An attack on an arctic weather station and a USAF transport plane has the Air Force puzzled. Their scientists make little headway but Col. Joe Parkman enlists the aid of a paleontologist, Dr. Ned Jackson (William Hopper), who may have the answer: the culprit is a giant praying mantis. The creature is traveling south, and it’s a race against time to capture or kill it.
Welcome to the first of our coverage of three creature-features in a row! The 1950s and the atomic age introduced a plethora of these big-bug type films, and The Deadly Mantis (1957) is a prime example. Join us as we discuss our history with this film and how it holds up the modern age. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys tracks a giant monster from the arctic to DC, and finally, New York… bearing witness to the path of destruction it leaves.
Duane Bradley takes a motel room in New York with what looks to be a picnic basket. Soon, we learn the basket contains his surgically removed (and telepathically connected) Siamese twin, Belial. The brothers are on a murderous quest to kill the doctors that separated them against their will. But in one of those doctors’ offices, Duane gets his first-ever date with the receptionist, Sharon, and gets a taste of life without Belial. When the Belial discovers what is going on with Duane and Sharon, he escapes, and the tragic finale unfolds.
Basket Case (1982) is one of those rare gems of a truly terrible, low-budget ($35K) indie that lives on as a classic in the canon of horror movies. The acting is terrible, the logic absent, and it is nothing short of guerilla film-making on the streets of 1980s New York. But the story has heart, and those who have seen it will never forget it. Join us as we discuss our history with the film and its lasting impact on us. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys journeys back to the seedy New York of yore, where a boy and his brother seek poetic vengeance on the adults who wronged them.
Marge (Gloria Talbott) is worried about her husband, Bill (Tom Tryon). Ever since they got married, he has acted oddly, almost without emotion. When he leaves to go for a walk one night, Marge follows him and discovers that the man she married isn’t a man at all, but an alien duplicate of her husband. Not only that, most of the men in her small town have been replaced by aliens as well, and they’re marrying the women of the town in hopes of using them to repopulate their species.
Welcome to the glory that is 1950s creature-feature, B-movies! I Married a Monster from Outer Space(1958) is the classic example of a good film marred by a terrible title. Join us as we stroll down memory lane with our recollections of first seeing this gem, the admirable shoestring-budget effects, and its top-notch cast. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys assimilates with humankind, seeking women to procreate with in hopes of preserving our race for generations of the future!
DOUBLE FEATURE: The Raven (1935) – Dr. Vollin (Bela Lugosi) is a brilliant, unstable surgeon with a questionable obsession for instruments of torture. He saves the life of Judge Thatcher’s daughter, Jean, a beautiful young socialite injured in an automobile accident, and becomes increasingly attracted to her, enlisting the help of a wanted criminal, Edmund Bateman (Boris Karloff), to assist with a diabolical scheme. The Raven (1963) – Sorceror, Erasmus Craven (Vincent Price), is visited by Adolphus Bedlo (Peter Lorre), who has been turned into a raven by Dr. Scarabus (Boris Karloff), an evil wizard. After Craven transforms Bedlo back into a human, Bedlo claims to have seen Lenore, Craven’s dead wife, at Scarabus’ castle, prompting the two to seek Craven’s lost love.
Welcome to our fourth DOUBLE FEATURE of the season, and our first trip into the land of Edgar Allan Poe. In this episode we ponder adapting a film from a poem, question the choice of comedy (both intentional and unintentional), and break down the pros (few) and cons (many) for both these films. Join us as we critique these two vastly different films, one traditionally Universal, and the other a Roger Corman star-power fiasco. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys escorts you into the literary world of Poe and his sublime poem The Raven, for two film adaptations we care to visit nevermore.