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 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 Laika. 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.