Ep. 03-05: Looper (2012)

Time-travel exists, but only on the black market for those with money. When the mob wants to eliminate someone, they send the target into the past where a hitman known as a looper waits to finish the job. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a looper, and he does his job well — until the day his boss decides to close the loop and send Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) back in time for execution.

As entertaining as Looper is, it is a film plagued with problems—logic specifically. Join us as we breakdown the strength and weaknesses of this cross-genre (sci-fi/mob) movie and its controversial director, Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi). Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys takes you to the not-so-distant future where organized crime goes high-concept.

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Ep. 03-04: Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

An aged Elvis Presley (Bruce Campbell) is a resident in an East Texas nursing home where he befriends Jack (Ossie Davis), who claims to be President John F. Kennedy. After co-residents of their quiet retirement community start dying of dubiously unnatural causes, Elvis and Jack discover that the perpetrator is Bubba Ho-Tep (Bob Ivy), a murderous, soul-sucking mummy.  

Welcome to the wonderful, weird story-telling of Joe R. Lansdale. Lansdale has been one of Tim’s favorite writers for going on three decades, and there’s no better way to introduce those unaware of his talent than this little indie film directed by Don Coscarelli (Phantasm). Join us as we discuss the phenomenal casting of Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis, the shoestring budget, and the ever-present magic this film possesses. Listen… as Johnny Has the Keys takes you to a nursing home where two American icons–older and slower, but determined–unite to destroy an evil that is feeding on the souls of their helpless neighbors.

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Ep. 03-03: E.T. (1982)

A gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth and is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Elliott introduces the alien (dubbed E.T.) to his little sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), and the children decide to keep it a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for the children and the alien.

Welcome to the first of three Steven Spielberg films we’re covering this season. And who wouldn’t want to start with this timeless classic tale of discovery, friendship, and love? Join us as we dig deep into the film’s development and the blossoming of its director’s immense talent. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys ventures back to the early 1980s and the beautiful story of a little boy and his best friend from another planet.

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Ep. 03-02: Candyman (1992)

Skeptical graduate student Helen Lyle (Virginia Madsen) befriends Anne-Marie McCoy (Vanessa Williams) while researching superstitions in a housing project in Chicago’s infamous Cabrini Green. Via Anne-Marie, Helen learns of the legend of Candyman (Tony Todd), a hook-baring figure of urban legend that some of her neighbors believe to be responsible for a recent murder. After a mysterious man matching the Candyman’s description begins stalking her, Helen discovers that the legend may be all too real.

Clive Barker has been known for creating disturbing worlds in horror since the release of his seminal Books of Blood in the late 1980s. Hellraiser, Nightbreed (Cabal), and Candyman (The Forbidden)–are just a few entries in the film canon of stories plucked from the pages of those incredibly diverse short stories. Join us, as we discuss the plot and setting changes that elevated this particular film into the realm of American horror classics. Listen… as Johnny Has the Keys journeys to the terrifying urban landscape of Chicago where myth and reality are one, and the naive are forced to become believers when encountering the murderous Candyman.

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