Saturday, October 14, 2017

Episode 112 - Flickers from the Swamp

There was once a time in American cinema when every movie that starred Burt Reynolds was a guaranteed box-office blockbuster.  On this episode we look at two of the films from the early part of his reign. We start off with 1973's White Lightning, which tells the story of a bootlegger named Gator McKlusky.  The movie starts with Ned Beatty murdering Gator's younger brother in extremely brutal fashion. This sets in motion an elaborate revenge story that is full of car chases, and sweaty, dirty people.  It is a winner from beginning to end. White Lightning was such a hit that 3 years later a sequel was released titled Gator.  The second film is essentially a reworking of the original story, but this time the bad-guy is a moonshiner named Bama McCall, played with extreme charm and menace by the great Jerry Reed.  Gator is a much slicker  movie,  but is also probably much more accessible. They are both extremely entertaining and get our highest recommendation.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or post a message to our Facebook page.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Episode 111 - Kukla, Snakes and Ollie

More Oliver Reed? Yes, Please!  We turn positively reptilian this episode with two films that combine the slithery goodness of a dangerous snakes, with the sweaty power of Mr. Oliver Reed. We start off with 1981's Venom, which also includes Sarah Miles, Sterling Hayden, Nicol Williamson and the always interesting Klaus Kinski. Combining a police procedural with home invasion, and then plopping the world's most dangerous snake into the air ducts, this is a real stew of great elements.  It works,  and we recommend it.  We follow that up with 1983's Spasms, which adds Peter Fonda as a psychiatrist who is asked to study an ESP link between Oliver Reed and a huge, demonic snake. With a few brief moments of Dick Smith makeup effects and a handful of vicious snake attacks, it mostly sucks. We cannot, in good conscious, recommend Spasms, but the similarities to Venom forced us to include it in the show. Please let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Episode 110 - Flickers Von Caviken

There is a popular belief that mankind was guided in the past by visitors from another world. This core idea is  behind masterpieces like 2001: A Space Odyssey and also the hit History Channel show Ancient Aliens.  We look at two films on the podcast that also explore this idea. We start off with a TV movie from 1975 called "Search for the Gods". It stars the young Kurt Russell and the also-young Stephen McHattie.  It is a very sober story of a child of privilege who is on a search for truth. He is guided by the universe to Taos, New Mexico where he comes into possession of strange artifact that powerful forces want to obtain. This starts him on a journey that was meant to launch a TV series, but unfortunately, this did not happen.  We follow that up with the 1980 theatrical release Hangar 18, which stars Gary Collins and Darren McGavin in the story of a captured UFO being held in a top-secret military base where a team of scientists are trying to study the mysterious craft, while the government is trying to hide the truth...no matter what is required.  It is pure cheese and an absolute blast.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Episode 109 - Noir Where Else to Go

We both love the classic noir films of the 40s and many filmmakers have tried to revisit that style and tone since those originals were released. We turn to two remakes of classic crime stories, starting with 1978's The Big Sleep, with an amazing cast led by Robert Mitchum and directed by the infamous Michael Winner.  It succeeds on almost every level especially with Mitchum's portrayal of Phillip Marlowe.  We follow that up with 1982's I, The Jury, starring Armand Assante...but it's just...not good. With a script by Larry Cohen, who is one of our favorite filmmakers, we had high expectations but at the end of the film our hopes were just as broken as the english language after Armand Assante struggled through his lines. Only the copious nudity in the film is left to recommend it.
Please let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Episode 108 - The A is for Awesome

The cave is flickering at half-mast as we mourn the passing of one of our heroes. We lost the legendary George A. Romero recently and we felt it was important to feature his work on the next show. It also gave us an excuse to talk about the effect he and his films had on our lives. We are sure that we aren't the only ones out there who felt his loss deeply.  We start our tribute with a film that Romero considered his best, 1978's Martin. A tiny production, the film is a gritty reworking of the vampire mythos, set in a bleak inner city world where the old ways and the new ways are locked in an ongoing struggle. It stars John Amplas in a  remarkable performance but also features Romero himself in a small but important role as the local priest.  This is a challenging, impressive piece of cinema and still packs both a visceral and emotional punch. We follow that up with a real passion-project for Romero, 1981's Knightriders, which stars Ed Harris as "King Billy". He leads a motley group of people that have banded together around Billy's personal philosophy as they travel the countryside to put on shows for the locals.  The shows are a combination of a Renaissance Fair and a stuntshow, with motorcycles taking the place of the horses that knights would ride as they jousted and fought in the medieval era.  It is a real mishmash but, in large part, it works, and gives you a very interesting glimpse into the ways that Romero sees  the world. By all accounts, Romero was a great man, and one thing is for sure...he produced some great films which will stand the test of time.  We will miss you George, but we will never forget you.



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Episode 107 - Andy is Dandy

Back in the 80's the cable network Cinemax was the best source for genre and exploitation films. We saw many formative offerings there. Countless nude scenes, beheadings, car crashes and laser blasts. One of the people who's work was featured prominently there was the late Andy Sidaris.  His films were frequently set on Hawaii and "starred" a bevy of Playmates and Pets who would shoot guns and race cars in outlandish plots that were essentially just excuses for them to take off their clothes.  Those were VERY good days.  We decided to look at two of Mr. Sidaris' earliest works on the podcast. We start off with 1973's Stacey, which tells a muddled story of an elderly dowager who hires the gorgeous, eponymous, Stacey, to investigate the various people who aim to inherit her vast wealth.  It is filled with clunky innuendo and lots of tight clothing and serves as a template for Sidaris' future work. We follow that up with his next film, 1979's Seven, starring Conan's dad, William Smith as a "man who can get things done". He is assembling a rag-tag group to take down a villainous mob in Hawaii.  Things get really complicated, really quickly, but Sidaris clearly built upon Stacey with this one and the results are very entertaining.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or you can just send us a message on Facebook.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Episode 106 - Don't Flicker the Cave

Telephones are much more of a part of our lives now, but back in the dark ages, they were huge, monolithic things that sat idly by, waiting for someone to call and sometimes those people were calling to scare the living hell out of you!  We look at two movies from this era, starting with 1980's "Don't Answer the Phone" which deserves it's placement on the UK's Video Nasties list.  It presents a serial rapist/killer and the horribly-acted police who are trying to catch him. It is grim, unpleasant and totally without any real appeal.  We follow that up with the classic film "When a Stranger Calls" from 1979. It stars Carol Kane, Charles Durning and Colleen Dewhurst in the story of one of the worst kinds of murderers and the people he torments and the dogged investigator who is tracking him down. It is a fantastic and unsettling thriller that belongs on a very short list of some of the best films of this kind.  Please let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Episode 105 - The Pyx of Death

This week we go deep into the cave...all the way to the fires of Hell! We encounter evil forces yet, thankfully, live to tell the tale.  We start off with an amazing film from 1973 called The Pyx. It stars Karen Black and Christopher Plummer in a tragic story of a prostitute who gets involved in nefarious dealings and pays the ultimate price, and the detective who's trying to unravel the mystery of her death. The film has a fascinating structure, with the story broken into two timelines. It was a real surprise to both of us and we highly recommend it.  We follow that up with 1981's Demonoid: Messenger of Death, which features Samantha Eggar and Stuart Whitman. It is the story of an American couple who've bought a mine in Mexico where they unknowingly unleash an evil disembodied hand that seemingly wants to take over the world.  It is a mish-mash of interesting moments but ultimately is not really worth your time. Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to us at flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com. Alternately, you could post a message on our Facebook page or tweet @cavewalls.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Episode 104 - May the Flickers Be With You

To "Celebrate" the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars, we decided to look at two "tributes" to that landmark film from Roger Corman. We start off with 1980's "Battle Beyond the Stars" which is essentially a retelling of "Seven Samurai" but with space ships instead of swords.  With a script from John Sayles, it is a classic tale, told well, with occasionally-impressive effects work from a team that included James Cameron!  We follow that up with 1983's "Space Raiders" which features ALL of the special effects ( literally ) from Battle Beyond the Stars, but with a different wraparound story about an accidental kidnapping and an evil corporation chasing a band of ne'er-do-wells around the galaxy. It is not good, but was still fun in spots, and seeing how they reused all the effects work was certainly a lesson in frugality.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just post a message on the Facebook page.
 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Episode 103 - The Void Within

We felt it was time for some recent films, so we found a couple of doozies to talk about. We start off with 2017's The Evil Within, from the late Andrew Getty.  Knowing the backstory on the production of this magnum opus really gives you a different perspective when you watch this dark and twisted tale unfold. It has incredible, home-spun effects, a very powerful lead performance from Frederick Koehler and the legendary Michael Berryman as a very important part of the proceedings. Don't take this one lightly! We follow that up with The Void, from 2016, which owes a lot to the writing of H.P. Lovecraft.  What starts off as a strange, violent mystery, turns into a bit of a siege movie and then launches itself fully into a bizarre hellscape of truly nightmarish imagery. The filmmakers really went for it with this movie and the succeeded in almost every possible way.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.
 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Episode 102 - What Can Brownrigg Do For You?

We get very regional in this episode of the podcast, focusing on Mr. S.F. Brownrigg, who gave the world a few memorable films in his too-brief career. We look at two, starting with a later film, 1977's "Keep My Grave Open", which features the debut of the always-excellent Stephen Tobolowsky in a twisted tale that includes such family-friendly topics as incest, murder and equestrianism. We follow that up with Brownrigg's directorial debut, the legendary "Don't Look in the Basement" from 1973. Set in a "sanitarium" it is a wonder of no-budget film making with strong, unsettling performances and grimy, sleazy storyline that really raked in the cash when it would run on the drive-in circuit back in the day. Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message our our Facebook page.
 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Episode 101 - The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking

And so...we begin our second hundo with a rough and mean selection of films. We start off with 1977's Hitch-Hike, starring Franco Nero and David Hess. It tells the story of a vacationing Italian couple visiting America and running into a sadistic villain on the side of a lonely road. They pick him up and things go VERY badly. We follow that up with the 1974's sensational Rabid Dogs, from Italian maestro Mario Bava. This is the tale of a group of very bad men who commit a vicious robbery, kidnap a woman and end up hijacking a car with a man and his son on their way to the hospital. Things go VERY badly after that.  We finish up the episode with the truly outstanding When You Comin' Back Red Ryder from 1979 and starring an impressive cavalcade of stars.  Red Ryder is a very hard to find film, but we hope you'll make an effort, since it is such a singular and impressive piece of cinema. Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.
 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Episode 100 - And The Winner Is

On this landmark episode, after 7 years of yammering on and on about weird movies, we decided to pause and reflect on where we've been.  We made lists of our favorites from the show, and also the ones we most despised.  Listen in as we go through them and present our foggy memories.  Rose-colored rear-view mirrors are certainly in evidence frequently during the discussion.  Please let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just post a message on the Facebook page.  While you're at it, why not pop over to iTunes and leave us a rating and review ( 5 stars please ), so we can spread the word to more weirdos out there.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Episode 99 - Creepy Crawly Cave

We left an entire picnic set up in the cave last week, and when we came in to record, the place was totally overrun with creepy-crawlers!  We look at two films, both from 1977, starting off with Empire of the Ants, from director Bert I. Gordon, and featuring Joan Collins as an underhanded real estate developer who finds herself trapped in the Florida Everglades with an oddball group of prospective investors, beset by a horde of enormous and ravenous ants. It is wonderful cheesy fun with a truly astounding twist near the end that caught us both off guard. We follow that up with Kingdom of the Spiders, from director John 'Bud' Cardos and starring the "Shat" himself, Mr. William Shatner. This is a truly exceptional bit of genre film making.  There are stunts, action, peril, thrills, and 5,000 tarantulas, a small portion of which survives until the end of the movie.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com, or just post a message on our Facebook page.
On another note, for episode 100, we are going to talk about our favorites from the previous shows, and also about those turds we wish we had flushed down.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on movies that we've helped you discover or ones you'd like to punch us over.
 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Episode 98 - Flickering for Vengeance

Thanks to a recommendation from friend-of-the-show George, we started down a long, twisty path that lead us to the films we discuss on this episode. The through-line on all of them is the idea of revenge.  We start off with 2004's Dead Man's Shoes, from director Shane Meadows.  Paddy Considine plays Richard, who has come back to his hometown to settle a score that involves his brother Anthony.  At first, we do not know exactly what has set him on this path, but the film reveals it in a masterful way. It is powerful and dark, yet surprisingly comic at times. We follow that up with 2013's Blue Ruin, from director Jeremy Saulnier who had also helmed Green Room. We follow Dwight, who is also locked into getting revenge for something, which we only really learn the full details of, late in the proceedings. The incredible lead-performance is from Macon Blair, who has gone on to write and direct a film that was just featured on Netflix titled I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore.  With two great lead performances from Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood, this is yet another revenge tale, but this one is wonderfully offbeat and unique. An excellent aperitif after the heavy double-whammy of Blue Ruin and Dead Man's Shoes.  We went far afield with episode 98 and we hope you enjoy the show as much as we enjoyed recording it. Let us know your thoughts by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com, or just post a message on our Facebook page.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Episode 97 - Everything Old is New Again

We all complain about how the dream factories of Hollywood only spit out remakes and rehashes of existing properties.  We see endless streams of superhero films, and "reimagined" versions of some of our most beloved titles, and we lose all hope. Then along come two really fantastic films that shake us out of this despair and show us that there are still some people out there doing good, original work. People who appreciate that the old ways are sometimes best. We start off with 2016's "The Autopsy of Jane Doe", starring Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch.  It is directed by Andre Ovredal, who gave us the amazing "Troll Hunter".  This is a small and intimate look into the lives of two men working in a mortuary that are tasked with solving the mysteries behind a woman's body found at a crime scene. It is sensational, and the less you know about it, the better...just go see it! We follow that up with 2015's "Green Room", from director Jeremy Saulnier.  It tells the story of a punk band from Washington D.C. that finds themselves on the opposite coast of America, without a dollar, or any gigs, who are offered a shot to perform at a club deep in the woods and frequented by skinheads. Things do not go well. This is such an intense and impactful film, you really have to see it to believe it.  Let us know what you thought of the films, and the show, by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave us a message on our Facebook page.
 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Episode 96 - Zero Budget Blockbusters

For this episode of the podcast, we look at two more films from the 70s, but both of these feature special-effects work from people who would go on to redefine what is possible in film effects work. We start off with 1970's Equinox, with effects from Dennis Muren who has more than a few Oscars in his cupboard. It is a very interesting, Lovecraftian tale, about ancient books that unlock doorways to dark realms. It is amazing what they accomplished with no money.  We follow that up with 1977's Planet of Dinosaurs, which has some truly spectacular stop-motion work from Jim Aupperle.  This is a real throw-back to a simpler type of story, and it is full of groan-worthy moments, but it is still a sweet taste of  "the good old days".  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com  or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave a message on our Facebook page.
 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Episode 95 - Flickers '95

Happy New Year, and welcome back to the damp confines of the cave!  We are going into the wayback machine to remember a film series that made a major mark on genre cinema. We start off with the very entertaining "Airport" from 1970. With a stellar cast lead by Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Helen Hayes ( in an Oscar-winning role ) and series-regular George Kennedy, the film is based on the bestselling novel by Arthur Hailey.  It tells the story of an airport manager who is beset on every side, by nature, business forces, and a very dissatisfied wife. It is a tightly plotted, and swiftly paced tale. This is old-hollywood at it's best.  We follow that up with the second sequel, titled simply "Airport '77". This film boasts another amazing cast that includes Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Jimmy Stewart and even the legendary Joseph Cotton. It is more of an action-movie than the first film, but it is extremely entertaining and totally worth your time.  Let us know what you thought of the show by writing to flickersfrom@yahoo.com or flickersfrom@gmail.com or just leave a message on our Facebook page.