Episode 37 – WrestleMania XIX

Dare to Dream.

We’re back! And in our first double-sized Single Serving Selection of the new year, we’re diving our way back into the world of sleeper holds and suplexes with the program director for RadioTacoma 101.9, Morgan Lambert!  This month, we’re grappling with pro wrestling’s premier pay-per-view event, broadcasted live from Seattle, Washington on March 30, 2003: WWE’s Wrestlemania XIX!

Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels! The Rock vs. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin! Hulk Hogan vs. Vince McMahon!  Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle! Limp Bizkit vs. Music! The Miller Cat Fight Girls vs. Social Progress! This wrestling event has everything great and terrible about sports entertainment.

From thrilling feats of charisma and athleticism, to problematic and embarrassing displays of exploitation, WrestleMania has you covered!

Black Ops Episode 12 – Spoiler Alert: Ghosts Don’t Exist [CLIP]

In our latest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, it’s Halloween for Christmas!

Recorded back in October, we dip into the horror genre, as Casey was watching one scary movie a day, often for the first time. As a horror novice, Casey relates the experience of his maiden voyages into classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, the Conjuring and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre for the first time. We dig into why we like being scared, and why we can love a scary movie that isn’t even frightening.

From gory thrills to impressive technical feats, we get into horror cinema from everyone from John Carpenter, to George Romero, to James Wan!

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

Join us!

Black Ops Episode 11 – A Bacterial Infection That Helps You Fight Crime [CLIP]

In our latest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we join Sam Mulvey to dig into the question of adapting properties that we care about, and whether it’s important to even attempt fidelity to the source material.

From Watchmen to Dune; from Starship Troopers to Ready Player One. Is it sometimes the wisest choice to take a giant critical poop on a property when we translate them to a new medium? Plus, Mike saw Venom, and…yeah. We talk about what could have been  — a gloriously R-rated cannibal crime fighting movie.

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

Join us!

Fun Size Episode 32 – Mistakes Were Made

We continue our talk with Sam Mulvey and dig into the questions that try men’s souls. We ponder the repeated use of various firearms in movies, and why laser weapons aren’t nearly as numerous these days.

We dive into the insane and definitely-not-okay animal stunt work of movies past, and marvel at how Donald Pleasence’s pain threshold can be so impossibly high. Plus, we asked our Patreon supporters about their stupid childhood fears, and more!

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 17 – Total Recall

They stole his mind, now he wants it back.

It’s time to get our asses to Mars and regain our buried identities with returning guest Sam Mulvey of the Ask an Atheist radio show. This month, we’re plunging into the hyper-violent science fiction mind-bender: Total Recall.

Douglas Quaid is haunted by dreams of Mars. Becoming obsessed with traveling to the red planet, Quaid buys a virtual holiday with implanted memories from Rekall, Inc. For a little extra, he opts for the vacation package where he can live the life of a heroic secret agent. But when the procedure goes haywire, Quaid learns that he truly is a secret agent with buried memories. Now hunted by deadly assassins, he escapes to Mars to learn the truth and save the world… Or maybe he’s just been lobotomized and trapped in a dream world.

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!

Join us!

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.