It’s Popzara’s Movie Time! Podcast!, where our own movie nerds Ethan Brehm and Nate Evans take you on an unscripted journey yakking and chatting about some of their favorite movie moments and cinematic scenes, from past and present, presented without snark and snobbery for your listening pleasure.
On tap this episode are two cult-classics from 1988 that were the first (and only) directorial efforts by their special-effects creators, and both sporting killer scores by composer John Massari. It was a time when special effects were still special, even if they serve as a reminder that Hollywood was about to change forever.
First up is The Wizard of Speed and Time, written, directed, edited, and starring special effects man Mike Jittlov in his first (and only) feature film. An expanded version of his infamous 1979 short film made for The Wonderful World of Disney episode “Major Effects”, has there ever been a film so unbelievably optimistic about the magic of special effects, yet so diabolically cynical about Hollywood? While it’s nearly impossible to find a ‘legit’ copy there are plenty of decent copies freely available online.
Next is Killer Klowns From Outer Space, another first (and another only) directorial effort by the Chiodo Brothers, stop-motion masters whose work you’ve definitely seen in other movies. It’s a true horror-comedy classic that’s as big on spectacle as it is low on budget as the Chiodos employ every trick in the book to bring their ludicrous premise of murderous space clowns turning people into cotton candy to life, helped by one of the decade’s most undeniably catchy theme songs from “The Dickies”.
The guys explore the magic of practical special effects, from stop-motion animation, forced perspective, time-lapse shots, puppets, and other Hollywood magic from an era that would help birth legendary talents like Tim Burton, Don Bluth, and Phil Tippett. Are some movies just better on VHS? Did you buy both soundtracks on vinyl? Press play and listen today!