Galaxy of Terror (1981)

August 3rd, 2012

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PLOT SYNPOSIS: Under orders from the enigmatic Planet Master, the starship Quest is sent to the desolate planet of Morganthus to investigate a mysterious disaster that wiped out another ship's crew. The astronauts explore an artificial giant pyramid structure, and one by one they're brutally murdered by monsters that appear to manifest their personal fears.

FAMOUS FOR: One particularly ridiculous death scene, in which technical officer Dameia (Taaffe O'Connell, or more accurately, her body double) is raped by a giant alien slug-worm thing and dies from the power of her own orgasm. It's far, far worse than it sounds. Apparently this scene was written because Roger Corman had promised investors that there would be a sex scene.

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR: The production design of Alien on the budget and sci-fi aesthetic of Barbarella. Everything -- from the space suits' flashlights cutting through the dark fog on the planet's surface, to the crewmember with the insidious secret that threatens all their lives, and on to Erin Moran's hairstyle -- is meant to invoke Alien in the hopes of also invoking that film's success. But an early scene -- in which the Planet Master, his face shrouded in red special effect, plays future-chess against an old woman who appears to be some kind of witch -- is an artifact of an earlier, crappier kind of science fiction.

For this episode, we are joined by the lovely Julia -- an actual female, not like Sally -- who brings us the Female Perspective TM. We didn't specifically feel that would be necessary for a film in which a woman gets raped to death by an alien worm slug thing, but it was a happy coincidence.

On Deadly Ground (1994)

July 20th, 2012

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PLOT SYNPOSIS: Big Oil employee Forrest Taft (Steven Seagal) discovers that his boss, Michael Jennings (Michael Caine) is deliberately constructing faulty oil rigs in Alaska to beat a deadline. Left for dead in a trap set by Jennings's hatchet-man MacGruder (John C. McGinley), Taft is revived by eskimos and embarks on a spiritual quest to stop Jennings once and for all.

FAMOUS FOR: Seagal's big film-closing, action-genre-defiant environmentalist speech, which (according to IMDB) originally ran a staggering 11 minutes, but was subsequently edited and now only feels that long. Also, this film attained the coveted Rotten Tomatoes perfect score of 0% fresh.

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR: Some of the most conspicuous hyperboles ever used to describe an action hero, especially one whose day job involves preventing oil spills. It turns out he's also the kind of guy who drinks a gallon of gasoline so he can piss on your campfire. He's far worse than the ultimate nightmare in the "deepest bowels of your soul". And he's the "patron saint of the impossible."

Under the Cherry Moon (1986)

July 6th, 2012

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PLOT SYNPOSIS: Parisian gigolo Christopher Tracy (Prince) falls for wealthy debutante Mary (Kristen Scott Thomas in her debut role), but their incompatible social strata threaten to tear them apart.

FAMOUS FOR: The hit song "Kiss," and pretty much nothing else. Even though its level of camp has to be seen to be believed, Under the Cherry Moon has been largely forgotten over the years, even by rabid Prince fans, perhaps because it's not as infamously atrocious as Prince's next disaster, Graffiti Bridge.

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR: Truly disturbing kissing scenes, with tongues slipping out all over the place. Also, Jerome Benton's inexplicably Oscar-snubbed performance near the end.

For our premiere podcast, we welcome special guest Sally, or as he apparently prefers to beĀ  called, "Jonathan." Sally composed our theme music, which sounds sort of like, but is legally not the same as, the theme from Buckaroo Banzai. And that's exactly what we asked for. So he's a pretty great musician by our standards.