Welcome back to week 3 of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ October Halloween Horror Movie Extravaganza! This episode finds Dion Baia and J. Blake going way down the alley, visiting the “Creature Feature” sub-genre, and tackling a film that in their opinion, exemplifies that niche of Sci-Fi/Horror films from the 1950s. And with this very week marking the 55th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the boys discuss Hollywood‘s fear of the unknown in a Nuclear age with the classic film, Them!, from 1954.
The boys setup the conversation about 1950’s Sci-Fi by chatting about Dion‘s particular affinity and personal connection with these type of Science Fiction and Horror Films of the era. They chat about the Cold War politics of the decades that proceeded WWII, like McCarthyism or JFK vs. Khrushchev and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to try and put into some kind of perspective and context, the mindset of a postwar society who thought nuclear war was probably inevitable. Blake and Dion track the evolution of these type of “Creature Features“, by analyzing Hollywood’s output at the time, which it could even be argued leads the viewer down a path all the way to the iconic 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, which changed everything. The fellas then dissect this classic, Them!, which starts almost like a Crime Noir- a widely popular subgenre at the time. They go over the suspense that is set up within the movie and discuss the filmmaker’s very modern and realistic approach to telling this story. They also observe how superb the entire cast is within this film- all amazing feats when one realizes how this basically is a tale about radioactive insects. So, how do the Special Effects hold up some 60+ years later? Was this film originally planned to have a very popular gimmick (at the time) employed that was scrapped at the very last minute? How many Wilhelm screams are in this movie? And what is actor Edmund Gwenn‘s connection to Friday the 13th? Well you better hide your sugar, make sure your city and state maps are up to date, because the guys are taking you on an adventure to find some gigantic monsters in this all new installment of their October Halloween Horror Extravaganza on Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Here is the more widely known Theatrical Poster for Them!, which kind of tips the film’s hand to what the plot’s ‘twist’ actually is.
Have a look at this rare, behind the scenes footage from Them!
Check out these awesome original Lobby Cards for Them!
As brought up in the cast, check out this article elaborating on the Urban Legend that John Wayne and the film crew from the 1956 film The Conqueror died of cancer because of A-Bomb testing, and also the ‘Downwinders‘ who actually had to deal with the then-unknown effects of radioactive fallout.
The fellas are back yet again for an all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking on a movie that, on the outset, looks to be your typical teen-angst drama, depicting the day-to-day trials and tribulations of young adults. But actually, it has layered within some pretty smart and frank commentary about adolescent ascension to adulthood and all the insecurities and pressure that accompany that transition. We are of course talking about the quintessential 1980’s teen film, The Breakfast Club, from 1985 written and directed by the great John Hughes.
After the boys settle in and reminisce about “the very serious episode” of some of their favorite childhood shows and about their mutual hobby of making some very serious home movies with their friends while growing up, they segue into all things Brat Pack and John Hughes. Playing the ‘what if’ game that Blake and Dion so enjoy doing on the podcast, who were originally slated to play the principles and who actually switched roles to accommodate Hughes? Was his first cut really over two and a half hours? And did Hughes also originally intend for this film to be the first in a series that would chronicle the lives of these characters every ten or so years? And did Dion actually sympathize with Paul Gleason‘s character, high school administrator and teenage nemesis Dick Vernon? All these tantalizing questions will be answered in this all new, radical and bodacious installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Dion and J. Blake usher in 2015 with an absolute cult-classic from their childhood, the 1986 feature film Transformers the Movie.
This fact-filled podcast sizes up the 1986 adaptation of a beloved daily TV show’s journey from the small to the silver screen, taking on the HUGE elephant in the room- the ramifications on the toy industry, children’s psyches, and future cartoon properties regarding the hugely controversial death of Optimus Prime. What the heck were the Execs thinking? Also the boys attempt to fill in some plot holes and see if the film still holds up; finally dispel some of the myths that had been linked to the film like the Orson Welles controversy, this being his last theatrical performance; and compare it on a whole to the recent Michael Bay franchise reboot. Well, if you were a fan of Transformers or cartoons like G.I.Joe in your childhood or you still geek out on the timeless Cybertonions galactic battles, you’ll love the 2015 Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers debut.
(Have a read of a great recent interview with the scriptwriter Ron Friedman)
(Check out another great interview with writer and story editor Flint Dille)
(Here are the legendary and hilarious outtakes of Orson Welles ripping producers, writers, and engineers alike in a VoiceOver session for a British Frozen Peas Commercial)
(Finally, check out the late great actor Chris Latta [aka Chris Collin in this clip] who voiced Starscream, Gung-Ho and Cobra Commander among others, doing his passion, stand up comedy.)