ITF Read & Watch: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1981 book & 2019 film)

Grab a flashlight and pull the covers over your head--it’s time for some scary stories! Luke & James read all three of Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell’s classic collections for episode 101, including Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. They also watched the documentary from 2019, as well as the Guillermo Del Toro and André Øvredal film.

Movie Talk Begins: 39:01

Movie Spoilers Begin: 55:42

Topics include: Luke’s personal connection to these books, Stephen Gammell’s iconic art-style, the satanic-panic of the 80s, favorite stories, the power of tropes and archetypes in genre, the value of jump-scares, the trouble with picking an audience for the film, and metaphorically connecting the characters to the monsters they encounter.

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Ep-100 The Greatest Adaptation of All Time

Luke Elliott and James Bailey set out to answer the question once and for all: What is the greatest adaptation of all time? But first, they set the stage with discussions over upcoming adaptations they and the Ink-to-Film community are excited about, and even make some picks for books deserving adaptations of their own. 

Listeners and friends of the podcast alike chime in for this celebratory episode, including authors Fonda Lee, Wendy N. Wagner, J.L. Gribble, and Mike Arnzen, as well as podcasts hosts from “Stories of Yore and Yours,” “33% Pulp,” and “Watch. Review. Repeat.”

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Ep-99 Memento (2000 film & 2001 short story)

Jonathan Nolan’s short story “Memento Mori” formed the basis for his brother Christopher Nolan’s MEMENTO--a film that came out prior the story it was adapted from! Learn how that came to pass and more in this discussion of some of the early work of the iconic Nolan Brothers. The film stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano.

Topics include: the neo-noir influence on the film, structure meets story, how memory informs identity, deliberately confusing an audience, what’s the truth about Sammy Jankis, the meaning behind some hidden frames, and why we need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are.

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Intro Music: Ross Bugden

Lessons from the Screenplay: Memento—Telling a Story in Reverse

Ep-98 Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964 film)

How does Stanley Kubrick’s Cold War satire hold up for a modern audience? Join Luke & James as they discuss all the behind the scenes stories, social themes, dark comedy, and brilliant acting of this legendary film adapted from the novel “Red Alert” by Peter George.

Note: This episode is a Jukebox Hero commission funded by the generosity of Steven E. through Ink to Film’s Patreon. Visit Patreon.com/inktofilm to learn all about our SPECIAL OFFER lasting until August 11th and how to earn a free token you can use to commission a book-to-film project of your own!

Topics Include: the phallic symbolism, Peter Sellers playing 3 incredible roles, George C. Scott’s over-the-top effort as Buck Turgidson, Sterling Haydin’s Jack D. Ripper and his obsession with bodily fluids, Slim Pickens not knowing he was in a comedy, parallels in idiocy in the modern US government, and the wild, memorable antics inside The War Room.

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Intro Music: MultiMusic

Ep-97 Red Alert (1958 novel)

Did you know that “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” was based on a novel by a former member of the British Royal Air Force? Before Stanley Kubrick’s classic film, Peter George (a. k. a. Peter Bryant) wrote a deadly serious thriller about escalating tensions brought to a boil when one man goes rogue in an attempt to start World War III. Originally published as Two Hours to Doom, the story of this novel and its relationship to Dr. Strangelove is worth a listen.

Note: This episode is a Jukebox Hero commission funded by the generosity of Steven E. through Ink to Film’s Patreon. Visit Patreon.com/inktofilm to learn all about our special offer lasting until August 11th and how to earn a free token you can use to commission a book-to-film project of your own!

Spoilers Begin: 22:38

Topics Include: the important historical context, why Peter George choose to write as Peter Bryant, the author’s tragic demise, the Fail-Safe lawsuit, the nature of the US war-machine, the absurdity of calmly discussing genocide in the pursuit of fairness, and a comparison to another title previously covered by Ink to Film.

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Intro Music: MultiMusic

Ep-96 Children of Men (2006 film)

Alfonso Cuarón’s apocalyptic masterpiece CHILDREN OF MEN is a modern classic starring Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, and Michael Caine. His adaptation of P. D. James’ novel of the same name differs significantly but stands on its own as breathtaking art and perhaps even rises above. 

Topics: The horrors of U.S. detention centers, the effect of the long take “oners”, the special rig necessary to get an iconic scene, the use of classic works of art hidden in the film, a story of a mishap that is the stuff of filmmaking legend, how Harry Potter paved the way for this movie to be made, and the completion of Theo Faron’s character arc.

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Intro Music: Ross Bugden

Ep-95 The Children of Men (1992 novel) part two

Theo joins the dissident group called the "Five Fishes" and is on the run from the law with the fate of the world in the balance in the second half of THE CHILDREN OF MEN by P. D. James (a. k. a. Phyllis Dorothy James).

Topics: Their reaction to all of the Christian symbols and references, an appearance by the famous dramatic principle of Chekov’s Gun, an absurd dance, “eugenics are bad”, the juxtaposition of the human with the divine, a reading from scripture and a stab at the meaning of the title, some flimsiness in the ending, and whether or not this story’s conclusion is actually a hopeful one.

And make sure to join the podcast next week for a discussion about the film by Alfonso Cuaron starring Julianne Moore & Clive Owen!

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Ep-94 The Children of Men (1992 novel) part one

P. D. James (a. k. a. Phyllis Dorothy James) wrote her classic dystopian tale of a world dying a slow death in the 90s that led to an iconic film adaptation more than a decade later. In THE CHILDREN OF MEN, the reader follows Dr. Theodore “Theo” Faron as he navigates the new political and theological questions of a world without a future. Luke & James explore the questions raised by the first half of the novel.

Spoilers begin: 34:15

Topics: the book’s style and prose, authoritarianism as a response to fear, Theo’s privilege, exploring the speculative element at the heart of the story, the proposed effect on sexual relationships as suggested by the author, a potential lack of humanism, the politics of the Five Fishes, and finally, would Luke & James recommend movie-fans read this book?

And make sure to join the podcast next week for the second half of the novel, and the following week for the film by Alfonzo Cuaron starring Julianne Moore & Clive Owen!

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Intro Music: Ross Bugden

Ep-93 Good Omens (2019 TV series) episodes 4-6

The four horsemen ride to start the Apocalypse and to meet the Antichrist (Adam Young) in the last 3 episodes of Neil Gaiman’s feel-good TV series about the end of the world. Join Luke & James as they discuss the second half of the show, before putting a bow on their coverage.

Topics include: overall takeaways from the project, Michael Sheen & David Tennant's potential to pull off each other’s roles, the CGI used, Luke shares a “duh moment,” Anathema & Newt’s hook-up, the are they/aren’t they relationship of Aziraphale & Crowley, a demon’s taste in whisky, and finally a discussion on the potential for a season 2 possibly based off of Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s unfinished manuscript.

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Intro Music: Heaven and Hell

Ep-92 Good Omens (2019 TV series) episodes 1-3

Neil Gaiman serves as writer & showrunner for the adaptation of his own work in Amazon Prime’s GOOD OMENS TV miniseries! Luke & James have seen half the show and discuss what it’s like watching a show so lovingly made to honor the late Terry Pratchett.

Topics include: the Terry Gilliam movie we almost got instead, Michael Sheen & David Tennant's charisma, the story behind Jon Hamm as the angel Gabriel, ideas from the unmade Good Omens sequel, the nature of Crowley & Aziraphale’s relationship, the influence of Doctor Who & Sherlock on this show, Easter eggs hidden in these episodes, and the symbolic nature of the demon/angel in this story.

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Intro Music: Heaven and Hell

Ep-91 Good Omens (1990 novel) part two

The End is now! Join Luke & James as they finish out the 2nd half of Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s GOOD OMENS in preparation for the brand-new Amazon Prime Video series premiering soon. If you would like a refresher on the classic novel before the series begins, this episode has got you covered!

Topics include: Alternate names for the Other Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Crowley’s secret weapon, Aziraphale’s trip to America, a particular line that Luke swears was written by Gaiman, the potential humanist themes of the novel as expressed by Adam Young, the message of the novel’s final lines, and finally some predictions about the upcoming series!

And follow along as their coverage eventually includes the new TV series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen!

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Intro Music: Heaven and Hell

Ep-90 Good Omens (1990 novel) part one

Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, much like Crowley & Aziraphale, joined forces once upon a time to write an absolute landmark fantasy novel. That book has finally found a home on Amazon Prime Video for its upcoming adaptation with show-runner Neil Gaiman himself at the head. This week, Luke & James team up to cover the first half of the novel and speculate on what it must’ve been like for these legendary authors to write something like this together.

Spoilers Begin: 21:52

Topics include: The process of co-writing this book according to Neil & Terry, Free Will vs. Determinism as a theme, modern interest in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, what other Gaiman novels they want to read, and Luke has to take a moment to step back and analyze a specific line that has him questioning everything.

And follow along as their coverage eventually includes the new TV series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen!

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Intro Music:Heaven and Hell

Ep-89 Nightmare at 20,000 Feet (1961 short story & TV episodes)

THE TWILIGHT ZONE is an iconic piece of television history, and this Richard Matheson short story provided the basis for one of its most legendary moments. Several versions of this tale have been put to screen, but we focus our discussion on the 1963 episode from the original run starring William Shatner and the 2019 Jordan-Peele-helmed reboot episode starring Adam Scott.

Spoilers for 2019 episode begin: 33:42

Topics include: Good Omens Giveaway announcement, Stephen King’s respect for Matheson, the paranoia and isolation of not being believed, the gremlin’s infamous look, shared human fears, the legacy of the original Twilight Zone, the casting of Adam Scott, the big new twist on the old monster, Dan Carlin as the true crime podcast host, the questionable second ending, the influence of Black Mirror, and our interest in the reboot going forward.

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Intro Music: Ross Bugden

Ep-88 The Two Towers (2002 film)

The Battle of Helm’s Deep set the standard for medieval warfare put to screen, but there’s a lot else in The Two Towers that’s worth revisiting. Peter Jackson’s masterwork continues with part two of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, the difficult-to-do middle movie in the epic trilogy. Luke & James discuss all the ways it succeeds and its occasional missteps along the way.

Topics: Andy Serkis’ legendary portrayal of Gollum, the saggy middle, the absence of the battle with Shelob from the film, Elijah Wood as Frodo and beyond, a soapbox moment about the accusations of “Mary Sue” in today’s culture, Eowyn & Arwen’s role in this male-dominated movie, Faramir’s changes from book to movie, a spoiler-free comparison with Game of Thrones season 8x03, the carryover from this movie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a quick BOOK GIVEAWAY announcement for GOOD OMENS, and a final decision is made about which film we like better! 

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Music: Lord Of The Rings - Concerning Hobbits (Ectronic Remix)

Ep-87 The Two Towers (1954 novel) part three

Sam, Frodo, and Gollum head into Mordor to traverse the high path and battle the fearsome spider Shelob this week as Luke & James finish out The Two Towers, part two of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. 

Topics: The unique relationship between Frodo & Sam, the trustworthiness of Faramir, Oliphaunts vs elephants, a potential influence for Patrick Rothfuss, the “Shadow of Mordor” video game, the purpose of chapter titles, the heart of Sméagol, fantasy races as allegories for real racial relations, Shelob’s legacy, ending on a cliffhanger, and which they book they preferred, Two Towers or Fellowship of the Ring.

Chapters Covered

Book IV

CH 3: The Black Gate is Closed

CH 4: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit 

CH 5: The Window on the West 

CH 6: The Forbidden Pool

CH 7: Journey to the Cross-Roads

CH 8: The Stairs of Cirith Ungol

CH 9: Shelob’s Lair

CH 10: The Choices of Master Samwise

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Music: Lord Of The Rings - Concerning Hobbits (Ectronic Remix)

Ep-86 The Two Towers (1954 novel) part two

The battle of Isengard and Helm’s Deep both rage this week while Frodo and Sam pickup an unexpected companion on their trip to Mordor. This episode covers the second 3rdof The Two Towers, part two of The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Topics: Trees vs caves, not weed but also not not-weed, consulting scripture for our allegories, the power of a wizard’s voice, Gollum the Great, the Dark Souls marshes, and the one-man play of Sméagol vs Gollum.

Chapters Covered

Book III

CH 7: Helm’s Deep

CH 8: The Road to Isenguard

CH 9: Flotsam and Jetsam

CH 10: The Voice of Saruman

CH 11: The Palantir

Book IV

CH 1: The Taming of Sméagol


CH 2: The Passage of the Marshes


Join them next week as they continue their coverage of the book before arriving at Peter Jackson's 2002 film.

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Music: Lord Of The Rings - Concerning Hobbits (Ectronic Remix)

Ep-85 The Two Towers (1954 novel) part one

Middle Earth prepares for war as Luke & James return to a beloved series to continue where they left off all the way back in episode 39. So, grab some Lembas bread, put on your running shoes, and head into the forest to commune with some immortal trees! This episode covers the first 1/3rd of The Two Towers, part two of The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. 

Topics: The choice to begin the novel with the death of Boromir, telling one half of the story absent Frodo and Sam, the mystery of the creep in white hanging out in Fanghorn Forest, the ponderous joy of Treebeard the Ent, Merry and Pippin’s clever escape, orc politics, Gimli is sad he didn’t get a message from his crush, Aragorn gets the hots for Eowyn, Gandalf the White Liar, and the slapping down of Wyrmtongue.

Chapters Covered

CH 1: The Departure of Boromir

CH 2: The Riders of Rohan

CH 3: The Uruk-Hai

CH 4: Treebeard

CH 5: The White Rider

CH 6: The King of the Golden Hall

Join them next week as they continue their coverage of the book before arriving at Peter Jackson's 2002 film.

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Music: Lord Of The Rings - Concerning Hobbits (Ectronic Remix)

Ep-84 Pet Sematary (2019 film) ft. Sara Tantlinger

Stoker-Award-nominated horror writer Sara Tantlinger joins Luke & James to discuss the new Pet Sematary adaptation! Filmmakers Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer take some liberties with Stephen King’s source material, and the hosts weigh in on which ones worked and which fell short. How does the Creed family come across in the new adaptation? Does John Lithgow do Jud Crandall justice? They start with a spoiler-free conversation to kick things off!

Spoilers begin: 23:43

Topics Include: Their theater-going experience, the problem with horror-clichés, Stephen King Easter eggs, issues with the way the film uses Victor Pascal, the BIG change, the new interpretation of the Wendigo, the differences with Rachel’s sister Zelda, Church’s performance & red carpet attire, and how they felt about the film's final scene.

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Intro Music: Ross Bugden

Ep-83 Pet Sematary (1983 novel) part two

Climb over the deadfall this week with Luke & James as they return to Pet Sematary for the second half of the novel by Stephen King (which includes “Part Two: The Micmac Burying Ground” & “Part Three: Oz the Gweat and Tewwible”). In this half, tragedy comes for Louis Creed and his entire family in the most horrific ways possible. Also, Ink to Film is partnering with Scribner Books to giveaway 3 copies of Stephen King’s classic novel alongside our coverage, so the guys describe how you can win (Hint: Social Media). Revisit the novel now before the new movie directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer comes out!

Topics Include: King’s managing of the Gage tragedy, the aphorisms people recite about death, the ultimate nature and symbolism of the Wendigo, the most realistic grave-digging scene of all time, how the Wendigo might connect with King’s other monsters, and predictions for the new adaptation.

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Ep-82 Pet Sematary (1983 novel) part one

Often touted as Stephen King’s most frightening novel, Pet Sematary is the next title in the King Renaissance up for a modern adaptation. Join Luke & James as they read the iconic novel leading up to the new movie directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer. This episode covers “Part One: The Pet Sematary” of the 3-part novel. In this section, readers are introduced to the Creed family: Louis, Rachel, Ellie, and Gage, as well as their family cat Church. Jud and Norma Crandall are their new neighbors in Ludlow, ME, and their meeting kicks off one of King’s darkest tales.

Topics Include: Connections to the rest of King’s work, the nature of frightening stories, the real-life inspiration for the novel, the purpose of the foreshadowing, the first time the hosts were confronted with death, the things that connect us with past generations, and Luke opens up some about his mother’s death.

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Intro Music: Ross Bugden