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.
So it's come to this: the gang goes into endless detail about Killer Klowns From Outer Space. And to think, we started with so much potential. Surprisingly, the movie is better than it needs to be and there is fun to be had, especially when you watch a free version on Youtube with Polish subtitles. Enjoy the controversy as our hosts take issue with what a KKFOS fan site named the movie's worst line. Where do YOU stand on the issue?
Is the fun already over? The last episode covering Scott Nicolay's collection Ana Kai Tangata covers the short novel, Tuckahoe, that concludes the collection, and lo and behold, this one is an actual story, not just a grab bag of random things until a monster pops out. But don't worry, that grade A Nicolay sex writing is in there. Coroners with vomit-mouth hitting on hot assistants and the infamous doughnut game . . . check it out if you dare!
Oh boy, this episode's a winner alright. We review the next two stories in Scott Nicolay's Ana Kai Tangata, which are either the apex or the nadir, depending on you view. Blow job obsessions, "forested mons," cunnilingus while bloodied-nose, big boils, prancing around in used spandex you found on the street while your friend videotapes you yelling "shake it bitch" while you really need to take a giant shit. Who couldn't relate! Plus, you know a story was written a long time ago when there's an OJ reference that DOESN'T refer to him being a murderer. And by the way, these stories are considered "serious" literature. Join the fun!
The gang slog on with their second episode of Scott Nicolay's collection Ana Kai Tangata! Like that story of that jerk falling into a well? Well now here's a jerk falling into a hole in a mall! Plus, caves, incest, Ronnie Raygun, mannnn!, gratuitous destruction of cars and "a mangy spider monkey perched on the end of his hammock, methodically jacking off its skinny pink pencil dick as it stared straight into your face with a look of concentrated hate."
The gang begins its four episode review of Scott Nicolay's debut collection Ana Kai Tangata, which translates to 'self-absorbed men who hate women and all die the same way in every story.' The perfect book for readers who love random stuff happening and also hate parentheses! It also dawns on us that despite being presented as a modern collection of weird fiction, every story was actually written around 1992, so come play spot-the-antiquated reference! You too can be the Pete Rose of cunnilingus! Zappa Rules!!!!!
Daniel Mills returns to finish what he started! Meaning, we discuss his new novel Moriah, moving past religious doubt, Jesus' assumed resurrection, the sad saga of hymnals, dead children, operatic despair, his embarrassing ignorance of basic Die Hard trivia, and other rosy subjects.
The gang talk about Spring, the 2014 horror film advertised as Lovecraft meets Linklater and delivers … ummm … stems cells that turn a girl into a squid-dog-jack rabbit for a week every 20 years or so? Uhh, sure, stem cells, pregnancy, oxytocin, whatever you say. Plus, the surprise appearance of horrorcore rapper Cage Kennylz.
The gang talk about Resolution, the 2012 horror debut by Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead. Ignore the terrible poster and check out this film that demonstrates that there are some original ideas still out there. And no, it's not really like Cabin in the Woods at all except for, well, there is a cabin......