October 27

Hocus Pocus, 1993

Welcome back to week 4 of Saturday Night Movie SleepoversOctober Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza! To bring to a close SNMSmonth 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.

Hocus PocusThe 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 SNMSOctober Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza!


Check out this original trailer for Hocus Pocus, that contains shots from scenes that weren’t included in the final cut of the film!

Here’s a fantastic episode of the 1990’s Discovery Channel Show Movie Magic, devoted to the impressive EFX wire-work that is showcased in Hocus Pocus, courtesy of YouTube!

Take a listen to the John Debney score to the film!

This is the Bette Midler, Disney MGM Studio Commercial short entitled The Lottery, that was talked about in the podcast from the early 1990s, courtesy of some guy on YouTube, so enjoy!

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.

Also referenced in the podcast, for more information on Ed Gein, click here; for H. H. Holmes‘ and his house of horrors click here; and for information on the 1913 Villisca Axe Murders, click here.

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.

June 9

Dirty Dancing, 1987

Hello and welcome back to another all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With summer upon us, Dion Baia and J. Blake have decided to chat about an absolute fan favorite which turns 30 in August- a film that immediately adored itself to multiple generations of women and fans alike. Well the boys are putting on their Cuban heels and stepping onto the dance floor this week with the 1987 classic, Dirty Dancing !

Dirty Dancing Movie Poster

After joking around about keeping their parents up all night long while hosting sleepovers growing up, they segue into the meat and potatoes of the podcast. They frame the period in which the film takes place, and touch on some of the themes layered within. They analyze not only the idea of the ‘scandalous’ music that swept through the country at that point in history (first through the lower-economic communities and the gradual and eventual infiltration into the white middle-class in the 1950s and early 60s, influencing a generation), but also discuss the bygone era of the Catskills destination resort getaways, and the boy’s serendipitous connection to it. Blake talks about his own grandfather Al Fisher, who was part of a comedy duo known as Fisher and Marks, who along with members of the Rat Pack would tour the country and particularly the Catskills/Poconos Circuit that thrived in the middle of the last century, where our 1987 Dirty Dancing takes place. The boys then unpack the movie and explore the various layers of the film’s individual characters and their relationships, set against the aforementioned August of 1963. Dion and Blake also take care in tackling the controversial aspect within the film and chat about how they feel the filmmakers handled it. Dion also brings in some extra insight as just having seen the touring stage version ofDirty Dancing this passed April at the famed Shubert Theater in New Haven, and they mull over a new subplot added into the stage play and speculate as to why they think this heavy plot-point was wovened into our classic story. They also discuss the impact the film’s amazing soundtrack had on a generation of fans and also the resurgence in the late 80s of everything 1950’s and 50’s Doo-Wop music, and the part this film might of played in that. So, what problems did this film have before it’s release- did it really have everything and everyone against it? What major company backed out of sponsoring the film due to a major controversial plot point within the story that the filmmakers refused to delete? And what is Blake‘s touching story about this film’s soundtrack and the part it played in a major moment in his young life? And to the overall point, how do the fellas feel about the movie after watching it this go-around? Well everybody start stretching, find your dancing partners and ditch your parents, cause this week the boys are sneaking over to the other side of the tracks, to do a little Dirty Dancing on this all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!


Here is Blake’s Grandfather Al Fisher in action, framed between of Joey Bishop on his left and his comedy partner Lou Marks, on his right.

Check out all the deleted, alternate and extended scenes of the film!

Take a look at this very rare bloopers from the film!

Have a look at the original screen tests of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey together, along with the test of the ‘lift’.

Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the film in 2012, here’s Jennifer Grey revealing a lot of the secrets to Diane Sawyer about the film and her role, courtesy of ABC News.

Last but FAR from least, check out the GREAT Jerry Orbach in 1997 on Conan O’Brien, coinciding with the 10th anniversary rerelease, and their reenactment of one of the best scenes in the movie.