Three of our Damn Dirty Geeks -- Frank Dietz, Trish Geiger and Scott Weitz -- pay the first of many DDG tributes to the great actor Christopher Lee while discussing one of his most popular Hammer horror films, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE, released in 1968.
Filled from start to finish with lush color cinematography and surprisingly bloody violence for a G-rated film, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE gives Christopher Lee the opportunity to give one of his most menacing, evil portrayals of cinema's favorite vampire villain. Without Van Helsing around to save the villagers, Dracula quickly gets his fill of blood from numerous victims and turns a bevy of Hammer beauties into his fallen minions until the final battle at Dracula's castle.
Frank, Trish and Scott reminisce about their own memories of watching Lee as Dracula for our first times, and marvel at his impact on the role's image that previously was so strongly associated with Bela Lugosi in Universal's classic incarnation. Even in this mini-podcast which runs double the normal length of Uncle Ira's Basement episodes, the Geeks talk at length about this film's honored place in the Hammer horror canon and Dracula series, and director Freddie Francis' use of religious imagery (and ample bosoms) to step up Dracula's danger and evil power. While the promotional poster for this film was very much tongue-and-fang-in-cheek, DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE is still a great example of Christopher Lee's power and talent as an actor and a horror icon.
By far, this is the wackiest, uber-geekiest Damn Dirty Geeks podcast episode ever, thanks in part to our special guest Sultan Saeed Al Darmaki, whose own geek cred is extensive as you'll find out when he joins in singing "deep cuts" from Saturday morning cartoon theme songs with the DDG team! Not only do we revisit classic TV animation including JOHNNY QUEST with other Hanna Barbera and Japanese anime series, this episode also expands into geek discussions of PLANET OF THE APES, comedic comparisons of THE ODD COUPLE in its various forms, and the 1966 BATMAN series starring Adam West.
Sultan, founder of Dark Dunes Productions, served as executive producer of the upcoming horror film HARBINGER DOWN directed by StudioADI's Alec Gillis, director of the upcoming horror comedy KIDS VS. MONSTERS, and produced the upcoming fantasy feature film YAMASONG; MARCH OF THE HOLLOWS featuring the voices of Abigail Breslin, Nathan Fillion, Malcolm McDowell, Peter Weller and George Takei. Now, thanks to his appearance on DDG, Sultan can add to his credits a wonderful duet with our Frank Woodward singing "Suddenly" from XANADU which has to be heard to be believed.
Though we're releasing this "Episode 005" out of chronological order in recording dates, this show marked the DDG podcast debut of our own Trish Geiger who dove right into the geek deep end with the rest of us. This delay is partly due to the massive amount of audio mixing it took to present this very cast-crowded episode, but the results are worth the wait! So activate your supergeek powers and join this wild ride through Saturday morning cartoons and pop culture entertainment, won't you?
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The Damn Dirty Geeks drop into Uncle Ira's Basement for another mini-podcast episode as Frank Dietz and Frank Woodward put their normal-sized heads together to discuss Universal's 1955 sci-fi classic THIS ISLAND EARTH, a fun iconic film with Metalunans, Mutants and interocitors.
Starring Jeff Morrow, Faith Domergue, Rex Reason and a pre-GILLGANS ISLAND Russell Johnson, this Technicolor adventure with bulbous brained aliens exploded across movie screens with a unique plot twist for 1950s science fiction films as the inhabitants of Metaluna seek help from humans on Earth -- at least, that's how it starts! What follows is a pinwheeling ride across the galaxy to a battle ravaged planet as a somewhat kooky cautionary tale about the excesses and apocalyptic cost of war, not to mention giant brain-headed aliens wearing futuristic pant suits.
Frank and Frank have a blast revisiting this classic yet somewhat campy sci-fi treasure, discussing the design crossover connection between THIS ISLAND EARTH and THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, 1950s heroine actresses and the peril of wearing giant alien head masks. For the record, Frank Dietz has not forgiven himself for confusing James Arness with James Whitmore in THEM! but he hopes you listeners will pardon him.
Delving into Uncle Ira's Basement once again, Frank Dietz and Frank Woodward also take a trip back in history to examine and enjoy fond memories of EXCALIBUR, John Boorman's 1981 glorious, violent, sexy vision of the King Arthur legends.
Starring Nigel Terry, Helen Mirren, Nicol Willamson and a round table of upcoming film stars including Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson and Patrick Stewart, EXCALIBUR imagines the tale of Arthur's Camelot as a bloody, down-in-the-dirt fantasy epic that forever raised the bar of expectations on the Sword and Sorcery film genre.
Woodward and Dietz relate seeing the film in 1981 as a highlight of their young moviegoing lives and libidos in its "Brian Blessed-level of acting" style during the new age of cable television. EXCALIBUR still holds a strong spell on audiences imaginations, and Boorman's armor-clad epic is very worth viewing today so check it out. One day, a King will come, and the Sword will rise... again!