This Week In GeekCouch Podcasts

Here are links to this weeks podcasts. Enjoy!

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This Week In GeekCouch Podcasts

Even with Thanksgiving, podcasts still continue to be churned out here on the GeekCouch. Here’s this week’s offerings.

As always, you can subscribe in iTunes here.

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31 Days of Halloween: Nightmare City

31 Days of Halloween

Nightmare City (1980)

Directed by: Umberto Lenzi
Written by: Antonio Cesare Corti, Luis María Delgado and Piero Regnoli
Starring: Hugo Stiglitz, Laura Trotter and Maria Rosaria Omaggio

NIGHTMARE CITY is ridiculous and shouldn’t be considered a good film by any means. However, the sheer zaniness and insanity should be applauded. It is a “zombie” film where the zombies can run, use weapons, problem solve and communicate. It’s absolutely wacky.

Worth watching with friends and drinks.

Plot ★★★☆☆ || Scares ★★☆☆☆ || Entertainment ★★★★½

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆


31 Days of Halloween: Red State

31 Days of Halloween

Red State (2011)

Directed by: Kevin Smith
Written by: Kevin Smith
Starring: Michael Parks, Melissa Leo and John Goodman

Religion can be scary. In that sense, Kevin Smith was right about classifying RED STATE as a Horror film. In reality, I’m not sure you can define RED STATE by any set genre. It’s a mash up of psychological horror and action in a unconventional 3 act format.

1st Act: Horney Teenagers Vs. The Religious Nutjobs
2nd Act: The Religious Nutjobs
3rd Act: ATF Vs. The Religious Nutjobs

I really enjoyed this structure and didn’t mind it at all. Each act was well acted and interesting, even shocking. Tying all 3 acts together is an amazing performance by Michael Parks as Albin Cooper. He is phenomenal. I would love to see a spin-off film specifically about Albin Cooper. What a great character.

Sure, RED STATE is uneven in tone and there are a couple clunker scenes. But, as a whole, RED STATE is a brave film and a surprising turn by director Kevin Smith.

Plot ★★★½☆ || Scares ★★☆☆☆ || Entertainment ★★★★½

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


31 Days of Halloween: The Beyond

31 Days of Halloween

The Beyond (1981)

Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Written by: Dardano Sacchetti
Starring: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck and Cinzia Monreale

Ah, Fulci gore. Just what I needed this October.

I’d been meaning to watch this for quite a while and finally had an excuse with Halloween approaching. While not much for plot, THE BEYOND is pretty awesome. It has great atmosphere and some amazing gore gags. In fact, I’m beginning to think that Fulci has an issue with eyeballs. He loves destroying them in many creative ways.

Plot ★★★½☆ || Scares ★★★☆☆ || Entertainment ★★★★½

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


31 Days of Halloween: Scream 4

31 Days of Halloween

Scream 4 (2011)

Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Kevin Williamson
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette

What’s happened to Wes Craven?!

The original SCREAM was a thrilling cross between a whodunnit and a slasher. It was witty, scary and funny. SCREAM 2 was more of the same, but still well done. SCREAM 3 was a joke. I mean, Jay & Silent Bob have a cameo! What the hell?!

Now we have SCREAM 4 or SCRE4M. More like SCREAM BORE. This plodding mess has no reason to exist. It had a perfect opportunity to add a fresh spin and even comment on today’s “torture porn” and “found footage” flicks, but it doesn’t. Instead it’s more of the same and slightly better than SCREAM 3.

What an utter disappointment. Wes Craven’s dead to me.

Plot ★☆☆☆☆ || Scares ★☆☆☆☆ || Entertainment ★½☆☆☆

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★☆☆☆☆


31 Days of Halloween: Paranormal Activity 2

31 Days of Halloween

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

Directed by: Tod Williams
Written by: Michael R. Perry, Christopher B. Landon
Starring: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat and Molly Ephraim

The PARANORMAL ACTIVITY series are films you have to allow yourself to get into. Sitting in my darkened living room at midnight with my family asleep upstairs is the perfect setting to watch these. Creating this setting is crucial for the scares in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 to work. I don’t think I would have been scared seeing this in a theater full of morons.

I’m really surprised that PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 worked as well as it did. It’s a parallel story to the first one, and even hits a lot of the same beats. But, it works and actually enhances the first film’s story. I can’t wait to see PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3!

Plot ★★★½☆ || Scares ★★★★☆ || Entertainment ★★★½☆

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


31 Days of Halloween: The Tingler (1959)

31 Days of Halloween

The Tingler (1959)

Directed by: William Castle
Written by: Robb White
Starring: Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn and Darryl Hickman

THE TINGLER opened in theaters in 1959 with a gimmick called “Percepto” where electrodes were placed randomly on the theater seats. Unsuspecting audience members would get electric shocks from time to time throughout the movie. Any we complain about 3D today…

Vincent Price stars as a pathologist in search of something he calls “The Tingler,” a creature who lives at the base of our spinal column and who is driven to grow based on our fear level. The only thing that can stop The Tingler from growing is to scream. That’s the plot. It’s simple yet serviceable. Vincent Price is awesome.

Another feature of note is a key scene where color is introduced briefly into the film. When it happens it’s a bit random, but somewhat effective.

THE TINGLER is nothing amazing or groundbreaking, but it is enjoyable even today.  Vincent Price and the absurd premise are what sets THE TINGLER apart from most films at the time.

Plot ★★★½☆ || Scares ★★☆☆☆ || Entertainment ★★★★½

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


31 Days of Halloween: Stop Me Before I Kill!

31 Days of Halloween

Stop Me Before I Kill! (1960)

Directed by: Val Guest
Written by: Val Guest
Starring: Claude Dauphin, Diane Cilento and Ronald Lewis

Not necessarily a “Horror” film, STOP ME BEFORE I KILL! is more of a Paranoid Thriller. Hammer Films produced this film based off a Ronald Scott Thorn novel and the results are enjoyable enough.

There are some intense (for the time) scenes involving the main character compelled to abuse his wife. Even today, these scenes work and while mild in the violence are vey effective. Though, I feel the woman in the film should have been a bit more pissed than she actually was. She keeps on shrugging these encounters off, definitely a sign of the culture in the late 50s & early 60s. This film wouldn’t have worked today.

With all that said, STOP ME BEFORE I KILL! is an enjoyable thriller with twists and turns. It’s Hammer Films version of a Hitchcock type story, but not as sophisticated.

Plot ★★★½☆ || Scares ★★½☆☆ || Entertainment ★★★½☆

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆


31 Days of Halloween: The Revenge Of Frankenstein

31 Days of Halloween

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

Directed by: Terence Fisher
Written by: Jimmy Sangster
Starring: Peter Cushing, Francis Matthews and Eunice Gayson

A direct sequel to THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN is less about The Creature and more about Doctor Frankenstein (having changed his name to Doctor Stein) as he attempts to perfect what went wrong with his prior experiments.

In a sense, REVENGE is kind of a character study on the obsession of this doctor (played perfectly by Peter Cushing) and his attempts to cheat death and become a legend in the field of medicine. Some people will probably find the shift away from “The Creature” disappointing as Doctor Frankenstein has become “The Monster” in a different sense. His obsession drives him to madness and only destroys everything around him.

There is mayhem to be had, though. The finale is exciting and well done, though not as crazy as the last film. Still, with this switch in focus, REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN is very enjoyable. Just as before, the acting and story are very strong helping me become totally invested in this film.

What is refreshing about REVENGE is that it’s a fresh story and not a retread. Sure there are echoes of the original, but it is a new story with a logical evolution of the character. I’d add this to any film student’s study of how to do a sequel correctly. It’s a natural progression of story and not an excuse to continue a franchise.

Other than the original 1931 FRANKENSTEIN, these 2 Hammer Films are now my favorite FRANKENSTEIN films. Very well done.

Plot ★★★★☆ || Scares ★★★½☆ || Entertainment ★★★★½

Overall Rating Overall Rating: ★★★★☆