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!
It’s October, which means Curiosity is skewing spooky. This month our over-excitable alien chum is feeding Rob and Clive titles with an extra layer of creepyplasma.
We start with Tobe Hooper’s Lifeforce–a deranged slice of Quatermass-style oddness with added nudity, exploding corpses and weapons-grade scenery-chewing. This one has to be seen to be believed, and even then you won’t believe what you’re seeing.
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.
Kinda, unfairly, has a reputation as one of the worst episodes of Davidson-era Doctor Who, largely based on the slightly duff effects at its climax. OK, sure, the ‘terrifying embodiment’ of the villainous Mara is pretty poor by today’s standard…or any time, frankly.
But, as Rob and Clive make clear, there’s a hell of a lot more to Kinda then one ten-foot-tall rubber snake. Cycles of life and death, good and evil, peace and war. A satirical take on colonialism. And some eerily effective dream sequences, that still have the power to un-nerve us even now. A deeply atypical episode of Fifth Doctor goodness. Join our gestalt mind and discover more…