Ep 1.2: A New World of Gods and Monsters – Part 2 “Fans React”

We bid you welcome to Universal Monsters Cast, where your horror hosts – Gillman Joel, Dr. Shock and Wolfman Josh – will regularly brave discussions of many a monstrous thing, with a special focus on the Universal Monsters, both the classic films and the emerging, shared cinematic universe.

Season 1. Episode 2. This is a continuation of our introduction to the show and the 2nd part in a 3-part series that we’re calling “A New World of Gods and Monsters,” wherein we discuss everything we know about the new Monsters Universe. Part 1 featured a discussion amongst the hosts telling you what we know so far. Part 2 features a discussion with some of our listeners, telling us what the fans really want. And Part 3 will feature a discussion with some industry insiders, giving us some insight into what we can actually expect the studio to give us.

And now it is time to listen to the children of the night. What music they make!


[00:00:00] I. Intro

– Welcome to Part 2/3

[00:01:27 – 00:51:20] II. The UMC Listener Panel

– Mark Longfield aka “Dark Mark
– Andrew Sydlik aka “AnDread
– Jody Branham aka “JodyHorrorGuy

[00:03:11] a. First Impressions

The listeners share their first impressions and best case scenarios for the new Monsters Universe.

[00:15:38] b. Are These Action Movies?

The listeners discuss the prospects of these films as action movies and which adaptations might work best as action-horror.

[00:29:48] c. Dr. Jekyll and Nick Fury

The listeners discuss their thoughts on how the Monsters Universe might be structured.

[00:36:00] d. What do we want? Monsters! When do we want them? Now!

The listeners discuss what new movie prospects excite them the most/least.

[00:46:54] e. Listener Panel wrap-up and Plugs

[00:51:20] III. Wrap-up and Host Plugs


– Subscribe to Universal Monsters Cast on iTunes
– Subscribe to Universal Monsters Cast on Stitcher
– Follow @MonstersCast on Twitter
– Listen to the Horror Movie Podcast episode that inspired the creation of this show (HERE).

Reference articles for this episode:

How the Universal Monsters Movie Universe Will Emulate Marvel Over DC
by Peter Scieretta for /Film”

Watch the first featurette about The Mummy and the wider Monsters Universe
by James White for Empire Magazine

Javier Bardem Eyed for Frankenstein Role in Universal’s Monster Universe
by Justin Kroll for Variety

David Koepp Says His ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ Script Is a Tale of Female Liberation
by Matt Goldberg for Collider

‘Van Helsing’ Reboot Inspired by Mad Max; Writer Teases Diversity of Monsters Universe
by Adam Chitwod for Collider

Johnny Depp to Star in Universal’s ‘Invisible Man’ Reboot
by Borsy Kit for The Hollywood Reporter

Scarlett Johansson Circling the ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ Remake?
by Robert Yaniz for Screen Rant

Rumor: Universal Wants Dwayne Johnson For ‘The Wolf Man’
by Jacob Hall for /Film (from a Deadline article)

Alex Kurtzman confirms Dracula Untold not part of the Universal Monsters shared cinematic universe, but classic films may be a part of this continuity.
by Jim Vegvoda for IGN

UMC Producer and Composer Kagan Breitenbach’s links:
Check out Kagan’s music at KaganBreitenbach.com
Subscribe to Kagan’s YouTube Channel QuartetMacbre
Follow Kagan on Twitter @KRBrietenbach

Gillman Joel’s links:
Joel covers retro movies at Retro Movie Geek
Follow @RetroMovieGeek on Twitter
Join the Retro Movie Geek Facebook Group
Joel used to cover forgotten flix Forgotten Flix Remembers

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Josh covers horror movies on HorrorMoviePodcast.com
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow MSC on Twitter @MovieStreamCast
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie reviews on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on Facebook
Dave covers horror movies on Horror Movie Podcast and  Land of the Creeps
You can read all of Dave’s “Universal Horror” written reviews (HERE) at DVDinfatuation.com

73 thoughts on “Ep 1.2: A New World of Gods and Monsters – Part 2 “Fans React”

  1. This idea of Key & Peele Meet the Monsters has really captured my imagination – particularly if directed by Fred Dekker or Joe Dante. I want to lay out the argument here, because I think it is a strong one. My primary point being that as funny as Key & Peele are, they are also clearly horror fans and have no problem balancing the two worlds. For you consideration …


      Hell Baby is a comedy-horror film from the creators of Reno 911 and The State. Despite being pretty silly and falling apart at the end, Keegan-Michael Key’s performance is worth watching.

      Key is legitimately scary in the film, while retaining his charm and humor. And these clips show how well he balances the tone of humor and horror.

      Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the film. This first scene doesn’t spoil a thing and Key’s role as F’resnel clearly illustrates how Key can be both funny and scary at once.

    • Not super funny of super scary, these Key & Peele sketches are examples of dealing with a serious situation in a comedic way, comedy specifically tailored to these performers and their voice, all the while maintaining a fear of the threat (at least for awhile).

      First up, zombie that are afraid of black people. Probably inspired by Victor Halperin or Rob Zombie.



      And this is more action/sci-fi than horror, but is worth checking out anyway. Probably a better use of smart comedy than the “white zombie” concept.


      This Key & Peele clip deals with possession and shows off just how strong these guys are as performers. They are switching back and forth between sweet old Southern lady and demon quicker than James McAvoy trading alters in Split (2017), and they are every bit as convincing. They are also still pretty funny and totally scary, in brief glimpses of horror.

      This one is not necessarily my type of humor and it is much more “blue” than some of the other clips, but worth checking out if you can handle the filthy language.

      • ‘Hall of Mirrors’ is one of my favorite sketches. It feels like one of those weird action star/slasher hybrids of the 80’s like ’10 to Midnight’ or ‘Silent Rage.’

    • These final two Key & Peele skits are probably the most like actual horror moues when it comes to aesthetics, but the are both very, very short, so I put them last.


      This is my favorite one, despite the joke being so simple and dumb. Jordan Peele’s performance is so good for a horror movie and Keegan-Michael Key’s final line clinches the comedy.



      This is just too dirty for my tastes, but it’s still well done.

    • It certainly doesn’t hurt that Jordan Peele’s feature directorial debut is a horror film being distributed by Universal. I can only hope that these conversations are being had internally.


      This is a real horror movie written and directed by Peele (possibly inspired by the Key & Peele “Hoodie” clip) and it looks terrifying.

      • “Get Out” looks crazy good.
        Saw “Split” yesterday, private screening(no one else in the theater), the trailer played beforehand.
        It has a fresh look and feel to it.
        As is it played, I was given the opportunity to kind of commentary as it was presented.
        Trying not to read too much into the film, I do have some hypothesis, but I don’t want to overthink.
        I think it’s great that we’re so early into 2017 and we’re getting some decent horror, Bye Bye Man and Split.
        Definitely need to watch “Get Out” with an audience.
        I desire the participation. Sure, having “Split” to myself was great, but the “Get Out” trailer had me hyped in the seat.

    • I don’t know the episode number but Peele did an interview on the Blumhouse podcast, ‘Shockwaves,’ which was really interesting. He knows his horror for sure. I can’t wait to see ‘Get Out.’

    • You make a great case for Key & Peele. I hope there are thoughts of doing some comedy in this new franchise. Usually the comedy horror comes after the horror films and kinda mocks or homages the original. I wonder what they could come up with if a comedy or two were intentionally planned for the universe. They could “get ahead” of the reactionary comedies that are sure to follow.

  2. My recent obsession with the Marvelization of the Universal Monsters Universe has lead me down this road:

    CapWolf is found in the “Man and Wolf” storyline in Captain America #402 – #407.

    • Marvel did this interesting horror line in the 90’s; I don’t believe it lasted very long. I remember Morbius (a villain from Spiderman) got his own comic and they had Nightstalkers and Darkhold; I think they threw the 90’s Ghost Rider comic (which I loved) in that line-up as well.

      I also read the entire ‘Werewolf by Night’ comic that Marvel did back in the 70’s a few years ago which is a lot of fun.

      • I was recently reminded of “Werewolf by Night” by CakeWolf on Twitter. It was a real blast from the past. Had not read them since I was a child. I think I have a bunch of them in a box at my mom’s house, but I just ended up ordering a handful of them on Amazon yesterday. Can’t wait to check them out again.

        I hadn’t read any comics (except Alan Moore) since I was a kid. Then I had my own kids and started reading some graphic novels (like Lumberjanes) with them. Around the same time I got into collector comics. Mostly horror-related. Now I’m into them. It’s been a lot of fun going down some of these roads and finding some of these books I remember from childhood.

      • Most of the 90’s characters were rehashed from the 70’s. Ghost Rider was a popular character due to mainstream motorcycle culture, circa 1969’s Easy Rider.

        • I’ve been getting way into the Nightstalkers and there is a great run with a Ghost Rider crossover. I think I’m alone in loving the Blade Trinity adaptation of those characters. I’d love a sequel. But I could also see rebooting Nightstalkers – even for the MCU – and doing a version more loyal to the comics. Now that Wesley Snipes has ruined his career, they could go full ’70s Blade and Nightstalker. That would be a dream writing/directing job, for me.

  3. Joe Dante also made The ‘Burbs with Universal, which is great. Not sure if this poke at Gremlins 2 would make Joe Dante more or less interested in working on a Key & Peele Meet the Monsters movie, should Fred Dekker not be interested in helping this fictional, fantasy production. Haha. Either way, this clip is pretty hilarious.

  4. Excellent job by Jody, Mark and AnDread. I really enjoyed hearing you guys on the show!

    I asked this question in the comments of episode 1, but maybe it makes more sense putting it over here…

    Why do you think they plan to have Dr. Jekyll as the connective tissue for the upcoming cinematic universe? I would have thought Van Helsing would make more sense. Then again, I have no basis of knowledge for that statement, so I could be way off on that assumption.

    • Maybe it’s something to do with the dualistic nature of Jekyll’s character making for more of a versatile or ambiguous character. He can potentially fulfil the roll of an anti-hero in one film then villain in another. Maybe we’ll be left uncertain as to whether it’s Jekyll or Hyde that’s really pulling the strings in the over-arcing narrative?

      • I think David makes a lot of sense and I’d like to subscribe to his newsletter.

        I absolutely like the idea of Van Helsing being the head monster hunter rather that Jekyll, but I agree with what David is saying about the complexity that Jekyll/Hyde offers.

        And personally, as a fan of the origins of Van Helsing, I prefer him being a solitary vampire slayer as opposed to seeing him holding some Prodigium bureaucratic office. I hate that whole concept. If Van Helsing can be separate from that, even as a rogue Wolverine or Deadpool to the X-Men, I’m all for it.

    • I like this question, Dino, and thanks, glad you liked the show. Anyhow, I just answered this question on the ep 1 comments but here is what I said (similar to Wolfman and David).

      I think it’s interesting because Dr. Jekyll is a monster and a scientist. That way there can be some science type dimensional stuff that connects the monsters but Mr. Hyde can turn up and do some scary stuff too. Van Helsing is too much of a good guy and needs to be freed up to fight and stop the monsters while Dr. Jekyll can experiment and use them for his dirty business.

  5. I’m sort of piggybacking off of Dino’s comments and bringing up something I mentioned on Twitter. I too think Van Helsing would be a more obvious Nick Fury comparison than Dr. Jekyll, that said I think I’m more excited with Jekyll. As for why they’d make the decision… I’m not sure. Maybe they are scared of the reaction the Van Helsing movie got? I don’t think people loved the whole Bond version of Ven Helsing. But honestly I’m not sure how different Jekyll will be from that. I think he’s going to have a team backing him of some sort and a headquarters. I don’t disagree with those decisions. I think they could stay away from the Hyde character initially and have Jekyll maybe work on a cure for the Wolfman and have it backfire and instead of making it stabilize the human in the Wolfman it could de-stabilize the human in Jekyll? As far as the Marvelization goes I’m thinking something like the Mutant cure (know this is Fox, but still) in X-Men and Dr. Kurt Connor’s (again Sony really) use in the original Spider-Man films.

    • Hammer wrote:

      “Maybe they are scared of the reaction the Van Helsing movie got. I don’t think people loved the whole Bond version of Ven Helsing. But honestly I’m not sure how different Jekyll will be from that.”

      That’s interesting. I defintely do not mind Jekyll operating in a James Bond capacity nearly as much as I mind the idea of Van Helsing in that role. I hadn’t seen Hugh Jackman’s Van Helsing as a Bond type, aside from the Vatican special assignments (which I liked) and special weapons(which I hated). I think I was too distracted by all of the cartoonish CGI action and character design. But Jekyll-as-Bond I actually like a great deal more than Jekyll-as-Fury.

      And I think you’re right that the negative reaction to Sommer’s Van Helsing abomination probably didn’t build confidence in the character either. Which I’m actually happy about, now!

    • Hammer wrote:

      “I think they could stay away from the Hyde character initially and have Jekyll maybe work on a cure for the Wolfman and have it backfire and instead of making it stabilize the human in the Wolfman it could de-stabilize the human in Jekyll?”

      Yeah, that’s interesting. Also, at the same time, maybe freeze The Wolfman in his wolfen state.

      Again, there is a big part of me that hates all of the discussion in this vein because I just want a more straightforward horror premise instead of all of this comic book sci-fi stuff. But if we are definitely going down that road, I don’t hate what Hammer said here:

      “As far as the Marvelization goes, I’m thinking something like the Mutant cure (know this is Fox, but still) in X-Men and Dr. Kurt Connor’s (again Sony, really) use in the original Spider-Man films.”

      I could see that working in a much more interesting way than Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. I know that is the continuity that has blanket fanboy approval, but I much prefer what Singer/Vaughn did on this topic in both X2 and First Class over at Fox. Good luck that Christopher McQuarrie is involved.

  6. Also props to the hosts for bringing on three great listeners, that was really fun. As I listened I was really curious how you all think the good vs. evil will break down with all the monsters? Who’s on which side?

    • Yeah, I’m curious how that whole thing will work. Will it be Jekyll leading the good monsters – a la League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – against the bad monsters? Will he be functioning as a double agent if Hyde has secret anterior motives? Will Tom Cruise continue on after this film? Is he a monster or will he just be the Black Widow of this universe? BTW, I hate everything I’m saying. Why can’t these just be monster movies?

      • I don’t disagree with your hatred of it. But I’m trying to come up with the best case scenario given this is the ridiculous road I expect we’re going down. A Dr. Jekyll who globe trots to find all the monsters. Uni-Mon: gotta catch ’em all. I for sure get a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vibe from it all. I agree that in a way what X-Men has done is actually more interesting than MCU, but I see why people prefer the MCU as well.

  7. It’s kind of hard to comment on this episode because the Mark, Andrew and Jody did such a comprehensive and insightful job discussing the rebooted universe.

    I will say that I have way less faith than Josh in the stuff coming out of Kurtzman and Cruise’s mouths in interviews regarding The Mummy. I’ve been burned so many times before by assurances that remakes and reboots will be handled respectfully only to be disappointed. And even if their sentiments are sincere that doesn’t mean the executives won’t do everything in their power to dumb the movies down or ruin them in some other way. Look at The Thing reboot; clearly made with the best intentions but then scuppered by some braindead, wouldn’t-know-art-if-it-punched-them-in-the-face studio exec insisting on replacing practical effects with schlocky CGI. In a reboot of a movie regarded as a practical effect landmark….

    My main problem is that I’m getting more of a “we have the rights to these old movies and have to find a way to make mountains of cash out of them” vibe from universal than “we have massive respect and love for our back-catalogue and want to pay homage to it’s artistry”. Sure those approaches aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive but when it comes to forging a horror franchise that appeals to as wide an audience as possible there are going to be some severe compromises.

    As far as personal best case scenarios go; I’m not sure I’d want the reboots to mimic the originals exactly (though I would absolutely love for a studio to start making films with the same tone and pacing and aesthetics as those old universal movies but with new stories and monsters) but I would like them to be approached in a dignified and artistic manner. Keep them atmospheric and relatively low-key but take advantage of the fact we can go much further now with dark themes and grue. Get someone like Cronenberg to do Frankenstein and/or Bride of Frankenstein, get Guillermo Del Toro to do Creature From the Black Lagoon with Doug Jones as a practical creature. But alas, it is not a perfect world.

    • I would be down for an 80’s Cronenberg tackling Frankenstein but not sure about now, but would be willing to see how it turned out.

      It really stinks we never got that John Carpenter ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ movie that he was working on early 90’s.

    • I will save my defense of The Thing reboot/prequel for another podcast and another episode. I will just say that they at least had all of the best of intentions going in and it is as close as I think we could’ve hope for in our current cinematic climate.

      • I’m not necessarily criticising the movie as a whole. I just find the fact that they went to the trouble of creating practical monsters only to have someone piss generic CGI all over them to be kind of heartbreaking and as fine an example as i can think of of wrong-headed studio meddling.

    • As much as I like Mark’s idea of recreating the aesthetics of the original films, I think that’s probably too much to ask of a corporation launching a multi-million dollar franchise with movie stars.

      I think David is right these could still be good if they were to “keep them atmospheric” and “take advantage of the fact we can go much further now with dark themes and grue” … and gore!

      I fear that David may be right about his suspicions that these films are being approached from more of a “we have the rights to these old movies and have to find a way to make mountains of cash out of them” than a “we have massive respect and love for our back-catalogue and want to pay homage to it’s artistry” but I don’t necessarily think that will preclude the films from being good if they could get the right filmmakers in there.

      I LOVE David’s idea to get a Cronenberg or a Del Toro for one of these films.

      Following one of Juan’s comments (I think on Episode 1), I did some research and found that Guillermo Del Toro has at some time been attached to write a Frankenstein script and direct and Jekyll and Hyde movie. I’d prefer to see him direct a Creature From the Black Lagoon with Doug Jones, as David suggested. I honestly don’t think that’s too far fetched.

      Cronenberg may be too far fetched for a production this size, however Focus Features did produce and distribute Eastern Promises.

      Another real possibility is that M. Night Shyamalan could be up for one of these films, following the success of Split. It’s already made more money than Crimson Peak did and it is still number 1 at the box office after 2 weeks. I thinkI’d be interested in seeing Night write and/or direct Jekyll and Hyde. Put James McAvoy in there and we’re set. Oh, wait. They already have Russell Crowe. Maybe they could do a X-Men: First Class-esque prequel and McAvoy could play a young Jekyll. Haha

    • I know it doesn’t mean much to you, David, but here are a couple of other interesting quotes from Alex Kurtzman about putting Jekyll into the film(s):

      “In looking to figure out how to place The Mummy in a larger context and setting up this organization that has actually been dealing with monsters for longer than any of us have been around, it became clear that we needed somebody to be the voice of that organization. The next thought was like, ‘Well, it could be Joe McGillicuddy, or we could actually go into another character that makes sense organically.’ It was a real point of conversation with Tom. If we’re going to bring in Henry Jekyll, how is bringing Henry Jekyll into The Mummy story not detract from the mummy’s story? How does Henry Jekyll become part of this story in an organic way? And part of what Tom’s character, Nick, learns about the mummy and about the history of the mummy comes through Jekyll’s very deep understanding of monsters and how monsters have existed quietly in this world for eons.”


  8. Really loving this podcast, guys. And kudos to all the guests on this episode; very insightful and great jobs all around.

    My best case scenario with these films is that they are simply good; however they have to do that I’m fine with. I consider myself a huge Universal Monsters guy and we will always have those original films so just a straight up retelling of those properties doesn’t necessarily interest me. I also have no interest in whatever Coppola and Branagh were trying to do with the properties in the 90’s and thought ‘The Wolfman’ movie from a few years ago was horrendous.

    If we could find some kind of middle ground between the fun action of the first Sommer’s ‘Mummy’ movie and the introspective nature of Mike Nichol’s ‘Wolf’ from 94 (which I still think is underrated, but that ending does kind of stink) you could have something interesting.

    I’ve seen the trailer for the new ‘Mummy’ movie a few times and really don’t think it has that goofy feel of the Fraser movie. It definitely feels like a Tom Cruise action movie but that isn’t always a bad thing; the last two ‘Mission Impossible’ movies have been outstanding and I enjoy the Jack Reacher films although being a fan of the Lee Child books probably helps. If you threw a Mummy in a Misson:Impossible movie, that could actually be kind of cool. And Cruise always gives a 110% to whatever he gets behind; I can respect that. I do find the mysterious nature behind the Cruise character compelling (Does he die? Could he be the Mummy?); I hope to God they don’t give too much more of that away in future trailers.

    I have zero opinion on the Dr. Jekyll/Nick Fury character, but I like Russell Crow. I’m a little concerned, as Josh has mentioned, that it sounds like this character was shoe horned into the film after the script was completed.

    I’ m just hoping for the best I guess which is all we can really do. I love how much effort Universal is putting into this rebranding/reboot, or whatever you want to call it; hopefully it pays off.

    Also, as someone who is probably as big of an Action fan as he is a horror fan (My DVD collection includes just as many John McTiernan and Don Siegel films as is does John Carpenter and Alfred Hitchcock – among many others), I am not a fan at all of the ‘Underworld’ movies. I hated the first one and have tried to watch I believe the 2nd and 3rd ones and have not been able to finish them. I have zero clue who those films are for – possibly people who love horrible CGI and to be bored to tears.

    • I agree with everything you said about Tom Cruise.

      I like Coppola’s movie and I think Joe Johnston’s Wolf Man has a lot of redeemable qualities.

      I will have to think hard about your Sommer’s Mummy meets Nichol’s Wolf after I (re)watch The Mummy (1999). I really am going to try, but I cannot imagine that I will like that film. I did like Wolf (1994), but I don’t think it goes far enough for me. I want full-blown, legitimate monsters in these films. Cool idea and great pull, though.

      • I like Coppolas film fine; just don’t want to see it redone. I do not like Branaghs.

        I just think the Sommers film is fun, not great or even very good and I think the Wolf movie has weaknesses for sure but works in a weird way. I think as great a director as Nichols was, he was not a good choice for the project. I think some combo of the strengths of both of these films could be interesting.

    • I’m most interested in what you said about liking action and horror. My question is, do you like action-horror?

      You said:

      “As someone who is probably as big of an Action fan as he is a horror fan (My DVD collection includes just as many John McTiernan and Don Siegel films as is does John Carpenter and Alfred Hitchcock – among many others), I am not a fan at all of the ‘Underworld’ movies.”

      So, no to Underworld. I’m with you. What about Resident Evil? What about Blade? What about Sommer’s The Mummy and Van Helsing? What about Dracula Untold? I can’t think of a worse horror sub-genre than than action-horror. That’s me. But just as I was fascinated with what Jody thought, I’m fascinated what and action fan and a horror fan would think of these films. I, for one, don’t get why they’re going back to a poisoned well.

      I guess when you said, “If you threw a Mummy in a Misson:Impossible movie, that could actually be kind of cool” says a lot. I want to hear more!

      • Horror and action have not always been a great mix. I do not like Van Helsing and The Mummy was mindless fun.

        The first two Blade movies are good examples of when it can work. I think maybe Aliens would be the best example of these two genres combining but you also have sci-fi thrown in. I think you could argue the Predator movies are a mix of both. I, like you, can’t wait to see what Black and Dekker do with that franchise.

        If you took Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol for example and threw in a supernatural element as the mission instead of terrorists or whatever, I think that could be really interesting if handled correctly.

        With you guys mentioning directors you would like to see a think Brad Bird and James Wan would be interesting. He’ll bring McTiernan out of retirement and see what he’s got left in him. Love the M. Night idea.

        • A few more Action/Horror hybrids I thought of that work are Tremors, Train to Busan, and Dog Soldiers. Even the Romero ‘Dead’ movies mix a lot of action in – especially Dawn and Day. The Dawn remake definitely does.

          Also, you mentioned ‘Dracula Untold’ and I was kind of indifferent towards that one. Didn’t hate it but haven’t felt the need to rewatch.

          • I usually don’t class myself as a fan of action horror (mostly because it immediately makes me think of stuff like Underworld and Van Helsing) but I definitely agree with the examples you gave with regards to those movies being examples of good action horror. Event Horizon and Feast are also pretty good as well a lot of action movies that are arguably horror: Predator, Aliens, The Host, They Live and some of those underwater monster movies like Leviathan and Deep Star Six. And does Jaws count as action horror?

        • I’m with you that Blade, Aliens, Predator, Star Gate, Leviathan, Deep Star Six, Dog Soldiers, etc are amongst the best of the Action-Horror movies that have been made.

          They are also some of my least favorite horror movies that I would still consider to be high quality films.

          Train to Busan and the Dawn of the Dead remake are interesting examples. Those are both films that I love. That got me thinking about zombie movies as action movies and, the more I think about it, the more I beieve that it is primarily the fast-moving-zombie movies which have clear action elements. I personally prefer shamblers and I think that’s maybe another reason why I so prefer a Shaun of the Dead to a Zombieland.

          Films like They Live (and all of those above) also got me thinking that many movies in the Action-Horror subgenre also have some sort of sci-fi element. I see that reflected in our discussion here as well. How do we make these iconic horror characters into action heroes? We start coming up with sci-fi premises, for the most part.

          I would not consider Tremors or Jaws to be Action-Horror movies, although big monster movies do usually fall into this subgenre. The Host, as you guys mentioned, as well Godzilla, King Kong, Cloverfeild, Pacific Rim … pretty much all Kaiju movies. All of the old (again) sci-fi monster movies from Them to Tarantula.

          Feast is borderline, for me. Event Horizon is arguable for me. The level of action in those films would be an amount I’d be happy to see in these new Universal films. We’re just talking about having clear life or death stakes.

          I personally prefer the Alien level of action to the Aliens level of action in my horror films. I’m usually out when machine guns enter the picture. And I typically hate even the appearance of the military in a horror movie. Some horror subgenres, like zombies, make more logical sense when there is the inclusion of a military presence. But seeing the military in a vampire movie, for example, is an immediate turn-off. That is the primary reason why I am having a hard time getting into SyFy’s Van Helsing series.

          I actually didn’t have any problem with Dracula: Untold as a one-off. I thought it was an interesting take on the character. I’d even watch a sequel to that film set in the same time period. But when they added the modern day tag on the end of the film, I groaned. I am SO happy that they are not counting Untold as part of the #MonstersUniverse and I hope that they can make a film more keeping with the tone and atmosphere of a classic vampire tale.

          I’m not sure I’ve seen Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but your assertion has piqued my interest in seeing it. Action alone is not all bad. I like a good action movie every now and again. But I’m realizing how little I like it in my horror. I’m learning a lot about myself and my tastes in this post. Hahaha. Seriously, though.

          By the way, I think McTiernan is already out of retirement. Or on his way out. A friend of mine has written two scripts for McTiernan in the last two years and one of them filmed in Europe about 6 months ago. I have not done any follow-up, but I know that he is back in action, so to speak.

          • I love most of the movies being mentioned in this conversation but I’m definitely an Alien > Aliens guy too. If a movie has a horror premise then I favour atmosphere and suspense over exciting action.

            I think there are a few action horror anime that are also worth noting. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust has a lot of violent post-apocalytic Mad Max-esque action and stuff like Akira and Fist of the North Star are disturbingly gruesome enough to be be fringe horror.

          • You might be. Ha!

            It has its moments; nice early Deadpool-esque turn from Ryan Reynolds. The version of Dracula was horrible and Parker Posey was a bad casting decision although I usually like her. Also, Snipes seemed to really not give a shit.

          • The third Blade film is my favorite, Hammer! I generally dislike the tone and aesthetic of Blade himself, but I really like Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel in that film. I would love to see the Nightstalkers spinoff movie happen, which was supposedly planned at the time. I’d die to direct a film like that and I’d pay hard cash to watch that right now! Ryan Reynolds has already resurrected a failed attempt at Deadpool and turned it into a hit. Maybe he can do the same with Nightstalkers! Here’s hoping.

            I know this is a Monsters Cast and not Marvel Cast, but as long as we are on the topic, I’d really like to see a post-prison, aged Wesley Snipes play a more down-to-earth version of Blade in the vein of what Hugh Jackman is doing with Logan.

            This guy – http://bit.ly/1Jg1N7B – doesn’t think it is likely that we’ll see a new Blade movie due to Snipes be old and an asshole and Marvel being scared of R-ratings, but Logan is the perfect example of an R-rated Marvel film (albeit for Fox) with an aging superhero that looks incredible.

            Jackman is (reportedly) not an asshole the way Snipes (reportedly) is, but this seems like a no-brainer to me. I don’t see why Marvel would feel pressure to fit this into the MCU if they didn’t want to. They already have Marvel properties happening outside the MCU all over the place.

            Anyway … I’m off to watch Bade Trinity!

            • Just reading up on the comic version of Nightstalkers, I see that they were officially assembled by Dr. Strange. Although I am 155,000% more interested in a movie about vampire hunters than I am in a movie about Marvel superheroes, Dr. Strange seems like a very easy entry point to include Blade or the Nightstalkers in the MCU, if Marvel wanted to. Even better having horror director Scott Derrickson at the helm of Dr. Strange.

              As an aside, it was cool to see that it started back in the ’70s with Tomb of Dracula which, like Werewolf by Night, was one of those comics that I read as a kid and that totally freaked me out.

          • I saw Ron and Jessica were about to tackle the Mummy franchise, which gives me an excuse to rewatch. Will you be on any of those?

  9. Johnny Depp can pull off the Invisible Man. There’s fatigue from his more over the top roles, but he can dial it back and harness the magic that Claude Rains did so eloquently in the original.
    The secret is, minimal Cain facial exposure and maximum bandages. That’s what I feel made the original so dark and creepy. You don’t see Claude Rains, only his voice and his brilliant acting beneath the wrappings.
    Hollow Man failed because of the vanity of Hollywood. Actors love their face, Depp has already achieved acting beneath makeup and wigs for years. He can emote the proper creep that is the Invisible Man.

    • I think Hollow Man failed on more than just the vanity of actors and we had to see a whole lot more of Kevin Bacon than his face, but I take your point.

      I think Depp is bold enough an actor that he’d do an entire movie in bandages, but would the studio allow it? They want to use his face to market the film. Why? So that people will come to see it. So is it the vanity of the actors or the shallowness of the audience? Whatever it is, I don’t think we’ll get full bandages the whole time. Compare Sofia Boutella’s Mummy to Lon Chaney Jr.’s Mummy … or even Boris Karloff’s. She’s creepy and dusty, but still gorgeous. Still, they found a way to tie it to the mythology and keep her in bandages. It’s a compromise.

      As an aside, looking at Chaney’s Mummy in a different light (without the sealed-closed eye being the main focus) … was he the inspiration for Bub in Day of the Dead?!

  10. Just want to say this new podcast is seriously awesome! I love these old movies, the mood, the innocent charm coupled with their atmospheric creepiness is so satisfying. So completely engrossed in your discussions about them. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I wasn’t aware there were so many, so thanks to you I have plenty to catch up on now.

    After watching the Mummy trailer I to am sadly very pessimistic about it. As was mentioned it does not look very magical or atmospheric or mysterious or…any damn good at all!!! Just looks like Ethan Hunt has been seconded for an Egyptian Mission Implausible!

    I know this really won’t be popular but I would love to see Jim Carrey in one of these roles, a Dr Jekyll or Frankenstein type. Ok I know he is predominantly a comedy actor but I would love to see his energy, his physicality, his ability to distort his face focused into a serious darkly deranged Doctor / scientist character, I’m totally confident he could create something very intense…it’s a lot more credible to me than The Rock as the Wolfman and I like The Rock but not for this!

    Anyhoo keep up the sterling work gentlemen, you chaps are second to none!

    • Thanks so much for the comment, “c” … mysterious. I’m really looking forward to digging into all of these old movies and I hope everyone will watch / listen along with us. Thanks for listening and I hope you subscribed. Lots of fun on the way.

      Yeah, definitely am not feeling the Jim Carrey casting, despite really loving about half of his dramatic turns (Eternal Sunshine and Truman Show, yes. The Number 23 and The Majestic, no). The contortion is a great point, though, and I would love to see them cast an actor with that ability that didn’t bring as much baggage as a Jim Carrey (or Tom Cruise or Johnny Depp etc).

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