Wednesday, June 25, 2014

045: Alien (1979) - I Sing the Nostromo Electric

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR ALIEN (1979), ALIENS (1986), ALIEN 3 (1992), PROMETHEUS (2012), Starcraft, Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, and JASON X (2001) (no, really).

In this episode:
  • Well, we're talking about Alien, so clearly there's only one way to begin:
    • A loooooong-ass digression on 2001: A Space Odyssey, that's how!
  • We discuss the movie Alien, its impact on the horror genre, specifically talking about Sci-Fi horror and the evolution of Monster-based horror away from the campier radioactive terror flicks of the previous decades.
  • Retro-futurism, more specifically whether or not we would consider Alien to be intentionally retro-futuristic, or if that's a layer added by the temporal distance between the film's creation and our discussion of it.
    • It's actually pretty wonky when you think about it, we get into it a little deeper on the 'cast.
  • The Chestburster scene, how it's a masterpiece, and our initial experiences with the Alien franchise as children.
    • Yes, children. People with glass parenting skills shouldn't throw stones.
  • Where exactly does the term Xenomorph come from, how is it applied in the films, and what is it with toy companies in the 80s making (admittedly awesome) action figures (that were marketed to children) for films waaaaaaaaay outside their target demo?
  • The way Alien has a habit of drawing you into the perspective of the characters so that you experience the film alongside them.
    • We get a little bit into writing strategies and how they could have achieved that, but really not much more than that. This is something we've both agreed we'd like to mine out some more before approaching the subject in a later podcast.
  • Always Reblog Ripley
    • Always.
      • Seriously, though, we get into Sigourney Weaver's immense performance and her equally immense impact on the sci-fi genre, how she navigates the "final girl" trope in the film, and the legacy she's left in her wake.
  • The possibility of perfection and the horror of actually attaining it.
  • We dance around different definitions of Body Horror and what it means to us.
  • Finally, if you were having trouble finding the podcast on, we've navigate that treacherous crossing ourselves.
  • If it wasn't blisteringly obvious, the title of this podcast is Ian's and the header image is Fio's
  • Highlights from Ian's Timestamps:
    • 1:15 - 1:30 - *sung a la Dave Matthews* The space betweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen, the podcast paaaaaaaaarts…
    • 26:58 - Have you heard my new band, Jungian Osmosis?
    • 52:41 - “The cat is an ill omen in this movie!” File this under: Sentences I’m glad exist.
    • 1:00:31 - “When Ripley goes into that...I dunno, control panel room, if that’s what you want to call it…” Oh, I don’t know, Ian--maybe you could call it a CONTROL ROOM? *facepalm*
    • 1:01:07 - p, and “It was so much computer.” Another sentence I’m glad exists.
    • 1:12:10 - P and what the fuck do we talk about for the next 40 minutes, damn
    • 1:15:47 - If only I had had the presence of mind to say, “Yeah… yeah, that’s right.”
    • 1:40:20 - It was all I could do here to keep from bringing up the uncanny valley again--at this point it’s almost a given when discussing horror monster design.
    • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
    • Outro: "I Sing the Body Electric" - Me First and the Gimme Gimmes | YouTube | iTunes |

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    044: The Video Game Episode or I Knew it was Going to Happen, You #@$%ing Criminals

    Minor spoilers for Bioshock; Dead Space 1 & 2; Half-Life 2; Portal 1 & 2; Oddworld 1 & 2; Silent Hill 1, 2, & Shattered Memories; The Evil Within; Amnesia: The Dark Descent; Batman: Arkham Asylum; Folklore. MAJOR SPOILERS FOR MASS EFFECT 2 “OVERLORD: ATLAS STATION,” THE LAST OF US, ODDWORLD, and HANNIBAL SEASONS 1 & 2.

    In this episode:
    • Our dear friend Vic joins us for a few hours of revelry
    • As you may or may not have gleaned from the spoiler warnings, this episode we're discussing horror in the realm of video games. The Ole' Interactive Electronic Hickory Spookshow, as no one has ever called it in history ever.
    • So of course we're going to talk about our personal experiences with horror games, because none of us did the reading.
      • Consummate professionals.
    • We discuss how the player's agency in the narrative changes the different tactics the producers of the game need to utilize in order to maintain the horror atmosphere.
      • By that token, we also get into the influence that horror movies have (some might argue obviously had on the horror game genre).
    • We address the concept of Aggressive vs Defensive gaming in regards to Action Horror vs Survival Horror.
      • Going off of that concept, we also look into what purists might argue are "true" horror games vs games that are not by their nature horror, but employ a horror-themed aesthetic.
    • There's, like, a whole lot about lighting in here. Ian's got a serious jones for lighting, if you guise weren't aware.
    • We get into how far logic can be bent in the medium of the game vs a non-interactive medium (Say, Hannibal, perhaps?)
      • Opening: Clip from Resident Evil (Linked is your best bet of getting a new, physical copy of the first game at this point)
      • Intro: "This is My Design" - original song, music by Ian. More on this as it develops.
      • Outro: "Want You Gone" - Jonathan Coulton | YouTube | iTunes |
      (Header image taken from this post: