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Switchblade Sisters

Author: MaximumFun.org

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Switchblade Sisters is a new podcast providing deep cuts on genre flicks from a female perspective. Every week, film critic April Wolfe sits down with a phenomenal female film-maker to slice-and-dice a classic genre movie - horror, exploitation, sci-fi and many others! Along the way, they cover craft, the state of the industry, how films get made, and more. Mothers, lock up your sons, the Switchblade Sisters are coming!
121 Episodes
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Today we have the multi-talented Jenna Kanell (Terrifier) on the program. She’s a writer, director, actor, and stunt performer. And she’s on the show today to talk about 2014’s It Follows. Jenna discusses the infusion of social commentary into the horror genre. She talks about the difficulty and isolation that can go along with the acting process. And she elaborates on performing her own stunts and how that can help her feel more “in her own body” for a role. If you haven’t seen It Follows…you should! It’s good! With April Wolfe and Jenna Kanell.
We have the magnificent director Maggie Levin (Blumhouse’s Into the Dark: My Valentine, Miss 2059) on the show to discuss Joel Schumacher’s vampire-classic, The Lost Boys. Maggie and April chat about making genre films on a shoestring budget. Maggie takes us through the laborious and often entertaining process of the “name clearance phase” of filmmaking. And she emphasizes the necessity of talented actors to make a quality film. You can watch Into the Dark: My Valentine on Hulu now. And if you haven’t seen The Lost Boys…get to it! With April Wolfe and Maggie Levin.
What a FANTABULOUS episode this is! We have the magnificent Cathy Yan, director of Birds of Prey, on to talk all about Mad Max: Fury Road. Cathy discusses what it’s like making her own standalone film in a “sequalized environment.” She elaborates on the function of using practical effects and stunts. And she discusses working with Margot Robbie and further developing Harley Quinn’s character. You can watch Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn in theaters on February 7th. And if you haven’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road…what? With April Wolfe and Cathy Yan.
This week we are joined by the wonderful actress Madeleine Arthur (Color Out of Space, Big Eyes, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before) to talk about 2002’s Adaptation. Madeleine discusses the craft of self-taping an audition, doing an ADR session, and grounding supernatural dialogue. She also reveals what it was like co-starring with Nicolas Cage. And she even sings the song he made up for the times when he needs to focus on set. You can watch Color Out of Space in theaters now. And if you haven’t seen Adaptation…what are you even doing with your life? With April Wolfe and Madeleine Arthur.
We are so lucky to be joined by the phenomenal director of the new film She’s Missing, Alexandra McGuinness. She’s on the program to talk about the aptly chosen movie, Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake Is Missing. Alexandra discusses the significance of making films in foreign places. She elaborates on unintentionally making her work personal. And she chats about her love of collaborating with inexperienced actors – especially child actors who correct Josh Hartnett when he doesn’t remember a line. You can watch She’s Missing on streaming now. And if you haven’t seen Bunny Lake Is Missing…do it now! With April Wolfe and Alexandra McGuinness.
This week we have one of our very own Max Fun pals on the program, writer and Round Springfield co-host Julia Prescott! She’s on the show to talk about the delectable Addams Family Values. Julia discusses her love of 90’s comedies and the genius of Joan Cusack. Plus she elaborates on her own writing mindset and the joy of taking silliness very seriously. You can listen to Round Springfield now. And if you haven’t seen Addams Family Values…what are you doing?! With April Wolfe and Julia Prescott.
What a great way to start off the New Year. Writer Megan Amram (The Good Place, Parks and Rec) joins April to discuss the monumental classic, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Megan and April explore the idea of objectifying the human body in an interesting and meaningful way. Plus Megan talks about the moral approach in her scripts for the way character’s make decisions. And it should be noted that this entire interview was conducted with Megan shrouded in her own The Texas Chainsaw Massacre blanket. You can watch NBC’s The Good Place on Thursday nights. And if you haven’t seen The Texas Chainsaw Massacre…what are you doing?! With April Wolfe and Megan Amram. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O’Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
A Maximum Fun crossover extravaganza! ‘The JV Club’ host Janet Varney joins host Katie Walsh to discuss the forgotten 1985 fantasy epic, Ladyhawke. Janet and Katie obsess over the score and insane romanticism of the film. Plus, Janet talks about the use of sincerity in her own work and navigating social media interactions. If you haven’t seen Ladyhawke…good luck! With Katie Walsh and Janet Varney. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O’Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
Ladies and gentlemen, Katie Walsh is back in the booth. She’s joined by the wonderful writer, actor, and host Clarke Wolfe to talk about Scream. This is a truly in depth analysis of the film by two bonafide “Scream heads.” Plus, Katie and Clarke examine how prescient this film was with its criticism of incels, the feminization of young men, and the prediction of Columbine. Scream has layers! If you haven’t seen Scream…run don’t walk to see it. With Katie Walsh and Clarke Wolfe. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O’Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
We are so lucky because – A). We have Claire Kiechel, writer for Watchmen and The OA, on the show this week. And B). She’s discussing Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, which is technically a Christmas movie! She and April elaborate on all the things that make this film magical – the production design, the world building, the performances. Plus, we get a peek inside the writer’s room of Watchmen and hear Claire dissect the motivations of characters like Dr. Manhattan and Angela Abar. The entire first season of Watchmen is available on HBO now. And if you haven’t seen Brazil…why? With April Wolfe and Claire Kiechel. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O’Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
We have traveled through the mirror and everything is backwards and evil! April has become the guest on her own show! That’s right, Katie Walsh is taking over the reigns as host and speaking to our “intrepid leader” about John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. April discusses writing and working on her new film Black Christmas. Plus, you can hear her examine the relationship between cosmic horror, religion, and misogyny! Black Christmas is in theaters in wide release on December Friday the 13th. And if you haven’t seen Prince of Darkness…get on it! With April Wolfe and Katie Walsh. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O’Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
This is a truly fascinating and unique episode of Switchblade Sisters. The phenomenal Austrian director Jessica Hausner joins April to talk about M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit. But unlike any previous episode of Switchblade Sisters, Jessica had never seen The Visit and had to turn it off halfway through because she was too frightened! Nonetheless, this is a deeply insightful conversation that covers her personal philosophy of precise filmmaking, working with child actors, and her new sci-fi film starring Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw called Little Joe, which won Best Actress for Beecham at the Cannes Film Festival and was in competition for the Palme d’Or. Little Joe is in theaters and streaming on December 6. And if you haven’t seen The Visit…you should! With April Wolfe and Jessica Hausner. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org.
April is joined by the magnificent filmmaker and artist Jennifer Reeder to discuss Todd Haynes’ 1995 classic, Safe. Jennifer discusses the making of her new film Knives and Skin and the necessity of shooting it at home in Chicago. She articulates the toxic way that motherhood is portrayed in films and how she tries to correct that in her own movie. Plus, she and April gush over the masterful filmmaking executed in Safe. Knives and Skin is in theaters and streaming on December 6. And if you haven’t seen Safe…get on it! With April Wolfe and Jennifer Reeder. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O’Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
April is back in the studio to talk with the one and only Mali Elfman. She's on the show to talk about the very interesting Brit Marling film, Another Earth. Mali elaborates on the challenges of working with investors. She discusses the strategy for producing Karen Gillan's directorial debut The Party's Just Beginning. Plus, she talks about how her father, the famed composer Danny Elfman, taught her to "speak composer." Fun Size Horror Vol. 1 is streaming on Prime now. And if you haven't seen Another Earth... get on it! With April Wolfe and Mali Elfman. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
Katie Walsh returns to talk to the groundbreaking director Hannah Macpherson (Pure) about 2002's The Ring. Hannah discusses her fascination with the film and how it ties into her obsession with the effects of technology on the human experience. She also chronicles the making of her Snapchat film, Sickhouse, and how it really tricked the audience into thinking the events were real. Pure is streaming on Hulu now. And if you haven't seen The Ring...be careful, it's scary. With Katie Walsh and Hannah Macpherson. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
Katie Walsh is back in the hosting chair this week to speak with the fascinating director of the new film Blue, Gabriela Ledesma. Gabby's on the show to talk about the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film, Psycho. She opens up about the dark subject matter of Blue and how her own suicide attempt inspired the film. She also discusses the lessons she learned during her naval career that she has applied to filmmaking. Plus, Katie and Gabby just generally obsess over the genius of Alfred Hitchcock. Blue is streaming now. And if you haven't seen Psycho...what are you doing with your life? With Katie Walsh and Gabriela Ledesma. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
Just in time for Halloween, we have the amazingly talented Alice Waddington (director Paradise Hills) on the program to talk about Logan's Run. She discusses creating specific fantasy worlds, being inspired by Logan's Run, and the pleasures of working with Awkwafina. We also get Vulture associate editor, Jordan Crucchiola, on the line to talk about what horror films we should check out this Halloween. Paradise Hills is in theaters and streaming on November 1st. And if you haven't seen Logan's Run, you simply must! With April Wolfe, Alice Waddington, and Jordan Crucchiola. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
We have royalty on this week's episode. We are graced by the presence of Kiwi Smith, writer of 10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde, She's the Man, The House Bunny, and so many more. She's on the show to talk about a VERY different film from her own work - Bob Rafelson's 1987 neo-noir, Black Widow. Kiwi gushes over the obsessive relationship between Debra Winger and Theresa Russell's characters. She discusses having to change the ending of Legally Blonde several times. And she talks about how she physically mailed pages to her writing partner during the writing of 10 Things I Hate About You. Watch Kiwi's show, Trinkets, streaming on Netflix now. And if you haven't seen Black Widow, you simply must! With April Wolfe and Kiwi Smith. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
We have the honor and distinction to be graced by the presence of Dawn Luebbe & Jocelyn DeBoer, the actors, writers, and directors of the new film Greener Grass. They discuss a classic film that would pair perfectly in a double feature with their own movie - that would be John Waters' Polyester. They elaborate on the notion of "shock value" and how Polyester is shocking for different reasons than Waters' previous films. They also open up about the production of their own film, and how they lucked into shooting in the "Golf Cart Capital of the World." Greener Grass is streaming and in theaters on October 18th. And if you haven't seen Polyester - GO NOW! With April Wolfe and Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
This week we initiate another woman into the Switchblade Sisterhood. Avra Fox-Lerner, writer of the new Seann William Scott led horror, Bloodline, is on the show to talk about 1999's Ravenous. She and April discuss this bizarre and twisty cannibalistic horror film, and how it's a miracle that it got made in the first place. Avra elaborates on discovering aspects of her film through the editing process. Plus she details how she finally broke into the film industry by pitching a screenplay to Blumhouse that they said they would never make. Bloodline is streaming now. And if you haven't seen Ravenous - you should! With April Wolfe and Avra Fox-Lerner. You can let us know what you think of Switchblade Sisters on Twitter or Facebook. Or email us at switchbladesisters@maximumfun.org. Produced by Casey O'Brien and Laura Swisher for MaximumFun.org.
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Comments (6)

Teresa Ellis

Now I know why I was confused about not remembering 'Donnie Darko' from my youth. The movie was set in the 80's but came out in 2001. I kept thinking "Why don't I remember hearing about this movie?" There were plenty of movies I had heard about and never watched, like 'Chucky' or 'Blade Runner' or heard about and watched years later like 'The Fifth Element' and 'Gremlins', but I couldn't figure out why I had no memory of 'Donnie Darko'. Now I know and because of the unfortunate timing of its release and the mixed feelings about the movie that I keep hearing about the movie.

Jan 11th
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Teresa Ellis

Thank you for warning me off of the director of 'Brazil'. He sounds like a piece of work. I love your podcast. I get to understand and enjoy movies I might not have heard about or wasn't sure about watching.

Jan 9th
Reply (1)

Teresa Ellis

I also identified with male characters in books and movies growing up. They had the adventures, they did the dangerous exciting things in most of the stories available to me growing up. There were fairy tales who had a girl who saved the day, Gretel rescued Hansel from the witch, the girl saved the boy from the Snow Queen, there was a girl who wore through three pairs of stone shoes traveling, the girl who weaves shirts out of nettles to rescue her brothers and Alice from Wonderland and Dorothy from Oz, but so many more books and movies had the male character as the hero. I think that is why I love fairy tales, female characters were allowed to do something other than helplessly scream (like in far too many films) They didn't carry around swords, the girls and women in fairy tales were clever and kind and had a strength that had less to do with muscle and more to do with willpower. Ladyhawk and Princess Leia were gentle, caring and STRONG.

Jan 9th
Reply

Teresa Ellis

I agree with her opinion on action movies. I fast forwarded through the action scenes of Marvel Winter Soldier so I could watch the character scenes between Black Widow and Captain America.

Oct 1st
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Christina Womacks

when was fire walk with me added to criterion collection?

Jul 5th
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