A weekly discussion of weird, overlooked, forgotten, and strange films from the 50s through today. Join me, every Wednesday,as I revisit films from my past and see if they’re still as enjoyable as I remember. We’ll also discover some new favorites hidden among the thousands of films streaming online.
Richard Pryor, Pam Grier, and Cleavon Little star in Greased Lightning, the 1977 Biopic about Wendell Scott, the first African-American driver in NASCAR. The film takes a look at his life from his moonshiner days in the 40s through his near career ending wreck in the 70s, and doesn't shy away from showing all the hardships he faced pursuing his dream. We'll talk about the comedy, and serious, aspects of the story while setting a few things straight that the film got wrong.
Trigger Warning: The film depicts several characters using slurs against Scott, and assaulting him.
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This week I watch a film I never watched before, Friday Foster starring Pam Grier. It's the story of a former model, turned photographer who gets caught up in a political conspiracy while on assignment. She may be in over her head, but she's no damsel in distress, and with a little help from a tough P.I., and the subject of her story, she may derail a plot to change the course of American politics. Once again I'll break down all the good, and bad, of this Blaxploitation classic along with trivia about the film, where you've seen these actors before, and more.
Friday Foster started as a comic strip in the newspapers, one of the only centered around a female, African-American, professional, before coming to life in theaters. With Pam Grier, Eartha Kitt, Yaphett Kotto and more this is one star studded film you need to see. So join me every Wednesday, here at Celluloid Fever Dreams where the films you never heard of, just might become your new favorite.
This week we look at Harlem Nights (1989), the first, and only, film Eddie Murphy has written and directed. An action-comedy about the owners of an illegal club dealing with cops, gangsters, and competition in 1930s New York. A mix of comedy legends and up and coming stars, this film tries to balance its action, comedy, and menace, and mostly succeeds. We dive into the story, the importance of the film, and the impact of its stars on entertainment from the 40s through to today. So join us for some anecdotes, trivia, and more in this week's Celluloid Fever Dreams, where we try to turn the film you haven't heard of, into your new favorite.
I kick off February with one of my favorite Martial Arts Films, The Last Dragon. A commercial success but critical failure when released in 1985 this film has everything. A killer soundtrack, action, Former Prince Proteges, and The Shogun of Harlem! Sho'Nuff! Dismissed by many as lightweight, and not worth the time, I make the case the film was smarter, and better, than a lot of people give it credit for. So, join me this week and unlock The Glow with Celluloid Fever Dreams and The Last Dragon!
This week we talk about 2015's The Final Girls, starring Taissa Farmiga, and Malin Akerman. A horror comedy about a group of teens who get trapped in an 80s slasher flick and try to survive. For one girl, Max, it's especially hard to cope as one of the film's characters is played by her Mother, who passed recently. We dissect the film, talk about it's unique inspiration, and how this film tries to combine horror, and comedy, with a tale of loss and second chances. Join me once again as I dive deep into cinematic history and bring another overlooked film to the surface. Celluloid Fever Dreams, where the film you never heard of, might turn into your new favorite.
For this episode we take a look at the 2014 indie film The One I Love, available on Netflix. What starts as a weekend retreat to have one last stab at saving their marriage, turns into a paranormal puzzle that has Ethan and Sophie questioning everything. Is their love forever lost? Is the guesthouse trying to help, or hinder their efforts? What is the real reason they were sent here? It's a look at how relationships change and what people expect out of their SO with a mind bending reality shift playing havoc with everything. Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss star in this little known film with a unique premise. So, join us for a look into The One I Love. https://www.buymeacoffee.com/CFeverDreams
We take a fan request and talk about the 1988 film Elvira, Mistress of the Dark in this weeks episode. A timeless tale about a television host pursuing a dream of Las Vegas stardom, only to get (rightfully) accused of witchcraft, before having to duel dark forces to protect the world from destruction. Y'know, that old story. It's a fun, campy film that flopped hard at the box office, but got high ratings when screened for television. Why? Join us as we explore this question, drop some trivia about the production and cast, and talk about why this is a film you should know about.
If you like our cover art, head over to our YouTube Channel, Celluloid Fever Dreams, and watch a time lapse video of Wyndham creating it, and talking about how Elvira's Movie Macabre shaped his love of films. https://youtu.be/xJX1Gz04Orc
This week I talk about one of the weirdest zombie films of all time, Death Becomes Her. Despite a dream cast, and award winning director it was only a modest hit at release. 27 years later it's still criminally underappreciated by weird movie lovers. This dark comic tale of the pitfalls of chasing eternal youth has been criticized for a lack of depth, and a zany take on body horror, but is that really a bad thing? Or is it exactly what makes this film such a fun ride from start to finish? Join me and find out. Also, a couple of listener questions answered.
Thanks to a mixup I watched an entirely different 80s vampire film than I meant to. So, space aliens instead of undead. Patrick Stewart instead of David Bowie. Unknown French actress instead of Catherine Deneuve. Still, it’s directed by Tobe Hooper so I had high hopes for it. Space vampires that follow Haley’s Comet and don’t understand the concept of clothing? I have to share this with you guys.
Another foreign film this week with Big Man Japan, or Dai Nippojin (2007) starring Hitoshi Matsumoto. It's a mockumentary style film following Japan's biggest hero, literally, the 100 foot tall Big Man Japan. We see the havoc the job plays on his life between fights with giant monsters, or Kaiju, that threaten Japan. It's a necessary job, but the public doesn't support their defender like they did in his Grandpa's day. Underpaid, underfunded, low television ratings and a monster that he can't beat are just the beginning of our hero's problems. Wyndham takes us through the film's highlights, giving us the good, and the bad, of a film that is equal parts comedy, and action with a surprisingly emotional core. Join him on another international trip with Big Man Japan.
This week we take a look at our first foreign film, For Your Height Only. This Filipino spy caper from 1981 is a perfect parody of the James Bond films from the time. Agent 00 must use all his skills to rescue a scientist from the evil Syndicate before they can force him to build the N bomb and take over the world. Action! Adventure! Gadgets! Intrigue! This film has it all! It also has the biggest star to ever come out of the Phillipine's film industry, Weng Weng, the two foot, nine inch lead of this week's film. So join host Wyndham Jennings for another walk through a weird, wonderful film here on Celluloid Fever Dreams.
For this episode, Host Wyndham Jennings discusses the film GodMonster of Indian Flats, a monster movie more concerned with small town corruption than the titular monster. Listen in as he breaks down the history of the film, his own discovery of it, and it's influences in our second podcast. How could such a simple idea, a rampaging monster film, be executed so poorly? Why is their such a staggering lack of information about a film almost 50 years old? Why did they have a fake funeral for a dog in the church? These questions and more will be answered in this episode of Celluloid Fever Dreams. 9yST5Gip5be6OUKvtQKb
It's the first episode of the podcast as low budget and shoddily made as the films we watch. This week host Wyndham Jennings dives into the mental machinations of the 1975 horror thriller, Psychic Killer, also known as The Kirlian Force. It's a step above the usual b-movie grindhouse films of the era, with a better than average cast, and some well thought out sequences. We'll talk about the plot, the inspiration behind it, the cast and more before letting you know whether it's worth your time to seek this film out and experience it yourself. So join us in our weekly quest to find the overlooked gems of cinema history, as well as a few rocks that are better off forgotten.