I Do Movies Badly: Introduction to Benson & Moorhead (featuring The Pod and the Pendulum)
It only made sense to bring in the first pair of guests in IDMB history to converse about the first directing pair being covered in IDMB history! Jerry Smith and Mike Snoonian of The Pod and the Pendulum podcast join to discuss the films of indie genre pair, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. The boys first all check in to see how everyone is holding up and taking care of themselves as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and protestors continue to demand police accountability and racial justice. Jerry and Mike talk about their personal creative journeys and how they joined together for The Pod and the Pendulum, they catch listeners up on the Cinestate fallout, and humorously relay the story of how $60 were mysteriously donated to Jerry one day out of the blue.
The two explain their deep love for the low-budget filmmaking duo who build genre elements around ultimately hopeful stories of love and relationships and gush about their three recommendations: Spring (2014), Resolution (2012), and The Endless (2017).
Horror fandom is a passion that is not bound by race, gender, sex, or orientation. If you want to support the diverse voices of genre fans check out these other websites and podcasts:
Faculty of Horror
Spinsters of Horror
Good Mourning, Nancy
The Grave Girls Podcast
Kill By Kill
Horror Movie Survival Guide
The Losers Club
Jim is right about the low overall quality of “VHS: Viral”, but wrong about the best segment. It’s Nacho Vigalondo’s “Parallel Monsters” by a mile. His “Timecrimes” was also great.
The lack of actual resolution in “Resolution” (which didn’t feel “hopeful” at the end to me either) really hindered it for me. And I think I was the wrong audience for “Spring” because I wanted a horror movie rather than a fairytale romance (Colm McCarthy’s “Outcast” instead takes a fairytale romance and makes it horror, and Lucky McKee’s “May” subverts the expectations of a guy who would watch a movie like “Spring” and identify with the protagonist). But “The Endless” absolutely worked. And it’s because of that “third time’s a charm” result that I decided to give Karyn Kusama another chance with “Destroyer”, which was ok. I suppose I benefited from watching in chronological order, with Resolution first so I can fully enjoy The Endless, but I’m not sure if I would recommend watching both rather than just The Endless.
Since you mentioned Jim Mickle, I’ll give him credit for “Cold in July”, but his remake of “We Are What We Are” was absolutely inferior to the Mexican original, despite having Julia Garner in a supporting role. The change in setting ruins the social commentary, and makes it less comprehensible that such things could persist for so long, the awful flashbacks are like “Hannibal Rising” in failing to realize that origin stories make something less scary than if it’s unexplained, reducing the age of the youngest sibling effectively means one less character, the two sisters aren’t as distinct as the brothers in the original, and the need to have sympathetic characters in a story about people who’ve been practicing cannibalism for so long it’s normal to them just weakens the whole thing. Given Jim Mickle’s facile approach to religion in this and Stake Land, it’s somewhat odd you’re more keen on his work than an atheist like me.
The notion of “What if a cult was right” was done to tremendous effect in the best segment from VHS 2, “Safe Haven”. It’s a shame Gareth Evans wasn’t able to repeat his success with “Apostle”.
A number of horror podcasts I used to listen to like the Classic Horror Cast (part of the BP fleet), HorrorBull Podcast and Hammered Horror have gone defunct, but The Bloodlust is still (mostly) releasing episodes on a biweekly basis.