Sunday, June 5, 2022

S6E1. GET OUT: The Amityville Horror (1979)


Chris Stachiw (The Kulturecast) and Andy Gnosis join me on an epic episode devoted to The Amityville Horror (1979), its two sequels, and the 2005 reboot with Ryan Reynolds. PLUS, we can't help but talk about the two incidents that inspired the films, the DeFeo murders and the Lutz family's haunting claims.

Sam Panico's epic Amityville movie list.

Andy's AGT audition.


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

WDIRT V3: E1-E3

And finally the third volume of WDIRT episodes is now available as separate episodes. Again.


WDIRT V3E1: Eyes of Fire (1983)
Here's another instance of my stupidity: I saw the very intriguing video box image for Eyes of Fire probably 50 million times back in my teens and never took a chance on renting it. Dumb, Mark, just plain dumb! This is one fascinating oddity that has never really gotten its chance to shine. The film didn't get very positive reviews when it came out, died at the box office, and wasn't given a VHS release until 1987. At that point it gained a cult following, but once again got buried in obscurity. If you like The Witch you should definitely check this one out!
 


WDIRT V3E2: Xtro (1982)
WUH came back from hiatus with a new WDIRT episode on Harry Bromley Davenport's nutso early-80s Alien rip-off that's actually so much more than that. Filled with too many WTF moments to count, and some of the most inspired and gloopy SFX from the era, Xtro would have damaged my brain as a kid. Now that I'm older I can soak in this odd-ball treasure with wild abandon.
 


WDIRT V3E3: Alone in the Dark (1982)
The last WDIRT in Volume 3 is on Jack Sholder's quirky slasher-home-invasion hybrid Alone in the Dark. It's got Martin Landau as a pyromaniac ex-preacher, Jack Palance as a paranoid POW, Erlind van Lidth as a hulking child-molester, and the mysterious hockey-mask-wearing killer known as The Bleeder. Donald Pleasence rounds out the cast as the equally nutty psychiatrist Dr. Leo Bain.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

WDIRT V2: E1-E3

The second volume of WDIRT episodes is now available as separate episodes. Again. 


WDIRT V2E1: Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)
This slightly sleazy, giallo-esque proto-slasher gained notoriety for starring Little Brooke Shields. But it was the anti-Catholic sentiment and shocking violence that got it condemned. Director Alfred Sole borrows from Hitchcock, throws in some Don't Look Now and tops it all off with a creepy masked killer. Enjoy!
[EPISODE CORRECTION: Jason Patric and Joshua John Miller are half-brothers, not step-brothers.]



WDIRT V2E2: Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)
After a stay in a mental institution, Jessica, along with her husband and their friend, moves from Manhattan to Connecticut in hopes that her fragile mental state will improve. They encounter a mysterious stranger squatting in their new home, strange, hostile men covered in bandages, and a mute girl, all of whom may be the victims of a century old vampire. Will Jessica escape alive and with her sanity in tact? p.s. There's outtakes at the end of this one! :P



WDIRT V2E3: The Gate (1987)
Why didn't I rent this? Apparently I'm a dingus. "It's The Evil Dead, for kids!"--Mark Begley. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

WDIRT V1: E1-E3

THEY'RE BACK! As discussed on the WUH: February 2022 episode I have decided to re-release all WDIRT episodes in their original form: as short, individual episodes. 

WDIRT episodes are quick takes on movies I passed on as a teen, have seen since, and then wondered: WHY DIDN'T I RENT THIS (or "that", depending on what my brain made me say)?



WDIRT V1E1: The Beast Within (1982)
Philipe Mora's films are quite varied, but they all share a certain bizarre quality. TBW is no exception. I remember the box art for this one so distinctly but never took the plunge. I wish I had because it's a very unique horror film from one of the busiest years for the genre. Plus, those bladder effects!



WDIRT V1E2: Messiah of Evil (1973)
From the screenwriting power duo who brought you Howard the Duck, it's the 1973 (or is it 1971? or maybe 1974?? or...) oddball Messiah of Evil (or Second Coming? or Revenge of the Screaming Dead? or Return of the Living Dead?? or the sublime Dead People???). Any way you slice it this is one kooky flick. If little 13-year-old Mark had laid his eyeballs on this one he might have grown up to be a weirdo! Oh, wait... ;)



WDIRT V1E3: Deranged (1974)
Ah, Ed Gein, that perpetual paradigm of perversion spawned myriad torrid tales of terror, including, but not limited to, Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Silence of the Lambs. His horrific happenings may have been presented in their truest and most disturbing form in this wicked number from 1974 helmed by Alan Ormsby, starring Roberts Blossom, and produced in part by Bob Clark. I think this one looked just a bit too on the nose for young Markie back in the '80s. [Check out the recent feature length episode on Deranged with Mike White and Chrsi Stachiw.]

    Tuesday, March 1, 2022

    BOBAM: Cat People (1982)


    More #BegleyOnBegley Action is coming your way! And more #SchraderOnBegley Action to boot! Coming in under the wire for BOBAM (just pretend it's a Leap Year) with a quickie on Cat People (1982). Schrader's slick, colorful remake is a great watch, despite the icky incest plotline. Ed Begley, Jr. gets to have some fun in this, until... well, just listen.

    Also with Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, Ruby Dee, John Heard, Annette O'Toole, Lynn Lowry, Frankie Faison, and John Larroquette. 

    Sunday, February 20, 2022

    BOBAM: Blue Collar (1978)

    This episode is a little bit #BegleyOnBegley Action Month and a little bit WDIRT and a whole lot of f-words. I take a look at Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978) which is sort of a heist film, but mostly a hard-hitting take on labor relations in the auto industry. 

    Zeke (Richard Pryor), Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), and Jerry (Harvey Keitel) have had enough of the awful conditions on the line of the auto factory where they work. The treatment they get from their union isn't any better so they hatch a plan to rob their local's safe. Also starring Lucy Saroyan, Harry Northup, Cliff DeYoung, and, of course, Ed Begley, Jr. 

    Saturday, February 5, 2022

    Begley on Begley Action Month at The Kulturecast

    Sometime last year Chris asked me to program a month of shows for February 2022 over at The Kulturecast and I was both honored and excited to take a crack at it. I pondered a number of different themes: favorite director, favorite actor, only movies I've never seen, movies with people who share my birthday, etc. etc. etc. But then an obvious theme presented itself, which would also cover some of the other ideas I'd run through my head. Chris asked me early on, as many people do, if my name was pronounced the same as Ed Begley, Jr.'s, which I affirmed. This prompted him to mention his disdain for the film Transylvania 6-5000, which I had to admit I've never seen. This has since become a running gag between us, and so I thought, "Well, Ed's been in some great movies so I'll make Chris watch four of those." I then set about to pick four from the vast and varied Ed Begley, Jr. filmography (330 acting credits!).

    I didn't necessarily pick films with big Begley roles (these are mostly bit parts) but they do represent films that hit childhood nostalgia, feature a favorite actor or director, and one that I'd never seen. 

    First up is Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1971), one of Disney's Dexter Riley (Kurt Russell) films, which I absolutely loved as a kid. Mike White from The Projection Booth Podcast joined us for this episode. Enjoy!

    Next up is Cockfighter (1974), directed by Monte Hellman. If you listen to my show you've heard me talk about this one. A bunch. Ed Begley, Jr. plays Tom Peeples, a shiftless hillbilly who gets his comeuppance and then some! This time Chris and I are joined by Cullen Gallagher for a rollicking good time.

    Citizens Band (1977) was the "new-to-me" selection for Begley on Begley Action Month. Directed by Jonathan Demme with a stacked cast of Demme regulars and 1970s character actors (including WUH favorite Roberts Blossom) CB is a charming slice-of-life look at a small Nebraska town obsessed with CB radios. Ed Begley, Jr. plays The Priest, who believes in G-O-D and not in F-C-C.

    Hardcore (1979) our last entry for Begley on Begley Action Month is now here! Ed Begley, Jr. has a glorified cameo, but still manages to be memorable as "Soldier" in a "porno" within the film. Schrader's essay on Calvinism vs. pornography was one of of my favorite new-to-me watches of 2020 and have wanted to chat about it ever since. 

    Monday, January 17, 2022

    WUH: Heather Drain on Return of the Living Dead (1985)


    Get to know Heather Drain (aka Mondo Heather) as she joins me to discuss an instrumental film from her youth, Return of the Living Dead (1985). Dan O'Bannon's punk rock zombie classic takes center stage here, but we also get some horror movie background from Heather. This includes an early horror movie memory, how she went from movie lover to movie writer, and her admiration for film and music icons such as Udo Kier, Clu Gulager, The Damned, and Charles Rocket.

    Sunday, January 2, 2022

    WUH: Tunes (2021)

    Why spend hours piecing together an episode with songs featured throughout WUH 2021? And run the risk of copyright infringement?? Except to get some cheap plays on the ol' Stat-o-Meter? Especially when you can just create a Spotify playlist???? Okay, I was looking forward to adding some clips and other fun stuff on the WUH: Tunes (2021), but this is easier and safer. I was able to add all but two songs, which will end up on the 2021 Wrap-up Episode instead (plus the clips and other fun stuff). Enjoy!


    Sunday, December 19, 2021

    S5E5. Let's go clean 'em up: Rolling Thunder (1977)


    Anthony King (The Cult Movies Podcast) returns to the show to discuss Rolling Thunder (1977). Directed by John Flynn from a script by Paul Schrader and Heywood Gould, based on an original story by Schrader. Rolling Thunder stars William Devane as Major Charles Rane who has returned to his home of San Antonio after seven years as a POW in Viet Nam. He realizes quickly that his wife has moved on, and that his son barely remembers him. During a robbery of his home his hand is mangled, and his family is slaughtered. With nothing left to live for, he sets out on a dangerous path for revenge. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Haynes, James Best, and Luke Askew.

    Monday, December 6, 2021

    S5E4. I died for you: Deathdream (1974)

    Welcome to the finale of WUH's series on the early horror films of Alan Ormsby and Bob Clark. The series-long co-host is Mike White, from The Projection Booth Podcast, with Heather Drain, Chris Stachiw, and Samm Deighan joining us for one of the three episodes, respectively. Also included in each episode is a portion of an interview with Simon Fitzjohn, who wrote I'm Going to Kill You, a book on the films of Bob Clark.

    On this final episode Samm Deighan joins Mike and me to discuss Deathdream, which was filmed on the heels of CSPWDT in 1972, but not released until 1974, after Deranged. Bob Clark directed from a script by Ormsby, who once again created the make-up effects with help of first-timer Tom Savini. 

    Deathdream aka Dead of Night et al, is the story of Andy Brooks (Richard Backus) who is killed in Viet Nam, but willed back to life and back home by his grief-stricken mother. As with most "Monkey's Paw" inspired tales, this does not bode well for Andy or those he cares about. Also starring John Marley and Lynn Carlin as Andy's parents, Anya Ormsby as his sister, and Jane Daly (both from CSPWDT) as his old girlfriend. Ormsby, Clark, and Jeff Gillen all have cameos. 

    Where to watchIMDb listingWikipedia page

    Saturday, October 16, 2021

    S5E3. Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974)

    Welcome to the second in a three-episode series on the early horror films of Alan Ormsby and Bob Clark. The series-long co-host is Mike White, from The Projection Booth Podcast, with Heather Drain, Chris Stachiw, and Samm Deighan joining us for one of the three episodes, respectively. Also included in each episode is a portion of an interview with Simon Fitzjohn, who wrote I'm Going to Kill You, a book on the films of Bob Clark

    On this episode Chris Stachiw joins Mike and me to discuss Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile, a very faithful telling of the Ed Gein story. Ormsby wrote the script and co-directed the film with Jeff Gillen (an Ormsby/Clark regular), with Bob Clark acting as (an uncredited) producer. As with CSPWDT and Deathdream Ormsby also supplied much of the special make-up effects, with help from a young up-and-comer named Tom Savini.

    Roberts Blossom plays Ezra Cobb, a middle-aged mid-westerner who has been sheltered and coddled by his domineering religious zealot of a mother. When she dies, Ezra is left to his own warped devices and starts to lose what little he had left of his sanity. This leads to grave-robbing, morbid arts and crafts, and, ultimately, murder. With Clark regulars Leslie Carlson, as an intrepid news correspondent, and Marian Waldman, as a potential love-interest for Ezra.

    Where to watchIMDb listingWikipedia page

    Why yes, I have talked about Deranged before. Might be interesting to see what I said back on this early WDIRT episode. Skip to 34:25:

    Monday, October 11, 2021

    S5E2. Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1972)

    Welcome to the first in a three-episode series on the early horror films of Alan Ormsby and Bob Clark. The series-long co-host is Mike White, from The Projection Booth Podcast, with Heather Drain, Chris Stachiw, and Samm Deighan joining us for one of the three episodes, respectively. Also included in each episode is a portion of an interview with Simon Fitzjohn, who wrote I'm Going to Kill You, a book on the films of Bob Clark. Simon also supplied the fun promotional "menu" for the player image of this episode.

    On this episode Heather Drain joins Mike and me to discuss Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, a low-budget horror/comedy inspired in part by Night of the Living Dead (1968). Bob Clark wrote and directed the film, with script contributions from Alan Ormsby. Ormsby also designed and created the make-up effects and plays Alan, the leader of a Miami theater troupe. 

    Alan, an egomaniacal tyrant, takes the troupe to an island graveyard to perform a Satanic ritual that will raise the dead, whom he wants to use as slaves. But before the real ritual begins he scares the rest of the group with help from Roy and Emerson, two other troupe members, hamming it up as ghouls. After everyone is properly frightened, and pissed off at Alan, they return to their cabin with an actual corpse named Orville. Has the summation of spirits really worked? Or is Alan just having more fun at everyone else's expense? Tune in and find out.

    Ormsby's signature on the poster:


    Where to watchIMDb listingWikipedia page

    My two part chat with Simon about his quest to get The Haunting of Julia restored and released:


    Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    Special Guest: Anthony King


    Anthony King, host of The Cult Movies Podcast, pays a visit to WUH Headquarters and brings along a movie that traumatized him as a child, but has since become one of his favorites. On this Special Guest episode we talk about John Landis's 1982 classic horror/comedy film An American Werewolf in London, Anthony's show, Jenny Agutter, and why Grandma should always keep the bedroom door closed.

    Friday, August 6, 2021

    Guest Spot: Fear Street Trilogy (2021) on The Kulturecast


    Chris invited me back to The Kulturecast to discuss the new Fear Street Trilogy on Netflix. Having never read an R.L. Stine book in my life I figured I was the perfect co-host! Haha.

    "We take another break before TV Movie Month with a trilogy of films that reinvigorates the horror genre and queer identity in the genre: Fear Street. Split into three films, they follow the parallel stories of Shadyside and Sunnyvale, towns torn apart due to a witch's curse. After the witch's curse begins again, a group of teens must figure out a way to stop the curse and save Shadyside. Wake Up Heavy's Mark Begley joins Chris to talk all about the films, the films they reference, and the kills."

    Tuesday, August 3, 2021

    WDIRT V4E3: Macabro (1980)



    Macabro (1980) (aka Macabre, aka Frozen Terror) is a New Orleans set horror film from director Lamberto Bava, the son of famed Italian director Mario Bava. Although Lamberto helped his father direct Shock (1977), Macabro was his first official solo job as director. The film stars Bernice Stegers (XTRO) as Jane Baker, a woman who's adultery leads to tragic consequences, and Stanko Molnar (A Blade in the Dark) as the blind land-lord of the building where she resides. Veronica Zinny, in her only role, is perfectly cast as Jane's troubled and troublesome daughter. 

    This one goes to some very dark places and I don't know what Young Mark would have thought about it back in the VHS glory days. Old Mark things it's pretty fascinating.

    Thursday, July 29, 2021

    Guest Spot: Sabata (1969) on The Projection Booth Podcast


    From The Projection Booth Site:

    "Guest Co-Hosts: Heather Drain. Mark Begley

    Spaghetti Western month continues with a look at the Sabata films -- it's something of a trilogy, but not really. And some might say that there are seven films in the series… but, really, there’re just two. The original film, Sabata (1969), was written and directed by Gianfranco Parolini and stars Lee Van Cleef as the titular gunfighter who’s no stranger to gadgets.

    Mark Begley and Heather Drain join Mike to discuss the three official Sabata films and four of the knock-offs which have little to nothing to do with the titular gunfighter."

    Please visit The Projection Booth for more amazing, in-depth episodes on a wide variety of films.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2021

    WUH: Cleo vs. The Thing (1982)


    I really like showing Cleo some of my favorite Classic Horror films, and this happens to be one of my all time faves. On this episode we take a look at John Carpenter's 1982 practical effects masterpiece The Thing. I love this movie, but where will it rank for Cleo amongst the other Classics we've watched? You'll just have to have a listen.

    Oh, and get your WUH swag over on TeePublic, send me a screenshot of your purchase and I'll send you a pin and some stickers.


    Thursday, June 24, 2021

    WUH: What's happening


    This is one of those episodes. A good half-hour of me just flap-jawin'. If you like watching paint dry, you'll love hearing me talk about painting our house. But there's also movie recs, lots o' clips, and general news and notes. Sorry for being absent during May, but I mean, I gave y'all FOUR EPISODES last week.

    Quick note, I've had a pretty serious amount of plays this month, more than any previous month since the inception of the show. It'd be cool to hit 1,000 plays in June, so listen to this episode if only to help WUH reach that goal. 

    I could not find the Letterboxd list of the films featured in Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, but I will keep looking.

    Yes, that's the Heavy House painted in Dark Engine. I'm calling our style, "Mid-Century Macabre."

    Thursday, June 17, 2021

    Guest Spot: KCxWUH: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do What??


    I made another trip to the Kulturecast, but this time Chris has been so kind as to share the episode with me for the WUH audience. 

    On this episode we discuss the latest entry in the Conjuring universe, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021), as well as the previous entries, the Annabelle films, The Nun and La Llorona. All, or most, of the films are currently streaming on HBO Max.

    Sunday, June 13, 2021

    WUHxKC: Poltergeist (1982)


    The Kulturecast Crossover continues with this look at Tobe Hooper's 1982 horror classic Poltergeist. Chris Stachiw joins WUH to talk about the movie that traumatized him as a wee-one and turned him off of horror for years. We also delve into the sequels and the 2015 remake.

    Our Crossover also includes an episode of The Kulturecast on the new Conjuring film, and its cinematic universe. Look for that episode soon in the Wake Up Heavy stream.


    Monday, May 10, 2021

    Guest Spot: More Kulturecast

    Chris keeps asking me back, and I keep accepting. These appearances give me an opportunity to branch out and watch some films I wouldn't normally get around to, or talk about on WUH

    First up is my discussion with Chris and Mike White about Citizen Kane, a film neither Chris nor I had watched prior. 

    Listen to "Citizen Kane" on Spreaker.

    Next up is our discussion on Howl's Moving Castle. Here is a sneak peak since this is on The Kulturecast Patreon. To unlock the episode it's only a buck a month subscription, which is a great deal. And who knows, I may be on some more of these Patreon episodes in the future.

    Coming soon, Chris will be joining me on WUH to talk about an influential film in his young life: Poltergeist (1982).

    Check out my other Kulturecast appearances below, and visit their podcast site here.

    Monday, April 12, 2021

    S5E1. Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)


    Guest co-hosts: Mike White and Samm Deighan

    On this episode of WUH we discuss the 1977 film Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Goodbar was written and directed by Richard Brooks, based on the 1975 novel by Judith Rossner, which is loosely based on the real life and death of Roseann Quinn. The film stars Diane Keaton as Theresa Dunn, a twenty something woman living in The Big City who leads a “double life.” A devoted teacher of deaf students by day, Theresa frequents bars and discos at night seeking out the company of men, if just for one night. Richard Gere and Tom Berenger, in early roles, play two of those men. Tuesday Weld and William Atherton also star. Due to music rights issues Goodbar has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray, and is not available to stream. 



    Wednesday, March 31, 2021

    WUH: Monster Battle Series w/ special guest Cleo!

    In each episode of this series my daughter Cleo and I will be hopping around the Godzilla and King Kong Franchises (mostly Godzilla) and talking about two or three films. Naturally we started with their epic Match-Up in the 1962 Toho film King Kong vs. Godzilla. We'll be discussing that film in comparison with Mothra vs. Godzilla which came out two years later. Each new episode will be posted here. Find out at the end of the series which film rules them all! The songs featured are King Kong by the Kinks, and Mothra's Theme.

    WUH: Godzilla vs... King Kong & Mothra:

    Cleo's back to talk about two more Monster Battle Movies, and this time we have two appearances from Kong! First up is King Kong Escapes from 1967, co-produced by Toho Studios and Rankin/Bass! Check out the Rankin on Bass podcast's episode on the same film below. Cleo and I finish up this episode on the just-released Godzilla vs. Kong. Songs featured this go around are King Kong by Jimmy Castor, Go Go Godzilla by Blue Oyster Cult, and King Kong Song by ABBA.

    WUH: King Kong vs...


    Rankin on Bass Ep. 8: King Kong Escapes (1967)

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021

    WUH: TV and the Projection Booth


    It's been a little over a year since quarantine began. As I've discussed numerous times over this past year my brain has been a little fuzzy due to this, "new normal." My movie viewing, and therefore, my episode output, has greatly reduced. When I do have the time to watch a film I tend to seek out films I've enjoyed from my past. "Comfort films," as they say. All of this, along with my recent ruminations on past obsessions, got me to thinking about what I watched as a kid, and more specifically, how I watched things. 

    The second part of this episode loosely ties into the above, but is also a celebration and acknowledgement of the 10-year Anniversary of The Projection Booth Podcast. Like those stacks of movie books I poured over as a teen (see below) TPB has introduced me to numerous films I had never even heard about, let alone seen. I discuss those, plus some of my favorite episodes of the show.

    In my Watch List at the end of the episode I forgot to mention the name of the film with Lulu Wilson and Kevin James. It's called Becky. Blame it on the Smooth Brain.

    BONUS EPISODE:

    I found that movie! Have a listen to find out what it is, as well as how my memory vs. the reality of the film differ. And to check out the story about the comic book I re-discovered after more than 35 years you can find it here.



    Wednesday, March 3, 2021

    Guest Spot: The Kill-Off (1989) on The Kulturecast


    We continue Noiruary with a Jim Thompson adaptation that is next to impossible to find, primarily because it's never been released on DVD: The Kill-Off. The film takes place in a seaside New Jersey town that has fallen on hard times and features even harder people. It's a slice of salacious Americana that only Jim Thompson could have written. Wake Up Heavy's Mark Begley joins Chris to talk about the performances, the lack of physical releases, and other Jim Thompson adaptations.

    Thursday, February 18, 2021

    WUH: Interview with Michael Pilmer


    Instead of trying to remember more of my scattered and inaccurate memories of my longtime fascination with DEVO I got the opportunity to speak with someone who turned their obsession into a job... with DEVO! Michael Pilmer, aka Devo-Obsesso, stopped by to chat all things DEVO, his longtime love of the band, their music, and what they meant to him from a young age. Find out what took him from DEVOted fan and collector to meeting and working for the group.


    Thank you for indulging one of my longest running obsessions! Back to regular programming soon.

    Saturday, January 23, 2021

    Guest Spot: Camp Rock (2008) on The Kulturecast


    Another fun time was had over on The Kulturecast! This time Chris, Mike White and I dig deep into the Disney Channel Original Movie Camp Rock

    "Starring Demi Lovato and the Jonas Brothers, the film follows Demi Lovato as Mitchie, a talented young singer who attends the titular camp to further her musical training. At the camp, she learns to find herself and becomes romantically entangled with one of the Jo Bros."

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021

    WUH: A little bit me


    A full year ago, on the WUH: Twenty Nineteen episode, I talked about wanting to do some shows in 2020 on the myriad obsessions I entertained back in my youth. That never really happened. It's strange listening to that episode now after the year we had, and realizing no one knew what was coming down the pike, myself included. But those old obsessions have begun to percolate again, so instead of a year-end wrap-up I'm going to touch on some of those, as well as some other interesting(?) things from my childhood. 

    A note about the player image. Yes, that's me. And yes, I'm f@#king adorable!

    Check out my Lettrboxd account for lists and diary entries from 2020. 

    Did somebody say Fresno?

    And here's a picture of DEVO's Turkey Monkey Bank:


    Thursday, January 7, 2021

    Guest Spot: 18 Again (1988) on The Kulturecast


    Need a little levity in your day? I know I do! I got to guest on Chris Stachiw's The Kulturecast to discuss 18 Again, one of a good handful of body-swap films from the late 1980s. Oh, and we talk a little about a few of the other ones as well. 

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020

    WUH: Tunes (2020)


    "In Heaven (The Lady in the Radiator Song)"--Lynch/Ivers

    "Little Rascal's Theme (Good Old Days)"--Leroy Shield

    "Charleston"--Johnson/Mack

    "Dueling Banjos"--Weissberg/Mandell

    "Tonight is Prom Night"--Zaza/Zittrer

    "Fan, Fan, Fanatisch"--Rheingold

    "F.A.N."--Rheingold

    "Where There's A Whip"--Glenn Yarbrough

    "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"--C.R. Graen (performed by Leonard Nimoy)

    "The Rockford Files Theme"--Mike Post

    "Creeque Alley"--The Mamas and The Papas

    "Shivers"--Boys Next Door

    "Freedom of Choice"--DEVO

    Wednesday, December 9, 2020

    Guest Spot: Crumbs (2015) on The Projection Booth Podcast

    Here's my last TPB appearance of 2020 (and the last one till December 2021!). From TPB's site:

    Special Guest: Miguel Llanso
    Guest Co-Hosts: Mark Begley, Chris Stachiw


    We're looking at Miguel Llanso's Crumbs (2015), the story of a post apocalyptic future where items from the past are given special significance as our hero, Candy (played by Daniel Tadesse), goes on a quest, first to see the witch and then to see Santa Claus.

    Chris Stachiw and Mark Begley join Mike to talk about Crumbs as well as Llanso's Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway from 2019.

    Sunday, November 29, 2020

    WUH: What a turkey!


    A mish-mash recipe for your Thanksgiving holiday festivities. Two parts Why Didn't I Rent This, one part Cleo, a sprinkle of watch list recs, and a dash of DEVO. Happy(?) Thanksgiving from the WUH Family to yours! 

    And enjoy this TV spot for Motel Hell, and the video for DEVO's Freedom of Choice. Did both of these put the whammy on my 11-year-old brain in the Summer of 1980? We may never know the answer, but I'd like to think so.

     

    Friday, October 30, 2020

    Guest Spot: The Brood (1979) on The Projection Booth Podcast

    WUH x TPB + Cronenberg = An Awesome October (Part 2)!

    Just four years and two films later Cronenberg would direct what some consider to be his first masterpiece, The Brood (1979). Drawing from his own tumultuous divorce and custody battle Cronenberg chills viewers via the frigid Toronto landscape and disquieting imagery of Frank and Nola Carveth's upended world.

    The Brood is the story of the Carveth family and how the sins of the past visit the children of the next generation. Frank (played by Art Hindle) and his wife Nola (played by Samantha Eggar) have separated. She’s under the care of Dr. Hal Raglan (played by Oliver Reed). He’s the head of the Somafree clinic and has mastered the art of psychoplasmics where negative thoughts and feelings are manifested physically. These come in the form of rashes or lesions or, in the case of Nola, a group of odd creatures who go on a murderous rampage when her ire is raised.

    Wednesday, October 21, 2020

    WUH x TPB + Cronenberg = An Awesome October! (Part 1)

    I've teamed up with Mike White yet again, this time for a crossover event between WUH and TPB on two films by acclaimed director David Cronenberg. First up is Shivers (1975). 

    After directing two experimental films (Stereo and Crimes of the Future) David Cronenberg realized that if making movies would be his vocation he would need to do something "commercial." And at the time commercial, more often than not, meant exploitation. Inspired in part by a nightmare he'd had Cronenberg set about to write a screenplay for the Canuxploitation Pioneers at Cinepix. What emerged was Shivers, which introduced audiences and critics to a new kind of horror film and courted controversy not only for its subject matter but also for its manner of funding. In Shivers Cronenberg's secular world view and body, or venereal, horror is present from the start. 

    Shivers stars Paul Hampton as Dr. Roger St. Luc, Lynn Lowry as Nurse Forsythe, Susan Petrie as Janine Tudor, Allan Kolman as Nick Tudor, and Barbara Steele as Betts, all residents of the luxury apartment complex Starliner Tower. The film also features the inimitable Joe Silver as Rollo Linsky. Dr. Emil Hobbes’ experiment with "helpful" parasites has gone awry and now the tenants of the Starliner are under attack by the polyamorous creatures. Can the residents of the Starliner stop the infection from spreading to nearby Montreal and beyond? Or do they even want to?

    This episode also features an interview with Luke Aspell, author of the Shivers monograph from Auteur Publishing. Purchase your copy here

    Music: "Shivers"-Boys Next Door


    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    WUH: Cronenberg Clinic


    No, I'm not giving a clinic on Cronenberg (I wouldn't presume to be an expert all of a sudden) although, since March of this year I think I've taken one myself! This is more of a primer for the upcoming Cronenberg Crossover event with The Projection Booth Podcast. Having read, watched, and absorbed so much Cronenberg over the last seven months it only seems natural that all the connections in his work would settle in and demand exploring. Plus, the title is a nice little pun since so many of his early films feature a Clinic of one sort or another. And I like puns! AND I get to use this awesome player image again! Win, win.

    And YES I did post the Shivers episode on Patreon. If you want to listen to it a couple weeks early it'll cost you a measley BUCK. Otherwise it'll drop sometime between the 23rd and 26th. 

    Friday, October 2, 2020

    Guest Spot: The Antenna on The Projection Booth Podcast


    Look Ma, I made it! Here it is, my first appearance on The Projection Booth podcast. Here's the description from their site:

    "On this special episode of The Projection Booth we're looking at the 2019 film from director Orçun Behram, The Antenna. The film stars Ihsan Önal as Mehmet, an overseer of an apartment building in Turkey. We begin the film on the day when a new satellite dish is being installed that is part of a new era for the country where the government can now broadcast directly to its citizens’ televisions. Let’s just say that this isn’t the utopia that was promised.

    David Rodgers and Mark Begley join Mike to discuss the the film which will play in select theaters starting October 2, 2020 and on VOD starting October 20, 2020."

    Monday, August 10, 2020

    WDIRT V4E2: The Sender (1982)

    The Sender (1982) is a horror film directed by Roger Christian and starring Zeljko Ivanek as The Sender, Kathryn Harrold as Dr. Gail Farmer, and Shirley Knight as Jerolyn. Two years before Freddy terrorized the kids on Elm Street, John Doe 83 would project the power of his dreams onto the patients and staff of a mental hospital in the town of Corinth.

    John Doe 83 aka The Sender tries to commit suicide by walking into a lake with rocks in his pockets. He ends up in a mental hospital where Dr. Gail Farmer instantly sympathizes with him. John Doe’s mother, Jerolyn, has convinced her son that his was a virgin birth and keeps him locked up at home in fear he will leave her. The Sender can telepathically transmit his dreams into others, which causes the receiver to hallucinate.

    Most of the WDIRT episodes have been about movies I passed on in the VHS days, or like last time with Visiting Hours, didn’t remember seeing. In this case, though, I thought I had seen it, but nothing hit my memory banks when I finally got to watch it. 

    Sunday, May 17, 2020

    WUH: Notes from Home


    It's strange, strange times right now, and it's affecting everyone in myriad ways. For me, it's made it a little more difficult to record regular episodes, so I'm fashioning these shorter hodge-podge shows to keep in touch and say howdy. There will generally be some movie recs, maybe a chat with my daughter about things we've watched, and even some feelings about sheltering-in-place. All episodes will be posted here.







    Monday, April 20, 2020

    S4E2. JOIN US: The Evil Dead (1981)


    In 1983* Sam Raimi and Co. took the horror world by the neck and shook it until it begged for mercy. The Evil Dead caught the attention of Stephen King at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival and his pull-quote, "The most ferociously original horror film of 1982," placed it on every genre fan's must-watch list. Coverage from Fangoria, along with great notice from a string of festival appearances, helped solidify its notoriety.

    Made on a shoe-string budget in the woods of Tennessee by a bunch of friends from Michigan, the movie was an exercise not only in scares and gore, but in moxie and gumption. Before the film was even begun the trio of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Rob Tapert formed Renaissance Pictures and took the business side of low-budget films seriously. They produced an instant classic that has withstood the test of time and spawned a franchise that has lasted 35 years.

    Ash, his sister Cheryl, his girlfriend Linda, and they're friends Scott and Shelly take a little vacation to a dilapidated backwoods cabin and accidentally summon demonic forces. By the end of the night only Ash survives. Or does he? The Evil Dead may be short on story but it's long on dread, gore, and inventive film-making. Whether you're a die-hard fan of the original, like me, or a lover of the "better in every way" requel, like my guest, or even if you prefer Army of Darkness for some reason, you'll find something to like in this episode. Heck, I even like the 2010 reboot!

    For this episode I am once again joined by Mike White from The Projection Booth Podcast. As mentioned in the episode you can also listen to Mike, along with Chris Stachiw, jaw on about Barney Miller and '85 Twilight Zone. And here's a video about the "Bollywood Evil Dead" Mike mentioned in the episode. Enjoy!




    *The date of The Evil Dead is a bit confusing. The copyright date, which is what I'm using, is 1981. The film wasn't officially released until 1983. It played Cannes, and other festivals, during 1982.

    Tuesday, March 17, 2020

    S4E1. I am not Simone Choule: The Tenant (1976)


    The Tenant was directed by Roman Polanski, who also stars as Trelkovsky a mild-mannered file clerk looking for a new apartment in Paris during a housing shortage. He finds a not-quite-vacant room in an American-owned building, but the last tenant, Simon Choule, is clinging to life after throwing herself out of the apartment's window. When the apartment becomes available Trelkovsky moves in and his life becomes a nightmare of paranoia and delusion.

    Much like Polanski himself, and Roland Topor who wrote the source novel, Trelkovsky is a Polish-Jew who has immigrated to Paris. His "otherness" becomes a source of derision for his neighbors, the apartment's management, the police, his coworkers, and even the denizens of a local cafe. Trelkovsky becomes convinced that everyone is trying to change him into Simone Choule and make him suffer the same fate. He finds solace with Mlle. Choule's friend Stella, played by Isabelle Adjani, but comes to believe she is in on the conspiracy as well. Are they trying to change him into Simone, or is it all in his head?

    The Tenant has been lumped together with Polanski's other films, Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby, to form the so-called Apartment Trilogy. All three deal with isolated and insulated characters whose sanity cracks until they can no longer tell what is real and what is only in their imaginations.

    For this episode I am joined by film journalist Anya Stanley. Ms. Stanley's work has been seen in Birth Movies Death, Rue Morgue, Dread Central, and several other film publications. She's currently a columnist for Fangoria, exploring horror from a gendered perspective with her column Rated XX/XY. You can find her on Twitter as @BookishPlinko. And here is her great piece Who Gives a Shit if the Oscars Don't Respect Horror?

    Wednesday, February 19, 2020

    WUH: London Semester (1990)


    It's the 30th anniversary of my semester in London and I've recently been thinking a lot about my time there. For a budding cinephile the repertory cinemas were a revelation to me and I formed many of my fondest movie going memories during my stay.

    In this episode I run through the films I saw, and some I didn't, at those marvelous movie houses: the Scala, Electric, Phoenix, Riverside, and Everyman cinemas.

    As I recorded the episode I noticed a few running themes based on my viewing history: American Indie films of the late '80s, New American Cinema classics from Scorsese and Coppola, and a slew of Wim Wenders, Russ Meyer, Jack Nicholson, and David Lynch flicks.

    Thursday, January 16, 2020

    WUH: Twenty nineteen



    A brief look back at Wake Up Heavy's first full calendar year on the ol' podcast trail. A hazy look forward, plus some of my favorite "first time watches" from the year.

    I mentioned Peter Ivers in the episode, and instead of making you chase down the articles I read, here they are:
    And here are the different lists of films I watched during 2019:

    Wednesday, December 18, 2019

    WUH: Christmas Evil (1980)


    No mere Santa Slasher here, Christmas Evil is a psychological study of one lonely man's mental breakdown. Harry Stadling is obsessed with Christmas and Santa Claus and the lack of belief in his fellow man is weighing heavy on his mind. As hypocrisy, consumerism, and apathy meet him on every side Harry slides further into his delusions until he snaps.

    Filled with odd touches, a great cast, and carols aplenty, Christmas Evil has become my second favorite Holiday Horror film after Bob Clark's Black Christmas. So why don't you sit your family down for a double feature on Christmas Eve and pray to God you don't hear footsteps on your roof while you dream of sugar plums dancing in your head.

    Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    WDIRT V4E1: Visiting Hours (1982)


    When is a WDIRT entry not really a WDIRT entry? When you realize half-way through the movie that you HAVE seen it before. That was the case when I finally tracked down Visiting Hours a few years back. Thinking I would remember having seen a horror movie with William Shatner in it I watched it in hopes of discovering a new old favorite. But then I started getting the strangest feeling of déjà vu, and finally realized I had watched this at some point back in the VHS days of my youth.

    Decimated by critics upon release, and currently standing with a 15% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I, for one, really dig this one. Michael Ironside adds some sympathy to his sleazy stalker and Lee Grant gets to kick some butt. What's not to like?

    Monday, December 2, 2019

    WUH VSEP: Cleo on Return to Oz (1985)


    My little family is test-driving Disney+ before taking the streaming plunge with the new service, and one of the films I was most excited to visit was Return to Oz. Having passed this one by as a teen, and knowing it's not-so-stellar reputation, I was curious to see if it was actually as "bad" as I'd heard. Since my daughter has read many of the Oz books I wanted us to watch it together. Then I thought, "Hey, this might make a fun episode for her and me to do together!" So that's what we're doing! Hope you enjoy this Very Special Episode.

    Thursday, October 24, 2019

    Send me your Spooky Stories



    Did you ever sneak out of your bedroom to watch a spooky movie and later regret it? Did you ever feel like you were the only one to get freaked out during a sleepover horror-thon? Or maybe you had an Irresponsible Uncle who took you to a movie you were way to young to see? If so I want to hear about it and put it on the show!

    You can use this easy-to-fill-out Google Doc to submit your story. Include your name, as you want it to be read on the show (i.e. first name and last initial, your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram handle, or Anonymous), your favorite episode of the show (hey, humor me here), and your Spooky Story. Keep it fairly brief, four or five paragraphs at the most, and shorter than that is totally fine. These will be added either to upcoming episodes, or, if multiple entries are received, a separate mini-sode of just your stories.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Wednesday, October 23, 2019

    Why do I hate slashers?

    Well, I don't actually! In past episodes I have made mention that during the VHS glory days (which has supplied much of the grist for this podcast's mill) slashers weren't on the top of my watch list. Yes, when I was younger I watched and very much enjoyed the original Halloween (and Halloween II for that matter), and catching F13: The Final Chapter was a watershed moment, but it's always been the weird oddities that I gravitated toward. When my passion for horror was reinvigorated back in 2012 I decided I needed to finally dig into all those slice-and-dice classics I passed in the racks of my local video store.

    I was recently asked by Sam Panico to submit a Top Ten Slashers list for his site B & S About Movies, and it got me to thinking about a series I had considered awhile back (and probably mentioned on the show at one point or another) called Why Do I Hate Slashers (I Don't Actually)? Some of the films from my top ten list have been discussed on the show (Black Christmas, Alice, Sweet Alice, etc.) so we'll skip those for this series. Everything else is fair game, starting with the gonzo Pieces (1982).

    [All WDIHS (IDA) episodes will be posted to this entry.]




    MBV is a Canadian entry into the slasher genre (you can really hear the accents in this one) and a prime example of Holiday Horror (still waiting for a Flag Day Slasher). We’ve got all the staples of an ‘80s slasher—a masked killer, decent amounts of gore (in the uncut version), misdirection, and humor—but instead of teenage babysitters or camp counselors we’ve got 20-something coal miners, and I like that divergence from the norm.




    Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is MY Friday the 13th. As well as being my favorite of that franchise, it is one of my favorite slashers (I placed it at #3 on my Slasher Top Ten list) AND one of my favorite horror films in general. The film's similarities to Halloween, something I hadn't really thought much about prior to doing this episode, may play a big part in that. What could have been a quick cash-grab ended up being one of the more humorous, human, and effective entries in the series. There's certainly no hate her for this one!




    A lot of Slasher fans don’t like Happy Birthday to Me, but I dig it. Directed by J. Lee Thompson (best known, by me at least, for his sleazy flicks with Charles Bronson) and starring Glen Ford, Susan Acker, and Melissa Sue Anderson this one is kind of a mess. The ending was changed at the last minute and makes no sense, but for me that’s part of the charm. The set-piece kills are fun, there are red herrings galore, and it’s Canadian! Minus points for having a plethora of asshole characters, but I'll let it slide for this one.




    One of a BAJILLION campground Slashers from the early ‘80s The Burning is most famous for ONE scene that features some stellar Savini wet works. What stands out for me is the great cast: Jason Alexander (with HAIR), Fisher Stevens, Brian Backer, and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-her Holly Hunter. It’s also one of the few Summer Camp films that shows the counselors and kids actually doing Summer Camp stuff!