June 29

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974

Welcome to another all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! With the hot summer months upon us, J. Blake and Dion Baia have decided to cover a classic- a movie they’ve been talking about doing since year one of the podcast. This week the boys are hitting familiar territory -the gritty 1970’s- and chatting about the amazing Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw film, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, from 1974!

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 poster

After having a brief discussion about “trigger warnings,” Dion and Blake jump right in and can’t gush enough about their mutual love for this seldom remembered cinema gem. They unpack the backstory of the film, the history and climate of New York City of the era and why all this is integral to the movie’s plot. They analyze the absolutely amazing cast of actors, the tight story, and they breakdown the phenomenal score by David Shire. So, grab your subway maps, your subway motorman car “keys” and your train timetables, because the fellas are taking you back to one of the greatest eras of cinema -the 1970s- and one of its best examples, right here on an all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

Please take a listen to the absolutely fabulous score by composer David Shire!

Have a look at the original trailer to this classic film!

Take a gander at these great alternate posters for the film, HERE and HERE!

As discussed in the podcast, PLEASE check out these EXCLUSIVE interviews with former NYPD Homicide Detective turned Hollywood legend Randy Jurgensen, as he discusses and lays out this era in both cinema and the country (particularly in New York City), of the late 60’s and 70’s. Must listens for any film or history fans. 

Here’s the original trailer for the 1998 television adaptation of The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3!

And lastly, have a listen to the 1994 Beastie Boys song Sure Shot, where not only due the B Boys name check this week’s movie, but also give shout-outs to Dr. John, Lee Dorsey, Kojak, John Woo, Rod Carew, Lee Perry, Vaughn Bode and Cheech Wizard, and good old Ma Bell… all in one tune. Impressive.

August 19

SNMS Presents The Side Cast: An Evening with Jurgensen

Jurgensen and Sinatra

Due to the astounding popularity and success of our last series of interviews with retired NYPD Homicide Detective Randy Jurgensen that aired here last December in 2 parts, and because of the content of last week’s SNMS episode on the 1980 film Cruising, we decided to reissue our first groundbreaking interview which originally ran in February of 2012 on our now defunct sister site, The Podwits.com.

So the name Randy Jurgensen doesn’t sound familiar to you? Well, SNMS Side Castbelieve it or not you know him. The retired NYPD Homicide Detective and film icon has acted in and produced dozens of films, and has worked on some of New York City’s most famous cases. His book, Circle of Six, is his real-life tale of going against the system and practically the entire department brass in order to bring to justice the murderer of a fellow brother-in-blue, in what turned out to be one of the city’s most notorious cop killings. This passed April marked the 44th anniversary of the killing of Officer Phil Cardillo at Mosque #7 in Harlem, and the case that forever changed the seasoned detective as well as the fabric of the entire New York City Police Department. In this SNMS EXCLUSIVE, Randy sits down with Dion Baia and talks about his very colorful career as a homicide detective and his unlikely segue into the cinema. The NYPD veteran gives his opinion of the mindset of the police hierarchy that made it so hard to be a policeman in New York City in the 60’s and 70’s. He recounts his involvement in the Patsy Fuca case, which became the 1971 film The French Connection. Perhaps for the first time, Jurgensen goes into detail of the sequence of events of the case he was assigned to, having to go underground into the gay leather-bar scene in the 1960s which eventually because the Al Pacino film Cruising. The Homicide Detective also discusses a crime scene that to this day still haunts him, and how he learned how to deal with ‘the job’. He then explains why it was so easy for him to make the gradual transition from detective to film consultant, actor and producer, examining his career in cinema. Mr. Jurgensen goes into his close friendship with legendary director William Friedkin, and actor Joe Spinell among others, and his memories working on films like The French Connection, The Godfather, Maniac, Cruising, Superman, and Sorcerer, among others. So what famous person was Jurgensen temporary pulled out from undercover to then go and arrest? What did his old childhood friend, legendary comedian George Carlin have to say about that notorious arrest? And what special message (through Dion) does actor Ed O’Neill have for Randy? Well come on and listen to a groundbreaking and highly educational episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ Side-Cast!

Here are Randy and Dion in 2012 after recording this interview.

Have look at Randy in Cruising, interrogating Al Pacino, as Paul Sorvino and Ed O’Neill look on. 

A young Ed O’Neill and Randy share a scene together in Cruising.

Gene Hackman in The French Connection, with Randy over his right shoulder.

December 18

SNMS Presents The Side Cast: Randy Jurgensen Part 2From Homicide to Hollywood

SNMS Side CastWelcome back to another all new edition of Saturday Night Movie SleepoversSide-Cast. We present Part 2 of our exclusive interview with retired NYPD Homicide Detective turned actor, consultant, writer and producer Randy Jurgensen. In this episode, we segue into Randy’s fascinating career in Hollywood and his body of work in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. We go in-depth about the first film he was drafted to be an advisor and actor for, The French Connection, and how he prepped the actors to be New York City cops (back when background prep was rare). We also discuss his friendship with director William Friedkin, as well as the four plus films they would collaborate together on. He also explains his role as of one the stunt drivers in one of the greatest car chases of allsorcererrandy time. He then goes into great detail about becoming a producer, and fighting the Screen Actor’s Guild for Larry Cohen‘s God Told Me To ; ‘stealing’ filming locations in New York City for Maniac and Viligante ; surviving the jungle and the Federales in Central America while filming Friedkin’s Sorcerer ; to fighting city hall (literally) in a small Maine town to get Stephen King‘s Thinner completed. As astounding as it is that a retired Detective was able transition into a life in Hollywood, what’s more incredible is that legends like Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Roy Scheider were vying to hang out with him, because he was the ‘real’ deal, and moreover was the lead Detective on a very cruising_01publicized case at the time involving probably the most notorious cop killing in New York City’s history! Again, it’s a case where truth is stranger (and more entertaining), than fiction! So come listen to an absolutely fascinating and exclusive installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! (above picture Randy and Roy Scheider in Sorcerer, 1977; left picture is Randy in the NYC Coroner’s Office in Cruising, 1980)

EXTRAS:

The very iconic photo of the finale of The French Connection– Randy can be seen over Gene Hackman‘s right shoulder.

Here, here, here and here are behind the scenes shots of Randy on set on The Godfather, during the scene where Sonny is assassinated.

Check out Randy in The Godfather poster, up in the top right corner.

Here’s Randy at the end of Maniac, with real life partner Jimmy Aurichio!

Have a look at another picture from Cruising, with Randy center, interrogating Al Pacino, with Paul Sorvino standing against the wall.

Here’s another from Cruising, this time with a very young Ed O’Neill.

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December 11

Invasion USA , 1985

Tis the Season! The boys are back with an all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion and Blake are ushering in the holidays with a classic, Invasion USA, starring the great Chuck Norris and directed by the supremely underrated Joseph Zito.

invasion usa
Blake and Dion discuss the burning holiday questions, like does Santa shave his beard on December 26th, or has he had to up his game because of all the high-tech toys kids have nowadays? Then they get to the film: The year is 1985 and along with movies like Commando, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Missing in Action 2: The Beginning, a low-budget Studio named Cannon releases this gem, a great example of pure, unabashed 80’s Action Escapism. Chuck is Ex CIA agent Matt Hunter and is after a terrorist who plans to destroy America, at Christmas time no less!  But why has this film fallen through the cracks of time and other Christmas-themed Action movies only bring Die Hard or say Lethal Weapon to mind? Does this deserve to be up there with those classics? Is this the film that helped solidify Chuck as the ultimate bad-ass? And what did Chuck really mean to say when he signed Dion’s poster?

All those questions (hopefully) will be answered in this all new holiday edition Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

(Dion mistakenly said Lebanon when he met Iran when speaking about he 1979-80 American hostage situation)

EXTRAS:

Check out the original trailer to Invasion USA

Have a look at a great Q & A with Chuck, as he discusses how he and Bruce Lee would fare today in MMA

Take a listen to the Jay Chattaway score to Invasion USA

Here’s Dion with the man, the myth, the legend, Chuck Norris

October 23

Silver Bullet, 1985 – SNMS Presents: The Side-Casts

For week 4 of SNMS’ epic October Halloween Month of Horror, J. Blake takes the show on the road and does a totally impromptu special Sunday Night Movie Sleepover “Side-Cast” from the nation’s capitol with a cherished old friend, former classmate and fellow sleepover & horror movie enthusiast, Dave…covering one of their all-time favorite 80s horror classics, Silver Bullet (1985).

SIlver Bullet Poster

 

In this first all new and original edition of SNMS’ “Side-Casts,” Blake calls on Dave’s love and knowledge of Stephen King to help examine this seldom mentioned King penned masterpiece. They discuss King as an author, Cycle of the Werewolf, (the novelette the film is based on) and King’s original screenplay. They discuss how the film is, at its core, really a beautifully executed family drama and marvel at the performances of Gary Busey and the late Corey Haim. They talk about composer Jay Chattaway and the film’s musical score. They explore the werewolf legend as metaphor. Blake tells the bone-chilling story about the first time he ever saw this movie and while under the influence of perhaps one growler of beer too many, the guys get a little deep.

Did Stephen King mean for some the dialogue to be a “tongue in cheek?” How does this film’s take on the werewolf transformation really work? Are we, as an audience, supposed know who the werewolf is before Janie does and are his intentions actually good? How loose is “The Buse” in this movie and why do Blake and Dave love this movie so darn much? Try your best not to “make lemonade in your pants,” because all these questions and more are answered in this special Halloween edition of SNMS’ Side-Casts!

EXTRAS:

Check out the original trailer!

Here’s a link to the printing of the film’s screenplay Blake and Dave talk about during the podcast.

Here’s a compilation of all of Silver Bullet’s werewolf attacks, by Gorey Bits on youtube.

Take a listen to Jay Chattway’s fantastic score!

 

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October 21

SNMS Presents: The Side-CastHorror Recommendations

SNMS Side CastA brand new addition to Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers  rotation is the Podcast that started it all, Dion and Blake‘s Side-Cast. Originally airing on the sister site Podwits.com, the Side-Cast was the series that became the catalyst for what became SNMS. To showcase where it all began we are reissuing this series, highlighting the anthology podcast that covered a variety of topics, so that they can breath a second life, and because eventually it will be a new off-shoot of the regular SNMS Podcast, where brand new podcast content will be generated for SNMS website as well.

(For the inaugural release of the Side-Cast here at SNMS, we present a Halloween-themed podcast originally published on October the 14th of 2014, to help get the word out on the then newly launch Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers Podcast and Website. We hope you enjoy!)

To help get the word out about their new Podcast Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, Dion and J. Blake sit down to recommend 10 horror films for the Halloween season that they feel may be overlooked or forgotten in today’s times. The boys attempt to compile a list of amazing fright films that may not be considered first choice picks, but are a necessity for ANY horror fan. Along with their podcast, the lads have also co-wrote a companion posting over at Saturday Sleepovers, giving another 10 (5 each) that they couldn’t fit into the podcast but felt remise if they didn’t include as well. So please go have a listen and then go over to Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers to see the written list. We hope you enjoy!

(Please check out J. Blake‘s new Blues album When You Coming Home? and check out his interview with Alan Jones, the premiere aficionado on everything Dario Argento.)

(Check out the written companion piece to this podcast, the 5 Rentals for $5 List of Horror Recommendations!)

June 19

Maniac, 1980

Well boys and girls, this week Dion Baia and J. Blake have a real treat lined up, a personal favorite of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, the 1980 cult classic Maniac, directed by William Lustig and starring the late, great, Joe Spinell.

maniac1980

The guys attempt to fit as much as they can into a humble little podcast about this movie, while not trying to go too overboard and show their true colors as absolute fanatics for this film. They discuss the amazing actor that was Joe Spinell, and how he hoped that this pet project of his would do for him what Rocky did for his close friend Sylvester Stallone. Dion and Blake also go on about how it all came together and who Spinell was able to get on board, like SFX legend Tom Savini and iconic director Bill Lustig, to name a few. And the love the boys have for this movie brings up very interesting topics: Is there really an homage to Spielberg‘s Jaws in the film? What were student reactions when J. Blake screened it for his college horror class? Does this movie maybe contain the best head explosion ever? How does the 2012 remake starring Elijah Wood compare? And why do the lads keep butchering actress Catherine Munro‘s name? Well all these questions and a few more get answered in this very exciting and quite informative all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

 

(Well here we go again- in lamenting his love for X-rated star Sharon Mitchell who cameos in the film, Dion mistakenly referred to her as “Shannon Mitchell”. Please except his apologies)

(Here’s Mr. Spinell being interviewed on The Joe Franklin Show about his new film, Maniac)

(PLEASE check out this great documentary by David Gregory calledThe Joe Spinell Story“, which is a MUST watch for any fan.)

(Check out the promo film to the unmade Maniac 2, aka Mister Robbie, starring Joe Spinell)

(Have a look at Tom Savini and others talk about his memories of Joe Spinell)

(Here’s Elijah Wood discussing Joe Spinell’s characterization of Frank Zito, verses is own.)

(Take a look at the International trailer for 1980’s Maniac)

(Please have a gander at Dion‘s exclusive interview with Randy Jurgensen where they discuss his iconic career as an NYPD Detective and then his legendary film career, Joe Spinell (among many others), and his book Circle of Six: The True Story of New York’s Most Notorious Cop Killer and the Cop Who Risked Everything to Catch Him)

October 8

5 Rentals for $5 – October Horror Film Recommendations

Maniac 1980
Courtesy of Mondo, poster by Ken Taylor

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.

 

 

 

But before we get to the 10 films the boys urge you to seek out, here is a round-up of the 10 recommended in the Side Cast Podcast: Continue reading