TRANSCRIPT The Flop House Ep. 316: Between Worlds

We’re joined by TV writer and producer Erin Foley-Chan for a Cagemas in July episode about Nic Cage’s wacky supernatural erotic thriller Between Worlds.

Podcast: The Flop House

Episode number: 316

Guests: Erin Foley-Chan

Transcript

dan mccoy

On this episode we discuss: Between Worlds!

stuart wellington

The #1 search result for, “Stop! You’re my stepdaughter! And you’re a ghost!” [Dan laughs.]

promo

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments.

dan

Hey! Welcome to The Flop House. I’m Dan McCoy. [Dan, Elliott, Stuart, and Erin repeatedly interject to agree with each other throughout.]

stuart

Wow, Dan McCoy coming in hot! Coming in a little colder? Me! Stuart Wellington.

elliott kalan

And here—coming in as cold as possible— [Stuart laughs.] Ooooh, it’s old Elliott Kalan blowing in from the North wind. Oooooo! OoOOoOoO! Am I a ghost now? I was wind before, but now I appear to be a ghost. [Dan laughs.] Chain rattles. Chain rattles. Is the wind blowing the chains or is it a ghost rattling the chains? Perhaps our guest today can tell us! Dan? Who’s our guest?

dan

Our guest is my friend Erin Foley-Chan. You may know her as the head writer for The Big Fantasy Debate on Facebook, or perhaps supervising producer for The Big Fib on Disney+. She’s done comedy stuff for years and years and years—except for the parts where she wasn’t doing comedy stuff—and I’m glad that [through laughter] we have her on. Erin Foley-Chan.

erin foley-chan

Hello!

dan

Yay.

erin

I am running in her at 98.6. Nice and comfy. [All laugh.]

elliott

Not too hot; not too cold. Just regular average.

erin

Middle porridge.

elliott

Although I did—I did tell Sammy yesterday—I did inform him that the inside of your mouth is a blistering 98.6 degrees, but that a— [Laughs.] But that—what was the product—

stuart

My mouth?

elliott

No, no. What was the product where, uh, your mouth is much, much cooler? [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Why was he asking about my mouth?

elliott

Did, uh, I was talking about Stuart’s— [Laughs.]

dan

I also like the notion [through laughter] that is it blisteringly hot in your mouth.

crosstalk

Dan: That the heat inside your mouth is, I assume, causing blisters within your own mouth. Elliott: Well that’s—this was the—this— [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

This—this was some kind of cold mint. I forgot what it was now. But they would say—it would be like—and it would show someone with fire all around them and they would go, blech! Blech! As if 98.6 degrees in your mouth was the same as, like, a boiling pot of water.

dan

Yeah. And not your body temperature. [Laughs.] I’ve never gone around and be like—

crosstalk

Stuart: Did he see a—did he see a picture of my mouth, or…? Elliott: Not the healthy body temperature. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Did you tell him a story about it? I mean—

elliott

He has a lot of questions about your mouth, Stuart. Yeah.

erin

[In child’s voice] “Papa, what temperature is Stuart’s mouth?” [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Wow. Elliott: That’s—you’ve met him. Yeah.

elliott

That’s what he sounds like. [Laughs.] [Erin laughs.]

dan

Now, uh, I can—I know Erin ‘cause, um, she, uh, actually, uh, was the coach for my bad improv group. Practice group. Back in the old days when I was first in New York and doing that UCB grind. And uh—

erin

You guys were great.

dan

Uh— [Laughs.] You don’t have to say that anymore! [Laughs.] [Stuart laughs.]

erin

Oh! That’s right!

dan

And, uh—

elliott

That’s an interesting coaching technique. If all you do is tell them they’re great.

crosstalk

Elliott: And that’s it. Erin: Everything is perfect.

erin

Don’t change. Don’t learn or grow. You’re there. [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Yeah. And then we reconnected years later when she was going to school at Columbia and I was working there in a closet and, uh, we, uh, had some good times having meals and complaining about the comedy world!

elliott

Now, to explain to the listeners—Dan was working in a closet because you were working as a mop at the time, right?

dan

Um, well—[sighs]. I wish I was a mop. I aspired to be one. [Multiple people laugh.] I started out as a Swiffer. So.

stuart

I mean, I feel like a Swiffer is—

crosstalk

Stuart: —kind of an upgrade against a mop. I mean, the mop was invented by, what, Mickey Mouse? Dan: He’s like the frozen— [sighs]. Erin: If you’re wet. Yeah. Elliott: Yeah. Me, too. Yeah.

elliott

Mop was invented by Mickey Mouse with a magic spell, whereas the Swiffer was invented by J.R. Swiffer, who went on to be the father of J.R.R. Tolkien, who in turn was the father of J.K. Rowling.

crosstalk

Dan: Now, Stuart, I think I can— [Laughs.] Stuart: Oh, wow. [Laughs.] Yeah. Yeah. Erin: Who is trash! So it…

stuart

Thanks for bringing up trash, Elliott!

crosstalk

Dan: I think— Stuart: We’ll just take— Elliott: Hey, look—

stuart

We’ll just pick up the trash you brought up. I’ll take it outside and throw it in a fucking garbage can. [Erin laughs.]

elliott

Why don’t you throw it in my—why don’t you throw it in the broken garbage cans I have that the City of Los Angeles will be replacing on Wednesday and I’m so excited about it!

crosstalk

Erin: Oh, nice brag! Dan: Now, I don’t know why I feel compelled— Elliott: Mm-hm. [Stuart laughs.]

dan

—to push back against this, but maybe it’s because I feel that I can teach Stuart a lesson about how the new ways aren’t necessarily the best ways. Like, a Swiffer is a much less effective method of getting one’s floor clean than a mop. Is it more convenient? Yes. Do I wanna use a mop? No. But when it comes to doing its job, a mop is tops.

crosstalk

Stuart: But the thing about— [Laughs.] Erin: But that’s a boss’s perspective, though. From the actual device— [Dan laughs.] Elliott: Yeah.

erin

—would you rather be sweeping up dry garbage or wet garbage?

crosstalk

Stuart: Uh-huh. Elliott: Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

elliott

Yes. Let’s look at it from the artificial labor point of view. [Stuart laughs.] The thing that—the object. What’s the object think? Well, that’s why on today’s Everything is Alive we’ll be talking to a mop— [Multiple people laugh.] —and a Swiffer!

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. And if I was— Elliott: [Slightly drawling accent] “Uh, hi. My name’s Marty.”

elliott

[Still using accent] “I’m a mop. Uh, I guess I’ve always been a mop.” [Dan laughs.] “I didn’t apply for the job.”

stuart

[Through laughter] Oh, wow.

elliott

[Higher-pitched New Jersey style accent] “Yeah, and it’s me! Jimmy Swiffer! [Laughs.] You know? Swiffers are newer than mops, but I still think we do a good job.” [Regular voice] Thank you. That was Everything is Alive. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: By Jonathan Safran Foer. Erin: Some— Stuart: So—so—

erin

—episodes are really horrifying of that show. [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Yeah. They are. There’s the one—did they ever do one about an egg? I can’t remember if it’s—‘cause I would like to do an episode where it’s an egg, and it’s like, “Just don’t break me! Every day I live in fear that someone’s gonna smash me!”

dan

Now, hold on. Did they ever do one about an egg? Are you talking about the—is this a real show, or…?

elliott

Yeah! Everything is Alive! It’s a real podcast!

dan

What?!

erin

What?!

elliott

Yeah. It’s a real podcast where items are alive! You oughta listen to it sometime!

dan

Hm.

crosstalk

Erin: Did they do a toilet one? Stuart: [Skeptically] Hmm.

elliott

I don’t think they’ve done a toilet. They did do soap at one point. Look, you go listen to it. They do a great job.

dan

Now who is this— [Erin laughs.] —podcast geared to?

elliott

People who wanna anthropomorphize their objects so that they feel bad about using them—

crosstalk

Elliott: —for the jobs that they are meant to be used for! Dan: [Through laughter] Okay. That’s what I was wondering.

dan

‘Cause, like, I could sort of see this for, uh, a child? But for an adult I’m like, well, you’re just lying to me and making me feel bad about the things I’m using—

crosstalk

Dan: —this thing for. Elliott: No, no.

elliott

It makes you think about the world from a different perspective. It’s well worth it. Okay. So. This is a podcast called The Flop House. [Dan laughs.] We review other podcasts— [Erin laughs.] —that some of the other cohosts are not sure are real podcasts. Dan, that’s what we do on this podcast, right?

dan

Uh, incorrect. This is a podcast where we watch a movie that we have been led to believe is a flop. Either, uh, critically or commercially. And—

elliott

Not a mop.

dan

Then we watch it and then we get on the intertubes to talk about it.

crosstalk

Dan: Uh, and to hear yours. Elliott: Oh, yeah, actually—

elliott

That’s good. People don’t really realize that we’re actually all recording while in inner tubes on lazy rivers— [Dan laughs.][through laughter] at different parts in the country.

stuart

Yup! Yup!

dan

Um, so.

elliott

We lose more microphones this way.

dan

Okay. Well, uh, y’know, I think this has been the best opening to a show maybe ever. Uh, not just our show, but in the world. So we can’t do any better. So let’s just get [through laughter] on to the thing that we do. Uh, which is—

stuart

Yeah. Which is…?

dan

[Through laughter] We talk about this movie! [Erin laughs.] Now, uh, this movie is Between Worlds. It stars Nicolas Cage and—of course—

stuart

Wait a minute. What season is it, Dan? What special time of year would make us watch this movie?

dan

Yeah. Well, normally—

stuart

That’s right! Is that St. Nic flying across the sky? Oh yeah! It’s Cagemas in July.

elliott

St. Nick is flying across the sky wearing a t-shirt and shorts because he’s… July time.

crosstalk

Elliott: [Inaudible] saint. Stuart: I feel like he’s—

stuart

Pretty sure he’s wearing leather everything and a crazy alligator t-shirt. [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

That’s true. And his face is painted like a skull.

crosstalk

Elliott: Like some sort of— Erin: Is that noise the jingling of jingle bells?

erin

Or is it the jingling of chains of a ghost? [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

OoOOo! We turn to you, expert Erin Foley-Chan— [Multiple people laugh.] —to tell us! Now, you are a chain audio expert. And chains are often used to keep people in cages. So that’s why we have you on today for Cagemas in July. Now, how did you become an expert on the sounds chains make and what is causing the chains to make those sounds?

erin

Well, y’know, I was born into it. I didn’t ask for it to happen to me. I certainly wouldn’t have chosen it for myself.

crosstalk

Erin: But I come from a long line of— Stuart: Like Marty the Mop.

erin

—chain audio experts. Uh, my mama was a chain expert. My papa was a chain expert. Chain experts all the way down.

elliott

Yeah. Mm-hm. Yeah. And the name “Chan” sounds like “chain.”

erin

Yeah! And I am trapped in this life— [Dan laughs.] —of chains! [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. Elliott: Mm-hm.

dan

Uh, what was I gonna say?

elliott

Now, speaking of chains and cages—

crosstalk

Elliott: Nicolas Cage is the star of the movie. Dan: Yeah. We do this thing— Stuart: Mm-hm.

dan

—in December called, uh, Cagemas. Where we—as Stuart indicated—celebrate the life and teachings of St. Nicolas Cage. And, uh, we also do Cagemas in July, which is a thing that I believe I’ve forgotten about for the last couple of years. So— [Laughs.]

elliott

And it’s named after everyone’s second-least-favorite Preston Sturges movie, Christmas in July.

stuart

Mm-hm. [Dan laughs.]

dan

Uh, I’d have to go to the list to make that judgment.

elliott

Mm, everyone’s least favorite is the one about the invention of, uh, ether gas for dentistry.

dan

[Through laughter] Okay. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

And the second-least favorite is Christmas in July.

dan

Is that a drama and not one of his comedies? The—

elliott

It is a drama. I think. Yeah. It’s called, what—The Great Moment or something like that? The, uh… um… oh, boy.

stuart

Never Been Kissed is what you’re thinking of. [Erin laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah. Never Been Kissed. That’s what it was. Yeah. Uh, yeah. Dan: I both—I—

elliott

The Great Moment.

dan

I both remember liking Christmas in July and also that I remember nothing about it other than… I liked it. So.

elliott

Now, a lot of the Christmas in July, uh, twists on whether or not coffee makes you sleepy or helps you wake up.

dan

That’s right. There’s something—it’s the bunk? Something about that?

elliott

It’s—if you can’t sleep, it’s not the coffee. It’s the bunk.

dan

Yeah.

elliott

That’s the slogan that the guy—anyway.

crosstalk

Elliott: We’re not here to review Christmas in July. Stuart: Oh, this is great. Is that the—is that the movie we’re talking about today? ‘Cause I didn’t watch it. Dan: [Through laughter] Sorry. Elliott: Yeah. We’re here to talk about Christmas in July. Dan: Between Worlds! Erin: A really fun thing—

erin

—about this is, um, trying to guess—in the moment—what’s gonna get cut and what’s gonna make it in. [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Oh. Nothing gets cut. Until I say something that someone might take the wrong way in which case we cut that stuff. Uh, so—

stuart

And then I do a little [makes clapping sound] and then we cut it out. [Erin laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. So Between Worlds. This was a big-budget summer tentpole release, right?

dan

Uh, no. Uh, actually that links right directly into what I have in my notes here, which is—the first thing you see in this film is, of course—

elliott

Oh, we should mention—Dan’s doing the summary this episode. So it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. [Multiple people laugh.] Let’s take it, Dan.

dan

Jesus. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Fasten your belts. Dan: [Through laughter] Wait— Stuart: We are off-roading.

dan

Wait ‘til I do something wrong [through laughter] before saying that, Elliott! Don’t, uh— [Laughs.] [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

Fair point. Fair point. Okay. So the first thing we see?

dan

You’re setting me up for failure. We see a couple of production companies you’ve, uh, likely never heard of. I do believe I have seen these before, but probably just because we do this podcast and we have become a connoisseur of [through laughter] little-known production companies.

elliott

I mean, the first one is Saban Films, which, of course is Haim Saban.

crosstalk

Dan: Oh, yes. Okay. So—yes. Elliott: Who’s a—who’s—yeah. He’s a big name.

dan

I missed that one. But there was like Voltage and, uh, something else. I don’t—

elliott

Voltage Pictures, uh, you may know from the movie Don John? Was one of theirs?

stuart

Oh, okay.

elliott

Yeah.

stuart

That’s the one where it’s bad to jack off? That’s the movie? [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Yes. That’s the one where internet porn almost ruins, uh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ability to interact with human women.

stuart

The thing I remember about that movie is they spent a lot of time—the one thing that movie really gets right is fellows taking off their button-down shirts to eat their Italian meals just wearing their—

crosstalk

Stuart: —white undershirts. Yes. Elliott: Their sleeveless underarm shirts? Yeah. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Now, I mean, Voltage also made The Hurt Locker. They made Dallas Buyers Club. Yeah. But then they had—they haven’t done anything that level for a little while.

dan

‘K. Well, now that we’ve finished that trip down Voltage lane, um— [Multiple people laugh.] —we are introduced— [Laughs.]

elliott

You brought it up!

dan

[Through laughter] We are introduced to Nicolas Cage. Who, in this film, plays Joe. Now Joe—this guy is a trucker with world-class greasy long hair and a beard. And he wears several rings on his hands and he has a hat that says “Turkey & the Wolf,” and the first—

stuart

Is that available for purchase anywhere?

dan

I assume!

stuart

Maybe at the Voltage Pictures website?

erin

Between Worlds merch? [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

I—yeah. The first we hear Joe saying something is he owes some money to someone that he’s talking to on the phone. So right away we get the sense that Joe is living the high life. He’s [through laughter] at the top of his game.

elliott

As if you couldn’t tell by looking at him and seeing his kind of, like, homeless-man-meets-caveman aesthetic. Joe is not in a good place.

dan

Yes.

stuart

Yeah. It’s tough to tell whether or not he’s a sleazebag or he’s just a guy in a difficult position and we’ll find out that the former is the case.

dan

So then—

elliott

Oh, I don’t know about that. He’s got a little bit of both!

erin

He’s a scoundrel! [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

I would—I think he starts off as less of a scoundrel than he ends up. [Erin laughs.]

erin

That’s true. He’s—his performance really ramps up.

elliott

He—the first half of the movie, Nicolas—I’m like, “Oh, okay. Nicolas Cage is playing one of his nice guy roles.” And the second half of the movie, I’m like, “He’s insane.” [Multiple people laugh.] He is completely gone off around the bend by the end.

stuart

Yeah. And right from the jump, we see this is gonna be a high-energy performance. Like, he is in this movie. There’s no question.

elliott

Oh yeah. This is not one of his, like, Euro-thriller roles where he’s just kinda sleepwalking through it. Like, he’s really throwing himself in there.

erin

Yeah. This isn’t Kill Chain.

crosstalk

Dan: And I would—I would say— Elliott: Yeah. Yes. Thank you. Exact—thank you. Yes.

dan

I would say that this character would be a man who has been, y’know, driven around the bend by circumstance and a sympathetic figure, but for one big factor that I think that we shall get to later.

stuart

Yeah. Probably. [All laugh.]

erin

We’ll get to it.

dan

So cut to a big buttcrack on the screen. And this is [through laughter] this is a gentleman who is working at the gas station, in the 7-11, and Joe comes in paying for food. He says some wacky Nicolas Cage stuff before hearing something in the restroom—a disturbance. And he goes in— [Stuart laughs.] —and he sees this woman who is played by Franka Potente, who you may know from Run Lola Run or The Bourne Identity.

elliott

She’s the titular “Run” of Run Lola Run. [Multiple people laugh.]

erin

And the “Identity” in Bourne Identity.

dan

Well, she’s one—

stuart

In a way.

dan

She is one of the Runs. The other one is Run-DMC, plays Run #2.

crosstalk

Erin: [Laughs.] Right. Right Run. Yeah. Stuart: Uh-huh. Elliott: Mm-hm.

elliott

It’s Franka Potente, Run-DMC, and Lola Montez. Finally, together in one film!

dan

And so she—he sees this woman being choked by a large man in the restroom and, y’know, rightfully assumes that she is being attacked and he intervenes. He chases the man off. Beats him up a little bit.

elliott

I think you mean “understandably.” Assumes.

dan

Understandably assumes.

elliott

Because he turns out not to be right.

dan

Well, I mean—yeah. I was— [Stuart laughs.] —in fact, thank you, Elliott. You saw that I could not think of the word and you corrected me even though we had passed that point. [Through laughter] But—

elliott

I mean, but not by very much.

dan

Yeah. Well anyway. She is instead mad that this choking has been interrupted and she starts yelling that, um, Nic Cage has ruined it. And I wanna say… here, right off the bat, I wanna say that the style of the movie is weird. The style is weird and as the movie went on I got more on its wavelength? And vibe and started to enjoy the style? But I can’t tell whether it’s just getting—making that adjustment or that the early scenes are done a lot worse. Like, it’s hard to say in my mind. Because in these early scenes I was like, “Everyone’s talking so strangely. Talking past each other. And nothing they’re saying seems to connect with anything and the framings are strange.” Like, it—and then it all kind of resolved for me as it went along? But I don’t know whether you had this experience or not.

erin

I think the tone felt off the whole time for me. I mean, I got what the movie was going for as we got into the second act? But I really—I was taking this movie more seriously than it wanted me to, I think.

elliott

Yeah. There’s—on Wikipedia, they mention that the director—Maria Pulera—says she initially wrote the film as a standard thriller but later made it, quote, “A much more surreal drama in the vein of David Lynch.” And that kind of explains a lot of it to me?

crosstalk

Stuart: You mean that—are you talking about— Elliott: Which is someone being like—someone—

stuart

—the Angelo Badalamenti, like, music?

elliott

Well, and also the fact that, like, “Leader of the Pack” will start playing at different—like, it feels like someone looked at a David Lynch movie and was like, “What does he do? Okay. It’s like kinda weird and there’s a lot of, like, ‘50s music. Okay. Got it.” [Erin laughs.] And instead of it coming naturally from them? And even in a David Lynch movie, he’ll start off the movie with something that tells you—this is gonna be a weird movie. Like, the best example is probably in Blue Velvet where, like, everything looks fine and then there’s that ear with all the ants on it. And it’s like, okay. I’m gonna tell you exactly what this movie is right at the beginning. And she doesn’t do that? And it feels like someone trying to do that kind of thing but it not coming naturally to them.

stuart

Yeah. It feels like if this—that this movie was made by somebody who wanted to capture the feeling of Twin Peaks but only the James Hurley riding around on a motorcycle stuff.

elliott

[Through laughter] Yeah. I mean, everyone’s favorite parts of Twin Peaks?

dan

Now, Elliott, it somewhat surprises me that the—that Wikipedia line unlocked the mystery for you and not the scene where they were sitting and the Angelo Badalamenti score sounded exactly like his theme for Audrey. Like, just slightly tweaked so as not to, I guess, infringe upon his own copyright. Uh, like it could not have been more Twin Peaks-y, the music.

elliott

I mean, I wasn’t—it wasn’t until I read that that I was like—well, I mean, I didn’t—I read that relatively early ‘cause I was also, like, “What’s going on with this movie? Hold on. I’m gonna have to take a look and see.” ‘Cause unlike you guys, I didn’t get to watch it all in one sitting. Dad life! [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Hashtag #DadLife.

elliott

Hashtag #DadLife. Gotta watch your movies in pieces.

dan

Uh, yeah. But like—I will say up top that the, uh—there’s a theme by Angelo Badalamenti that sounds like he just picked it out of his B-sides for Twin Peaks and then there’s a lot of score that sounds like people trying to do other Lynch scores. But anyway. So he saves this woman—

elliott

Now, why was she so mad that he interrupted her choking?

dan

Well— [Stuart laughs.] Well before I get exactly to that, I want to say that like she says—she says that he’s ruined it. They have, like, a lot of shouting out in the parking lot where at one point she like asks him whether he has kids and he goes, “Yeah. I got a wife and kids. Oops! They’re dead!” [Through laughter] And I’m like, wow. This is a lot for you to be loading on this woman right away, Nicolas Cage. [Stuart laughs.]

erin

That moment was great for me, though, because I—from the trailer, I thought this was gonna be a more understated performance from Cage? And very early on he just went full gonzo and, uh, I appreciate it. ‘Cause then I just buckled up and I was ready for this movie to go off the rails.

elliott

Oh, and—like, I feel like—I was like, that’s a big moment from him! And there were scenes later on where I was like, “Hm. This is one of the understated moments in the movie.” [Multiple people laugh.] “That’s good.”

stuart

During that scene I can almost see Franka Potente, like, watching Nicolas Cage and, like, “Okay. I gotta figure out how to match this guy [through laughter] for this scene.” [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Because she is really, like, underplaying things. In the beginning, at least, in a way that I really liked. Franka Potente. Like, she feels so much more real in this movie than anybody else, which—it turns out—is not the way the movie wants anything to happen? But uh, there’s—but I actually liked her a lot in this.

dan

Yeah. I mean, I—she’s always great and one of those people where you’re like, okay. Well, I wish that past a certain point her career had kept going the way it did at its peak. But anyway. She—

crosstalk

Stuart: Now we’re all bummed. Elliott: So who’s someone—

elliott

Who’s someone whose career went past—went the way at their peak that it kept going and you didn’t want it to happen? [Dan laughs.]

dan

Wait. That they kept having a peak?

elliott

Someone who kept having successes and you were like, “Ugh. Why couldn’t this person’s career just go downhill?”

dan

Uh, our president. Boom. Let’s move on. Anyway. [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

Wow. Topical. Relevant. Let’s keep going.

stuart

Wow. Making a stand.

dan

So. She asks for a ride to the hospital because her daughter has been in an accident while racing her motorcycle. And when she asks for this hospital ride, Cage hears some sirens and he seems spooked by them? Even though, like, the thing he said was he—earlier was like, “9-1-1’s already been called.” Like, when rescuing her. So I don’t know whether he was lying about that? It seems like a weird incongruity that he suddenly is like, ooh, the Fuzz! I gotta get outta here! But…

stuart

Somebody file that one under “Goofs.”

dan

Mm-hm. [Erin laughs.] So her daughter is in a coma at the hospital at that moment and Franka goes into this monologue about how she almost died as a kid. And I believe this is what we saw over the credits, where she’s in like a frozen lake?

elliott

Over the credits we see kind of two young girls—like, adolescent girls—floating in a frozen lake and one of them seems awake and the other one seems not.

dan

Yeah. So what this has given her is the ability to go over to the other side, but only when she cannot breathe. Only when she is, say, being choked. And, y’know, Nicolas Cage accepts this pretty well. [Through laughter] I think. Seems on board with it. [Stuart laughs.] And so we go to the hospital and Franka’s daughter starts to code and the mom says, “Hey, Nicolas Cage, my new friend—you gotta choke me. You gotta choke me so I can go fix this.” And I kinda am not sure what exactly she was supposed to have done on the other side but it saves her daughter.

elliott

It’s never clear.

stuart

She like—I think she, like, ushers the spirit back into the body. Like, that’s kinda her goal.

dan

She just points? [Laughs.]

stuart

And—yeah. And so of course Nicolas Cage chokes her in a stairwell and every time—it feels like every time somebody gets choked, they have to get lifted up off the ground? Which is—I don’t know. Weird?

elliott

[Laughs.] It’s like they’re all being choked by superheroes. Yeah.

crosstalk

Dan: Yeah. That is a—yeah. Stuart: Yep.

dan

So they have—

elliott

Do you think she’s pulling that move where she gets choked and then she ends up in the afterlife and she’s like, “Where is a supervisor I can talk to? Excuse me! Excuse me!” Like, Charon is about to row her daughter across the river Styx and she’s like, “Where’s your manager? Can I talk to your manager, please?” And he’s like, “Ugh.”

stuart

“Uh… Hades is pretty busy right now.”

crosstalk

Stuart: “He’s got these marriage problems.” [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.] Elliott: “Uh, actually, uh—"

elliott

“Actually, I’m the manager.” “Sure you are. Can I— [through laughter] let me talk to— [Laughs.]” Yeah. Hades is like, “Charon, can you not deal with this? I only get so much time with Persephone. Can you just, like, take care of this?”

dan

So as Franka is going out of the room, the nurse is talking to her and says, like, “It worked. But be careful. She’s been to the other side now.” And I’m like—does everyone [through laughter] understand the rules of this? Like, what is this nurse coming out?

elliott

I mean, this is the kind of common thing where non-white people have a stronger connection to the mystical realms than white people. And this nurse kind of out of nowhe—it’s a real, uh—

stuart

It’s in the South so there’s, like, maybe a voodoo component? I don’t know.

crosstalk

Stuart: I don’t know. I don’t know what [inaudible]. Erin: She did. She had an accent—

erin

—we’re not really sure what this nurse’s deal is. Why she knows that that’s what—Franka left the room and she’s like, “Well, she obviously went to get choked.” Like, we don’t know how she knows what’s going on, but she does.

elliott

She—it is a fairly racist stereotype way to use the character.

erin

Well, sure. She’s a—

elliott

She’s like a Caribbean, possibly, nurse. And so of course she’s all up on voodoo, I guess. And like, can sense what’s going on with souls. And… it’s a, uh… and when she comes back later, I was—she comes back later and I was like, “Oh, so I didn’t dream that moment where a random nurse was just keeping tabs on—” I guess has a CB radio tuned in to the spirit police band.

dan

No, no. It— [Laughs.]

elliott

But it’s a—it’s a—it’s a—there’s a long line of those things.

dan

It does seem, later on, when she comes back and is just like, “Okay. Well, gotta go to the local Miss Cleo to fix this, I guess!” [Elliott laughs.] Yeah. It was a—it was weird.

stuart

So during this time, Nicolas Cage has like a weird interaction with the daughter as she comes out of her coma? Does that happen around now or is that later? I can’t remember.

elliott

Yeah. Well he has some visions of his dead wife. Right?

dan

Yeah. Well there’s—he has dreams that seem to mix the wife and daughter together—foreshadowing—and, um… and the daughter wakes up and immediately, like, takes to Nic Cage like, y’know, a duck imprinting on her mother. Like, but with a sex thing. Not like a—you know what? That was a terrible metaphor. [Stuart laughs.] Point is, she loves this guy. Right off the bat. And—

erin

Did anyone else think that Nicolas Cage was psychic? Because the way that the cuts happened—throughout the film there would be a kind of sneak peek of something else that happens later flashing in front of him? Where he’d be like, “Oh. Yeah. Let’s do that thing.” And then it would actually happen? I thought that he was psychic, too. That there was some kind of a connection. But then it was just the movie that was psychic and knew what was gonna happen.

crosstalk

Stuart, Dan, and Elliott: Yeah.

dan

I got the feeling it was one of those situations where he wasn’t, like, psychic in general, but he had been—found himself like caught up in this supernatural scenario where he was bound by destiny.

stuart

Yeah. Do you think there was a moment where he sat down with the filmmaker and was like, “So I was in this movie, Next, where I saw what happened… next.” [Multiple people laugh.] “How about—I could just do that in this one, too, right?”

elliott

“Why don’t I just, like, would it make—wouldn’t it make my character more interesting if he knew it was gonna happen? And then it’s like he’s guilty of everything ‘cause he coulda kinda stopped it or whatever?’ [Stuart laughs.] “Anyway, you only have me for five days and I’m kinda running out the clock with this conversation. So we—are you gonna shoot some scenes, or are you gonna let me just kinda use up all the time you booked me for? ‘Cause then you gotta pay for more time.” And the director’s like, “I can’t believe I’m talking to Nicolas Cage! This is amazing!” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Yes. And so. Franka gets a ride home from Nic Cage and invite—

elliott

Yeah. That’s—yeah. “Gets a ride from Nic Cage” is right.

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh, wow. Dan: Well, yeah. She invites—

dan

—him in and he has a quick flash—maybe he is psychic—of them having sex at—like, it’s like a really quick flash and then he’s like, “Yeah, sure. Why not.” [Laughs.] So I guess that’s a joke. And while she’s getting stuff Nicolas Cage keeps falling asleep and having his little visions. Which I guess is because he’s a trucker and he’s tired all the time as a trucker?

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. Erin: He’s a—

erin

He’s a cross-road trucker who is constantly popping caffeine pills and drinking from a flask.

crosstalk

Dan: Yes. Elliott: Mm-hm. Stuart: Yeah.

dan

He’s a very—

stuart

I think he even—I think the first thing he does after he saves Franka Potente from being choked is he offers her, like, No-Doz or something. [Laughs.]

elliott

Yeah.

dan

Yeah. He—

stuart

Which is a normal way to interact with other people, guys.

elliott

Well she’s also a trucker. So like—that’s just trucker etiquette, y’know?

stuart

Oh, right. Right.

dan

Well it is a—

stuart

Yeah. I don’t know the culture.

dan

—alarming portrait of long-haul truckers. Probably accurate, due to the forces that make them do those long hauls and have to drive so much. But [through laughter] frightening.

elliott

I love—I want that to be the quote on the DVD box now for Between Worlds. “’Probably accurate.’ -Dan McCoy, The Flop House.’” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

I just know that there’s a lot of pressure on them to do, like, anyway. Um… so. She gives him whisky and suddenly he doesn’t want to have sex for a moment. But then they have very aggressive sex right away. Like, this is, y’know. You gotta work up to that!

stuart

He’s out of practice, y’know?

erin

Zero percent chance that she enjoyed a second of it. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

This is by far the most graphic sex movie I think Nicolas Cage has ever made. Right?

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh maybe. Oh, well. Dan: Uh— Elliott: Just in terms—is there—

elliott

Is there one you can think of where he is in—his sex is more intense and vigorous and also it is so clear in some of the scenes he’s not wearing clothes?

erin

What about Leaving Las Vegas?

crosstalk

Dan: Yeah. Elliott: I don’t remember— Erin: He—I—

erin

Remember there was a… “HJ” scene. It was a hand job.

crosstalk

Dan: Ohhh. Stuart: Oh, okay. Cool. Thanks. Yeah. Elliott: Ohhhhh. Ohhhh. Erin: That’s what “HJ” means. Um, I do remember the HJ.

erin

I don’t—the handy—but I don’t remember… anything else [through laughter] from that movie at all. [Dan laughs.]

elliott

He is so, like, either covering a woman’s body or covered by a woman’s body in the scenes in this movie in a way I’m not used to seeing from him.

dan

What about Zandalee, Elliott? Zandalee?

elliott

I’ve never seen Zandalee.

dan

The erotic thriller that also has, uh, Judge Reinhold in it? Um—

elliott

I’ve only seen the clips on YouTube that say, “Worst accent ever: Zandalee.” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

And uh, what’s his face? Zach Galligan? Um—

elliott

Now here’s the thing about this movie. Here’s where I started thinking, “Hey, movie. There’s a good movie here about Nicolas Cage and Franka Potente as, like, two people who have been really beaten down by life and are kind of grudgingly and kind of reluctantly finding love with each other? And aren’t quite sure what to make of it and aren’t quite sure of what to make of each other and are fearful of getting close with someone again. That is not what this movie is, though.” This movie kind of teased me with a character study that I would’ve really liked, and which I think the two of them could’ve handled really beautifully. And then it went back into supernatural shenanigans. But for this brief moment I was like, “Movie, you showed me what might’ve been.” [Erin laughs.] 

stuart

I mean, they even address that Franka Potente is a German national who moved to the South—Mobile, Alabama—after marrying a Marine and that his—her ex-husband’s, y’know, trauma drove them apart. Especially when he found out that she could bring [through laughter] dead people back to life.

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah. That really threw him off. Dan: Now I got a counterpoint to what you just said, Elliott.

dan

Which is—the movie you just described sounds really boring and there’s no ghosts in it. So…

elliott

Okay. Interesting. I mean, the movie I’ve described, there are many good movies about people who’ve been hurt by life who are trying to find love.

crosstalk

Dan: I don’t think so. Um— Elliott: From Marty— Erin: They might be haunted, but there are no ghosts.

elliott

Exactly. Exactly. Thank you. They’re haunted by their pasts, as opposed to haunted by a ghost that—it’s weird—it feels like—it doesn’t feel like—so Penelope Mitchell is—plays the daughter. Who, as we’ll find out, is—has Joe’s wife inside her. But it was almost like— [Someone laughs.] —the ghost was doing a bad impression of Joe’s wife? [Dan laughs.] That was, like—I—it felt really weird. It was like, “Does this ghost really know who she’s talking to?” Or any of those things?

dan

Okay. Well… before we move on, though, I do want to say it’s been a while since you’ve brought it up. But with regard to the number of sex scenes in this involving Nicolas Cage, I found this from the director. There’s an interview with the director. It’s not that illuminating because, um…

elliott

Dan, everything is illuminating, though.

dan

Uh, yes. [Laughs.] Uh—

elliott

I know. It’s called Everything is Illuminated. But come on.

dan

Okay, anyway. The—

stuart

Yeah. It’s a reach.

crosstalk

Stuart: You get partial credit. Dan: I do have this one quote I wanted to read— [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Which goes, “We kept adding sex scenes! Like, we had Nicolas Cage with three different ladies in the movie and we just had eight or nine sex scenes! We just kept adding them and adding them! It works pretty well, but when you see the end result of the movie, it works. But when you’re telling everyone, ‘Wait. Wait. We have two more sex scenes here!’ They’re going, ‘What?! What?! What?!” So that’s— [Multiple people laugh.] —the quote.

erin

I wonder how many of those sex scenes were added— [Dan laughs.] —day of shooting. Where they were like, “Can we actually just do a reset and do another one of these?” [Dan laughs.]

elliott

They’re like, “It’s raining and we don’t have any—we only have outdoor scenes to shoot. I guess—strip ‘em off, Nic! Time for you to—” [Multiple people laugh.] “Time for you to have some love!”

dan

If you had a dynamo like Nic Cage on set, you gotta get as many sex scenes taped as you can and figure it out later.

elliott

Especially when Nicolas Cage is in—let’s just say it—perfect shape.

crosstalk

Elliott: In this movie. Dan: Well, okay. I don’t wanna—

dan

On the one hand, I—look. He’s got a perfectly fine, like, middle-aged man’s body. Like, a normal middle-aged man’s body. I don’t wanna shame anyone. But there is, like, a funny part later on where, like, Cage is like flirting with Franka Potente and is like, “Oh, y’know, I sleep in the nude.” And he like taking his shirt off and is like, “Is that—that a problem?” And she’s, like, giggling. And she’s like, waving her hand over his entire torso and is like, “Yeah. This is a problem.” And it’s impossible [through laughter] not to take it as, like, yeah. Nic Cage, you don’t look great in this movie compared to, like, the way we have seen you at times. Like… [Laughs.]

elliott

Oh, and also, he’s—he’s so—he’s also just so, like, kind of greasy and oily in the movie? He looks like he has never showered. I think he does take a shower in one scene and he comes out still looking like he has never bathed before.

erin

He does get hosed down.

crosstalk

Dan: Yes. Well, we will— Elliott: That’s true. Oh, that hosing-down scene— Erin: Thoroughly hosed down. [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Oh. That’s—there’s—that scene—well, when we get to it I’ll talk about it. It reminded me of a scene in the Nicolas Cage/Elijah Wood movie—what, The Pact? Was that what it was called? And—

stuart

I think so.

elliott

Where he is just doing—you just see him doing a dance to entertain his coworkers? And I’m like, “This is when I like Nicolas Cage the most. When he’s, like, just doing silly stuff to fill out a montage.” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Okay. Well, anyway. Getting back to—we left off—Stuart was right. Franka Potente gave her the whole story about her life and then there’s a title card that says “Three Days Later.” And Cage has stuck around. It’s a little weird [through laughter] that there’s this one title card in the movie, by the way, for such a short—

stuart

It’s amazing.

dan

—short span of time. I hope it is done for effect ‘cause otherwise it’s a strange choice, but, uh. He still—

erin

It feels like it was added later when they were watching it and they were like, “Mm, would she really be coming home the next day from the hospital? Let’s make it—” And also he was on his way to deliver his truckload to Biloxi, and is now three days late to deliver. Which is gonna be a problem.

stuart

And I did a little research—that’s an under-hour drive. [Multiple people laugh.] That drive from Mobile to Biloxi is under an hour. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: That’s amazing. Erin: He could’ve gone and come back. Easily. Stuart: Yeah. He— Elliott: There’s no reason he—

elliott

—couldn’t have said, okay. You have lunch. I’ll be back in a little bit after I drop this off.

dan

Oh, that is amazing. Uh—

elliott

Stuart, I’m glad you did some geographic detecting there. That was some real Carmen Sandiego stuff. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

So, okay. The daughter—

stuart

So earlier when Dan’s called him a “long-haul trucker,” I don’t know if that’s accurate. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: I guess not! Look, I was— [Laughs.] Erin: He should say “haul trucker.” Elliott: I think that’s more of a courier.

dan

I was relying on the movie’s mise en scene. I didn’t go to the external source of a map to— [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

It’s so funny if he’s like—he deli—he stops and they’re like, “We ordered this pizza three days ago!” [Multiple people laugh.] “How are you just delivering it now?” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Uh, so okay. The daughter’s come back from the hospital. Nic is stunk around—stuck around. Uh, he’s putting her to—

crosstalk

Elliott: And stunk around. You gotta assume. [Laughs.] Stuart: He’s stunk around. [Laughs.] Dan: You have to assume.

dan

Based on—yeah. But he’s putting her to bed. He says, “The more you rest the better you’ll feel; and the better you feel, the more you’ll heal.” And I think the line is both meant to be funny and [through laughter] it is still dumb. [Laughs.] Um… and she lunges at him, saying that he’s “always leaving her and she wants a kiss goodbye.” And there’s some, uh, driving guitar in the background.

elliott

Mm-hm. That hard rock suddenly jumps in.

dan

Mm-hm. And, y’know. Franka has a little soul-searching and she blamed herself for her daughter falling in with a bad crowd that wants to street race. And they don’t even wanna, like, rob banks or anything to finance it.

stuart

Nope.

dan

Um… and…

elliott

I mean, they are drug dealers.

crosstalk

Dan: Oh, really? Is that why they’re robbing later on? Stuart: Uh-huh. Yeah. Elliott: Yeah.

dan

I missed that part of it.

elliott

Yeah.

erin

Yeah.

elliott

That was—you might’ve missed one of the several times when Franka referred to them as “drug dealers.” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Well they seem like such—

erin

She does steal drugs from him, too.

dan

They are the most likeable characters, though. [Laughs.] They just seem like a couple of [through laughter] well-meaning goofballs.

elliott

Uh, Franka Potente is clearly the most likeable character in the movie. She’s just a mom trying to get the job done even if that means being strangled!

dan

I guess I am reacting to the degree to which, um, their actual attitude seems to clash with [through laughter] what—like—danger there.

erin

They are the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of this movie.

crosstalk

Elliott, Stuart, and Dan: Yeah.

elliott

That’s true. And you like that punk music that they’re listening to in their house.

dan

They listen to some Black—Black Flag there!

elliott

Yeah.

stuart

Yeah. That’s what teenagers do is they listen to Black Flag and smoke weed and then dance to it? [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. A little bit with a woman who is there for a second and then walks away and we never see her again and maybe they imagined her? [Dan laughs.]

dan

Yeah. I— [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: I love all of it. I would— Stuart: If anything—

stuart

—she chose the right time to leave. Maybe she was a plant. [Dan laughs.] Maybe she was, like, the lookout. And she’s like, “Okay. They’re good and high and all worked up from their Black Flag music. I’m gonna sneak out and you can go bust ‘em in the head.”

erin

Maybe she was there to buy weed and they were like, “Well first we gotta dance!” And she’s like, “Oh, god. I always have to dance with Rick before I leave.” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Um— [Laughs.] So Cage is leaving. He’s comforting Franka. He takes a swig of the prescription medicine behind her back, which is a little funny moment, and his boss is—in my opinion—extremely reasonably mad [through laughter] that he’s three days late— [Stuart laughs.] —delivering this shit.

elliott

I think he is very reasonably mad. Yeah.

dan

Does not wanna pay—

elliott

He is—

dan

Yeah.

elliott

He’s docking him for his time and Nicolas Cage is acting like this is a huge injustice.

dan

Well he in fact says, “That’s dog shit! It’s not even bullshit! It’s dog shit!” Um, and to compound the problems repo men come and take his truck that has all his personal stuff from his dead wife and daughter in there. Anyway. So Cage returns to the house with the ladies. Because he’s got no place else to go, in the words of An Officer and a Gentleman. And he’s walking around—

elliott

Now, who said it? The officer, or the gentleman?

dan

Uh…

stuart

Check your notes. [Multiple people laugh.] You’re allowed to use notes for this part of the test.

elliott

Yeah. [Laughs.] This is not from memory. Did you put it on—did you actually program it into your TI-82 calculator? [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: [Through laughter] Sorry—sorry. I was looking at my notes and I, like, skipped ahead—I— Stuart: No, it just says “BOOBLES.” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

I skipped ahead but I didn’t really skip ahead of anything… that important. Like, the—just the daughter acting weird around the house and the friends wanting to come in and see her. Although it’s funny. There’s a line that I like which endeared these two doofus drug dealers to me, where, um…

elliott

“Most likeable characters in the movie, “says Dan! [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Franka is like, blaming them for, y’know, everything that happened. And saying that like they suck and the one guy doesn’t realize they’re talking about him. And then the other guy explains, like, “No, she means us.” And he goes, “We kind of suck but we’re not that influential.” [Through laughter] And I love that. Like— [Laughs.] [All laugh.]

stuart

Oh, wow. That’s kinda mean. [Multiple people laugh.] Oh, wow. Looking into a mirror. That’s rough. Yeah, so this is the moment where, like, it seems like the movie that you guys were looking for! The idea that you were looking for, Elliott. Where, like, he… it looks like Nicolas Cage has burned through his last, uh, bridge. He has nowhere else to go. He convinces Franka Potente’s character to let him stay there. They have, like, a kind of fun scene of them sitting around smoking weed and being weird and laughing about the concept of goo-goo eyes. And then the whole time the daughter Billie is watching it, uh, making kind of weird faces. [Laughs.] And then they start—Nicolas Cage and Franka Potente start having a very strange lovemaking session on the couch.

crosstalk

Stuart: Where he’s— Elliott: This is—I have to assume—

elliott

—this is all Nicolas Cage adlib. I have to assume.

stuart

Yeah. And the daughter is—Billie is still watching this scene. And I feel like at this point she’s the audience surrogate. Like, she’s like— [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Because—so—so what is hap— Stuart: Like, “What am I watching?”

elliott

What is Nicolas Cage requesting, specifically, from Franka Potente in this scene?

stuart

I don’t have my notes, Elliott!

elliott

That he talk to—that she talk to him like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

dan

Right. Ugh.

elliott

He’s saying—he’s saying, “Say ‘Fuck me! Fuck me!’ like Linda Blair! Come on! Say it like in The Exorcist! Y’know, like in The Exorcist?’” And it’s such a weird request. And again, I don’t wanna kink-shame anybody. If your thing is pretending that, I guess, you’re Max von Sydow and your partner is Linda Blair and she is a possessed girl— [Dan sighs.] —and you’re actually doing it with the Devil, that’s totally okay. [Stuart groans.] But that is a strange thing to suddenly be brought in as an interest for Nicolas Cage’s character.

dan

No, I think that what you’re saying is—Elliott—is, it’s beyond specific into, like— [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.] —obscure and strange. And the—

stuart

And oddly foreshadowing what happens in the movie! [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: I was not— Elliott: Yeah, well, that, too.

dan

I was not surprised to learn that about half [through laughter] this movie was improvised. [Multiple people laugh.] Dialogue-wise, so.

erin

It seems—yeah. Nicolas Cage, I think, was just… it—they did the thing, like, they covered the camera. He didn’t know when it was running and when it wasn’t— [Dan laughs.] —and he just, like, went wild.

elliott

Oh, I bet he would’ve loved that. Yeah. [Erin laughs.] So he doesn’t know what they’re capturing and what they’re not? Now this is when Billie enters what I would refer to as her underpants portion of the movie?

dan

Well, I do wanna—I wanna read what I have in my notes, which is that she spies on them as they’re fixing the truck and then she walks aggressively bralessly down the hall, looking at her family photos. As if she doesn’t recognize them. [Multiple people laugh.] Like… look. I mean, I understand. If you’re at home you don’t wanna wear a bra. [Laughs.] I get it. I do not have to—

erin

Like, it’s pandemic times. Nobody’s wearing bras. I will say this, though, about that scene specifically? I had a strong reaction to that because the actress who plays Billie—she’s not perfectly symmetrical. And… I really appreciated that they just kind of let her be asymmetrical and—‘cause that’s—many, many women’s bodies are asymmetrical in that way? Their breasts are different sizes; hang different lengths. And it was oddly really affirming and felt very body positive to me. [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

Is the line “they’re sisters, not twins”? I can’t remember what comedian said that. [Erin laughs.]

dan

Oh, boy. I—y’know, I find it heartwarming by extension that you are finding something heartwarming in the movie!

erin

Yeah, I really like that. It was nice. I was really—this is, like, a really feminist movie. [All laugh at length.]

dan

I mean…

elliott

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Right up there with Mustang and—yeah. Sure.

stuart

Yeah. So Billie’s behaving strangely. She’s clearly not behaving like a teenage girl would. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I’m—uh, but there’s something up. Like—

crosstalk

Dan: Well, the very next thing— Elliott: I mean, I—teenage girls—teenage girls I think— Stuart: —the music and—

elliott

—don’t so much routinely trick drifters into seeing them nude, right?

dan

Well, right. That’s the very next thing is that Nicolas Cage goes to pee and see the daught—his—this daughter’s butt as she looks at herself nude in the mirror. And, y’know. She kind of, like, looks around at him and acknowledges that he’s seen her, and uh, and it’s disturbing. And—

crosstalk

Erin: I feel like the first— Stuart: This is probably around—

stuart

—when I started saying “stop it” to my TV over and over. [Multiple people laugh.]

erin

The first half of this movie really feels like it’s just the daughter staring kind of menacingly? But we don’t really know why and nobody’s saying specifically what’s happening? They’re just kind of dancing around it and it’s just her kinda giving looks.

elliott

Yeah. And what’s interesting about the movie is there’s no slow-drip of information, really? It’s like, what’s this mystery? And then it seems like everybody in the movie suddenly knows, “Oh, yeah, yeah. His wife’s ghost is in her body.” Like, there’s no—everyone just is kind of onboard suddenly at some moment. The switch is flipped. Y’know.

dan

And directly after that—

elliott

Spoiler alert.

dan

Directly after this is one of the key scenes in the films. Where Nic Cage and the daughter are watching TV, were, um, Franka Potente is like—it looks like she’s got a piglet that she’s cooking? [Through laughter] And I couldn’t even see—

elliott

It seems like it was some kind of—maybe it was a whole rabbit?

crosstalk

Elliott: It was like, some beast. Yeah. Erin: I thought it was a rabbit or a squirrel. I thought it was a rabbit. Dan: So she’s—

elliott

Some beast with the head on that has been plucked clean of skin and fur that’s just on a big pan. That she’s sticking in the oven.

dan

She’s dealing with this while they’re watching television and the daughter is inappropriately stroking Nic Cage’s jeans. And then throws, like, a blanket over his lap to disguise the hand job that we must only assume that he is receiving at that point. And he makes the world’s least strong effort to get up and avoid this happening by saying, “Oh, I could help you in the kitchen!” And she’s, like, “No, no. It’s fine. I don’t need it.” And he stays there and it happens. And this is the scene that I was just—

crosstalk

Dan: —referring to— Erin: He’s like, “Well, I tried!” [Laughs.]

dan

Earlier. Where I was like, one could posit a film where Nicolas Cage is a sympathetic man who is brought low by the fact that his dead wife appears to him in the form of the daughter of the woman he has gotten involved with and there’s conflict over that and, like, missing her and guilt over her and then, like, there’s a horrifying reveal that we’ll get to later at the end of this movie. Except for the fact that Nicolas Cage—even before [through laughter] he knows that this is his wife—is like, “Eh, I guess I’ll [through laughter] accept this hand job!” [Laughs.]

elliott

Dan, if you had ever seen—there’s a series of short documentaries online. That posit this very scenario. And if you had ever seen those? [Stuart laughs.] You would be impressed at his restraint. [Dan laughs.] In that it does not go all the way to full intercourse while she’s—while his ostensible new girlfriend is cooking in the other room. You would think within clear sight! And yet in these documentaries, the other person in the room—in the kitchen area—never seems to notice what’s happening on—just behind the couch! And so these documentaries are available all over the internet. [Dan laughs.] I can’t remember exactly who produced them just now. But uh—

stuart

Those documentaries, I feel like, are more an ad for kitchen islands and their ability to cover an entire person’s body? [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

But yeah. I mean, there’s—you’d be amazed at how common this apparently is. This same scenario. Because I’ve seen so many of these little short documentaries online.

crosstalk

Elliott: Where they—where the—yeah. The— [Through laughter] Yeah. Erin: They’re on lots of different hubs. Lots of different hubs, yeah.

elliott

Many hubs on which you can find these. Yeah.

stuart

Yeah. I feel like this is also a point when—I think it really strikes home that, uh… that “no blankets on laps should be a more common rule.” [All laugh.]

elliott

I mean, there is—

crosstalk

Elliott: Even if they were doing— Dan: Get that off of there, FDR! [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

What are you doing down there? [All laugh.]

elliott

So that’s what was going on in his wheelchair. I see, Dan. Okay. Sure. You would think even if nothing was going on there, it would be weird if Nicolas Cage and Billie were sharing a blanket. It’s just a weird thing.

stuart

Yeah. You gotta warm up on a cool Alabama night. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Um, yeah. So…

elliott

You’re right. This is—his lack of resistance to this is skeevy. Yes. I give you that.

dan

Yeah. I mean—and again. It could be… that could be the point that the movie is making. That this guy is, like… not a nice guy, full stop. Despite the fact that he’s had all these hardships in the world.

elliott

Well, but that’s the—there’s a—

crosstalk

Dan: But it just feels like a weird choice. Elliott: There’s a—there’s a—

elliott

But there’s a version—again. There’s a version of this movie that has no supernatural stuff in it where he is a guy who is not a bad guy but he has no impulse control and he makes bad decisions all the time. And he’s trying to start a relationship and he keeps screwing it up because he can’t get out of his own way because he’s his own worst enemy. Like, there’s—there are movies like that and they’re very good movies! I know you think they’re boring ‘cause they don’t have ghosts in ‘em, but, y’know. They happen! Anyway.

crosstalk

Stuart: Although in a way— Elliott: But that’s not—

stuart

—isn’t a ghost just, like, trauma? Like a cycle of trauma repeating itself over and over?

crosstalk

Elliott: Mm. Hm. Hm. Hm. Yes. We’re 13 cycles of trauma. Dan: Yeah. But even in the movie you’re describing, Elliott, his behavior wouldn’t be—would not be sympathetic, is what I’m saying.

elliott

Oh, no, no. It’d be—the overall gestalt of a man who cannot stop himself from doing the wrong thing would be sympathetic, but the—in the moment, you’d be, like, c’mon, what are you doing? Come on—don’t do that! Come on! Which is—here I was like, “Movie, don’t do this! Come on, movie! Come—movie, don’t do this!” [Elliott laughs.]  

stuart

Yeah! Stop it!

elliott

Yeah.

erin

I do think this was a turning point where I stopped trying to root for him as a character. [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

Mm-hm. That’s fair. I think that’s very fair. Yeah.

dan

Yeah. Um, okay. Well. So—

elliott

This is kinda like the Cheddar Goblin moment of Mandy. Where you’re like, “Dude. I know something terrible happened to you but look at the commercials that air on TV in this crazy world you live in. Like—” [Dan laughs.] “Go for it. This is—” [Laughs.] How can you be mad when there’s a Cheddar Goblin on your TV? [Dan laughs.]

dan

I don’t understand that analogy. So Nic fixes—

elliott

Neither do I, Dan, and I made it!

dan

—the daughter’s motorcycle. And meanwhile, the daughter’s being mean to Franka about her dad leaving. And Nic is—we cut to him swinging Jack Daniel’s directly out of the bottle and he’s yelling on the phone because they will not give his personal possessions back. The photos of his wife and daughter and such. Because they’re in the truck. And this is where we learn the backstory of their death. He went away on a job and the wife—we presume at this point—accidentally set the house on fire with her cigarette. And—killing his five-year-old daughter as well as the wife. And I gotta say—like, throughout this movie, I like Cage’s performance. And this is legitimately affecting acting from him. Like, the character’s nutty. [Laughs.] And ill-thought-out. And the movie is wacky. But I think he is doing his best with that material, to make it, y’know, have some pathos.

elliott

Oh, I would always rather see Nic Cage going for it wholeheartedly? Than see him holding back. And like… the thing that makes this movie, like… watchable? To me? Is the fact that he is just letting himself loose rather than—

crosstalk

Elliott: Rather than walking through it. Stuart: Yeah. I think the two leads—

stuart

I think the two leads are pretty good—like, they put effort in on some level.

elliott

Yeah. I think it probably helps that—like you were saying, Dan—if a lot of it was ad-libbed then he was probably like, “Okay, good. Then I get to be the author of this to a certain extent. And that means I actually have to put energy into it.” He’s not playing Ghost Rider. Which is ironic because he has sex with a ghost in this movie. [Someone laughs.]

dan

It is ironic. Uh, Erin, did you wanna say something? Sorry. [Elliott laughs.] I feel like— [Erin laughs.]

erin

Y’know, I have no memory of what I was gonna say. But— [Multiple people laugh.] Let’s assume it was great.

dan

I just didn’t wanna skip over it. Um—

crosstalk

Stuart: It was wiped out of your head! It was wiped out of your head by Ghost Rider. Erin: I think I was gonna say—I think I was gonna say that—

erin

—Franka Potente was putting real energy into creating a character and grounding that character in this kind of wacko world? That she was coming at it from a real place of a mother whose daughter almost died. And then Nicolas Cage took that same amount of energy and put it into his facial expressions— [Dan laughs.] —and his voice modulations. [Multiple people laugh.] They both were at 100% in different way.

dan

Yeah. [Laughs.] Uh— [Laughs.] That’s true. Um, so Franka goes and she pays the guy to get these memories of Nic Cage. Meanwhile, he is not upholding his end of [through laughter] the bargain.

erin

Of the social contract? [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

The contract. He is not repaying her kindness well, because he is—continues to lust over her—Franka’s daughter. Who is lounging at home in her underwear, coming on to him, and she calls him “Majors.” And he’s like, “How did you know my last name?!” And I’m like, “Have you not told these people [through laughter] your last name?”

crosstalk

Dan: What— Stuart: Yep. Erin: He’s been with them for weeks!

dan

Yeah! But like she—he’s freaked out because she says that she is Mary, his dead wife. Y’know, confirming what we already all suspected at this point. And… I don’t know. I guess the nurse sort of talks about it being, like, “Oh, y’know, spirits just hang out around people and that’s how this happens.” But it did—it did kind of… [Laughs.] I don’t know. I thought it was funny that, like, okay. Y’know, Nicolas Cage happens to like walk into this [through laughter] girl’s hospital room? And because, I guess, his dead wife has just been walking behind him for years—however long she’s been dead—she’s like, “Now’s my chance!” And jumps in. I don’t know. It seems [through laughter] like a crazy way for this to work.

stuart

Yeah. I mean, it—it pretty clearly is a situation where Franka Potente’s character, uh… just botched her summoning roll? [Dan laughs.] And instead of summoning her daughter’s ghost back, she summoned the wrong ghost. Like, sometimes that happens. Sometimes if you fuck it up bad enough you’ll summon, like, a minor demon or something and that demon’ll pretend to be your daughter for a little bit. Luckily, I don’t think that’s the case here. Unless you think Mary, his wife, was a deemer—demon. A “deemer.” That would be crazy! [Multiple people laugh.] Uh—

elliott

You—we’d have to figure out what that is!

stuart

Yeah. Then you’ll have to hire, like, Angel to take care of it and, y’know. It’s tough.

erin

There was so many moments where—I think—for a little bit more time and, yes, a little bit more budget, uh, they could’ve blown this world out in a really interesting way? Where every time she goes into this kind of summoning… strangling kind of state, to see all the spirits that are around. Like, you’re in a hospital. Why would there just be Mary Majors there? I feel like that room would be packed with people. And to make it seem like, “Oh, well I have to be sure that I’m concentrating enough to get Billie, specifically, to come into the body.” Or something. It just… seemed real—and also the wife looked to me a lot like Billie and I had trouble, like—they both had blonde, curly hair. It just… y’know. I feel like it could’ve been a more interesting thing to know more about Franka Potente’s gifts and what exactly she does and how she does it.

elliott

Well, I have two things to say to that. One, it—I imagine it is because they look so similar that Franka Potente just shoved the first blonde ghost that she saw back into her daughter’s body and it turned out to be Lydia Hearst. That’s right. In her second Flop House movie. The first being The Haunting of Sharon Tate. Uh, and two—it would’ve been really cool, I guess, to see, like, yeah. What the afterlife is like. And maybe there’s like a waiting room and like Sylvia Sidney is there, and she’s smoking up a lot of cigarettes. And she’s gotta talk to, like, a guy with a little shrunken head and like maybe Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis and has to, like, kinda help them to get back into the person world? And just, like, y’know. I’ve never seen that in a movie before. [Dan laughs.]

erin

If only—if Mary had had better, like, guidelines of what to do after she died? If there was some kind of—

elliott

Yeah! Like a book!

crosstalk

Elliott: Like a book, for instance! Yeah. Erin: —compendium that could—

erin

That could guide her to what to do. Yeah.

elliott

And maybe in the time that they were away, Joe’s truck had been bought by some, like, yuppies from the city. [Erin laughs.] And they really, like, art house-d it up. Y’know. And they’re having, like, a party for their friends and their daughter is there and their daughter’s, like, real goth. And maybe Michael Keaton shows up in his famous role of clean and sober. That’s right! He’s trying to kick the drugs from his system. But first he’s gotta help these ghosts.

stuart

Oh yeah.

dan

I— [Laughs.] Y’know, I—I—I both agree with what you have to say, Erin, but I also am kind of charmed by the degree to which this movie is, like, okay. In a normal—if, like, if this was a horror-thriller, that’s what would happen. But we are only interested in this ghost thing insomuch as it is an engine to drive, like, our tawdry family melodrama? [Laughs.] Like, and it reminded me of—before everything went to hell—we saw Color Out of Space at Alamo Draft House. They did, like, a simulcast of horror—probably a re-broadcast, actually. I don’t know. Of, like, Nic Cage and Richard Stanley talking about that movie, which is like a crazy [through laughter] H.P. Lovecraft movie. And Nicolas Cage was talking about how much he loves family—

stuart

Hosted by the two normal-est guys ever! [Laughs.]

dan

Yeah. But the— [Elliott laughs.] The funny thing to me was like, they’re like, “What attracted you to this?” And he goes, “Well, I always have loved family dramas.” [Through laughter] Or something like that. And I’m like— [Erin laughs.] “Oh, Nicolas Cage just thinks of all these crazy things as family dramas. Like, that’s what he loves!”

erin

This is normal to him!

dan

Yeah.

elliott

Mm-hm. Mm-hm. He lives a very interesting life. [Erin laughs.]

dan

Anyway.

elliott

He did—he did—he did own pet snakes that he had to get rid of because they tried to hypnotize him. [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

So she’s being—she’s all, “I’m your wife. I’m your wife.” And whereas a normal person would be like, “What? No! That’s impossible!” He’s like, “I’m with you 100%. Let’s do it. Right now.”

crosstalk

Dan: [Through laughter] Well— Erin: He was looking for permission and she gave it to him. Stuart: Yeah. There’s a certain amount—there’s this—

elliott

Yeah. He’s like, “You know what? I think people will buy that I believed that. So, okay. Sure.”

stuart

And there’s a certain amount of like, she’s—it feels like she’s trying to seduce him. I mean, she’s in her underpants except for his denim shirt. And she just keeps talking about his dead child? [Laughs.] And his abusive father? And I’m like… is that what gets him going? That’s crazy! [Laughs.]

elliott

I mean, he’s really into exorcist play. So possibly?

stuart

Yeah, yeah.

dan

I mean, it—look. If you think he should’ve put up more resistance to the idea that he should have sex [through laughter] with the daughter of his girlfriend? You will not get an objection from me. I think— [Multiple people laugh.] —he should’ve put up all the resistance. But I do—I do think that there is an interesting moment of, like, she convinces him and like—they’re—I think he—as a performance—has this moment of, like… fear and emotional confusion and like just like not understanding how this could be possible but knowing that it is? That would be really affecting if—again—he hadn’t already accepted [through laughter] a hand job from this person. In a previous scene.

crosstalk

Elliott: I mean, he—maybe he didn’t know— Stuart: I think he even says—

stuart

He even says, “I don’t deserve this.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I don’t think you do!” [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

I think maybe it’s a slippery slope he didn’t realize he was going down? When he accepted the first job? [Dan laughs.] That, uh… but it just shows he hasn’t seen enough of these little, short documentaries that are online! [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: We’re back to this. Elliott: It’s like—kinda can’t avoid them! [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

They seem to be everywhere, but. [Dan laughs.]

erin

They pop up! They’re always popping up!

elliott

They literally pop up! Yeah! And it’s like—it would be, like, “$1! Only!” and I’m like, “Alright, I have a dollar for the finest in new reality non-fiction filmmaking! Okay! Sure!” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

[Through laughter] Okay. Well, anyway. They hear the mom returning. Franka takes a little moment to sit in the driveway looking through the personal stuff. And then she comes in and Cage is understandably acting very weird. And [through laughter] then there’s—

stuart

[Through laughter] More than normal.

dan

Yeah. And then there’s the great scene where—now, I’m not entirely sure whether this is meant to have actually happened or is part of the dream sequence that follows? But Franka is watching Nic Cage and her daughter spray one another with a hose. And Nicolas Cage—

elliott

This is 100% happening.

dan

Okay. Well, Nicolas Cage has a—leather pants on and a big belt-buckle and sunglasses and he’s, like, thrusting his pelvis out while she sprays water on him. Like, it’s like a—it’s like a 1980s, like, Playboy video ad or like—it is crazy. These two are having some fun in the sun. Splashing around with this hose. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. And he—he talks about the— Elliott: Now, when you say Playboy video, you mean—

elliott

You mean Playboy documentary.

crosstalk

Dan: [Through laughter] Yeah. A documentary about a bikini carwash. Stuart: And he talks about—

stuart

He suggests it’s a—he suggests it’s a golden shower. Which is—y’know—a fun thing to do. When he’s spraying you with water. To assume that he—in his head, he’s thinking about urine. [Elliott laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: It is—there’s so much of this— Erin: Ice-cold urine! [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

[Through laughter] Yeah! Mm! So refreshing! [Erin laughs.] I kind of wonder—it’s like, is this—is this what he thinks the character would say? Or is it the kind of thing that Nicolas Cage would say while he’s spraying you with a hose? [Dan laughs.] And I’ll—unfortunately, I’ll go to my grave never knowing the answer to that question. But. But I take this as something that’s happening, and he is so—they’ve just totally stopped pretending around Franka Potente that they are not in a relationship. ‘Cause he’s so over—he’s so out of his mind with bliss because he’s finally found his wife again! And maybe when his wife was alive before she wasn’t into being sprayed with a hose? [Dan laughs.] But now she’s like, “I died once! What’s the worst that can happen?”

crosstalk

Elliott: “Sure, let’s spray each other with a hose!” Stuart: I mean, she—

stuart

She was all burned up in a fire. She probably wants to get sprayed with water all the time. Right?

crosstalk

Stuart: Isn’t that how that works? Elliott: Mm-hm. Very good point. Very good point. Yeah. Dan: Um— [Laughs.] That’s very—

dan

—distressing to me for reasons I can’t quite understand. No. I—if there’s any reason to see the movie—like—

crosstalk

Dan: If there are any single—single reason? Erin: It’s for this scene.

dan

It’s this scene. Yes.

crosstalk

Dan: Look it up on YouTube if it— Erin: This particular— Elliott: Yes.

dan

If it’s out there in the world. [Erin laughs.] It’s gotta be. Um… anyway. So after—

elliott

This—it’s very GIF-able. Somebody should GIF it.

dan

Yeah. After—

erin

It was super fun to watch. [Dan laughs.] It was very enjoyable to watch.

elliott

Well that’s the—this is the scene I was talking about where—so there this—in that—in that Nicolas Cage/Elijah Wood movie, he has to go undercover as a casino worker so that they can, like, rob this casino. And there’s this montage where it’s just him ingratiating himself with his new coworkers. And he’s telling them some story at lunch and they’re all laughing and he’s getting up and dancing for them? To make them laugh? And it just looks like Nicolas Cage is having so much fun being, like, a real goofball? And it’s like—I wish he played more goofballs that are not tormented or tortured goofballs? [Dan laughs.] But are just, like, goofballs. Y’know.

dan

Well it’s also, like, it feels like… [Through laughter] This scene feels like, if, like, one of those gross Hardee’s commercials with models, like, suddenly turned into an ad for Crocodile Mile? [Through laughter] Like, with the water like spraying all over the place? [Multiple people laugh.] Anyway. So Franka dreams that she comes up on them having sex. But wakes up clutching her chest in fear and mom and daughter have an uncomfortable conversation where they are not very subtly fighting over Joe. And the daughter calls her dad her mom’s “husband,” y’know. A tipoff there. And Franka tries to— [Multiple people laugh.] —rekindle the fire by sucking on Nicolas Cage’s finger a little bit? In bed? But his mind is down the hall. And— [Laughs.] Like, a lot of these—like, I’m reading my notes that are, y’know, obviously arranged chronologically. The traditional way to arrange notes on a story. And—

elliott

You mean you didn’t cut up your notes and throw them in the air and then tape them together however they fell?

dan

But the point is, I will read, like, a scene that comes after another scene and I’m like, “Surely that scene didn’t happen that [through laughter] quickly after the past scene.” Like, it feels so disjointed reading them as, like, individual scenes. ‘Cause the next scene is the daughter picking up a knife and starting acting like she’s gonna kill her mom and like—and she’s saying “She’s gonna come between us,” y’know. And it’s like… wow. That is— [Laughs.] That comes right on the heels of this, like, sex dream fake-out? Like, it seems like there’s just no connective tissue to this movie.

stuart

Yeah. It seems like that. So she has a—Franka Potente has a dream where her new boyfriend is having sex with her daughter, and then it—the movie just kind of rolls into it like a weird series of sex montages, right?

crosstalk

Dan: Uh— Elliott: Yes.

dan

Well, that’s—

elliott

And the mom—she goes to talk to the nurse.

dan

Yeah. That’s what I—first what happens is Franka goes and meets with the nurse, who—as we said—knows everything about soul transference. And I guess Franka has decided that she, like, has realized what’s going on. That someone else’s soul is in the daughter. And meanwhile at home the daughter and Nic Cage are fucking in several different rooms. As Stuart says, it’s clipped up in a montage that makes it clear that this is just like—it’s happening all over the place. And Nic Cage is reading to her from a book that is called Memories: By Nicolas Cage.

elliott

And I’m trying to—the way I remember it—which—

stuart

At her request!

dan

At her request.

elliott

Which might—she goes, “Read me Memories.” And now, what I—I remember the name on the front of the cover being misspelled? That “Nicholas” is spelled with an “h,” but maybe I’m mis-remembering that? So maybe that’s his nom de plume? “Nicholas Cage” with an “h”? But Dan, you said you did some research on this! And this montage is him having sex with Billy and him having sex with Mary.

dan

Mm. Mm-kay.

erin

In the berth of his truck.

elliott

In the back of his truck, yeah. They have—so it’s a little bit him and Billy in the house and a little bit him and Mary in the truck. And it is—this is the other reason to watch this movie? Is just—the sheer manic energy that Nicolas Cage is pouring into these scenes. And there’s a part where they’re having sex and just goes, “Whoo!” Like someone does in a movie— [Multiple people laugh.] —when they’ve just had a really powerful line of cocaine? [Laughs.] And you’re—and it’s like, is that what he’s like in bed? Like—

crosstalk

Elliott: [Through laughter] What is this? Dan: And he’s reading these things that I—

dan

Y’know, it says Memories so I assumed that this was supposed to be a memoir in the world of the movie? But it’s referred to as poetry in the behind-the-scenes stuff that I’ve read. So he’s—

stuart

At first I thought it was a screenplay for Katushiro Otomo’s Memories. [Elliott laughs.] But he doesn’t at any point mention about four space guys finding a weird ghost space station. Or another guy becoming a living biological weapon. Or a city that’s entirely built around just feeding ammunition into guns!

dan

No, none of that.

crosstalk

Dan: But—no. But what is happening— Elliott: Stuart, as someone who is—

elliott

—currently 3-1/2 volumes into reading Akira, I understand exactly what you’re talking about. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Someone in the—what is happening in the world of the film is merely that Joe is having sex while reading aloud erotic poetry by the actor Nicolas Cage. [Laughs.] Who also exists in this world.

erin

And we see him having sex with Mary in the berth of the truck, also reading it. That that is her kink that she has carried over into the land of the dead and back again. [Dan laughs.]

elliott

I mean, the thing is, that, like, that is kind of every guy’s fantasy? Is a woman who wants to hear the poetry that he’s written? [Erin laughs.] Because often it is not the case.

dan

So anyway. Yeah. The—well, the little research I did—

stuart

[Laughs.] Dan and Stuart do some deep soul-searching after Elliott mentions that. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

I mean, not poetry, specifically, but I know what he’s talking about.

elliott

Well, no. And I know Dan would rather have a woman who likes to listen to his mysteries? Where he and his two best friends—that’s right, Archie the Cat and the ghost of his previous cat, Lulu—solve mysteries.

dan

No, I just—

crosstalk

Dan: I just want— Stuart: And mine is—

dan

I just want to, like, y’know, I want my male ego flattered by someone pretending to give a shit when I talk about how Return of the Living Dead relates to Night of the Living Dead because of the— [Laughs.] Copyright problems that John Russo had— [Elliott laughs.] —with George Romero. And—but I know in my heart that this is all bullshit nonsense that no one should care about and [through laughter] it is wrong to expect my partner to care about it, either. Just because I’m an idiot.

stuart

And for me, it’s—I just wanna be able to explain the intricately crafted dungeon that I’ve built for four unlucky adventurers-- [Erin laughs.] —and all the devious traps I’ve set before them! [Elliott laughs.]

dan

So I think that we are laying our, uh, our, like, male ego monstrousness bare on this podcast [through laughter] in a way that we never have before. But, uh… anyway.

erin

I mean, from the female ego perspective, I also… often give my husband things I’ve written to read and tell him at the outset, “Just tell me it’s great.” [Dan laughs.] Uh— [Stuart laughs.] That’s the note that I want from you.

dan

Yeah. That—I mean, that’s the best—look. Speaking from the other side, I love instruction. If I’m told to tell you it’s great? [Erin laughs.] I will tell you it’s great. [Laughs.] Nicolas Cage. This is about the Memories. And this is what I found online. He was asked about reading the Nicolas Cage book Memories in this movie and he said, “Well, I thought it was extremely funny. And any time you can break the fourth wall—pushing the envelope in terms of traditional or narrative—is an experiment worthy of trying. I had never done anything like that. To read a book by the actor who’s playing the character. I was inspired by the novels of Henry Miller—Tropic of Cancer; Tropic of Capricorn. I also thought they were not only sensual, but hilarious in terms of the braggadocio of Henry Miller. That he would go into great details about his adventures in the sensual realm, and I wanted to bring a little of that kind of humor to Between Worlds with that concept.” So that was the thinking—

stuart

Success!

dan

—of Nic Cage.

erin

Yeah, he did it!

crosstalk

Dan: Who wrote those—he wrote those poems. [Laughs.] Stuart: A rousing success! Erin: Nailed it! Out of the park! [Laughs.] Elliott: Mm-hm.

elliott

Uh, looking—looking at the same interview, Dan, just reading slightly ahead—they ask him, “If that was a real memoir, what anecdote would be in it?” And he tells a long story about how much he loves Prince. [Dan laughs.] Which is not something I ever knew about him. [Erin laughs.]

dan

It’s great. Okay. So… getting back to the actual plot of the story.

elliott

So this is after the very long sex montage. Which, again, is something I never expected to see in a Nicolas Cage movie. And I got—I don’t know if it was the enjoyment that I was supposed to get from it, but I did get genuine—some kind of enjoyment from it.

dan

Yeah. And so—okay.

elliott

But it comes to a tragic end. Right, Dan?

dan

Yes. They hear Franka pulling up into the driveway. Nic Cage, as Joe, he goes, “What was that?!” And Billy says, “It was the cat!” And he goes, “You don’t have a cat! You don’t have a cat!” [Elliott laughs.] And Franka gets mad finding them having sex with one another. And things—in the movie—

stuart

And the term is “understandably mad.” [Laughs.]

dan

Understandably mad. [Erin laughs.] And the movie—the movie rapidly escalates [through laughter] from here. This is when it shifts into a different gear. Nic Cage—

erin

She also—she just spend $500 getting him his box of memories back. ‘Cause that was what—the truck boss wouldn’t let him have it unless he gave $500 of the debt he owed. And I get the sense that $500 is a lot of money to these people?

crosstalk

Elliott and Dan: Yes. Erin: To this family?

elliott

They are not—they are not podcasters. $500 is a real chunk of change! [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: It’s not super easy to come by! Erin: Yeah. It’s not, like, nothing—

erin

—like it is to us. And so, yeah. I feel like… the insult to injury that she also just spent $500 of her hard-earned money while he was boning her daughter.

dan

Yes. No, she is the only [through laughter] truly sympathetic person on screen. Let us… yes. Stipulate that.

crosstalk

Elliott: Except for—except for— Erin: [Inaudible.]

elliott

Except for those two goofy drug dealers that you like so much.

dan

I mean, it’s—they provide a [through laughter] needed service to the community, Elliott. Um— [Elliott laughs.] And so—

elliott

They are essential workers and that’s why that their illicit, underground drug deal ring is allow to keep running during the quarantine!

dan

So Nicolas Cage—Franka’s mad. Nicolas Cage comes out to try and explain in the tiniest banana [through laughter] hammock underwear that is, like, this patterned thing. I was not able to catch the pattern. Stuart, do you know what it was? You’re nodding.

stuart

I mean, it looked like some kind of a jungle cat print. It looked very cool and it fit perfectly with his black t-shirt, many bracelets and rings, and a black t-shirt with a shiny alligator face emblazoned upon it.

dan

And—well, anyway. He’s trying to explain [through laughter] to Franka why he’s done this, and he says the line at one point, “I’m sorry to say this. Billy is dead. That is Mary.” And so I guess everything’s cleared up! [Laughs.] So they’ll live happily ever after once he’s…

stuart

I mean, if anything, you kinda gotta applaud his effort—

crosstalk

Stuart: —on this one. Right? Like— Dan: He is very direct.

dan

And she—she says, “You gotta fix this.” And he says, [Nic Cage imitation that sounds a lot more like Jimmy Stewart] “What do you expect me to do? Kill my wife?” That’s more of a… Jimmy Stewart, but you get the idea.

elliott

Mm-hm.

dan

And right then, Billy comes out and bludgeons Franka in the head and knocks her out cold. Um…

stuart

Yeah. It’s moments after Franka Potente looks at Nicolas Cage and says, “Put your fucking pants on. You’re gross.” [Dan laughs.] And he says, like, “Why would you say that?” [Multiple people laugh.] “What makes you say that?” And then the camera pulls back— [Dan laughs.] —to give you a full view? [Elliott laughs.] And you’re like, “Yeah. That’s cool.” [Laughs.] That’s an intentional joke.

elliott

Yeah. I think there’s more—looking at—in retrospect, I think there’s more actual meant jokes in this movie than I thought first watching it through.

crosstalk

Stuart: [Inaudible] Yeah. Dan: Oh, no.

dan

I think a lot of it’s intentional. Whether you can say it’s successful? [Laughs.] Is another thing. But, uh.

elliott

I mean, the fact that I wasn’t sure whether they meant it or not— [Dan laughs.] —maybe means it’s less than successful.

dan

So anyway. We cut to Billy’s doofus friends being stoned and listening to Black Flag and dancing around, as we said earlier. Billy knocks the door to rob them. I kinda zoned out for half a second. I’m not sure what went wrong, but Nicolas Cage storms in and beats the dudes with a bat.

elliott

There’s a struggle with one of the friends and that friend is shot and killed accidentally.

erin

Hopper Penn.

dan

Yeah, I just didn’t—I just [inaudible] the part where, like, why Nic Cage… jumped in with his bat.

elliott

Oh, because they never say it outright. We’re supposed to just know that they’re gonna rob them. But.

stuart

Yeah. At this point, I think they’re at the phase of the adventure where they just go around bonking people on the head to knock them out? [Dan laughs.] Almost like a Bonk’s Adventure, if you will. [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

Unfortunately, the graphics are less than turbo. [Stuart laughs.]

dan

So the—one of the doofuses gets killed. The one who says they’re not that influential. And the other guy shows up with a gun to threaten Franka—like, asking, like, “Hey, what the fuck’s up with your boyfriend coming in with your daughter [through laughter] and robbing our drug stash?” Which is, y’know, a fair question. And killing someone in the mix. Um…

stuart

Yep.

elliott

Not just someone! His best friend!

stuart

Yeah. [Laughs.]

elliott

And business partner!

dan

Meanwhile, Billy—possessed by Mary—Mary’s taking Nic Cage back to their old house, where he has visions of his dead daughter and burned bodies and such. And it was very confusing to me as to what part are visions or not? Or whether, like, half the house is burnt and half got rebuilt or half never got—like, there’s, like, a part of the house that seems totally fine that he’s in? Except for there’s like a smoke-damaged jack-in-the-box that he picks up? And—

elliott

And he focuses a lot of emotional energy on this jack-in-the-box.

crosstalk

Erin: It becomes—yes. Dan: Yeah.

erin

Now when you rent a location to film, you have to return it to the state it was in before you arrived when you leave. And so I think it’s just a lot easier to just burn the—like, the hallway when you first walk in. You just treat the foyer. Make that look burned. And then just put some trash on the ground in the other rooms. Just say, “Well, this is general fire trash.”

crosstalk

Stuart: Yep. Yeah. Some debris from the fire. Dan: Oh, okay. I thought you were gonna say that when you rent a space—

dan

—it’s easier to [through laughter] just burn half of it ‘cause then you can—

crosstalk

Dan: —rebuild. Erin: [Through laughter] Yeah. You just burn half of it ‘cause then—

erin

—you’ll have to rebuild half the house.

elliott

Save half your money! Yeah, sure!

stuart

Yeah. [Laughs.] Um—

crosstalk

Stuart: And I think he— Erin: But it also was— Elliott: [Inaudible.]

stuart

They even find the bed that his wife supposedly burned up in or something? And it’s just, like, pushed slightly? Like, the bed’s made better than the one in my apartment. [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Oh, nice. I don’t know why I said “Nice.” [Laughs.]

elliott

So—well, I mean, maybe—maybe he put his— [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Erin: Not nice. Elliott: What is nice in that situation, Dan? Maybe—maybe he—maybe— Dan: All of our friendly attitudes! [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

Maybe he put the truck up as collateral for a loan to get the best bed— [Dan laughs.] —on the market.

stuart

Yeah. Yeah. [Laughs.]

dan

Um— [Laughs.]

erin

The unburnable bed.

elliott

Yeah. The “between z’s” bed, it’s called.

erin

I wasn’t sure if he was having visions of his daughter or if that was just—again—the movie doing these cuts. Because it was never clear to me when—like, is it a vision or is it just the movie trying to be weird?

elliott

Yeah.

dan

Yeah.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. It’s a true—a true— Elliott: I was like—I was—

stuart

—mission of madness.

elliott

It was hard to tell whether it was real or Maxcel. It was hard to tell if she was born with it or maybe it’s Maybelline. It was just very—it was very confusing. [Laughs.]

dan

Yeah, Elliott, I told you about accepting money under the table and then trying to slip these ads [through laughter] into the podcast. [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

I don’t know what—I don’t know what you’re talking about it. Uh, make it your way! At Burger King? [Dan laughs.] Is that what they say? [Laughs.] [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

Yeah!

dan

Um—so, meanwhile, back at the ranch, uh… living drug dealer is talking to Franka and he’s like, “A ghost is taking over Billy’s body? How do we find them?” And she says, “You gotta choke me.”

erin

“Okay!” [Laughs.] [Dan laughs.]

elliott

He’s like, “I’ll allow it!” [Erin laughs.]

dan

So back at the burnt house, Cage—in the burned wing of the burnt house, Cage has started up— [Elliott laughs.] —a generator and puts a string of lights on to create a romantic atmosphere and Cage is drunkenly talking about how he didn’t feel like he deserved her, ever. He doesn’t deserve anyone.

elliott

He’s a mess. He’s a real—he’s an emotional mess by this point.

dan

Yes. And the ghostbusters—

elliott

Which—to be fair—put yourself in his situation. You’re a grieving widower. You’re already in trouble with the guys you have a loan on to buy your truck. And now you finally found a friend—maybe even a lover?—and suddenly your wife’s ghost has taken over that lover’s daughter and forcing you into a life of crime and now she’s taken you back to your old house and you’re like, “Ugh, this is not the way I wanted her to see the house. I was supposed to clean it up when she came back to life.” And, y’know, it’s just—it’s a lot to carry right now.

dan

No, this is a man who has been emotionally destroyed—understandably, again—a little easier to sympathize but for that [through laughter] hand job that he— [Multiple people laugh.] —accepted. Uh— [Laughs.] Um, anyway. So—

elliott

Dan, far be it—far be it from me to defend that action. I would not. But y’know what? You gotta find your small joys where you can in this life. Y’know?

stuart

Uh-huh. Even villains are the heroes of their own story, right?

elliott

I mean, you gotta imagine— [Dan laughs.] —some of the villains know that they’re the villains. Right? Like, when a villain is like, “Mm, I’m going to destroy the world!” You have to know that they have to be, like, “Mm, well, this doesn’t really benefit anyone, including me. Maybe I am the villain.”

dan

So anyway. Franka—

crosstalk

Dan: Oh, god. Elliott: Like Ultron.

elliott

I guess Ultron must think he’s the hero, right? For robots.

stuart

Uh-huh.

dan

Uh—

crosstalk

Elliott: But what about like, a— Stuart: It’s true.

elliott

What about, like, a—yeah, Thanos thinks he’s the hero. Okay. Sure. Yeah.

stuart

You gotta find one.

elliott

There’s gotta be some villain. Like, Mephisto must know that he’s not the hero. Right?

stuart

Uh, yeah. He’s not like, “Uh, yeah! Check the comic book cover, dude! It says “Mephisto Tales,” right?” [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Anyway. Uh, Franka and the—

elliott

Like, you gotta assume The Penguin knows that he’s a bad guy, right? The Penguin isn’t like, “Mm, from another point of view, Batman’s the villain and I’m the hero!”

stuart

I mean, they try to make him really sympathetic in Batman Returns.

elliott

I mean—to a point. But nothing really—nothing really forgives him—

crosstalk

Elliott: —just biting someone’s nose off. [Through laughter] He does— Stuart: I mean, he runs for mayor! Dan: So should I…?

elliott

You’re right. And no one bad can run for mayor!

erin

Politics is a dirty game no matter how you slice it. [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Erin: No matter whose nose you bite off. Elliott: Mm-hm. Why would you slice politics, though? Like, why are you slicing up politics? Dan: Set my laptop on fire. Start a new life. Um— [Stuart laughs.] Elliott: Even as a kid—

elliott

Even as a kid, I remember it—being thrown by how quickly they dropped the mayoral race storyline in that movie? [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Well, also, when he’s like— Elliott: But I was like, “We’re not even gonna see whether he won?”

dan

“I—I, like, you gotta admit I ride the city like a—” what was it, “—a hawk from Hell”? “Hound from Hell?” I don’t even remember what he says. But—

elliott

I don’t remember what he says.

dan

—it seems like—I mean, especially now, in the days of Trump? But like, even at the time, I felt like—well this is a weird, like, cryptically-phrased, like, one sentence that he has caught The Penguin saying. And Batman broadcasting it to the people of Gotham immediately turns them [through laughter] against The Penguin. Who they had loved moments before.

elliott

Oh, yeah. They think he’s great, yeah.

dan

Um, anyway. So!

elliott

You know what Batman is in that moment? A troll.

stuart

Oh, wow. Yeah.

crosstalk

Stuart: Like he lives under a bridge? Erin: Mm. Elliott: Because his hair is—

elliott

He lives under a bridge. His hair is all spiky. And he’s going on a world tour. [Dan laughs.]

stuart

And if he spends too much time out in the sun, he’ll turn to rock entirely? But would—that’s great, ‘cause then Bilbo could sneak away. [Elliott laughs.]

elliott

There’s a lot of different trolls that were thrown into this mix [through laughter] right now.

dan

So Franka and the drug dealer show up. Or as I now like to call them, the real Ghostbusters. And they have a plan at this burnt house. We don’t know what it is yet. Turns out the plan is just coming in [through laughter] and pulling a gun on Nic Cage. And—but then Billy has a gun, too! And she pulls it on Franka! And says, “Nobody’s shooting that sad bastard but me!” And this is the big reveal of something that I’m sure we all kind of suspected was true, since this ghost seems like a real—a cavalcade of red flags. This ghost— [through laughter] the way this ghost behaves. But it turns out that the reason she was worried about Nicolas Cage leaving for work all the time was that she knew she couldn’t trust herself alone and she deliberately killed her daughter to hurt him and—like, I think she meant to kill herself, too, but not burn the place down?

crosstalk

Dan: But like— Elliott: She says she meant—

elliott

Meant to kill herself but not ruin the equity they had built up in the house.

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh, sure. Dan: So the place burned down—

dan

—on accident after this murder-suicide. And Cage is totally broken at this point. He hears the voice od his dead daughter. Wanders off. Which provides enough distraction that—I think Franka tries to go for the gun and Billy shoots her. But now—uh-oh! Big mistake! Huge! You’ve activated her— [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: Her supernatural powers— [Laughs.] Yeah! Elliott: ‘Cause ghosts work on commissions! [Laughs.] Stuart: Mm-hm.

dan

Now that Franka is— [Stuart laughs.] —betwixt life and death—she’s between worlds, if you will—she will pull the wife out of Billy—

stuart

I won’t. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

—and trap her in another world.

elliott

Much like Obi-Wan Kenobi; now that she’s struck down, she’ll be more powerful than Billy could ever imagine. Or Mary, I should say.

crosstalk

Erin: So it turns out she has the ability to— Elliott: “Mary,” is what I meant.

erin

—take people out of bodies as well as ushering people into them.

elliott

Yeah, yeah.

stuart

Oh, yeah! I didn’t even think about it! She didn’t even have to throw her through the ghost door in the Locke & Key comics!

elliott

Nope. Just says, “Hey! Get out of here!” And then suddenly she’s gone.

dan

Ghost door way of the Samurai. Um— [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Let’s see. [Laughs.] Elliott: Mm-hm. Yeah.

elliott

Ghost door entryway of the Samurai.

dan

Nicolas Cage’s brain is broken at this point? He’s clutching onto the jack-in-the-box yelling, “Sarah!” Billy wakes up; cries about her mom, who is too far gone to save, it seems. The “Leader of the Pack”—by, I think, The Shangri-Las? Is that who did “Leader of the Pack”?

elliott

I believe so, yes. I don’t know if it’s their version of it or if it’s a cover.

dan

Okay. Well, it’s—

crosstalk

Dan: I—it starts playing— Elliott: That’s actually playing.

dan

—and Cage pours gas all over himself; lights a cigarette, setting himself aflame, and stubs the cigarette out on his own burning body as—

crosstalk

Erin: Over his heart. Dan: Yeah. Elliott: This seems like—

elliott

This seems like a point where I think they put on the flame effects a little too soon? I think he was supposed to light himself by putting the cigarette out on his body? But instead he’s already engulfed in flame when he does that? So it’s—I think they added the— [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: —flames a little early. Dan: I think it’s a great, like, joke.

dan

Where he’s like, well, [through laughter] I’m literally engulfed in flames but I gotta put this cigarette out.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah, it’ll kill me! Elliott: I wouldn’t want to burn the house down. Dan: Yeah. Um— Elliott: Say what you— Erin: He has zero reaction to being engulfed in flames.

elliott

Yeah. Oh, it does not hurt him at all. He doesn’t—it seems to be—if anything, at least, it makes him feel better.

crosstalk

Elliott: He seems to finally get it. Erin: He’s glad he can feel something. [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Yeah. Well now he’s Ghost Rider. Elliott: Yeah. I think maybe he— Stuart: Yeah.

elliott

Maybe this is a guy—this is a guy who learns from his mistakes. And he’s like, okay. What can I pick up from this experience? One, do not trust my wife because she does not have my best interests at heart. Let’s keep that clear. Number two, if I’m ever in this situation again, do not accept that hand job under the blanket. And number three, I can’t let lit cigarettes just lie around. ‘Cause that caused the problem in the first place so I better put it out right now. Ironically, he’s on fire, so I guess the cigarette just burns up faster. But it’s a—yeah. The fire effects—it’s just very funny to see how nonchalant he is with all this fire all over him. [Laughs.]

stuart

So obviously what should have happened is he should’ve then jumped into the body of the happy-go-lucky drug dealer that he had killed and then he would get to go on an adventure later, right?

crosstalk

Elliott: Oh, sure. Sure. Yeah. Stuart: No? No? Nobody likes my idea? [Dan laughs.]

stuart

I mean, I just thought I’d throw it out there. I mean…

erin

Just spit-balling, yeah.

stuart

I’m not a professional writer, so I thought maybe you guys could give me some notes.

elliott

I mean, what’s this adventure? What adventure is the—is he going on in this new body?

stuart

I mean, I haven’t really thought that far ahead. Uh, maybe—

elliott

‘Cause there’s four different types of primordial story. Let’s go through them. Man versus man. Man versus nature. Goes bananas. Or goes to Monte Carlo. [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

Okay. Well—

elliott

[Laughs.] So it’s gotta be one of those four.

stuart

Okay. I mean, “man versus man” I think we’ve already covered. And “goes bananas” I think already happened, too, right? [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

But he hasn’t been to Monte Carlo yet!

stuart

He hasn’t been to Monte Carlo. But could he also be fighting nature in Monte Carlo?

elliott

I have to assume they have some nature there. Maybe—even if it’s just a plant in a lobby of a casino.

crosstalk

Elliott: So, Dan, uh—Billy and Mike, they drive away. And then what happens? Stuart: Okay. [Laughs.] Dan: Okay. Yes.

dan

Then we got a short pan over some burnt dolls. Child’s dolls. And a family photo with more of that, uh, Twin Peaks-y music. And there’s a fade to black. And then we hear… uh… it’s either Joe’s dad or maybe, like, it’s supposed to be his mom’s boyfriend. I don’t know. It’s not—

elliott

I believe it’s supposed to be his dad.

dan

Okay. Uh—

elliott

‘Cause they mentioned earlier that his dad used to hit him.

dan

Okay. Well, we hear his dad yelling at his mom about Joe and how shitty Joe is and threatening to burn the whole house down and Joe comes out and shoots his dad with a shotgun. And—

elliott

And now, here’s something—something I wanna point out here is that this is clearly a flashback. It’s Joe’s youth. And yet they are in an exceedingly modern kitchen.

crosstalk

Elliott: And after— Dan: That created a lot of problems for me, honestly.

dan

‘Cause I didn’t know when it was supposed to be happening. I assumed it was a flashback but I’m like, uh, it doesn’t really look—I mean, like, he’s got a Walkman headphones so I guess it’s a long time ago, but at the same time— [Elliott laughs.] —the house doesn’t look old at all. [Laughs.]

elliott

No, and having just—my wife and I finally watched the last episode of the season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel after a long break between episodes, and there are so many scenes where they have period cars and costumes and things for no reason? I found it very refreshing that the makers of this film did not bother to make it a period-specific kitchen and were just, like, “Where’s the kitchen of the house that we’re already staying in? Let’s just shoot this there. Come on. Who cares.”

dan

Now, I got a question for you three. And that is this. Is this scene in the movie so we’re, like, “Oh, that’s why Joe hates when family members burn down houses, potentially killing other family members!” Did the movie think that we needed a motivation for his youth for him to be upset about his wife [through laughter] burning down his house?

elliott

I think probably, uh, it was to show that Joe’s life has been a nonstop cycle of violent trauma? But maybe they’re setting it up for the prequel! Between Worlds 2: The Rise of Joe.

stuart

I think that when this scene was all finished up, they—they sent it over to the movie maker. They’re like—and they got “epilogue” and “prologue” confused? [Dan laughs.] And they’re like, “Is this—I think it goes at the end?” That’s what happened.

erin

Yeah. I do get the sense that it was supposed to be a different part of the movie and they ended up cutting it and then they were like, “Well, this is too good to waste. Let’s throw it in at the end instead of a blooper!” [Stuart laughs.]

dan

The thing is, like, it doesn’t really illuminate anything about anything? But it has, like, this place of importance so you’re like, “Okay, this must mean something.” [Laughs.] But it’s so opaque what it means! Like, we’re watching it and Audrey was like, “Does this mean that like his dad’s spirit has been following him around?” Like, it—and I’m like, “Oh, I never thought of that.” Like, there was nothing in the movie—

crosstalk

Dan: It could be! But I don’t know. Erin: Oh. What if his dad had been pulled into Billy? Elliott: Oh, boy.

erin

Well I think—‘cause they also—they filmed the young Franka Potente scene where she’s the little girl underneath the ice at the lake. And that also didn’t offer anything except kind of a moody… opening credit sequence. So.

elliott

It was a striking visual.

crosstalk

Erin: Sure. It didn’t advance the plot— Elliott: Y’know. Yeah. Do you think—

erin

—so I feel like they probably just filmed scenes of both of the leads as kids and then figured out where to put them later.

elliott

Yeah. I think that’s probably true. Or maybe Nicolas Cage saw the first cut of the movie and was like, “Wait, so Franka gets a kid flashback and I don’t get a kid flashback? Can I get a kid flashback? I’m gonna pull my support of the movie! I was supposed to go on all the talk shows to promote this movie and—but I don’t have a kid flashback and Franka gets a kid flashback? Like, that’s not fair! I’m a bigger star! I should get the bigger kid flashback!” [Multiple people laugh.] “Why don’t I get a kid flashback? ‘Cause I want a kid flashback!” And they’re like, “Nic, you saw the script!” “Yeah, but there were no kid flashbacks in the script.” [Multiple people laugh.] “But we didn’t think we should write out the title sequence in the script.” “Yeah, but that’s a kid flashback! Like, that’s an official kid flashback! Ask anybody!” [Multiple people laugh.] “Ask a professional. Ask a—someone off the street! They’ll tell you it’s a kid flashback and I want a kid flashback. Why don’t I get a kid flashback? Nicolas Cage: kid flashback! Where’s my kid flashback? ‘Cause I haven’t gotten a kid flashback and Franka got a kid flashback! That’s not fair!” [Dan groans through laughter, then tells Elliott to shut up.] “Kid flashbacks? Everyone should get kid flashbacks or no one gets kid flashbacks!” [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

[Through laughter] Shut up!

elliott

“So you either give me a kid flashback or you take out Franka’s kid flashback.” [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: I assume that’s exactly what happened. Dan: I’ve never—I’ve never gone—

dan

I’ve never gone so far from, like—like, finding something actively unfunny and irritating to [through laughter] not being able to stop laughing. [Laughs.] [Stuart laughs. Elliott joins in.] [Sighs.] Greatest triumph. Um, okay.

elliott

Mm-hm. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled.

dan

[Through laughter] Final Judgments! Is this section of the podcast. Where we talk about whether we thought it was a good-bad movie, a bad-bad movie, or a movie we kinda liked. Is anyone raring to go with a hot take on Between Worlds, or whatever it’s called? [Elliott laughs.]

erin

I do not have a hot take. Uh, I think this movie is for sure good-bad. Um, it’s very silly. I rewound several parts to watch them again? Um, I—there were several moments where my husband and I just turned at the exact same moment and made eye contact with each other? Which is always, I think, a good sign that something is very ridiculous? Um, I—it’s so much fun to watch. I would rewatch this movie.

elliott

Uh, I agree. I’m gonna also say that it was a good-bad movie. Uh, there’s a lot of potential red flags for viewership and the movie avoids them? And ends up being—if there can be a silly, laugh-out-loud movie about— [Laughs.] About a ghost that wants to steal someone’s life and also a murder-suicide, then this is that movie. It’s, uh, I think—and also, if you have any—if you’re—if you’ve got a teenager and it’s hard to talk to them about the act of physical lovemaking, just show ‘em this movie and they’ll finally understand what it’s all about! [Erin laughs.]

dan

I—yeah. Here’s the— [Laughs.] To that point—to that end, Elliott, like, this is a difficult movie to, like, unreservedly like recommend that anyone see? Because it does have a lot of things that could potentially upset people depending on, y’know, what upsets you personally. I mean, like, there is—there is—yeah. Suicide. There is child death. [Through laughter] There is murder—child murder and suicide. There—there is, like, this quasi-, almost, incestuous relationship even though like he’s not with Franka Potente it has that structure? And even though the actress who is playing Billy is 28, I believe she is—I believe—kind of playing younger? And Nicolas Cage is the age he is, so that is, like, unpleasant, too?

elliott

You mean ageless and eternal?

dan

Yeah, exactly. Uh-huh. May he live forever in his New Orleans crypt. But… [sighs.] But if you can accept all those things in the space of, like, an overheated melodrama—which is what this is—like, I almost even… like, I’m between good-bad and kinda liked? And the reason I even skew almost towards that is it feels like… it gives you the feel—for me—of when I was a kid and I’d stay up late watching these, like, late-‘80s, early-‘90s thrillers? And, like, not even necessarily being into them because they were even too sleazy? But, like, wondering, like, “What is this world? Why did someone make something so, like, sweaty and sleazy?” And being fascinated by it.

stuart

Yeah. “What’s Zalman King thinking?” [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Yes! And having like one of those movies get into, like, The Fly transporter and get mixed with Wild at Heart. Like, it—I respond to it. I think I’m probably responding to it—I mean, all the language I’m using, I’m responding to it as someone who likes movies and is like, approaching it through almost the window of other movies so I don’t know how it would work for someone who doesn’t care as much about that stuff. But um.

crosstalk

Erin: Yeah. If you don’t like movies, you might not like this movie. Elliott: I mean, I feel like if—yeah. I feel like there’s already a certain— [Dan laughs.] Stuart: That’s true! That’s a good—good save!

elliott

There’s a certain filter for watching a movie on purpose because it’s bad that weeds out a lot of the people who would not be into this movie, probably.

dan

That’s true. Stuart, what do you have to say about it?

stuart

Yeah, I’m gonna go on the side of good-bad. I feel like a lot of the—I did spend a large chunk of the movie telling my TV to stop it. [Multiple people laugh.] But I feel like if it was in like a group setting where you’re with a bunch of friends, all excited to watch a bad movie, some of the creepier sex stuff might—would come off as funnier? As opposed to as creepy as it is? With just me sitting in my apartment alone, sweaty from a hot workout? [Multiple people laugh.] Uh—

dan

What are you wearing, Stuart? [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Uh. Y’know. A nice pair of slacks and a sweatshirt? Dan: [Laughs.] What—slacks?

dan

To work out?

stuart

[Through laughter] Yeah!

elliott

It’s business casual workout. [Laughs.]

stuart

I’m a grownup! Grownups wear slacks! [Multiple people laugh.] Uh, and there’s points when like—I feel like there’s—I feel like if this movie, if you had swapped the daughter character with like Franka Potente’s elderly mother that she had to save? [Elliott laughs.] I feel like that might’ve been a more interesting movie? And maybe less gross? Well, definitely less gross. But I don’t know. That’s—y’know, that’s for Between Worlds 2, I guess.

elliott

Mm-hm.

music

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments.

promo

Music: Inspiring music throughout.  [The “testimonials” clip between different VOs. They are not talking to one another.] Speaker 1: I started listening to Oh No Ross and Carrie shortly after I broke my arm and the doctor had told me I’d never walk again. Speaker 2: I was allergic to water. Speaker 3: [Ashamed] Addicted to wheatgrass. Speaker 2: I knew it was time to make a change. [Music swells hopefully, to a dramatic crescendo] Speaker 4: There’s something about Oh No Ross and Carrie that you just can’t get anywhere else. Speaker 1: They’re thought-leaders, discoverers, founders. Speaker 2: Healers. Speaker 3: Luminaries. Speaker 5: Ross and Carrie don’t just report on fringe science, spirituality, and claims of the paranormal. They take part themselves. Speaker 6: They show up, so you don’t have to. Speaker 2: But you might find that you want to. [Music swells unbearably] Speaker 1: My arm is better. I can walk again. Speaker 3: [Choking up] Six months, no wheatgrass. Speaker 7: Just go to MaximumFun.org. Everyone: Thank you, Ross and Carrie! Carrie Poppy: [Hurriedly] Oh No Ross and Carrie is just a podcast. It doesn’t do anything. It’s just sounds you listen to in your ears. All these people are made up. Goodbye.

promo

Music: Upbeat, fun music. Lisa Hanawalt: Hey, if you like your podcasts to be focused and well-researched, and your podcast hosts to be uncharismatic, unhorny strangers who have no interest in horses, then this is not the podcast for you. Emily Heller: Yeah, and what's your deal? [Lisa laughs.]  I'm Emily. Lisa: I'm Lisa. Emily: Our show's called Baby Geniuses! Lisa: And its hosts are horny adult idiots. We discover weird Wikipedia pages every episode. Emily: We discuss institutional misogyny! Lisa: We ask each other the dumbest questions, and our listeners won't stop sending us pictures of their butts. Emily: We haven't asked them to stop! But they also aren't stopping. Lisa: Join us on Baby Geniuses. Emily: Every other week on MaximumFun.org. [Music ends.]

dan

Okay. Well, let’s move in to the next segment. Quickly do some sponsors for the show. [Speaking quickly] The Flop House is sponsored in part by Express VPN. And not only can Express VPN protect your privacy and security online, you can also use it to unlock movies and shows that are only available in other countries! I know we’ve all done it. We’ve all been there. We’ve seen something streaming and streaming in a different country and you can’t get it in the US. Well, Express VPN helps you with that. Now that so many of us are stuck at home, it’s only a matter of time ‘til you run out of stuff to watch on Netflix. But you can use Express VPN to change your location to almost 100 different countries and just think about all the extra libraries you’ll be able to access. Like Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix UK or Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on Netflix Australia! It’s compatible with all your devices—phones, media consoles, smart TVs and more—so you can watch what you wanna watch on a personal device or on the big screen, wherever you are. And you can visit our special link at ExpressVPN.com/flop. [At more usual speed] I’ll slow down for the most important part: ExpressVPN.com/flop. And you can get an extra three months of Express VPN for free. Support the show, watch what you want, and protect yourself with Express VPN. So that was me reading an ad!

elliott

Mm-hm.

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh, wow! You did a great job, Dan! Erin: That was great! Dan: And here’s another one!

elliott

You did a really good job. Is that what you wanted, was praise? [Laughs.]

dan

[Through laughter] Please. Almost constantly. Um, so— [Elliott laughs.] Here’s an ad for Squarespace, which I know Elliott loves.

crosstalk

Dan: It’s a great way to— Elliott: I just have a lot of ideas!

elliott

But—you talk about Squarespace and then I’ll tell you what my great idea is this time.

dan

Sure. [Reading quickly] You can create a beautiful website to promote or display your cool idea. Blog or publish content. Sell products and services of all kinds. And much, much more! Whatever you might want to do on the internet. Squarespace does this by giving you beautiful, customizable templates created by world-class designers. Everything optimized for mobile right out of the box. A new way to buy domains and choose from over 200 extensions. Free and secure hosting. Hey—go to Squarespace.com/flop for a free trial, and when you’re ready to launch use the offer code “flop” to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain. I bungled a lot of that, but the important thing is to remember offer code “flop.”

elliott

Now, Dan, leaving the bungling aside—I had an idea, and I was wondering if Squarespace might be able to help me make it into a real website and a real business.

dan

Almost certainly, Elliott. But indulge us.

elliott

Because I don’t know if they’re gonna wanna touch this one, but I’d really appreciate it if they did. Okay. It’s all happened to us. We’ve all been in this situation. You’re dead. You’re a ghost. You find yourself in some young lady’s body and you just wanna find love with the greasy trucker that you used to be in love with when you were alive, but now it’s a little awkward. What do you do? Well, that’s where AdultGhostFinder.com comes in. AdultGhostFinder is the place where a ghost looking for love can match up with people who are looking for love with ghosts. It’s all right there in our slogan—“Where ghosts looking for love find people looking for love with ghosts.” AdultGhostFinder.com. Here’s the thing. You don’t have to be a ghost to love a ghost and you don’t have to be a person to love a person. You could be a ghost or a person! Or maybe you’re the ghost of a person! Or maybe you’re the person of a ghost, such as in this film. It doesn’t matter. We don’t judge. We’re just here to help ghosts find people and ghosts find ghosts and people find ghosts, but not people find people. That’s gross. At AdultGhostFinder.com. You’re not interested in ghosts? We’re not interested in you! You know what? Get outta here, fleshling, with your anti-ghost prejudices! Not interested? You can take that elsewhere! This is for ghosts and the people who are interested in ghosts and ghosts that are interested in people and ghosts that are interested in ghosts. So that’s AdultGhostFinder.com. [Dan laughs.] Dan, you think that Squarespace could help me? [Laughs.]

dan

I think it’s great and I think that that is the product or service [through laughter] that people will remember coming out of this ad break and not either of the people who are paying us. So thank you for that.

elliott

Well, uh, Express VPN and Squarespace. [Laughs.] Please go use ‘em.

dan

Hey, Stuart, you got a Jumbotron to read, right?

stuart

Hell, yeah, I do! Uh, it goes like this: “On the Discord & Rhyme podcast, a motley crew of music nerds—or perhaps a [pauses for emphasis] deaf leopard—” that’s a reference to the English band Def Leppard— [Multiple people laugh.] Uh, “—discusses an album per episode. No track left out. Fighting the forces of chaos in today’s era of buffet listening. Our eclectic lineup of more than 50 albums includes The Kinks, Captain Beefheart, The Mountain Goats, Kate Bush, Janet Jackson, Ween, a ‘70s disco version of The War of the Worlds, and the Mega Man 2 soundtrack. Because… why not? Subscribe to Discord & Rhyme wherever podcasts are found! Available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or anywhere else. Discord & Rhyme.”

elliott

I am definitely gonna listen to their Mega Man 2 episode because that is my favorite videogame soundtrack of all time. Uh, but I’ve also got a Jumbotron! And it goes… like this! [Clears throat.] “Somewhere in middle America, a redheaded boy lives in a town called Riverdale. On the Riverdale High AV Club, sibling hosts Megan and Ezra chronicle his life, friends, family, pets, and exploits. In weekly episodes full of goofs and a few facts, they dive into the background of all things Archie. Join them as they explore such hidden corners of the Archie-verse as Cosmo the Merry Martian, Katy Keene, CW’s Riverdale and more! Tune in to the Riverdale High AV Club on all your favorite podcatchers. That’s right—listen to their podcast, the Riverdale High AV Club, about all things Archie!”

crosstalk

Elliott: Do you think they’ve— [inaudible]. Dan: See, that—I was gonna say—

dan

—that sounds like my version of a Riverdale podcast. Like, I’m like, just talk to me about, like, the weird, obscure comics characters! I don’t care about the sexy CW Riverdale. Just give me the, y’know.

stuart

Give me the sexy comic characters! [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Yeah. Sexy comic characters.

elliott

Give me the—I wonder if they’ve done an episode about that series where Jughead’s dog was a superhero?

dan

Uh…

stuart

Probably not yet.

dan

Yeah. They gotta save something for Season 10! [Elliott laughs.] Hey—

erin

They’ll get to it.

dan

I got good news, everyone! We can announce our contest winners. The winners of the prize packs—

crosstalk

Dan: —for the raffle we did? Stuart: That is good news!

dan

The charity raffle during the charity livestream. Stuart is getting out [through laughter] his notepad— [Elliott laughs.] —‘cause he’s the one who’s gonna be sending these things out. Although I can just email this information.

elliott

No, no. Make sure he gets the information this way, Dan. Don’t spoonfeed it to him.

dan

Okay. I’ll give him [through laughter] the full address of everyone who won. [Erin laughs.] No, the contest winners are: Robert Bane—uh, which sounds like the, y’know, mystery writer. Robert Bane.

erin

Congratulations.

dan

Tyler Moore. There’s no “Mary” in front of it. Just Tyler Moore. And—

erin

Congratulations.

elliott

I didn’t realize they were also winning the chance to be Razzed live on the show! [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: And Stuart, I believe— Elliott: By Dan—by Dan Rickles over here. [Erin laughs.]

dan

Stuart, this will be a familiar name for you—uh, Casey Crow!

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh shit! My high—my college roommate and oldest friend, Casey Crow? Dan: Your old buddy from college! [Laughs.]

dan

Was chosen at random! We could possibly, y’know—

crosstalk

Elliott: Sure. Sure, Dan. Dan: Possibly do another—

dan

—drawing if you like, Stuart, so we [through laughter] can send out four so it’s not just your friend.

stuart

Well I’m glad that you have revealed evidence of my corruption— [Multiple people laugh.] —live on the podcast. [Inaudible.]

dan

No, it was—I was amazed. I was like, oh, I don’t— [Laughs.] Out of the thousands of people, I recognize that name. But um… yeah. Maybe we’ll draw another one as a bonus, just to… just to make sure everyone knows we’re on the up-and-up.

crosstalk

Dan: But those are the—congratulations. Stuart: Yeah. I guess Casey won fair and square.

stuart

But we’ll—but we’ll throw one more in.

crosstalk

Dan: Congratulations. Elliott: I like that instead of Dan just—

elliott

—discarding that one and choosing another one without telling anybody, he instead put it out on the airwaves!

dan

I mean, it seems unfair to Casey in that situation, right?

crosstalk

Dan: Like, he— Stuart: Yeah. Casey— Elliott: It’s not like Casey’s never gonna know!

stuart

Casey had the tip of his finger bitten off by a dog recently, Elliott. You don’t think he deserves a prize pack?

elliott

I mean, I—not having known that, I’m gonna have to say “yes.” [Dan laughs.]

dan

[Through laughter] Okay.

elliott

Hey, Casey? You’re alright. [Multiple people laugh.]

stuart

Wow.

erin

Congratulations, Casey.

elliott

Yeah. Congrats to all of our winners and thank you again to everybody who donated during our big live show! And we are still working on putting together the reading of The Boy Next Door that was the prize to everybody for massively exceeding the number of donations that we expected. Thank you very much, everybody, for using your heart to show your best.

dan

Yeah. We do have—I’m not gonna—I can’t reveal anything just yet? I think people will be happy. We do have a lot of the cast in place. And, um… it’s—y’know. Many beloved figures from Flop House land will be involved. So. But let’s move on to Letters. Right? Guys? Right? Why not.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah, sure. Why not. [Inaudible.] Elliott: Yeah! We need ‘em to make our words!

elliott

And yet we’ve never celebrated ‘em! Letters? Thanks for everything you do. From A to Z and in-between, thank you. For being there to spell out our words, to be in our cereals and soups, and also just for making us laugh on rainy days. [Dan laughs.] Letters? Here—this one’s for you. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Wait, so hold on. So are they—are we laughing because the letters are—have spelled out jokes? Or are we just sort of observing letters and, y’know, finding joy in that?

elliott

Dan, whatever make— [Dan laughs.] Whatever floats your boat when you need a lift? Sometimes it’s just looking at a lower-case “q” and being like, “Hey, what are you up to, buddy?” And sometimes— [through laughter] And sometimes it’s reading some Robert Benchley and knowing that without letters, those ideas would’ve just died in his head. [Dan laughs.] Never communicated. Except maybe verbally to one person right next to him. Letters? Hey. You’re the best.

dan

Or a whole round table of people! Um… let’s do Letters, then. These are in the form of emails, however.

elliott

Dan—hold on, Dan. Let’s celebrate these letters and let’s treat them to a good time. But I don’t know if we need to do them. Unless—if there’s chemistry between you and one of the letters, Dan? Then go for it.

dan

[Through laughter] Dammit. Florian! Florian, last name withheld, is the first person writing. Florian writes: “Hi, Dan and Elliott and Stu! Three Investigators were a huge part of my childhood in Germany.” Now this was brought up on the last episode with Hodgman and David Rees when we talked about detectives. I talked about how I liked the Three Investigators

stuart

Wow. Really ripped from the headlines. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

[Through laughter] Three Investigators—it is! This is one of the more new emails you’ll ever hear, but I thought it was interesting.

elliott

One of the more new—or, as other people might say, “newer.” Letters. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

Yeah. Okay. Well, I’m just—anyway. The point is I’m giving a little backstory. I read The Three Investigators as a kid. None of the others knew about this particular series of mysteries. And if you don’t listen to the minis, I have seen, y’know, fewer people do? They’re really good, guys. They’re a lot of fun. And they have less nonsense in them in the sense of boring stuff, and more nonsense in them in the sense of nonsense!

elliott

Don’t be a mini-misser! It’s the worst thing you can be, is a mini-misser. Don’t miss those minis. Catch ‘em today! At The Flop House.

dan

Okay. Well he says they were a huge part of his childhood in Germany. “The books were popular here. But the three boys from Palm Beach reached iconic status in the form of radio plays. All German kids from my generation had at least a couple of Die Drei Fratzenzeigen—Fratze Zeigen.” [Elliott laughs.]

stuart

Perfect pronunciation.

erin

That’s really good.

elliott

Yeah. That’s great.

stuart

Are you from—are—are you from Berlin?

dan

[Through laughter] “Tapes.” Uh, now how is that—how would you say, that Stuart? You speak German, right?

stuart

Uh, I don’t speak it well enough to—

dan

Know “investigators”?

stuart

—repeat what I just kind of heard you say.

dan

What’s the word for “investigators”? Does it sound anything like “fratze zeigen”? [Laughs.]

elliott

Well, you know how to say “three.”

crosstalk

Stuart: Yep. “Die drei.” [Pronounces it “dry,” whereas Dan had pronounced it “drey.”] Elliott: “Drei.” [Also pronounces it “dry.”]

stuart

Franze-something-something?

elliott

Rather than “drey,” as Dan said.

dan

Okay. Well, anyway. Uh, the—“had at least a couple of Die Drei Fratze Zeigen tapes, or LPs to listen to on repeat. I am the same age as you. In 1997, a group of fans even started a playback theater show where they would have one of the tapes running and would lip sync and move to it in front of an audience. This was a huge success and prompted the makers of the radio plays to go on extended tours of the German-speaking countries. They are still touring to this day. Too long; didn’t read: you didn’t make up The Three Investigators. But they’re probably considered “weird” or “off” as evidenced by the fact that they were, and are, loved in Germany. Love the floor—” Love the floor. “Love the show, Florian.” I’m sure Florian would love the floor, too, if he could see it. I’ve got a nice rug in here.

elliott

Hey, it’s that old yearbook quote. “Thanks to the floor for holding me up.” [Dan laughs.] Or “Thanks to the floor for always supporting me.” That’s another way of saying it.

dan

Mm-hm. Um, Stuart, I’m sorry that I put you on the spot as my translator.

stuart

No, it’s okay. I was just trying to google what “investigator” is in German and it’s not what you said. So I’m very confused.

dan

So it might be a different—well, it’s probably an idiomatic translation that’s not, um—

stuart

Yeah, that’s fair.

elliott

Now, I’m surprised I’ve—

stuart

There’s probably a very specific German word for, like, “Three brothers who—"

crosstalk

Dan: [Through laughter] Are boy detectives? Stuart: “—solve mysteries and are loosely related to Hitchcock.” Elliott: Yeah, yeah.

elliott

[Attempting to make up a word that would sound German] “Brudafragahachkaken.” Y’know. That kind of thing. Y’know. It’s—like, I’m surprised I never heard of the idea of people lip syncing onstage to radio shows or, like, drama LPs. And that’s a great idea. That’s a really good idea.

dan

Let’s bring it over here! Let’s lip sync to our own podcast on the road! [Laughs.]

elliott

Okay. Interesting. [Laughs.]

stuart

That seems easier than us just coming up with this highly original bullshit, right? [All laugh.]

elliott

Ironically, that would require so much more preparation than what we currently do. [Stuart laughs.]

erin

But you could switch roles, which would be very interesting.

crosstalk

Dan, Elliott, and Stuart: Ohhh, yeah!

dan

I mean, they are doing transcripts! We could do readings where we all switch parts. [Multiple people laugh.] It’s our own version of True West. Um, okay. This one says this: “Mr. McCoy, feel free to relax in this letter. Because you’ve already done your part. Elliott and Stuart? You’ve got some ‘splaining to do! What are your erotica author aliases? The Great Dane has already unmasked himself in front of the world press and subsequently been taken into police custody. You can all split this prison sentence three ways so it won’t be so hard on any one of you. All you have to do is to state your full name and erotic alias into the microphone, then come out with your hands up. It’s over. Big fan. Detective Jack, last name withheld.” Now, I mean, this seems like the opposite of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. You know that I will just do the time if you keep your mouth shut and so there’s no, y’know, you don’t have to make any calculations. Like, the self-interested thing would be to just not say anything.

stuart

So the premise of this bit— [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: [Through laughter] Thank you. Thank you for— Stuart: —is that we are moonlighting as erotic authors.

stuart

And we have to reveal what our nom de plume is.

dan

Clarifying and returning the first principles, Stuart. [Laughs.] [Elliott laughs.]

stuart

Thank you. Thank you. I just wanna make sure I’m up to speed. Y’know. I like playing games.

dan

I mean, also, we could just ignore it and pretend it never happened. We’re—we are the judge, y’know? We—

crosstalk

Dan: —make the call. Stuart: Elliott, do you have a—

stuart

Do you have a nom de plume? Do you have an erotic author name?

elliott

Yeah! J.R.R. Throbbin. Sure. [Dan laughs.]

stuart

Oh. [Laughs.] Wow. You were quick with that one.

elliott

Well, I spent the—I spent the time Dan was reading the letter thinking of it.

stuart

I feel like I—I wanna pick a name that no one else in the world would pick. So think, maybe, like, Jackson Galaxy? [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Okay.

dan

‘K.

elliott

And—Erin, let’s say you were involved in this highly questionable shenanigan.

erin

Certainly. I have been thinking the entire time of what my erotica nom de plume would be. I think… I would probably be, uh, Smoulder Divine?

crosstalk

Elliott: Mm. Oh, that’s very good. Yeah. I mean, nom—“Nom de Plume”— Stuart: Oh, yeah! I like it! That’s significantly better than ours!

elliott

—is a pretty good erotica nom de plume.

erin

Mm.

dan

Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Uh… guys. That’s it for Letters. Put it behind you! It’s gone! It’s dead now!

crosstalk

Dan: You never had any Letters. Stuart: Pick ‘em up and throw ‘em in the— Elliott: Yeah. Don’t look back.

stuart

Pick ‘em up and throw ‘em in Elliott’s old trash can?

dan

Yeah. If you look back, you turn into salt. Just keep moving forward. Now we gotta talk about good movies that you should watch. Or—I mean, they don’t have to be good. [Through laughter] The thing I’m thinking about recommending is not. But it is fun! So let’s go with that.

crosstalk

Dan: Movies you think people might enjoy. Yeah. Yeah. Elliott: Well, let’s say “movies you would recommend.”

elliott

Let’s just call ‘em movies we’d recommend .Yeah.

dan

Yeah. Don’t make it complex, Dan. It’s fine.

elliott

You’ve already oversold yours quite a bit by calling it “not good.” [Stuart laughs.]

dan

Uh, well I guess I’m already in it. I’m gonna say—I’m gonna—see, the only thing worse than my German is my Brazilian. So… or I guess Portuguese, right? Is that—

crosstalk

Dan: Correct? Erin: Yes. Elliott: Well, Portuguese is the language—

elliott

—but Brazilian, I think, is the wax that you’re talking about. Because they did not do a good job. That’s true.

dan

Uh— [Laughs.] Made me sad. Uh— [Multiple people laugh.]

elliott

Well, don’t go to Budget Brazilian next time, Dan! [Through laughter] That was your mistake! [Dan laughs.] Some things are worth paying full price for!

dan

Okay. So my Portuguese is not good. But the movie I’m recommending is Super Xuxa Contra Bajo Astral.

crosstalk

Stuart: Perfect. Erin: Nailed it. [Elliott laughs.]

dan

Which, uh… is, y’know, it translates basically to “Xuxa Against the Down Mood.” And this is the Brazilian children’s host, Xuxa, who had—or “Jhushja”—I’m—again, my accent is not good. But she was huge in Brazil. This movie that she made was the #3 most profitable Brazilian film in Brazil—I’m sorry. The most profitable Brazilian film in Brazil and the third most popular movie in Brazil that year overall. Like, above things like RoboCop. So it was a huge hit there and, um, the best way to describe it is if—if Labyrinth was, uh, done with, like, puppets you found in, say, like, a Lost and Found box? And instead of a baby being stolen it was… a dog puppet. And instead of it being kind of about, like, the coming of age of a young girl, it’s about this Brazilian lady in hot pants singing songs about how we need to treat the Earth better and not be sad. And, um… and the—and it’s less coherent than that makes it sound, if that’s possible? She’s basically fighting the Satan and it has this—as I alluded to before—the biggest crime in this world seems to be that you can’t feel sad? Like, don’t have a down mood! Which is a completely misguided thing for people’s emotional developments, certainly. [Laughs.] If this is for children and very weird right now in the world as it is. But if you enjoy things that are, uh, just sort of colorful and weird and go off in directions you cannot comprehend and fathom and just let it wash over you, like, it is a good… bizarre time. It’s hard to find—you probably might have to do it in an illegal fashion. But it’s fun.

stuart

Which is an adventure in itself!

elliott

Sounds like something to use your Express VPN for!

dan

Mm-hm! [Laughs.] [Erin laughs.] Cover up your tracks! [Laughs.]

stuart

Do either of you guys have a recommendation?

elliott

Uh, I do. Erin, would you like to go next?

erin

Sure. So this—so Between Worlds felt, to me, like a horror comedy. That was how I experienced it. And so another scary comedy that’s more funny than scary, uh, is What We Do in the Shadows. Which is a movie that—it’s a movie that I really, really enjoyed and now I started watching the series on FX and I’m also really enjoy. So I would recommend that for people who want to laugh at something that should be scary and isn’t. Also, Rhys Darby is in What We Do in the Shadows and he’s also on The Big Fib, streaming on Disney+, head-written by me! [Laughs.]

stuart

Oh, snuck a little plug in there! He’s so great.

erin

He’s so great! Also if you wanna—if you love Nicolas Cage’s huge performance in this, um, then get in the wayback machine and watch—or rewatch—Vampire’s Kiss. Because that is a huge Nic Cage performance that just reinforces the fact that this isn’t new. He’s always been this way. Like, he’s always been so big. He’s always made such huge choices and committed 100%. So those are my two recommendations.

stuart

Always swinging for the fences, that guy.

erin

He really does. [Laughs.]

elliott

I’m gonna recommend a movie—unless you would like to go next, Stuart?

stuart

Huh, let me think. [Dan laughs.] Uh, no, Elliott, you can go. [Erin laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Okay, thank you! This movie— Dan: But certainly you should drag it out either way. [Laughs.]

elliott

This movie ties into Between Worlds because it is also about a man who has very serious—and at times, traumatic—memories tied up in a house that is not being well-taken care of. And that’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco, directed by Joe Talbot and written by him and Jimmie Fails. And starring Jimmie Fails. And it’s about a man in San Francisco who—when he was a kid, his family lived in one of these, like, big fancy painted lady houses in San Francisco, and for years he’s been stopping by and taking care of it against the wishes of the current owners, who think it’s very strange? And when it—he gets the opportunity to kind of take semi-lawful possession of the house, he goes for it. But there’s a lot more going on in the movie about—than that, and it’s a lot about San Francisco as a changing city, and black lives and white lives, and friendship, and all sorts of things. I found it to be a really beautiful movie and very lyrical and enjoyed it a lot. And my wife, who is from the Bay Area and spends a lot of time in San Francisco, said it showed her a side of San Francisco she was not really familiar with. So she really enjoyed it, too. So The Last Black Man in San Francisco, I’d recommend. Currently streaming on Amazon Prime! So if you have Amazon Prime, just go watch it for free! You already paid for it!

stuart

Yeah. It’s—it’s gorgeous.

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah. It’s a beautiful movie. Stuart: It’s a beautiful movie.

stuart

Uh, and I’m gonna recommend a Japanese zombie movie called One Cut of the Dead. I don’t think I’ve recommended this before. But it is a movie about a movie and it’s about a bunch of filmmakers making a zombie movie—or are they trapped in a zombie movie? It’s a lot of fun. It plays with, like, it plays with ideas of low-budget filmmaking and, like, found footage stuff. It’s a lot of—it’s just great. It’s fun. It’s a hard movie not to like.

elliott

I’ve been wanting to watch that one.

crosstalk

Stuart: One Cut of the Dead. Elliott: I’ve heard a lot of really good things about it.

dan

And speaking of Stuart recommendations, it just occurred to me—we should mention this—you were on Movie Crush recently. Chuck Bryant’s podcast about people and their favorite movies. Talking about—

stuart

Uh-huh! And I got to talk about the greatest movie of all time, Riki-Oh: The story of Ricky. The greatest movie ever made. [Multiple people laugh.]

dan

And I was on it recently, too, talking about Aliens and Elliott will be on it soon, I believe.

crosstalk

Dan: [Inaudible.] Elliott: Yes. Talking about—

elliott

—my favorite, The Taking of Pelham 123.

dan

And it just occurred to me, like, we don’t often plug these other appearances other than on social media. And, y’know, would it kill us to tell people once in a while? Huh?

stuart

No, it doesn’t kill anyone. But, uh, as— [Multiple people laugh.] Speaking of plugs, I’d like to throw out a plug now that New York is slowly and carefully reopening—at least, carefully in our case. I just wanted to mention that my wife and I have a new bar in Sunset Park that has a very expansive backyard and also is currently doing to-go service. It’s called Minnie’s Bar and it’s lovely and if you get a chance and you’re in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, come by for a to-go, uh, to-go cocktail. They just got a frozen drink machine, which I’m very excited about because I don’t have to clean! [Erin laughs.] Other people clean. It’s not like we just let it get gross. That’d be crazy. So if you get a chance, check out Minnie’s Bar in Sunset Park.

dan

Now, Erin, are you offering to-go cocktails?

erin

Um, if you can find me!

dan

[Through laughter] Okay.

erin

And if you can afford me! Then— [Multiple people laugh.] I will make you a to-go cocktail.

dan

Okay. Well, if—in lieu of that, are there other things that you would like to plug?

erin

Thank you so much for asking, Daniel. Yes. [Multiple people laugh.] Um, so—as I mentioned before, I was head writer for The Big Fib on Disney+ which is a gameshow for kids. It is… basically we have a ten-year-old contestant—thereabouts—who interviews two adults who both claim to be an expert in a given field and then that child at the end of it has to guess who is the expert and who has been lying to them the entire time. So it’s teaching critical thinking. It’s fun. It’s very silly. Rhys Darby plays a robot. Um…

stuart

Sounds great.

erin

So for younger kids, I think it’s really fun. For older kids—i.e., adults—I also was head writer for The Great Fantasy Debate on Facebook where teams of fantasy authors and comedians square off to debate issues within the fantasy world. Like, which fantasy world would be the best place to go on vacation? Or which fantasy character would be the worst roommate? Things like that. That’s really fun. We had Jim Butcher on; we had Naomi Novik on. Tochi Onyebuchi. Marie Lu. Pierce Brown. And then a bunch of really talented comedians. That’s really fun. And it’s ten-minute episodes on Facebook! So it’s like—you’re already on Facebook for ten minutes! Watch my show!

elliott

It's easier not—

crosstalk

Elliott: It’s easier to watch it than not to watch it! It’s harder to avoid it! Yeah! Stuart: Yeah, it’s a little bite! Erin: Yeah!

dan

And Elliott, you have children and Stuart you like fantasy, so it seems like there’s something here for everyone!

erin

There’s something for everyone. And for people who like podcasts, my scripted podcast—Ellie and the Wave—is available wherever you get your podcasts! It’s a funny scripted—

crosstalk

Erin: —dystopian— Dan: With Natalie Morales!

erin

With Natalie Morales. Not The Today Show host, but the very talented comedic actor Natalie Morales is our lead on it.

elliott

So where do we go—

crosstalk

Elliott: —to get the Today Show host Natalie Morales? Stuart: That’s great. [Dan laughs.]

erin

Um, I… wish I had her number. For you. But um.

crosstalk

Dan: Probably the studio. Yeah. Erin: I think you just go to The Today Show. Yeah. You go to The Today Show. I think you stand outside with a sign. Yeah. Just wait. Elliott: I mean, I guess I could just stand outside the window. Yeah. With a—

elliott

With a sign that says, “Natalie, I have something very important to tell you. Come outside.” [Multiple people laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: That always works. Stuart: Mm. Yeah.

erin

[Through laughter] That’ll work!

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. I mean, I usually— Dan: [Inaudible.]

stuart

I usually would just walk around until I get some kind of an indicator on one of the NPCs I’m passing— [All laugh.] —that I can start a conversation? And then I scroll down my conversation options and see if one of them would—might lead to me finding—

crosstalk

Stuart: —this Today Show host. But. Dan: Oh, god. Now we know—

dan

—what Stuart’s Terminator readout looks like. [All laugh.] Okay. Well, uh, we’ve dithered enough. Let’s thank Jordan Kauwling for producing this show and editing and thank Maximum Fun for being our network. You can see—or listen to, rather—other great shows at MaximumFun.org. And we always appreciate you listening. Thank you for being with us.

elliott

You especially. You—right now, hearing this? You’re our favorite and we’re so glad that you’re listening.

crosstalk

Dan: Mm-hm. Thank you— Elliott: And if there’s—

elliott

—more than one person in the room? Both of you are our favorites. [Dan laughs.] And if there’s more than two? I’m sorry. Only two of you are our favorites.

dan

[Through laughter] If there’s more than two, a broken pool cue will appear in front of you. [Laughs.] And you have to fight for it! Uh— [Laughs.] [Multiple people laugh.] Okay. Well, that didn’t go well for an ending. Hey! Thanks, Erin, for being here! [Through laughter] For the—

erin

Thanks for having me, you guys!

stuart

Yeah, thank you!

dan

[Through laughter] Let’s end on— [Laughs.] Pool cue death. For The Flop House, I’ve been Dan McCoy.

stuart

Yeah! So I guess I’m Stuart Wellington!

elliott

And I’m Elliott Kalan. Not sure exactly what Dan was getting at, but, y’know. [Dan laughs.] That’s okay! I don’t always know!

stuart

Byeeee!

music

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments. Music continues playing as hosts speak.

stuart

I feel like talking about the movie was more fun—uh, I had more fun talking about it than I kind of did watching it? ‘Cause, as I said, I was watching it by myself. And I’m like, “No! No! Don’t do this!” [Erin laughs.]

elliott

I think watching it with a group would be a—would be a little better. Yeah. With the right group. Like, not with your parents.

elliott

MaximumFun.org.

elliott

Comedy and culture.

elliott

Artist owned—

elliott

—Audience supported.

About the show

The Flop House is a bimonthly audio podcast devoted to the worst in recent film. Your hosts (Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, and Stuart Wellington) watch a questionable film just before each episode, and then engage in an unscripted, slightly inebriated discussion, focusing on the movie’s shortcomings and occasional delights.

Follow @flophousepod on Twitter and @theflophousepodcast on Instagram. Email them at theflophousepodcast@gmail.com.

People

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Associate Producer

How to listen

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