Black Ops Episode 10 – Meet Your Parents. Make Money. Kill Hitler. [CLIP]

In our latest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, a trip to a computer museum prompts a mind-breaking discussion about the mechanics of time travel in the Back to the Future movies.

When we return to a present that we’ve created by altering the past, are we killing our alternate selves and inserting ourselves into their lives? Was the elderly Biff Tannen’s master plan with the sports almanac actually pretty stupid? And is Biff in the new timeline George McFly’s “Reek”? What about how time travel works in Looper, Star Trek, Lost or in Marvel Comics?

All this and Mike tries to explain the chronology of the X-Men character Cable to Casey. Deep breaths, everyone!

To unlock this episode in its entirety — and many episodes more! — just support us on Patreon with at least one measly dollar a month!

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Episode 36 – Uzumaki by Junji Ito

“Spirals…This town is contaminated with Spirals…”

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we descend into a mind-bending and stomach-churning modern classic of Japanese manga horror with librarian and friend of the show, Kit DeForge, but perhaps you’ll wish we hadn’t. Because this month, we’re descending into madness and body horror with Junji Ito’s Uzumaki.

What begins as a series of episodic tales of a small seaside town being driven to death and insanity by ubiquitous spiral shapes soon becomes a tidal wave of ancient apocalyptic destruction, lunacy, and unavoidable doom.

Apologies for the inevitable nightmares.

Fun Size Episode 31 – Beauty and Meaning in the Wreckage of Late Stage Capitalism

We sit down with Tom Satwicz to muse on how various fictional interpretations of New York City and New Yorkers have shaped our perceptions of the place and its people. And does Detroit get a bad rap in fiction, or is Michigan part of the Mad Max universe?

We all but plead with you to watch AMC’s Lodge 49,  the greatest television show you’re not watching. How can it be about so many heartbreaking things, and still make you feel better for watching it?

Casey gives his highest possible recommendation to Nicolas Cage’s new bonkers revenge movie, Mandy, that miraculously marries a low brow to high art.

NOTE: Due to a scheduling issue, we’re reversing the release order of our main episode and Fun Size episode this month! Worry not! It’s still on the way!

Fun Size Episode 30 – That’s My Kind of Garbage!

We’re back to dive into an overstuffed grab bag of off-topic nonsense with Roz Townsend, and we grapple with the important questions that keep us up at night.

Is Colonel Sanders the closest thing we have to an American Time Lord? What are our favorite fictional restaurants? Are self-published fan zines a lost art? Are skunks a form of Pokémon? Did Freddie Mercury go super saiyan in the ’80s? Are modern video game mechanics inaccessible to people who didn’t grow up with them?

Plus, Casey becomes annoyed at a group of small children not being as entranced by My Neighbor Totoro as he is, and we all betray our socialist leanings.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 16 – Last Action Hero

This isn’t the movies anymore.

We’re back. This time we’re traveling to the world behind the silver screen with artist Roz Townsend to dissect the meta-fictional cult action/comedy movie that many at the time considered Arnold’s first box office flop, Last Action Hero.

Teenager Danny Madigan is the world’s biggest fan of the Schwarzenegger-helmed Jack Slater series of action movies. When a magic ticket literally transports him into Slater’s cinematic universe, he finds himself in an over-the-top world where a combination of bad puns and giant explosions can always save the day. But when one of the movie’s villains steals the ticket and discovers his own nature as a fictional character, Danny and Jack must follow him back into the real world, a place where, suddenly, the bad guys can win.

Fun Size Episode 29 – Fighting the Adam West Fight

We jump back into the fray with Greg Hatcher, to talk debate the merits of Star Trek Discovery, the future of the franchise and what we want from a Trek property.

We also look at the trailer for the new streaming Titans series, and wonder why such a fun property would want to be dour and overserious. Why do so many fans –and even creators — just miss the point?

Episode 35 – Highlander

“There can be only one.”

This month, we feel an irresistible pull towards a far away land to test our blades against those of Atomic Junk Shop‘s Greg Hatcher and David “Ace” Gutiérrez of Emmys.com. The field of battle, the Highlander franchise. It started as a 1986 cult fantasy film starring Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery, about a small group of sword-wielding Immortals, living in secret and battling each other across the centuries until only one remains to claim a vaguely-defined “Prize.”

It blossomed — or some say, decayed — into four critically-panned movie sequels, a long-running television show, an animated series, and even an anime film. We dig into topics of whether every film truly should be made into a franchise? Should there have, indeed, been only one?

We face these questions with…heart, faith and steel.

Music: 
“A Kind of Magic”  from Highlander (1986) by Queen

Fun Size Episode 28 – The Wilhelm Scream of Star Wars Movies

We continue our chat with Patrick Johnson, and finally give our mixed opinions on the latest Disney opus, Solo: A Star Wars Story. We go over the promise and the pitfalls of the prequel concept and ask ourselves what we really wanted from this movie.

We talk about a recent internet rabbit hole: a legendary and notorious New Jersey water park that many have called the most dangerous amusement park ever: Action Park. It had a cascade of bloody noses, a lax policy of selling alcohol to minors and a confirmed body count. So why do many of the people who grew up going there as kids, both openly admit its dangers while remembering it with such warm affection?

And what stupid thrills will a human being subject themselves to in the cause of ending boredom?

Plus, we can’t recommend the horror movie, A Quiet Place, more highly. Seriously, it’s really good.

Episode 34 – American Movie

“There’s no excuses, Paul. No one has ever, ever paid admission to see an excuse. No one has ever faced a black screen that says: “Well, if we had these set of circumstances, we would’ve shot this scene… so please forgive us and use your imagination.”

In another of our Single Serving Selections, we’re going somewhere that the show has never gone before: non-fiction! It’s time to max out our credit cards and hassle our moms until they agree to play extras in our movie, because we’re being joined by Patrick Johnson for a discussion of the 1999 documentary, American Movie.

Telling the story of an aspiring filmmaker’s quest to create his dream project — by first completing the low budget horror movie that he had abandoned years earlier. Now, he struggles against a lack of funds, the hapless ineptitude of his friends and family, a burgeoning alcoholism, a lack of talent, and his own self-destructive personality to make something great.

But don’t worry. It’s alright, it’s okay, there’s something to live for. Jesus told me so!

Fun Size Episode 27 – Not My Luke Skywalker!

Who truly owns a piece of art, a character or a media franchise? The artist, or the audience? We sit down with Sean Duncan to seek the answer to that and many other questions.

We (finally) talk about Star Wars: the Last Jedi and the tug-of-war between fans who want the familiar comfort of wish fulfillment and fan service, and those who want to see the series take some serious risks, even if it alienates some of the fans.

We look at how the real world and the context of our own experiences color and supplement the way we receive and interpret art. Plus, is it time to retire the old ways of counting audience figures, when there are so many ways to watch, read, and play these days? Uh, yes.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 15 – Conan the Destroyer

The most powerful legend of all is back in a new adventure.

Know, o listener, that we return to an age undreamed of, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under our sandalled feet with returning guest and musician, Sean Duncan, to talk about the much-maligned epic fantasy sequel, Conan the Destroyer.

Conan of Cimmeria, now living as a vagabond thief, is hired by the Queen Tamaris to escort her niece, Princess Jehnna, on a secret mission to obtain a magical jewel. Unbeknownst to Conan, the Queen has also tasked the princess’ bodyguard with killing Conan once the mission is complete, and plans to sacrifice her niece to awaken an slumbering elder god.

Fun Size Episode 26 – A Continuity Gumbo of Nonsense

While Casey has to run upstairs and be a dad, Mike continues his talk with Joe Preti and Tobiah Panshin for a full-throated bitch-sesh about the state of the comic book industry. From Marvel and DC’s refusal to change its accessibility, sales methods and whether its time to give up the ghost of the monthly issue, we wonder if the current superhero output from those two great companies just isn’t for us anymore.

And is DC Comics secretly a doomsday cult trying to provoke Alan Moore into ending the world?

Plus, we talk about cartoon voice actors and try to make heads or tails out of the design of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider.

Episode 33 – Akira

“KANEDAAAAAA!!!” “TESTUOOOO!!!”

We’ve returned with a long-awaited panel episode! This time, we’re popping some capsules and tearing our motorcycles through the ruins of Neo-Tokyo with Tobiah Panshin and Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. We’re digging into Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking 1980s apocalyptic manga epic about psychokinetic powers and mass destruction, Akira.

From its serialized origins in the Japanese Young Magazine to the pioneering animated film, this is a seminal masterpiece of explosions, body horror, secret military programs, and disaffected youth, and it’s cast a long shadow over all of modern popular culture.

Music: 
“Kaneda” from Akira (1988) by Geinoh Yamashirogumi

 

Fun Size Episode 25 – Fuck You, It’s Hitler!

We continue our chat with friend Patrick Johnson to chat about some actor faces’ leave them with little choice but to be cast as villains, and how sometimes playing against type can be great.

We debate the merits of the new Duncan Jones Netflix feature, Mute. And then, we take a critical look at the new Bruce Willis-helmed Death Wish remake, and why this probably isn’t the best time to release it.

And finally, we are puzzled by the weird surge of conservative media voices and fans being horribly offended by what they see as the unfair treatment of Nazis, the KKK and racist characters as villains in popular entertainment. Our hot take? Nazis are fucking assholes.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 14 – Red Heat

Moscow’s toughest detective. Chicago’s craziest cop. There’s only one thing worse than making them mad. Making them partners.

It’s time to feed our parakeet and reacquaint ourselves with Miranda laws — even if the Soviet method is more economical — because it’s time to go back to the decade where Schwarzenegger reigned supreme: the 1980s. We’re joined by our friend Patrick Johnson to dive into a Cold War buddy cop action/comedy: Red Heat.

Soviet supercop Ivan Danko lands in Chicago to extradite Viktor “Rosta” Rostavili, the Russian drug lord who killed his partner. But after a bloody escape, Danko must join forces with Detective Art Ridzik, a crude and reckless American cop, to bring down Viktor and avenge both of their partners.