Episode IX: A Profound Hatred Of (James LeGros And Ron Perl)Man, or: How We Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The C.H.U.D.s
Greetings, children of the sun, and welcome back to another deliciously terrifying episode of Horror Business, the podcast that is coming to get you regardless of your being named Barbara or not. We are almost at double digits here, and you know what that means: we’re through the looking glass here, people.
In this episode we discuss the concept of the ecological as horror, specifically the horrific that is the result of man’s hubris and meddling with what ought not to be meddled with. Our films for this episode were 1984’s C.H.U.D., and 2006’s The Last Winter.
We begin the episode by talking about several films we have seen since the last recording. We first discuss The Darkness and the two hours neither of us are ever getting back from the garbage heap waste of celluloid that it was. Then Liam talks about the overabundance of butts and underabundance of seagulls in The Shallows. Finally Justin talks about the true evil of The Conjuring 2: Ed and Lorraine Warren and the crocks of shit they’ve served the gullible for the past fifty years. Because only on Horror Business will you find someone who gets upset about stuff like that.
Up first is C.H.U.D. The film as a metaphor for various issues in the 1980s is discussed, namely the parallels between the plot of this film (marginalized group of people are inflicted with a problem and society as a whole ignores it until it begins to affect the middle/upper class) and the AIDS epidemic. Likewise, the film as the embodiment of American anxiety, mistrust, and suspicion towards the government in the Reagan era is discussed. Included with this is the disdain for lower class urban citizens by the government during this time. The particular aesthetics of New York City and its portrayal during this time as the embodiment of urban decay and the centrality of that portrayal in this film are examined. The various quirks and eccentricities of the film (cops going after the Chuds with flamethrowers in a sewer, the overwhelming incompetence of those in authority in response to the Chuds, government officials deciding that “gas” is the best way to handle the Chuds, John Goodman, etc.) are discussed.
Next is 2006’s The Last Winter. This segment opens up with Justin’s strange confession that he thought Larry Fessenden was an extra in the remake of Night Of The Living Dead. A brief retrospective of Liam’s familiarity with Fessenden’s work follows. The similarity to C.H.U.D in that there is an external force threatening the characters that is wholly brought on and enabled by the ignorance and inactions of the characters. The parallels between Ron Perlman’s character in the film and the Bush administration are discussed, in that both have an attitude that is skeptical of climate science and the effects carbon emission have on the climate and are instead pushing for policies that would put the climate second and profit first. Likewise, the ignorance several characters have in the face of overwhelming evidence that climate change is a phenomenon caused by human activity is painted as a metaphor for the ignorance many have on the matter in real life. A discussion of Fessenden’s shortcomings as a filmmaker follows, namely the quality of the special effects used in the movie, Fessenden’s method of showing horrific events off screen, some of the clumsy cinematography and the unfortunate way the film seems to unravel towards the end. Finally, the way Fessenden drives home the very real terror of climate change by making a seemingly rational character seem insane by the data he’s receiving is discussed.
As always thanks to everyone and anyone who checked this episode out, or shared a tweet/shared a post on FB/gave us love by recommending us to someone. We love you forever for listening. Any questions, comments, suggestions for movies and guests, or if you yourself want to join us for a movie viewing or even an episode, can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again to Justin Miller and Doug Tilley for their technical contributions, and also thanks to Josh “Bazooka Joe” Alvarez for the theme song. Follow us on Twitter at @thehorrorbiz666, like us on Facebook, and remember to rate, review, and subscribe to us on ITunes! Thanks!
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