TRANSCRIPT The Flop House Ep. 324: Hellboy LIVE

Podcast: The Flop House

Episode number: 324

Transcript

dan mccoy

On this episode of The Flop House, we discuss—Hellboy!

stuart wellington

Live in the Twin Cities! [Audience applauds and cheers at length.]

music

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments, plus overlays of wolves howling, chains rattling, groans, and other eerie noises.

dan

Hey, and welcome to The Flop House. I’m Dan McCoy.

stuart

I’m Stuart Wellington.

elliott kalan

I’m Elliott Kalan! And where are we?

dan

We’re in Minneapolis! [Audience cheers, applauds.] Now, wait—are we technically in Minneapolis? Is this part of—

crosstalk

Dan: There’s a lot of—okay. Stuart: Yeah. We’re—yes. Thank you. Elliott: One of my top three “apolis”es.

stuart

Wowww! Along with what?

elliott

Indianapolis and Annapolis.

stuart

Wow. Cool.

elliott

Yeah.

stuart

Okay, that’s the whole show! See you later! [Eliza laughs.]

elliott

Y’know what? I’m gonna say it’s my favorite “apolis.” Minneapolis. [Audience cheers, applauds.] It’s my favorite apolis! Of all of ‘em!

crosstalk

Dan: I lived here for about four or five months— Elliott: I’ve only been to two of ‘em, so.

dan

—just out of college. I don’t know if you know this about me, Stuart, but—

stuart

Uh-huh. Is that why I saw signs of you around town that say “Don’t serve this man?” [Audience laughs.]

dan

I came at the wrong time and left at the wrong time. I was here through most of a winter.

stuart

Oh, okay.

dan

Yeah. Anyway. [Audience laughs.] [Sighs.] Put that on my Wikipedia page, I guess! And moving on.

elliott

I’m amazed that you got any sympathy from people who live through those winters. Routinely. When what you’re telling them is you’re a pampered city boy who had to run away back to the coasts. Couldn’t handle it here in the heart of the country.

dan

Yeah. I mean, New York winters are notoriously easy. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. It’s all icy and if you’re lucky you break your neck and die and you don’t have to live in New York anymore! [Audience laughs.] Boo! Boo! Take that, New York burn! I’m an Angeleno now! [Audience cheers, applauds.] East coast, least coast!

stuart

I will say that at least when it’s cold in New York, at least it doesn’t smell as terrible. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Here’s my favorite thing about New York in the winter.

dan

Wait. Are we doing coast humor now? [Audience laughs.] I—

elliott

Humor about the c-c-c-coast! That’s if I’m scared of the ocean. [Audience laughs.] So my favorite thing about New York in the winter—and I wonder if it’s the same here—I don’t know what the garbage situation is like here. But seeing the garbage piling up under the snow and seeing the, like, urine stains on it and being, like, “That’s gonna smell when these thaw out.” [Audience laughs.] Just like seeing it and being like, “That’s a little time bomb someone set for the spring.” [All laugh.]

dan

Uh, but normally we don’t talk so much about cities. Normally we talk about movies. And for this episode, we—as I said earlier—watched Hellboy. Now, not the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy.

elliott

No.

dan

Or Hellboy II: The Golden Army, also directed by Guillermo del Toro, but the 20… was it this year? 2019 Hellboy.

stuart

Yep, and real quick—so we had to watch the movie. How many people in the audience had to watch it? [Audience cheers, applauds.]

crosstalk

Stuart: I’m super sorry! [Laughs.] Dan: I mean, had to watch it. That’s not— Elliott: Had to watch it. Government mandate. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Yeah. I was just wondering if they had to watch it. Like if they were forced to because of a podcast or something. [All laugh.]

elliott

Now we should—this is something Stuart and I were just going to mention here. We don’t have to keep yakking on about it, although we would. We are both huge fans of the Hellboy comic series and the affiliated B.P.R.D. comic series. Which—at a certain point—it may have topped Nexus as my favorite long-running series of all time. Now— [Stuart laughs.] That is just to show that—

stuart

Oh, look at all the knowing nods in the audience! [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Yeah, yeah! A lot of Mike Baron fans in the audience!

stuart

And so when we were watching the movie, of course, we spent a lot of time talking about the comics, much to the bored looks of our companions. [Laughs.]

dan

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. [Audience laughs.] There was definitely a point watching the movie where they were just trading off plot lines. Like, “Oh, this plot line from Hellboy was great, right?” It’s like, “Yes. This other plotline from the comics was also great!” Like, great. I wish I was reading instead of watching this movie.

elliott

Now there’s two reasons I bring that up. One, we may be more harsh on the movie than we would be otherwise ‘cause we love the source material so much. Two, the only reason I can understand what is happening in the movie— [Audience laughs.] —is because I am so familiar with the source material. It is a convoluted film that oftentimes—inexplicably—will throw to a flashback rather than putting the scenes in the order you’d expect a movie to put them in. [Audience laughs.] So shall we begin—

crosstalk

Elliott: —to this flashback-heavy film? Dan: Please. Stuart: Let’s do it!

elliott

And that might be because—as people know—or may not know—behind the scenes it was a very tumultuous post-production and production process. I don’t know enough about that to go into it. [Stuart laughs.] So the movie begins—

dan

It’s almost as if it wasn’t worth bringing up. [All laugh.]

elliott

Dan, if I never brought up things that weren’t worth bringing up, we wouldn’t’ have a podcast. [Audience laughs.] So—

dan

Fair.

elliott

We begin in media res, as Stuart likes to say. “Prologue: 517 AD” comes up in big letters on the screen, because you know what? We’re just gonna rip off Guardians of the Galaxy in this movie. Many different ways! So 517 AD. And we get a little Ian McShane voice-overed info dump about how there as a war between people and the dark forces of whatever, and King Arthur ambushed Nimue, the Queen of Blood, played my Milla Jojovich, and—

dan

Jovovich [pronounces it “Yovovich].

elliott

Jovovich. What did I say? Jovovich?

dan

Yes.

elliott

Okay. I’ll probably say that again. [Audience laughs.]

dan

I’m just—just so the internet doesn’t attack us. I’m just gonna acknowledge that I, at least, understand how to say Jovovich. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Wow. [Stuart laughs.] I guess you won this one. [Audience laughs.] King Arthur, he does what you gotta do with an evil blood queen. He disemb—dismembers her with Excalibur and takes all the pieces and puts them in little boxes and says to his knights to spread them across the land so they can never be found. Not even by the Devil. Cue Hellboy title card. [Audience laughs.]

dan

To plant them so they can grow more Milla Jojovii.

elliott

Oh no! But it’s also, like, “Spread them throughout the land!” “You mean England? ‘Cause it’s, like, not that big.” [All laugh.] Like, it’s conceivable you could have an English-breadth treasure hunt for like a radio station promotion and it would not be that crazy.

dan

A lot of accents, though. A lot of accents for such little square footage.

elliott

It’s true. A lot of accents; a lot of dislike between people who live very close to each other. But you have to imagine they’re like, “Now it will never be found!” And in the 21st century all these warlocks are like, “I gotta take a train ride? Ugh. I’ll never collect all these Blood Queen pieces!” [Audience laughs.] Okay.

stuart

And this opening features a lot of that, like… like, camera tricks? Like slow motion and then real fast motion? And the whole time like we’re seeing stuff, but then Ian McShane is delivering a narration that explains exactly what we’re seeing but, like, pretty glib so that we know it’s not our daddy’s Hellboy movie?

elliott

Mm-hm, yeah. [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: It should be— Stuart: If our dad was pretty close to our same age? [All laugh.]

elliott

If our dads were our age—so I guess this is my son’s Hellboy movie. It’s not my Hellboy movie. But yeah. It’s a lot of like—

stuart

You let him watch rated R movies now?

elliott

Yeah. Well I mean, he—

stuart

Just Deadpool.

elliott

Just—well, I mean, ‘cause Deadpool’s family-friendly. Yeah. Kids love it. And occasionally—I mean, like, we’ll probably go see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood together. [Multiple people laugh.] And what was that movie—

stuart

‘Cause he likes the foot stuff, right? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

He what? [Laughs.]

stuart

Nothing.

elliott

Oh yeah, ‘cause he’s a huge foot fan, yeah. I mean, well sometimes he’s like, “Daddy, can I watch some TV today?” And I’m like, “Yeah, let’s catch up on The Deuce. Yeah. That’ll be good.” Y’know? [All laugh.] But anyway. The point is—there’s a lot of—Ian McShane’s like, “And she was pretty pissed! So she let out this plague that killed a buncha people.” It’s—I love Ian McShane, and it is not the best use of him. Anyway.

stuart

It’s almost like he doesn’t give a shit. [Laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. [Audience laughs.] Tijuana. Present day. Hellboy—an agent of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense—he’s gotta go down Mexico way to Tijuana—as I mentioned. He’s investigating a nest of vampires that’s a luchador match. There was an agent named Ruiz who was down there investigating it, and at first I thought that was racist. But then it’s like, “You should send the guy who probably speaks Spanish to Mexico for that operation.” Anyway. Ruiz has been turned, and turned into a professional wrestler vampire. Hellboy’s gotta fight him. And this whole scene—and much of the movie efforts has a real—I was like, “Oh, this is kind of the like direct-to-video SYFY Channel Original Hellboy movie.” Like, it’s very rubbery and very like… shot with a lot of bright neon colors?

dan

Well it’s interesting because it’s like—y’know, if you asked me if I wanted to see Hellboy fight a luchador vampire I’d be like, “Hell yeah!” [Audience laughs.] But then I watched the movie and I’m like, “Why—why is this happening? This has no bearing on anything else.”

elliott

And then he has to—Ruiz goes full man-bat, and Hellboy has to kill him by impaling him on the turnbuckle. And they have a sad goodbye scene where Hellboy’s like, “Come on, man! No, no! You gotta stay with me!” And I was like, “Movie, you know I just met these characters, right?” [All laugh.] “Like, I am not on board for this emotional goodbye!” And Ruiz gives him an ominous warning: apparently, the end is coming. Bum bum bum! The end of the movie, he wished? Nooo. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

It also kind of feels like—like, I wasn’t quite sure. Was Ruiz always a bat man, or what do you think?

dan

Well a bat crashed through his window and he thought, “Criminals—"

stuart

That is pretty terrifying!

dan

“Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot, so I shall become a bat man. And I’ll wear a luchador mask also.”

stuart

Okay, that makes sense.

dan

‘Cause criminals also are scared of luchadores. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah. Yeah, sure. Stuart: I mean, understandably! [Laughs.]

elliott

You know Bruce Wayne is a rich a-hole, because when a bat crashes through his window he’s not like, “Ah! Oh man!” He’s just like, “Hm. Very inspiring. Alfred? Take care of the bat in our house, please.” [Audience laughs.] “Take care of all this glass on the ground.” And you have to imagine Bob Kane just didn’t want to put in the scene of Alfred chasing the bat with a broom. [All laugh.] Oh, I wanna write that story so badly now. Where Alfred has to get this bat out of the house.

dan

Nope. You’re a Marvel man.

elliott

I am a Marvel man. That’s true. Which was what Miracle Man was originally called! In England!

dan

Alright. Let’s get back to—remember when you told me to keep us on track?

elliott

Yeah. I did. I told you that before the recording and you’re doing a bad job. So. Hellboy gets drunk ‘cause he’s so sad. ‘Cause he’s kinda like a blue-collar slob of a superhero. And he gets picked up by B.P.R.D. agents, taken to their big headquarters in the Colorado mountains. Don’t get used to it! We’re not gonna see it again in this movie. [Audience laughs.] Hellboy is in his apartment, which has a lack of windows, which means that it looks cool but it’s probably pretty depressing to be in there a lot. And his Seasonal Affective Disorder probably really flares up when he’s at home.

stuart

Yeah. And he probably can’t like cook any steaks in his grill ‘cause it just gets too smoky. [Eliza laughs.]

dan

Yeah. There’s no vent over that thing.

elliott

Now I imagine him in his bedroom with a George Foreman grill just making a sad little, like, burger for himself? [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, he’ll throw it in a sous vide first and then maybe he’s got like—

crosstalk

Stuart: —an Instant Pot or something? Yeah, yeah, yeah! Dan: Oh, a sous vide?

stuart

I mean, he’s got the full dorm room kitchen setup.

dan

Wait. Now what kind of dorm room did you have that there was a sous vide involved?

elliott

At the CIA! The Culinary Institute of America, Dan! [Audience laughs.] If you ever get a chance to eat at the student restaurant, it’s really good. It’s up by Rhinebeck, New York. Okay. Anyway. Hellboy is shaving down his horns. He’s got stumps where the horns would be. And this is like, I guess, when we start really getting a good look at his face. Which—I think “haggard” might be a way to describe it?

stuart

Well his eyes are like sunken and skull-like.

elliott

Yeah. And he’s got a real skin problem.

dan

Yeah. He’s Mickey Rourke-esque.

elliott

Yeah. Wow. Okay. [All laugh.]

stuart

Whoa!

crosstalk

Elliott: Forget I said “Yeah.” I don’t want Mickey Rourke come attacking me. Dan: I mean, y’know. If you wanna argue with reality, that’s your business, but. Stuart: I guess, uh, I guess we can add Mickey Rourke to our list of enemies. [All laugh.]

elliott

It’s such a long list. Anyway. Hellboy’s daddy figure—Professor Broom, who is Ian McShane—surprise, surprise—he comes in and tries to make him feel better. “No, you’re beautiful! I love you, honey! You’re a fantastic son!” Anyway. He says, “You’ve been asked to help—” Oh there’s a funny part where he goes, he says something and he says, like, “I don’t think you’re hideous” or whatever. And Hellboy goes, “Yeah. I wish this face could talk. It would tell you something different.” And I’m like, “Hellboy, your face is talking!” [All laugh.] “Through your mouth!” But it also makes me think—what if If Walls Could Talk was called If Faces Could Talk?

dan

Yeah. HBO’s like, “I don’t think you’ve thought this… could you just take it back for one more draft?”

elliott

“Hm, what if it was something that couldn’t talk and we were asking if it could talk?” “Alright. Yeah. Play with that idea for a little bit.”

stuart

“I guess I can use my imagination.”

elliott

Ian McShane’s like—or Professor Broom is like, “Hey, the Osiris Society, which is kind of like a stuffy British version of what we do, they need your help fighting some giants out in England. So off ya go.” Then we cut to a bad guy scene—the Baba Yaga—yes, the famous witch of Russian folklore that Dan thinks is Strega Nona— [Audience laughs.] —the Italian witch who has noodle powers.

stuart

So this is the one that eats children or spaghettis? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I mean, it’s possible that she grinds the children up and makes a pasta out of them. I don’t know. But as everyone knows, she lives in a chicken-leg house. She rides around in a big mortar and pestle and she eats children.

crosstalk

Elliott: Y’know. It’s what your baba told you. Dan: Your typical witch stuff.

elliott

[Through laughter] Typical—well in Russia, witch eats you! [All laugh.] That’s why—he’s—oh, why am I forgetting his name? The comedian who does that?

dan

Yakov Smirnoff.

elliott

Yeah! Yakov Smirnoff is eating a sandwich and he’s like, “In America I eat sandwich! In Russia, witch eat me!” [Laughs.]

dan

I saw—by the way, I saw Yakov— [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Stuart was really hurt by that one. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Early in my time in New York I got free tickets to see Yakov Smirnoff’s Broadway show he was putting—

elliott

Is that America, I Love You or something like that?

crosstalk

Dan: Something like that. Elliott: America, Let’s Get Married or something like that?

dan

And I thought it would be funny. I mean, I was just like, “Oh, this is funny. We’ll see a Broadway show. Yakov Schmirnoff. This is crazy.” And we watched the first half and we were like, “We could leave now.” [Audience laughs.] “We get the idea.”

elliott

You left before all the nudity! [All laugh.] In the second act!

dan

Oh no! [Laughs.]

elliott

Okay. Baba Yaga’s talking to another Hellboy baddie, who—we don’t know who he is at the moment. We’re gonna find out later. He’s called Gruagach, or something like that. He’s kind of a Gaelic pig demon. They both want revenge on Hellboy. Okay. And she’s like, “I’ll help you get revenge! Ee he he he he!” [Audience laughs.] Now we go to England. “England” in big letters. Some kind of pop song on the soundtrack because, guys, let me tell you. Let me let you in on a hot take secret. I’m not crazy about the Guillermo del Toro Hellboy movies. I love Guillermo del Toro’s movies; ever since I saw the first of his movies I ever saw—Devil’s Backbone—when that was released in the theaters in New York. Loved it in college. And I love so many of his other movies. Shape of Water. Loved it. My favorite movie that year, I think. Anyway. His Hellboy movies were a little too Men In Black-y for me? A little too goof-o? A little too wackadoodle?

crosstalk

Elliott: Seems silly? Stuart: Yeah, like a—

stuart

Like a feature-length Mos Eisley Cantina movie.

elliott

Well now you’ve described the greatest movie in the history of the world. [All laugh.] But the—it was like—but it was a little bit like that one. They’re like, “Oh, what can we turn into a Men in Black franchise?” “Hellboy.”

crosstalk

Elliott: And he was like— Dan: You want—

elliott

“What then can we turn into a Guardians of the Galaxy franchise?” “Hellboy.”

dan

You want some more creep’em’ups.

elliott

I want it to be more like—creepy movie. So as I was saying to you while we were watching it—the scene that says “Hellboy” to me—there are two scenes that say “Hellboy” to me. One is, I think it’s in the conqueror worm storyline. He’s creeping around an old castle and he finds there’s a cabinet that’s making noises. And he opens it up; there’s four petrified Nazi heads that are just chattering away, attached to a weird machine. And he says, “This is the worst place in the world.” And I’m like, “Yeah. That’s a Hellboy story to me. Entirely. It’s super creepy. There’s a lot of weird science that’s never explained. And he’s just like, ‘Ugh, I hate this.’” [Audience laughs.] And the other one—I think it’s Box of Evil where he and Abe Sapien are investigating a castle. It’s always castles. [Laughs.] And a monkey jumps out with a gun and he goes, “That monkey’s got a gun!” And it shoots them. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Do you think that’s because Mike Mignola finds monkeys scary, or he just really likes to draw them? [Laughs.]

elliott

Why do you have to pick? It could be both!

stuart

Yeah, that’s right.

elliott

So Hellboy goes to the Osiris Club and they’re like, “Oh, we’ve been hunting giants for hundreds of years! We call it the Wild Hunt and we dress up in knight’s armor and use spears on horseback! It’s dumb.” [Audience laughs.] Anyway. “Three giants are on the loose! Look at our giant heads that we’ve mounted on the walls as trophies! But also, here’s a lady psychic who’s gonna show you in a crystal ball a little flashback of how you came into the world, Hellboy.” Flashback. End of WWII. Rasputin’s working with the Nazis. [Audience laughs.] They have a ritual that’s gonna bring some kind of demon to earth to turn the tide for Hitler. They’re always doing that stuff. Lucky for all of us, it didn’t work out. Newsflash, Dan—they didn’t win. So. [All laugh.]

dan

Wait. Why are you—why am I being singled out?

crosstalk

Dan: I don’t understand what the— Elliott: I don’t know. Anyway. That’s when—

elliott

—surprise, surprise! Out of nowhere, a different Mike Mignola character, Lobster Johnson—a never-too-clearly-defined vigilante character who carries two guns and he can touch your head and burn a lobster claw image into your head. [Audience laughs.] And he wears like aviator goggles and a leather jacket. He jumps out and just starts shooting everybody. Is played by a probably-too-old-for-this-role Thomas Hayden Church? You bet he is! [Audience laughs.]

dan

I love—only a podcast audience are there knowing applause for Lobster Johnson.

elliott

[Through laughter] For Lobster Johnson! [Audience cheers, applauds.] A character who—he is the one weak link for me in that world because he never lived up to his potential. Anyway. Then the Osiris Club shows up. Professor Broom is there. They’re there to kill whatever the Nazis brought out of hell. But it turns out it’s a [in babying voice] a little kid Hellboy!

crosstalk

Elliott: They can’t kill him! Stuart: Dan—Dan, that—

stuart

Dan, that comment reminds me of the time when I was in college and I went to a basement hardcore show? And in-between songs, the vocalist was like—said something like—about the comic book Preacher? And I remember after the show going and talking to him for twenty minutes about the comic book Preacher and he had this look on his face like, “Stop talking to me, dude. Somebody wants to buy merch.” [Audience laughs.]

dan

“Well that’s a bit of stage chatter I’m cutting out of the act!”

elliott

So. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Oh, not this part. You’re talking about—okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.

elliott

That was all news to Hellboy. Hellboy didn’t know any of that stuff. He didn’t know where he came from. Okay. Cut to—

dan

But—I’m sorry. Let’s back up. It’s only occurring to me now—why did that seer tell Hellboy this? Like, why—

elliott

Well, this movie has two things running through it. One is—everyone is constantly on their toes that at any moment Hellboy is going to turn into the Beast of the Apocalypse, take over the Earth, bring Hell to Earth and kill lots of people. And so they’re all constantly assuming the worst of him and ready to kill him. And the other thing is, for some reason they decide not to tell him this straight-out, but instead to hint at it in ominous ways at seemingly-arbitrary times! Like when he’s about to psych himself up for a giant hunt! So it’s really like… I don’t know, Dan. I guess that’s the reason. Because the movie needed that information stuck somewhere and they decided to stick it where the sun don’t shine—the hidden room of the Osiris Club. Why does it—why is there a crystal ball that he sees it in? I don’t know. It doesn’t—it’s—there’s no rhyme nor reason. So. Speaking of rhymes and reasons! [Multiple people laugh.] Here’s a scene that doesn’t have a rhyme or a reason. They’re in a monastery. Grugach—that pig-man monster—he’s—he breaks in and he kills a bunch of monks. They have one of the casks that Nimue’s part is in. And there’s a whole dumb thing. They put a—Merlin put a spell on it so only a man of God could say the words that could open up the casket. It raises a lot of questions about the relationship between Merlin’s kind of, y’know, Celtic paganism—how that relates to Christianity at a time when Christianity was—if you’ve read Mists of Avalon—very much at odds with that type of native religion.

stuart

Yeah.

elliott

It’s a great book. You should read it. As my wife says, many times, it is the book that introduced her as an adolescent to very detailed descriptions of sex in books? [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] So—

dan

Tell me more!

elliott

Okay! [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I don’t wanna spoil it for you, but there is a medieval threesome. So you’ll enjoy that, I think.

dan

The best kind!

elliott

Yeah! [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

stuart

But do they talk about the food in the book? [All laugh.] Are there lemon cakes and capons and trenchers?

elliott

No, I don’t think they talk about capons or trenchers of gravy.

stuart

Not interested! [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Every George R. R. Martin book: “Let me tell you what they’re eating.” “Is it the same thing they were eating in the last three books, George?” “Uh, you’ll find out… yes.” [All laugh.] “Aren’t I a scamp? It was the same food!”

dan

Yeah. Why is he a bad little boy? I don’t know—

elliott

[In a babying voice] “Hee hee! I’m a bad little boy! I’m not gonna finish those books!” [Audience laughs.] “You want me to write ‘em but I’m too busy spending my new money!” [Audience laughs.]

dan

“I’ll write a prequel about things you don’t really care about unless you’re Stuart Wellington!” [Audience cheers, applauds.]

elliott

“It’s just me, George R. R. Martin. I’m just a bad little boy enjoying my life instead of doing these things you want me to do.” [Multiple people laugh.] Anyway. That’s my George R. R. Martin impression. Anyway. So Grogach finds a loophole where he rips the last monk’s tongue out and sticks it in his mouth and says the words and it’s like “Mm, I don’t—I think God is somewhere going, ‘I’ll allow it!’” [All laugh.]

dan

Like, “Oh, that’s the same thing, I guess. The tongue moved. I mean.”

stuart

And if it sounds gross, don’t worry. It looks super fake. [Laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. I mean, this movie is super gory but it’s all CGI’d gore, and the worst of that is later on when a character—it’s Nimue— gets shot in the face and her eyeball is dangling out by a thread? And it is—

stuart

It like pops out at the camera. And is like, “Uh-oh!”

dan

It’s not dangling out. It’s not dangling down. It’s like dangling out.

crosstalk

Dan: As if like the optic nerve is like— Elliott: But it’s like a ping-pong ball!

dan

—a wire, kind of? Like, boing, boing, boing!

elliott

Well it’s like the scene in House of Wax where the guy’s advertising that the House of Wax is open and he’s just hitting paddleballs at the camera. And if you don’t see the movie in 3D—as I did the first time I saw it, on WPIX New York’s movie station—I was like, “Why are we watching this paddleball guy?” [Multiple people laugh.] Okay. So Grugach has Nimue’s head now. Bum bum bum! The Brits, they arm up with electric taser pikes to go on the giant hunt. But while they’re out on that hunt—uh-oh! It’s an ambush! They’re attacking Hellboy because—again, for reasons no one thought to tell Hellboy about—they want him to die before he can cause the end of the world. “Zap, stab, zap” is literally what I wrote here. [Audience laughs.] Is this curtains for Hellboy? I don’t know, ‘cause we’re gonna go see Nimue—half-reconstructed—just sitting around watching TV while Grugach collects her parts. And that part was kinda funny. I don’t know. Hellboy wakes up to find that the giants—they were real—have eaten the British guys. He fights and kills them all in a… okay—

stuart

Yeah, it’s kind of fun.

elliott

—special effects [Inaudible].

stuart

I like the design of the giants.

elliott

Yeah.

dan

Yeah. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Cool.

elliott

But Hellboy passes out. He wakes up in a house. Now this is twice in a row Hellboy has passed out and woken up to find something. So—did Raymond Chandler write this story? [All laugh.] ‘Cause Raymond Chandler’s big rule was—he used to say, “If you don’t know how to end a scene, send in a guy with a gun.” But his other thing was like, “You don’t know how to end a scene, hit the detective over the head and he can wake up in the next scene.” [Audience laughs.] So—yeah?

stuart

And basically every—and that means that like every scene, Hellboy’s waking up and then stumbling places.

elliott

Yeah. Hellboy is very—

stuart

He’s kinda clumsy. I don’t know if it’s a symptom of the prosthetics or the giant—

dan

It makes him seem more attainable.

stuart

He’s— [All laugh.] That’s true, yeah.

elliott

He’s so hot!

crosstalk

Stuart: You’d see a guy with a giant stone right hand— Elliott: But he’s a clumsy—

stuart

—and you’re like, “There’s no way I can get him.”

dan

Yeah.

stuart

Well so—it probably throws off his balance that he has a giant stone right hand.

crosstalk

Elliott: Now, would he have years to get used to it? Stuart: Oh, that’s science.

elliott

Presumably. But I don’t know. Y’know. He’s taking OT. He’s getting better. I don’t know. Anyway. So he wakes up. He’s been saved by Alice Monaghan—Monaghan?

dan

Monaghan.

elliott

She’s a young woman who can talk to spirits and she knew Hellboy when she was a baby. How? That’s for a flashback for later in the movie. [Audience laughs.] Why would we learn it right now? Professor Broom shows up and she says, “These ghosts are telling me to kill you with this gun full of angel bones.” And it’s like, “Come on, movie. Come on.”

dan

Now, okay. Now where do you get angel bones? That’s…

elliott

I don’t… like, you used to go to your mom and pop occult botanica— [Dan laughs.] —but now I guess you gotta go to the big box botanica that opened up. Y’know.

stuart

Yeah. And like you look at the recipe and the recipe says “Just get some angel bones” and you’re like, “I guess I’ll go to my butcher and like ask him for them?” [Audience laughs.]

dan

Yeah. I mean, I guess… Amazon these days? I don’t even know.

stuart

Yeah. I mean, I don’t wanna support Amazon, though. I mean, it’s not good for the local economy.

crosstalk

Dan and Elliott: Yeah.

elliott

So I guess—it needs to be a real Heaven-to-table restaurant. If you’re really gonna support it. Yeah. [Audience laughs.] So Broom shows up. Professor Broom. And he’s like, “Hellboy, I need your help!” And Hellboy’s—

stuart

I’m surprised that you could come up with that joke so quickly since you’ve been spending most of the ending trying to come up with porn parody raps based on the musical Hamilton?

elliott

Okay. [Audience laughs.] I did not—I didn’t—

dan

That wasn’t most of the evening—

crosstalk

Dan: —but a good part of the this evening. Elliott: Not most. A chunk of it.

elliott

That was a runner started by Stuart. He said a Hamilton porn rap and I couldn’t let that gauntlet go un-thrown down. [Audience laughs.] Most of them—I mean, they’re mostly the same thing. I don’t know. We won’t go into ‘em. Maybe after the show I’ll tell ya some, but I feel like we will get sued like crazy. [Audience laughs.]

dan

I mean, I didn’t wanna culturally appropriate porn. [All laugh.] So.

elliott

Well-timed. Well-timed on that punchline. Okay. Hellboy’s like, “Professor Broom, why didn’t you ever tell me about where I came from? So you didn’t kill me when I was a baby—why, when I have to kill all these other monsters?” Wah, wah, wah. [Dan laughs.] Broom’s like— [Stuart laughs.] “We don’t have time for that! We don’t have time for that! We’re introducing a new character! Major Ben Dime, yo.” Uh-oh! People who read the comics know, this guy’s got some monster issues. And for the movie, he’s English, for some reason. I don’t know. And they tell Hellboy, “Hey. The Osiris Club. Do you remember those guys who tried to kill you? At their other hideout they have one of the Nimue casks. So we’re gonna go there.” And Alice is like—that’s the psychic girl. Is like, “I’m coming along.” And everyone’s like, “Alright. I guess so.” And Professor Broom gives Hellboy a big pistol that’s in like a special box. Does he—I guess he uses his pistol once? The time he shoots—

stuart

Probably, yeah.

elliott

—Nimue in the face? They make a big to-do. Like, “This is the origin of his special pistol!” And then nothing much comes of it. Y’know.

stuart

Uh-huh. Similar to the fact that he has a giant stone right hand and that doesn’t matter at all. [Laughs.]

elliott

Ever. Yeah. He barely even uses it to hit things with!

stuart

Yeah.

elliott

Okay. They go to the Osiris Club mansion. Everyone’s been murdered. And Alice is like, “Aah! I’m having a psychic migraine!” And ectoplasm comes out of her mouth and forms that—the dead psychic who told Hellboy all about where demons come from.

dan

Now Stuart, I think you have a few words about this special effect. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

I mean, if you’re gonna do—like, just make it look like a ghost. It looks so bad. It looks like… it looks like in the movie Funny People when Adam Sandler is a merman? [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

elliott

But the—

dan

Well it looks like a snake made out of Gak, kind of. [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: It’s like a snake, and then— Stuart: Yeah, With—with the actor’s head kinda glued on top.

elliott

Like when Mike Myers is playing a kid in The Love Guru in the beginning? And you’re like, “Oh, no. This doesn’t look right at all.” And then later on—I mean, the special effect isn’t the worst special effect in the movie. That’s when Ian McShane does the same thing at the end of the movie! And it looks like they shot it in his house and just pasted his head onto this thing. But okay. [Multiple people laugh.] And the dead psychic queen—is she gonna explain what’s going on in the movie? Nuh-uh! It’s time for an ominous prophecy. “The queen must never find her king! Aah!” Turns out Gruach is there. He’s looking for Nimue’s arm. I don’t know—they just stumble on him, basically. And Nimue comes out of a portal and is like, “Hellboy, we should be working together.” It’s the old how-dee-do, we’re not too different you and I, two sides of the same coin, join me and together we’ll rule the whatever. But Daimio, he just starts shooting. And she disappears. And also—Daimio’s got a little thing. When he gets upset, he starts freaking out a little bit and he has to stab himself with some kind of special medicine. We’ll find out—

stuart

It’s probably nothing.

elliott

Probably nothing. [Audience laughs.] Yeah, it’s probably just insulin, I guess. Yeah.

dan

It’s an EpiPen. He had some peanuts. It’s fine.

elliott

Hey guys—sounds like they need to get back on the hunt for Nimue! Nuh-uh! Flashing-back time! The year is 1992, and Hellboy saves Alice as a baby from being taken by a changeling. That changeling? Little baby Gruegach! That’s why he hates Hellboy so much, and waited 20 years for his revenge! As Stuart said while we were watching it, “That should’ve been the first scene in the movie!” [All laugh.] But no. Anyway. Some hags sew Nimue back together— [Dan laughs.] —and I’m not saying that pejoratively. Closed captions identify them as Hag 1 and Hag 2. [Audience laughs.]

dan

I just like that this is the sort of movie where you can just—summing it up you can say, dismissively, “I dunno. Some hags sew Nimue back together.”

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. They’re— Elliott: But she’s still not—

elliott

They keep saying, “She can’t get to her full power until she’s back together.” And I was like, “Oh, she’s back together now, right?” Nuh-uh. There’s one more part she needs. A very special part that we’ll get to. Well, Hellboy is like— [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] Let your mind wander on that one! [Audience laughs.] Let’s just say it’s a part of the body you can’t see when someone has their clothes on!

crosstalk

Stuart: Oh, shit! Oh, gross! Dan: Alright. Elliott: It turns out it’s her blood. Anyways. [All laugh.]

elliott

Anyway. Meanwhile, Hellboy’s learning about Nimue from old books and Daimio goes out and gets a special bullet that can kill Hellboy when Hellboy inevitably goes bad. Hellboy’s got all this tension with Broom. It’s real daddy issue stuff. And Hellboy’s like, “Well maybe if humans weren’t always trying to kill monsters, monsters and humans could live together!” And it’s like, “Dude, have you seen—the monsters are always biting people’s heads off. Like, I dunno.” [Audience laughs.] Hellboy, he storms out and gets trapped in a magic elevator that takes him to a magic forest where Baby Yaga’s chicken-leg house is. And Baby Yaga is all Ringu-ing it up; contorting around and crawling around on all fours with her head upside-down.

dan

Yeah. She’s doing a real Exorcist spider-walk around.

elliott

And she’s like, “Hellboy! I was doing this thing and you stopped me and shot my eye out and now I hate you!” And it’s like, “How much backstory… is this movie gonna lay on us?” And it’s like— [Dan laughs.] —they had the entirety of the Hellboy comic series and they’re like, “This is our one shot, guys. We gotta stick it all in there. We are not throwing away our shot.” Which is not the—there was a porn version of that that I was saying earlier.

dan

I mean, it works. It still works, but.

elliott

Yeah. It still worked. Anyway.

stuart

So that—I mean, this is kind of a fun scene ‘cause Baba Yaga’s flipping all over the place and like Hellboy seems kind of unsure of himself—

crosstalk

Stuart: And he’s like— Dan: Yeah. This is definitely my favorite.

stuart

And he’s like, “I don’t wanna eat this soup that’s made out of children bodies.” And like, I get it, man. I wouldn’t want to. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Yeah, but you gotta. I mean, like, just to be polite.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. You gotta be nice. I mean, come on. Dan: You gotta be polite. Elliott: You gotta, like—

elliott

—pull the soup up to your mouth and like, “Mm!” and put it back down again just to be polite.

stuart

Yeah, or you flip it over your shoulder when they’re not looking?

elliott

Yeah, yeah. You like dump it in a plant and the plant dies? [All laugh.] And there’s this—the one creepy moment in the movie is where he picks up the spoon and there’s children’s fingers in the soup? And the camera kinda turns and he looks behind him and you see her, like, meat locker of children’s bodies—

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah, like a larder. Elliott: —hanging?

elliott

And I’m like—and you just see it for a short amount of time, and I’m like, “Oh, yeah. This is what the movie needs. To be creepy! Not to have so many radio hits playing all the time during fight scenes!” Anyway. She’s like, “I want my eye to replace the eye you shot out. I’ll tell you where Nimue is if you give it to me.” And then for some reason she gives him a big gross sloppy kiss where he tongue is literally wiping all over his face? [Audience laughs.] And—

dan

I did enjoy him saying, like, “Ooh, how’s your tongue hairy?” Like— [Audience groans.]

elliott

And he’s always got a quip. Hellboy’s always got a quip for every occasion, even if there’s no one around to hear it. And many of the quips sound a little like they were ADR’d in later? But— [All laugh.]

stuart

Seems unlikely! I mean, you wouldn’t need to punch up this movie! It snaps!

elliott

I mean, you can’t always think— [Dan laughs.] —of the right thing to say in the moment.

dan

I would love it if like during the filming they’re like telling David Harbour—is that his name? David Harbour. They’re like, “Could you deliver—could you just act more like with your back turned to the camera?” [Audience laughs.] “So we can just like—whatever we want later on, we can just stick it in.”

elliott

Shall we take a moment to talk about the design of Hellboy in this one? ‘Cause it’s not David Harbour’s fault that the design of the character is a little rough.

stuart

Yeah. I mean, the prosthetic doesn’t allow for a lot of motion from his face. And he’s also—like, he’s going up against the last Hellboy, which is Ron Perlman, who is the best actor in prosthetics.

elliott

Yeah. He’s amazing. And he’s had—

crosstalk

Stuart: Like, him and—between him and Doug Jones, they’re like— Elliott: —a ton of experience.

stuart

—you’re not gonna top those guys.

elliott

Yeah. And for some reason they made the decision—I mean, Hellboy’s always had, like, sometimes he’s got a little ponytail and sometimes he’s got kind of a topknot. One of my less-favorite men’s hairdos, but that’s just me.

stuart

Sure, yeah. You’re not a fan of the Witcher series.

elliott

Yeah. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] I think it’s mainly just ‘cause it’s—I’ll never have enough hair again to do it? But for this they decided that his hair should always be out and down in this kind of like long, stringy, like… what does it look like? Like, I don’t know.

stuart

He looks kinda like a wrestler. [Laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. He looks like the wrestler. He looks like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

stuart

Yeah. And they’re really like—

dan

Oh, oh! Who’s making comparisons to Mickey Rourke now, Elliott? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I compared his hair. I didn’t imply that Mickey Rourke’s face looked like a demon from hell. [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Uh, I would like to bring in Exhibit A, which is— Stuart: And you didn’t’ mention that—

dan

Flop House Episode [mumbles] when you said that Mickey Rourke was like a bag of mashed potatoes. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I was younger then, Dan. I was younger and I didn’t live in Los Angeles yet so it was very unlikely he could find me. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Yet you probably don’t go to the same, like, chihuahua groomer he goes to. [Laughs.]

dan

He’s got a great Instagram with a bunch of chihuahuas. Check him out.

elliott

Yeah. I remember when one of his chihuahuas died and he was really sad about it.

crosstalk

Elliott: And it made me think twice. I was like, “Oh, he does have feelings.” Dan: Yeah. Stuart: That’s super sad.

elliott

“He’s a human being.”

stuart

He’s a human, yeah.

elliott

I should’ve gotten that from his performance in The Wrestler, which is hauntingly vulnerable. [Audience laughs.] But okay. So he’s like, “I’ll give you my eye—when I’m done with it! See ya!” And they have a big fight and anyway. But he knows where Nimue is now. So he and Alice and Daimio and nobody else decide to go confront Nimue. And meanwhile, Alice is like, “Daimio, why do you hate monsters so much?” And he’s like, “Eh, once I was with a special ops group and we were fighting a jaguar demon in Belize and I was the only survivor.” And you just catch a glimpse of this jaguar demon and he looks so much like a gritty reboot of Chester Cheetah? Like— [Audience laughs.] Like, all he’s missing is the shades. But it’s like, you imagine that some Hollywood producer was like, “What IP is still available to make a horror movie out of? The Frito Bandito?” “They did it.” “What about the Hawaiian Punch guy?” “They did it.” “What’s left?” And he sees a bag of Cheetos across the room and he goes, “Get me that cheetah.” [Audience laughs.]

dan

I also like that ‘cause like that seems like almost a parody of like… backstory? Like, “Why do you hate monsters so much?” Like, flashback, like, special ops. A—like a monster monsterfies him. And I’m just like, “You know what? I don’t think we need motivation for not liking monsters in this world?”

stuart

It’s a good point, yeah.

dan

Like, monsters are pretty mean normally?

elliott

Yeah. I mean, except the ones in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters who are kind of hapless? Or Monsters, Inc!

crosstalk

Elliott: Dan, I found a lot of evidence against you! Dan: Or like a mad—like a Mad Monster Party?, maybe.

elliott

Yeah. I mean, what was so mad about that monster party? They seemed like they were having a great time!

dan

I mean, I think it was—everything was mad like MAD Magazine, like—

elliott

But MAD? That was not a MAD-endorsed—although the name is up for grabs now!

crosstalk

Dan: No, it was not endorsed. I’m just saying— Elliott: Just take it!

dan

I’m just saying it has the same spirit of a MAD—

elliott

But you can’t just say like, “Oh, this is—" [Audience laughs.] You can’t just say “This is like MAD Magazine; I’ll just call it MAD.” If I opened up the MAD Café and, “Oh, we have the spirit of MAD Magazine in our café.” You can’t do that. [Dan laughs.]

dan

You could do it now. MAD went under. We can do whatever we want!

elliott

Alright, let’s do it, guys! Let’s move to Minneapolis and open up the Mad-eapolis MAD Magazine Café. [Audience cheers, applauds.]

crosstalk

Elliott: What are we gonna call— Stuart: Maybe we can get a—

stuart

For the grand opening we can get a big celebrity like Mads Mikkelsen. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I love it! Let’s do this! And then I just—it’s like Apocalypse Now. I just send back a letter that says “Sell the house. Sell the kids. I’m done.” Like— [All laugh.] Okay. So they go. They’re in the forest. They’re in a helicopter but they can’t land too close to Nimue. She’s in a magic tree that’s full of her blood and she needs to get it back. Zombies attack them and Hellboy just runs off and Daimio, he has to keep injecting himself with this madman medicine to stop being a monster, I guess.

crosstalk

Elliott: Even when he gets— Stuart: And at the same time—

stuart

—this is when Alice is punching zombies and knocking their ghosts out of their bodies? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. ‘Cause she can just do that now.

stuart

It’s pretty cool.

elliott

And he’s like, “You can do that?” And she’s like, “I do lots of weird stuff!” Alright. [Audience laughs.] Nimue’s back to normal and her army of kind of like CGI gremlins shows up. And they are not the most intimidating characters. Like, they look like… if it was a kid’s movie and there’s like a portal to a gremlin world and a real estate developer wants to steal the land— [Audience laughs.] —or like, kidnap the gremlins to sell them as the hot toy of the season and two kids have to save them. Like, that’s what they look like a little bit. [Dan laughs.] And Hellboy shows up and shoots Nimue in the face. Her eye is dangling. Her army of gremlins runs away instantly. [All laugh.] And Nimue is like, “Hellboy, you should be my king. Let’s rule together. We’ll start a new Eden from the ashes of the human world!” And he’s like, “No way, dude.” So from her crown of twigs, she snaps a little twig and throws it like Bullseye would throw a toothpick right into Alice’s neck. Ahh! It’s got magic poison in it! And she runs off and another witch comes out and is like, “Hellboy, you gotta go down this tunnel, across this beach, over to this place to that place to the cave where Merlin is buried.” And we see her voice-overing this as they do it and I’m like, “Why did you show us them doing this?” [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Y’know, usually— [Laughs.] Y’know— Elliott: Just say “Go to Merlin’s Cave”!

stuart

I mean, the thing is like—do they trust—they assume the audience is like, “Well, if they don’t explain exactly where they’re going it won’t make sense.”

elliott

There’s a thing—there’s an essay Umberto Eco wrote called “How to Tell if You’re in a Porn Movie” Or something like that. And he was saying, in movies there are scenes of things happening. But in porn, it’s just sex scenes. But you can’t do just sex scene, sex scene, sex scene. It would deaden you. They’ve gotta fill it with something. So they fill it with a lot of people getting from one place to another. So it’s saying, if you are going from one place to another and you experience the entire journey from point a to point b, you’re in a porn movie. [Audience laughs.] And I feel like that’s what’s going on here, kind of. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

dan

I mean… I experienced the entire journey from point a to point b whenever I’m going somewhere, Elliott. So am I in a porn movie?

elliott

You tell me! You know a lot more about your private life than I do! [All laugh.] I mean, you’re not—you’re probably not in a great porn movie, but, y’know. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Oh, you don’t know. You don’t know.

elliott

That’s true. I don’t know. Okay. So maybe you’re in a fantastic one! I’ll just go with you and we’ll find out, y’know? [Audience laughs.] It’s a real Schrodinger’s Sex Cat scenario. [All laugh.] Until it’s observed, we won’t know! Okay. So they go find Merlin and Merlin’s like, “Hey, let me lay some backstory on ya.” ‘Cause we’re like, “Great! We needed more!”

stuart

And this is one of those moments where they go to somebody that they need to like cast a spell and Merlin’s like, “I’ll only do it if you kill Nimue for me” and they’re like, “Pbbt, we were gonna do that anyway. Okay.” [Audience laughs.] Like, there’s no cost.

elliott

“First, you must do a quest for me! You must destroy Nimue, the Blood Queen!” “That’s what we’re doing.” “Oh, okay. Well—"

crosstalk

Elliott: “Should I give you a different—” Dan: “Well, can you get me a Fanta from the corner store?” [Audience laughs.]

elliott

“I mean, maybe like a different quest. I feel like there should be a quest in here. Pick up that rock. Hand it to me. You did it! Ohhh! Champion!” [All laugh.] “Now I’ll do your bidding. Alright. But do the other thing, too. The Nimue thing.” And he saves Alice and he explains, “Hellboy, your mom was a descendant of King Arthur. And she was a witch and had sex with a demon and you were born so since you’re half-human and a descendant of King Arthur, you can wield Excalibur to destroy Nimue.” And I’ll have to admit—in the comics, this is not one of my favorite parts of the comics is the Arthur stuff? I love almost all the rest of it. But they gotta be faithful. And they gotta do it by cramming all that exposition into one semi-flashback.

dan

Y’know, Elliott, I—often when you’re giving one of these recaps—particularly the live show—I think like, “Okay. This sounds like the craziest bullshit in the world. Like, the audience must be like, ‘What? This is the zaniest movie!’”

crosstalk

Dan: Like, “What the fuck is—” Stuart: Yeah. The audience is like, “Wait. His name’s Venom? That doesn’t make sense at all!” [Dan laughs.] Stuart: “He’s a symbiote!

dan

But in this case like— [Audience laughs.]

elliott

But Stuart, it gives rise to—again—as we said earlier in the day—my favorite line I think in any Flop House movie. When Michelle Williams sits next to Tom Hardy and she goes, “I’m sorry about Venom.” [All laugh.] Like his dog died and his dog’s named Venom.

dan

I mean, they were very close! Literally!

elliott

Literally. Venom lived in his skin.

dan

No, I’m just saying that like—for once, like, the movie is exactly as disjointed and weird as you’re describing.

elliott

Yeah! It does feel like they had a movie and they put it in a blender and like spun it around and they’re like—

dan

Like my tender heart. Anyway.

stuart

So Merlin conjures up Excalibur, which is sitting there vibrating in reality. Kind of like half-in, half-out. And Hellboy grabs it and then he sees this magical vision of himself riding a dragon through Hell—

crosstalk

Stuart: —and chopping dudes up— Elliott: With a flaming crown.

stuart

Kinda like running down a dragon tail. And it sounds awesome, but it kinda isn’t.

elliott

Yeah. It’s real heavy metal stuff. Not—I mean, like, Heavy Metal the movie or the magazine. And the music too, I guess. But it’s just like—it’s not as cool as it sounds. But he’s like—he hesitates and the sword disappears. And Merlin is like, “Nice work, hotshot!” And crumbles to dust. [All laugh.] [Through laughter] He’s like, “Ya fucked it up, Hellboy!” And then just disappears.

dan

“Smooth move, Ex-Lax!” [All laugh.]

elliott

[Through laughter] So Nimue—at this point, she throws caution to the wind. She’s walking around the streets of London throwing plague bugs at people. And attacks the B.P.R.D. hideout there. They’re in the London auxiliary annex, I guess. And— [Stuart laughs.] —and then Hellboy and Daimio and Alice show up in a church for some reason? I don’t remember. And Nimue is there and she’s made Grakowch enormous. And Hellboy fights him and it’s really got Hellboy on the ropes. So Daimio, he’s like, “Time for me to… let out the beast, if you know what I mean.”

stuart

Hell yeah. He chugs a Monster energy drink— [All laugh.]

elliott

And he turns into his jaguar monster. And this is hilarious ‘cause he’s like, “Ahhh! Turning into a jaguar!” And it looks just like the scene in An American Werewolf in London except not as good. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] Like—‘cause it’s all computers! And I should say—

crosstalk

Elliott: There’s a lot of practical makeup effects in this, but. Stuart: And it’s not just because it’s in—because it’s computers.

stuart

It’s done—like, it’s very quick and cheap and this movie didn’t have [through laughter] as much money.

elliott

And Grugrach is like, “I’m gonna finish you off, Hellboy.”

crosstalk

Elliott: He’s about to stab him. And you—wait! Stuart: But—but Elliott—

elliott

Jaguar man roars and Grugrach’s like, “Huh? What’s that?” And he can’t see where it came from. And then Jaguar Man jumps out at him! And it was like, “Why the roar? You already had the element of surprise.” [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Elliott, I think you’re overlooking an important part of Grugrach, the Pig Demon. Because— [Dan laughs.]

elliott

And we should also mention he has some kind of Irish-Scottish accent and he is constantly swearing.

crosstalk

Stuart: He’s constantly swearing. He is like— [Laughs.] Dan: I would like—I would like a version of Meet the Press

dan

—where someone turns to someone and is like, “I think you’re overlooking an important aspect of Grugrach the Pig Demon.” [Audience laughs.]

stuart

But it certainly feels like this character’s like, “Well, we got an R rating. We should just fucking go with it, right?”

dan

Yeah, no. He’s swearing up a storm.

stuart

Every time he’s like, “Hellboy! Fucking shit! Butt butt fuck!” [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: That’s kind of what it’s like! [Laughs.] Stuart: I mean, like, okay, I guess! [Audience laughs.]

elliott

“Poop dong!” Etcetera. That’s like him.

stuart

Yeah. That’s R-rated.

elliott

R-rated. Yeah. Uh… and they fight. Jaguar Monster stops him. And Nimue shows up again and she’s like—

stuart

But they don’t even stop Grugrach. Grugrach’s like gonna win and then Nimue shows up. She’s like, “Don’t kill Hellboy anymore. Now I’m gonna kill you.”

elliott

And she takes all his power and he turns into a [in baby voice] little baby. [Regular voice] And he’s like, “Fuck you, Hellboy!” And it’s like, Nimue’s really the one who screwed you over on this one. I don’t—And he just explodes in blood, right?

stuart

Yeah.

elliott

When he gets small enough. And it’s like a— [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

It’s what happens to all of us, y’know. When you get small enough you explode in blood.

elliott

That sounds like an album you would listen to.

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah, totally! [Laughs.] That sounds great! Elliott: “Explode in Blood.” [Laughs.]

elliott

So she was like, “I needed him to get you as mad as possible so I could convince you to join me.” And it’s like, mm, psychology, I guess. I don’t know. And she takes Professor Broom out and she’s like, “Join me or I’ll kill him! Eh, I’ll do it anyway!” And she, with one of her long fingernails, just flicks his throat and kills him. And Hellboy’s so mad that he pulls Excalibur out of the stone ‘cause it’s there also? And—

stuart

Yeah. She probably grew that fingernail for cocaine? But I guess—

elliott

I gotta assume. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

—murdering people is a good secondary use!

elliott

Yeah. Back in the 570s she was really doing a lot of cocaine.

dan

She’s like, “I was chopped up so I missed the ‘80s so I gotta…”

elliott

“So I’ve been doing it all.” That’s why she’s wearing like a suit jacket with rolled-up sleeves and like a super-skinny tie? [Dan laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: It’s very hip. Dan: “Have you guys heard this ‘Safety Dance’ song?” [Audience laughs.]

elliott

“I’m going to spin you right ‘round, Hellboy! Like a record player!” And Hellboy’s like, “What’s that?!” [All laugh.] “I’m a cool young person!” Oh, did I forget to mention earlier that in this world, Hellboy is famous also? [Audience laughs.] And people are always tweeting about him? But anyway. So Hellboy gets so mad he pulls out Excalibur and his horns grow out and his sword goes on fire and a flaming crown appears hovering above his head. And that’s the key cue for a bunch of giant monsters to just walk around London murdering people in the most gruesome ways possible. And it’s like a different movie suddenly intruded on this movie!

crosstalk

Dan: [Through laughter] Yeah. I kinda loved it. Stuart: And you know what? Yeah. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

And this is stuff that’s happening—Hellboy, I don’t think, ever knows that this happens! Like it’s all outside of where they are!

stuart

Yeah. It’s like a monster jumps out and like rips a guy’s face off or like a monster that has a hand where its crotch is ripping a guy in half. Like, it’s crazy! Like, at this point I’m like, “Wow, movie, you really turned around!” [All laugh.] It’s like, never has a movie switched so quickly as like, Audition or something. [Eliza laughs.]

elliott

It’s super gory. And Hellboy is about to join Nimue. And Daimio is about to shoot him with the magic Hellboy-killing bullet, which is made of some magic stuff, when Alice raises Broom’s spirit with a bunch of ectoplasm out of her mouth! And this is when we see—again—the worst effect in the movie. And Professor Broom tough-loves Hellboy into doing the right thing. “Hey, man up! You’re a human being so grow some balls and fight this lady!” And Hellboy’s like, “Okay.” And chops up Nimue with Excalibur. That’s the cue for all the demons to get sucked up into Hell. I guess the demons were on—like, they had a recreation leave from Hell jail? I don’t know.

stuart

I mean, he—at this point, he like gives up his—

crosstalk

Elliott: Does he break his horns, or no? Okay, breaks his horns. Stuart: Yeah, he breaks his horns again, yeah.

stuart

He decides not to be the Prince of Hell or whatever.

crosstalk

Stuart: And they all go away. Yeah. Yeah. So they all get sucked back. And then he chucks Nimue’s head down into hell, right? Elliott: Anamunrama, the Right Hand of Destruction or something. Beast of making blow-ups.

elliott

Yeah. He chucks Nimue’s head into Hell. And Broom’s ghost is like, “I’m sorry I wasn’t a better dad. I love you, Hellboy.” And—

stuart

It’s genuinely moving. [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Uh… I mean, it’s not— Dan: Mmmm…

elliott

It’s not like the scene in—spoiler alert—Anne of Green Gables when Richard Farnsworth dies in front of Anne— [All laugh.] —and he says, “I never wanted a boy, Anne, I wanted you. I’m so proud of you.”

elliott

Elliott: And I was crying so hard when I watched it. [Through laughter] Yeah! Stuart: And he—and he gives that speech as he’s been conjured through somebody’s mouth of ectoplasm. Dan: [Laughs.] Well— [Laughs.] Well— [Laughs.] Elliott— [Laughs.] Elliott! [Audience laughs.]

dan

Elliott Kalan’s controversial position that Anne of Green Gables is more moving than Ian McShane as a glob ghost saying “I love you, Hellboy.”

elliott

To a demon man! [All laugh.] Yeah.

stuart

The thing is—

elliott

I’ll stand—I’ll take that hot take! Hashtag it! Yeah!

stuart

Elliott, I’m sorry about Venom. [All laugh.]

elliott

Thanks. That means a lot to me. I appreciate it. Uh, Daimio shatters his Hellboy-killing bullet ‘cause he’s seen the light. Six months later, the title card—oh, and then the camera pans up and we see that London is in ruins.

dan

Yeah. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] London has been fucking razed.

elliott

And so six months later—which would’ve been a funny way to end the movie. “Six months later—Siberia.” Now Daimio, Alice, and Hellboy—they’re the new B.P.R.D. team. And they’re just kicking ass, taking names. They’re not taking names. They’re beating up faceless bad guys in hazmat suits who look, if anything, like scientists who are trying to get out of the way while these guys are just killing them. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

[Through laughter] They’re like running away with clipboards. Getting their ghosts punched out of their bodies. [Dan laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. [Laughs.] And—

dan

“We didn’t know what the job was!” [Audience laughs.]

elliott

“I wanted to put it in a museum!” That was Dracula, the archaeologist. [Dracula impersonation] “Blehh! It deserves to be in a museum! Do you know how hard it is to dig in the desert only at night?” [Audience laughs.] Anyway. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] I guess—there’s a reason Indiana Dracula and the Raiders of the Lost Ark didn’t work out.

dan

[Dracula impersonation.] I never eat… bad dates. [All laugh.]

elliott

Nice. Very nice. [Dracula impersonation.] Children of the night, they belong in a museum! So—

stuart

I hate snakes! And staaaaakes! [All laugh. Some applause from audience.]

dan

I guess this is our SNL character now!

elliott

[Dracula impersonation] “You see, Dracula, we are not so different, you and I! ‘Cause we’re both vampires!” [All laugh.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Belloq is a vampire in this one, too. Yeah. Dan: That’s Belloq, oh, okay.

elliott

Belloq’s also a vampire. [Audience laughs.] Yeah. And Sean Connery is not a vampire, but he’s still like—I guess he is, but he still sounds like Sean Connery, y’know? [Connery impersonation] “Indy was my favorite! We called the vampire dog Indy!” [Audience laughs.] Anyway. How great would that be, though? Okay. It’s the beginning of Last Crusade

dan

Oh, god. [Audience laughs.] We’re so close to the end!

elliott

—and River Phoenix is on that train. “Ahhh!” Instead of falling in a cattle car with snakes in it, he falls in the cattle car that’s transporting Dracula’s skeleton. Is it John Carradine from the later Universal pictures? You bet it is! [Audience laughs.] The stake gets knocked out of the skeleton. He bites him. “Ahh! I’m a Dracula now!” Ba-da-da-dup! And now you know the rest of the story! [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] Okay. Six months later, they’re in Siberia. They kill all these scientists. They find some kind of a big tube and they wipe away the dust on the nameplate. “Ichtheosapien!” A hand slaps the glass. Cut to black. That’s right—Abe Sapien will be in the sequel that was never made. End of credit scenes, right? Incorrecto. Skip ahead. Mid-credit scene. Hellboy’s really sad at Broom’s grave. It’s a real, um, “Alas, poor Yorick” type scene. And the Lobster Johnson shows up to give him a comedy pep talk. And Hellboy’s like, “Lobster Johnson’s ghost? I love you! You’re amazing! Oh my god, I’m so starstruck!” End of scene.

crosstalk

Elliott: Oh, he ends with the line— Dan: It makes no sense why that’s in there—

dan

—other than, like, maybe Thomas Hayden Church is like, “I’m only doing this movie if I get two scenes.”

elliott

Two scenes, please. [Audience laughs.] And it ends with Hellboy going, “Well, that just happened.” And you’re like, “That describes the movie, yes!” [All laugh.] End of movie, right? No. Wrong again. Stop. Jumping to conclusions. End of credits scene, for the true Hellheads who stayed ‘til the end. Or Hellboyz—B-O-Y-Z—okay. The Baba Yaga is promising some off-screen monster, “I want revenge on Hellboy. If you kill Hellboy, I’ll give you what you want most—I’ll let you die.” Cut to black. Will we ever find out who that monster was? No, we won’t! The movie was not a success! [All laugh.] There will be no sequel. Much like the end of the Mario Bros. movie when Princess Peach shows back up with a big gun and says, “I need your help!” We don’t know why she needs their help! And I’m gonna guess it was Rasputin. That’s my guess. But I guess we’ll have to talk to Neil Marshall or—

stuart

Princess Peach needed their help to kill Rasputin? [Audience laughs, applauds.]

elliott

No! [Laughs.] No, Stuart!

dan

I mean, like—

elliott

Maybe!

dan

—if there’s anyone you need help to kill, it’s Rasputin.

stuart

Yeah, I guess. You can’t just like jump up and down on his head. You need like fireballs or something. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Yeah. You gotta jump on a turtle shell that knocks him over. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Or you get— Elliott: Well, you jump on his head three different times.

elliott

You gotta time his fireballs so you can get over them.

stuart

Okay, that makes sense.

elliott

And then his big hovering clown helicopter thing crashes down. [Dan sighs loudly.] But unfortunately, your sequel is in a different castle. [Audience laughs.]

dan

And that’s the famous bit where we ram a couple of different things together. Anyway.

elliott

Also known as the whole podcast. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Let’s do our Final Judgments about this movie.

stuart

Sure.

dan

It’s called Hellboy. [All laugh.]

stuart

If you say so!

dan

[Through laughter] Is it a good-bad movie, a bad-bad movie, or a movie you kinda liked? Stuart, what do you have to say?

stuart

Uh, yeah. This was a bad-bad movie. I mean… yeah. I was just—it was a bummer. Not a fan.

dan

Yeah. I had hopes for this movie? I don’t, um… I don’t have the same connection to the character that you guys do? I basically know him from the del Toro movies. But Neil Marshall, the director, made The Descent, which I think is probably the best horror movie of that decade. And he made Doomsday, which is a lot of fun. Very silly, but fun. And Dog Soldiers is also fun, and—

crosstalk

Stuart: Uh-huh. And Centurion. Dan: And this movie? Is not good at all.

stuart

Well this is also the first movie he didn’t write.

dan

Well and also… as Elliott said, I made fun of him for bringing it up, but it was a tortured production.

elliott

Well, well, well! [All laugh.] What a tangled web we weave! What goes around comes around!

dan

That’s about lying. No.

elliott

It seems the backstage story is on the other foot now, my friend! [Audience laughs.]

dan

None of these apply, but— [Eliza laughs.] What do you have to say, Elliott?

elliott

If wishes were fishes— [Audience laughs.]

dan

If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts…

elliott

That would be a weird world. [Audience laughs.] Very weird world. I—it’s like, I don’t know. I feel like I’m seeing it through the lens of someone who has so much affection for the original source material I don’t know if I can fully judge it fairly. But again, taking my cue from the people we watched it with who could not follow the film because it was so crazy and disjointed, I’m gonna say… maybe there’s some fun to be had in it if you just wanna watch, like, goofy CGI gore? But I thought it was a bad-bad movie.

stuart

Yeah.

dan

Alright!

elliott

It pains me to say, in a way.

dan

Does it?

elliott

I mean…

stuart

You seem to take pleasure out of it. But let’s move on. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I took pleasure and then I regretted that pleasure because everyone who worked on it was trying their best, y’know?

stuart

[Through laughter] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

elliott

Their Hellbest.

stuart

[Through laughter] You’re all of their grandmas right now. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Elliott suddenly quits the podcast mid-show. “You know what? This whole premise is kinda mean.” [Audience laughs.] “I’m gonna go.”

music

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

promo

Music: Dramatic organ/piano music. [Background noise throughout: a howling wolf and cawing crow. April speaks in a sinister voice.] April Wolfe: Hello there, ghouls and gals. It is I, April Wolfe. I'm here to take you through the twisty, sca-a-a-ry, heart-pounding world of genre cinema on the exhilarating program known as Switchblade Sisters. [Sinister echo on the title.] The concept is simple: I invite a female filmmaker on each week, and we discuss their favorite genre film. Listen in closely to hear past guests, like The Babadook director Jennifer Kent, Winter's Bone director Debra Granik, and so many others every Thursday on MaximumFun.org. Tune in! If you dare... [Thunder booms, something growls over April as she cackles evilly, and then all sound abruptly cuts.] April: [Rapidly] It's actually a very thought-provoking show that deeply explores the craft and philosophy behind the filmmaking process while also examining film through the lens of the female gaze. So, like, you should listen. [Same sinister echo effect] Switchblade Sisters!

promo

[Sound of a gavel banging three times.] Music: Upbeat music plays under dialogue. Speaker 1: Judge John Hodgman ruled in my favor. Speaker 2: Judge John Hodgman ruled in my friend’s favor. Speaker 3: Judge John Hodgman ruled in my favor. Judge John Hodgman: I’m Judge John Hodgman. You’re hearing the voices of real litigants. Real people, who have submitted disputes to my internet court, at the Judge John Hodgman podcast. I hear their cases. I ask them questions—they’re good ones—and then I tell them who’s right and who’s wrong. Speaker 1: Thanks to Judge John Hodgman’s ruling, my dad has been forced to retire one of the worst Dad Jokes of all time. Speaker 3: Instead of cutting his own hair with a Flowbee, my husband has his hair cut professionally. Speaker 4: I have to join a community theatre group. Speaker 5: And my wife has stopped bringing home wild animals. Judge John Hodgman: It’s the Judge John Hodgman podcast. Find it every Wednesday at MaximumFun.org, or wherever you download podcasts. [Sound of a gavel banging three times.] Speaker 1: Thanks, Judge John Hodgman! [Music ends.]

dan

Alright. Yeah. This is the part where we answer some questions and they said there are a couple of microphones.

elliott

I know I’m gonna stand up for this one ‘cause I’m an old man! I can’t sit that long!

dan

Ow, ow, ow, ow!

elliott

You guys? I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—I know you got Qs. Let us A ‘em! [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: That is gross. That is… Stuart: What? Elliott: ‘Cause it’s a Q and A. There’s nothing gross about that.

dan

It sounded gross.

elliott

I saved time. By not saying the extra syllables.

dan

No.

elliott

Dan, which side should we start from? Should we start from that side, or that side? That side, or that side?

dan

Let’s start on the left and then back and forth.

elliott

Okay. Stage left, house right. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Correct.

elliott

Some theater terms for you. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] Wait, Dan!

dan

Someone was in a play once. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Y’know, before we get to questions—

dan

Oh, god. [Audience cheers, applauds.]

elliott

The theater’s a magic place, y’know. [Audience cheers, applauds.] And sometimes—

dan

Oh! It’s time to check in for my flight home. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

You just can’t express that magic… in prose. You gotta do it… jumps up—in song! [Audience cheers, applauds.] [Singing] Well, Dan, well, Stuart, we’ve gone a lot of places on this big blue marble! But I don’t think any place can compare— [Dan sighs.] —to Minneapolissss! [Audience cheers, applauds.] I just wanna give this city a kiss! Minneapolissss! If I had a snake, it would probably hiss. Minneapolissss! [Audience laughs.] Hey, y’know. Like I said, there’s a lot of cities around. But hey, y’know. When I realized my plane would be touching down in Minneapolis—well, I jumped for joy in my seat! I had to stay buckled while the plane was landing ‘cause the FAA is very careful about that. They’re very strict with their rules and you know what else I’d say rulessss? Minneapolisss! Thank you! [Audience cheers, applauds.]

crosstalk

Dan: Y’know—y’know—usually— Elliott: Thank you. Thank you.

dan

Usually that’s the point where either I or Stuart or sometimes both would leave the stage to go pee, but there’s no green room bathroom so we had no way to escape that.

stuart

Mm-hm. So we just peed in our pants.

dan

We did. [All laugh.]

elliott

Alright. Let’s answer some questions!

salem

Hello! My name is Salem, last name withheld. I started listening to your podcast when I was 13—no joke— [Stuart laughs.] —I went through your backlog playing Minecraft on the family computer. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Oh, it’s like you had the your generation version of my life. [All laugh.]

salem

So now I’m 20 and in college? And I was thinking that’s like a crazy long time to be doing anything? This podcast, not playing Minecraft. So when you’re working on a project for so long that is a very consistent project but you’re still going through many different periods in your life and having a lot of changes, what makes you stay motivated and interested in your work, even when it’s not necessarily changing or doing anything interesting? And also— [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Salem: Just kidding! Just kidding! Dan: Accurate. Accurate.

crosstalk

Elliott: Perfectly fine process. Dan: [Inaudible.] Salem: I’m just kidding!

elliott

Suddenly it’s the roast of The Flop House! [All laugh.]

crosstalk

Dan: That’s fair. Stuart: We have wasted so much time! [Laughs.] Salem: No, I’m just kidding. Elliott: Are we in Hell right now? ‘Cause that was some flames! [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Yeah! Come on!

crosstalk

Salem: [Through laughter] I’m just kidding. I’m so sorry. Elliott: I sang a song about your city!

dan

No, we didn’t—we didn’t change or grow, so it’s fine.

elliott

What?

dan

We’ve never changed, so it’s fine.

crosstalk

Dan: [Inaudible.] Elliott: No, yeah. We’re doing the same thing.

elliott

I mean, we’re less gross in some of the things we say. But sorry, so your question—how do you keep it challenging, kind of?

salem

Yeah! Sorry. I got mean. I was nervous.

elliott

No, no. It’s alright. [Audience laughs.] It happens. It happens. I blame the internet culture. [Audience laughs.]

salem

Also a very important question—if each of you were an animal, what animal would you be? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I mean, Stuart, we know, would be a party animal. [All laugh. Some applaud.]

dan

Stuart did a halfhearted floss. [All laugh.] Uh, I think it’s been established that I’m a sloth. I think that that’s already canon.

elliott

Yeah. And I think I’d probably be a pangolin! An elegant armadillo, if you will. [Audience laughs.] I would say—I mean, I feel like we’ve been doing this podcast for different reasons for each of those years. It started out as just a lark. I mean, you guys started it without me. But when I joined, it was to have fun and, y’know, the babes, obviously. But— [Audience laughs.] But at this point, it’s like… I really enjoy doing it, plus we get paid to do it. But also, I don’t live in the same part of the country that these guys do anymore, so it’s like—it’s very exciting to me to know that I’m gonna talk to them at least once every two weeks because we’re gonna have to record this show. And so like, it’s really nice that this helps us keep that friendship close together! Y’know?

crosstalk

Stuart: Awww. Dan: Yeah. Elliott: Awww. [Audience “Awww”s, applauds.]

stuart

Y’know… there’s been times in my life where I’ve been really busy and it’s a good release. It also like is a good way to force me to watch movies? Because in addition to the movie we have to watch for the episode, I try to watch other movies so I can have something to recommend? ‘Cause I get kinda stressed out if I hadn’t seen anything recently? And I don’t just wanna be like, “Oh, Stop Making Sense or something.” [Audience laughs.]

elliott

“I saw this on a plane. I guess it’s okay.”

dan

I have a very bad memory and I just forgot that I recommended it before, Stuart, but thanks. [Stuart laughs.] Um—no. I don’t know. I started it out for fun, ‘cause it was a good fun thing to do with friends. And then we had an audience, which both gave me a feeling of obligation? To an audience? And also… made me wanna do it because I thought that maybe the love of strangers could fill the hole in my heart. [All laugh.] Which—

crosstalk

Elliott: And how’s that going? Is it working? Oh. Stuart: Doesn’t work. Dan: It was a mistake. It was—no. It doesn’t work at all. But um…

elliott

Thank you for your question. Thanks for being here and thanks for listening. Woo! [Audience cheers, applauds.]

dan

The other side!

elliott

That’s similar to how I realized we were watching this Hellboy movie, that I’ve been reading Hellboy comics for over two decades? Which is nuts. There’s only one thing I’ve been doing longer than that—reading Spider-Man stories! [Audience laughs.]

matt

Alright. Matt, last name withheld. So I think one thing that many of us learned from this movie is the importance of flashbacks in cinema. So maybe this is a two-part question. Number one, what is a movie that does flashbacks well, and number two, maybe if possible—what would a Crawdaddy flashback look like?

elliott

Oh, wow. [Audience cheers, applauds.] Oh, wow. Okay. You guys—I’ll answer that last one. You guys answer the first part of the question.

stuart

Oh, cool, thanks.

elliott

Yeah. I mean, Memento is kinda all flashbacks, so maybe that counts. I dunno. It does flashbacks well.

stuart

I mean, there’s certainly some flashbacks in The Lord of the Rings, so those are clearly done perfectly. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

dan

Uhhhhh… I mean, I guess Citizen Kane is sort of a bunch of interlocking flashbacks, isn’t it?

elliott

Yes. That’s exactly what it is, Dan.

dan

That’s a good movie! [Audience laughs.] Some people might say it’s the best movie! It’s been said before. [Eliza laughs.]

elliott

And, y’know, Crawdaddy—here’s—I’ll just lay out the Crawdaddy scenario for you. Crawdaddy is taking out his son’s soccer team for pizza after the game. Like a good dad. Like a good peewee soccer coach. And he’s like, [thick Southern accent] “Ah, well, boys, it’s a—all this pepperoni pizza reminds me of the time my own grandpappy opened that alligator sausage factory.” [Audience laughs.] And it would be a very touching scene of his grandpappy going out to get new alligators for the sausage and tragically losing his life to Big Mama Gator, the biggest gator in the swamp. [Audience laughs.] And Crawdaddy comes back to Crawdaddy and is like, “I always promised Grandpappy on his deathbed that I’d catch Big Mama Gator. But, y’know, the job market took me elsewhere.” [Audience laughs.] “You boys want any more ‘za?” [Laughs.]

dan

Again, again, impenetrable to people who have not heard the podcast before.

elliott

[Through laughter] I think they can pick up—again, for people who have not heard the general premise, Crawdaddy grew up in the Louisiana Bayou and now he lives in the Connecticut—

stuart

Elliott is currently providing a flashback. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

And now he lives in the Connecticut suburbs. [Thick accent again] “Growing up in a shack in a bayou… a boy always had to watch hisself and learn how to play fiddle real good. But now I gotta take advantage of this property tax deduction.” [Audience laughs. Some cheering.]

jaffer

Good evening, Peaches. Jaffer, last name withheld. If I may, I would like to thank Stuart for coming out to the game company withheld game center yesterday and playing some games with us. We had a really great time. Thank you. [Audience cheers, applauds.]

elliott

Stuart, the listeners can’t see you waving away the praise. You gotta say something.

stuart

Oh, wait. Uh, although I— [Laughs.] I received a phone call from Josh, our booking agent. And I was like, “Yeah, I’ll talk to you after this. I’m a game store playing some games.” And he’s like, “Stuart’s just in a strange town playing at a game store? Checks out.” [All laugh.]

jaffer

But I do have a real question, which is—if you were to create a Mamma Mia!-style jukebox musical around one artist or band, what artist or band would that be and what would be your first act, swelling, “I Wish” song? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Oh, man. Oooh. I mean… I think mine would probably be Judas Priest. Because Judas Priest has three or four types of songs. They have pump-up power anthems; they have “I got hurt by this relationship” songs. They got songs about monsters that kill people. [Audience laughs.] And then miscellaneous. Uh… and I guess… yeah. “You Got Another Thing Comin’” would be the first act. Because you know people are waiting for it, too. Y’know. Get it out early. And then you can get to, like, “Take These Chains” later on when the relationship falls apart.

dan

Well, as Stuart mentioned earlier, I have recommended Stop Making Sense at least four times on the podcast. [Audience laughs.] So of course my artist would be Carly Rae Jepsen. [Audience cheers, applauds.] And the song would be “I Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Like You.” And it would be about… I don’t know. A job being in New York for a magazine, as is in every romantic comedy. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

According to romantic comedies, the magazine market is booming! [Audience laughs.]

dan

Yeah. It’s amazing.

stuart

And obviously I would do a jukebox musical based on the works of Def Leppard. And in our opening pump-up sequence, Joe Elliott would be working at a baking school and he’d be talking to a sentience cake of some kind. [All laugh.] And the cake would, of course, be demanding that some sugar be poured on him. [All laugh. Some applaud.]

jaffer

Alright. Thank you very much. [Audience cheers, applauds.]

elliott

Thank you for the question. On that side now!

abby

Hi, it’s me, Abby, last name withheld!

stuart

Hi!

abby

Uh, since this podcast doesn’t have a rule against bummers, I do wanna ask kind of a bummer question?

crosstalk

Stuart: [Laughs.] Okay. The rulebook—hold up. Dan: Oh no! Elliott: Whoa! Uh, let me check the rulebook. [Audience laughs.]

dan

It’s a new rule that we’re gonna have from the future on!

elliott

This is how laws get made.

crosstalk

Dan: No, it’s fine. Elliott: Yeah, you’re right.

elliott

Nothing in the rulebook about bummers. [Abby laughs.]

abby

I know I can’t watch Big Fish because I have a dead dad and it would bum me out too much. And there are other movies that I’ve watched and I’m like, “Welp, I’m not gonna watch that movie again ‘cause, y’know, it’s too… too real.” Are there any movies that either make you sad every single time you watch them or you’re never gonna watch again ‘cause they’re too sad?

crosstalk

Dan and Elliott: Hmm.

elliott

I mean, there must be. There’re definitely movies I’ve seen where I’m like, “I’m glad I saw that but I don’t feel the need to ever see it again.” I’m trying to think of any specific ones, though. I mean, there are some movies that make me sad, like The Iron Giant, that I watch over and over again, but that’s…

dan

Yeah. I don’t—I mean… it’s tough ‘cause like, I don’t have that kind of like, “Oh, this was a personal experience that I had that—” [Stuart laughs.]

elliott

‘Cause you’re kind of a cipher. A sociopath. [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Yeah. I don’t have— Elliott: You’re a mask that hides nothing!

dan

I don’t—I mean, I’m—I see your human emotions and I copy them as best I can—

elliott

You mirror them, yeah. [Laughs.]

dan

But, no, no, it’s just I’ve had a very—like, look. I’ve been divorced. But like other than that I’ve had a very, like, charmed life. I feel like I had a very like—

stuart

You would almost say it’s a semi-charmed kind of life. [All laugh.]

dan

A— [Eliza laughs.] Yes.

stuart

I mean, not legally, but. [Dan laughs.]

dan

I’ll just skip to the end. I don’t have a personal thing that like… I have that problem with. There are movies that I cry all the time at? But they’re like movies that I love. Like I cry at the end of Raising Arizona, but those are like happy tears every time. Like, every single fucking time I see that movie and I listen to that last monologue that H.I. has, I cry. But it’s—but it’s not a personal thing or anything.

stuart

Yeah I mean, I think the movies that I’ve seen that I never will watch again are usually things that are… that due to filmmaking techniques, end up giving me motion sickness? [Audience laughs.] So like I’ll watch it once and I’ll be like, “I can’t do this again.” Like, “I’m sorry, Requiem for a Dream. Maybe multiple viewings will make me get the deeper meaning,” but—

abby

I mean, that’s like a feeling, so.

stuart

Yeah. [Laughs.] It’s similar to what humans call emotions. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I mean, there’s definitely—like, since becoming a dad there’s definitely movies that like I think I would’ve been able to shrug things off in them that I can’t shrug off now. And like I don’t know if there are any Jewish people in the audience, but part of my Jewish education was being force-fed Holocaust movies at a very high rate. So there’s a lot of like, people being like, “We want you to understand your connection with this.” And I’m like, “I understand.” [Audience laughs.] “I don’t ever wanna see this again!”

dan

There was definitely a period of my life when I went through extreme depression. But the way that manifested itself—one of the—not the only way.

crosstalk

Dan: One of the ways that manifested— Elliott: Was starting a podcast! [Audience laughs.]

dan

Yeah. [Laughs.] And then I got abused by my two best friends. Uh— [Audience laughs.] No, uh, I—I—

stuart

Best friends? [All laugh.]

dan

[Through laughter] I—

elliott

Awwww. [Audience “aww”s.]

dan

One of the ways that depression manifested itself was actually like… not being interested in movies at all anymore. A thing that I enjoyed very much which started my current trend of what I do to entertain myself, which is to listen to podcasts through my earbuds while having a movie on mute on the television and scrolling through Facebook. [Audience laughs.] Which is a pretty…

stuart

To see if they’ll all sync up?

dan

Yeah.

elliott

Someday there’s gonna be a picture of you doing that in a museum and it’s going to say, “21st Century Man.” [Audience laughs.] And then the next caption will say, “22nd Century Man: None.” [Audience laughs.]

dan

I hope that was something.

elliott

Wow, there was a lot of bummers in there. But thank you. Okay. Next question over here. [Light applause from audience.] Good question. I like the questions that make us think. And make us feel.

dan

And I like this Chuck Jones shirt that this gentleman has.

nick

Oh, thank you. I’m also a fellow Earlham College Theatre alum.

stuart

Whaaaat?

nick

I know! Wilkinson Theatre!

stuart

Yayyy!

nick

Anyways. My name is—

elliott

Now the audience is pandering to the host!

nick

They don’t care. [Audience laughs.] So my name is Nick, last name withheld. So it seems like critics and people have really turned against the new Lion King movie? Citing, y’know, the dead eyes and just the creepiness of seeing these photorealistic lions. So my question for you is, what movie—what non-animal movie—would benefit from being remade with photorealistic CGI lions? [All laugh. Some applaud.]

elliott

Kinda hard to narrow it down!

nick

I’m thinking… I’m thinking maybe Beauty

elliott

Like, Kramer vs. Kramer, I guess? [Audience laughs.]

nick

I’m thinking maybe Beauty and the Beast, except the Beast is man?

elliott

Uhhhh… [Audience laughs.] I don’t know. That story already has several problematic elements. I think that does feel like the thing that would happen at the end of a video you would watch in school about the environment? “And the true Beast… was man!” Bum bum bummm! Recycle, kids!

stuart

I would say Cruel Intentions. [All laugh.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Oh yeah. I can see it. I can see it, yeah. I see it. Stuart: I’ve thought about it. I’ve decided. It’s Cruel Intentions.

dan

Uhhhhh… [Laughs.]

elliott

What are you gonna say, like, Emanuel?

dan

Let’s make it— [Laughs.] What if it’s Kowerna Skazi? And the lions are just those fast-motion people that you occasionally see? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Just fast-motion lions? Are they in cities still?

crosstalk

Dan: Yeah. They’re still in the cities. Elliott: Or just running through the jungle?

dan

They’re still in cities walking around doing lion business.

elliott

I will say this: I recently—because of something that was said on Twitter by a famous, not-gonna-be-president candidate for president—I flipped my opinion on those Disney movies. I, like everyone else, was like, “I miss the emotion of the characters in the old ones. I miss the color. I miss the vibrancy of it.” And then I realized—all of Disney’s movies, for the most part, are remakes of other things. So I said, “You know what? Why not, everybody. We’re gonna do 10 more of these in the next 30 years. Let’s just go for it. Y’know?”

stuart

I like the argument that they’re just doing it for money. It’s like, “Uhhh, no kidding.” [Laughs.]

elliott

“Why do you think they made the first one, dudes?” [Audience laughs.] So yeah. I think that—yeah, lion movies. Good job. If I was a real dick I’d be like, ”Born Free.” [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Roar.

elliott

What?

crosstalk

Dan and Elliott: Roar. [Eliza laughs.]

dan

If you haven’t seen Roar, it is the most buck-wild movie. Go and watch Roar.

elliott

Alright. Over there, yes.

dan

This gentleman who’s already wearing one of our shirts.

ben

Uh, Ben. First time writer, long time listener. Last name withheld. If you were going to—this podcast talks a lot about movies that have terribly badly-designed monsters. Or other villains. If you were gonna design a movie monster… how would you do it?

elliott

I mean… it’s hard for me to—when the perfect movie monster design exists: it’s the Xenomorph, everybody. [Solo applause.] It’s hard for me to compete. But when I was a kid, I’ll tell you—whenever I was making a monster, I’d be like, “I’m gonna throw everything onto this.’ [Audience laughs.] So every monster had, like, wings. Multiple arms. Claws. Multiple heads. Horns. Could breathe fire. Shoot lightning bolts. Sometimes multiple tails. I went through a Ghidorah phase. He’s got two tails. So I don’t know what I would do now, but at the time when I was a kid, it would be like, ultra-monster. And then now I’m like, “How would that monster move? How would it go anywhere?” [Audience laughs.]

stuart

I can’t believe you didn’t say Godzilla. [Laughs.]

elliott

What, the best monster design?

stuart

Yeah!

elliott

Have you seen—

stuart

He’s shaped kind of like my cat, Mussels. [Audience laughs.] Who, as we’ve established, is the greatest kitty. He’s kinda like a triangle but with stegosaurus spikes. That’s amazing! [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I think that’s what—

dan

Because the best monster is a triangle. [All laugh.]

elliott

The most stable monster is a triangle. [All laugh.]

dan

You know what? Like, I’m very irrationally frightened of spiders. Irrationally because like—

elliott

That really separates you from a lot of other people.

dan

What?

elliott

You don’t hear that a lot. [Audience laughs.]

dan

I’m just saying—like, it’s like—I know it’s not uncommon. It’s just—it is true of me. And particularly living in North America, like, the worst I’m gonna get it a Black Widow bite and unless I’m a baby or an elderly person I probably won’t die of that.

elliott

Yeah. I mean you missed your shot as a baby but it could still happen as an elderly person. [Audience laughs.]

dan

I still—fingers crossed! But um… what I find—like, in a weird way what I find even creepier than spiders? [Stuart laughs.]

stuart

[Through laughter] So why would you bring up spiders? [Audience cheers, applauds.]

dan

No, it’s all related, my friend. It’s all related. Not—

elliott

Let him weave his tapestry, like Arachne herself! [Audience laughs.]

dan

I’m [through laughter]—not a spider, but I believe also an arachnid—I believe— [Stuart laughs.] —I may be wrong— [All laugh.]

elliott

Again, he’s attached these ideas with the thinnest of thread, like a spider would.

dan

The Daddy Longlegs freaks me the fuck out because it is a little ball with the longest, spindliest legs that should not be able to like do anything, and it’s the weirdest goddamn thing. So if there was a giant fucking daddy longlegs, I would kill myself.

elliott

And I think the daddy part is the scariest part of that. [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: But that says more about me. Dan: That’s the sexy part. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I will say—I did—once I was having—on my way to dreamland a couple weeks ago, I was lying down and I was like—

crosstalk

Elliott: “Have they ever done a—” Dan: [Laughs.] Whoa—whoa, whoa. Let’s back up. [Audience laughs.]

dan

So you’re saying you were going to sleep.

elliott

Yeah. I was going to sleep.

crosstalk

Dan: Very colorful [through laughter] way of putting that. Okay. Elliott: I’m— [Laughs.] Dan, I like to vibrant-up my language. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Sorry. I’ll talk more like the writer John McPhee in the most boring terms possible. So anyways, I was lying down on what I assume was a layer of igneous rock beneath my house, and I was like—I don’t know why this thought entered my head. I was like, “Have they ever done a vampire movie where the vampire turns into a big, human-sized bat, and it has to scramble around on its arms—on the claws of its wings like a real bat walks around?” ‘Cause that would be super creepy! Yeah. And there’s a person running away and it’s just like scrambling after them with its wings like that.

stuart

There was a miniature design by Games Workshop called a Varol that was basically that. [Audience cheers, applauds.]

elliott

Okay. Stealing all my—

dan

Got an applause break for that somehow. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Thank you. Okay. Over here.

andy

Hello! My name is Andy, last name withheld. No relation. And uh— [All laugh.] —I have been waiting to use that joke for months now. [All laugh.]

elliott

It landed very well. It did great.

andy

So for me, the most exciting movie of 2019—and probably the most exciting movie of this decade—was Detective Pikachu. [Eliza laughs.]

stuart

[Through laughter] Sure.

elliott

Sure. Finally the character and the genre that were meant to go together. Yeah, of course. [Audience laughs.]

andy

Look, unless they make like a Metroid version of Dirty Harry, I’m not…

elliott

[Through laughter] Yeah, no.

andy

So… the big thing for me with Detective Pikachu that really made it stand out was its worldbuilding and its ability to… to create… y’know, a world and a city that—

dan

Where Pikachu could be a detective.

andy

Where Pikachu— [Audience laughs.] Where Pikachu could be a detective?

elliott

There’s nothing in the rulebook that says a Pikachu can’t be a detective!

none

And I could be a friend of a Feraligator, which—it’s a Pokémon. It’s a big gator. One might call it feral. Anyways.

elliott

I’m sure my son will tell me about it at some point. [Audience laughs.] He’s going through a big Pokémon phase.

andy

But it really created a world that felt like it existed outside of the movie. And so… I suppose my question is, like, what are the movies that have kind of created a world… to you that has like kind of existed in your mind outside of like the story it was trying to tell?

elliott

Hm.

stuart

Well, the first place you start with worldbuilding is the food. [All laugh. Some applaud.] What does Pokémon eat? [Audience laughs.]

andy

I’m just gonna interrupt—

stuart

Lemon cakes? [All laugh.]

crosstalk

Andy: It’s Pokémon. Elliott: What—what kind of—

elliott

What kind of size fowl would they eat? [Audience laughs.] Capons, perhaps? I mean, I could—kind of the—for me it’s a lot of the obvious ones, like your _Star Wars_es and whatnot. Where I was like, “Oh, I could live in this world and I could explore it” and things like that. But also, like, The Dark Crystal, when I was a kid? I was—there are certain parts of that movie where I’m like, “I kinda wanna leave the story so I can just go see what other creatures live in this place ‘cause I know they’re out there.” And I assume there’s some book of designs of stuff that didn’t end up in that movie, but I used to just like dream about that movie a lot. And like, walking around in it.

stuart

Yeah. I mean, I think that’s one of the joys of like those heavy like physical, practical monster costume movies? Is that it gives you that, like, lived-in feeling that makes you wanna just walk around and explore! To answer that, Lord of the Rings. Of course. Come on. [All laugh.]

dan

I’m gonna go in like a non, like, fantasy direction. Another aspect of—

elliott

[Through laughter] You’re like—you’re like— [Laughs.]

dan

My Dinner with Andre. [All laugh.]

crosstalk

Elliott: The movie—I wanna go to that restaurant! Stuart: [Laughs.] [Inaudible.] Dan: I wanna go—I wanna know what’s happening at the other tables! [Audience laughs.]

elliott

When I saw the movie The Post and it created this whole world of… [Audience laughs.] —presidents and war and foreign nations and I just wanna walk around—like, if only I could go to Vietnam and see what it’s like there. [All laugh.] But such is—if only I had a magic movie ticket a la Last Action Hero. [All laugh.]

dan

No, I was gonna say, like, obviously they’re the very like clear worldbuilding movies like your Star Wars or your Lord of the Rings or whatever. But like—

stuart

Or Last Action Hero, like Elliott said.

elliott

Uh-huh. Sure. Yeah.

dan

[Through laughter] But also—there are movies—like, another aspect of that is characters that are so immediately well-drawn that you feel like, okay, they have like a life outside of the frame. And like I know that I mentioned Raising Arizona earlier, but I feel like Coen brothers movies, like, all these very—like, in some ways broad but like so well-defined quickly minor characters where it feels like, oh, okay, we could follow this person and see what’s going on with them and that would be also an equally entertaining movie.

elliott

Mm-hm.

stuart

Oh yeah. Kind of like Hell or High Water from a few years ago where it felt like every single side character had a full life outside of it. So that’s what I’ll say. [Through laughter] Hell or High Water. [Audience laughs.] Texas! What a world! [All laugh.]

dan

“Don’t mess with it,” says people! Okay. [Through laughter] Over here.

margaret

Hi, Margaret, last name withheld. So I was listening to Jordan, Jesse, Go! this week and Jordan came up with basically a perfect Flop House question so I’m gonna just channel him. He was talking about who would be the female Nicolas Cage? And his proposal was Hellboy star Milla Jovovich, which he did pronounce that way. And so I—

crosstalk

Elliott: Just like Jordan. Dan: Thank you. [Audience laughs.]

dan

You saw my eye twitch. [Audience laughs.]

margaret

I love Jordan, but I do not agree. I don’t think Mila Jovovich has the chops, so I became very curious about what you guys would think.

stuart

Yeah.

dan

What… would the female Nicolas Cage—this is—

stuart

I mean, obviously—

elliott

I mean, the question is—yeah. By Nicolas Cage—what were you gonna say, Stuart, ‘cause I have some—I’d like to define our terms here.

stuart

I mean— [Laughs.] Clearly, we wanna pick an actor who can go kind of broad but also have little nuances. I think the only choice is Meryl. [All laugh. Some applaud.]

dan

Stuart. Stuart.

stuart

What?

dan

Stuart. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Meryl Streep!

dan

[Through laughter] Stuart.

elliott

The one that jumps to mind for me—but I wonder if she is, like, eccentric enough? Is like Melissa Leo? Y’know? Where it’s like, oh, she can do crazy, but also like very well-defined characters and things like that. But you were asking who’s like a crazy person in movies. [Audience laughs.] You’re asking who’s like a person where half the time you’re like, what are you doing? What’s going on here?

dan

Yeah. To that end, Carol Kane.

elliott

Oh, okay. Yeah. I could see that. [Audience cheers, applauds.] ‘Cause you see a movie like Hester Street and you’re like, this is an incredibly, like, richly-drawn character. And then you see, what, like, Addams Family Values or something? I don’t know. Y’know.

dan

Yeah. She’s in that and a national treasure. [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Book of Secrets. [Laughs.] Elliott: I mean, the—you know who I would—

elliott

Or, I mean, this is not quite the same. But okay. Time for me to talk about old movies. There’s an actress who—from 80 years ago named ZaSu Pitts. And she was most known for these kind of short comedies that she did? But she’s also in the movie Greed and she is, like, amazing in it. And in this movie that is a strange and crazy movie and her performance is very extreme and strange. But it’s like this really gut-wrenching performance. But in most of her movies, she’s the character who’s like Amelia Bedelia, basically. So, y’know. [Audience laughs.] “Okay! Just wash the baby, I guess!” And puts the baby in a dishwasher or something like that. Y’know.

dan

We’ve gone as long as we probably should, but should we lightning round it?

elliott

Yeah! Let’s lightning round it, yeah!

dan

Okay. We’ll speed—a lot faster.

doug

Name’s Doug, last name withheld. My son and I have always gone to a lot of movies since he became a teenager. We’ve started enjoying—seen a lot of bad movies in theaters, so Rock Dogs and Hellboys and whatnot. A few weeks ago—a few months ago, he called me and said, “Dad? Should I see the movies of Neil Breen?” So my question—

stuart

Every parent hates to get that phone call. [All laugh.]

doug

Well the question is, am I a good dad? [All laugh.]

elliott

This is a very tough question. I wish we didn’t have to do it in the lightning round. I’m gonna say, yes. And steal from The Simpsons—short answer, “Yes, with a but; long answer, no, with an and.” [All laugh.]

dan

[Through laughter] I don’t know if we can do better than that.

mike

Hi, Mike, last name withheld. We’re on our second adaptation of Hellboy. We’re on our third second Spider-Man movie right now. We’re doing a lot of adaptations that’s been part of cinema. What do you feel makes a good adaptation, whether it’s a book, theater, videogame, what have you? To movies.

dan

[Pause.] This is not funny, per se, but I think that the person—

elliott

Why start now, Dan? [Audience laughs.] Boom! He sets it up, I knock it out of the park!

dan

I make my living with comedy, sir! [Eliza laughs.] And I’m baffled by it daily. No. I—what was I gonna say? [Laughs.] Oh, um— [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Something that wasn’t funny. [Audience laughs.] He said it himself!

dan

I think that it is the, like, either the—one of the driving, creative forces, either the screenwriter or the director finding some sort of, like, personal—like, what they personally find interesting in the character or the story and like… emphasizing that to the utmost. Whether or not it is faithful to the entire story or character? But like… like, pulling out something that is essential and making that the center of the adaptation.

elliott

That’s what I was gonna say. You find the defining spirit of why it works as the thing it is? And then you figure out how do you do that in this new medium. And you don’t worry about, like—there’s a reason that like the credit sequence for Watchmen works really well, and the rest of Watchmen does not work quite as well? And it’s the credit sequence—it’s like, oh, well, they kinda captured the spirit of what they’re going for. And then the rest of the movie you’re like, “Wait, but we’re gonna watch the whole movie now?” Like, what— [Audience laughs.]

stuart

You’re like, “They did it! Hallelujah!” [All laugh. Some applause.] I would say… the adaptation that comes to mind is the third Harry Potter movie, where it is maybe not as true to the books as the first two, but it is so much more interesting and watchable. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Dan: Yep. Lightning! Elliott: Thank you. Let’s keep lightning rounding it!

elliott

We’re not holding it up on our end, but, y’know.

nick

Okay. Fair enough. My name is Nick, last name withheld, and for the podcast I’m not tricking. There was already another Nick. So in this movie—forgive me, very nervous—y’know, Hellboy’s asking Ian McShane, y’know, he was sent there to Nazi Germany to kill him. “Why did you save me? Why didn’t you kill me? You had a job to do—why didn’t you kill me?” And I feel like Ian McShane never really answered that question?

elliott

No, I don’t think he does!

nick

No, he just sort of deflected by saying, “Why are you whining?” Y’know, “I didn’t ask to be a father. I did the best I could.” But why do you guys think he saved him? [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: I mean—it’s—it’s— Stuart: I’m gonna say because he was a—

stuart

He was a cute baby with a stone arm.

nick

Was he, though?

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah. It’s hard to shoot a little baby, y’know? Stuart: I mean, yeah, I think so. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

People always say, like, “Could you kill Hitler as a baby? ‘Cause it’s killing a baby.” And it’s like, “I mean, probably, yeah.” [Audience laughs.] As long as I knew it was the right baby! But the reason that question exists is ‘cause it’s [through laughter] hard to kill a baby, so.

stuart

I mean, you’re probably able to. You’re not the strongest guy, but I mean, you’re smart. [Audience laughs, applauds.]

elliott

If we’re talking physically, it is a question. The baby might get the better of me. [Audience laughs.] As someone who daily has to grapple with a baby just to get its diaper back on. [Stuart laughs.]

crosstalk

Stuart: Yeah. I’m sorry about that. I just keep taking it off. [Laughs.] Elliott: But I think that’s— [Laughs.] Dan: Yeah. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

But I think that’s it. It’s hard to kill a baby.

nick

Fair enough.

 guest

Alright. We will hit this quickly. Elliott, you’ve touched on this before with John Oliver and Love Guru and how you’ve been paid to go out to dinner with him because of the royalty [inaudible].

elliott

Well, he payed for that dinner and so I’m not complicit in the movie that gave him the money to pay for it.

guest

So… you touched on this earlier. One of my friends actually helped design the trolls in that fighting scene. He refuses to watch the movie because… this?

stuart

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it.

guest

Do you have any friends or experiences where you’ve worked on a movie and it’s terrible and you refuse to be a part of it? Go for it.

elliott

I have been lucky that I have yet to work on a project of any kind where I’m like, ashamed of it? Or I think it was really bad. But there are two sides of me. There’s the side of me that’s a viewer that’s like, “Check out this shit. How could they make this? They should all kill themselves!” [Audience laughs.] And there’s the side of me that’s a professional that’s like, “Work is work. You gotta work. You need money to live your life. You need money to support your family. Any work is good work as long as you’re not hurting anybody with it. As long as the thing you’re working on is not morally repugnant.” So like, I can’t look down on anyone who worked on the movie ‘cause work is work. You’ve gotta work and it’s hard to find work in a creative business. Y’know.

stuart

That’s a very, like, elder British actor mentality. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Yeah! All the time they’re like, “How—"

stuart

Like, “I’ll—yeah. You want me to be a wind elemental? Fuck it.” [All laugh. Some applaud.]

dan

Yeah. And I’ve— [Laughs.] I’m not Hollywood Kalan. I have only worked on the one television show, which I’ve been happy with through— [Stuart laughs.] What? What?

elliott

You don’t sound too happy! [Audience laughs.]

dan

I never do. Um— [Audience laughs.] But uh… my friend Matt, who also works at The Daily Show, every semester we’ve got interns who come in and do great work for us. I think they’re paid now. They weren’t for a while. But part of what helps them out is we—each of the departments gives them advice at the end of the semester? And Matt makes a point of— [Laughs.] He takes great joy, I think, in saying, like, “Oh, one of my previous jobs was a blogger for Tosh.0.” [Audience laughs.] So we all do stuff we’re not proud of.

elliott

Yeah. It’s like you—if a friend of mine was like, “Should I take this job? It’s on a movie that really—it’s—I know it’s going to be bad.” I’ll be like, “Do you need the job? Go for it.” Y’know. There’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to watch it. There’s no rule that says you have to. I checked the rulebook. [Audience laughs.]

nick

Hello! Nick, last name withheld. First time, long time.

crosstalk

Elliott: A lotta Nicks today! A lotta Nicks! Nick-heavy city! Nick: Probably—yeah. Probably for—probably for Elliott—

nick

—more than anybody, I know there was Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and we watched a comic book movie for tonight. Any comic book characters that you think should have a musical adapted from them? [Light audience laughter.]

stuart

Probably Booster Gold. [Mixed response from audience.]

elliott

I mean, a Booster Gold musical could work. I know that Madman creator Mike Allred is a real rock’n’roll guy. I’d love to see, like, a Madman musical? But I don’t know. Otherwise it’s like, the musical—it’s weird. Comic books are about—a lot of ‘em, not all of ‘em—superhero comic books are about characters with like big tights and colorful things and it should translate well to the big world of the musical, but the most successful musical based on a comic is Fun Home? And so like— [Audience laughs.] I don’t know. Maybe comics don’t work that well as musicals unless they’re about a real thing. [Laughs.] That you can actually sing about.

dan

I think it should be about everyone’s favorite character, Speedball: the Masked Marvel.

elliott

Speedball… is a good character. [Laughs.]

dan

That is a controversial idea and we’ll talk about it later.

elliott

I thought you were gonna say Funky Winkerbean. [Audience laughs.]

nathan

Hey, this is Nathan, last name withheld, and I think I’m burdened with asking the question that we’re all thinking—just a practical question about the movie. At the beginning, why didn’t King Arthur just burn… Milla Jovovich? Jovovich.

elliott

This came up while we were watching it, I think. Yeah. While we were watching it, it was like, why didn’t he just burn those parts? And what do you think, guys? I don’t know how witches work! I don’t know what’s going through King Arthur’s head!

dan

Didn’t have any matches? I mean, like— [Audience laughs.]

crosstalk

Elliott: Fair. I mean, he has a wizard. Dan: I bought a— Stuart: That’s actually a pretty good point.

dan

I bought a smoker recently and I didn’t have any matches so… [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Here’s something that happens a lot on Twitter, and they go, “What a plot hole! They should’ve just done this and it would’ve taken care of the problem!” And it’s like, if you study history—as I have as an amateur—you see so many times in history where you’re like, “Well, why didn’t’ you just do this thing and it would have solved that problem?” It turns out, people are dumb? [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.] And they’re kinda short-sighted and they don’t always think of the right thing in the moment, y’know.

stuart

Yeah. Like a home invasion movie where people are like, “Plot hole: why didn’t the attackers just blow up the house?” [Audience laughs.] It’s like— [Eliza laughs.] —then there wouldn’t’ be a home to invade, I guess. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

dan

Let’s move over here. [Long pause.]

ian

Now I’m very flustered. Ian, last name withheld. We saw a French-Canadian zombie movie a while back in the theaters at a film festival, and at the end of the movie—post-credits, after everyone else had left the theater—there’s very inexplicably a parrot. And since then we’ve always referred to a surprise endings at the end of the movies as “parrots.” I was wondering if you have any language that you picked up from movies that are unrelated to the movie itself but you’ve carried the terminology into other—like, if there’s a moment that’s stuck with you from a movie that you’ve incorporated as like an in-joke in conversation later. Does that make any sense?

crosstalk

Elliott: Yeah, yeah. I mean— Stuart: Yeah, I feel like that’s the majority of the discourse of this podcast. Dan: Yeah. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I mean, Stuart coined the phrase “evidence dungeon,” which is a very useful term.

stuart

It’s on TV Tropes now, I guess! [Laughs.] [Eliza laughs.] Another one of my favorites was from the movie Jonah Hex, where they introduce a character very briefly in a wrestling ring called the Snake Man. And so Snake Man is just an all-purpose, any character who gets almost nothing to do in the movie but is far more interesting than the movie. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Yeah. I think I might start using “tallest building in Pittsburgh”— [Audience laughs.] —as a way to describe promises a movie makes that it does not fulfill? There’s—I will say—sorry to cut you off, Dan, that I just want to mention my favorite parrot ending in a movie, which is Citizen Kane. When a cockatoo just screams at the audience and Peter Bogdanovich asked Orson Welles, “Why’d you do that?” And Orson Welles said, “Late in the movie. Wake the people up. Movie’s almost over.” [All laugh.]

dan

And—and he has a transparent eyeball!

elliott

Well, yeah. Well ‘cause it was a visual effect that they were—optical processing and you can see through the eyeball. It’s also a movie where—at one point, you can see in the background animated pterodactyl birds? ‘Cause they were reusing animation? [Audience laughs.]

dan

Ah, Citizen Kane trivia. Anyway.

guest

Slightly pointed, but generally to all of you—I believe Dan, you recently called yourself the “averagest body builder”? [Audience laughs.] So when you were here, we had like a slight Twitter invitation through Stuart to come and work out and so I was wondering if any of the three of you were actually available to come work out tomorrow morning.

dan

To work out?

guest

Yeah.

crosstalk

Guest: With me, at my gym, which is where the invitation to just Stuart was. So. Guys. Dan: [Sighs.] I should start again. Stuart: And—and—and which gym is that?

guest

Los Campeones.

crosstalk

Stuart: Los Campeones. Guest: On Blaisdell. Anybody know it? Anybody? [Light applause from audience.]

crosstalk

Stuart: That’s a little bit of pressure, since we may— Guest: Alright. Yeah. Little bit. Little bit.

guest

Little bit more peer pressure—anybody know it? [Louder applause, some cheering.]

stuart

Wow.

crosstalk

Guest: Anybody know of it? Come on. Help me out, people. Help me out, people. Help me out. No, just generally peer pressuring. That’s how I live my life. Dan: Wait. Hold on. Hold on. [Laughs.] Buzz marketing for the gym. Elliott: Wait, wait. Hold on. Now—now my—now I would—I—I—

elliott

I would take you up on that offer, but the year where I decided I would say yes to everything ended yesterday. [Sharp intake of breath.] Oh, I’m so sorry!

crosstalk

Elliott: If you had asked me yesterday I would’ve had to have say yes! Oh. Guest: The two of you? Dan? Stuart? Oh, come on! Guys? Come on. Stuart: Maybe? It’s—this is not the place for me to make any kinds of commitments. [Dan laughs.]

guest

Can I wait at the merch? Can I wait at merch?

crosstalk

Dan: Yeah. Hassle us at the merch. Stuart: We’ll talk—we’ll talk at merch. Elliott: We’ll talk more at merch. We’ll make up reasons why we can’t do it at merch. Guest: Alright. Thank you. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Quick, quick, quick, quick, everyone!

elliott

Okay. We got two more questions. Let’s get through ‘em real fast, which means I’m gonna talk for a while. Let’s go. [Audience laughs.]

chris

Chris, last name withheld. So. What would best serve a Hellboy movie, like, in terms of story? It could be a mix-mash of stuff? Like, say, like, Wake the Devil, Chained Coffin, and Hellboy in Mexico or it could just be like one story arc.

elliott

I think one of the big flaws with this movie is they tried to cram in all these different story arcs. So like you just pick one story arc—or an original story—but like we were saying, you just gotta capture that—what’s the spirit that makes the book exciting? And then what makes the book exciting is not, like, y’know, Mötley Crüe songs blaring while you’re reading this comic book or something. I mean, unless—I don’t know. Maybe you love the Crüe. But I don’t know.

stuart

The comics have always struck me as these kind of like tragic gothic horror stories where Hellboy is just in a way almost like a spectator as he is an active participant. So like the idea of jamming in a whole bunch of stories and throwing in a crazy soundtrack doesn’t make any sense.

elliott

I mean, Hellboy is, in a lot of ways, a passive character? Which doesn’t make for movies in some ways? Like, he often enters the situation, and like Stuart says, he witnesses things going on and then he has a fistfight with a monster and then that’s the end of the story? [Audience laughs.] And it kinda reaches its apotheosis in the Hellboy in Hell series where he is—a lot of it is just him hearing stories of—that people in Hell are telling. And then at the end he defeats Satan, kind of on the last page? [All laugh.] So, yeah. I don’t know. It’s the spirit. They gotta capture the spirit ,y’know? Not the movie The Spirit. Which itself failed to capture the spirit of The Spirit. [Audience laughs.]

dan

One last question.

wiley

Hey, so I’m new to The Flop House, but I love MST3K

elliott

Thank you! [Light cheering.]

wiley

And for Elliott I just wanna ask—how has consistently watching terrible movies affected your health? Are you okay? [Audience laughs.]

elliott

I mean, not great. I’ll tell ya that. [Audience laughs.]

stuart

Elliott’s only 20 years old. [All laugh.]

elliott

I would say the effect—

wiley

Your mental state, maybe?

elliott

It’s like—I don’t—well, there’s a thing that happens when you watch too many bad movies, which is you kind of forget what a good movie is like? And you start to yearn for the pain of a bad movie and think that’s what pleasure is? And you have to like really detox by watching, like, good movies. And so I would find myself like having to watch a Flop House movie at the end of a day of, like, watching Atlantic Rim ten minutes at a time over—every ten minutes over and over again to write jokes for it. And then I’d come home and I’d be like, “I don’t have time to watch something that I’m gonna enjoy.” And then that weekend, I’d be like, “I gotta watch one of the 30 movies I recorded off Turner Classic Movies.” And then I would watch it and it’s like, you feel a shock for a moment ‘cause you’re waiting for the parts that you’re gonna laugh at ‘cause it’s so bad? And then it—you have to realize at a certain point, like, “Oh no, I’m gonna—I have to enjoy this on a sincere level.” And that’s when you know you’ve gone too far. [Audience laughs.] But I would say my physical health is affected far more by having two children than it is by watching the bad movies. [All laugh.]

wiley

Oh, and as the son of Doug, last name… I’m sorry, I’m new. I forgot what the thing is. [Audience laughs.]

dan

That’s alright. It’s a dumb thing anyway.

wiley

And I forgot to say my name, too. I’m Wiley. As the son of Doug—

crosstalk

Elliott: I hope your name is Wiley, Son of Doug. Wiley: He misrepresented— [Audience laughs.]

elliott

“Wiley Dougson. Wiley, Son of Doug.”

crosstalk

Elliott: We’ve heard tales, yes. [Laughs.] Stuart: Oh, the legends foretold! [Audience laughs.]

wiley

He misrepresented me slightly. It was not should I watch the movies of Neil Breen, it was—I love Neil Breen. Please buy me all of his movies.

crosstalk

Elliott: Ahhh. Okay. I mean, the thing is—he’s a bad man— Dan: Oh, no. I can’t support buying his movies. He’s a horrible, horrible man. But hilarious.

elliott

—but his movies are a certain kind of wonderful. [Laughs.] [Audience laughs.]

dan

Some kind of wonderful, you would say.

elliott

Yeah, I guess. If my son said to me—he called me from, I dunno, college or something. And he’s like, “Dad?”

crosstalk

Elliott: “Should I watch—” Dan: Now why is Sammy in college? Stuart: [Inaudible.]

elliott

‘Cause he’s like Doogie Howser. He’s a six-year-old who’s good for college. [Audience laughs.] This is in the future, when he’s six. If he called me and he said, “Daddy? Should I watch the Neil Breen movies?” I would say “Not until I get there.” And I would get in my car and would drive there right away. [Audience laughs.]

dan

Okay. Well that’s kind of an adorable note to end on. We have gone way too long because we are softhearted and wanted to talk to all of you, and we can talk to all of you a little bit more… at—we’re gonna have a merch table out there. We promise that we will be there at the merch table as soon as we can clean up and like pee and whatever.

elliott

As he waves at the one laptop on the stage.

dan

The one thing.

elliott

“As soon as we can deal with all this.”

dan

No, I gotta get the digital recorder from the sound guy—so there’s a couple things. Like, we’re gonna be at the merch table and then… probably afterwards, some percentage of The Flop House will be at the bar next door. [Cheering.] From 33% to 100%, depending on how tired people are. I can’t—

stuart

And who knows? We may get scared into working out tomorrow. [Laughs.]

dan

Yeah. [Audience laughs.] So… some of us might be there. It’s the one that’s not a Mexican restaurant. Otherwise, thank you so much—

elliott

The one that’s not gonna be there is the one that’s not a Mexican restaurant?

dan

Yeah. [Audience laughs.]

elliott

Which one of us is a Mexican restaurant? [All laugh.]

dan

We’ll figure that out backstage. Thank you so much. Minneapolis! That’s the name of the city we’re in! [All laugh; enthusiastic cheering and applause from audience.]

elliott

Thank you for coming! Thank you for listening. Thank you to The Parkway for having us. Everyone here has been great.

dan

I’ve been Dan McCoy.

stuart

I’ve been Stuart Wellington!

elliott

I’m Elliott Kalan.

dan

Goodnight, everyone!

elliott

Goodnight! Thank you! [Cheering and applause intensified.]

elliott

Light, up-tempo, electric guitar with synth instruments, plus overlays of wolves howling, chains rattling, groans, and other eerie noises.

music

A cheerful ukulele chord.

speaker 1

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—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.

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