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!