Tag Archives: body horror

Really Awful Movies: Ep 250 – Heavyweights



A Disney movie where Ben Stiller runs a fat camp? What’s this movie called, “Box Office Poison”? (to quote an infamous Norm MacDonald appearance on Conan O’Brien).

It’s hard to believe someone actually green-lit Heavyweights (or Heavy Weights as it’s sometimes known). This 90s-era comedy came and went with little fanfare.

Like many flicks that are not successful theatrically, the film has since garnered a cult following, probably because of the involvement of co-writer Judd Apatow along with Stiller.

Ben Stiller plays fitness guru Tony Perkis, an excitable send-up of infomercial gym hucksters. He’s also a yoga aficionado as well as an up-with-people peddler of lifestyle trends

As a new owner of a fat camp (which he has purchased from a kindly, if ineffectual elderly duo), Tony Perkis is tasked with whipping a bunch of teen boys into shape.

The boys (who include among their ranks, Fat Albert and Saturday Night Live standout Kenan Thompson) are none too happy about this and decide to stage a coup along with camp counselor and co-conspirator, Pat (played by Frasier’s Tom McGowan).

This is a movie that is being pulled in opposing directions. As a New York Times critic put it, “One…is a no-holds-barred spoof of a Tony Little- or Susan Powter-style fitness merchant […] The other …a conventional family comedy that pokes lighthearted fun at the chubby young campers.”

It’s tonally very odd, but it’s also an interesting look at the comedy star Ben Stiller would soon become. Perkis’ is a fantastically over-the-the-top workshopping of a character. When Heavyweights focuses on him, the film comes to life, otherwise, it sags.

Still, there is surprisingly enough to recommend it even if it falls into the trappings of other summer camp-type movies, Meatballs, etc.

Join us on this unique episode of the Really Awful Movies Podcast!

 


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.