With 2015 in the books, the Damn Dirty Geeks take a look back at our Top Ten most downloaded episodes from Year One of our podcast… AND #1 WILL AMAZE YOU!
Okay, maybe it won’t amaze you, but our #1 episode is by far our most popular episode of 2015 and for good reason. Jump the links below to individual episodes in case you missed them before or just want to enjoy them all over again. Let the countdown begin!
10. GRAHAM SKIPPER AND RE-ANIMATOR THE MUSICAL
Our September episode with actor Graham Skipper still has legs at the end of the year, revisiting his starring role in RE-ANIMATOR THE MUSICAL, Stuart Gordon’s stage adaptation of his standout 1985 horror film. Graham describes his experience stepping into such an iconic horror character while adding the fun of belting out original songs and spraying the audience with buckets of blood! It was Lovecraftian lunacy in both Los Angeles and Vegas, and a unique stage experience we all hope to experience live again some day. Meanwhile, we’re lucky to have this fun hour with Graham to enjoy on our podcast. LISTEN HERE
9. THE TRAILERS AWAKEN
We knew that excitement for the new STAR WARS film was building early when our episode on the big summer movie trailers got plenty of downloads by our listeners! Released in early May 2015, our Uncle Ira’s Basement episode THE TRAILERS AWAKEN captured reactions by Frank, Frank and Jack to the first big batch of movie trailers released, including THE FORCE AWAKENS, BATMAN V. SUPERMAN, JURASSIC WORLD, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Our DDGers speak candidly about the enticing success of the new STAR WARS trailer as well as the dismal failure of the first BATMAN V. SUPERMAN trailer in contrast. It turns out that MAD MAX: FURY ROAD became a DDG favorite film of 2015. We’ll be chiming in with our reviews and discussion of THE FORCE AWAKENS in early 2016. LISTEN HERE
8. TOM HOLLAND Part 2: FRIGHT NIGHT
Both our podcast visits with director Tom Holland were bit hits with DDG listeners, but our discussion with Tom about making his 1983 hit FRIGHT NIGHT even surpassed our previous talk about PSYCHO II. What was slated to be a “throw away” horror film by Columbia Pictures turned into a massive box office monster that year, and single-handedly revived and rebooted the vampire film genre. Thanks to a solid script by Holland stressing character development enhanced by the expert effects crew held over from GHOSTBUSTERS, this funny-yet scary vampire tale holds up well over 30 years later and remains a landmark entry in the cinematic timeline of the horror genre. LISTEN HERE
7. STAR WARS, EMPIRE AND JEDI – A LOOK BACK Part 2
The excitement and anticipation for a new STAR WARS movie continued building up with our listeners through our two back-to-back episodes on the Original Trilogy films released 1977-1983. Part 2 examines THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI as a thirty-year-long set up for THE FORCE AWAKENS, with some early speculation from August 2015 about what new plot twists director J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated Episode VII might deliver in December. Frank, Jack and Scott also get into the improvements and pitfalls created when George Lucas revised STAR WARS film history by releasing his Special Editions of the Original Trilogy films in 1997. LISTEN HERE
6. DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE
Another of our shorter-length episode from Uncle Ira’s Basement recorded shortly after the death of Sir Christopher Lee was a hit with our listeners month after month beyond its mid-June 2015 release. Frank, Trish and Scott pay much deserved tribute to Lee’s entire career while framing the discussion in one of our favorite Hammer horror releases, 1968’s DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE. The DDG marvel at Lee’s success in a difficult task: making an iconic film character so long associated with Bela Lugosi into his own trademark performance. We also discuss Lee’s varied career in and after his Hammer series, also touching on his memorable work in THE WICKER MAN and LORD OF THE RINGS. LISTEN HERE
5. TOM WOODRUFF JR. on BATMOBILES and PUMPKINHEADS
In August 2015, the Damn Dirty Geeks were joined by Academy Award-winning creature maker Tom Woodruff Jr. for a fun hour discussing his impressive 1966 Batmobile replica and his work in numerous genre films as co-founder of Amalgamated Dynamics Inc./studioADI. We couldn’t help but geek out a bit with Tom, sharing our early childhood memories of the campy, classic Adam West TV series BATMAN and how, for several of us, the Caped Crusader became our first comic-inspired superhero idol. The DDG also discuss Tom’s lengthy credit list with creative partner Alec Gillis on films including STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, ALIEN 3, PREDATOR, JUMANJI and BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. We also talk Tom’s own suit performances as The Creature in THE MONSTER SQUAD, the title monster in PUMPKINHEAD and his most recent ape-suit work on Showtime’s MASTERS OF SEX. LISTEN HERE
4. SULTAN and the SATURDAY MORNING SING-ALONG
One of our wackiest podcast episodes also became our 4th most popular in 2015: our highly fun discussion with filmmaker and genre fan Sultan Al Darmaki discussing our collective affection for classic Saturday morning animation shows aired in the 1960s and ’70s. A wild, laugh-filled free for all chat about favorite Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers animation ensues, including JONNY QUEST, THE BUGS BUNNY SHOW and Filmation series STAR TREK and PLANET OF THE APES. We also discuss Sultan’s directorial debut KIDS VS. MONSTERS, and producing his upcoming puppet fantasy film YAMASONG: MARCH OF THE HOLLOWS. Some a cappella singing of cartoon show theme songs rounds out this highly humorous episode. LISTEN HERE
3. STAR WARS, EMPIRE AND JEDI – A LOOK BACK Part 1
Amid our nearly year-long preview of THE FORCE AWAKENS, the DDG began our serious debate and reflections on the Original Trilogy films at the end of July 2015 with this first look back at how the STAR WARS phenomenon began in 1977. Part 1 focuses mainly on STAR WARS (before we knew it as Episode IV: A New Hope) and it’s landmark sequel, THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Frank, Scott and Jack propose why these two films represent the dramatic heights of the Star Wars Saga out of the then six existing films in the franchise. We also point out the important contributions that screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan had on EMPIRE and RETURN OF THE JEDI, looking ahead to what he might bring back to storytelling in THE FORCE AWAKENS debuting in December 2015. This IS the STAR WARS podcast you’re looking for! LISTEN HERE
2. JOHN CARPENTER’S CHRISTINE
Another of our shorter episodes discovered in the shadows of Uncle Ira’s Basement, the DDG joyride in John Carpenter’s 1983 horror hot rod CHRISTINE proved wildly popular with our listeners, far beyond our own expectations. This was our first of two episodes (so far) studying excellent film adaptations of Stephen King’s bestseller novels, followed a couple weeks later by our show on THE DEAD ZONE. Both our Franks get behind the wheel of CHRISTINE as Jack’s choice for this mini-episode, praising the performances of Keith Gordon and John Stockwell for embodying King’s characters so effectively as a key to the film’s success. Jack Bennett also relates how CHRISTINE became his first full-fledged horror film viewing. LISTEN HERE
And our most downloaded Damn Dirty Geeks podcast episode of 2015, our first year online is…
1. PLANET OF THE APES DAY
By far our most popular podcast episode of Year One, comedian and uber APES fan Dana Gould joins Frank, Jack, Scott and Trish for a hilarious show spanning all five classic PLANET OF THE APES films, the TV series spinoffs and the first two modern films in the APES franchise. Recorded for release in time to celebrate the inaugural DDG-created Planet of the Apes Day event, Dana and the Geeks celebrate the iconic performances of Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall in the 1968 original film, ending in an unforgettable moment that hooked us all on the sci-fi genre and APES films for life. Okay, maybe not so much on Tim Burton’s remake. But like the film franchise, we jump back and forth in time to relate how the plot seeds of the original films from the 1960s and ’70s correlate to the plots of RISE and DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES in today’s reboot-happy environment. We also go ape about the original, unrated ending of CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES as a far superior finale that the producers couldn’t afford to keep or reshoot in order to keep a PG rating. Quite a few fun character impressions of Heston, McDowall and Servern Darden ensue as well, courtesy of Dana Gould’s comedic prowess. LISTEN HERE
Thanks for reviewing our top podcast episodes of our first year online, and we welcome you to join us on our continuing mission with all-new episodes coming soon in 2016. We have a lengthy list of celebrities, filmmakers, actors and fans lined up for future shows that you won’t want to miss. Meanwhile, please continue to like, share and subscribe to the Damn Dirty Geeks podcast in Year Two of our show. We hope you’re enjoying it as much as we are, and as always we thank you for your continued support of our show. If you like the Damn Dirty Geeks podcast, please give us a good rating and review on iTunes to help spread the word to other fans.