Spotlight on Terror Troop

Fast!  Slow!  Angry!  Nibbly!  This spotlight on the Terror Troop podcast has a zombie for everyone!

Episode 57: Zombie Picks by Dan of the Dead!!

terror troop masthead

“I encounter many zombies, and they’re not the fast-moving kind where I work.” — Boss Butcher

In this episode of Terror Troop, Dan of the Dead cherry-picks two awesome, aged-for-flavour zombie classics for the crew to review. Plus, ‘Hey, it’s Ashley Gray!’ in an interview with Boss Butcher and Wildman Willis.

But first, new guest host Chris Excess introduces himself and spends a little time talking about his lifelong obsession with ’80s American culture. A very interesting guy, and a great addition to the show!

Veteran Trooper Bloody Lizzy rounds out the cast as British co-host ‘The’ Emily goes mysteriously off the grid somewhere in Maryland…

Things get underway with Chris E joining Boss B in reviewing the Golden God Awards show (think ‘Heavy Metal Grammys’). Chris makes the grim observation that the big metal bands are all aging, with no new talent emerging to fill the thinning numbers (and hairlines) in the pack. (And he has some chilling statistics to back it up!)

*    *    *

Next, the Troop reviews Colin, a British zombie flick from 2008. Although it follows the progression of a typical zombie apocalypse, Colin takes a radical departure by making a zombie the protagonist and following him around the entire time.

Dan is understandably impressed with the film’s budget of 45 British pounds sterling (that’s right, about 70 bucks), and how it made over 450 pounds on its first showing — a pretty respectable ROI!

Willis, Lizzy, and Boss B have to break out the Dramamine as the shaky-cam effect leaves them feeling a bit queasy. Still, everyone admits to being impressed by the film for a variety reasons. If you’re still on the fence after listening to the discussion, you can check out the trailer here.

*    *    *

After that, Boss B and Willis interview up-and-coming actress Ashley Gray. She talks about her career up to now, which includes stints both in front of the camera and in production. It’s an interesting and wide-ranging interview, as she discusses her past and upcoming films, her thoughts about the horror genre, her recent voiceover work for an independent animation project, and a lot more.

*    *    *

“All I’ve got to say is Oui-Oui!” — Wildman Willis

Willis’s eight-word review of the 2009 French zombie thriller The Horde pretty much reflects everyone’s impression of the film. Of course, how could you not like a movie that starts out as an intense police action thriller, and then 15 minutes in, suddenly morphs into a reeeaallly intense zombie horror?

The Troop members enjoy the movie’s breakneck pace and awesome action sequences, and they’re even unanimous in choosing their favourite character: Réné (aka Yves Pignot)!

The discussion also includes some differing opinions about whether the ending worked for them, as well as some general head-shaking over why it still takes some people so freakin’ long to figure out that only head shots work on zombies.

[WARNING: Contains mature content, including disturbing discussions about people who are totally dead and then come back to life anyway, and want to eat your frickin’ brains — yikes!]

Download the episode here.

Episode Originally Released: May 19, 2013

Runtime: 2 hours and 23 minutes

TAGS: Terror Troop, zombies, film, horror

Episode 61: Voodoo Zombies!!

“Your own body is like a tomb, and you’re stuck there until it’s far too late.” — Bloody Lizzy, describing a potential downside to being both zombified AND buried

In this episode of Terror Troop, Dan of the Dead focuses on two films where the zombies are neither infected with a virus nor looking to indulge their yen for brain food; instead, they’re the tragic victims of voodoo witchcraft!
So grab some cocoa, turn off all the lights, and join the Troop as they discuss two spine-tingling classics: White Zombie and The Serpent and the Rainbow.

*   *   *

It’s a full house as special guest Gary Hill of Cinema Beef Podcast joins Troop regulars Dan of the Dead, ‘The’ Emily, Bloody Lizzy, Wildman Willis, Boss Butcher, and Chris Excess.

After finding out what everyone’s been up to, the crew tackle 1932’s White Zombie, considered by many people to be the first true zombie film.

It’s the story of a young couple, Madeleine and Neil, who meet a wealthy stranger named Charles Beaumont while on a trip to Haiti. Although he hardly knows them, Beaumont invites the couple to his mansion so they can hold their wedding there. What a thoughtful gesture, right?

Wrong. As we find out, Beaumont is completely infatuated with Madeleine. So infatuated that when he realizes he won’t have time to seduce her before the wedding, he does what any self-respecting nutjob would do in a situation like this: he visits a local warlock named ‘Murder’ Legendre (played by the awesome Bela Lugosi), and asks him to turn the girl into a zombie in order to buy more, uh, seduction time, I guess.

The Troop don’t give away too many spoilers, since this movie’s only been out for about 80 years, and you may not have seen it. But they do talk about its strengths (Mr. Lugosi’s awesome portrayal of the warlock Legendre; a few genuinely creepy moments involving zombies) and weaknesses (pretty much everything else: its ridiculous portrayal of blacks; the hurry-up-and-wait…and wait…and wait plot pacing; the laughably bad acting; the 1930s state-of-the-art special effects; and on, and on — you get the idea).

*    *    *

Next, Boss B interviews Corey Miller of 3 Wizemen Productions. They discuss how Corey and his wife became involved in producing the short film, Left for Dead; Corey describes some of the challenges (and opportunities) that they deal with as independent producers; and he talks about his new anti-bullying film, A Bully Story.

I really like these interview segments, as you get to hear from actual industry people talking about the day-to-day stuff they have to deal with. It’s always interesting, and everybody’s story is different.

*   *   *

When the Troop move on to Dan’s second choice, The Serpent and the Rainbow, the discussion gets very lively (well, as lively as a discussion can be about zombies).

Directed by Wes Craven and starring Bill Pullman, it was released in 1988 to disappointing box office returns. However, it’s definitely built a cult following in the ensuing years. And you can see why during the discussion: everyone on the crew seems to have a different moment from the movie that really blew them out of the water.

The discussion covers a lot of territory: the meaning of the movie’s title; the disturbing idea of mistaking fantasy for reality; some of the great actors that appear in smaller roles; and some of the religious practices that the movie was based on.

Referring to Serpent as both authentic and “super-creepy,” Chris E quotes a synopsis of the film by the late, great Roger Ebert:

“In the movie, Pullman plays a cross between William Hurt and Indiana Jones, a tall, good-looking, sensitive intellectual who is called upon to wrestle leopards, battle corpses, confront an evil voodoo leader, and eventually be buried alive along with a deadly spider that makes itself cozy on his paralyzed eyeball.”

If after reading this synopsis, you think this doesn’t sound like a good time, then you are (a) wrong and (b) probably right: YOU won’t have a good time watching this film, but THEY certainly did  🙂

Enjoy!

[Warning: Some spooky, horror-related content, as well as confusion over how to tell the difference between a cyclone, a hurricane, and a typhoon. As I understand it, a cyclone is basically a tropical storm (a system with low pressure in the centre and wind moving around the centre, with all the ‘head-for-the-cellar’ weather that entails); a hurricane is a common name for a cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean; and a typhoon is a common name for a cyclone that occurs in the western Pacific area, the China Seas, and the Indian Ocean.(Thank you, Webster’s Dictionary!) ]

Download the episode here.

Episode Originally Released: May 19, 2013

Runtime: 2 hours and 32 minutes

TAGS: Terror Troop, zombies, film, horror

images:

Terror Troop masthead image: ‘Women in gas masks, c. WWII’ from U.S. National Archives | Source | No known © restrictions

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One thought on “Spotlight on Terror Troop

  1. Pingback: •• Sunday Podcast Roundup — August 11, 2013 •• | eclectic audio

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