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Creator Spotlight: ‘Final Transmission’ Podcast’s Sam Russo & Jamie Carruthers

As a longtime fan of acoustic punk, singer/songwriter Sam Russo has been a regular on my playlists for quite some time. When I discovered that he co-hosts Final Transmission, a horror-themed podcast, I immediately began binge-listening the 30+ episodes. Russo and Jamie Carruthers review films from every decade, providing plenty of hilarious banter and sometimes opposing viewpoints.

When I contacted the hosts about featuring Final Transmission, I asked a few “get to know you” questions. To start, now that they have almost 40 episodes under their belts, I wanted to know which episodes stood out as their favorites.

Sam: I loved ‘Friday the 13th Part VII.’ I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder in my life for an hour and a half. That was great. I also really liked ‘The Burning,’ which, correct me if I’m wrong, was our first proper episode, right?
Jamie: It was our first proper episode. And the first that we recorded by a long stretch.
Sam: Yeah, but I think, actually, we were probably at our best. Not saying we peaked early or that we’ve got worse in any way. ‘Splinter’ feels really special.
Jamie: Yeah, ‘Splinter’ is well up there for me. Also ‘Bug.’
Sam: ‘Bug’ was banging.
Jamie: I really enjoyed talking ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ with you. It was unpleasant to watch and, therefore, wonderful to talk about.
Sam: I thought it was unpleasant at the time, and then you threw a few more incredibly unpleasant films at me. So, while ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ felt like a rough hang, it’s, it’s only got worse.

Cannibal Holocaust (1980) is one of the most contentious movies ever filmed, featuring actual animal deaths and extreme gore. In the podcast episode “Hot Jungle Doom: Cannibal Holocaust,” Sam explains that what appeals to him is the film being “fiercely independent, willing to offend, [and] happy to show stuff that’s absolutely abhorrent to the vast majority of the population.”

RELATED: 10 Facts About ‘Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood’ You May Not Know

As the podcast covers a wide range of titles, such as Xtro (1982), 976-Evil (1988), Eden Lake (2008), and Doctor Sleep (2019), I wondered if there were any films they were hesitant to watch again.

Sam: That’s a really hard question because I have so many different reasons not to return to a film. And it’s not always that it’s bad. Sometimes it’s that it just fucking did the job.
Jamie: Yeah, I think ‘Martyrs’ might be one of them. I mean, obviously, I’ve seen ‘Martyrs’ so many times at this point. I feel like I’ve hit my quota.
Sam: You’ve seen ‘Martyrs’ more times than I’ve had hot dinners. I don’t think I’ll ever watch ‘The Borderlands’ again.
Jamie: I feel like there are a million films that I’ve made you watch for the podcast that you either hated or enjoyed on a level that means you never have to go back. Like you were, you were not a ‘Demons’ fan, were you?
Sam: Well, I could be convinced to watch ‘Demons’ again in a different scenario.
Jamie: You were a ‘Demons 2’ fan.
Sam: No, that sucked.
Jamie: ‘Book of Shadows?’
Sam: Weirdly, I will probably end up watching again at some point in my life.
Jamie: It’s a perfect throw-it-on movie, I think.
Sam: Man, we haven’t done many that I would never go back to unequivocally.
Jamie: There’s a couple in the episode where you’ve been like, I am not watching this again. And it’s mostly because it’s just not as good as other stuff. Even if it’s quite good.
Sam: And how good was ‘Psycho 2?’
Jamie: That was a great episode.
Sam: Yeah, that was a good episode. I’m never watching ‘Rabid’ again.

Martyrs (2008), like Cannibal Holocaust, is often considered one of the most difficult films to watch. It was released during the wave of New French Extremity films and is noted for its excessive brutality, particularly towards women. While it can be stomach-turning, Martyrs is one of those “did the job” movies.

As Jamie explains in the episode “The Cheese Is Worth the Sniff: Martyrs,” “It’s not a fun thing, but it’s so fucking worthwhile; the direction is amazing. I think this is one of my favorite directed movies ever.” He goes on to say, “It’s a really nasty, little nihilistic movie, but at the same time, incredibly beautiful.” Of course, Sam is quick to point out, “It’s sheer pummeling agony, people.”

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Next, I asked the hosts about their favorite directors. While there are some of the usual suspects, Jamie insists on introducing readers to a far lesser-known director.

Jamie: Well, obviously, the big hitters are always amazing. We love Sam Raimi. We love Toby Hooper, except you [Sam]. I watched a documentary recently about the unmade or the lost sequel to ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ that’s called ‘All American Massacre’ that Toby Hooper’s son [William Tony Hooper] directed. And it was—
Sam: I bet it’s guff.
Jamie: Well, it doesn’t really exist in the world. It’s just like a couple of scenes that they strung together for a trailer. I think when they shot it, it was meant to be showreel stuff, and then they fleshed it out to maybe an hour. But this is all just stuff that people have said. Like no one’s ever seen it. And you would probably hate it. It looks like the ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,’ but shot on the shittest DVCAM you’ve ever seen.
Sam: That ain’t pulling it back for me. It’s not gonna happen, kids.
Jamie: I love Argento. If I wanted to do a deep cut…Nathan Schiff made all these New England straight-to-video, shot-on-video horror movies, like ‘They Don’t Cut the Grass Anymore’ (1985) and ‘Weasels Rip My Flesh’ (1979). They’re fantastic. I love them so much. He just doesn’t get the shine that he deserves.
If you’re reading this…you should head over to YouTube and gird your loins because they are rough, rough hangs. Take some time out of your day to watch. ‘They Don’t Cut the Grass Anymore’ is about two landscape gardeners who are hideously mutated and deformed and go on a killing and sodomizing spree across the American Midwest or something.
Sam: Landscaping and sodomy. I’m in.
Jamie: It’s a fun one.
Sam: I like David Fincher.
Jamie: Yeah. I was a big fan of ‘Zodiac.’
Sam: ‘Zodiac’ was pretty good.
Jamie: I went through a real period of watching movies about journalism because I was, I was doing a journalism degree…and that’s one of the best ones.

Next, I had to ask about their favorite horror soundtracks. Because as Sam put it in his response, “Oh, Goddamn, now you’re in my wheelhouse.”

Sam: I love the soundtrack to ‘Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.’ I absolutely love that shit. ‘The Thing’ is up there for me, the John Carpenter remake, and the original ‘Halloween’ score. The score for ‘The Witch’ is absolutely fantastic, and I’ve got to shout ‘Mandy’ before I forget. I’ve got that on double vinyl. Nice. Proper thick, heavy vine, all the artworks, fucking bananas.
Jamie: I’m a big fan of the Italian prog band Goblin. So, any of the stuff that Goblin did—’Suspiria,’ but particularly the soundtrack that they did for ‘Phenomena.’
Sam: They did ‘Dawn of the Dead.’
Jamie: They did the Italian version of ‘Dawn of the Dead.’
Sam: And that absolutely rules. I like a bit of Goblin. I love the soundtrack to ‘The Burning.’ It’s very synthy and dreadful as in full of dread. There’s some great heavy metal music in horror movies that is really well-placed and kicks the absolute ass off of it. But for the most part, I’m all about atmosphere.
‘Halloween’ (2018) has a fucking kicking score because it’s just like the original, but massive and huge production value. So, I recommend checking that out.
Jamie: The soundtrack to ‘Black Roses.’ Big fan of that. Yeah, it rips. It’s just like dumb, made-up metal songs, which I’m a big fan of.
Sam: Do you find sometimes you’ll be like, fuck, this is such a great score. It’s so ambient and atmospheric and powerful. And then you look it up and nine out of 10 times it’s Trent Reznor.
Jamie: Well, I think Trent Reznor has a real Hans Zimmer boring noises-type approach to scores, like trucks backing up and stuff.
Sam: Maybe it’s the placement that I admire the most. I’m always like, wow, that was really quite powerful and moving. And I look it up, and it’s always fucking Trent Reznor. I think what we’re learning here is I’m pretty simple and basic and you’re very niche.

My last burning question asked: if stuck in a horror film, who would be the final girl, and who would get a machete to the face?

Sam: Hate to do this to you, bud, but it’s really fucking simple. A cut-and-dry answer. I’m the final girl.
Jamie: How are you the final girl?
Sam: I’m very lithe. I’ve got great survival skills. I’m very cool in a crisis due to enormous amounts of childhood trauma. I can lose a lot of blood and still crack on. I’ve broken a lot more bones than you. I have a higher pain threshold. I am trained in the art of Kung fu. I am just a fucking survivor, bro. And listen, betwixt you and I, I’d also hurl you straight at the killer and run the other way.
Jamie: You couldn’t hurl me as far as you could throw me.
Sam: That’s the same thing. This is why you’re going down, pal. And this is why I’m making it out of that fucking window and into the sunset. Please feel free to rebut if you have a case.
Jamie: I think I might be the killer.
Sam:  Therefore, you’re unlikely to kill yourself. Yeah, but that’s fine. I can still be the final girl if you’re the killer.
Jamie: It’s not impossible that I wouldn’t kill myself.
Sam: You might trip and land on the machete.
Jamie: I’m thinking like ‘Scream’ rules where anything’s up for grabs.
Sam: Yeah, that’s a good point. You do have an uncanny ability to think outside the box. Do you know what I think, though? If there were more of us, I don’t think it would be cut and dry that you would die first. You’d be in the last 5%.
Jamie: I think I probably would die because, again, if we’re playing ‘Scream’ rules, then I’m probably fucking Randy, aren’t I?
Sam: Yes, you probably are. I mean, it depends on how much we’re allowed to act. Because you could play anyone, but you are closer to that character. Absolutely. You’re the enthusiast of the group.
Jamie: I’m the character that you hate in all movies apart from ‘Scream,’ maybe?
Sam: Are you kidding me? I love those guys. They’re my fucking faves.
Jamie: We covered a movie when you were like, I hate the people that like horror movies in horror movies.
Sam: Oh, yeah. Okay. Normally, because they’re done so poorly and it’s so transparent, they don’t like horror movies at all. It’s normally poor acting. I like the idea of that. I think it’s done well in some… I like stoners a lot in movies, and I like dropouts and grebs and schizoids and gimboids and spazzes and goobers, and I like all the outcasts, of which the film nerd is normally among that number.
Jamie: I like to think that I would survive, but I probably wouldn’t.
Sam: You would survive, just not for long.
Jamie: Maybe I’d make it to the sequel and then die.
Sam: That really cold opening kill in the sequel where you’re like, “Oh, it’s that guy. We like him. He survived. Oh, he’s dead.”
I tell you what, blood pack. Let’s both get our heads chopped off with one big swing of the machete, but it will be yours first and mine because we’ll be next to each other.
Jamie: Do you think the killer will be amenable to that?
Sam: Yeah, if we just stand next to each other the entire time. If we do like a three-legged race tactic, he, they, she can’t fucking not kill us at the same time, right? that’s how it would go down. We’d die together.
Jamie: I think as he’s swinging the axe or whatever, I would be like, that’s a bit derivative.
Sam: You would make some snarky comment. I would just weep. I would just be crying.
Jamie: You’d be humming the fucking ‘Friday the 13th VII’ score.

We hope you enjoyed this entry in our Creator Spotlight series. I want to thank Jamie and Sam for taking the time to answer these very important questions.

Final Transmission is available on all podcasting platforms, including Podbean, Spotify, and Apple. Be sure to follow Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for more shenanigans.

Artwork by Dismay Design

The post Creator Spotlight: ‘Final Transmission’ Podcast’s Sam Russo & Jamie Carruthers appeared first on HorrorGeekLife.

Fuente: https://www.horrorgeeklife.com/2024/04/21/final-transmission-podcast-sam-russo-jamie-carruthers/

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