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Ep. 16 – Hocus Pocus & Halloween

It’s our favorite time of year. And, this week, we’re getting into the spirit of the spooky season with two of the most Halloween movies ever made – HOCUS POCUS (1993) and HALLOWEEN (1978).

If you’ve ever had basic cable during the month of October, you’ve seen HOCUS POCUS at least 437 times. And, unless you’ve been living under a jack o’ lantern for the last 42 years, statistically, you’ve probably seen at least one of the 12 HALLOWEEN movies.

While you could say the theme of this episode is Halloween nostalgia, these two movies actually have an unnatural amount in common. From exploring the complexities of sibling relationships (brothers are always causing trouble, amirite?) to the importance of being a virgin on Halloween (whether it’s the power to light the black flame candle or survive the night in Haddonfield, virginity has its perks!).

So, put on your best Halloween costume (or just find a cheap William Shatner mask and give it a coat of spray paint), grab a family-size bag of mini Snickers and join us for a Halloween night in the suburbs.

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Ep. 15 – Practical Magic: What if it was a horror movie?

This week, we’re revisiting Halloween classic PRACTICAL MAGIC (1998). This wacky witchy romp is often billed as a romantic comedy – but is it though? What if it’s actually been a horror movie the whole time?!

Millennials grew up thinking this was a rom-com and could you blame us? It’s got Nicole Kidman, Sandy B, a couple of eccentric aunts AND midnight margaritas! But is a family curse that causes the gruesome deaths of numerous men spanning generations and culminating in murder, corpse reanimation and finally an exorcism *actually* romantic or have we been lied to our entire lives?

Join us as we discuss this cult fave and talk ways the film could have been (and mayybeeee already is) a horror movie. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t take much.

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Bonus episode – Would you rather?

Happily Ever Slasher is back after a brief intermission – and we have a new co-host! This week, Tara says goodbye and we welcome Brooke to the podcast. She’s been a horror fan since THE RING prevented her from getting a good night’s sleep as a kid and her superpower is correctly guessing the ending to any movie in the first 20 minutes. In this bonus episode, Amanda and Brooke play an eye-opening game of horror and rom-com themed “Would you rather?”.

You may not learn our deepest, darkest secrets but you will find out whether we’d rather make out with Pennywise or Freddy Krueger and who we’d choose as our early aughts rom-com sidekick – Judy Greer or Kathryn Hahn. Join us and play along! Share your own answers with us on Instagram.

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Ep. 14 – Camp Nowhere & Lord of the Flies

It’s another week at Camp Happily Ever Slasher. And this week, we’re going back to the 90s with two movies about what happens when kids are left to their own devices… with very different results. We’re talking about the batshit crazy Christopher Lloyd-fronted comedy CAMP NOWHERE (1994) and the film adaptation of LORD OF THE FLIES (1990).

Both movies feature groups of kids surviving on their own with the presence of one adult who is in no condition to be responsible for multiple children. (In LORD OF THE FLIES, this character is critically injured and dies halfway through; in CAMP NOWHERE it’s Christopher Lloyd.)

What is it about Christopher Lloyd befriending a plucky high school kid that is just always so damn good? Also, how does CAMP NOWHERE have a *checks notes* 18% on Rotten Tomatoes? It’s a national treasure!

The lesson this week? Growing up is a trap. Sure, we can make our own bedtime and eat whatever we want – but at what cost?! Are adults *actually* smarter than any of these minors? We want to say yes, but LORD OF THE FLIES feels weirdly relevant. Pass the conch and join us, won’t you?

Episode Notes:  

Watch Lord of the Flies (1990) 👀

Read Lord of the Flies (the Amanda way) 

Read Lord of the Flies (the Tara way)

Learn more about the ridiculous 2007 reality show – Kid Nation

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Ep. 13 – Us & The Parent Trap

This summer, Happily Ever Slasher is going to camp with 4 episodes featuring at least one movie that takes place at a summer camp.

Get ready for all the camp hijinx and twice the recommended amount of Lindsay Lohan with Nancy Meyers’ 1998 favorite THE PARENT TRAP. But don’t get too comfortable – it’s double trouble x 2 as an unsuspecting family finds themselves on summer vacation – it’s Jordan Peele’s 2019 horror masterpiece US.

What’s the deal with the isolation cabin at Camp Walden? Should it have really taken Hallie and Annie *that* long to realize they’re twins? And is Meredith *actually* the villain or was it really Hallie this whole time?

If you haven’t seen US, we recommend watching it before you tune in. Spoiler alert: It was one of our favorite horror movies we’ve done on the pod (and maybe of all time). What are you waiting for? Tether yourself to your nearest listening device and join us.

 

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Ep. 12 – 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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Ep. 11 – 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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Ep. 10 – 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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Ep. 9 – 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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Ep. 8 – 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, on a scale of one to the maximum sentence for child rape, 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.