Josh Stifter is a director of bloody, gory short films and wickedly funny animation. Stifter thinks too much of the Minnesota film scene takes itself too seriously. So he goes the other direction completely, making "wild and batshit crazy" shorts about killer Christmas stockings and the perils of early parenthood. "Who cares," Josh says, "it's fun to watch."
Stifter makes these films for his company Flush Studios. But he got started working for Kevin Smith, animating episodes of Smodcast, and eventually creating an animated scene for Smith's film Tusk (the scene was eventually cut, but is available on DVD and Blu-ray bonus features).
Josh picked two early David Cronenberg films to discuss: Scanners and The Fly. Scanners marked Cronenberg's first wide release, introducing his signature style of violence to the nation. It was a critical and box-office failure in 1981, but has become a cult classic. The Fly was a different story, a critical hit and Oscar winner for Cronenberg, The Fly was also a popular success, finding crossover appeal beyond science-fiction and horror fans.
In this episode, Courtney, Chris and Josh dive into Cronenberg's propensity for body horror, his need to show everything (and we mean everything) to the audience, and his vision of technology as an extension of humanity.
Also in the pod: Are studios ruining young sci-fi directors by giving them mega-franchise money too soon? How much glistening Goldblum can humanity survive? And who has the gumption to sing the John Mayer cover Body Horror is a Wonderland?