The last of our Spooky SFF episodes celebrates a gritty slice of New York noir that twists and turns into a highly freaky slice of horror-tinged SF. From acclaimed low-budget film-maker Larry Cohen, this is a film that takes virtue from the lack of money. Cohen favours invention and good writing over special effects Sturm und Drang.
A meditation on identity, religion and family, God Told Me to is a powerful piece of work that really stays with you. A fitting end to our exploration of the horrific side of SFF!
Onwards with Spooky SFF month, as we discuss a massively influential slice of hauntological freakiness: Nigel Kneale’s terrifying The Stone Tape.
It ticks all the boxes: 70s setting, shot on video, Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack. A sharply empathetic performance from Jane Asher helps to elevate this story, but the whole thing is deeply unnerving and still bloody scary.
This is what happens when you try to solve the science behind hauntings…
Includes the first instance of a new term from Rob: cathode-punk.
GUYSGUYSGUYS! The Stone Tape is on Cosmic VideyouTube! Dim the lights, pour yourself a scotch and indulge.
No, we’re not talking about the 70s Michael York/Jenny Agutter film. Rather, we’re taking a look at the source material–the William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson novel. An entirely different, much darker but much more cinematic prospect. Which is frankly a lot more fun!
We believe the time is right to reconsider this cracking, pulpy take on a society that has shrugged off its humanity in favour of youth. Who needs another movie?
Pictured: the exceedingly battered 1970 Corgi edition of Logan’s Run that lives with Rob.
A parable on the sacrifices even the most utopian societies have to make. Does Ursula LeGuin’s acclaimed story dig into a deeper truth…or is it simply stating the obvious? Worse, is it suggesting that the best we can do when faced with atrocity is walk away? Rob and Clive try to unpick this most knotty of threads, only to find themselves more deeply tangled than before…
It was inevitable that the Curious Crew would talk about a Studio Ghibli film at some point. And what better example than there be than Miyazaki’s adaptation of Diana Wynne-Jone’s novel? An explicitly anti-war film that absorbs, refracts and re-projects the source text (already a thing of beauty) into a rare and remarkable piece of fantasy fiction. If you’ve never seen a Ghibli film… start here!
One bad day. That’s all it takes to turn you from a normal citizen into a psychopath. Or at least that’s what The Joker would have you think. In Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s massively influential The Killing Joke the nature of evil is explored, along with the cyclical nature of catch and release at the heart of the relationship between the Bat and The Clown.
Rob, Clive and Curiosity take on one of the comic scene’s more controversial reimaginings… and find that joke isn’t funny anymore.
Rob, Clive and Curiosity celebrate a landmark piece of SF in the shape of the 1956 classic, Forbidden Planet. Widely recognised as a formative text in the creation of Star Trek, and influential in the production and sound design of Star Wars and many other examples of filmed and TVSF. If you like the fiction of sciencey, you need to be all over this film.