Wednesday, September 28, 2016

097: Stranger Things Season 1 - Coffee & Contemplation


In this episode:
  • We discuss the first season of Netflix's Stranger Things, including the casting, the writing, the influences, and holy crap this show is so much fun to talk about.
  • We open with our first impressions of Stranger Things and overall thoughts on the series.
  • We spend a good bit talking about and speculating about Season 2 just in time for io9 to publish an article telling people to stop talking about Season 2 lest they ruin it, so that’s killer timing.
  • We start talking about DnD, which could have really dominated the podcast but thankfully we winged away from it really quick.
  • Another aside about Haven, but only to illustrate how well Stranger Things handles the characters’ handles on its various supernatural elements.
  • We talk about the different stories being told in Stranger Things and the successes and pitfalls of that particular approach.
  • The show never loses sight of its humanity, which is definitely one of its strengths.
  • Next month: WITCHES, including (finally) our thoughts on The Witch (2016).
  • From Fio: I misspoke when I said that the party in The Mummy is composed of a Ranger, Wizard, Paladin, and Bard, it’s clearly a Ranger, Wizard, Fighter, and Bard, Brendan Frasier doesn’t multiclass until the sequel.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

096: Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) - Hey, Let's $%!# With These Normies: The Film


In this episode:
  • At long last, our discussion of the 1975 cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, including Tim Curry, the stellar soundtrack, the obtuse plot, and its place as a cultural phenomenon.
  • This is take two of this episode, so much like with our Sweeney episode, we try to hit on points we did the first time we recorded while keeping the conversation alive and organic. To...mixed results.
  • Seriously, though, the soundtrack kicks ass, even if Ian's a little perplexed at how all of these songs came together.
  • We talk about how we first saw Rocky Horror. Ian watched it with his Dad, which probably wasn’t weird at all, and then ended up seeing a shadowcast performance at college. Fio’s girlfriend made him go see it in high school.
  • The production values, sets, casting, etc. of this film are pretty great, but watching it on its own, you don’t really get the full experience.
  • We talk about other horror musicals we haven’t discussed during this series, putting the spotlight on The Devil’s Carnival and Jasper in Deadland.
  • Again, apologies for the lateness of the episode and a potentially less-than-comprehensive discussion, due to this being a re-record. Technology was working against us for this one.
  • From Fio: My bad, Superman doesn’t reprogram the population of Transilvane by playing westerns, he specifically does it by playing them Oklahoma! So this fits into our musical theme!
  • Here's a link to the Decemberists/Silent Hill song parody Ian wrote (MAJOR SPOILERS FOR SILENT HILL 2): "James Hymn"
  • "This is My Design" - Ian Doherty | SoundCloud | Bandcamp |
  • "Time Warp" - The Rocky Horror Picture Show | YouTube | Amazon |
  • "Science Fiction / Double Feature" -  The Rocky Horror Picture Show | YouTube | Amazon |
  • "Planet Schmanet Janet" - The Rocky Horror Picture Show | YouTube | Amazon |
  • "Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me" - The Rocky Horror Picture Show | YouTube | Amazon |

Thursday, July 21, 2016

095: Sweeney Todd (2007) - A Fairly Expected Number of Cannibal Puns


In this episode:
  • Apologies to Mr. Sondheim for the opening. :P
  • We discuss Sondheim's masterpiece horror musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, including the 2007 movie adaptation, the original Broadway production, and the 2005 Broadway revival.
  • How does the 2007 movie fare as an adaptation?
  • The genre discussion comes up again.
  • Craft & theory talk! Overtures, the Ballad, and the opening “number(s)” of a musical, and how they introduce the audience to world, language, form, etc. of the musical
  • Sondheim teaches "My Friends"
  • Ian loves the 2005 Broadway revival. Let him show you his thoughts on it.
    • The narrative layers in the revival
  • Denouements: where have they gone?

  • Apologies for the lateness. Life happens.
  • Also apologies for all the weird car noises in the background; that’s probably on me. – Ian
  • I think what I was trying to say when talking about Anthony is that even with all the circumstances surrounding his and Johanna’s romance, you’re still rooting for them, and it’s partially because of the circumstances. Them running off together isn’t the perfect solution, but it’s certainly better than her staying with the Judge.
  • I also think that a lot of the stuff I say is in the liner notes of the 2005 revival may have actually been in articles I read at the time the show was on Broadway.
  • “Singing that violin line”? Playing. That’s what I meant.
  • UPDATE 7/25: Linked the "Sondheim teaches..." video above. Forgive me for forgetting. (...Sweeney pun?)


Thursday, July 7, 2016

094: Evil Dead: The Musical (2006) - Candarian Demons (Ah Ooo)

Not pictured: 15 entire Black Knight's worth of fake blood.


In this episode:
  • Early on we talk about the particular energy and the unique complications of live shows. This is not the last time this will come up.
  • Evil Dead is the only example of a musical we'll be discussing this summer where it’s just part of a media phenomenon instead of being the primary text.
  • This is the conversation that Fio was referencing on the podcast regarding Del Toro as a new showrunner for a theoretical Twilight Zone reboot.
  • How it’s impossible for this musical to exist in a vacuum.
    • Minor point about how Ash is Bruce Campbell, he hasn’t really had a chance (nor has anyone really made the attempt) to divorce him from that.
  • Why "Do the Necronomicon" doesn’t really work.
  • We get into a brief discussion about weird things that are integral to characters that show up late in their narratives.
  • The difficulty in suspending disbelief in horror and how it contrasts with the difficulty in suspending disbelief in musicals.

  • Ephemera from the notes and timestamps:
      • From Ian: I know you just mean “we have a long aside about Blood Wedding,” but I kind of want to read this as “BLOOD WEDDING ASIDE, THERE IS SOME CONTENT ABOUT THE EVIL DEAD MUSICAL ON THIS EPISODE, REALLY.”
    • I spent like 20 minutes last episode talking about how much I love that REPO! is “for nobody” but when talking about extreme haunted houses, I’m ranting “WHO IS THIS FOR?”
    • Fio makes an aside to NiN, drink.
    • 100% taking credit for "Ole Billy Shats"

  • "This is My Design" - Ian Doherty | SoundCloud | Bandcamp |
  • “What the Fuck Was That?” - Evil Dead: Original Broadway Cast Album | YouTube | Amazon |
  • “All the Men in My Life Keep Getting Killed by Candarian Demons” - Evil Dead: Original Broadway Cast Album | YouTube | Amazon |
  • “We Will Never Die” - Evil Dead: Original Broadway Cast Album | YouTube | Amazon |

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

093: Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) - TESTIFY!

Wait...wasn't there a scene like this in Little Shop?


In this episode:
  • The second installment of our Summer Musical Series!
  • We discuss the 2008 adaptation of Repo! The Genetic Opera, including the cast, the plot, the music, and how it all churns into something that's both a mess and yet undeniably something we enjoy the hell out of.
  • This is a flawed film, but there’s a lot to love in here.
  • Comparing the needs of musical theater to the needs of film in terms of pacing and shit.
  • The third act is really where the seams begin to show in this flick.
  • This film is unabashedly for itself, which is definitely something to be respected.
  • Next time: Evil Dead: The Musical!
  • The Devil’s Carnival is unfortunately not on Netflix.
  • From Fio: Referring to something like Linkin Park imbuing in you a “deep vein of metal” might get some people calling us out on our metal credentials, haha. ...That's fair. Direct any complaints directly to me. - Ian
  • Luigi's line is actually "I will shoot you in the FACE!" My mistake.
  • More from Fio:
    • Would you say that they needed to explain the use of Zydrate in a way that’s quick, and clean, and pure? Booooo. - Ian
    • Going back to talking about Infected, some of the lines in that are pretty awesome. Especially “Do you hear me, mother? Thanks for the disease.” I just really fucking love that line, hahaha.
    • “Daddy’s girl’s a fucking monster” is also an amazing line, by the by.
  • "This is My Design" - Ian Doherty | SoundCloud | Bandcamp |
  • "Zydrate Anatomy" - Repo! The Genetic Opera Soundtrack | YouTube | Amazon |
  • "Legal Assassin" - Repo! The Genetic Opera Soundtrack | YouTube | Amazon |
  • "Infected" - Repo! The Genetic Opera Soundtrack | YouTube | Amazon |
  • "At the Opera Tonight" - Repo! The Genetic Opera Soundtrack | YouTube | Amazon

    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

    092: Little Shop of Horrors (1986) - A Surprisingly Low Frequency of Plant Puns

    Sometimes, when people set out to make nightmare fuel...they absolutely succeed.


    In this episode:
    • The first episode in our Summer Musical Series!
    • We discuss the classic Alan Menken/Howard Ashman musical Little Shop of Horrors and its movie adaptation, including the original black-and-white movie, the stage musical, and the many strong points and flaws of the 1986 Frank Oz movie.
    • We get a bit into the broad tonal inconsistency that shows up in the film.
    • We talk a bit about the prevalence of improvisation, specifically in the comedy genre, and the sort of slapdash energy that the movie has.
    • Little Shop of Horrors as an oddly indelible part of the cultural landscape
    • The dutch angles and other interesting film choices in the case of Little Shop
      • Also the unique monster design of Audrey II, something you don’t see a lot of in horror films, though that could just be due to a lack of really cool plant monsters.
    • The danger of breaking the dream is much greater in the world of musicals than it is in other narratives.
    • The interesting stylistic choice of putting the general tone of the lyrics at odds with more traditional 50s musical styles.
    • Our actually interesting and worthwhile discussion of story vs presentation
      • That wasn’t sarcasm, by the way, I actually really dig this conversation. - Fio
    • Here's our official schedule for the Summer Musical Series:
      • Little Shop of Horrors: June 9th
      • Repo! The Genetic Opera: June 23rd
      • Evil Dead: The Musical: July 7th
      • Sweeney Todd: July 21st
      • Rocky Horror Picture Show: August 4th
    • We initially had some issues getting the episode uploaded, so keep an eye on our social media (Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook) for podcast updates in case there's a delay or rescheduling.
    • Also, Ian's going to try to livetweet his rewatches of each musical movie, so keep an eye on those same places and his personal twitter (@idoherty451) to find out when that will be!
    • I'm just realizing that maybe the reason I (Ian) like "Suppertime" so much is because it sounds particularly Pink Floyd-y.
    • Notes from Fio:
      • The use of the doo-wop singers as a greek chorus is an interesting choice
      • Man, weird last-minute Hunger Games aside out of nowhere
    • "This is My Design" - Ian Doherty | SoundCloud | Bandcamp |
    • "Prologue (Little Shop of Horrors)" - Little Shop Of Horrors (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | YouTube | Amazon
    • "Suppertime" - Little Shop Of Horrors (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | YouTube | Amazon |

      Friday, April 29, 2016

      091: Penny Dreadful Seasons 1 & 2 - Sexy Werewolves

      SPOILERS FOR PENNY DREADFUL SEASONS 1 & 2 (and minor spoilers for Season 3).

      In this episode:
      • In anticipation of the new season, we discuss the first two seasons of Showtime's Gothic horror series Penny Dreadful, including the overall style of the show, the characters, the cast, and yes, werewolves, potentially of the sexy variety.
      • We (read: Ian) can't escape talking about this show without comparing it to a variety of other media, including NBC's Dracula, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Walking Dead, and yes, Hannibal, among others.
      • How unrelenting bleakness can become wearying
        • I think we should also clarify that this isn’t a blanket critique of all bleak narratives. I think we’re just inundated with them at the moment. There’s also a very troubling association in pop culture at the moment of bleakness with maturity, as though any story without a bleak philosophy is somehow childish, which I think is more what we’re criticizing here.
      • The snails return. The Snailening
      • Novel class returns. The Novelening. The Robertsoning.
      • We start digging into the way narratives that are attempting to tell different types of stories can show us two wildly different facets of a character with each interpretation being an equally valid expression of the character.
      • Just as an aside: We're approaching our 100th episode! We have ideas planned out for the next few episodes, but is there anything in particular you'd want to see/hear us do for the 100th episode? Let us know in the comments below or through one of our various forms of contact on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook
      • Holy crap, we didn't even talk about how much I (Ian) love the music on this show. In particular: Dido's Lament ("When I am laid in earth") from Dido and Aeneas is my favorite aria I learned about in college, and THEY USED IT.
      • Highlights from Fio's notes:
        • I’m honestly curious how many times we reference Hannibal in episodes that are, like, explicitly not about Hannibal.
        • In the Era of Dystopian Future Literature and Apocalyptic Stuff should be a book of essays.
        • “I wouldn’t advise them,” so fucking magnanimous, Fio, of course the Penny Dreadful writing staff listens to this podcast.
        • At this point in the podcast I go silent because I’m looking up 40 Days and 40 Nights because I can’t remember if Shannyn Sossamon is in it or not. She is, by the way.
        • “I’m positive, actually” *proceeds to be wrong* “Fuck. Fuck me.”

      Thursday, March 31, 2016

      090: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) - My Sociopathic Exterior


      In this episode:
      • We discuss Dan Trachtenberg's 10 Cloverfield Lane, including excellent performances from the entire cast, the pacing, the cinematography, the music, and you guuuiiiisssse we kind of gush about this movie, it's pretty great.
      • Debut horror looking rill good this year
      • Pacing and the place of the long take in modern film
      • How the fourth act makes things fall apart a little, but we can’t help but enjoy it
      • What exactly was Michelle’s plan once she got to Houston?
      • Bear McCreary’s soundtrack and how Ian expected it to be weirder
      • Links:
      • Sorry this isn't about The Witch! Blame car troubles.
      • There were some really weird volume issues in this episode, and I did my best to correct them, but please let me know if there are any parts where it's really difficult to hear what I'm saying or the background noise is really distracting.

      Wednesday, February 24, 2016

      089: The X-Files Season 10 - Why, Chris Carter, Why

      Ooooo, i c wut u did thar, show.

      SPOILERS FOR THE X-FILES SEASON 10 & 4x02 "HOME." Mild spoilers for the Gravity Falls finale.

      In this episode:
      • We discuss all six episodes of The X-Files Season 10, including the good, the bad, and the "Babylon."
      • We talk about the tricky narrative territory that X-Files occupies somewhere at the intersection of Sci-Fi, Horror, and occasionally Fantasy.
      • How Clueless Is Chris Carter? We’re taking bets on that one.
      • The breathtakingly bewildering decision to try and cover everything they had to say this season in six episodes.
      • If anyone can get us into the writers’ room for the X-Files, please give us a call.
      • Next time: Fio and Ian give their thoughts on The Witch (2015)!
      • Links:

        Sunday, January 24, 2016

        088: IT'S COMING! 2016! *hides*

        Mild spoilers for Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013).

        In this episode:
        • We discuss horror movies, TV, and video games coming up in 2016.
        VIDEO GAMES:
        • We recorded this on the 12th, so there are plenty of things that have been announced since then that we didn't cover on this episode. Apologies for the delay.
        • Rose Byrne played the mother in Insidious, not Vera Farmiga. Again--these movies.
        • Although--let us apologize for dropping some serious shade on Insidious and The Conjuring during this cast.
          • From Fio: It’s not that I can’t tell Insidious and The Conjuring apart when watching them, it’s that when I think about them, I can’t remember which scenes are part of which movie.
          • Corroborative evidence: This is the Insidious scene I (Ian) was talking about, but boy, did I recall it wrong.
        • Skype did actually record the beginning of the podcast, despite my belief that it hadn't, so that's what you're hearing in the outtakes at the end. 
        • More from Fio:
          • How did I not mention 1989 classic Warlock when we were talking about witch movies?
          • I’m going to apologize to our listeners for my lack of Phantasm expertise, but to be fair you kinda put me on the spot there, Ian. Hahaha.
          • Can we get back to releasing cool horror flicks around all hallows? That would be nice.
          • Natalie Dormer also plays her sister in that flick (The Forest), and from that sounds of it that’s the reason she took the job. Interviews make it sound like she was just checking something off a list where she plays against herself.
          • Sam Neill totally plays Damien in the 3rd Omen movie.