Tag Archives: scott weinberg

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.

Hell Is For Hyphenates – April 2017

Our guest this month is critic, film producer and horror aficionado Scott Weinberg. Sophie and Lee look back at some of the key films of this month, including James Gunn’s comic book sequel Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, Raoul Peck’s James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro, and Warren Beatty’s Howard Hughes biopic Rules Don’t Apply. Then Scott joins the show to look at the Netflix model of film distribution: is the streaming service making harder-to-find films more accessible by conveniently delivering them directly to your television set, or is its overabundance of content causing the smaller titles to disappear? Then Scott takes us through the career and works of his chosen filmmaker of the month, English horror director Neil Marshall.

The Neil Marshall Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening’s viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…

DOG SOLDIERS (2002) and THE DESCENT (2005)

Your evening’s viewing begins with Dog Soldiers, the first feature by Neil Marshall. The film follows a group of soldiers in the Scottish Highlands who find their training mission interrupted when they are terrorised by a pack of werewolves. Marshall’s debut feature revels in the grand tradition of low-budget horror films, using budgetary limitations to its advantage: a contained cast and a remote location means that the characters are front and centre and the scares are restrained and effective. After watching a group of men battle werewolves in the forest, you’re going to want to watch a group of women battle subhumans in an underground cave system: his follow-up The Descent is a masterful horror, stylish as hell and terrifying as all get-out. Marshall wisely keeps his focus on character, forgoing the usual trope stereotypes in favour of complex people we genuinely care about. And then he drops them in the most terrifying setting imaginable. If you’re not claustrophobic when the film begins, you will be by the end, and the confined cave system isn’t even the scariest thing about this ingenious horror flick. Honestly, text your friends now because this is a double feature designed for company.

Substitutions: If you can’t get or have already seen Dog Soldiers, check out Doomsday (2008). This postapocalyptic virus film was conceived by Marshall when he imagined futuristic soldiers battling medieval knights, and draws inspiration from the likes of Mad Max and Escape From New York. If you can’t get or have already seen The Descent, track down Centurion (2010). The historical action film features Michael Fassbender as a Roman soldier on the run in Britain, fighting Picts and traitorous Romans alike as he tries to stay alive in 117AD.

The Hidden Gem: Want to check out something slightly off the beaten track? Well, it’s kind of tricky to do a Hidden Gem this month, as Marshall’s only made four features. We were tempted to suggest one the many high-profile episodes of television he’s directed (particularly the 2012 Game of Thrones episode Blackwater), but we think we might go with Marshall’s 1999 short film Combat. It’s under eight minutes long, you can watch it literally right now by clicking on this link, and it’s a perfect encapsulation of what makes Marshall so interesting: a straightforward high-concept idea executed with all the filmmaking elements available. If you are going to watch a double feature as suggested above, we recommend kicking it off with a pre-show screening of Combat.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring Scott Weinberg talking Neil Marshall, will be released on 30 April 2017.

Our Next Hyphenate Scott Weinberg

Film journalist, producer, and Hi4H April 2017 guest host Scott Weinberg

If you’re into film and you’re on Twitter, you definitely know who Scott Weinberg is. But for those who are yet to make the leap to the microblogging social media platform, Scott has been a film journalist for almost two decades, writing on cinema for Cinematical, FEARnet, Nerdist, Thrillist, Playboy and others. He’s one of film criticism’s most passionate voices, and recently launched the popular 1980s cinema-themed podcast 80s All Over alongside Hi4H alum Drew McWeeny.

He’s also become hands-on behind the camera, producing last year’s horror film Found Footage 3D. But all of that pales in comparison his next role: Hell Is For Hyphenates guest host!

Scott is best known for his love of horror cinema, so we were keen to hear which filmmaker he would want to talk about. So who did he go with? None other than British horror director Neil Marshall!

Marshall was praised for his gritty debut feature, the 2002 werewolf horror Dog Soldiers. His 2005 spelunking follow-up The Descent immediately achieved cult status, and with two iconic horrors under his belt, Marshall quickly became one to watch.

After a few more features, Marshall turned to television, working on Black Sails, Constantine, Hannibal and Westworld. He has also directed for Game of Thrones, with his debut episode Blackwater considered one of the best-directed episodes of the entire series.

So what is it about Marshall’s films that Scott loves so much? Check back in with us on April 30 when we find out!

Our next filmmaker of the month, Neil Marshall