Welcome back to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! This week J. Blake and Dion Baia are back, and opening up the Spring/Summer season up with a classic, a debut [of sorts] from a director who went on to become sleepover royalty. The boys are tackling John Carpenter‘s thriller, Assault on Precinct 13, from 1976!
Dion and Blake discuss their history with this film and the horrifying and controversial aspects it presents, and unpack the various influences on John Carpenter that helped him pen and direct this terrifying genre film. They also talk about the groundbreaking soundtrack, and the various inspirations it drew from. Plus, the lads make their big summer announcement! It’s all going down in this episode, so keep an eye out when you visit your local ice cream trucks because anything can happen on an all newSaturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome to another exciting, brand-new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Even with October officially behind us, the boys still had the urge to cover one last horror to close out the season. And this go around J. Blake and Dion Baia are covering a director they love, dubbed by fans as “The Master of Horror.” This then begs the question: What do you get when you take a humble Detroit-born Plymouth ‘Mopar‘, add the legendary horror novelistStephen King and then throw said “Master of Horror“ into the mix? Well you get the John Carpenter classic, Christine, from 1983.
The fellas discuss their HUGE affinity and nostalgia for this film, reminiscing about specific childhood memories concerning Christine. They examine where director John Carpenter was at this point in his career, coming off the commercial failure of his 1982 film The Thing and his decision to take on this project, while only viewing it at the time as “a job.” True to form, Dion and Blake compare the book to the film, and analyze which version best presents (in their opinion) the most entertaining story. They also track the sub-subgenre of the “haunted” or “possessed” vehicle, as well as get into the history of the real star of this movie, the 1958 Plymouth Fury– and their extraneous but personal connection to the car in question. So, though this is considered Carpenter‘s least favorite project, could it be argued that it might possibly be the auteur’s best directed film? How do the popular songs used in the film help convey the mood- specifically “Pledging my Love“, and the haunting true-story behind that classic Johnny Ace track? And how essential is the entire cast of Christine (including the supporting players) succeeding in carrying a story that otherwise might be completely unbelievable? Well, you better check your oil and tires, make sure your fingers are ready to shift with the push-buttonTorqueflite transmission on your Plymouth, and whatever you do, be sure your 1958 two-door sedan doesn’t feel spurned, because the boys are speeding into another thrilling and informative episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
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/Horrorfilms 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!
Welcome to a very special ExclusiveEdition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers Presents,The Side-Cast! This week SNMS catches up with two legendary actors in their own right: the well-renowned Wilford Brimley, and film and television icon Martin Kove! Last month Dion Baia and J. Blake attended the 2017 Monster Mania Convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Dion was able to sit down and chat with these two amazing thespians.
Mr. Brimley whose credits include The Thing, Cocoon, The Firm, Hard Target and The Natural just to name a few, briefly talks about his reasoning for getting into the film business, his favorite role, as well as setting the record straight on some of the stories online about his early life. Not one to mince words, Mr. Brimley is direct and to the point.
Mr. Kove, known most notably as Sensei John Kreese of the Cobra Kai Dojo, also starred in such classics on the big screen as TheLast House on the Left,The White Buffalo,Rambo: First Blood Part II,Steel Justice and Wyatt Earp, talks at length about his start in the film business, some embarrassing moments (he at least thinks) in his appearances in ’70s episodic television and why he feels The Karate Kidhas become the cult classic it is today. Mr. Kove also goes into why he feels the 1980’s television show Cagney and Lacey, that he costarred on, was so ground-breaking and ahead of it’s time, and touches on other character’s he portrayed throughout his profound career.
Kove also laments about the one iconic actor he regrets not working with when he had the chance, and also laughs about the one legendary actor he caught up with years later, with who admitted to being a huge Cagney and Lacey fan. And he opines about the one American film genre that he has an immense passion for, and feels needs to be resurrected.
So come on down and take a listen to these exclusives, on another exciting installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
This week we kick off a brand new & hopefully recurring segment called SNMS PRESENT: MOVIE LOVERS. For this debut episode, Blake sits down with Howard Stern Show personality, phony phone call expert, acclaimed heavy metal drummer, composer, writer, filmmaker and movie lover Richard Christy, to discuss their mutual loves for the horror genre, John Carpenter, metal music and horror movie soundtracks. The two reminisce about the origins of their love for these subjects, while swapping personal stories, sharing a few laughs and talking about how awesome their moms are.
So what was the defining film that made Richard fall in love with horror & what was the album that was released the very next year that cemented his love for all things metal? What is one of Richard’s new favorite books? [Hint, it was written by a SNMS host] Where is Richard’s favorite place & how is it related to a holiday that, possibly, only he & his wife celebrate? And which horror films did Richard & Blake’s moms wake them up, out of sound sleeps, to watch in the middle of the night? These questions and more are answered on this exciting debut of SNMS PRESENTS: MOVIE LOVERS!!!
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Happy New Year and welcome to the 2017 season opener of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to start the year off with a bang, tackling a cult classic that mash’s genres and became a forerunner for a decade or more for Future Noir / Sci-Fi films alike; forecasting a bleak future for the 1980s and beyond with its commentary on society. The boys are taking a trip to the Manhattan Island Maximum-Security Prison in futuristic 1997, in John Carpenter‘s classic, Escape From New York, from 1981.
Having already designated director John Carpenter the ‘patron saint’ of SNMS, Dion and Blake mince no words when singing the filmmaker’s praises for his body of work in this era. After briefly lamenting about the format change MTV went through years ago, seguing from music video to reality show, the boys get right into the nuts and bolts of the film–laying out the historical context for when the script was first written and then the climate later, circa 1980, when it was eventually put to screen. Another resource the boys like to utilize while discussing a film is the movie tie-in novelization, to fill in the blanks to any exposition left out. Here they discuss, in detail, the immense backstory that is spelled out in the Mike McQuay book adaptation, giving us sizable background on the iconic character Snake Plissken (played brilliantly by Kurt Russell) and Police Commander Bob Hauk (played by the legendary Lee Van Cleef), as well as the third World War waged and the events that led up to the actual decision as to why that society ultimately turned the island of Manhattan into a Super Max Prison. They go through the various stories of how the amazing cast of supporting actors was assembled to fill out the other roles within the film, to help ground this fantastic tale with a firm foot in reality. They also explain the creative process John Carpenter goes through as a composer, using this film as example and his first-time collaboration with composer Alan Howarth. So what troubles lay ahead because of the shoestring budget? What corners (if any) had to be cut in order to get this movie finished? What city was this film actually shot in? What other established actors were considered for the lead role? And what up-and-coming director worked on the Special Effects Unit of this film; who would later go on to create some groundbreaking Sci-Fi films in his own right? Well grab your MAC-10 machine guns and molotov cocktails, your injections of micro-explosives that will, in 22 hours, rupture your carotid arteries and buckle yourself in, because we’re flying the Gullfire over Leningrad in this all new 2017 edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
The boys are crawling back with their eyes clouded-over for week three of their October Halloween-Horror Binge, here at Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia have delved deep into the video store racks and dusted off one from way down on the bottom shelf. They’ve selected an 80’s horror classic, and an absolutely undeniable classic for hardcore zombie fans! So what do you get when you take the urban legend of the escaped lunatic, add in 1950’s alien invaders, sprinkle in some elements of classic Film Noir, and then mix in the living dead for good measure? Well we’re here to ‘thrill you‘ this week with Fred Dekker‘s near perfect Night of the Creeps, from 1986!
Dion and Blake mince no words about their love for this film, and their appreciation for Mr. Dekker. They ease on into the ‘cast by reminiscing about attending community-organized Halloween parties as young kids back in the early 80’s, and jokingly psychoanalyze each other over what they’re nostalgic for by laughing about what they were exposed to as children. They then get into the meat and bones of Night of the Creeps. They gush over all the many clichéd tropes that are purposely brought together and used perfectly, to add to a sometimes hilarious, serious, and quite frighteningly effective and amazing 80’s horror movie. The boys reaffirm and solidify their undying (no pun intended) love for the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. Tom Atkins. They also analyze the mashup of various 1950’s sci-fi and horror elements, and how they all play into a nostalgic and loving homage to that era’s segment of genre films. And they discuss the notorious original, alternate ending. So to address the huge elephant in the room, why did this film flop? Why did it play into effectively destroying it’s director’s, Fred Dekker‘s Hollywood career? Was it perhaps too smart and tooforward thinking for it’s own good, making it fall short to the expectations of the general 1980’s audience? And does this film, in fact, deserve the credit and reverence that A-list genre films of the time garner? Well, you better grab your shotguns and flame-throwers, duct-tape your mouth’s shut, and keep your High School dates close, because here comes an all new edition and third installment of the October-Halloween binge of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are kicking off week one of their 2016 October-Halloween binge, where they ‘up’ their ‘output’ and deliver one horror-themed podcast a week for the Autumn month. And the boys are kicking off October with a real favorite here at SNMS, a film that spawned a life long love affair with John Carpenter, horror, and quite possibly became the catalyst for one of the guys to even attend film school. That movie is the aforementioned director John Carpenter‘s masterpiece, In the Mouth of Madness, from 1995.
Do you read Sutter Cane? The fellas start out the podcast discussing the maestro himself, John Carpenter and Blake‘s two interviews he did with the director that are part of Blake‘s new bookScored to Death: Conversations with some of Horror’s Greatest Composers.Dion jokes about the rumor among their friends that maybe it was in fact Blake who put the seed into Mr. Carpenter’s head to release a new music album, and then to tour. They talk about their mutual background of making home movies with their friends growing up, but specifically the huge inspiration In the Mouth had for Blake when he first saw it while in High School and it turning a ‘light’ on deep inside of him, perhaps even giving him the inspiration to go to film school as well as steer him toward his passion for horror films and their music, which then led to an entire book on the subject. The guys then segue and talk about the background of this film In the Mouth, beginning with the influence the huge pillar, H. P. Lovecraft, had on the horror genre on a whole, and then what elements were distilled into this work. They attempt to analyze and dissect what is and is not reality within the story and the blurred lines that are presented… which lead to some burning questions: Are we already seeing these complicated and convoluted themes within our own culture, vis-à-vis the television reality show industry, which now seems to have set a standard for our entertainment or even how we live and what we consider now our reality? How about in book form, as in the film’s plot- can a book series like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones be real life examples of works of fiction that have taken off and become their own entities, much like Sutter Cane’s work? Even though this story is not based on an actual HP Lovecraft work, can this be categorized as a continuation in the lore and tradition he started almost 100 years before? Well all these questions will be attempted to be answered in this exciting ‘first Halloween 2016 installment‘ of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! To celebrate the return of The X-Filesto the small screen, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to go back and cover a film and character that is very close to both their hearts, which has been also cited by Mulder and Scully creator Chris Carter as a direct inspiration for his show. If you haven’t already guessed, this week the fellas are talking about the ground-breaking TV movie The Night Stalker, from 1972 starring the great Darren McGavin as the iconic Carl Kolchak.
The boys setup the podcast by giving a little backstory about the ‘TV movie” or as it was called, the “Movie of the Week“, adding some context on how popular the format was and continues to be; and the astounding precedent The Night Stalker achieved by becoming the highest viewed TV film up until that time. Dion and Blake discuss all things Kolchak and shamelessly gush about their love for Darren McGavin and the amazing character he helped bring to the screen. They also explain the story about how an unpublished manuscript by Jeff Rice was taken and adapted by legendary writer Richard Matheson and turned into the highest rated tv movie up until January 11th, 1972. So, what was it about this story that was so popular for audiences? How does the film hold up more than 44 years later? What occured that made McGavin become so disenchanted with the 1974 TV series, which eventually got cancelled after only one season? What has become the legacy of Kolchak the Night Stalker? And what was the flub during the podcast that practically stopped the recording in it’s tracks, and turned the lads into two laughing school girls? Well all those juicy questions will be answered on this awesome and exciting all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
The boys are back for an all new, exhilarating and enthralling episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia are both digging back into their childhoods and taking on the legend of the Sasquatch. Instead of looking at him as a terrible monster, they pick a film that makes everyone wish they could have a big, cuddly bigfoot of their very own… 1987’s Harry and the Hendersons.
Dion and Blake discuss the mythology of the creature, particularly as it relates to cinema and the small screen of the 1970’s-80’s. They get into the mixed reviews that this feel-good film received upon its initial release, and frankly don’t hold back their opinions regarding the matter. They chat about the overall themes, and how it related then (and now) to the social and ecological movements of the era. They also segue to the other elephant in the room, the genius that is SFX pioneer Rick Baker and his body of work, and their mutual disgust that he announced earlier this year that he is retiring because…wait for it… there is not enough work out there because of the use of CGI today in moviemaking. And again, the lads don’t hold back on their thoughts on the subject. So get your tent, outdoor gear, and a pair of binoculars because we’re off looking for Sasquatch and Yeti’s in this weeks all new episode of Saturday Night MovieSleepovers!
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.
This 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 ‘Producers‘ Cut, 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-edby 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 ProducerMoustapha 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!
Here we go! Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers is working double time in October, delivering one horror film a week in celebration of Halloween! To start this insane marathon off the boys have picked a fan request, a remake of a classic property that scared SNMS‘s own Dion Baia so bad when he first saw it in the cinema that it scarred him for life. So along with his partner-in-crime J. Blake, they’re gonna have a massive therapy session to exorcise all those 35mm demons forever. The boys are all in this week as they examine Chuck Russell‘s film The Blob, from 1988.
They compare and contrast this from the 1958 original, analysing the updated themes (and SFX for that matter), seeing if this scary mass of crimson ooze is scarier and even craftier than it’s predecessor. Does this 1980’s film hold up to the more cynical and critical standards of today? How does this stack up against the other 1980’s creature-features that dealt with the same kind of ideas, i.e. foreign invaders wreaking havoc on helpless, isolated victims? Will doing 1 podcast a week for the month of October to celebrate Halloween burn Blake and Dion out? What other surprises lay ahead within a month of terrifying, unbridled horror? Hell, will they instead over stay their welcome? Well come check out another exciting, hilarious and informative episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers to find out!
The summer is here and with it comes the big-mega blockbusters! And as a tribute to First Responders and to Firefighters specifically (and fittingly to the NYFD who turn 150 this year), Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking on a classic ’70’s epic, back when Special Effects weren’t just Computer Generated Images with actors in front of green screens, but when practical effects were the norm. Oh yes, once upon a time stunt men did it all for real, detailed miniatures and matte paintings expanded our world. No one did it better than legendary producer Irwin Allen. Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers takes on arguably his quintessential film in his hugely successful series of disaster flicks… We’re of course talking about The Towering Inferno, from 1974.
Blake and Dion analyse the film within the context of the mid-70’s, in a pre-Star Wars era, where the hottest thing going at the time were disaster movies and various procedural shows on television which spawned toys, action sets and board games. The boys also consider the film in the context of a post-911world… is the romanticism of these movies forever lost? And is there actually a longer cut of the film made for television? Is composer John Williams‘ most sought after piece of music actually in this film? How do those practical effects hold up today verse modern CGI? And did Steve McQueen actually have a lisp when pronouncing “S’s”?! Well all these questions and many more will be answered in this brand new, epic edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(Dion misspoke when referencing to the source material and said the The Glass Tower, when in fact he meantThe Glass Inferno.)
The lads have their hands full in this brand-spanking new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepover, and desperately try to fit it all into the confines of a humble podcast. This week, Dion Baia and J. Blake take on the 1982 horror classic, John Carpenter’s The Thing.
The boy’s knowledge and expertise are put to task, disseminating all the elements that were brought together in remaking an already established cult classic. How the heck did this movie flop upon its intital release and be completely panned by critics and the film community alike? How do the SFX hold up to the CGI we are so familiar with today? How did the 2011 prequel/remake and 2002 PS2 video game hold up verse Carpenter’s 1982 vision? Have the boys actually solved the ending? And… what the heck were the guys thinking trying to do their own 3D experience in these cold winter months with their latest screening?
Well strap yourselves onto your couch (quite literally) for this thrilling and exciting installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(Last but certainly far from least, as a great, EXCLUSIVE treat for our fans, check out some original concept art drawn by comic artist Mike Ploog of the kennel scene, from J. Blake‘s personal collection: here, here, here and here.)
In the 2nd episode of the smash hit Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, J. Blake and Dion Baia tackle a film near and dear to their hearts from a filmmaker they absolutely adore, John Carpenter and his 1986 feature, Big Trouble in Little China.
The boys discuss the cult status the iconic film has achieved and the history behind getting it onto the silver screen. Is Big Trouble still just as good as we all remember? Is this just a dressed-up, 1940’s Cary Grant/romantic-comedy meets Edgar Rice Burroughs/serial B-movie pulp in disguise? And is the ‘Russ really channeling who we think he is? Well, come on down and listen to this exciting, informative, action-packed edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!