Welcome back to another exciting edition of the Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are doing a double feature this week, covering a forgotten but classic franchise, F/X from 1986 and FX2 from 1991, both starring Bryan Brown and Brian Dennehy. The boys discuss the many legendary character actors who fill out both movies, and amazing premise that has become a common theme on the podcast, the fascination movie audiences had/have with practical SFXs—specifically makeup FXs; and the terrific rollercoaster rides these films take us on. So come reminisce about 2 forgotten gems on another enthralling installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Welcome back to another exciting edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers ! J. Blake and Dion Baia are throwing up an episode a week early to coincide with the Saint Patrick Day holiday, and to surprise and celebrate a film that’s been on the boy’s short-list since the inception of the SNMS podcast– the 1959 Walt Disney classic, Darby O’Gill and the Little People!
After some present giving, Dion and Blake jump right in, unpacking this epic masterpiece. They discuss the 1959 Magical World of Disney Television episode, I Captured the King of the Leprechauns, where Walt Disney and Irish actor Pat O’Brien venture to Ireland as a setup to convince King Brian Connor of the Leprechauns to star in Mr. Disney‘s big budget Hollywood film. This incredible marketing ploy, along with the astounding Special Effects which used a combination of matte painting and forced perceptive, came together to create one of the best fantasy movies of all time with effects that still hold up some 60+ years later. So settle in and listen to the lads take a journey to County Kerry, Ireland and visit their old mate, Darby O’Gill, on this much requested Saint Patrick’s Day installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Here is the trailer for the 1959 Magical World of Disney television episode of I Captured the King of the Leprechauns, starring Walt Disney, which was a behind the scenes journey of going to Ireland and meeting Darby O’Gill, and King Brian, to get his leprechaun film made.
Welcome to week four of the 2019 Horror Movie Extravaganza on Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake decided to continue down the same route and do another anthology that has been related to the others they’ve profiled this past month, covering the cult classic Tales From The Darkside: The Movie, from 1990!
The boys unpack the iconic 1980’s series Tales From The Darkside, and set the stage for how the 1990 feature film came about. Blake discusses his interviews with composer and (this film’s) director John Harrison– about the backstory involving George A. Romero and Stephen King, and getting this film made, and how Creepshow and even Creepshow 2 were the catalyst. So make sure you don’t scare easily, because Dion and Blake are back to tell you some more spooky tales on this all new installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
David Nelson is the name of the musician that played with David Johansen that Dion couldn’t remember, who is now a financial adviser (no relation to Ozzie & Harriet Nelson), who was with the singer post New York Dolls, in his solo years prior to Buster Poindexter.
Welcome back to week 3 of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ 2019 October Horror Movie Extravaganza! J. Blake and Dion Baia are back covering a classic that set the standard, the George A. Romero masterpiece, Creepshow, from 1982.
Working off the prior week’s episodes, which kind of relates to the topic, the boys also utilize the 1982 Cinefantastique article, as well as Tom Savini’s Grande Illusions: A Learn-By-Example Guide to the Art and Technique of Special Make-Up Effects from the Films of Tom Savini, for background. They also discuss Blake’s interview with director/composer John Harrison about his work on the film, which offers insight into George A. Romeo‘s vision. Dion and Blake also relay funny stories about meeting actor William Sadler, and filmmaker and friend of the show, Jeff Lieberman. It’s all going down this week on an all new creepy installment of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Also discussed in the podcast, here’s our good friend Dave‘s YouTube George A. Romero interviews he taped off TV that got the attention of filmmaker Jeff Lieberman, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
Welcome back to the 3rd installment of 2018‘s October Halloween Horror Movie Extravagnza! This go-round Dion Baia and J. Blake are hitting another movie that has an anniversary! Turning 40 this year, it is the quintessential sequel that literally helped kick-start an entire subgenre, domestically and overseas in Italy, the George A. Romero cult classic, Dawn of the Dead from 1978.
The boys are on a timetable this week as they break down this massive topic, decimating the various cuts of the film, and the Dario Argento influence–like with the cult Italian band Goblin. Blake and Dion discuss the impact the Romero “dead films” had on the industry. They both reminisce about their personal histories with Dawn, as well as the other movies in Romero‘s catalog. So grab your batteries, extra ammo, gasoline and door keys, because we’re all taking a road trip to take shelter in the Monroeville Mall, in this all October Halloween Horror Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! And a special thank you to our sponsors this week, TiVo and Simple Contacts!
Please go check out J. Blake’s book, Scored to Death: Conversations with Some of Horror’s Greatest Composers and also its companion, Scored to Death: The Podcast, to further explore the interviews Blake did with many of the men involved with Dawn of the Dead, among many others.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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, believe 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!
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.
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!
Spring is upon us, and we here at SNMS thought we should again started 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.
In this very special edition of the Podwits Side Cast, Dion and contributor J. Blake celebrate the life of the “God among Gods“, 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!
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.
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)
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-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!
A 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!
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.
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!