Wouldn’t exactly expect a short, sensual novel about a 14 year old witch to revolve around who whacked grandma, but here we are: the concluding episode on Ken Greenhall’s first novel, Elizabeth: A Novel of the Unnatural. Actually, if you listened to the first part of this book I think you’ll know exactly what to expect.
The duo discuss the first half of Ken Greenhall’s 1976 novel Elizabeth, the story of a 14-year old girl who is either (a) a sociopath, (b) a witch, or © little from column a, little from column b, who gets embroiled in a kind of murder-mystery about her disappeared Grandmother … and a whole bunch of other stuff we can’t mention lest Facebook yank this description right off the web. Ken Greenhall’s work, largely forgotten, has been the subject of reappraisal following Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks from Hell. Come join us to see what the fuss is about!
What do you do if someone asks you, “What horror movies would you recommend?” Do you play it cool and drop a few choice titles, or do you turn into a stuttering maniac who can’t remember a single film? And I’m not talking about a horror film, I’m saying you can’t remember the title of a single film that’s ever been made and then are wracked with madness and regret after you come up with some good ones minutes too late. Good thing the duo is here to help you out with some movies you could recommend to a regular human without fear of the dreaded L'esprit de l'escalier horreur.
Ugh, again guys? How can you possibly experience so many films and movies that you need two roundups in a row? Well you better believe it as we cover N0S4A2, Black Circle, Child’s Play, The Sonata, IT Chapter 2, All The Gods In The Sky, Midsommar, Bloodline, The Nest, When Darkness Loves Us, Finale, Monster In My Podcast, and Knife+Heart. Dang, how do we keep managing it?
Which was the worse choice: the poorly animated jacked Jesus statue in Belzebuth, or JR skipping a party with Maika Monroe to watch Feral? That’s a choice you’ll have to make for yourself, but in the meantime listen to us discuss Villains, The Chamber, Feral, Chernobyl, Belzebuth, The Tommyknockers, The Wolf Hour, Ready or Not, The Headhunter, and Futility Closet. It’s a real party for your ears, especially if you imagine us dancing on a table, and really listeners when are you not?
The gang asks the question, “Do you care about someone’s opinion and experiences of an event that you probably didn’t go to?” That, sweet listeners, is living vicariously, and if it’s for you listening to some man-on-the-street-phoning-it-in (literally) live from the 2019 Providence Necronomicon could be for you! From The Shunned House’s Shunned Garden to pretzel and beer meetups, join us in the Renaissance City for a Triple Murder Burger with Egg and give it a listen.
We’ve toyed with the gleefully offensive movies of our youth, but all such roads lead to this: Street Trash. Here we are, in our mid-30s, taking notes about Street Trash, which you may remember as just a “melt movie” but is actually more like a Robert Altman film with alcohol poisoning, with its sprawling cast of repellent characters involved in petty and stupid activities for much of its midsection until they realize, oh yeah, people have to melt.
You will never see Bill Paxton the same way after watching The Dark Backward (1991). This movie stars Judd Nelson as an awful stand-up comedian who inexplicably grows an arm out of his back and Bill Paxton as his deranged, corpse-licking, fat-fetishing, minced-clams-in-cream-sauce eating best friend, as they navigate the entertainment world in an alternative trash universe. Shockingly, this movie was a catastrophic financial flop.
Sadly we are not talking about the 90′s British rock band Terrorvision, but instead return to 1986 and the weird, wild, and gross films of our youth with TerrorVision. A 1980s satire made DURING the 1980s, featuring a collection of annoying and/or contemptible metalheads, swingers, and paranoid survivalists, the movie that introduced the world to an Elvira clone better than the genuine article and a grand gloopy monster straight from the Sanitation department from Planet Pluton. Is it good? Meh, not really, but it has its charms: at least two of them.
Both J.R. and Derek select a story that they admire and discuss it in depth. J.R. selects “Bright Segment” by Theodore Sturgeon, a psychological horror tale about a desperately lonely janitor who wants to feel useful, and finally has his change when he takes care of grievously injured woman. Derek goes with “Slime” by Joseph Payne Brennan, the unabashed simple monster tale that was the obvious prototype for The Blob. Much bickering ensues about whether Bright Segment qualifies as a horror tale, and our two hosts take delightful jabs at each other’s selection.
Both J.R. and Derek select a story that they admire and discuss it in depth. J.R. picks Harlan Ellison’s “The Whimper of Whipped Dogs,” a mean-spirited explanation for why New Yorkers are such grouchy people, which persuasively presents a vicious moral premise; and Derek selects Jon Padgett’s “20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism,” a how-to manual for using Greater Ventriloquism to become a vehicle for great cosmic suffering. J.R. also saves you $5,000 on transcendental meditation courses. Everything is coming up garbanzo beans baby!
Both J.R. and Derek select a story that they admire and discuss it in depth. J.R. selects Dennis Etchison’s “The Dog Park,” a strange tale that subtly escalates with tension even if you aren’t precisely sure what is going on, and Derek gets his freak on with Edogawa Rampo’s “The Human Chair,” an inspirational (and aspirational!) story about a brutally ugly master craftsman who gets to live in a chair.
We don’t mean to brag, but we DID watch ten movies in one weekend, and now we get to tell you all about them: Brightburn, The Hole in the Ground, Open Windows, The Ranger, Satan’s Slaves, The Perfection, and sadly, the best movie of the weekend, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. J.R. also tells his “inspiring story” of “overcoming” a “life threatening” “overdose”. (And before you nitpickers get at us, the other three movies were The Creature From The Black Lagoon trilogy that we already covered).
The duo finish what they started, wrapping up Creature from the Black Lagoon month with “The Creature Walks Among Us” (1956), where our unique creature goes from svelte, smooth sea-dweller to a thicc, chonky fat-boi merman and the story becomes a domestic drama about a somewhat-ditsy young woman, her controlling, insecure husband, and the aggressive sociopath who tries to use her for what he wants. Also, learn the secrets of the G.I.L.L.M.A.N. pickup system to become the real monster. Enjoy!
The duo cover Revenge of the Creature (1955), the sequel made only 13 months after The Creature from the Black Lagoon. We hope you want to experience some of the same story beats and tour a 1950s Oceanarium because that’s what a lot of what this movie entails, although it does feature the first screen performance of a certain 24 year old future cowboy / vigilante cop / Gran Torino serenader. What kind of “revenge” can it really be without the cast from the first movie? Find out!
A clever pun compels the duo to discuss The Creature from the Black Lagoon Trilogy, starting off with none other than, you guessed it, The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). The movie - which is essentially a simple tale of survival - was enjoyable and compelling, and also features a distinctive audio refrain which Derek delights in recreating.
Sometimes life happens and you need to rerun a classic episode of the show so that fans don’t get too let down. So straight from the archive we go all the way back to the magical year of 2016 for our episode on The Mist novella and The Mist film. If only we had waited a little bit longer we could have worked in the short lived TV show as well...
We saddle up and hit the open range, ready to herd up all those horror cows in another roundup. This week’s discussion: The Noonday Witch, Love Death & Robots, The Other, The Silence, Crawlspace, The Stepfather, Aliens 40th Anniversary Shorts, Mayhem, Incident in a Ghostland, Borgman, The Luminous Dead, A Quiet Place, and more! Again and again we wonder and lament how much time of our finite lives we have wasted…
The duo finish The Case Against Satan. So…was it Satan all along? If so, did Satan come up with a sufficiently good excuse to possess Susan? Did Satan entirely win us over with his witty snark? Have science and faith been sufficiently reconciled? Find out!
In the spirit of our last two months discussing God and the Devil in horror cinema, the duo discuss the 1962 first novel of Ray Russell, The Case Against Satan. This is the subtle, ambiguous story of two men of the cloth - one firm and unwavering, the other a more ‘modern’ man who has doubts about the literal nature of Satan - grappling with whether a young girl is possessed, and if that sounds like another certain novel, note we said “subtle” and “ambiguous.” No extracurricular use of crosses here, although the first half does end with “get the rope!”