003 LIVE AT CRYPTICON SEATTLE 2023!
The gang is live in front of an audience at Crypticon Seattle 2023, and they're discussing John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness!
Oh, I'm sorry did I break your concentration somewhere between science and superstition such sites to show you strange aeons. Welcome to strange aeons radio. That's Eric. Hello. That's Vanessa. Hello, I'm Kelly. We are sending you this broadcast from cryptic con Seattle in the year two, zero to three. So that means you guys have to make some noise all right. Wow. People can make a lot of noise. I think I know the answer. How many of you have never heard our podcast before? Well, holy. Well, we appreciate you coming here. This is not our typical format. Our episodes are generally we pick a sub genre and then we kind of each bring a movie to that and riff on that. But every year here at cryptic calm we have ended up tackling a specific John Carpenter film last year was Big Trouble in Little China. Absolutely. Heartbreaking. But so good. I guess a deep dive into it. The year before that was the thing. A little heartbreaking. I feel like this is a theme when it comes to John Carpenter John Carpenter for John Carpenter. What those films factor into what we are talking about today, which is Prince of Darkness from 1987. Anyone close proximity has the same dream. What is a secret that can no longer be kept? It started a month ago, what started a change in the earth and the sky there's a weird locking mechanism looks like it can only be open from the inside. A life form is growing out of prebiotic fluid. It's not winding down into disorder and self organizing. It's becoming something worse. Who has not seen this movie? Oh my gosh, like 50 We should leave right now and watch it and when you come back, we will still be here. We might spoil a few things for you. I apologize in advance. But still we're seeing no matter what we cannot encapsulate the madness of this film with words. Right, right. Okay, so first I'm going to talk a little bit about what led up to the production of this film. As you may or may not remember on our episode about the thing we talked about how that film was a box office bomb. And that bomb led to John Carpenter being removed from the film he was in pre production on which was Firestarter from the Stephen King novel. He was then instead given Christine as work for hire. He didn't have any anything to do with the script on that was already developed for him but made some money so they gave him another one. Another word for hire. That was Star Man, which is another box office success. Forget how good Star Man is. It's so good. I should do Star Man next year. Yeah, it makes me cry every time I want to. Yeah, yeah. So with those successes, he's allowed to make one of his own films again. And that is Big Trouble in Little China. So he screws the pooch again in trouble bombs making$11 million box office against a$25 million budget and at This time carpenter is approached by Cannon Films and Mustafa Akkad and asked to write a script and direct a movie they are calling Halloween for the return of Michael Myers. He writes the script with Dennis etchison. And they turn it in and Akkad rejects it for being too cerebral. I don't know if you guys have ever read any Dennis etchison He's, he's a wild British writer. That script actually had Jason turning into a kite or Michael turning into a Kaiju at a drive in. Sounds awesome to me. too cerebral to cerebral. Yeah, so in a fit of depression and anger and quite honestly pithiness because as John Carpenter, he signs away all of his rights to the Halloween franchise and refuses to have anything to do with the film's ever again ever again ever where the Halloween franchise came to it and died on night? No way. So he's hurting now. But he's definitely not interested in working under the studio system anymore. Along comes alive productions which is CO owned by a guy named Shep Gordon, who is the manager of among other people, Alice Cooper, ah, all adding up now. So carpenter and a live production sign a three picture deal. The deal is supposed to be three films $3 million budget, each is not a lot of money. But the thing is, is that carpenter gets complete creative control over these three movies, he can do whatever he wants, all he has to do is pitch them an idea. If they say yes, that's the movie he makes. Prince of Darkness is the first of these three films. So at this time, he's been getting interested in theoretical physics and atomic theory, and he's got this idea to intertwine the concepts of good and evil and matter and antimatter. So he starts developing a script. He's borrowed liberally from the old quatre mass films, which are from BBC and hammer, which feature Bernard Quatermass who is a scientist who continually finds herself facing the forces of supernatural evil, but they all turn out to be extraterrestrial in nature. There's a lot of these movies available. Some are Hammer films, some are BBC series or TV movies. They're not all great, but some of them are and you can definitely see how they influenced a number of horror creators, including Stephen King, Brian Lumley and John Carpenter for this film. Did you see about Neil's reaction to his Yeah, yeah, as well. So this is the only reason I can find why carpenter who wrote the script for Prince of Darkness. He uses the pseudonym Martin quatre mass as his writer byline. So weird. Because this is the only time he ever does less, right. Yeah, yeah. You see that? You're like quatre, Matt. I mean, come on. Come on. quaner math. Like that's so obviously like a big name. Yeah. And then interviews. People were asking him about him and he was acting like he was a real person and saying he was a drunk and that he had completely retired from screenwriting. He just gets high and bored. I know it's gonna be great. When they interview me. I'm gonna talk about this guy. Like he's different, dude. It's gonna be so funny. Kind of like, whimsical John Carpenter, though, rather than the guy we've gotten. crotchety old. Kern, John Carpenter is like such a gem though, because he's also like you I play a lot of video games or watch basketball. Like that's all he talks about. And it's brilliant. Like it's just he loves his life. So regardless of the path in the script, the characters that he's created have the attend Neil University, which Eric was talking about. The quatre mass character was created by acclaimed UK television writer Nigel Neal. Coincidentally, Neil wrote a draft of Halloween three that was never used. And he is said to have really, really hated the movie Prince of Darkness now. Got it. This said, No, it seems like one of my movies, but no, I didn't make this one. I had nothing to do with it. So 3 million bucks, not a lot of movie even in 1986. And he decides to cash in a bunch of favors as far as his cast and crew. So it's produced by Larry J. Franco. Are you guys familiar at all with this guy? No, I'm not. You would have seen his name, producing almost all the carpenters films. He was married to a woman named Jill Russell, who was the sister of Kurt Russell. It's all adding up now. So Franco had produced escape for New York Star Man Big Trouble in Little China. And he was also Carpenter's assistant director on his Elvis film. The fog Escape from New York THE THING Christine Star Man in Big Trouble in Little China. After this film, he goes on to assistant direct and produce they live and then he just skyrockets. He's producing films like jurassic park three Batman Begins White House Down, and Eric's favorite movie Jungle Cruise chases. Wow. We also brings in some All actor friends, including Donald Pleasance, from Halloween, and Escape from New York, and Victor Huang and denistone, from Big Trouble in Little China, and then a smattering of TV and soap opera actors to round out his cast. And he is ready to make a movie, Eric. Yep. Thank you and good night. Can I see it now? Can I just quickly interject it? Did you come across? How John Carpenter first met Alice Cooper though? Yes, yes, I did. Oh, are you gonna talk about it? So apparently, they first met at WrestleMania. Three. And he actually shared with John Carpenter his desire to be in a horror film, Carpenter said okay, but only if he could use Cooper's impaling gag, which I know Eric will talk about. From his onstage show. The bike that Cooper is impaled on was actually or uses to impale it was his own personal prop. So you know that the housekeeper's manager also hated horror films he produced, like seven or eight of them or something like that most of them relatively successful, but he never watched a single one. So the movie you saw was lovingly shot oh, for a long, Lira long, luscious 30 days. Which is very short. It has a slightly different look than some of Carpenter's stuff. He usually uses anamorphic. That's not unusual, but he also shot wide angle lens. And I had never noticed this before till I read it. But if you watch the edges real closely, sometimes you can just see that slight bowing that happens from wide angle lenses. And he did that on purpose because he wanted to make that make it a little uncomfortable looking. But not in any kind of obvious way. And, and you don't see it all the time. But when it shows up, you're like, Oh, shit. But this was the first film he did with the DP. You did that? Gary B. Keba, who went on to do seven other carpenter films. So apparently they liked working together. And it's for a $3 million dollar film. It looks pretty good. Yeah, it ends up looking very good. He use German expressionism as his as one of his inspirations, which is why it's one of his slowest moving films. It's actually intentional. It's not that he lost the thread on the story. There's a reason that people stand around and things move slowly and all that and that's was because of the films who's watching gone out and try something new, complete creative control, which of course, didn't fly real well with AD slasher movies. Because they're not it. They're not exactly as languishing style of filmmaking. They say it's one of his most controlled films visually because of that, because he had an idea for every single shot, he wanted to do a certain thing he wanted to be a certain way. And it is not even in 30 days, he was able to pull off what he wanted to do. On set while he was shooting, even when they were shooting in a deserted hotel of the basement, which are where they use for the basement in the movie, which was so dilapidated that they had to sign waivers that if if they got injured on set, they weren't going to sue the producers. Oh my god. But yeah, it was used for a lot of films there. But it's now like a parking lot or Chase Bank or something. That's not there anymore. I was I was watching some of the special features on the shout factory desk. And you've got Alice Cooper, they're talking about his production and how they aged him. He matches he's a lot quite as pale but he's like wow, they aged him really really well. The special effects people knew what they were doing. It was Robert Grassmere was one of the special effects guy who the guy who turns into bugs and that one part he was also actor in there had the beard and but he was the varying that scene with the bugs the or whiskeys me when the lady kills him before he turns into bugs. She's stabbing him and it is an older lady says she's great actor no strength. So he grabs her wrist and stabs him says the knife but are the scissors much harder than she was able to do? So as I get looked a little better that way, but she was really nice about it. He did go on to be the writer of the baby genius movies. Oh, no. Like, like six of them. But he also worked on booksmart and slat the Bone Collector a lot of Demolition Man he's a big, big effects guys and a lot of work. They were all what makes the effects a little more interesting than some films. They weren't all done on camera. There was not a and done in the process of shooting. There wasn't a we're doing our special effects today. Or Anything like that it was done as any other scene was put up, so, which is surprisingly unusual, or that is a surprising way to do it, because effects can blow your whole day, no matter what you're shooting, so to not worry about separating it out and just go in for it. It worked out pretty well. Even though the big green container thing was insanely heavy and leaked constantly. So it was full of liquid it was actually it was a practical man. So the moving green light was a practical effect. The inside the container Yeah, just like that plastic sort of cellophane II stuff like on a swivel and there was a light up I didn't think they had actual liquid. That's in all the shots because it was leaking and it was so hard to move. But for its main in the bottom of the hotel saw it was usually a an actual tank or 30 days between the bug wrangling and the container. Took that up and took that down. Set it up as needed. I would Oh sure. Sure. No, I just mean like that's a lot of effects to try to squeeze. Yeah. And, and they also you probably about to talk about this but the mercury. Oh, yeah. Yeah, they use mercury for the mirror effects where they reach into the mirror, which is not the healthiest things to do. But where they got the mercury from his they drained the dolly wheels of its mercury. Yeah, shot the scenes and then put it back. Incredible, absolutely incredible. They were like, This was super like not okay to do. But we it was fine. It worked. It looked great. No, it's like a mirror that moves ends up being quite good. What else was going on? Oh, you know, the spoilers for those who haven't seen it. The end shot and the occasional dream shots were shot with film. And then he went back, played it back on a television set and reshot it again, that's why it's got such a weird look. It wasn't just a generated effect in post or anything I was, again practical. So a lot of the that's part of what makes it really interesting film I was not a fan of this film really is not one of my favorites of yours. And now I think it's amazing partially because of the stuff learning about what went on on set and the fact that okay, this. I wish this had been a huge success, or they live had been a huge success. So he could continue on working with this company that was willing to give him money to do whatever the hell he wants to do. But he had a three mil deal got two out of it. So that is lost. And now we have Rob Zombie Halloween. So how was it received when it came out? Oh, funny you should ask. So considering it was a $3 million budget and he kept bombing time and time again. Prince of Darkness was actually success coming in second place overs opening weekend and bringing in just over 14 million at the end of its 11 week run. Critically speaking however, the results were a lot more mixed. John Carpenter mentioned that the film died to swift death in theaters but of course, like many of his other films did find a life on video. But at the time, in his review for The Washington Post, Richard Harrington wrote, quote, at one point, Pleasance vows that it's the secret that can no longer be kept. Here's another, the Prince of Darkness stinks. deserves to be shut up in a canister for 7 million years. And he has a lot of really negative reviews. I'm Eleanor O'Sullivan of the Asbury Park Press echoed sentiments on a slightly rough notes, saying self consciously camp and self important but it's so dopey you can't hate hate it or help laughing. O'Sullivan also mocked various lines of dialogue and claimed the film would have put her to sleep if not for carpenters, quote, insistent, persistent and loud score. Of course, people have really come around to it and 2004 Jim Emerson wrote that Prince of Darkness was an undervalued horror film. He says, What makes me goose Pimply about Prince of Darkness is its goofy, but ingenious central conceit, and it's truly surrealistic imagery, some of which could have been sprouted out of Brunel and dollies, Unshin and Alon, and of course, I O nine.com. Cheryl, Edie acknowledges the film is riddled with gaping potholes, but that doesn't stop it from depicting evil in one of the most repulsive and scary ways ever. It did go on to win and 1988 Saturn Award I'm sorry, it was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Music. It did win the critics award at the our Avas Fantastic Film Festival. And yeah, it's it's gone on to be a 4k release on Scream Factory ever very readily available. Alice Cooper believes the film is ripe for SQL, claiming he wants to see more than just the anti-god hand, but the whole thing, so and he won't need makeup to reprise his role he just roll on and it'll be great. Like, Eric, I did not like this film. I think this is a film that really benefits from multiple viewings. Yeah. It's got really big, big ideas that I didn't really get until the last couple of times I watched it. A part of that, I think is the way you were talking about Eric with the way he was shooting things. The discussion of Jesus being an extra terrestrial who was sent down to warn us about the anti God that just flew over my head all the time, because boring scene it is. It is a very boring scene and it's surrounded by I think it's now men, what's your name? Susan, radiologists, glasses, the redhead. And having been possessed and then like appearing in the corridor and and so you're, you know, I was trying to get back to those scenes. Oh, my God, something is happening here. And then they dropped some pretty, pretty interesting ideas in a scene that, you know, I wanted to get past. Yeah, it's funny because like watching it this time, I was writing down a lot of what was happening and forcing my brain to really engage with the content. And there are some incredible quotes being dropped from that script. Yeah, all the time. Pretty much every time Pleasance opens his mouth. Some like, horrifically disturbing but wonderful quote about religion versus science just like pops out. There was just, I don't know, there's a lot in there. But you have to just keep your brain so focused to see it that it can really go past you. I like i said before i The first few times I watched it, I was like, Well, this is just a weird, bad slasher film that separates people for no real reason in Washington. No, that's not true. They actually set up very well, why people are off on their own and doing things on their own. And it works in really well. I did enjoy the fact that of all the people involved. The priest is the only guy shows up in a limousine every time. All right, but he's a really important priest correctly. Well, I love that he feels kind of betrayed as he's starting to learn that, you know, the church, the entire reason of the church was put on the earth to to protect us from this evil. And then it grew so big and greedy, that they lost sight of what they were doing. And I think that's a really neat idea. I love and when I say love, I hate the the ants on the back of the guys televisions like God, I didn't see that the first time. Yeah, I remember there being a lot of ants, but when they pan back, and they're just swarming out the back of that car TV and you're like, Oh, you probably triggered you've had an ant problem lately. I have had any really not okay. And I wish they'd said something at the start of the film. But that's nevermind. Here we are. worms and ants ahead. And cockroaches are those beetles. There's just a lot of bugs in this kind of beetle. Yeah. The the use of we're doing another podcast, we're talking about Amityville a lot. So you see a lot of flies. I've had the idea of worms. Yeah, was much more interesting. Because I've seen swarms of flies. Yeah. And I've seen a few worms. Where I grew up worms would get on the sidewalk all the time whenever it rained. But the idea of worms come down a window was just weird and like weirdly going like it's been like just leaving their little worm trail behind. It was just like the clumps of the worms. Yeah, there's something so effective about this sort of cosmic horror that I don't think I had paid attention to previously. And I just had no idea how much it is similar to things like mouth of madness, and the thing, right where they're, I mean, when the Pleasance chops off the lady's arm and then it just grows back and then the head and then her new arm, grabs the head and puts it back on. Like what are the woman who's just like growing and growing like she's gonna give birth and then reabsorbs it and like decays in real time. It's just like, what is happening? Yeah, there's some some really cool stuff. I also love the idea that the supernova which was a real supernova, SN nine 1987 A, that's the thing that woke up the anti God, it had reached Earth at in 1987. And then a woken him. Oh my god. And I thought, Wow, that's a neat little touch that I never caught. It happened in a really boring scene. Maybe I like went and grabbed a chip at that moment or looking at your phone claim. I was only looking to make notes. And for those of you who haven't seen the movie, the movie is there is this ancient sect of priests. The order of sleep. Yeah. And they communicate through their dreams. And the last one of them has died. And now the priests he's just called the priests but in Did you guys know that in the DVD? Subtitles are the subtitles? What's the word I'm looking for? Like closed captioning the closed captioning he is referred to as Father Loomis. So, so I like that. But he's then he's shown this canister under this church that is supposedly aged 7 million years old. Like wow, that's a lot. He brings in a astrophysicist and his team or not as to his students, across he come in. Yeah, and to come in and, and really let him know what he's dealing with. And what he's dealing with is the awakening of kind of a mixture of Satan, but also the Antichrist, because the Satan that's in the, the canister is the son of the anti God in the mirror world. You know, that's what I'm saying. The ideas are so big in this that I think that it's really easy to gloss over the amount of backstory he put into this. Yeah, and it's really tough because I think the rhythm of this film is extremely ill paced, because like partway through the second act, not at the first act, not at the beginning of the second act. But partway through the second act, they're like, Here are 20 more characters, we're gonna be in this location, we're gonna maybe kind of tell you maybe their name, and maybe what they do, some of the characters look a little bit similar to each other. And you're just definitely not just fodder. Death fodder. Don't worry about it, it's gonna be okay. So they're these weird whipping between really fast and really slow. So I think if anything, the German expressionist influence, I feel like it was a little bit of a mistake, I wish he'd done a little bit more, there's moments where it feels like jello. Or there's like weird like gloves and in the night and somebody standing and coming out of the shadows where I'm like this, this feels like a better thing to be touched, stoning. That's actually what made me like it more, was the understanding that he's intentionally just slowing these things down. And the, the characters really don't matter. The people in that church are conduits for what they're trying to bring out. And so we don't really get to know any of them real well. And we don't get to, you know, I mean, you like some of them, you know, like some of them but none of them are fully realized characters. They're very much the, the, we need this person to bring this part forward. We need this person to bring this part forward, and bringing them all together as how they'll bring Satan or whatever you want to call it. out into the world is out that's just what I felt like more than because this time watching it, the boring scenes were the scenes I liked the most, when they're talking to philosophy is stuff gone. Holy shit. What is this? This is different. This is not an awesome creepy scene of a mask guy hiding behind a hedge. This is weird, deep, bizarre philosophy. So I, I actually loved those speech moments, the teaching in the classroom at the beginning. And then when they first showed up, and they're starting to argue a little bit and talk a little bit, it's gone. Well, I have a question. I don't think I was high when I watched it. I have a question for both of you, which is the first time that you watch this movie, did you get the ending? Because I did not and I I didn't even I almost didn't even get the ending this time. Until like, some passing comment made me go oh shit. That's what that means. The way I interpret it, so throughout the movie, everybody who falls asleep starts dreaming the same dream and it turns out what they're getting is from the future from the year 1999 Some People who are watching, you know, the birth of the Antichrist coming out of the church they are in. And it's being televised and the the dream is telling them we are sending you this in the form of dreams so that you can stop what you're seeing right now. And by the end, what they have done is actually made it come true by being there. So the first time I watched this through I thought it was like a sad romance. Like really upset because I was like no the mirror their love. And like I never really thought past that. And at the end when he like touches the mirrors like all he misses her. didn't dawn on me that it's like, oh, no, she's gonna be giant clawed hand. Oh, I mean, that that I understood, but she's just in there with it. It didn't really. I didn't put together that her going in there results in what we see at the end of the film, which is the dream which insinuates that maybe they actually made this entire thing happen through her sacrifice. Right? She Yeah, because she is now the figure that we see come out and she's the vessel of, of the anti god. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I'm really sad though, because I really liked that romance bit where I was like, I really stuck with me. And now I'm like, Oh, well, maybe you can convince your husband to grow heroically uneven moustache. Where did they find that guy? They just were like, You know what we can't get? I don't know. Who Tom Savini like we can't get him. So here you're severe young, tall guy with about the guy. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that's why they got him. Big successful TV character actor from the time although he didn't have a mustache in the show. I thought that was a that was a poor choice like Tom Selleck. Yes. John Waters. Sure. That guy though cannot pull off any kind of mustache man. It's like he's got kind of a creepy stalker knee thing going at the beginning is hitting on her was so aggressive and weird. And like, if you think that's kind of is that worked for you in the past, sir, is that what you're calling is so confusing, because the way they shot it and made it look like oh, she's his ex. And he's like keeping an eye on her. And he sees that she's off with a new guy. And like, there's some familiarity there. But then when he introduces himself, he's like, hey, yeah, I know you and she's like, oh, yeah, I know you because they're familiar with each other cuz of their science papers. And I'm like classmates, so you were just, like, obsessing over this woman you hadn't met you were just following her around and like being irritated that she was with people that were not you but you'd never even met her. She's pretty cute. Vanessa she's cute but geez Louise like men you know, we've got some real issues when it comes to women's sometimes, if you have a masculine and feminine like hero of the film, you really got to make it like a little bit more likeable, and their meet cute not be just like, disturbing. Speaking of kind of assholes. Dennis Dunn is like, the standout hero and big trouble and He's so annoying and asshole ish in this film that I was like, Oh, I really wanted to like him. I find him so much fun to watch in this film, though, because he's like, the antithesis of so many other characters who are like, Yeah, we got to dig deeper. We got to he's like, I gotta date this weekend. And I have to be here. I'm like, yeah, go get it. But the way he's set up, he's in a regular horror film, he would be killed very early on. Yeah. And the audience would go, yeah. No, I mean, there's that moment where he's stuck in a closet. And on one end, we we see that like, these sort of transform ladies are trying to get him and break through the closet and eat him. You're just like, ah, is he gonna not survive, and one of them bites them. And I was like, that's gotta be it. I was amused with that scene where they they break through, like, almost immediately through the plywood. But don't mention that there's brain drain. And he goes, it'll take us a few hours. I'm like, it's so weird, like 20 seconds. But then later on, they show them get the bricks and we Oh, okay. Well, yeah, that'll take a while. Yeah. Well, also he starts helping them really quick at the end. And I was like, if you'd started this, you know, an hour ago when they were doing it. Freeze. I also had that thought I was like, Why didn't were you like aggressively kicking in on your side? Just any of this period period of time? What really has several scenes of the kind of movie moments that I always find very bizarre. When somebody gets splashed with blood or whatever in their face and they're like, close your mouth. Be Your first instinct. And this long stream of green urine looking Going around, I think would lead to that even faster. But, you know, I guess he's got to possess them somehow. Or it I, I think so the problem that I still have with the film, and it is a pacing problem, but it's also a lack of creepiness or loses its creepiness. Once the first two people are possessed, that it becomes a, a second half of the second act of them hunting down to the other people to possess them. And I don't think that's scary. That's kind of a zombie movie. But when we first see Susan, after she's been possessed, and she's just standing at the end of the hall, or the people who are standing outside the church, who are just standing there, they're not going to move unless you try to leave. That is really scary. And I think that they could have I think they could have pulled that off with having the people instead of actively coming after Dennis Stone's character in the closet or something like that, as they were just standing immediately, you know, outside of it. I think that could have been much creepier. And that's Eric, you just saw Quatermass in the pit recently, right? About About a year ago. Did you recognize that that was kind of what was going on there was at the end of that film, they've got just basically all of London, and the few people who are not being affected every time they go down an alleyway or something. There's just a group of people standing. Oh, interesting. And I thought, you know, if you just amped up that it could have been creepy. I wonder if that's carpenters second guessing himself and saying, Well, I gotta put some action in this right. Yeah, I agree with you though. It there was almost like this dueling horror element where you had this sort of zombie infectious devil anti christ thing hopping around, but at the same time, like the solar arrays of the universe, just finding its people and having the homeless people just sort of stood there ready to like, turn people into mangled Carnage and then bugs. The bug thing was much more effective to me and you know, anyone going into the alley just being just overtaken by mob was much horror, like more horrible fate than drowning in like somebody else's spit, which is not pleasant. But yeah. I also love how Eric you were talking about the guy who, who turns into the bugs. I love when they see him outside. In the middle of the night he's just standing blackness deer going Hello. Hello. Just in the parking lot, chillin. Was that the line? I have news for you? Yeah, he says that's that's the line. Everybody obviously uses whenever they meet him. Yeah, talk about breaks. And then Dennis then after, you know, after being kind of annoying and everything, he does have the best scene at the end where he makes it all the church. He just looks both ways, and runs down the street and long shot. And I was like, Yeah, that's what you will do. Get the hell out of here. Well, it was funny too, because I was like, Oh, I guess he's just gonna go away. And then the next scene, he's like, got the little like, fireman's blanket over him. And obviously, he went got the cops and brought them yeah, uh, but I also don't get that then. So Well, I mean, I get it. But what was that conversation? Like? They're pulling bodies out of a church. And how do you explain what has just gone on over the last? It's the 80s It's la any weird shit happens, you know? Wow, all these homeless people in science gone wrong. You got to get down here. It's been a lot of death. Like you, Eric, I've really come around on this. This was just a film I didn't care for now. I put it probably in his top five or six films. Really good. Vanessa, do you have any information on what happened after this as far as what he went on to? Sharpen? Yeah, cuz I know that his next film because this was a success. And his second film is, was it? They he went on to do they live? Right. Yeah. This was part of the was that a live picture? Yeah. So it's a second film in that deal. And it does pretty well for him again, it's still a $3 million budget when you watch that film, and you realize only had 3 million that's pretty crazy insane. And it makes it makes something like 18 million or something not a huge hit. And the reason then he doesn't take the third film is because he gets given a $60 million budget and I think Chris and Lars have an invisible all his best work of all time. Some some some directors need restrictions of some kind. I mean, I can't imagine John Carpenter and Chevy Chase trying to get through a scene together. That just sounds like a level of hell. I'm not interested in attending. Oh, and that film had so many problems because it was supposed to be Eddie Murphy. At first, John Carpenter signed on. Eddie Murphy was the star. Oh, so yeah, all sorts of problems in that. And I know they wouldn't let him do the soundtrack. Right? They made a mistake that Barbra Streisand songs, so Oh, just beautiful. All rounds. What else can we talk about? See if anybody let me any questions? Any comments? Oh, god, oh, you feel like this is kind of a remake of assault on precinct 13. But through sort of that hard lens that he was working in? The question is, do we feel like this is a remake of assault on precinct 13 anymore, where it's a trapped space? With things kind of, I don't know, in the content I think of as far as it's a trap space kind of movie. It's sort of is. But the difference being the the people outside aren't really trying to get in there just guarding the not letting them get out. Yeah, it's not as much of a siege movie in the same way. But that's a damn good movie, too. Yeah. Ice cream. Never forget. Yes. The movie was kind of confusing. And a lot of the threats are sort of mysterious and unknowable. And John Carpenter is famously opposed to that sort of thing films like PCA on big critic of valued for like not showing the creature and for not being more straightforward. Do you think he does better with straightforward material? Or do you think that there's any other examples where he's having a film like this? That's that's kind of obscure, though? Sure. Well, I'll go with my, one of my favorite films of his it goes back and forth between the thing and in the mouth of madness, which I know, wide rise is not a lot of people don't consider one of his best, but I love it. And that's part of the reason it is that weird, unknowing sort of threat, as opposed to me and the thing has elements of that, too. It made it it's more in there in your face, but it's not really know. So I don't know. What do you guys think? Yeah. I mean, if I'm thinking about straightforward enemies for John Carpenter, it's weird, because maybe like Michael Myers is a little bit more of the straightforward, because otherwise, it's like a possessed car, who's in love with the character. We've got a bunch of undead lepers who are taking revenge on a town and a, you know, anniversary like that, when I start to think of the different kinds of protagonist or antagonist I should say, um, I don't know. It's interesting, huh, yeah. Interesting way to look at his stuff. Yeah, I think he was also kind of forced into doing it that way. With this smaller budget, he knew that he was going to have to count on making it more mysterious because he wasn't going to be able to show it. We have a liquid and we have a hand. Yeah. That's not the best look in hand. But it's all right. This is what we got. Yeah, I do think that I love the idea of the dreams being messages from the future. I think that's a really neat idea. But you talking about the way it was shot and everything that makes it the best part of the movie for me, the dream the dreams. So interesting. Yeah, just because there's so unnerving. It sticks with you that moment and that sound, even though I don't really know what it sounds like, I feel like I know what it sounds like. And it just sticks around with you and the lines, the way they're delivered. I think it's incredibly creepy, and really strong. Part of what helps that movie. Now, the way I watch it, that ending is so strong. Yeah. And when an ending is really strong, the rest of the movie seems better. Just the idea that if you hang out in this place long enough, everybody starts having the same dream and it all starts kind of differently for everybody. It starts back here and then you have a little more of the dream every time you fall asleep. And you start realizing, you know, all of the sleepers, the the order of the sleep, they were having this dream, you know, 1000s of years ago, which is also very creepy. And nobody could get through to the end. Yeah, like just draw a quick sketch right? Up a doorway. And there's that great scene where they're, they've been trapped in there all night and everything sunrises which is generally when at Everybody's abled, and they're stuck in there. And this truck just goes by. And it's like, Oh, that guy's going to work. He has no idea that the end of the world that just show fast it, you know, I thought that was just a great scene. That is That was really good because it it, I completely fell for it. I went for the Oh, how's it gonna get better when the sun comes up? Not at all. Anything else? Anybody else have a comment? Or use Steve, what? Looks at FANTIC well, okay, I'd like to hear your take on a specific batch because I saw this child and didn't really absorb most of the deeper things that were going on, until I was much older and washed over the one thing that stayed with me as a kid that even when I watch it now, haunts my nightmares is basically the face meant to sort of reveal and, you know, she's sort of wide eyed, screaming in the camera. I'm curious, what was the first what what age were you the first time you saw it? And did anything stick with you then? I saw this in the theater. And I was very disappointed. Yeah, mine was a couple years later after it came out, probably, you know, home video, but yeah, it was. It was that. Wow. Looks like John's kind of kind of fade. Now then, of course, what I said earlier, obviously, I don't feel that's true anymore. But yeah, it was fine. I mean, yeah, I saw this for the first time just a couple of years ago when I discovered John Carpenter and then went down a very deep, very fast rabbit hole, which I will not leave now. And I think something that really stuck with me was just that like imagery of that hand going through the mirror. Like there was just something so fascinating about that. And then when we go the other side, and the woman is sucked in and she's floating behind the mirror reaching back out and it gets dark, because the priests breaks the mirror. Like, those are the things that just like light me on fire. With John Carpenter's work, there's little moments that he just seeds in there that just feels so compelling. And so I don't know just so visually stunning. The are you talking about the the pregnant lady that then yeah, that is a messed up. creepy looking makeup grotesqueness of her laying there initially with her burn, and then slowly kind of getting more pregnant and you're like, Oh, she's gonna give birth to the Antichrist? No. It's gonna flatten back out, and she's just gonna become it and like, her skin is all going to become so like, patchy and it was very visually insane. Absolutely insane. But there's so many insane things happening all at once at that point in the film, that he, it didn't stick out to me as much as some of those other things, but it's still like, crazy. I also remember thinking in the theater, so this would have been 87. I like rock music, classic rock even back then. Did anybody else notice that her bruise was the shape of the Blue Oyster Cult now, so I thought that was a little weird. Anybody else noticed there was no Alice Cooper music throughout the film. I did probably couldn't afford to have a license. Track. There was a song when when the guy was into the earphone that was the song he wrote for the movie. Yeah, and he takes it off. I think my favorite effect that is an actual effect. That's not the dream thing is when we see the lady on the bed, and her mouth and her eyes are wide open and the water the liquid is shooting upwards from there and it's just shooting up like a fire hose. I think that scene is really scary. And I think a lot of the scenes even back then I thought, you know much like the fog. I think the first 30 minutes of the fog are really eerie and creepy. And I think that about this film to every minute of the fog is eerie and creepy. And perfect. Can you guess the first John Carpenter movie that Vanessa saw? We had another question back there of both his free escape from LA movies do you think this is his most set centric like it in terms of he's he sort of stops things to do a set piece as opposed to like, the thing is where it's part of the story the whole time as opposed to we're gonna stop the plot. Here's the plot set piece. What I used to feel that way about it but on this new watching, I don't as much anymore because I was so absorbed into the philosophy was so it felt more bizarrely flowing and maybe because I'm in insane and watch too much try kowski weird ass Russian art. But I it is it's a very limited location that definitely moves from A to B as opposed to flowing as a solid story I can see what you're saying with that definitely Yeah, that's interesting that you mentioned that as pre escape from LA because that's all that film is. Good point. Anything else before we have to wrap up? Anything from you guys before we have to wrap up? No, I was so glad I got an opportunity to see this film again and dissected with new vision and even though I'm sad it wasn't as romantic as I remember the first time this is one that I you know, I don't love the idea of remakes and reimaginings but this is when I wouldn't mind seeing a current somebody else to tackle this. It's impossible to tackle this without it being the goofiest shit because it's alien Jesus. No one you can't do alien Jesus and have it be taken seriously. All right, on that note, we are. Yeah, we're strange aeons radio. You can find us every Thursday on every pod catcher. Yep. They're all out there. YouTube us whatever. Right. And I think that is about it then for the show. Right and let everybody get to their next panel. Okay, that was Eric. This is Vanessa. I'm Kelly. Thank you guys for coming. We'll see you next year I'm sure all right. Transportation other considerations for strange aeons radio produced by Pan Am airlines. When you think of traveling think of pan and you can't think the experience. Yes, the strange aeons radio stay at econolodge ever. It's an easy stop on the road. You know, strange aeons radio is recorded live in front of a studio audience. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider leaving us a positive review on your favorite podcast app. Set to set. I feel like this is a theme when it comes to John Carpenter.