Weinberg On Marshall

“When you need to set the ocean on fire, you hire Neil Marshall.”

An American, a Brit and an Australian walk into a podcast… This month certainly isn’t the first time we’ve recorded across three continents, but with daylight savings ending in one place and starting in another, it certainly made for some tricky scheduling as one of us got up super early, one of stayed up super late, and another relaxed in the comfort of the early evening. See if you can guess which was which! Actually, don’t.

We were covering John Carpenter’s films on Hi4H at the same time Kurt Russell was announced as starring in Guardians 2. So this moment in Carpenter’s Elvis (1982) really stood out to us as an almost-prophecy.

We kick off this month’s episode with a look back at three different films from April 2017 (according to the disparate release dates across our various countries). Lee examines the daddy issues at play in James Gunn’s Marvel sequel Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2; Sophie looks at Raoul Peck’s documentary I Am Not Your Negro, which examines the final unfinished work by legendary American writer and essayist James Baldwin; Lee jumps back in to celebrate the very special occasion that is a new Warren Beatty film, as he reviews Beatty’s Howard Hughes semi-biopic Rules Don’t Apply, his first directorial effort since 1998’s Bulworth, and his first on-screen appearance since 2001’s Town and Country.

We then welcome our special guest Scott Weinberg, critic, horror aficionado, film producer, and co-host of the movie podcast 80s All Over, which he presents alongside fellow Hi4H alum Drew McWeeny.

Scott joins us to look at the recent examination of the Netflix distribution model. Is Netflix’s particular brand of video-on-demand a revolutionary way of bringing rare and obscure content directly into your home, or is it a behemoth burying films and hiding sleeper hits from view?

Then Scott takes us through the works of his filmmaker of the month, English horror director Neil Marshall! From Dog Soldiers to The Descent, from Doomsday to Centurion, across his many episodes of iconic television, Scott takes us through what makes Marshall’s films so distinctive, and why he is such a key voice in 21st century horror cinema.

Further reading:

  • If you want to hear our chat about the first Guardians of the Galaxy, listen back to our episode from August 2014.
  • As we said in the Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 chat, Elizabeth Debecki isn’t the only Australian actress being villainous in Marvel’s cosmic universe. If you haven’t seen the Thor: Ragnorak trailer, have a look and see if you’re into Cate Blanchett-in-antlers as much as Lee.
  • The David Ehrlich article that inspired our middle segment, entitled “Netflix Keeps Buying Great Movies, So It’s a Shame They’re Getting Buried” can be read here on Indiewire.
  • During the third segment, we digress slightly into talk of Return To Oz (1985), and the fact that the director had himself digressed into astrophysics. The director in question is Walter Murch, the Oscar-winning editor behind Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, The English Patient and more, and his unlikely interest in astrophysics is detailed in Lawrence Weschler’s book Waves Passing in the Night (Bloomsbury Publishing), released in January of this year.
  • Scott mention a couple of other films about the Lost Legion. These include the 2011 film The Eagle, based on the Rosemary Sutcliff novel The Eagle of the Ninth, directed by Kevin McDonald, which has no official connection to Centurian but is considered by some to be an unofficial sequel due to Channing Tatum’s character Marcus Flavius Aquila being the son of Titus Flavius Virilus, played by Dominic West in Marshall’s film. The other film is 2014’s The Lost Legion, directed by David Kocar & Petr Kubik.
  • Sophie references the fact that the Nicholas Winding Refn film Drive was very nearly directed by Neil Marshall, with Hugh Jackman in the role that eventually went to Ryan Gosling. Check out the announcement of the unrealised project from March 2008.
  • Mere days after the release of this episode, in which we wondered if Neil Marshall would ever return to directing films, it was announced that he would be helming the reboot of the popular comic book series Hellboy! The first two Hellboy films were, of course, directed by Guillermo Del Toro, and you can listen back to our thoughts on his Hellboy films in our del Toro episode with guest Maria Lewis.

Outro music: score from The Descent (2005), composed by David Julyan

The latest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Scott Weinberg talking the films of Neil Marshall, can be heard on Stitcher Smart Radio, subscribed to on iTunes, or downloaded/streamed via our website.

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