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Episodes

Friday the 13th & Wet Hot American Summer

This summer (or at least for the next 3 weeks), Happily Ever Slasher is going to camp! And, if we’re going to do this, there’s only one place to start. Ch ch ch ch ha ha ha. We’re talking about the 1980 iconic slasher FRIDAY THE 13TH and the 2001 camp comedy WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER.

Summer camp is dangerous! For the counselors but also for the kids. Sure, FRIDAY THE 13th may feature the most well-known serial killer of the week but let’s not forget Paul Rudd’s character in WET HOT straight-up murders a whole bunch of children. But most of these deaths could have been prevented if a couple of horny counselors just kept it in their pants.

Who wears short shorts? Literally every person in the 80s and we’re here for it. While neither film is perfect, WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER remains a completely absurd romp and FRIDAY THE 13TH is still iconic in the genre (although it’s neither of our favorites of the franchise).

Plus, we get nostalgic about our own summer camp experiences and, you know, spending extended amounts of time outside and around people. But Camp Crystal Lake can keep the Strip Monopoly. There are easier ways to sit around in your underwear for 6 hours.

Episode Notes:

Breakdown of the Friday the 13th legal battle.

Amanda podcasting in her Camp Crystal Lake shirt.

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Episodes

But I’m a Cheerleader & Jennifer’s Body

Young love is complicated! This week, we’re going back to high school with two movies about teen girls exploring their sexuality despite the presence of evil – be it a literal demon or a figurative one in the form of a gay conversion camp. We’re talking about the iconic 1999 satire BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER and the 2009 horror-comedy JENNIFER’S BODY.

We’re answering the important questions, like how were low-rise jeans ever a thing, and why couldn’t they have gone the way of bisexuality in both of these movies and just ceased to exist? The bi-erasure is real.

But despite that, we’re celebrating a week where both films are made by female filmmakers! Is BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER as campy and wonderful as ever? Is JENNIFER’S BODY actually the feminist horror film it was intended to be? And can we all agree that regardless, Megan Fox deserves an apology for the YEARS of bullshit she’s had to put up with in Hollywood?

Both films tackle serious subjects through the lens of dark humor and satire while also depicting the beauty and angst of teen romance. Ultimately, the lesson is simple: Love is love. Unless, you know, it’s an actual succubus out to devour your flesh.

Episode Notes:

Interview with the director of But I’m a Cheerleader, Jamie Babbit, from July 2000

Interview with the writer of Jennifer’s Body, Diablo Cody, from September 2009.

Roger Ebert’s questionable 3-star reviews of But I’m a Cheerleader and Jennifer’s Body

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Episodes

Pretty Woman & Body Double

It’s our 10th episode! And in honor of this milestone, we’re tackling one of the most iconic AND most problematic romantic comedies ever made… It’s the classic tale of girl meets boy, boy pays girl $3,000 – PRETTY WOMAN (1990). And, alongside it, we’ve got a neo-noir erotic thriller, BODY DOUBLE (1984).

Both movies feature Hollywood-based sex workers being paid to play a role that’s not quite what they signed up for. In one, it’s an unrealistic love affair, in the other, it’s a needlessly complicated murder plot. Both are equally absurd.

And there are so many unknowns… like what do any of the female characters in either of these movies want – aside from helping men with their problems? How many times did Brian DePalma jerk off to VERTIGO while writing the script for BODY DOUBLE? And who needs the Bechdel test when a woman doesn’t even speak words for the first half of the film?

Can we call ourselves feminists and still enjoy these movies? (We can and we do.) But we can admit it’s a BIG problem. BIG. HUGE. The lesson this week: Life is not a fairytale. Princesses need to save themselves. So pry yourself away from the telescope and join us.

Episode Notes:

Spice up your quarantine TV repertoire with early 90s basic cable erotic crime drama Silk Stalkings. (Peep the first episode on YouTube.)

Theme song: Written by Tara Clune, Amanda Festa and Ryan Hirsh; Performed by Brooke Parker and Ryan Hirsh.

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Episodes

Drag Me To Hell & When In Rome

From the gates of hell to the fountains of Rome, cursed objects ain’t nothing to mess with. This week, we’re learning the hard way – don’t take things that don’t belong to you – whether it’s coins from a fountain or an old lady’s house. We’re talking about the 2009 horror favorite DRAG ME TO HELL and the 2010 rom-c̶o̶m̶ bomb WHEN IN ROME.

With so many jump scares, the most frightening part of Drag Me To Hell is still an old lady taking out her teeth inside a bank, which is just not okay in a post-covid world (but also was it ever okay?).

We’re getting on our feminist soapbox because WHY do women constantly need to choose between compassion and success? It’s the 21st century, can we not have it all? *checks notes* No, guess not.

We also play a rousing game of F*ck, Marry, Kill where there are no winners – except possible Danny DeVito. So grab the person in your life who knows WAY too much about curses (everyone has one, right?) and buckle in for our latest episode.

Theme song: Written by Tara Clune, Amanda Festa and Ryan Hirsh; Performed by Brooke Parker and Ryan Hirsh.

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Episodes

Rosemary’s Baby & Juno

Oh, baby! Break out the hamburger phone and novelty “it’s a demon!” cigars for an episode 9 months in the making. We’re talking about the 2007 rom-com JUNO and the 1968 horror classic ROSEMARY’S BABY.

You may not immediately think a quirky early-aughts comedy and a satanic horror film from the 1960s would have much in common, but think again. Both movies involve complicated pregnancies and eccentric older couples who are extra invested in the baby.

We’re tackling the tough topics, like are either of these movies pro-choice? And how surprised are you that the more pro-choice film may have been made by Roman Polanski? But don’t worry, we’re also tackling the not-so-tough topics… like anagrams. Clever plot device or lazy writing?

So pour yourself a Tannis root smoothie or grab that family-size jug of Sunny D and join us.

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Episodes

Miss Congeniality & The Silence of the Lambs

Being a female FBI agent looks EXHAUSTING… This week we say f*ck your boys club. So swap your sweatpants for your best business casual and aviators. We’re talking about THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) and MISS CONGENIALITY (2000).

We’re asking the important questions, like how does any woman succeed without a queer or queer-coded male mentor? Why do all dramatic FBI transactions require an airplane hanger? And where are the HR departments in either of these movies?! Sure Anthony Hopkins deserved the Oscar despite his limited screen time, but where’s William Shatner’s award for stealing the entire show?

It’s hard to believe these movies have as much in common as they do – about as hard to believe as Sandy B requiring a team of people to get her pageant-ready. So pour yourself a nice glass of Chianti (hold the fava beans) and join us.

Theme song: Written by Tara Clune, Amanda Festa and Ryan Hirsh; Performed by Brooke Parker and Ryan Hirsh.

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Episodes

The Invisible Man & Ghost

Fact: Just because you can’t see him, doesn’t mean he’s not creepily following you around. This week, it’s all about what you can’t see. So put on some Unchained Melody, grab a seat at the closest pottery wheel and settle in – we’re talking the 1990 box office romance GHOST and the just-released 2020 horror film THE INVISIBLE MAN. Surprise!

Next time your cat hisses at an empty room, remember it could be a ghost with unfinished business… or it could be a megalomaniac who invented an invisible suit – either way, someone’s always watching.

Tara geeks out over Universal Monsters mythos, Amanda dusts off her old college film theory textbook and we both fangirl HARD over the iconic performance by Elisabeth Moss. Get ready to be a believer.

Episode Notes:

Laura Mulvey’s “Visual Pleasure & Narrative Cinema” (1975)

Great interview with filmmaker Leigh Whannell 

 

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Episodes

Twilight & Fear

Repeat after us… stalking is not romantic. This week, we’re talking two first love cautionary tales – both involving high school girls falling for possessive older men who are also definitely murderers. It’s the 2008 box office hit TWILIGHT and the 1996 Marky Mark-led thriller FEAR.

Who would have thought a teen vampire romance would have so much in common with a 90s psychological thriller? And we’re not just talking about the fact that they both take place in Washington and are scored by the same composer – two things we didn’t know when we picked them for this episode.

In this very special super-sized episode of the podcast, we reflect on some of the most nostalgic and cringey movies of our youth. And we have some questions. Like what movie did Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson think they were signing up for? Can Mark Wahlberg play a character who’s not from Boston, or do they have to write an East Coast backstory into all his roles to justify the accent? And how is everyone okay with Edward climbing into Bella’s window and watching her sleep for MONTHS without her consent.

So what did we learn? Aggressive stalking is not a healthy start to any relationship. Never give out your alarm code. And if he scares you, don’t question it, just run.

Theme song: Written by Tara Clune, Amanda Festa and Ryan Hirsh; Performed by Brooke Parker and Ryan Hirsh.

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Episodes

Vertigo & Heartbreakers

Crime doesn’t pay… or does it? This week, we’re talking about women and the men they trick to fall in love with them as part of unnecessarily complicated schemes – It’s the 1958 Hitchcock classic VERTIGO and the 2001 rom-com HEARTBREAKERS.

While you wouldn’t think one of AFI’s top 10 films of all time would have much in common with a schlocky Jennifer Love Hewitt-fronted rom-com from the early aughts, you would be mistaken. The plots are uncannily similar. It’s almost like they’re the exact same person but with a different hairstyle.

It’s a tale as old as time: Girl tricks boy, boy is much too easily conned, girl falls for boy… How are these men so easy to dupe? They know absolutely nothing about these women. And would it be more or less believable if we just replaced them all with Chad from SNL?

Uh ok. So what did we learn? Change your hair, change your life. Only amateurs save souvenirs from previous cons. And never, we repeat, never fall for your mark.

Theme song: Written by Tara Clune, Amanda Festa and Ryan Hirsh; Performed by Brooke Parker and Ryan Hirsh.  

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Episodes

You’ve Got Mail & Unfriended

Does anything good realllllyyy happen on the internet? This week, we trace the history of online communication from the wide-eyed early days of dial-up with YOU’VE GOT MAIL (1998) to the modern day reality of being constantly plugged into a technology that’s probably out to get us, let’s be honest – it’s UNFRIENDED (2014).

Sure, YOU’VE GOT MAIL stars rom-com royalty Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, but it’s basically the origin story of modern day emotional cheating and he spends more than half the movie catfishing her. Fast forward nearly 20 years to UNFRIENDED, where the entire movie takes place online – and that unknown screen name just might be a vengeful spirit and not Tom Hanks doing subpar impressions from “The Godfather.”

As we all hunker down and self-isolate for the greater good, the internet is more important than ever to staying connected. But when it comes to meeting strangers online, is it ever really a good idea? Sure, our dating lives would be nonexistent, but maybe that’s for the best. So fire up your floppy disk for 5 free hours of AOL and join us as we head to the dark side of the world wide web.

Episode Notes:

The Verge article on Unfriended

Theme song: Written by Tara Clune, Amanda Festa and Ryan Hirsh; Performed by Brooke Parker and Ryan Hirsh.