Really Awful Movies: Ep 247 – Dead Ringers

On this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast we tackle a Canadian classic, David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers.

Twin gynecologists, the Mantle brothers (based on the true-life demise of monozygote physicians, the Marcus brothers) share 100% of their genetic material. They also share scientific discoveries, and women.

In a tour de force performance by the incredible Jeremy Irons, we get a look inside the psyche of genius, and a concomitant look at their madness (as is often the case). The docs Elliot and Beverly are, of course, identical. However, Elliot is a bit taller, more outgoing, more comfortable in his own skin. And Beverly lives inside his own head. They comprise a drammaturgical dyad (thanks, Simpsons).

The Mantle bros’ practice is booming, they’re highly regarded in their field, and seem to have everything together. Of course, that’s just on the surface. Pull back the curtain and there’s tumult.

This is another instance of inside-out David Cronenberg body-horror. Dead Ringers is a difficult film to like, but is nonetheless fascinating. And it’s aged incredibly well. It’s a remarkable technical achievement, in addition to being a terrific showcase for Irons’ subtlety and mannerisms.

On the podcast, we examine the following:

  • The 80s horror scene
  • How we discovered the work of David Cronenberg while being ensconced in franchise horror flicks like Friday the 13th and Halloween
  • Canadian content regulations and the tax shelter era
  • Invasive medical procedures the hosts have experienced
  • Twin depictions in popular culture
  • Bloodletting in horror, and the use of restraint (or is that restraints?)
  • Medical horror

and much, much more.

This is our third discussion of a David Cronenberg film on the Really Awful Movies Podcast. Interested listeners can check out Videodrome and Rabid. Thanks for listening! And be sure to write reviews if you like what you’re hearing. And to support the show, pick up a copy of Death by Umbrella! The 100 Weirdest Horror Movie Weapons (foreword by our pal, Lloyd Kaufman of Troma).

Really Awful Movies: Ep 246 – Reefer Madness

Finally, we get around to tackling one of the most infamously bad movies out there, Reefer Madness. A dim-bulb overly melodramatic propaganda film (Snarky Editors’ note: like Forrest Gump or Titanic), this 1936 crap-show suggests that “men die for it.”

A middling morality tale about the supposed dangers of weed, the film is now (of course) watched ironically.

Recreational marijuana became legal in our home country (Canada) in mid-October. It’s an interesting time to be living here, to say the least…

So on this episode, we (sorta) delve into the film, watching it in real time (what other kind of time is there?).

So, is this film as ridiculous as it’s cracked up to be? Certainly, but it doesn’t inspire gale-force laughter like some of the insane duds we’ve covered on this program, the likes of Shotgun, One Tough Bastard, Birdemic, etc.

We divulge probably more than we should of on this episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast. We don’t usually record as we watch, preferring instead to do a bit of (gasp) research…but we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to change the format, if only temporarily.

Some of what we discuss:

  • The perils of buying weed as a teenager
  • Investing in marijuana stocks
  • Drug scams that take place in Toronto
  • The use of jazz and the perception of it during this time
  • Laws, potential hazards of Canadian marijuana legislation

(and probably a lot more that we can’t recall).

Join us on the Really Awful Movies Podcast, with smart genre film chat about dumb movies.