Talking RICOCHET on ‘The Suspense Is Killing Us’ podcast

My friends Kevin Clarke, Travis Vogt and Matt Lynch have a podcast called THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US where they discuss suspense thrillers, mostly of the ’80s and ’90s. I think they’re funny dudes and they joke around a bunch, but they know their movies. You may be familiar with Matt from his popular/grumpy letterboxd account or my old Michael Bay reviews where I mentioned him under the alias “Mr. Armageddon.” Kevin started the podcast because he was interested in the idea that these Michael Douglas and Ashley Judd type movies used to be a huge genre that now is virtually non-existent outside of weekly procedural TV shows.

When they invited me to go on I asked if Russell Mulcahy’s joyously berserk RICOCHET (1991) starring Denzel Washington counted. They were thrilled by the idea, and since their format is to cover three related movies they made me also watch FALLEN and THE BONE COLLECTOR. Warning: we spoil the shit out of all three.

I have two objectives here:

  1. Put enough positive RICOCHET energy out into the universe to secure a Blu-Ray release
  2. Have this episode get way more listens than all their other ones so they’ll respect and fear me

You guys can help me out with #2 if you’re interested:

THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING US Episode 7: RICOCHET (& Two Other Denzel Movies)

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11 Responses to “Talking RICOCHET on ‘The Suspense Is Killing Us’ podcast”

  1. Looking forward to listening to this. Been over a decade since I’ve seen either of them but was a big fan of RICCOCHET and FALLEN when I saw them. BONE COLLECTOR not so much. Or at all, really.

  2. Listened to it this morning.

    I remember liking FALLEN but thinking the end was B.S. According to your talk my memory is faulty.

  3. Fun listen. I wasn’t sure about how well you all could drag an entertaining conversation out of THE BONE COLLECTOR and FALLEN parts, but you guys did great. I’ll have to sub to this podcast now. I’m guessing it would’ve stretched the show concept but it would’ve been cool to have thrown THE SIEGE in the mix—that’s another type of movie that TV has largely replaced with shows like Homeland, Quantico, and 24. But I’m happy you guys dodged having to rewatch VIRTUOSITY.

  4. If TV could be relied upon to deliver performances as great as John Lithgow’s in RICOCHET then I’d waste more time watching it. But full credit, Vern, for smuggling this in amongst all the Michael Douglas and Ashley Judd type movies. I don’t know that I learned so much, but I surely enjoyed the company.

    So much so, in fact, that, I went back and listened to episode 1, which for all those who wanted more Peter Hyams after the TIMECOP review, is a STAR CHAMBER, PRESIDIO, NARROW MARGIN triple bill.

    Vern, it felt like you wanted to be nicer about Phillip Noyce, but judged it wasn’t the right time. Re-reading your reviews of PATRIOT GAMES and BLIND FURY that still feels right. RABBIT-PROOF FENCE is actually a fine film with indigenous and female leads that caused a stir in Australia at the time. It also has a great villain in the form of Kenneth Branagh’s “Mr Devil”.

  5. BrianB- Haha aw I kinda like VIRTUOSITY! It’s from that age of weirdo sci-fi ‘90s actioners that had sort of *heard* about the internet and virtual reality, but definitely didn’t stick around to hear the details. It’s also got one of my favorite total nonsense premises- if you’re trying to create an artificial intelligence, well you’re just *naturally* going to want to make it out of the psyches of all the world’s worst psychopaths and murderers, because that’s a great idea that won’t backfire in any way. It’s like in DEEP BLUE SEA when they made all the shark brains bigger and then were surprised that made the sharks smarter- I feel we could have seen these consequences coming.

    Really the biggest problem with VIRTUOSITY is that it came out the same year as STRANGE DAYS, a way better, weirder, more interesting movie about kind of similar stuff.

  6. That was the first podcast I’ve ever listened to. Had a great time with it. I remember being disappointed in the Bone Collector because I had read the book and didnt like the changes. Fallen, I remember discussing with my friend at the time on how you could trap Azazel. And came up with some room that had a noose and the walls were exactly the right distance away from you to keep him in after suicide. But that’s a little hazy.

  7. I love that young Denzel was hungry enough to play a guy who would endure being drugged and then date-raped by a walking petridish of STI’s. Sex as a weapon was a huge part of these late 80’s/90’s thrillers. Orgasm=ice picked to death. Adultery=dead rabbit. Lust=bayonet dildoed to death. Such a judgmental, serious minded decade. I’m just glad the 90’s pot-boiler ended on a high note with McNaughton’s WILD THINGS reminding us how these movies should be.

  8. caruso_stalker217

    April 18th, 2019 at 12:22 am

    This podcast inspired me to purchase RICOCHET on DVD, as I had not seen it since I was a youngling. It is without a doubt one of the shittiest quality DVDs I’ve ever seen. Like holy shit.

    RICOCHET, however, is a goddamn masterpiece. I will definitely be revisiting this at least once a year.

    Thank you Vern and the guys at ‘The Suspense Is Killing Us’, a podcast that I am now following.

  9. I generally don’t listen to podcasts because they all go on much too long for my taste, but I did give this one a shot. And rewatched RICOCHET, which was even more fun than I remembered. During the discussion of BONE COLLECTOR there was talk of all the generic serial killer-flicks that came in the wake of SEsevenEN, and mention of those movies where a guy pops up and you know he’s the killer. Then during the discussion of FALLEN the appearance of Robert Joy was pointed out. And then there was RICOCHET, which of course is directed by Russell Mulcahy. The elephantman in the room here is Mulcahy’s RESURRECTION. Surely no other film is as derivative of SEVEN. And Robert Joy is in it. And it’s Mulcahy being as aggresively Mulcahy as he possibly can, On a limited budget this time. A slight recommendation, to those who haven’t seen it. And it’s written by Brad Mirman, who has written other equally derivate scripts that are either mentioned (KNIGHT MOVES) or discussed (BODY OF EVIDENCE) on the podcast.

    I liked the episode well enough to go back and listen to the other episodes (I’ve had much free time the last week). Most of it is fun, and I do like the movies they’re covering. But I still have some of the same problems with this as I do with other podcasts. Sometimes it seems to go on and on, and you wish they’d cut them down to 45-50 minute episodes instead (those impressions are probalby more fun for them than for us). And it kind of bugs me that they constantly seem to be winging it. If they’d prepare a bit more, discussions could be more focused and more fun (was it on the Pakula episode that one of them didn’t even bother to see one of the films they were discussing?). I’ll continue to listen to this, though, and I’ve rewatched several films this past week because of them.

  10. caruso_stalker217

    April 19th, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Man, I’d totally forgotten RESURRECTION. i seem to recall it not being terrible, but not terribly memorable either. But it’s SEVEN starring Christopher Lambert, so that’s something I guess.

    I’ve listened to the first four episodes of the podcast now, but had to stop before jumping into the first De Palma episode because I need to watch BODY DOUBLE first. So it’s helping me expand my De Palma knowledge, at least.

    So far it feels like a lot of fledgling podcasts that haven’t quite settled into a format yet. So if some of it feels a bit scattershot I just chalk it up to that. The guys are funny and seem more knowledgeable about film than a lot of other movie podcasts I’ve listened to.

    I also appreciated the Joe Mantegna impressions from the JADE episode.

  11. RESURRECTION really stood positively out among all the wannabe SESEVENENs, especially in the DTV area. It’s not good enough to become a classic on its own, but it really helped that Mulcahy was obviously allowed to do whatever he wanted. It’s the HOSTAGE (2005 Bruce Willis joint) of this subgenre, because it’s an extremely unoriginal movie that gets saved by the director’s energy and style.

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