Sordid Cinema Podcast
Sordid Cinema Podcast: The True Villain of “Candyman” Isn’t the Hook-Handed Ghost

Sordid Cinema Podcast: The True Villain of “Candyman” Isn’t the Hook-Handed Ghost

July 9, 2020

Candyman Podcast Review

This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast takes a look at Bernard Rose’s Candyman – a radical, sophisticated psychological horror film that is just as effective, relevant, and terrifying today as it was upon its release. Joining us is Sean Colletti (co-host of the Mid-Season Replacements Podcast) to discuss Tony Todd’s iconic performance; Philip Glass’s operatic score; Bernard Rose’s Hitchcockian direction, and Virginia Madsen’s powerhouse performance as the so-called hero (but possibly villain), Helen. All this and more!

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Revisiting’Gremlins 2: The New Batch’

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Revisiting’Gremlins 2: The New Batch’

July 2, 2020

One of the Best Horror Sequels Turns 30!

Gremlins 2: The New Batch Podcast Review

This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast takes a look at 1990’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch, one of the strangest sequels ever made by a Hollywood studio. Famous for director Joe Dante’s reluctance to return to his world of the mischievous little monsters without the total creative control eventually granted him, Gremlins 2 plays almost like a satire of the original, as well as of sequels in general and numerous cultural trends at the time. Chaotic, comedic, yet tightly structured, this renegade, Looney Tunes-inspired film mocks everything from the convoluted Mogwai Rules to the sad backstories that Kate seems to have for specific holidays. And thanks to Rick Baker (also a co-producer), there are plenty of amazing creatures perpetrating the hijinks this time around. Bat gremlins, spider gremlins, lighting gremlins – this movie has it all!

Rick and Patrick are joined by writer/film critic Mariko McDonald to parse out the plethora of in-jokes, references to classic horror, odd Easter eggs, fourth wall-breaking, and overall zaniness, while also discussing a bit of the film’s history and how it compares to Gremlins. One could talk for hours about this masterful example of studio-funded anarchy, so for all this and more, have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Why ‘La Haine’ is as Explosive 25 Years On

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Why ‘La Haine’ is as Explosive 25 Years On

June 16, 2020

La Haine Podcast Review

Twenty-five years ago, Mathieu Kassovitz’s French black-and-white drama crime drama La Haine sent shockwaves through the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, where it received a standing ovation and the Best Director prize.

A story of social unrest, La Haine was inspired by three isolated incidents involving the killing of unarmed young people by police officers (including the famous case of the 17-year-old Congolese Makomé M’Bowolé) that led to three weeks of riots in Paris and surrounding areas.

Starring Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, and Vincent Cassel (in his breakout performance), La Haine is set over 19 consecutive hours in the lives of three young men living in the impoverished, multi-ethnic public housing complexes known as Chanteloup-les-Vignes. We follow the three of them in the aftermath of a riot in a banlieue that left their teenage friend Abdel comatose in a hospital after being brutally beaten by the police. When Vinz recovers a gun lost by a cop during the riot, he feels empowered and decides to take revenge.

Twenty years on, La Haine feels more relevant than ever. It’s arguably the best film made about systemic racism and police brutality— easily the best film released in 2015— and one of the most powerful pieces of urban cinema ever made. Today on the Sordid Cinema Podcast we reflect on the film’s lasting significance and why it holds a special place in our hearts.

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: Is ‘Dog Soldiers’ a Bitch of a Werewolf Movie?

Sordid Cinema Podcast: Is ‘Dog Soldiers’ a Bitch of a Werewolf Movie?

June 10, 2020

This week on the Sordid Cinema Podcast we discuss Neil Marshall’s first feature— the low-budget werewolf action/adventure siege film titled, Dog Soldiers. Frightening, funny, and packed with action, Dog Soldiers is considered one of the five best werewolf movies ever made and was an incredible showcase of Marshall’s (then) burgeoning talent.

It certainly made a name for the director who has since gone onto a highly promising career as a genre director, but is it as good as they say it is?

This week, Tim Maison joins us to help answer several questions we have about the movie including the unexpected plot twist and whether this movie could have used a better script. All this and more!

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a Fantastic Sci-Fi Directorial Debut

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a Fantastic Sci-Fi Directorial Debut

June 2, 2020

This week we take a break from reviving older classics to take a look at a recently released indie sci-fi gem called The Vast of Night. The film (now available on Amazon Prime) depicts a fateful evening in a small town in 1950s New Mexico as they host a rival high school basketball team for the big game, but also may be getting some visitors from even further out of town. It’s up to a young switchboard operator and a radio DJ to uncover the truth. Rick and Patrick are once again joined by critic Stephen Silver to discuss the many things that director Andrew Patterson does right in his feature debut, from virtuoso camerawork to the fantastic rhythm he develops using editing. We also praise the engaging performances of the film’s two leads, who anchor the entire production.

The Vast of Night promises sci-fi creeps along the lines of The Twilight Zone, but does it deliver on this? Do all the stylistic approaches work in supporting the story and tone? And just why is that basketball game so important?

For all this and more, have a listen to our breakdown of this wonderful little film!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Mist’ Contains Monster Movie Greatness

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Mist’ Contains Monster Movie Greatness

May 26, 2020

Frank Darabont’s The Mist Podcast Review

Though its ending may leave some viewers in a daze, Frank Darabont’s 2007 adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, The Mist, is clearly old-fashioned monster moviemaking at its best. This week, Rick and Patrick are joined by artist Dan Bransfield to talk about what makes this simple story of a group of small-towners stuck in a grocery store during the onset of a foggy inter-dimensional invasion such a delightful throwback to B-movie horror.

With a cast of characters (many of whom played by Darabont regulars) that efficiently portray the ugly breakdown of community during a crisis, and a host of mysterious creatures representing the external threat that acts as the catalyst, The Mist is filled with tense moments and fascinating threads (even if some of them seem to go nowhere). Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things we might change if we had the chance (child actors or executions of twist endings), but there’s more than enough to love here to recommend for genre fans. What are our favorite scenes? Who is the film’s MVP? Will The Mist stand the test of time?

For a little debate on these questions and more, have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover’

May 1, 2020

This week on the Sordid Cinema podcast, we discuss The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Peter Greenaway’s most successful film and some would argue his true masterpiece— although not to the taste of the average cinema goer.

 

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – Torturous or Rapturous?

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ – Torturous or Rapturous?

April 23, 2020

This week the hosts of the Sordid Cinema Podcast take a look at Mel Gibson’s 2004 monster hit, The Passion of the Christ. While the film is known primarily for its extreme level of violence and the controversies surrounding its release, does the film actually accomplish what it sets out to do? Is there a point to all the suffering? Rick and Patrick try to get to the heart of the matter, doing our best to remember the Stations of the Cross while debating the artistic merits of Gibson’s context-reliant storytelling. The Passion may be hard to enjoy, but there’s no doubt it’s a film that offers plenty to talk about.

As usual, we discuss our favorite scenes, wistfully mention a few things we might have changed, and wonder if this violent biblical epic will stand the test of time.

For all this and more, have a listen!

 

 

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Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Fog’ Deserves to be Seen

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Fog’ Deserves to be Seen

April 14, 2020

This week Rick and Patrick are joined by Goomba Stomp writer Marty Allen to discuss one of John Carpenter’s lesser-cited horror classics, 1908’s The Fog. Though it may not have had the impact of such genre masterpieces as Halloween or The Thing, this low-budget story of a group of ghostly lepers who assail a small coastal town contains many of the director's stylistic hallmarks, as well as his usual efficiency. Sure, the third act may suffer a bit from a lack of inspiration, but what comes before is rock-solid filmmaking that should appeal to anyone that loves well-crafted suspense and horror.

So just how well does The Fog hold up for modern audiences? Who (or what) is the film’s MVP? Where does it stand in Carpenter’s filmography? We dive into the production, gush over the camerawork, break down why this screenplay works, and even pick a few nits. For all this and more, have a listen!

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

Sordid Cinema Podcast: ‘The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance’

April 1, 2020

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Podcast Review

This week’s show sees Patrick picking another western, but this one is a little more talkie and a little less shooty. John Ford’s 1962 adaptation of The Man Who Shot Liverty Valance centers on a classic genre theme of civilization vs. frontier law. While Ford may be an acquired taste for some, the hosts discuss the fascinating philosophical conflicts at play while praising many (though not all) of the performances, as well as note the uniqueness of the (mostly) action-free film. With Monument Valley never making an appearance, is there enough to look at? Does this slower western still hold up today? Why, oh why, did Ford leave in that classroom scene?

For all this and more, have a listen!

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