Greetings, and welcome back to Horror Business. We have one awesome episode in store for you guys because we’re talking 2003’s High Tension and 2008’s Martyrs with NJHC stalwart Tim Shaw of Ensign and Fuck It…I Quit!
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We start by talking about some of the stuff involving horror recently. Tim talks about seeing Halloween Kills and finishing Midnight Mass as well as the New Zealand film Coming Home In The Dark. We briefly tear into Halloween Kills. Liam talks about watching The Censor, Antlers, and VHS 94. Justin talks about seeing Titane and Lamb and rewatching Tobe Hooper’s Salem’s Lot.
We start with High Tension. We talk about our initial experiences with the film. Tim talks about his relationship with the film and how it’s changed over the years, and how initially he looked past the inconsistencies but later began to dwell on them–but then after watching the film with commentary by the director began to enjoy it again. He talks about how the film is a solid slasher regardless of the twist.
Justin talks about how this was his first viewing of the film and enjoyed it despite the twist and the fact that the existence of the truck in the film somewhat nullifies it. We talk about the common criticism of the film as a ripoff of Dean Koontz’s Intensity. Justin talks about the film as a tragedy in that one of the characters is so in love with someone else that they justify horrible things in the name of that love. Liam talks about how when the film was released the twist was spoiled for him, so he avoided it for years, but how upon first seeing it he accepted the inconsistencies of the film as part of the main characters delusion.
He makes a comparison to Sleepaway Camp is that both films’ twists are somewhat homophobic, and that is the problem with the film, not its narrative flaws. He also argues that, despite the twist and the ending, it’s still an incredible slasher and would be one of the better films of the decade if not for the ending and twist. Tim talks about how the film could benefit from some more character development that would make the twist more effective.
Up next is Martyrs. Tim opens the discussion by confessing how much this movie kicks his ass emotionally, and how it’s an oppressive and uncomfortable but still wholly enjoyable film. Justin talks about how much he enjoyed the film but was still horrified and saddened by it. He also talks about the concept of enlightenment through extreme suffering, and how haunting it is.
He talks about the book By The Sword by F. Paul Wilson, and how it revolves around a sect of monks that seeks enlightenment through detachment from the physical senses. He ties this in with how creepy the idea of using suffering as a conduit to a higher realm is. The film’s use of trauma as a source of horror is discussed, as is the fact that the film could very easily just have used intense imagery to evoke a sense of horror and dread in the viewer but instead draws upon so much more emotionally to evoke those feelings.
The bleakness of the ending is touched upon. Justin talks about how the fact that the character of the Madam dying by suicide once her beliefs are confirmed lends the film a terrifying sense of realism, and the last shot of a character flayed and in agony is touched upon. Liam discusses the exhaustive nature of the film and how it effectively puts the viewer through the ringer.
We talk about the somewhat excessive nature of some of the torture scenes in which a character is very graphically beaten. The possible evocation of France’s racist and colonialist/imperialist past is discussed, as is the film’s dissection of the wholesome nuclear family image as a front for something unspeakable and transgressive. We again touch upon how the scenes in which a character is “merely” beaten as opposed to flayed alive are more upsetting because the latter has a touch of fantasy to it, whereas the former feels like a very real event.
First and foremost, thank you Tim for coming on and chatting with us. You can find his current band here and Ensign on Spotify. As always, thank you for listening and to everyone and anyone who donated on Patreon, checked this episode out, or shared a tweet/shared a post on FB/gave us love by recommending us to someone. We love you forever for listening and donating. Any questions, comments, suggestions for movies and guests, or if you yourself want to join us for a movie viewing or even an episode, can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you! Thanks always to Justin Miller, Jacob Roberts, Paul Sharkey, and Doug Tilley for their technical contributions and fliers, Mike Smaczylo for the shirts and fliers (you can check more of his work out at here), and also thanks to Josh Alvarez for the theme song, Chris, Brad, and LVAC for the support and buttons (check them out at www.xlvacx.com and on Twitter), Essex Coffee Roasters (www.essexcoffeeroasters.com) and a HUGE thank you to anyone who retweeted us or shared something on Facebook that we posted. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @thehorrorbiz666, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/thehorrorbiz66, check out our Spotify account at Cinepunx, and remember to rate, review, and subscribe to us on ITunes. In fact, if you write us a review, email us with your mailing address and we’ll send you some free pins and stickers! Check out www.cinepunx.com for more info on some of our other podcasts, some ultra stylish Cinepunx related merchandise, and how you can donate to our Patreon! Until next time…thanks!