A Whole Season Dedicated to the Blair Witch!
It has been awhile, but I am back with another blog post! I wanted to take a little bit of extra time to go into detail about why we decided to dedicate a whole season to the Blair Witch, when other larger horror franchises haven’t even been touched yet on the podcast (sorry Freddy, Leatherface, and Jigsaw, I promise we will get to you!!). I also want to share a little about why this franchise means so much to me personally. So let’s begin!
Justin and I wanted to do a season dedicated to witches. It is one of our show’s subgenres and on the movie side there is a plethora of great (and crappy) titles to choose from. However, we really ran into a problem trying to find games. There are some games that have witch enemies or things of that nature, but nothing like what has existed for zombies, ghosts or deranged man. The only thing that truly fit the subgenre at the start of our planning was three old pc titles based around Blair Witch. This started my effort into convincing Justin that instead of doing a broad based witch season, we try something different and focus in HARD on the universe that exists around the Blair Witch. My case was simple; we had two more movies to cover (we reviewed Book of Shadows back for a fan voted crappy movie so thank god that garbage pile is out of the way), there was a game spinning off from a movie which would be a first for the show, and maybe we would be able to get another person who worked on the original film on for an interview. My other big point was that 2019 was the 20th anniversary of the film. Devan and I had gone to Sundance this year, met up with Ben Rock and watched the anniversary screening at the Egyptian Theater. To me, that was way more than enough to dedicate a shorter season to the franchise! Justin was tentative, but this year’s E3 really sold it for him. Out of nowhere, a brand new Blair Witch game was coming out this August, which fit perfectly for planning purposes. It actually looks really cool, from the trailer to me it looks oddly similar to RE7. So with Justin’s blessing, I started organizing the season around other new releases that we needed to cover (like the IT sequel). I reached out to Mike Monello on Twitter and he was more than willing to come on discuss not only Blair, but his wider career which included Video Palace as well! The only real hurdle was that no matter what I did, I could not get Rustin Parr to play on my PC. But Justin and I found a work around for that luckily. And just like that, our Blair Witch miniseason was ready to go!
So now for the more personal side. I have talked several times on the podcast about why “The Blair Witch Project” is one of my two favorite horror films of all time. There are a lot of factors, but two always rise to the top for me. The first is that when my parents found out I watched this movie at a friend’s house, they freaked out. They called his parents, I was no longer allowed to stay the night over there, and I was grounded. It hasn’t been until recently that I have come to realize and accept that I am very much a counter-culture minded person, so being told by people in authority that I did something wrong only made me want to repeat that wrong more and more. This led perfectly into the second reason why TBWP is so important to me. I was eight when I saw the movie at my friends. His older sister had watched it with us and had me sold on the idea that this movie was real. I thought that for sure these three filmmakers had died out in the woods, and that the footage I was watching was all that remained. It wasn’t until a few years later that I realized that it was a made up story, all of it including the legends surrounding the Blair Witch. But it didn’t ruin my love of it. Growing up, this movie strongly impacted what movies I started to love. It had created this standard that not many other horror films would reach. It was why I was so excited when only a few weeks into creating Here’s Johnny with Justin, Ben Rock interacted with us on Twitter and came on the podcast. This is a guy who helped create a film that so dramatically changed my childhood, and now I was going to get a chance to interview him! I know it isn’t much, and the HJ in the land of podcasts is an amoeba, but dedicating a whole season to the world created by this film is the best way I can think of to say thank you.
Sorry if that was more sappy than what you were expecting. Blair Witch is very important to me, and I hope that over the next few weeks on the podcast you are able to learn something new about the franchise or at the very least enjoy us breaking down the games and films. We have already recorded our interview with Mike Monello, which was a blast & I think that you all will really enjoy that. Please enjoy the miniseason, and know that next season we will be back to having a proper season. We have already selected what subgenre it is and we think you will be able to really sink your teeth into it…..