Fun Size Episode 35 – My Boss is Trying to Kill Matt Damon

We’re back with a Frankensteinian Fun Size double feature!

First, we continue our chat with Kit DeForge, where a discussion about Lords of Chaos, the recent semi-fictional Norwegian death metal movie, leads into a talk about how music biopics in general — and Bohemian Rhapsody, specifically — usually aren’t….very good.

Then we talk to Greg Hatcher about how the history of television shows didn’t include dedicated series finales until the Fugitive in 1967, and we look at the mixed results of shows that tried to continue after losing their lead actors.

Plus, we look at the trope of the characters who exist solely in high tech control rooms with hundreds of screens.

Episode 38 – Return to Oz

An all-new adventure down the yellow brick road.

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we return to the Emerald City and dig into some nostalgic childhood nightmare fuel with librarian and friend of the show, Kit DeForge. This month’s topic is Disney’s weird and often terrifying continuation/quasi-sequel to the 1939 MGM classic: Return to Oz.

Dorothy Gale finds herself back in the Land Oz, after being rescued from a mental hospital by a mysterious girl. She finds the yellow brick road is crumbling, the Emerald City is in ruins, and its people turned to stone. Now, with a new group of strange companions, Dorothy must defeat both the villainous Nome King and the evil witch Mombi, rescue the Scarecrow, and restore an exiled princess to the throne.

Because all of the best children’s movies have body horror in them.

Black Ops Episode 13 – Some Stuff in the Basement [CLIP]

In our latest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we empty the basement.

Mike has been a dedicated, lifelong comics book and superhero fan. And he’s been thrilled to see these characters and stories play out on the big screen… or he did. So he sits down with Casey to talk about how superhero cinema — even most of the “good stuff” — is leaving him feeling pretty blase and desensitized.

It’s a conversation that’s been brewing for at least a year, and Mike wants to get all of it out of his system. He’s sick of complaining about Marvel and Zack Snyder on podcasts, so he attempts in one conversation to purge all of it out of his system in one go. One last time, for our sanity’s sake.

Pray for us.

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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Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 18 – Eraser

He will erase your past to protect your future.

This month, we burn our drivers’ licenses and take refuge in the City Zoo with returning guest Greg Hatcher of the Atomic Junk Shop blog, to dig into the mid-90s high tech action thriller: Eraser.

U.S. Marshall John Kruger is the world’s greatest witness protection specialist. He “erases” the people he protects, faking their deaths and hiding them until that they can testify in court. Kruger is assigned to protect Lee Cullen, an executive who has just discovered that the defense contractor she works for is illegally selling high-tech weapons to international criminals and terrorists. Now, with both her company and a high-ranking government official trying to kill her, only John Kruger stands between her and a murderous conspiracy that has even infected the agency he works for!

Fun Size Episode 34 – The Unanimous Whipping Boy of Big Budget Cinema

We’re back! For this month’s off-topic dive, we look at the tale of two recent franchise spin-offs: Bumblebee and Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindelwald. Why does the former succeed out of the wreckage of a totally maligned series, while the latter squanders the potential of its predecessor? What do we want out of a spin-off, prequel or sequel to a beloved media property? What separates the wheat from the chaff?

Plus, we ponder the in-universe reality of the WWE in an age where professional wrestling no longer even pretends to be a real sport.

Join us, won’t you?

Fun Size Episode 33 – Give Rob Kelly Some Money!

In the afterglow of WrestleMania, we rejoin Morgan Lambert to talk about the mixed results of professional wrestlers becoming Hollywood actors, and wonder why it’s so hard for Dwayne Johnson to get a movie project worthy of his charisma.

Plus, we talk about the latest in wrestling scandals, including Hulk Hogan’s bigotry, and the WWE’s continued business relationship with an authoritarian regime that hacked up a dissident journalist.

We talk about the charming culture shock of consuming Japanese media. Their pro wrestling customs, katakana sound effects in manga, quite possibly the greatest soap opera of all time, in the form of a series of Sakeru Gummy commercials.

We chat about the recent expansion of the American public domain and lament our draconian copyright laws.

Oh, and the Wizards of the Harry Potter world are fucking disgusting monsters.

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.