Ep. 02-24: Fantastic Voyage (1966)

In order to save a brilliant scientist, Jan Benes, a diverse team is shrunk in a nuclear submarine and injected into Benes’ body in hopes remove a blood clot in his brain. The crew has a finite period of time to fix the clot and get out before the miniaturization wears off.

From the minds of classic sci-fi director, Richard Fleisher (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1954), and classic sci-fi writer, Jerome Bixby (The Twilight Zone, Star Trek), comes this iconic science-fiction thriller, seminal in influence to subgenre masters like Robin Cook and Michael Chrichton. Join us as we discuss it’s fantastic cast, script, and (radical-at-the-time) Academy Award-winning special effects. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys shrinks small enough to invade the mysteries of human anatomy and battle to preserve life from what threats lurk there.

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Ep. 02-23: Deep Red (1975)

A psychic (Macha Méril) is murdered, and musician Marcus Daly (David Hemmings) is compelled to solve the case because he discovered the body. He is joined by a reporter Gianna Brezzi (Daria Nicolodi) looking for a big scoop in solving the case. Soon, one of Marcus’s friends ends up slain at the hands of the same killer, and the resourceful pair must work fast to uncover the murderer’s identity or they will end up as the maniac’s next victims.

Dario Argento, the Italian Hitchcock, has been a well-known name amongst horror connoisseurs for a very long time, and Deep Red was the movie that put him on the map. Join us as we discuss all things Italian horror, from Mario Bava and the Giallo movement through gore-meisters like Lucio Fulci… and where Argento fits in the oeuvre, including his friendship with George Romero spawning Dawn of the Dead (1978). Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys dives into a film so beautifully shot that even the blood is gorgeous… and where those footsteps behind you on the cobblestone streets of Rome may be the last thing you ever hear.

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Ep. 02-22: Ex Machina (2014)

Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) a programmer at a huge Internet search engine company, wins a contest to spend a week at the private estate of Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), his employer’s brilliant CEO. Upon arrival, Caleb learns that he is to be the human component in a Turing test to determine the capabilities and consciousness of Ava (Alicia Vikander), a beautiful and extraordinarily self-aware robot. Caleb soon develops feelings for Ava and is ultimately forced to choose between creator and creation.

It is the not-so-distant future where artificial intelligence appears as real as you or me. Join us as we discuss Ex Machina, the directorial debut of Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine), and the power of small films with really big ideas. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys takes you to the estate of a billionaire genius, where under the surface of tangible miracles there lies a disturbing truth.

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Ep. 02-21: The Wicker Man (1973)

Episode 02-21 The Wicker Man

Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) goes to the small Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the report of a missing child. He is conservative and Christian and finds the frivolous sexual displays and strange pagan rituals happening on the island appalling. Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) explains that they simply follow different beliefs, but the more Sergeant Howie learns about the islanders’ strange practices, the closer he gets to tracking down the missing child and his real purpose for being there.

Though The Wickerman is somewhat dated, it still packs a powerful punch and is ultimately responsible for launching an entire subgenre in cinema known as pagan, or folk horror. Join us as we discuss the highs and lows of this landmark film and its direct influence on movies as recent as The Witch (2015) and Midsommar (2019). Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys takes you to the sunny island of Summerisle, where things are a bit different and the locals might be indulging you for reasons other than hospitality.

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Robin Hardy’s THE WICKER MAN (1973). Courtesy: Rialto Pictures/ Studiocanal