October 28, 2020
Ma is neither great nor terrible, though its quality would certainly lean more towards the latter if not for the casting of and rewriting for Octavia Spencer, whose portrayal of a character not written to be African-American lends a subtext of tokenism and how victimization perpetuates victimization.
After a discussion of the film, some news on the direction of the podcast for the remainder of the year (SPOILERS: it's horror).
October 21, 2020
What can be said about a film that in just 3 years has already been canonized as a classic and has inspired classes in academia? All I can really add to the conversation about Get Out are the reasons that I think it's an excellent horror film along with why it's a fucking absurd critique to say "if the protagonist was white, we wouldn't be talking about it."
October 13, 2020
First and foremost, thanks to everyone who contributed in some way - big or small - in helping me surpass 100,000 downloads!
Second and..er...secondmost(?), Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs is clunky at times and strange all the time, but is an excellent social satire, depicting the real life horrors of gentrification and systemic racism in an over-the-top way that made Craven's biting social commentary more entertaining for a mass audience.
The article that I quoted extensively is Daily Dead's "Retrospective: Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs" written by Patrick Bromley.
October 5, 2020
If you've ever been to BlackHorrorMovies.com or watched the fabulous documentary, Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, then you may recognize my October guest. To help celebrate the Halloween season, Mark H. Harris joins I Do Movies Badly to talk about racial reckoning in horror films! Mark talks about how he fell in love with horror, the elements and history of black horror films and racial reckoning, and recommends 3 films that each focus on a different aspect of racism and white people getting their comeuppance: Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs (1991), Get Out (2017), and Ma (2019).
September 23, 2020
The Prophecy has a really cool premise - angels seeking an edge over other angels to win the second war in Heaven! - and some enjoyable campy performances, but is a badly disjointed film (whether that's because of its first-time director or meddling from the Weinsteins is something maybe only God knows).
September 15, 2020
Unlike some films (here's looking at you, The Usual Suspects), Frailty holds up very well on a second viewing, probably because there's more to it than just the twist, like the honest depiction of emotional abuse and the culmination of the film's cynical journey towards its gut punch reveal.
September 9, 2020
Almost 50 years after its release, why is The Exorcist such an enduring, powerful horror film? I am obviously the first to ever ask this question about this cinematic classic, so allow me to answer: the time it takes to layout what's at stake and Owen Roizman's objective, documentary approach to the cinematography.
September 2, 2020
Chelsea Bennington and Rick Guzman, who started the Spooky Doings improv group that in turn inspired the titular podcast, join I Do Movies Badly to talk about the advent of their horror-themed improv comedy, how their religious upbringings have influenced their moviegoing, and share some religious horror films to watch.
Full disclosure: the recommendations are based around Judeo-Christian themes and iconography. This approach was not taken to be dismissive of or discriminatory against other religions, but because it happens to be the formative religion for all of them: Rick (a devout atheist raised Catholic), Chelsea (spiritual, but not religious), and Jim (devout Christian).
Recommendations: William Friedkin's The Exorcist (1973), Frailty (2001), and The Prophecy (1995).
Keep up with Spooky Doings on Facebook
Listen to the Spooky Doings Podcast (specifically, if so interested, Jim's guest episode talking about Bram Stoker's Dracula)
August 27, 2020
The journey for the perfect metaphor ends with Near Dark, a wonderfully directed film that subverts the expectations of the Western genre, but that also signals that the "Others" are vile, bloodthirsty creatures whose influence can only be overcome by blood transfusion.
Read the summary of the essay, "Vampires, Indians, and the Queer Fantastic: Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark" from The Glorious and the Grotesque
August 18, 2020
When Joel Schumacher took over directing The Lost Boys, he made some big changes to the initial idea including making the vampires older, making them sexier, and, by extension, making our heteronormative, boring suburban family protagonists the "others."
Read Alcy Leyva's "30 Years Ago, The Lost Boys Introduced Me to Queer Cinema."