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Sordid Cinema Podcast

Sordid Cinema Podcast #549: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a Fantastic Sci-Fi Directorial Debut

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The Vast of the Night Podcast Review

The Vast of the Night Podcast Review

This week we take a break from reviving older classics to take a look at a recently released indie sci-fi gem called The Vast of Night. The film (now available on Amazon Prime) depicts a fateful evening in a small town in 1950s New Mexico as they host a rival high school basketball team for the big game, but also may be getting some visitors from even further out of town. It’s up to a young switchboard operator and a radio DJ to uncover the truth. Rick and Patrick are once again joined by critic Stephen Silver to discuss the many things that director Andrew Patterson does right in his feature debut, from virtuoso camerawork to the fantastic rhythm he develops using editing. We also praise the engaging performances of the film’s two leads, who anchor the entire production.

The Vast of Night promises sci-fi creeps along the lines of The Twilight Zone, but does it deliver on this? Do all the stylistic approaches work in supporting the story and tone? And just why is that basketball game so important?

For all this and more, have a listen to our breakdown of this wonderful little film!

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Launched in 2007, Sordid Cinema is one of the longest-running film podcasts. Following a long absence (let’s call it an extended break), Ricky D is back on the Sordid Cinema beat, accompanied by his new co-host, Patrick Murphy. The Sordid Cinema Podcast makes its return, with a new format that sees hosts Ricky D and Patrick Murphy discussing some of our favorite genre films over the years that may have flown under the radar for some audiences. This new version of the long-running show will focus more on discussion and less, on reviews, as we hope to examine the selections from a multitude of angles and break down what makes these films so special. Brought to you by the former editors of Sound on Sight, Sordid Cinema is Goomba Stomp’s Film and TV section and a leading source of movie reviews, and discussion from the world of international, independent, cult and genre cinema. We cover film festivals around the world including Cannes, TIFF, Fantasia, NYFF, Tribeca, Fantastic Fest, SXSW, FNC, Venice, Berlin, and more.

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Sordid Cinema Podcast

Sordid Cinema Podcast #554: ‘Dressed to Kill’ is Draped in Stylish De Palma

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Dressed to Kill Podcast Review

Dressed to Kill Podcast Review

Though many may not rank it among his best (including our own Ricky D), Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill is nevertheless a perfect example of how a particular director can greatly enhance the material through individual craftsmanship and sensibilities. Sure, what should be a fairly simple story of a high-class call girl both investigating and fleeing from the mysterious woman she witnessed commit a bloody murder might get a bit needlessly convoluted and confusing thanks to De Palma’s screenplay, but there is never any doubt in the clarity of the visuals. The director brings his Hitchcockian best here, with several standout scenes worthy of discussion, including a virtuoso flirtation sequence in a museum, as well as a grisly slashing in an elevator.

In addition to the fantastic camerawork, Rick and Patrick also save some praise for the performances, many of which rise above the sometimes-hokey dialogue to create memorable characters (and yes, that praise includes Nancy Allen as call girl Liz). They also discuss De Palma’s influences, and though Dressed to Kill might seem like an overt homage to Hitchcock’s Psycho, it also owes something to Giallo horror films of the day. These elements all come together to result in a stylish, adult thriller the likes of which modern audiences could use more of. But can Dressed to Kill still enjoy a wide appeal?

Quick note: We’ve added a segment from our original review of Dressed to Kill featuring Edgar Chaput, Simon Howell, and James Merolla.

For all this and more, have a listen!

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Dressed to Kill Podcast Review
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Sordid Cinema Podcast

Sordid Cinema Podcast #553: The True Villain of ‘Candyman’ Isn’t the Hook-Handed Ghost

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Candyman Podcast Review

Candyman Podcast Review

This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast takes a look at Bernard Rose’s Candyman – a radical, sophisticated psychological horror film that is just as effective, relevant, and terrifying today as it was upon its release. Joining us is Sean Colletti (co-host of the Mid-Season Replacements Podcast) to discuss Tony Todd’s iconic performance; Philip Glass’s operatic score; Bernard Rose’s Hitchcockian direction, and Virginia Madsen’s powerhouse performance as the so-called hero (but possibly villain), Helen. All this and more!

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Sordid Cinema Podcast

Sordid Cinema Podcast #552: Revisiting ‘Gremlins 2: The New Batch’

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Gremlins 2 The New Batch Anniversary Podcast Review

One of the Best Horror Sequels Turns 30!

Gremlins 2: The New Batch Podcast Review

This week the Sordid Cinema Podcast takes a look at the 1990’s Gremlins 2: The New Batch, one of the strangest sequels ever made by a Hollywood studio. Famous for director Joe Dante’s reluctance to return to his world of the mischievous little monsters without the total creative control eventually granted him, Gremlins 2 plays almost like a satire of the original, as well as of sequels in general and numerous cultural trends at the time. Chaotic, comedic, yet tightly structured, this renegade, Looney Tunes-inspired film mocks everything from the convoluted Mogwai Rules to the sad backstories that Kate seems to have for specific holidays. And thanks to Rick Baker (also a co-producer), there are plenty of amazing creatures perpetrating the hijinks this time around. Bat gremlins, spider gremlins, lighting gremlins – this movie has it all!

Rick and Patrick are joined by writer/film critic Mariko McDonald to parse out the plethora of in-jokes, references to classic horror, odd Easter eggs, fourth-wall-breaking, and overall zaniness, while also discussing a bit of the film’s history and how it compares to Gremlins. One could talk for hours about this masterful example of studio-funded anarchy, so for all this and more, have a listen!

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