110 – Cool World

Cool World is not cool. Emma Bowers (@hyenasandgin) returns to commiserate with Tim and Jen about a very bad animated feature. Turns out this movie did significant psychological damage to young Tim.

Watch Emma’s Full Metal Alchemist video!

BAWWWWW!

Compare and contrast: this interview with Ralph Bakshi, and this one with writer Michael Grais. Bakshi claims malfeasance from producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. (to the point of violence). Grais calls Bakshi a liar, essentially. What’s the real story? Who knows?

The Tex Avery doc Tim alluded to is called Tex Avery, the King of Cartoons.

Bakshi puts in this pissing stuff, and toilet stuff. I didn’t like that sex attitude in it very much. It’s like real repressed horniness; he’s kind of letting it out compulsively.

R. Crumb on Ralph Bakshi and the Fritz the Cat feature film

If we haven’t dissuaded you, you can watch Ralph Bakshi’s most recent animated work, The Last Days of Coney Island, on YouTube.

For more animated shite, listen to our episode on Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure!

109 – M.A.N.T.I.S.

Newspaper ad for broadcast of the TV movie M.A.N.T.I.S.

What if Black Panther had been the pilot for a TV show, but when they went to series they took out Wakanda and most of the black people? You’d have M.A.N.T.I.S.! HYST superfan mugrimm joins Tim and Jen to talk about what was lost when the Sam Raimi/Sam Hamm/Rob Tapert pilot became a politically toothless show with white sidekicks.

Hear the whole episode on Patreon for a pledge of as little as $2/month!

The documentary Jen couldn’t remember the name of is Call Me Lucky, and it was directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. It’s an account of the life of satirist and activist Barry Crimmins.

Want to hear about a more inept superhero telefilm? Why not listen to our episode about Captain America with MST3k and Rifftrax alum Bill Corbett?

108 – The Firm(s)

The Firm (1989) vs The Firm (2009)

Jen and Tim look at two takes on football hooliganism called The Firm. The 1989 version is a masterpiece, the other, not so much! Hear the entire episode over at Patreon for a pledge as low as $2/month!

The 20-minute documentary Alan Clarke: His Own Man is a nice intro to the director. Also, many of his works can be found on YouTube, so happy hunting!

Jen referred to a film called “WarGames” when she actually meant The War Game, a 1965 dramatization of nuclear warfare against England that the BBC withdrew from broadcast until 1985. It did not star Matthew Broderick or Ally Sheedy.

She also sorta muffed the description of Ken Loach’s teleplay Cathy Come Home, which horrified the British public with its account of a homeless couple (to little material effect, according to Loach). This short article describes the production and draws from some of the news coverage of the time.

Also, “If you know what’s good for you…Weetabix!”

For more of bleak Britain, try our episode on nuclear horror film Threads!

107 – Krull

Ken Marshall wields the Glaive in Krull (1983)
literally who cares what this thing is called shut the hell up

Mike Rosen returns to fight Tim on the merits (or lack thereof) of cult 80s sci-fantasy film Krull! Jen moderates to the best of her ability!

Krull hit screens in 1983 and failed to make its money back, although it is beloved by the kind of people who liked Ready Player One.

For exhaustive contemporary coverage of Krull, visit the Internet Archive’s scanned copy of Starlog issue 76, from November 1983.

Special effects makeup artist Nick Maley seemed to enjoy making the film, judging by his reminisces.

One valiant effort to market the movie: Krull-themed weddings! To our knowledge, none of the brides or grooms have come forward to admit to their participation. But it’s hard to see how the movie missed with marketing concepts this good:

One [marketing gimmick] suggests approaching the local bakery about creating special pastries in the shape of the Glaive and dubbing them the punny ‘Krullers’. “Everyone knows what a cruller is…a tasty glazed donut. Now comes the Kruller…a tasty Glaived donut.

Tim Kirk via The Moving Arts Film Journal

For another fantasy misfire and more of guest Mike Rosen, try our episode on Ron Howard and George Lucas’s Willow!

106 – Planet of Storms

Still frame from Pavel Klushantsev's Planet of Storms (1962)

Tim and Jen return to Soviet filmmaker Pavel Klushantsev’s optimistic world of space exploration for 1962’s Planet of Storms! Hear the full episode on Patreon for a pledge of as low as $2/month and get access to all our other bonus content.

The original film is available on YouTube with English subtitles. If you’re curious about the 1955 Disney short Man in Space, you can watch it here, but you won’t actually learn much about the historical origins of rocketry.

See photos of the actual Venusian surface captured by some of the unfortunate Soviet probes we mentioned.

If you missed our Road to the Stars episode, listen to it here!

ERRATA: Jen speculates in the episode about the reason for the lack of cultural impact the film made in the United States. It turns out there’s a good reason. Planet of Storms didn’t arrive in the US in official, unadulterated home video form until some time in the 90s. As we mentioned, the film was cannibalized for two different American productions. One was Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, with new footage directed by eventual New Queer Cinema trailblazer Curtis Harrington. The other, as we mentioned in the episode, was Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. They both suck.

105 – The Astrologer

Jen and Tim are astounded by one of the most pompous auteur statements ever made— Craig Denney’s The Astrologer from 1976! Hear the whole episode over at our Patreon for a pledge of as little as $2/month, and get access to all our other bonus content as well!

More on The Astrologer (1976)

The Astrologer had a theatrical run from at least 1976 through part of 1977, but was considered lost for many years. It eventually resurfaced in 2021 on YouTube. Paramount appears to have a copyright claim on the picture (amazing that they’d even want it), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be seen if you know where to look.

The story of auteur Craig Denney is as mysterious as it is surprising. Jim Vorel has a good rundown at Paste Magazine. Long story short, Denney made a bold play for notoriety, only to disappear sometime in the 80s. No one knows when he died, if he’s actually dead, or even his real birthdate! And that’s just the start of the confusion! From the article:

Denney’s friend and associate Arthyr Chadbourne (who plays business manager Arthyr in the film) has disputed these figures, suggesting instead at L.A. screenings/Q&As that Denney was notorious for exaggeration and self-aggrandizing. As Chadbourne reportedly said then, “Craig was wonderful with hype. Everything was millions … you should read some of the things we used to send out to investors.”

Jim Vorel, Paste Magazine

Vorel’s article draws from this well-researched piece by Sean Welsh over at Matchbox Cine. Did Craig Denney fake his death? Where the hell did he get all his money? Which of his claims about his life were true? Was he even as successful as he claimed he was?

If you’re curious about our allusion to Romeo & Romeo, check out our episode about possibly the greatest addition to queer cinema in the last twenty-five years.

104 – Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Screenwriter Josh Olson returns to share the Russ Meyer phantasmagoria Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and to make it clear that he did NOT write Gigli. The film was a hit when it arrived in 1970, but it was too strong for the studio and effectively ended Meyer’s career as a mainstream filmmaker. Meyer followed BTVOTD with the leaden legal drama Seven Minutes before going back to making titty flicks, thank god. In the episode Josh holds forth on Roger Ebert’s wonderful script, and we all weigh in on “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke” filmmaking (we all think it’s good).

Josh previously joined us to bring to our attention the little-loved Martin Mull-starring satire, Serial.

As we mentioned in the episode, you can also see John Waters enthusing about Beyond the Valley of the Dolls at Criterion.

BTVOTD star Edy Williams was married to Meyer and also had a career sideline in appearing partially dressed at the Oscars. She did this until at least 1999. What a queen.

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” See the Roger Ebert(!)-penned line here, in the Sex Pistols’s last ever show.

If you like a more incoherent brand of 60s freak out, try our episode about Ted V. Mikels’s incomprehensible exploitation movie Astro-Zombies.

103 – Road to the Stars/Pavel Klushantsev

Road to the Stars poster

Tim attempts to convey the charm and innovative spirit of Soviet filmmaker Pavel Klushantsev to his lazy, lazy cohost! Listen to the episode over on Patreon for a pledge of as little as $2/month!

We mentioned the Klushantsev documentary The Star Dreamer, but don’t miss the original films! We loved the dog in a spacesuit in Mars.

Dog and hooman on the Martian surface, from Pavel Klushantsev's Mars (1968)
“I thought James Cameron was gonna meet us here.”

For the exact opposite of Klushantsev’s optimistic vision, check out our episode on Paul W.S. Anderson’s space-based nightmare, Event Horizon!