Tag Archives: Halloween

He Has His Father’s Eyes

Podcast 083: Rosemary’s BabyEven with our current sloppy podcast schedule, we can’t not celebrate Halloween here at 101 Towers. So Lewis and Ian have donned their most terrifying and zeitgeist-y costumes (Lewis is a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, and Ian is a Brexit) and settled down to watch Rosemary’s Baby.

Considered by many as the greatest horror film ever made, Rosemary’s Baby follows Mia Farrow as Rosemary who, after moving into a strange old apartment complex with her husband, falls pregnant. Slowly, she begins to suspect that the weird, elderly next door neighbours are in a witches coven have designs on her unborn child…

Our podcast contains the usual nonsense, fluff, poor recall and misunderstandings that are so important to the 101 Films magic. Listen to the very end for a classic bit of Ian not being able to remember the most basic of facts about a film he has just watched.

If our review has piqued your interest in the film, you can buy the Rosemary’s Baby DVD from Amazon by clicking here (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance).

Anyway, without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 083 – Rosemary’s Baby

Click below to subscribe on iTunes, join our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director:  Roman Polanski Year of release: 1968 Studio/Distributor: Paramount Pictures Country: USA

Podcast 083: Rosemary’s Baby

It’s 101 Films favourite time of year, Halloween (or HALLOWEEEEEEEEENNNN!). Now we know our podcasting isnt as regular as it once was, but we always make a special effort for Halloween.

This year we’ve picked as our subject what many consider to be finest horror film ever made; Rosemary’s Baby. Enjoy!

101 Films Podcast 083 – Rosemary’s Baby

 

One. Two. Three. Knock on the Wall

ElorfanatoFinally our terrifying journey through October, the spookiest month of all, comes to an end with our last  Halloween special podcast for 2013. After looking at horror in the 1950s with Night of the Demon and in the 1970s with The Wicker Man, we finish with what is considered a modern classic, 2007’s The Orphanage.

The thing that unites all three of the films we’ve watched for Halloween is the fact that the ‘horror’ or scary elements of the story don’t actually seem to be the point of the story. The Night of the Demon was a psychological thriller, whereas The Wicker Man was a, er, folk musical dark comedy. And The Orphanage? A story about how two people deal with the loss of a child.

The film follows Laura played by Belén Rueda. Laura grew up in the titular orphanage and has returned as an adult with her doctor husband Carlos and their adopted son Simón with plans to turn it into a home for children with special needs. Simón starts to talk to apparently invisible children, including one who wears a cloth sack over his face…

Neither Lewis nor I had seen the film before. Knowing it was produced by Guillermo del Toro and being fans of his work, we were looking forward to a beautiful looking film and, if we’re honest, slightly worried about being scared witless by weird, creepy-looking ghost kids. Although gorgeous to look at (and of course it’s the director J. A. Bayona who should get the credit for that), the film wasn’t as scary as we were expecting. Odd and creepy yes, but not exactly terrifying. More than anything the film made me sad, watching Laura trying to cope with the disappearance of Simón and her growing desperation.

We also ended up talking a lot about the plot holes of the film, so if you haven’t seen it, be warned: we spoil the film rotten!

Our Secret Sponsor for this week is Rhidian Davis (@rhidiandavis), who’s currently overseeing the BFI Gothic season (http://www.bfi.org.uk/gothic). There are loads of great screenings coming up over the next couple of months – we urge you to check out the programme.

If our review has piqued your interest in the film, you can buy The Orphanage on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon by clicking the links (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance).

Anyway, without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 067 – The Orphanage

Click below to subscribe on iTunes, join our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director:  J. A. Bayona  Year of release: 2007  Studio/Distributor: Esta Vivo! Laboratorio de Nuevos Talentos, Grupo Rodar, Rodar y Rodar Cine y Televisión, Telecinco Cinema, Televisió de Catalunya (TV3), Warner Bros. Pictures de España, Wild Bunch  Country: Spain and Mexico

Come. It is time to keep your appointment with the Wicker Man.

Wicker-Man-Final-Cut-PosterIn the second of our Halloween horror podcasts, we look at The Wicker Man: The Final Cut, a newly restored version of the classic 1973 British film. We’ve slightly bent the rules this time around – usually we only review films that either one or both of us hasn’t seen before, but we’ve actually both seen The Wicker Man – several times in fact. However, this is a brand new version of the movie – The Final Cut – in which the whole film has been restored from a new-found print and director Robin Hardy has chopped out some scenes and inserted others. So neither of us had seen this version of the film before, which means we can include it on the list.

Hey, don’t give us that look, it’s our podcast, we can do what we like!

Anyway, Ian was lucky enough to see this at a screening a couple of months back, and I managed to get tickets for the premiere at the British Film Institute, which was a brilliant evening for a number of reasons. Mostly because Robin Hardy was there doing a Q&A after the film, and he very nearly rivalled the late, great Michael Winner in terms of anecdotes and bon mots, but also because of a certain incident in the foyer just before I went in. I won’t spoil it for you – just listen to the podcast.

To be honest, we both struggled a bit to work out what parts had been changed in the film compared to the ‘Director’s Cut’ version a few years back. The most obvious change was the removal of the scenes with Sergeant Howie on the mainland at the beginning, which Robin Hardy notes were superfluous, and I tend to agree with him. I’m fairly sure that Britt Ekland’s famous dance routine has been pushed back to the second night in the film as well, and we also get to see some copulating snails, for what it’s worth. Most importantly though, this new version of the film looks fantastic – a vast improvement over the previous one, which was patched together from various prints and VHS copies.

If you’ve never seen The Wicker Man, you’re in for a treat. It’s a bizarre, enticing film that draws you in with its weird, sometimes funny depiction of life on a remote Scottish island before knocking you down with a sensational ending. Famously, it’s almost impossible to categorise: perhaps the closest you could get is a comedy-musical whodunnit with a hint of horror. Whatever it is, it’s unmissable.

The Wicker Man: The Final Cut is in cinemas now and is released on Blu-ray on 14th October – you can buy the Blu-ray from Amazon by clicking here (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance).

Last but not least, our Secret Sponsor for this week is Careless Whispers Podcast. They are on Twitter but they, um, haven’t actually tweeted yet so I suggest you take a look at their Facebook page.

Anyway, without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 066 – The Wicker Man The Final Cut

Click below to subscribe on iTunes, join our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director: Robin Hardy Year of release: 1973/2013 Studio/Distributor: British Lion/StudioCanal Country: UK

Podcast 066: The Wicker Man: The Final Cut

In the second of our Halloween podcasts we travel to Summerisle in Scotland and get all in a tiz about apples and bare bottoms. And Christopher Lee.

101 Films Podcast 066 – The Wicker Man The Final Cut

It’s in the trees! It’s coming!

Night of the Demon posterThis year, rather than do a Halloween special, we thought we’d dedicate the whole of October to doing scary movies, and in the first of these Halloween podcasts we review Night of the Demon (or Curse of the Demon as it was known in the United States, for no real reason).

Ian first saw this film as a kid, and he was keen to cover it for 101 Films as it really stuck in his mind. As luck would have it, the BFI were screening it as part of their Gothic season, so we excitedly trooped into London Town for a night of witchcraft and intrigue.

The screening was held outdoors in the courtyard of the British Museum – appropriate seeing as a key scene in the film takes place there – and immediately upon arriving, Ian ran into writer Kim Newman yet again. Ian swears that Newman did a double take on seeing him; he’s convinced that Kim thinks he’s a stalker, as they keep running into each other at various events like this one, yet have never spoken. I tried to convince Ian to reach out to Kim on Twitter, perhaps to explain that he doesn’t want to kidnap him and make him the centrepiece of his Kim Newman altar, but he was having none of it. (Incidentally, if you’ve never heard of Kim Newman, go out and buy one of his excellent books immediately – Ian thoroughly recommends the Anno Dracula series.)

As an unexpected treat, Peggy Cummins, who plays schoolteacher Joanna Harrington in the film, appeared before the screening, leading to rapturous applause from the audience. She’s in her eighties now, and she seemed pretty overwhelmed by the response, bless her. A chap from the BFI was also on hand to pontificate about the film before the showing, noting in particular that Prof. Julian Karswell (played brilliantly by Niall MacGinnis) is a middle-aged man who lives alone with his mother hint hint nudge nudge saynomore. It reminded me of a screening of Gilda I saw a while back, in which the introducer announced that according to modern interpretations of the film, everyone in it is clearly a rampant homosexual. This interpretation certainly made the film’s odd ending much more understandable, but ever since watching The Onion Looks Back At Jaws, I can’t help but suppress a smirk whenever an academic tells me that someone in an old movie was obviously gay.

Anyway, I found myself totally entranced by Night of the Demon, and I’d highly recommend it. It’s unlikely to be considered ‘scary’ by today’s standards, and the ‘Demon’ special effects have aged badly, but it’s an undeniably creepy film. There’s a long-running debate (which we touch on in the podcast) about whether the demon should have appeared at the beginning of the film – the director purposely only wanted the demon to appear at the very end, or not at all, in order to keep the audience guessing as to whether it actually existed, but the producer decided to edit in footage of the titular beast right at the start in order to draw the audience in. Basically it comes down to whether you’re a fan of Columbo or Poirot – do you prefer to see the killer at the beginning or just at the end?

Last but not least, our Secret Sponsor for this week is @ObsoleteGamer (http://obsoletegamer.com), where you can read some of our old posts from 101 Video Games That Made My Life Slightly Better.

If our review has piqued your interest in the film, you can buy the Night of the Demon DVD from Amazon by clicking here (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance).

Anyway, without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Podcast 065 – Night of the Demon

Click below to subscribe on iTunes, join our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director: Jacques Tourneur Year of release: 1957 Studio/Distributor: Associated British Picture Studios Country: UK

Podcast 065: Night of the Demon

In the first of our  Halloween specials, we look at Night of the Demon, a classic 1957 British Horror movie with ropey special effects but a gripping storyline.

101 Films Podcast 065 – Night of the Demon

Halloween Special 2012: Frankenstein Double Bill

Welcome to our Halloween special: a traditional Hollywood ‘creature feature’ double bill featuring James Whale’s 1931  Frankenstein and its (superior) 1935 sequel, Bride of Frankenstein. As it’s Halloween, this week we’re recording in Ian’s ‘special dungeon’, or as he prefers to call it, his ‘sex attic’. We can assure you that any screaming you can hear in the background is merely a sound effect and should be ignored.

It was a real pleasure to delve into these classic films from the 1930s: I hadn’t seen either film before, although Ian had seen Frankenstein, but we both agreed that Bride was by far the superior of the two. Frankenstein does a good job of setting up the character of the monster, but it’s achingly slow, and packed with seemingly endless dialogue that never really leads anywhere. However, Boris Karloff well deserves the praise he received for his performance of the monster, which has since become cemented into popular consciousness: both helpless and horrific, Karloff’s monster is equally chilling and pitiable. Overall though the film was a difficult watch – both of us stole surreptitious glances at the clock numerous times while the DVD was playing – but it’s saved by a few iconic scenes, notably the “It’s Alive!” sequence.

Bride of Frankenstein, on the other hand, was a rip-roaring ride from start to finish. Despite being made only four years after Frankenstein, it feels like a world away from its prequel. For a start, the pacing is much, MUCH quicker, and the film manages to pack quite a convoluted story into its relatively short running time, with plenty of action scenes thrown in too. The monster also gets a bit more character development, including gaining the ability to speak – charmingly, some of the first words he learns are “SMOKE!” and “DRINK!”, sort of like a horrific Father Jack. And speaking of comedy, we were enchanted by the bizarre, almost music hall performance of Una O’Connor as Minnie, which relied heavily on high-pitched streaks and lines like “Burnin’s too good fer ’em!” Was she the inspiration for Monty Python’s gangs of old ladies? Who knows.

If our Halloween special has piqued your interest in the films, you can buy the Frankenstein or Bride of Frankenstein DVD (or the bargain-tastic Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein box set) from Amazon by clicking on the links (and we get a little bit of cash if you do – thanks in advance).

Anyway, without further ado, let us present our feature presentation:

Click here to download and listen on your MP3 player of choice:

101 Films Special #06: Halloween 2012

Click below to subscribe on iTunes, join our RSS feed or follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

We’d love to hear your own film recommendations – please get in touch at 101filmsyoushouldhaveseen@gmail.com or leave a comment on the blog. Feel free to say nice things about us on iTunes!

Director: James Whale Year of release: 1931/1935 Studio/Distributor: Universal Country: USA