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July 8, 2024 24 mins

Once more, it's time for a weekly dose of Stuff to Blow Your Mind and Weirdhouse Cinema listener mail...

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Welcome to Stuff to Blow Your Mind, a production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:10):
Hey, welcome to Stuff to Blow your Mind listener mail.
My name is Robert.

Speaker 3 (00:14):
Lamb and I am Joe McCormick, and it is Monday,
the day of each week that we read back messages
from the Stuff to Blow your Mind mail bag. If
you would like to get in touch with us, and
you haven't done it before, why not give it a shot.
You can email us at contact at stuff to Blow
your Mind dot com. We accept messages of all kinds,

(00:35):
you know, feedback to recent episodes, anything interesting you want
to add to a topic we've talked about, or just
if you want to say hi, let us know how
you found out about the show, how you listen, things
like that. It's all welcome. Contact at stuff to Blow
your Mind dot com.

Speaker 2 (00:52):
All right, well, let's go ahead and dive into the
mail bag here. First one here comes to us from
Kenny and it's a response to our episodes cicadas and
also some weird house cinema thoughts. Kenny says, Hi, Rob,
Joe and JJ, we don't have any cicadas in Scotland.

(01:13):
We have solitary noisy insects like grasshoppers, but nothing as
exciting as swarms of insects that synchronize their emergence from beneath.
I checked to see if there were any cicada species
in the British Isles, and apparently the only native species
hasn't been sighted or heard from in over fifteen years. Anyway,
in twenty eighteen, my wife and I went on a
honeymoon to Japan. I have always loved studio, ghibli and

(01:37):
other anime, and I've often noted a particular kind of
establishing shot for scenes set in the heat of summer.
These are accompanied by a strange, warbling, buzzing noise that
feels like a long, humid afternoon and the call of
a cool drink and a shady tree. Having no other
experience with such a sound, I had always considered it
uniquely Japanese. I had no idea what caused it. A

(01:59):
side note here, I spent many summer holidays in France
and worked at a summer camp in Connecticut for many
for more than a decade, so I have no idea
how I didn't notice circada song in those settings. Anyway,
our first day involved a walk in Tokyo, and we
decided to make for the Imperial Palace. Leaving the hotel
was like walking into a wall of heat. It was

(02:21):
forty two degrees celsius and the humidity was one hundred percent.

Speaker 3 (02:26):
Now, wait a minute. I had to stop for a
second here because I was a little skeptical. Forty two
degrees celsius. If you're more familiar with the fahrenheit scale,
that's like a one oh seven one o eight fahrenheit.
And it just wasn't in my mind that Japan normally
got that hot in the summer, you know, like the
area around Tokyo would normally get that hot. So I
looked it up, Kidny, nothing personal, but I did want

(02:48):
to check, and I what I found was astonishing in
the summer of twenty eighteen, that that was a time
of extreme temperatures in Japan. I found a weather Underground
article from Lily twenty third, twenty eighteen about an all
time heat record of forty one point one degrees celsius
in Kumagaya, which is like seventy kilometers from Tokyo. And

(03:10):
as with many places around the world, it seems that
most of Japan's hottest summer month temperatures on record are
all within the last decade. So, Kenny, I apologize for
doubting you. It seems like you were right about on
the money. That was a hot, hot summer, and Japan
does indeed have some hot, hot summers.

Speaker 2 (03:28):
Yeah. Yeah, My family, of course, just just came back
from Japan a couple of weeks ago, and we had
been warned about the summer heat, and you know, we
didn't visit during the height of the summer heat, but
there were some definitely steamy days in Kyoto and Osaka.
I felt though, like we could handle it because Kyoto
felt a lot like Atlanta, Georgia, and Osaka felt in

(03:51):
many ways like New Orleans in terms of heat. But
also I think Osaka has some qualities to it that
are kind of like New Orleans other ways. You know,
it's a big food city and so forth.

Speaker 3 (04:03):
Oh, but I apologize for interrupting the message. So yes,
Kenny and his fiance they go out into the wall
of heat on the way to the Imperial Palace.

Speaker 2 (04:10):
That's right, Kenny was saying it was hot, and he continues,
as we had yet to acclimatize in any meaningful way.
The walk quickly became pretty uncomfortable. As we bolted from
one patch of shade to another. As we climbed towards
a beautiful temple surrounded by modern buildings, I realized I
could hear that strange buzzing noise I'd always associated with anime.
We were so uncomfortable by this point that we just

(04:33):
weren't thinking about it terribly clearly, and it was only
when my wife turned to me and asked, why is
that tree screaming that I really considered it. I had
no idea anyway. We did acclimatize and had an amazing
experience in Japan, though it was months before I figured
out what that sound had been. Kenny from Glasgow, well,
you know Kenny's not done here though, because he does

(04:54):
have a weird house cinema recommendation. He writes, I've had
an image burned into my brain. I was a wee boy,
but I could never remember the movie it came from.
It was almost a still image from an eighty sci
fi animation. I recalled a sleek white robot with a
hunched over elongated torso. In my memory, it stepped forward
to protect a princess before being riddled with blaster bolts.

(05:17):
I was on YouTube last week, and the algorithm served
of a clip. Something about it tickled my brain, and
I scrolled through one hundred or more comments looking for
the name of the movie from which the clip had come. Eventually,
a generous soul put me out of my misery. Starchaser
the legend of orin the entire thing was available on YouTube,
so I settled in to watch it. It was an
obvious Star Wars ripoff, but I thought perhaps a little

(05:38):
less kid friendly. About halfway through the runtime, a white
robot made an appearance, and I practically levitated from my sofa.
That was him. I'd finally found the movie my tiny
past self had mostly forgotten. Anyway, the movie itself was
an eye opener, and I would love to hear your
take on it, have a good one.

Speaker 3 (05:56):
I haven't seen the movie, so I can't comment on
how similar it is in terms of plot, but the
poster looks like a really blatant Star Wars ripoff, except
if if Darth Vader was sort of a water buffalo.

Speaker 2 (06:08):
I think, yeah, I have not seen this one either.
This is a yeah. This This is one I don't
know much about. I'm just kind of kind of scanning it.
Looks like maybe it Maybe Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel
didn't care for it, But you know, like a lot
of things from this time period, I guess it's it's
kind of accumulated a cult following, and certainly these various

(06:31):
shows that we just got a glimpse of when we're young,
they often, yeah, they grow in our minds and we
have to rediscover them later.

Speaker 3 (06:39):
Well, now I'm really confused because I just googled starchaser
legend of Orrin Villain, and I'm just seeing a guy.
He's just like a guy wearing a cape and he
looks mean, so like, what is the buffalo? And maybe
it's a helmet he wears.

Speaker 2 (06:52):
Maybe, So you know, I do recognize the title now
because I am reminded by the poster that it is
a three D movie, So I know it came up
in some of my our recent searches for three D
films to cover on Weird House Cinema. And indeed, one
of the posters that I've turned up says the best
three D movie ever made. Why would they put it
on the poster if it's not true? Yeah, And I

(07:14):
have looked up some of the robots from it. It looks
like there are several robots, and I do see the
kind of hunched over robot that I believe Kenny was
talking about.

Speaker 3 (07:21):
There's one still I found of a robot menacing a
tied up human guy with what looked like I don't know, gardening.

Speaker 2 (07:28):
Shears, ugh, all right, Well we'll have to explore in
greater detail and come back to you.

Speaker 3 (07:34):
All right. We got a number of responses about Weird
House Cinema this week. This message comes from Brian. Brian says, hey, guys,
you said the mailbag was a little low this week.
My theory is that you just dive so deep every
show there are no questions remaining. Well, that is categorically untrue, right,

(07:55):
there are always questions remaining. But I appreciate the cinnamon.
We do our best. Brian says, I do have a
movie to watch when it's hot, when it's too hot
to go outside. There is only one movie to watch,
or at least one series, Predator. I would argue that
it should only be watched when the temperature is ninety plus.

(08:17):
I found myself alone for a weekend. Of course, ninety
plus degrees out this would be fahrenheit and trapped inside
with a heat sensitive octagenarian poodle. I assume that's in
dog years. We only had one choice. Watch every Predator
movie ever made. We did, but it was hard work
and required a lot of beer. The classic first movie

(08:38):
is certainly worthy of weird house treatment. Great plot, great character,
is a unique villain, some folklore, gruesome deaths, and a
second half featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger at his finest. I know
you normally stay away from big stars worth the exception.
Do we normally stay away from big stars? Not really?

Speaker 2 (08:55):
I mean we've covered some movies with some of the
biggest stars ever in them. You know, it just varies.
You know, I've always said the weirdness qualifier can be
found in various places in.

Speaker 3 (09:05):
A film, right. I've specified this about the show a lot.
We do movie We do very well known movies, big movies,
and obscure and very small. We try to take them all.
But Brian goes on about the Predator movies suffering through
the others was brutal. In particular Predator two, with its
la settings starring Danny Glover. The gym in the series
was twenty twenty two's Prey, a prequel to the original

(09:27):
by one hundred years. It was exceptional. And then Brian
helpfully includes like a screenshot of all the Predator movie
posters lined up with an arrow pointing to pray. So
thank you, Brian. Yeah, I know what you're talking about.
I haven't seen. Let's see what's my quick rundown on
the series. Of course, the first one's a classic. I
think it just really does not get better than the

(09:49):
first Predator movie. If you are looking for a straight,
you know, straight to the bone, macho action horror movie,
that it's the best.

Speaker 2 (09:58):
Yeah. I mean it's so over the top and it's
and it's machismo that if you're just if you're here
for it and you just want to accept it all
straight and you're like, yes, this is what it means
to be masculine and great, it's it's here for you.
But also it's so silly. It's the cheesemo that you
can you can have plenty of laughs at it's expense
as well.

Speaker 3 (10:17):
It's great Predator too. I haven't seen in many, many years,
but I have kind of fond memories of you know,
I remember liking Danny Glover and some of the minor cast.
I think it's got Bill Paxton playing a kind of
sleazy guy, and uh, you know it's set in like
a in the middle of like a drug gang war,
and I don't know how that setting works out well,

(10:38):
but oh I remember it's also got Gary Busey.

Speaker 2 (10:40):
Oh yes it does.

Speaker 3 (10:42):
Yeah. Gary Busey is some kind of government agent who's
like hunting the Predator to collect its technology or something.

Speaker 2 (10:48):
Yeah, this is the only point where I disagree with Brian.
I think Predator Too is exquisite, and it would be
it would probably be my main choice for weird house
cinema because it has all these strange elements to it.
You've got Gary Busey, You've got a like the what's
supposed to be like the Voodoo King of La or something.
You've got Danny Glover as your hero, who's great in it.

(11:11):
I mean I totally bought him as the hero. And
what goes in some interesting directions with the Predators. Yeah,
I love it. I think it's it's weird enough to
discuss on weird Hoose.

Speaker 3 (11:21):
It's the movie that established the Aliens and Predator franchise
crossover by showing the skull of a xenomorph inside the Predatorship.

Speaker 2 (11:30):
Yeah, whether that's that's possible at all now based on
current cannon, but still it gave birth to a lot
of really cool Alien Versus Predator media, and eventually, you know,
we kind of killed that off with a couple of
abysmal films.

Speaker 3 (11:48):
I agree about the rest of the series, Brian. So yeah,
Alien Versus Predator and not good good things.

Speaker 2 (11:55):
I like the monsters in it, like, if you're just
going to watch the monsters. It has some great shots
of the enamore is the you know, the predators look cool,
but everything else about it is a misstep in my opinion.

Speaker 3 (12:06):
I remember they made a second Alien Versus Predator movie
that was just abysmal. I remember it made me feel bad.
I was like, I regretted watching it, which you know,
I watch a lot of bad movies and usually don't
regret it. I find a way to have fun, but
that one just ugh. There was the one where it
had like Adrian Brody and all the people on the

(12:26):
Predator planet and.

Speaker 2 (12:28):
Credit for cours. I think, yeah, and that one, I mean,
I remember that one is being fun, but that's not
one that stuck in my head at all afterwards.

Speaker 3 (12:37):
Yeah, then there was the Predator, which was the one
directed by Shane Black, which I who was a cast
member on the first movie. I watched that on an airplane.
I remember not good, not good. But Pray. I loved Pray.
I thought was great.

Speaker 2 (12:53):
Pray is exceptional. Yeah, I think I think Pray may
be the best film in the Predator franchise at this point.
I think it's my favorite, and I would and I
know they're going to do I think there's talks of
even in like pre production, they're talking about doing Prey too.
I don't know, I'm I'm I feel like they did
such a great job with one that I'm with Pray,
with the first Prey film that on one hand, yes,

(13:16):
I would love to have that experience again, or something
akin to it in a different time period maybe, or
the same characters. I thought Amber Mid Thunder was incredible
as the as the lead in that, I thought it
was yeah, solid just across the board. But also it's
like it's so perfect. I'd hate for them to come
back and not hit it out of the park again.

Speaker 3 (13:35):
You know, I really loved Prey for multiple reasons. Yeah,
Amber Mid Thunder is great. I loved the way that
it it does something the first one does, which is
that it's very tactle like. It's very about like traps
and like the tools that the that the heroes use
against the predator, because we know all the predator's tools,

(13:56):
you know, the blades and all their technology and stuff.
But yeah, yeah, I really like the way she like
builds that perhaps physically implausible but movie amazing tool that's
like the retractable hatchet on the rope. Yeah, I thought
that one was really good.

Speaker 2 (14:11):
I will say that the Predator the one that you
watched on a plane, and I watched on a plane
as well. I did find it enjoyable and funny. It
has a lot of cool and hilarious back and forth
rapport and it's some great effects and some callbacks that
are a lot of fun. But I don't know, it's
no Prey, It's no Predator one or two. So it's

(14:34):
still worth watching on an airplane, probably if memory serves.
It had some problematic choices in some of its plot
elements that ended up, you know, being a bit of
a misfire, but still it has some very cool Predator effects.
It's it's ultimately a fun Predator flick, and you know,
I'm not completely opposed to predators going up against xenomorphs. Again,

(14:56):
like I say, I think there was a lot of
great alien versus Predator media and comic books and novels
and video games. I think the two do go well together.
That's why they ended up being brought together. It seemed
like a great versus matchup. I think that the big
issue in those AVP films is that they bring the

(15:18):
xenomorphs to Earth, and they do so in a contemporary setting,
and that just should not be. That's what you need
to do, is you need to do what most of
I think the secondary media was doing. You need to
put the Predators in the alien universe. That's where the
magic happens.

Speaker 3 (15:34):
I think that makes more sense. So essentially the setting
is like the movie Aliens. You have Alien, you have Xenomorphs,
and you have space marines or something in that kind
of you know, whaleen Utawni Corporation kind of stuff, and
then Predators appear as the wild card.

Speaker 2 (15:51):
Yeah, exactly. And I know there have been at least
some comic books that have have gone into the alien world,
you know, post Prometheus and Covenant and added in the Predator.
I think Dan Abnett wrote one of them. I was
just looking around his stuff, but I haven't read it.
But still, yeah, there's still a room for a predator

(16:12):
in there, if it's written correctly, if it's introduced in
a way that I think honor is both xeno morphin
predator and of course the intelligence of the audience. All right,
Our next one comes fittingly from David. David says, hey,

(16:33):
they're Robert and Joe. Just listen to your episode on Creature.
Weird House Cinema is my favorite part of the podcast.
And thought of something while you were talking about how
the suit in the movie is basically an inversion of
how Burke was in Aliens. In the movie Jurassic Park,
the bloodsucking lawyer Gennaro comes across as slimy, going so
far as to run away during the t Rex attack,

(16:54):
leaving the kids in the car. In the book, however,
Gennaro is almost the complete opposite. It ends up being
quite the uh. I don't want to use the curse word,
let's say phenomenal butt kicker here hero at the end
helping Grant clear out velociraptor nests. Anyways, thought it was

(17:14):
interesting that both creature and aliens feature opposite soup type characters,
and both the novel and movie of Jurassic Park do
as well. Thanks for all the awesome and informative episodes
you put out, David.

Speaker 3 (17:27):
Yeah, I remember about it. So I was a big
fan of Jurassic Park when I was in elementary school,
and I went movie first, and then I grabbed the
novel and read it. And one of the most shocking
things about it was the difference in how Gennaro is
depicted and in how Hammond is depicted. You know, in
the movie, Hammond is a sweet old man with a
maybe he's a bit naive, but he has a dream of,

(17:48):
you know, really just doing something magical. In the book,
he is a much nastier character, just a greedy old
man who you know, doesn't care who he harms making money.
And I Gennaro also, I think, I don't know if
i'd say in the end he comes off great, but
he certainly is the opposite of cowardly the way he's
portrayed in the movie, Like at one point he does

(18:09):
punch of a loss raptor in the face.

Speaker 2 (18:12):
Yeah, I read the book around the time the movie
came out. I honestly can't remember if I read it
in anticipation of the movie or afterwards, but it's been
a long time, so I remember some things were different.
I mainly remember the different characterization of Hammond, and I
remember the t Rex having a prehensile tongue.

Speaker 3 (18:30):
Yeah. But I was thinking, actually a little bit more
about this difference between the lyman Ward character and Creature
and Burke in Aliens, and somehow I feel like it
works in both cases. But it works especially because of
the different age vibes they have. I don't know how
old each actor actually was when they did these roles,
but so lyman Ward in Creature is at first he

(18:52):
seems like a completely selfish, cowardly, you know, corporate suit.
But he's an older guy, and something about the way
that he's older and off more like a dad kind
of makes it make more sense when he comes around
in the end and is actually, uh, sort of self sacrificing.
There's something about the way that Burke reads is very boyish.

(19:13):
His charm is very young and boyish. He's got a
young kind of handsomeness Paul Reiser does in Aliens that
makes it make more sense when he is actually all
his charm initially is revealed to be a facade, and
he's just a total slime ball.

Speaker 2 (19:28):
Yeah, and it makes it all the more slimy when
he calls Ripley kid. Yeah, it's like, like really like,
she's even if we take out the cry of Sleep,
like like, don't call Ripley kid. Come on, she not
older than him, He's yeah, she's a great deal older
than him with of course, you know, cry sleep added in.

Speaker 3 (19:46):
One of my all time favorite slimeballs. By the way,
I just think of Burke so often he kudos to
Paul Riiser. It's he does the role so well that
you almost want to hate him. Yeah, but it's just
acting folk. Yes, all right, let's do one last message.
I think this is in response to us generally talking
about alien knockoffs. A Creature was one of those movies

(20:08):
considered an alien knockoff. Nathan says, hello again. The X
Men have a recurring nemesis that are a fairly obvious
attempt to ride the alien wave, called the Brood. Though
the Brood are sentient, psychic, sadistic spacefarers with a more

(20:30):
wasp like design. They first appeared in the time between
alien and Aliens, March eighty two, Uncanny x Men number
one fifty five, and like Joe mentioned about the film,
creature seemed to anticipate some tropes later established by Cameron
and Fincher at all, like the concept of a queen
slash hive mind and hatchlings that incorporate traits from the

(20:54):
host organism. Robert, do you, I know you've been into
X Men lately? You know something about the Brood?

Speaker 2 (21:00):
I know them mainly from the Marvel Snap you know
mobile game. They're they're in that, But I don't think
I've ever consumed any X Men media that features them,
like I think they're they there's some sort of alien
creature that's similar to the Brood that were used on
the old X Men animated series, but it's not the Brood,
and I honestly don't remember what they did anyway, so

(21:22):
I am only vaguely familiar with them. But yeah, this
is a great point about it, and just another another
one of the ripples in the media universe that alien
and aliens generated.

Speaker 3 (21:34):
Nathan goes on to say another quick knockoff honorable mention
contra for the nes uh, and then Nathan says, up up, down, down, left, right,
left right be a start, that of course, being the
Konami code that would give you what ninety nine lives
in Contra or something.

Speaker 2 (21:50):
I think that was the case. I never I never
owned this one. I think I'm only played at one
through twice that it always felt seemed I don't know,
it looked rather rough. I didn't. I wasn't sure I
was ready for it. I neither like Castle Vania was
kicking my butt. I didn't think I was ready for
Contra Contra.

Speaker 3 (22:05):
I remember being very hard, but I enjoyed playing it.
I had friends who had it, and we would give
it our best. I don't I don't know if we
ever beat it back then. I think I did come
back and play it like as an adult with friends
in my twenties, and we did finally beat it then because.

Speaker 2 (22:20):
There's a couch co op right like that was the
feel of it, like you can hang with your buddies
and play it. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (22:26):
Yeah, But speaking, oh man speaking, this connects several things
we've talked about today. So yes, there is imagery in
some of the marketing for Contra, and I think actually
in its final boss that really does resemble a zeno
more if it's trying to ride aliens in some way,
but it also rips off Predator, specifically in its box arts.
If you look up the cover of the original Contra game,

(22:49):
look at there are two like muscly, you know, like
marine guys on the front, who are I guess the
characters who play as fighting these aliens and the guy
on the left. That is just a line tracing of
Arnold Schwarzenegger from the poster for Predator. Have you ever
noticed that?

Speaker 2 (23:05):
And no, I don't think i'd really put one and
two together on that, but you're right.

Speaker 3 (23:08):
They changed his face somewhat, but otherwise, like his body
and clothing, it's the same. Oh yeah, I even found
an image online side by side showing how it's exactly
the same.

Speaker 2 (23:19):
Yeah, it's like Arnold. But if his face was a
young Brian James.

Speaker 3 (23:26):
Well, why doesn't that exist? It should make that meat happen.
All right? Should we wrap it up there?

Speaker 2 (23:32):
Yeah, let's go ahead and close up the mail bag here,
but we'll be back in the future. There will be
more listener mail so keep them coming. Write in if
you have thoughts about past episodes, current episodes, or potential
future episodes of stuff below your Mind our Core episodes
on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You have responses to other listener
mails that you've heard our Wednesday episodes or Friday's Weird

(23:54):
House Cinema write in, We would love to hear from you.

Speaker 3 (23:58):
Huge thanks as always to our excellent audio producer JJ Posway.
If you would like to get in touch with us
with feedback on this episode or any other, or for
any of the reasons Rob mentioned, you can email us
at contact at stuff to Blow your Mind dot com.

Speaker 1 (24:17):
Stuff to Blow Your Mind is production of iHeartRadio. For
more podcasts from my heart Radio, visit the iHeartRadio app,
Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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