A woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping off the New England tourist town of Amity Island. Police Chief, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), wants to close the beaches, but mayor, Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), overrules him, fearing the loss of tourist revenue. Ichthyologist, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), and a fisherman, Quint (Robert Shaw), offer to help Brody capture the killer shark, and the trio engages in an epic battle of man vs. nature.
Necessity is the mother of invention is a proverb that aptly explains the success of Jaws—Steven Spielberg’s massive blockbuster film—better than anything else. Force to film early, the young, novice director began shooting his film in the words of Richard Dreyfuss, “without a script, without a cast, and without a shark.” Join us for this very special Christmas episode as we discuss how Spielberg learned a career-making lesson in the concept of less is more, and how the monster you don’t see in most cases is scarier than the one you do. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys dives deep into the dark waters where a predator lurks, mammoth, and ready to devour the world.
World War II planes reported missing suddenly appear in the Mojave desert. A commercial flight encounters a UFO. While working one night, lineman, Roy Neary, has an otherworldly experience… Officials determine where the visitors plan to land and create an elaborate cover-up to keep people away. However, a group of people (including Neary) go anyway… for a gathering with new, and old, friends.
Welcome to part one of our Very Spielberg Christmas! In this 1977, feel-good classic, we experience thrills and chills as the people of earth encounter a benevolent alien race. Join us as we discuss Spielberg’s initial foray into science fiction films, and—similar to E.T. (1982)—a fantastical take of not-so-menacing extraterrestrials. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys climbs Devil’s Tower for an invitation-only event with visitors from another world and, who knows, perhaps the opportunity to join them for future adventures.
Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband, Guy (John Cassavetes), move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbors, Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon). Guy’s career suddenly blossoms and Rosemary finds herself pregnant. But something is not right. Rosemary becomes increasingly isolated and questions the origins of her pregnancy. She soon learns the diabolical truth.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968) is a landmark in the canon of horror film history, specifically the sub-genre of satanic/witchcraft films. It may very well be the perfect storm of horror movies, featuring a controversial subject, a talented (but soon-to-be) controversial director, and having been released in a very turbulent time (the summer of love, Viet Nam, the Manson murders, etc.) Join us as we discuss the film’s continuing popularity and speculate on the reasons. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys sublets an apartment in the iconic Dakota building, where suicides and death are commonplace, and where that baby you hear crying down the hall may be something far more sinister than it sounds.
Respected scientist and psychology professor Edward Jessup (William Hurt) combines his experiments in sensory deprivation tanks with powerful hallucinogenic drugs, convinced that it may help him unlock different states of consciousness. The experiments are a success at first, but as Jessup continues his work, he experiences altered mental and also physical states. As he spends more time in sensory deprivation, his grip on reality slips away.
Ken Russell, the director of Altered States, is a genre unto himself. Wildly visual and often shocking, he definitely falls more into the auteur category than most directors. Join us as we discuss Altered States, a hybrid sci-fi/horror film, its fantastic cast, story, and special effects. Listen, As Johnny Has the Keys enters a surreal world, where isolation takes and mystical Mexican potions may not only cause hallucinations but could also hold the key to human evolution itself.