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Ep. 51- Monstoberfest Returns: 31/13- Friday the 13th and Halloween
October 16, 2017 10:45 PM PDT
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It's the most murder filled time of the year!

It's October, and that means it's time for MONSTOBERFEST RETURNS. This is by-and-large because October is when Halloween is, which gives us a good excuse to watch spooky movies. Movies like the aptly named slasher classic, John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN.

But October 2017 is something truly special, as well. To make things extra spooky, October also hosted a 13th day on a Friday. Which means it's a good time to break out the classic copy of Sean S. Cunningham's FRIDAY THE 13th.

Both about misfortune befalling fumble-prone horny teenagers, when mysterious killers begin picking them off in a brutal, and gruesome manner.

In what ways are these two major slasher films the same? In what ways are they different?

Have a seat in the booth and join the conversation.

Ep. 50 Monstoberfest Returns- Creepy Fans: Misery and Phantom '25
October 10, 2017 10:16 PM PDT
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Two years ago, this podcast took a monstrous turn.

We are, of course, being cheeky. In October of 2015 the Nighthawks were actually kind of finding a stride, and in quick succession they launched their October Halloween programming. The original Monstoberfest remains among the Nighthawk's favorite episodes, and are often called back to.

So, why not bring back a good thing? Every good horror property needs a sequel, right?! Dare we say, "franchise?"

Monstoberfest Returns.

In any event, we're bobbing for another bite at the Halloween apple this year, and we're kicking it off in a big way.

History is riddled with examples of toxic fan culture, and sadly it's an issue that we, as a society, have just begun to discuss. While the Nighthawks are putting a bookmark in that slot, for a more in-depth look at actual fan culture, they thought they'd take a stab at the artistic side.

1925's Phantom of the Opera is a seminal film that would help set the stage for genre films throughout history. An early silent effort, this adaptation of Gaston Leroux's novel strikes closest to the heart of the source material. Andrew Lloyd Webber may have painted a picture of a pitiful and romantic Phantom, but 1925 was far less kind. When they adapted the story about the gaslighting murderer who felt privileged to a woman's virtue, they felt he should be a bad guy. With legendary makeup effects that still hold up today, this Lon Chaney masterpiece is a must-watch for the film completest.

Good news, Phantom of the Opera is a public domain film and can be viewed numerous places online. Simply search for it.

The Nighthawks' second film is the Rob (not Carl) Reiner adaptation of Stephen King's Misery. The only King adaptation (so far *eyebrow waggle*) to win an Oscar. James Caan plays Paul Sheldon, a badly injured author who has been "rescued" by his number one fan, from an icy death. Annie Wilkes, played to perfection by Kathy Bates, turns out to be less of a savior and more of a nightmare. We've all heard that we should be careful meeting our heroes, sometimes it's our heroes who need saved from us.

More Monstoberfest Returns to come! Watch this space for details.

Episode 49- The Horror Queen of Laos: Mattie Do and Dearest Sister
September 28, 2017 10:27 PM PDT
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If you are a victim or have been affected by sexual assault, you are not alone. You are loved, you are supported, you are believed. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) has set up a National Sexual Assault Hotline; available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call 1-800-656-4673

For more information, check the RAINN website-
https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline

There's been a lot said over the past few weeks about some of the brands that we have traditionally supported on the show, specifically Fantastic Fest and The Alamo Drafthouse. Recently criticism has been focused at Alamo Drafthouse, Fantastic Fest, and Drafthouse founder/C.E.O. Tim League, regarding the firing and rehiring of a Drafthouse employee who had been accused of sexual assault. While we felt it was important to address this controversy and discuss our feelings, we did want to avoid granular exploration of the details. As a matter of fact, several allegations against former Drafthouse associate and AIN'T IT COOL NEWS founder have surfaced even after we first put this episode "on Memorex."

The fact of the matter is, beyond the conversation that's being had online and in the media, the most important part of that conversation was happening in Austin, Texas this week, during Fantastic Fest. As we had made the decision to not attend (long before the controversy), this is a conversation that is still being had and is one that we aren't yet privy to. In that vein if the specifics of the controversy interest you, we'd like to direct your attention to the WOMEN IN CASKETS podcast. Friends of the NIGHTHAWKS, Jen and Dawn are the eponymous WOMEN IN CASKETS and they bring their perspective to genre film, episode after episode. This week the WOMEN IN CASKETS crew are front and center at Fantastic Fest, and they're offering a great perspective from the ground level of both the festival and the controversy.

However let us make one thing perfectly clear: We do not condone sexual assault under any circumstances, full stop.

Meanwhile, the real thrust of this episode is to give due attention to one of the shining lights of Fantastic Fest in years past. Mattie Do is not only remarkable for being the only female genre filmmaker in Laos, nor is she simply the only female filmmaker in Laos, period. Mattie is an effervescent tour de force of personality, who's artistry and passion have treated her well as a filmmaker. She is a major keystone in the building of a film scene in Laos, and has recently begun on the path to a possible Oscar nomination.

Variety recently said that Do was regarded as "one of Asia’s hottest new film-making talents."

Do's latest film DEAREST SISTER, our topic tonight, played Fantastic Fest 2016. Do's other directed film, CHANTHALY also played Fantastic Fest, as did RIVER- a Laos-set thriller on which Do served as a producer. Following a release on the streaming service SHUDDER in early 2017, DEAREST SISTER was submitted by the country of Laos for consideration in the "Best Foreign Language Film" category at the Academy Awards. This is the first Lao submission in the country's history.

Full disclosure, Mattie is a friend of the podcast, and when we heard the news that she was being submitted for an Oscar nomination, we knew we'd be getting into an episode on DEAREST SISTER, soon enough. While the road to nomination is long and full of pitfalls, and the road to a win even longer, we certainly wish Mattie the best of luck in the coming months. We're very excited to see this film get some recognition

Episode 48- Neill Blomkamp and Oats Studios- Three Short Films
August 02, 2017 07:44 PM PDT
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Neill Blomkamp is known for such films as ELYSIUM, CHAPPIE, and DISTRICT 9. Once upon a time, he also tried to develop a few films that never made it off the ground, such as the WETA assisted HALO project, and an unused pitch for a new version of the ALIEN story, starring Sigourney Weaver.

But have you seen Blomkamps latest films? What if I told you it was only a matter of clicking a link and taking the time to watch them?

That's all it is.

Neill Blomkamp as launched Oats Studios, an artist collective that's released several projects, including some quick-bite skit-like videos; and three fully realized short films that function both as self-contained narrative and as a pitch reel for a potential future project.

Blomkamp is hoping to catch the eyes of a fanbase, to help directly fund future projects through Oats Studios. Both as expansions of their current projects and a launchpad for new ideas.

The three short films we cover in tonight's episode are:

RAKKA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjQ2t_yNHQs

FIREBASE
https://youtu.be/Tm0V24IEHao

ZYGOTE
https://youtu.be/pKWB-MVJ4sQ

Watch these shorts (Should take about 90 minutes, the same as a feature) then listen afterward for a little post-movie coffee and discussion. Matt and Trevor are saving you a seat at the booth...

Episode 47- Justin Welborn vs The Hordes- The Signal (2007) & Dance of the Dead (2008)
May 29, 2017 06:04 PM PDT
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After a prolonged hiatus, we are back to our normal operating day. Pardon our dust, mind the gap, thank you for your patience, and all of that.

Things that are discussed in this episode:
First and foremost, we have the phenomenal actor Justin Welborn, showcasing a range from the comically absurd to white hot tension with serious gravitas. You may remember Welborn from recent turns in JUSTIFIED on FX, or in the genre films SIREN and V/H/S VIRAL (two films that share DNA with today's episode.)

Before we entered into the ought-teens, the cinematic cultural landscape was rich with two different breeds of films. Teen comedies and Zombie films. While many have attempted to traverse the borders of the venn diagram to a shared space between "zombie," "teen film," and "good;" and there have been a lot of misfires where they were missing at least one of the three trifecta. However, DANCE OF THE DEAD (2008) managed to hit a bullseye and really stick the landing. A hilarious film that serves to both parody and honor films ranging from THE BREAKFAST CLUB to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Justin Welborn and company are high school seniors dealing with a zombie outbreak on prom night.

Following that, Justin Welborn takes on hordes of a different kind. While the Nighthawks use the term "zombie film" when discussing THE SIGNAL (2007), a general "horde" label is probably more apropos. A strange signal is sent out through all of electronic media, causing anyone who witnesses it to slowly and violently lose grip on reality. In the midst of the general confusion and chaos, a long simmering love-triangle boils over in the wake of the sanity-shattering signal.

Audio clips from THE SIGNAL, 2007, courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Audio clips from DANCE OF THE DEAD, 2008, courtesy of Lions Gate Entertainment

Shadows of the Night, written by D.L. Byron, performed by Pat Benetar, Courtesy of Chrysalis

Shadows of the Night, written by D.L. Byron, performed by Layton, as used in DANCE OF THE DEAD, Courtesy of Illicit Paradise; https://www.facebook.com/Paul-Layton-144076565612391/

Audio clips from PONTYPOOL, 2008, Courtesy of Maple Pictures

Audio clips from PUMP UP THE VOLUME, 1990, Courtesy New Line Cinema

Audio clips from SOUTHBOUND, 2015, Courtesy The Orchard

Long Hard Times To Come Written by Rench and T.O.N.E-z Performed by Gangstagrass featuring T.O.N.E-z, Courtesy Rench Audio

Episode 46- The Final Reckoning With Cameron Maris- Oscar Special Part 2
February 23, 2017 10:17 PM PST
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It’s still that time of year, again. When some of the best and brightest artists working in the medium of film, keep scrabbling and vying for the attention of a tiny little naked bald man who’s holding a sword in front of his man-business.
Matt and Trevor, the usual suspects at the cafe of our dreams, are joined by their Oscar Czar, Cameron Maris. Cameron is a Utah based musician who Trevor saw fighting a duel behind the Luxembourg in France.
As an obvious follow-up to our Oscar coverage last episode, we spend some time talking about the big time nominees and what we can expect from the winners circle, and who we'd like to see go. We continue the rundown, burning across the gamut of categories, our final destination: best picture 2017! It’s part 2 of our quest to talk Oascar with you.
Stay tuned for bonus cold open with new, never before heard EGOT talk, which drives Trevor up the wall.

Cameron Maris Will Return In Octopussy...

Episode 45- Oscars and EGOTs With Cameron Maris- Oscar Special Part 1
February 21, 2017 10:24 PM PST
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It's that time of year again. When some of the best and brightest artists working in the medium of film, scrabble and vie for the attention of a tiny little naked bald man who's holding a sword in front of his man-business.
Matt and Trevor, the usual pair of Nighthawks that haunt the cafe of our imagination, are joined by their Oscar Czar, Cameron Maris. Cameron is a Utah based musician who Matt found while wandering the great Salt flats on a vision quest.
As an obvious follow-up to our Oscar coverage last year, we spend some time talking about the changes that have taken place in the Academy over the past several years, and in what way those changes might change the ceremony. And then we begin the rundown, starting from the bottom and working our way to best picture, it's part 1 of our quest to talk Oascar with you.
Stay tuned for bonus coverage of the EGOT, which drives Trevor up the wall.

Coming Soon: The Final Reckoning With Cameron Maris- Oscar Special Part 2

Episode 44- Punchin' Nazis With The Dirty Dozen
February 15, 2017 09:00 PM PST
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Lee Marvin
Ernest Borgnine

Most of you are already in at this point. Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine are definitely a performance dream team, and that bill alone would be worth the price of admission. But, let's keep going...

Charles Bronson (American actor, not British Criminal)
Telly Savalas
Donald Sutherland.

You're fully on board now. Put something between you and this movie, that's a good way to get that something trampled. Right?

But wait, there's more.

Jim Brown
John Cassavetes
Clint Walker

Whaaaaaat?! No way! Greatest cast ever?! NO!!! THERE'S MORE!!!

George Kennedy
Richard Jaeckel
Robert Ryan
Trini Lopez

We could keep doing this because there is not a single bad performance in the whole thing.

In our ode to Richard Spenser, we decide to let one of the most testosterone laden grand-daddy ensemble film, where a rag tag group of misfits are whipped into shape for a suicidal mission. All of them criminals. Their only motivation, the foggy promise of a pardon upon their survival and safe return.

It's a trope that permeates the Hollywood landscape even today, but this is the O.G. example of the notorious group of suicidal irregulars.

Strangely lighthearted, impossibly dark, barely nuanced. This is THE DIRTY DOZEN, a movie that watches just as good now, as it did back in 1967.

Episode 43- NETWORK
January 22, 2017 11:05 PM PST
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Sidney Lumet, Paddy Chayefsky, Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty.

You don't get creative talent like that everyday, and NETWORK is one of those rare "unicorn" movies that manages to pull the talent together. A biting commentary in its time, a warning of things that could be. Now, NETWORK is seen as a frighteningly prophetic piece that foretold the state of modern media.
No strangers to mass communications, Trevor and Matt manage to parse out what NETWORK was trying to say then and what it tells us now.

Episode 42 Asian Kaiju, Greasy Stranglers, and Ugandan Cinema
October 04, 2016 01:03 PM PDT
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After successfully booting...
Then booting...
Then booting...

Then rallying, we're back with the second half of our FANTASTIC FEST coverage. Too much action for only two episodes. Stay tuned this week, for more episodes featuring Matt and Trevor talking about the movies (and television shows) that you should be looking forward to in the weeks and months to come.

Today we discuss:

M. Night Shyamalan's newest film, SPLIT, featuring the talented James McEvoy and Anna Taylor Joy.

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS. A brand new zombie movie that is a fresh take on the genre and got Trevor excited about zombies again. Bonus: Movie is positive for Glenn Close vs. Zombies.

BAD BLACK. A curiosity from the country of Uganda that takes your eyelids and staples them to the back wall, between fits of howling laughter.

THE GREASY STRANGLER. Can a movie that was made to challenge the audience to hate it, find its audience? Evidently they did. The film's star Michael St. Michaels gives us an exclusive interview.

SHIN GODZILLA (aka GODZILLA RESURGENCE). The latest Toho adaptation of the giant screaming lizard, finds the focus not on the destructive beast, but on the government's monstrous reactions.

A MONSTER CALLS. Giant beasts, fanciful whisy, a tale about growing up. Excuse us... there's something in our eyes.

COLOSSAL. An exciting new feature from Spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo, starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. Is it a drama about love and redemption? Is it a Kaiju movie? Why not both?

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