Jim Jarmusch’s meta zom-com, The Dead Don’t Die (2019), wasn’t exactly loved by genre fans. We discuss what we liked, what we didn’t, and why watching Game of Thrones and reading Harry Potter might not be the best way to spend your few remaining years on Earth. This episode is saltier than usual, perhaps caused by the ambient dread created by polar fracking.
Zombieland (2009) is one of the more successful zom-coms. It features a great cast and a lot of fun ideas. It’s not the most philosophical of films, but we do manage to get into what it means to live life by a set of rules. And more importantly, what our zombie apocalypse outfits would look like.
In this episode we cover all things Naked Lunch: the 1959 book by William S. Burroughs, the 1991 David Cronenberg film, and all the surrounding mythology. If you’re into drugs, writing and weirdness, this is the episode for you. We’re joined by self-described sophist, Dr. Daniel Coffeen. He’s a former professor of rhetoric at UC Berkeley and teacher of critical theory at the SF Art Institute. He’s authored Reading the Way of Things: Towards a New technology of Making Sense (Zero Books).
The 2019 documentary Hail Satan? by director Penny Lane is not a horror movie. It’s more of a political comedy. But the work of The Temple of Satan and its nefarious relation, The Church of Satan, are of interest to us, and hopefully to you. We cover the film itself, a bit of the conversation around the split with activist Jex Blackmore, and as always, performance art. If you don’t have opportunity to see this doc, you can easily follow the episode by watching a few videos about the Temple of Satan on YouTube.
For fans of supernatural comedies, 1984’s Ghostbusters is as big a presence as a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It has some of the best comedic acting ever recorded. It also has some interesting things to say about the role of government in paranormal small business development. We get into the libertarian slant of the film, whether or not Dr. Peter Venkman is a predator or a playboy, and we also cover a bit of the controversy surrounding the reboot.
Srđan Spasojević’s 2010 Serbian exploitation film joined the ranks of horror’s most controversial efforts the moment it came out. It’s not for everyone, or really anyone, but criticism of the film tends to be rather pedestrian and reactionary, even among so-called horror fans. We spend almost as much time talking about Maggie Nelson’s recent book, The Art of Cruelty; and Chris Burden’s art piece Shoot as we do the film, so if you aren’t into the ultra-graphic, you can still enjoy this episode.
Suspiria is a beloved classic no one really needed to remake, but if you have to do it, you may as well do it with some style. Lucca Guadagnino’s 2018 version is a bold vision that divided horror fans. Dance performer Monique Jenkinson (AKA Fauxnique) joins us again to discuss remakes, contemporary dance, fierce witches, Butoh (the Japanese Dance of Darkness), and other high-art strangeness.
The 2013 horror-meta-comedy This is the End is, on the surface, a great ensemble cast stoner film. But it also traffics in the kind of fart/dick/#nohomo/bro-humor the modern finger-wagging class disapproves of. In this episode, we explore the potential of a new masculinity, whether or not James Franco’s cronies are cinema’s zeitgeist, and what it means to love juvenile humor.
2003’s remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre isn’t often lauded for much beyond its presentation of Jessica Biel’s assets. So when Andrew Sheets (AKA Meredeath) mentioned it was their favorite horror film back on our Babadook episode, we were perplexed. Were we missing something? Are we now too old to understand what appeals to millenials? Is this simply a flaw in a friend’s otherwise impeccable horror taste? We ask these questions and more with Meredeath back as a guest to defend the barbaric tastes of the young.