Podcast

The Horror Pod Class Episode 129: Curse of the Demon

Welcome to Episode 129 of the Horror Pod Class. My name is Tyler Unsell and by day I am a just an ordinary teacher but by night I transform to an ordinary teacher who likes to talk about spooky shit. I am joined tonight as I am most nights by The cohostest with the mostest. The Slickest skeleton I know…Orrin Grey. What have you been up to since we last appeared here man?

Orrin: I’m excited because tomorrow night is Nerdoween!

Tyler: Tonight we are going to discuss what we have been reading and watching, highlight some free content on the internet with our dark corner of the web and finally we will attend our first parapsychology conference and participate in a panel discussion of The Curse of the Demon. By panel discussion I mean attempt to shed some academic light on one of Orrin’s perennial favorites. 

What Are We watching

Orrin: I recently watched The Empty Man from last year. A lot of folks in the weird fic community have been buzzing about it, and for good reason. It’s like three hours long, but it’s a really solid weird detective story with a very cosmic horror central premise. And I’ve been reading Jonathan Raab’s collection The Secret Goatman Spookshow and Other Psychological Warfare Operations, which is great stuff.

Tyler: So I totally dug The Execution (True Detective on the Volga) out of FF, and the new slasher on Netflix. There is someone inside your house. Fantastic companion to Clown in the Cornfield. New Ellen Datlow book too.

Dark Corners of the Web: Speaking of The Secret Goatman Spookshow: https://lovecraftzine.com/magazine/issues/2016-2/issue-38/the-secret-goatman-spookshow-by-jonathan-raab/. Holy shit kino lorber streaming channel too

Kino Lorber is excited to announce that they have partnered with Giant Pictures to launch Kino Cult, the new free ad-supported streaming destination for genre lovers of horror and cult films. Featuring hundreds of hours of curated, theatrically released films all in High Definition, with new titles added monthly, Kino Cult launches widely in the U.S. and Canada on October 1, 2021 across web, mobile devices and connected TVs, with VOD apps on all major devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google TV, iOS, Android, and more. From the art house to the haunted house, the channel will dive deep into unapologetically weird genre cinema, blending recent art house discoveries fresh from cinemas with high quality restorations of notorious grindhouse gems.

Essential Question: What can Curse of the Demon teach us about how the paranormal is treated in horror films. 

American professor John Holden arrives in London for a parapsychology conference, only to find himself investigating the mysterious actions of Devil-worshiper Julian Karswell.

Dana Andrews

Dana Andrews

Peggy Cummins

Peggy Cummins

Niall MacGinnis

Niall MacGinnis

Maurice Denham

Maurice Denham

Athene Seyler

Athene Seyler

Liam Redmond

Liam Redmond

Reginald Beckwith

Reginald Beckwith

Ewan Roberts

Ewan Roberts

Peter Elliott

Rosamund Greenwood

Brian Wilde

Brian Wilde

Richard Leech

Richard Leech

Lloyd Lamble

Lloyd Lamble

Peter Hobbes

Charles Lloyd Pack

John Salew

Janet Barrow

Percy Herbert

Percy Herbert

https://www.sensesofcinema.com/2007/feature-articles/curse-demon/

Pedro Blas Gonzalez

THIS ARTICLE IS A BANGER

http://cutprintfilm.com/features/curse-of-the-demon/

https://archive.nerdist.com/schlock-awe-curse-of-the-demon/

Empiricism

Limitations of Faith and Science

William James critiques this austere and stubborn intellectualizing in The Varieties of Religious Experience by arguing against the limitations of both institutionalized religion and positivistic science. Of course, as a matter of artistic convention, Dr. Holden’s turnaround can only take place due to his scientific obstinacy. Yet, the film does not conclude with a total abandoning of his previous mindset or with a new acceptance of belief in the supernatural. The film brings Dr. Holden to a neutral ground where he might be further predisposed to consider the realm of the non-rational in human existence. James offers a corrective:

Jungian Analysis

Rationalism and superstition are complementary. It is a psychological rule that the brighter the light, the blacker the shadow; in other words, the more rationalistic we are in our conscious minds, the more alive becomes the spectral world of the unconscious. And it is indeed obvious that rationality is in large measure an apotropaic defence against superstition, which is ever present and unavoidable. (10)

The internal debate of this movie reminds me of the new news about Havana Syndrome that came out today. Namely that there isn’t a thing called Havana Syndrome. That the noises were crickets and the feelings people felt had elements of group delusion

4 Films:

The Wicker Man, Mike Flannagans Ouija: Origin of Evil

The Haunting, I Walked with a Zombie

ALU

EDITORS NOTE. I THINK THIS IS KIND OF A COOL WAY TO RANK FILMS

Ranking on my Flickchart

Loses to John Wick

Loses to Sparrows

Wins against Fright Night

Wins against Napoleon Dynamite

Loses to Creature from the Black Lagoon

Loses to Delicatessen

Loses to Christine

Wins against If Beale Street Could Talk

Wins against The Thomas Crown Affair

Wins against Dead Ringers

Loses to Company of Heroes

My favorite

“Fuck you, science.”

If you’ve seen Night of the Demon (or Curse of the Demon, as it’s known stateside), you’ll know that probably isn’t a line from the movie. I can’t guarantee it, I fast forwarded through some of it.

This suffers on three counts. Firstly, it’s supposed to be a classic, which is like someone introducing you to a friend of theirs with “you’ll love him” – they’re always a douche.

Second fault: it’s made in the fifties. Now, I like old movies, but something about the fifties… they did like to yak on, didn’t they? Also, pad out the movie with irrelevant scenes? I don’t know about you, but I don’t give a flying fuck if our hero can’t sleep on a plane, one scene after someone was almost EATEN BY A DEMON. Kind of seems a bit of a #firstworldproblem, there, doesn’t it? (Sorry, just used a hashtag outside of Twitter. Now I am the douche.)

Thirdly, and finally, “fuck you, science”. This is a problem I have with a lot of supernatural horror movies. There’s a guy who doesn’t believe in ghosts. He’s often an actual scientist. There’s also some irritating hippies who do believe in ghosts, demons, werewolves, leprechauns or whathaveyou.

In these films, the hippies are always right, the men of science wrong. The men of science often suffer as a result of this.

Now, this is me bringing my personal politics into entertainment, which rarely goes well, but fuck that.

Pretty much the only movie that gets this right is Dawn of the Dead, where it’s the scientists who are the only guys willing to look at the zombies in a rational light. That eye-patch guy? Love him.

You might wish to tell me I’m misinterpreting, or overreacting. I do this often – but the last line of this movie is “sometimes it’s better not to know”.

Or, as I like to paraphrase it, “Fuck you, science.”

So Where do we sit with this movie compared to the last 10.

Tyler:

Loses against Malignant 5/10

Loses against Targets

Loses Against HoWax

Wins against Superdeep

Loses against St Maud

Wins against VIY

Loses against The Blob

Wins Against Popcorn

Wins Against Fear Dot Com

Wins Against Split Second

Orrin: Oh shit 9/10

Wins against Malignant

Wins against Targets

Wins against HoWax

Wins against Superdeep

Wins against St Maud

Loses against VIY

Wins against The Blob

Wins Against Popcorn

Wins Against Fear Dot Com

Wins Against Split Second

Dead Silence is Next