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July 1, 2024 19 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 you welcome to Stuff to Blow your Mind Listener Mail.
My name is Robert Lamb.

Speaker 3 (00:14):
And I am Joe McCormick. And it's Monday, the day
of each week that we read back messages from the
Stuff to Blow Your Mind email address. If you've never
gotten in touch with the show before and you'd like
to give it a try, this is the week try
it out. You can email us at contact at stuff
to Blow your Mind dot com. We appreciate all kinds
of messages. Of course, we always like feedback to recent episodes,

especially if you have something interesting to add to a
topic we've talked about. Let's see Rob If you don't mind,
I'm going to kick things off with this message from Jeff.

Speaker 2 (00:46):
Let's do it, Jeff.

Speaker 3 (00:48):
This is a response to last week's listener mail, in
which we also featured a message by Jeff. Last time,
Jeff wrote in with a second hand story or maybe
a third hand story about a scuba diver suffering a
gro tesk fish bite after harassing some wildlife. And he
included a note in that message about scuba divers laughing.

And I was wondering how can you tell if people
are laughing and they're like in the scuba gear and
all that. But Jeff has an answer. He says, I
wanted to answer Joe's question about how you can tell
someone is laughing when they're scuba diving. A group of
us went on a night dive, and as we got

settled on the sandy bottom, waiting for the entire group
to make their way down the buoy line, we noticed
a loggerhead turtle sleeping on the ocean floor. Of course,
everyone did exactly what you are not supposed to do
and surrounded it, shining our dive lights directly at it.
Oh no, This quite predictably freaked out the turtle, who

charged straight ahead and didn't quite clear my father as
it ascended, bonking him in the forehead with its beak.
This caused my father's dive buddy to laugh quite audibly
for some time. Dad was fine. He had a red
mark on his forehead when he came up, but no
permanent damage. He later remarked that he was thinking, Wow,

this is just like one of those three D movies.

Speaker 2 (02:15):
That's great.

Speaker 3 (02:16):
I don't know if we've ever had a turtle coming
at the screen. In one of those, we've had ping
pong balls or not ping pong balls? What's the wax
Museum movie? What is Oh, it's the paddleballs the three D.
You know, people holding out coffee cups at the at
the screen. But I don't know if I've seen a
turtle anyway, Jeff says his buddy retold the story for years,

always making sure to mimic the look on my father's face.
Sometimes i'd hear other divers ask, is that the guy
who got attacked by the turtle? Night dives, by the way,
are much cooler than you might expect. Many creatures who
were hiding during the day are on the move at night.
And while it's true that your world becomes limited to
the dive light beam without significant visibility, you really focus

on the details of what's in front of you. Since
you're bringing your own light source, you can actually see
the true colors of the organisms on the reef when
you're relying on sunlight during the day. As you go deeper,
all of the warm colors on the spectrum are filtered
out by the water above, leaving everything blue and gray.
If any of your gear has a rainbow design, on it.

You can watch the roy of ROYGBIV lose his colors
one at a time as you descend. Oh that's interesting.
At night, if conditions are right and everyone turns off
their lights, you can wave your arm and agitate the
bioluminescent plankton. A trail of light will follow your arm
like a trippy acid rock video. Anyway, getting back to

your original point, yes, you very much can hear a
scuba diver laughing underwater. The sound travels a short distance,
and there's no issue with the dive apparatus if you
want to laugh or yell or cough or pretty much
anything else. In fact, the dive instructor explained to us
that regulators are so safe that you can vomit into
them without compromising their effectiveness or endangering your breathing. This

opened up a lot of questions and wasn't as reassuring
as it was meant to be. Oh, Jeff, yeah, that
I mean it sounds reassuring. I would not be tempted
to try it out. Jeff finishes by saying, thanks again
for triggering lateral thinking and shaking up our neurons on
a regular basis.

Speaker 2 (04:23):
Jeff, Oh, yeah, yeah, thanks for writing in about all that,
you know, I've done my share of snorkeling, but I've
never done any night snorkeling, despite being some places where
there was that opportunity, or been places where there was
some sort of like an excursion one could go on.
I don't know. I like doing it in the sunlight.
I like a nice, strong, strong bit of sunlight coming through,

and I like doing it in the shallow waters. That's
just where I am as an ocean going human at
this point in my life.

Speaker 3 (04:52):
Isn't there a specific phobia that's like not just water,
but dark water, like water you can't see through.

Speaker 2 (04:59):
I don't know what that's mean. So yeah, I mean,
I'm not a big fan of dark water, but I wouldn't.
I'm necessarily afraid of it a number of reasons. I
haven't gotten into the scuba thing, I guess, but anytime
I go snorkeling, there are almost always scuba people around,
and I hear fantastic accounts of what they're up to.
It sounds great. I don't know. There's a lot more,

obviously to scuba diving compared to snorkeling. Snorkeling is a
lot more casual in many respects, and I respect anybody
who can, you know, get in there and really master
the whole scuba diving system. It sounds like they get
to see some really cool sights, all right. This next
one comes to us from Jay. Jay writes Sin and says, Hello,

Robert and Joe. I want to start by saying I've
been a fan of the show for a long time.
I love to learn new things, and even if I
don't think I'll be a fan of a topic, you
always manage to make each episode enjoyable and interesting. And
while I very much enjoy the flagship episodes, I absolutely
love weird House cinema. My recommendation for the show is
the nineteen seventy three German sci fi film World on

a Wire, directed by Renier Werner Fassbender, currently available to
stream on the Criterion Channel. Ah. I am not a
current subscriber to Criterion Channel, but I have dipped in
and out of it before for particular pictures, and they
do have a great selection.

Speaker 3 (06:22):
I watched this movie on disc within the last year.
A friend of mine loaned it to me and I
thought it was incredibly interesting. So it's an adaptation of
a story I get. I don't know where the original
story is from, but the same idea was made into
a movie in the nineties called I Think The Thirteenth Floor,

but it's very supposedly that is a sillier adaptation. But
World and a Wire is very interesting. It's I don't know,
something that strikes me as like a very sort of
German filmmaking sensibility. There's kind of an architectualness about it,
a lot of featuring of rooms and buildings in a

prominent way. Like a lot of times the subject of
a shot, the character will be kind of mediated by
architectural features like walls and other things, sort of passing
in between the camera and the character as the character moves.
Stuff like that. But it's a really interesting film, and yeah,
maybe we will come back to it one day. I

guess it's an older movie so there's less concern about
spoiling it though. Warning this is a spoiler if you
know you don't know anything about it and you don't
want to know. But it does cover some similar themes
as kind of like the Matrix, but with a much
different tone.

Speaker 2 (07:40):
Hmm. Interesting, Yeah, I mean a Fastpender is a well
known German director and looking around here. I let's got
some other people I'm familiar with from other things, like
Kurt rob Is in it. So yeah, I don't know,
I should probably dive in. I don't think I've checked
out any of the Fastbender's films before anyway, Jay continues.
The main subject of my message today, though, is to

draw your attention to a table top role playing game
called Cloud Impress. It bills itself as an ecological science
fantasy RPG heavily inspired by the film NAUSICAA of the
Valley of the Wind. It is a post apocalyptic RPG
which takes place in a dangerous world and drops players
in an even more dangerous time. The emergence of a

century brewed a once in a hundred years cycle of
you Guessed It, giant psychics cicadas. One of the things
players can do in the game is harvest dead cicadas
for a substance called chalk, which can be used to
power weapons, and wizards can use it to power their magic.
It's a rules light system and is quick to pick
up in a blast to play, which I highly recommend.

You can get free rules and other resources at their
website and link is included here, but I think everyone
else can just look for it. Cloud Impress, ecological science, fantasy,
role playing. What's the uh, we're the publishers of this.
I should mentioned that.

Speaker 3 (09:00):
I guess I think it was a kickstarter. Yeah, it
looks like it was. I don't know if that means
it's an independent publisher.

Speaker 2 (09:07):
I guess it's independent, but it looks like it's. Yeah,
it looks like cloud empress dot com. But you know,
do your own Google serties. It'll come up for you.
And anyway, Jay concludes by saying thank you for the
hours of entertainment and information. Jay, Well, this does look
very interesting, and even just in the cover art, I
can see the Nasca inspiration there. Very very interesting looking. Yeah,

I've I've only waited a little bit into the you know,
so called rules light games, but I'm very intrigued by them.
You know. It's like it seems like there was a
trend for a while with a lot of role playing
systems just getting more and more advanced and becoming maybe
just a little bit too much work. And I like
the idea that some of them are stripping things down
a bit and maybe leaning a little bit more into imagination,

you know, letting the imagine not only just role playing,
but also letting imagination fill in the gaps that are
left by the game mechanics and so forth, less erro
counting perhaps.

Speaker 3 (10:00):
Yeah, though the only tabletop RPG I ever have extensively
played is Dungeons and Dragons. I like that there's all
this other stuff out there these days. I'm tempted by it.
I would like to get into some of the more
I don't know, sci fi focused ones, or any of
the ones that are not just kind of classic wizards
and elves and fantasy.

Speaker 2 (10:19):
Looking at the website a little bit closer, I think
World's by Watt. Watt is the is the publisher's name,
though it is. I believe you're in an independent operation here,
so yeah, I have to check it out. All right?

What else do we have in the bag here, Joe?

Speaker 3 (10:41):
All right? This next message is a recommendation for Weird
House Cinema, and it comes from Dean. Dean says, hey, guys,
just watched Horror Express again. We never knew you watched
it the first time. Dean just watched it again and
it was great. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas, Zombies, Aliens,

Mind control, skull removal and what more could you want?
Also forgot to mention another movie from Weird House for
Weird House, Latitude Zero with Joseph Cotton, Caesar Romero, brains
into animals, Batmanions, Submarine Warfare, Shangri La. All courtesy of
Ishiro Honda, Keep Them Coming, Dean, Well, Dean, I looked

up some stuff about both of these movies. I've never
seen either one. So Latitude Zero is a sci fi
movie about a group of Bathisphere explorers who by chance
get transported to a secret underwater utopia called Latitude Zero,
which I understand is located right at the intersection of
the Equator and the International date Line. And in this

underwater kingdom, all the people who have ever been lost
at sea around the world are gathered to live in
peace and harmony and explore scientific frontiers hidden from the
world above. But there is also an evil guy who
wants to destroy them for some reason, and he creates
giant mutant rats, and he loves cross species cross species

brain transplants like Doctor Doom type stuff. So it's a
plot that sounds in some ways similar to Atragon, but
with these Doctor Doom elements. So I'm or Doctor of
Doom maybe was that what it was?

Speaker 2 (12:20):
The Doctor Doom?

Speaker 3 (12:21):
Doctor of Doom? Yeah, sorry, Doctor of Doom, the wrestling
movie that involves brain transplants, and so yeah, we covered
Atragon in the past. We did Doctor of Doom in
the past. This seems like a nice, nice mashup.

Speaker 2 (12:36):
Yeah. I haven't seen this one either, but yeah, another
Japanese directed super submarine movie.

Speaker 3 (12:44):
I guess that is a genre, isn't it. I guess
they sort of trace back to twenty thousand Leagues under
the Sea.

Speaker 2 (12:49):

Speaker 3 (12:50):
Yeah. And then the other one Dean mentions in this
email is Horror Express. I've also never seen this one,
though I would like to. From a distance. It seems
like if if Hammer Horror did a movie that was
a cross between The Thing from Another World and Murder
on the Orient Express. Though I think it's not actually Hammer.
It just looks like a Hammer movie and has a

very Hammer cast.

Speaker 2 (13:14):
Yeah, this one is if Memory serves either a Spanish
production or a Spanish co production. Number of Spanish filmmakers
are involved in it. I have seen this one before
and it is a lot of fun. I mean, it's
got a great cast. You got Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing,
and Telly Savala is playing I Believe a Cossack. And
you also have some familiar faces from Spanish genre cinema

of the day. Helgaalini is in it, or Helga Line,
who we've talked about in various films such as Horror,
Rises from the Tomb and so forth. Some places you'll
see it erroneously stated that Paul Nashy is in this,
but he is not. There's just there's a character in
it with a big beard in some shots kind of

looks like Paul Nashy. But anyway, this one is okay.
This has been on a list for a while and
we actually talked about this film a little bit with
Christian Back in the day. We did an episode dealing
with this pseudoscientific concept of the late eighteen hundreds called
retinal optography, which was this idea that you could see

the last image that a dead man saw by looking
at their retina, and it is utilized to fantastic sci
fi degree in this picture. There are a number of
just wonky sci fi concepts that they run wild with
in this film, so it's a whole lot of fun.

Speaker 3 (14:42):
What is the last image a dead man saw well.

Speaker 2 (14:47):
The idea was you could potentially use it to see
like a murder victim's killer like that that image would
somehow be retrievable from the retina, that you could get
in there with the magnifying glass and you could see
the image and then capture the image and even use
that image in a court of law. In the context
of this film, if memory serves, it has to do

with a like a frozen prehistoric man and then being
able to look in his eyes and see like a
dinosaur or something. So it's got like I said, it's
it's wacky and fun and definitely has that gothic horror feel.
It's also a train movie, so it's actually been on
my list of potential weird House selections for a while.

But I think one of the things that's always helped
me back is we've also talked about doing a train
related stuff to Blow your Mind episode in October, and
I've always kind of thought, well, these two would pair
up nicely, but that just means they're like two levers
to pull to see it come to fruition.

Speaker 3 (15:46):
Horror movies on trains, that seems like it's a very
narrow genre, but it goes deep.

Speaker 2 (15:50):
Yeah, I mean, the plot's a bit on the rails,
you know, but it's it's a lot of fun. Who
doesn't love a good good train mystery. And this one
has a very cool monster and again great cast, so
that alone is worth checking in on. All right, looks
like we have one left, and this one is from Joe,
a different Joe. Joe says fellas huge fan. It's always

a kick to see a seemingly boring show subject only
for y'all to find a way to make it amazingly interesting.
Dust and it was great. Ha ha ha. I'm blind,
lost auction in to my optic nerves about six years ago,
and now I can't see squad. I loved weird and
quirky movies even when they were bad. You could find
the good in them. A lot of movies before say,
twenty tenish, and absolutely none of those types of films

include descriptive audio for the blind or visually impaired. More
films now come with them, but you'd have to get really,
really lucky to find something from the seventies or eighties
with a descriptive audio track. So y'all going through some
I was able to watch before the lights went out,
and others I won't get to physically see any longer.
It's nice to have the podcast as a companion piece.

If I can't watch or rewatch and really follow, then
your summaries, reviews and anecdotes about the movies are a
reasonable bronze or silver metal. I absolutely enjoy anyway you asked,
so email sent all the best. Thanks for the edutainment, Joe.

Speaker 3 (17:18):
I deny the charge of edutainment, but I'm really glad
you get enjoyment out of the show.

Speaker 2 (17:23):
Yeah, and that's you know, I hadn't really you know,
I had thought this much about the descriptive audio tracks,
but yeah, you see on them more and more nowadays,
and it you know, it's a great addition to these
releases and you know, digital or otherwise. But yeah, I
guess you go back further and you're gonna find less
and less of that, unless I guess it's like a

pivotal piece of cinema that is getting like a really
nice re release and or is held to a large
degree to be culturally important or at least commercially important.
And obviously a lot of your weirder films are going
to fall through the cracks in that area. Yeah, all right,
we're going to go ahead and close the mail bag
right there, but we'll be back next week, hopefully with

more listener mail. But we have to admit the mail
bags starting to get a little bit thin at this point.
We need to hear from more folks. So if you
have thoughts about, say, our recent series on cicadas, you
have other summertime thoughts, summertime episode requests, write in. We
would love to hear from you. Summertime movies for Weird
House Cinema so forth. What kind of movies do you

get into watching when the weather gets hot? Are you
a blockbuster person? Or do your interest go in a
different direction. Anything of this nature is perfectly fair game,
so let us know the listener mails. Publish on Mondays
and the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast feed. We're
primarily a science podcast, science and culture podcast with core
episodes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Wednesdays, we tend to

do a short form episode and throughout the month of
July we're going to be putting out a bunch of
alien themed monster facts. So I'm looking forward to putting
those together and let's see. Yeah, on Fridays, we set
aside most serious concerns to just talk about a weird
film on Weird House Cinema.

Speaker 3 (19:07):
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, to suggest
a topic for the future, or just to say hello,
you can email us at contact at stuff to Blow
your Mind dot com.

Speaker 1 (19:28):
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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Joe McCormick

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