John Carpenter Retro: Ep 17 – Remake of the Damned

In this installment of the John Carpenter retrospective series Shawn and Jeff tackle what might be arguably the worst John Carpenter movie ever made (that would include Memoirs of an Invisible man even though Carpenter disowned it). Village of the Damned is just about the most hokey piece of overdramatic garbage. It feels very much like the Italian exploitation version of a great American action movie or at least the score feels that way. For those of you unfamiliar with the original, it was released in 1960 and has been seen as one of the pioneer horror movies in the “communists are coming” subgenre that flourished in the wake of McCarthyism and has been a fan favorite to this day (although in recent years it has been relinquished to cult status). The remake starring Mark Hamil, Kirstie Alley and Cristopher Reeve is far from a serious effort. The casting appear to have been done on the “Where are they now?” couch in the early days of reality television and perhaps might be considered to be one of the greatest jokes Holly-weird has ever told.

Perhaps a little Pepsi “trailer” challenge will help you out:

ORIGINAL 1960 AWESOME

REMAKE 1995 DUMPSTER DIVE

So the music resembles a bastardization of a John Carpenter score if somebody left the recording booth and let Moby play a practical joke. The acting resembles what you might expect from a Summer Stock performance on laughing gas. The ending, infamous for the rather effective brickwall block from the original film, feels like something out of an afternoon schedule. “They have one mind that they share between them”… the actors or the evil children?

Remember, there are definitely spoilers. No plot will be spared. Either watch the movie before you listen to the podcast or listen to the podcast and avoid the suffering that might happen if you should actually watch the movie.

Here’s the newest entry in the JC Retro series on our new host. Check out the amazing quality upgrade. You’ll be following all podcasts regularly on this site.

You can check it out on iTunes HERE.  Check out the direct link to this episode HERE.

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We’re gonna be switching web hosts pretty soon… fairly soon… well,we’ll do it when we damn well feel like it, but we’ll be sure to let you know. Our dear friends at Blog Talk Radio don’t have the quality that our listeners deserve (even if the podcast deserves a ham radio signal). That means you’ll have to make the transition with us and subscribe over at the new site (to be named… ooooo… spooooooky). Until then, keeping tuning in to the JC retro series and Dead Air over and Blog Talk and iTunes and await further instruction.

-Dr. TERROR

 

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About Jimmy Terror

Dr. Jimmy Terror, more commonly known as James P. Harris, has been “writing your eyes” shut since 2010 with his horror themed blog, Dr. Terror’s Blog of Horrors (whose name is a play on words derived from the Amicus film, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors). In the early 2000’s he fronted the band The Vaudeville Vampires, a short-lived "Horrorabilly" band which saw the creation of a catalog of horror related songs before disbanding (with only one, six song demo ever being produced and distributed). He has had only one on screen appearance to date in the horror short, Ocean Parkway, as maniacal, gloved killer with a hair fetish. Having done some un-credited, behind the scenes work in some low budget genre pictures, he is currently working on his first foray into screenwriting with a demonic, retro gore entry that pays homage to Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento as well as other Italian masters of the genre.
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