Rabbit Hole Staff Picks For October 2022

Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to #SPOOKYSEASON2022, baby!! All Spooky Picks All Day long! (Except for Bubbawheat, he didn’t understand the assignment.)

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):

Attack The Block (2011)

During a Jackbox game or Among Us game or something with the other Rabbit Hole Podcasters, I made this reference:

“We can hide in Ron’s weed room.”

“What’s Ron’s weed room?”

“It’s a weed room. And it’s Ron’s.”

This brilliant exchange is from my pick this month. I love this movie. More of a sci-fi/horror comedy, this stars a young John Boyega as the leader of a bunch of teenagers who aren’t doing very well, for one reason or another. They all live in a slum in South London and an alien just happens to crash into their building. So now everyone has to fight for their lives. Also featuring a pre-Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker, who says “motherfucker” a lot so that’s fun!

Lisa Leaheey (Co-host Whatever with Jason Soto, Between The Scares, The SibList):

The Exorcist (TV-2016)

It’s officially Spooky Season!!! Now, while for me that means it’s an average Tuesday, for normal people, it means we’ve reached October and it’s time for horror movies, TV, and books. Therefore, my recommendation stems from what I feel is the greatest horror story told – William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. The novel is spectacular – and if you’re into audiobooks, Blatty himself narrates, and it’s divine. The 1973 film starring Linda Blair, Max von Sydow, and Ellen Burstyn is my all-time favorite horror film. So what do I recommend this month? You might be surprised to discover that I’m recommending you check out the 2016 Fox TV show of the same title.

When this thing was announced, I was annoyed; I was convinced there was NO WAY this would be good. But I gave it a chance, and you should, too. The first season was decent – it’s the story of a woman named Angela who is tormented by terrible nightmares and whose oldest daughter is behaving strangely. There are odd noises in the house, and… well… you know where this is going. Two priests are called. I thought for sure that this was going to be lame, but I do have to admit that when the show paid homage to that incredible moment when von Sydow’s Fr. Merrin arrived at the MacNeil home in 1973, I got chills. It is, after all, my single favorite frame in all of cinema.

But I digress. It’s my favorite. Please indulge me.

ANYWAY, I’m actually here to recommend SEASON TWO of this tv show. The first season is good, the second season is great. John Cho (love him!) plays Andrew, a foster father to a house of teenagers. They live in an isolated old home on an island outside of Seattle, there’s a creepy old well on the back of their property, there’s a new foster child coming to their home, and… well… you know (again). I’ve rambled on long enough here, and chances are, you’ve stopped reading. But bear with me – John Cho is so wonderful in this role, and the kids and scenarios are really entertaining. I’m the film nerd for whom remakes and reboots are the bane of my existence – it’s big for me to enjoy one, let alone recommend one over the source material. A lot of people didn’t watch this show; you should give it a chance this Spooky Season. It’s on Hulu.

Rob Branch (Co-host CineGamer, Top 5 A Thru Z, Whatever with Jason Soto, Lyrical Innuendo, InfoBlast & I Have A Weird One):

Mr. Boogedy & Bride of Mr. Boogedy (1986 & 1987)

Spoopy season is upon us and now I’m left wondering what movie to recommend to you, my ghoulish readers. At first my thought was just go outside. Better yet move your favorite scream chair to the window, microwave a bag of popcorn and just watch the horror that is the world itself. There’s just one problem. Some of you little fiends live in really, really boring neighborhoods. Also I’m supposed to recommend movies. So let’s get a good scare, well maybe a good scare for your kids.
For my recommendation I’m going for a 2-for-1 special. I’m taking you back, WAY back (hey not that far man) to 1986-87 and presenting you with MR. BOOGEDY & BRIDE OF BOOGEDY! That’s right, before the Haunted Mansion, The Magical World of Disney has MR. BOOGEDY!
A novelty-salesman moves his family into a new house. Initially dismissing incidents as more of their father’s practical jokes, the family soon learns that the house is haunted by people who lived in the house 300 years previously. A young child named Jonathan and a grump of a ghost known as Mr. Boogedy, who started life as an early New England settler, William Hanover.
According to the story, his unrequited longing to marry a widow named Marian led him to make a deal with the devil and that sealed his fate. He’s doomed to forever scare anyone who lives on his old property. Now it’s up to the Davis family to stop Mr. Boogedy and free Jonathan to be with his departed mother. In the sequel Mr. Boogedy is back and he wants his bride, the widow Marion. Yet he sees Mrs. Davis as his new Marion. The Davis family once again, with the help of the town, must banish Mr. Boogedy to not only free the widow Marion, but Mrs. Davis herself.
When I was younger this movie scared the crap out of me, simply because Mr. Boogedy was (and still is) Disney’s icon Boogey Man. Now as an adult, it’s a cheesy movie that makes me laugh. Mr. Boogedy has a handful of suspenseful moments, yet the silly tone keeps it from being too scary. The effects are also impressive for a Disney made-for-TV movie. This is a short film made for kids, but it’s a good introduction to the horror genre.
With a cast of Richard Masure (The Thing, My Girl), Mimi Kennedy (Midnight in Paris, Dharma & Greg), Davis Fuastino (Married with Children, The Legend of Korra), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dude Where’s My Car) & John Astin (The Frightners, Attack of The Killer Tomatoes), this is a movie I recommend over and over. Right now, both movies are streaming on Disney+ and are a great gem to watch.

Pete Rangel, Jr (Co-host Top Five A Thru Z):

Orphan First Kill (2022)

Are you into a good horror prequel? Well, “Orphan: First Kill” is the movie to check out. If you loved the original “Orphan” with the delusional psycho Esther, this movie tells you the story of how the first movie began. Very interesting great almost totally different story that will keep you watching from start to finish.

Lackey (Co-Host Musically Ignorant):

Bruiser (TV-2000)

My latest Staff Pick is so obscure it’s not even officially available in the U.S., although some of the episodes have been posted to YouTube. Bruiser is a British sketch comedy show that ran for a single six-episode season in 2000. The cast features acclaimed actor Martin Freeman, Oscar winner Olivia Colman, Peep Show stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb, and Garth Merenghi creator Matthew Holness; Ricky Gervais and Richard Ayoade performed additional writing duties. The series follows a series of darkly hilarious characters including a rude American celebrity journalist, a suicidal patriarch, a childish pimp, a foul-mouthed IT tech, and a would-be murderer obsessed with poison. If you’ve ever wondered if it’s possible to become so relaxed that you forget to live, you’ll find the answer in Bruiser.

Marc Armstead (Co-Host Word of (Hell)Mouth):

Prince of Darkness (1987)

Prince of Darkness may not be the first horror movie that comes to mind when you think of John Carpenter, but it’s my personal favorite. A priest (played by the incomparable Donald Plesance) commissions a group of Physics grad students to research a strange tube of glowing liquid found in an abandoned church. The liquid turns out to be Satan himself who starts turning the students into zombies to carry out his ultimate goal, bringing his father back from the abyss to destroy life as we know it. I love Prince of Darkness so much because it does a great job blending horror genres; there are aspects of supernatural, zombie, and sci-if horror all in one film. Also, there’s this great sense of tension and isolation that runs throughout the film; while the group battles their fallen friends inside the church, there’s a hoard of possessed homeless people- led by Alice Cooper- outside the church preventing their escape. It all makes for a claustrophobic and terrifying experience. So if you find yourself looking for a bit of old school horror, definitely give Prince of Darkness a watch.

Nick Jobe (Co-host Navigating the Multiverse, InfoBlast, & I Have A Weird One):

Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)

While most staff are giving you a treat today, I’ll give you a trick. I was of the age where Hocus Pocus was a big deal to us, and we tried to watch it every year. Love that movie, flaws and all. I was excited yet had trepidations for the sequel. And 30 years later, the sequel is… okay. It tries a bit too hard and often comes off as more a parody fanfiction than an honest sequel. But it does also feel like a natural sequel, story and theme-wise. It just unfortunately feels tonally all over the place, which also led to some logic/writing issues. Overall, I’m not a big fan, but I did laugh out loud multiple times and appreciate where the story went… just not quite how they went about telling it. But if you’re a fan of the original, it’s worth at least checking out, as it honestly expands on the original without detracting from it. I know that’s a weird recommendation, but… that’s what I got.

Bubbawheat (Co-host Lyrical Innuendo):

Clerks III (2022)

I’ve been a bit of a lapsed Kevin Smith fan lately, I went from listening to practically every one of his dozen podcasts and collecting his guest appearances in non-View Askew productions to completely skipping new movies altogether or at least for a few years. But when the news came out for Clerks 3 I was cautiously excited. The trailer felt a little close to Jay and Silent Bob Reboot that I felt was trying too hard but I was willing to give it a shot. And when the timing lined up that I could see the Fathom events showing after work I took it and was not disappointed. I was still enough of a fan that I caught a lot of the more subtle behind the scenes references to the real life making of Clerks and his relatively recent heart attack. The humor worked well in the first half and the ending was a real, heartfelt love letter to the time he spent making Clerks and the life it has given him. It wasn’t a perfect movie, but I really enjoyed it and it hit me a lot harder emotionally than I ever expected.

The Vern (Co-host Tales From The RR):

Pearl (2022)

From the opening frame, Pearl sets herself apart from other movies about psychopathic women with stars in their eyes.  With its lush Technicolor visuals and sweeping score (complete with the kind of old titles you would expect to see in a movie made in the late 30’s to early 40’s.) Director and writer Ti West along with actor and writer Mia Goth.  They have crafted a movie that is purely magic.

Taken place many years before the circumstances that befell a group of filmmakers in the flick X.  We meet, Pearl(Mia Goth)  A woman who lives on a farm with her domineering mother(Tandi Wright) and father left paralyzed due to the Spanish flu(Matthew Sundeland).  Pearl dreams of one day escaping the farm and becoming a movie star likes the ones she sees every day on her way to do chores she doesn’t like.  Her husband Howard promised he would take her away from all this but he’s stuck fighting in World War 1 so our heroine is left to her own imagination which can get quite twisted.  Especially with her encounters with farm animals, and scarecrows.  When a local audition comes to town and she attracts the attention of a theater manager.  Pearl makes it her goal to be discovered and be taking far far away and she will not take no for an answer.

What I love best about this movie is that even though you know exactly where this is going.  Mia Goth makes this character so believable and flesh out that you end up feeling sympathy for her.  I don’t condone the actions she does, but I understand why she does it.  We all work so hard at achieving our dreams every day and lets face it.  We may never even come close.  There is a six minute unbroken monologue from Pearl that made me shed tears and if any performance from a horror picture was to get award praise.  That would be it.   Same goes for Tandi Wright and Matthew Sunderland who nail every single scene there in.  Sunderland acts with just his eyes people.  His freaking eyes and steals every moment he’s in.  

If you are expecting a traditional horror movie with a high body count and creepy things that take place at night.  This is not it. Pearl is a bright colorful Technicolor feature that feels like Walt Disney met up with Herschel Gordon Lewis and they made a movie together.

Five Axes out of Five

Ryan Luis Rodriguez (Co-host Tales From The Double RR):

Evil Dead (2013)

Sam Raimi’s original “Evil Dead” trilogy is justly beloved by genre fans, so following it up was no easy task. Taking that into account, Fede Alvarez delivered a reboot just as goopy and gnarly as the first 1981 film, even exceeding it in terms of sheer nerve-shredding tension and sadistic violence. This seems to be a fairly controversial pick, I acknowledge, but it just arrived on 4K Blu-ray and I was surprised by how well it held up. It’s certainly no “Evil Dead II” or even “Army of Darkness” but it’s definitely worth 90 minutes of your time.

Heather Baxendale-Walsh (Co-Host Word of (Hell)Mouth):

Faerie Tale Theatre (1982)

Let us go off-roading this month and make our way down a path less traveled. My recommendation for some spooky, creepy fun is watching Faerie Tale Theatre. I was obsessed with it as a child, and I still love it now and have a collectors edition DVD set fully stocked with playing cards! Admittedly, some of these interpretations are cheesy, but most of them were dark, more on the Grimm side of fairy tales. I loved Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Rip Van Winkle, and all three creeped me out, but the one that scared me to bits was “Rumpelstiltskin,” which was my first introduction to the story and has remained one of my favorites. This is a fun and worthy series to tangle yourself up in. Aside from the fun theatrical interpretations, there are also insane guest stars in the casting. It’s even worth suffering Shelley Duvall’s terrible acting. Enjoy a bit of darkness in your fairy tales this spooky season.

Bear (Host With Strange Aeons: Visual Lovecraft Adaptations):

Cthulhu (2007)

We were told to pick something scary for October – and what’s scarier than the tension of dealing with weird family dynamics? This adaptation is more based in Shadow Over Innsmouth than “The Call of Cthulhu,” but what it nails is that Lovecraftian sense of hopelessness and dread in the face of an unforgiving situation. Rather than overwhelming monstrosities beyond comprehension, the movie uses the protagonist’s sexuality and relationship with his small hometown as a vehicle for depicting the isolation of Innsmouth.

It’s not a perfect movie: the protagonist’s actions don’t always make sense, and there’s a lot going on. But it is a unique Lovecraft adaptation, and it flips how homosexuality is typically depicted in horror (with queerness being a positive influence and heterosexuality being framed as a perversion), making it – at the very least – an interesting and worthwhile watch.

Bill Szany (Co-host Top 5 A Thru Z):

Resident Alien (TV-2021)

I started watching this recently. I discovered it on the Peacock app/website, but apparently it’s a SyFy channel show. This may be a strange comparison but it reminds me a bit of Dexter; if Dexter was an Alien from Outer Space. I guess because it’s about an outsider blending in with a super important job, but living a separate completely opposite life outside of that. Plus Harry, the main character, narrates the show. If you like Dexter and also like science fiction, I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this show. Also I wouldn’t consider it a straight up comedy but it has hilarious moments throughout every episode. The Alien is so blunt and goofy, it’s impossible not to root for him even though he does do some pretty messed up stuff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: