Ep. 15: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre


As trees shed their leaves, and people frantically find ways to make a sexy version of any and every costume, Nate and Ryan celebrate Halloween by watching The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, one of the most revered horror films of all time.  Made in 1974 on a small budget and with unknown actors, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre set a standard in horror film that few others have reached.  This is the first time Nate and Ryan have seen director Tobe Hooper’s masterpiece, and once they manage to stop screaming, they find a way to talk about it.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is often found near the top of any list that ranks the top horror films.  It was number 3 on Time Out London’s list of 100 Best Horror Films, it was number 5 in a recent Rolling Stone reader’s poll earlier this month, and just today, the good folks over at The Dissolve ranked it number 1 on their list of The 30 Best American Independent Horror Films.  With all this acclaim, it has moved from cult classic to essential viewing.

Share your thoughts on The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and on horror films in general.  What’s your favorite horror film?  Do you love The Texas Chain Saw Massacre? What draws you to horror films, or what repels you?

Episode 10: Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Film Title: Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldWe’re in full summer movie swing with a discussion about Edgar Wright’s 2010 action-comedy Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  This energetic adaptation of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel series stars Michael Cera as the titular hero.  In this episode, Ryan and Nate square off in an epic battle which sees Ryan trying to convince Nate that he’s missing out by not joining Team Pilgrim.

Bryan Lee O’Malley also happens to have released a new graphic novel, Seconds, which you would do well to check out if you are a fan of Scott Pilgrim.

This movie has its fair share of ardent fans and bitter detractors.  No matter which side you land on, tell us what you think.  If this is a niche movie, does it scratch your niche?  Do you buy Ryan’s assertion that this movie, while a tremendously fun ride, also has more to offer?  Do you agree with Nate that the movie doesn’t do enough with its characters to make you care?

We spend a lot of time discussing a list of The Top 50 Summer Blockbusters which was compiled by the staff of The Dissolve.  You’ll find their criteria for a summer blockbuster, as well as their list broken up into part 1, part 2, and part 3.

Just for good measure, here’s Tony Zhou’s amazing analysis of Edgar Wright’s flare for visual comedy.

Episode 7: Gremlins

gremlinsAs a way of ringing in summer blockbuster season and celebrating the 30th anniversary of a great year in movies (see our list of 5 great ones from 1984), Nate and Ryan watched Gremlins, a film that, for some reason, neither of them had seen.  Though this episode didn’t start out as a traditional “Nate vs. Ryan” episode, they couldn’t help but draw battle lines and square off about the value of Gremlins.

After listening, tell us your thoughts on movies from 1984, blockbusters, movies that are “so bad, they’re good,” and movies that maybe shouldn’t have been marketed towards kids.

While you’re at it, read this great piece on Gremlins (by the great Noel Murray) from The Dissolve, one of our favorite film websites.

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