To whom it may concern, by the time you read this…you’ll be reading this months Staff Picks! Enjoy!
Jason Soto (Host Whatever with Jason Soto, That’s Da Bomb, Yo!, Co-Host Between The Scares, CineGamer, I Have A Weird One & Musically Ignorant):
The Video Archives Podcast with Roger Avary & Quentin Tarantino
So I’m recommending a podcast that’s NOT a Rabbit Hole podcast but this is like big league stuff so why not? My favorite filmmaker has always been Quentin Tarantino and when I heard he and Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary were teaming up to do a podcast about classic movies I was like I’M FUCKING IN!!! The first episode went up a week or so ago and I listened and oh man, it’s awesome! They do some deep dives, talk about working at a video store, and discuss movies with a finesse I could only dream about. Give it a listen, it’s wonderful!
Lisa Leaheey (Co-host Whatever with Jason Soto, Between The Scares, The SibList):
Ready or Not (2019)
Many horror movies situate themselves into one camp or another… pun intended. Are they slashers, focused a masked killer stalking promiscuous teens? Are they the latest found-footage flick with staticky VHS-style flaws in the fringes? Maybe they’re just all-out gorefests focused on being gross for the sake of being gross (I’m looking at you, Eli Roth). Occasionally, though, we get a title that’s tense, quick-paced, AND smart, with characters who aren’t easily dispatched and who keep up laughing while we dig our nails into our palms. One such film is Ready or Not, from the summer before the shutdown. Maybe you missed this one because you were out on the beach or exploring the landscape as a world-traveller. In this film, newly-married Grace and her groom Alex Le Domas partake in the family tradition of drawing a game card from a box. The tradition holds that every new member of the family chooses the card, and Grace’s selected card identifies Hide and Seek as the game to be played. While Grace hides, the rest of the family arms themselves… this is clearly no ordinary parlor game. Turns out the family is cursed, and Hide and Seek requires the new member be sacrificed, otherwise the existing family members are killed themselves. It’s a crazy premise, but the movie is crazy fun. Samara Weaving’s Grace is smart and tough, and the chaos of running around a mansion with her new family raises the tension with every passing minute. The resolution of this one is absolutely bonkers – you’ll jump and cackle through the whole thing.
Rob Branch (Co-host CineGamer, Top 5 A Thru Z, Whatever with Jason Soto, Lyrical Innuendo, InfoBlast & I Have A Weird One):
Transylvania Television (2007)
As many of you faithful readers know, I enjoy picking things for my “staff pick” that aren’t of the average variety. From provocative thought invoking movies, straight down to things that make me laugh. With that said, I present to for the viewing pleasure of The Rabbit Hole Podcasters Union 101, my staff pick: Transylvania TV.
This gem was found late one night (last night) on the free streaming service, TUBI. Every now and then the service pulls something up that I’ve never heard of, and Transylvania TV is one of those diamonds from the year 2009 (spooky). First and foremost, it’s a puppet show so if you’re thinking of you’re average puppet show then you’re wrong. Now if you’re thinking of The Muppets meets Sesame Street meets The Munsters, then you’d be accurate. Deep in the unknown areas of Transylvania, a group of monsters struggle to run a TV station. Lead by Count Volodymir LeShoc this station is full of monsters, foul language, hidden innuendos, and reasons to question your sanity!
For having a staff and crew that really hasn’t made a name for themselves yet, you have to give them praises for this show! Many of the staff, writers and puppeteers are new but there are a few names we all should be familiar with: Liz Hara (from Sesame Street), Charles Hubbell (from The Choo Choo Bob Show) and Trace Beaulieu (from MST3K).
So sit back, relax and get ready to laugh. If you don’t, you need therapy.
Pete Rangel, Jr (Co-host Top Five A Thru Z):
Studio 666 (2022)
If you like a good horror film, add in comedy, add in famous celebrities playing fictional versions of themselves, and a great story, check out the Foo Fighters in Studio666. From the beginning to the end you will be hooked. Plus a unexpected cameo in it steals the show. Check this craziness out.
Lackey (Co-Host From Inner Time, Musically Ignorant):
Kubasa In A Glass: The Strange World of The Winnipeg Television Commercial (1975-1993)
This month’s staff pick is Kubasa in a Glass: The Strange World of the Winnipeg Television Commercial (1975-1993). Who would have thought that Winnipeg would be a mecca of the weird? Matthew Rankin (director of The Twentieth Century) and Walter Forsberg paint a bizarre picture of the Canadian city, as told through its TV commercials, talk shows, and public access programs. It’s part documentary and part video collage. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re its particular wavelength, it will become your obsession, leaving you expecting bargains and watching for mutants.
Nick Jobe (Co-host Navigating the Multiverse, InfoBlast, & I Have A Weird One):
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Video Game
I enjoy the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, as I do most MCU things. But when I started playing the GotG video game, I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Completely unconnected from the MCU, the game is an original story with new interpretations of the characters (potentially a mix of the movies and the comics). What I also didn’t expect was how I ended up enjoying the game version of the characters and story more than either one of the films. It almost made me upset in how the film handled some of the characters and how they could have been (particularly Mantis). While the gameplay can get a bit repetitive (and hard), the story and the characterizations are what really pulled me through. It’s unfortunate that this particular story couldn’t even be adapted for the films as it’s very contradictory to things that have happened in the MCU. So if you enjoy the film characters and cosmic stories, and you like video games, I do really recommend this one.
Bubbawheat (Co-host Lyrical Innuendo):
I decided to continue my trend of recommending more or less “trash” TV, AKA shows that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend anywhere else but these are the shows that I’m actually watching and how I enjoy spending my time. This month’s recommendation is a long running show that I watched the two most recent seasons currently available on Hulu and that is Hoarders. It’s a reality show with two hour episodes looking at a different person with hoarding disorder for each episode alongside a therapist and cleaning specialist that rotates between 2-3 people. These seasons are extra interesting because they were filmed during the time of Covid so everyone is wearing masks except for the exit interviews. The cases presented in these seasons had a few notable people. One was a little person with a hoard of books so heavy it was literally destroying their home. What was interesting was that she was one of the first, if not THE first person who started getting therapy for hording before the camera crew showed up so she was much more willing to let go of nearly everything right from the start. Other episodes had the typical pushback with a couple other surprise calls to adult protective services for two different reasons. There were also generally fewer disgusting moments as the worst stuff was glossed over in favor of getting to the heart of the actual root cause, usually trauma or loss, of the hoarding behavior. Often sad but always pretty fascinating to watch.
Bill Szany (Co-host Top 5 A Thru Z):
Animal Farm – Book People usually think of 1984 when they think of George Orwell. Animal Farm is what I think of because it was the first book I remember falling in love with. Which then led me to also watch and enjoy the Animated movie version. It’s on the surface an enjoyable story about talking animals like your average Disney classic, however it delves so much deeper than that as a warning of how greedy politicians can blind us and control us. If you’ve never read it I highly recommend it. I first read it for a summer project my Freshman year of High School and as I said it definitely stuck with me. Social commentary, satire, and cute talking animals all rolled in to one!