The Scariest Things Podcast Episode CXV: The Horror Potluck Director’s Cut

Fangoria! Woo!

The Horror Potluck is back! What is the potluck? It’s when each of the podcasters brings a movie to the recording session and we all discuss a movie that the others selected. This time, each of us picked just one movie that we thought had a compelling reason to spend additional time dissecting. The movies we picked are: Baskin, Halloween Kills, and Tourist Trap, each of them worthy of a longer look for uniquely different reasons.

Sometimes one of us gets the itch to talk for more than five minutes about a particular movie. This time, Liz couldn’t get Baskin out of her mind, and it is a movie that doesn’t have any really good comparables, sub-genre-wise, (Though Hellraiser might be close, and Prince of Darkness, perhaps) but sometimes you just have to talk things through.

So, we decided to bring back the concept of the Potluck. Each podcaster brings a different “dish” to the “table” and we spend fifteen minutes on one movie rather than five minutes on three selections. It’s a deeper dig, an extended take, a director’s cut if you will. Unlike our typical podcasts, where we select movies extemporaneously, without the others knowing about our picks before the podcast, this time we all watched each of the movies so we could discuss them in earnest together.

This raised the criteria for what kind of movie we picked. There had to be a compelling reason to pick a specific movie. It had to raise issues that were worthy of debate and interpretation. So these were the films that will be talked about in Episode 135:

Baskin: (2015)

One of the hardest movies that you might have to watch. This Turkish film is part of the European Extremism trend, and would perfectly fit in with films like Martyrs, A L’Interieur, Salo, and Haute Tension. This descent into hell is also a bizarre and beautiful movie. But there are moments where even a hardened horror fan may need to cover their eyes or pause the film… it’s that rough. It begs the question, how good is it? The acting and production values are at a very high level. The plot is fascinating. But does the extreme levels it goes to ruinous? Was pushing the boundaries necessary? Would we ever watch it again? Longtime listeners to the Podcast may recall our “Bridge Too Far” scale, and this one would rate up at around a 22 out of 25, putting it up with the likes of Cannibal Holocaust and Audition. Are you intrigued?

Halloween Kills: (2021)

As opposed to the more obscure and independent Baskin, is the widely seen but also controversial Halloween Kills, just released in October 2021. After the rousing success of the Halloween reboot, this feature also went back to the roots of the series, filling the film with Easter Eggs and even more of the hyper-violent murders that the 2018 film gave us. But was the nostalgia just fan service? And did the simple plot and the nature of being the middle film in a trilogy rob the film of its potential? This movie got scathing reviews from critics but was lauded by fans of ’80s slashers yearning for a traditional bloodbath. The Scariest Things was divided on this film and took the time to debate its merits and flaws in this episode.

Davey (Chuck Connors) in Tourist Trap (1979)

Tourist Trap: (1979)

Tourist Trap is a bit less controversial, but it is one of those forgotten transitional films from the late ’70s, just before the VHS and cable explosion that would soon emerge. As a PG movie (it predated PG-13) it pushed up against the borders of its more tawdry and gory kin like The Burning, Sleepaway Camp, and Friday the 13th. But even as a PG movie, it delivers some honest scares, and does all the things that the R-rated films of the era did, and maybe even more effectively than most. Still, it is limited by its shoestring budget, and the acting is strictly B-movie level. But is it a B-movie classic?

Let us know if you like this longer format, and we’ll look to do more of these discussions in the future!

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