24 episodes

Kristen, Mike, and Chris investigate pop-culture's most memorable villains, antiheroes, and misunderstood monsters to find out how they make being bad look so good. New episodes every other Wednesday.

Rogues Gallery 27th Letter Productions

    • Film Reviews
    • 4.9 • 65 Ratings

Kristen, Mike, and Chris investigate pop-culture's most memorable villains, antiheroes, and misunderstood monsters to find out how they make being bad look so good. New episodes every other Wednesday.

    Case File 022: Michael Myers (Halloween II)

    Case File 022: Michael Myers (Halloween II)

    It's that time of year again. We're returning to Haddonfield and picking up right where the original Halloween left off to continue our investigation into Michael Myers.

    By the filmmakers own admission, Halloween II is a movie that was made for financial reasons, not creative ones. John Carpenter had such a difficult time coming up with a suitable story, that he resorted to chugging a six-pack of beer every night as he banged out the script.

    His lack of investment resulted in a somewhat plodding follow-up... and a bizarre twist ending that would wind up defining this franchise for the next three decades. Of course at the time, Carpenter thought he was putting a definitive end to the Michael Myers saga.

    Topics include: the lucrative deal that lured Carpenter and Debra Hill to return, the original plans to set the sequel five years after the original instead of on the same night, the pros and cons of director Rick Rosenthal's slavish recreation of Carpenter's style, why a bed-ridden Laurie doesn't make for much of a protagonist, the three nights of reshoots that Carpenter took over after watching a rough cut, how giving Michael a motive shaped every subsequent sequel until the 2018 retcon, and more!

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    • 1 hr 33 min
    Case File 021: John Doe (Se7en)

    Case File 021: John Doe (Se7en)

    We're back for a new round of investigations and to kick things off, we're opening up a case file on John Doe from Se7en.
     
    The premise of a serial killer whose crimes are patterned after the seven deadly sins is so simple and so good that it's a little surprising it didn't already exist before 1995, but that wasn't the only trail director David Fincher blazed with this incendiary thriller.

    Se7en's grimy, neo-noir aesthetic inspired a slew of knock-offs, but most of those imitators focused exclusively on the more superficial elements and completely missed what makes this film so effective. Even 25 years later, it remains an intensely visceral experience.

    Topics include: how Fincher's experience making Alien 3 helped transform him into the auteur he's regarded as today, the numerous battles over Se7en's controversial ending, a refutation of the suggestion that this was a precursor to "torture porn", the largely forgotten Anthony Hopkins movie that was almost a sequel to this, the comic book prequel that delves further into Doe's origin, your answers for Ultimate Match Up, and more!

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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Case File 020: Ava (Ex Machina)

    Case File 020: Ava (Ex Machina)

    Alex Garland's debut thriller Ex Machina may be slight in budget, but its ambition is massive. Although we're centering our investigation around the character of Ava, it's just a jumping off point to sort through the film's complicated web of relationships and the themes Garland is exploring.


    Topics include: the numerous examples of "show don't tell" storytelling, how they transform this simple premise into such an effective pressure cooker, the way all three main characters are manipulating one another, why movies like this continue to fizzle at the box office, how our opinions on the ending have changed over the years, other films and TV shows this pairs well with, and much more!

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    • 1 hr 16 min
    Case File 019: Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge)

    Case File 019: Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge)

    Despite the success of the first A Nightmare on Elm Street, New Line Cinema didn't walk away with a very big piece of the proverbial pie. They did, however, hold sole ownership over something that was potentially a lot more valuable - a franchisable character.
     
    They rushed A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge into production and decided to jettison the original writer/director, lead actress, and established rules of the previous film. And somehow, that's only scratching the surface of what makes this the most controversial Elm Street movie.

    Topics include: the quick turnaround time and slapdash production schedule, Robert Englund's temporary replacement, the decision to have a male "final girl", the screenwriter's intentional (or not) homoerotic subtext and how he handled the backlash, the lead actor's experience on and off set, why Freddy's abilities differ so wildly from the other films, Part 2's place in the larger franchise, the new Scream Queen documentary, and much more!
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    • 1 hr 39 min
    Case File 018: Sil (Species)

    Case File 018: Sil (Species)

    When the filmmakers behind Species needed a creature that had to be as sexy as it was scary, H.R. Giger's name understandably shot to the top of their list. His Academy Award-winning work on Alien was exactly the aesthetic they were chasing. As the project evolved, however, Giger realized that there was perhaps too much reverence for (and adherence to) his previous efforts.


    Species is a mixed bag of largely unrealized potential, but it's not without its merits. On this episode, we investigate the real life program they used for the backstory, examine why the human characters don't totally serve the plot or themes they set up, and try to imagine how this might have turned out if the movie realized that Sil was more sympathetic than any of the actual protagonists.
    We also discuss the impression films like this made on us during our formative years, the diminishing creative and financial returns of its sequels, what a more modern spin on this material might look like, and more!
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    • 1 hr 30 min
    Case File 017: Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger)

    Case File 017: Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger)

    For all of its accomplishments, Phase I of the MCU was somewhat marred by what numerous critics referred to as "The Marvel Villain Problem" - and depending on who you ask, Red Skull was either the answer to that complaint or the epitome of it.

    So we're opening up a case file on one of Captain America's greatest foes to see if this character can help us understand whether or not The First Avenger ultimately succeeds because of its pulpy charm and throwback approach to serialized storytelling... or if this is proof positive that Cap is a more compelling hero when he's forced to confront problems that aren't so black & white.

    Topics include: the early days of the MCU and how Marvel Studios transformed a stable of leftover C-list characters into pop culture juggernauts, the original plan to have Red Skull team up with Loki in The Avengers, why Hugo Weaving didn't reprise the role for Infinity War and Endgame, the reason the first half of this movie works so much better than the second, the straight-to-video Captain America movie from the early 90s, the potential to give Red Skull a larger role in the next phase of the MCU, and more!
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    • 1 hr 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
65 Ratings

65 Ratings

shellrae ,

Chris

That’s all I need! I love this guy’s personality! I’ll listen to anything he does.

benpitt7 ,

Perfect Time to Jump Aboard!

As I write this review, the show is early in it’s “second season” after taking a few months off. The hosts are well-researched, funny, engaging, and I just can’t say enough about them. There’s yet to be a bad episode of this show and more people should definitely be listening to it.

matt464 ,

Great show

Fun, in depth breakdowns of villains and the stories they are in.

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