The Cult of Matt and Mark show

The Cult of Matt and Mark

Summary: A discussion of cult films by two guys located in a basement somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Matt holds a B.S. and M.S. in Physics, and works as an aerospace engineer. Mark holds a B.S. in biochemistry and works as a research technician... both are graduates of Snohomish High School Class of 91/92 respectiviely, none of which qualifies them to discuss film in any meaningful way... so... "caveat emptor" and all that.

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 260 Phantasm | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

A flying metal baseball with razor blades, shrunken human undead slaves, a portal to another planet.... all typical horror move tropes, right? While in essence a typical horror flick, complete with your menacing preternatural bad guy, Phantasm throws in some "special sauce" that breaks the mold of your typical archetypes. What Phantasm doesn't show you is almost as brilliant as what it portrays. From it's subtle hints of weirdness, the viewer is left to build out a conspiratorial world of interplanetary servitude. While a little discombobulated, we as the viewer don't seem to mind. Download:  260 Phantasm

 259 Blown Away (1993) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark review a lesser known offering from the 80's child actor duo The Coreys Haim and Feldman. Set to get on our Samurai Cop/The Room bad movie mojo, we find ourselves oddly enjoying 1992's Blown Away. Yes! Nicoel Eggert is naked a lot in the movie, but the plot does keep you kind of guessing and there is a bit of attention getting intrigue. It fails in its ending, but that's a common sin among stronger fair. Mark and Matt admittedly didn't mind this film. It's not bad and watchable. So as sad and tragic as the true life stories of both Fledman and Haim, you have to give them an 'A' for effort here. Download: 259 Blown Away (1993)

 258 The Wolf Man (1941) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Mark is stunned and amazed this week to learn there's an old timey film that Matt actually appreciates and has chosen for the ultimate end to our mini werewolf marathon leading up to Halloween. The best offering of the werewolf films so far, The Wolf Man pipes in the smoke to enhance the gothic atmosphere of this classic tale. Pioneering the silver bullet and full moon tropes of the werewolf, The film deftly handles the the ying-yang schizophrenic themes of the beast man unlike lesser later offerings. Unfortunately, the theme of male stalkers fails to transcend the film's era and the Lon Cheney Jr character, making him more of a menace as a man than perhaps a wolf. Download: 258 The Wolf Man (1941)

 257 The Beast Must Die | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

The third werewolf film in our three film Halloween run-up. A quirky Hammer-style exploitation schlock-fest, The Beast Must Die starts out with a great "whodunnit" set-up but in Matt's opinion, squanders it with overly long action/chase scenes and hokey non-menacing werewolves. While the acting is solid, and the characters have promise, there is no M.Night twist/suprise after the werewolf-break reveal. Mark liked this movie more than Matt, but all-in-all a German Shepard shot with a night-lens fails to bring out the visceral horror of later special affects offerings. Download: 257 The Beast Must Die

 256 The Howling | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Are werewolves just lesser vampires? Is that why there's such a dearth of werewolf fair when compared to the vast catalog of vampire films? Perhaps. While they share many of the same traits, werewolves lack the sexy urbane sophistication of a vampires, because they're basically just ... well... dogs. The Howling from 1981 is a notable film, at least in its modern depiction of the werewolf/wolfman transformation. While out-competed by American Werewolf in London at the time, its blend of camp and horror, combined with eerie tones make it enjoyable. However, due to the previous comments, Matt and Mark are only review three (or so) werewolf movies in our run up to Halloween. Download: 256 The Howling

 255 Star Trek The Motion Picture | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Going where no man has gone before, Matt and Mark review the 2001'esque Roddenberry big screen debut of Star Trek. A film intended to bring the spaced-out psychedelia of  Kubrik's pioneering film to the popcorn audience, it ended up being a mixed offering to the hardcore Trekkies. While Kahn II would set the trend of current Star Trek actioners, STTMP basked in the awe of the cerebral questions of creation and existence. Despite the spa-staff uniforms of the crew and the uneven effects, the initial Star Trek brings the goods to those willing to shun unrealistic expectations. Download: 255 Star Trek The Motion Picture

 254 Soylent Green | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

We review the 1973 Heston classic Soylent Green. What do you do when the ocean taps out and there's hungry mouths to feed? For the animal kingdom, a logically solution; But for humanity on the Malthusian brink? A little more taboo. Despite the ominous reveal of the end, Soylent Green's true insight is into human nature in the midst of a desperate overcrowded and overheated future. And what's more shocking perhaps than the fact that foodstuff's being manufactured from human beings is the fact that "furniture" is also a manufactured product from human flesh. 2022 is four years away, time to stock up on some protein bars. Download: 254 Soylent Green

 253 Silent Running | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Continuing our ad-hoc 70's Sci-Fi theme, we review the Bruce Dern film "Silent Running." A theme-heavy sci-fi film, we take a peak into the mind of an eco-terrorist of sorts. Back in the early days of the EPA and environmental themes, Silent Running assumes a bereft Earth devoid of natural beauty and encrusted by a mall-like super structure of artificial living with Dern's Freemen the champion of  Earth's last natural vestiges. Matt and Mark discuss the nature of ideological zealotry as it concerns environmental heroes and come to the conclusion, that while necessary to a certain extant, one could argue if such people as Dern's character aren't insufferable assholes. Download: 253 Silent Running    

 252 A Boy and His Dog | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

In the year 2024... 'bout 6 years from now... we'll all be living off the carcass of a buried civilized world. At least that's the setting for the Ellison adaptation, A Boy and His Dog. A great piece of science fiction, what ABaHD gets right is that the character of Vic is truly a creation of his world and not a mere avatar from ours. He does not need to justify his serial raping and pillaging. His morality is a construct of a post nuclear Phoenix Az. Which, of course, puts him at odds with the weird down-under cult inhabiting an underground vault of 20th Century Americana. A unique film, ABaHD delivers a world without expostiion, and in doing so, bids a healthy f**k you to Disney's Shaggy Dog franchise. Download: 252 A Boy and His Dog

 251 Westworld | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Summertime and the living is... slow... slow-rolling. But we're back! This week (this time?) we review the Crichton classic Westworld, the movie that started it all (at least the critically acclaimed HBO series). Inspired by Disneyland's Pirates ride, Chrichton builds an "anything goes" theme park filled with human emulating robots. When programming goes wrong, the machines rise up! With little spin on the original 1920's robot themes, Westworld does create a sense of wonder with regard to artificial worlds and our forever pining to escape into them. Download: 251 Westworld

 250 The Last Starfighter | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week we head back to the early 80's for some primitive cinematic CGI with The Last Starfighter. With a somewhat gimmicky but weak main storyline, the film benefits from a humor filmed subplot involving the Alex Beta unit. Filled with Spielbergian kid culture 80's tropes, the films fits the time period but is perhaps a lesser offering. While its attempt at CGI special effects are noble, they don't allow the film to ascend to Tron-like stature. Download: 250 The Last Starfighter 

 249 The Day the Earth Stood Still | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Stop fighting, you silly humans! This week Matt and Mark review the 1951 classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. Matt takes issue with the message of this film, which seems muddled in his alien-godlike appearance of Klaatu and his pimp hand Gort. Did Klaatu just impose of slavery onto humanity? A forced utopia? To what degree would Gort allow for some on-planet nuclear rough housing? So many questions to a thoroughly unsatisfying movie. Despite the bigger questions, The Day the Earth Stood Still also lacks perhaps the usage of more inventive sci-fi tropes offered in the literature of the day, but instead opts for the cinematic 50's standard of metal robots and flying saucers. Download: 249 The Day the Earth Stood Still

 248 Tron | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week Matt and Mark review the surprisingly ahead of its time Tron, by none other than Walt Disney Productions. A film that is unapologeticaly set within the confines of a computerized world, it would set the precedent for such later VR films as The Matrix and Inception that would give the filmmaker free reign to design plausible and spectacular fantasy worlds manufactured inside printed circuit boards. A beautifully rendered movie, Tron holds its own 35 years later and is as fresh and fun now as it was back then: a summer movie if there ever was one. It's a movie that fights for the users. Download: 248 Tron  

 247 Scanners | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

Matt and Mark review the Chronenberg cult classic Scanners this week. A nicely stylized B-movie with decent production and a well crafted premise, scanners falls a bit short. With too much plot, the machinations and motivations of the characters are archetypal at best, implausible at worst. There are hints here of what Chronenberg would become and its refreshing to go back in time and see a classic director in the rough. Unlike Advanced Dungeons and Dragons psionicists rules for combat however, the Scanner "mind fights" are not only cathartic but at times spectacularly visceral. Download: 247 Scanners

 246 Over the Edge | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: Unknown

This week Matt and Mark review the 70's teen rebellion film "Over the Edge". Despite its teen crime hyperbole, the film brings insight into the corportizing of the American family and it's dehumanizing affect on community and landscape. While such a movie could have fallen flat, Over the Edge is deftly executed with a cast of competent teenage actors and careful direction. Introducing a young Matt Dillon and packed with an iconic set of 70's rock n' roll (Cheap Trick, The Ramones, and Van Halen), Over the Edge has stuck in the collective memory. Download: 246 Over the Edge  


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