Tag Archives: Italian horror

Really Awful Movies: Ep 251 – Killer Crocodile

A Killer Crocodile creature feature, that’s Italian to boot? No need to say that twice. We’re there. As straightforward a concept as you could possibly devise, this one is about…you guessed it…a killer crocodile (lest you thought this was a rom-com about a shy teacher who meets a beau in fin-du-siècle Paris).

In an undisclosed location (wherever was cheapest to film in 1989) Killer Crocodile was directed by the multi-named Fabrizio De Angelis (sometimes rendered as Larry Ludman), an oft-collaborator with Italian genre legends, Umberto Lenzi, Lucio Fulci, etc.

An amorous twosome is on a beach. The guy breaks  out a classical guitar and woos his lady friend with song. But Leonard Cohen he is not, and she doffs her top and runs into the water. Bad move. There’s a…well…killer crocodile about.

Radioactive waste is discovered in a swamp: in barrels marked “toxic waste,” so there can be no confusion whatsoever. Ecologists are floating down the river Joseph Conrad-style, collecting samples of river water. And when the body count begins to rise, they surmise that the radioactivity created a monster-sized croc. What a croc!

The film stars Richard Anthony Crenna (son of actor, Richard Crenna) and was followed by an unheralded sequel, Killer Crocodile II, in 1990.

There’s atonal weirdness lost in translation, gobs of bal-peen hammer exposition, a croc that looks like it was constructed as an after-thought for a soap box derby, and a wildly unhinged investigative journalist. In other words, extraordinarily fun.

So, how does this one fare as compared with Lake Placid, Alligator, or Rogue? That’s where you come in, dear listener.

On the Really Awful Movies Podcast, we absolutely love nature run amok movies, aka natural horror flicks. They’re so wonderful, even if they unabashedly rip off the Top Dog of the genre, Jaws.

Send us suggestions for animal attack movies we should cover!

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.