Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Jacob’s Ladder Quote: “If you’re afraid of dying, and you’re holdin’ on, you’ll see devils tearin’ your life away. But if you’ve made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freein’ you from the world. It all depends on how you look at it.” – Louis

“Shat The Movies” fans are horror fans, so we jumped at the chance to do a scary movie outside October. When longtime listener Carmelita commissioned “Jacob’s Ladder,” the Shat Crew collectively squealed.

This 1990 Tim Robbins banger did lots of things we’d later see in ’90s movies and beyond: non-linear storytelling, the questioning of reality, faceless doctors, and that wiggly head thing from Tool music videos. But it didn’t stop there: “Jacob’s Ladder” flipped the horror genre on its head by actually addressing death, not just killing.

In this episode, Big D crushes Gene’s romanticism about ’70s New York City. Ash gives a crash course on the fragility of memory, and all three hosts marvel at just how cute Macaulay Culkin was at 9 years old. What did the ending mean? We’ll get into that, too.”

Plot Summary: “Jacob’s Ladder” After returning home from the Vietnam War, veteran Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) struggles to maintain his sanity. Plagued by hallucinations and flashbacks, Singer rapidly falls apart as the world and people around him morph and twist into disturbing images. His girlfriend, Jezzie (Elizabeth Peña), and ex-wife, Sarah (Patricia Kalember), try to help, but to little avail. Even Singer’s chiropractor friend, Louis (Danny Aiello), fails to reach him as he descends into madness.

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