All good spirals must connect and come to an end, and so to does our discussion of Uzumaki, in our third and final part. And just like the comic we are covering, we end abruptly and make little sense. Enter a Lovecraftian world of light-emitting spirals, insufferable, entitled orphans (as if there were any other kind), bandits who inexplicably think saying "Roger Wilco" is cool, and all the juicy, juicy snail meat you can handle. And finally people throw Kirie's pretentious boyfriend out of a house, something we've wanted to see happen since chapter 1.
The gang continues with Book 2 of Uzumaki. What pickles will Kirie get into this time that will have no further consequences and never be mentioned again? Corpses reanimated by car springs, slow boys turning into snails, all-seeing hurricanes, babies sprouting umbilical cords and a whole big mess of women feasting for blood on this tour of the Spiral Sagas!
The gang discusses the first collection of Uzimaki, the horror manga series about a Japanese town called Kurozu-Cho infected by spirals, although when the town names translates to "Black Vortex Town" can you really be surprised? What starts in creepy village ends up veering into crazy town. The semantics of spirals, snake love, the worst ways to die, death by cochlea, peacocking hair battles and more!
New listeners: there is no reason to listen to this (same warning applies to long-time listeners).The gang capitulates to listener requests to just talk about a bunch of random movies, books, and events they’d participated in that aren’t worthy of a full episode. Necronomicon 2017, The Void, Jim Jones, Rosemary’s Baby, the Pontypool Trilogy, They Look Like People. The Invitation, The Monster, The Last Exorcism, Train to Busan, Shin Godzilla, Oats Studios… all get the cursory treatment you need, nay, demanded!
The gang discusses everything about “Messiah of Evil,” the 1973 Lovecraftian horror movie about a desolate seaside town being overtaken by a mysterious cult. It’s a movie that is inspired, insipid, captivating, nonsensical, engrossing, and idiotic… sometimes all in one scene! Is it dreamy and unsettling, or rushed and incompetent? Really, it’s a mess that succeeds despite itself; or as one reviewer said: “good, but not on purpose.” And all this from the people who brought you Howard the Duck!
The gang reviews the 1976 slasher / giallo “Alice Sweet Alice” (or should we say “Holy Terror” or “Communion” or “the first hint that Paterson, New Jersey is doomed to fail.”). Sure, this may be Brooke Shields’ first role, but we know who steals the show: all-american weirdo Alphonso, the priest-impersonating, morbidly obese, creepy character actor who killed himself after getting stuck in a subway turnstile. Scary stairs, scary masks, scary slickers, fat-shaming, religion-shaming, shame-shaming, come have a listen!
We've all thought about it. Hell, we've all done it (right?). We discuss the 1976 Spanish movie "Who Can Kill a Child?," about a vacationing British couple terrorized by feral children on permanent siesta. Don't let the opening documentary footage depicting dying children deter you! (or excite you, you sickos). And would we have ever seen this movie if it had gone by its American title "Island of the Damned?" Answer: No.
The gang begins its discussion of underseen 70s horror with Martin, aka the movie everyone is telling you to see following George Romero's death. Martin is an interesting film, a pre-Dawn Romero channeling early Scorsese, about an effete, silent loner who might just be a vampire. Despite being violent and deeply awkward, Martin still gets the attention of his desired lady, showing that in every era women just loved a bad (or crazy) boy. Let's just say that Martin breaks some hearts and gets his heart broken.
The gang talk to Nathan Ballingrud, author of the great horror collection "North American Lake Monsters," about envy, spite, failure, regret, mistakes, dropping out of college, child-rearing, the truth in horror fiction, and his upcoming works. Not all of those topics are depressing (alright fine they basically all are).
The gang abruptly concludes their discussion of "In the Dust of This Planet" when it becomes too painful to continue. Not in a satisfyingly nihilist / cosmically pessimist "painful." Ironically, more like "life might be pointless, but it's still too short to waste on this" type of painful. Before we tap out, we discuss magic circles, slime, ooze and a godawful internet poem about weather cycles.
Horror is about the paradoxical thought of the unthinkable, according to the introduction of "In the Dust of This Planet." We talk about this book and find out, unfortunately, that nothing in this book actually supports the thesis and instead offers discursive scatter-shot ramblings on black metal, demons, and whether demonology is a valid field of investigation. But don't worry about that because did you hear guys Jay-Z once wore a shirt that had the book's logo on it!
The gang reviews the 2016 "horror-thriller" The Love Witch, which received such critical adulation that it makes us question everything we know about the world. I mean, it's listed on Rotten Tomatoes as the 30th best reviewed horror movie OF ALL TIME. Spoiler: this movie is, in fact, terrible. Terrible Terrible Terrible. It is a three minute joke trailer dragged out to 2 hours. If you disagree, you are wrong, and must live with the terrible knowledge of that fact.
The gang reviews Ana Lily Amirpour's 2014 critical darling "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night," billed as the "first Iranian Vampire Western." But we're Movie Truthers, so we reveal that it's really just a Persian language cologne ad filmed in California, featuring a vampire in a supporting role. That doesn't mean it's bad, though! It sure is well-shot! Black and White! Smoke! Cats! Come on in and listen!
The gang discuss director Robert Egger's 2015 critical darling The Witch, in all its ambitious, admirable, frustrating, kind of disappointing madness. (Excuse us, we mean "The VVitch: a New England Folktale," if you are pretentious and ignore that it was actually filmed in Canada). We also discuss the exceedingly silly critical commentary that now seems to accompany every critics' darling these days, where every critically-worthy horror movie has to be interpreted to speak to some worthy social cause.
The gang finishes their discussion with the last four stories of "Some Will Not Sleep." We have a wannabe-recluse who is dragged into dealing with old people problems, a Japanese girl with her ghost and hungry toys, a spat between estranged friends in a depressing town, and house that makes you old and senile.
The gang continues with their discussion of "Some Will Not Sleep," Adam Nevill's debut short story collection. We have the soaring highs of "Yellow Teeth," where we all get to luxuriate in our shared hate of terrible roommates. We get the sinking lows of "What God Hath Wrought," i.e. grunting men shooting quasi-zombies in the Old West, and while that may sound cool, the story is a bit of a slog. And we end on the creamy middles of "Doll Hands," your 'future freaks' type of story.
The gang begin their discussion of "Some Will Not Sleep," Adam Nevill's debut collection of short stories. Adam Nevill is mainly known for his novels, so we see how his short stories fare, covering four of these nasty little suckers. We got extra frothy milk, albino freaks, a dog named Schnapps, both a piggy thing (and a fat momma) with extra teats, pigeon feces, xenophobic Kiwis, and 14,000 warning signs blaring either DO NOT GO INTO THAT HOUSE or NOW THAT YOU ARE IN THAT HOUSE, YOU SHOULD PROMPTLY LEAVE.
We chat it up with Sean Thompson, author of the collection "Too Late" and co-host of the Mistakonic Musings podcast, about self-publishing, self-loathing, self-doubt, abrasiveness, and why he's a writer of horror fiction, not "weird" fiction. Be forewarned: there is a general spewing of hate. Also, and this is important, Derek introduces a slide whistle.
From Jon Watts, director of the upcoming Spider-man: Homecoming, we bring you: Clown, the 2014 horror film about a father who puts on a clown costume to entertain his son, only to find out, oops, it is actually a possessed skin that turns you into a demon. Who did the "demon item" story better: Clown, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, or Goosebumps? Joking aside, don't let the negative IMDB score or the Eli Roth association deter you, this is an underrated, vicious little movie. After we watched it we yelled out "Give this man the third iteration of a tired Marvel franchise!"
The gang discuss Stitches, the 2012 Irish film about a wildly incompetent bum of a clown who comes back from the dead to take revenge upon kids who sort-of-but-not-really caused his death. An odd movie, with an unexplored but interesting clown mythology, a weird mix of tones, a misplaced narrative focus, bouts of idiocy and illogic, and some surprisingly brutal and "fun" kills (i.e. fun if you hate children, like we do). Before the movie begins, J.R. imagines a film premise that would really make use of the title "stitches", and afterwards Derek learns us about Liches at D&D school.