Really Awful Movies: Ep 249 – Suspiria 2018



So, here we are. Suspiria 2018 is a remake of the all-time great Dario Argento 1977 film. The Argento one is one of our mutual favorites. It’s definitely in our Top 15 Horror Films of All Time, if we were to make such a list (to get a sense of our sensibilities, the other entries would include Maniac, Martyrs, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, to cite a few).

So, we faced this one with some trepidation, some anticipation, but mostly that time-honored sensation felt by many a gore-hound: PLEASE, for the love of all things holy, don’t F this up!

Luca Gadagnino is apparently also a great lover of the Argento film. And you can tell. He does a loving tribute, but does so in a way that’s so different from the original that it can operate as its own entity.

Apart from the American student, the German locale, the ballet school, and the coven therein, there is not too much tying this 2018 Suspiria to the original one.

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we do a deep dive comparing the two. On the show, we talk about:

  • Expectations we have of art
  • Audience and critical reception of the film, in the likes of New Yorker, etc
  • German politics and German post-war guilt, the Lufthansa airlines hijacking
  • The cities of Berlin and Munich in film
  • Scene settings and sense of place and real vs unreal in horror films
  • Internecine coven politics
  • The wonderful actress Tilda Swinton, and her portrayal(s) in Suspiria
  • Radiohead and Thom Yorke, the impact of the original film’s score vs the 2018 version
  • How this remake was handled verses David Gordon Green’s 2018 Halloween
  • Moral agency through the character of the psychiatrist
  • Body horror and color palettes used in horror films

And much, much more (including some Goblin whistling!)

Check it out, and please subscribe and leave a comment on iTunes.

 

 


Really Awful Movies: Ep 248 – The Tingler



Part artist, part huckster, William Castle is a name a lot of people know in the horror world. He produced Rosemary’s Baby (and would’ve directed too, were it not for health issues) but he’s best known for the gimmicks he deployed to promote the living heck out of his movies.

The Tingler, starring the legendary Vincent Price (check out our interview with his daughter, Victoria Price) is one such movie. Castle used “percepto” technology, a buzzer installed beneath some theater seats that literally shocked members of the audience!

The cost of this equipment added $250,000 to the film’s budget, which was negligible by comparison. Percepto was used sparingly and in predominantly larger theaters for logistical reasons.

The premise is delicious: Price stars as Dr. Chapin, a prison coroner responsible for doing autopsies on prisoners on death row (this seems like a waste of time and money, but that’s neither here nor there). A side of interest of his: how humans experience fear. He and a lab assistant speculate that there’s a structure on the spinal cord that is associated with fear responses (hence, “spine-tingling” fear).

Dr. Chapin uses his wife as an unwitting participant, scaring her with a starter pistol and doing an examination on her spine.

The Tingler is a fun movie, a corny monster movie / creature feature from the 1950s. And there’s the bonus of Castle himself introducing the film, and warning of the terrors to come. Hilarious!

On this episode of the Podcast:

  • How do we experience fear?
  • What is fear?
  • Are there different things people fear and how does horror exploit this?
  • We talk about hypochondriacs
  • We talk about death-defying experiences
  • We talk about the legacy of William Castle and who modern day exemplars are
  • Castle’s use of prop ghosts and audience shills
  • And finally, we discuss the lasting impact of the incredible icon of horror, the one and only Vincent Price