Monthly Archives: October 2017

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Blue Collar Horror

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Blue Collar Horror">

THE LAST KNOCK opens the door to Blue Collar Horror!

Blue Collar Horror

Some horror films work harder for their scares than others. Blue Collar horror are those tales where working men and women, and their kids, not only fight to survive the trappings of everyday life, but from demons, vampires, serial killers, and all sorts of nasties that could care less about struggling with 9-to-5 drudgery.

From punching time clocks to wondering how to pay all the damn bills, most Blue Collar heroes have much against them. But when “The Other” comes calling, hard working men and women who face adversity on a daily basis may prove to be a creepy-crawly’s worst nightmare.

But it’s not just the people, it’s their jobs, their neighborhoods, their homes: The backdrop for exploitation from dark forces who deem a lack of education as a lack of intelligence. But if “money don’t make no man,” then beasts in search of prey had better look over their shoulder (if they have one) to see who’s hunting who.

We’ll step into the Blue Collar maelstrom with They Live and Stuck, and also venture into The Mothman Prophecies, Tremors, Stir of Echoes, and so much more – including the ultra-disturbing Red, White, and Blue.

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@palkodesigns @JanetCBrennan @MFFHorrorCorner @RealJillyG @BantersCider @NylaVox @DeadAsHellHP @RonGizmo @1carolinagirl @svbell @BleedingCritic @LoudGreenBird @WilliamFriedkin @TheHorrorMaster @MarkPellington @oliviawilde @CrispinGlover @OfficialSGordon @Bruce_Davison @mena13suvari @JenniferSkyreal @KateBeckinsale @RealTomHolland

The plot sickens: If you’re in search of more hard working men and women in horror, check out our episode featuring Train to Busan!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions’ featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Behind the Horror – Mask

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Behind the Horror – Mask ">

THE LAST KNOCK opens the door to Behind the Horror – Mask

Behind the Mask

The Mask conceals identity, hides intentions, lets us become someone else, and instills confidence due to anonymity.

But horror, as always, takes the wearing of one to deeper and darker depths. Sure, Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers come to mind, but what about the others? We’re not just talking about the gang of killers in You’re Next and The Strangers, and not even “lunatic for a day” rioters in The Purge franchise. For even Freddy Kruger hides behind a mask of burns and scars he uses to instill terror into his sleeping victims.

And we can’t forget those who use a Mask in their profession: clowns and other talent at the circus, the carnival, and in The Funhouse. The Phantom of the Opera uses his to hide his secret weapon that stuns those around him.

We’ll look at masks, which characters wear them and way, what they reveal about character, and how they can make or break a horror film. From Eyes Without a Face and My Bloody Valentine to Halloween III: Season of the Witch to The Last House on Dead End Street, we’ll see what’s beneath the veneer. But seeing a Mask can drive one into a anxiety ridden frenzy, so you may want to close your eyes when we go Behind the Horror

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@Synr_X @PatriciaRisk3 @NylaVox @TraCee_tr @SCRMRadio @YourHorrorHost @RonGizmo @hellhorror @GorillaProducer @RECTORYFILM @jimjoneskoolai2 @RealJillyG @badchopsuey2 @Shriekfest @DeniseGossett @AFiendOnFilm @isaacrthorne @AuntieCreeps @KentHarper

The plot sickens: Check out some of the other shows in our Behind the Horror series: Mirror, Cemeteries, and Bathroom!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions’ featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

THE LAST KNOCK presents: 250th Anniversary Show!

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Door opening to the 250th Anniversary gif">

THE LAST KNOCK opens the door to our 250th Anniversary!

250th Anniversary Special!

Holy Hell! We’ve made it to our 250th Anniversary – thanks to listeners like you. And that’s why we’d like you to donate nothing but some of your time to our latest foray into celebration. After all, someone has to do it! And for the first time, we have a major show in the Halloween month of October instead of November, which we take as some sort of breakthrough.

Now, Jonny and I thought long and hard for an entire thirteen seconds about what to do for our Sestercentennial because we had to top these monsters:

For our 100th Episode on November 30, 2014, we answered questions from fans.

The 150th show from November 22, 2015 had us diving into some of our favorite films outside of horror – but still resonated with awesomeness.

We brought the show back to fans on November 6, 2016 for the 200th bicentennial edition.

So what on Earth could we do for our 250th Anniversary?

Well, lend an ear, strap yourself in, put the pedal to the floor, and drive like a demon as we careen through a particular venue that may have you climbing the walls, jumping for your life, running scared, and making every punch count!

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@LoudGreenBird @KeyzKeyzworth @AaronGritsch @theshirerose @byMorganWright @sl_ember @hellhorror @ktanimara @AuthorEllie @AuthorGiaLee @SCRMRadio @TraCee_tr @KristenKivo @NonprofitHorror @CharlizeAfrica @LoveTinaTurner @TheRock @sharlto @seanpertwee @KarlUrban @IAMLenaHeadey @ShoutFactory @CasperVanDien @DinaMeyer @DENISE_RICHARDS @TheMarshallBell @edneumeier @MuldoonPatrick @ActuallyNPH @TheJakeBusey @JimCameron

The plot sickens: If you missed our first “test podcast,” here it is where we review The Day, starring Ashley Bell!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)

Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness (Part 3) by Jonny Numb

<img src="Tobe.jpg" alt="Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness">

Tobe Hooper and the Aesthetics of Madness (Part 3)

Tobe Hooper Keeps Dancing…

Jak and Boxx (Ryan McDonald) are post-apocalyptic rebels without causes, living the dropout life in a world that has given the cold shoulder to notions of civility, decency, and human survival. While Jak is a sincere foil to Peggy’s small-town-girl skepticism, his wide-eyed optimism is shrouded in a questionable, drug-propelled haze. In one sequence, bright-colored rear projection, quick cuts, and the roar of a car engine – while characters try to scream above the noise – effortlessly captures the dissociative feeling of a drug high. And it’s a great example of Tobe Hooper’s audio-visual madness.

The blood Jak and Boxx (ha-ha) siphon from the population’s remnants is sold to the MC and used to reanimate corpses (typically young women) who “dance” in a mix of epileptic seizure and electro-shock, for the entertainment of a salivating crowd of degenerates. The suggestion that hedonism is the opiate of the irradiated masses is strong, but Tobe Hooper isn’t just looking to tell a tale of debauchery and excess.

In a seemingly peripheral scene early on, the corpses of used-up dancers are presented with a crass “disposability” that resembles cruel pornography: topless, dead-eyed female bodies are unceremoniously tossed into a back-alley dumpster and set ablaze. An explicit statement is made: even the new lease on life that accompanies re-animation – however far-removed from actual notions of “humanity” – has a fleeting sell-by date.

Like Texas Chainsaw and Poltergeist, the buried core of “Dance” is its focus on family dynamics. Peggy has grown accustomed to her position as Mother’s Perfect Angel, but it raises questions as to why Kate is so overprotective. Conversely, what does Jak see in Peggy, besides an uncorrupted soul to – in his own naïve, uncomprehending way – bring down to his degraded level? Is the greatest gesture of “caring” to keep a person confined, or to set them loose in a world on fire?

As the story progresses, we see the truth of the matter is far more dire. Therein also lies the unfortunate position of being the coveted child when another goes missing or dies. I like how the grownups here convey authority, wisdom, and confidence – all in service to obscuring transgressions they’d rather forget. To that end, the MC – who’s as sleazy and morally bankrupt as they come – is ultimately a more honest character, as he never tries to justify or excuse the corruption of his trade. He knows he’s pandering to a bunch of drugged-out misfits – why belabor the fact? Near the end of “Dance,” he casually drops a revelation about the fate of Anna that is damning for all within earshot, and the irony of the closing images is in how each generation consumes and exploits the previous generation, whether for financial, political, or personal ends. There are notes of genuine tragedy and despair amid the incoherent club noise, stuttering imagery, and strobe-lit interiors of the episode’s final minutes, to the point where “Dance of the Dead” becomes the most emotionally resonant of all the Masters of Horror episodes.

A Distinct Experience

There are other, smaller tidbits that contribute to “Dance” being a distinct Tobe Hooper experience: the décor of the club, which has the same dumpster-dive aesthetic of the abandoned amusement part in Chainsaw 2; the halved water bottles the punks drink A Clockwork Orange-style drug enhancer from; feral performances from a cast let off the leash (McDonald – a dead ringer for Jack Black – embodies this particularly well); and the way the actors find a pathos amid the chaos. Jak may be “protecting” Peggy from the dangers of an unfamiliar world, but by the end, she has become her own person – something that was stifled for years. She may be going down a path of self-destruction, but imbued with a greater understanding of the harsh realities of the world, has become a stronger and more knowing individual.

Even in the opening moments, set against the over-saturated colors of the idyllic suburban birthday party, 7-year old Peggy exhibits the bud of a rebellious streak by correcting her mother when she calls her “Peg.” And if we want to further that notion (alongside the Jack-in-the-Box naming convention), it can be said that she’s a square “peg” in a round hole, left to “fit in” with a world that’s been decimated; where social contact – in addition to being greatly reduced – carries the risk of contagion.

Without fail, Tobe Hooper created worlds that were distortions and perversions of the one we know. His approach to cinema was unlike that of his horror peers – or any other director who came before. Imbued with an intuition toward what makes people get loopy under the all-encompassing light of a full moon, he forged one of the most distinctive filmographies in the history of motion pictures.

All the rest is cattle prods, screaming, and the compulsion to laugh hysterically in the face of inexplicable, mind-bending horror.

 

The Plot Sickens: Missed the initial installments? Then check out Part 1 and Part 2 – and don’t forget to catch THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast tribute to Tobe Hooper.

(Gif of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre via giphy.)

Crash Analysis Support Team

<img src="jonnynumb.jpg" alt="Jonny Numb">Jonny Numb

(Aka Jonathan Weidler), he only plays favorites when it comes to review sites like Crash Palace Productions and Loud Green Bird. He co-hosts THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast on iTunes, and can also be found on Twitter and Letterboxd.

THE LAST KNOCK presents: Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo

<img src="thelastknock.jpg" alt="Door opening to Apocalypse Two - Electric Bugaloo">

Open the door to Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo…

So much Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo, so little time…

If horror brings fear and a lack of hope, then stories about the Apocalypse fit perfectly into the genre. Dystopian cinema has come in the form of “disaster movies,” but all of them had some grace in the end. Not every character made it, but there was light and life at the end of the ever-closing tunnel. However, Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo is a bit different to say the least.

With the films we’re venturing into, if one does survive, the living may envy the dead. We’ll take an introspective look at Ashley Bell in The Day, Yannick Dahan’s French zombie thrill-ride, The Horde, a world ending from a different perspective with Sam Neill and Ethan Hawke in Daybreakers, head Into the Forest with Patricia Rozema, Ellen Page, and Evan Rachel Wood, and end up trying to not kill each other in The Walking Dead.

At the heart of any end of the world film are the people and how the hell they’re going to handle things. Will they go down with dignity and a love for their fellow human beings, or is it time to become obnoxious and take whatever, or whomever, you can grab? Regardless, we end up rooting for at least person who probably doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell – unless that netherworld’s frozen over.

Hoops of Armageddon

The worst element in Apocalypse Two – Electric Bugaloo is the simple fact that many will fight to survive when maybe they should just kick back, take a strong drink, and toast the end of all things – or at least do some break dancing! But the human animal isn’t like that. Whether fight or flight, the desire’s to live another day. An Apocalypse doesn’t make that possible, but it’s not easy to fight how we’re hard-wired.

The hardest part may be the knowledge that as many hoops as one jumps through, there are more to come, and that number may be infinite. Sooner or later, no matter how many rivers of lava you cross, or mountains you climb, or floods you navigate, or zombies you kill, there’s a ceaseless supply of mayhem coming your way.

Then why do we watch movies like this? Maybe it’s because we know we’re all going to die, but we’d like to see just how far we can get before Death comes calling.

This episode’s SCREAM OUTS from Twitter: 

@vanyavetto @300mushrooms @reielys1280 @PhoenixFiery7 @TraCee_tr @isaacrthorne @palkodesigns @RealJillyG @RonGizmo @AnnThraxx @dixiefairy @patriciatallman @THETomSavini @JG_Ballard @LoveAndBananas @MichaelSpierig @PeterSpierig @TwoPaddocks @ThatKevinSmith @helenshaver @mcbridemelissa @wwwbigbaldhead @patriciarozema @IntoTheForest @EllenPage @evanrachelwood

The plot sickens: If you missed, Apocalypse – Fan Edition, well, now’s the time to check it out!

THE LAST KNOCK horror podcast is a Crash Palace Productions featured show. Besides this site, you can find THE LAST KNOCK on iTunes with new shows posted every Sunday at 9 PM ET.

(THE LAST KNOCK art from Palko Designs.)