[Podcast] IT! (1967) – Episode 6 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“There are certain unseen things that are more real than those which you can see and touch. I know that.” Join the Decades of Horror: The Classic Era’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Erin Miskell, Jeff Mohr, and Joseph Perry – as we go for It! … NO, NOT THE STEPHEN KING It. Give us a break! After all, we are The Classic Era Grue-Crew. We’re talking about the exclamation-point-ended, 1967-released, Roddy McDowall starred-in, pseudo-Hammer produced, tree-golem monstered IT!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 6 – IT! aka Curse of the Golem (1967)

Written and directed by Herbert J. Leder, whose other accomplishments include Fiend Without a Face (1958) and The Frozen Dead (1966), It! builds on the Jewish folklore of the golem. What if a nervous nebbish of an assistant museum curator named Arthur Pimm (Roddy McDowall) discovered the long lost Golem of Prague? What’s more, what if he discovered the power to control the golem? What would this nervous, nebbishy, assistant museum curator do with such power? Well, it’s definitely not what we would do.

When the omnipotent golem runs amok, as all indestructible creatures are want to do, how would you stop it? Even though IT! might sound like Superman, Kryptonite won’t do the trick. I mean come on, IT!’s made of clay. Can IT! be drowned? Can IT! be burned? Can IT! be destroyed by any man-made means?

By the way, what the heck is Mr. Pimm doing with his mother? I guess he does look a bit like a shorter Norman Bates, but Pimm’s mother has much nicer jewelry than Mrs. Bates. And what integral part does Pimm’s mother fetish play in the plot of IT!? Or does IT!?! (See what I did there?).

Find out why Erin talks so much about The Legend of Hell House when we’re discussing IT! Speaking of Erin, how does Pimm’s infatuation with Ellen Groves (Jill Haworth) lead Erin to bond with her in sisterhood. Erin also philosophizes on whether she is a pickle or a hamburger. It’s not what you think! Hear about Chad’s bro-mance with the square-jawed American (Paul Maxwell) that comes to Ellen’s rescue! And what possible connection can there be between IT! and Lucio Fulci?

Of course as usual, if you’re paying attention, you’ll hear which of us makes these memorable comments:

  • I’m picturing Pimm threatening to punch the golem to the moon!
  • Too much cheese before the podcast.
  • Oh, he dug up his mother and took her coffin with him and they’re off with that silly statue to do whatever.
  • I AM YOUR MASTER!

We plan to release a new episode every other week. Our upcoming schedule includes The Thing from Another World (1951), Freaks (1932), The Queen of Spades (1949), and Waxworks (1924)

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the movies we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you, a great big “THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!” from each of us!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an “Old Boy.” Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine and co-hosted the SQ Bloodlines podcast. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is co-host of the Decades of Horror The Classic Era and 1970s podcasts.
  • Ouch, those crickets were LOUD. But Chad, I want you to know that I totally got that McGee reference. And if Lou happened to be listening to the podcast, I’m sure he got it too. 😉

    Another enjoyable romp through classic film-land, folks. I first saw this one a few years back, and loved it’s cheesy take on the Golem legend. Like all of you, I’m a fan of Roddy McDowell. Loved him in the various films and shows you all mentioned. And, being a classic Columbo fan, I enjoyed his turn as a Columbo killer in season one’s “Short Fuse.” Worth a watch even if you’re not big on Columbo.

    I’ve never given the film a second viewing (yet, I did download the movie from YouTube after listening to the podcast, so we’ll see), but I remember being a little underwhelmed by the Golem’s design. It’s an interesting design, just not very terrifying. I thought the poor guy looked more forlorn than anything else.

    Anyway, nice job with this one and with the show overall. It’s really shaping up nicely. And Erin, I appreciate the feminine perspective you bring into the discussions (here, and in KK). You do a nice job of working various women’s issues and perspectives into the mix in a way that isn’t heavy handed. It’s an important subject to include (I think) and you bring it in well.

    Looking forward to the upcoming shows, The Thing from Another World (1951), Freaks (1932), The Queen of Spades (1949), and Waxworks (1924). I’ve never actually seen those last three, so new horizons for me.

    • Thunderhead Jones

      Salty, thanks for having my back on the McGee thing. (I felt so alone!) I feel the same on Golem’s design, but I think the budget wasn’t there to make it something truly special. But as a small kid watching it, I found it kinda creepy. Thanks again for your support and feedback for the show. It really means a lot to us
      We are really starting to feel more comfortable as a group, and hopefully that will carry over into better and better shows for you and the rest of the listeners. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this particular group of folks. Thaanks again, brother! Talk to you soon!
      -Chad

      • I was actually the tiniest bit thunderstruck when no one on the show seemed to get that Hulk reference. (Sometimes I forget everyone on the planet didn’t share in my particular childhood obsessions.) I remember eagerly waiting for that Ferrigno/Bixby pilot for what seemed like months. We were on the road for a family vacation when it finally aired, and I was desperate for us to get to the motel in time for it to start. Watched it on an old Motel 6 black and white set with fuzzy reception, so distressed I wasn’t seeing the Hulk in his full on greenness. It was years before I was able to see that original telefilm in color. (The wonders of VHS.)

        At any rate, no doubt I would have found the Golem creepier if I’d first seen it as a kid, too.