Episode 54 – Shiver: Selected Stories by Junji Ito

“I am a horror maniac who prefers to say at home.”

This Halloween, we’re chugging down salad oil and hiding from our balloon dopplegangers with returning friend of the show, Kirby Green, and see if our sanity can can survive the brain-melting onslaught of Junji Ito’s collection of his shorter manga works, in Shiver: Selected Stories!

In this anthology of the legendary manga artist’s favorite short stories, we get just a little bit closer to stomach-turning madness. A rare vinyl record claims the hearts and minds of all who listen to it, driving some to theft and even murder. A mysterious jade idol inflicts a curse on those to keep it, boring countless holes into their bodies — bringing a deadly chill and becoming irresistible to burrowing insects. A hospital patient reports that the subjective length of their dreams is getting longer and longer, triggering a startling transformation in their mind — and their body. In these stories and more, we remind ourselves of the Ito’s uncanny ability to permanently stamp our brains with the most disturbing and visually stunning weirdness.

Episode 50 – The Green Knight

“Honor. That is why a knight does what he does.”

With the New Year, we’re on a knightly quest to the Green Chapel to trade blows with returning guest Tobiah Panshin of the View from the Gutters podcast, to dive into David Lowery’s visually stunning and unorthodox adaptation of a 14th century Arthurian legend, The Green Knight.

When the supernatural Green Knight issues a yuletide challenge for any of Camelot’s bravest knights to try to land a blow on him — and receive an equal strike in return one Christmas later — King Arthur’s flawed and reckless nephew Gawain accepts without thinking. Easily decapitating his compliant foe, Gawain sees the Green Knight immediately rise again and remind him of his obligation one year hence. Embarking on a quest to the mysterious Green Chapel, Gawain contends with ghosts, giants and his own selfish nature, to see if he can live up to his promise — even if it might mean his certain death.