October 13

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI , 1986

Welcome back to another installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! The boys are entering week 2 of their annual SNMS October Halloween Movie Extravaganza, and serendipitously this Friday just happens to be the 13th... so J. Blake and Dion Baia put their heads together and decided to take on one of the most iconic series’ in the Horror genre. And after close examination, they’ve decided on a film they feel most embodies the spirit of that franchise. So the fellas are chatting about a guy named Jason Voorhees, and more specifically Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, from 1986!

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

The boys start off by Dion explaining why this series is particularly near and dear to his heart, and his story about his first experience as a child with the Friday the 13th film series in general. They set up this film, Jason Lives, by recapping Part V: The Beginning, and Dion also goes on record to defend that installment, as he and Blake explain why that movie is so important to the fate of Part VI. The guys also lay out all the elements that are introduced in Jason Lives , and how these tropes help set-up the next 6 (or so) films in the series. They get into the history of the character Jason Voorhees, going back to Sean Cummingham‘s original film and sum up the other installments that preceded this one. The lads explain Jason Lives director‘s vision of making this an almost gothic horror film, a kind of homage to the classic Universal and Hammer Horror films of yesteryear. They discuss the trims and extended scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, as well as the reason why there were actually 2 actors appearing as Jason in this Part VI. They also chat about the various book tie-ins that expand on Jason’s backstory, as well as the original ending for Jason Lives that introduced Jason’s father, Elias Voorhees, and why it was ultimately cut. And we also get some insight into the score by way of Blake‘s friend and the film’s composer, Harry Manfredini. So, what is the speculation of how the creators came up with the first name for the character Tommy Jarvis? Who is clearly the real hero in this story? What are the 2 connections this film has to the classic television series Welcome Back, Kotter? And what Jason installment(s) are the boys thinking of turning into a traveling one-man play? Well, make sure you don’t accompany a friend late at night to a spooky cemetery with he/she having the idea to dig up a serial killer (for the obvious fear of accidently reanimating him and inadvertently causing the deaths of scores of other helpless victims), because the boys are laying out a sad, disturbing cautionary tale in this brand new Halloween, Friday the 13th episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras:

Check out the original teaser trailer for Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI!

Here’s the Alice Cooper music video for his song, He’s Back (The Man Behind the Mask)!

Have a look at the original scripted ending, that introduced Jason’s father, Elias Voorhees!

Take a look at all the extended and deleted scenes for Jason Lives!

Here is the Jason Voorhees Sideshow Statue that Dion has in his livingroom.

Check out two worlds colliding: Dion and Blake at Monstermania back in March of 2017, witnessing Jason meeting Jason!

October 6

The Gate , 1987

Well it’s that time of year again, when Dion Baia and J. Blake sit down and up their output to one-episode-a-week for the Halloween season. And for the 2017 Horror-extravaganza the boys are kicking the month off with an often-requested film by SNMS listeners, the absolute cult classic, The Gate, from 1987.

The lads start off by reminiscing about their first childhood sleepovers in which they had friends attending; watching certain movies at a young age that they only learn the names of much years later in life; and the old idea from when we were all kids, that if you dig a hole deep enough, you’d make it to China– (remember that old myth?!) Blake and Dion then get down to business, discussing this horror classic. They chat about how the script got off the ground, shooting up in Canada, and how very early on it was decided to make this a horror movie specifically geared toward kids. They get into the occultism phenomenon that swept the country and world in the 1970s and 80s, giving us subgenres of horror films (like this one), music, and even things aimed at children, like Ouija Board‘s that are still mass-produced by companies like Hasbro. The fellas also talk about the excellent Special Effects in the film, particularly the amazing use of Forced Perspective, which really helped sell the Minions’ interaction with the human cast. So, what film did SFX man Randall William Cook screen for the filmmakers to sell them on this ideas for the SFX in The Gate ? How do those Effects hold up today? In what direction does the sequel go? And what’s the story with the film’s costar, Louis Tripp, and his journey from moving to Austrialia and changing his name from “Twelve Twenty“, to now Baph Tripp and releasing music under the name x.a.o.s? Well, make sure you don’t accidently read any dubious LP cover art or crudely dispose of any recently deceased family pets in any bottomless pits in the backyard, cause the guys are back with an all new, Halloween edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

Check out the original trailer for The Gate !

Have a watch of a documentary called The GateKeepers, about the making-of The Gate!

Check out this making-of  about the SFX called, From Hell- The Creatures and Demons from the Gate !

Take a listen to Louis Tripp, aka Baphomet Tripp, aka x.a.o.s, and his song Big Daddy which was just released on YouTube.

July 19

A Tribute to George A. Romero – SNMS Presents: The Side-Cast

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.

EXTRAS:

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.

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, Randy Jurgensenwhich 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.

May 13

SNMS Presents: The Side-Cast-Origins, Travels and Close Encounters

Hello True Believers!! Welcome to a very special and impromptu edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia sit down and deliver a brand new episode of the Side Cast, laying the foundation for summer installments of both new, and reissued editions of this podcast series.SNMS Side Cast

The boys set the table and explain the premise of the Side Casts, and while doing that (because they go hand in hand), Dion and Blake lay out the origins of that podcast, and how it in turn morphed into Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! The fellas go on to talk about Blake‘s recent trip to California, where he met up and hung out with various Horror film composers he’d interviewed for this upcoming book, Scored To Death, and the stories from those meetings. They go on to cover the fun celebrities Blake met and hung out with while attending the Monsterpalooza Horror Convention in Pasadena, and he also dissects the various studio tours he went on while out there. They also preview the upcoming Side Cast Podcasts, as well as just keep the conversation lite, not focusing on one particular topic or film, as their usual format imposes. So come on down and pull up a chair with two old friends, as they enjoy each other’s company in another all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras:

Check out the awesome James Remar photo Blake got for Dion at Monsterpalozza! AND He’s Blake with James Remar!

We’re all part of a Tribe..!” Take a look at highly recommended biography: Not Bad for a Human: The Life and Films of Lance Henriksen! AND Check out the Blake w/ the legend himself, Lance Henriksen!

Here’s Blake with The Last Starfighter star, Lance Guest!

And he Blake is with The Last Starfighter director and Halloween‘s “The Shape” himself, Nick Castle!

Take a look at Blake with 80’s action icon Al Leong!

Here’s Blake on the Town Sqaure and Church Backlot used in films such as The Monster Squad and The Lost Boys!

Have a gander at Blake having dinner with legendary film composers Harry Manfredini and Joseph Bishara!

Lastly, here’s Blake in front of Norman and Mama Bates’ house… there’s still a vacancy!!

April 15

Dick Smith – SNMS Presents: The Side-Cast: An Evening with a Hollywood Make-up Legend

Spring is upon us, and we here at SNMS thought we should again SNMS Side Caststarted re-airing the original series that paired Dion Baia with his cohort in crime, J. Blake in a string of podcasts called the Side-Cast. Originally airing on their sister site Podwits.com, the Side-Cast was the series catalyst for what became SNMS. To showcase where it all began we are reissuing this program, highlighting the anthology podcast that covered a variety of topics, so that they can not only breath a second life, but also continue what started in the Fall (with the exclusive interviews with Randy Jurgensen and with contributor and Horror enthusiast Dave H), where brand new content is generated as an off-shoot of the regular SNMS Podcast.

Since last week’s Dick Tracy Podcast mentioned legendary make-up artist Dick Smith, and was also about a film that relied heavily on practical make-up effects, we figured why not re-air a cast solely about this legend, which also contains Blake and Dion‘s personal story of their night with Mr. Smith. We hope you enjoy.

-(This podcast originally aired August the 4th, 2014, coinciding with Dick Smith’s passing.)-

In this very special edition of the Podwits Side Cast, Dion and contributor J. Blake celebrate the life of the “God among DickSmithMonsters_largeGods“, SFX master, Dick Smith. They discuss his many groundbreaking achievements in cinema and touch upon the highlights of his extensive resume, bringing to light some films audiences may forget Smith was apart of. The boys then get to the gem of the cast (in their minds) and relay their personal, exciting and hilarious story of the time they spent an evening with the master himself, 15 years ago, at an event they organized!

It is truly an insightful and entertaining cast and a must for any film fan, celebrating the life and work of a great artist. Please come and have a listen!

EXTRAS:

Here’s a write up Dion did in 2012 about the evening he and Blake met Dick Smith!

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 30

Halloween II, 1981

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.

Halloween 2This 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 ‘ProducersCut, 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-ed by 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 Producer Moustapha 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!

EXTRAS:

Check out the Original Trailer for Halloween II!

Here’s the Alternate Television Ending!

Here are the scenes Carpenter shot to insert into the original Halloween film to make it long enough to be shown on TV, while using the actors and crew to shoot the extra scenes for Part II!

Take a look at the TV show Hollywood Structured, this episode with Dick Warlock from 1991.  

Have a read of J. Blake‘s review on the 2012 2-disc Blu-ray Scream Factory Collector’s Edition, originally posted on Podwits.com.

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!)

August 14

Zombie, 1979

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.

zombie poster

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!

(*It is Val Lewton, not Hal.)

Here is the entire 1979 film, courtesy of YouTube!

Take a peek at an alternate poster, which actually is a deleted/or lost scene from the film.

This is the 2010 Windows 7 television commercial that featured the shark/zombie scene.

Blue Underground explains its 2K restoration process to get this film remastered and ready to be available on Blu Ray and DVD.

Check out Bill Lustig‘s thoughts on Fulci’s Zombie!

Here’s a peek at the 12″ Zombie Maquette Statue, courtesy of ArtofToys.

The book about Quentin Tarantino that J. Blake refers to in the podcast was the first edition of “King Pulp: The Wild World of Quentin Tarantino” by Paul A. Woods.

 

Subscribe to SNMS on iTunes!

Listen to SNMS on Stitcher!

Listen to SNMS on PlayerFM!

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)