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Everything Coming to Now Playing Podcast In November 2020

Despite all that’s happened in 2020, there’s a lot to be thankful for at Now Playing Podcast. This year, we’ve launched our IN FOCUS newsletter, hosted a series of summer watch parties, started up a Letterboxd channel, and we never missed a week of podcasting. That last part is only possible because of the support of our listeners, and so we’re rewarding you in November with a full slate of  new episodes every Tuesday and Friday. This month’s schedule features two all-new retrospectives, a long-requested sci-fi horror series for donors, and a pair of exclusive episodes funded by Podbean patrons.

Here’s a look at everything coming to Now Playing Podcast in November 2020. 

November 3 – The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

John Frankenheimer’s political thriller hits the main podcast feed on Election Day in the United States, and explores a conspiracy involving soldiers reprogrammed as sleeper agents and an attempt to subvert democracy at the highest levels of government. Recognized as one of the 20th century’s best films, The Manchurian Candidate stars Frank Sinatra (back on Now Playing for the first time since The Detective), Angela Lansbury, Laurence Harvey, and Janet Leigh.  

November 6 – 10 Cloverfield Lane

A “spiritual sequel” to 2008’s Cloverfield, the underground bunker thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane is the second installment in Now Playing’s Platinum Level donation series. The film stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a woman hiding in a fallout shelter with John Goodman’s not-quite-stable survivalist; the latter convinced the world is under attack. Listeners supporting the show with a donation of $35 or more will receive all three Cloverfield episodes, as well as the Rosemary’s BabyThe OmenThe Hills Have Eyes, and The Last House on the Left retrospectives.  

November 10 – The Manchurian Candidate (2004)

Denzel Washington fronted the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, which hits theaters in the months before the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), the remake was not a box office smash but received critical acclaim. 

November 13 – The Cloverfield Paradox

Remember when Netflix dropped The Cloverfield Paradox right after the 2018 Super Bowl? It was a stroke of genius from a marketing perspective, but the critical reception was savage. Paradox tells the story of astronauts transported to a parallel universe while conducting a particle accelerator test in space. What does that have to do with Cloverfield? Watch it and then join Stuart, Arnie, and Jakob for the conversation

November 17 – The Craft

“We are the weirdos, mister.” The Craft hit theaters in May 1996, serving as the kickoff to the horror renaissance that would define the latter half of the decade. It helped to have future Scream stars Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich in the cast, alongside Fairuza Balk, Rachel True, Robin Tunney, Breckin Meyer, and Christine Taylor. The film focuses on a coven of teenage witches and the trouble they stir up when casting spells for revenge, power, love, and vanity.  

November 20 – JFK

Oliver Stone’s examination of the events surrounding President John F. Kennedy’s assassination was a massive hit in 1991; but also sparked numerous controversies and blowback in the press, with many accusing the director of distorting history and stirring up conspiracy theories. One thing no one can argue is that JFK has an all-time cast, with Kevin Costner, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek, Joe Pesci, Laurie Metcalf, Wayne Knight, John Candy, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Gary Oldman, Sally Kirkland, Bob Gunton, John Larroquette, Donald Sutherland, Ed Asner, Frank Whaley, Lolita Davidovich, and many, many more notable actors appearing on screen. The Now Playing Podcast review of JFK is made possible by listener Sean Ray, who contributed to our Podbean Patron campaign.

November 24 – The Craft Legacy

Actress, producer, and director Zoe Lister-Jones helms The Craft: Legacy, a sequel to the aforementioned supernatural horror flick. In the film, a new quartet – Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone, and Zoey Luna – brew up trouble when they dabble in witchcraft. The film hit video-on-demand platforms October 28, so there’s time to catch it before the review drops on November 24.

November 27 – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

What better time to drop Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner than the week of Thanksgiving? The 1967 Best Picture nominee put the national spotlight on race relations and interracial marriage, as Katharine Houghton brings home her black fiancée, Sidney Poitier, to meet her white parents, played by Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Now Playing Podcast listener “Kyle” chose the review through our Podbean Patron campaign, and it will be served up for patrons on Friday, Nov. 27. 

October 27, 2020 Posted by | News, Now Playing Podcast | , , , , | Leave a Comment

The Scariest Films Our Hosts Have Ever Seen

Do you remember which film gave you the biggest jump scare of your life?

All of us can point to at least one example of, “The scariest movie I ever saw!” but as we all know, one person’s nightmare fuel is another person’s fandom. For every viewer so freaked out by Freddy Krueger that they can’t watch another A Nightmare on Elm Street movie, there’s another happy to indulge in annual Nightmare marathons and endless replays of that Freddy’s Greatest Hits album.

But enough about the Springwood Slasher. After all, the lasting impact of a horror film is subjective, right? 

Not if you ask science. Recently, a study conducted by broadbandchoices.com sought to determine the scariest movies ever made by measuring the rising heart rates of its participants. 

The “Science of Scare Project” determined 2012’s Sinister to be scariest of them all. Other films that made the Top 25 include InsidiousThe ExorcistHushHalloween, and the aforementioned A Nightmare on Elm Street

See the Complete ‘Science of Scare Project’ List

But do those results hold up with our Now Playing Podcast hosts? Certainly, they’ve seen enough horror to be considered experts on the subject. So, we asked them.

Here are the movies that terrified, and still terrify, the hosts.

Jakob – The Thing
“Even after multiple watches, the blood test scene in John Carpenter’s The Thing is so tense I’m always on the edge of my seat. When the shapeshifter is finally revealed, it never fails to get my pulse pounding.”

Marjorie – Poltergeist
“I still don’t like TV static. Nor do I like looking under my bed. As an adult, it’s Fire In the Sky. I couldn’t even make it through the movie and had nightmares about what I did see.”

Brock – The Shining The first time I watched The Shining I recall being very uncomfortable. Psychological horror movies get me going more than slasher movies ever can. The Shining just keeps building the tension and creepiness as it pulls you in.”

Arnie – Contagion 
“Are we all picking Contagion? Or is that just me? I am hard pressed to think of a horror movie that has scared me, as in made me want to sleep with a night light on. Some gross me out, but to me that’s different than fear, it’s revolting.”  

Stuart – 2001: A Space Odyssey
“It’s not a horror movie, but 2001 elicits primal terror when the computer, HAL, clips unlucky astronaut Frank Poole’s air hose. I can’t watch that little guy float off, gasping into a silent abyss, without needing to grab an arm rest or something grounding. The worst death imaginable!”

October 23, 2020 Posted by | News | , , , , | Leave a Comment