RETURN TO OZ (1985)—There’s no place like a Victorian Sanatorium

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On this week's deep dive, The Cultists Present Walter Murch’s Return to Oz (1985). The first and only directorial endeavor by the man who literally wrote The Book on film editing, Murch’s follow up “sequel” to the 1939 MGM classic, The Wizard of Oz, is a sequel like no other. Produced four decades after its predecessor, and taking the stance that Oz is now a desolate horror show of a crumbled city whose citizens have all been beheaded and turned to stone, “Return” is as bleak as it is bizarre. Throw in a dash of electroshock therapy, screaming heads, and nihilist skeletal pumpkin puppets, and this was one film that many an 80s child would never quite forget. In prep for this one, London set forth on a deep dive journey through the history of electroshock therapy; horror studies of The Uncanny; and the brief but glorious dark Disney period of The Ron Miller Reign, while Benji once again read the novel source material—two books that seemed to have been put through a very odd blender to spit out this particular plot.

Episode Safeword: “sanity”

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