The Nighthawks Monstoberfest Omnibus

Monstoberfest not going fast enough for you? Crave more horror content out of the Nighthawks Diner?

Look no further.

Here is a complete rundown of all of the episodes we’ve done under the Monstoberfest banner at the Nighthawks Podcast, for your spooky season consumption.

2015- Monstoberfest

Ep 14- Monster Squad / Waxwork “The Monster Mash-Up”

We’re ready to hit the Halloween season with both fists.

In this episode we knock several monsters out in one fell swoop, using only two films. Now THAT is economy.

If THE AVENGERS is the big sweeping cross-over to bring all the superheroes together, then there are two films that can do the same for some of the most famous monsters in film history.

First up, we have WAXWORK, a cheesy 80’s romp where a spooky wax museum isn’t exactly what it might first seem. If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that all wax museums harbor dark secrets, in WAXWORK it’s that the tableaus are alive and they want you to become a part. We get The Mummy, we get The Wolfman, we get Dracula and many more under one roof! Lovingly curated by the sinister David Warner, this 1988 gem is sure to be a good fit at your next party.

After that, Trevor and Matt settle into the vinyl corner booth of the Nighthawks cafe to talk about a timeless classic of their youth. What is the 1987 equivalent of ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN? Try THE GOONIES meet the Universal Monsters, and that formula isn’t too far off with THE MONSTER SQUAD. Sound off- we have Dracula, we have Wolfman, we have Frankenstein’s Monster, we have The Mummy, we have the Creature From the Black Lagoon and they’re all looking to murder children.

THE MONSTER SQUAD is a darkly comic classic that’s sure to tickle your inner child, and prompt the question “why don’t they make them like this anymore?”

Ep 15- Haxän / The Blair Witch Project “Bruja Brouhaha”

The Monstoberfest celebration continues with an examination of some of the most recognizable, but not so cinematically represented Halloween season monsters.

Trevor and Matt will have to pick up every stitch, as they embark on the season of the witch.

Witches and witchcraft will be under inspection, today. First up, a classic silent film from 1922, that examines witch folklore and history as a pseudo-reenactment documentary. Straight from the Criterion collection, it’s HAXAN.

Following that, a movie heavily inspired by HAXAN; about three college students wandering into the forests of Maryland in search of a legendary witch. But as the protagonists find themselves hopelessly lost, they encounter something that can’t be identified. Getting to the bottom of the mystery only gets replaced with the desire to survive in THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.

Ep 16- The Thing / Attack the Block “My Favorite Martians”

Trevor and Matt invade their coffee and pie session with a discussion of two later additions to the intergalactic menace canon. First up is the 1982 Masterwork of paranoia and practical monster effects, John Carpenter’s THE THING.

Following that, the 2011 debut film from Joe Cornish, featuring a pre-THE FORCE AWAKENS starring role for John Boyega, ATTACK THE BLOCK. Earth may never be the same.

Ep 17- The Exorcist / Needful Things “The Devil and Max Von Sydow”

Who wins, Max Von Sydow vs. The Devil?

What happens when Max Von Sydow *is* The Devil?

We don’t have the answers for you. What we do have is two movies about The Devil.

First up, Trevor and Matt sample a slice of the classic William Friedkin horror masterpice: THE EXORCIST. The guys watched the movie and they have thoughts they’d like to share. Specifically if THE EXORCIST manages to get past Matt’s predisposition to disliking demon-posession films? Von Sydow plays an elderly priest and archeologist, who is asked to help rid a young girl of her literal demons.

Second on the docket: Max Von Sydow takes up arms against the other side. In NEEDFUL THINGS, Von Sydow plays the charismatic and manipulative Leland Gaunt, proprietor of a small-town antique store. However Gaunt isn’t as he appears to be, he’s actually doing a great bit of scheming and tempting, leaving it up to Ed Harris to get to the bottom of things.

Does The Devil make us do bad things, or were we just not living up to our evil potential?

2017- Monstoberfest Returns

Ep- 50 Misery / Phantom of the Opera (1925) “Creepy Fans”

We’re bobbing for another bite at the Halloween apple in 2017, and we’re kicking it off in a big way.

History is riddled with examples of toxic fan culture, and sadly it’s an issue that we, as a society, have just begun to discuss. While the Nighthawks are putting a bookmark in that slot, for a more in-depth look at actual fan culture, they thought they’d take a stab at the artistic side.

1925’s Phantom of the Opera is a seminal film that would help set the stage for genre films throughout history. An early silent effort, this adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s novel strikes closest to the heart of the source material. Andrew Lloyd Webber may have painted a picture of a pitiful and romantic Phantom, but 1925 was far less kind. When they adapted the story about the gaslighting murderer who felt privileged to a woman’s virtue, they felt he should be a bad guy. With legendary makeup effects that still hold up today, this Lon Chaney masterpiece is a must-watch for the film completest.

Good news, Phantom of the Opera is a public domain film and can be viewed numerous places online. Simply search for it.

The Nighthawks’ second film is the Rob (not Carl) Reiner adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery. The only King adaptation (so far *eyebrow waggle*) to win an Oscar. James Caan plays Paul Sheldon, a badly injured author who has been “rescued” by his number one fan, from an icy death. Annie Wilkes, played to perfection by Kathy Bates, turns out to be less of a savior and more of a nightmare. We’ve all heard that we should be careful meeting our heroes, sometimes it’s our heroes who need saved from us. 

Ep- 51 Friday the 13th / Halloween “Thirteen, Thirty-one”

It’s the most murder filled time of the year! It’s October, and that means it’s time for MONSTOBERFEST RETURNS. This is by-and-large because October is when Halloween is, which gives us a good excuse to watch spooky movies.

Movies like the aptly named slasher classic, John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN.

But October 2017 was something truly special, as well.

To make things extra spooky, October ’17 also hosted a 13th day on a Friday.

Which means it’s a good time to break out the classic copy of Sean S. Cunningham’s FRIDAY THE 13th. Both about misfortune befalling fumble-prone horny teenagers, when mysterious killers begin picking them off in a brutal, and gruesome manner.

In what ways are these two major slasher films the same? In what ways are they different? Have a seat in the booth and join the conversation.

Ep- 52 Found Footage 3D “Finding Steven” (Interview with Director Steven DeGennaro)

From the filmmakers behind Found Footage 3D: “When he’s hired to document the behind-the-scenes action of the ultra-low-budget horror movie Spectre of Death (“the first 3D found-footage horror film”), an aspiring filmmaker packs up his camera and travels with the film’s crew to a creepy cabin in the woods.

But when the fictional evil presence from their film begins appearing in his behind-the-scenes footage, he has to figure out how to stop it, or it just may find its way into the real world.

In the same way that SCREAM deconstructed the slasher sub-genre in the 90’s, FF3D takes a found-footage horror movie and populates it with people who are aware of all of the rules, tricks, and clichés of the genre. They know how to make a found footage movie. But do they know how to survive one?” FOUND FOOTAGE 3D, the latest release from SHUDDER, is a meta exercise, a pitch black comedy, a geek screed against the mundane, and a fully functional horror movie.

To help Trevor and Matt reveal all the Matryoshka dolls of FF3D is the film’s writer and director, Steven DeGennaro. In this full interview, DeGennaro walks the Nighthawks through a soup-to-nuts behind-the-scenes look at this sharply funny and deviously clever entry in the meta horror lexicon.

2018- Revenge of Monstoberfest

Ep- 72 The Devil’s Candy “The Sweetest Treat”

Doom chords, creeping voices, killer artwork, and heavy metal family values are deftly painted on the screen, in THE DEVIL’S CANDY, a sophomore effort from Tasmanian filmmaker Sean Byrne.

This film takes the boys from the comforts of the Nighthawks Diner, to the inky black, humid, and hot hills of Texas’ Williamson County. A married couple of rock and roll artists from nearby Austin have locked in their dream home at an unbeatable price. Meanwhile, a confused killer who tries to keep his literal demons at bay by playing doom chords on a guitar, decides he wants to return home. A home currently occupied by a transplant Austin family.

A criminally underwatched classic for fans of Heavy Metal, Horror Movies, and top-tier genre performances. THE DEVIL’S CANDY delivers on its sweetness. But the Nighthawks can’t do anything the easy way. Not unlike the conflict of a struggling artist finding his way between personal fulfillment and commercial success; The Devil’s Candy is an artwork on two canvases.

At issue is the 71 minute version currently available in release, and a phantom festival cut that the boys saw a few years ago, with 11 extra minutes of content. Did the 11 minutes make a difference?

Tune in and see… if you dare!

Featured in the film is the artwork of Stephen Kasner, who was briefly profiled in this 2017 piece from Clevescene-dot-com.

Ep- 73 Child’s Play “Attack of the killer doll franchise” (Feat. Guest Host Mark Ball)

As a child, Trevor spent his years never owning a My Buddy doll or a Teddy Ruxpin.

As a child, Matt spent his time sneaking horror movies on HBO, in his friend’s basement.

As a child, Mark was exposed to killer dolls at way too young an age, by his sister.

CHILD’S PLAY, the iconic film about a killer doll inhabited by the soul and being of a Chicago serial killer, was omni-present during the childhood of the Nighthawks, as well as their guest host Mark Ball.

For this episode during Monstoberfest, the three talk about 1988’s classic horror film, CHILD’S PLAY. A movie about malicious toys, getting parents to believe you, getting the police to believe the parents, and teaching Chris Sarandon how to drive in crisis situations. Another slice of Halloween pie for our listeners.

Mark’s 2018 finalist bumper for Fantastic Fest, Chief Hopper Clowns Around, can be found here. Much of Mark’s action figure photography can be found on Instagram.

Ep- 74 War of the Worlds (1938) “Mars killed the radio star”

If we’re going to go out, we’re taking the rest of the world with us!

Nothing is sacred as the Matt and Trevor take a deep bite of Orson Welles’ legendary radio broadcast, WAR OF THE WORLDS, that panicked an entire nation!

Or… did it?

2018 was the 80th Anniversary of the Halloween Eve broadcast that would go down in infamy, and propel its director into putting together the (arguably) greatest American film ever made.

From the people who brought you Citizen Kane (Orson Welles), Casablanca (Howard Koch), and Psycho (Bernard Hermann serves as Welles’ orchestra leader). Assembled talent that would become synonymous with “Hollywood,” first took their stab at terrifying a nation wirelessly. Just how successful were they?

A download of the original WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast is available from Archive.org.

2019 Spawn of Monstoberfest
(the remakes)

Ep 88- A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) “One, two Freddy’s coming for you…again”

For the autumnal season, the Nighthawks are talking about remakes of horror movies that have been covered previously in the podcast before.

Throwing back to Nighthawks Episode 11 “Wes Craven’s Impossible Dream” Matt and Trevor chatted in the diner booth about the 1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street and its meta sequel Wes Craven’s A New Nightmare. The boys check back in with the Nightmare franchise, by watching the Freddy Krueger movie whose most unexpected victim was the Platinum Dunes horror remake model.

Neither Matt nor Trevor had seen the 2010 Nightmare before this episode. Were they right to hold off? Does the remake deserve the hate, or is it a misunderstood innocent victim of remake prejudice? Give ‘er a spin and try us.

Welcome to primetime.

Ep 91- Friday the 13th (2009) “Jason and the AAARRRGGGHHH! Oh No…ts”

Hot on the heels of watching 2010’s A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, the boys turn the PLATINUM DUNES clock back a year and watched the re-make/boot/hash/imagining of the 1980 slasher classic FRIDAY THE 13th.

Jared Padalecki stars in this non-supernatural (ahem) chapter of the hockey-mask-wearing killer Jason Voorhees. Was this another tired remake, or did the 2009 edition bring something to the table?

The Redux of Monstoberfest continues.

For our original discussion on Friday the 13th from Episode 51, see above or click here.

Ep- 92 Bram Stoker’s DRACULA “Listen to them, the children of the Nighthawks, what music they make”

We send the 2019 horror season off by taking another stab at a boss monster.

And we mean “boss” both as “superlative” and “in charge.”

In 2015’s Nighthawks Episode 3, Matt and Trevor discussed the incomparable Christopher Lee and his first turn as Dracula in 1958’s DRACULA from Hammer Films (distributed in the US as THE HORROR OF DRACULA). During that episode, the boys found the Hammer treatment changed a great deal from the source material and elevated it for then-contemporary audiences. This, despite Trevor’s shocking confession that he doesn’t like the Dracula novel all that much.

This time around, in 1992’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, director auteur Francis Ford Coppola uses older and time-honored production techniques to craft a well-executed and out-of-time look and feel for a story that was originally published in 1897.

BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA features legendary makeup, costumes, and performances from Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins. Also featured: not-our-favorite performance from Hollywood sweetheart Keanu Reeves. Is the fresh 1992 polish enough for the boys in the diner to get over their Dacula property hump?

Cinch a garlic garland around your neck, and join us as we resurrect DRACULA for another battle with good.

For more information on Dracula, see Episode 3.

2020 Monstoberfest in Space

Ep 108 Lifeforce “Naked Draculas From Space”

Content advisory: This film discusses the 1985 film named Lifeforce, not the 1986 video game Life Force (aka Salamander). Given the nature of the internet we felt it best to disclaim in advance.

The horror comes from beyond the stars for MONSTOBERFEST IN SPACE, the celebration of horror movies that have a basis in the cosmos. During an Earth passby of Halley’s Comet, daring British space exploration team makes a shocking discovery: a derelict alien spacecraft, with three naked humans in glass coffins.

When the glass coffins are brought on board, there is a disaster in space, causing the deaths of all the British space explorers, save one American Colonel. Seemingly unharmed, the glass coffins are brought to earth where they are opened, and the psychic space vampires inside wreck havoc on London and the surrounding countryside.

Notorious for containing a LOT of Mathilda May, Lifeforce also stars Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, and Sir Patrick Stewart. The naked space vampire movie that the guys thought they remembered, is not the one they caught on display. Overshadowed by a lot of nudity, Lifeforce shares a great deal of DNA with Dracula, Night of the Living Dead, and Alien. And we don’t just mean Dan O’Bannon, either. Whom we will discuss very, very soon. Just not right now. Gotta leave some pod fodder for the rest of MONSTOBERFEST IN SPACE!

Ep 109 Event Horizon “Paul W.S. Anderson in Space”

Off we go, in the the black empty void of space.

Trevor and Matt’s second foray into 2020’s MONSTOBERFEST IN SPACE takes them to the outer rim of the Solar System, and in orbit around Neptune.

Elite space explorers and a radical scientist team up to investigate the derelict spaceship, Event Horizon, which has been missing for seven years. The faster-than-light vehicle has successfully managed to fold space, but while traversing dimensions, it seems to have brought something back.

Folks. These aren’t aliens.

Event Horizon was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and stars Sam Neill, Laurence Fishburne, Kathleen Quinlan, Jason Isaacs, Richard T. Jones, and Sean Pertwee.

Trevor hadn’t seen this movie in 23 years, and didn’t care for it the first time around. Have two-plus decades managed to change his mind?

Ep 110 ALIEN (1979) “Humans in space…and they’re not alone”

The Nighthawks have brought you space vampires and space demons in 2020, but what is space the most famous for?

It is the dwelling of the ALIEN.

The seminal outer space horror movie from 1979 is the movie that launched, not only its own franchises, but launched several imitators and franchises throughout the last 40 years.

Sigourney Weaver is Lt. Ellen Ripley, a smart and tough space trucker running a mission with her coworkers, presented by Tom Skerritt, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm, and Veronica Cartwright.

What happens when the creature from beyond the stars is also a creature beyond human comprehension?

Directed by Ridley Scott, ALIEN is a film that brings together stellar design, superb performances, acute technical prowess, and mastery of horror that is often strived for but never quite met.

For the Mother of All Modern Space Horror, the Nighthawks bring in the Black Pope of Genre Film, Mark Ball, an action figure photographer, a stop-motion animator, podcaster, and horror movie super-fan.

Ridley Scott pulled out all the stops for ALIEN, and the Nighthawks Podcast is pulling out all the stops for this episode.

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