First up, a big, juicy, gore-filled CONGRATULATIONS to Sean, Brad, BJ, Josh, and the extended ScreamCast family for three years of liking movies for “what they are” and referencing a certain “The Burning” episode so often. I kid y’all but producing a timely show on the regular is no small feat, especially when varied geographic locations (and timezones…and drinking schedules) are taken into consideration. Really, you all rock and you’re doing great work for the horror community and physical media community at large; You’re keeping the conversation around genre cinema alive. Your shows stimulate folks around the world and fan fires across all the social media platforms. Don’t ever let that fire die.
Whilst touching bases with Brad Henderson this week, he let me know that the next episode of The ScreamCast will focus on that rich sub-genre of cult cinema: Italian knockoffs. That got me thinking about some recent knockoffs I’ve been “enjoying” and some of the great knockoffs in American popular culture (both cinematic and not).
Mike Delaney of The Splathouse Podcast slums it with Brad and Sean to discuss a couple recently released Italian gems: MANHATTAN BABY and THE BLOODSTAINED BUTTERFLY. Make sure you check out The Splathouse Podcast, a really fun podcast you all should be listening to! You can find them at Splathouse.com.
It’s been a hard go for EXORCIST fans throughout the years. After the original film arrived on the scene and delivered one of the most terrifying efforts in horror history, EXORCIST II appeared on screen and was instantly reviled. 13 years later, THE EXORCIST III came out to little fanfare and middling reviews following studio interference in the editing room. During the horror boom of the 2000s it appeared that the series was coming back in a big way with Paul Schrader’s prequel. Instead, after much studio meddling, we were eventually given not one, but two subpar prequels. Luckily it appears that 2016 will be the year when history is rewritten on THE EXORCIST franchise. The initially scoffed at Fox TV series based on the first film has been seeing surprising support from both critics and genre fans alike. We are also finally being treated to the original cut of THE EXORCIST III (titled LEGION) for the first time ever. Like HALLOWEEN III, this sequel has been growing a cult steadily over the last few decades and now is seen as something of a minor modern classic. I’m sure the esteem of the film will grow more once people get their hands on William Peter Blatty’s original vision.
In the summer of 1984, Warner Bros. and Joe Dante gave us Gremlins, a delightfully wicked horror comedy about vicious little monsters- spawned from a cute and innocent creature called a Mogwai- who wreck havoc on a small town during Christmastime. It was a box-office smash, and it would become a classic and a perennial Christmas favorite. But because it was a tremendous financial success, Gremlins spawned its own series of imitators throughout the rest of the 1980s. So, since one of these movies got the Scream Factory treatment this week, I thought we’d take a look at five films that tried to take a bite out of the success of Gremlins.