Episode 15 – Finish Him!

SF2

HA-DOOOU-KEN!

Mike and Casey hit the arcade and stack their quarters, because this month we’re in head-to-head combat with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey and Nathan Martin of the Seattle Retro Gaming Expo. This month we’re talking about the gaming equivalent of the O.K. Corral: Fighting Games!

We look at the genre’s roots with classics like Karate Champ, and the genre’s 1990s explosion with titles like Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, King of Fighters, Clay Fighter, and countless clones. We explore the genre’s connections to side-scrolling beat ’em ups, and the competitive — and often intimidating — culture that’s sprouted up around these games.

Music: 
“Ken’s Theme” from Street Fighter II by Yoko Shimomura

Episode 14 – Swing Away, M. Night

mnight

What if there are no coincidences?

Mike and Casey count their sick days, stock up on hotdogs, and run from gently swaying trees with returning panelist and artist, Roslyn Townsend and Ask an Atheist‘s Rebecca Friedman! This month, we’re diving into the meteoric rise, and precipitious fall of a promising filmmaker whose career trajectory still confuses us, M. Night Shyamalan.

We discuss his brief absolute dominance of both Hollywood and the box office with the Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. We explore his current status as the cinematic butt of many jokes with the Happening and After Earth. And we look at how the writer-director’s legacy remains a subject of debate, speculation, schadenfreude and commiseration.

Music: 
Mr. Glass” from Unbreakable by James Newton Howard

Episode 13 – A Sandwich from the God of Biomechanics

bladerunner3

We’ve….seen things you people wouldn’t believe!

Mike and Casey fire up our Spinners, and blast off to great new lives in the Off World Colonies with Sci-Fest L.A.‘s Matt Goodman, and writer Micah Krabill! This month we’re talking about 1982’s Ridley Scott sci-fi classic: Blade Runner!

Join us as we discuss how a financially disastrous art film about a future cop hunting androids went on to become a major cult favorite, and one of the most culturally influential science fiction movies of all time. We talk about the nature of humanity and artificial life, the proper pronunciation of the word “robot,” the morality of Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty, and which of the film’s multiple versions is its most definitive.

Music: 
Memories of Green/End Title Theme” from Blade Runner by Vangelis

Episode 12 – A Jock’s Wet Dream

2595372-savage_sword_of_conan_047_01fcTravel back, O Listener, to an age undreamed of!

Hither came Mike and Casey, swords in hand, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under sandaled feet with Greg Hatcher of Comics Should Be Good! and our friend Pól Rua of Mike and Pól Save the Universe!

That’s right. This month, the panel is talking about Robert E. Howard’s legendary fantasy anti-hero, Conan the Barbarian! From his pulp magazine beginnings in 1932 to the character’s explosion into comic books, newspaper strips, cartoons, and feature films. Conan’s impact on modern fantasy fiction — and popular culture itself — is deep and often unsung. Join us in a discussion of jocks versus nerds, power fantasies and the infectious “fuck yeah!” moment.

So heft your weeping red broadsword, and whisper a prayer to Crom, because we’re telling you of the days of high adventure!

[CORRECTION: Greg writes new pulp adventures for Airship 27. My apologies.]

Music: 
The Battle of the Mounds from Conan the Barbarian” by Basil Poledouris

Episode 11 – All Children are Born Completely Drunk

Totoro

Mike and Casey hitch a ride on the Catbus with our friend Roslyn Townsend and animator and storyboard artist Lauren Montgomery (Justice League: Doom, Wonder Woman) to talk about the legendary animator who is often referred to as “Japan’s Walt Disney,” Hayao Miyazaki.

They discuss Miyazaki’s decades-long filmography from Princess Mononoke to My Neighbor Totoro. They dive into topics like giant killer insects, nature spirits, witches, animated violence, children, and what it is about the man’s work that is so iconic, memorable, gorgeous and often unsettling.

Music: 
Theme from My Neighbor Totoro by Joe Hisaishi

 

Episode 10 – Two-Fisted Misanthrope

apeposter

It’s a madhouse! A MADHOUSE!

Mike and Casey invade the Forbidden Zone with our theme song’s composer Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto and Comics Should Be Good!‘s Greg Hatcher. This month we’re talking about the classic film franchise: the Planet of the Apes!

We talk about the film’s long-lived popularity, its relevance as socially-aware science fiction, its totally insane comic book adaptations in the 1970s, and its subsequent reboots.

We also try to wrap our minds around how an ostensibly family-friendly adventure series includes bloody religious imagery, nudity, babies shot with handguns, and total nuclear devastation.

Music: 
The Hunt from the Planet of the Apes” by Jerry Goldsmith

Episode 9 – On the Altar of Saint Miyamoto

nintendoSorry, Mario! Your podcast is in another castle!

Mike and Casey pull on their Power Gloves and strap on their Virtual Boys because, it’s time to save the Mushroom Kingdom with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey and Bob Mackey of the Retronauts podcast! This month, we’re talking about the video game company that practically served as a fifth food group for an entire generation: Nintendo!

We discuss the company’s multi-decade dominance of the video game market, its legacy, and how it pulled the industry out of the nosedive of Atari’s implosion in the early 1980s. We talk about how visionary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto created the canvas of our childhoods, and how the company went from standing atop the wreckage of Sega to becoming the Switzerland of the modern day console wars.

Music: 
Opening Theme from the Legend of Zelda” by Koji Kondo
Overworld Theme to Super Mario Bros. 2” by Koji Kondo

 

Episode 8 – A Magical, Wonderful World of Utter Failure

miamiconnection_poster-final__smallWooden dialogue, cardboard sets, visible boom mics and terrible acting!

Mike and Casey dive into the best examples of the worst popular culture with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey and first-time panelist Roslyn Townsend! Join us as we wrack our brains to answer the question: Why are some things so bad, they’re good? What makes some poorly made entertainment unintentionally hilarious, and others impossible to tolerate? Why do admittedly terrible movies like the Room, Plan 9 from Outer Space and Birdemic have huge legions of fans?

We dive into bad movies, bad food, bad literature, and even the bad arguments of North Korean state propaganda, to figure out why we love things that are objectively terrible.

Music: 
“Theme to Riki-Oh: the Story of Ricky” by Fei Lit Chan
“Against the Ninja” by Dragon Sound

Episode 7 – Nerd Karaoke

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Roll for initiative and save vs. poison, because this month, Mike and Casey enter the Dread Lich’s tomb with game designer Ryan Chaddock, and Chris Walker of BJ Shea’s Geek Nation to unearth that oldest of fantasy role-playing games, Dungeons and Dragons!

We look into the game’s nearly forty year history, its current relevance, its many attempts to branch out in other media, and the laughable debunked claims that the game was responsible for murderous Satanic cults in the suburbs of the 1980s!

Music: 
“End Credits to the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon seriesby Johnny Douglas
“Theme to the Dungeons & Dragons movieby Justin Caine Burnett

Episode 6 – Cousin Balki on Steroids

ArnoldIt’s not a tumor!

Mike and Casey get their asses to Mars with our theme song’s composer, Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto, and Ask an Atheist‘s Rebecca Friedman to talk about America’s favorite Austrian import, Arnold Schwarzenegger!

From cinematic machismo to the governor’s office of California, Schwarzenegger dominated the box office and ballot box for two decades. From Terminator to Twins, from Kindergarten Cop to Batman and Robin, few actors can match the cultural impact of the man who spawned a thousand catch phrases.

So crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women, because it’s time to talk about the man behind the muscles.

Music: 
“Theme to Total Recall” by Jerry Goldsmith
Conan the Barbarian the Musical” by Jon and Al Kaplan

Episode 5 – Because I’m a Fucking Super Hero!

SupermanFaster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive!

In this super-sized episode, Mike and Casey take to the skies of Metropolis with returning panelists Pól Rua of Mike and Pól Save the Universe! fame, and Sam Mulvey of the Ask an Atheist radio show! Our topic? The Man of Steel, Superman!

We explore the character’s origins, his cultural relevance, his symbolism, from the glorious insanity of his Silver Age comic books to the modern attempts to make the character darker and “more realistic.”

Music: 
“Love Theme to Superman: the Movie” by John Williams
“Main Theme to Superman: the Movie” by John Williams

Episode 4 – Kids Love Trade Embargoes

george-lucas-carbonita74-751182A podcast six months in the making!

Mike and Casey reserve a booth in the Mos Eisley cantina with the composer of our show’s theme song, Todd Maxfield-Matsumoto, and Ryan Chaddock, creator of the Pantheon live action role-playing game, to talk about the filmmaker who has both attained geek sainthood, and reviled as one of its most controversial villains.

We’re talking about George Lucas, the man who gave us Star Wars… and then kept messing with it. We’ll explore the impact that Lucas’ work has had on our lives, and the post-prequel backlash that he’s still enduring, even more than a decade later.

Does he deserve it? Did we over-react? Show us on the bantha doll where George Lucas touched your childhood!

Music: 
“Leia’s Theme” by John Williams
“Howard the Duck Theme” performed by Dolby’s Cube featuring Cherry Bomb

Episode 3 – Rotting Corpse Dick

Dawn-of-the-Dead2-1024x649They’re coming to get you, Barbara….

Mike and Casey join forces with author and Seattle Vine columnist, Libbie Grant, and Ian Gould, the owner of Ace Comics and Games, to pillage the ravaged post-apocalyptic wasteland and argue about those ubiquitous walking corpses!

That’s right, we’re talking about zombies! We discuss their social relevance, the often derivative nature of zombie fiction, and why they shouldn’t be romantic leads. Ever.

Check yourself for bites and be sure to aim for the head!

Music:
“Main Title Theme to the Walking Dead” by Bear McCreary
“The Gonk” by Herbert Chappell

Episode 2 – Skin Like a Laminated Hot Dog

Ultimate Warrior

Mike and Casey step into the squared circle with Living After Faith’s Rich Lyons, and Pól Rua of Mike and Pól Save the Universe. The topic: Professional Wrestling.

We discuss the history of this carnival attraction turned billion dollar industry, the toll it takes on its performers, the ugly business dealings of Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon, and everyone’s favorite technicolor lunatic, the Ultimate Warrior. Feel the destrucity!

Music:
“Stone Cold Steve Austin Theme” by Jim Johnston
“Real American” by Rick Derringer

Episode 1 – Beaming Down to Vietnam IV

Leslie_deadIn our premiere episode, Mike and Casey are joined by Ask an Atheists Sam Mulvey, and Chris Walker of the Backroom Comics Podcast to tip geekdom’s sacred cow, Star Trek.

We discuss men wearing skirts, sexy techno-babble exposition, and the sinister underpinnings of the United Federation of Planets.

Music:
“Radiation” by Alexander Courage
“Star Trek End Credits” by Alexander Courage