Josh Ickes / Film maker

A passion for moving images

A passion for moving images.


S1E10: Children Of The Corn-A-Thon!

This week, we watched Every Single One of the Children of the Corn Sequels, as well as the Original, and we SURVIVED.

There's not much to add here. Keep an eye out for Arrow Video's shockingly comprehensive blu-ray release, coming out on October 3rd, which features Dollar Baby "Disciples of the Crow" as a bonus feature. However, regarding the rest of the sequels, don't say we didn't warn you. 

Click through the links below to support us if you'd like! 

Children of the Corn Blu-Ray: 

Stephen King's Night Shift: 

Children of the Corn 2-7 on DVD: 

Children of the Corn 3-6 on Blu Ray: 

Children of the Corn: Genesis on DVD: 

S1E9: Stephen King's Dollar Babies

This week on the Empathy Machine, we discuss a smattering of Stephen King's Dollar Baby shorts and explore what makes for a successful Stephen King adaptation. 

What is a Dollar Baby, you ask? Well, since the early-1980s, Stephen King has offered the opportunity for independent and student filmmakers to purchase rights to one of a limited selection of his stories for only one dollar. The filmmaker is only granted festival rights as a result, and only limited ability to display the work online, but this serves as a pretty great opportunity for filmmakers to try their hand at proven source material. 

Sometimes the shorts turn out to be quite good, and sometimes they turn out to be quite not so good. 

We viewed the following: 

The Boogeyman (1982, Jeff Schiro)
The Woman in the Room (1983, Frank Darabont)
Disciples of the Crow (1983, John Woodward)
The Night Waiter (1987, Jack Garrett)** 
The Last Rung on the Ladder (1987, Dan Thron & James Cole)
The Lawnmower Man (1987, Jim Gonis)
Paranoid (2000, Jay Holben)
Strawberry Spring (2001, Doveed Linder)
Rainy Season (2002, Nick Wauters)
Night Surf (2002, Peter Sullivan)
Secret Transit Codes of America's Highways (2004, Brian Berkowitz)
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away (2004, Scott Albanese)
Umney's Last Case (2006, Rodney Altman)

**Not actually a Stephen King adaptation

We also discuss the book Dollar Deal: The Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers by Shawn Lealos, which can be purchased here: 

Special thanks, as always, to our Sound Engineer Drew DeVore! 

S1E8: George Romero-In Memoriam


This week, we memorialize George A. Romero by diving deep into his body of work to examine two of his lesser-known films, 1978's Martin and 1981's Knightriders, and go on to discuss the seismic impact he's had on not just the horror genre, but culture as a whole.

RIP, George. You will be missed.

Thanks again to our Sound Engineer, Drew DeVore!

S1E7: Jaws Part 2


This week on the Empathy Machine Podcast, we return to the ocean to talk more about Jaws and mostly advocate for more violence on screen, and for showing Jaws to children as young as you possibly can. 

Special thanks as always to our Fearless Sound Engineer Drew DeVore, and Extra Special Thanks to Jackie DeVore from the Sirens of Scream podcast for helping out with the episode intro this week.

Be sure to check out the Sirens of Scream podcast! 

And, in case you missed them last week, below are a few fascinating video essays on the man, the myth, the legend, and his shark named Bruce:

Spielberg Reacts to Oscar Nom Announcements:

Inside Jaws: A Filmumentary by Jamie Benning:

How Spielberg Builds Tension:

Spielberg and the Horror Inside Blockbusters:

The Spielberg Oner (Every Frame A Painting):

S1E6: Jaws Part 1

This week, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, we talk about Jaws!

Come for a lengthy discussion of the book, stay for the tangential discussions that lead to the film itself, the state of modern big-budget genre filmmaking, and eventually some very focused discussion of the film itself.

And be sure to stay tuned for Part 2 of this episode, coming later this week!

Special thanks to Drew DeVore, our fearless Sound Engineer

Links to some Advanced Studies Below:

Spielberg Reacts to Oscar Nom Announcements:

Inside Jaws: A Filmumentary by Jamie Benning:

How Spielberg Builds Tension:

Spielberg and the Horror Inside Blockbusters:

The Spielberg Oner (Every Frame A Painting):

S1E5: We Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet Vol. 1


This week, we discuss a pair of 1970s sports films due to the fact that I [Andrew] had not yet seen them. We start in 1977 with George Roy Hill's Slap Shot, and work our way backwards all the way to 1976 to discuss Michael Ritchie's work on the original Bad News Bears.

For our advanced studies, we discuss Michael Ritchie's late-career triumph the underseen (and distressingly unavailable to stream anywhere other than Vudu) 1992 effort Diggstown, and explore the baseball-related filmography of Richard Linklater, most specifically his 2016 film Everybody Wants Some, while discussing what makes for a great sports movie, and if certain sports are simply more cinematic than others.

And be sure to follow us on Letterboxd!  

Andrew Ford: 

Josh Ickes:

S1E4: Alien Resurrection

This week, we discuss Alien: Resurrection, the rapid evolution of big-studio filmmaking, the importance of managing tone and how best to translate the tone of a script to the screen, specifically via casting and the direction of said cast. We also make an earnest plea to armchair YouTube film critics to approach each film from a scholarly angle, as a work to be studied and discussed rather than derided and dismissed in the interest of empty-headed snark and sarcasm.

In our Advanced Studies, we discuss Firefly and Serenity, alongside the career of Joss Whedon this week, and explore the 2nd trilogy of Resident Evilfilms (Afterlife/Retribution/The Final Chapter) as examples of comparatively successful, idea-driven Euro-helmed sci-fi/adventure films that are, when taken as a whole, surprisingly ambitious.

Thanks as always to our brilliant Sound Engineer Drew DeVore, and be sure to check out the following clips/articles/and commencement addresses we reference off and on throughout the episode: 

Key and Peele - Awkward Conversation

Film Crit Hulk - Never Hate a Movie

David Foster Wallace - This is Water

S1E3: Alien 3

In this week's episode, we discuss Alien 3, the career of David Fincher, the struggles that come with helming one's first studio film (we assume), and come up with a pair of companion films that may not spring immediately to mind - Andrei Tarkovsky's Stalker and Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly


Thanks as always to our brilliant Sound Engineer Drew DeVore, and make sure to check out the following video essays for further insight into a film we're both quite fond of:


David Fincher - The Director’s Series - 5 entries:  


Every Frame A Painting - Fincher - 


The Unloved 

S1E2: Aliens

Join us as we continue our journey through the Alien franchise with our discussion of James Cameron's masterwork of sci-fi action cinema, 1986's Aliens

We dive into behind the making of the film, James Cameron's career to-date, and explore the continuum of genre filmmaking that produced this film. With examples of films that directly led to this one (1941, Poltergeist, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), as well as others that incorporate and repurpose many of this film's strengths (Mad Max: Fury Road, Green Room).

We also discuss a more conventional/less successful sequel path not taken, by looking at Dan O'Bannon's contemporaneous sci-fi blockbuster, 1985's Lifeforce. And we top it all off by yelling at everyone to be nicer to James Cameron. 

Special thanks goes out to Drew DeVore, our fearless editor.