Special Features 001: 15 Film Gems That Even You Cinephiles Probably Haven’t Seen (But Should)

Movie Podcast Network Special Features Ep. 001

This episode is not a teaser… MOVIE PODCAST NETWORK presents our very first SPECIAL FEATURES bonus episode in its entirety! Here are the only three things you need to know:

1. All the individual shows on Movie Podcast Network will continue to provide FREE episode releases.

2. You can subscribe FREE to our Movie Podcast Network feed, which provides short audio teasers of every new episode released across the Network.

**3. If you like this Special Features episode, then you can subscribe for a small fee to our MONTHLY Special Features BONUS releases through our Patreon page. (Although this first episode is censored for content, the Special Features feed will be explicit.)

To promote Movie Podcast Network and our new Special Features feed, we have released this first episode for free across the entire Network. But rest assured, all your favorite MPN podcasts will resume their regular releases of their episodes immediately. Thanks for listening.


— Meet your hosts
— Random stats about Movie Podcast Network
— Agenda for this episode
— Determining the relative “obscurity” of our film picks
— IMDb closes its message boards


[ 0:11:10 ] Jay of the Dead: The Corpse of Anna Fritz (2015)
Number of IMDb ratings: 2,005

[ 0:19:12 ] Joel Robertson: The Making of “And God Spoke” (1993)
Number of IMDb ratings: 775

[ 0:28:19 ] Joshua Ligairi: Moana With Sound (1926)
Number of IMDb ratings: 328
— and —
Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)
Number of IMDb ratings: 3,560

[ 0:41:21 ] Mattroid: Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)
Number of IMDb ratings: 4,852

[ 0:48:39 ] Geek Cast Ry: I Melt With You (2011)
Number of IMDb ratings: 5,158

Network show descriptions for the uninitiated:
Movie Podcast.Network
Geek Cast Live Podcast
The Sci-Fi Podcast


[ 1:00:17 ] Jason: Jackson County Jail (1976)
Number of IMDb ratings: 656

[ 1:10:48 ] Joel Robertson: LolliLove (2004)
Number of IMDb ratings: 1,225

[ 1:18:46 ] Joshua Ligairi: Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (1989)
Number of IMDb ratings: 474
— and —
Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2015)
Number of IMDb ratings: 1,095

[ 1:24:31 ] Mattroid: Timer (2009)
Number of IMDb ratings: 10,778

[ 1:34:14 ] Geek Cast Ry: The Aristocrats (2005)
Number of IMDb ratings: 15,164

Network show descriptions for the uninitiated:
Movie Podcast Weekly
Movie Stream Cast
Retro Movie Geek


[ 1:47:43 ] Jason: Felidae (1994)
Number of IMDb ratings: 2,744

[ 1:56:20 ] Joel Robertson: The Stepfather (1987)
Number of IMDb ratings: 9,457

[ 2:12:45 ] Joshua Ligairi: The Beaver Trilogy (2000)
Number of IMDb ratings: 404
— and —
Beaver Trilogy Part IV (2015)
Number of IMDb ratings: 88

[ 2:38:44 ] Mattroid: Deep Star Six (1989)
Number of IMDb ratings: 7,337

[ 2:51:01 ] Geek Cast Ry: 44-Inch Chest (2009)
Number of IMDb ratings: 5,977

Network show descriptions for the uninitiated:
Universal Monsters Cast
Horror Movie Podcast

IV. Wrap-Up / Ending


Don’t forget to subscribe to our FREE Movie Podcast Network feed, which gives you short promos of every new episode released across the Network!

And remember, if you want to subscribe to our Special Features episode (like this one), you can pay a small fee and get at least one new release each month through our Patreon page! (Note: This feed is explicit.)

As discussed during Josh’s “Beaver Trilogy” reviews, you can find filmmaker Trent Harris’s website here at EchoCave.net.

And as we mention in this episode, every cinephile should be sure to check out Dave “Dr. Shock” Becker’s incredible DVD Infatuation.com movie blog.

Be sure to check out all the Movie Podcast Network offerings:

Geek Cast Live Podcast – where they geek harder than anyone else on geek movies and all things pertaining to geekdom.

Movie Stream Cast – where they help you manage your queues by reviewing films that are streaming online.

The Sci-Fi Podcast – the ultimate movie podcast for science fiction fans.

Retro Movie Geek – where they overdose on nostalgia by reviewing movies that are 20 years old or older.

Horror Movie Podcast – where we’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies.

Universal Monsters Cast – where we review Universal monsters films, classic and current.

Movie Podcast Weekly – where we review at least one new movie that’s in theaters each week.

Thank you for supporting and listening to Movie Podcast Network.

6 thoughts on “Special Features 001: 15 Film Gems That Even You Cinephiles Probably Haven’t Seen (But Should)

  1. Guys, this might be the funniest podcast episode I’ve ever heard. Such an entertaining dynamic from this iteration of hosts. And maybe it’s just that obscure hidden gems tend to be my bread and butter but every single pick was fascinating to hear about and a good bulk of them are going straight on my list. There’s nothing cooler to me than finding out about weird cinematic artefacts that are completely outside of the mainstream. Often that’s where the most interesting stuff is happening.

    And in that spirit I decided to throw together my own short list of obscure cinematic gems. I might have recommended some, if not all of these before but this is the perfect context to do so again and spread the word:

    Spookies (1986)

    With 1,345 IMDB votes.

    This is one of the ultimate movies to put on in the background at a Halloween party. It’s pretty bad by conventional standards; essentially stitched together from two separate directorial visions it ends up having a near nonsensical plot and some of the additional footage is particularly goofy and lame but the stuff from the original shoot (intended for an unfinished project called Twisted Souls) is totally awesome. Basically a slasher format with a bunch of partying “teens” getting picked off one by one in an old house. But what sets it apart is that the creatures doing the killing vary from farting mud zombies to the grim reaper himself to an Asian lady who transforms into a giant spider and sucks out your insides so you deflate like a balloon. It’s trashy B-movie practical effect mayhem full of weird imagery and memorably ridiculous moments. A true cinematic oddity but well worth checking out for any fan of cheap, cheesy 80’s horror. On a similar level to stuff like The Video Dead and The Deadly Spawn (maybe with a little bit of Phantasm thrown in there too) but more disjointed and incoherent. Absolutely never boring though.

    The Mascot (1933)

    With 1,252 IMDB votes.

    A stop motion animation by the incredible Ladislas Starevich about the toys of a bed ridden child coming to life and embarking on a series of misadventures. It’s beautifully realised with a lively and atmospheric score and the feel of a dark, slightly melancholic old fairy tale. The best scene features a bizarre party attended by all manner of anthropomorphic litter, living crockery, reanimated chicken skeletons, and goblins and root vegetables flying around in ladles and saucepans, all presided over by some spindly devil guy. It’s overflowing with creativity and enchanting little details, a long with a little bit of slapstick and an antique eeriness. Worth checking out for anyone interested in the history of stop motion and it’s running time comes in at under half an hour.

    The Ghost Of Yotsuya (1959)

    With 775 IMDB votes.

    Now this is one of my very favourite Japanese movies of all time. It’s one of the older, more traditional J-Horror’s that I’m so fond of championing. Based on the traditional Japanese ghost story “Yotsuya Kaiden” which has been adapted for the screen a bunch of times this 1959 version is directed beautifully by Nobuo Nakagawa (who also did Jigoku which is most notable for its pre-H.G Lewis gore). The cinematography, the period sets, the use of colour, the framing; everything is artful, evocative and captivating and has more of a theatrical arthouse quality than you might expect from a gruesome 50’s horror flick. It’s definitely a bit of a slow burn and for a good portion of the film it’s more of a noirish Samurai drama, deeply entrenched in Japanese culture and presented as an arc of escalating acts of human horror before eventually it builds up to a fever pitch of supernatural terror. It is tragic, dark, haunting and quite grizzly by 1950’s standards and if it wasn’t so hard to find I imagine it might be considered a classic of the genre. There is a subtitled version floating around out there in the ether of the internet though which is definitely worth searching out if it’s otherwise impossible to find.

    • Great picks, David! I’ve heard of Spookiest and Ghost of Yotsuya but only through you and I’ve never seen them. They’re all going on my list, but as a big fan of animation, I’m particularly interested in The Mascot.

      I don’t think my picks are particularly interesting or obscure, but here’s what I have:

      Aaah! Zombies!! (2007)

      2,629 votes

      A very unique and funny look at a zombie film through the perspective of a zombie. Really funny and clever.

      Without Warning (1986)

      2,304 votes

      I grew up watching this on TV all the time and yet I never knew what it was called until just a couple of years ago. It’s not nearly as awesome as I remember it in my mind, but it’s still a great time.

      Invaders From Mars (1986)

      5,582 votes

      Another movie I grew up with whose name I couldn’t​ remember up until just a few years ago. I love the premise and the creatures. This used to scare the crap out of me as a child, probably because it would be a terrible situation to be in!

      Voices of a Distant Star (2003)

      6,533 votes

      I don’t often encounter sci-fi romances, but when I do, they are excellent. This was written, directed, and produced by one guy and his wife, so it’s a little rough, although still gorgeous in its own way. It’s amazing how much heart and poignancy is packed into a short 25 mins.

      Evolver (1995)

      889 votes

      I saved the best for last. This is a classic example of a hidden gem. I saw this a few years ago and it blew my mind. It’s your classic killer AI/robot setup that we’ve seen plenty of times before but it’s executed in such a fun way, thanks in part to Ethan Embry out of all people.

  2. Also, I just want to point out how much the dedication to premise paid off here. All too often these “Things you’ve probably never heard of” type lists drive me crazy because they’re usually full of the most obvious entry-level stuff (Is Army of Darkness really a movie most horror fans have never heard of?) but you guys really did your homework and delivered some seriously obscure stuff. The only one of these movies that I’ve seen is Deep Star Six, which tells you more about my predilection for underwater horror than it does the obscurity of the film. And I love that movie anyway! Especially the big pre-historic looking crab monster type thing; the practical effects hold up really well and I always felt that the design might have been influential on the graboids from Tremors.

    And there were lots of casual references to other relatively obscure but great movies throughout this episode too. Now I just want to go and watch Judgement Night.

    • I hear you. I typically hate these kinds of lists too. They can be so click-baity and the lists are usually disappointing. Glad this worked for you, David.

      Now we just need DarkMark or Jody Horror Guy to make a list on Letterboxd with every movie mentioned in the episode…

  3. Prior to listening to this podcast, the only movies featured that I had watched before were The Stepfather and TiMER. Since then, I’ve watched The Making of “And God Spoke”, LolliLove, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, The Beaver Trilogy, and Beaver Trilogy Part IV. It’s the Beaver Trilogy that I find myself thinking about the most.

    There’s been such few films that has caused me to change my mind about the movie multiple times while watching it. The Beaver Trilogy happened to be one. When I first began watching it, it was just this weird hodgepodge of one “Story” told three times. The sort of dumb movie you watch once just to be able to say that you watched it. Despite the lack of polish on the segments, there is a lot more to the movie than just a stupid experimentation though.

    Segment 1: The Beaver Kid – The oddest segment of the three because it doesn’t feel as if you’re watching anything meant to be seen. Yet, Trent Harris found this amazing person of “‘Groovin Gary” just hanging outside of his work. Besides being loaded with personality and charisma, you can’t help but to love this guy. He’s so filled with life and this upbeat attitude that you’re drawn into hoping that he’s able to string together some luck. Yet, and this is where I think this segment becomes particularly interesting, I kept feeling uneasy watching this. Sure, Groovin Gary seemed like a nice guy, but especially near the car, I was tensed up, waiting for something bad to happen whether it’s Gary pulling out a weapon or forcing Harris into the car. I credit all of this fear on the fact that the segment having such a raw and real look to it. I found it a bit odd that I both really loved Groovin Gary and had a bit of mistrust for him. As if he was too good to be true. It’s a bizarre short, but Trent Harris lucked out something fierce by stumbling upon Groovin Gary.

    The Beaver Kid 2 – My least favorite of the three segments. While Sean Penn did do a good job at capturing Groovin Gary, it felt as if this entire take on The Beaver Kid was just done to mock Richard Griffiths, particularly the scenes with Olivia Newton-Dawn. As I said, Groovin Gary was this rather likable guy and because of that, I wasn’t cool with poking fun at him at all. Although the video quality was far was, this short did benefit from being able to properly hear everything that may have been difficult to hear in the Beaver Kid.

    The Orkly Kid – All of my issues with how Griffiths was treated in the Beaver Kid 2 were corrected here. It’s as if in the four years between this and Beaver Kid 2, Trent Harris had matured enough to realize that while a little unusual, there’s something to take from Griffiths beyond just the surface laughs. I felt like the characters who were laughing at the Orkly Kid in this could even represent Harris’ attitudes towards Groovin Gary while making The Beaver Kid 2. So, instead of just laughing at the Orkly Kid, this short was all about empowering him. Here you have this really nice guy who just wants to become a star and help out his hometown in the process, the same town that ridicules him, forced to go through an entire range of emotions before internally deciding “F these guys, I’m happy with who I am and I don’t need Orkly anymore!” That’s awesome! The Beaver Trilogy is supposed to be some stupid movie where the director redid the same footage a few times over. Yet, here I am tricked into being emotionally invested in the Orkly Kid. Dare I say this short could even help some teens that feel ostracized for being different? Although it is necessary to watch the previous two shorts to best appreciate The Orkly Kid, this short is the must see one.

    With that, you have Trent Harris’ completed experimentation with filmmaking. One story done in three different ways. Each short clearly shows Harris at a different stage in his abilities. The Beaver Kid is literally just testing out new equipment and stumbling onto a story. The Beaver Kid 2 is presenting a fictional tale that while a bit misguided, is more polished than the Beaver Kid in telling a story. The Orkly Kid is a full on cinematic experience with a clear positive message to the viewers.

    While the Beaver Trilogy is still a movie worth watching just for the sake of being able to say you saw it, it’s a far more enriching film than you’ll initially assume.

  4. I’m not great at writing like some people on here are, and I love reading there input, but I had to Write just to say even if I don’t get around to watching all or even some of the film’s on here I had the best time, I listen while I’m at work with one ear plug and I laughed so much my fellow workers thought I was mad , a constant smile from start to finish , great job guys , more please

Comments are closed.