in which they recommend 10 horror movies that they feel have either fallen through the cracks or have plain been forgotten, the lads have also put together another list of 10 films they wholeheartedly recommend, along with the podcast picks which can be found at The Podwits mother site.