Movie Oubliette

Conrad and Dan review forgotten fantastical films

Snow White: A Tale of Terror

November 30th, 2021

What if the classic fairy tale were laced with complex psycho-sexual drama between the king, the stepmother and the child cosplaying as her dead mum? What if the dwarves were mostly full-sized, scarred outlaws fleeing religious persecution?   What if it starred Sigourney Weaver and Sam Neill and was full of 90s gothic intensity? We're about to find out as we explore 1997's Snow White: A Tale of Terror – an attempt to cash in on the success of Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) that got eviscerated in post-production and dumped on cable TV. Is it a dark, glistening gem that should be rescued from the oubliette or an unsalvageable train wreck? Find out!


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Starman

November 16th, 2021

In a special Patrons' Choice episode, we take a look back at Starman (1984), John Carpenter's romantic sci-fi fable starring Jeff Bridges in an Oscar-nominated role as a visiting alien and Karen Allen as the widow whose husband he impersonates. Kicking off with a disturbing alien birth sequence that showcases the combined talents of Rick Baker, Stan Winston and Dick Smith (yes, you read that right), Starman shifts gears into a road movie with a fish-out-of-water comedy and an odd couple romance thrown into the mix. But does it hold up 37 years later? Does it point towards a more nuanced career for the 'Master of Horror' that was not to be? Or does it collapse under its disturbing abduction romance tropes and reliance on post-ET sentimentality? Find out!


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Fire in the Sky

November 2nd, 2021

Dan and Conrad are swept away by the 1993 science fiction mystery Fire in the Sky, which is based on Arizonan logger Travis Walton's personal account of an alien abduction experience in 1975. Starring D. B. Sweeney (Memphis Belle), Robert Patrick (the T-1000 in T2), Craig Sheffer (Nightbreed), Peter Berg (Wes Craven's Shocker), Henry Thomas (Elliott from E.T. no less!) and veteran James Garner, and featuring jaw-dropping special effects from Industrial Light and Magic from the same year they were working on Jurassic Park, this film failed to reached its audience... or more accurately, it's audience failed to reach it because of a freak snowstorm across the US on its opening weekend. But is it a hidden gem with a serious exploration of the abduction phenomenon, or is it an uneven mix of drama and heavy hitting fantasy effects? Find out!


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The Taking of Deborah Logan (featuring Michelle Ang)

October 19th, 2021

Happy Halloween! Emmy-nominated actor Michelle Ang (The Tribe, Outrageous Fortune) joins us as we celebrate the spooky season with a look back at The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014), a found footage possession thriller directed by Adam Robitel (Escape Room). In it, our guest plays a student, Mia, who gets more than she bargained for when she tries to make a documentary focusing on Deborah Logan (Jill Larson), a sufferer of Alzheimers. As Deborah's behaviour becomes more disturbing and strange events plague the house, Mia joins forces with the patient's daughter, Sarah (Anne Ramsay), to uncover the town's dark secret, and a shadowy force that may be trying to complete its terrifying reign of terror from beyond the grave! But is this an undiscovered thrilling gem or forgettable found footage fodder? Find out!

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Spookies (with Meagan Navarro)

October 5th, 2021

Meagan Navarro – Head Critic and Chief Content Creator for Bloody Disgusting – returns with a special treat for us to explore: the 1986 haunted house monster zombie horror film Spookies. With three directors, two separate casts, a reshoot that accounts for more footage than the original film and a plot that defies explanation, it's fair to say the story behind the movie is more compelling than the story in the movie. But is there a hidden gem in here or just a cautionary tale? Find out!

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Paperhouse (featuring Bernard Rose)

September 21st, 2021

Director Bernard Rose joins us for a look back at his first theatrical feature film, the dark fantasy Paperhouse (1988). It features Charlotte Burke as a British schoolgirl who, while bedridden with glandular fever (or 'mono' for those across the pond), finds herself experiencing recurring dreams in which she visits an isolated house she drew herself. She soon discovers that she can add additional things to the drawing and they appear in the house, but sometimes they don't come out as benign as she intended... An atmospheric, stark film that dissolves the boundaries between dream and reality, Paperhouse bears all the hallmarks of the director who would bring us Candyman (1992) a few years later. But is it a dream to treasure or a nightmare best forgotten? Find out!


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Reign of Fire

September 7th, 2021

Conrad and Dan are doing battle with dragons again, but this time it's in London during the fateful futuristic year 2020. Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale and Gerard Butler – possibly the manliest of manly line-ups cinema could produce in 2002 – are joined by ace helicopter pilot Izabella Scorupco in Reign of Fire. It's a post-dragon apocalypse and mankind is reduced to living in castles, riding horseback, wearing sackcloth and mounting community theatre productions of The Empire Strikes Back to entertain frightened children. Can brash, tank-riding American Denton Van Zan and cautious, world-weary Brit Quinn learn to cooperate to defeat the horde of winged serpents that rains fire down from the sky? Will everything be alright, alright, alright? Or will this be the smouldering husk of a noughties CGI-fest? Find out!


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Ghosts of Mars (featuring Sandy King-Carpenter)

August 24th, 2021

John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars is celebrating its 20th anniversary today, and we're lucky enough to be joined by its producer, Sandy King-Carpenter of Storm King Productions, for a look back at the master of horror's sci-fi horror action extravaganza. It's got a kick-ass cast of Natasha Henstridge, Pam Grier, Clea DuVall and Joanna Cassidy, plus Ice Cube and a very young and strangely hairy Jason Statham! But is this tale of a mysterious fog assimilating humans and mounting an assault on a precinct a fun Carpenter mash-up, or is it best left buried on the red planet? Find out!

 


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The Quiet Earth (with Serge Bodnarchuk)

August 10th, 2021

Serge Bodnarchuk of Cold Crash Pictures joins us to explore... New Zealand! Yes, Dan's homeland – but it's a bizarre alternate universe version of NZ, and not just because it's 1985. Zac Hobson wakes up naked in a motel bed to discover he may be the last man on Earth. He gets to engage in a few fantasies: driving a train, moving into a mansion, running rampant through a church wearing a nightie and brandishing a shotgun... until he meets Joanne and Api. The three quickly discover the commonality between them that could unlock the mystery of the quiet Earth, but is Zac secretly responsible for what happened? And is it going to happen again and erase them all? We wander this largely forgotten land to decide if this little-seen sci-fi gem from down under should be out and proud in its nightie!

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Silent Running

July 27th, 2021

Space botanist Bruce Dern murders his crewmates and hijacks his spaceship on a joyride through Saturns rings after he finds out his gardens are scheduled for destruction in Silent Running (1972), an eco-sci-fi film directed by special effects mastermind Douglas Trumbull. But will Dan and Conrad slip into a comfortable bathrobe and enjoy digging into this 70s cult classic, or will Joan Baez's vibrato drive them into a Dern-style, wide-eyed mania? Find out!


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