Hey Damn Dirty Geeks fans, look what’s back! It’s a new episode of “Uncle Ira’s Basement!” Frank Dietz, Scott and Trish take a look at the film from which we coined the name of this series. Uncle Ira, played by actor Tom Fadden, is a character in this classic movie who hides an unusual secret in his basement...something that is just waiting for you to fall asleep. Likewise, the DDG reveal these mini-episodes from our own basement archives to invade your own ears and minds.
Don Siegal’s 1956 masterpiece INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is one of the best sci-fi thrillers of that decade. Alien seedpods have arrived on Earth and are taking over the minds and bodies of our loved ones while they sleep. Right off the bat, the Geeks discuss how the film has often been cited as a metaphor for the era’s Cold War fears of a communist takeover and its accompanying escalation of paranoia and distrust. We extend this analysis to include other 1950s classics with similar topic including THE BLOB (1958) and INVADERS FROM MARS (1953).
The Geeks then celebrate the multiple elements that keep INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS elevated above the rest, including Daniel Mainwaring's dynamic script, the taut story pacing and the conviction of the actors. It’s no wonder INVASION has been remade multiple times over the years, with varying degrees of success.
There’s a fun little sidebar about childhood memories of keeping the monsters under the bed from getting you! We also remark on the Whit Bissell/Richard Deacon sequences that bookend the movie and provide a glimmer of hope for the human race.
Frank talks with great affection about his old friend Kevin McCarthy (1914-2010), the hero who carries the film from beginning to end (and throws in a couple of imitations of him as well!). We wrap out with a toast to Kevin, who is missed by his many friends and fans across the globe. “They’re already here! You’re next! You’re next!”
Note: as this is one of Damn Dirty Geeks' earliest podcast episodes retreived from our archives, its recording levels are not up to our standards of clarity and mixing. But you'll still enjoy the discussion of this great film as a vintage treat from the DDG.
The Damn Dirty Geeks recently enjoyed a podcasting evening of laughs and great stories with actor and friend of the show, Tom Everett Scott. Tom's stories of his career starring in an impressive range of horror, comedy, drama and musical projects made for one of DDG's favorite shows.
We open with a discussion about Tom's work in THAT THING YOU DO! and how writer/director/co-star Tom Hanks almost didn't cast Scott in the film because he looked too much like Hanks. Tom also details fascinating moments working with Hanks early in his feature directing career and advice he gave for Scott's first starring film role for which he learned to play the drums.
Fans will also recognize Tom Everett Scott from his lycanthropic turmoil in AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS, the 1997 sequel to John Landis' AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and co-starring Julie Delpy. This lighter-tone story showed off Tom's comedic skills again, and how he actually spent little time in heavy makeup as most of the werewolf creature effects were achieved by (disappointing) CG. Also, listen to Tom's behind-the-scenes stories of how the connection from AAWIP to AAWIL were intended to tie the films closer together, but were eventually blurred which hindered the film's stand alone value. Accordingly, a brief debate about what makes a werewolf movie ensued.
Tom's acting adventures continue with tales of working with Meryl Streep in ONE TRUE THING, his return to horror in the SYFY series Z NATION (prompting a slow Romero zombie vs. fast zombie debate), another musical venture in LA LA LAND, and a bit of a preview of Tom's role in the upcoming comedy I HATE KIDS, co-written by DDG's own Frank Dietz.
Check out our photo gallery of Tom Everett Scott's work and show notes for this episode at our website DamnDirtyGeeks.com a few days after this release.
Join the Damn Dirty Geeks and our special guest DEBORAH BAKER, JR. as we more fantastic behind the scenes stories of making Dana Gould’s horror comedy series STAN AGAINST EVIL, as she wrapped her second season playing Denise Miller and now about to begin Season 3 of the show.
Deborah continues our winning streak with guests from the STAN AGAINST EVIL cast, including creator Dana Gould and co-star Janet Varney. She immediately got us in the mood with stories of her haunted house tales from location shooting in Georgia, related to her own poltergeist experiences from childhood — a surprise turn in our conversation for sure! Just as scary is the show’s rapid shooting schedule, which demands block shooting of all scenes at one location across multiple episode scripts. We delve into Deborah’s character relationships with Varney, Nate Mooney, John C. McGinley, and how Denise often speaks in Gould’s own comedic voice as a spokes-character.
Much of our discussion centers on comedy, which leads us into a great talk about Deborah’s multiple appearances in Dana Gould’s live stage readings of Ed Wood’s PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE script. A perfect project to suit Deborah’s sketch comedy acting background, PLAN 9 LIVE turns the cult classic film on its ear with a stellar cast including Jonah Ray, Janet Varney, Baker plus many special guest stars depending on the timing and location, including Laraine Newman and Paul F. Tompkins on the most recent performance. The more seriously and literally the cast performs the script, the funnier PLAN 9 gets. Be sure to check out the Largo at the Coronet website for upcoming shows if PLAN 9 LIVE returns.
Check out our photo gallery of Deborah Baker Jr.'s work and show notes for this episode at our website DamnDirtyGeeks.com a few days after this release.
Join the Damn Dirty Geeks at our live podcast recording from the Arena Cinelounge as we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the original PLANET OF THE APES, with our special guest from the film, LOU WAGNER.
Lou joins our list of APES actors on our podcast including Bobby Porter and H.M Wynant. Though Lou is our first veteran from the original film, having co-starred with Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall, which was a special treat for the DDG and our live audience in attendance for the screening.
We talk with Lou about his preparation for playing the rebellious teen chimpanzee as the then-modern voice in the 1968 film, and how what might have been a 60s-dated aspect to the story has now come full circle in relevance, mirroring today's headlines of a new youth movement influencing society and politics. Lou shares several little-known stories from filming PLANET OF THE APES, including a great tale about how Heston looked after his ape costars on location.
Also joining the 50th Anniversary celebration was William Conlin, director of the upcoming documentary Making Apes:The Artists Who Changed Film, himself a lifelong fan of the APES films like us. Conlin's film celebrates the brilliant makeup artists and technicians who made the APES films possible and how they changed modern cinema in the 20th century. As part of this documentary, Lou agreed to have makeup artists update Lou's character Lucious as aged 50 years since his original appearance. Jump the link above to learn more about Conlin's film currently in production and seeking support to finish the doc.
Listen to this ape-stravaganza and much more in our live podcast marking 50 years of the APES film franchise and counting! Be sure to visit our website DamnDirtyGeeks.com in a couple days for our photo gallery and show notes from this special event!
The Damn Dirty Geeks return to the realm of the Living Dead with our latest special guest, Patricia Tallman, known for her acting and stuntwork in KNIGHTRIDERS, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990), STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, BABYLON 5 and much more.
Pat's first film was George Romero's KNIGHTRIDERS in 1981, which began a lengthy collaborative relationship with Romero and his fellow filmmakers. She was first directed by Tom Savini in the "Family Reunion" episode of TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE in 1988, then directed by Romero again in MONKEY SHINES the same year.
Then Pat killed it in Savini's 1990 remake of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, scripted by Romero, by turning Barbara into an empowered heroine fighting to survive an apocalypse of the undead. Redefining Barbara's character helped the NIGHT remake earn its own place in horror cinema, adapting to its time and keeping this franchise vibrant decades after Romero birthed it. Tallman turning audience expectation on its ear in a remake certainly increased the impact and success of NIGHT, as she joined the ranks of powerful, intelligent heroines that transformed genre filmmaking in the late 1980s and early '90s.
Listen to our great discussion with Pat about her career as actress and stuntwoman, plus her recent projects. Visit our website www.damndirtygeeks.com for full episode notes and photo gallery.
The Damn Dirty Geeks resume our delightful discussion with actor/stuntman Bobby Porter, talking more about his work in BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, two characters in the APES TV series, and many more films and shows across his continuing career.
Bobby reveals two very fun stories about his unplanned public appearances in his APES character makeup created hilarious results, including a live stage play "crossover" with BATTLE and Shakespeare.
We also preview the upcoming documentary MAKING APES: THE ARTISTS WHO CHANGED FILM, starring makeup effects artist Tom Burman, actors Bobby Porter and Lou Wagner, and directed by William Conlin. Listen along and you'll join us in eager anticipation for the documentary's release in 2018, just in time for PLANET OF THE APES' 50th Anniversary! Speaking of which, the Damn Dirty Geeks will host some special events for APES' 50th Anniversary, too -- stay tuned for announcements.
Bobby also regales us with his behind-the-scenes stories of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, a cult favorite DAY OF THE ANIMALS, the quirky Buck Henry sci-fi show QUARK, Sid & Marty Krofft's LAND OF THE LOST, and meeting the original Catwoman Julie Newmar.
Enjoy our second hour-plus of additional APES delight with the magnificent, Bobby Porter -- whom we hope will return for a third episode as MAKING APES makes its release in 2018.
The Damn Dirty Geeks are very fortunate to be joined by our second PLANET OF THE APES franchise veteran, renowned actor, stuntman and stunt coordinator Bobby Porter. We had such a great time talking with Bobby about his appearance as Cornelius in BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES and many more of his films, that this episode is Part 1 of 2 shows featuring our star guest.
Bobby Porter, as you'll soon hear, is one of the most charismatic, positive and inspirational people you could meet. Not only does Bobby have dozens of fascinating and fun stories to share with listeners, but he always places these tales in context of influential moments of growth and achievement in his life.
Part 1 of our visit with Bobby covers the start of his stunt performer career, how his size that led him to double for child actors in THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and ACE ELI AND RODGERS OF THE SKIES lead him to an opportunity to play young Cornelius, the son of Roddy McDowall's Caesar in BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES. Bobby also shares stories of the Disaster genre boom of the 1970s and doubling as John Connor in TERMINATOR 2.
Stream or download now, and read our full Episode Notes on our Damn Dirty Geeks website.
It's Halloween at last, and we celebrate the season by handing out a bag full of thrills, chills and laughs with STAN AGAINST EVIL star, actress Janet Varney.
Janet found some time in her busy schedule -- between Sketchfest in San Francisco, filming Season Two of STAN in Atlanta, and her recurring role in the sitcom YOU'RE THE WORST -- to share her experiences with the DDG and we had a blast.
As we've asked of many podcast guests, Janet shared her own geek origin story growing up in Tuscon, including memories of forging her comedic perspective watching Steve Martin and Monty Python with her father. Yet Janet was a late starter in comedy, relatively speaking, despite being into acting at a young age, which leads to some surprising insights on her comedy-filled career.
We also delve into Janet's deliberate picks and misses in horror films and television, and why she's fine watching some franchise creepers but avoids others. The irony is that Janet's now spent two seasons covered in gore and goo, battling witches and demons as Sheriff Evie Barret on Dana Gould's horror/comedy series STAN AGAINST EVIL. But it's that mix of scares and laughs that offers such appeal to Janet as a lead in the show.
The same equation applies to Janet's appearances in Dana Gould's live stage readings of PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, which just finished in San Fransisco and is returning to LA at the end of October.
Stream or download this fun and frights filled podcast episode with Janet Varney, and Happy Halloween from the Damn Dirty Geeks!
The Damn Dirty Geeks -- well, some of us anyway -- flew out from our secret headquarters to Louisville, Kentucky to attend WonderFest 2017. There we recorded another live podcast episode with the convention CEO David Hodge, co-hosted by previous DDG guest and actor Brian Howe to discuss JAWS and diving with real great white sharks in the wild.
As a follow up to our episodes with Greg Nicotero discussing JAWS, Hodge regales us with his own cage diving experiences with great white sharks in the Atlantic, comparing and contrasting moments and lines from the film with the reality of sharks. Dietz has long wanted to cage dive with sharks to fulfill his own JAWS-inspired life experience -- and he still plans to -- but Hodge's shark stories sure gets Frank's pulse racing over the awe these sharks inspire.
Hodge also compares the reality versus the JAWS story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, as told by Quint in the film: there was an even greater danger to the shipwreck survivors than sharks, as it turns out. Brian Howe also relates his stories with Steven Spielberg while filming CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, confirming that the making of JAWS remains a harrowing memory for Spielberg at the start of his career.
Hodge and Dietz also relate their stories being in with the big cats at the Louisville Zoo, which also got Frank's heart pounding being that close to another large predator.
In true DDG fashion, there's also a rousing, fun discussion of JAWS ripoff films, from the ridiculous like THE LAST SHARK, TINTORERA and SHARKNADO to other strange sci-fi/horror movie predators like THE GIANT CLAW and LAVALANTULA.
Enjoy this latest live podcast with the Damn Dirty Geeks, and check out WonderFest 2018 taking place June 2-3 in Louisville!
Writer/director William Malone joins the Damn Dirty Geeks to salute the science fiction legacy of FORBIDDEN PLANET, MGM's 1956 influential entry in the genre starring Walter Pigeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen and the iconic robot character Robby the Robot.
A prominent horror writer and director himself, Malone's own credits include MASTERS OF HORROR, FEARDOTCOM, THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, TALES FROM THE CRYPT and more. Yet Malone's fascination with science fiction and horror began long before his career did, with three classic films influencing him in his youth: FORBIDDEN PLANET, TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON. Bill and the Geeks spark off a great discussion on all three landmark films.
Then the DDG let Malone shine as he regales us and listeners with his tales of recreating Robby the Robot and rescuing some priceless movie memorabilia from FORBIDDEN PLANET from the trash heap -- and sadly how some items were lost to time forever.
Fans will revel in this deep-cuts discussion of classic 1950s sci-fi with Bill Malone and the Geeks -- a fantastic show recorded in late 2016 and now unleashed upon Earth to conquer it!
On April 7th, the Damn Dirty Geeks recorded our first live audience podcast episode at Eliot Brodsky's fantastic annual convention, Monsterpalooza, in Pasadena -- an entire weekend filled with guest appearances, star-studded stage panels and the top monster artists in the business. We launched the event with our live podcast recording with two special guests: actor/writer/director/puppet creator Kirk R. Thatcher and co-creator of The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, writer David Colton.
Get ready for a rip-roaring, fun hour-plus as Kirk takes us on a whirlwind tour of his career, from working in the creature shops of RETURN OF THE JEDI and GREMLINS, to playing the annoying punk opposite Kirk and Spock in STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME, to writer of MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND and director of JIM HENSON'S TURKEY HOLLOW. Kirk is a barrel of laughs and has a hilarious gift in telling stories about working with George Lucas, Jim Henson, Leonard Nimoy and many other talented collaborators on Thatcher's many creative projects.
David Colton, a journalist and executive editor for USA Today, is a lifelong fan and supporter of horror films and founder of the Classic Horror Film Boards who coined the term Monster Kid to celebrate the generation of fans who grew up watching and loving horror and monster films. David also runs the Rondo Hatton Awards, an annual fan-voted presentation nominating the best and most talented writers, journalists, artists, filmmakers and Hall of Fame inductees who preserve and perpetuate horror, sci-fi and genre entertainment in all forms. Members of the CHFB and participants in the Rondo Awards extend the continuum of classic monster films like the original DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN though 1950s sci-fi classics, the explosion of iconic horror film characters in the 1970s and '80s, up through today's horror renaissance with THE WALKING DEAD and beyond.
Enjoy the energy of this live audience podcast episode in which the Damn Dirty Geeks and our guests chat and laugh off-the-cuff on stage at Monsterpalooza. Even so, we barely scratched the surface of discussion with both Kirk and David, and hope very much to have both back on our show as guests again soon to continue the fun.
Special thanks to our sound engineer Brice Cranston for his extra efforts making this live recording run so smoothly, and to friend of the show Eric Kurland of 3-D Space for letting us share his convention theater to record this episode. And don't forget to listen to this episode with your glasses on as we recorded the show in 3-D!
For more photos and full show notes/links, visit our website at DamnDirtyGeeks.com
The Damn Dirty Geeks geek out with the amazing character actor H.M. Wynant, star of one of the best Twilight Zone episodes plus a featured actor in CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, among his lengthy list of credits. H.M. is the first APES veteran we’ve had as a guest on our podcast, though he won’t be the last! Joining the Geeks and H.M. is a talented director/producer and film historian Michael Schlesinger, a friend of the Geeks with a steel trap mind when it comes to Hollywood history — which came in very handy during this episode as H.M. recaps his decades-long acting career and lengthy list of co-stars!
Being lifelong fans of the PLANET OF THE APES films, the Geeks were thrilled to have H.M. Wynant as a guest on our podcast as a cast member alumnus from the classic franchise films — but there’s so much more to H.M.’s acting career. Enjoy the tales of his lengthy credit list that including dozens of Hollywood legends including: Clark Gable (RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP), Errol Flynn (PLAYHOUSE 90), director Sam Fuller and actor Charles Bronson (RUN OF THE ARROW), Randolph Scott and director Budd Boetticher (DECISION AT SUNDOWN), creator Rod Serling and actor John Carradine (THE TWILIGHT ZONE), Elvis Presley (IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD’S FAIR), Adam West (BATMAN), Roddy McDowall, Don Murray, Ricardo Montalbano and Severn Darden (CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES) and many more.
We try not to fan-geek out discussing H.M.’s guest starring turn on excellent 1960 episode of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, “The Howling Man,” which series fans often consider among the very best produced by Serling for the landmark show. H.M. regales us with tales of how writer Charles Beaumont and episode director Douglas Heyes battled over whether or not to reveal the prisoner’s true identity, and a surprising resolution to this decision. As the delirious and eventually doomed David Ellington, H.M.’s multi-layered performance makes this tale of good versus evil immensely believable despite its simple setup. Enjoy listening to how H.M. approached this pivotal role in the episode, and speculate on why “The Howling Man” remains so highly praised after five decades of syndication.
H.M. spoils the Geeks with his tales on the set of CONQUEST, working with Don Murray (who got his first job in Hollywood via H.M.) and Severn Darden, who made an indelible impression on H.M. Then he shifts gears to play a villain with a farcical comedy touch in two episodes of the classic BATMAN series, co-starring as henchman Frosty working for Mr. Freeze (Eli Wallach) in the second season episodes “The Duo Defy” and “Ice Spy.”
Not only does our added guest Michael Schlesinger save our conversational bacon by pulling historic Hollywood names out of thin air during our chat with H.M., but you’ll learn some fascinating details about his work on Larry Blamire’s feature comedies THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN and DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, both also featuring H.M. in hilarious supporting roles. Michael also co-wrote and directed THE ADVENTURES OF BIFFLE AND SHOOSTER, a series of simulated 1940s comedy shorts starring a fictional comedy duo (Nick Santa Maria and Will Ryan), along with co-stars including H.M. plus our own Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger.
To enjoy this podcast episode, just wire yourself up to the authenticator and we’ll begin streaming the show!
The Damn Dirty Geeks recently spent another fantastic evening discussing independent horror and genre film movies with another prominent woman filmmaker, Staci Layne Wilson, also joined by one of her frequently cast actors, Curt Lambert. Growing up in LA and the entertainment industry, and forging a career as a journalist for several entertainment-related publications, Staci now imbues her short and feature films that blend diverse elements from burlesque entertainment to pulp horror elements into Staci's unique narrative style.
In this episode, we delve into Staci's biographical background, her early influences and her growing resume of films as a producer, writer and director including VALENTINE DAYZ, PSYCHO THERAPY, FETISH FACTORY, THE FIANCÉ, NOT WITH MY DAUGHTER, KEEPSAKES, and SELF-PORTRAITS.
If you're a new viewer of Staci's films, her writing and directorial styles explore elements you enjoy from directors including Dario Argento (SUSPIRIA, TENEBRE, INFERNO) and Brian De Palma (SCARFACE, DRESSED TO KILL), artistically melding dark moody atmospheres of suspense and terror with brightly colored cinematic palettes that lend an eerie surrealism to her work.
Staci and the DDG are also joined by actor Curt Lambert, who appears in Wilson's films VALENTINE DAYZ, FETISH FACTORY, THE FIANCÉ, THE LINCOLN along with the web series THE HOTEL BARCLAY. Lambert provides entertaining anecdotes and experiences working on the set with Wilson across these projects, lending insight into her quickly paced production schedules.
Enjoy this latest episode in our DDG series discussing horror and genre entertainment with female filmmakers like Staci Layne Wilson making big names for themselves in the industry, then share it with your genre-loving friends and fiends!
The Damn Dirty Geeks are back for Year Two of our podcast as we celebrate our second anniversary of the show, and we're starting off on the wild side!
A quick change of recent recording plans resulted in our second Damn Dirty Geeks Wild Card episode that dives straight into THE TWILIGHT ZONE with a dizzying collage of discussion topics.
We launch into a study of GALAXY QUEST -- is it the best STAR TREK movie to date? -- then question the streaming service delivery of the new series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY starring our friend Doug Jones. We're psyched to see Doug in the TREK universe, but question if PPV is the right move by CBS to start a new mission.
Then we take a very goofy detour across the galaxy to revisit Maz Kanata’s house band as seen in THE FORCE AWAKENS. An equally abrupt transition sparks up a lively debate about the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY makeover for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney's California Adventure park in Anaheim. This theme park ride discussion transports us into a larger study about the lifespans of our favorite Monster Kid franchises like Rod Serling’s classic TWILIGHT ZONE in today’s streaming-media generation.
Our discussion of the TZ franchise's longevity also makes a great topical preview of our upcoming episode with veteran actor H.M. Wynant, who discusses his leading role in one of the best classic TZ episodes of the series amid his prolific career. Watch for H.M.'s appearance with the DDG coming soon!
Buckle up for this wild, wacky ride through pop culture and genre films with the Damn Dirty Geeks as we throw caution – and good taste -- to the wind and simply let this podcast episode fly where it takes us!
And we dedicate this episode to the memories of Alan Rickman and Carrie Fisher, who both left us far too soon. Rest in Peace.
As October and Halloween approach, the Damn Dirty Geeks revisit the horror genre with an energized episode featuring indie filmmaker Izzy Lee, discussing her body of work and the long overdue growth of female directors and talent in the genre.
Lee's dark, evocative films including INNSMOUTH, POSTPARTUM and A FAVOR deliver the director's signature touch of short, sharp shocks that challenge viewers in the best tradition of taboo, provocative horror tales of Clive Barker.
Lee's INNSMOUTH also ventures into the nightmarish landscape of H.P. Lovecraft's horror realm but with a distinctive feminine perspective that adds new layers of interpretation of and impact from the author's original view of physical horror.
The DDG gladly explore Lee's work as another welcome female voice in the horror genre which -- despite other strong women directors including Ana Lily Amirpour, Jennifer Kent, Maude Michaud, the Soska Sisters and others -- remains woefully short on representing a fair and realistic ratio of women writers and directors. But we hope that Lee and her like will alter that reality in the near future as their work gains more prominence in festivals, signings and picture deals.
Horror would benefit from more and stronger female presence in the genre and industry, and the Damn Dirty Geeks will continue our efforts to give these talented women the recognition and exposure their excellent work merits. Enjoy our latest episode and get into the Halloween horror mood with Izzy Lee!
The Damn Dirty Geeks continue our roll discussing great entertainment moments with experts in their craft, thanks to popular character actor Jim Beaver. Jim prolific career is filled with memorable characters that made lasting impacts on the films and series in which he appeared. Our visit with Jim Beaver has yielded one of our best, breeziest, most engaging episodes yet.
It's likely that most listeners will know Jim Beaver's work from three projects: as the gruff but lovable Ellsworth in HBO's hit western drama DEADWOOD; his one-shot guest appearance turned recurring character Bobby Singer in SUPERNATURAL; and his co-starring role in Guillermo del Toro's gothic romance CRIMSON PEAK. Fans also enjoy Jim's work in the series JUSTIFIED and his role as Lawson in BETTER CALL SAUL, a crossover character Jim first played in BREAKING BAD.
A terrific storyteller, Jim regaled the DDG with stories of his experience filming DEADWOOD and the mysteries of character development he explored playing Ellsworth as his character arc expanded most unexpectedly. Jim also shares how John Wayne most strongly influenced his acting style and career, as part of his own character building in a broad range of characters including highly un-Ellsworth role of Carter Cushing in CRIMSON PEAK.
This sets up a fascinating discussion of actors deliberate seeking range in their careers across films and television, a mission that Jim Beaver continues to accomplish with every new credit he gains. Enjoy this hour-plus visit with the very funny, friendly and talented Jim Beaver. If you enjoy it as much as we did recording it, please share your comments in a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes.
This episode combines two of the DDG's favorite things: the genre character sculptures of artist Mike Hill and our combined love for werewolves in the movies!
Mike Hill is an English artist and sculptor who is literally a monster maker. His life-size figures of movie characters including Lon Chaney as The Wolf Man, Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein creature and many more have been featured displays on horror conventions and are prized collectibles by genre devotees including Guillermo del Toro.
The painstaking attention to detail and character Mike puts into his life-size figures brilliantly capture the likeness of his famous film subjects as well as those iconic movie moments that reside indelibly in the minds of monster kids like us. We discuss with Mike how he accomplishes sculpting and recreating these characters from classic films like FRANKENSTEIN, THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, recently I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF at Monsterpalooza, plus Mike's stunning adaptation of the classic Aurora Wolf Man model kit in life-size form! Hill is also famous for his realistic figures of real world monster makers including Ray Harryhausen and Jack Pierce.
The DDG and Mike also delve once again into a favorite topic of film werewolves, a subject that launched Hill's fascination with genre films, model making and art. A lively discussion ensues about how the underlying concept of dual personalities and repressed human impulses has remained a relevant theme in genre movies and literature for over a century.
Enjoy our howling good Damn Dirty Geeks podcast with artist Mike Hill and be sure to visit our website for a photo gallery of Mike's sculptures to fully appreciate his amazing talents and love for monsters!
If you're a fan of werewolves too, be sure to check out the DDG's episode devoted to lycanthropes in film, literature and pop culture as well.
Though a couple of our Geeks weren't available for this episode, Jack, Scott and Frank Woodward recently gathered to share our appreciation for director John Carpenter, who has created at least two classics in his varied career yet remains an unsung director by the Hollywood studio system.
Thankfully, being overlooked and undervalued didn't stop Carpenter from creating some of our favorite films including HALLOWEEN, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE THING, CHRISTINE, STARMAN, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and THEY LIVE, among others we discuss and evaluate in this episode.
We also discuss the creative crossover between Carpenter as a director and as a musician beyond the fact that he often composed original scores for his own films, in light of Woodward's recent viewing of Carpenter's live concert.
While the film industry fails to appreciate John Carpenter's work, there is no doubt that the director's legacy from the 1970s to today and beyond continues to inspire artists and audiences alike.
The Damn Dirty Geeks hope this episode inspires our listeners to watch more Carpenter films or re-evaluate them if you're already familiar with his work, and share them with others to recruit new fans to express their appreciation for John Carpenter.
The Damn Dirty Geeks take another stab and celebrating and studying the horror film genre with our special guest, producer/director Mike Mendez.
Like two of our previous podcast guests, Andrew Kasch and John Skipp, Mendez also directed a segment of the horror anthology film TALES OF HALLOWEEN released last October. Mike's segment "Friday the 31st" pits a deranged serial killer against his feminine quarry who turns the tables in a shocking twist of the typical slasher formula. Mendez also discusses BIG ASS SPIDER!, his affectionate horror/humor tribute to the big bug movies of the 1950s.
We revisit films like CARRIE and THE HILLS HAVE EYES that were early influences on Mike's youth and inspired his eventual career, including a rousing discussion of James Cameron's genre-mashing sequel ALIENS.
We weave all these subject threads together in a larger examination on the state of current independent horror films and filmmakers, existing and thriving outside the formulaic entries of higher-budget studio franchises or even compete against them at the box office.
Be sure to share Damn Dirty Geeks episodes with your horror-loving friends on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and show your support of DDG by writing a review of our show on iTunes.
The Damn Dirty Geeks welcome back our special guest actor Sam Witwer, who returns for Part 2 to discuss his prolific voice work throughout the STAR WARS cinematic galaxy, from his likeness and voice at the center of The Force Unleashed video game series up through THE CLONE WARS, STAR WARS REBELS and even THE FORCE AWAKENS.
Sam launches us into the STAR WARS universe immediately with an awesome taste of his voice work as Palpatine (both in Chancellor and Emperor mode), which soon branches into a deeper discussion of how Sam approaches the character in his own original ways. Sam also delves into the creative side of voice acting, how he molds his sound-alike assignments to the script rather than simply imitate the actor who originated the role.
While Part 2 of our episode with Sam Witwer talks at length about STAR WARS, his insights into voice acting apply to screen acting as well as the work all boils down to character building. Sam tells a fascinating story about how he built up the character and voice of the Son, an original character created in the Mortis arc of episodes in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS: ultimately blending aspects of multiple villain characters to give a unique but familiar voice to the Son. Sam and the DDG also have lots of laughs discussing the ridiculous deaths of video game characters and the silly sounds voice actors create to kill them off at the click of your controller.
Sam offers some fascinating insights into George Lucas as a storyteller, and how Lucas being tired of making STAR WARS movies prompted him to tell tales of Jedi and Sith in an entirely different format by creating THE CLONE WARS animated series. Our discussion also taps into the non-canon "demise" of Expanded Universe fiction as the Star Wars Legends line with the creation of the Lucasfilm Story Group -- which continues to borrow and rework EU story facts and situations in a way that unifies current STAR WARS fiction with the films more directly.
It's not all STAR WARS talk in Part 2 with Sam, though! This episode also takes a fun detour into discussion of MAD MAX: ROAD WARRIOR which speaks to a larger discussion with Sam about fandom in general, and fan expectations (including Sam's) of these mythic, larger-than-life story franchises.
Our listeners have long awaited Part 2 of our podcast with popular, prolific actor Sam Witwer, but we hope you'll agree that the wait was worth it! Between detailed discussions of STAR WARS, voice acting for animation and video games, and fandom in general, once again Sam Witwer knocks a Damn Dirty Geeks' podcast out of the park. Enjoy!
The Damn Dirty Geeks are back after a busy hiatus (of exciting new projects) with the first of a string of new podcast episodes! First up is our salute to two Hammer horror greats, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, who were united by our episode guest Ted Newsom in his superb documentary FLESH AND BLOOD: THE HAMMER HERITAGE OF HORROR.
In this hour, Ted regails us and DDG listeners with tales of bringing Lee and Cushing together professionally for the final time as narrators of Newsom’s Hammer documentary, as Cushing passed away only three months after the duo recorded their parts in early 1994. Longtime friends, Peter and Christopher were delighted to spend this time together — as you can see from Ted’s photos of the pair during their narration recording sessions.
Ted describes his own amazement at reunited Lee and Cushing for his documentary, watching another chapter of Hammer horror history in the making — and just in time. Beyond this work, Newsom speaks of the affectionate bond between Peter and Christopher off-screen, including the silly trick Cushing would do to have Lee in stitches with laughter. FLESH AND BLOOD brought Dracula and Van Helsing together one last time, fortunately for us Hammer horror fans, and the DDG are proud to host Ted Newsom sharing his personal adventures in uniting them as performers and dear friends.
Our episode with Ted expands hilariously beyond Hammer horror to include: debates about the comedy quotient of IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD; tales from David Prowse about working with Stanley Kubrick: Christopher Lee’s appearance hosting Saturday Night Live and his second career of “not playing Dracula” in many films about a tall, sinister vampire character; and a very touching story of how Lee’s fear of seeing an ill, aging Cushing almost prevented their reunion from happening until Newsom gathered them together in his documentary.
This episode with Ted Newsom is a wild ride through horror history peppered with plenty of laughs, so grab your vampire hunting kit and enjoy! A link to purchase the updated edition Ted’s documentary FLESH AND BLOOD: THE HAMMER HERITAGE OF HORROR is provided in Show Notes on our website at DamnDirtyGeeks.com.
The Damn Dirty Geeks continue our ongoing discussion about the STAR WARS cinematic universe with our official review episode on THE FORCE AWAKENS.
While we recorded this episode last December just after THE FORCE AWAKENS blasted into theaters for a billion-dollar box office run, we delayed publishing it to give as many STAR WARS fans and DDG listeners to see the film. The wait is over, and the Geeks' lightsabers are clashing in full-force now!
Frank, Jack, Scott, Trish and Frank dive deep into THE FORCE AWAKENS for all its strengths and potential weaknesses in jumpstarting the feature franchise again. We reach a consensus about liking the film, but engage in lively debate about how the contributions of director J.J. Abrams and writers Michael Arndt and Lawrence Kasdan shaped the story of Episode VII and the next two films ahead.
Many of our main plot predictions from our previous STAR WARS podcasts came true in THE FORCE AWAKENS, though the film yielded many surprises as well, for better and occasionally worse. Our discussions/arguments arise over: the Abrams/TREK-like science warping of the First Order's solar weapon; the clouded mystery surrounding Snoke's true identity; how and who is training Kylo Ren in the ways of the Force; and how is Rey tapping into the Force without any training -- just for starters!
We also have much to say about the performance of Harrison Ford as an older, evolved Han Solo, along with the younger cast including Oscar Issac, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. On the other hand, why did Max von Sydow and Gwendoline Christie get so short-changed in their roles?
Was there too much overlap between THE FORCE AWAKENS and the Original Trilogy films, or were the similarities very deliberate to help erase the disappointments of the Prequel films?
We answer these and many other questions amid one of our most raucous, high-spirited and laugh-filled podcast episodes yet. Be sure to listen to our episode on THE FORCE AWAKENS before (and after!) it arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand in early April.
The Damn Dirty Geeks have scored another fantastic two-part podcast episode with our special guest, actor Sam Witwer, talking about his film and TV series roles in THE MIST, THE WALKING DEAD and BEING HUMAN.
Joining Frank, Jack, Frank, Scott and Trish, Sam Witwer opens this Part 1 episode with the unlikely, fortuitous story of how he became the first actor cast in Frank Darabont's feature adaptation of THE MIST, Stephen King's Lovecraftian sci-fi horror novella. This discussion twists into a study of notorious film endings and interpretations, including THE MIST along with BLADE RUNNER and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD.
Sam also shares several inside stories about his work and the making of SyFy's hit series BEING HUMAN, in which he stars as Aidan Waite, a 2000-year-old vampire who struggles to exist in the modern human world with his werewolf and ghostly roommates.
Blending lighter moments of comedy with dark, emotional scenes of human drama -- even for an undead vampire -- Sam relates his acting process in developing Aidan beyond the tropes of genre expectation. Witwer's own character concerns actually changed scripted moments in the series, ensuring that viewers identified with Aidan's supernatural curse just like drug addiction does in humans. Sam also relates how he strove never to violate Aidan killing humans without confronting the moral cost of his actions, and how that changed his character over the centuries.
This Part 1 episode offers fascinating insights into Sam Witwer's acting philosophy and his work in these favorite films and series, all while the DDG have a very fun evening with him. Plenty of laughs ensue, and this is only the beginning!
In Part 2 of our podcast coming soon, the DDG and Sam begin delving into his lengthy association with the STAR WARS franchise, including THE FORCE AWAKENS, animated series and video games.
In Part 2 of our podcast, the Damn Dirty Geeks pick up right where we left off discussing JAWS with director/special effects master Greg Nicotero for a second hour of fun jokes and inside stories.
Greg and the DDG talk about the JAWS-inspired home movies made when we were younger, using everything from fiberglass wall-mounted sharks to Fisher Price toys, rubber sharks, piles of leaves and stop-motion action figures. Greg also shares his own geek origin story, being inspired by Universal classic monsters, TV shows like LOST IN SPACE and LAND OF THE LOST, and especially miniature-mashing disaster movies like THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and THE TOWERING INFERNO.
But it was the mechanical sharks in JAWS that began Greg’s obsession to learn how such movie creatures were made, reading film magazines that turned a hobby into an eventual career. Fate intervened when local Pittsburgh filmmaker George Romero began production on his zombie sequel DAWN OF THE DEAD in 1978 that Greg finally connected with his destiny… via Greg’s uncle. Yet fascinatingly, Greg first met George Romero in Rome, Italy while the Nicoteros were on vacation! It’s a fun and amazing tale Greg shares in this episode.
This episode concludes with a lengthy discussion about how Tom Savini’s makeup effects in DAWN OF THE DEAD inspired Greg to practice his craft to position him to join Savini’s makeup team on DAY OF THE DEAD. We get elbow-deep into the gut wrenching gore effects of classic Romero zombie kills and how their artistry — seemingly primitive to today’s photorealistic CG visual effects — nonetheless hold up better and remain more horrifyingly convincing decades after their creation.
Jack and Frank raise a fascinating question to Greg: would he direct a remake of JAWS? Listen to learn Greg’s definitive answer, as well as his opinion on the impending reboot/remake of CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON by Universal.
Buckle up for Part 2 of our supersize podcast with Greg Nicotero, whom we’ll definitely have back on the Damn Dirty Geeks podcast when his very busy schedule with THE WALKING DEAD and other films allows him to return to town.
Recorded in late 2015 but unleashed now, saddle up for this rollicking fun podcast episode taking aim at WESTWORLD, Michael Crichton's 1973 futurist thriller, with side trips to discuss what the Damn Dirty Geeks love about 1970s cinema.
The first of our "wild card" podcasts, we had no set guest and no specific topic points to discuss in this episode. Frank, Frank and Scott had just gone to a wonderful screening of Crichton's classic sci-fi/western presented by Taylor White and Creature Features at The Theater at Ace Hotel in Downtown LA, and recorded this episode the following night to capture our enthusiasm for the unique stylings of 1970s American films.
While being a superb representation of cinematic tastes in 1973, WESTWORLD also proved highly influential on science fiction/action films to come amid the burgeoning computer boom in the decade. You'll find strong WESTWORLD influences upon content and visual style in James Cameron's THE TERMINATOR released eleven years later. References to Yul Brynner's relentless, tireless pursuit of Richard Benjamin in WESTWORLD's finale, the robot's heat-vision imaging of his target, and the double-twist ending of the seemingly indestructible robot's demise were all programmed into Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 performance and character by Cameron in his 1984 blockbuster. Crichton was there first, and he dramatized similar science fiction themes and nightmarish scenarios once again in his best-selling novel JURASSIC PARK.
We also cite WESTWORLD as a perfect example of 1970s cinema to hire character actors to play leading roles, typified by Richard Benjamin embodying much more of an "everyman" aspect portraying Peter Martin instead of today's musclebound macho leading men so common today. Yup Brynner proved to be the perfect casting to portray the android Gunslinger in his stoic, commanding physical approach to the role, a trait clearly carried over from his similar appearance 13 years prior in THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. Via Richard Benjamin's Q&A after the screening, we relate the details of how Brynner invented an inner psychology and evolution of the robotic Gunslinger that subtly informed his menacing performance. The DDG also appreciate Crichton's under appreciated skills as a director of WESTWORLD which, despite its outdated technology on display, holds up very well to contemporary scrutiny over 40 years after its release.
Ultimately, the DDG rhapsodize about the heights of 1970s cinema and our favorite films of the era, including THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1-2-3, THE EXORCIST, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, NETWORK, and how their storytelling style is a unique and seemingly lost art in today's blockbuster era. Even the movie posters were better in the 1970s, dammit.
Enjoy, please subscribe to our podcast and share it with your fellow movie geek friends! If you like the DDG, please rate and review our podcast on our iTunes page.