Carlisle, Pennsylvania is a beautiful little town. There you can find idyllic tree-lined streets, unique breweries, and Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb. Once a month, the Time Bomb hosts Terror & Talk with Dr. John-Paul Checkett — a horror aficionado with an impressive resume to back him up. I recently sat down with John-Paul to get his insight on the monthly event, and what people should expect.
What is Terror & Talk at the Time Bomb?
“Terror & Talk at the Time Bomb is a monthly horror film club held in a vintage clothing store in Carlisle Pennsylvania, hosted by John-Paul Checkett, a genre critic who has been a regular contributor to Video Watchdog and Screem magazines. At each event, I deliver a brief lecture on a horror film I’ve chosen, show the film in its entirety, then facilitate a discussion. It’s a BYOB event for adults and is focused on serious appreciation of horror cinema, and critical analysis of the films and their underlying subtextual elements. This isn’t to say that it’s overly reverential or academic in focus. But the films serve as a basis for discussion that range from aesthetic principles to sociopolitical issues, to gender and racial dynamics.”
What should people expect from this event?
“People should expect to see a film that they may or may not like, but will likely consider thought-provoking. It’s an open and friendly environment, without the sort of intellectual one-upmanship that can ruin events like this. Everyone is welcome, and everyone is taken seriously. You don’t even have to be a horror film fan—just someone who enjoys talking about film. The emphasis is on analytical criticism, rather than obsessive fan-based trivia. This is why anyone can participate. You don’t need a broad knowledge of the horror canon.”
Is this an MST3K type event?
“The event is in no way a “riff.” While events in the tradition of MST3K use “bad” films as springboards for comedic performance, here the films themselves take center stage, and are held up for serious appreciation and analysis. It’s not to say that their shortcomings are ignored, or that people aren’t free to dislike, or even hate, the films shown. But they are never the subject of ridicule—be it good-natured or otherwise.”
What are your next films?
“The Christmas event will feature Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To, and January’s film will be Under the Skin.”
The next Talk and Terror will be December 21st. For more information, check out Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb!