Thursday, December 29, 2016

226 El Topo

Matt and Mark finally review the midnight movie classic El Topo by Alexandro Jodorowsky. A Deepak Chopra myth salad of religious symbolism, Matt chooses to not take the ride while Mark extracts the essential parable of the film. While the stylistic surrealism is intriguing and evocative, the Spaghetti Western set dressings and overwrought violence cater to a more specific crowd. An allegorical trip through misguided purpose and failed redemption, there's something here here. To soak up the strangeness no doubt requires multiple watchings, an investment perhaps a certain few are willing to make.

Download: 226 El Topo  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

225 On Her Majesty's Secret Service

It's Christmas time! And this week we review a Bond film with a waft of Yule-tide dressing (a Christmas tree here, a wreath there...), and the only George Lazenby Bond film in the canon:  On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In the shadow of the Connery purists, OHMSS is a solid Bond film with worthy set pieces and a perfect villain played by Telly Sevalas. The Piz Gloria, with it's loungy interiors and Alpine vistas is a madmen's redoubt where we could only hope to sip a Martini and woo a harem of international beauties.

Download: 225 On Her Majesty's Secret Service  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

224 Withnail and I

Matt admits failure this week when we review Withnail and I, the beloved British cult film from 1987. Without the benefit of repeat watchings and dialogue insight, the witty writing and conversations were lost with Matt's virgin viewing.  Mark luckily picked up the major slack. A tiny slice of the 60's, Withnail and I indulge the youthful abandon aesthetic of the time. So, we apologize in advance to the devoted Withnailers for our review. We tried.

Download: 224 Withnail and I

Monday, November 28, 2016

223 Computer Chess

This week Matt and Mark review the 2013 film Computer Chess. Like Terminator's man-vs-machine themes (without time travel and plasma-rifle wielding cyborg killers), Computer Chess is an idiosyncratic look at humanity's constant yearning to recreate itself. When we finally stumble upon the holy grail of Vinge's Singularity, mid-80's nerd competitions in a nondescript Holiday Inn will usurp Newton's Apple as the defining moment of human progress.

Download:  223 Computer Chess

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

222 Idiocracy

Not a current comment on our body electorate or anything, but this week Matt and Mark review the unsung Mike Judge classic Idiocracy. Besides the gags, Matt and Mark try to unearth the kernel of incurious idiocy Judge depicts. In a world of junk food convenience, the lack of ownership and struggle may work to numb us and dumb us down to a level you see in the film: wandering zombies of simple needs, hamsters on a wheel, etc... Anyway, at the expense of sounding too faggy, Idiocracy manages to redefine the lowest common denominator.

Download: 222 Idiocracy

Monday, November 14, 2016

221 What We Do In The Shadows

A fitting coda for our Matt and Mark's Vampire Weekends movie review marathon, we review the New Zealand mockumentary What We do in the Shadows. A film that's gimmick could've easily sabotaged it, the high concept of a Real World for vampires is handled deftly with a genuine love for it's characters. Well edited and tight, all the gags and bits flow seamlessly. This movie is funny and worth more than one viewing, dare I say an "instant cult classic."

Download: 221 What We Do In The Shadows    

Friday, November 11, 2016

Bonus Episode #3

A surprise bonus episode this week (Matt was overcome by a swarm of feverish screaming children, and didn't' get to watching the movie). After a minority of us voted to make America Great Again, Matt and Mark thought we'd take some time and hash over the aftermath of the 2016 election. If you're sick of politics, low-rent punditry, and snobbish West Coast libtard commentary, skip this one. However, Mark does insert a quick review of Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge, which may make us worthy of redemption.

Download: Bonus Episode #3

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

220 Byzantium

This is the end of Matt and Mark's Vampire Weekends movie review marathon! And to go out, we review Neil Jordan's sophomore vampire film, Byzantium (not to be confused with Matt's dismally selling novel Nova Byzantium). Beautifully wrought with a carefully crafted atmosphere, Jordan takes the vampire tale in a different baroque direction, filled with Illuminati-esque intrigue and nascent melancholy romance. Where Twilight is bubble gum and Tiger Beat, Byzantium is The Cure mixed with midnight readings of Edgar Allen Poe. Hope you enjoyed our set of blood-sucking cinema critique!

Download: 220 Byzantium

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

219 Near Dark

With skin more volatile than kerosine mixed with flash paper, the vampires of Katheryn Bigelow's Near Dark redline their existence into the daylight hours (often). Vampire Weekends continues with our penultimate offering this week on The Cult of Matt and Mark. A Western-genre modern-horror mashup, Near Dark is stylistically polished with gritty murderous characters that eventually gets what's coming to them, and deliciously so. However, for a horror film, it really fails to terrify.

Download: 219 Near Dark

Sunday, October 16, 2016

218 Fright Night

And Vampire Weekends movie review marathon just keeps on rolling on The Cult of Matt and Mark with Fright Night, a solid mid-80's vampire offering. While the main character of Charlie Brewster merely provides an avatar for the viewer, the power of the film resides in its supporting characters. While Evil Ed and the two-bit Van Helsing Peter Vincent add color, it's Chris Sarandon as the seductive vampire lord Jerry Dandrige that adds an awesome brush stroke of menace. In so doing, it could be argued that Sarandon's performance could go down as one of the greatest cinematic vampires of all time.

Download: 218 Fright Night

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

217 Shadow of the Vampire

And Vampire Weekends keeps rolling with The Cult of Matt and Mark's vampire film movie review marathon. This week we review the 2000 indie film Shadow of the Vampire, starring powerhouse actors Malkovich and Defoe. While Matt developed a nascent pining for an "is it real?" theme, Mark re-aligns the compass and delves into the power of film and the historical schism it created when action itself could be cast in stone for later generations. A meta film, Shadow of the Vampire asks the hypothetical question: Was Nosferatu documenting the end of the vampire legend or its beginning?

Download:  217 Shadow of the Vampire

Monday, October 3, 2016

216 Blade 2

This week Matt and Mark continue our Vampire Weekends movie marathon with Guillermo del Toro's sequel Blade 2. Despite being a fun Matrix-style neo chop-socky action film, it also deals with the idea of "vampire normalcy" in pop culture. Having familiarized ourselves with vampiric menace for decades now, Blade 2 must invent a more sinister "Reaper" variety to inspire the menace, a beast so sinister it feeds on vampires as well as humans. Because with your garden-variety vampires no more sinister than club kids, you gotta take it up a notch.

Download: 216 Blade 2

Monday, September 26, 2016

215 Thirst (2009)

Our second Park Chan-wook film review, Matt and Mark review Thirst from 2009 while in the midst of our Vampire Weekends movie marathon. A lesser film than the more intense Oldboy, Thirst deals with the moral dilemma of vampiric transformation and its predatory aspects. While Matt took issue with the insertion of Catholic guilt, Mark enjoyed the film's more visceral aspects. Matt's viewing comprehension was piss poor this go around, but luckily Mark's astute viewing habits mopped up the film's fine details.

Download: 215 Thirst (2009)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

214 The Lost Boys

The Vampire Weekends movie review marathon rolls on and this week, as Matt and Mark review the very 80's The Lost Boys from 1987. A modern retelling of Peter Pan with vampire teenagers? Besides the flying and the name, we're not big enough Pan Fans to give this much credence. While Matt liked exactly the opposite of what Ebert liked (Is Mark the anti-Ebert incarnate?), Matt indulged the very 80's aspects of this film, including the first union of the Two-Coreys, and the whole "I wear my sun-glasses at night" Corey Hart tribute.

Download: 214 The Lost Boys

Monday, September 12, 2016

213 Dracula (1958)

The unsung Christopher Lee stars as the titular Dracula in this classic Hammer Horror film released in 1958. Titled "Horror of Dracula" stateside, as to not confuse the Bela Lugosi holdouts 25 years earlier, Lee defines menace and could arguable be the best portrayal of the undead count. Liberally reworked from the original Bram Stoker novel, it captures Le'essance of the Dracula idea, a seductive charming wraith with a supernatural force complimenting the natural ensemble. While we all wait for Bahaus to change the lyrics over to "Christopher Lee is Dead", we have this cinematic horror gem to relish.

Download: 213 Dracula (1958)

Monday, September 5, 2016

212 Only Lovers Left Alive

Our first film review in the "Vampire Weekends" movie marathon, this week we review Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive. A film about the human continuum and the essence of nostalgia, it uses the vampire lovers Adam and Eve as juxtaposition to describe humanity's attachments to the past and the nature of art. To create art is to embrace mortality and the material. And while a compulsion, it may weigh heavy on the immortal mind. An excellent vampire film, however all that hipster name-dropping ship can go hang. "Yeah man, I know Jack White. blah-blah-blah".

Download: 212 Only Lovers Left Alive

Monday, August 29, 2016

211 Surviving the Game

A modern take on the venerable Most Dangerous Game, Matt and Mark review the Ice-T vehicle Surviving the Game. A cast list like something out of a whose-who of guy-movie favs from the VHS era, we get to have fun with the likes of Gary Busey and Rutguer Hauer as they go on the male-bonding ritual of the bum hunt. Mark and Matt disagree on the plausibility of the action, but what we do agree on is that Janet Maslin of the NYT coats the premise with a racist paint brush and as a result, dismisses not only a decent action movie, but also its would-be movie goers. Janet, you are dead to us.

Download: 211 Surviving the Game

Sunday, August 21, 2016

210 The Wraith

A movie concept that exceeds its ability to execute, The Wraith staring a pre-addled Charlie Sheen and a sultry pre-Twin Peaks Sherilyn Fenn is a film you have to admire for its idea. Adapting archetypal stories from Victorian legend and Greek myth, it fits them into a teen-age car movie like a dark supernatural American Graffiti, but without the deft hand of character building and plotting of -dare I say- George Lucas. Small details. Its highlight however is the cartoonish fun the film has with the evil car gang and their psuedo-lingo. Also the film stars Clint Howard, so you really can't complain.

Download: 210 The Wraith

Monday, August 15, 2016

209 Samurai Cop

There is an uncanny valley of bad films that come along so rarely, when they are unearthed, they immediately attain cult status. Is it the unintentional humor? You know, the stilted awkward dialogue no human being would ever utter naturally, or the action scenes hatched straight from the scribblings of an 80's thirteen year old? Samurai Cop is a bad film that is not only bad, but is also extremely watchable and ridiculously funny... a rare gem. There's plenty of terrible cinema, but most of it commits the cardinal scene of just being flat-out boring. For its sins, Samurai Cop thankfully does not.

Download: 209 Samurai Cop

Sunday, August 7, 2016

208 Dragonslayer

Tyrian? Valerian? Dragons? Could George RR Martin's Game of Thrones be nothing but an homage to the great Disney/Paramount hybrid Dragonslayer from 1981? Since Mr. Martin considers Vermithrax Pejorative the greatest cinematic dragon of all time, it just may be. Matt and Mark review the 35 year old dragon picture and believe that its classic affects still hold up to this day. An aged ragged bat-like dragon brings realism to the mythical beast, assuming such a monster had once existed. Beyond its quest/dragon mantle, Dragonslayer builds out its characters into complicated moral creatures questioning justice and the statusquo of patriarchy.

Download: 208 Dragonslayer

Thursday, August 4, 2016

207 Pandorum

In the vein of Pitch Black and Event Horizon, we review another unsung solid B sci-fi film; this time Pandorum. An oft trod sub-genre of science fiction, the "generation ship" gets its due in this film to entertaining affect. Completely undeserving of its 28% Rotten Tomatoes rating, Pandorum is a niche film that unlike its many contemporaries is true science fiction, not just a western set in outer space. While Mark had his list of plausibility complaints, they were small and outweighed by the care of production design.

Download: 207 Pandorum 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

206 Event Horizon

The Shining in Space? Or maybe 2010 with a little Solaris thrown in? Hmm... no? How about Hellraiser meets Alien? Well, whatever Paul Anderson's Event Horizon was attempting, it got short shrift from a mercilessly hurried editing job that diminished what might have been its seminal scenes of horror and dread. But does it work? Just a little bit, and that's all that might be necessary here. Despite its scientific plot holes, there's enough here that allows EH to stand the test of time, at least from a cult film standpoint.

Download: 206 Event Horizon

Monday, July 18, 2016

205 Pitch Black

Mark has stealthily kicked off his "Summer of Action" (unbeknownst to Matt) a few movies back, and now we're full throttle this week with the Vin Diesel engine Pitch Black! Inaugurating a milquetoast space opera franchise that still lingers, here we're introduced to the titular Riddich! A straight up decent B sci-fi film, PB doesn't pretend to be anything its not and in the process delivers a well rounded fleshed out cast of monster fodder. Benefiting from the blackness, the sins of nascent CGI effects are dutifully hidden for maximum affect.

Download: 205 Pitch Black

Monday, July 11, 2016

204 Spanking the Monkey

Ah yes, the classic teen summer sex comedy where the frustrated protagonist, in a series of hijinks, ends up sleeping with his mom... no.... wait! Yep, 1994's Spanking the Monkey builds the strangely believable scenario of how such a preposterous Greek drama may actually unfold in the sub-urban present day. Matt and Mark agree that the film would have been able to deliver its point without the taboo act, but would it have been as poignant? Perhaps. But in a truly dysfunctional family, rife with jealousy and unrequited needs, incest as an act of vandalism maybe isn't that unbelievable. However, Matt and Mark agree, having to spank the titular monkey in the bathroom of a somewhat empty house is absolute contrivance!

Download: 204 Spanking the Monkey

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

203 The Omega Man

The NRA fantasy which Chuck Heston somehow misconstrued for reality later in life, The Omega Man attempts a worthy adaptation of the Matheson vampire classic I Am Legend... and kind of fails. The tone changes and plot holes, including The Family as worthy post-apocalyptic adversaries, divorced the film from the lonely psychological epic of its source material. There's been three IAL adaptations, all failing to deliver the titular goods due to Hollywood's need for a well tested ending. The Omega Man, sadly, is just an imperfect milestone towards the yet-to-be-made film we all deserve.

Download:  203 The Omega Man

Monday, June 27, 2016

Donnie Darko (Archive01)

It's summertime folks! And you know what that means, vacation! Mark is out of town, so to tide you over until our review of The Omega Man, we bring you one from the archives (Archive01 that is)... D. Darko!! Remember jet engines make strange bedfellows and don't hit the cinemas with Frank the Bunny, he talks to goddamn much. Enjoy!

Download: Donnie Darko (Archive01)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

202 Network

Are you as mad as Hell? Are you going to keep taking it?.... yeah, probably. What's better than raging against machine? Raging against the machine for profit and marketshare. The duplicitous nature of corporate television news seems to somehow continue to masquerade as impartial, a shabby illusion we continue to buy into even today. "Damn, liberal media!" Network not only exposes this thin facade, but it hints at television gutters to come, infotainment, scripted reality t.v., etc... What's the abyssal chthonic terminus of all this? Take a look at your 2016 ballot, and we're almost there.

Download: 202 Network

Monday, June 13, 2016

201 Demolition Man

It's been awhile, but Matt and Mark are back! We review the 1996 sci-fi actioner Demolition Man. Despite the titular song by the stung solo artist Sting, Demo Man satisfies the action itch while deftly inserting humor into a farcical future. Stallone and Woody Allen may live in separate universes, but Demo Man mirrors the classic Sleeper in more ways then you'd suspect. And, who the f*%k doesn't love Wesley Snipes (well, besides the IRS)..

Download: 201 Demolition Man

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bonus Episode #2

It's our long awaited bonus episode! This one's for the fans (and friends) who've managed to get it together to listen to our inanity for four years running! A free-from mix of topical tangential nonsense and our morning coffee house ramblings. There's a good 2.5 hrs dosage here. Binge away. We'll be back for another 100 episodes of cult film reviews in a couple of weeks. And if you're longing for more, hit our back episodes by following the links on our blog at or head over to iTunes and search The Cult of Matt and Mark Archive01..

Download: Bonus Episode #2

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

200 Mulholland Drive

We made it! This week Matt and Mark celebrate our 200th Podcast with Lynch's masterpiece Mulholland Drive. A dream film with a reality coda, Lynch creates an evocative experience that never loses sight of its character study. This is a film about the jagged hard edge of Hollywood's ego trip and its menace to the dreamers who dare give it a go. Diane/Betty's downward spiral of mediocrity and failure is nothing new, but Lynch teases out a world that is like a Grimm fairy tale, a mix of innocent intentions and nightmare.

Download:  200 Mulholland Drive

Monday, April 25, 2016

199 Planet of the Apes

This week Matt and Mark go ape shit over Planet of the Apes. A straightforward piece of beautiful science fiction, PotA does the classic turn of reversing the world we take for granted. While assuming the position of a middle-ages clergymen, Dr. Zias is oddly perhaps the most sympathetic character of the film (at least he's not a miserable nihilist like that asshole Taylor). Is there such thing as a benign charlatan? While absolute truth my serve the individual, its role in culture may be something more complicated.

Download: 199 Planet of the Apes

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

198 Behind the Green Door

Can anyone ever make a truly "good" porn film? Most of the time the subject matter's visceral mechanics deny any higher humanization of performers, and no one ever seems to have time for back story, plot, or character development. But 1972's Behind the Green door attempts to rise above its stag film pedigree.... and kind of fails. Matt and Mark agree that, while interesting in a historical sense, its not a good film, neither as a 'film' or pornographically. Swept under the rug of VHS tapes and Youporn, it's time has past but its psychedelic money shots remain in our collective consciousness.

Download: 198 Behind the Green Door    

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

197 C.H.U.D.

It's hard not to discuss the nature of Trump supporters without bringing up the seminal 80's schlock fest C.H.U.D. Despite the nuclear sized plot-holes and inadequate monster origins story, C.H.U.D. manages a little bit of charm by utilizing the acting talents of its strong second tier cast to the fullest. If anything, it harvests the zeitgeists of 80's era nuclear waste trains and rogue sewer alligator urban-myths, welcoming us back to this bygone Reagan era.

Download: 197 C.H.U.D.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

196 Paths of Glory

And we're back! Sorry for the delay, but after almost 200 episodes, life occasionally gets in the way of getting the podcasts out. This week we review an early Kubrick masterpiece Paths of Glory as part of our ultra-mini WWI movie marathon to commemorate the 100th anniversary. Mark boldly states this is one of the finest films he's ever seen and Matt can't really find anything wrong with such a pronouncement, as PoG manages to defy his nihilistic and cynical tendencies without contradicting them. From a film that exclusively depicts men at war, it's hallmark denouement, featuring the film's only female actor (Kubrick's future wife), is a cinematic landmark that resonates and transcends its subject material.

Download: 196 Paths of Glory

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Shining (Archive01)

Once again, a cold has seized Matt's vocal chords and is holding them hostage. It appears 12 hours in an airplane over two days will guarantee a winter virus. In lieu of our Paths of Glory podcast, we serve up one from The Cult of Matt and Mark Archive01, our most downloaded podcast ever actually, The Shining!

Download: The Shining (Archive01)

Sunday, March 6, 2016

195 Gallipoli

Mark and Matt is kicking off a mini-World War I movie marathon (actually two movies) to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Great One. While not exactly a heavy anti-war film, Gallipoli isn't so much about war as it is about the personalities that populate them. Has romanticism and combat really been exorcised from young men? If there is a solid thematic element to Gallipoli, it questions the strange draw young men have to fighting strangers in strange lands.

Download: 195 Gallipoli

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Blade Runner (Archive01)

Matt has no voice due to an epic daycare cold. So we invite you to listen to an oldie but a goodie this week. From The Cult of Matt and Mark Archive01.... Blade Runner. We'll be back next week with our review of Gallipoli.

Download: Blade Runner (Archive01) 

Monday, February 22, 2016

194 Saturday Night Fever

This week Mark has a slight fever and decides to promptly take a Tylenol to get rid of it. Long after the disco inferno has gone to ash and receded a whole new pop landscape, John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever still draws a crowd. Matt and Mark attempt to figure out why this was Gene Siskell's favorite movie... hmm... Despite it's ancillary (and terrible) sub-plot elements the idea of rising above one's station seems to be the overriding attraction, perhaps. Regardless, it's hard to not think you're watching an episode of the Jersey Shore circa 1977. GTL ya'll.

Download: 194 Saturday Night Fever

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

193 Crash (1996)

If kinked up pornography were the domain of aliens and/or computer programs, they would no doubt eventually arrive at Chronenberg's 1996 Crash. Cars are sexy status symbols which are extensions of ourselves. Middle-aged graying men buy Porsches to reclaim lost virility, etc... Is there an S&M analogy? Not really. But there should be, right? That question is what makes Crash so cold and perplexing. As watchers we are meant to be turned away from this particular fetish. It's supposed to not make sense. It is paradox.

Download: 193 Crash (1996)

Monday, February 1, 2016

192 Equilibrium

Time to drop some Prozium and review Equilibrium this week om The Cult of Matt and Mark. Despite being a highly derivative film, Equilibrium promotes and explores ideas, which has always been the currency of decent science fiction. The film does work on a certain level, even the contrived made-for-Hollywood martial art Gun-kata is intriguing and entertaining. M&M wonder if Libria is in fact a metaphor for pharma-fueled child rearing these days. Is prescribing an answer for negotiating the inner caveman of toddlers?

Download: 192 Equilibrium

Monday, January 25, 2016

191 Drive

Drive, was a critical darling when it debuted and also the focus of populist backlash... which in our opinion, was a good thing, because we wouldn't have Refn's Drive otherwise. Matt and Mark concur that underneath it all, this is a character study. As the fable goes, why does the scorpian kill the frog and himself, despite the consequence of mutual destruction? Driver understands it: because it's his nature. The world is gray and as such, there are no pure psychopaths. There is, however, a thirst for redemption and change, stoked by a kernel of empathy that's dying to get it out.

Download: 191 Drive

Monday, January 18, 2016

190 Repo Man

Matt and Mark finally get around to reviewing the 80s cult classic Repo Man. A film that holds an affection for the early 80's LA punk scene, it breaks B-movie convention with its multi-party hilarity and deft inside jokes. While not a great movie, it is entertaining and it seems few film roles are dedicated to the weird legal twilight of the repo man. Also in this episode is a certified Matt and Mark double feature, our mini-review of the new Star Wars film at the end (warning spoilers!)

Download: 190 Repo Man

Monday, January 11, 2016

189 The Cabin in the Woods

This week Matt and Mark review the meta-horror film The Cabin in The Woods. Boiling down the standard slasher/creature horror formula into a mythology and turning it into a type of Aztec sacrifice ritual works brilliantly here. Mark sees a deeper meaning in the psychology of stage managers who setup and operate this human slaughterhouse while Matt enjoyed the film's dark humor aspects. And for anyone that enjoys horror monsters, TCITW serves up a full plate of your favorites. Mermen anyone?

Download: 189 The Cabin in the Woods

Sunday, January 3, 2016

188 The Mist

Celebrating our 4 year anniversary here at The Cult of Matt and Mark we review the Stephen King adaptation The Mist! Hot off reading the novella, Mark sizes up the adaptation and gives it the nod for staying true to the source material while Matt relishes in The Mist's B-movie creature-featureness. But the end... You either hate it or you love it, and Mark and Matt split our votes on this one. I'm sure if you're a veteran listener, you'll probably be able to guess who voted for what.

Download: 188 The Mist